Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

How Orthodox Easter is calculated or Why Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Pascha (later) on a different date from Roman Catholics ?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

 

 

why-eastern-orthodox-eastern-is-on-different-date-from-roman-catholics-why-we-orthodox-celebrate-easter-later

 

 


Why Does Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate their Eastern often on a later or a different date from (Western Christians) – Roman Catholic Church, Greek Catholic Church, Anglican, Presbyterian or Protestant (Evangelist), Old Catholic Methodist, Calvinist or some other kind of Lutheran or Charismatic Christian sects?

If you happen to be born innd raised in America or Western European contry it is most likely, you're little if at all or not at all aware of the fact that in the Eastern Orthodox Churches the date of Eastern (Passcha) is celebrated often on a different date from the Roman Catholic and the other schismatic churches.

For example, this year 2016 Roman Catholics already celebrated Passcha on March 27th and we Eastern Orthodox Christians are still in the Great Lent (Fasting) period and we'll have the Easter celebrated on 1st of May.
That certainly raises some questions across people who are not Eastern Orthodox, because the Western Roman Catholic Church and the rest of Protestant Christians are the biggest group of Christians out there and even atheists and people belonging to other religions such as Buddhism or Islam might be puzzled why the Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate easter on a different they if after all they're Christian and what and why is this division among Christians?

With the increased globalization of the World and the fact that currently there are a lot of multi-national international companies and the fact that the companies and businesses today are mostly multi-cultural with people from all the world and all religions across the globe, for some countries situated within countries with predominant Eastern Orthodox population such as Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia etc. it might be quite a disturbance because there Orthodox Christian country situated branches might be not able to operate on the days of Orthodox Easter. 

Here is a short example on the martch and dismatch by years between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church by years from 2010 to 2020

 

Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Easters from year 2010 to 2020

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
                       
Catholic 4/4 24/4 8/4 31/3 20/4 5/4 27/3 16/4 1/4 21/4 12/4
Orthodox 4/4 24/4 15/4 5/5 20/4 12/4 1/5 16/4 8/4 28/4 19/4

Easter 2000 to 2009

Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
                     
Catholic 23/4 15/4 31/3 20/4 11/4 27/3 16/4 8/4 23/3 12/4
Orthodox 30/4 15/4 5/5 27/4 11/4 1/5 23/4 8/4 27/4 19/4


A complete list of Eastern Orthodox Pascha feast days is here

Funnly or strangely e ven many people who are situated within an Eastern Orthodox country doesn't have a good understanding why and what is the reason our Eastern Orthodox Easter feast is celebrated on a different date.
There is a lot written on the reasons why Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates on a different date Passcha from Catholics however in this article, I'll try to make it as short and clear as the reasons behind are often presented quiet messy.

 

In short there are 2 reasons (rules) why Eastern Orthodox Christian Church celebrates Eastern often on a different date:

1) The Julian calendar which is still used by the Eastern Orthodox Church for counting time
2) Adherence of the Orthodox to the early practices of the Original and Ancient Christian Church for Christian Passcha to not coincide with the Jewish Passover

The consequence of these 2 rules is that the Eastern Orthodox Christians on about 50% of the time throughout  years celebrate Christistmas later from Catholics because the Orthodox Church is following the First Church Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) that has set the rule that Passcha must take place always after the Jewish Passover  because in the Church the Biblical described consequence of events of the Passover and the Crucifix are followed, it appears rest of the Christian churches ignore (break) this requirement and this makes them fall under the Anatemas of the Church fathers from the I Ecumenical Council (see the Full decisions of the 7 Ecumenical Canonical Councils of the Original Church here).


Here the difference for Catholics celebrating on a different date Eastern stems from the fact since the XVI century they're using in Catholic Church the Gregorian calendar (adopted by Pope Gregory the XIII-th) because of scientifical superiority claimed by the Gregorian calendar.

Gregorian Julian calendar-fall-behind-dates by years from 1582 to year 2200

Well as you can see the scientific accuracy of Gregorian calendar is better and with years the Julian calendar is starting to miss astronomical re-calculated dates, causing mathematical incorrectness but the problem with the acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar and the reason why the Eastern Orthodox Church decided not to use the Gregorian calendar for Pascha is the fact that when the Gregorian Calendar was accepted in secular western world and the  Roman Catholic Church in order to matematically align the missing date 13 days were simply dropped off (or from Thursday 4th of October 1582 under Julian Calendar the next day Friday people started being in 15th of October, see the picture below:

inconsistency_change_from_Julian_to_Gregorian_calendar-Date_Change-and-the-missing-13-days

Well as you can see Friday October the 15,  1582 was quite a crazy year for the people as they lay down as 4th of Thursday and they woke up on 15th the next day 🙂

The Eastern Orthodox still to follow the Julian Calendar for Easter feast and some Churches adopted to using partly the Gregorian (Secular) calendar for some of the feasts under the pressure of the Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate , whether some Churches such as the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) which as of time of writting is the biggest Orthodox Crhuch as well as the Serbian Church are completely using the Julian calendar for calculating all feast days. Now what should be known is difference between Julian and Gregorian calendar is 13 days falling back (Gregorian Calendar is 13 days in future), while Julian calendar is 13 days in time behind the Gregorian.
However as prior said sometimes throughout years the Easterns of (Western) Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church coincide, such a date on which we celebrated Eastern on one date is on 24 April 2011.
The two dates coincide when the full moon following the equinox comes so late that it counts as the first full moon after 21 March in the Julian calendar as well as the Gregorian.
In recent years the conciding years was frequent in 2010, 2011, 2014 and will be again  2017 but after that there will be no coincidence of Orthodox and  Catholic Easter feasts until 2034.

For those who might be wondering why the Eastern Orthodox Church choose to not celebrate Easter on a different date here is some information on how Pascha (Easter) was determined historically in the One and Holy Apostolic Church
which for historical and dogmatical reasons is today Our Holy Eastern Orthodox Church.

During the first three centuries of Christianity, some Christians celebrates Pascha on the First date after Jewish Passover and others celebrates the feast on the same time as Passover.
This was causing confusions in across Churches and this together with other heretical teachings caused the Holy Church Fathers (successors of Holy Apostols) of the First Ecumenical Council to gather and decide
how to solve the issue.

The Holy Fathers therefore devices a uniform formula for calculating the date of the Pascha that was inline and taking in consideration the most early traditions of the Church as well as the Biblical
sequence of events.

Here is the Easter calculation forumla devices on I Ecumenical Council:

Pascha is to be always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox but  always after the Jewish Passover.
 

