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St Gregory Archbishop of Constantinople – 389 ad

24 Jan The Didache

St Gregory the Theologian the Archbishop of Constantinople

Commemorated on January 25

Troparion & Kontakion

Saint Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople, a great Father and teacher of the Church, was born into a Christian family of eminent lineage in the year 329, at Arianzos (not far from the city of Cappadocian Nazianzos). His father, also named Gregory (January 1), was Bishop of Nazianzus. The son is the St Gregory Nazianzus encountered in Patristic theology. His pious mother, St Nonna (August 5), prayed to God for a son, vowing to dedicate him to the Lord. Her prayer was answered, and she named her child Gregory.

When the child learned to read, his mother presented him with the Holy Scripture. St Gregory received a complete and extensive education: after working at home with his uncle St Amphilochius (November 23), an experienced teacher of rhetoric, he then studied in the schools of Nazianzos, Caesarea in Cappadocia, and Alexandria. Then the saint decided to go to Athens to complete his education.

On the way from Alexandria to Greece, a terrible storm raged for many days. St Gregory, who was just a catechumen at that time, feared that he would perish in the sea before being cleansed in the waters of Baptism. St Gregory lay in the ship’s stern for twenty days, beseeching the merciful God for salvation. He vowed to dedicate himself to God, and was saved when he invoked the name of the Lord.

St Gregory spent six years in Athens studying rhetoric, poetry, geometry, and astronomy. His teachers were the renowned pagan rhetoricians Gymorias and Proeresias. St Basil, the future Archbishop of Caesarea (January 1) also studied in Athens with St Gregory. They were such close friends that they seemed to be one soul in two bodies. Julian, the future emperor (361-363) and apostate from the Christian Faith, was studying philosophy in Athens at the same time.

Upon completing his education, St Gregory remained for a certain while at Athens as a teacher of rhetoric. He was also familiar with pagan philosophy and literature.

In 358 St Gregory quietly left Athens and returned to his parents at Nazianzus. At thirty-three years of age, he received Baptism from his father, who had been appointed Bishop of Nazianzus. Against his will, St Gregory was ordained to the holy priesthood by his father. However, when the elder Gregory wished to make him a bishop, he fled to join his friend Basil in Pontus. St Basil had organized a monastery in Pontus and had written to Gregory inviting him to come.

St Gregory remained with St Basil for several years. When his brother St Caesarius (March 9) died, he returned home to help his father administer his diocese. The local church was also in turmoil because of the Arian heresy. St Gregory had the difficult task of reconciling the bishop with his flock, who condemned their pastor for signing an ambiguous interpretation of the dogmas of the faith.

St Gregory convinced his father of the pernicious nature of Arianism, and strengthened him in Orthodoxy. At this time, Bishop Anthimus, who pretended to be Orthodox but was really a heretic, became Metropolitan of Tyana. St Basil had been consecrated as the Archbishop of Caesarea, Cappadocia. Anthimus wished to separate from St Basil and to divide the province of Cappadocia.

St Basil the Great made St Gregory bishop of the city of Sasima, a small town between Caesarea and Tyana. However, St Gregory remained at Nazianzos in order to assist his dying father, and he guided the flock of this city for a while after the death of his father in 374.

Upon the death of Patriarch Valentus of Constantinople in the year 378, a council of bishops invited St Gregory to help the Church of Constantinople, which at this time was ravaged by heretics. Obtaining the consent of St Basil the Great, St Gregory came to Constantinople to combat heresy. In the year 379 he began to serve and preach in a small church called “Anastasis” (“Resurrection”). Like David fighting the Philistines with a sling, St Gregory battled against impossible odds to defeat false doctrine.

READ MORE ABOUT SAINT GREGORY ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE 389ad

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Church History the first 1000 years

20 Jan The Ancient Faith Church Universal

Church History Video:

Very interesting and thought provoking information to consider.

