After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


What should an Orthodox Christian know?

What should an Orthodox Christian know?
Rubric: History , Father's works
rights of Russia(Orthodox Russia No. 8-9, 1935)
Question 1. How to understand the words of St.. Apostle Paul: "There is no power not of God?" 
Answer. "Power is from God, not the boss," says the Monk Isidore Pelusiot, ie. power or ideal of power is the Divine order by which some are commanded, while others obey them for God's sake and for the sense of duty as children to their parents. 
This order we see among the nine orders of the angelic, of which some command, and others obey them. 
Such order exists among the spirits of malice, about which the Word of God opened to us, while the spirits of spite, although they fell away from God, but, nevertheless, preserved in themselves that Divine order, i. the order of things that they had as angels.
Question 2. When the chief comes from God?
Answer: a) Then, when he is lawfully appointed and creates the work of God, that is, serves the good of the people and promotes it in the service of the True God. b) When the boss himself recognizes God and worships Him.
Question 3. When the boss does not come from God? Answer. When he does not want to know the True God and when he illegally seizes this power, we do not say, Reverend Isidore says, that he is set by God, but we say that he has been accosted or vomited all his cunning as to Pharaoh, and in that case he will be punished or withered those for whom cruelty is needed, just as the king of Babylon has made the Jews wholeheartedly. (Exodus Isidore Pelusiot, on the words "do not belong to power, if not from God", Romans 13, 1 to Dionysius, vol. 2, Moscow, 1860, p. 8. MDAK.
Question 4. How should an Orthodox Christian look at the modern Bolshevik civil power, which struggles with God and drives St. John. Church?
Answer. As for the passing of God, for our punishment and admonition, in the fulfillment of the words of St. Scriptures: "Is there a disaster in the city that the Lord would not allow?" "I am the Lord, and there is no other. I create light and create darkness, make peace and create disasters. I am the Lord, and I do all these things "(Isaiah 45: 7)
Question 5. How should Orthodox Christians treat civil authority? 
Answer. To obey in everything that does not oppose the commandments of God and does not harm our salvation: "Be obedient to every human authority for the Lord" (1 Peter 2, 13-14), i.e. pay all taxes and promote the welfare and security of their people; but if we are required of something contrary to the law of God and our Christian title, then respond with the words of the apostles: "We must obey God more than men" (Acts 5:29), fearing nothing, for without the will of God and hair from the head ours will not fall off. We need to know these words of Christ not only in theory, but mostly in practice, and then we will always be happy and rejoice in our suffering for Christ and His Holy Spirit. Church. 
How happy and happy St. ap. Paul: "I rejoice in suffering for you, and fill up the lack in my flesh with the afflictions of Christ for His Body, which is the Church" (Kolos 1, 24).
Question 6. How to be a Christian if he is accused of counterrevolution? 
Answer. This should not be embarrassed. This accusation is false and invented by the enemies of Christ and is the lot of all confessors of the faith.
Question 7. How do you see this? 
Answer. From the St. The gospel and the lives of the saints. This is the beginning of the Jewish Sanhedrin, who accused Christ of the Lord in the face of a political crime in the face of Pilate, saying: "He corrupts our people and forbids giving to Caesar, calling Himself Christ the King" (Luke 23, 2), whereas Christ the Lord said: give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and God's things to God "(Matthew 22:21). Following the example of accusations against Christ, in political or criminal cases, all the fighters for St. faith and the Orthodox Church, for example. St. Athanasius the Great, St. Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome, Rev. Maxim the Confessor, Rev. John of Damascus, Rev. Theodore Studit and many others.others.
Question 8. What is the purpose of such accusations from the enemies of Christ and His Holy Church? 
Answer. The goal is, first, to weaken the spirit of the confessors and bring them to confusion: is it true that they suffer for Christ, whose faith they are not even asked for, but who accuse them of crimes they did not commit, and God pleases their feat. Secondly, to expose them in the eyes of the people not as confessors of faith, the holy example of which Christians should follow, but as criminals worthy of punishment. 
Only in such cases, the mercy of God, the purity of conscience and faith, keeps the confessors of Christ from falling and attracts the Orthodox people to them.
Question 9. How, then, should the Church, and every Christian in particular, relate to revolution and counter-revolution? 
Answer. It is first of all necessary to find out what the word "revolution" means and, on the basis of this definition, determine its attitude to it.
Question 10. What does the word "revolution" mean? 
Answer. The word "revolution", according to the dictionary of foreign words, is any violent action: will it be a coup d'état or social, or even familial. In other words, the revolution is violence
Question 11. Can the Church sympathize with this violence? 
Answer. No, he can not. 
Question 12. Why? 
Answer. Because the Church rejects all violence and can not sympathize with it. Moreover, this violence is almost always accompanied by the shedding of human blood and is evil in the eyes of God and His Church. 
Question 13. How did the Church relate to coups d'état? 
Answer. She recognized them only as an accomplished fact, God sent to punish people, no more. 
Question 14. Did the Church always do this? 