To even better ensure that there was no confusion as to when the vernal equinox occured the date of the vernal equinox was set to be March 21 (which is April 3rd or 13 days later on the Julain Calendar).
The formula was universally accepted by all of Christianity, ensuring the Pascha was celebrated on the same day throughout the entire Universe (world).
The Eastern Orthodox Church which is keeping to strictly keep the decisions of the fathers 7 Councils and thus strictly keeps the formula in the Church.
The Western Church (Roman Catholic Church) used to be holding also the Eastern calculation formula however in modern times it rejected the Nicene formulate that requires that Pascha to always follow the Jewish  Passover.

Now as the apostacy from True Christian faith is increasing Western theologians and many of the misguided or so called heretical (ecumenism movement oriented) orthodox theologians are starting to claim that the provision about the formula
was not important and thus provision of the formula is rejected and thus ignoring the fact that during years 325 – 1582 as well as the historical date from early Christian historians and Early Canons such as Canon VII of the Apostolic Canons clearly reads:

“If any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon celebrate the holy day of Pascha before the vernal equinox with the Jews, let him be deposed.”
 

 The Calendar Issue came to be in 1582  by Pope Gregory XIII with  instituted reform of the traditional Julian calendar. Actually the Protestant Reformation in its beginning harshly defended the Julian Calendar and kept the new Julian Calendar as an unnecessery information at times
when large chunks of the protestantized countries such as Germany and Netherlands were thinking actively of joining the Orthodox Church, however for some historical reason and by the settle backs of the Roman Catholic Church the rejoining of large sea of protestants with Orthodox sadly never happened.

Until 1923 all Eastern Orthodox Chuches was following the Julian calendar for all yearly feasts however as in 1923 an inter-Orthodox congress was helpd in Constantinople attended by some but not all of the Orthodox Churches, the Church fathers gathering took the very
controversial decision to follow a revised Julian calendar (the so called new Orthodox Church Calendar / New Style) which is essentially the same as Gregorian calendar for all things except the celebration of Pascha and few other feasts which continued to be celebrated across all Orthodox Churches on the same dates across all  Eastern Orthodox Churches who are in full eucharistic communion.

The official claimed reason for accepting the Gregorian calendar and moving most of the feasts +13 days in future  was that within some eastern countries many of the orthodox christian workers couldn't attend many of the 12 important feasts because of work duties (for example 7th of January is a working day in most of the world except Russia and thus it is a problem for many to attend the Church service and prepare and much more confortable if the feast is celebrated on 24th of December like it is in Roman Catholic and Protestant christians) – i.e. the change was initiated most for economical reasons right after the end of the 1st world war.

The result is now many of the great 12 Church Feasts in Orthodox Church like Christmas (Nativity of Christ), Epiphany, the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos, Entrance Presentation of the Theotokos in many of the Orthodox Churches together with Catholics but not with Russian Church and the other Orthodox Churches who still stick to the Julian Calendar.
The only other feasts which are being celebrated together with Russian Orthodox Church is Pentecost and Ascension as they're movable feasts depending on Pascha according to Julian calendar.

For us Orthodox tradition and Church teachings are of paramount importance and thus sadly the change to re-visited Julian calendar just created further confusion internally in the Eastern Orthodox Church, today many people who completely stick to the Julian calendar and refuse the re-visited Julian calendar has joined Schismatic Self-Proclaimed Orthodox Old Calendar Churches or for those who prefered to stay in full communion with the rest of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and stick to old calendar joined the Russian Orthodox Church and Serbian Church as they're considered to better keep the true faith tradition and spiritual descendance from the holy apostles. The question of the calendar difference has been largely discussed within the Orthodox Church and hopefully on the upcoming Holy All Orthodox Council upcoming this year in June 16 – 27 2016 the question of returning back the Old Julian calendar for all Church feasts might be also raised and resolved, once and for all.

As a closure I'll say that the most important thing why Pascha tends to falls different from Catholics is to show that actually the Eastern Orthodox Church is the original Church and different from Roman Catholic and the true Church of Christ falling the prescription of the Church fathers.

P.S. As the so called "Holy Orthodox Council", often called by many 8th ecumenical counil already has taken place in Crete and there was no real signs for it to be neither ecuminical nor holy as the Bulgarian, The Russian, Antiochian and Georgian Orthodox Churches refused to take participation and the overall observation online from their website holycouncil.org  evidently shows that this council is not needed neither solved any of the real important non-doctrinal problems of the Orthodox Church it also prooved to be a PR kind of council trying to make in the eyes of the world the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomeo to look like an Orthodox Church (head) pope and perhaps the ones who organized this council had this intention together with the intention to put even more confusion concerning the unity of the Orthodox Church and separate the chirch into two parties (a conservatives) and (liberals) sides.
Also after the council finalized it prooved not to be really what it meant to be Thanks be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The refusal of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to take participation in the council from my point of view as a member of the Orthodox Church was a right one and has delayed the plans of global enemies of the church to destroy it.
An interesting rumor is the holy council in Crete was sponsored with 70 000 000 from anonymous donators within United States some priests claim the money come from secret societies such as free masonry also it is mostly ridiculous the costs that this ecumenical council impeded.

 

Testament of a great saint – Testament of Saint John of Rila – Spiritual guidance for people from last ages

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

one-of-greatest-saints-of-all-times-orthodox-holy-icon-st-John-of-Rila

[1.] I, John, the humble and sinful, who has never done anything good on earth, when I came into this wilderness of Rila, I found no man over here, but only wild animals and impenetrable thickets. I settled alone in it among the wild animals, without food nor shelter, but the sky was my shelter and the earth my bed and the herbs my food. But the good Lord, for the love of whom I disregarded everything and endured hunger and thirst, frost, the heat of the sun, and corporal nakedness, did not abandon me, but like a merciful and child-loving father he lavishly satisfied all my needs. What shall I contribute to the Lord for all he has given me? Many are his benefactions to me, for he looked from his holy height at my humbleness (cf. Luke 1:48) and lent his support to me to go through everything—not I, but the might of Christ, which is in me—because every good gift and every perfect gift is from him (James 1:17).

[2.] Seeing you today gathered together in the Lord here, where, as I told you, no man has dwelled until now, but only wild animals, and foreseeing that the end of my life here is soon coming on, because of this I made up my mind, before my departure (II Tim. 4:6) from life here, to leave you the present fatherly testament of mine, just as carnal fathers leave their children an earthly inheritance of silver and gold and other property, so that when you commemorate your father in the Holy Spirit, you do not forget his testament.

[3.] I know, my beloved children in God, I know you very well, that you, being beginners, are not confirmed yet in the monk’s life, but fear not, for the Lord’s "power is made perfect in weakness" (II Cor. 12:9). Just because of this I made up my mind to write for you this rough and ignorant testament of mine, so that you will keep it always in your minds to become stronger in body and soul, in the Lord, and go forward through the virtues in fear of God. Because I believe in my God, whom I have served since my youth and to whom I submitted zealously, after my departure, this wilderness, which until now was terrible and uninhabited, will be inhabited by a multitude of desert-citizens. What was written about it will be fulfilled: "The desolate hath many more children than she which hath a husband" (Is. 54:1; Gal. 4:27).

