ON THE DOGMA OF REDEMPTION
By: Vladimir Moss


Contents

 

Introduction

The "Juridical Theory"
The Meaning of "Justification"
The Sacrifice for Sin
The Prayer in the Garden
Gethsemane vs. Golgotha
The Theory of "Moral Monism"
Original Sin

Conclusion: Love and Justice
 


 1. The "Juridical Theory"

In essence the wrath of God is one of the manifestations of the love of God, but of the love of God in its relation to the moral evil in the heart of rational creatures in general, and in the heart of man in particular.

Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, On the Redemption.

     What is the so-called "juridical theory"? If we reply: "An understanding of the redemption of mankind expressed in legal or juridical terms or metaphors", this hardly implies heresy, for many passages of Holy Scripture, as is well-known to both sides in this debate, use juridical terms when speaking about our redemption. If we add to this definition the words: "combined with terms of a passionately negative or pagan connotation, such as `wrath', `curse', `sacrifice', `propitiation'," then we are no nearer to the definition of a heresy, for these phrases, too, are to be found in abundance in Holy Scripture. Since the critics of the juridical theory often describe it as "scholastic", we might expect that the Catholic scholastic theory of redemption as found in the works of Anselm and Aquinas, is meant. Certainly this is part of the meaning. And yet there is no serious analysis of this theory, and no quotations from Catholic sources.

     The real targets of Metropolitan Anthony and his supporters are the works of certain Orthodox writers who supposedly embrace the scholastic theory, especially Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow. Metropolitan Anthony adds the names of Peter Moghila, metropolitan of Kiev in the seventeenth century, and Macarius Bulgakov, author of a standard textbook of Orthodox dogmatics in the nineteenth century. The Bostonite bishops, as we have seen, add Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov and Bishop Theophan the Recluse to the list (Metropolitan Anthony, however, is very careful to exclude Bishop Theophan[11]), while labelling as "scholastic" all Metropolitan Anthony's twentieth-century critics, especially Fr. Seraphim Rose.

     The strange thing, however, is that Metropolitan Anthony does not quote at all from Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, with the exception of a short excerpt from his Catechism on original sin and another, even smaller one from a sermon of his on Great Friday. And the Bostonite bishops do not correct this glaring deficiency. Instead we are provided with a summary – more precisely, a caricature - of the scholastic theory in the following words: "The Supreme Being, God, was offended by Adam's disobedience and man's disbelief in the Divine injunction regarding the tree of knowledge. This was an extreme offense, and was punished by the curse not merely laid upon the transgressors, but also upon their entire posterity. Nevertheless, Adam's sufferings and the agonizing death which befell Adam's descendants were not sufficient to expunge that dreadful affront. The shedding of a servant's blood could not effect this; only the Blood of a Being equal in rank with the outraged Divinity, that is, the Son of God, Who of His own good will took the penalty upon Himself in man's stead. By this means the Son of God obtained mankind's forgiveness from the wrathful Creator Who received satisfaction in the shedding of the Blood and the death of His Son. Thus, the Lord has manifested both His mercy and His equity! With good reason do the skeptics affirm that if such an interpretation corresponds to Revelation, the conclusion would be the contrary: the Lord would have manifested here both mercilessness and injustice".[12]

     Since neither Metropolitan Anthony nor the Bostonite bishops provide us with the opportunity of comparing this summary of the theory with the actual writings of the so-called Orthodox scholastics, we shall attempt to supply this deficiency for them. Here is a passage from Metropolitan Philaret's Catechism on redemption: "204. Q. In what sense is Jesus Christ said to have been crucified for us? A. In the sense that by His death on the Cross He delivered us from sin, the curse and death. 205. Q. What do the Holy Scriptures say about it? A. The Holy Scriptures say the following about it. About deliverance from sin: `In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace' (Ephesians 1.7). About deliverance from the curse: `Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us' (Galatians 3.13). About deliverance from death: `Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same; that through death He might destroy the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Hebrews 2.14-15) 206. Q. How does the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross deliver us from sin, the curse and death? A. The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross delivers us from sin, the curse and death. And so that we may more easily understand this mystery, the word of God enlightens us about it, as far as we can accommodate it, through the comparison of Jesus Christ with Adam. Adam naturally (by nature) is the head of the whole of humanity, which is one with him through natural descent from him. Jesus Christ, in Whom Divinity is united with Humanity, by grace became the new, all-powerful Head of the people whom He unites with Himself by means of faith. Therefore just as through Adam we fell under the power of sin, the curse and death, so we are delivered from sin, the curse and death through Jesus Christ.His voluntary sufferings and death on the Cross for us, being of infinite value and worth, as being the death of Him Who is without sin and the God-Man, is complete satisfaction of the justice of God, Who condemned us for sin to death, and immeasurable merit, which has acquired for Him the right, without offending justice, to give us sinners forgiveness of sins and grace for the victory over sin and death…"[13]

