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


 

3. The Sacrifice for Sin

O my Saviour, the living and unslain Sacrifice, when as God Thou of Thine own will hadst offered up Thyself unto the Father…

Pentecostarion, Sunday of Pascha, Mattins, Canon, Canticle 6, troparion.

     Another bone of contention between Metropolitan Anthony and his critics is the concept of sacrifice.

     The Holy Scriptures say that "the Son of Man came… to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20.28), and in another place –"as a ransom for all" (I Timothy 2.6). The Holy Fathers use such language no less frequently. To take one particularly clear example, Blessed Theophylact writes: "Since the Lord offered Himself up for us in sacrifice to the Father, having propitiated Him by His death as High Priest and then, after the destruction of sin and cessation of enmity, sent unto us the Spirit, He says: `I will beseech the Father and will give you a Comforter, that is, I will propitiate the Father for you and reconcile Him with you, who were at enmity with Him because of sin, and He, having been propitiated by My death for you and been reconciled with you, will send you the Spirit."[46] But the language of "ransom", "propitiation" and "sacrifice" is rejected by Metropolitan Anthony.

     Archbishop Theophan writes: "[Metropolitan Anthony] gives a metaphorical, purely moral meaning to the Sacrifice on Golgotha, interpreting it in the sense of his own world-view, which he calls the world-view of moral monism.[47] But he decisively rejects the usual understanding of the Sacrifice on Golgotha, as a sacrifice in the proper meaning of the word, offered out of love for us by our Saviour to the justice of God, for the sin of the whole human race. He recognizes it to be the invention of the juridical mind of the Catholic and Protestant theologians. It goes without saying that with this understanding of the redemptive feat of the Saviour the author had to establish a point of view with regard to the Old Testament sacrifices, the teaching on which has up to now been a major foundation for the teaching on the Saviour's Sacrifice on Golgotha. And that is what we see in fact. The author rejects the generally accepted view of the sacrifices as the killing of an innocent beingin exchange for a sinful person or people that is subject to execution. `In the eyes of the people of the Old Testament', in the words of the author, `a sacrifice meant only a contribution[48], just as Christians now offer [candles, kutiya and eggs] in church… But nowhere [in the Old Testament] will one encounter the idea that the animal being sacrificed was thought of as taking upon itself the punishment due man.'[49] 

     "Our author points to St. Gregory the Theologian as being one of the Fathers of the Church who was a decisive opponent of the teaching on sacrifice, in the general sense of the word. In the given case he has in mind the following, truly remarkable {but not to the advantage of the author) words of the great Theologian on the Sacrifice on Golgotha:

     "'We were detained in bondage by the evil one, sold under sin, and receiving pleasure in exchange for wickedness. Now, since a ransom belongs only to him who holds in bondage, I ask to whom this was offered, and for what cause? If to the evil one, fie upon the outrage! If the robber receives ransom, not only from God, but a ransom which consists of God Himself, and has such an illustrious payment for his tyranny, a payment for whose sake it would have been right for him to have left us alone altogether. But if to the Father, I ask first, how? For it was not by Him that we were being oppressed; and next, on what principle did the Blood of His Only-begotten Son delight the Father, Who would not receive even Isaac, when he was being offered up by his father, but changed his sacrifice, putting a ram in the place of his human victim?'[50]"[51]

     However, St. Gregory, unlike Metropolitan Anthony, does not reject the juridical model, but rather embraced its essence. If the metropolitan had started quoting the saint a little earlier, then he would have read that the blood shed for us is "the precious and famous Blood of our God and Highpriest and Sacrifice". And if he had continued the quotation just one sentence more, he would have read that "the Father accepts the sacrifice, but neither asked for it, nor felt any need of it, but on account of the oeconomy?"