Св. Йоан Рилски. Стенопис от XIV в. в църквата на Земенския манастир.[4.] Because of this I beg you, my children, whom I have gathered in the Lord, I beg of you, my flesh and blood, do not neglect your father’s admonition and together with the apostle I say: “I am in travail again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). I beg you and make you swear on the dread name of God not to violate or abandon anything after my death, but everything I have written let be carried out, as it is written and as you have promised before God. Whosoever oversteps or violates something of it, let him be damned and separated from the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, to have no share with the saints, who were pleasing to God ages ago, but let his share be with those who had crucified the Lord of Glory (Acts 7:2) and with his betrayer Judas, to be erased from “the book of life” (Phil. 4:3) and not to be inscribed [in it] with the righteous.

[5.] First of all, I bequeath to you the obligation to preserve the holy faith immaculate and unaffected by any false teaching, just as we received it from the holy fathers, without "being led away with diverse and strange teachings" (Heb. 13:9). Hold fast and keep the traditions you have heard and seen from me. Do not deviate either to the right, or to the left, but walk along the royal road. Keep yourselves carefully away from worldly fascinations and always remember why you have come out of the world, and why you have despised it and worldly things.

[6.] Now again, keep yourselves away from the avaricious snake, “for the love of money is the root of all evil” (I Tim. 6:10), according to the apostle, who calls it a second idolatry. Because for the hermit wealth consists not in silver and gold,5 but in perfect poverty, in the denial of his personal will, and in lofty humbleness. I am not telling you this as my commandments, but [I am] recalling for you the commandments of Christ. For he told his holy disciples and through them everybody who had renounced the world: "Take no gold, nor silver, nor a bag, nor copper in your belts" (Matt. 10:9) and so on. For gold and silver are great enemies of the monk and bite those who have them like a snake.

holy relics of-one of greatest saints of all times Bulgarian saint John of Rila Rila mountain bulgaria

[7.] If we, however, have undoubted hope in God, he will not leave us deprived of anything, for he himself says: “A woman may forget her children, yet will I not forget thee” (Is. 49:15). Also in another place: “But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be yours as well” (Matt. 6:33). For in the beginning, when I came to this wilderness, the sly enemy attempted to allure me, for the pious king sent to me a lot of gold.6 For the sake of God I refused to see him, for I understood that it was a perfidy of the devil. I did not accept it, but returned it to those who sent it, for I thought to myself: “If I wished to have gold and silver, and suchlike things, why came I into this terrible and impenetrable wilderness, where I found no man, but wild animals?” So I saved myself from the intrigues of the sly tempter, who endeavors to trip us up in those things, which we renounced willfully. That is why you are not to look for any of these things, “for your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (Matt. 6:32) before your prayer [is offered].
 

[8.] Nor look to be recognized and beloved by earthly kings and princes, nor put your hope in them, leaving the heavenly King, with whom you enlisted to be soldiers and "wrestle not against flesh and blood," but "against the ruler of the darkness of this world" (Eph. 6:12). For the prophet Jeremiah also threatens us speaking so: "Cursed be the man that hopeth in man" and the rest. Enumerating the evils, he adds that "blessed is the man that hopeth in the Lord" (Jer. 17:5-8). Do not say: "What shall we eat, or drink, or in what shall we be dressed?" for the gentiles seek after these things. "Look at the birds of the air: for they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matt. 6:26). As soon as you have come out of the world, do not go back, neither with your body, nor with your mind, for, as it is said, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven" (Luke 9:62).

[9.] The Apostle [Paul] too, however, teaches us to "forget what lies behind and strain froward to what lies ahead" (Phil. 3:13). What does "forgetting those things which are behind" mean, my children? Nothing else except to deliver to oblivion all those things which, coming out of the world for God’s sake, we have left and despised, and to strive towards the feat which lies before us, to which we were called by our taskmaster, our most gracious God and Lord Jesus Christ, who has enabled us to endure his gentle yoke, "For his yoke is easy, and his burden is light" (Matt. 11:30).

[10.] As the grace of the Holy Spirit brought you together, so must you endeavor to live with one heart and one mind and one spirit, directing your eyes only towards the eternal reward, which God has prepared for those who have loved him. The communal life is in every way more useful for monks than the solitary one, for solitude is not suitable for the many, but only for a few who are perfect in all monastic virtues. The common life, on the other hand, is useful in general for everybody, about which the patristic books tell us and teach us sufficiently. The spirit-speaking prophet David glorified it saying: "See now what is so good and so pleasant as for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Ps. 133:1). In addition to this, one spirit-moved ecclesiastical hymn writes in this way: "Because in this the Lord promised eternal life." But also our good Master Lord God Jesus Christ, does he not say to us himself, by his immaculate lips: "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them"? (Matt. 18:20). Our God-bearing fathers say for the solitary life: "Woe to him that is alone when he falls; and there is not a second to lift him up" (Eccl. 4:10).

[11.] That is why, children, as the Holy Spirit through the mouth of the prophet glorifies the communal life, do you not neglect it either, but on the contrary, confirm it and be like "one body in the Lord" (Rom. 12:5), which has different members. Some of them form, however, the head which governs, others the feet which toil and bear, so that there is formed from all a single spiritual body in the Lord, created with a single mind and logical spirit, and directed by spiritual reasoning, in no wise having divisions. When such a dwelling and life in God is arranged, then he himself will be in the midst of you, governing you invisibly.

[12.] Do not seek the first place and authority, but remember those who have said: "If one would be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all" (Mark 9:35). Elect for yourselves preceptors and appoint superiors, whom God will show you, that is, men "of good report" (Acts 10:22) among everybody in spiritual matters and surpassing everybody in intelligence and spiritual discernment, and able to pasture well and comfortably the flock entrusted to them down the meadows of piety and of the life-giving commands of Christ. For these men it is proper to seek confirmation more from God than from our opinion.

      7. According to Goshev, "Zavetât," pp. 449–61, this author’s Parainesis had been available in a Slavonic translation since the reign of Symeon (893–927).
 

[13.] If, as our great father and monastic preceptor, the reverend Ephraem Syrus says,7 all of you begin to desire authority and presidencies, and all of you to be abbots, and all of you preceptors, and interpreters, and teachers, and among you spring up rivalries, quarrels, disputes, zealousness, calumnies, haughtinesses, envy and other passions indecorous for monks, then certainly be aware that Christ is not among you, for Christ is not the teacher of discord and dissent, but of peace and unity. For he prays to God the father for his holy disciples to be united, that is, of one mind—they themselves and everybody who believes in him through them, and says as follows: "Holy Father, keep them in thy name that they may be one, as we are" (John 17:11). In another place: "I do not pray for them only but also for those who believe in me through their word that all may be one" (John 17:20–21). If you will be one, be at peace one with another. For he said to his disciples, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you." (John 14: 27) For such is this peace of Christ, children, that again he speaks, saying, "Not as the world gives, do I give to you" (John 14:27). But this peace of Christ surpasses every mind. This is the peace, about which the prophet talks: "And his peace has no bounds." But also the apostle teaches us saying: "Strive for peace with all men and for the holiness, without which no man shall see God" (Heb. 12:14). May you have such a peace, now, among you, and let you arrange everything for God with great unity of mind and heart, so as not to enrage your own God and master.

