Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
I have recently seen statistics of the pedophilia that occurs in many religious denominations. It is true that in some interpretations of the statistics, the Roman Catholic Church is not the most prolific offender, however, the statistics do not take into account the ecclesiastical structure of each denomination listed. In many cases, there is no hierarchy or a less cohesive one. Many of the reported cases are from independent groups with no accountability or hierarchy, an individual pastor or youth pastor is arrested, etc. The statistics are taken from arrest records and public reporting. It seems, however, that others, who are more organized, may be more practiced at not getting caught.
The Roman Catholic Church is the epitome of church hierarchal structures. It is top-down, with bishops and dioceses and international, national, state, regional and local clerical supervisors. It is somewhat revealing that defenders of the hierarchy in the matter of systemic pedophilia, use the reasoning, "Well, we aren't the worst." This is nothing but deflection. The Roman Catholic Church is the worst because they not only have a systemic culture of pedophilia but a systemic culture of hierarchical cover-up. Their established and written rules in dealing with individuals who commit acts against children are indictable.
"Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's and unto God that which is God's," shows us not only the sin of the individuals who prey on children but the equal sin of a church that allows it. Pedophilia is a crime and failure to report a crime is a crime. That it takes the civil authorities, investigators, and journalists to expose the systemic culture of the crime of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, shows it has abdicated its heavenly mandate. That the Roman Catholic Church is well practiced at avoiding detection of its crimes shows it has abdicated its righteous standing as the body of Christ and has given in to a carnal syndicate mentality. Reporting a crime, by one of its clergy, to authorities, should be the first act. In America and most other civilized nations, no one is above the law, no politician, and certainly no clergy.
The 300 priests, indicted in Pennsylvania, should be arrested and tried as should all others who have been exposed at various times. The Bishops who supervised them should be investigated and if found to be accessories, be arrested and tried. The Pope, who is now accused of covering up the crime of one of his bishops, should be investigated, and if found to be an accessory to a crime, arrested and tried. He should be, but I am not privy to the agreement between the governments of Italy and the Vatican. It is possible that no pope can be indicted by civil authorities. It is possible that there is some sort of immunity such as the United States Government affords a visiting diplomatic dignitary. "Raped a kid did ya?! Well, we are sending you home for that." In any case, Roman Catholic Clergy in America have no such immunity. If Jerry Sandusky were a Catholic Priest perhaps he would have just been given counseling and assigned to another university.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is not without it perpetrators of such crimes. But it is not a top-down ecclesiastical body. Good and faithful Bishops must act according to the principles of the scripture and abide by the civil laws of the country in which they serve. Pedophilia happens in the Orthodox Church, but a systemic culture in the Orthodox church is harder to achieve and harder to determine. One must have hope in the public reports of Orthodox Bishops dealing quickly and decisively with its clergy who commit such sins/crimes against children. If, in any case, a bishop or priest or another clergy in any Orthodox jurisdiction follows the current and historical practice of the Roman Catholic Church, the same scriptural and civil laws should apply- investigate-arrest-trial.
Anyone, be they layman or clergy, who reports or turns in a perpetrator of a crime in the church, the body of Christ, is performing a righteous act, a holy act in the spirit of Christ even if he disobeys the edict of the hierarchy. One must first and foremost obey Christ. Yes. the hierarchy is the representative of Christ in the Church, but an edict by such is null, void, and powerless if it is an edict to participate in a sin against the body Christ Himself. In this case, one must disobey in order to be in true obedience. One must be willing to suffer the ire or repercussions of man in order to serve Christ and inherit His Kingdom:
It is a deception for layman or clergy to think that silence, privacy, keeping it in-house, dealing with the perpetrator in equal measure to the victim, is the more righteous endeavor for the reputation of the Church. The position that the Church as a whole must be protected from public scandal because the sins of the clergy do not negate the power of the sacraments, is untenable."Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
"It is true that the validity of the sacraments do not depend on the worth of the priest through whose hands they are consecrated — this is true in the Orthodox Church as well — but this truth can easily be perverted into indifferentism toward the subjective character of the Christian life, and conversion. Many Catholics I know have had to compartmentalize their spiritual lives to deal with this scandal and other related scandals among the clergy, repeating to themselves the dogmatic truth (and I believe it is true, just so you understand me clearly) that however faithless, cowardly, and corrupt the priest may be, the Eucharist really is the Body of Christ. God bless them for that; I did that for a couple of years, but couldn’t keep it up. The thing is, though, when bishops and priests treat the Eucharist and the laity with such contempt, people may cease to believe in the authority of those priests when they teach that this is what the Eucharist is, and what the sacraments are. It begins to look like a sham."