     It will be noted that Metropolitan Philaret, as is usual with him, stays very close to the words of Holy Scripture, so that it is very difficult to find fault with his exposition without finding fault at the same time with the scriptural words that he quotes. It will also be noted that his explanation has none of the emotionality of the scholastic theory as expounded by Metropolitan Anthony, none of its bloodthirstiness. True, there are the "juridical" words "curse", "satisfaction", "merit"; but these are used in a calm, measured way which hardly invites the mockery assailed at the scholastic theory.

     Let us now turn to one of the most famous of the Holy Fathers, whom no Orthodox theologian would dare to accuse of scholasticism, since he was one of the earliest and greatest opponents of scholasticism, St. Gregory Palamas. It is striking how many "scholastic" words, such as "wrath", "sacrifice", "victim", "reconciliation", and "ransom" he uses: "Man was led into his captivity when he experienced God's wrath, this wrath being the good God's just abandonment of man. God had to be reconciled with the human race, for otherwise mankind could not be set free from the servitude.

     "A sacrifice was needed to reconcile the Father on high with us and to sanctify us, since we had been soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest…. God overturned the devil through suffering and His Flesh which He offered as a sacrifice to God the Father, as a pure and altogether holy victim – how great is His gift! – and reconciled God to the human race…

     "Since He gave His Blood, which was sinless and therefore guiltless, as a ransom for us who were liable to punishment because of our sins, He redeemed us from our guilt. He forgave us our sins, tore up the record of them on the Cross and delivered us from the devil's tyranny. The devil was caught by the bait. It was as if he opened his mouth and hastened to pour out for himself our ransom, the Master's Blood, which was not only guiltless but full of divine power. Then instead of being enriched by it he was strongly bound and made an example in the Cross of Christ. So we were rescued from his slavery and transformed into the kingdom of the Son of God. Before we had been vessels of wrath, but we were made vessels of mercy by Him Who bound the one who was strong compared to us, and seized his goods."[14]

     Finally, let us now turn to Bishop Theophan the Recluse: "We have fallen through the sin of our first parents and we have been plunged into inescapable destruction. Our salvation can only come by deliverance from this destruction. Our destruction comes from two different evils: from the wrath of God in the face of our disobedience and from the loss of His grace and from submission to the law, on the one hand; and on the other, from the alteration of our nature by sin, from the loss of true life, and from submission to death. That is why there were required for our salvation: first, that God should take pity on us, deliver us from the curse of the law and restore to us His grace; and then that He make us live again, we who were dead through sin, and give us a new life.

     "Both the one and the other are necessary: both that we should be delivered from the curse, and that our nature should be renewed. If God does not show Himself full of pity for us, we cannot receive any pardon from Him, and if we receive no pardon, we are not worthy of His grace; and if we are not worthy of His grace, we cannot receive the new life. And even if we had received pardon and remission in some fashion, we would remain in our corrupted state, unrenewed, and we would derive no profit from it; for without renewal of our nature, we would remain in a permanent state of sin and we would constantly commit sins, sins which would bring down upon us again our condemnation and disgrace - and so everything would be maintained in the same state of corruption.

     "Both the one and the other have been accomplished by the expiatory sacrifice of Christ. By His Death on the Cross He offered a propitiatory sacrifice for the human race. He lifted the curse of sin and reconciled us to God. And by His pure life, by which in a perfect manner He accomplished the will of God in all its fullness, He has revealed and given to us, in His Person, an unfailing source of righteousness and sanctification for the whole human race."[15]

     And let us now compare this exposition with the words of the HOCNA bishops: "The proponents of the heretical, Scholastic theories of atonement insist that God's honor or majesty or justice had to be `satisfied' or `appeased' before God's love and compassion could be shown to mankind. God could not forgive mankind until His wrath had been propitiated. These beliefs attribute a division, opposition, and contradiction within the simplicity of the Divinity. Furthermore, they, like the pagan Greek philosophers, subject the superessential and almighty God to a necessity of His nature" (p. 3).

