Saturday, September 28, 2013

He Who Endures To The End Will be Saved-Has Reverend Graham Endured In Truth?

Dr. Schuller: "Tell me, what is the future of Christianity?" 

Dr. Graham: "Well, Christianity and being a true believer, you know, I think there's the body of Christ which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James, in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for his name. And that's what God is doing today. He's calling people out of the world for His name. Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don't have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they're saved and that they're going to be with us in heaven." 

Dr. Schuller: "What I hear you saying is that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into a human heart and soul and life even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?" 

Dr. Graham: "Yes it is because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, have never heard of Jesus but they've believed in their hearts that there is a God and they tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived." 

Dr. Schuller: "This is fantastic. I'm so thrilled to hear you say that. There's a wideness in God's mercy. 

Dr. Graham: There is. There definitely is."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ancient Faith in Arkansas

Several Months ago I heard of an Orthodox layman who had the vision to build a temple with his own resources. This Greek man had met and married a southern girl from Arkansas. Finding no Orthodox presence there, the man and his wife decided to build a temple-"build it and they will come." [More of the story HERE] I had the opportunity to visit the site when it was being constructed, and returned only recently to see the completed project. It was named Saint Matthew the Evangelist Church. It was awe-inspiring. I had just completed the video log below when a man drove up and introduced himself as a "member" of the church. He offered to show me the inside. I talked with the humble tour guide for 20 minutes before I realized that I was meeting the layman who had built the temple--he did not want to talk of his participation in the building of the temple and was chagrined that anything had been posted regarding his identity--All glory to God--was his heart. I was moved that God had allowed me to meet this layman with a vision and was moved to tears by his humility. I discovered that a number of people are now attending on a regular basis and priests from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece are celebrating the Liturgy. He built it and they did come!

I, too have a vision--as should all of us, to evangelize every community in which we live. Our vision should be God's vision and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. 

In America the opportunities are such that we should not be content to remain in house churches. We certainly should not despise small beginnings, but the word "beginnings" infers that something comes after that. Without a vision the people perish. 

Ask God for a vision. No matter how impossible it seems-believe and you will receive. Preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Commemorating Saint Moses The Black

St. Moses the Black, Troparion, in Tone I —
A desert-dweller, an angel in the flesh/ and a wonderworker wast thou shown to be,/ O our God-bearing father Moses./ For, having acquired heavenly gifts through fasting, vigilance and prayer,/ thou dost heal the infirm/ and the souls of those who have recourse to thee with faith./ Glory to Him Who gaveth thee ( strength!/ Glory to Him Who crowned thee!// Glory to Him Who worketh healings for all through thee!

Kontakion, in Tone IV —
Having beaten the Moors and spat in the faces of the demons,/ thou didst shine forth noetically like the radiant sun,// directing our lives by the light of thy life and thy teaching.

The Saints of the Kiev Caves, Troparion, in Tone IV —
Let us honor today the noetic sun and the radiant moon of the first leaders of the Caves, with the whole assembly of the venerable; for, illumining the firmament of the Church, they enlighten those who languish in the darkness of the passions, and by their supplications they grant help from Christ God amid all tribulations, and ask deliverance for our souls.

Kontakion, in Tone VIII —
O venerable saints of the Caves, favorites of God chosen from among the generations of men, who in the virtues shone forth upon these mountains: the earth did not conceal you, but heaven hath been opened unto you as a dwelling in paradise; wherefore, on the day of your commemoration we offer up hymns of praise unto God Who hath glorified you. As ye have boldness, by your supplications deliver from all misfortunes us who honor your assembly, for ye are our helpers and mediators before God.

Please continue to pray for the Moses The Black-The Movie.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

501 c3 A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing- UPDATED 7/2/15

UPDATE 7/2/2015: Government Crusade Against Churches Begins With Removal Of Non-Profit Status - Click HERE To Read




The Founding Fathers assured that the Church would always be separate from the state and thus not regulated nor controlled by it. Churches are inherently exempt from IRS control or regulation. In a word, the Church does not need the permission nor approval of the United States Government to exist or operate.

Then why has the Eastern Orthodox Church and all SCOBA jurisdictions, and many True Orthodox Churches sold their souls and futures to the government by way of asking the United States Government for permission to exist, thus being regulated by its mandates? This has been done by voluntarily becoming 501c 3 Corporations. The Church would do well to incorporate the words of our Lord:

"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's,and to God the things that are God's." Matt 22:21

"I am not the only IRS employee who’s wondered why churches go to the government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn’t owe to begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they’ve always had anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique position, but they don’t seem to know or appreciate the implications of what it would mean to be free of government control." (from the Forward of In Caesar's Grip, by Peter Kershaw)

"It is impossible to have religious freedom in any nation where churches are licensed to the government. George Hansen, Member of Congress (ret.)

