My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
THE DISTORTED IMAGE OF CHRIST
Church history reveals that from the earliest times of her existence, the Church dealt with various deviations from the truth and evoked a bitter battle within the Church. Just in the first three centuries, the heresies spread their influence among the people. By the 4th century, certain heresies had seized about half the Roman Empire and caused an immense effort of the Church’s strength to do battle with them. If the Church had remained indifferent to these heresies from the truth, the damage would be incalculable. However, the Church with the help of the epistles of bishops, the exhortations, and ex-communications of local and regional synods (and, beginning with the 4th century of Ecumenical Synods), brought "RULE OF FAITH" unshaken out of the battle and PRESERVED ORTHODOXY UNHARMED. Thus it was in the first thousand years of Christianity.
The Second Millennium has not changed this threat. Tragically during this second millennium, the deviations from the Orthodox truth increased greatly, and so have the divisions and introduction of numerous sects. The hostility against the Orthodox Church is immense and these sinister forces and formidable enemies seek its destruction. This means that it is imperative to be on the alert in preserving the truth and defending its integrity and unity. A special vigilance in defending dogmas is required now because of A FALSE PATH WHICH HAS COME FROM CHRISTIAN CIRCLES OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, this false path, while it seeks to attain a seemingly good aim, IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. Its aim is to undermine, compromise, and render the dogmas of the Church useless so that it will realize a false union with the heterodox and globalists.
What the Orthodox Church needs today are passionate and zealous Apologists who are willing to fight and defend the truth. The term "Apologgetic" is derived from the Greek word (Απολογία) which means in defense of (also means "reply" or "answer." The Orthodox theology term Apologetics is used in regard TO DEFENDING THE TRUE FAITH AGAINST HERESIES, ATHEISTS, pagans, cults, and other enemies of Christianity. The earliest Apologists were the Holy Fathers of the Church. Their apologies covered a wide range of issues, including the Divine origin of the Church Christ’s Nature, Holy Scripture, the Theotokos, miracles, Christian social interaction, and the implementation of the divine doctrines. The method adopted by the Orthodox Church to deal with heresies was to convene Ecumenical Synods that were representative of the WHOLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH and FORM THE KEY "APOLOGETICS" FOR THE ORTHODOX FAITH.
The Holy Orthodox Church currently is confronted with many challenges and threats. As the Authentic Chuch of Christ and the ONLY one still remaining steadfast in her beliefs is under fierce attack from within and without. Orthodox Christians must answer the call to arms and sound the alarm. It is very possible that it has already been infiltrated by sinister forces that seek to divide it from within and bring about her demise. One of the means is to supposedly modernize the Church by making her "all-inclusive" as other heterodox ‘Christian" denominations are, by refusing to implement or enforce the dogmas, holy canons, and ‘rule of faith.’ Also, by simply refusing to defend the faith, its precepts, the Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, spiritual discipline, ethics, and writings of the Holy Fathers of the Church. All under the guise of ‘tolerance’ or ‘good relations’. The current attitude is to sacrifice the Faith so as not to "offend" the opposition or create enmity. A much different position than the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Synods.
Sacred blood has been shed over two thousand years of Orthodox Christianity in defense of the truth. Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ have already spoken when He said, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE" (John 14:6). He is the "TRUTH" because He is the unique revelation of the Father, Who is the goal of our journey through life. "Christ IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH" (Ephesians 5:23), a reminder just in case there is someone confused about who is in charge of the Church. "Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her that He might sanctify and cleanse he with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but THAT SHE BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH" (Ephesians 5:25-27). Therefore, Christ’s legacy is for us to keep the Church "HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH" as He did. However, the question for us today is are the bishops, priests, deacons, and laity fulfilling this admonition? The holy Apostle Paul exhorts the Christians: "Therefore take heed to ourselves and toa ll the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you OVERSEERS, TO SHEPHERD THE CHURCH OF GOD WHICH HE PURCHASED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD. FOR I KNOW THIS, THAT AFTER MY DEPARTURE SAVAGE WOLVES WILL COME IN AMONG YOU, NOT SPARING THE FLOCK. AND FROM AMONG YOURSELVES, MEN WILL RISE UP SPEAKING PERVERSE THINGS, TO DRAW AWAY THE DISCIPLES AFTER THEMSELVES. THEREFORE WATCH AND REMEMBER…" (Acts 20:28-31). These are references to external and internal trials and persecutions in the future. Ephesus would be the scene of the Third Ecumenical Synod in A.D. 431, which PRESERVED THE DOCTRINE OF THE TWO NATURES OF CHRIST IN ONE DIVIINE PERSON AGAINST THE HERESY OF NESTORIUS, A HERESY THAT IS EMBRACED BY PROTESTANTS AND OTHERS TODAY.
What we witness and what is taught n the 21st century among Christians of other Christian traditions is THE DISTORTED IMAGE OF CHRIST. Heresy is the enemy of Truth. Foolishly, those outside the Orthodox Church, are attempting to change the Person of Christ and His Divine Gospel through the misinterpretation of the Holy Scripture so as to condone and approve every depravity in the contemporary world. Not only have they fallen into grave heresy but they have become the enemy of Christ and His Sacred Church and Holy Commandments. They can no longer be called Christian for they are not.
"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