Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hold That Passions Have On A Man


Only because you know just how bad they actually are for you, doesn't mean you can quit.

( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Synergy in Christ According to Saint Maximus the Confessor





Synergy in Christ According to Saint Maximus the Confessor, by Daniel Photios Jones





Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Heart of the Matter


One night I had a dream. Outside, the sky was made into a single being. I couldn't look at it because of its brightness. I fell with my face to the ground, because I understood that it was a divine power. I heard a voice telling me: Look at this! Who does not know what this is will never see the Kingdom of Heaven! As I was lying with my face to the ground, I lifted up my head a bit, to look at what it was showing me. About where its face was, I could see only lightnings, and when it spoke, it was as if it thundered. Looking towards the frightfully-large hand, I saw that it held a human heart wherein there was much filth. I heard that thundery voice again: Look and know that whosoever does not know what this is will not see the Kingdom of Heaven! The dream scared me greatly. For three days I was not able to do anything. I shook the whole time, and stood in great fear, although I haven't understood too much of it.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Author of "Basic Instinct" Repents of a Life-Time of Sins, Addictions, and Debauchery


Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


During the summer of 2001, Eszterhas was diagnosed with throat cancer. His doctors worked to remove 80 per cent of his larynx and told him to immediately quit drinking and smoking. Eszterhas was 56. He lived a wild lifestyle and knew that changing his habits would not be easy.


His Conversion

On a day Eszterhas describes as “hellishly hot,” he was walking through a tree-lined neighborhood when he realized he had hit rock-bottom.

Eszterhas described his frame of mind: "I was going crazy. I was jittery. I twitched. I trembled. I had no patience for anything. … Every single nerve ending was demanding a drink and a cigarette.”

He sat on the curb and began to cry. In between fits of crying he began to pray, “Please God, help me.” He hadn’t prayed since he was a child. "I couldn't believe I'd said it. I didn't know why I'd said it. I'd never said it before," he wrote.


God reached out His hand

Eszterhas was immediately overwhelmed with peace. His twitching stopped. He no longer trembled. He saw a "shimmering, dazzling, nearly blinding brightness that made me cover my eyes with my hands." Similar to Saul seeing a blinding light on his way to Damascus, Eszterhas had seen the light of Christ.

Eszterhas described the experience as “absolutely overwhelming."

He went from doubting if he could make it through life without tobacco and alcohol, to knowing that he could "defeat myself and win."



Psalms 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.




Psalms 120:1In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.


After years of smut and violence, Joe Eszterhas says he found God one hot summer day in 2001 as he desperately battled to survive throat cancer and his addictions to alcohol and cigarettes.

“I didn’t even really know how to pray,” Eszterhas writes in his upcoming book Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith. “I didn’t know what to say, so one of the first things I said was ‘I’m sorry. I’ve acted like a colossal A-hole. I’m really, really sorry. I don’t deserve to be forgiven, but please try to forgive me.’”

In their effort to prolong Eszterhas’ life, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic removed 80 percent of his larynx, put a tracheotomy tube in his throat, and told him he must quit drinking and smoking immediately.

While Eszterhas wanted to change his ways, after a lifetime of wild living, the 56-year-old Hungarian native knew it would be a struggle to do so. And it was.

In the summer of 2001, Eszterhas reached a breaking point and for the first time since he was a child, he prayed for God’s help.

"I was going crazy. I was jittery. I twitched. I trembled. I had no patience for anything. … Every single nerve ending was demanding a drink and a cigarette," he writes in Crossbearer.

After his prayer, however, he felt an overwhelming peace.

It was "an absolutely overwhelming experience," he recalled to the Toledo Blade earlier this month.

Eszterhas went from doubting if he could make it through life without tobacco and alcohol to knowing that he could "defeat myself and win."


Monday, March 28, 2011

What Does God Even Want From Us Anyway!?




Why does He demand so much of us? Who does He even think He is!? GOD !?

Well... yeah!

Remember our father Abraham, who was righteous in the sight of the Lord, fulfilled all His laws, and never broke any of His commandments? Well, now, ask yourself this: Was God satisfied by that? Or did He ask for more?

Genesis 22:2 And [God] said [to Abraham]: Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Or the rich young man, who kept all the commandments from his youth? Was Christ satisfied by this? Or did He demand more?

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him: If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him: Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

There's a very special Lenten Prayer that we frequently say during this particularly sorrowful time of fasting and repentance: it begins with the simple words Lord, and Master of my life – is God really the Lord and Master of your life?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kicking the Habit: The Struggle With Sin Continues



Exodus 20:2-3, Deuteronomy 5:6-7
I am the LORD thy God: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart.

Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Embracing the Emo Subculture: Depressing Orthodox Lenten Songs




Orthodox Zionism 101

Psalm 137:1 ¶By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember thee, Zion.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why I'm Writing a Book


It's because of stuff like this floating around online: Calvinism Declared By The Church Fathers.


TOTAL DEPRAVITY


Barnabas (A.D. 70): "Learn: before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak."

Ignatius (A.D. 110): "They that are carnal cannot do the things that are spiritual... Nor can the unbelievers do the things of belief."