"When a church accepts the 501c 3 status, that church:
  • Waives its freedom of speech.
  • Waives its freedom of religion.
  • Waives its right to influence legislators and the legislation they craft.
  • Waives its constitutionally guaranteed rights.
  • Is no longer free to speak to the vital issues of the day.
  • Becomes controlled by a spirit of fear that if it doesn’t toe the line with the IRS it will lose its tax-exempt status.
  • Becomes a State-Church.
From this case we learn that:
  • A corporation is “a creature of the State.”
  • The State is "sovereign" over the corporation.
  • The corporation is “incorporated for the benefit of the public.”
  • corporation is a State “franchise.”
  • Incorporation is a State “privilege.”
  • A corporation is “subject to the laws of the State.”
  • “Its powers are limited by law.”
  • It must “obey the laws of its creation.”
  • A corporation has no constitutionally-protected rights." (From
Here is the IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A) concerning Churches:

Special rules with respect to section 501 (c)(3) organizations

(a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501 (c) (3) status

c) Exceptions

(1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to-

(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches

The IRS code for churches simply states that,


Notice that the IRS code does not say churches are "exempt", it says they are EXCEPTIONS to the IRS Government regulation. The IRS has no authority to "exempt" churches. It is not for them to say. The reason is:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"

The Church's sovereign authority is God. So, once again, why are Orthodox Churches in America 501c 3's?

All Metropolitans of all jurisdictions in the United States, all SCOBA representatives, priests, churches, missions, foundations of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Orthodox Church, should remove themselves from the control of the United States Government, resending their 501c 3 status. Do not listen to tax experts or attorneys who may tell you "501c 3's are a good thing and allows the church many liberties". They are either deceived or are deceivers. They are, in effect, wolves in sheep's clothing. They would have you sell your birthright for a mess of pottage.

The continued oppression of the Church in America will continue as subterfuge. 

All religion is being systematically removed from government and public life along with participation of Christian individuals and entities. Any and all things Christian that do not accept the politically correct morality will be deemed as breaking the law. It will in effect become illegal to speak or practice any form of public Christianity. It is the oppressed Christians of other countries of the world who look at the Christians in the United States and say, 

"You fools! Do you not see. Have you not learned from our demise, our plight, our oppression?"

The blindness that has allowed many churches of the United States of America to come under government domination has extended to the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church should lead out in this effort for all peoples of faith to break free of the legal government entanglement, for there will come a time when the noose will be tightened, the rules rewritten based on popular practice and the snare will be set. The Church has been of such little effect in America, allowing it to descend into the depths of depravity and humanistic control because the Church has partnered with evil, submitting to other gods. For those Christians who would refer to Paul's admonition in Romans Chapter 13 that "whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God" and to "render to all their due: taxes to who taxes are due...need to realize that in America, where the Church is concerned, THEY ARE NOT DUE! The church is God's not Caesar's. To be married to the state in this way is for the bride of Christ to commit adultery.

Patriarchs! Metropolitans! Bishops! Priests! Deacons! Laymen! Purify the body of Christ and be holy even as He is holy. Lift up your voices in your meetings, your counsels, your churches, your seminaries, to free the Church from the voluntary submission to the domination of an entity other than the God we serve. In this way the Church will flourish in this country and hearts and governments will be revived to the will of God.

Be in this world but not of it. 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Is God Mad At You?

"Moreover, the very concept of "anger" in relation to God is conditional and anthropomorphic, as we learn from the teaching of Saint Anthony the Great, who says: "God is good, dispassionate and immutable. Now someone who thinks it reasonable and true to affirm, that God does not change, may well ask how in that case, it is possible to speak of God as rejoicing over those who are good and showing mercy to those who honor Him, while turning away from the wicked and being angry with sinners. To this it must be answered that God neither rejoices nor grows angry, for to rejoice and to be offended are passions; nor is He won over by the gifts of those who honor Him, for that would mean He is swayed by pleasure...He is good, and He only Bestows blessings and never does harm, remaining always the same. We men, on the other hand if we remain good through resembling God, are united to Him; but if we become evil through not resembling God, we are separated from Him. By living in holiness, we cleave to God, we are separated from Him. By living in holiness, we cleave to God; but by becoming wicked we make Him our enemy. It is not that He grows angry with us in an arbitrary way, but it is our own sins that prevent God from shining within us, and expose us to the demons that punish us. And if through prayer and acts of compassion we gain release from our sins, this does not mean that we have won God over and have made Him change, but that through our actions and our turning to God we have cured our wickedness and so once more have enjoyment of God's goodness. Thus to say that God turns away from the wicked is like saying the sun hides itself from the blind" (Philokaloa, Vol 1, Text 150; Engl. tr. by Palmer-Sherrard-Ware, p. 352). (Entire excerpt from Orthodox Dogmatic Theology p. 350, by Father Michael Pomazansky, Transated and Edited by Heirmonk Seraphim Rose)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Does The Church Denounce The Performing Arts?