So what is the Church to do with clergy who repeatedly have committed acts of immorality? Well, let the civil authorities do what they must, but we must also follow the scripture.
"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate... And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?
Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.
Expel the wicked person from among you.”
What is the result of failing to expel from the Church such perpetrators, especially perpetrators who are clergy?
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."It seems there is a substantial amount of trodding going on and the Roman Catholic Church is now under the foot of men. Be wary and be careful, Orthodox brethren, lest we too lose our savour.
Posted by JTO Editor Nathan Lee Lewis at 8/28/2018 01:26:00 PM
Monday, August 06, 2018
Rocky Top Pictures is developing an Episodic Television Series to be produced in the USA and Russia. RTP is accepting the resume' of any industry professional producer/writer who is an Orthodox Christian. Particular attention will be given to those with Russian Heritage or have personal experience with the Russian religious and secular cultures.
Mail ONLY a complete Producer/Writer resume' to:
Rocky Top Pictures LLC
P.O. Box 218 Lascassas, TN 37085
Note: ONLY Orthodox Christian producer/writer resumes are being accepted at this time.
All other submissions will be discarded. No Phone Calls or E-mails accepted.
Posted by JTO Editor Nathan Lee Lewis at 8/06/2018 12:24:00 PM
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Thursday, January 04, 2018
Do you agree with this statement?
Quote: I think that everybody who loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the body of Christ... whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world... they may not even know the name of Jesus... and they turn to the only light that they have and I think that they are saved and they're going to be with us in heaven."
Drum roll ...
Posted by JTO Editor Nathan Lee Lewis at 1/04/2018 11:25:00 AM
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
"Left Behind"? Sure Hope So!
[This article was originally titled: Dissecting Dispensationalism or Judaism is a Religion not a Race]
In keeping with the purpose of this BLOG I won't provide a complete doctrinal or historic treatment on the theory of Dispensationalism. There are many good resources out there in which to dive a little deeper. Here, you will find definitions and outlines and a few personal perspectives to inform you as to the subject matter looking at the Dispensational view VS the Orthodox view. Being a former Dispensationalist I understand first hand the affront any opposition to the Dispensationalist way of thinking is. For years I thought that such a view was the predominant one, that all others were insignificant. Just the discovery that the Dispensational view of scripture and prophecy was the minority view and predominantly a western evangelical, relatively recent creation, was enough for me to start asking questions. My paradigm shift did not come instantly, but my willingness to question Dispensationalism came upon me suddenly.
One late night I was reading a book by an evangelical charismatic author. The whole of the book contained much that I would not adhere to today, but the most provocative thing I discovered was the fact that the author did not believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, the cornerstone of much Dispensational thought. The theory states that "All believers will be raptured from the Earth before Christ returns." The author simply challenged the reader to justify the usage of the scripture Matt.24: 37-41 as a proof text that believers would be snatched away off the earth and unbelievers would be "Left Behind".
"As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man comes...they suspected nothing 'til the flood came and swept them all away...This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes...one is taken the other left."
The question presented was "who is actually left?.
I was a teenager in the 70's when the "good" contemporary Christian music was new and abundant. One of the most popular songs was "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", based on the passages from Matthew. "Two men walking up a hill, one disappears and one is left standing still. I wish we'd all been ready." One thing we all knew for sure, based on the premise of this song, we didn't want to be left behind! So the answer to the question posed that night, some 20 something years later, was found in the phrase, "As it was in the days of Noah". So how was it in the days of Noah?