Justin Martyr (A.D. 150): "Mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; we are born sinners... No good thing dwells in us... For neither by nature, nor by human understanding is it possible for me to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine, but by the energy of the Divine Spirit... Of ourselves it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God... He has convicted us of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life... Free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become slaves and for our sin are sold... Being pressed down by our sins, we cannot move upward toward God; we are like birds who have wings, but are unable to fly."

Clement Of Alexandria (A.D. 190): "The soul cannot rise nor fly, nor be lifted up above the things that are on high, without special grace."

Origen: "Our free will... or human nature is not sufficient to seek God in any man."

Eusebius (A.D. 330): "The liberty of our will in choosing things that are good is destroyed."

Augustine (A.D. 370): "If, therefore, they are servants of sin (2 Cor. 3:17), why do they boast of free will?... O, man! Learn from the precept what you ought to do; learn from correction, that it is your own fault you have not the power... Let human effort, which perished by Adam, here be silent, and let the grace of God reign by Jesus Christ... What God promises, we ourselves do not through free will of human nature, but He Himself does by grace within us... Men labor to find in our own will something that is our own, and not God's; how can they find it, I know not."


(To read the rest, visit their website).


As you can see, they provide zero links directly to the Fathers and early Christian witnesses themselves. I don't think they want people to actually read them in context. And so I'm working on a book. It started out as a paper in response to several of my Christian hip-hop Calvinistic friends, but it's turning into a book. Below are some quotes of some of the Fathers and early Christian witnesses that they won't quote. And unlike a number of Calvinistic websites out there, I give direct links for all to see.

If we start with their belief about Free Will, then the rest should fall into place:


FREE WILL


Saint Ignatius (110 A.D.)

"For when ye are desirous to do well, God is also ready to assist you."


Saint Justin Martyr (150 A.D.)

"But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made."


Tatian (160 A.D.)

"How, then, shall I admit this nativity according to Fate, when I see such managers of Fate? I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command; I detest fornication; I am not impelled by an insatiable love of gain to go to sea; I do not contend for chaplets; I am free from a mad thirst for fame; I despise death; I am superior to every kind of disease; grief does not consume my soul. Am I a slave, I endure servitude. Am I free, I do not make a vaunt of my good birth. I see that the same sun is for all, and one death for all, whether they live in pleasure or destitution. The rich man sows, and the poor man partakes of the same sowing. The wealthiest die, and beggars have the same limits to their life. The rich lack many things, and are glorious only through the estimation they are held in; but the poor man and he who has very moderate desires, seeking as he does only the things suited to his lot, more easily obtains his purpose. How is it that you are fated to be sleepless through avarice? Why are you fated to grasp at things often, and often to die? Die to the world, repudiating the madness that is in it. Live to God, and by apprehending Him lay aside your old nature. We were not created to die, but we die by our own fault. Our free-will has destroyed us; we who were free have become slaves; we have been sold through sin. Nothing evil has been created by God; we ourselves have manifested wickedness; but we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it."


Saint Irenaeus (180 A.D.)

"They will find in our dispensation, that "many are called, but few chosen"; and that there are those who inwardly are wolves, yet wear sheep’s clothing in the eyes of the world (foris); and that God has always preserved freedom, and the power of self-government in man, while at the same time He issued His own exhortations, in order that those who do not obey Him should be righteously judged (condemned) because they have not obeyed Him; and that those who have obeyed and believed on Him should be honoured with immortality."


Saint Irenaeus (180 A.D.)

"For He who makes the chaff and He who makes the wheat are not different persons, but one and the same, who judges them, that is, separates them. But the wheat and the chaff, being inanimate and irrational, have been made such by nature. But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect like to God, having been made free in his will, and with power over himself, is himself the cause to himself, that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff."


Saint Irenaeus (180 A.D.)

"God therefore has given that which is good, as the apostle tells us in this Epistle, and they who work it shall receive glory and honour, because they have done that which is good when they had it in their power not to do it; but those who do it not shall receive the just judgment of God, because they did not work good when they had it in their power so to do. 2. But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for such were they created; nor would the former be reprehensible, for thus they were made [originally]. But since all men are of the same nature, able both to hold fast and to do what is good; and, on the other hand, having also the power to cast it from them and not to do it,—some do justly receive praise even among men who are under the control of good laws (and much more from God), and obtain deserved testimony of their choice of good in general, and of persevering therein; but the others are blamed, and receive a just condemnation, because of their rejection of what is fair and good. And therefore the prophets used to exhort men to what was good, to act justly and to work righteousness, as I have so largely demonstrated, because it is in our power so to do, and because by excessive negligence we might become forgetful, and thus stand in need of that good counsel which the good God has given us to know by means of the prophets."


Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)

"Whether, then, the Father Himself draws to Himself everyone who has led a pure life, and has reached the conception of the blessed and incorruptible nature; or whether the free-will which is in us, by reaching the knowledge of the good, leaps and bounds over the barriers, as the gymnasts say; yet it is not without eminent grace that the soul is winged, and soars, and is raised above the higher spheres, laying aside all that is heavy, and surrendering itself to its kindred element."


Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)

"Notwithstanding then since to obey or not is in our own power, provided we have not the excuse of ignorance to adduce. He makes a just call, and demands of each according to his strength. For some are able as well as willing, having reached this point through practice and being purified; while others, if they are not yet able, already have the will."


Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)

"But application to the training of ourselves, and subjection to the commandments, is in our own power; with which if we will have nothing to do, by abandoning ourselves wholly to lust, we shall sin, nay rather, wrong our own soul."


Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)

"And as the physician ministers health to those who co-operate with him in order to health, so also God ministers eternal salvation to those who co-operate for the attainment of knowledge and good conduct; and since what the commandments enjoin are in our own power, along with the performance of them, the promise is accomplished."


Tertullian (207 A.D.)

"I find, then, that man was by God constituted free, master of his own will and power; indicating the presence of God’s image and likeness in him by nothing so well as by this constitution of his nature. For it was not by his face, and by the lineaments of his body, though they were so varied in his human nature, that he expressed his likeness to the form of God; but he showed his stamp in that essence which he derived from God Himself (that is, the spiritual, which answered to the form of God), and in the freedom and power of his will. This his state was confirmed even by the very law which God then imposed upon him. For a law would not be imposed upon one who had it not in his power to render that obedience which is due to law; nor again, would the penalty of death be threatened against sin, if a contempt of the law were impossible to man in the liberty of his will. So in the Creator’s subsequent laws also you will find, when He sets before man good and evil, life and death, that the entire course of discipline is arranged in precepts by God’s calling men from sin, and threatening and exhorting them; and this on no other ground than that man is free, with a will either for obedience or resistance."


Origen (225 A.D.)

"But as the preaching of the Church includes a belief in a future and just judgment of God, which belief incites and persuades men to a good and virtuous life, and to an avoidance of sin by all possible means; and as by this it is undoubtedly indicated that it is within our own power to devote ourselves either to a life that is worthy of praise, or to one that is worthy of censure, I therefore deem it necessary to say a few words regarding the freedom of the will, seeing that this topic has been treated by very many writers in no mean style. And that we may ascertain more easily what is the freedom of the will, let us inquire into the nature of will and of desire."


Origen (225 A.D.)

"The result of our reasoning, therefore, is to show that those things which happen to us from without are not in our own power; but that to make a good or bad use of those things which do so happen, by help of that reason which is within us, and which distinguishes and determines how these things ought to be used, is within our power."


Origen (225 A.D.)

"In the Psalm, too, it is written: “If My people had heard Me, if Israel had walked in My ways, I would have humbled her enemies to nothing;” by which he shows that it was in the power of the people to hear, and to walk in the ways of God. The Saviour also saying, “I say unto you, Resist not evil;” and, “Whoever shall be angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment;” and, “Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart;” and in issuing certain other commands,—conveys no other meaning than this, that it is in our own power to observe what is commanded. And therefore we are rightly rendered liable to condemnation if we transgress those commandments which we are able to keep. And hence He Himself also declares: “Every one who hears my words, and doeth them, I will show to whom he is like: he is like a wise man who built his house upon a rock,” etc. So also the declaration: “Whoso heareth these things, and doeth them not, is like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand,” etc. Even the words addressed to those who are on His right hand, “Come unto Me, all ye blessed of My Father,” etc.; “for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink,” manifestly show that it depended upon themselves, that either these should be deserving of praise for doing what was commanded and receiving what was promised, or those deserving of censure who either heard or received the contrary, and to whom it was said, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” Let us observe also, that the Apostle Paul addresses us as having power over our own will, and as possessing in ourselves the causes either of our salvation or of our ruin: “Dost thou despise the riches of His goodness, and of His patience, and of His long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But, according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou art treasuring up for thyself wrath on the day of judgment and of the revelation of the just judgment of God, who will render to every one according to his work: to those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and immortality, eternal life; while to those who are contentious, and believe not the truth, but who believe iniquity, anger, indignation, tribulation, and distress, on every soul of man that worketh evil, on the Jew first, and (afterwards) on the Greek; but glory, and honour, and peace to every one that doeth good, to the Jew first, and (afterwards) to the Greek.” You will find also innumerable other passages in holy Scripture, which manifestly show that we possess freedom of will. Otherwise there would be a contrariety in commandments being given us, by observing which we may be saved, or by transgressing which we may be condemned, if the power of keeping them were not implanted in us."


Origen (225 A.D.)

"If, then, God promises to do this, and if, before He takes away the stony heart, we are unable to remove it from ourselves, it follows that it is not in our power, but in God’s only, to cast away wickedness. And again, if it is not our doing to form within us a heart of flesh, but the work of God alone, it will not be in our power to live virtuously, but it will in everything appear to be a work of divine grace. Such are the assertions of those who wish to prove from the authority of Holy Scripture that nothing lies in our own power. Now to these we answer, that these passages are not to be so understood, but in the following manner. Take the case of one who was ignorant and untaught, and who, feeling the disgrace of his ignorance, should, driven either by an exhortation from some person, or incited by a desire to emulate other wise men, hand himself over to one by whom he is assured that he will be carefully trained and competently instructed. If he, then, who had formerly hardened himself in ignorance, yield himself, as we have said, with full purpose of mind to a master, and promise to obey him in all things, the master, on seeing clearly the resolute nature of his determination, will appropriately promise to take away all ignorance, and to implant knowledge within his mind; not that he undertakes to do this if the disciple refuse or resist his efforts, but only on his offering and binding himself to obedience in all things. So also the Word of God promises to those who draw near to Him, that He will take away their stony heart, not indeed from those who do not listen to His word, but from those who receive the precepts of His teaching; as in the Gospels we find the sick approaching the Saviour, asking to receive health, and thus at last be cured. And in order that the blind might be healed and regain their sight, their part consisted in making supplication to the Saviour, and in believing that their cure could be effected by Him; while His part, on the other hand, lay in restoring to them the power of vision. And in this way also does the Word of God promise to bestow instruction by taking away the stony heart, i.e., by the removal of wickedness, that so men may be able to walk in the divine precepts, and observe the commandments of the law."