Excerpt from The Orthodox Pastoral Service by Professor Archimandrite Cyprian (Kern) Translated from Russian by Tatiana Pavlova:

The Gospel clearly indicates that the world lies in the evil, that the sin penetrates everywhere, that it is necessary to observe ourselves and to walk “not as foolish, but as wise” and not to become a part of the affairs of darkness. All temptations of the heathen world of “the disorderly cries and drunkenness” must be removed away from Christianity, especially from each pastor. But must we add to this all pleasure, happiness or normal human entertainments? Does the Gospel oppose all merriment? Must we then forbid all happiness, and turn the sermon of salvation thus to a gloomy cloud covering all life? Is it instructive to banish from the whole life or only from priestly habit all entertainment, merriment and searching for the beautiful in life? Must Savonarola be acknowledged as the ideal of the priestly service?

It is hardly necessary to prove that rigorism is not characteristic of the spirit of the Gospel. The example of the Savior, Who attended the suppers of simple people, marriage meals and nowhere denounced merriment, beauty, innocent pleasures of life, — does not justify of the gloomy attitude of the pastors of Savonarola’s type, typical of the Latins, Archimandrite Photius (Spassky) and Constantine Matveevsky.

But if merriment, pleasures, entertainment, and beauty are not forbidden for the simple people, for the flock, then how will a pastor who condemns everything, except piety in the narrow sense, soul saving literature and divine services, be able to understand his flock, how will he not repel it from himself? A priest who values music, theater, exhibitions of pictures and literature only as the evil charms of the devil, will never understand his flock, which lives by these interests. The flock will only stand away and fear such a priest, afraid of his censure and strict scolding at every turn. Such a priest will never be able to understand his flock, or give useful advice about whether one or another phenomenon is good or bad, if they ask him for such advice.
The sharpest is the question about the theater. In writings of the fathers, especially in Tertullian and Chrysostom this kind of art meets only irreconcilable and extreme denouncement. How many bitter words Tertullian said to the lovers of theatrical shows! How he condemns all the actors, gladiators, and musicians into eternal fire! Chrysostom is not much softer. But it is necessary to recall what the theater of their times was and whether there exists a certain difference with our operas, dramas and comedies.

If the theater of the second to fourth centuries were, as the folk shows of the Byzantine middle ages, full of rough and sensual details, resembling heathen bacchanalias, this is why the Apostle could speak at that time about “the disorderly cries, yelling and drunkenness” that could not serve to the ennobling of dispositions, and why the church condemned all this and warned the faithful not to fall into this explicit temptation. But theatrical art has something else; if offers medieval mysteries, different religious dramatizations, known in the West and East. These arts came to us through Kiev and Little Russia, but it happened absolutely legally, and the Church was sufficiently opened-minded to tolerate them and even to patronize them. Furthermore, it is necessary to have a look at the historical perspective: the theater of Tertullian’s epoch was full of erotic, immoral elements. The repertoire of our days contains many vulgar and obscene things. However, along with the frivolous repertoire and tempting plays, theatrical literature gave us an enormous number of excellent, purely artistic works. Shakespeare, Racine, Sheller, Pushkin, Chekhov and many others raise the soul above rough feelings, force us to think about something higher, take the spectator away into some other world, distant from banality and prose. It would not occur to sober thinking people to place the opera of our days, the Artistic Theater and serious symphonic concerts with those plays by mimes, gladiators and Bacchanailan dances. If we add to this that the artists themselves very frequently were and are deeply religious persons (Savina, Yermolova, Butova, Sadovskaya, etc.) who served the theater as a form of art, then any generalizations must be made with caution.

Saint Moses Says...

Moses The Black--Moses The Strong--Moses The Ethiopian

"Brethren and Fathers, humility humbles the demons and vainglory exalts them. Whoever deprives himself of esteem and is humble of speech weakens the demon’s power. Whoever is not lowly of mind is mocked by demons. Also, the Lord will not listen, nor receive his petition to whomever prays and does not fix in his mind his own sinfulness. Everyone must keep before his eyes his transgressions and shameless conduct, so as not to judge others in the least, and to fulfill the salvific command of the Redeemer: “Judge not lest you be judged.” Then it is certain that he will be saved in the end."

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Give Account For Yourself, Not Others

When will we love people more than we love debating jurisdictional disputes? When will our face to the world look like Christ rather than our chosen jurisdictional logos? When will we pursue the unity of the whole Church over the unity of our own cloistered friends? When will we cease sewing seeds of discord among the brethren?

"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."

"Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written:

“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way."