The Resistance

The Resistance
by Josh Garrels
I was born into a system constructed for failure
It’s a sinking ship manned by drunken sailors
An escape artist behind the bars of a jailor
An asthmatic attack when we forgot the inhaler
If the shoe doesn’t fit what good is a tailor
In the midst of a crisis please cancel the gala
Without a symphony there’s no need for a prelude
To foreshadow what’s to come.
See the secret committees, commence with their meetings
To make red tape in response to simple questions
Questions threaten the perception of the beneficial systems
A pyramid scheme with it’s cogs and it’s pistons
Mechanization of men, making more and more
Live in a miserable exhistance
How can so few, claim so many victims
And this begs the question
My rest is a weapon against the oppression
Of mans obsession to control things
Look at the long line of make believe kings
The lord of the flies want’s you to kiss his ring
Follow new rules with invisible strings
And become a puppet in the diabolical scheme
How do good men become part of the regime
They don’t believe in resistance.

Hold fast like an anchor in the storm
We will not be moved

Lesson number one, overcome
Every fear of regret and confusion
It’s all illusion, delusion
Sent to disconnect the holy fusion
Of spirit and the flesh
Every mortal breath, is meant to bring forth fire
But only when the fear of death, gets consumed
On the funeral pier
So let the flames rise higher
Let every man be considered a liar
If he doubts the goodness and faithfulness of God
Itching ears will compulsively nod in approval
When unbelief is taught in all our temples and schools
But God can restrain the madness of a fool
He can bring His truth through the mouth of a mule
You can move an mountain without any tools
It just takes the faith of a little seed
to make a way through what might seem to be
Impossibility,
And the ability will match the occasion
The outcome will defy explanation
The liberation will not be televised
When it arrives like lightning in the skies

Hold fast like an anchor in the storm
For your love, we will rise and overcome
Through the fire

Hold fast my people and sing
Through peace and through suffering
All for the joy that it brings, to be free
It’s gonna cost us everything
To follow one Lord and King
True love endures everything
To be free

Hold fast, like an anchor in the storm
We will not be moved

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Archbishop Averky on what we are now experiencing….

 averky

This is a sermon that I found on an Orthodox E-Zine of Archbishop Averky of Blessed Memory which speaks to exactly what were are experiencing today. Nearly every time I am feeling despondent I can read a sermon of Archbishop Averky since he is very familiar with the times we live in .. (Source: Orthodox E-Zine – Sunday of Orthodoxy sermon )

Sermon on the Triumph of Orthodoxy

by Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

“This is the Apostolic faith, this is the faith of the Fathers, this is the Orthodox faith – confirm this universal faith.”

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, you will hear these solemn and significant words in the Rite of Orthodoxy which the Holy Church has established to be served on this day. The first week of Holy and Great Lent has ended a week of intensified prayer and ascetical repentance. Now the Holy Church, desiring to encourage and console us, has established for us in this first week of Great Lent, on its first Sunday, a spiritual celebration,one most dear and close to our hearts – The Triumph of Orthodoxy.

This celebration was first performed in 842 in Constantinople in the presence of the Blessed Empress Theodora by His Holiness Patriarch Methodius – in memory of the overthrow of the last terrible heresy to shake Christ’s Church, the heresy of iconoclasm. But in this celebration the Holy Church marks the triumph of the holy Orthodox faith in general, her victory over all impious heresies, false teachings and schisms.

Our Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour founded His Church on earth so that all belonging to her could be saved, could elude the nets of the devil and enter into the Heavenly Kingdom prepared for them. The devil exerted all his strength to overthrow and destroy the Church of Christ and, through this, to hinder the salvation of men. At first he raised up terrible persecutions against the Church on the part of the Jews and pagans. For almost three centuries the blood of Christian martyrs flowed without ceasing. But the devil did not succeed in his task.

The blood of the martyrs, according to the apt expression of the Christian apologist Tertullian, became the “seeds of Christians.”

Christianity triumphed over its persecutors.