Answer. Always, it could not be otherwise. So she acted under frequent dynastic coups of the Christian Greco-Roman Empire, recognizing them as an accomplished fact, in order to avoid a greater evil. So the Church did the same in Russia during the princely relations between us, when the Russian princes took power from each other or the people themselves drove out their princes. The Church was sorrowful about this and only tried to reconcile the warring. The Russian Church also acted during the frequent palace revolutions of the 18th century, not at all sympathizing with them and without canonizing them. This is how the Church acted at the present time, when the entire state system radically changed, when the old idea of ​​statehood, established by God Himself and resulting from the idea of ​​the family, changed. The Church recognized this, only as a committed fact, admitted by God, no more. 
Question 15. What is the idea of ​​statehood, stemming from the idea of ​​the family, established by God Himself? 
A. The idea of ​​the family is the mutual love of parents for their children and back with a compulsory care for each member of the family about the welfare and safety of their family. From the totality of families of different ancestors, states were formed with the same duty of every citizen to care for the welfare and security of his people. This is the divine institution, as Genesis tells us, and especially the history of the people of Israel. 
Question 16. Is the idea of ​​the family established by God Himself, whether it belongs to one Christianity or belongs to other heterodox nations that do not know the true God? 
Answer. Yes, it belongs to all other non-Orthodox peoples, which we see from the book of Genesis, namely: from the blessings of Noah, Isaac and Jacob to their sons. 
Question 17. What is the difference between the modern idea of ​​statehood and the idea established by God Himself? 
Answer. By the fact that in the former idea of ​​statehood, power was transmitted from the top down, from God through the supreme authority is succession to the last smallest boss (1 Peter 2, 13-14). 
And in the modern idea of ​​statehood, the power taken from below is transferred upwards, that is, the Divine order was distorted, and therefore this power can not be recognized as legitimate, i.e. It can not be recognized as power from God, but only by God, as was said above. (Answer 4). 
Question 18. What are the causes and consequences of such a violation of the divine institution? 
Answer. The reasons are: discontent with your position and disbelief in the Providence of God. The consequence is an uprising against God and a malignant battle against God, which was initiated by Nimvrod, a descendant of Adam, ended in the Babylonian crowd and the confusion of tongues (Gen. 10, 8, 11, 4-7). 
Question 19. When will the battle against God end? 
Answer. In the last days of the world, when the wicked (antichrist) conceives to resist God Himself: "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their host gathered to fight the one sitting on the horse and with His army." (Apoc.19-19). 
Question 20. What is the reason for the persecution of the Church by the unbelieving authorities? 
Answer. The desire to subordinate the Church to its influence and through the Church to prepare the people for the future acceptance of the Antichrist as the political and spiritual leader of the fallen humanity. 
Question 21. In what way is the combination in one person of the supreme authority, political and spiritual, and is there no such example in the ancient history of the world? 
Answer. There is. The first example we see in the history of the Old Testament patriarchs. The second example we see in the history of the pagan Roman Empire 
Question 22. How can you explain this to anyone? 
Answer. This is explained by the duality of human nature. The Lord created man from the soul and body and gave the laws for his earthly existence, subordinating the children to the power of the parent. With the multiplication of the human race, the Lord placed special rulers over each people who cared about the earthly welfare handed to their care and the power of people. For the spiritual nature of man, ie. for the soul, the Lord also bestowed His laws - commandments, for the performance of which he promised eternal blessed life and union with God in His heavenly kingdom. At first the ancestors were both physical and spiritual chief leaders of their offspring. They cared not only about the earthly well-being of their household members, but also represented them before God; were priests of their offspring and people. Thus, Melchizedek, king of Salem, was a priest of the Most High God (Hebrews 7, 1). 
( Collapse )
Question 23. Was it always in the Old Testament Church? 
Answer. No not always. With the multiplication of the posterity of the patriarch Jacob, the Lord, to represent Him before the people, chose one of the tribes of the sons of Israel-the tribe of Levi, which became priests of the whole nation of Israel (Exodus 28: 1, Hebrews 7, 5). From that moment, there was a separation of civil and ecclesiastical authority in the Old Testament Church, but among the Pagan peoples, the combination of civil and spiritual duties continued until the fall of paganism, so that the Roman emperor was considered the supreme high priest (Pontifex Maximus). And Julian the Apostate, as the supreme high priest, offered sacrifices to idols.
Question 24. Is it possible in Christianity to combine in one person the power of civil and spiritual power? 
Answer. No impossible.
Question 25. Why? 
Answer. Because Christianity is not of this world, it is a service to one God and clearly differs from serving the world: "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and God's things to God" (Matthew 22:21). Only Christ Himself in His Person unites both these authorities. 
He, as the King of the world, created states, placed rulers over every people, ie, bishops of external affairs, what name he called himself Constantine the Great before the fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, said: "I am the bishop of external affairs, delivered by God in this service." (No matter how scientists interpret the words of Constantine the Great, they express the true state of things that is observed in the universe). All the rulers, namely, are bishops of the external affairs of the physical, whereas St.. The apostles and their successors are bishops of the affairs of the spiritual, appointed to serve Christ by the Lord at the founding of His Holy. Church (Mt 16, 19-20). Those and others, we repeat, are united under one Chapter - the Christ. Thus, due to the separation of God between rulers and bishops of civil affairs and church affairs, a confusion between them or submission to one another is impossible.