     "Evidently," writes Archbishop Theophan, "the author understood that this quotation in its fullness witnesses against his assertion and therefore in the 1926 edition of The Dogma of Redemption he does not give a reference to St. Gregory the Theologian"[52]

     The archbishop continues: "From the cited words of St. Gregory it is evident that he by no means rejects the teaching that the death of Christ the Saviour on Golgotha was a sacrifice; he only rejects the theory created in order to explain it that this sacrifice was to be seen as offered by Christ the Saviour as a ransom for the sinful race of men to the devil [my italics – V.M.]. As is well known, such a theory did exist and was developed by Origen and in part by St. Gregory of Nyssa. St. Gregory the Theologian with complete justification recognizes this theory to be without foundation, as did St. John of Damascus later (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book III, ch. 27). He thought it just and well-founded to consider the sacrifice as offered to God the Father, but not in the sense that the Father `demanded or needed' it, but according to the economy of salvation, that is, because, in the plan of Divine Providence, it was necessary for the salvation of the human race.[53] Besides, although it is said that the Father receives the Sacrifice, while the Son offers it, the thought behind it is that the Son offers it as High Priest, that is, according to His human nature, while the Father receives it indivisibly with the Son and the Holy Spirit, as the Triune God, according to the oneness and indivisibility of the Divine Essence."[54]

     Still further proof of St. Gregory's real views is provided by his writing that "Christ Himself offers Himself to God [the Father], so that He Himself might snatch us from him who possessed us, and so that the Anointed One should be received instead of the one who had fallen, because the Anointer cannot be caught".[55]

     Returning now to the question of the Old Testament sacrifices, Metropolitan Anthony rejects their prefigurative significance. However, as Archbishop Theophan writes, "in the words of St. Gregory the Theologian, these sacrifices were, on the one hand, concessions to Israel's childishness, and were designed to draw him away from pagan sacrifices; but on the other hand, in these victims the Old Testament law prefigured the future Sacrifice on Golgotha[56]. In particular, the Old Testament paschal Lamb had this mystically prefigurative significance[57].

     "'Everything that took place in the time of the worship of God in the Old Testament,' says John Chrysostom, `in the final analysis refers to the Saviour, whether it is prophecy or the priesthood, or the royal dignity, or the temple, or the altar of sacrifice, or the veil of the temple, or the ark, or the place of purification, or the manna, or the rod, or anything else – everything relates to Him.

     "'God from ancient times allowed the sons of Israel to carry out a sacrificial service to Him not because He took pleasure in sacrifices, but because he wanted to draw the Jews away from pagan vanities…. Making a concession to the will of the Jews, He, as One wise and great, by this very permission to offer sacrifices prepared an image of future things, so that the victim, though in itself useless, should nevertheless be useful as such an image. Pay attention, because this is a deep thought. The sacrifices were not pleasing to God, as having been carried out not in accordance with His will, but only in accordance with His condescension. He gave to the sacrifices an image corresponding to the future oeconomy of Christ, so that if in themselves they were not worthy to be accepted, they at least became welcome by virtue of the image they expressed. By all these sacrifices He expresses the image of Christ and foreshadows future events…'[58]"[59]

     After quoting from St. Athanasius the Great and St.. Cyril of Alexandria to similar effect, Archbishop Theophan continues: "But if the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church look at the Old Testament sacrifices in this way, then still more significance must they give to the redemptive death of Christ the Saviour for the human race on Golgotha. And this is indeed what we see. They all recognize the death of Christ the Saviour on Golgotha to be a sacrifice offered by Him as propitiation for the human race, and that, moreover, in the most literal, not at all metaphorical meaning of this word. And from this point of view the death of Christ the Saviour on Golgotha is for them  `the great mystery' of the redemption of the human race from sin, the curse and death and `the great mystery' of the reconciliation of sinful humanity with God.

     "St. Gregory the Theologian, in expounding his view on the Old Testament sacrifices as being prefigurations of the great New Testament Sacrifice, notes: `But in order that you should understand the depth of the wisdom and the wealth of the unsearchable judgements of God, God did not leave even the [Old Testament] sacrifices completely unsanctified, unperfected and limited only to the shedding of blood, but to the sacrifices under the law is united the great and in relation to the Primary Essence, so to speak, untempered Sacrifice – the purification not of a small part of the universe, and not for a short time, but of the whole world for eternity'.