[14.] If somebody is found among you who sows weeds, discords and other temptations, you have to eliminate at once such a man from your assembly, so that this will not be transfigured into a devouring canker, according to the apostle, and not to spread the evil among the good ones, and “lest any root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble by it, and the many be defiled” (Heb. 12:5); and the wicked wolf not trouble the peaceful flock of Christ, because this sort [of men] will appear. For of them Christ prophesies saying: "For it is necessary that temptations come; but woe to the world for temptations to sin!" (Matt. 16:7). For this and you, children, keep away from these things and do not allow them to live among you, but divert them away from yourselves as the shepherd chases away the scabby sheep from the pure flock.

[15.] Living together for the Lord’s sake and bearing the burdens of one another, do not neglect those who live in solitude and "wandering over deserts and in mountains, and in dens, and in caves of the earth, of whom the world was not worthy" (Heb. 11:38), but supply them as much as you can, in order to hold them as your petitioners before God, for the prayer of the pious may achieve much.

      8. For the translation of some of the late antique classics of ascetic literature into Slavonic, see Dujcev, "Réforme," p. 262.
 

[16.] Instruct yourselves in the Lord’s law day and night (Ps. 1:2). Read often the patristic books and try to be imitators of our holy fathers Antony, Theodosios and the others, who shone like lamps in the world with their good deeds.8 Hold firmly to the church rule, leaving or neglecting nothing of this, which is established by the holy fathers.

[17.] Manual labor must not be neglected by you, however, but work must be in your hands, and the prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” must be permanently on your lips, as well as the memory of death in your mind. This was the practice of the ancient desert fathers. They did not eat their bread in vain, and they not only lived themselves by labor of their own hands, but they gave to the needy too, and so they were not disappointed in their hope. “For,” says the apostle [Paul], "it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace; not with foods which have not benefited their adherents" (Heb. 13:9). He says too: "Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Heb. 13:1–2).

[18.] Establish the newly enlightened from your own race in the faith and instruct them to abandon the indecent pagan rites and the evil customs which they keep even after the acceptance of the holy faith. But they do this because of ignorance, and thus they need to be brought to their senses.

[19.] I had much more to say to you, my beloved children in the Lord, but it is impossible to write everything. I deliver you to him who is the source of all wisdom and reason, and the true Comforter— to the Holy and life-giving Spirit, in order that he himself gives you wisdom, to bring you to your senses, to enlighten you, to teach and instruct you in every good deed.

[20.] Now I leave you our beloved brother Gregory for instructor and superior in place of me, about whom all of you testify that he is able to govern you well and according to God, and you elect him by consensus as superior, even though he does not want it, but because of obedience and humility he acquiesces to your request. After him, [choose] whomever God will show you. As for myself, I wish henceforth to live in quiet and silence, to repent my sins and to beg mercy of God. Have mercy on me, your sinful father, always in your prayers that I may receive mercy on judgment day, for I have done nothing good on earth and fear that judgment and torment prepared for sinners like me. So may the blessing of God be with you all, guarding and protecting you from all evils. Amen.

I have written this in the year from the creation of the world 6449 ( = A.D. 941) on the twenty-fifth day of the month of March.

I, the humble and most sinful John, first inhabitant of the wilderness of Rila, sign with my own hand and confirm the above-written [testament].

© 2000 Dumbarton Oaks
Trustees for Harvard University
Washington, D.C.
Printed in the United States of America

Rila: Testament of John of Rila

Date: 941 Translator: Ilija Iliev

Here is also some more information of Rila Monastery for those who want to learn more what is consequence of a living of a great saint.

The monk John laid the foundations for what was to become the greatest monastery of medieval Bulgaria circa 930–31 in the mountains to the east of the Struma river valley in western Bulgaria.2 Born around 876–880, not much more than a dozen years after Boris-Michael (852–889), ruler of the Bulgars, had accepted Christianity in 865, John began his monastic career at the monastery of St. Dimiter near his birthplace, then lived for many years as a hermit. His final settlement was a site north of the Rila river, to the east of the present Rila monastery. Remains of the foundations of the first buildings are to be seen in the meadows south of the hermitage dedicated to St. Luke.3 Jealous of his independence, John refused to welcome the Bulgarian ruler Peter (927–969), who came to pay him homage. John’s Testament, translated below, was issued March 25, 941 to regulate the cenobitic community and is his only literary work. John then retired to his accustomed solitary life, and died on August 18, 946. He was a popular subject among hagiographers; seven lives in Bulgarian and two in Greek were composed between the twelfth and the nineteenth centuries.

 

B. Subsequent History of the Monastery in Medieval Times

Little is known about the Rila monastery during the Byzantine dominion over Bulgaria (1018– 1185). The earliest Slavonic life of John of Rila, the so-called "Popular Life," was composed in Bulgarian towards the end of this period, as was the first life in Greek, authored by George Skylitzes, an official on the staff of the Byzantine governor at Srédetz (modern Sofia) during the reign of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (1143–1180), that now survives only in a Slavonic translation.5 The monastery’s fortunes revived considerably later during the Second Bulgarian Empire (1186–1396). Rila and several other monasteries, richly endowed by the Bulgarian rulers with new lands and villages, seem to have enjoyed considerable prosperity in the fourteenth century.6 There is also a charter of 1378 preserved in the monastery of the last Bulgarian king, Ivan Shishman (1371– 1393), that confirms the tax exemptions of the monastery’s existing properties and awards new lands as well; it refers to similar charters now lost that earlier Bulgarian monarchs had awarded to the monastery dating back to the middle of the thirteenth century.

Earlier in the fourteenth century, Rila had benefited also from a local patron, the protosebast Hreljo, a local lord and sometime vassal of the Serbian tsar Stephen Dusan (1331–1355), who erected a new monastery on the site of the existing Rila monastery, to the west of John’s original foundation, which continued in operation as the "Old Hermitage." Hreljo built a 75-foot protective tower, still preserved, in 1335. It included living quarters for Hreljo and his family as well as a chapel on the top floor dedicated to the Transfiguration.7 A brick inscription records Hreljo’s erection of this structure. In 1343 he also built a stone church, which survived until 1834. There were similar towers built at this time for the monasteries on Mount Athos (see (51) Koutloumousi [A4]), and there is one still existing at the Hilandar monastery. Forced to become a monk at the order of Dusan, who distrusted his loyalty, Hreljo was strangled to death by hired assassins in his tower in 1343, probably also at Dusan’s instigation. Hreljo’s gravestone, broken into many pieces, is preserved in the monastery’s museum and speaks of his entry into the monastery and unnatural death.8

In 1385, Dometian, the monastery’s superior, had John’s Testament recopied while hiding away the original along with the foundation’s other valuables for fear of the Turks, who had taken Srédetz in 1382. At about this time too Evtimij, the last Bulgarian patriarch of Turnovo, wrote his widely popular version of the Life of John of Rila.