Matthew 24: 37-41
"As it was in Noah's day, so will it be when the son of man comes. for in those days before the Flood people were eating and drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the flood came and SWEPT THEM ALL AWAY. This is what it will be like when the Son of man comes. Then of two men in the fields, one is taken the other left; of two women grinding at the mill, one is taken the other left."
Do you see it yet? Here is the scripture from Genesis:
"Everything on the face of the earth was wiped out, people, animals, creeping things and birds; they were WIPED OFF THE EARTH AND ONLY NOAH WAS LEFT, AND THOSE WITH HIM IN THE ARK."
So as Matthew compares the coming of the Son of Man to Noah's day. Who was left? The righteous. Who was taken? The unrighteous. When I first discovered that this scripture had been usurped by the Dispensationalists to prove their hypothesis and interpreted to say the opposite of what it says, I had to ask myself a question. What other scriptures have been usurped?
My next major Epiphany was the discovery of Tim LaHaye's book "No Fear Of The Storm", a treatment on the Dispensational view of the Rapture. Now, I am educated but I don't hold claim to any special ability or intelligence. Even so, I found the reading of LaHay's book bringing back the elementary skills I had learned in Philosophy 101. A sound argument is sound and the conclusion is valid only if it begins with a solid premise. If premise A and premise B are true then conclusion C is true. Conversely, if either premise "A" or premise "B" is false then conclusion "C" is erroneous. I found LaHay's book not only to be full of hypothetical premises based on ideas and preconceptions rather than scriptural proofs, but on more than a few occasions there were outright contradictions. In one instance, LaHay denounces the accusation some have made that Dispensationalists believe in the three comings of Christ. In the next paragraph he refers, as fact, to the "third time Christ comes." I was so amazed by the unreasoned, contradictory, and unintelligent diatribe and the obvious effort to prove the Dispensational viewpoint in the absence of verifiable scriptural evidence, that I set out to simply outline the weakness of his ability to argue. Thanks be to God for my discovery that that had already been done. A man named Larry Simmons had already taken the time to outline all 14 of LaHay's "14 Reasons For Believing The Pre-Trib Rapture." For a deeper and more provocative study I highly recommend Simmons' free internet book, "Unmasking Pre-Trib Fallacies".
So my paradigm was shifted and soon came the discovery that what I had been raised in was not what the Church across the world believed. In fact, the Church as a whole looks upon the Dispensational theory as a bizarre and puzzling aberration that invaded the western evangelical movement just 150 years ago. The most common question I get when discussing this matter with any one is, "What difference does it make?" The premise here is that it is silly to argue over when or if Christians will be zapped off the earth before Christ returns or whether they will be "caught up to meeting him in the sky" at the end. The difference it makes is profound, for Dispensationalism isn't just about the Rapture but contains an entire system of theories and doctrinal treatments that redefine the relevance and definition of "Church", redefines the purposes and reasons for the coming of Christ and the New Covenant and promotes practices and mindsets that directly effect the way individuals live out their lives, prepare for persecution, and "work out their salvation." For example, look at the four basic points in the system of Dispensationalism in relation to the Church:
1. God has two distinct people, Israel and the Church, and is pursuing two different programs in history with them.
2. There is little or no continuity between Israel of the Old Testament and the New Testament Church.
3. The Church and the Church age (extending from Pentecost to the "Rapture") is a "parenthesis" or "intercalation" into history, the existence of which was not prophesied or foreshadowed in any way in the Old Testament.
4. Christ offered an earthly, political kingdom to the Jews, but they rejected him and so he formed a new people, the Church, from both Jews and Gentiles.
5. The New Covenant was not for the Church but for Israel, just as the Kingdom is a future, earthly reality meant only for the Jews and not a spiritual reality inaugurated by Christ and/or located in some way in the Church today. (See Matheson, Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God? 1995, pp 17-18)
So if you believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, just know that that theory comes out of the same system of beliefs that promotes the above five points. But what does the Church teach?
Contrary to the accusations made toward the Orthodox teaching on this matter, the Church does not negate the importance of Israel and the Old Covenant.
