Not the Righteous But Sinners

I came not to call the righteous, but sinners' (Mark 2:17)

Nineteen centuries and more of gospel preaching and New Testament reading have familiarized us with the idea that Jesus' ministry was specially directed to sinners - not simply to sinners in the sense in which most people will admit that 'we are all sinners', but sinners in the sense that their lives offended the accepted moral code of their community. 'The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners' (1 Tim. 1:15); this is a great gospel text, and if the writer goes on to speak of himself as first and foremost among sinners, that serves to underline his claim on I the saving grace of Christ. But during the ministry of Jesus it gave great offence to many respectable people that a religious teacher as he was should have so little regard for what was expected of him as to consort with those who were no better in they should be. 'If this man were a prophet,' said Simon Pharisee to himself, when Jesus allowed a woman of doubtful reputation to touch him, 'he would have known ... it sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner' (Luke 7:39). But Jesus knew perfectly well what sort of woman she was, and for that very reason would not prevent her from paying him such embarrassing attention (see the last paragraph of “If You Do Not Forgive”). Among all the traditional designations of Jesus, probably lone is more heart-warming than 'the friend of sinners'. But; this designation was first given to him by way of criticism: 'a drunkard,' they said, 'a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ (Luke 7:34) - tax-collectors occupying the lowest ladder of respectability, matched only by harlots. It was not that he tolerated such people, as though he did them a favor by taking notice of them, de haut en bas: he gave the impression that he liked their company, that he even preferred it; he did not condemn them but encouraged them to feel at home with him. 'This man receives sinners', the scribes said by way of complaint; and more than that, he actually 'eats with them’ (Luke 15:2). To accept invitations to a meal in the homes of such people, to enjoy table-fellowship with them - that was most emphatic way of declaring his unity with them. No wonder this gave offence to those who, sometimes with considerable painstaking, had kept to the path of sound morality. If a man is known by the company he keeps, Jesus was simply asking to be known as the friend of the ne'er-do-wells, the dregs of society. And would not many religious people today react in exactly the same way?

On one occasion when Jesus had accepted a dinner invitation in the home of one of these disreputable people, his disciples were approached by the scribes. The disciples were included in the invitation, but some of them may have had misgivings. 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?' they were asked. But Jesus interposed with the answer. 'It is sick people, not healthy people, who need the doctor,' he said; 'it is sinners, not righteous people, that I came to call' (Mark 2:17). To call means to invite: he had accepted their invitation, but they received an invitation from him - to take and enjoy the loving mercy of the heavenly Father. It is inevitable that the 'ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance' (Luke 15:7) should feel that too much fuss is made over sinners (see p. 170), but since the gospel is for sinners first and foremost -indeed, for sinners only - it cannot be otherwise.

These words of Jesus are reproduced by the two other synoptic evangelists (Matt. 9:13; Luke 5:32), but Luke adds a short explanatory gloss: 'I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance? Repentance figures more frequently in Luke's Gospel than in the other two (it does not figure at all in the Gospel of John). It has sometimes been suggested that Luke's addition betrays a misunderstanding on his part, but this is not really so. If repentance in the teaching of Jesus implies change of character rather than reformation of behaviour, then Jesus believed in dealing with the root of the disease and not merely with the symptoms. And the root could be dealt with effectively only by the practical assurance and demonstration of outgoing, self-giving love.

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From Our Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot and Primate, +Joseph Thaddeus (Stanford), OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.

 

A Fool For Christ who believes

"Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater"

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We, at apostle1.com do cause for "Point" and "Counterpoint" discussions at our web site.  This is sometimes the same way in which authors and writers do in order to bring about both sides or arguments in discussions or about some issues affecting the Church as a whole.  Abbot +Gregori and our Metropolitan Archbishop do this from time to time.  What part of celibacy does one not understand?

 

However, it has come to our attention that un-named individual(s) think it wise and not harmful to start attacking by taking copyrighted materials to use in their own web site without permission, per se: as for an example, the subjects pertaining to "Homosexuals" and "Homosexuality in the Church," etc. for the purpose of advancing their own causes to start their attacking of other(s) which is not bound in and with the Church, but with a personal agenda of self-image because of anger, hate, fear and worse.  They are Roman in attitude and practice, but not Orthodox, although calling themselves "Orthodox" even "Celtic". 

 

It is understood, according to information and belief, that three of his/her/their websites may have been closed by former service providers due to complaints against him/them for internet terrorism, spewing "hate" and causing for an individual whom he/they discuss, to be exposed to potential physical harm which happened in the early part of the 2005 when they thought themselves wise in their own conceit, for things of more than 13 years in the past.  What part of "Hate" - "Exposing another to threats of losing life" - "Internet Terrorism" does he/they not understand? Now, under other domain names, the same/similar hate messages re-occur against the same individual. 

 

We find them to be un-orthodox and un-Christian in spirit and truth for they continue to argue things of the past that is not a part of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, and (in fact) go against the very commandments of Jesus Christ!  And those who do such are, it is opined upon investigation and in most instances, the very one(s) who had been or are under ban as excommunicated individuals posing as duly ordained clergy who had been a part of this jurisdiction (and so many numerous others) in times past.       

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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, 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. 

Remember, not all Protestants, especially hard core cultic groups such as "Charismatic" - "Evangelical" 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 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.

+Joseph Thaddeus (Stanford), OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.

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

                                                                               --An Elder

A Curse or a Blessing?  Depending on to whom it may...

 

    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
 

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