 

C. Rila under Ottoman Rule

The Turkish sultans Beyazid I (1389–1402) and Mehmet I (1413–1421) issued firmans confirming the privileges Rila had received earlier from Bulgarian monarchs, but this did not save the monastery from later depredations, with the result that it was abandoned by the middle of the fifteenth century.9 There was a revival, however, in the second half of the century. Around 1460, the three brothers David, Joasaf and Teofan, sons of a certain Jakov, bishop of Krupnik, worked to strengthen and repair the damaged buildings. Shortly thereafter, a pact was reached in 1466 with the Russian monastery of St. Panteleemon on Mount Athos obliging Rila and the former institution to assist one another as needed in the future. Permission was obtained from the Turkish authorities in 1469 to transport the relics of John of Rila from Turnovo, the old capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, where they had been since 1195. The translation considerably increased the Rila monastery’s prestige. A dependency (metoh) dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul was built to the southwest of the main monastery in 1478.

Firmans issued by sultans Beyazid II (1481–1512) in 1498, Selim I (1512–1520) in 1519, and Murad III (1574–1595) confirmed the monastery in the possession of its properties, but like the earlier series of firmans, these did not succeed in protecting the foundation from the depredations of various brigands.10 Beginning in 1558–59, the monks succeeded in establishing direct relations with Russia, whose rulers they hoped would be sympathetic to their complaints of oppression at the hands of their Ottoman masters.

Despite extremely difficult conditions, which continued well into the second half of the eighteenth century, including attacks by robbers in 1766 and 1779, the monastery not only managed to survive but served as a kind of center of Bulgarian culture. Additional churches were built as dependencies towards the end of the eighteenth century and in the early years of the nineteenth century, then a complete reconstruction of the main monastery was begun in 1816.11 A fire in 1833, however, destroyed all the buildings there except for Hreljo’s tower and his fourteenthcentury stone church. The monastery was rebuilt once again in 1834 while the church was torn down to make room for a larger structure; both the monastery and the nineteenth-century church still stand today, along with Hreljo’s tower, the only medieval structure preserved on the site. Analysis Experts have endorsed the essential authenticity of the document.12 It is an example of the testamentary genre of monastic foundation documents, whose author seems to have made some use of (3) Theodore Studites and even (4) Stoudios.13 There are indeed some resemblances to the former document, such as the statement of purpose [3], the prohibition of changes [4], and the admonition to preserve the faith [5]. The use of the wilderness topos in the brief foundation history [1] also has a close parallel in (29) Kosmosoteira [1], a twelfth-century document. On the whole, however, this is a distinct document with its own concerns for the ordering of monastic life at Rila.

 

A. Lives of the Monks

Like his Stoudite predecessors, John of Rila endorses [10] the cenobitic lifestyle, but also urges his monks to establish [15] relations with and support neighboring solitaries. This coexistence of cenobitic and eremitic lifestyles, prefigured in John’s own career, would be one of the notable characteristics of Byzantine monasticism. The author demonstrates an acquaintance with the ascetic tradition of late antiquity, quoting [13] Ephraem Syrus and recommending [16] the study of patristic literature, in particular the Lives of St. Antony, founder of anchoritic monasticism, Theodosios the Koinobiarch, “and others” as well as respecting canon law. John also invokes [17] patristic authority for the practice of manual labor.

 

B. Constitutional Matters

While there is genuine disciplinary content in this document, its chief purpose, as in most testaments, was to designate [20] a successor, here the monk Gregory. John then announces his intent to retire into seclusion as part of an arrangement for assuring an orderly succession to the superiorship that is similar to that proposed in the eleventh century in (22) Evergetis [13]. C. Financial Matters

Aside from the commitment to self-sufficiency that seems implicit in his endorsement of manual labor, there are no indications of how John expected the foundation to support itself financially. He proudly asserts [7] that he refused a royal donation, perhaps an annuity like the solemnia attested in Byzantium in the tenth century, and he advises [8] his community not to seek favors from “earthly kings and princes” [8]. This deliberate shunning of material support is unusual. Many later founders did not fear for the independence of their foundations when accepting imperial largess or tax exemptions (e.g., (13) Ath. Typikon [36] or (19) Attaleiates [22]), nor did Rila itself long after John’s death. As Dujcev ("Réforme," p. 263) surmised, John probably was concerned about Bulgarian monasticism being too submissive to secular authority, understandably given the prior history of Bulgarian monasticism under royal patronage.

 

Understanding the Christian Orthodox Faith / What does Orthodox Christian faith stands for and it differs from Roman Catholicism and Protestanism

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

I’ve stumbled upon a very educative videos, which might be interesting for both Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The video contains an Orthodox Christian fathers who explain with simple words the difference between the Orthodox Christian Faith and the rest of the most popular Christian faiths present today. Watch learn and enjoy! 🙂


Understanding the Christian Orthodox Faith – Part 1


Understanding the Christian Orthodox Faith – Part 2


Understanding the Christian Orthodox Faith – Part 3

The videos also questions very important questions about Orthodox Christianity which I believe non-orthodox christians could truly benefit and hopefully some might even turn to orthdoxy.

The Celebration of the day of All Bulgarian Church Saints in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

All Bulgarian Saints Icon

Today it’s the Sunday in which we the Bulgarian Orthodox Christians celebrate The Day of All the Bulgarian Saints
We have plenty of saints in our Bulgarian Christian history, many known and even more unknown ones. That feast is actually one of the greatest local church commemoration of the Christian saints who gave their life for the building, growing and preventing of the orthodox bulgarian church and the orthodox christian faith througout Bulgaria’s lands.
An almost complete list of the orthodox bulgarian saints can be seen here
However many are not mentioned since there are no historical documents about the countless victims (martyrs) of Ottoman muslics who were beheaded or violently killed because of his refusal to accept the Islam.
Here I will just mention few of the saints that are mostly venerated in the realm of the bulgarian orthodox christian faith:

1. st. Enravota (Prince Boyan)
is considered the first Bulgarian Saint martyr who gave his life to show hthe truthfulness of the Christian Orthodox faith.
His most notable speak is also a prophecy concerning the bulgarian orthodox church which was made before his martyrdom for Christ.
The prophecy saint Enravota has made about the Christianity establishment in Bulgaria is as follows:

This faith, which I now die for, will spread and increase across the whole Bulgarian land, although you may wish to oppress it with my death. In any case, the Sign of Christ will establish itself and churches of God will be built everywhere and pure priests will serve the pure God and will deliver “sacrifice of praise and confession” to the invigorating Trinity. Idols, and priests as well, and their ungodly temples, will crumble and will turn into nothing, as if they had not existed. Besides, you alone (to Malamir), after many years, will cast away your ungodly soul without receiving anything in reward for your cruelty.

