My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
"For God is NOT a God of confusion but of peace…all things
should be done decently and in order." (1 Cor. 14:33-40)
Writing to the Thessalonians, Saint Paul exhorts them "We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that YOU WITHDRAW FROM EVERY BROTHER WHO WALKS DISORDERLY AND NOT ACCORDING TO THE TRADITION WHICH IS RECEIVED FROM US. For you, yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were NOT DISORDERLY AMONG YOU" (2 Thessalonians 3:6-7). It is absolutely true that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we all adhere to Holy Tradition as it is present in the Apostles’ writings and as it is resident in the Holy Orthodox Church to which the Truth is promised. In the Gospel of Saint John, we hear the Lord Himself say: "However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will s3:3peak" (John 16:13). Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit there is no disorder or confusion within the Holy Church of God for the Church is guided "INTO ALL TRUTH."
The followers of Jesus Christ, the Christian believers, know with all certainty that any disorder no matter where it is comes from the evil one. Disorder exists where there is a lack of faith and lack of obedience to God’s commandments. The Evil One creates conflict and chaos and destroys any possibility of unity and peace because he works with lies and deception. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself describes all that we need to know about the devil. He says to His enemies that wish to kill Him, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer FROM THE BEGINNING AND DOES NOT STAND IN THE TRUTH, BECAUSE THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. When he speaks A LIE, HE SPEAKS FROM HIS OWN RESOURCES, FO RHE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF IT. BUT BECAUSE I TELL THE TRUTH, YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME" (John 8:44-45).
The world is witnessing and experiencing blatant evil that comes from evildoers. Saint Paul prays, "that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and GUARD YOU FROM THE EVIL ONE" (2 Thessalonians 3:2-3). Vigilance and discerning are absolutely necessary today for humanity are in grave danger by the evil one. Because of the current technology evil is easier to spread and more convincing. Due to this fact, people are confused, mislead, and feel unable to discern the truth from falsehood. Those that remain true to our Lord Jesus Christ should seek the guidance of our Holy Orthodox Church.
The evil one has been emboldened by the lack of faith among the people. We, Orthodox Christians, must not be like those "whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine on them" (2 Corinthians 4:4), Instead, let us strive to avoid darkness and evil and seek to "cleanse ourselves" and that by the "promises" of God we embark on a sustained struggle for "holiness." This cleansing includes genuine repentance, sorrow for our sins, and confession. It also means a willful avoidance of sin-arousing situations, reconciliation with those we have wronged, the sincere resolute practice of Christian virtue, and of cleaving to our Fashioner through faith and prayer.
Furthermore, it takes a personal commitment and effort on our part to accomplish anything of value. It calls us to participate in the Holy Mysteria (Sacraments). Is all this too difficult for us humans? Perhaps. We need to understand that it is God the Holy Spirit, Who cleanses us from every stain and heals our infirmities, Who empowers us to live this life of peace with God and repentance before Him. After all, we must know that we are enmeshed in a spiritual war. Our Adversary, our enemy is very cunning and dangerous. We must have the necessary weapons to fight him off. Saint Paul reminds us, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4).
Be aware that wherever there is strife, lies, deception, manipulation, greed, confusion, defective logic, immorality, deception, distortion, division, hate, anger, disorder, conflict among the people, injustice, indecency, and unkindness, the evil one is present and thriving. It does not matter where is its origin and who is advocating it. Saint John Chrysostom writes, "Nothing builds up as much as good order, peace, and love, just as nothing is more destructive than their opposites. It is not only in spiritual affairs but in everything that one may observe this." It is very evident that those people who have evil intentions are those who create dissension among them. Those who are guilty of creating dissensions and disturbances in the Church are the ones who seem to be what they are not. There is no doubt that there are those who have taken the side of our evil adversary that wish to drive the Orthodox Christians away from Christ and the Holy Church and divide them.
Schisms within the Church are evil and must not exist at all. It is tragic when Orthodox Christians are not able to feel like brothers and sisters among them. To be separated because of religious leaders who have a secret agenda to undermine the Church of Christ. There have been many schisms over the centuries and the result has always been disorder within the Church. Scisms bring pain and hurt among the people of God who love each other. The Orthodox Christian Church is led by the Holy Spirit Who is the Spirit of Love, Peace, Unity, Order, Salvation, and our Comforter. We pray to Him:
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth,
Thou art everywhere and fill all things.
Treasury of blessing and Giver of Life: come
and abide in us, and cleanse us from every
impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!
Anything that is contrary to His Mission is evil and sinful. Discord does not belong within the Holy Orthodox Church and it must be stopped immediately for those who are responsible will give an accounting to Him both here and on Judgment Day. These people do not yet realize that they are playing with fire. Our Almighty God knows everything, including our very thoughts and what is hidden in our hearts. There is nothing hidden before Him. His timing is perfect and since we believe that He is the Only Head of His Church, He will protect her and us, as He has throughout time and centuries. The time will come when all that wish to destroy His Church will be exposed like so many heretics over the centuries and they will be punished severely.
Let us turn and pray! "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy,
according to t the multitude of Your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and
cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions and my sin is
ever before me…" (Psalm 51 .
"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