"Catholic doctrine emphasizes that the promises given to Old Testament Israel and the covenants made with it are brought to fulfillment in the New Covenant instituted by Christ. The Church and the New Covenant are in continuity with the Old Covenant and fulfill it precisely because Jesus Christ, the founder and head of the Church fulfilled the Law (Mt 5:17-18) and the prophets (Luke 24:44) and founded a New Israel (MT. 16:16-19.") ("Will Catholics Be Left Behind", pp 217-218)
So Israel is the Church and the Church is Israel. Dispensationalists share the same ideology as the Judaizers of Jesus day who looked for an earthly kingdom. Christ was very clear that that was not what he came to establish and yet the Dispensationalist still see the Modern-day Nation of Israel as the hope of the world and the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. They even assert that the temple must be rebuilt, that animal sacrifices must be reestablished, and that Christ will reign in this earthly kingdom for 1000 years. There is only one problem, it is not true and the Church has never taught it or held it to be true. This theory extends from just a few million evangelical, Dispensational, western, cultural diatribes who do not realize that they are giving more credence to the writings of men such as Darby, Scofield and Ryrie (who lived during the last 150 years) than the continuous teachings of the Fathers and Martyrs of the faith and the universal Church.
The Literal Interpretation Method
One word on the Literal Interpretation method used by Dispensationalists to arrive at doctrinal conclusions. While the Holy Scripture is true, it is not all "literally true." If one approaches the study of Dispensationalism, the Rapture, etc. using this approach, one subjects himself to a myriad of possible subjective interpretations. You will also find that the Literal interpretation method used by Dispensationalists to prove a text is done so without consistency. For instance, a Dispensationalist will say that "locusts" in a prophetic passage actually refer to modern-day helicopters. This is obviously not a literal interpretation. The same Dispensationalist will then interpret the usage of "1000" to mean a literal 1000 years. This presents a problem in light of how the term "1000" is used elsewhere. For instance: If "My Father owns the cattle on a 1000 hills (Ps 50:10)", who owns the cattle on hill number 1001? "1000" simply means "complete, all, forever." Yet, the Dispensationalist will interpret scripture based on this subjective method. A good rule of interpretation would include taking a look at what has been "taught at all times, in all places, by all the Church." Simply put, on any given doctrinal matter, look at what Christ said, then what the Apostles said, then what the Disciples of the Apostles (the Church Fathers) said, then verify it by the truth the Church has preserved for 2000 years. If you have problems with the disunity of the Church today seeing the divisions of Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant, then at least look at the doctrines established during the first 1054 years when the Church was ONE body. Ask yourself which is more reliable, the writings of modern men who look back and interpret the meaning of truth in isolation according to their own opinion, or the original foundation of truth-"The Church of the living God, pillar and support of truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)
The mindset of the Dispensationalist includes the idea that God had plan "A" that he offered to his chosen people, the Jews, but they rejected it, so God had to go with plan "B". He was forced to change his plan and form the Church to give the Jews time to turn things around. So, they say, the Church is just a temporary substitute until God's original plan can work itself out. This mindset follows the same theme as those who fully attribute the mess humanity is in with the choice Adam and Eve made. Would the Dispensationalist really suggest that God was taken by surprise in both instances? Did God say to himself in surprise:
"Damn it (I use the "literal" sense of the word) I had such a good plan set up and now I am going to have to do something else. Those pesty humans! They are so unpredictable! Oh, well...let's see..that's it. I 'll do this, this and this and see if that works. I hope they don't screw it up this time?"