Saint Hippolytus (225 A.D.)

"But God, who created it, did not, nor does not, make evil. He makes what is glorious and excellent; for He who makes it is good. Now man, that was brought into existence, was a creature endued with a capacity of self-determination, yet not possessing a sovereign intellect, nor holding sway over all things by reflection, and authority, and power, but a slave to his passions, and comprising all sorts of contrarieties in himself. But man, from the fact of his possessing a capacity of self-determination, brings forth what is evil, that is, accidentally; which evil is not consummated except you actually commit some piece of wickedness. For it is in regard of our desiring anything that is wicked, or our meditating upon it, that what is evil is so denominated. Evil had no existence from the beginning, but came into being subsequently. Since man has free will, a law has been defined for his guidance by the Deity, not without answering a good purpose. For if man did not possess the power to will and not to will, why should a law be established? For a law will not be laid down for an animal devoid of reason, but a bridle and a whip; whereas to man has been given a precept and penalty to perform, or for not carrying into execution what has been enjoined. For man thus constituted has a law been enacted by just men in primitive ages. Nearer our own day was there established a law, full of gravity and justice, by Moses, to whom allusion has been already made, a devout man, and one beloved of God."


Saint Hippolytus (225 A.D.)

"This Logos we know to have received a body from a virgin, and to have remodelled the old man by a new creation. And we believe the Logos to have passed through every period in this life, in order that He Himself might serve as a law for every age, and that, by being present (amongst) us, He might exhibit His own manhood as an aim for all men. And that by Himself in person He might prove that God made nothing evil, and that man possesses the capacity of self-determination, inasmuch as he is able to will and not to will, and is endued with power to do both. This Man we know to have been made out of the compound of our humanity. For if He were not of the same nature with ourselves, in vain does He ordain that we should imitate the Teacher. For if that Man happened to be of a different substance from us, why does He lay injunctions similar to those He has received on myself, who am born weak; and how is this the act of one that is good and just? In order, however, that He might not be supposed to be different from us, He even underwent toil, and was willing to endure hunger, and did not refuse to feel thirst, and sunk into the quietude of slumber. He did not protest against His Passion, but became obedient unto death, and manifested His resurrection. Now in all these acts He offered up, as the first-fruits, His own manhood, in order that thou, when thou art in tribulation, mayest not be disheartened, but, confessing thyself to be a man (of like nature with the Redeemer), mayest dwell in expectation of also receiving what the Father has granted unto this Son."


Saint Cyprian (250 A.D.)

"That the liberty of believing or of not believing is placed in free choice.

In Deuteronomy: “Lo, I have set before thy face life and death, good and evil. Choose for thyself life, that thou mayest live.” Also in Isaiah: “And if ye be willing, and hear me, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye be unwilling, and will not hear me, the sword shall consume you. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things.” Also in the Gospel according to Luke: “The kingdom of God is within you.”"


Saint Cyprian (250 A.D.)

"That every one is tempted so much as he is able to bear.

In the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: “No temptation shall take you, except such is human. But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”"


Arnobius (305 A.D.)

"But, my opponents ask, if Christ came as the Saviour of men, as you say, why does He not, with uniform benevolence, free all without exception? I reply, does not He free all alike who invites all alike? or does He thrust back or repel any one from the kindness of the Supreme who gives to all alike the power of coming to Him,—to men of high rank, to the meanest slaves, to women, to boys? To all, He says, the fountain of life is open, and no one is hindered or kept back from drinking. If you are so fastidious as to spurn the kindly offered gift, nay, more, if your wisdom is so great that you term those things which are offered by Christ ridiculous and absurd, why should He keep on inviting you, while His only duty is to make the enjoyment of His bounty depend upon your own free choice?"


Methodius of Olympus (311 A.D.)

"Because there is nothing evil by nature, but it is by use that evil things become such. So I say, says he, that man was made with a free-will, not as if there were already evil in existence, which he had the power of choosing if he wished, but on account of his capacity of obeying or disobeying God.

For this was the meaning of the gift of Free Will. And man after his creation receives a commandment from God; and from this at once rises evil, for he does not obey the divine command; and this alone is evil, namely, disobedience, which had a beginning.