Question 26. Have there been attempts to subordinate the Church to civil authority? 
Answer. Yes, there have been many times. This happened when the civil government consisted of heretics who, through violence, tried to inculcate the Church with their pernicious delusion. An example of this: Arianin Constantius, son of Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the Great, Constantine Copronimus and others.
Question 27. Why did the Church respond to such attempts? 
Answer. The Church, at the cost of martyrdom and confession, defended its freedom and the independence granted to it by Christ: "If the Son sets you free, then truly awake," (John 8:36). And all attempts of heretics remained fruitless.
Question 28. What is the reason for the aspirations of modern civil power to subordinate the Church to its influence and power, when there is no antichrist yet and civil power is not heretical, but only unbelievers? 
Answer. Civil power struggles with God through the implementation of communist ideas and is a transitional stage to full anti-Christianity and the authority of the God-fighting anti-christ. And she needs approval of her actions on the part of the clergy, which, incidentally, is necessary for the antichrist himself, and who, in the person of a false prophet (Apostles 13, 11-15), will show the people of Antichrist as the best ruler. To achieve this, it is necessary to change the concept of the clergy, accustoming it, willy-nilly or willy-nilly, evil to be called good, and good is evil, and this can not be done without persecution of the clergy. 
Note: Professor Pastoral Theology, Father Archimandrite Constantine (Zaitsev), at the Holy Spiritual Seminary in Jordanville, wrote that "The Fatal Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius of Stargorod in 1927 plunged the Russian Church not only under the control of the God-fighters, it was plunged into total authority over it. Proponents of the hierarchy of the new spiritual direction call on the people to patience and agreement with the heterodox and the infidels, opening the way for a new Christianity "..." The predestination of the antichrist forces to substitute the Church Truth, and finally But the antichrist will not come by the beast, calling for godlessness and destroying the believers, but calling on the worship of himself to abolish all true worship and to replace him with the cult of Satan, who is convicted of the deceptive light of the false Christ. The substitution in all ways of falsifying the spiritual Truth can be like final stage of retreat ". 
The Moscow Patriarchate, a purely political entity, and as such, introduced treason into the Church, the only purpose of which is to save the souls of believers. The Patriarchate, being in the service of the civil authority, mixed the heavenly with the earthly. The participation of the MP in ecumenical organizations was another betrayal of the Church of Christ.
Question 29. How will anti-Christianity penetrate the Christian environment? 
Answer. Anti-Christianity in the environment of Christians will penetrate for many unnoticed, leaving the external form of Christianity, and the very spirit and essence of Christianity replacing anti-Christianity.
Q30. How do I find this out? 
Answer. Christianity requires a feat of confession and suffering for Christ. Anti-Christianity or false Christianity flees from heroism and through compromises and deals with its conscience, seeks to preserve its external well-being, i.e. thinks to follow Christ without bearing his cross, but Christ tells such men a formidable word: "He who does not bear his cross and follows me can not be my disciple" (Luke 14:27). At the same time, carrying the cross is not only the path of sorrows and sufferings, but mainly is devotion to the will of God: "It is not My will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42). Suffering, or well-being, does not depend on us, but from God, according to St. Scripture: "Without the will of God and vlad from your head will not fall." We are required only of devotion to the will of God and a willingness to suffer for our confession of Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.
Question 31. Can the Church of Christ be able to compromise with an unbelieving civil authority, and if not, why? 
Answer. It can not, because it will not bring any benefit, and is unworthy of the true followers of Christ who, if they recognize themselves as one and the same with the holy martyrs of the first three centuries and subsequent, do not have to do this, but defend their freedom as the ancient Church of Christ defended. For this is the will of God, that the trust of our faith may prove to be more precious than the gold that is dying, even though it is tested by fire (1 Peter 1: 7), if you participate in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, and in the rejoicing of His glory you will rejoice and triumph (1, Peter. 4, 13).
Question 32. What are the demands on the part of the unbelieving civil authority against the Church? 
Answer. a) To justify its actions contrary to Christianity; to recognize the justice of the revolution, which, according to the dictionary of foreign words, is violence and by whomsoever it is committed, is contrary to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of His Church and the Church will never be justified. 
b) To sympathize with the revolution and its ideas; hence the accusation of the counter-revolution of all Christians who, in their Christian conscience, can not sympathize with the revolution as such, nor with its ideas, without renouncing Christ, albeit externally. 
c) Recognize the competence of the unbelieving authority in purely church affairs and recognize it as the patroness of the Church, which is not natural.
repost from http://archiv.livejournal.com/