     So there would appear to be three reasons for the rejection of the juridical theory by the Bostonite bishops: (1) a vaguely expressed emotional distaste for the emotional connotations of certain words such as "satisfied" and "appeased", (2) the supposed division it creates in the simplicity of the Divinity, and (3) its attribution to God of a certain pagan concept of necessity.

     (1), though an emotional rather than a strictly intellectual accusation, actually represents, in our opinion, the real motivation for the opposition to the so-called juridical theory, and will consequently be discussed at some length below. (2) presumably refers (although it is not clearly stated in this passage) to the supposed contradiction between love and "wrath" as attributes of God, and will also be discussed at length. (3) is simply a misunderstanding, in our view, and will therefore be briefly discussed now before going on to the more serious accusations.

     Bishop Theophan does use the word "necessary", but it is obvious that no pagan Greek kind of necessity is implied. The thought is simply that in order to be saved we had to be both cleansed from sin and renewed in nature. And it had to be in that order. Indeed it makes no sense to think that human nature can be renewed and deified before it has been cleansed from sin. Thus we read: "Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed on Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7.39). In other words, Jesus had to be glorified, i.e. crucified and die on Golgotha, thereby cleansing mankind from sin, before the Spirit could descend and renew our nature at Pentecost. It goes without saying that the word "had" here in no way implies any kind of pagan "fate" or "necessity". All the acts of God are free. But they are also not arbitrary. That is, they are in a certain order, according to a certain plan, a perfect order and a perfect plan that cannot be improved upon and in that sense have to be realised. In exactly the same way, on the personal level, we have to confess our sins and receive absolution before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

     Turning now to the other charges against the juridical theory, it is necessary to understand, first of all, that all attempts to describe the mystery of our redemption in human terms are necessarily metaphorical. As such, they cannot be taken to their logical conclusion without absurdity. Therefore when reading them we must always bear in mind their metaphorical character, and offset the absurdity which results from concentrating too closely on one metaphor alone by considering other metaphors as well. [16] Thus the juridical metaphor needs to be supplemented with, for example, the metaphor of the strong man (God) despoiling the goods of the brigand (the devil) (Matthew 12.29) or the patristic metaphor of the devil like a fish being caught on the hook of Christ's Divinity. And such a mixing of metaphors is displayed, as we have seen, by St. Gregory Palamas. Each metaphor illumines a part of the truth; one metaphor complements another, correcting its misleading emphases.

     For, as Vladimir Lossky writes: "The immensity of this work of Christ, a work incomprehensible to the angels, as St. Paul tells us, cannot be enclosed in a single explanation nor in a single metaphor. The very idea of redemption assumes a plainly legal aspect: it is the atonement of the slave, the debt paid for those who remained in prison because they could not discharge it. Legal also is the theme of the mediator who reunited man to God through the cross. But these two Pauline images, stressed again by the Fathers, must not be allowed to harden, for this would be to build an indefensible relationship of rights between God and humanity. Rather must we relocate them among the almost infinite number of other images, each like a facet of an event ineffable in itself"[17].

     At the heart of the controversy surrounding the juridical model of redemption, and closely related to the point just made about its metaphorical nature, lies the question of the emotional connotations of the language used in it – and of the emotional reaction to those connotations on the part of some of its critics. Metropolitan Anthony chooses to see in the language of the juridical model – even in the very sober form in which is presented by Metropolitan Philaret – the _expression of fallen human emotions "unworthy" of God and the great mystery of God's salvation of mankind. Words such as "curse", "vengeance", "wrath", "ransom" all have the wrong connotations for him, even disgust him; he would like to replace them by more "positive" words such as "love" and "compassion". What he apparently fails to realize is that all words used to explain the mystery, including "love" and "compassion", are more or less tainted by their association with fallen human emotions and have to be purified in our understanding when applied to God.

     But such purification cannot be accomplished through abstraction simply, by replacing the vivid words of Scripture with the dry categories of secular philosophy. The Word of God is above all philosophy. And to attempt to "improve on" the words and concepts given to us by the Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture can only lead to a sinful distortion of the mystery itself. If the Holy Scriptures, adapting to our infirmity, use this language, then all the more should we not expect that we can find any better words to explain the mystery than those provided by the Holy Spirit Himself.

