Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Qur'an vs. Bible: continued
My Personal Commitment to Love Everyone

On Tuesday of this week I posted on my blog, two quotations, one from the Holy Bible and one from the Qur'an. Titled  "Qur'an vs. Bible", I said nothing, letting the quotations speak for themselves. The ensuing firestorm that followed was not unexpected, I will admit, but when I received telephoned death threat of beheading, for "daring to quote the Holy Qur'an without understanding the Holy Qur'an, and disparaging the Prophet", I decided to pull the posting from my facebook page. 

I am not afraid of dying for Christ, for dying a martyrs death for Christ's sake, is to gain eternal life. I've often thought such a death might be my only way of getting into heaven. However, I do not want to bring harm to my monks, nor do I feel called by God to wage war against the religion of Islam.

I do feel called by God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, giving witness through my blog articles and through my podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio, of the saving grace that comes with a life committed to my Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am compelled to share with others the truth that is found in the Orthodox Faith, the very Church founded by Christ. But most importantly, I am compelled to share the love of Christ Jesus, the Saviour Who gave His life for the salvation of the world.

The peace that is mine, living the contemplative life of a monk, is all that I need in this life. The joy that has entered my heart because I have a relationship with a God Who has condescended to join His divinity with our humanity, in the person of Jesus Christ, is all that I could ever want in this life, and I am compelled by love to share this Christ with others.

I did not choose Christ, but He chose me. It is not I who can convert others to this Christ, but the Holy Spirit Who converts. Love is the mark of a Christian, and I believe with my whole heart that I must shine forth the love of Christ in the way I live my life, and in all that I say, write, and do. That others would see anything other than this love, by what I write, is painful to me.

From this day forward, I will write nothing about Islam that can possibly be seen as an attack on this religion, or on the people who adhere to this religion. I will refrain from making any observations that can be seen as critical of Islam. I will, however, continue to bring attention to the suffering of my Coptic and Syrian brothers and sisters who endure persecution, suffering and death, because of their Christian faith.

It is still my prayer that God will open doors that will lead to dialogue and friendship with members of the Muslim faith, and that I will one day be able to count among my friends, an imam. Meanwhile, I will continue to pray for peace in this world, and for a peaceful coexistence between people of faith, regardless of our differences. The bottom line is, we are all creatures of the Most High God, and are loved by God. We are all called to love one another, and to be good to each other. Peace must begin with me.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday June 6, 2013 / May 24, 2013
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.

Venerable Symeon Stylites (the Younger) of the Wonderful Mountain (596).
Venerable Nicetas Stylites, wonderworker of Pereyaslavl-Zalesski (1186).
St. Xenia of Petersburg, fool-for-Christ (Glorification 1988).
Martyrs Meletius Stratelates, Stephen, John, and 1,218 soldiers with women and children, including: Serapion the Egyptian, Callinicus the Magician, Theodore, Faustus, the women Marciana, Susanna, and Palladia, two children Cyriacus and Christian, and twelve tribunes: Faustus, Festus, Marcellus, Theodore, Meletius, Sergius, Marcellinus, Felix, Photinus, Theodoriscus, Mercurius, Didymus, all of whom suffered in Galatia (218).
St. Gregory, archbishop of Novgorod (1193).
Venerable Vincent of Lerins (ca. 450).
Nun-martyr Martha, abbess of Monemvasia (990).
You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.

THANKS 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

The Scripture Readings

Acts 14:20-27

20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Strengthening the Converts

21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.
27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

John 9:39-10:9

39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Jesus the True Shepherd

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

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

Ancient Faith Radio live call-in with Abbot Tryphon,
Sunday, June 9th
Guest: The V. Rev. Father Tryphon, a monk for almost thirty years, and co-founder and abbot of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, WA. Abbot Tryphon speaks with host Kevin Allen of Ancient Faith Radio about all aspects of (Orthodox Christian) monasticism in the 21 century (and perhaps some of his interesting personal journey story).

It will be a live stream -- as AFR is recording it -- but will also be available later as a download on AFR and the AFT archives.

It will stream live via Internet on Ancient Faith Radio TALK is 5 PM - 6:30 PM Pacific (US); 6 PM Mountain; 7 PM Central; and, 8 PM (- 9:30 PM) Eastern.

For foreign countries, please refer to the US standard times and adjust accordingly.

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