2. St. Jonh of Rila (wonderworker) was a hermit in the Rila mountain who is a patron saint of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. He is notable for his great spiritual purity achievement in his anchoretic life. Many miracles and healing has been received by people who has prayed and asked the saint to intercede in their behalf to God. He is known as the first bulgarian monk, and as an initiator of the first bulgarian orthodox christian monastery.
His uncorruptable body is found for pilgrimage until this very day in the monastery he became a founder of Rila Monastery .

2. St. Brothers Cyril and Methodius Who were the saint brothers who venerated for enlightening the slavonic nations with writting letters. They’re actually the inventors of the old Bulgarian also known as Old Church Slavonic. They and their followers were the first to translate the holy bible into the newly created language – the Old Bulgarian.

3. st. Knyaz (King) Boris-Mihail (Boris-Michael) . He is known for his baptism of the Bulgarian Nation and the initiator of the creation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church as well as a brilliant statesman.
After baptising most of the bulgarian intelligentia and rooting up the Orthodox Christian faith in Bulgaria, he abdicted voluntery from his throne, leaving his son (Vladimir) to rule Bulgaria and started a voluntery monastic life in poverty.
When his governing son tried to reinforce back the old pagan bulgarian Tengriism belief (e.g. the belief in Tangra (Tengri) he left the monastery took back the power (defeating his son) and blinded Vladimir.
Then he returned back to the monastery and spend his remaining life as a monk.

4. st. Clement of Ohrid was one of the Seven Bulgarian Apostles
Born in 840, a Slav from southern Macedonia, he established a monastery at Okhrida and a bishopric at Velica not far away. He is regarded as the founder of this primatial see and the first Slav to become a bishop.
His extensive apostolate took the form of education of the clergy and of the laity, to whom he preached a series of sermons in Slavonic, suitable for neophytes and explaining the principal feasts of the liturgical year. Clement died at Okhrida on 27 July 916.
5. St. Nahum ucceeded St. Clement of Ohrid as bishop. Converted in Moravia by Cyril and Methodius, he journeyed with them to Rome and helped them with their translations into the vernacular: he is venerated in Russia as well as Bulgaria. Other companions of Clement called Sava and Angelar are also venerated with him. In different times and different places they all contributed to the fulfilment of the missionary plans of Cyril and Methodius.
6. Saint Zlata of Meglen has endured a martyrdom for Christ. She refused to accept muslim faith and has firmly confessed her Orhtodox Christian faith.
She was given many chances to accept muslim faith by some Turks and therefore save her life but she refused and was cast into a prison for 3 months flogging until her blood soacked the ground.
Finally, they suspended her upside down and lit a fire, to suffocate her with the smoke; but God was with Zlata, and gave her strength in suffering.
At last they hanged her from a tree and cut her into small pieces. Thus, this brave virgin gave her soul up to God, and went to dwell in Paradise on October 13, 1796. Pieces of her relics were taken by Christians to their homes for a blessing.

7. 26 Martyrs of the Zographou Monastery on Mt. Athos at the hands of the Crusaders they have endured martyrdom for Christ, from the Roman Catholic Crusaders. Though the were warned that the enemies of Christ are coming to the Zograph Monastery they refused to leave the place and was burned alive by the unpious Crusaders.
There is many others to be mentioned but I neither have the knowledge nor I’m worthy to speak about them.
All Bulgarian Saints new icon representation

Let by their Holy Prayers God have mercy on us the sinners.

What Protestant Christianity is Wrong about, Protestant wrong ideas about Orthodox Christianity and some protestant heretical and inaccurate beliefs and practices

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Yesterday I was out with some friends including some christians adhering to the methodist belief
as well as generally mostly protestant christian beliefs. For good or bad a severe arguing emergedbetween me and a friend of mine whose explanation on some questions concerning the christian faith
as well as discussions about the seperation of man and woman in the Orthodox Church.Something I don’t really see as division. A Christian friend of mine who is attending a methodist protestant Churchstarted to give explanations for the reason of the so called separation rathar based on the wrong understanding (from orthodox perspective) of faith issues and from protestant doctrinal point of view.
Even though I do listen to a lot of Protestant Christian Rock/Metal and I like the phenomenon of this
attempt for creating a Godly music surrounded by all this groups who openly do confess satanism and occultims,I’m more and more convinced that the protestant christian understanding on many of the matters of faith areerroneous. I still respect all them highly since they do strive to lead God pleasing life, however theirdelusion on some matters of faith should be marked up.

Here are some of the few major things which I see as a difference between Orthodox believing christians andprotestant christian believers with the hope that this would be helpful for somebody out there looking for realanswers on the true christian faith

