Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Politicizing the Gospel
The Gospel of Christ, and Politics

It is deeply disturbing to me to have witnessed the politicizing of Christianity in this nation. The conjoining of politics and faith have led to a polarization of our nation that has not been seen since just prior to the Civil War. In our having politicized Christianity, we've reduced the Gospel of Christ to a battle between political and social issues that have alienated many from the ultimate message of Christ, that we are in need of redemption, and that repentance and conversion of heart are to become the priority of each and every one of us.

By insisting that we are still a Christian nation, we've allowed a polarization to take place that has pushed Christianity to the brink, having linked values, and moral teachings that are based on the Gospels, while the world around us has become jaded, even hostile, to whatever the Church has to say. Thus, the primary message of the Gospel is dismissed, before people can even be brought through the door of our temples.

Today's youth are leaving Christianity in droves, as has been demonstrated in the demographics of  America's "Bible Belt". The number of young people, even in the conservative South, who are giving birth out of wedlock, or having abortions, has skyrocketed. The support of civil marriage for same sex partners, has increased dramatically. These moral issues are of course a concern for Christians, but our acceptance of the moral standards set forth in the Scriptures, are received by us, not as law, but as a result of our personal encounter with Christ. Legislative action ignores the fact that Christ changes the heart, and a society that is to be transformed, must see this transformation take place in the hearts of its people. For we Christians to foist our beliefs upon the nation, only creates resentment, and Christophobia.

Society must be transformed, but it can not be done by force of law. It must be done by bringing Christ to the center of our national scene. This can only be done when Christian love and charity rule, and when the nation can see in it's Christian peoples, an honesty of heart, and a authentic witness to Christ, that is not based on an angry polarization that contributes nothing but distrust, and disunity.

Chuck Colson, who was one of President Nixon's Watergate people, and who, during his incarceration in prison, converted to Christ, said:
“We made a big mistake in the ’80s by politicizing the Gospel … We [thought] that we could solve the deteriorating moral state of our culture by electing good guys. That’s nonsense. Now people are kind of realizing it was a mistake." Change must begin with us, not with our society. Laws will not make this a Christian nation, for many of these very laws some politicians would enact, are also the basis of Islamic law. Biblical morality can only become an integral part of our nation, when we, as a people, have taken Christ into our hearts, and allowed the Holy Spirit to change us.

As Christians, we must not detract from the central message of the Gospels, by making it appear to be a part of one political party. To do so, will eventually lead to the total discrediting of the institution of the Church. History has proven, time and again, that the Church must remain aloof from political parties, or movements, for when the party is out of office, so is the Church's influence. Christianizing of a nation can not be the result of legislation. It must come with the conversion of its people.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


Our monastery's bees are healthy, and hard at work this Spring!

Tuesday April 24, 2012 / April 11, 2012
Radonitsa, or Day of Rejoicing. Commemoration of the Dead. Tone one.

Hieromartyr Antipas, bishop of Pergamus (92), disciple of St. John the Theologian.
Martyrs Peter and Prokhor (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1938).
Venerable James, abbot of Zhelezny Bor (1442), and his fellow-ascetic St. James.
St. Barsanuphius, bishop of Tver (1576).
Martyrs Processus and Martinian of Rome (67).
Venerable Pharmuthius, anchorite of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable John, disciple of Venerable Gregory of Decapolis (820).
Venerables Euthymius (1456) and Chariton (1509), abbots of Syanzhema (Vologda).
St. Callinicus of Cernica, bishop of Rimnic in Romania (1868) (Romania).
Venerable Guthlac, hermit of Crowland (714) (Celtic & British).
Hieromartyr Domninus, bishop of Salona in Dalmatia, and eight soldiers with him (100).
St. Philip, bishop of Gortyna, Crete (180).

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

We are hoping to retire the mortgage debt of $250,000.00. Having this hanging over our heads, and knowing the bank owns the monastery, is not a good thing. Your prayers are most appreciated, as we need a miracle.

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

Acts 4:1-10

Peter and John Arrested

Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

Addressing the Sanhedrin

And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

John 3:16-21

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

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