Rusticus, the prefect of Rome, glared at Justin and asked, “What teachings do you hold?” The 65-year-old man quickly replied, “I have tried to learn from all teachings, but I came to adopt the true teachings, which are those of the Christians.”1 Upon further examination, Justin confessed to holding meetings in the house of a man named Martinus in Rome. Rusticus demanded that Justin and those with him offer sacrifice, but they boldly refused. The prefect then commanded them beaten with rods and beheaded.
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Saint John Chrysostom was the Bishop of Constantinople, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of his day. He had humble beginnings, and is well-known for his beautiful writings and his perspective on the meaning of true wealth. He is the noted as being the writer of the Divine Liturgy that we celebrate most weeks. Let's discover a bit more about John Chrysostom, who he was, and his message to the Church.
Efforts to redefine Christian practice and teachings in the last few hundred years have been fuelled by an apparent boredom with presentation of doctrine. Yet the reality is that Christianity answers the most central needs and longings of mankind. Dorothy Sayers Dorothy Sayers (1893 – 1957) was a well-known British author, playwright, and scholar, who had a knack for unmasking misperceptions of the faith. She graduated from Oxford University in 1915, among one of the first groups of women to graduate.
The challenge for Western converts to Orthodoxy Why did the Archbishop of Canterbury not become Fr Roman? The Times of London of Saturday, 12 November 2005, carries an interesting article about the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, entitled: “Archbishop reveals his unorthodox way to God.”
How old is your church? Which church is the oldest Christain church? Let's find out.
Many people have mistaken beliefs about “saints.” Some think that “saints” are only those people through whom God worked miracles. Others believe that “saints” are only those people who do no wrong at all. But let’s put these aside and discover what a saint is. Because, as we’ll discover, becoming a saint is not just a desirable outcome of leading a Christian life, but is in fact is the whole purpose of the Christian life. Unless one strives for sainthood, one is not a true Christian.
This excellent letter was written by Father Alexander Schmemann (1921–1983) to an Episcopal friend on the topic of the ordination of women. Given the announcement in the media about the ordination of the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church in Australia, it is salutary to read Schmemann’s words again. They were written over 30 years ago and yet they remain vital. A letter written by Orthodox priest Fr. Alexander Schmemann: Dear Friend,
Today we are surrounded by a host of voices that say, “Peace.” “Live and let live.” “There are a thousand different voices, let’s accept everyone’s views.” But Christians must remember that the essentials of the Faith cannot be compromised. The life story of Basil of Caesarea demonstrates the commitment that Christians have made through the ages to maintain the essentials of the Faith. The world is temporary, but God and his Kingdom are everlasting.
In a time when churches of every description are faced with Vanishing Male Syndrome, men are showing up at Eastern Orthodox churches in numbers that, if not numerically impressive, are proportionately intriguing. This may be the only church which attracts and holds men in numbers equal to women. As Leon Podles wrote in his 1999 book, The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity, “The Orthodox are the only Christians who write basso profundo church music, or need to.”
This is a talk that is over 20 years old and focuses on the North American continent, but the history of the first two millenia is of interest to us all. Also there are lessons that Metropolitan Philip draws for the North American Orthodox Church which apply to the Australian Orthodox Church today.