For man received power, and enslaved himself, not because he was overpowered by the irresistible tendencies of his nature, nor because the capacity with which he was gifted deprived him of what was better for him; for it was for the sake of this that I say he was endowed with it (but he received the power above mentioned), in order that he may obtain an addition to what he already possesses, which accrues to him from the Superior Being in consequence of his obedience, and is demanded as a debt from his Maker. For I say that man was made not for destruction, but for better things. For if he were made as any of the elements, or those things which render a similar service to God, he would cease to receive a reward befitting deliberate choice, and would be like an instrument of the maker; and it would be unreasonable for him to suffer blame for his wrong-doings, for the real author of them is the one by whom he is used. But man did not understand better things, since he did not know the author (of his existence), but only the object for which he was made. I say therefore that God, purposing thus to honour man, and to grant him an understanding of better things, has given him the power of being able to do what he wishes, and commends the employment of his power for better things; not that He deprives him again of free-will, but wishes to deprives him again of free-will, but wishes to point out the better way. For the power is present with him, and he receives the commandment; but God exhorts him to turn his power of choice to better things. For as a father exhorts his son, who has power to learn his lessons, to give more attention to them inasmuch as, while he points out this as the better course, he does not deprive his son of the power which he possessed, even if he be not inclined to learn willingly; so I do not think that God, while He urges on man to obey His commands, deprives him of the power of purposing and withholding obedience. For He points out the cause of His giving this advice, in that He does not deprive him of the power. But He gives commands, in order that man may be able to enjoy better things. For this is the consequence of obeying the commands of God. So that He does not give commands in order to take away the power which He has given, but in order that a better gift may be bestowed, as to one worthy of attaining greater things, in return for his having rendered obedience to God, while he had power to withhold it. I say that man was made with free-will, not as if there were already existing same evil, which he had the power of choosing if he wished, ... but that the power of obeying and disobeying God is the only cause."


Archelaus (320 A.D.)

"The judges said: He has given demonstration enough of the origin of the devil. And as both sides admit that there will be a judgment, it is necessarily involved in that admission that every individual is shown to have free-will; and since this is brought clearly out, there can be no doubt that every individual, in the exercise of his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases."


Also, I've noticed that I'm not alone in trying to fight this. Our friend Maximus Scott over at Classical Christianity was tackling this issue at the same time I was. And he is doing a great job at gathering quotes.

I've noticed the Holiness Movement Arminians doing something similar. They are working on a movie/documentary called Beyond Augustine:



And so, it's not just me trying to do something about this: which is good.

Why the Mother of God was Ever-Virgin


Because the following statement makes no sense coming from the lips of an already-engaged and soon-to-be-married young woman:

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

We've already been told several verses earlier, in Luke 1:27, that she was "espoused to a man whose name was Joseph ".

Thus, the usual reaction one would normally expect from her in such a situation would be: "Are you telling me that mine and Joseph's future child will be the Messiah of Israel ?"

Hence why the Church's "unbiblical" interpretation of their engagement as being one of paternal protection is more tenable than the equally-unbiblical 1 Protestant belief that their betrothal was meant for future wedding and child-bearing.

1 Unless one can show me just where exactly in the Bible the brethren of the Lord are called "children" or "sons of Mary"...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Al Pacino on God, Guilt, Fasting, Abstinence, and Morality


- What do you want from me?

- I want you to be yourself. You know, I’ll tell you, boy: guilt... it's like a bag of bricks. All you got to do... is set it down. I know what you're going through: I’ve been there. Just... Let it go.

- I can't do that.

- Who are you carrying all those bricks for? God? Is that it? God!? I’ll tell you... Let me give you a little "inside information" about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster ! Think about it! He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift... and then what does He do? I swear, for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition ! It's the goof of all time ! Look... but don't touch ! Touch... but don't taste ! Taste... but don't swallow ! And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' !... He's a sadist! He's an absentee landlord ! Worship that? Never!

Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in The Devil's Advocate

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tom Cruise On Lent, And Its Effects On People




Poor guy: he sure seems worn out by all the fasting... :-(
(Looks like all that asceticism and abstinence really got to him... big time!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The First Words From The Savior's Lips:


Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:14 ¶Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Protestants Are Right! The Orthodox Are Idolaters And Worship Pagan Gods !!!


Before, there were idols, pagan temples and those who offer sacrifice to the idols. And now, they exist as thoughts in the soul. He who is a slave to debauchery worships the idol of Aphrodite. He who becomes angry and enraged worships the idol of Ares. He who is avaricious and closed to the pain and misery of his neighbor worships the idol Hermes. If you refrain from all of this and preserve yourself from passions, you have overcome idols, you have rejected an evil belief and have become a martyr for the True Faith.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Second Sunday of Lent: Saint Gregory Palamas, Apophatic Theology, and the Essence vs. Energies Distinction




Metropolitan Kallistos Ware talks about Saint Gregory Palamas, Apophatic Theology,
and the Essence vs. Energies Distinction





Apophatic Theology



Audio:

St. Gregory Palamas - 2nd Sunday of Lent, by Fr. Thomas Hopko

God: Essence and Energies, by Kevin Allen, Steve McMeans, and Dr. David Bradshaw, professor of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Kentucky.