Here is the question: Was God surprised when Adam and Eve sinned or did He know from the beginning that they would do so? Likewise, was God surprised when some (not all) of the Jews rejected him or did He know they would from the beginning? It is unimaginable that anyone would attribute to God such a wishy-washy, cause and effect, human attribute, but this is what the Dispensational theory does. The Church has always held that God's plan for mankind included the sin of Adam and Eve and the rejection of Him by the Jews. Man would be in need of a savior and God would become incarnate in Jesus the Christ to bring that salvation. The Old Testament Covenant is a forerunner of the New Covenant and salvation is extended to His chosen people-Israel- made up of Jews and Gentiles-The Church. We are not waiting for some future earthly Kingdom that hinges on the earthly Nation of Israel-the Jews. Dispensationalists fail to understand that Judaism is a religion not a race and that not all Jewish leaders consider the Nation of Israel the epicenter or the prophesied future of Judaism. Establishing His Church was God's plan from the beginning.We are awaiting the glorious return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to bring an end of the age (earthly humanity) and a beginning to eternity (Heavenly humanity). Members of the Jewish religion, along with members of any other religions who embrace Yeshua as the Messiah will be included.
Dispensationalism is an aberration from the truth. I hope you will not dismiss this article but will study on your own. to understand what the Church as a whole has held on this matter. I recommend the book "Will Catholics be Left Behind?" by Carl E. Olson, Ignatius Press.
Posted by JTO Editor Nathan Lee Lewis at 11/29/2017 09:37:00 PM
The intentional desecration or disrespectful treatment of a person, place, thing, or idea held sacred
In a disturbing act of sacrilege, Minas Michael Christie, co-administrator of the Remnant ROCOR blog with Joanna Higginbothm and Father Gregory Williams has photo-shopped and posted a photo containing the icons of Christ and the Theotokos, He has placed, what appears to be, a ventriloquist dummy over the icon of Christ, and over the Icon of the Theotokos is a child on a carnival carousel zebra, with, what appears to be, a man holding a machete and a severed head. The photo, has had its copyright obscured and is posted on a blog that Christie independently operates. The original copyrighted photo appears on the JTO blog to the right. Reader Nathan Lee Lewis, administrator of the JTO blog appears in the photo with the two icons in the background. The photo is taken in front of the altar of the Saint Symeon Mission where Reader Nathan Lee Lewis leads a Reader Service. The icons were originally blessed by the former priest Father Anastasious Hudson of the GOC, and hang over an altar that was built per his instructions and where he once officiated and blessed the holy Eucharist.
This downward spiral into this bizarre behavior follows a confrontation by Christie's own priest at which time Christie was asked to take down the offensive and ofttimes profane blog. Christie apparently refused to do so. In recent days JTO has posted several expose's of the conduct of Christie and Higginbotham, who participates on his blog. Father Gregory Williams has rejected requests to intervene or to curtail his co-administrator's on-line public conduct, although he is fully aware of the nature the conduct takes. In this it is hard to not consider him complicit in their conduct. Christie's blog is still linked as a "Member" blog on the Remnant ROCOR blog and Joanna Higginbotham continues to participate in the comment section on Christie's blog. With very few exceptions, Christie and Higginbotham are the only ones commenting on the blog.
For one to mock another is serious enough. For one to mock another in public is serious still. For one to use the photos of holy icons as tools of mockery is a perverse act.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.…"
A recent photo posted on the blog, KFTU.blogspot.com operated by Minas Michael Christie, has prompted the filing of an Incident Report with the Rutherford County Tennessee Sheriff's Department. The photo posted by Christie is of JTO Administrator Nathan Lee Lewis, with what appears to be a bloody bullet hole in his head. Previous photos depicted a wanted poster of Lewis, claiming he is "dangerous', a photo of a man holding a severed head beside a photo of Lewis, and photos of what Christie thought was Lewis' house, with instructions on how to find his address.
Christie, who has a multiple criminal arrest record and an extensive civil infraction record, is the blog partner of Joanna Higginbotham and Father Gregory Williams on the Remnant ROCOR blog. Higginbotham and Gregory are under Bishop Agafangel and Christie is part of a GOC church in Florida. Both Higginbotham and Gregory have refused repeated appeals to disassociate themselves from Christie. To his credit, Christie's own priest (name withheld) confronted Christie asking him to remove his vitriolic, profane, and threatening blog. Christie refused. It is not clear if any ecclesiastical action had been taken toward Christie.
Lewis, considering the post as a threat, initially contacted the Pinellas County Florida Sheriff's Department and made a phone report. He was referred to the Saint Petersberg Florida police department, who suggested he make an initial report with the Tennessee Sheriff, then the Saint Petersberg PD would consider action.