CHURCH HISTORY TIMELINE 1st 1,000 Years

33 Pentecost (A.D: 29 is thought to be more accurate).
49 Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) establishes precedent for addressing Church disputes in Council. James presides as bishop.

69 Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in heart of New Testament era–St. Peter had been the first bishop there. Other early bishops include James, Polycarp, and Clement.

95 Book of Revelation written, probably the last of the New Testament books.

150 St. Justin Martyr describe’s the liturgical worship of the Church, centered in the Eucharist. Liturgical worship is rooted in both the Old and New Testament.

325 The Nicene Creed is established. The Council of Nicea settles the major heretical challenge to the Christian faith when the heretic Arius asserts Christ was created by the Father. St. Athanasius defends the eternality of the Son of God. The Arians continue their assault on true Christianity for years. Nicea is the first of Seven Ecumenical (Church-wide) Councils.

451 Council of Chalcedon affirms apostolic doctrine of two natures in Christ.

589 In a synod in Toledo, Spain, the filioque, asserting that the Holy Spirit procedes from the Father and the Son is added to the Nicene Creed. This error is later adopted by Rome.

787 The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea, with the Seventh Council bringing the centuries-old use of icons back into the Church.

988 Conversion of Russia begins.
We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for surely there is no such splendour or beauty anywhere upon earth. We cannot describe it to you: only this we know, that God dwells there among men, and that their service surpasses the worship of all other places. For we cannot forget that beauty. – Envoys of the Russian Prince Vladimir, after experiencing the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople in the year 987.

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Patriarch Bartholomew: No to Homosexual Marriage

10 Sep Ancient Faith

Patriarch Bartholomew: No to Homosexual Marriage

September 9, 2013 10:27 PM

 

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed in unequivocal terms that the Orthodox Church cannot sanction same-sex marriage. This is bound to make some of the Orthodox Progressives squirm because there is no room for doubt, no artificial distinction between Church and society where the moral teaching applies to the former but not the latter, where there is a different ontology implied for those within the Church and those outside of her. 

This statement was delivered at a homily in Estonia but also posted on the Patriarchal website so it carries the imprimatur of the Patriarchal office. Note Pat. Bartholomew’s reliance on the book of Romans where the Apostle Paul describes Roman culture at the time. Again, this is significant because the Patriarch’s reference to St. Paul’s admonition shows the teaching applies not only to the Church, but to society as well. The erroneous idea that the Orthodox Church has nothing to say to the larger culture about homosexual marriage has been repudiated Pat. Kyrill in the past and now by Pat. Bartholomew.

The condemnation, a strong word but borrowed from the text below is quite clear:

To our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed families through the Mystery of Marriage at Cana of Galilee and changed water into wine, that is, into joy and feasting, and to His Body, the Orthodox Church, the partnering of the same sex is unknown and condemned, and they condemn the contemporary invention of “mutual cohabitation”, which is the result of sin and not the law of joy

Note too the Ecumenical Patriarch’s implicit reasoning that homosexual marriage threatens the family:

The Church, my beloved parents and children, and subsequently the family, which consists lawfully and by the command of God of men and women, and the children acquired, is not a foundation or association or a simple organization, but a Body, as it is wonderfully depicted by the Apostle Paul. And this parallelism is accurate and true. Church and marriage. Husband and wife. Body and its members.

This community, signified in the Mysteries and in the obedience of Faith, both in the Church and in the family, is sanctified and mystagogued through the Mystery of Marriage, which, according to the Fathers, is a mystery of co-creation, and the ontological link of love with the Head of the Body, to ensure health and life, which is salvation and sanctification.

The language is a bit labored as is often the case with missives from Constantinople where too many ideas are packed into too few sentences. Nevertheless, the meaning is clear and the arguments that the Church has no interest in the broader health of the culture and should remain silent about the critical moral issues of the day should be put to rest.