Articles:

The Bradshaw Papers, by Dr. David Bradshaw

The Concept of Divine Energies, by Dr. David Bradshaw

The Distinction Between Essence and Energies and its Importance for Theology, by Christos Yannaras

Chapters 68-76 from the One Hundred and Fifty Chapters, by St. Gregory Palamas

Notes on the Palamite Controversy, by John S. Romanides

What's Holding You Back?




Here's what's holding me back...

Exodus 20:2-3, Deuteronomy 5:6-7
I am the LORD thy God: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Proverbs 23:26
My son, give me thine heart.

Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Difference Between Orthodoxy and Jainism


Hey, don't look at me, I don't got all the answers...

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Difference Between Lent And Ramadan


None, if you're not willing to give up on the one thing that truly counts and really matters...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fasting = Castration + Evisceration


Just do the math, if you don't believe me...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If You Think Catholics Are Evil For Not Allowing Their Priests To Marry...


Think again!

At least they have the decency, common sense, and courtesy to restrict such impossible demands to clergy alone! In Orthodoxy, on the other hand, everybody's canon-fodder, and no one's safe...

P.S.: I can't help thinking about the poor Catholic Priest as some sort of scapegoat or 'sacrificial victim', whose "Vicarious Chastity" and Celibacy is meant to atone for the general half-heartedness, superficiality, and lukewarm-ness of his parishioners... Speaking of being in persona Christi !

Monday, March 14, 2011

Heaven as Hell: The Gospel According to Mark (Twain)


For instance, take this sample: he [mortal man] has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race -- and of ours -- sexual intercourse!

It is as if a lost and perishing person in a roasting desert should be told by a rescuer he might choose and have all longed-for things but one, and he should elect to leave out water!

His [man's] heaven is like himself: strange, interesting, astonishing, grotesque. I give you my word, it has not a single feature in it that he actually values. It consists -- utterly and entirely -- of diversions which he cares next to nothing about, here in the earth, yet is quite sure he will like them in heaven. Isn't it curious? Isn't it interesting? You must not think I am exaggerating, for it is not so. I will give you details.

You know what the human race enjoys and what it doesn't enjoy.

1. First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys -- yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything -- even his queer heaven itself -- to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.

That rich gift [intercourse] which, possessed as we possess it, makes all other possessions trivial and not worth the trouble of invoicing.


Romans 9 and Reformed Theology



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Holy Scripture and the Church


"Christ founded the Church. The Church existed even when there was not yet a single book of New Testament Scripture. The books of the New Testament were written by the Apostles later, over the course of more than half a century after the beginning of the historical existence of the Church. In the books written by them, the Apostles left behind testimony of their oral preaching of the Gospel. They wrote for a Church already in existence, and entrusted their books to the Church to serve as perpetual edification. It is evident that the books of Holy Scripture do not constitute the essence of Christianity, since Christianity itself is not a teaching but a new life, established in mankind by the Holy Spirit on the basis of the Incarnation of the Son of God. Thus, it would not be impertinent to say that it is not by Holy Scripture, as a book, that man is saved, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit, Who lives in the Church. The Church guides people to perfection. In the Church there are also other ways, other means to that effect, besides the books of Holy Scripture. St. Irenaeus of Lyons writes: “Many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ” have “salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, carefully preserving the ancient tradition... Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom.” In order to become a follower of a particular philosophical school it is necessary to assimilate the philosophical works by the father of that school. But is it sufficient to know the New Testament in order to become a Christian? Would this knowledge be enough for salvation? Certainly not. It is possible to know the entire New Testament by heart, it is possible to know perfectly the entire teaching of the New Testament, and still be very, very far from salvation. For salvation it is necessary to be added to the Church, just as it is said in the Book of Acts that those who were being saved were added to the Church (cf. Acts 2:47; 5:13–14). This was when there were no Scriptures, but there was the Church, and there were those who were being saved. Why was it essential to be added to the Church? It is because special grace-bearing power is needed for salvation, and this power can only be possessed by those who participate in the life of the Church, in the life of the single and indivisible Body of Christ. The grace-filled power of the Holy Spirit acts in the Church in many different ways: in the Mysteries and rites of the Church, in common prayer and mutual love, in church services; and, as the divinely inspired Word of God, it also operates through the books of Holy Scripture. Here we are coming close to the definition of Holy Scripture. The books of Holy Scripture are one of the means in the Church through which the grace-filled power of God acts upon people. The Spirit of God gives life only to the body of the Church, and therefore Holy Scripture can have meaning and significance only within the Church. “Flee to the Church, and be brought up in her bosom, and be nourished with the Lord’s Scriptures. For the Church has been planted [like a Paradise] in this world; therefore says the Spirit of God, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat (Gen. 2:16), that is, Eat ye from every Scripture of the Lord.” Thus, Holy Scripture is one of the manifestations of the common grace-filled life of the Church. Holy Scripture is the property of the Church, precious and priceless, but precisely the Church’s property. Holy Scripture cannot be torn away from the overall life of the Church. Only the Church gives meaning to the existence of Scripture. Holy Scripture is not an independent quantity; it cannot be considered a law given to the Church that she can fulfill and from which she can deviate. Holy Scripture arose in the midst of the Church and for the sake of the Church. The Church possesses Holy Scripture and uses it for the benefit of her members."