The following is the Incident Report filed with the Rutherford County Tennessee Sheriff' Department:
The Tennessee Sheriff Detective personally contacted the Saint Petersberg, Florida Police Department, who determined that, due to the distance, there was no current immediate threat. The Saint Petersberg Police detective investigating the incident recommended that the matter be referred to the Pinellas County Prosecuting Attorney's office to initiate an investigation under:
CRIMES Chapter 784
ASSAULT; BATTERY; CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE View Entire Chapter
Title XLVI deals with various Cyber Crimes and Misdemeanors. The detective also recommended monitoring Christie's blog and to contact them again should other such threatening messages be posted.
FACEBOOK MESSAGE CHAT BETWEEN
METROPOLITAN AGAFANGEL AND READER NATHAN
(Some google translate errors)
RN: Master Bless. Thank you for accepting my friend request. I appreciate your call for unity within the body of Christ. In keeping with that goal...Are you aware that a parishioner, under the pastorate of Father Gregory Williams, is publicly, via her blog Remnant Rocor, and under your name, is accusing your fellow Bishop, Metropolitan John LoBue and one of his priests, of Occult practices? Is this by your approval and is this your position? http://remnantrocor.blogspot.com/2014/09/occult-in-world-orthodoxy.html
Remnant ROCOR: Occult in world-orthodoxy
MA: I do not know. You turned to the priest Gregory Williams?
RN: Master Bless. Thank you for your gracious and quick response. Yes. He has indicated that he is at a loss with this woman, who also has attacked him. Please read my thorough expose' on this woman's acitvities under the banner of your name. http://journeytoorthodoxy.blogspot.com/2014/08/blogger-troll-confesses-to-criminal.html
Journey To Orthodoxy: Blogger Troll Confesses To Criminal Record- "Big deal"
MA: I, unfortunately, do not speak English. I find it hard to understand all the details. I think it can make a priest Gregory Williams.
[I begin to use Google Translate in Russian}
RN: Thank you, Master. I hope that this translation is adequate. You can also use Google translate on the blog I posted. Father Gregory was not able to reduce the negative activities of this woman that she is doing in your name. Do you have Maverick female blogger engaged independent poisonous discourse under the banner of your ministry. It causes discord among brethren, have been undermining the church, you are looking to protect. It has become a de facto spokesman for the English-speaking world through it a couple of blogs. She enlists the aide of men, not under your pastors, to help her in the personal destruction of characters godly people. It reports to no one, not even you, as she says, to jurisdictions and bishops, as one of your members. Her most recent work is to accuse Metropolitan John of occult activity. I appeal to you to help, for the peace of the Church of Christ and the good reputation of the church you pastor.
MA: Send me an e-mail. I will send to his father Gregory Williams. We can make a statement that this source does not belong to our church. email@example.com
RN: Master Bless! I will send you by email. Pray for me, a sinner!
RN: Master Bless! I emailed you requested.
MA: Thank you, I received your letter. Send to his father Gregory Williams and I will wait for his reply.
Chat Conversation End
Dear Father Gregory... we are still waiting...
UPDATE: Father Gregory died unexpectedly in September of 2016.
UPDATE: Father Gregory died unexpectedly in September of 2016.
The letter focuses on Christie's activity on a Google blog he operates under the name Journey To Knuckleheads From The Underworld. The blog, operated under the Google name, MRXRISTIDIS, contains numerous copyrighted photos, used multiple times, and belonging to several owners, including Nathan Lee Lewis. JTO has learned that at least one other attorney, representing a copyright owner, is preparing action against Christie.
"The blog appeared about a year ago", Lewis said. "I was mortified to see personal and copyrighted photos of my wife, daughters, grandchildren and myself displayed with vitriolic and mocking captions. My copyrighted photos from my business, blog, FaceBook, and church websites were also used as defamatory memes. Christie's blatancy and disregard for the law is astounding." Lewis said.
