The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

The Call to Love Our Enemies in the Midst of a War for Our Nation’s Soul

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St. Luke 6:31-36. Learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications.

Ancient faith, Reyo and patristicnictor publications present Te Orena Sunday homilies and theologicalreflections with Father Jossiah Trena patristic nectur publications invitesour visitors to visit our website for our newest offerin. Four hundred textsare love by Saint Maximus. The confessor. This offering four hundred texts onlove is the second installment in the PHILOCALIA project and is the mostfamous of the works of Saint Maximus. The confessor here Saint Maximus,expounds the very essence of the Christian life, the way of love he provides soul, nourishment anddirection in the imitation of Jesus Christ for both novices on the mostexperienced believers. This text in the Phelocolia has beencherished by believers for over a millennium and is offered with aspecial introduction by His grace Bishop Maxim, hierarch of the westernAmerican dioces of the Serbian Orthodox Church and an internationally renowned,patristics scholar and maximologist, and now here's father Jessiah in the name of the father end of theson and of the moly spirit, one God in Today's Gospels Gospel Text, brothers and sisters. Youheard our savior articulate the most fundamental Christian rule oflife. We call it the golden rule. Many great teachers, before our saviour had articulated this teaching inreverse in a negative fashion, saying...

...whatever you don't want done to you,don't do it to someone else. This was common teaching amongst rabbis.This was common teaching applied from the Old Testament and also in otherreligions. What our saviour did was to take that and to turn it into apositive commandment, far more searching, instead of simply saying avoid acertain type of behavior. Our Saviour commands his followers to do positivelythat which you would like done to you and that's a more searching, efot, the golden rule. After stating it he makes three applications. He shows three ways that the love ofChristians must surpass the love of the Amartoli, the sinners first sinners love those who love them, and we have to do more. Second, sinners repay good deeds doneto them, but we must do more, and thirdly, sinners lend theirpossessions if they think they will get them back or if they think that doingso will enable them to benefit some way in the future, and we must do more. OurSavior says these are the three practical ways that we show, in fact,that we have his love. We love not just those who love us, but thosewho hate us. We repay good deeds with no thought of anyone returning them and we givewithout despairing of anyone or anything we give freely. We givewithout expectation- and we do this, because this is the way that those in our family live.

This is our familyes way of life. Thisis God's families way of life, as like father, like son, they say this is how our father is and thereforethis is how we are. Our love is free and without condition,and we love mercy and we cherish philanthropy because God is merciful to everyone. We love the world and we burned for it. Our hearts are aflame for the worldbecause God so love the world that he gave his son Christ for itssalvation. We Love the world and the people in theworld who constitute it and, interestingly, the same scriptures thatcall UF to love the world and those men and women than make it upalso cause us to despise. The world, meaning as Saint John says, do not lovethe world or the things in the world, the Luft of the flesh and the lust ofthe eyes and the boastful pride of life for these things are not from thefather but are from the world, and the world itself is passing away. We have this double commandment, lovethe world, meaning love the people in the world and don't love the world,meaning don't love what the people in the world love don't be caught up by lusts by pride, so we have to love it and we have tohate it, love the people and despise the bad things in it. It's the samewith our saviors teaching on judgment. He tells us do not judge. Lest you bejudged. We remember his words that he said hedid not come to judge the world, but to save it, and so we fear hardly anythingmore than judgment and at the same time, Jesus commandshis follower to judge a righteous...

...judgment. Here again is the double commandmentjust like when he told UF to love the world and hate the world. He calls usto judge not and yet to judge what does he mean hemeans hold no person in contempt, look down on no person, consider everyperson, you're superior hope for every person, remembering who you are andwhat God has done for you. He does not mean fail to make properjudgments about thoughts and actions. That is not what it means not to judgewhen he commands us to judge a righteous judgment. He means a praiseall. According to my standards, I praise every thought: Every action,according to the law of my father, this is what it means to judge a righteousjudgment, and this twofold reality of love and judgment informs the Supreme Love of Christians are ourattitude towards our enemies. Hend. You heard them mentioned twice inthis very short: Gospel, Fiv, verses two times in those five verses. Jesuscalls us to manifest that Supreme Christian love, which is the love ofenemies. Now some would like us Christians tosay we don't have enemies, and that sounds Christian, but it is manifestly false. In fact, we do have enemies. The truthis that we have enemies, but as followers of Christ, the fact that theyare enemies lies on their side, not our side. God himself has enemies. There arehundreds of references in the old and New Testament to enemies of God,specifically called such, but he's not happy about that.

