Will Our Bishops Condemn this Hatred?

Or not?

Yours Truly received this Facebook posting earlier this week from one of my contributors. It really disturbed me as I think it would disturb most anybody else of sane mind.

Frank Schaeffer basically went off the deep end. You can see his diatribe against President Trump for yourself below.

Truth be told, I didn’t want to say anything. You see, Frank did me a solid several years ago and I’ll be forever grateful to him. In fact, he pretty much jump-started Orthodox evangelism in my neck of the woods. That was no mean feat and I hope that on that Dread Day, deeds such as this will tip the scales favorably in his favor.

Having said that, it’s clear that he needs to see a spiritual father real quick. Even if he says he doesn’t believe in God he still needs to see a spiritual father. (I for one don’t believe this nonsense he’s peddling, that he’s an “atheist who believes in God”.) By simply talking to some sober priest or elder he may correct his slide into irreperable derangement.

I’m serious. This is not good on so many different levels.

Now, I know that Trump is not everybody’s cup of tea. I get that. Perhaps in time, The Trumpster will do something that pisses me off as well. But Frank’s hate-filled vitriol is beyond the pale.

I know that the Old Testament Prophets didn’t exactly mince words when the Lord anointed them for a specific task. But it’s one thing to take the king to task for displeasing God and quite another for wishing destruction upon his family just because you didn’t get your way in the Electoral College. Let’s not forget that Moses gave Pharaoh ten chances to repent. Frank on the other hand wants to go the full Bonhoeffer right out of the gates.

Not good.

Having said that all that, I want to know if the Episcopal Assembly (or at least the GOA synod) will address Frank’s screed.

They should. And don’t give me any of this claptrap on whether they don’t “know” whether Frank’s still an Orthodox Christian or not. None of the Alt-Righters who protested in Charlottesville were Orthodox Christians either. And yet they merited the swift and complete condemnation of the Episcopal Assembly. Consistency demands that they do so in this case as well.

In fact, they have no choice. Because you see, in every Orthodox church and in every Orthodox liturgical service –regardless of jurisdiction–we pray for “President and all those in civil authority”. I prayed for Obama corporately and in my private devotions. I wouldn’t be a Christian otherwise.

Frank likewise has a choice to make. I say this as a Christian and because I still love him. Let’s all try and pray for him.

www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2017/09/unhinged-hatred-frank-schaeffer-curses-donald-trump-and-his-family/

Comments

  1. Bad link

  2. P. Antonio Arganda says:

    According to news reports , Schaeffer has declared himself an atheist. Sad.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      My question is: is he still a member of the GOA? (My second question is: why don’t the bishops condemn his deranged, public hatred for the President) like they condemned the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville?

  3. Oh, come on says:

    Come on, George. Frank Schaeffer has been unhinged for some time now.

    It is quite sad — I remember reading his “Dancing Alone” book back in the ’90s and being so impressed by his move to Orthodox Christianity. And his “Christian Activist” newspaper — truly wonderful, so much depth there, I thought, reading those initial papers back more than 20 years ago now. These were in the early days of everyday American protestants learning about and coming to the Church. There are also some very good talks of his on Orthodoxy which are still on YouTube, again also from those earlier days. I loved reading his Portofino series, as well as his books chronicling his youngest son’s time with the Marines and his deployments to Iraq. Frank brought to light a lot of important issues, including the complete disconnect between our country’s leadership and what “classes” of people are now serving in the military. Heartfelt and moving.

    I have no idea what happened, but Frank has been unhinged for a while now. Of course it’s impossible to be an “atheist who believes in God.” Not to mention some of his outrageous political positions are more in line with the “Boston progressives” of Orthodoxy rather than in line with Christ. (Well, after all, Frank is in Massachusetts…).

    As with most other things, wouldn’t hold your breath on the GOA doing anything meaningful. I would venture to say that many influential parishioners in the “higher echelons” of the GOA may have anti-Christian views on homosexuality and abortion, for example.

    The GOA episcopate has never been as much into preaching Christ and the Truth publicly as they have been in advancing the Greek American success-story propaganda and in raising money. So as long as Frank helps them to do these two things, expect their silence. Just sayin’.

    I, too, miss the “old” Frank. His writings made an impact on my life in years past. We should keep him and his family in our prayers.

    • Oh, come on says: “The GOA episcopate has never been much into preaching Christ and the Truth publicly…wouldn’t hold your breath on the GOA doing anything meaningful.” With statements like that, not much difference between you, and your morally accused friend Frank. Just different angles. By the way there is no old Frank or new, Frank is Frank, trying to figure it all out, perhaps trying to get his light to shine again. Might have bills to pay. Might come full circle. How important is he to Orthodoxy? Will he start a revolution in our church? Pretty sure not likely, as I’m sure most GOA laity have never heard of him. Truth is I never even heard of him until today, and I’m no hermit. Our Bishops have no right, or duty to publicly shame, and in turn shine even more light on Frank. In private, an invitation to a conversation would be fine. His political views belong to him, our church has no place in that direction. He holds no official role or office in the GOA, so his spiritual views are his own as well, not the GOAs. Witch hunts, and public outings have no place in our church. I pray our lamps are always full. Never know when that knock might come.

    • Oh, come on

      Your second to last paragraph is spot on – including the part about the Greek American success story narrative and the fundraising

      Nothing in that paragraph is by accident

  4. If you want to get a good sense of how far Frank Schaeffer is from Orthodoxy go over to youtube.com and search Frank Schaeffer Wild Goose Festival. There are about six videos of Frank speaking at this event. I would start with the old ones from about 6 years ago. Here is an excerpt that is a good one:

    https://youtu.be/30JH5Enl1CI

  5. I don’t do politics, so I won’t respond to Frankie Schaeffer, or to George Michalopulos’s comments here on GS’s essay.

    Our bishops don’t — and shouldn’t — do politics, either, so I don’t expect any sort of response to this from them.

  6. Why the obsession here with talking about Trump? I am sincerely curious.

    Looking forward to reading more about Orthodox news and trends.

    tmatt

  7. Tim R. Mortiss says:

    I don’t know a whole lot about Schaeffer, but I too read some of his stuff long ago with interest.

    But guys like Schaeffer find it impossible to stay out of the public eye, and impossible to not keep adopting new stuff to write about. A lot of writers are like that. Keep talking about themselves and their “insights”.

  8. This is what I will say about Frank Schaeffer: An irrelevant little man trying to make himself feel important. He brings nothing to the table- zero, zilch, nada. He thinks it’s all about him. He needs to spend some time with Dr. Stankovich, but Michael would never waste his time even trying to diagnose him and his plethora of neuroses.

  9. Here’s why the bishops have to address this madness. Schaeffer is a public figure and continues to appear on CNN, Huffington Post, Patheos, Forbes. He has publicly admitted to and supports revolt inside and against the Greek Orthodox Church in America. He wants to confuse the young. He promotes LGBT propaganda. He fights against the GOA teaching and is proud about it, while his Orthodox book and DVDs are still being sold on Orthodox sites. This is scandalous.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/12/frank-schaeffer-atheist_n_5489696.html?fref=gc&dti=626757654069856
    “So who is this book for? The atheist or the believer? Not surprisingly, Schaeffer won’t commit. But one audience he does want to capture is one he used to belong to and embrace — the young evangelical.

    “One of my aims is to unhook them from allegiance to the Bible as something they follow instead of their conscience or, ironically, the example of Jesus,” he said. “That’s the choice you have to make if you are going to be a humanist Christian. I want to introduce younger evangelicals to the idea that they have to recalibrate their loyalty. They can live by the Bible or live by Jesus. They can’t do both.” …

    “I do not always believe let alone know if God exists,” Schaeffer writes in the book. “I do not always know he, she or it does not exist either, though there are long patches in my life when it seems God never did exist. What I know is that I see the Creator in Jesus or nowhere. What I know is that I see Jesus in my children and grandchildren’s love. What I know is that I rediscover hope again and again through (his wife) Genie’s love. …What I know is that sometimes something too good to be true, is true.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/we-need-ethical-evolution_b_4272947.html?fref=gc&dti=626757654069856
    “For instance, in our local Greek Orthodox church community (I’ve been in for 23 years) we have active members in key leadership roles with less than so-called Orthodox living arrangements and/or sexual orientation.

    According to the “official” rules of the Greek Orthodox Church some of our leading parishioners are “living in sin” and the rest of us “sinless ones” should say that these people are “unfit” to help lead our parish.

    In actuality the local community my wife Genie and I are part of assumes that we all must live and let live, and (most of the time) we take people as we find them and expect the same treatment. In other words the people in our local community are better than our official Orthodox “moral” doctrines, just as my missionary parents were kinder than their mean Reformed Calvinist “God.”