But the devil did not resist after the defeat he suffered at the hands of the martyrs . When the Church of Christ triumphed in the world he raised up a new, even more dangerous persecution against her: from within the Church, as the Holy Apostle Paul had foretold in his conversation with the Ephesian presbyters, men arose “speaking perverse things.” Paul called such men “grievous wolves.” [Acts 20:29-30].

These were so-called “heretics” who tried to pervert the true teaching of Christ concerning faith and piety in order to make this teaching ineffective for men. When this happened, the Holy Church, in the person of its best servants, took up arms against these heretics in order to defend its true, undistored teaching. There began to be convoked first “local” and then “ecumenical” councils. Bishops came together from all the corners of the earth and through the Holy Spirit they gave voice to the pure and undistorted Truth, following the example of the First Apostolic Council of Jerusalem [Acts 15:6-29].

They also cut off heretics from the Church and anathematized them. This was in according with the clear commandment of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who said, “If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.” [Matthew 18:17].

And in accordance with the commandment of the Holy Apostle Paul, that great “apostle to the nations” who said, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” [Galatians 1:8].

And in another place he states: If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema. Maranatha [I Cor. 16:22].

Thus our moving, majestic and solemn Rite of Orthodoxy takes its beginning from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and from his great Apostle, called by Him to be the “apostle to the nation”, i.e. of the whole pagan world. From the ninth century on the Holy Church has established that this rite should be served on the first Sunday of Holy Great Lent and that it be name “Orthodox Sunday”.

The rite, brothers and sisters, is particularly important and significant in the evil times we are experiencing, times in which the Orthodox faith is wavering and shaking. This wavering and shaking of the Orthodox faith is due to those very persons who ought to be strengthening and supporting it in the souls of the faithful. Those who should be pillars of Holy Orthodoxy – high-ranking hierarchs including the heads of certain Local Churches – are departing from the Truth of Holy Orthodoxy.

It is terrible to have to say that even the head of the Constantinopolitan Church, which is known as the “Ecumenical” Church, the man considered to be the first hierarch of all Orthodoxy, has set out on this path!

On all of this there undoubtedly lies the print of the Apostasy about which the Holy Apostle Paul foretold [II Thess. 2-3] – the apostasy of Christians from Christ.

We are now face to face with this Apostasy. The major threat to true Christian faith, the Orthodox faith, is the so called “Ecumenical ‘Movement,” headed by what is known as the “World Council of Churches,” a body which denies the doctrine of the unity and infalliblility of the True Church of Christ and attempts to create from all the presently existing and distracted faiths, a new “false-Church” which, from our point of view, will without any doubt be the “Church” of Antichrist, that false-church which the Antichrist, whose coming is now being rapidly prepared in the world, will head.

From the teaching of the Word of God and the Holy Fathers of the Church, we know that the Antichrist will be both the religious and political leader of all humanity: he will stand at the head of the new universal false Church; he will also be the director of one new world government and will attempt to submit all to his absolute power.

The Orthodox faith – this is the “faith of the Apostles,” “the faith of the Fathers” – it is that faith which the Apostlic Fathers, the direct disciples of the Holy Apostles, and the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church and their lawful successors, established by the Holy Spirit, interpreted for us in their marvellous and inspired writings.

Brothers and sisters, we must hold this faith steadfastly if we desire eternal salvation! Now we shall perform with you this deeply instructive, moving and highly solemn rite which consists of two parts:

  • the first part is the prayer of the Holy Church for all those who have gone astray or fallen away from the true Orthodox faith;
  • in the second part the Holy Church pronounces dread anathema against all false teachers, heretics and schismatics who have grown stubborn in their malice and who do not wish to reunite with the true Church of Christ but instead struggle against her.

Then we shall sing “Eternal Memory” for all departed defenders of Holy Orthodoxy and “Many Years” for those defenders of the Holy Orthodox faith and Church who are still among the living.

Apathy Epidemic….repost of John Valdez blog

Maximus_Confessor

Here are some excerpts from a blog by John Valdez regarding the apathy of many people today towards Absolute Truth and beauty.  (Above is an icon of St. Maximus the Confessor, who is one of the greatest examples of standing for Truth at all costs and not caving to peer pressure and the like. St. Maximus the Confessor )

Apathy Epidemic, by John Valdez, Death to the World magazine

“Rouse thyself, thou who sleepest, and rise from the dead, and the Christ shall shine on thee.” +St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (5:14)

Too often do we become diverted in the cares of mass and social media, teleporting through computer mainframes and cellular devises to a land sadistically bent on self-worship. It seems these days that at birth we are plugged into a computer grid of ever-distracting chaos, gazing on a vacant throne only occupied by phantoms of our own fantasies… There is something more sinister happening other than Jenner that is eating at the very core of our beings and the fabric of humanity. Nietzsche began to sing a lullaby that has been blasted into our ears across time, sending a dramatic wave of slumber and apathy down to our very age. In this dream world, lethargy exists so profound that seeking has been put to death and replaced with dispiritedness.

Death to the World’s publication was birthed in a time when there was unrest, rebellion, and disgust with the material core of our society. Now, there is nothing. Lack of movement exists and triviality has become the norm. Why do we wonder then that Jenner is worshipped? There is no question, there is just complete obedience to the media machine that seeks to stamp God out of every last one of us, that seeks to break the legs of the resistant in order to force obeisance. We cannot serve two masters and it is too often that we jump up to post our own opinions, giving into the murky pool of lukewarm spirit… Scholastics who have become Saints of our times did not attain Christ through educated hypothesis or book learning, but through crucifixion of the mind and a renewal of self in the image of Christ. They woke up and refused to slumber.

Sleeper, Christ is calling you. Arise from the apathy epidemic and open your eyes to a cause for life and give up your senseless world. Refuse the dreamland of this age and drift from the pools of the lukewarm. Rise and fight, for the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by the violent and the violent take it by force. We do not receive life without shedding sweat and blood. Let us rise from the smoggy clouds of sloth, regard our comfort as chains, and embrace crucifixion for renewal and resurrection. Awake and die to thyself.

Technology, Transhumanism and Toddlers

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Recently, a friend lent me a nice book entitled Books the Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Children Moral Values Through Stories.  While it provided an overall great book list as a resource (personally, I’m not a huge fan of Maurice Sendak), I felt somewhat sad that the world the author was writing for didn’t quite exist anymore.  While I know “there is nothing new under the sun,” it seems like things have changed greatly since the book was originally published in 1994.  I wish the world was even as simple as it was for me growing up in the 90s.

It seems that my son’s generation (he is now 3) will have far more temptations surrounding it. From opportunities for literal transhumanism experiences to all kinds of gender bending wierdness all going against God’s created order.  I feel there is a strong need in the very early toddler stage before a child can even read to simply create a love of God’s created order and God’s created things: people, forests, trees, animals, general peacefulness, and even educational books that reinforce the order of language, numbers and basic science.  And of course Saint’s lives written for children.  After all, when they are alone in their room, they are only left with a memory of the story and the pictures by which to tell their own.

It’s not necessarily that I see my own son at huge risk for these things (who does see their own child that way) but I want him to be actually saddened by how things are in today’s world and how they affect those around him and even grieve The Heavenly Kingdom.  I wonder if his generation carrying the last, or nearly the last flag of Christianity will feel their hearts in a perpetual Lent – living life in a beautiful melancholy.

I realize since the issue of transhumanism and everything else is so new, there is no “time tested” method to deal with these temptations other than trying as hard as possible to live the traditional Orthodox Christian life.  Father Seraphim Rose says that even if we try our hardest, however, our neighbor is not…no matter how we try to protect our children from “modernism” we can’t.  These days I have seen children watching videos on their ipads in even the mostly unlikely places.

