Pietism or Activism? By Frederica Mathewes-Green Both extremes wrong It seems to me that there is something wrong with both the traditional extremes - the people who emphasize personal spiritual growth, and the people who emphasize engagement with the world and social activism. The labels are usually "pietist" and "activist." The same thing is wrong with both of them: the temptation to vanity.
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Someone once called the Orthodox Church “The Candlelight Kingdom.” Candles are so much a part of our worship that it has been said “to light a candle is to pray.” Why do we use candles? And what has prayer to do with lighting candles? Let's learn about candle-lighting and what it means. God: Light of the World Every time we light a candle the flame and the light should remind us of God. In the Bible God is often described in terms of fire and light: “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
The Orthodox Church embraces what is known as “Holy Tradition.” Sometimes Christians have a problem with this position because they confuse “Holy Tradition” with what the Bible calls “the tradition of men.” But if we look closely at Scripture, we find that Scripture commends us to follow and practice “Holy Tradition.” Let’s learn a little more about the difference between the two.
The Mission of the Orthodox Church as a whole is very simple and straightforward, and the specific goal of the Orthodox Church in Australia aligns with this mission. Let’s learn what this mission is, and how it is specific to Australia. The Mission The Orthodox Mission has as its twin goals: the “incarnation of the Logos of God into the language and customs of a country,” and the “growth of an indigenous church which will sanctify and endorse the people’s personality.”(1)
The Letter to Diognetus was written by an unknown early Christian apologist during the time when the early Church was persecuted by the pagan Roman government. The author attacks pagan beliefs and practices as superstitious and immoral. He argues that biblical teaching is superior to pagan philosophy, because it is grounded in the divine revelation, not in human wisdom. Believers are good citizens because their moral values transcend the conventions of pagan society. Let's see what the writer of this letter believed made Chrisitans unique from the rest of society.
Spirituality by Frederica Mathewes-Green Life in Christ. I don't like the category "spirituality." It sounds so external. It sounds so *optional*. It isn't a concept I find in the first millennium, or anywhere in Eastern Christianity. As far as I can tell, what people today mean by "spirituality" is what St. Paul meant by "life in Christ."
In the last few years, there has been a resurgence in interest in Mary Magdalene fueled in part by the repopularisation of old myths and legends. Behind all the stories though, is a real woman who was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. The Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches consider her a saint and celebrate her feast day on July 22nd. Who she was Mary’s name probably means “Mary of Magdala,” after a town located on the Western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. What follows is the Gospel account of Mary:
Christ calls us to meet with Him, and to be united to Him with cleansed hearts. The Orthodox respond through obedient and reverent worship, which brings praise and honour to God. Let’s discover a little more about the beautiful, reverent worship of the Orthodox Church.
Why do the dates for Pascha/Easter often differ between the Orthodox Chuch and the Western Church? Last year, Pascha (Easter Sunday) fell on exactly the same day for the Orthodox Church and the Western Church. It will be the same again in the years 2017, 2025, 2028, and more, but different for all the other years in between.
I was a little mystified. I had just entered the Orthodox Church for the first time, and then I heard this term Theotokos being applied to Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. It took me some time to sort out just what the Orthodox mean by Theotokos. Let’s unpack just what’s going on here. Perhaps we can get a little “de-mystified” together!