OCA Latest Renovation


Changes in the Order of the Liturgy in the Orthodox Church in America

The Synod of the Orthodox Church in America changed the Anaphora of the Liturgy of Basil the Great and the ordination of the Communion for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

1) In the liturgy of Sts. Basil the Great from anaphora removed the inscription "having laid down your Holy Spirit." The three "amen" will now be pronounced after the words "poured out over the belly of the world". The insert moved to anaphora svt. Basil the Great from anaphora svt. John Chrysostom. This insert is the famous pre-revolutionary Russian church historian prof. V.V. Bolotov called "slander against the Holy. Basil and his Athenian education. " At Greeks this insert in due time strongly criticized прп. Nicodemus of the Holy Trinity.

2) In the performance of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the Orthodox Church in America will now adhere to the universal, and not Russian (coming from St. Peter the Grave) tradition in relation to the contents of the Chalice. "In accordance with the ancient, universal tradition of the Church, when the pre-sanctified Lamb plunges into the chalice during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the wine dissolved in water truly becomes the honest Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ." Accordingly, the priests and deacons, servants or communioners for the pre-consecrated Liturgy, should receive communion from the Holy. Bowls in the same manner and with the same words as the liturgies of the Holy. John Chrysostom and Basil the Great. The priest or deacon who will consume the Gifts must also partake of the Chalice. It should be added that there are no grounds for refusing to receive Communion for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.


Lenten Great Prokeimenon "Turn not Thy countenence" Byzantine Chant

Re: DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP - Good Strength, Good 40 Days

Add star 

John Peter E Presson

Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 12:51 PM

Masters, Fathers, Bless -Colleagues, brothers and sisters.

A belated mailing for Forgiveness Sunday on a snow day from work -If I have inadvertently caused anyone offense, I ask your forgiveness.

I am leaving everyone with a recording I did recently at the request of a psaltis friend of mine of one of the Great Prokeimena of Lenten Sunday Vespers “Turn not Thy countenence”   Μι Αποστρεψης -Sorry Your Em, the computer fonts do not do diacriticals -best I can).


Good strength and a good 40 Days.
John Peter Presson, Dip. Theo. (HC)
Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna and Portland (GOC)
Director of Liturgical Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Church, Portland, OR
Musicorum et cantorum magna distanti est, isti dicunt, illi sciunt quae componit musica

Letter confirming GOC recognizes Vl. Agafangel as chief hierarch of ROCOR

Letter from GOC Athens to Mountain View schism under-ban bishop Andronik

# 2676
Athens, 10/23-01-2018
To His Eminence Andronik, Archbishop of Syracuse, NY 

The Most Reverend Vladyka, 
The Lord Jesus Christ, Who appeared in the Jordan, may always abundantly grant His enlightenment from above to you. 