    As proof of my local parish’s tolerance my church hasn’t kicked me out! I’m welcomed even though I’ve written books in which I’ve admitted to fornicating, lying and stealing. My fellow parishioners elected a sinner like me to serve on our parish council for seven years.”

    • Tim R. Mortiss says:

      The oldest story. We former Protestants heard this for decades, but it goes back to the beginning.. Jesus, good man and prophet: good. We see God in his example, etc. etc.
      The Bible, and Christianity the religion? Bad. Oppressive. Moralistic, etc. etc.

      “Who do the people say that I am?” “Some say John the Baptist, or one of the prophets, some say Elijah….”

      “Who do you say that I am?” The eternal question. Can’t have it both ways.

      This man writes and speaks and will be gone. His books will gather dust, as do the books of thousands before him; all forgotten. Too bad in the meantime, though.

  10. Mark E. Fisus says:

    As with wayward priests going over to Amsterdam, a statement from the bishops would just draw attention to these individuals and their messages. Also by speaking too frequently on such disparate topics, people might not focus on truly weighty statements by the bishops. I don’t fault them at all for speaking sparingly and making their words count when they do.

    It should be abundantly clear that the Church teaches the existence of God. There is no need for the bishops to go out of their way to say, “No, Frank, God does exist.”

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Understood. Addressing a malcontent like Frank is superfluous. However as long as he remains an Orthodox Christian, some form of spiritual disciple must be applied as his words are murderous in intent. A simple disavowal of his speech and perhaps his imprint would be acceptable. Because if his words bear fruit, then people will look to the Orthodox Church and reasonably conclude that in their silence, they agreed with his sentiments.

    • So spiritual discipline should only be applied to clergy and not the laity?

      • Mark E. Fisus says:

        Can’t discipline someone who doesn’t recognize your authority.

        Also, should the bishops also issue statements calling out every single young person who falls away after going to college? People leave the Church all the time. Maybe instead of heaping scorn on them, or on the bishops, we can reflect on what we can do to help keep people in the Church.

  11. The dreamers are the weakest people in our culture folks. They are weaker than a newborn afa their rights are concerned. The dreamers to get sent to Mexico is like punishing the child of an alcoholic for getting a drunk driving ticket and throwing the kid into jail with the dad. This notion Obama’s action was “unconstitutional’ is equally bizarre. There were no court challenges. More fox news, I mean fake news.

    Frank venting about Trump is good and just too hard for you to take.

    Consider for a moment one thing. If Trump wanted the DACA done with the legislature, let me understand something. Because I’m not so smart. Don’t the Republicans control the entire government, and don’t the Dems want DACA?

    What Trump did was leveraged the DACA recipients so he can trade the Dems a DACA bill for wall funding.

    And Frank has every right under the sun to call it dirty, cuz it is…

    Frank is an honest man.

    Bite it.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      How can one be honest if he’s “an atheist who believes in God”?

      Regarding DACA, all Trump did is undo the illegality of Obama’s original memorandum, thereby sending it back to the Congress, which under our Constitution is tasked with enacting all legislation.

      If Frank wants to make the case that we don’t need a legislature and that we should be governed by a strong man (a la Putin) who governs by fiat because he’s an enlightened philosopher-king then he should just say so.

      • If Obama’s memo was illegal, why didn’t the Republicans take it out in the courts?

        Answer: it isn’t illegal and never was despite all the crying

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Please. The GOP didn’t challenge him because their paymasters want the illegals here just as much as Obama does (if for different reasons).

          If you haven’t figured that out by now, you never will.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Anon, Frank’s jeremiad fails on many levels as does your defense of him.

      First of all, it doesn’t matter who “controls” the legislature –the people do through their vote. Having said that, it is the province of the legislature to craft laws. It is the province of the executive to enforce them.

      Second, there are no perfect laws, only some better than others. Every law is going to inconvenience one or more groups of people. That’s the nature of reality.

      Third, if you and Frank are truly concerned about the “innocent” then you would have the Congress outlaw abortion and have Federal marshals close them down.

      Fourth, deportation necessarily involves everybody within that family having to pay the penalty for a parent’s lawlessness. I know from my own personal experience that my family was always looking over our shoulder and worrying about deportation because my dad jumped ship back in 1957 in New Orleans. He had to deport himself to Canada and request re-entry into the US back when I was a baby. And because he never served in the Greek armed forces (he was a merchant marine and was the sole provider for his widowed mother and two unmarried sisters as well as a younger brother), we always had to worry that the Greek government would deport him back to serve his mandatory two-year military service.

      I’ve known several European immigrants who had green cards and/or were already American citizens who were in danger of deportation because of some minor infraction. One is a highly successful businessman who owns a business and employs many American citizens and yet the govt didn’t think twice about deporting him. Compare this productive American citizen with the DACA Dreamers who have been elevated to Mohandes K Gandhi status and who are for the most part not as productive but whose only claim to fame is that they will vote Democratic.

      Do you not see the hypocrisy here? I certainly do.

      • The hypocrisy George is that we wanted illegals here badly in the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s and even in 2010, and even still now.

        Just because your father did something wrong that he had to hoop jump to make right back in the 50s is full on irrelevant now.

        For more hypocrisy, consider you want them to be removed out of fear they are going to vote Democrat.

        More right wing dingers don’t want to give the illegals a penalty and green card status because they are afraid they will get Medicare.

        You, sir, are the problem. Because you fail to see the hypocrisy in your own desire. The illegals have worked for all of us in one fashion or another, so don’t kid yourself with any baloney. They all need to be fined and brought out into the light. Sending them back is not an option when you look at the logistics.

        I can’t stand liars.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Anon, I can’t stand liars either.

          You say “we wanted illegals back in the 80s…” Speak for yourself.

          As far as my father’s situation was concerned, why did he have to obey the law but the fair-haired golden boys of South of the Border don’t? For the record my dad is a Democrat and has voted that way since 1964.

          They do need “to be fined” and once “brought out into the light” they need to be deported and come back in the right way.

          And we need to build a Wall and we need to have every citizen entitled to vote have an ID card like the ones that Mexican nationals have: a glossy, laminated card with a photo and a holographic watermark that makes fraud impossible.

          • George, you really don’t understand reality and truth and are living in another world on this one. I find most of my Republican friends to be the case on this issue and yes, I have them. We have all, in some fashion or another, employed illegals AND GAINED BY IT!

            Yeah, that slightly cheaper roofing job or hotel room. Thank the ‘fair-hared golden boys’ (and girls). And for those of you who find yourself still untouched, I guess you don’t eat fruit or drink wine either then. Or probably are also vegan I suppose. Jeepers, how about a little coffee so you wake up?

            The only way to treat them as a scourge and eradicate would be a Nazi style putsch of their homes. This is America. When the putsch begins; it is over for our country.

            And the US has already built strategic walls in the places they make sense. Walls in the desert are beaten by a thing called a ladder. You might have seen one before. Leave it to some political genius to dream up the solution to illegal immigration and make it dirtying up the Rio Grande valley in the middle of nowhere with a passable concrete barrier.

            And the illegal voter nonsense continues. Talk about follow the leader.

            Trump didn’t realize that California voters don’t carry as much weight, or he tried to dumb it down so liberals don’t freak out about it.

            RE: George, the reality is America needs a revolution. A revolution that makes the vote of the Californian the same weight as the vote of a Wyomian. The only rigged system is rigged to favor the slave states.

            At some point you need to walk away from your political heroes and be your own man, but if you want to beat the man’s drum, keep on keeping on. It isn’t my way.

            When that wall gets built, I hope you understand what will happen. I hope you understand.

            The next guy will come in under the wall removal platform and returning the Rio Grande to its original state. He or she will cite some statistic that says 2 people crossed the 10 mile stretch of wall in 10 years and it is environmentally unsatisfying because some little bird got dead. And all that tp money will have been wasted on drumbeats and voter appeasement. Instead, we could have made employing illegals a felony. Ever wonder why it isn’t? In the attached legal case, you’ll see it is near impossible to go after an employer for engaging in the practice of hiring illegals. These Zirkle guys got Dan Newhouse into Congress through contributions as well. So, bottom line for you. Dan Newhouse was the recipient of money from Zirkle. So your Republican Congressman in Washington was the indirect recipient of money earned by illegal immigration.

            They want illegal immigrants. They gained by it. Even funded their Congressman’s election through it. A real cut the crap moment. Yet, how many news articles do you find? Zero.

            http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1296153.html
            http://www.city-data.com/elec2/elec-SELAH-WA.html

            • George Michalopulos says:

              Sorry, not buying it. Ike deported one million illegals back in the mid-50s. Wages for native Americans (black, white, etc.) went up as a result. Back then a high school graduate could get a decent job as a wage earner and support a family.

              If you think what I’m proposing is draconian, you need to investigate Mexico’s laws regarding illegal aliens. That’s draconian.

