LAMBS BEING POISONED…..? (The Conversation Continues)

By dogcatcher on April 18th, 2017

[The conversation continues 8 years later]

Approximately 8 years ago, we published an article entitled are “Lambs being poisoned”. That article was based on a conversation between a devout father – son duo. Both, hopefully will remain Orthodox Christians, but doubts remain. The current issue discussed by them is the “manipulation in lieu of management” of the “Dokos mess” by the Hierarchy in Chicago. The discussion then took the natural path to the circumstances we face today as a religious community. A discussion ensued directed towards the lack of Christ-based action by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Hierarchy. The father asked his son how he views the lack of action, what could or should be guiding our Hierarchs? Here was the son’s response: “Every Sunday, the entire Orthodox Church worldwide recites in unison the words of the Nicene Creed. This is the moment of the service where we succinctly state the essentials of our Christian faith. It is these tenets that we hold absolutely true. We can hold differences of opinion on many matters, but if we deny any part of the Creed, we are not truly Orthodox Christians. The Nicene Creed states, “And He will come again in glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.” We, as Christians, need to be able to dissect even this one segment and believe all of its components. Christ will come again. At some time unknown to us, Christ will return. The world in which we live now is fleeting. We are merely waiting for the return of Christ. When He comes, we will face His awesome seat of judgment. We will have to stand before His throne and present our account. If you pay attention during the Divine Liturgy, you’ll notice that we pray for this twice, once during the Litany of Completion and once right before the Lord’s Prayer. Specifically, we ask “for a good defense before the awesome judgment seat of Christ”. Thankfully, we believe in a God who offers us radical mercy, else we would all fail before His throne. Nevertheless, we will be judged, but hopefully acquitted on a technicality called “Grace”. This is especially important for leaders of the Church. James 3:1 famously states, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness” (RSV). Church leadership is called to be upstanding citizens, of course (see 1 Timothy 3). But we also have the grave and important task of protecting the Church. Our scriptures portray the Church as both the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. How amazing that the Body of Christ is under our human stewardship. When the time of Judgement comes, will our Church and lay leadership be able to defend their stewardship of the Church? Finally, the previously quoted line in the creed states that God’s Kingdom shall be eternal. Every Sunday, our congregation sings the Cherubic Hymn. In it we sing, “let us now lay aside all earthly cares that we may receive the King of all”. This idea of casting our earthly cares aside is prevalent throughout the scripture and hymns of our Church (one of my favorite examples is Matthew 6:25-34). So many of us try to do all that we can to build ourselves up in this life. We build up riches, power and influence. If you truly appreciate the words of the Gospel, however, you see that this is meaningless. As stated above, this world is fleeting. We await God’s kingdom that shall have no end. An infinite kingdom, unlike the finite existence in which we now find ourselves. Yet, how many of our leaders give us the appearance that they are obsessed with the mirage of power which exists only in this life? In God’s eternal kingdom, there is only one power: the Holy and life-giving Trinity. It seems then that our Lord should be the standard with which our Church leadership measures its actions. Check back soon for the father’s response. Here is the link to that initial article from 8 years ago, “Lambs being poisoned”: