Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Some Thoughts on Metropolitan Jonah’s Address to the ACNA

July 6, 2009

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 Since I was out of internet access for a good portion of the last 10 days, I’m catching up on a lot of news and videos (unfortunately, not far enough out of touch to avoid the 24/7 Michael Jackson death watch).   I just got finished watching the presentation of Metropolitan Jonah  (click on the scrolling photo of Met. Jonah) at the inauguration of the Anglican Church in North America in Bedford, Texas, between June 22nd and June 25th.

Every time I hear him speak I’m amazed at his natural and powerful speaking presence.  Sorry Rick Warren, but when I compared your message with Metropolitan Jonah’s, it became apparent that one was speaking with the a spiritual and intellectual mind rooted in the Gospel and the tradition of the Church; the other in cliched phrases and platitudes.  Words, no matter how cleverly presented mean nothing if there isn’t substance to support them.  

As far as the subject of the speech – the unification of the Orthodox Church with the “orthodox” Anglican Church – I’d have to say I’m one of those skeptics who looks at this proposal as maybe a little too visionary and ripe for a big let down in the end.  

My life as a former Protestant and my continuing observations of mainstream Protestantism just doesn’t give me much hope that a greater portion of these denominations won’t eventually fall into liberalism, compromise, and further inter-division.   Secularism and humanism are attacking Christian denominations from both the inside and the outside, weakening, polarizing and splitting what “orthodoxy” they still retain.  I would really like to believe that the ACNA will be different. 

Despite my misgivings, it was heartening to hear the loud and enthusiastic applause supporting the pro-life stance of the Orthodox Church and the ACNA.   But did you hear the crickets chirping when Met. Jonah firmly stated the impossibility of women’s ordination?   It’s solely my soapbox opinion, but I believe that the issue of women priests will be the ultimate stumbling block for this unification process.   Even more so than same-sex gender issues, even more than sacramental or theological questions.  The mad-eyed feminist genie has been let out of the bottle and won’t be easily or willingly stuffed back in.   Which of the proud, smiling, women celebrants at the ACNA inauguration is going to voluntarily laicize themselves for the greater good of unification?   Julia Duin of the The Washington Times commented a few days ago on the quandary ACNA is in with this issue.  I just don’t see how ACNA is going to keep up this schizophrenic liberalism on women priests while standing in the traditional camp on others.  It still sounds like the doctrinal picking and choosing which Metropolitan Jonah said cannot exist for a true orthodox Christianity.

In the end, who knows where this will lead.   Metropolitan Jonah may not know either, but he’s acted with the kind of boldness and promise that characterized his elevation to the episcopacy just a few months ago, and which has renewed the vision of the Orthodox Church in America.   Let us all pray for  Metroplitan Jonah and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in this bold process, and that all will come with a sincere desire to put the Church first for the glory of God.

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September 23rd, The Conception of St. John the Baptist

September 23, 2008

Today, the Orthdox Church (New Calender) celebrates the Feast of the Conception of St. John the Baptist as described throughout Luke 1.   It is more than a story about a miraculous marital act – it is a contrast between steadfast faith and doubt, trust and disbelief, but in the end always about thanksgiving to God for unexpected blessings. 

So many of the events of the Old and New Testament deal with marital relations (or the lack of marital relations) and childlessness.   There’s a lot of vaguely worded or implied stuff going on that, frankly, can be a bit hard to explain to young children and which inevitably raises questions that parents cringe over – it’s usually along the line of “where do babies come from”.    No matter how you stumble through the mechanics though, children are always open to the miraculous and get right to the most important part – God’s working through the life of others, even the most intimate and private parts. 

You’ll see this below in the award winning, animated short from the 60’s that used children’s storytelling  to explain the events around St. John’s conception and birth as told from the point of view of the Mother of God.   Which is exactly the point of view of all the events surrounding the miraculous conception of St. John the Baptist.  These are stories that are not so much about the baby John, but are the stories about Christ and his revelation to the world even at the time of his conception, and the conception of him who was his greatest messenger – he who prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah.    Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John, pray for us.