              • What we save or gain with cheap illegal alien labor, is nullified by the expense to feed, house, educate, medicate, hospitalize, and jail, said illegal aliens, by our state and federal governments. In addition, they pay very little in taxes and send a good portion of their income back to their countries of origin.Not to mention the destruction of the blue collar, middle class that used to afford a living in our country a generation ago. Produce pickers aside, most jobs would be filled by Americans if wages were at decent livable wages. Both political parties sold out the American to suit their needs.

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  I couldn’t have said it better myself Dino.

                  • Except the statement is 40 years too late. Today is now and they are here and entrenched.

                    • Forty years ago was the beginning of the flood, twenty years ago there was still hope. Yes now it’s most likely too late to turn the tide, but at the very least, we could do for our citizens, is protect our borders. At least our tax dollars can go towards our poor citizens, instead of anyone who can cross illegally into our country. Stopping the flow of illegals is long over due. We simply cannot afford to continue funding this never ending flow of illegal aliens from third world countries. Our citizens deserve better, than our government blindly allowing illegal aliens to literally invade our country, receiving benefits, lowering wages, that belong to American citizens. If the borders are properly shut, and there is a shortage of workers at current wages, guess what? Wages will rise, slowly but surely. Perhaps 10-20 years from now almost a livable wage.

              • Estonian Slovak says:

                And you, dear Father, are trying to treat Billy Jack Sunday as if he were a rational adult, not a juvenile-minded narcissist.
                I myself have been a narcissist most of my life. I realize now how adversely it affected my family and friends. I hope BJS doesn’t have to wait until his sixties to figure that out.

              • Estonian Slovak says:

                Right, ask a Guatemalan what happens to them if they get caught entering or passing through Mexico. Or what happens to a Mexican who shelters an illegal Guatemalan. I’ve worked with Guatemalans.

    • cynthia curran says:

      Not really, you just make less money in Mexico, its a punishement if you think well they make less money, but maybe there is something to gain in a less materialistic place like rural Mexico and most dreamers grow up knowing both English and Spanish since their parents do know Spanish. Also, many come as teenagers from places like Central America poorer than Mexico, but once again liberals feel sorry since they make less money in Central America countries and these countries have poverty over 50 percent but most Central Americans like Mexicans do not come to the Us to make more money, so why should Daca kids get a better life because they came in illegal to the US. People can grow spiritually in poor countries. In fact, Christianity in third world countries is growing faster than wealthier countries in the west. My mother grew up in the US when in the 1930’s and 1940’s when there was no indoor plumbing and poverty levels similar to Mexico and Central America today. Life is not always fair.

      • I agree life is not fair and that is why Dan Newhouse, Republican congressman in Washington state should be recalled on the basis his campaign was funded by illegal immigration.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Fine by me. And while you’re at it, get rid of Johnny Wet-start (I mean McCain).

          • Jerry Wilson says:

            When you have spent five years tortured as a POW, maybe you get to insult another.

            • If a liberal said what Trump said about McCain; he’d need armed guards. McCain owes Trump not a thumbs down, but the middle finger.

            • George Michalopulos says:

              Be very careful about singing the praises of Johnny Mac. Especially about his stint at the Hanoi Hilton. Ill be writing about it soon. Let’s just say the official story doesn’t necessarily jibe with what really happened.

              • Jerry Wilson says:

                I believe carefulness should go both ways. Did you serve in Vietnam? I did not, although enough relatives did. It seems to me that if the Senator voted in line with your opinions, you would display less ad hominem….

              • George,
                You are completely correct. Getting captured and spending five years in the Hanoi Hilton does not make one a war hero by any stretch of the imagination. A powerful example of true war heroes would be the brave Marines who fought gloriously in the Battle of Iwo Jima. To see them raise the American flag was extremely inspiring. McCain is nowhere near in the same league as these true warriors.

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Cyp, thank you. However, I do not want to minimize the sacrifices of those who were prisoners of war. I was speaking specifically about John McCain. There are certain aspects about his imprisonment which when they come out, will cast a shadow on his naval career. (As well as his exploits as a Navy pilot.)

              • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                I’m missing it. McCain is an old man and on the way out. In any event, he’s in the Senate at present. Will he be running for re-election?

                Exactly what is the point of deprecating, to whatever extent, his imprisonment in North Vietnam, or any other aspects of his military service?

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  I’m fixing to write something about what McCain and agents of the Establishment means. While I feel sorry for him as a man, he has done immeasurable harm working for the Establishment; just when they need his vote the most, he’s as predictable as clockwork. Men like McCain, who, because of certain aspects of their biography, are placed in positions of power and given “maverick” status and groomed for future service to the Deep State. To be sure, they are allowed to be conservative and vote the party line, and even to call themselves “pro-life” or “anti-socialized medicine”. That is until they are needed to cast that one deciding vote which furthers the Deep State’s hold on power.

                  It’s not going to be a pretty picture. The power of the Deep State is multi-generational. His father, Adm John S McCain, Jr, bears some responsibility for the aftermath of the USS Liberty. Of which I will write about as well.

            • Michael Bauman says:

              People do not endure torture without a substantial change. They often end up agreeing with their torturers at least for a time. Who knows?

              Personally, I have always wondered.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

              Be careful with McCain’s POW story. Be very careful Jerry. It has A lot of holes.

              Peter

            • Jerry,

              John McCain, at best is a mixed bag. He is certainly no hero, war or otherwise. He followed family tradition into the Navy as a navy pilot. He did his duty, got shot down, was tortured and then released. The one brave thing he did do, though not heroic, but certainly honorable was to refuse out of sequence release. It was the right thing to do and you don’t acquire hero status from simply doing your duty or doing the right thing when you are faced with a choice.

              A hero is someone who, above and beyond the call of duty, takes a pillbox single-handedly, for example. Or, in less pleasant circumstances, jumps onto a grenade to save the others in the room who would have been killed.

              Patton, Stonewall Jackson and others like them were heroes. A hero is a true warrior who has transcended materialism. McCain is just a stubborn egoist . . . much like Trump.

  12. Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

    I think that all of your comments are over-complicated. Sometimes people need to just stop drinkin’ and mixin’ pills. Just sayin’

    • Monsignor Mighty Mouse is back –

      “Here I come to save the daaaay!!”

      • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

        It is much easier for you to hurl insults in anonymity than to man up and reveal your real name.

        • Sorry for the delay, Fr. Harry

          My razzin’ reply apparently did not make it past a digital toll house

          So instead, I will ask you a question:

          “Sometimes people just need to stop drinkin’ and mixin’ pills.”

          What people are you referring to?

          • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

            Was @ op. Everyone is trying to analyze Frank’s stuff as if it is sober.

          • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

            I am not sure if my last response made it. It seems that it did not.

            Everyone is trying to analyze Frank’s stuff as if his comments are sober comments. I have a parishioner who constantly, for a time, was reminding me: “Father, you are trying to deal with them as if they are in their right mind.” I hope that is enough clarification.

            • Michael Bauman says:

              Right Father. Logical analysis of delusion and irrationality gives the delusion more substance. But, that seems to be the way evil works. Once we grant it the dignity of trying to figure it out it begins to take hold in our hearts.

              Such evil is parasitic. It cannot survive without a host.

            • Michael Bauman says:

              Thus the calls for “dialog” from those who wish to overthrow the Tradition.

            • Well, he’s not clergy, so I guess he’s fair game for humorous sarcastic comments

              Do you know why there aren’t many jokes about the Reverend Jim Jones?

              The punchline’s too long

              • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

                “BJS”, Michael had the pulse on the point. There was no sarcasm nor humor involved.

                • Father Harry

                  If you meant that comment with no sarcasm, perhaps you can reach out to Frank with the contact info for a good drug and alcohol counselor

                  You know, since you are here to help those who are struggling

  13. cynthia curran says:

    Franky must have watched too much of the Handmaiden Tale which is back to a servant having a child like for the wife like it was in Genesis.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

      The Handmaide’s Tale was leftist paranoia when first published and first dramatized back in the 80’s and remains so today. Terrible then and terrible now.

      Peter A Papoutsis

  14. rig or mortis says:

    Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

  15. AnonymousToSurvive says:

    How to spot and understand the hypocrisy, cowardice and bias of the bishops. From the original blog post:

    Ask yourselves, if the situation was reversed and a prominent conservative public figure and member of the Greek Orthodox Church had publicly attacked former President Obama and his family in this shameful manner and publicly encouraged others to curse them, how would the hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops react?

  16. ReaderEmanuel says:

    George, there’s an old saying, “Silence gives assent.” If the GOA wanted to censure Frank, they would have done it years ago when he first went off the deep end and into the abyss.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      True enough but remember, the GOA isn’t all that sophisticated. They wear Byzantine-nostalgia blinders and see everything through that prism. Frankie’s a side-issue but all they are aware of is his utility for evangelism (such as it is).

