Overcoming Social Ills affecting Clergy and Faithful today?
This includes: Man’s feeling of guilt, his ‘works of the flesh’ versus ‘fruits of the spirit,” some practical suggestions on how to overcome social ills, and the Key to a harmonious and peaceful life. What is said in this article applies not just to the faithful Christian, the Parishioner, but to the Clergy of every degree because there are many who have unknowingly fallen sway to the very things articulated that we are at war with in spirit and truth.
Man's Innate Feeling of Guilt
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me, Romans 7:15-17. The struggle within man to overcome the evil temptations of life presupposes the feeling of guilt which is rooted in the very heart and mind of every individual. This constant feeling of guilt witnesses to the weakness of man, a corruption of his being which dominates his mind and every action. This feeling of guilt and its consequences are more apparent when carefully analyzed in the light of the God-given Revelation of religious and moral values. Man has the ability to discern between good and evil, a gift with which he recognizes within himself more clearly the difference between good and evil. This quandary of recognizing one's many weaknesses, yet perpetuating these very weaknesses, is a tragedy that perplexes mankind.
It is everyone's experience and concern. Rapid technological and scientific development has created a barrier between many men and God. This state camouflages the deep need of the individual to realize the natural existence of the feeling of guilt. In reality, nothing can uproot this innate feeling which is a part of man's nature; there is no antidote for it neither. Human achievement nor perversions can relieve man's feeling of guilt. On the contrary, these are only external, artificial forces that temporarily cover man's sense of guilt. The fact that there exists a conflict within every person is proof of the existence of such a condition, which often explodes in thoughts and actions causing neurological disturbances and perversions of body and mind. Everyone who searches his innermost feelings and thoughts, will recognize the dual forces within himself, as I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members, Romans 7:21-23.
This experience of Apostle Paul is felt by every individual who, without prejudice, looks into himself and finds this war waging within his body and mind. This feeling of guilt is a remnant of man's past iniquity and transgression, which remains indelible in man's very nature. The existence of such a feeling of guilt in every individual presupposes a sort of corruption of human nature by one's own transgressions, which oppose the original perfected order of creation in man. This awareness of guilt also shows that man was created with an ability not only to help himself, but, more important, to honor God his Creator. Man was endowed with the divine gift of free will to advance himself through his own abilities and responsibilities in order to reach his "likeness" with God.
MAN'S GUILT AND TRANSGRESSION
Guilt and transgression presuppose the free will by which man has the ability to chose between good and evil. The physical and spiritual environment of man's original state was full of beauty, serenity and all the needs of life; it was prepared by God for the exercise of man's humble obedience to His Will. However, because of man's "fall" from this state through arrogance and disobedience to God, all mankind and the whole universe became corrupted (cf. Genesis 3:22f). As a result of this "fall", the feeling of guilt has remained in man's nature through the generations. This guilt feeling remains as a spark within man to desire perfection and to prepare within himself the foundation for his acceptance of God's Grace. As pain is a gift for the protection of one's health, so the feeling of guilt in its very nature is a gift that helps lead toward salvation.
The human race as individuals, tribes or nations faces the feeling of guilt in many shapes and forms, with many man-made laws to curb man's tendency of trespassing against his neighbor. The nature of civil law is negative in substance and intent, and punishes and corrects those who violate the law. However, transgression of moral commandments in the light of Scripture and the teachings of the Church, committed in thought and practice, are to be forgiven only by sincere repentance, whether or not it is punished by civil law. In civil law the main idea is to prove that a wrongdoing was committed, while within religious precepts the main idea is forgiveness of an iniquity through sincere repentance by the transgressor. In the former the law is an act of punishment; in the latter it is an act of divine Grace.
The accomplishment of God's Will demands the understanding of its meaning and purpose. It is imperative for God-fearing people to know that life-long alertness against temptation and evil is needed. Man's willingness to overthrow temptation, both from within and from without, in the name of God demonstrates his sincere invocation of God's compassion and assistance through His Grace. Man is called to, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the ' wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with equipment of the gospel of peace; about all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flame darts of the evil one and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, Ephesians 6:10-18.