     The best we can do, therefore, is to accept with gratitude the metaphors and explanations given to us in the Holy Scriptures, understanding, on the one hand, that there is no better explanation of the mystery in question in human language (for if there were, God would have provided it), and on the other hand that this explanation needs to be purified in our minds of all elements suggestive of fallen human passion.

     Instead of rejecting or belittling the terms given us in Holy Scripture, we must accept them with reverence, probe as deeply as possible into their meaning, while purging them of all fallen connotations. Thus when considering the curse that God placed on mankind at the fall, we must exclude from our minds all images of bloodthirsty men cursing their enemies out of frenzied hatred and a desire for vengeance. At the same time, the concept of the curse must not become so abstract that the sense of awe and fear and horror that it elicits is lost. The curse was not imposed on mankind by God out of hatred of mankind, but out of a pure and dispassionate love of justice – and this justice, far from being a "cold", "abstract" idea is a living and powerful energy of God Himself. Similarly, God did not demand the Sacrifice of the Son out of a lust for blood, out of the fallen passion of vengefulness, but in order to restore justice and peace between Himself and His creatures, than which there can be nothing more desirable and necessary.

     God neither loves nor hates as human beings do; both the love and the wrath of God are not to be understood in a human way. For, as St. John of Damascus says: "God, being good, is the cause of all good, subject neither to envy nor to any passion".[18] And, as St. Gregory the Theologian says, by virtue of our limitations and imperfection as human beings we introduce "something human even into such lofty moral definitions of the Divine essence as righteousness and love".[19]

     Archbishop Theophan of Poltava assembled a number of patristic quotations, of which the following are a selection, in order to demonstrate this vitally important point:

(i)                  St. Gregory of Nyssa: "That it is impious to consider that the nature of God is subject to any passion of pleasure or mercy or wrath will be denied by none of those who are even a little attentive to the knowledge of the truth of existence. But although it is said that God rejoices in His servants and is stirred up with wrath against the fallen people, and then that He `will show mercy on whom He will show mercy' (Exodus 33.19), nevertheless I think that in the case of each of these utterances the commonly accepted interpretation loudly teaches us that by means of our properties the Providence of God adapts itself to our infirmity, so that those inclined to sin may through fear of punishment restrain themselves form evil, and that those formerly carried away by sin may not despair of returning through repentance when they contemplate His mercy".[20]

(ii)                St. Gregory of Nyssa: "Theological science cannot avoid using this language, even about Divine things. We must always have this fact in mind both when we read the Holy Scriptures and when studying the works of the Holy Fathers. And so as to avoid possible misunderstandings and mistakes in the one or the other sphere, it is necessary for us in such cases to transpose the words and names relating to God which are taken from the existence here below to mean that which is higher, loftier".[21] 

(iii)               St. John Chrysostom: "The same expressions are used about God and about man; but the former should be understood in one way, and the latter in another. We should not accept in the same sense that which is spoken about us and about God, even if the manner of speaking is the same; but we must ascribe to God a certain special privilege which is proper to God; otherwise much stupidity will be the result".[22]

(iv)              St. John of Damascus: "Many of the things relating to God … cannot be put into fitting terms, but on things above us we cannot do else than express ourselves according to our limited capacity; as, for instance, when we speak of God we use the terms sleep and wrath, … and suchlike expressions… It is not within our capacity, therefore, to say anything about God or even to think of Him, beyond the things which have been divinely revealed to us, whether by word or by manifestation, by the divine oracles at once of the Old Testament and of the New."[23]

(v)                St. John Chrysostom: "When you hear the words `wrath' and `anger' in relation to God, do not understand anything human by them: this is a word of condescension. The Divinity is foreign to everything of the sort; but it is said like this in order to bring the matter closer to the understanding of people of the cruder sort. In the same way we, when we speak with barbarians, use their language; or when we speak with an infant, we lisp like him, even if we ourselves are wise men, in condescension to his youth. And what is it to be wondered at if we act in this way both in words and in deeds, biting our hands and giving the appearance of wrath, in order to correct the child? In exactly the same way God used similar expressions in order to act of people of the cruder sort. When He spoke He cared not for His dignity, but about the profit of those who listened to Him. In another place He indicated that wrath was not proper to God when He said: `Is it I whom they provoke? Is it not themselves?' (Jeremiah 7.19) Would you really want Him, when speaking with the Jews, to say that He was not angry with them and did not hate them, since hatred is a passion? Or that He does not look on the works of men, since sight is a property of bodies? Or that He does not hear, since hearing belongs to the flesh? But from this they would have extracted another dishonourable doctrine, as if everything takes place without the Providence of God. In avoiding such expressions about God, many would then have been completely ignorant of the fact that God exists; and if they had been ignorant of that, then everything would have perished. But when the teaching about God was introduced in such a way, the correction of it followed swiftly. He who is convinced that God exists, although he has an unfitting conception of God and puts something sensual into it, nevertheless with time he becomes convinced that there is nothing of the sort in God. But he who is convinced that God does not have providential oversight, that He does not care about that which exists, that He does not exist, what benefit will he gain from passionless expressions?"[24]

