My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
THE SACRED CANONS OF THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH
What a Canon is
A Canon, according to Zonoras (in his interpretation of the 39th letter of Saint Athanasius the Great), properly speaking and in the main sense of the word, is a piece of wood, commonly called A RULE, which artisans use to get the wood and stone they are working on STRAIGHT. For, when they place the rule (or straightedge) against their work, if this is CROOKED, INWARDS, OR OUTWARDS, THEY MAKE IT STRAIGHT AND RIGHT. From this, by METAPHORICAL extension, votes, and decisions are also CALLED CANONS, whether they are of the Holy Apostles of the Ecumenical and regional Synods (Councils) or of those of individual Holy Fathers of the Church.
Our Holy Orthodox Eastern Church of Christ resembles A LARGE SHIP. Just as a ship has its captain, and helm by which it IS DIRECTED and GUIDED SAFELY TO ITS DESTINATION, SO IN LIKE MANNER THE Holy Church of Christ has her Captain, crew, and helm by which she is guided to THE DESIRED SPIRITUAL HARBOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION. The Church can no more do without these than a ship at sea. She is likely TO MEET HER ETERNAL DESTRUCTION WITHOUT THEM, THE HOLY CANONS, IN THE SAME WAY, THAT A SHIP RUNS THE DANGER OF DISASTER WHEN DEPRIVED OF THEM.
Her Divine Captain is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and her Crew the Clergy and the Laity (Orthodox Christian believers); but what is her Helm or RUDDER? It is the Sacred Book, The Rudder, which embodies the Holy Tradition of the Church, namely the Sacred Canons of the Holy Glorious Apostles, of the Seven Holy Ecumenical and Local Synods (Councils), and of the God-bearing Fathers, as well as the invaluable interpretation and commentary of the most holy Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain. "This Book," he states, "COMES AFTER THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, THE Old and New Testaments. It is a book OF INSPIRED SAYINGS second to the first inspired sayings. It is the book of the eternal limits set by our Holy Fathers and of the laws existing unto eternity and above all laws,"
This Sacred Book is truly the "PIDALION" ("RUDDER") or HELM OF THE ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH which throughout the ages GUIDES HER FAITHFUL CHILDREN TO THE HAVEN OF GOD’S BLESSINGS. All members of the Holy Orthodox Church MUST "EMBRACE THESE DIVINE CANONS AND ADHERE TO THEM TENACIOUSLY, AS EXPOUNDED BY THE TRUMPETS OF THE SPIRIT OF THE LAUDABLE APOSTLES, OF THE HOLY ECUMENICAL AND LOCAL SYNODS (COUNCILS), which have assembled for the promulgation of such precepts, and of those of our Holy Fathers. ILLUMINED BY THE SAME SPIRIT, THEY HAVE ALL ENACTED WHAT IS PROFITABLE TO US."
CONCERNING THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
Jesus Christ FOUNDED ONE CHURCH through the Holy Apostles on the day of the Holy Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit DESCENDED in the form of fiery tongues upon His Disciples and Apostles (Acts 2:1) and this Spirit has REMAINED ITS Lord (2 Corinthians 3:17) even since then. Thus it came to be denominated "the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ." But because HERESIES AROSE in the second and third centuries, or before, and continued to make their appearance on down to the 8th century, the Church, led by the Holy Spirit, CONDEMNED HERESIES AND EXCOMMUNICATED HERETICS BY DECREES OF SEVEN ECUMENICAL SYNODS (General Councils), as had been written: "Wisdom hath buildeth herself a house (the Church), and hath propped it with seen pillars…" (Proverbs 9:1). [Note: Jesus Christ DEFEATED the Devil by His death on the Cross, but God left the Devil free to evade justice UNTIL THE Seed of Christ shall conquer the seed of the Devil.) [Genesis 3:14]. The Seven Synods DOGMATIZED THE DOGMAS TO BE BELIEVED, THEY MYSTERIES (SACRAMENTS) TO BE CELEBRATED, AND THE COMMANDMENTS TO BE KEPT. The Church was therefore further denominated "Orthodox," IN ORDER TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE HETERODOX HERETICAL bodies. Accordingly, IT WILL REMAIN THE SAME FOREVER, AS PREDICTED IN THE WORDS OF THE Lord, who said: "And the gates of hell (vis. the mouths of heretics shall NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT" (St. Matthew 16:18). Hence it is evident that Orthodoxy is the Apostolic Church which was FOUNDED BY JESUS CHRIST and which was PERFECTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE holy Apostles. Whatever if perceived from the Apostles and the Seven Ecumenical Synods IT HAS PRESERVED INTACT AND UNADULTERATED BY ANY HERESY OR DELUSION, AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO PRESERVE IT FOREVER. (Source: The Rudder)
I am bringing the above information on the Sacred Canons to your attention because there are questionable element within the Church which are deliberately and perhaps even in a stealthy way to render them useless and ‘anachronistic’. In other words to dismiss them altogether as unenforceable in today’s modern world. As a matter of fact, an important religious leader in our Church a few years ago made the statement to mix gathering of clergy and laity "that if we cannot enforce or implement all of them we should not implement any of them." I also learned in one of our Patriarchates in Europe an anonymous donor paid for the printing of the Rudder so as to give every priest in this Patriarchate a free copy of this most important book and sadly and tragically the Rudder was discarded.
Most Orthodox faithful have no knowledge of the Sacred Canons contained in the book "The Rudder" and its great importance, however, it should be known to the Clergy through their theological studies in Orthodox Seminaries throughout the world. Everyone should the grave consequences of the absence of the Sacred Canons and implementation from the Church. It means that we will be leaving the Orthodox Church without any protection against heretics and heresies which will devastate our Church and bring destruction from within. Perhaps will end up like the Protestants and have so many schisms and denominations within our Church that it will cease to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ. The Holy Church of Christ has had very enemies from within and from without throughout its life and history. Why would anyone desire to create chaos and devastation with it now? Is it because the Orthodox Church is the ONLY CHRISTIAN BODY that is standing firm and loyal to her Founder and Head Jesus Christ? Evil forces want to demolish it or level it from within AND CREATE DIVISION AND ANARCHY. The Orthodox Church is preventing the demonic forces to fulfill and succeed with their global agenda to annihilate Christianity altogether because it’s the only obstacle to their sinister plan of world domination.
It is therefore imperative that Clergy and Laity be educated on the Sacred Canons of our Holy Orthodox Church and by the grace of God to protect and preserve the Truth and keep the ‘ARK OF SALVATION" AFLOAT and on the way to HER DESTINATION, THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
"Glory Be To GOD