ORTHODOXY THE PAPACY
The period of the Great Fast, is a ideal time to review what we Orthodox Christians have historically believed, and to put into practice a permanent a form of fasting that does not involve food. It is more important to fast in our thoughts and speech from falsehood in any form, especially concerning our dogmas and divine canons, avoiding detractors as we would poison. We must strive to understand and acquire the ability to distinguish between what is true and what is false concerning our Faith, for falsehoods about Christ and the Christian Faith are all around us. Christ is the Truth from heaven, and the Head of the one true Church. All sciences or philosophies that contradict or deny Christ and His Church are necessarily false.
The Church is the bulwark of truth on earth and the living storehouse of the unique treasures of divine truth, perpetually preserved in her – this treasure is the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of truth. We all confess the following truths in our services. “We have seen the true Light; we have received the heavenly Spirit; we have found the true Faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity who has saved us.” (in the Divine Liturgy). We also testify in our Creed, our belief: “In the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who spoke through the Prophets. I believe in one, holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,; and in one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins . . . ” There is no other God than our God, no other Church than our Church, no other baptism than our Baptism.
Certainly we must live an upright moral life but we also must accept and defend the true dogmas, for without truth our fasting and moral life has no value, as St. John Chrysostom says: “If we have the true dogmas and not the correct moral life it will do us no good. And if we have the correct moral life but not the true dogmas it will do us no good. We are in need of both, because they are inseparable. That is why, as members of the true Church,” each of us must believe and accept the same truths and strive to live a pure upright moral life.
We need to learn and know and show others within and outside the Church, what are the major falsehoods which continually attack the Church, the sources of these attacks mostly stem from the Papacy and Protestants, also atheists and false scientists, attack our pure faith in order to corrupt Orthodox souls. In our time we see hierarchs and other clergy who have become friendly with members of the Papacy and Protestants, not realizing that their venom is gradually seeping into their souls. They refer to the heretics as brothers, which is impossible, and they pray with them which is forbidden by Holy Scripture and the sacred canons. Church attendance is now on the decline, being a big problem which needs to be addressed and solved, for without people the church will die. Instead they travel abroad seeking formulas to structure unions with heretics which are forbidden by God.
It is not the just dogmas and doctrine that are the obstacle, but something else. The major difference between Orthodoxy, the Papacy and Protestantism concerns their focus on m a n, instead on of the Godman. Only Orthodoxy faithfully follows and worships the Godman. The Papacy, by a vote of men, disregarded the Lord’s choice of twelve equal Apostles, and they proudly elevated a single sinful man to be the supreme infallible pontiff, and the source of dogmatic truth. This action did not promote a so-called schism for it was an real apostasy, for they cut themselves off from the Church. Their erroneous claims are contradictory to everything Christ teaches. Those who gave this authority to the Pope, did not even have it themselves. Concerning infallibility, it necessarily includes sinlessness, as the two go together, for a sinful man cannot be infallible. However, there is only one sinless and infallible man – Jesus Christ the Godman.
Their own history clearly testifies that they left Orthodoxy and went into apostasy. In 1870 before the Vatican Council, the Jesuits stacked it with hundreds of new bishops to insure the plurality of the vote which established the greatest falsehood of all time, that the human sinful Pope of Rome is infallible like God, unable to err or utter falsehood regarding the faith. Christ chose twelve men for Apostles. but the Papacy chose one, which is totally unacceptable, and which Christ refutes, for he says:”In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall ever word be established” (Mat. 18:16). Jesus made it very clear that one man can never be the source of all truth.
To be a member of the Roman church everyone is required to have faith in the man, the Pope, whom their dogmas place above every other man in the world. The fundamental law of membership in the Papacy, is the recognition of the Pope of Rome, to be the foundation and head of the church as successor of the Apostle Peter. The Popes demand such universal recognition claiming to be below God but above men.
Protestants not only follow various men, but the large variety of Protestant groups were founded and headed by a man or men. For example Lutherans are successors of Martin Luther of Germany. King Henry the Eighth, a wife-murderer and adulterer, broke away from the Papacy and founded the Anglican/Episcopalian churches. Protestantism has many different dogmas, which directly contradict Holy Scripture and Fathers of the Church. There is another important aspect of Protestantism. In general, they reject the veneration due the holy Cross, the divine Body and Blood in the Eucharist, triune immersion baptism, veneration due the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, veneration due the Saints, the 2,000-year history of the Church, rejecting icons they are iconoclasts, the many great Fathers of the Church, the Seven Ecumenical Synods, which triumphed over every heresy, and the formulated Canons which guide the Church. They reject most of what the Church has always believed, believing in a material book, but totally lacking in Holy Spirit.
