Five hundred years ago this month, Martin Luther posted an invitation to an academic disputation on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg. This act sparked a fire of protest that raged across Europe and caused a grievous schism in Catholic Europe that has never been healed. The soil that gave rise to the protest was a uniquely Latin, Roman Catholic one. The questions of dogma, doctrine and state politics were questions that arose from conditions unique to the West.
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I have been receiving a lot of dismayed, uncomprehending and perhaps angry emails in the last week. My correspondents appear bewildered at why Orthodox Christian ethics does not share the conclusions of popular secular ethics. After all, they both appear to share many of the same values. Both ethical systems value “equality,” “freedom of choice,” “human brotherhood,” “fairness” and “justice.” So if they share these values, why doesn’t Orthodox Christianity support the same conclusions?
Every responsible parent asks this question at some point as their children grow older: “How do I raise my children as faithful Orthodox Christians?” We want our children to grow up safe and free, as healthy as possible in body, mind and spirit, and to make the best use of their God-given gifts. We know that the Church is the ark of salvation and that the spiritual safety of our children depends on their remaining in the Church through all the stages of life, from the cradle to the grave.
Ever since the Beatles travelled to Rishikesh to learn at the feet of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Westerners have been attracted to Eastern spirituality. Western Christianity has seemed artificial, lifeless and powerless; while Eastern spirituality has a life-changing broadness about it. Below, Monk-Priest Damascene traces the path from Western desire to the East's authentic and life-changing answer.
Euthanasia and capital punishment both involve state-sanctioned killing: why does the thinking on one seem to be heading in the opposite direction to the thinking on the other?
Elon Musk is certainly the man of the moment. Tesla is on the verge of releasing its first mass market vehicle. Solar City is on the cusp of transforming the economics of home-based solar production. Gigafactory is slated to come online sometime before the end of the year. Elon says his Hyperloop has received tacit approval for its first route from some lawmakers — although he didn’t say which lawmakers or what approval he’d received. The South Australian government has signed a deal with Tesla for installation of world’s largest battery farm.
The history of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines begins with the immigration of Orthodox Christians from Greece, Russia, Lebanon and Syria in the last years of the 19th Century. The first wave of Lebanese immigration was in the 1880–90s. Immigrants found work hawking and peddling goods in the country areas of eastern Australia and in Dunedin. Along with Greek and Russian Orthodox faithful, they took part in the construction of community churches — Holy Trinity Church in Surry Hills, Sydney; and Holy Annunciation, East Melbourne.
We are moving ever closer to the Assisted Suicide Bill being moved in parliament — last week saw the release of the Ministerial Advisory Panel’s report. If we are to win this battle it is vital that MPs understand the reality of the risk of abuse of vulnerable people, of the elderly, seriously or chronically ill, those living with a disability being made to feel that they are a burden. People across Victoria are already doing great work providing feedback to members of parliament and we all need to continue taking action.
The Victorian Council of Churches have released an official statement opposing the proposed Victorian euthanasia legislation. It is quite apparent that the proponents of physician assisted suicide do not want the details of the legislation to be known by the community prior to the parliamentary debate. We have been advised that the legislation is to be introduced to parliament sometime in August, yet we still have not seen the draft legislation. What are they trying to hide?