     "By this great Sacrifice he understand the Saviour Jesus Christ Himself, Who shed His blood for the salvation of the human race on Golgotha, which is why he often calls Him `God, High Priest and Victim'. `He gave Himself for us for redemption, for a purifying sacrifice for the universe'.[60]

     "'For us He became man and took on the form of a servant, he was led to death for our iniquities'.[61]

     "'He is God, High Priest and Victim'.[62]

     "'He was Victim, but also High Priest; Priest, but also God; He offered as a gift to God [His own] blood, but [by It] He cleansed the whole world; He was raised onto the Cross, but to the Cross was nailed the sin of all mankind'.[63]

     "He redeems the world by His own blood'.[64]

     "St. Athanasius of Alexandria says about the Sacrifice of the Saviour on Golgotha: `He, being the true Son of the Father, later became man for us so as to give Himself for us as a sacrifice to the Father and redeem us through His sacrifice and offering (Ephesians 5.2). He was the same Who in ancient times led the people out of Egypt, and later redeemed all of us, or rather, the whole human race, from death, and raised us from hell. He is the same Who from the age was offered as a sacrifice, as a Lamb, and in the Lamb was represented prefiguratively. And finally He offered Himself as a sacrifice for us. "For even Christ our Pascha is sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5.7).'[65]

     "'By His death was accomplished the salvation of all, and the whole of creation was redeemed. He is the common Life of all, and He gave His body to death as a sheep for a redemptive sacrifice for the salvation of all, though the Jews do not believe this.'[66]

     "St. Gregory of Nyssa reasons in a similar way.

     "`Jesus, as Zachariah says, is the Great High Priest (Zachariah 3.1), Who offered His Lamb, that is, His flesh, in sacrifice for the sins of the world, and for the sake of the children who partake of flesh and blood Himself partook of blood (Hebrews 11.14). This Jesus became High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, not in respect of what He was before, being the Word and God and in the form of God and equal to God, but in respect of that fact that He spent Himself in the form of a servant and offered an offering and sacrifice for us'.[67]

     "'He is our Pascha (I Corinthians 5.6) and High Priest (Hebrews 12.11). For in truth Christ the Pascha was consumed for us; but the priest who offers to God the Sacrifice is none other than the Same Christ. For in Himself, as the [Apostle] says, "He hath given Himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5.2).'[68]

      "'By means of priestly acts He in an ineffable manner unseen by men offers an offering and sacrifice for us, being at the same time the Priest and the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world'.[69]

     "We find much material on the given question in the same spirit in the works of St. John Chrysostom.

     "'The oeconomy that was to be accomplished in the New Testament,' says this Holy Father in his interpretation on the Gospel of John, `was foreshadowed beforehand in prefigurative images; while Christ by His Coming accomplished it. What then does the type say? "Take ye a lamb for an house, and kill it, and do as He commanded and ordained' (Exodus 12). But Christ did not do that; He did not command this, but Himself became as a Lamb, offering Himself to the Father as a sacrifice and offering'.[70]

     "'When John the Forerunner saw Christ, he said to his disciples: "Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1.35). By this he showed them all the gift which He came to give, and the manner of purification. For "the Lamb" declares both these things. And John did not say, "Who shall take", or "Who hath taken", but "Who taketh away the sins of the world", because Christ always does this. In fact, he took them away not only then when He suffered, but from that time even to the present He takes away sins, not as if He were always being crucified (for He at one time offered sacrifice for sins), but since by that one sacrifice He is continually purging them.'[71]

     "'This blood was ever typified of old in the altars and sacrifices determined by the law. It is the price of the world, by it Christ redeemed the Church, by it He adorned the whole of her.'[72] `This blood in types cleansed sins. But if it had such power in the types, if death so shuddered at the shadow, tell me how would it not have dreaded the very reality?'[73]