(vi)              St. John Chrysostom: "When it is said of God that He is angry, he is angry not in order to avenge Himself, but in order to correct us".[25]

(vii)             St. Gregory the Theologian: "He punishes, and we have made out of this: He is angry, because with us punishment follows anger".[26]

(viii)           St. John of Damascus: "By wrath and anger are understood His hatred and disgust in relation to sin, since we also hate that which does not accord with our thought and are angry with it".[27]

     Thus, as Archbishop Theophan writes, "if one understands the properties of the wrath of God in the sense in which the just-mentioned Fathers and Teachers of the Church understand it, then it is evident that it involves nothing contrary to the Christian understanding of God as the God of love. But in essence the wrath of God, with such an understanding, is one of the manifestations of the love of God, but of the love of God in its relation to the moral evil in the heart of rational creatures in general, and in the heart of man in particular."[28]

     So God's love and wrath are two sides of the same coin; the one cannot exist without the other. For as the love of God is limitless, so is His wrath against injustice, that is, against that which denies love and seeks to destroy the beloved. Indeed, as St. John of the Ladder writes: "God is called love, and also justice. That is why the wise man in the Song of Songs says to the pure heart: Justice has loved thee."[29]

     Archbishop Theophan concludes: "The objection to the Church's teaching that the death of Christ the Saviour on the Cross is a Sacrifice on the grounds that it supposedly presupposes an understanding of God that is unworthy of His true greatness insofar as it speaks of God as being angry for an insult to His dignity, is based on an incorrect understanding of the so-called moral attributes of God, and in particular the Righteousness of God. The true reason for the Sacrifice on Golgotha for the sins of the human race is the love of God for the human race."[30]


Part 3 - The Meaning of "Justification"

Part 4 - The Sacrifice for Sin

Part 5 - The Prayer in the Garden

Part 6 - Gethsemane vs. Golgotha

Part 7 - The Theory of "Moral Monism"

Part 8 - Original Sin

Part 9 - Conclusion: Love and Justice


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Also: Hang Up Telephone Calls constantly get to you?

We get them all the time.  But one thing we do many are unaware of... We keep an automatic telephone log and then we turn them over to the same group who monitors and interacts with the hackers, etc.

It no longer matters if the caller telephones once in a day, every other day or every day or several times a week, once a week or for several months... All get logged, even those who think they have escaped notice by using the actual I.D. Caller number of "000-000-0000" which is has been used, even those who don't show up on caller I.D. as hang-ups now. With new technology being what it is it only takes one ring at a person's (receiving phone to activate some of the new technology being used which locks the caller's phone number in, even when they use by-pass alternate numbers to make shrewd calls).  We are advised one caller is facing terrorism criminal charges even though he used three different go-through numbers ranging all around the world, but were found to originate their call from California.  Hmmm.... what does this tell you?   Others, we are advised were found to be out of Michigan, Ohio, even Illinois and another state.

It is known that a telephone number showing up on some caller I.D.'s may actually be a telephone service provider phone number, yet... they too keep logs and information as to each individual cellular or local (their locale) phone usage... 

In the not-to-distant future, we intend to post some of those telephone numbers and, hopefully, persons, which constantly show up as "harassing hang-up" callers.  May be, you too have the same? 

Keep Watch!

Those who do such unscrupulous things, HATE some of the news, quotes, and such as to inform the general public.  Some of them pose as clergy, while a few are actually clergy from various "other" offshoot AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH or other jurisdiction(s) of the same or similar name of which we are, in some instances, their former MOTHER CHURCH (as is the same named Toledo, Ohio based, an offshoot, who had once been a part of us and unknowingly to our unworthy selves, were once a part of the clergy but they did not obtain permission to leave the jurisdiction they were under, according to Canon, and thus obtained for themselves re-ordination and consecrations, several times... and then using a variety of church names, including our own after they were defrocked and excommunicated, having more than three (3) times being excommunicated by other legitimate apostles/bishops); having joined in and with  "Independent" churches who have nothing to do with us or even true Orthodoxy.  We have the information on their numerous "Paper Church" names and name changes.  But the real issue is whether they were ever truly an ordained Priest and bishop?

