THERE IS ONLY ONE SOURCE OF TRUTH
“I am the way and TRUTH and the LIFE
ALSO THE TRUTHS OF GOD IN OUR CREED
True God of True God, begotten not made!
The world is a stranger to truth, for if truth ruled the world, nation would not rise against nation and peace would reign supreme. Truth brings peace and love, also truth brings eternal salvation, for without truth, man walks about as a blind man. The Truth who came from heaven is the moral guide of the human race who seek Him. Truth is definable as “the exact representation of a being”, a being meaning anything that exists. Jesus Christ is the Truth because He exactly depicts God the Father, hence he said to Philip: “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” An accurate depiction of anything in creation is considered true.
All divine truths originate from the living Truth, which is constantly under attack by opposing lies. These lies derive from the father of the lie, the Devil or Satan. It was the Satan while in the form of a serpent, who introduced the lie to the first woman and she to her husband, the purpose being to poison her mind by mixing his lie with the truth of God who warned them concerning the tree: “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it that you may not die”. Satan, hating God and the new creatures made in His image, responded to the woman: “You will not surely die. For God knows that in whatever day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you would be as gods, knowing good from evil.” This lie mixed with truth is now swirling around in her mind. The woman had been gazing at the forbidden fruit on the tree, contemplating it. Filled with desire and confusion she ate, gave to her husband who also ate. The devil, first learned of God’s truth from the woman and then poisoned her soul with the false promise that they would become like God. Clearly falsehood or partial truth mixed with falsehood are the devil’s strategy by which he poisons the race of man. This is a continual account of sin in humanity, God speaks in the right ear and the devil speaks in contradiction through the left ear. Our duty is to find who is our friend and who is our enemy, who seeks our salvation and who seeks our destruction.
In our days many Orthodox leaders, by their words and actions, present a false picture of the One true Church, ignoring its total exclusivity. When someone rises to declare this truth, they attack that person, calling them different names. They do not use Orthodox truths against the many heretics surrounding Orthodox Christians, which cause many to go astray. Such corrupt teaching mixed with others now appear in the Church harming the faithful.
These leaders do not follow Christ’s commandment to guide and shepherd their flocks, which are already rapidly diminishing in many churches. Instead of educating their flock against the heretics that surround us, they enthusiastically engage in illicit conversations concerning union with others and a common cup between Orthodoxy and heresies. They do not reprove the many heresies, and struggle to bring each of them into Orthodoxy. Those engaging in these talks, should be challenging the many Catholic and Protestant heresies, and then persuade them by the truths of Orthodoxy to baptized by the only true baptism.
Some of the heresies which attack Orthodox piety. Among them are deniers of the Trinity, those who deny the divinity of Christ, those who do not honor the sign of the Cross, those who despise holy icons, those who insult the Ever-virgin Mary, accusing her of lack of virginity, those who do not accept a priesthood with bishops, those who cry out “Scriptures alone.” those who deny the Body and Blood of Christ, those who believe in one nature in Christ, and the papacy who believe in a human infallible head of the church. The Orthodox leaders engage in conversations, but do not draw these people out of their heresies into the Church resulting in many dying in their sins. Instead, the Orthodox leaders after many meetings, slowly, without realizing it, ingest falsehood into their own souls, and in some cases telling heretics that they are somehow in the Church when they are not! Foolishly, they address heretical churches as “families”, but why? The answer may be that uniting families is more acceptable than uniting Orthodoxy with heretics.
CONCERNING THE FOREGOING STATEMENTS
Truth is at times bitter to accept, but it remains the destroyer of lies. It is not true that the Papal Church is a sister church, for Christ does not have two bodies. They define their holy water as water blessed by a priest with added salt as a preservative! If we accept one falsehood others will follow. If they accept papal sacraments as valid, then they must accept their priests and bishops and cardinals as valid, and the Pope of Rome with his primacy, supreme authority and infallibility is valid. Then we must accept that he really is the successor of Peter who must have been the head of the Apostles. But the wayward Orthodox, contrary to Scripture and the Sacred Canons. already call their sacraments valid, and the result is confusion among Orthodox people, especially those who have left their heretical church and come into Orthodoxy. If the Papacy is a true Church, and there can only be one Church, we may as well abandon invalid Orthodoxy and kiss the majestic ring of the Holy Father, and offer him one bow!