Man’s Struggle Between Good and Evil
The struggle between good and evil in every individual is a con-of two laws which oppose one another in the principles of life, both in faith and morals. On the one hand, man longs to obey the laws of God in his inmost self; on the other hand, he struggles against the laws of evil. Man's struggle is depicted by Apostle Paul's cry, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin, Romans 7:24-25. Sin as described in Scripture is not an abstract theory, but is embodied in the everyday experience of every man. This sin is the root of man's various iniquities and is responsible for the social ills of society today. Society is plagued by many ills and temptations. Many people today have fallen victim to these social ills and have become captive to evil practices. Society tends to loosen moral standards, thereby providing more opportunities to become entangled in immoral practices and experiences. This loosening is bringing about a decay of Christian standards of life, thereby also causing more suffering and more disorder in society. This suffering and disorder is experienced by many people who find it difficult to cope with evil forces which exist today uncurbed.
There are two elements or forces in the life of man which shape his destiny in the light of the Gospel of Christ. One is marked by the "works of the flesh", lust. The other is marked by the "fruits of the spirit", which are the higher gifts given to man by God Himself. The "fruits of the spirit" in man should lead him away from the forces of the "works of the flesh". These struggles are not theoretical, but are found in everyday living. The social ills that plagued pagan society have not been completely uprooted from the lives of many Christians today. The social ills of the "works of the flesh" of the pagans are divided into four groups: sexual vices, vices of psuedo-worship, vices of dissension and vices of bodily appetites.
"WORKS OF THE FLESH"
SEXUAL VICES: Sexual vices practiced by pagans were acceptable to their society and by their moral standards. They practiced, immorality, impurity and licentiousness, Galatians 5:19 (cf. Romans 1:29; 13:13; 1 Cor. 5:10; 6:6-10; Eph, 4:13). These practices of immorality are indulged in by some Christians today as well, although they are contrary to Christian teaching and higher moral standards. It is important to emphasize that the God-given sexual instinct is not in itself immoral, but only its misuse and abuse. It is perversion of thought and intention which initiate the "works of the flesh". The immoral and abnormal practices of the "works of the flesh" are adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, masturbation, promiscuity, sodomy, etc. These abnormalities are symptoms of an unhealthy state of mind. These abnormal and perverted carnal pleasures are clearly repudiated in Scripture as deadly sins (cf. Romans l:24f). The person who fails to control his desires, who lacks alertness to avert temptations, who disregards his Christian faith and values of life and who does not invoke the Grace of God to assist him to apply moral standards becomes a prey to his own licentious desires.
How can these social pagan ills be overcome in today's society? Society exposes everyone to immoralities and temptations which it sanctions. The believer should be guided by the truths of God and Christian standards and values of life, especially in matters of the "works of the flesh". To realize these ideals of the right and proper use of sexuality, one should deny his own evil desires by not obtaining obscene literature and pornography, not attending indecent shows, not taking harmful drugs, not exposing the body with improper dress, etc. These and other weaknesses are the beginnings which lead to immoral practices and make captives of those who give in to temptation. The exploitation of the weaknesses of man today is constant and organized by both legitimate enterprises and lawless practices. The Christian should be aware of these evil temptations and practices, to avoid their infiltration of his own life. The Christian should prepare to defend himself with the armor of prayer and the word of God, invoking God and His Grace to protect him and his ideals, in order to accomplish His Will in heart and mind. If a person is strong and healthy in body and mind, he can assert self-control against "works of the flesh". This state of purity can be achieved only by an acceptance of Christian standards and their sincere application in everyday living.
VICES OF PSUEDO-WORSHIP: The psuedo-worship vices practiced also by the pagans are idolatry and sorcery, Galatians 5:20a. The idolatry of the pagans is the worship of man-made gods and involves immorality practiced in the pagan temples themselves. The worship of man-made gods is a weakness of man used to justify his own immorality. The use of sorcery by the pagans was intended to control and mislead themselves and others through witchcraft. It was intended to attract the curiosity, fear and expectations of the people through varied magical practices. This is an exploitation of the ignorance and superstitions of the people achieved through the misuse of power. This idolatry and sorcery is evident today even among Christians, who practice and believe in them without realizing they are contrary to Christian truths and beliefs. These practices diminish the faith and hope of those who place their confidence in them. He who believes in them is captive to the perversion of his own mind and body.