  17. Dean Arnold says:

    I wrote this article about Frank a couple years ago:

    “I invited him to speak at Covenant College in the mid-80’s when I was a student and spent three days with him. He was very sharp, well read, not much of a sense of humor. Sensitive to what people thought (even though he loved to irritate them).”

    “Schaeffer identifies himself as “a survivor of polio and a fundamentalist, evangelical upbringing.” Hardly. As Franky got more shrill, other voices finally began to emerge. The best response I ever read … was from his brother-in-law Os Guiness in Christianity Today [who] noted that the younger Schaeffer was hardly the victim of Fundamentalist abuse. Rather, Francis and Edith never disciplined the young boy, let him run wild at L’Abri, and he became quite spoiled. In Guiness’s words, Franky, rather than being a victim of fundamentalism, instead “was the poster child for Dr. Spock.”

    Franky Schaeffer – A Confused Conundrum
    http://deanslist.info/franky-schaeffer-a-confused-conundrum/

    • Good article , Dean. Thanks for sharing that. Os Guiness’s response to FS’s ongoing narcissistic ranting (particularly his riding on his famous parent’s coattails while simultaneously trash talking about them) is the most comprehensive response, but I appreciated your own insights about this troubled soul. I also had the same experience with The Christian Activist that he and Jim Buchfurer published : I subscribed as a pro-life Protestant Christian , was puzzled , but intrigued when the Orthodox material started to appear . That was my first exposure to Orthodoxy . (I didn’t immediately convert to Orthodoxy , that journey took another 10 years , but that’s another story …)
      I mostly ignore his public persona these days (his writing is pretty much the same schtick over and over) but when I remember (not often enough, Lord have mercy on me, a sinner) I pray for him, that he would finally find peace in Christ and his Church, this time for real.

  18. “Because you see, in every Orthodox church and in every Orthodox liturgical service –regardless of jurisdiction–we pray for “President and all those in civil authority”.

    Really?

    My prayer book reads “Again we pray for this land, its authorities and armed forces.”

    I have also heard “God fearing authorities” and something along the lines “authorities which are of Faith” don’t recollect here precise wording however along those lines. Obviously the villainous “authorities” of the past, Lenin, Stalin etc. do not qualify as “authorities,” lawful ones at any rate because they were usurpers. However heathen Democrats and Neocons and such who are destructive in so many ways in their capacity of office only prayer I would have for them is that they retire, that they “cease and desist” and that their bills and legislation fail. Luciferian globalists who are at war with God, Christianity and His Church the prayer “For the Living” goes:

    “Save, O Lord, and have mercy one the aged and the young, the poor and the orphans and widows, misfortune and tribulation (like all the people who have been hit with the hurricanes as of late i.e.), those in difficult circumstances and in captivity, in prisons and dungeons, AND especially those of Thy servants that are persecuted for Thy sake and the Orthodox Faith by …. godless peoples .. by apostates .. and by heretics …. and remember them, visit, strengthen, comfort, and by Thy power quickly grant them relief, freedom, and deliverance.”

    For Clintons and Obamas and Pelosis and Warrens and Reids etc. and all the corrupt DNC and the Deep Staters Neocons so forth I don’t think the Orthodox “pray for them” any more than any of the Church Fathers of old would pray for Arius or whoever was sitting in the Vatican post schism. The prayer, the petition is to be delivered from adversity and persecution and from the evil one. “Illumine with the light of awareness the apostates from the Orthodox Faith, and those blinded by pernicious heresies, and number them with Thy Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church.” That is your final petition in Prayers “For the Living.”

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Hair-splitting. Do you think they mean the Chicago Transit Authority?

      • Joseph Lipper says:

        Yes, and for the Chicago Transit Authority also. Lord have mercy.

        • And in Thine mercy, Oh Lord, do not caste away Thine servant, Peter Cetera

          If Thou leavest him now, Thou taketh away the very heart of he

          Ooo oo oo Oh, Lord, pray Thee doeth not depart
          He desireth Thou to staaaaaay

          • Joseph Lipper says:

            “We’ll live forever, knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love…”

            -Peter Cetera

            • And also for the country and The Presidents Of The United States Of America; Lord, have mercy.

              Please grant unto them millions of peaches; peaches for free

              Hey George, were good now – Joseph and I were able to work it all into the liturgy!

              • Joseph Lipper says:

                ?

              • Joseph Lipper says:

                ” I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

                -from 1 Timothy chapter 2

                What’s this about peaches?

                • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

                  Hey Joseph, you probably know this but when St. Paul was commanding this, the civil authority was a terrible pagan. The pseudonomous “cy” and even billy jackwagon might not know this.

                  • Joseph Lipper says:

                    Father, yes, thanks for pointing this out. When in terrible pagan Rome, pray for those terrible pagan Roman authorities!

                    During the Soviet times when the Church was severely persecuted by the government in Russia, it would only make sense that the Church was even then still praying for the Soviet state in the Liturgy and recognizing it as the legitimate government of the land. This is what St. Tikhon of Moscow instructed.

                    In the opening scene of Fiddler on the Roof, the rabbi’s son asks: “Is there a proper blessing for the tsar?” The rabbi responds: “A blessing for the tsar?” He ponders awhile, then pronounces: “Of course . . . May God bless and keep the tsar . . . far away from us!”

                  • No kidding, I thought they were all Baptists!

                    How does a Mexican cut his pizza?

                    With little caesar’s

                • The song, “Peaches” by the 90’s band – The Presidents Of The United States Of America

                  “I’m moving to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches . . . millions of peaches, peaches for me . . .millions of peaches, peaches for free . . .”

              • Estonian Slovak says:

                If by some chance you get this message and are not working, I strongly recommend you go to some old calendar church tomorrow. Or even a new calendar church, if services are being offered. You really need to get your you know what together. This is for your own good.

                • ES

                  You’ve gotta relax, man

                  Besides, no Russians (or Greeks) want anyone who is not them in their churches, despite what anyone officially says. Old calendar? Even tougher

                  Its the unwritten rule

                  Non ethnic Orthodox people are not truly welcome in almost all Orthodox churches. It is something that you eventually figure it out – if you dont take it at face value at the beginning

                  Not quite as unwelcomed as a black guy at a klan rally, but its pretty up there as far as tbe level of awkwardness goes

                  Maybe like hanging out with the Jews For Jesus crowd. I experienced that once and it was an extremely awkward gathering

                  You can be for Jesus, you can be for the Jews, but if your not a Jew, youre kinda ruining their whole “Jews For Jesus” thing. They want other Jews, not you!

                  They wont tell you to leave, but they sure wish you werent there!

                  But while youre there, it will all be about how awesome it is being a Jew, and too bad you arent one of us, yada yada

                  All these ethnic Orthodox churches have pretty much the exact same issue going on as “The Jews For Jesus” thing

                  You can put on a flower necklace and a grass skirt, say aloha everywhere you go, eat poi and drink kava, take up surfing and even say “shaka, brah” but no matter how long you live in Hawaii, the Islanders will just see you as houlie – or however you spell that

                  Thats another mental picture for what its like in the Orthodox church as a non-native. Eventually, you get tired of all the tiki b.s. and your own poser self

                  No one should have to feel like a poser in church due to ethnic cultural issues

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                    Don’t blame ethnicity for being unpopular. It’s a cop-out. I was received into the Church in 1960 as a 28 year old adult and have never been anything but warmly welcomed in an Orthodox Church of ANY ethnic jurisdiction. It is rather the cradle Orthodox who may find himself or herself unwelcome in this or that jurisdiction! The most welcoming churches in my experience have been Russian and Ukrainian.

                    • I didnt say I was unpopular

                      I said unwanted. Not a part of the ethnic club. Socially, I fit in just fine. Unbelievabe to some of you I’m sure.

                      Originally, I was more supportive of our ethnic bachground probably more than most – including some of our more prominent Greek lay members. Until I finally saw its ethnocentric insular restrains and quiet racism

                      It was others who told me about it first and were very discouraged by it. I thought they just had some personal issues too

                      Until i realizes that no one cared one bit about my friends and family or city, etc

                      That’s what brought me here. The only Orthodox blog I know of where people can speak their minds with minimal censorship (although there is some editing)and unhealthy church propaganda. I’m sure there’s a few more out there, but I’m unaware of them . Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was searching for quite a while trying to find lay people who would talk about the Cretan Council, I’m not sure I would have found this web site. The internet was swamped with EP propeganda. I found a few articles opposed to the council, but no dialog.

                      That’s great if you felt warmly accepted. However, most will never darken the door of an Orthodox church or hardly ever hear of it, and certainly not perceive it for what it truly is largly due to the Orthodox Christian populace in America not being outward bound but rather ethnically insular

                      We Orthodox make up 0.05 percent of the population here in America. What is the Orthodox population in Russia by comparison?

                      This is what you call epic fail.