The dangers of Protestanism and protestant denominations (A faith mixtured with lies and errors) & The Difference BetweenOrthodox Christian beliefs and Protestanism.——————————————–Date: 26.09.2009Author: hip0 (a.k.a. Georgi Georgiev)1. Protestant and their denominations:- Methodists- Advents- many, many other denominations.* Reject the orthodox Church as the descendant of the One Holy apostolic Christian church, established by theapostles.* Reject the authority of many of the teachings of the Orthodox Church including the teaching of theTradition of the Holy Fathers in the Church and the Teachings of the Holy Church Fathers* Reject the supremacy of the Holy Mother of God (Mother Mary) in the spiritual hierarchy of the God createdbeings! (Something of the most fundamental things believed in the Orthodox Church).* Accept one and only authority of the bible, in which everybody freely could interpret the Holy Scriptures,(there are some general framework in which most of the canonical so to say protestant do hold up). Eventhough the variation of the understanding varies greatly.* Reject our appeals to the Holy Saints and the Holy Theotokos (Mother Mary) for intercession in front ofGod for us the sinners.* Reject the order in the church, teaching that everybody is free to understand and serve to God theway he feels if it has generally some similarities to their build idea on holiness based on their biblereadings.* Reject the crucifixion (Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ crucified) as the most fundamental symbolof Christianity claming that Christ has already raised:(Contradicting what is written by the St. Paul in the Bible.Who openly confesses that he wants to be know and Preach Christ Crucified).* Do understand the Cross as only a symbol to Christianity, Claiming that early Christians haveused a fish as a symbol of Christianity (As a remembrance of our Lord’s miracle with multiplying the fishesand feeding 5000 people).* Many Protestants Reject the power of the Cross symbol in Christians making the sign of the Cross (Again contradicting the Holy Fathers who say that through crossing ourselves with the sign of the Cross,every demon is banished and trembles in fear.* Do claim that the bible is the one and only authority a christian should obey.That as far as I’ve red is called “Sola Scriptura” (Only the Scriptures in Latin).In Orthodoxy we have the tradition of the Holy Fathers which supplements what is writtenin the bible and on many occasions enables us to understand what the bible exactlytalks about.* Have many contradictiory teaching built by different pastors, all interpretationsof The Book Revelation (Apocalypsis) by St. John.* Many of them claim seeing heaven or being in heaven and being back,each’s. Most accounts contradicing each other. Talking about seeing Jesus* Many of them claim seeing heaven or being in heaven and being back,each’s. Most accounts contradicing each other. Talking about seeing Jesuswith golden belt, whole in light.Talking about Heaven filled in with Goldenstreets, etc., etc… And Many, Many more lieful things which every orthodox spiritual christian,as well as any other spiritual christian out their should know are based on imagination and fantasy.My personal experience in faith has shown me that spiritual things doesn’t have nothing to do withphysical seeing, nor have anything to do with anything we do know in this world. This could be alsored in the writtings of the saints as well as in the writtings of st. apostle Paul who talksabout knowing a man who saw heaven in the holy bible. Thereby he explains, How he saught things which cannot be explained in human terms.* Rejection of the eucharist (taking the sacraments), as a real blood and flesh of our Saviour and LordJesus Christ.Herein they again try to imply that eucharist or taking the sacraments (blood and wine) as most ofthe protestant churches does is only symbolism and is ordered just as a remembrance of our Lord’slast supper as we read in the Gospel wherein he commanded us to do that for this remembrance.Again ignoring the rest of his words recorded in the other canonical Gospels in which the Lord Jesus Christ openlysays (Whoever does not eat his body and doesn’t eat and drink his blood has no place with him.* Protestants Reject the Holy Liturgy in the Orthodox Church and the Church order(e.g. claiming no priest is needed everybody could freely communicate with God through prayers),herein they mistakenly think that the Orthodox Christian does communicate with God only through thepriest this is absolutely not true. Communicating with God is not done onlh through the priest.Yes it’s true that God’s gifts and forgiveness are granted to the Church members through the priest aswell as the eucharist (the holy communion), itself is received via priest as God has ordained since old times, even in the old testament, however communion with God is achieved also within throughout the Church servicesand in prayer at our homes as well.Moreover,e ven though our Lord Jesus Christ has spokenly openly against priests of his timewhile he was still on earth he never rejected the authority of the priests.For example the miracle our Lord has done healing the 10 lepers.After healing the 10 leprs, our Lord told them, “Go show yourself to the priests”.If the assertion by protestants is true, and no priest is needed how come our Lord Jesus sents the healed onesto the priests? Not to mention that they still have a sort of priest, (The pastor) who basiclyserves a similar role to the Orthodox Priest.* Protestants Reject the burning of Candles by layman, incense burning on the altar before Godand within the Church to sanctify externally everything within the place.That’s bacause they don’t understand two things:1. The meaning of Candles (The least man’s sacrifice (God pleasing offering))2. The incense left from the old times when priests were serving before God with burning God pleasingincense before the face of God. I’m not theologian and doesn’t know the exact explanation so that’s mostly my understanding onwhy incense is burned. I’ve also heard that incense is something dislikeable to the unclean spirits(demons) to be said by random people most of which not regular members of the Church.(This thesis need to be approved furhter on by Orthodox theologian or a priest)3. The Candles’s role is also as a mean to fund the Church in terms of money.The Church’s building and Church’s God servents needs money as well to exist, didn’t they?* Protestants reject the veneration of the Icons.- Here protestant understanding of the icons is as they’re idols.That is completely wrong understanding.Icons represent and remind of us of things already described in the bible,as well depicts the martyrdom of different christian orthodox saints. Reverenting the saintindeed we does honour the Holiness of the Saint achieved by his sanctification by his holy lifethrough our God (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit), therefore we does venerate not the saintbut God alone who dwelled and dwells forever within the saint.* Protestant are not aware of the existance of miraculous icons (most of which containingrelics of miracle making saints through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ), they have also no cluethat we have some saints with incorruptable bodies, whose earthly holiness was so obvious and theirbody so filled with God’s spirit that the flesh became incorruptable by God’s holy providence.They reject the honouring of the holy relics of saints. Ignoring the story in the old testamenttold where a dead soldier falls in the grave containing the holy relics of Prophet Elisha andarised back to live. Which is an old testament example of how holy and precious are the relicsof a saint.* Most protestants fail to glorify God as a Holy Trinity (Here is what I mean,Whenever Glory to God is expressed, it’s never said: Glory to the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.To manifest the belief in the Holy Trinity as we do in the Orthodox Church on every Holy Liturgy.* Protestants say they believe in The Triunite God still they bend God The Holy Trinity to the point they callGod, “The Trinity”. Which sounds like they place themselves on the same height as God alone (againerroneous).* Protestant does not make distinction between the the three apostates (natures) of God The Holy Trinity.In other words when talking about God they think talking about God the Son (our Lord Jesus Christ) isabsolutely equal to talking about God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. Which again is not true,This three God’s apostates are not one and the same thing, they’re one holy and inseperatable Godwhich in all terms is different to what is taught in protestanism.* Protestants does understand fasting as a way to restrain of food completely for days.This approach even if practiced literally by the the Holy Prophets, The Holy Apostles, The Church Fathers andThe Holy Saints is not applicable to the normal layman. Such experiments with the body could bring youa health issues if practiced in the long term. One of the dangers if somebody goes that way is toget gastritis or other stomach sicknesses, not to mention that this could not even benefit youin a spiritual sense quite often.The orthodox fasting is abstention mainly firstly of the sinful thoughts and desires and thenabstention from animal derivative food and products (with some small exceptions). In no meansthat we could abstain completely from food.During lent or some of the other 4 fasting periods in the Orhtodox Church on Church Feasts,Eating of Fish is allowed. Still in the Orthodox Church completele abstention of food ispracticed in some monasteries and by some people whose dedication to God is many levels aboveours (the laymans).Some protestants accuse orthodoxy that it doesn’t practice the true fasting (completelewithhold of food), this is not true since in orthodox christianity there are differentlevels of fasting. The highest level is a complete abstention from food and is practiced by saintsand monks.* Protestant reject the Orthodox Prayer Book as a mean of a guide in prayer.(This still needs to be researched further? Never heard of a protestant Christian that uses an OrthodoxPrayer book)In Orthodox Prayer books, we pray with the prayers of the saints which assures are that the wordswe spoke do hold up to the main orthodox christian doctrine and the orthodox Creed of faith andthe teaching within the church.Whilst in Protestanism, Prayers are mostly based on their each one’s own understanding on prayer.The Prayer tought by our Lord Jesus Christ is the one most practiced (Which at least is something good). The rest are prayers crafted by every man according to his own understanding about faith God and truthand the situation.* Protestants (or at least most of them) reject that Mother Mary is ever virgin (Theotokos aswe orthodox christians call the Holy Mother of God)Most of Christian protestants reject that Mother Mary has been ever virgin until her dormitionand ever after. This is another fundamental miracle of the many and innumerable miracles of God.They tend to ignore what is written in the gospels in the new testament, everybody can read there that all the nations will call Virgin Mary blessed.(Never heard a protestant calling mother mary blessed or reverenting her in a special way asa Mother of God as we do in the orthodox Church)Many of the protestant christian denominations does teach that mother mary has even hadchildren from Joseph her husband by law. (The early church never taught that! This is repulsiveheresy!)* As far as I know some protestant Chirstian teachings reject that Christ is the Logos and thefact that our Lord Jesus Christ is begotten by God the Father before all ages (This is statedin the Orthodox Creed of faith).(Again this still needs further closer investigation).* Many Protestants believe wrongfully that they are saints because the possess the Holy Spiritwithin.Again erroneous from orthodox perspective. Won’t get into details about this issue.* Probably the list goes on and on … As I said earlier I’m not a theologianWell let me close that, with a few closing words.
The Orthodox Church teaches that protestanism is a heresy and
the truth is only kept and taught properly within the realm of the Orthodox Church.
However many of the priests and servents of the Orthodox Church does act nowdays in a way
that stain the orthodox church teachings as well as the orthodox church reputation, that creates
distrust and drives back many people who does judge about orthodoxy based on the actings of people
who do dare to call themselves orthodox but they are spiritually serving in most of the time not
to God but probably to the evil one.
.No matter this still what is being mainly told in the church holds up to the Church canons and therefore
the influence of unfaithful and sinful priests or orthodox church servents cannot change the truth
which the church canons contains. Thus luckily the Orthodox Church believers are being taught plainly mostly what was
taught in the church since it’s birth day on Pentecost while the Spirit of God descended unto
the Holy Apostles. The dangers of joining a protestant church are even higher, many
of this churches are money machines nowdays, believers are being taught lieful claims, fragments
of the bible are being taught as a means to stimulate people’s guilt to make them donate more
for the given protestant church or denomination.
In reality many nowdays protestant churches and denominations are smartly built business empires,
which one and only aim is increase money revenues. I’ve even red online many testimonies of
people (pastors) who practice hypnosis, the people who testified against the pseudo Christian pastors
described how this pseudo-pastors used well known hypnotist tricks to force people’s subconsciousness
into a state of hypnosis in which (the hypnotist pastor ideas) and subsequentially control over the
pseudo-church members could be exercised.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to be in war with protestanism or Protestant understanding and ways
to serve God. What do I want is just to introduce christians of the many dangers of being
a non-orthodox christian believer. I personally do have many friends who even though not openly
are more closely to the protestant belief system, than orthodox’s. They as people are really nice,
I can say they do strive doing good deeds, read the bible, pray, try not to sin and be
centered on our Lord Jesus Christ. On many hard times in the past for me, while I was still
not belonging to the orthodox christian church. I thought that churches are corrupted and they does
withhold people from salvation which is only attained through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus alone
with the act of accepting the Lord Jesus Christ (as the true and only son of God who died for our sins
on Golgotha and roused again in the third day according to the scriptures).