It would seem that since the “world outside” is trying to bombard us with messages to confuse us and won’t even reflect, let alone reinforce, God’s order anymore – I may have to work harder as a parent at this.  It is probably more important to reinforce gender identity, the traditional family, and love of God’s creation through early literature, when this was probably something taken for granted by previous generations.  In other words, I don’t read books about robots to my son, but prefer to read books that have something beautiful and human in them.  (For example, today we picked up some books from the library including one about a family that moves from the city and builds a house in the country with the help of family and friends, and another about a family that runs a small farm.) I know there are probably books about robots that are “moral” and “cute” but there are too many reasons to not read the robot book for me. Among all the other agendas, there is indeed a transhumanism agenda as well.  When my son learns about robots, I want him to learn the whole story about them in an age appropriate way…so no “cute” robots for us for now.  The agenda is pretty evident is most modern media, so if you don’t already notice it, these links probably won’t help much, but just in case:

The Hidden Message In Pixar’s Films

So, What Are We Now? : Posthumanism and Transhumanism in Music Videos

Transhumanism for Children

Our Transhuman Kids – this article is actually against transhumanism

Robot to Attend School for 10 Year Old Cancer Patient

Meet Life Like Robot Nadine that works as receptionist

I lived the first almost 7 years of my life without computers…and while I can’t tangibly remember the freedom that gave my soul, somehow I can feel the change and how technology has grown and grown and could completely drown my soul if I let it.  Someday my son will be on his own and making his own decisions.  I want him to feel the ache in his heart like I do.  I want him to long for simpler and more beautiful times after he finds himself making mistakes.

But someday soon I will tell my son as much as I can for his age, and keep telling him more as he grows.  It will be an “Orthodox Survival Course” for children until he is ready for the real thing and to start his own Orthodox Christian reading.  But for now, I just tell him “I wish I could tell you more, but for now all I can say, ‘the hour is very late’.”

Manifest Disney

Something I am “reblogging”…

The Soul of the East

As we mark another Independence Day in America, it’s worth reflecting on the meaning of our country’s much-trumpeted exceptional status. Our land is indeed beautiful and blessed in many ways, home to millions of kind and generous souls. But to pretend that all is well would be whistling past the graveyard. The United States, we must remember, wasn’t ever conceived as an organic nation, but as a revolutionary construct, the herald of a dawning Novus Ordo Seclorum. And so its progress is always unfulfilled, its nature not being, but becoming, its vastness a continental-scale laboratory for social alchemy. Yet out of all attempts to identify the meaning of the American Dream, no one depicted its essence more aptly than a humble Orthodox monk, Blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose:

One might take, as a symbol of our carefree, fun-loving, self-worshipping times, our American ‘Disneyland’; if so, we should not neglect to…

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Gary and the Monk

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“Gary and the Monk” 

“One day in 1974, a bearded young man named Gary was sitting in the Redding public library.  He was twenty-three years old, on his way from Mexico to Washington on another leg of a five-year fruitless “search for the meaning of life.” All his worldly possessions were in his knapsack in the Redding bus depot; he had almost no money with him – just a bag of bananas which someone had given him at a grocery store. He put his head on the table in the library, in despair at finding that everything he had read about philosophy and religion was absolutely empty and there was no answer to the questions he was asking.

About ten minutes later Gary saw a tall man, with long hair and a beard, in a worn black robe, walk into the library and proceed to look at the rows of books.  The man looked even poorer than Gary himself. Gary walked up to him with the bag of bananas.  “Here,” he said, “for your community, of whatever it is.”

Fr. Seraphim thanked him, and within a few minutes was already leaving the library with some books.  Walking down the sidewalk he suddenly saw Gary running up to him.  Little did Gary know that this black-robed figured had celebrated Pascha only four days before, that he still had the joy of the Resurrection in his heart…

“..I invited him to come and stay with us until Sunday, attending all our services, reading and working, and sitting in a kind of wide-eyed stupefaction as we tried to open up Orthodoxy to him – about which he had never heard except through Dostoyevsky…He had been in despair, and was overwhelmed at finding people who still believe in God, and not in a fake way.  The Paschal chants touched his heart, and he asked permission to sing, ‘Christ is Risen,’ softly, together with us…He left without knowing fully what had happened to him, but at least he knew that a ‘ray of light has dawned.”

When Gary was saying farewell to Fr. Seraphim at the bus station, he began to weep. “I don’t know what will become of me,” he said, “but you’ve given me hope.  And I’m deeply grateful for the connection you’ve made between me and Jesus Christ.!”

The above is an except from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works by Hieromonk Damascene, pg. 616 – 617

Photograph from a shared photo at Flickr