New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky), Archbishop of Verey,
Holy Scripture and the Church

Why Orthodoxy is the True Faith (Extended Version)


Antiquity. Universality. And Consensus.


These are the three marks of truth, according to Saint Vincent of Lerins, and -among all Christian denominations- only Orthodoxy possesses all three of them, as we shall easily show in the following paragraphs:

Protestantism lacks all three of them, primarily antiquity, the first Protestant denominations dating back to no sooner than the 16th century, or -more precisely- to 1517 AD. Even the so-called Pre-Reformers did not exist prior to the 12th, 14th, or 15th centuries.

Among the remaining four1 ancient and apostolic churches, only Orthodoxy possesses universality, as we shall now demonstrate:

Catholicism is distinguished by its unique, local belief in the Filioque, completely unknown to all other ancient and apostolic churches.

Monophysitism or Miaphysitism is distinguished by its unique, local belief in the one nature of Jesus Christ, completely unknown to all other ancient and apostolic churches.

Nestorianism is distinguished by its unique, local belief in the two persons of Jesus Christ (Jesus the man, and Christ our God), completely unknown to all other ancient and apostolic churches.

Protestantism
Catholicism
Orthodoxy
Monophysitism
Nestorianism
Antiquity
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Filioque
-
Yes
No
No
No
One Nature in Christ
No
No
No
Yes
No
Two Persons in Christ
No
No
No
No
Yes


Therefore –among all the ancient and apostolic churches– Orthodoxy is the only one that possesses catholicity, being thus "the one holy catholic and apostolic church" of the Nicene creed.

1 I did not take into account artificial hybrids, or unification movements, such as Eastern Catholicism (between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy), Oriental Catholicism (between Catholicism and Oriental Orthodoxy), and Monothelitism or Monoenergism (the Maronites of Lebanon: between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy), all of which lack both antiquity, as well as universality.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Atheism & Morality" Debate and Other Announcements




"Atheism and Morality" Debate

Halloween on the Old Calendar: When "Tales from the Crypt" Meets the Menaion


Today is the Saturday of Saint Theodore.

He was an early Christian Martyr and Military Saint, along with Saint George and Saint Demetrius. He was killed by being tied to running horses, and dragged by them for miles, until he died exhausted from severe wounds and bleedings. His celebration is especially honored among the Slavs: i.e., working on this day would be forbidden. My maternal grandmother is of Slavic (Bulgarian) background: her family-name is Putin. (Sounds all really sweet and innocent until now, doesn't it?...)

Now I'm gonna tell you a creepy little horror-story, that my granny used to tell me back when I was a little kid, and which scared the living life out of me: it's the kind of stuff that they don't tell you in Convert-Land. (If you have enough trouble dealing with the Ascension of Mary, then you better hold your horses [pun intended], 'cause this one's gonna give you a heart-attack...)


Saint Theodore's Horses

It was Saint Theodore's day. Everybody was supposed to rest. But, in a small remote village, an old mother and her young daughters had still a lot of unfinished business around the household... lots and lots of chores to be done... The younger sibling was feeling a bit sick and under the weather (plus, she was weak, and way too young), so her mother decided she better stay at home, while the others go and wash all the clothes and bed-sheets down by the river... While they were doing that, a group of handsome and fine-looking young men approached them, dressed in nice festive clothes, and wearing long boots. The girls started giggling, as they considered them strong and attractive... The lads approached the young women, and asked them why they work on Saint Theodore's day. They answered that they didn't really want to, but -that again- they didn't have much choice in the matter either, since there was all this work that still had to be done... But -as the lasses looked closer at the fine, handsome young men- they saw hair coming out of their curiously-long boots... It looked strange... like a horse's tail... and their manly laughter sounded like neighs... As evening drew close, and the day became darker and darker, the elderly mother was beginning to worry about the daughters she sent away to wash bed-covers down at the river, as they didn't seem to be coming back, nor was any shadow to be seen at the horizon... So she prepared some food, and sent the youngest away to bring them dinner... As the young maiden approached the place where her older sisters were supposed to be, she saw no sign of them, but only what from a distance appeared to be bed-clothes, hanging out to dry. As she came closer and closer, a frightening sight began to slowly reveal itself to her young and innocent eyes: what she at first thought resembled clothes left out to dry on a wire, were actually human guts and bowels, dripping with blood... Terrified to death, and barely able to hold her breath, the young child ran desperately home; her agonizing flight seemed to last an eternity... As she finally arrived, with tears running down her cheeks, and with her white dress all soaked in cold sweat, she told her mother the gruesome news: -- but the night was far from over!... Quickly, in fear, shock, and sheer terror, the old woman left everything that she was working on, locked everything up, and turned everything in the house upside-down, save for the egg and the rasp (which are symmetrical). Then they just sat there... waiting quietly, in the dark... all alone, just the two of them... frightened and scared to death... shivering, and holding their breath... As midnight drew near, strange whickering sounds began to be heard in the distance... As the disturbing noises drew closer, footsteps of boots (or were those hooves?...) resounded on the ground, near the door of the house... Knock, knock... "Open the door!" No answer. The door-latch clanked and clicked and turned... but the door was locked! "Open the door!" All the things in the house were turned upside-down, so they were unable to respond the call... except the egg and the rasp. The first fell, being round and slippery, and crashed, splashing on the floor... the second also slipped, and cracked as it hit the ground, breaking into pieces. -- And this is how the two helpless women were able to escape the avenging wrath of... Saint Theodore's Horses !