At the meeting of our Holy Synod on December 8/21, 2017, it was decided, after a consultation with the members of the Holy Diocesan Synod of our Church in America, to address you with this fraternal letter in order to express our pain and sorrow for the continuing division among the Hierarchy of our beloved brothers Hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad. We therefore wish to share our thoughts with you, emphasizing that we all pray that there is a way out of this painful crisis as soon as possible. 

Firstly, we report that the forthcoming issue has repeatedly been the subject of conversations, as much for our Holy Synod of the Church of the GOC of Greece, as for the Diocesan Synod of America. And because, as is known, this crisis of the ROCA is also causing problems for the Church of the GOC of Greece, especially in a geographical place abroad, where the parishes of both Churches are present. 

Most Rev. Metropolitan of Toronto, Moses, was very sad when he learned that his friendly visit to the neighbouring Russian Parish was misunderstood and that despite his good intentions, this event, quite unfairly, was the reason for the aggravation of the mutual relations of the two sides that remain in disagreement within the ROCA. 

All Bishops of our Holy Synod believe that the disagreement between you and the clergy of Met. Agafangel relate not to dogmatic, but administrative issues, for which it is quite possible to find a solution through dialogue. 

However, it should be noted that your party hastened to arbitrarily ordain the bishop for Australia and accept in communion another bishop in America; these actions, in our opinion, are hasty, and aggravate the difficulties for reconciliation. In addition, we do not approve of certain promulgations and official statements and declarations on your part, by which you are trying to justify the fragmentation of the Church into many parts, which give a cause to Metropolitan Agafangel and those with him to condemn you more sharply. In any case, we think that through honest and sincere dialogue it is possible to find solutions to all this. 

In the direction of the opening of the dialogue, we ask Your Eminence to appoint a suitable person from your clergy who is familiar with these administrative problems so that he participates in a dialogue with such a member of the Clergy from Metropolitan Agafangel’s side. 

Most Rev. Archbishop Sofroniy in his Report “The Causes of Crisis in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia”, in the end, says: "For many years we have made every possible effort to find a 
conciliar solution to these problems" (second paragraph of the conclusion). There is no reason for interrupting the effort now, the more so as we also propose to promote it to the extent possible. 

We will continue to encourage Metropolitan Agafangel to refrain from taking disciplinary action against you and instructively participate in this way in dialogue. We ask you not to close the door of the dialogue, because if something like this happens, then the effort on our part to persuade Metropolitan Agafangel to hold a moderate position will become impotent. In this case, the consequences will be very painful and we will come to the conclusion that the burden of responsibility rests with the party that interrupted the effort to reconcile. 

In the hope of a positive response on your part, we remain faithful in the brotherly love in Christ, 
Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod 
† Photios of Dimitriada 
[translated from Russian original] 

And Mountain View schism Fr. Andrei Erastov published his opinion regarding the letter
". . . Thus, this latest Letter from the Synod of Abp. Kallinikos has made completely clear that, which in fact, has been clear for some time: the Synod of Abp. Kallinikos has taken the side of Met. Agafangel.
     Bishop Andrei"

Red Beans & Rice NO OIL

I don't really want to post recipes, but this is too easy and everyone likes it.


8 oz box Zatarain's Red Beans & Rice
15 oz can corn, undrained
15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

Follow directions on box.
When rice is done, add corn and tomatoes.
Green Giant® is NON-GMO


• Orthodox rejection of St. Valentine's Day (Cupid's Day) (Cupid is a demon)

• A Case of Prelest: thinks he's the Tsar

• A Case of Prelest: thinks he's a prophet

Anti-ecumenism Bumpersticker?

I saw this bumper sticker in Smithville, Tennessee.  My first thought was, Wow -- an anti-ecumenism bumpersticker!  Could somebody in the world really understand ecumenism?  Or is the driver Orthodox?  This first thought only lasted a few seconds, then I realized it is not an anti-ecumenism bumpersticker, -- it is an atheist bumpersticker.  The Orthodox Cross threw me off...

