My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
THE GREAT SIGNIFICANCE AND NECESSITY OF
We are all witnesses to the deliberate and systematic abolishment of basic human values, ethics, and morality in today’s world. The secular world has been successful to alter definitions and understanding of what has been known throughout human history. It is a kind of global revolution to undermine and subvert everything good and sacred. This sinister effort by those in high positions of authority and power seeks to take away the ability of people to discern right from wrong, good from evil.
According to Saint John Climacus "discernment is real-self-knowledge." "It is a spiritual capacity to distinguish unfailingly what is truly good and what in nature is opposed to the good… To put the matter generally, discernment is–and is recognized to be–a solid understanding of the will of God in all times, in all places, in all things…". Without discernment, the person loses the ability to make sound decisions and avoid falling victim to perverse powers and temptations. Without discernment there is no shame, there is no self-respect, there is no dignity, there are no values, there are no principles, there is no evil, there is nothing godly, there is no faith in God, there is no compassion, there is no future, there is no salvation. Discernment is God’s gift to humanity. Discernment is our guide that leads to our Creator, to our Savior Jesus Christ, and to His Kingdom.
Discernment keeps us alert and vigilant. Saint John of Climacus says, "Alertness keeps the mind clean." Also, "Alertness is a quenching of lust, deliverance from fantasies in dreams, a tearful eye, a heart made soft and gentle, thoughts restrained, food digested, passions tamed, spirits subdued, tongue controlled, idle imaginings banished." By keeping alert always to be prepared against anything dangerous and evil. Evil can be seen everywhere and can be found in all institutions. Its aim is to corrupt and destroy the family, the school, the business, the government, the military, the individual, and even the Church if possible.
It is important to note that no one can take anything for granted. One should not become paranoid or paralyzed by fear, however, one should be always vigilant and realistic about what we are up against as people of faith. Christians know that we are engaged in spiritual warfare daily and that the enemy, the devil, and his angels, are cunning and never sleep. The evil one uses our weaknesses against us, the passions, pride, vainglory, lust for power, envy, greed, anger, etc. to attack us relentlessly.
We witness how when evil enters the family it destroys it. The means he uses is the disrespect and rebelliousness of the children toward their parents, the lack of love, the lack of faith, the lack of responsibility, the lack of unity, the lack of prayer, the lack of worship, the lack of sacramental life, selfishness, materialism, individualism, divorce, abuse, lack of discipline, and the lack of order and stability. Alertness and awareness are necessary to avoid falling in the traps set for us by our enemy. For the Orthodox Christian problems and all other challenges are resolved by turning to our Savior Jesus Christ and seeking His Divine wisdom, guidance, and protection.
It is clear to all that nothing is safe and secure any longer. We see Christians of various backgrounds who had once true guidance by their church leadership but who are now influenced by evil and teach things contrary to God’s Commandments and law. Because of this, the result is confusion, scandal, division, corruption, and disillusionment within that religious community. The misguided and perverse religious leadership brought about the destruction of this Christian body. The truth is that the leaders of this Christian community lost their way and instead chose to follow the way of the world. They cease to have fear of God.
Evil has no power of its own, it’s only when we abdicate from God and relinquish our power to him. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ destroyed the power of Satan. However, he never stops either tempting us or influencing our thoughts, our decisions, and our actions. When we stupidly invite him into our lives, our schools, our families, our churches, he then takes control and takes charge. Church leaders are human beings with the same weaknesses, the same ambitions, the same passions, the same aspirations, the same imperfections, the same motivations, and the same character flows. They are just as susceptible to evil as all of us are. Over the centuries we have seen many, even in the highest church office fall into heresy and other vices. No one is immune from evil influence. This is why we must stay alert and pray for God’s give of discernment (διάκρισις).
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George