                      So spare me the “Everything’s just fine, the problem is obviously with you” bit

                      I have zero confidence that the hierarchy are attempting any real sustainable significant mission in North America. The juristictional, cultural/ethnic issues, church stats and societal/cultural issues say otherwise

                      I am willing to say things that are uncomfortable because I’m tired of watching the world spiritually burn all around me and the church act like an inept, apathetic and uncompassionate unresponsive fire department. We are talking about people’s souls for all eternity here!

                      Almost no one in America finds the Orthodox church without being an obsessed reader of history/church history.

                      They find us, we dont find them – as we should be doing.

                      Instead, we expect the fish to just jump in the boat and when it does happen on rare occasion, we use it as an excuse to justify our unwillingness to do actual work

                      There is such backwards thinking among so much Orthodox because of triumphalism.

                      One day, the blue haired frozen chosen will die, the rest of us will die, our kids will marry non-Orthodox and our grandkids and great grandkids will probably not be Orthodox.

                      Our churches will implode, and the land will be sold off

                      Yes, the Orthodox church will survive in history – but in America? That is yet to be determined but it looks grim

                      To those of you that will say, look at our growth! Please just look at the statistics vs the general population. The church is the ark of salvation. However, the mission in America has been nothing but a dingy with two life jackets

                      Don’t say you care until everyone in our culture is remembered and we act on their behalf according

                      Otherwise, yup, we are a spiritual social ethnic club not actively seeking converts but willingly accepting those who beat down the door as long as they are willing to forfeit their own family’s cultural heritage

                      Comedy comes from the exaggeration of truth. It is a helpful tool at times so that an underlying truth can be magnified for all to see – and thus no longer ignored.

                      Sometimes people become a parody of themselves. On rare occasion, it is even done willfully

                      The truth of the matter is, no matter how pointed I’ve been with some people, or how much of a razzing I’ve given some, I really do care about everyone [even you, Dino] and want the best for everyone. I just don’t want so many to go forgotten – because that’s exactly whats happening – and it looks like its going to stay that way

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Billy Jack, I really like your insights. Would you do me the favor of trying to get in touch with me?

                    • Joseph Lipper says:

                      Billy Jack Sunday,

                      If you sometimes find ethnic Orthodox parish life intolerable, can you then imagine what it would be like if some of these same parishioners or parish council members ran the U.S. government or were made King of America?

                      That’s why I always wince when I hear Orthodox Christians offering political solutions for the U.S. government. I don’t always like our government, it has many weaknesses, bureaucracy is always problematic and subject to ridicule, but I’m grateful that we have a government, that we haven’t completely devolved into civil war yet. I hope we don’t.

                      The governmental solutions of Orthodox Christianity in history have mostly been problematic in one way or another. We have a long history of failed government that clearly shows this. It’s like the saying that “insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

                      Until Christ returns in His Glory at the end of this age, any earthly government will at best be replete with weaknesses. Instead of offering real political solutions, Orthodox Christianity offers help with the cure of our souls and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.

                  • While I can’t speak to the disappointing perceptions provided here by ‘Billy Jack Sunday’, I can say for a fact that in my personal experience starting around age nine as a layman, and after age thirty as a monk, I have always been warmly received in Orthodox parishes of every jurisdiction, starting with the Greeks in 1956.

                    Then the Ukrainians, Russians, and Carpatho-Russians, although I did not formally become Orthodox until 1971 at the age of twenty-four. After that, nothing changed except that I could add the Arabs and the Serbs to the list of my cordial hosts and friends before beginning monastic life in 1977.

                    As a boy, it didn’t bother me that none of these churches (except the Arabs) worshipped in English. I just learned their languages. In fact, I never heard the Divine Liturgy in English until I was in my late twenties. Considering the many problems of translation we find in our liturgical books published in English, perhaps those parishes which keep their old languages have a point.

                    And maybe that’s why I get on so well with all these different groups: I accept them and love them as they are, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and they return the favor.

                    It’s proverbially said that we get what we give.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      Mr Sunday gave us this doctrine: “Almost no one in America finds the Orthodox church without being an obsessed reader of history/church history.” Was there a survey, symposium, colloquium, or the like on which this doctrine was based? I first discovered the Orthodox Church in the appendix to Luther’s Little Catechism where one may read (without obsessiveness) that “only the Greek Church failed to submit” (i.e., to Roman hegemony). After that my first “finding” of Orthodoxy was through becoming friends with a co-worker in Detroit who was a Ukrainian DP (from East Ukraine) and then her friends. I again met Orthodox (also East Ukrainians) a few years later while matriculating at Wayne State. A couple were, like me, German majors. We often had coffee together at the Student Center. Sometimes one of us would get everyone else’s coffees. We knew how we all drank it. Once it was my turn and I got the usuals: some black, some with cream or sugar, some with both. However, I got a surprise: Lida and another Uke said, “Oh no! No cream on Wednesdays!” Lida and Peter invited me to their church at Theophany. The old Bishop gave me a dousing with holy water I’ll never forget. Although I like history, especially German history, I feel I’ve never been obsessed with or obsessive about reading it! What a peculiar idea! In general, my experience since becoming Orthodox a few years later is like that of Monk James. I was only made to feel “uncomfortable once: at the (old) St George Antiochian Church on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit: They had pews and icons on stands down in front with trays of colored glass vigil lights with a coin box at the base, and little cards that read: “Ten Cents for Ten Minutes.” I put a dime in one, lit a light, crossed myself and (as I had been taught in the Metropolia) bowed over far enough so that I could touch the floor with my right hand before kissing the Icon, In the front row, behind me, I heard this loudly whispered dialogue: “What’s he doing?” ” “Oh, it’s something Russian, I think.” That was my first encounter with a particularly Antiochene minor obsession with “looking ‘American’ (or ‘normal’)”

                    • Monk James

                      I myself am very adaptable to social groups as well, but it doesn’t matter. You got to look at the bigger picture

                      This isn’t about the mere acceptance of individuals who are willing to adapt so they can be adopted

                      Its about the street kids. Almost all of America is spiritually homeless or in abusive spiritual foster homes

                      It’s not about you

                    • If what Billy Jack Sunday says is true, then the Orthodox Church can’t possibly be the one true church because it is not” catholic,” meaning universal and diverse. Also, I have heard ad nauseum that the Orthodox faith hasn’t changed in 2,000 years which is a blatant falsehood. First of all, Constantinople/ Istanbul was never an apostolic see. Secondly, the Orthodox Church allows abortion in some instances. Thirdly, the Orthodox Church allows contraception, and fourthly, the Orthodox Church allows divorce and remarriage in contravention to Christ’s direct command. Time to knock off the Orthodox “exceptionalism.”It seems to me that Protestantism and Orthodoxy are the two sides of the same coin. They both broke off from Rome, the undisputed throne of St. Peter and the martyrdom of St Paul.

                    • Oh-oh, looks like Cyprian has just exposed himself as a crypto-Papist.

                      Not sure whether to laugh or cry…

                    • Cyprian,

                      Also, I have heard ad nauseum that the Orthodox faith hasn’t changed in 2,000 years which is a blatant falsehood.

                      This is true, actually. What Christ taught and delivered to His Apostles is the Orthodox Faith. When questions about exactly what that faith actually means arose, councils guided by the Holy Spirit have been held like the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem which decided the controversy over the “Judaizers”. Rome’s spurious papal claims arise much later and are entirely based on equivocal texts or fabrications.

                      First of all, Constantinople/ Istanbul was never an apostolic see.

                      And this demonstrates what? The Orthodox do not understand primacy as a charismatic function of a particular apostolic see but rather as a necessary administrative position which was sometimes designated by Church councils. The pecking order of the pentarchy was ordained by the Council of Trullo (692).

                      Secondly, the Orthodox Church allows abortion in some instances.

                      Some Orthodox bishops have been known to allow an abortion to save the life of the mother if two doctors testify that otherwise the chance of the mother’s survival is unlikely. This mirrors the practice of Halakhah at the time of Christ which characterized the unborn child as an innocent aggressor. It is by no means uncontroversial and not a uniform practice and is the only circumstance under which some Orthodox bishops consider it lamentably acceptable.

                      Thirdly, the Orthodox Church allows contraception

                      Some local churches allow non-abortifacient contraception in order to space out pregnancies; however, this practice is also not uncontroversial. The entire question of inhibiting reproduction on a widespread basis is a novel one in modernity. We Orthodox, however, must plead guilty to being less than stalwart at insisting that reproduction inside the family is always an affirmative good and should not be hindered in any way. “Be fruitful and multiply.”

                      , and fourthly, the Orthodox Church allows divorce and remarriage in contravention to Christ’s direct command.