Although Christie's Knucklehead blog is his own, he is also co-administrator of an orthodox blog, Remnant ROCOR, operated by Joanna Higginbotham of Oregon and her priest Father Gregory Williams of Liberty, Tennessee. Ms. Higgingbotham is quoted heavily on Christie's blog and she is very active in the comment section. She also endorses Christie's Knucklehead blog via a link on the Remnant ROCOR blog, with this warning: "Caution-satire." Recently the "caution-satire" was changed to simply, "humor." Both Christie and Higginbotham's internet conduct were the focus of the August 7, 2014 JTO article, Blogger Troll Confesses To Criminal Record- Big Deal,
In recent days, the Remnant ROCOR vitriolic posts, some of which also included copyrighted photos, have lessened, but Higginbotham's activity on Christie's blog have increased. Along with the link on Remnant ROCOR, Higginbotham has also posted an article specifically endorsing Christie's blog.
Lewis has confirmed that more than one legal course of action is being prepared against Christie,
Lewis has confirmed that more than one legal course of action is being prepared against Christie,
"The copyright infringement issue is only the first stage in holding Mr. Christie accountable for his illegal actions," Lewis said. "There are also numerous documented accounts of his blatant lies regarding my character and business activities. His obvious intent to do me personal and financial harm through defamation and libel will not go unanswered. I am not only confronting this for my sake but for the sake of the other good and godly people, including clergy and their families, whom Christie continues to target."
On at least five occasions, Mr. Christie deliberately obscured Lewis' copyright mark, © 2014 Nathan Lee Lewis, from the photos by using a Paint or Photoshop feature or with a black bar. The U.S. Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq, entitles a plaintiff to seek statutory damages of as much as $150,000 per act of infringement, but the intentional removal or manipulation of a copyright notice constitutes an additional, specific violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 1202(b), stating,
No person shall, without the authority of the copyright owner or the law, intentionally remove or alter any copyright management information knowing, or. with respect to civil remedies under section 1203, having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of any right under title.
The damages for violating 17 U.S.C. 1202 alone range from $2500 to $25,000 per violation, in addition to any damages for copyright infringement.
"If Christie honestly believes that he has the right of "Fair Use" of the photos", Lewis said, "then why would he take the time to obscure the copyright marks on the photos? His position certainly will not stand a legal test."
Since Mr. Christie has reportedly published upwards to 100 copyrighted photos, he may have much for which to answer, particularly if other plaintiffs take action. A legal answer from Christie has been demanded by Lewis' attorney,
"If you fail to comply with the demands in this letter on or before (omitted), (omitted) reserves the right to take all necessary action to protect its rights without further notice to you."
According to Lewis, Christie missed the deadline and has yet to respond to the attorney's letter through legal channels, but initially confirmed that he received and read the letter, with a seemingly sarcastic and mocking comment he attempted to post on the JTO blog:
"Hi Nathan. I'm trying to get the [settlement offer omitted] together but I may need more time, my blood type isn't rare so they won't pay much for it at the blood bank. Also be assured that I'm working on putting everything on my hard drive on flash drives to send to you for review. I do need to be careful though as that damn Jezebel is keeping close tabs on me and may not approve of my action to settle up with you. I have a feeling she doesn't like you as much as I do and may punish me for cooperating with your requests. Please have mercy on me. Maybe you could pray for me, I could used a mediator like you between God and myself."
As of this post, Mr. Christie has failed to voluntarily remove the copyrighted photos from his blog and, in fact, has defiantly posted a new round of copyrighted photos belonging to Lewis, followed by a posting of the attorney's letter. In the post, Christie claims his right to use the photos and his refusal to remove them.
"It doesn't surprise me that Christie has pushed back," Lewis said, "but his arrogance is obscuring clear thinking. The letter contains his home address and he posted it for all to see. A very unsafe action in today's world. With the issue now being a legal matter and with Christie's obvious defiance", Lewis said, "my attorney is preparing the first of two law suits."
It is yet to be determined if Mr. Christie will continue to defy the law and ignore the Cease and Desist demand. Time will tell, but if it doesn't, litigation certainly will.
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See Related JTO Articles:
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State Of Florida vs. Christie, Minas Michael