It is worse to indulge in hypocrisy which Christ hates, and said to the hypocritical Pharisees: How can you escape the condemnation of Gehenna? We must either stand upright as true Orthodox Christians, or leave and go to the Pope, but certainly get rid of the falsehood that there are two churches of Christ.
Those who desire unity with them, in order to be consistent, would have us cease commemorating hundreds of thousands of martyrs who were slaughtered by the Papists, from before the Crusaders, at Mt. Athos, to the 850,000 Serbs of WWII martyred by the Croatian Catholics, and more. They would have us abandon St. Photios the great, who over a thousand years ago, called the Latins insane. They would have us abandon St. Kosmas Aitolos who says the Pope ought to be cursed as the cause of all evils. The same for Mark of Ephesus who alone prevented union with the Papacy. Again, they would have us abandon St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite, who says the Latins are unbaptized and unsaved. But most of all, they would have us abandon the Fathers of the First two ecumenical synods who established our sacred Creed. For by its existence, it outlaws other churches, sacraments, Christologies, Theologies, Baptisms and heresies, Firmly they proclaimed the important truth: I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Why do they seek to change the truths which we have always believed? If we follow their present wayward path, we will leave holy Orthodoxy and Christ and the Holy Spirit will leave us. Abandoning Orthodox truths will result in many evils upon the leaders whose major function is to defend holy Orthodoxy keeping it free from corruption.
CHRIST THE TRUTH DWELLED AMONG US
In order to guide us in truth, Christ bestowed upon us the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father; he also gave us logical principles as a guide to make correct judgments, among them: “A good tree brings forth good fruit; but an evil tree brings forth evil fruit. “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruit you shall know them” (Matt. 7: 17-20). From this we establish that a good (tree) premise can bring forth a good conclusion, but a corrupt (tree) premise brings forth a false conclusion, useful for theology and philosophy.
It is sad that those outside the Church having already eaten from corrupt trees and so bring forth corrupt fruit with false religious practices not acceptable to the Lord. . Often unknowingly they are sick, diseased and in need of a cure, and only Orthodox can offer that cure. For truth cures every spiritual ailment, caused by lies, which are deadly poison! Some of their poison is asserting that the Virgin knew Joseph and had children, calling the veneration of icons idolatry, denying the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Only one of these heresies is enough for condemnation.
If the Vatican does not totally abandon papism and its wild claims, and come to true baptism and salvation in Orthodoxy, how can they be saved” Their only hope for cure is Orthodoxy, repentance, confession and baptism. This is what the Orthodox leaders would tell them if they really loved them. Why not tell them the truth? Why not tell them that the only one superior to the bishops is Jesus Christ, not the one super bishop called the Pope. Tell them the how the Popes usurped the authority and the keys which belong to Christ alone. How can the Orthodox consider this confusion to be love? For true love would not allow them to perish outside of the Church without salvation. On the contrary, it is hateful when they tell them they have Christ and salvation even while outside of the Church, and will enter the Kingdom when they depart!
Both oral and written truth are perfectly preserved in Orthodoxy. Among the main treasures of truth bequeathed to mankind by the Church is the Creed of Orthodox Christians, composed by the first two ecumenical synods under divine inspiration.
THE MANY TRUTHS FROM GOD IN OUR CREED
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and indivisible.
This excludes every other so-called God, for although many men claim to believe in one God, and we hear that they all worship the same God in different ways, what is true is they worship other gods in different ways, but there is one God who has revealed himself through His Son Jesus Christ.. The Orthodox confess the one and only true God and call Him the Creator of heaven and earth and of all that exists. He is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided. No other worship on earth concerns the same God whom we confess in our Creed. The Father Son and Holy Spirit is not the God of other religions, although He is the one God of all mankind. God is one; the Trinity is three hypostses, one nature, one essence, one power, and one will; the Father is the uncaused Cause of the coeternal and co-equal Logos and the Spirit.