Society today sanctions these practices thereby offering to those who are seeking solutions to their problems more opportunities to become prey to the exploiters of these weaknesses. Such idolatry is practiced in three ways. First, through the use of fortune telling, reading of tea leaves, crystal balls, cards, stars and planets, and many, many, other superfluous trickeries. Second, through the pagan worship of man-made gods of temptation of their own invention, which reflects complete faith in human achievements as final goals through the devotion to scientific laboratories. Such self-created deities become barriers between themselves and the True God. These human achievements create many cults. Third, through the worship of money and all other material possessions. The use of these idolatries tempt man to practice in many ways immoralities which are the results of superstitious beliefs. On the same level is the practice of sorcery through the use of narcotics (heroin, LSD, marijuana), witchcraft, etc.
How can these pagan evils be eradicated from today's society? These vices of idolatry and sorcery blind people into believing that by practicing them they can escape from their problems. In reality, the problems of life can be solved by taking the Christian religion "seriously". The emptiness that every individual experiences within himself should be filled with concrete Christian ideals and practices based on a knowledge of the truths and Will of God derived from reading and studying the Gospel, constant prayer and fasting, attending church services, participating in benevolent programs, etc. In these ways one enthrones Christ and His Gospel in his heart and mind. Another way to solve emotional and physical problems is to seek the help and advice of qualified clergymen, doctors and psychiatrists. Some people have the delusion that they can forget their problems by taking various drugs. However, these drugs do not solve the problems but tend to compound their misery and pain, making them captive to the drugs.
VICES OF DISSENSION: The vices of dissension practiced by pagans are enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit (heresies, KJV), envy, Gal. 5,20b. These pagan vices dominate the lives of many Christians today. These evil forces that emanate from within man indicate lack of spiritual insight, which harms his spirit, well being, and, especially, peace of mind. Those who indulge in these vices are in reality disturbing and destroying their inner tranquility and health. The vices of dissension not only work to disrupt one's own tranquility, but they demand divert energy to the disruption of the tranquility of others. These vices nurture each other in the hearts and minds of those who create them. Those who are possessed by these factions are constantly troubled and disturbed. These forces cause many to lose their health and self-respect.
Many persons influenced by these vices are under the illusion that they are right and only do justice to others. In their misguided sincerity they expose themselves to pain and sorrow. Their entanglement by these forces cause them anguish and constant aggravation which prevents them from contributing to the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. The person who is possessed by these vices is controlled by the deep arrogance of a superiority complex, which is the source of his difficulties. Persons who have become captive to these pagan vices seldom take the required steps to change their minds and attitudes through a recognition of their faults, which would lead them to "repent". Many Christians have these vices, but camouflage them behind smiles and flattery, until the opportune time presents itself to hurt their "friends". This is parallel to the "kiss of Judas", which lead to the arrest of Christ.
How can these inner evil forces be uprooted from the lives of Christians? These vices can be overcome through the .cultivation of love of "neighbor", who might even be an enemy. This love is woven with sacrifice; sacrifice of ego, pride, money, pleasure, etc. The Christian love results from the inspiration of the Gospel and with the invocation of the Grace of God. Another means to overcome these vices is to develop self-control and emotional temperance in order to direct one's feelings and desires in proper expressions and actions. Those who have the tendency to arouse the hatred and fears of others should free themselves from their inner discords and complexities by self-examination in the light of the Gospel and the Grace of God. Having accomplished this, they will freely apply their new outlooks and thoughts with an expression of Christian love and understanding for their fellowmen.
VICES OF BODILY APPETITES: These vices practiced by the pagans are envy, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and the like, Gal. 5:21. These pagan vices also dominate the lives of many Christians today. Envy leads even to murder, and drunkenness to carousing, which was the pattern of pagan ceremonial orgies. These vices exist today because of a lack of strong moral principles to uproot them. Drunkenness is the cause of many iniquities which lead to the corruption of higher principles of life, both for the individual himself and for those close to him, and often heard is the excuse that the iniquities were committed because of drunkenness. Drunkenness is an escape from disappointments in life such as loneliness, business failures, loss of loved ones, etc. Social drinking and advertisement which imply that drinking earns one social acceptance are temptations that might lead to drunkenness and carousing. Drunkenness is the cause of many social disorders which lead to loss of self-respect, health, social position, and abilities. Drunkenness is the cause of many accidents which kill and cripple.