 

It is true that when one is ordained to the priesthood, the old saying of "Once a Priest, always a priest forever..." holds true... But where there has been or is deception and fraud involved, the old saying is invalid altogether which is the stool kicked out from under any subsequent consecrations as a Bishop for the Episcopacy has then been obtained on a sheet of lies and therefore they are frauds, wolves in sheep's clothing.  The problem here is with civil authorities and agencies. 

 

Any documents a false one obtains from those who ordained him, including subsequent documents relating to consecrations; civil authorities never (or hardly ever) verify their validity and thus issue their own documents and errantly recognize the individual. 

 

These false sheep in wolf's clothing seek to go out of their way to character assassinate and disparage religious web sites who do not meet their own brand of standardization and those who know where the proverbial "bones are buried on them" which is evidence of the wolf not being "Orthodox" "Christian" or even "Catholic" no matter what their nomenclature corporate name may be.  The Toldeo, Ohio based same or similar named person/group under his/their so-called leader has been deposed, defrocked and excommunicated more than three different times by various bishops/apostles.  He, and several others, have become just as bad as the modern day Ecumenists of the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, the World Council of Bishops and more.  It matters not now... whether they use the so-called name of "Athonite" "Benedictine" "Celtic" "Old Roman" "Old Catholic" - etc..  A name does not make one Christian. Their ultimate aim and goal is destruction to those from whom they had either originated from or gone through to obtain the same or similar named "church" they claim to hold to by the state's civil law in which they reside alone.  They are not a "Schema-monk" or even a true "monk" for they were deposed and excommunicated for violations of the Holy Rule they claim to subscribe to, giving and openly providing false misleading and inaccurate information about other more honorable clergy.  These 'wolves in sheep's clothing attract other nefarious and questionable persons whose aims are similar: for fame, image, power and glory, and if it should be that 'fortunes' come along, all the more is their power based.

 

    Remember, anything that is a HALF TRUTH is not truth but a lie!  Many there are that you may know who fit those descriptions... pray for them.  Pray that God will send his Spirit of Truth upon them and lead them to Salvation through tears of Repentance, conversion of their cold and calculating hearts toward seeking forgiveness from God and those whom they attempt to harm. 

 

    Those who receive e-mail from us, know who we are and from where we send mail.  There are also many who know that they can send e-mail under another group or person's e-mail address, which has been happening.  If you receive e-mail that purports itself to be from us, verify first by hitting your "reply" button and ask, "I received this e-mail but would like verification if it is from you.

 

    If you are of another jurisdiction, you too could find that your parishioners, clergy and faithful might become subject to the same as we have recently found. 

 

    Let this be a warning to visitors so as to be safeguarded against unscrupulous e-mails which contain viruses, worms and unsavory material from person(s) organizations or institutions that are more self-serving than uplifting and informatively news worthy. 

 

    For ourselves, we have, as in the past, so once again, acquired the assistance of those who are able and capable of tracing e-mails back to their source and taking appropriate action in North America. 

 

    We have learned that the organization we subscribe to, whose members come from various legal and law enforcement backgrounds amongst other areas of society, are committed to the faith even though they may hold different theologies.  Yet, in their monitoring of electronic communications of various persons or people, they do not always make haste to bring perpetrators to justice until after enough evidence has been gained in order to build a solid case.  We do not always know what information they have gained, but we do know the organization, whom we've been asked not to name, has had a 97% success rate in bringing to justice and obtaining a conviction against individuals, people, and sometimes even religious organizations of a persona that gives the appearance of both secular and religious bearing but who abuse and misuse technology.  The organization views those who abuse and misuse the internet and other technologies as nothing more than a form of "domestic terrorism" - - - - and, it would seem to appear that the courts are in agreement!

 

 Those kinds of people, organizations, etc. who misuse and abuse communication technologies are no different than those who attempt to use coercive measures, and in some instance, even blackmail for the same idea is involved... to cause havoc and wreckage, to destroy the spirit and activity of those who struggle in the faith out of pain of heart for the Orthodox Church which is TRUTH. The degree that some have been known to go to, as seen by other jurisdictions, is to take advantage of questionably mentally challenged or those who have a lack of education and understanding to get them to make statements, even outright lies, in writing, in order to destroy.  Such persons or groups are spiritual terrorists for unholy and un-Orthodox causes, aims and goals.