It is important for every person to know, what was the ultimate purpose for which the Father created everything that exists through the Son and Holy Spirit? The heavenly host and of the fowl of the air, fish of the sea, and the cattle and beasts of the earth? None of these are the purpose of God’s work. After everything else was created, we hear these wonderful uplifting words of the Lord: “Let us create man in our own image and likeness . . .” Men in the image and likeness of God, pious men, holy men, peaceful men, who, being loved of God and who love God above all, and who love one another, living in peace and harmony with gratitude to God, this is the real objective of creation – Man in the image and likeness of God. Adam, though destined to be that man, failed to attain God’s objective
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before the ages. Light of Light, True God of true God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father, through whom all things were made.
Glorious beautiful Jesus Christ! Behold the man who is the perfect image and likeness of God – the purpose of all God’s work of creation. Behold the man who alone could proclaim: “I am the Light of the world; whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” He is the man whom we must all become, most beloved of God. He is the Godman, who established that our purpose here is not just to be saved, but to become holy just as He is holy, and He also l; commanded us: “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
The Church often sings this hymn: “Lord, I have heard of the mystery of your plan.” This is God’s great plan: “Let us make man in our own image and likeness.” Jesus, refers to this and says of himself: “In the beginning of the Book (Bible) it is written of me,”
Anyone who rejects the Father does not have the Son, and whoever rejects Christ as the Son of God and the Son of Mary, rejects the Father and certainly does not worship the same God. Jesus Christ, the Logos of God is eternal without beginning and of the same essence as the Father, who through the Logos and the Spirit created everything. The Logos of God, being born eternally from the Father, governs all creation. He is the source of our intellect, as St. John says in his Gospel: He (the Logos of God) is “the true Light that lightens every man who comes into the world” John 1:9).
Who for us men and our salvation, came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.
There is no other name in heaven or on earth by which we can be saved. Without Christ there is no salvation for who else can be the Savior of the world? Unitarians, Universalists, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and others, in fact, all who reject the Trinity , the divinity of the Son and His two natures are far outside the realm of salvation. The Virgin is so important that God gave her a new name through Gabriel, who greeted her, saying, Rejoice: “Full of Grace.” God the Father and the Virgin Mary shared parenthood of the same Son our Lord Jesus Christ. He is His eternal Father and the Virgin is His Mother in time. Together they are co-parents of Jesus Christ who is their Son, whom He greatly honors. Having been enthroned in her womb, He was completely aware of her amazing, exquisite and most rare beauty, and that she virginally gave birth to Him. She fell asleep in the Lord in great delight desiring to be completely reunited with her Son, and on this occasion these are the last words of the kontakion sung on August 15th: “Being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life by the one who dwelled in her evervirginal womb.”
And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried, and rose on the third day according to the Scripture.
Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate under extreme pressure from the Jewish leaders, who cried out with others: “Away with Him! Let Him be crucified!”
It is not possible for Christ to be honored except in His Orthodox Church, where the truth is firmly established in minds and books. The Monophysites (Orientals), claim a single nature after the incarnation, destroying the truth about the Godman, therefore they continue as they have done for 1500 years, and they remain heretics. The Armenians claimed that Jesus suffered as God, and for this they were condemned by the Church. Why do not our ecumenist leaders fail to tell them the truth? They clearly assert that Christ has one nature after the incarnation, and that the Orthodox have gone astray, while they remain the true Church! Why do the Orthodox ecumenists fail to defend the truth?
And He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.
The truth of the real meaning of the crucifixion is understood only in Orthodoxy. Unlike western Christians, who consider the Cross evil and the crucifixion as God’s punishing of Christ for our sins. They fail to understand the truth concerning the Cross. The Cross is the glory of Christ! The Cross is beautiful, which we honor with great reverence. We Orthodox see in the Cross the most wonderful accomplishment of our salvation. The Cross continue to work countless miracles and is filled with life, for the Life of all was nailed to Cross and died upon it, and Christ. No sooner died but by His life filled death He put death to death, and granted eternal life to the world. After forty days on earth. He ascended in glory.