     "'David after the words: "Sacrifice and offering hast Thou not desired", added: "but a body hast Thou perfected for me" (Psalm 39.9), understanding by this the body of the Master, a sacrifice for the whole universe, which cleansed our souls, absolved our sins, destroyed death, opened the heavens, showed us many great hopes and ordered all the rest'.[74]

    "St. John Chrysostom's reasoning on the mystery of the Sacrifice on Golgotha is particularly remarkable in his discourse, On the Cross and the Thief, which he delivered, as is evident from the discourse itself, on Great Friday in Holy Week. 'Today our Lord Jesus Christ is on the Cross, and we celebrate, so that you should know that the Cross is a feast and a spiritual triumph. Formerly the Cross was the name of a punishment, but now it has become an honourable work; before it was a symbol of condemnation, but now it has become the sign of salvation… It has enlightened those sitting in darkness, it has reconciled us, who were in enmity with God… Thanks to the Cross we do not tremble before the tyrant, because we are near the King. That is why we celebrate in commemorating the Cross…. In fact, one and the same was both victim and priest: the victim was the flesh, and the priest was the spirit. One and the same offers and was offered in the flesh. Listen to how Paul explained both the one and the other. "For every high priest," he says, "chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins… Hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer" (Hebrews 5.1, 8.3). So He Himself offers Himself. And in another place he says that "Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation" (Hebrews 9.28)….'[75]

     "St. Cyril of Alexandria reasons as follows with regard to the words of John the Forerunner on the Saviour: `"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world" (John 1.29). It was necessary to reveal Who was the One Who came to us and why He descends from heaven to us. And so "Behold", he says, "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world", to Whom the Prophet Isaiah pointed in the words: "As a sheep for the slaughter is he led and as a lamb before the shearers is he silent" (Isaiah 53.7) and Who was prefigured in the law of Moses. But then He saved only in part, without extending His mercy on all, for it was a figure and a shadow. But now He Who once was depicted by means of enigmas, the True Lamb, the Spotless Victim, is led to the slaughter for all, so as to expel the sin of the world and cast down the destroyer of the universe, so that by His death for all He might abolish death and lift the curse that was on us, so that, finally, the punishment that was expressed in the words: "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3.19) might cease and the second Adam might appear – not from the earth, but from the heaven (I Corinthians 15.47) – and become for human nature the beginning of a great good, the destruction of the corruption wrought [by sin], the author of eternal life, the founder of the transformation [of man] according to God, the beginning of piety and righteousness, the way to the Heavenly Kingdom. One Lamb died for all, saving for God and the Father a whole host of men, One for all so that all might be subjected to God, One for all so as to acquire all, "that those who live might live no longer for themselves but from Him Who for their sake died and was raised" (II Corinthians 5.15). Insofar as we were in many sins and therefore subject to death and corruption, the Father gave the son to deliver us (I Timothy 2.6), One for all, since all are in Him and He is above all. One died for all so that all should live in Him.'[76] St. Cyril's general view of the death of Christ the Saviour on Golgotha is such that on Golgotha Emmanuel `offered Himself as a sacrifice to the Father not for Himself, according to the irreproachable teaching, but for us who were under the yoke and guilt of sin'.[77] `He offered Himself as a holy sacrifice to God and the Father, having bought by His own blood the salvation of all'.[78] `For our sakes he was subjected to death, and we were redeemed from our former sins by reason of the slaughter which He suffered for us'.[79] `In Him we have been justified, freed from a great accusation and condemnation, our lawlessness has been taken from us: for such was the aim of the oeconomy towards us of Him Who because of us, for our sakes and in our place was subject to death'.[80]