                      Christ allowed divorce in the case of the wife’s sexual misconduct. Catholic attempts to explain away these passages are really efforts to whitewash the Lord’s words. That sexual misconduct is mentioned as an exception here and not there is not the point. In general, Christ did not alter the Law of Moses but rather saw Himself as its fulfillment. The notion of indissolubility of marriage was not present. A strong admonishment that man should not render what God joined together is certainly evident. But that is not the same thing as to say that it cannot be rendered, just that no one should dare do so. Rome contradicts itself on this point by allowing that there are some marriages which nonetheless may be dissolved (the “Pauline” and “Petrine” priviliges).

                      The Orthodox answer to the circumstance where a marriage has already died (due to adultery and their kinsman: abandonment and/or abuse) is to acknowledge the plain fact and not pretend otherwise or that no marriage ever occurred in the first place. Christ gave to His Apostles and their successors the power to bind and loose and the Church has been led by the Spirit to do so in this manner.

                      Time to knock off the Orthodox ‘exceptionalism.’ It seems to me that Protestantism and Orthodoxy are the two sides of the same coin. They both broke off from Rome, the undisputed throne of St. Peter and the martyrdom of St Paul.

                      Not at all. Rome broke away from the Church over a period from the 9th to the 11th centuries. Protestantism was simply a natural reaction to Rome’s creative attitude toward theology and tradition.

  19. Joseph Lipper says:

    Although there is an obvious self-contradiction in saying that one is “an atheist who believes in God”, I suspect that Frank Schaeffer is making a very good and provocative point here about how we live in a society that often makes “gods” of money, war, power, and sex. Practically speaking, we live in a society that is often polytheist, and in some ways similar to the pagan Roman empire that the early Christians lived in. Those early Christians were labeled as “atheists” by the pagan Romans. They were labeled as “atheists” because they did not believe in the pagan gods.

    Those early Christians were also not political. They were not seeking a political revolution, but rather they sought an inner revolution of the heart, a revolution of repentance. They sought the Kingdom of Heaven, not the kingdoms of this earth.

    It is only with the advent of the repentance of St. Constantine and the subsequent beginnings of the Holy Roman Empire, when the government becomes ostensibly Christian, that we then have saints who importantly speak out politically against the injustices of a government that also ostensibly claims to be “Orthodox Christian”. Anyone who has read a history of the Byzantine Roman Empire knows that it was often a political and theological nightmare. It is only in this context of an “Orthodox Christian State” that it makes any sense for Orthodox Christians to speak out politically against their government.

    However, we don’t live in an Orthodox Christian country in the U.S. We don’t even live in a country that claims to be Orthodox Christian. Our country was founded on the freemasonry principle of anti-Orthodoxy, of religious freedom. Everywhere in the U.S. we find a schismatic “Christianity”, a gnostic “Christianity”, a politicized “Christianity”, and I-do-what-want-and-believe-what-I-want “Christianity”. Our government protects all these types of “Christianity”, and it also thankfully protects us as Orthodox Christians. How should we respond to this? The idea that Orthodox Christians should stage a political revolution to take over the U.S. is ridiculous, absurd, and not even Christian. The only response that makes any sense is the same response of the early Christians to their government: to pray for our country and it’s government, to seek first repentance and the Kingdom of Heaven, to reject politics, and to be as “atheists” to the pagan “gods” of money, war, power, and sex that society worships.

    Personally, I was never impressed with Frank Schaeffer’s overt politics, from his “Evangelical” years to the present. Some would probably say that he has flip-flopped from conservative to liberal, but it seems it’s still a politicized “Christianity” he is promoting. He’s still doing the same thing.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Your’s is a sophisticated argument to be sure and not invalid. It breaks down with Schaeffer however whose outrage appears only against Republican presidents. Why was he so quiet during Obama’s tenure? The same Obama who kept Gitmo open, the same Obama who drone-killed hundreds of people, some of whom were American citizens? The same Obama who looked the other way when innocent American civilians were killed by illegal alien killers?

      • Joseph Lipper says:

        Probably the only U.S. president that some would even consider for “sainthood” would be Abraham Lincoln, and that’s probably only amongst them Northerners:

        http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2015/04/how_abe_lincoln_went_from_pres.html

        How Abe Lincoln went from president to American saint

        By Francis Wilkinson

        Abraham Lincoln, a politician much reviled in life, became something of a saint upon his death 150 years ago.

        The surrender of the Confederacy at Appomattox, just five days before Lincoln’s April 14 appearance at Ford’s Theatre, relieved the country of a terrible burden. Still, prolonged suffering, widespread destruction and more than 600,000 war deaths left deep (and abiding) recriminations on both sides of the Mason-Dixon. More terrors were to come.

        Lincoln, who bore the awesome responsibility of prosecuting the war, earned no small amount of contempt for his service. He was demonized in the South. In the North, some blamed him for pushing too hard, others for not pushing hard enough, toward victory. Likewise, he was deemed simultaneously too solicitous of black rights and insufficiently committed to their freedom.

        A white supremacist rendered such arguments moot. In murdering Lincoln the politician, John Wilkes Booth sanctified Lincoln the savior. The assassination took place on Good Friday, giving a country steeped in Christian themes a ready template: Lincoln had paid for the nation’s sins with his life.

        Lincoln’s almost preternatural lack of malice — even while waging total war — reinforced the Christian drama of his death. But like a wayward people falling short of a divine assignment, Americans failed to make good on their savior’s sacrifice. The new birth of freedom Lincoln had promised was suffocated in the cradle.

        At Gettysburg, Lincoln reached back four score and seven to retrieve the spiritual foundation of American equality in the Declaration of Independence.

        It proved to be a highly unstable rock on which to build. “All men are created equal” is a plain phrase. But for generations of blacks, Chinese, women and others after the Civil War its language resisted comprehension.

        As news of Lincoln’s death trickled out across Easter 1865, America’s civic faith and its predominant religious faith aligned.

        A century later, the April assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. — a man possessed of Lincoln-esque levels of eloquence, patience and strategic insight — resurrected the narrative of paschal sacrifice. King’s death, the day after his prophecy of it, also produced mystery and awe.

        It created another American saint seemingly straddling secular and sacred.

        But once again, equality failed to issue from the heavens or arrive by celestial chariot. It remained, as ever, a fight for the living.

        • Michael Bauman says:

          Personally I am not pleased with the use of the word “saint” in connection with any secular politician for his political acts. It is a gross distortion.

          History should teach us one thing: there is no such thing as political equality. Along with that we must recognise that the attempt to create and enforce political equality is a Procrustean Bed resulting in tryanny murder and destruction.

          Equality has nothing to do with freedom.
          Even George Bernard Shaw recognized it. In his play Julius Caesar he had Caesar’s slave from Brian refuse Caesar’s offer of freedom by saying: “Only as Caesar’s slave have I known true freedom.”
          Of course real freedom comes obly in obedience to God. Anything else is submitting to the rule of sin.

          God forgive me.

          • Joseph Lipper says:

            Hi Michael,

            Yes, no argument there from me. Just trying to point out with Francis Wilkinson’s article that even Abraham Lincoln, who is the one president most revered by the American public as a saint and also as a type of martyr, was and is still deemed a demon by many.

            Yes, the Northerners use of the term “equality” was often just a moralistic and empty term used to justify the war. People always have to justify war somehow.

            Of course, the Civil War didn’t actually result in a victory of human equality. Rather, it was simply just a victory of the Union armies over the Confederate armies. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination 100 years later and the more current racial riots show that there is still a disconnect between expectations of “equality” and the actual reality. If anything, the expectation of “equality” has sometimes brought about more social discord.

            • Michael Bauman says:

              Mr. Lipper, good comment. Expectation of equality based on the false ideology of egalitaianism will always result in violence because even though all are “equal”, some are “more equal than others”. The NFL players, most of them, are like Boxer in Animal Farm. It would be interesting to know who the pigs are.

    • This is to oh dear,
      Friend, name calling and silly statements are not a substitute for a conversation between brothers.

    • This is in response to Misha’s lengthy post to me:
      Very good Misha. In fact, excellent. You see, folks, this is the way discussions should be. Notice no personal insults, no name calling, no condemnation, just an eloquent answer to my previous post. Thank you most kindly Misha for a very informative, kind, articulate answer.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Totally agree with Cyprian. Let’s all remember that there are important issues on the table in many areas. We need to keep criticisms to the issues, not the man.

      • Cyprian,

        You’re welcome.

  20. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/09/21/the-big-bang-wasnt-the-beginning-after-all/#1a54dce855df

    I found this interesting. What he is saying is that the Big Bang was not the beginning of the universe but that there was a “vacuum state” of energy inflating or expanding through deep space that preceded the Big Bang. They can tell this because the temperature readings are consistent with this theory as opposed to the theory of the unity of space and time emerging from a single point that would mark the Big Bang as The Beginning.

    The wall that they are hitting is the Mind of God. He is Essence and Energy and “fillest all things”:

    “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life – come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.”

