Monday, January 21, 2013

Secular Divide

Civilization Needs Unity Between Religion  
and the Secular State

The great divide between the secular state and religion has grown substantially during my lifetime. Gone are the days when our nation was based on Christian values and where religion played an important role the public life of this country. The notion that we must separate Church and State has gained such momentum as to have emboldened many to a state of Christianophobia. It was never the intent of the Founding Fathers for religion to be kept quiet and forced into the back streets of our nations political life. Rather, they simply intended that no one religion would gain the status of a State Church.

We are seeing increasing attacks by avowed atheists bent on destroying any form of public display of Christianity. Books being written by atheists, along with public mocking of the beliefs of Christians as being myths, has become more and more militant. The atheists have turned their radical beliefs into another form of religious bigotry. In their attacks on Christians, they've turned atheism into a militant form of religion, with the demand that it become a sort of state church, not unlike that which happened during the militant atheism of the Soviet Union.


The response of Christians can not be to simply surrender, for this is truly a wholesale assault on Christianity. Our society would no more sit back and allow billboard attacks on Judaism or Islam, and the slander of their beliefs, or billboards promoting racist attacks on minorities. Yet our government and judicial institutions are allowing slanderous attacks on the beliefs of millions of Christians. This will continue until we Christians decide enough is enough. We must stand firm in our witness to Christ, and take hold of our constitutional right for free expression of our faith, including the right to bear witness in the public square.

If our nation is to justly care for her poor and disenfranchised, Christians must be allowed to continue to influence our governmental and legal institutions in the light of our Christian Faith . The separation of religion from the public square is breeding defeat, and undermining the very values that have made our nation strong. 

We must reclaim our vision as one nation under God. Our focus on consumption and personal comfort, together with a low birth rate that is the direct result of selfish me-first secularism, has been made manifest by a disenfranchised Christianity that can no longer offer religious input and leadership in  promoting moral and biblical values. This is dooming our nation to utter collapse. 

Part of the problem stems from the fact that so much of American protestant Christianity has itself become secularized. In an attempt to become more relevant to today's culture, they've lost the leaven that can truly transform lives and make a difference with how the greater culture around us can be brought back to the basic values and religious standards that have kept America morally and spiritually strong. We've lost our way as a nation because the majority of our denominations have lost the pure essence of Christianity.
While this has happened, our Orthodox Church is often so caught up in just trying to survive as ethnically centered communities, we've failed to reach out with the same power and authority of our forefathers in the faith. Satisfied with doing the services correctly, and meeting the needs of our people, we've forgotten our duty to the greater community around us. We've fallen down on the job of transforming the society around us with the leaven that resides within the Church. We fail daily to reach out to the society at large with the truth of Ancient Christianity, preserved fully within the Orthodox Church.
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday January 21, 2013 / January 8, 2013
34th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.

Afterfeast of the Theophany. St. George the Chozebite, abbot (7th c.) and St. Emilian Bishop of Cyzicus (9th c.).
Venerable Domnica of Constantinople (395).
Venerable Gregory, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1093).
Venerable Gregory, hermit of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
Hieromartyr Isidore and 72 companions at Yuriev (Dorpats) in Estonia, slain by the Latins in 1472.
New Hieromartyr Victor priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1938).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1938).
Martyr Michael (1938).
St. Michael confessor, priest (1941).
Venerable Paisius of Uglich (1504).
Hieromartyr Carterius of Caesarea in Cappadocia (304).
Martyrs Theophilus the Deacon and Helladius in Libya (4th c.).
Martyrs Julian and his wife Basilissa, and with them Marcionilla and her son Celsus, Anthony, Anastasius, seven children, and twenty soldiers, at Antinoe in Egypt (313).
Venerable Elias the Hermit of Egypt (4th c.).
Martyr Abo the Perfumer of Baghdad, who suffered at Tbilisi, Georgia (786) (Georgia).
Sts. Atticus (425) and Cyrus (714), patriarchs of Constantinople.
Venerable Agatho of Egypt, monk (4th c.)
Holy Virgin Gudula of Brussels (659) (Celtic & British).
St. Gregory of Ochrid, bishop of Moesia (1012) (Bulgaria).
St. Severinus, apostle of Noricum, Austria (482).
St. Theodore of Constantinople (595).
St. Erhard, bishop of Regensburg (Bavaria) (700).
St. Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (9th c.).
St. Macarius (Macres) of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (1431).
St. Severin, bishop of Cologne (397).
St. Nathalan of Aberdeenshire.
St. Pega, hermitess, of Peakirk.
St. Wulsin, bishop of Sherborne. 

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Hebrews 3:5-11

And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Be Faithful

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

Hebrews 3:17-19

17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Luke 20:27-44

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 28 saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. 31 Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. 32 Last of all the woman died also. 33 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”
34 Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
39 Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

41 And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David? 42 Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
43 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
44 Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?

 I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

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