     "St. Basil the Great in his epistle to Bishop Optimus writes: `The Lord had to taste death for each, and having become a propitiatory sacrifice for the world, justify all by His blood'.[81] He develops his thought on the death on the Cross of Christ the Saviour in more detail as a redeeming sacrifice for the sins of the human race in his interpretation of Psalm 48, at the words: "There be some that trust in their strength, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches. A brother cannot redeem; shall a man redeem? He shall not give to God a ransom [exilasma] for himself, nor the price of the redemption of his own soul" (Psalm 48.7-9): `This sentence is directed by the prophet to two types of persons: to the earthborn and to the rich…. You, he says, who trust in your own strength…. And you, he says, who trust in the uncertainty of riches, listen…. You have need of ransoms that you may be transferred to the freedom of which you were deprived when conquered by the power of the devil, who, taking you under his control, does not free you from his tyranny until, persuaded by some worthwhile ransom, he wishes to exchange you. And the ransom must not be of the same kind as the things which are held in his control, but must differ greatly, if he would willingly free the captives from slavery. Therefore a brother is not able to ransom you. For no man can persuade the devil to remove from his power him who has once been subject to him, not he, at any rate, who is incapable of giving God a propitiatory offering even for his own sins…. But one thing was found worth as much as all men together. This was given for the price of ransom for our souls, the holy and highly honoured blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He poured out for all of us; therefore we were bought at a great price (I Corinthians 6.20)…. No one is sufficient to redeem himself, unless He comes who turns away "the captivity of the people" (Exodus 13.8), not with ransoms nor with gifts, as it is written in Isaiah (52.3), but with His own blood… He Who "shall not give to God His own ransom", but that of the whole world. He does not need a ransom, but He Himself is the propitiation. "For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, set apart from sinners, and become higher than the heavens. He does not need to offer sacrifices daily (as the other priests did), first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people" (Hebrews 7.26-27).'[82]

     "'The Scriptures do not reject all sacrifices in general,' writes St. Basil the Great in his interpretation on the book of the Prophet Isaiah, `but the Jewish sacrifices. For he says: "What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices?" (Isaiah 1.11). He does not approve of the many, but demands the one sacrifice. Every person offers himself as a sacrifice to God, presenting himself as "a living sacrifice, pleasing to God", through "rational service" he has offered to God the sacrifice of praise (Romans 12.1). But insofar as the many sacrifices under the law have been rejected as useless, the one sacrifice offered in the last times is accepted. For the Lamb of God took upon Himself the sin of the world, "gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5.2)… There are no longer the "continual" sacrifices (Exodus 29.42), there are no sacrifices on the day of atonement, no ashes of the heifer cleansing "the defiled persons" (Hebrews 9.13). For there is one sacrifice of Christ and the mortification of the saints in Christ; one sprinkling – "the washing of regeneration" (Titus 3.5); one propitiation for sin – the Blood poured out for the salvation of the world.'[83]

     "Finally, St. John of Damascus says the following about the mystery of the sacrifice on Golgotha: "Every action and performance of miracles by Christ are most great and divine and marvelous: but the most marvelous of all is His precious Cross. For no other thing has subdued death, expiated the sin of the first parent [propatoroV amartia], despoiled Hades, bestowed the resurrection, granted the power to us of condemning the present and even death itself, prepared the return to our former blessedness, opened the gates of Paradies, given our nature a seat at the right hand of God, and made us children and heirs of God, save the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ'.[84] Therefore, according to the words of the holy father, `we must bow down to the very Wood on which Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, since it is sanctified through contact with the body and blood'.[85]

