Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Second Look

Natural Disasters and the Human Condition

After re-reading my post, and hearing from some trusted readers, I would like to clarify my thoughts concerning yesterday's posting. I'm deeply sorry my article did not more clearly impart the Orthodox view of cause and effect. God does not cause natural disasters, we do. We have fallen short, and there are consequences. Before the fall there was no death, no suffering, no earthquakes, no hurricanes. After the fall we did not inherit the sin of the First Born, but rather the results of their sin, death. Death entered our world, and our struggle to live according to God's ultimate, and original plan, is a journey to reclaim our true nature, and restore communion with God.

Our mismanagement of the environment is the cause of global warming, not God's judgement. Our hatred of others, and our greed, is the cause of wars. Our selfish desire for personal fulfillment is the root cause of the high abortion rate. Our Western over-consumption has depleted much of the world's natural resources, and subsequently hurt the environment. The poverty suffered by much of the world's population is the result of the hording of global resources, allowing others to remain poor, while the treasures of others increase.

Did God send down the horrible storm upon the East Coast of the United States because of our sin? No. We are the cause of the extreme climate change. Just as we Orthodox do not believe God has created a place called "hell" in order to punish bad people, we do not believe God creates storms to kill people. That the Creator God allows bad things to happen is a given, for the freedom of choice we have as beings created in His image and likeness results in our suffering the consequences of our actions. 

No one will be sent to a place called "hell", for such a place does not exist. Rather, some will spend eternity in the presence of God, and hate it, experiencing God's fire as burning, because they lived egocentric lives devoid of love for God and neighbor.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Next Saturday:
The Planting of a Monastery (chapter 12)

Wednesday October 31, 2012 / October 18, 2012
22nd Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke (1st c.).
Translation of the relicts (2001) of Venerable Joseph of Volokolamsk (1515).
New Hieromartyrs Andrew,Serius, Nicholas and Sergius priests, Virgin-martyr Elizabeth (1937).
Martyr Marinus the Elder at Anazarbus (4th c.).
Venerable Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia (4th c.) and Venerable Didymus the Blind.
Martyr Chrysa (Zlata or Golda) of Bulgaria (1795).
Venerable David, abbot, of Serpukhov (1520).
Hieromartyr Mnason, bishop of Cyprus (1st c.) (Greek).
New Martyrs Gabriel and Cirmidol of Egypt (1522) (Greek).
Venerables Symeon, Theodore (monks), and Euphrosyne, who found the Icon of the Mother of God in the Great Cave of Peloponnesus (9th c.) (Greek).
St. Peter of Cetinje, metropolitan of Montenegro, Serbia (1830) (Serbia).
Sts. Gwen and Selevan, martyred Welsh missionaries, in Brittany. (Celtic & British).

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

For those who would like to be kept informed about the persecution that is taking place against Christians throughout the Middle East, I recommend you subscribe to:

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

Colossians 3:17-4:1

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

The Christian Home

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
4 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Luke 9:44-50

44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

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

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for "revisiting" yesterday's blog, but today's blog opens up a completely different set of questions:

    If the Orthodox do not believe in hell as a literal place, like the Protestants do, then what do they understand Rev. 20:12-15 to mean?

    Also, what is the point of anyone being judged, if not to suffer some sort of consequences?

    I am really confused here.


    A Vancouverite