Worshiping the Bible of material paper and ink, they sought to make Protestantism “more spiritual” by removing material aspects of the faith. Most of them have no bishops, priests or deacons, No liturgical services, no incense, no icons, no history dating back to the early church. Little or no fasting, while the Orthodox fast about 200 days a year. Many of them attack Orthodoxy as being superstitious for preserving the sacred things of our faith. The Protestants disconnect matter from spirit, nor do they distinguish correct dogma from pseudo dogma, or true history from false history. With many of their sects, like the Baptists, no one is bound to believe the same as others.
However, God created man out of matter and breathed a spirit into him, which makes him both matter and spirit, having two natures. The spirit of Gd sanctified material man and rendered him into His image.
The spirit gave man freedom, intellect and feelings, wonderful gifts of God to His creature. Matter is not evil, as some former heretics claimed, for it can be sanctified and used for sanctification. The Logos or Word, being God is a spirit, yet he assumed a material body from the Virgin Mary, joining His divinity with our material flesh. Jesus Christ has two natures physical or carnal and spiritual, fully God and fully man. He used bread and wine which is matter, for His Body and Blood. He was crucified and sanctified on the wooden Cross. Through the material Cross, he rendered the Devil and his evil spirits impotent. The Church sanctifies the material water, imparting spirit into it in the waters of baptism. We use sanctified material chrism and oil for imparting Holy Spirit and for the health of our spiritual souls and material bodies. As Christ ordered, we use bread and wine for the Eucharist, and thus matter becomes the flesh and blood of the Lord.
They greatly dishonor and defame the Virgin Mother of Christ by denying her perpetual virginity . God honors her pure virginity and ultra radiance but they reduce her to be a common sinful woman denying her perpetual virginity even though she gave birth to God in the flesh. God is the Father of Christ, who is their son, and Mary the Virgin is the Mother of Christ, who is their Son, for together they are the Father and Mother, parents of Jesus Christ. Those who insult and defame her will not go unpunished! They ignore Christ who said: “As you do to the least of my brethren you do to me.”
They claim to believe only in the Bible, but they reject what the Bible clearly teaches. They close their eyes and ears to Holy Scripture, disregarding these words of St. Elizabeth who declared: “Blessed are you among woman, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” And Mary’s answer: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has seen the humility of His handmaiden, for behold, from this time on all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:42- 46). They ignore the great Archangel Gabriel who exalts her as the most favorite of God, saying: “Rejoice Full of grace, the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women.”
Only Orthodox Christianity did not originate from man, for its Foundation and Head is the Godman Jesus Christ, who never left us: “Behold I am with you even to the close of the age.” The fundamental law of Orthodoxy is that each member must believe in and accept the Godman Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It was not Peter’s thought but revealed from the Father in heaven, as Christ said when He founded the Church, saying: “Upon this rock I will build my Church.”
Peter says to the Papacy: You teach falsehoods and you do not honor me, for I never received authority over the whole church from Christ, then you insult my name even more by teaching that your infernal Papacy came from me. You say that Jesus made me the foundation of the church, when He said: “Upon this rock I will build my Church!” Why do you speak falsely and disregard my epistle? Don’t claim that you honor me when you really dishonor me. Heed what I wrote concerning who is the head and foundation stone upon which the Church is built:
“ . . . if so be you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming to us as a living stone, rejected by men but chosen of God, a precious stone, you also are built up into a spiritual house. A holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, wherefore also it is contained in Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen, precious, and he that believes on him shall not be put to shame. Unto you therefore, who believe he is precious, but unto them which are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner, and as stone of stumbling and a rock of scandal” (1Peter 2:3-8). In no way do Peter’s words establish him as “the living rock”, which means no one except Jesus Christ is worthy of preeminence in the Church.
A direct result of the Pope’s claim to infallibility is that their Protestant offspring and modern western man in general have became infallible and headless. Man claims that in this age of technology, he can do anything he chooses. But without Christ man can only travel the path to insanity. What is more insane than to reject eternal life while living only for this temporary life? Sad that neither the Papacy nor Protestants nor western man have Jesus Christ as their head and the objective of their faith hope and love!