The Cross teaches us the sacrificial love of Christ, for He willingly submits to death in order to destroy death’s power over us. Thus we sing this praise: “Come all you faithful, let us glorify Christ’s Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross joy has come into all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us praise the Resurrection. For by enduring the Cross for us, He has put death to death!” He suffered that we might be well. He underwent terrible suffering that we might be comfortable, and He died that we might live forever. He was crowned with thorns that we might receive glory and honor. The Cross and Pascha (Easter), are two glorious events. We celebrate the first with sober sadness that our sins contributed to His crucifixion, but with great joy that through His sacrifice on the Cross our sins are forgiven. The resurrection on the third day, is unmitigated joy and exultation being a foretaste of the kingdom which never ends.
Because He has not yet come to judge the world, many think that he will never come, but he sits at the right hand of the Father, giving us plenty of opportunity to repent, but as lightning comes suddenly with no warning, so shall the Son of God come to judge all men.
He will judge every single man that was ever born, regardless of their belief or stature, He will judge all with justice, giving everyone what they deserve. He will judge those who refused to accept Him. He will judge those who deny Him. He will judge those who scorn His holy Passion! But He will award with eternal life those who love Him and kept His commandments. His kingdom is beyond description for it is beautiful beyond all beauty, sweeter than any sweetness, happiness that is inexpressible, and life that shall never end!
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who spoke through the Prophets.
This is the section of the Creed where the Latins inserted the filioque (Latin for "from the Son").
They changed the unchangeable Creed to say: “Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.”
Once the Latins departed from the Church many changes took place as Popes gained power and authority which in time became absolute. Christ says in the Gospel of John, that “the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.” St. Photios the Great says of Latins who changed the Creed, by adding the words “and the Son:” “O deceiving drunkenness of impiety.” Also: “It is odious not to see the explicit magnitude of this ungodly deed, are they not really absurd and lamentable? These bold and ungodly men are being forced to come to an absurd and lamentable conclusion, receiving manifold confusion on the one hand and, on the other, lamentation bringing them to incurable ruin. But since they provoke the godly to anger, their wailing cannot be laid aside
In One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The Church founded by Christ is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is not the Papacy and is not the Oriental churches, nor is it one of the many churches who separated from it. All that left the Church for any reason are necessarily outside in the coldness. That is why St. John says about all who left the Church for any reason:
“They went out from us, but they are not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out, that it may be manifest that they were not of us” (1 John 2:19).
Remembering that “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” means they all are christs, (meaning anointed). Our Lord warned that many who would come falsely proclaiming Christ: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many” (Mat. 24:4-5). All the thousands of differing Christian beliefs are what Christ is speaking about.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
The Church being one, can only have one and the same baptism equally the same for all its members. The essentials of the one Baptism is the Church, the Bishop over the Priest who officiates, plenty of water for three immersions and emersion, the Holy Spirit, which comes only in the Church to sanctify the waters. Orthodoxy does not recognize another baptism as there are none outside of Orthodoxy. St. Paul makes this very clear, saying: “There is one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and in you all” (Eph. 4:4-6). There is one Baptism in the one Church, one method, which is triune immersions, one means that a true Orthodox baptism cannot be repeated, but there is no baptism outside the Church all who wish to enter must go through the door of baptism and are being baptized not rebaptized.
The person who is preparing to be baptized must confess all his sins to the Priest, and confess his total faith in Christ and the Church, renouncing any previous false belief. There is a need that they be catechized before such an important life-changing event. Handing them a book to read is not the best methodology, for the teaching should be alive and lively from a faithful teacher!
I look to the resurrection of the dead and life in the world to come. Amen.
Orthodoxy’s song of victory concerns the Resurrection of Christ: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”
All men will be resurrected, for all must appear before the dread judgment where each will be judged according to his works, not only his faith as some teach, for faith without works is dead and without merit. Many unbelievers will seek death and not find it. Angels will busily go to and fro bringing all me to appear before the tribunal of God. Terror will strike the many hearts as they realize the evils in their lives. But those who repented, confessed, and changed to the newness of life in Christ, worshiping in His Church, partaking of Him in the Eucharist, will be filled with joy and exultation, their consciences being undefiled for they were washed in the blood of the Lamb.