Other vices are such as all manner of wickedness, evil covetousness, malice, slander. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless, Romans 1:29-32. These are evils which many Christians indulge in. Those who approve of persons who practice them are equally guilty (v. 32). Those who become victim of these evil vices fail to recognize their entanglement and fail to take proper steps to free themselves. These vices indicate a fundamental lack of a strong will and deep Christian attitude toward oneself and especially toward others. They indicate a loosening of Christian ideals and principles that lead to harmonious and peaceful life for themselves and others.
Some Christians attempt to cover up and justify their evil doings by alms giving. These gestures, although good in themselves, in the light of the Gospel cannot offset the practice of vices. Good works without pious living according to Christian standards are in vain in gaining forgiveness of iniquities. These Christians are not stewards in the name of Christ, but stewards in the name of themselves, believing that their empty gestures makes up for their evil doings. These works are good works for the sake of good works instead of for the sake of Christ. Good works are indispensable as fruits of vivid faith (cf. Matt. 6:lff).
How can these pagan bodily vices be uprooted from the minds and hearts of Christians today? The first step is to recognize that these pagan vices are evil forces which not only destroy a harmonious life, but degrade the dignity of the one who practices them as well as that of society at large. These pagan vices are contrary to Christian teachings, and it is necessary that the cause of the problem be found. Those who are overcome by these vices must exercise free will in controlling their wrong appetites; they must deny these appetites by avoiding the places where these vices are found; occupy their time by undertaking serious works or hobbies; avoid the opportunities that would lead to involvement in any of the vices. The key to overcoming these vices is to avoid taking the first step that leads to possible involvement. This is where will power is to be tested. One's will power can be strengthened only by the knowledge of God's Will and the invocation of God's Grace in order to deny temptation. Finding the solution to one's problems is basic to resisting these pagan vices; allowing the problems to deepen makes them more difficult to solve. Equally important is positive thinking for more efficient use of will power, combined with the desire to apply Christian principles. Although this appears to be difficult, for the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few, Matthew 7,14.
"THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT"
The second element, or force, in the life of man involves the "fruits of the spirit". Unlike the "works of the flesh", the "fruits of the spirit" are those which spring forth freely and easily from inner principles of life. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, Gal. 5:22-23. These fruits are correlated virtues. They spring forth from the same root of love. All these virtues spring from faith in Christ and are expounded by His followers in their pious everyday living. These "fruits of the spirit" influence one to do good to others in hope, love and charity. These virtues transmit the power of divine Grace to others who lack the power of these virtues; they are the forerunners of faith in the Compassionate God in Whose name and Grace they are expressed and lived. The "fruits of the spirit" are not for the sake of the virtues themselves, but are transmitting powers which change vices into virtues. They are not created by man, but are divine gifts for man's spiritual joy and for the expression of his desire to do good for others. These works are above and beyond the negative approach to life for they uplift the meaning of man's destiny on earth.
Christians who apply these "fruits of the spirit" in their lives live in a spiritual environment beyond the legal and artificial boundary of society. These fruits are Christian virtues, spiritual excellences which cannot be classified like those of the law. The "fruits of the spirit", love, joy, peace, are interwoven to achieve the same goal of fulfilling the Will of God, from Whom they are received through divine Grace. Love as a gift of the spirit expressed with sacrifice of oneself, joy which is received from such love and inner peace which is derived from love and joy create within man a natural tendency to serve others. Love, joy and peace are the excellences which constantly and sincerely serve others in ways inspired by the Gospel. They are expressed with patience, kindness and goodness. Scripture exclaims, Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, I Cor. 14:1.
The "fruits of the spirit" of patience, kindness, goodness, Gal. 5:22b, are inner expressions which convey to the "neighbor" Christian love. They are virtues which reflect the affection of Christ's love and examples. To achieve these virtues it is necessary to constantly nourish them with understanding and prayer. Without patience, kindness and goodness it is not possible to convey to others Christian love, joy and inner peace. The virtue of patience reflects kindness, the virtue of kindness mirrors goodness and goodness is an outgrowth of love. The Scripture exalts that, love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude, I Cor. 13:4-5.
The "fruits of the spirit" of faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, Gal. 5-32, are outward expressions which display Christian love. They are virtues which shape the characters and personality of believers. These outward virtues are reflections of the inner feelings and expressions of patience, kindness and goodness, which are indispensable for the genuine attitude and application of Christian love. These virtues are reflected in the manner in which love is expressed to others; without them, love is not genuine. The Scriptures exhort that, Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, I Cor. 13:4b-7.
The Divine Key to a Virtuous Life
Christians are called to exercise the divine gifts of the spirit and nourish them all, both within themselves and in relation to their fellowman. It is imperative for the sincere Christian to cherish and value one by one the "fruits of the spirit", and not taking them for granted, but nourishing them in spirit and in truth. Many times the virtues are practiced routinely as a habit and thus lose their vivid significance. Some Christians become mechanical in their gestures and expressions even of religious feelings; they read and recite prayers mechanically and unthinkingly; they pretend to be practicing Christian virtues, when in reality they are expressing them in name only, without feeling. These Christians repeat words and practices in such a manner that they convince themselves they are virtuous, while in reality they are hypocritical.
Sincere Christians find day in and day out a new depth of religious and moral standards through which they more vividly feel the "newness of life", and their relationship to others.
The sincere understanding and proper application of Christian teachings and standards of a spiritual and moral life are the keys, the formula, for resisting the temptations of the "works of the flesh" and the evils of society. This formula is the only one that can help those who are troubled and possessed with the many social ills of today's society. Many seek help and advice from other sources and places which only exploit and mislead. Many resist seeking solutions to their problems in religious belief and principles by claiming that they are "outdated and old-fashioned". This attitude indicates more conclusively their surrender to the evil forces of temptation and riotous living. Instead of turning to religious uplifting, they turn to idolatry, drugs, fortune telling, innumerable magical practices, illicit and abnormal sexual desires, narcotics, obscene literature and pornography. They seek freedom outside the teachings and practices of the Church, and instead they become captives to those evil vices, which are more "old-fashioned" in that they are ages old pagan practices. These pagan practices plague mankind when it was enslaved with superstitions and taboos. Christ came into the world to set us free; stand fast therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery, Gal. 5:1 (KJV).
Immoral activities and evil works are practices which are associated with heathen societies. Are these outdated pagan practices what people should turn to in the name of freedom, while rejecting Christianity as old-fashioned? Is the cry of the new morality one of freedom or is it a reverting back to pagan attitudes and practices of the past? Are the pagan practices contributing to the progress of those who are enslaved by them, or are they again eroding the dignity of the human race? Is it better to practice Christian standards of piety and righteous living, or is it better to practice immorality and evil vices? Is it better to live in a licentious environment to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, or to practice the fruits of the Spirit . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? Rom. 1:24b; Gal. 5:22. Is the attitude of modern society based on a sound, solid ground, or is this attitude an escape from responsibilities and discipline?
Those persons today who are entangled in the social pagan vices and who reject Christian beliefs and norms of living turn to other means and in so doing not only fail to better themselves and find solutions to their problems, but fall further into misery. They cheapen and degrade their minds and bodies; they bring corruption to their ideals instead of betterment to their lives; they permit their "works of the flesh", their animal instincts, to lead to the ruin of their body and spirit; they become captive to their own ideas instead of becoming "free" from the accepted traditions of Christianity. The "works of the flesh", idolatry, drunkenness, licentiousness, etc., are escapes for those who do not have the courage and fortitude to undertake responsibilities and apply discipline, two factors upon which the social dignity of man depends.
FORMULA TO PREVENT SOCIAL ILLS
The prevention of social ills and vices such as people face today is found in the life that is built on the solid ground of Christian ideals and standards. They should be taught by the home, state and church. The protection of wavering Christians from vices is for the home, state and church, which must join forces to counteract the evils of today's society. If preventive measures were taken against vices, the remedy for the problems they create would not be necessary. Corrective measures are more costly in money, effort, health and peace of mind. The basic preventive measure that every Christian should take, is to resist temptation by not taking the first step that leads to the "works of the flesh" and evil doings. Some measures to be followed are, first and foremost, to know and understand the truths of Christianity, practice Christian love toward others, fully occupy one's time with meaningful programs and activities, read Scriptures and good literature, practice moral standards, occupy leisure time with challenging hobbies, join various service, organizations, become active in civic activities, have a positive and cheerful outlook on life in sorrow and in joy.
