Thursday, May 26, 2016


Jesus said to the hypocritical Jewish leaders, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."  It is common nowadays to be admonished that as Christians, we should not judge.  Of course, on the level of personal morality, this is true... we must first remove the plank from our own eye before attempting to remove the speck from our neighbor's.  Yet surely the Church Fathers did pass judgment upon the heretics--anathematizing them until they should repent of their false and pernicious doctrine. 

This was done, of course, not out of a spirit of hatred, spite or arrogance, but rather out of love--lest the faithful should be deceived by these wolves in sheep's clothing and thus be tempted to fall away from the true path of salvation.  Nor did the Fathers speak according to their own personal opinions (as, indeed, did the heretics), but according to the Mind of the Church, declaring in unity, "It seemed good to us and to the Holy Spirit"--the very same Spirit that our Lord sent down upon His disciples on the day of Pentecost, the Comforter Who would lead the Church into the fullness of Truth. 

As Orthodox Christians, we are called to pass judgment, to discern according to the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  Contrary to modern secular thinking, there is an absolute truth, which is revealed to us in and through the Church--which is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the true Orthodox Church that has (as we proclaim on the Sunday of Orthodoxy) established the universe.

This is the very Faith we are called to boldly confess to a world that considers all truth to be relative and all "churches" and religions to be equally valid, that we may be empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to bear witness to that faith once delivered to the Apostles and sealed by the blood of the martyrs.  Having been granted (though no merit of our own) to see "the true light," having by virtue of our Baptism been enlightened by the heavenly Spirit, we must (with the utmost love and humility)
strive to share this Faith.  May God therefore strengthen us all, that we may be enabled to declare to the world that Faith we have received--to the glory of Christ God and the Holy Orthodox Church He has established for the sake of the salvation of the human race.

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