Sunday, August 27, 2017

What Keeps You Away from God?

We like to think we want to be with God in heaven, but when we hear what is expected of us, how many times do we turn away from God and walk away? We hear of a rich man in Matthew 19.16-26 who said he wanted eternal life, but when God told him he had to sell everything and give it all to the poor, he left sad. For this man, it was money. What keeps you away from God?


Sunday, August 20, 2017

All Sin is Against God

Jesus calls us each of us to forgive others from our heart or risk eternal torment. Many however find it difficult to forgive others because we feel the pain of the sin. In Psalm 50 we pray, “Against You only have I sinned and done that which is evil in your sight.” If our sin is only against God, then all sin is only against God. Maybe when we come to terms with the truth, then we can more easily forgive.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Beware of Spiritual Carcinogens

I am often asked why I get so worked up when I “see” Orthodox Christians involved in other spiritual environments, whether it be attending a nondenominational Bible study or getting exercise with yoga. For me it all boils down to the environment we place our vulnerable soul, and risk of what I refer to as spiritual carcinogens.

Spiritual Carcinogens – defined (by me) as the bits and pieces of heresy and foreign spiritual concepts floating in the air during any non-Orthodox Christian event.

Spiritual Carcinogens can be bad theology about the Personhood of Jesus Christ and His Economy of Salvation, or totally non-Christian influences such as pagan religious concepts. They are found not only in religious organizations, but in schools and throughout the media. Like other more common carcinogens that affect our physical bodies, they make up a constant barrage of foreign elements that can, if left unnoticed, cause serious damage to our soul.

Some common warning signs that you might be exposed to a spiritual carcinogen include the statement, “Your Church is behind the times,” or, “Your Church shouldn’t try to control you,” or, “You don’t really believe I would hurt you do you?” Lest we forget the first spiritual carcinogen in history, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3.4) Anything….ANYTHING….that teaches the Church is wrong should come as a warning sign that you are in the presence of a spiritual carcinogen.

What should we do if we have find that we have been in contact with spiritual carcinogens? The first step is to step away from the danger and return to the Church.

STOP attending non-Orthodox Christian Bible studies
STOP attending non-Orthodox Christian worship services
STOP getting exercise through yoga
STOP the behavior…

START attending Holy Confession
START attending more Orthodox Christian church services and classes
START reading the Holy Fathers’ interpretations of the Scriptures
START reinforcing Orthodox Christian behavior in your daily life

As with anything foreign influence in our bodies, our souls can be healed by God and our willingness to turn away from the dangerous behavior in favor of blessed behavior in the Church. It is never too late to be healed by God, but the longer you wait the more difficult it will be to purge the carcinogen from your system.

Start TODAY!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Why do I always talk about fasting?

Every Wednesday and Friday, the forty days before Christmas, almost sixty days before Pascha, an average of two weeks in June, and another two weeks in August; a total of over two hundred fasting days in 2017. If you’re paying attention to the Church calendar and at least trying to live the Orthodox Christian life, you may ask yourself why all the talk about fasting? Now you’ll know.