And you thought the Jews were harsh for stoning people who broke the Sabbath...

Sweet dreams, everyone!

(And sleep tight!)

Welcome on Board, Thom!


We've just accepted a new member on the team!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Joy of Lent !




You just want to SCREAM for joy!

Matthew 8:29 What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Apostolic Succession: The Pre-Augustinian View



"In Augustine’s mind, therefore, the Donatists were within the apostolic succession. Their bishops had been consecrated by bishops who had been validly consecrated, and because the sacrament confers an indelible grace, they retain valid orders. Further, the Donatist bishops retained the ability to pass on valid orders to those they ordained. A subtle shift has taken place in the concept of apostolic succession. In the earlier patristic view the Church itself, the eucharistic community, was the bearer of the succession. The individual bishop participated in and carried the succession because of his office as head of the apostolic community. For Augustine, each individual bishop carries within himself the indelible mark of apostolic succession and is able in and of himself to pass it on, whether or not he has remained in communion with the Catholic Church. Thus, apostolic succession becomes a matter of episcopal “pedigree,” of who ordained whom, rather than of integration into a community which is itself apostolic. Continuity was disconnected from community. If the validity of the apostolic succession resides in the individual bishop, whether or not he is connected to the community, some means needed to be developed to determine whether or not a particular bishop is within the succession. In the Western Church four criteria were developed to determine the validity of a consecration. Three are exoteric (exterior) criteria. The fourth is esoteric (interior).

(1) Form: The consecration must be done in the context of the eucharistic liturgy to be valid. This emphasizes the connection of the ordination with the community. A consecration done secretly in the bishop’s study, for example, would not be a valid consecration.

(2) Matter: There must be an actual laying on of hands by a bishop during the liturgy. Prayer is not sufficient in and of itself.

(3) Minister: The one who performs the consecration must himself be a validly consecrated bishop within the apostolic succession.

(4) Intention: The intent of the laying on of hands and the prayer within the liturgy must be to ordain or consecrate the person to holy orders. One could conceivably lay hands on someone during the liturgy for prayer for healing, for blessing, or for some other worthy purpose, without intent to ordain. This criterion removes the possibility of someone claiming to be a bishop or priest simply because he had received the “laying on of hands” in the liturgy. The intent must be to ordain.

In modern Western Christian thinking, if these criteria were met in a consecration, a bishop is within the apostolic succession and may ordain others who are within the succession, whether or not he remains in communion with the Church. This has led to the proliferation of numerous groups, usually small, who claim to be in the apostolic succession but are in communion with no one. These bishops are called episcopi vagantes, wandering bishops. The Orthodox Church, following the earlier patristic tradition, holds that apostolic succession is carried by the community. To be within the succession, a bishop must be properly elected by the diocese he is to administrate, be approved by the legitimate governing synod to which he will be accountable, be consecrated by bishops within the Orthodox Church, and remain faithfully in communion with the Orthodox Church. Once a bishop leaves the Church in schism, the Church is not obligated to recognize any consecrations or ordinations he performs. Thus, for the Orthodox, the episcopi vagantes are not within the succession. Nor are the Anglicans or the Roman Catholics necessarily seen as fully in the succession, although in practice the Church has received Catholic priests without requiring them to be ordained in the Orthodox Church. For the Orthodox, to be a part of the eucharistic community of the unbroken One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is to be in the apostolic succession. To separate from it is to be outside the succession, no matter by whom one was ordained."

Fr. Gregory Rogers, Apostolic Succession, pages 32-34.

The First Two Rules Of Fasting



Matthew 6:16 ¶Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

1 Corinthians 9:24 ¶Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Ephesians 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Protestantism: Giving Up Fasting For Lent Since 1517 AD


Whoever said Protestants don't give up anything for Lent!?...

The Faith that Established the Universe!



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Christ Refutes One of the Solas !


Matthew 4:4 It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luke 4:4 It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.


Are you an adept of Sola Pane ? Do you believe that man shall live by bread alone ?

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Would Jesus Do?


He'd fast.

Matthew 4:1 ¶Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Luke 4:1 ¶And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

Matthew 9:14 ¶Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

Mark 2:18 ¶And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? 19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Luke 5:33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? 34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian


Lord and Master of my life1,

The spirit of laziness, and of the care for many things, of the lust for power, and of idle-talk, take away from me.

But the spirit of purity and meekness, of patience and love, grant unto me, Thy servant.

Therefore, Lord and King, grant that I may realize my own mistakes, and keep me from judging my brother,

For You are blessed forevermore,

Amen
.

____________________________________
1 Is God really the Master of your life ?...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our One True God



A guy can change anything: his face, his home, his family, his girlfriend, his religion, his God... But there's one thing he can't change... He can't change his passion...

I said our one true God, NOT the one true God...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Short Summary of Over Five Years of Apologetic Efforts


Romans 10:21 All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fasting: The Entrance-Gate Into A Sexless Eternity


Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36  Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

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