  21. Cyprian says:

    September 28, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    If what Billy Jack Sunday says is true, then the Orthodox Church can’t possibly be the one true church because it is not” catholic,” meaning universal and diverse. Also, I have heard ad nauseum that the Orthodox faith hasn’t changed in 2,000 years which is a blatant falsehood. First of all, Constantinople/ Istanbul was never an apostolic see. Secondly, the Orthodox Church allows abortion in some instances. Thirdly, the Orthodox Church allows contraception, and fourthly, the Orthodox Church allows divorce and remarriage in contravention to Christ’s direct command. Time to knock off the Orthodox “exceptionalism.”It seems to me that Protestantism and Orthodoxy are the two sides of the same coin. They both broke off from Rome, the undisputed throne of St. Peter and the martyrdom of St Paul.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What a collection of misinformation ‘Cyprian’ offers here!

    It is simply not true that ‘catholic’ means ‘universal and diverse’. There are other words in Greek which express those ideas more than adequately. The Greek adjective katholikos is formed by joining a preposition and a noun, kata and holos, meaning ‘in accordance with the whole’.

    As we recite the Symbol of the Faith, we profess to believe in ‘one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church’. Each of these adjectives deserves several pages of explanation, but the short description of ‘catholic’ means that each local church, comprising the faithful and clergy led by their bishop, is complete in all respects, and provides everything necessary for our life as Christians. The word ‘catholic’ assumes nothing about geography or authority higher than the local bishop, while not excluding the collaboration of bishops in synod or in the consecration of a new bishop for a local church.

    In his last lines here, though, ‘Cyprian goes over the top when he writes that ‘Protestantism and Orthodoxy are the two sides of the same coin. They both broke off from Rome, the undisputed throne of St. Peter and the martyrdom of St Paul.’

    There were five ancient patriarchates in the eleventh century. One of them — Rome — much smaller and less prominent than it later became, although it was always first in honor — broke away from them. Five centuries later, Protestants broke away from Rome. This is history, not pro-Vatican propaganda.

    And speaking of history, the record of succession of the bishops of Rome provided by several early fathers of The Church and other writers clearly indicates that St Linus, appointed by Sts Peter and Paul, was the first bishop of the city. Undisputed? Hardly.

    ‘Cyprian’ and other interested parties would do well to read The Papacy and the Orthodox: Sources and History of a Debate by A. Edward Siecienski. Oxford University Press, New York 2017. ISBN 978-019-024525-2

    In the matters of moral discipline which ‘Cyprian’ finds Orthodoxy deficient, he should not paint with such a broad brush. These areas are very subtle and nuanced in general, and must be approached with great sensitivity and pastoral care.

    Regarding abortion, it can be confidently stated that the only time a mother may terminate her pregnancy is when her life is in danger should she carry to term. Orthodox Christians believe and teach that any other reason for abortion is an excuse for murder. Even so, the decision to abort or not is left up to the mother alone, and she is free to do what is best for herself and her family. In Russia, at least, women who chose to carry to term and died in or as a result of childbirth were traditionally regarded as martyrs.

    With recent advances in prenatal, neonatal, and obstetric care, though, some considerations which obtained in earlier times have been rendered moot.

    • No, Monk James, Constantinople was never an apostolic see. Rome always had primacy of honor. A primacy of honor must carry obedience with it or it is no primacy. Get my drift? The Orthodox Church allows abortion when the mother’s life is at risk, and in the case of rape and incest. Pro life is no abortions under any conditions whatsoever.
      As you know, Michael Cerularius was a ruthless, evil, proud, vindictive man who intended to break with Rome from the very beginning, then when the time was propitious, he did exactly that. However, that does not mean the Orthodox Church is not a great faith; it just means Orthodox triumphalism is totally unwarranted. I am Orthodox, but in my studies, the Catholic Church has a much stronger argument. I have never seen the book of Constantinople/ Istanbul in the Bible, but I have read the book of Romans many times. We also know that St. Peter’s bones have been discovered in Rome in the Vatican. I’m only saying that the Orthodox Church is not the one true church. To even suggest such a preposterous idea is patently ridiculous and divisive. By the way, look up the word catholic in the dictionary.

      • ‘Cyprian’, who said that Constantinople was founded by one of the twelve apostles? Certainly not I, and I’m quite confident that attributing the Byzantine church’s foundation to St Andrew is just so much pious piffle.

        The fact is that not a single one of our Lord’s twelve apostles was ever the bishop of anywhere. Their charism was to establish local churches by appointing bishops for them, and then to move on.

        Rome’s primacy of honor among the ancient churches is derived from two factors unique to it. First, it is the only local church founded by two apostles, Sts Peter and Paul, rather than by only one. Second, it was the capital of the Roman Empire and the central administrative seat of the entire protochristian world which surrounded the Mediterranean Sea. Neither of these two distinctives implies anything about the other churches’ being obedient to Rome. That’s a much later development in Rome’s self-understanding.

        That St Peter’s relics were found at Rome is no more or less significant than that St Paul’s relics are there, too. What is significant for our purposes, though, is that the seat of the RC bishop of Rome is the cathedral of St John Lateran. In the ciborium over that church’s high altar, the skulls (or parts of them, at least) of both Sts Peter and Paul are enshrined. This equal honor to both apostles is repeated all over the city, most prominently in front of the Vatican basilica of St Peter, where tutelary statues of them both stand at either side of the basilica’s façade. The very architecture of the city tells us that St Peter alone is not that church’s founder.

        You really ought to read Siecienski’s book.

        Wherever you get your information about Orthodox Christianity’s position on abortion, your source is mistaken. It is as I wrote earlier: a mother whose life is endangered by continuing her pregnancy may terminate it but only penitentially and with the best available medical and spiritual advice. She alone can make this decision, and she may also choose to carry to term. If that results in her death, she might be regarded as a martyr. There are NO EXCEPTIONS for rape or incest. You might want to attest this and let us know who is teaching such things in the Orthodox Church. And, speaking of a consistent pro-life ethic, what about the mother’s life? If she already has several children and she is unlikely to survive her current pregnancy and/or parturition, who will care for her family?

        Whatever dictionaries suggest that ‘catholic’ means ‘universal and diverse’ are mistaken, possibly influenced by Vaticanist theories. If the word really meant that, we Orthodox would not be professing our faith in a catholic church, since we clearly don’t mean what RCs mean when they use the same word. They used to believe what we believe about that, but they changed. And not only that.

        And, by the way, you can’t credibly write ‘ I’m only saying that the Orthodox Church is not the one true church’ just after writing ‘I am Orthodox.’

        Sorry, ‘Cyprian’. You’re either lying or at least very confused about what it means to be Orthodox. Either way, someone who thinks as you do is definitely not Orthodox.

        • Lying Monk James? Where does it say that in order to be a practicing Orthodox Christian one must believe in Orthodox triumphalism and Orthodox supremacy? I have studied the controversy between Catholicism and Orthodoxy for years, and I can’t for the life of me say which Church is correct. I know for a fact that the Catholic position is more charitable than the Orthodox one. Orthodox believe there is no grace outside the Orthodox Church. Tell that to David Wilkerson,, founder of Teen Challenge fame, or Corrie Ten Boom, the Christian woman who saved many Jews during the Holocaust. They both put ninety nine percent of the Orthodox Christians to shame. I see precious little Christian love, charity and kindness on this forum.

          • Monk James says:

            ‘Cyprian’, you want to know ‘Where does it say that in order to be a practicing Orthodox Christian one must believe in Orthodox triumphalism and Orthodox supremacy? I have studied the controversy between Catholicism and Orthodoxy for years, and I can’t for the life of me say which Church is correct.’

            Well, then you must have been studying the wrong things.

            In spite of your misunderstanding of the meaning of the word ‘catholic’, I trust that you can agree that in the sentence ‘I believe…in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church’ that the Symbol of the Faith means ONE when it has us profess our faith that there is ONE and only ONE Church.

            So, while we won’t find anywhere a statement of belief in orthodox triumphalism, we do indeed have one expressing that we believe that The Church is singular and unique. As a result, it cannot be both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian, since the RCs have beliefs about many things which are very different from the faith of the Orthodox. In these differences there are occasionally minor variations in practice, but in matters of faith, when RCs differ from the Orthodox, the RCs are in error.

            You write that you see ‘precious little love’ in the correspondence here, but you’re missing the point that real love involves telling the truth to people who are deceived or who are deceiving themselves. Think of it in medical terms: the cure might be painful, but it will save you.

            So, regretfully, I write again: Sorry, ‘Cyprian’. You’re either lying or at least very confused about what it means to be Orthodox. Either way, someone who thinks as you do is definitely not Orthodox.

            • Well, Monk James, as I ‘ve been studying history, it was the Orthodox Church that broke away from the see of St. Peter. Our Lord and Savior made St. Peter the prince of the apostles with the keys to the kingdom, a pastoral ministry and the power to bind and loose. History is replete with examples of papal primacy in the early church as Jesus Christ willed it. I don’t wish to discuss this issue any further with anyone, therefore, I shall no longer participate in this forum. If you are not in communion with the Pope, you are not the one true church; at best, you are a sister church.