Homily Last Judgement Vladyka Joseph

Today is the next to the last Sunday before Great Lent and is called Meatfare Sunday. Again, the Holy Church takes special care to dispose us to actively repent.
The Holy Church edified us in the two preceding weeks with clear examples of how to fast properly and what repentance should be like. However, lest we think that we can do anything and think whatever comes to our minds, expecting the Lord to forgive unconditionally, we are reminded that the Lord is not only infinitely merciful (for He sent His Only-begotten Son to save the human race), but is also infinitely just.
All this is described concisely and to the point in today’s fearsome and majestic Gospel reading which tells about the Lord’s Second Coming and ends with two verdicts. Those who were on His right hand, that is the right side, heard, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world...” (Mt. 25:34). The whole aim of God’s Providence after the fall of man has been to prepare the Kingdom of God for the people who had lost Paradise. We should think how the Lord created Paradise for the first people, where it was, and compare it to the Kingdom of Heaven and where it is! In Holy Scripture, it does not say that the angels lived in Paradise, although apparently they were there, but their real home was HEAVEN. That means that man lost Paradise (which was on earth), but is to gain HEAVEN instead of Paradise, that is, he received more than what he lost.
Getting back to the Gospel description of the Last Judgment... “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mt. 25:41) The reading ends with these words, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Mt. 25:46).
Even the most insensitive soul would not shudder at the mere mention of such a truly fearsome prospect. The Holy Church teaches us that in actuality it will be something that surpasses all our human understanding. It is worth noting that the Kingdom of Heaven is prepared for man in return for repentance, and eternal torments prepared for the devil and not for man, but man can receive them like a reward from the devil, in a way of speaking.
What wails of despair would be wrenched from those who during their lifetime mocked the faith and Church, either in word or thought, and even mocked the Last Judgment itself. They in their pride considered themselves to be ‘too smart’, ‘too all- knowing’, or ‘too highly educated’ to believe in what the Holy Church was teaching.
Human knowledge is based on the empirical method, drawn from experience, the gathering and research of facts, making up theories, etc. This all takes place in time, and the more time there is, the more knowledge...but the life of a man is just a few decades long, and his memory better be true. The devil has existed for many thousands of years, and his memory is unchanging since he is a spirit, so he knows all about our empirical knowledge, and he can use it to the detriment of our salvation.
All this will be made clear in the Last Judgment, and no human tongue would be able to express the infinite despair that will overtake the condemned. Everyone will see himself laid bare, and will realize that he is revealed to all, what kind of person he really is, in all his deeds and thoughts.
But who of us is without sin? And how can we avoid this righteous condemnation of God’s at His Last Dread Judgment?
We all know the answer! We need to repent!
The power of true repentance is such that it blots out all our sins, as if they never existed, making white again the cloak of our human soul. Even the greatest sinner can show himself at the judgment and be proclaimed sinless and righteous. That is why the Holy Church reminds us of the Last Judgment before the start of Great Lent, so that we would rouse ourselves out of the light-minded complacency and sinful slumber in which we usually live, and decide to repent for real.
This, in the most general, concise, and basic terms, is the teaching of our Holy Orthodox Christian Church about the Final Judgment and the utmost need to repent, what She has always taught.
Unfortunately, this does not at all appeal to today’s “MODERN” man who “is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:22), as the Apostle Paul so aptly put it. Today’s man wants to do whatever he pleases, with impunity, without apology, without any thought to possible consequences.
So in our evil times, we are witnessing the rise of a completely new and heretofore unheard of teaching in our Church, that the Second Coming of Christ and the Last Judgment are to be understood in some ‘allegorical’, ‘metaphorical’ way, that is, not literally. Those who spread this teaching totally and with great aplomb ignore Holy Scripture, claiming that it was all made up by ‘ignorant’ fanatical monks.
Already long ago, our Fathers of the Church warned of the cunning of Satan and his servants who in the latter times would use texts from Holy Scripture with distorted interpretations. (Indeed, all sects are based on distorted interpretations.)
Therefore, the only true way for us to gain salvation is not to philosophize cunningly, but in all things follow the age-old, unchanging teaching of our Holy Orthodox Church believe as ALL people ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE believed (St. Vincent of Lerins), and drive out of our midst all the new false-teachers, even though they may hold church ranks and wear sacred vestments.
We know from the Word of God that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). Amen.
+Bp. Joseph