The Christian is given the key for a virtuous and victorious life on earth. This key is the divine gift given to overcome the darkness and the corruption that is in the world because of passion, 2 Peter l:4b. This divine key arms the holder to lock out all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander . . . immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you; furthermore every individual is assured, that no immoral or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Scripture admonishes those who are weak in faith and moral life, let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because . . . the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore to not associate with them . . . Everyone is cautioned to take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them . . . by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, 'Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light', Ephesians 4:31; 5:1ff.
NOTICE to VISITORS ABOUT our Web Page Content, OUR sending and receiving - E-MAIL Policies, Telephone calls and other Important Trivia
(A Sort of Rules of "Engagement" and "Disclaimer")
Click here for: Our Copyright Notice covering all of this website's contents. An Important notice, especially to the one and those with him who are under investigation out of Toledo, Ohio!
"Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater"
"Show forth fruits of Repentance" (St. John the Baptist)
"YOUR ACTIONS SPEAK SO LOUD about you,
that I can't hear what you are saying" (+Thaddeus)
Views expressed in various articles, news, and information
published or posted do not necessarily represent the views of
apostle1.com or other of those traditional
Orthodox Jurisdictions (Churches) hosted here.
The Founding of Orthodoxy
How Many Times
Is Christianity Collapsing? A
theological evaluation regarding T.B.N. and its so-called ministers!
Demise of Marriage And Dissolution of the Family
Abouna's Two Cents Worth
Amber Alert Information on missing Children
Pascha - Lenten Season - Easter
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
Amber Alert Information on missing Children
Pascha - Lenten Season - Easter 2006
● Lent 2006 Message (New)
● Who are the Modern Day Pharisees and Sadducees who abuse the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ? (New)
Go to "Commemorations" for daily Commemorations, or When Viewing a News Article click on the link to either the Return to "Home Page" or Daily News for 2006 for today's current Daily/weekly News and Information or the:
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...
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"
(Why the Photo Image as seen above? See Quotes for September-October-November 2005 from "Franklin")
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.
Also Know that:
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.
Apostle1.com's NOTE: A few have sent 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
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, 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.”
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!
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:
This website is the property of the American Orthodox Church (AOC), North American Orthodox Church (NAOC) and the American Orthodox Catholic Church (AOCC). This website and all it's contents are under Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by the American Orthodox Church (AOC), North American Orthodox Church (NAOC) and the American Orthodox Catholic Church (AOCC). 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.
U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. S.E. Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
For permission to copy or use any of this material please contact us by using the E-Mail or the Postal Address located at the left of this page.
Regarding Copyrighted (c) Copyrighted Logos at this website:
All logos of
this Website are copyrighted by their owners and Apostle1.com in California
County, New Mexico 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by the
American Orthodox Church, Inc. (California), North American Orthodox Church and the \American Orthodox Catholic Church Designed by Webfriar Ministries, and His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D.
All Rights Reserved and may not be used without the explicit consents in writing of the owners and use by any other person(s) or entities may be prosecutable.
(Click On The Above Icon/link for More Information)
+ Our Monastic Community
A Message from Our metropolitan Archbishop - UPDATED
Keep Up-To-Date by clicking on:
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
In The Shadows
Privacy Watch nOTICE to VISITORS ABOUT OUR E-MAIL 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
Definition and Meaning of "Orthodoxy"
Orthodox Catholic Fasts, Feasts, and Daily Prayers
See the Main Page for Weekly-Daily listings
To Change the Nation and the World
2005 News Archive
2004 News Archive
2003 News Archive
Orthodox Information Center
A Dictionary of Orthodox Terminology
A Spiritual Hospital For Sinners
(Clergy: Monks, Nuns, Priests and Bishops)
Our Clergy Application - Agreement
Free Hit Counter