              • Monk James says:

                The Orthodox Church has no sisters, and, your words here, ‘Cyprian’, identify you as a Roman Catholic, not Orthodox in the least.

              • Michael Bauman says:

                Cyprian, that is certainly the RCC position. We Orthodox are in schism. The less charitable position is that if we do not recognize the Pope as head of the Church, etc. we are going to hell.

                This last position was last affirmed by Pope Benedict XVI.

                In fact the first “See of Peter” was in Antioch.

                It was the Papal Legate Humbert acting in excess of his authority who laid the Bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia. He was begged to take it back but arrogantly refused.
                Certainly there were diplomatic affronts to Humbert that percipitated his action.

                Nevertheless a reasonable assessment of the history tends to indicate that it was the Pope of Rome who left the Church to set up his own shop down the street-twisting history, the Gospel and the Sacraments in the process.

                The Popes have been trying to force their hegemony down the throats of everyone ever since. The EP is now following suit.

                Sorry but especially under the current Pope the trajectory away from the Church has accelerated tremendously. I for one will give the RCC no credit for anything resembling traditional Christianity. They are a counterfeit which has lost its savor.

                • Thank you Monk James for all your thought and effort.

                  • Monk James says:

                    I hope and pray that it was of a least a little help to you, ‘Cyprian’.

                    • Well, Monk James, if I’m not mistaken, I think you said I was “confused.” My response would be: ” ain’t it the truth.”

                • Thank you Michael Bauman for your thoughts and efforts.

                • V. Rev. Andrei Alexiev says:

                  Bearing in mind my spiritual father’s admonition, I am reluctant to post here. But I came across this from “The Book of Grace” by St. Isaac the Syrian.
                  “The mist of envy, wilfulness, and wickedness partially conceals the sun that dawns in the heart’s firmament. But the cloud of anger and wrath completely eclipses it.”
                  Having been guilty of all the above, I can attest to this. I ask your prayers.

          • Cyprian,

            “I know for a fact that the Catholic position is more charitable than the Orthodox one. Orthodox believe there is no grace outside the Orthodox Church.”

            This is a very delicate and little understood subject, but it is more accurate to say that the Orthodox assert that the grace of the mysteries (sacraments) does not extend to other confessions than to say that Holy Spirit is totally inactive outside the Church. I do not believe the latter assertion to be an accurate statement of Orthodox theology.

            “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

            And what did Chrysostom have to say about this:

            “Do not then disbelieve these things, because thou seest them not; thou dost not see thy soul, and yet thou believest that thou hast a soul, and that it is a something different besides the body.

            But Christ led him not in by this example, but by another; the instance of the soul, though it is incorporeal, He did not adduce for that reason, because His hearer’s disposition was as yet too dull. He sets before him another, which has no connection with the density of solid bodies, yet does not reach so high as to the incorporeal natures; that is, the movement of wind. He begins at first with water, which is lighter than earth, but denser than air. And as in the beginning earth was the subject material, but the whole was of Him who molded it; so also now water is the subject material, and the whole is of the grace of the Spirit: then, “man became a living soul,” [Genesis 2:7]; now he becomes “a quickening Spirit.” But great is the difference between the two. Soul affords not life to any other than him in whom it is; Spirit not only lives, but affords life to others also. Thus, for instance, the Apostles even raised the dead. Then, man was formed last, when the creation had been accomplished; now, on the contrary, the new man is formed before the new creation; he is born first, and then the world is fashioned anew. [1 Corinthians 15:45.] And as in the beginning He formed him entire, so He creates him entire now.” – Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, John 3 – http://biblehub.com/commentaries/chrysostom/john/3.htm

            And we recite everyday in prayers:

            “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life – come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.”

            If the Holy Spirit is “everywhere and fillest all things”, He must necessarily then be among the heterodox as well. The question is what does He do there? I would suggest that first and foremost, He is leading them to the Church in subtle and sometimes in not so subtle ways. For He wishes to gather all under His wings.

          • Gail Sheppard says:

            Cyprian,

            Your argument is based on “people;” instead of the Teachings of the Church. (Psalms 146:3-5)

            Yes, you do have to accept the Teachings of the Church to be Orthodox.

            • Would you mind explaining to me the Orthodox who have reunited with Rome? How about the Greek Melkites?

              • Michael Bauman says:

                Cyprian, they are no longer Orthodox.

              • Gail Sheppard says:

                They’re not Orthodox, Cyprian.

              • Cyprian,

                They have embraced heresy (Papal Infallibility, the Anselmian version of ancestral sin, the Double Procession/filioque error, the Immaculate Conception, created grace, etc) as different Western expressions of the same underlying truth as the Orthodox faith. I.e., in short, they have married a lie, purported to reconcile what is mutually exclusive and irreconcilable and thus departed from the Church. The grace of the mysteries no longer operates in their confessions and they have left the Ark of Salvation.

        • It is my understanding that Catholic means, from the original Greek, “for all.” Even though all Orthodox jurisdictions use the creed in its original form, the practice of many jurisdictions, especially for the GOA, is not Catholic(for all); the GOA is for Greeks. Lip service is given to being inclusive but the reality is that the GOA is for Greeks. Other jurisdictions are similar in their practice, most notably the Serbs and ROCOR.

          It is rank hypocrisy to call oneself Catholic if the very name of the church promotes exclusivity–Greek, Russian, Serbian. Either change the creed, or practice the proclamation. By the way, the Ephraim monasteries are no different. To have a Greek restaurant, run by the nuns and connected to a convent, is a clear message. In addition, it is required by the Ephraim monasteries that the monks/ nuns learn Greek.

          Orthodoxy in America is often not Catholic.

          • Monk James says:

            johnkal (October 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm) says:
            BIG SNIP
            ‘Orthodoxy in America is often not Catholic.’
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Not by your definition of ‘catholic’, but your definition is wrong, ‘johnkal’.

          • Michael Bauman says:

            johnkal, My understanding of Catholic is the it means the whole. Thus each Orthodox parish is not a piece of something, but the wholeness of the Truth. As a corollary, the failure if one does not impact the wholeness. Not being open to others can be a violation of that principal but it does not necessarily mean that it is.

            In fact wholeness can be violated by allowing open communion for instance. The Church is not “for all”. The Church is for those who seek the Kingdom of God and wish to live a life of repentance. It is open to all who will repent.

            I honestly think that it would break down the insularity significantly if jurisdictional headquarters were moved from the coasts to the heart of the country–say Kansas City, or to the South.

            Learning Greek for monaatics is not a bad thing.

          • johnkal,

            * * *

            catholic (ˈkæθəlɪk; ˈkæθlɪk)
            adj
            1. universal; relating to all men; all-inclusive
            2. comprehensive in interests, tastes, etc; broad-minded; liberal
            [C14: from Latin catholicus, from Greek katholikos universal, from katholou in general, from kata- according to + holos whole] – Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

            * * *

            cf: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/stvincent.aspx

            Thus St. Vincent of Lerins proposed the most widely accepted definition of traditional Christianity as that which is held everywhere, from always and from everyone. The idea behind this definition is that this greatest common denominator having its origin widespread and from the earliest times can have no other source but the Apostles themselves:

            “In ipsa item catholica ecclesia magnopere curandum est, ut id teneamus quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est”

            So we’re not talking at all about nationality or ethnicity when we use the word “catholic”, we are talking about the pedigree of the Church’s teachings, whatever its ethnic composition. Early on, it was quite top heavy, I dare say, with Palestinian Jews. As time went on it expanded in fits and starts.

            There is a certain amount of ethnic cocooning that occurs here and there. But there is also quite a bit of projection by inquirers who simply feel a bit out of place in that the liturgy itself, the icons, the incense, the faces, the beards, etc. – the trappings of Orthodoxy, are not common to Protestantism or contemporary Roman Catholicism.

            But we have served liturgy and grown beards from the very beginning. There are references to it in Acts, the Letters and the Apocalypse as well as the later Church Fathers, though you may need to read Greek for it to really stand out to you.

            We are not the ones who have changed.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        If you are Orthodox, and think the RCC is more faithful, even when it is not, and reformed itself, when the Orthodox never did, NEVER DID, then you are delusional, or a paid troll/bot or both.

        Monk James and Misha answered you well. No reason to further dialogue. Have a good night.

        Peter A Papoutsis

    • Estonian Slovak says:

      I wonder if Cyprian isn’t Peter Millman under another name?

      • There you go again making wild, personal accusations! I wonder if Estonian Slovak is…….. Gotcha! One anonymous poster trying to out another anonymous poster. Oh, such irony and hypocrisy! Before you play this childish, silly game, wouldn’t it be a good idea to use your real name?