     "This is what the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church teach about the mystery of the sacrifice of the Saviour on Golgotha for the sins of the human race. But that is not all. This teaching was even formally confirmed by a whole local council of the Church of Constantinople in 1156. This council was convened because of different understandings of the well-known words in the liturgical prayer, where it is said of Christ the Saviour: `Thou art He that offereth and is offered, that accepteth and is distributed'.[86] The initial reasons for this difference, according to the account of a contemporary historian, Kinnamas, was the following circumstance. A certain Deacon Basil during Divine service in the Church of St. John the Theologian declared while giving a sermon on the daily Gospel reading that `the one Son of God Himself became a sacrifice and accepted the sacrifice together with the Father'. Two deacons of the Great Church who were present at this found in the words of Basil an incorrect thought, as if two hypostases were thereby admitted in Jesus Christ, of which one was offered in sacrifice and the other accepted the sacrifice. Together with the others who thought like them they spread the idea that the Saviour's sacrifice for us was offered only to God the Father. In order to obtain a more exact explanation and definition of the Orthodox teaching, the conciliar sessions took place, at the will of the Emperor Manuel Comnenus, on January 26 and May 12, 1156. The first conciliar session took place in the hall attached to the Great Church as a result of the inquiry of the just-appointed Metropolitan Constantine of Russia, who was hastening to leave: was it truly necessary to understand the words of the prayer as he understood them, that the sacrifice was offered and is offered to the whole of the Holy Trinity? The council, under the presidency of the Patriarch of Constantinople Constantine Kliarenos, confirmed the teaching expressed of old by the Fathers and Teachers of the Church, whose works were read at the council, that both at the beginning, during the Master's sufferings, the life-creating flesh and blood of Christ was offered, not to the Father only, but also to the whole of the Holy Trinity, and now, during the daily performed rites of the Eucharist, the bloodless sacrifice is offered to the Trihypostatic Trinity", and laid an anathema on the defenders of the error, whoever they might be, if they still adhered to their heresy and did not repent. "[87][88]

     "From this historical note it is evident that the council of 1156 considered it indisputable that the death of Christ the Saviour on Golgotha is a propitiatory sacrifice for the human race. It was occupied only with the question to which this sacrifice was offered and decided it in the sense that the sacrifice was offered by Christ the Saviour to the All-Holy Trinity. Moreover, Christ the Saviour Himself was at the same time both the sacrifice and High Priest offering the sacrifice in accordance with His human nature, and God receiving the sacrifice, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. According to the resolution of the council, the eucharistic sacrifice is the same sacrifice, by its link with the sacrifice on Golgotha. Those who thought otherwise were subjected by the council to anathema."[89]

     As St. Gregory of Nyssa writes: "He offered Himself for us, Victim and Sacrifice, and Priest as well, and `Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world'. When did He do this? When He made His own Body food and His own Blood drink for His disciples, for this much is clear to anyone, that a sheep cannot be eaten by a man unless its being eaten be preceded by its being slaughtered. This giving of His own Body to His disciples for eating clearly indicates that the sacrifice of the Lamb has now been completed." [90]

     The Bostonite bishops write: "In Archbishop Nikon's Life and Works of Metropolitan Anthony (vol. 5, pp. 171-172), Bishop Gabriel quotes Archbishop Theophan of Poltava's objections to The Dogma of Redemption. Archbishop Theophan writes: `The death of Christ the Saviour on the Cross on Golgotha, according to the teaching of the Holy Fathers, undoubtedly is a redemptive and propitiating sacrifice for the sins of the race of man.' Opposite this passage, in the margin, Metropolitan Anthony has written: `I accept and do not deny'." (p. 13)

     But if Metropolitan Anthony accepts and does not deny this clear statement of the "juridical theory", including such a purely juridical phrase as "propitiating sacrifice", why does he still consider Metropolitan Philaret a scholastic? In what way was Archbishop Theophan's statement Orthodox while Metropolitan Philaret's in his Catechism (which we have quoted above) was heretical? Nowhere to our knowledge are we given answers to these questions, neither in Metropolitan Anthony's works, nor in those of his supporters…

     "Let our lives, then," chants the Holy Church, "be worthy of the loving Father Who has offered sacrifice, and of the glorious Victim Who is the Saviour of our souls".[91]


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.

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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...

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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

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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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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"

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GRAMMATA ON THE MEANING OF CANONICAL

 

The Definition and Meaning of "Orthodoxy"
 

Orthodox Catholic Christian Fasts, Feasts, and Daily Prayers

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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
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