Christ’s Search for Lost Sheep

Christ’s Search for Lost Sheep

The year is 1868; the place, Damascus. A self-taught mystic calling himself Abd el Matar left his wife, family, and home to found a group of disciples, the Shazlis, in Damascus. He based the group on a Sufi brotherhood established in the middle ages. About 40 or so people gathered...

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The Elephant in the Ecumenical Room

The Elephant in the Ecumenical Room

Especially in advance of the much-anticipated Great and Holy Council scheduled for later this year, there has been much talk about the importance of our ecumenical connections, including the possibility of recognizing the baptisms of all the other Christians churches and denominations. Part of the discussion has revolved around the...

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Reaching Out to Every Tom, Dick, and Muhammad

Reaching Out to Every Tom, Dick, and Muhammad

Mission, like charity, begins at home. Christ calls us to share the saving Good News with all creation, starting with the creation next door and down the block. Sometimes, the neighbour’s name is Tom or Dick. Sometimes, it is Muhammad—or perhaps his sister Fatimah. St. Paul bids us become all...

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Knowing the Master’s Manger

Knowing the Master’s Manger

In the opening verses of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we find the following words:  “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken:  ‘Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against Me.  The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s manger,...

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A Little History Lesson

A Little History Lesson

Not long ago​,​the question about whether or not Orthodox Churches could accept homosexuality as a valid lifestyle came to the fore.  The year was 1983.  A denomination by the name of the “Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches” applied for membership in the association of mainline Protestant churches, the National Council of...

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Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

I seem to remember reading somewhere that at least one factor in the question of why young people join gangs was the absence of a father figure in their home. There are other factors, of course, but this one stood out for me, for it highlighted the importance of fatherhood....

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God is Not Interested in Religion

God is Not Interested in Religion

Of the many shocking and revolutionary things the Lord said, perhaps nothing was more shocking and revolutionary than His words to the Samaritan woman at the well.  The conversation had become a little too close for her comfort (“You have had five husbands, and he whom you have now is...

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Targeting Christians

Targeting Christians

Yet another massacre at the hands of an Islamic group has been reported, this time in the country of Kenya. According to news reports, Al-Shabab militants wearing masks stormed into the dormitories of Garissa University College in Kenya early in the morning, shooting people at random and taking hostages. When...

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Another Jesus

Another Jesus

One is tempted to hearken to the siren song of our relativistic and pluralistic society and conclude that all Christian churches believe pretty much the same thing.  There are differences, of course—some have bishops and some don’t; some consider the Eucharist to be the true Body and Blood of Christ, and...

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The Coptic Martyrs of ISIS

The Coptic Martyrs of ISIS

Many have heard the dramatic story of the twenty-one Coptic Orthodox Christians working in Libya who were captured and beheaded by ISIS as part of their ongoing campaign of provocation and terror. What may not be as well known in the media is that all twenty-one were offered the chance...

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Teach Your Children Well

Teach Your Children Well

All parents in every generation worry about their kids, and try to keep them safe. They do this not only by not letting them play in traffic or jab sharp sticks into hornets’ nests, but also by warning them against perennial dangers. In my gentler generation, my parents warned me...

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The Case for Infant Baptism

The Case for Infant Baptism

Christian baptism is about conversion, as a quick look at the Orthodox liturgical texts reveals. Questions are addressed to the candidate, requiring him or her to renounce Satan, and to seal this renunciation by spitting upon him. Next questions are addressed to the candidate, requiring a statement of union with...

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