 

Ancient Faith – A Walk Into the First-Century Church

24 Jul The Ancient Faith Church Universal

The Ancient Faith

A Walk Into the First-Century Church

The world of the first-century was littered with racism and oppression. In the mind of a first-century Jew, Gentiles (Africans, Romans, Greeks, Syrians, Asians, etc.) were created to fuel the fires of hell.

When a Jew called a Gentile “uncircumcised,” he spit it. It was a name of profound contempt.

If a Jewish person married a Gentile, the Jewish parents held a funeral service for their child. In their eyes, their child was dead.

On the flip side, Gentiles regarded Jews to be sub-human. Historically, the Jews have been an oppressed people, living under the thumb of one Gentile nation after another (e.g., Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome).

In all of human history, there has never been so much animosity, hatred, and violence between two groups of people as there has been between the Jew and the Gentile.

But alas, in the first-century, there emerged a group of people on the planet who transcended this racial hostility.

Here was a group of people who saw themselves as members of the same family . . . a people made up of Jews, Gentles, slaves, free, rich, poor, male and female.

These were the early Christians. The Roman world stood in awe as they saw a people who hated each other began to love one another and do life together in the Name of Jesus.

Watch them walking into the market place together, arm and arm, singing with joy in their hearts.

Jew and Gentile.

Slave and free.

Rich and poor.

Male and female.

Look at them closely. Jew and Gentile eating together, working together, greeting one another with a holy kiss, raising their children together, taking care of one another, marrying one another, and burying one another.

This fact blew the circuitry of every person living in Century One. It shook the Roman Empire to its very foundations.

The church of Jesus Christ was a classless society. It’s members didn’t regard social status, color, or position. For them, there was no Jew or Greek in the body of Christ. There was no slave or free. There was no rich or poor.

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Colossians 3:11

For the first two hundred years, the Christians only addressed each other by their first names. The reason? Because their last names indicated their social position in society.

Here was a classless, raceless society where all social distinctions were erased.

To their minds, Jew and Gentile, slave and free, rich and poor no longer existed. The early believers saw themselves as part of the same family . They were a new race . . . a colony from another realm, not of or from this earth. Yet for this earth.

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DERWIN GRAY is the founding and Lead Pastor of Transformation Church. He is considered to be one of America’s leading voices on multi-ethnic, multi-generational, missional ministry. In their first two years of existence, Transformation Church was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest-growing churches in America by Outreach Magazine (2nd on the list by percentage for 2010). Derwin played for six seasons in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts (1993-1997) and the Carolina Panthers (1998) and is recognized by many as the “Evangelism Linebacker.” He is also the author of the forthcoming book, Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future (September 3, 2013). Learn more about Derwin at www.derwinlgray.com

Rev. Joshua Gregory’s Photo

4 Feb

Rev. Joshua Gregory

THERE’s SOMETHING ABOUT MARY! Mary the mother of God has always been venerated in the Church for centuries… WE do not worship her but celebrate Her for who she was IN God. Gabriel greeted her in Luke 1: 28 and said Hail FULL OF GRACE… meaning she was RIGHTEOUS not sin-less…. He even calls her Highly favored one and blessed among women. For it is truly right to bless God’s handmaiden.

via Rev. Joshua Gregory’s Photos | Facebook.

 

† Holy and Righteous Symeon the God-receiver and the Prophetess Anna

2 Feb

 

“There is an ancient tradition that the holy, righteous elder Symeon, who came from Egypt, was one of the Seventy learned Jews chosen in the days of the Pharoah Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 BC) for the task of rendering the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and that to Symeon was assigned the translation of the book of the Prophet Isaiah.

† Holy and Righteous Symeon the God-receiver and the Prophetess Anna.

 

Bishop Charles Mason – COGIC Praying

26 Nov

Bishop Charles Mason of the Glorius Church Of God In Christ praying. Bishop Mason was a pioneer of the African American Pentecostal renewal initiated at Asuza.

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