I have to admit that People with mainly protestant believes or inclinations have sustained me through intercession prayers to God,
in the past, while being friends getting out together, discussing the bible, contemporary christianity etc.
However even though the good sides, everything was far from perfect.
When I’m thinking about the times back then I feel like a bit being like into a sect.
We were always gathering together and talking about the bible and God and suchalike, at many
times just talking non-sense.
Many of the discussions during meetings, were our own interpretations of the bible each one
claiming his own interpretation is the true one. Mostly trying to somehow synchronize our ideas with some
protestant famous authors like Watch Man Nee (whose teaching from my current position could
be classified as lieful heresies).
Said in other words we were looking for true spirituality.
Something I lately found by God’s divine providence within the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Christianity.
So again the real reason for writing all the above is just to try to emphasize the differences
between orthodoxy and protestanism. And many of the downsides of protestanism.
Some other things I have noticed is that people whose positions on faith are protestant tend thing alike:
“The bible says” heavily.
No offense but the Holy Bible is bent down to the low “The Bible” instead of “Holy Bible” as it should.
Not to mention the true respect to Holy apostles is skipped and they are called by names with skipping the “Saint” word.
Which automatically does ranks the holy apostles on the same level as us, which I personally think is not a good
thing to do. Well of course pretestanism as everything else has not only the bad sides.
I still love protestant christian artists like Larry Norman, ApologetiX, Andy Hunter, Tourniquet,
Deliverance, Circle of Dust, Juggernautz, X-Propagation, Rez Band, Glenn Kaiser, the list goes on,
many many more to mention here. I love Christian Rock and Metal since I came from a rock and Metal musical background
and I still listen to rock and metal music every now and then I try to mostly listen to a Christian messaged one.
But still truth must be told, in protestanism Truth is mixtured with heresies.
I cannot hide that a lot of the protestant christian literature I’ve red tried to explain a lot of the
logical problems I was seeing in Christianity and the Holy Bible, however later on I’ve found out
that many of the ideas shared in the protestant christian books were contradicting believes in
the orthodox church and does lack a logical reason out of the book context.

We should be alert while accepting many of the things preached within protestanism through
books, media, music etc. And always look for the true Christianity which has led me
to the Orthodox Christianity. I don’t say that currently things in the Orthodox Church are
perfect what I say are that it’s the Church that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, left us saying:
“I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

END—–

About Me

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Hey there,


My name is Georgi Dimitrov Georgiev and I'm a 29 years old Free Software enthusiast, hobbyist Presently my competences are into the field of System administration. I am also a devoted Orthodox Christian. With a deep interests into religion in general and in Christianity in particular. I am a big fan of all kind of Unix like systems like: GNU/Linux, FreeBSD,DOS and other various obscure computing. I'm also interested into philosophy and business administration. My hobbies include playing old arcade games, trips to a new places, preferably nature filled places, Mountain, Waterfalls, Woods etc. In my free time I also like watching movies: Mostly spiritual movies, or movies with a deeper meaning.Currently I am a student in Arnhem Business School in the stream of HRQM (Human Resources and Quality Management) nowadays known as IBS (International Business Studies).
Here in my blog you'll find mostly stuff about my unix/linux adventures and other geek tech adventures, personal life, thoughts on life, religion, christianity, philosophy and art. To know a bit more about my professional comptenences and work experiense please see my CV

Wish you Best in your life question and Thanks for dropping by!