by Fr. John Kaloudis
Since 843 the Church has designated the first Sunday of Lent as Sunday of Orthodoxy.
we celebrate the restoration of Icons by the Empress Theodora.
Generally, we commemorate: 1) The victory of Orthodoxy-right worship,
over heresy-false worship. 2) The victory of light over darkness and 3)
The victory of truth over falsehood.
The battle of truth over
falsehood still rages. Orthodox Christians should be in the forefront
of this battle. Falsehood, darkness and evil are not neutral, they are
always at work, always attempting to destroy and distort the truth.
first step to winning this battle is to acknowledge that there is
truth. To acknowledge that truth exists; that there is absolute right
and wrong and not just "differing opinions." Relativism as is being
taught in schools and Universities, as we read about in books and
magazines is foolishness. Listen to Isaiah who says: "Woe to those who
call evil good and good evil, who call darkness light and light
darkeners, and falsehood truth and truth falsehood."
is all around us. Especially in the bazaar distortions in the meaning
of words. These distortions have one purpose which is to deceive and to
spread falsehood. Lust for example is called "love". Pro-choice is a
term used to kill unborn children. People with adolescent peeping-Tom
mentalities are called "mature audiences". People living in since call
that "living together". Homosexuality is called "an alternative life
style". An after work drinking spree is called "happy hour". Christmas
spirit is often something found in a bottle. Crimes are called
"mistakes". Criminals are called "victims". Sins are called
"indiscretions". Lies are called "misinformation". Multi-million dollar
T.V. endeavors with people clothed in religious garments are now called
Beneath all this linguistic confusion, lies a
serious moral problem. It is our inability to distinguish between good
and evil. Our inability to determine truth from falsehood. This
contributes to the state of moral insanity that exists today.
following story was told of President Lincoln: A committee of people
were gathered to address a particular problem. Then there was an
argument that they made based on supposes-suppose this, suppose that.
Lincoln listened and after a little while he asked a question. "How
many legs would a sheep have if you called his tail a leg? They
answered: "Five." Lincoln answered: "No, Just because you call a tail a
leg, doesn't make it a leg."
So giving something a new name
doesn't change it. Calling falsehood truth, doesn't make it right.
Calling sin by another name doesn't make it less of a sin. Let's look
at the way we are distorting definition today:
1) Art, once meant
to portray through human hands the beauty of life or the beauty of
form. Anything can be called art today. The National Endowment for the
Arts which is funded by our tax dollars, has on public display a
crucifix submerged in the urine of the artist. This is not art but an
attack on Christianity. At the same display a human being is in a trash
can. This artist was asked to interpret this art. He stated that humans
are nothing more than trash. We are created in the image of God, and
God doesn't make trash!!
2)Look at the definition of family.
Family is meant to be sacred. It is meant to be the basic unit
instituted by God for the propagation of our race. It is meant to be
the first school of human instruction. It was also supposed to be the
means by which society transmits values and standards of right and
wrong from generation to generation. That's not the case today. Today
family is what you want it to be. In the late 70s President Carter
called a White House conference on Family. Instead of being praised, he
was criticized by different militant groups. They criticized the
president' view as too destructive , too traditional. Bowing to the
pressure the conference was renamed "Conference of Families".
Homosexual couples and couples living together were included.
So family was no longer a God instituted unit but instead was anything they wanted it to be.
of New York Koch said "Marriage is not needed for a good family". And
feminists say that "Marriage is a Patriarchical institution which must
This is how far we as a society have strayed from the truth: look at the definition of family.
Not as strange as it may seem, when we remove God from the picture, everything takes on a different (strange) meaning.
an article was printed in a local paper in conjunction with the death
of Howard Hunter. It gave a list of things that Mormons believe. They
use some words we (Orthodox) use such as Jesus, salvation, Trinity,
Savior but they have redefined or redesigned and distorted what these
words mean so that they are radically different from what the Bible and
the Church originally meant. What is most sacred to us Orthodox
Christian is the Eucharist. The term is being used by many groups
today. We get many definitions that are different than Jesus intended.
Jesus said: "Take, eat this is my body". "Take drink this is my blood."
He meant what He said. He was giving us Himself. He did not say this
bread represents my body, this wine symbolized my blood. What people
call Eucharist (Communion) in many churches is not Communion. We cannot
manufacture our own definitions. The definitions of our Church have
been consistent for 2,000 years.
There are many falsehoods in
the world masqueraded as truth. There is truth. Jesus is the
incarnation of Truth. The Church is here to define truth and protect it.
to Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who call
darkness light and light darkness, and falsehood truth and truth
Let us make Sunday of Orthodoxy a Sunday for truth.
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