 

    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...

 

    The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption!  It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".

 

  The Founding of Orthodoxy 

How Many Times

Is Christianity Collapsing? A theological evaluation regarding T.B.N. and its so-called ministers!

Part II -Is Christianity Collapsing?

The Demise of Marriage And Dissolution of the Family

» Abouna's Two Cents Worth or at his new website at:

www.freewebs.com/abouna_gregori/ (blogs, guest-book, memorial page and more)

Amber Alert Information on missing Children

Before, During and after the Lenten Season, Pascha or Easter:

 

It is one's duty as a true Christian which rests upon the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith established by Jesus Christ, that one continues on the path, the struggle in this life to: Learn the true meaning of Pascha (Easter) and the Life of Christ, His teachings and their importance for all who call themselves "Christian" which means "a follower of Jesus Christ":

 

 

He Is Risen Indeed

 

Click on either the above Icon or any of the following links to learn more!

PaschaLenten Season - Easter

 

Lent Message

The Institution of Lent  Turning The Other Cheek  Hating One's Parents  Violence and the Kingdom  The Last Events of Christ 

A word for the People of God

and Other Hard Sayings of Jesus Christ

Who are the Modern Day Pharisees and Sadducees who abuse the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ?  What is a Safe Church

And More...

Special Articles:

Apostasy Index

www.freewebs.com/abouna_gregori/ (blogs, guest-book, memorial page and more)

A Message from Our metropolitan Archbishop - UPDATED

A Very Special Message....

Our Primate's Message Archives - 2006

Our Primate's Message Archives 2004-2005

Go To: Apostasy & the Roman Jurisdicition of the Catholic Church 

Go To: Abouna Gegroi 2 cents worth  Go to: Daily Commemorations.

 

When Viewing a News Article click on the link to Return to "Home Page" or Daily News for 2006. For Daily/weekly News and Information Archives click on one of the follwoing:

2006 NEWS ARCHIVE

2005 News Archive

2004 news Archive

2003 News Archive.

     Our Daily/Weekly News and information gathering has enlarged.  As a result, we will be posting, on the entry page, only those current News and Informational Items for the day/week.  All other news and informational items for previous days in the month will be moved to our Archive Pages for that month and year, as shown above... 

     Also... It is suggested you view the article and especially the related commentary opinion having to do with your telephone, internet and other activities since the defeat of one of the extension provisions of the Patriot Act by clicking here...

About:

Apostle1.com, Apostle1.org and Apostle1.net

We are an educational, News-informational and research Web Site dedicated to providing such as befits those who seek things pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith and life.

A few have sent us inquiries as to why we post information and/or articles relating to what might be considered as political and sometimes from other Protestants .  And the reply is much the same as it states on the entry page....  We Are:

A Non-Profit Religious Hosting Service

and

an Educational, News, Informational and Research Web Site dedicated to providing such as befits those who seek things pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith and life for various

Traditional Orthodox Jurisdictions

While the answer and question above is not sufficient for some to understand, we take the view (which we believe is ORTHODOX) that all things pertinent to life and living affects, and has an effect, upon not just our belief (Orthodox), but (for many) the way in which we act in accordance with our belief, our very faith. 

Because this is a highly Protestant Country in which we live, having an effect upon the laws of the land, we should know something of what is on-going and where efforts by those denominations may affect and have a intrinsic effect on our very laws, for such does have an effect upon our daily lives as Orthodox Catholic Christians. 

If one is not cognizant of the real events happening both locally and in the world, although many are removed from the world... one will not know what to expect or what to do, or how one can or cannot act which might betray one's faith and accrue the wrath of civil authorities as laws change.  Yet, we are also reminded that these things must happen and it was for that which there exists many early Christian Martyrs and Saints. 

While we can remove ourselves from the world, we still live in it.  And for the faithful, theirs is a struggle for knowledge and understanding.  All things are pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith which is the very foundation of Christianity.  As such, we can not abandon them and leave them blind to events and happenings. 

What we post as related to those things similar to various articles which might have a political theme or non-Orthodox Catholic Christian content of sorts ... does not mean or imply that we are supportive of, for, or against something articulated in an article, so much as it is NEWS and our faithful should be made aware, for such may be the very thing that will impact their day-to-day life.  It is for them, their free will... to judge the relevancy.

Remember, not all Protestants, especially hard core cultic groups such as "Charismatic" - "Evangelical" "Promise Keepers" "Church of Christ" "Methodism" "Pentecostals" "Jehovah's Witnesses" "Mormons" and other people are not so generous in their viciousness toward anyone and anything that appears "Catholic" whether of the Roman or Orthodox jurisdictions, for they do not know or want to learn that which makes them "different" in their walk and talk as being far from the roots of Christianity. 

Remember, it is the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church which has more outwardly shown that it can be one of the most vicious toward those who are not Roman but are very much "Catholic" - for the sun and moon does not rise and set on the Vatican (Latin or Roman) jurisdiction as to who is or is not "Catholic" for the Roman jurisdiction split (schismed) from the roots of "Catholicism" which is founded in what is termed and called today as "Orthodoxy".

Any good article or piece of information will be considered so long as it is not defamatory or slanderous toward an individual when not based on TRUTH or FACT, or which is altered out of context from its original publishing by recognized sources. All new articles submitted, after viewing and recommendations, are passed to our Editor, our Vladyka, +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.

“I prefer a defeat accompanied by humility to a victory accompanied by pride.”

                                                                               --An Elder

    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...

 

    The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption!  It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".

 

   "It would be better to have ten (10) true repentant X-felons who ask for and give true forgiveness than it would be to have one (1) non-x-felon or common person whose self-righteousness exceeds even the Pharisees, Sadducees, the gossip mongers, slanderers and un-repentant; for the repentant x-felon understands the true meaning of the Church's purpose as being the spiritual hospital." (siq) +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D., Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot, Primate

 

Yes... "Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater..." (1992-Fr. Alan Stanford)

 

One can ask, "What part of 'Prejudice' and 'hate' do you not understand?  Are you a complacent person?  In light of the saying, examine yourself!  You may be surprised if you are honest with yourself for your soul may convict you before Jesus Christ convicts you in the times to come!

 

"When tested by some trial you should try to find out not why or through whom it came, but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancor."


St. Mark the Ascetic.


"
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalms 32:1-2
 

    For further information about how spammers, hackers and those who are angry with you can or will attempt to do damage, we offer the following link as regards some of the computer - internet problems:

 

http://msn.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,116258,00.asp

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All Rights Reserved under International Copyright Conventions. No part or whole of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information, storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from either the American Orthodox Church (AOC), North American Orthodox Church (NAOC) or the American Orthodox Catholic Church (AOCC). Information provided in any directory(ies) may not be recompiled into other directories or used as the basis for a derived work without explicit written permission.

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Quotes from Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. Continuously updated

If You have a question that you wish to ask, please feel free to submit it.  However, may it be suggested that you review all previous questions for the Month and also the Archive of questions previously asked for your question may have already been answered. 

Click Here For Archive Quotes

Click Here for AOC HISTORY PAGES

Twenty First Century Desert Fathers

Who Are: The Thaddeans?

Lines of Apostolic Succession of His Eminence

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In The Shadows

Suggested Reading:

 

Privacy Watch NOTICE to VISITORS ABOUT OUR E-MAIL, Telephone and Response POLICY - Updated

 

Saint Jude Thaddeus (Helper of the Hopeless) and  The Thaddean Fathers (SSJt.)

 

MAN: To Err, the Church and Holy Spirit


The True meaning of Repentance and forgiveness

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY

 

Is Christianity At The Cross Roads?

 

As The World Goes, So Goes The Church

 

Anomalies in Ecclesiology of Contemporary Orthodox Churches

 

Attempts at Coming to An Understanding of Orthodox Catholic Christianity

 

A Response to two articles: “Pedophilia Condoned (Approved) By Islam” & “Dalai Lama With Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Others"

-

GRAMMATA ON THE MEANING OF CANONICAL

 

The Definition and Meaning of "Orthodoxy"
 

Orthodox Catholic Christian Fasts, Feasts, and Daily Prayers

See the Main Page for Weekly-Daily listings/Commemoration's Page

To Change the Nation and the World

A Dictionary of Orthodox Terminology

PROPER ATTIRE FOR ORTHODOX CLERGY

A Spiritual Hospital For Sinners

The Faithful and Clergy
(Clergy: Monks, Nuns, Priests and Bishops)

Our Clergy Application - Agreement

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