Saturday, March 16, 2013

Religious Freedom

… what about America? When has faith entered the public square in this country? Did you know that it was serious Christians who started the abolitionist movement in this country? Yes! Just watch Steven Spielberg’s movie Amistad. Did you know that devout Christians led the Civil Rights movement in this country? Some would have you think it was secular liberals who led it, but it was a church-based faith-based movement from beginning to end. Did you know that Rosa Parks was a devout Christian? That she was chosen to kickoff the bus boycott because of her faith? Did you know that Jackie Robinson was a serious Christian? And that Branch Rickey who picked him to be the one to break the color barrier in baseball did so because of Robinson’s faith, and that Rickey was himself a bible-thumping Christian who did what he did in part because he believe God wanted him to do it? There’s a movie coming out about Jackie Robinson this month and I’ll bet they don’t even mention that. I do mention it in my next book SEVEN MEN, because everyone should know that it was Jackie Robinson’s faith that was behind what he did. If you push the voices of faith out of the mainstream and replace them with a secular orthodoxy, you take away the most important check the Founders put in place against unbridled statism. Eric Metaxas, CPAC 2013 Speech on Religious Freedom.

Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon

Source: OCA. Great Lent 2013 To the Very Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In his first Epistle, the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian writes: “This, then, is the message which we have heard of Him and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). There is no darkness at all in Christ, Who is “Light of Light, True God of True God;” and there is no darkness in His Bride, the Holy Church, for in her “the light of Christ illumines all.” We are entering the sacred season of Great Lent which, externally, might be perceived as a season of darkness and gloom, reflected in the somber color of the vestments, the physical exertion of fasting and prostrations and the labor of long services. But in reality, though externally dark, this season places us on the path that brings us to the eternal light of the Resurrection and the glory of the Kingdom. The season of repentance introduces us to the reality of that glory, through our participation in God’s divine grace, which is both freely given to us and experienced through our own efforts, small as they may be and daunting as the struggles may seem. This is why Saint Silouan can say, “Glory be to the Lord that He gave us repentance. Through repentance we shall, every one of us, be saved. Only those who refuse to repent will not find salvation, and therein I see their despair, and shed abundant tears of pity for them.” We can only find true peace and lasting joy when we are led out of the despair of our passions and into the light of Christ by His Grace and through our labors of repentance, fasting and prayer. As we enter upon the struggles of the Fast, let us be encouraged as we listen attentively to the sacred hymns of the Church: “Let us joyfully begin the all-hallowed season of abstinence, and let us shine with the bright radiance of the holy commandments of Christ our God, with the brightness of love and the splendor of prayer, with the purity of holiness and the strength of good courage. So, clothed in raiment of light, let us hasten to the Holy Resurrection on the third day, that shines upon the world with the glory of eternal life” (Sessional hymn, Matins on Monday of the First Week). I humbly ask for your forgiveness and pray that the Lord will bless each of us with a profitable and peaceful Lenten journey. Sincerely yours in Christ, +TIKHON Archbishop of Washington Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)