He wants them to be friends, he seekstheir conversion of heart. The same should be true of us. We do haveenemies. Only the naive or the unanlumined would suggest thatChristians don't have enemies, but the truth is that the fact that they areenemies lies on their side and it's against our will. If we don't have enemies, why is Jesuscalling us to love them? You know the most quoted Old Testamentpassage and the entire New Testament, the most quoted Old Testament text andall the hundreds of references to the Old Testament in the New Testament isthis that Christ sits at the right hand of his father until his father makeshis enemies a footstool for his feet. Jesus himself promised that, if we'refaithful to him, we will have not just enemies, but lotsof them and more than we ever had before he promises that those whofollow him will find enemies amongst the members of their own household. So, let's not be naive in good times in bad, we're alwaysgoing to have enemies. What our Savior did was not eradicate the fact that wehave enemies what he eradicated was hatred for enemies in the sermon on the mount he said youhave heard that it was said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,but I say to you: Love Your enemies and pray for those who persecute you inorder that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven good time or bad Christians have enemies, we know it, but let the cause of that be on theirside. Only. This is true in good season and badseason, but brothers and sisters,...

...those who, I hope, know the Times. It's especially true in times aparticular conflict like we're in now, and I'm not just referring to ourbrothers and sisters who are in such tremendous conflict in the Middle East. There is no piece of geography in theworld where it is more difficult to be a Christian than the Middle East. Now I'm not referring just to this. In fact, I'm referring also to thesecular west to or existence to our very life. About three weeks ago I was invited to attend a veryinteresting meeting in New York City. I went just for one day. I flew in slept spent the whole next day in themeetings and flew home. Exactly I see frowns and squished brows. That is exactly how my body felt on the way home. I was in the back row of the Plain and the sea did not recline. My knees were against the little table. I kept trying to go like this. Maybethis way, maybe that way, didn't work. I was punishing myself for not havingbought one of those neckpillows that could have held my head and let mesleep, but let me tell you why I went to New York City and I would do itagain. I went there because I received aninvitation to a strategic meeting and, Inter a small interfate summit,...

...hosted by Cardinal Timothy Dolin, themost powerful Roman Catholic bishop in America, the cardinal of New York City. He hosted this meeting up between fortyand fifty pastors and scholars. For one reason it was to discuss the very serious incursion in our country against religiousliberty and freedom and the very serious threats tobelievers in our land that were facing right now. It was educational and itwas strategic Catholic clergy were there not justCardinal Dolin, but Archbishop Salvatori Cordolion, the new ArchbishopUblect of San Francisco, whom I had met in doing work on prop eight here in California someyears ago and who I have held in high opinion for some time. The Roman Catholic church is veryengaged presently in an effort to defend all Americans religious freedom,and they have called all of their churches to what the cardinal calls afortnight of freedom, our Catholic brothers and sisters havebeen praying fasting, holding vigil havingeducational seminars in their churches, mobilizing their people to standagainst these very serious attacks on religious freedom in our country. Theyare very seriously threatened and no one has more to lose in this culturalconflict than the Roman Catholic Church, their hospitals, their schools anduniversities, their ministries, their adoption agencies are under veryserious attack, and the government is insisting that they violate theirconscience or be defunded and closed...

...through punitive fines that will costthe Roman Catholic church hundreds of millions of dollars. If you think that this could not behappening in our nation, please give me your ear. Let me educate you. It has already happened elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the largestadoption agency, the largest charity, taking care of orphaned kids. Eightyper cent of all adoptions in the UK were done through Catholic charities,the charitable arm of the Roman Catholic Church. The government of theUnited Kingdom insisted that the Roman Catholic Church begin to adopt childrento homosexual couples or be banned from adoption. Thank God, and we commend them for this.They did not bow, they maintained their faith. Theyinformed the government that they would have no part in doing that which isdetrimental to children and they were shut down, because the UK would rather bepolitically correct and accommodate the rabid activism of atiny proportion of their population. Then they would to have the RomanCatholic Church take care of orphans. This is not a fantasy. This issomething with historic precedent. This is something deadly serious Christians are already being removedfrom foster care lists in this country, Christians who are practicing theirfaith and will not promise not to tell their fafter children God's plan forthe family are being removed as potential fafter parents in thiscountry,...

...so the Catholic clergy are invested andour Catholic brothers and sisters all seventy million of them- are involvedin something that will have tremendous ramifications upon their faithcommunity. Besides these esteemed Catholic leaders,at this meeting, there were also some Protestant pastors and scholarsthat I've followed for many years. I never dreamed that I would meet them,let alone collaborate with them was a great honor to do so. People likePastor Jim Garlo of San Diego Skyline Church in San Diego, such a Patriot forthis country, Pastor, Rick Warren of Saddleback church in Orange County. Youknow who did the invocation at President Obama'sinauguration he's the author of that very famousbook. The purpose driven life, which became a best seller. Tens of millions of copies have beensold its based upon the principle of dedicating forty days of your life tofasting and establishing spiritual principles in your life. I went up toPastthe Rick at the meeting at a break, and I said to him you know: Pafterickis nice to meet you I said, but I have. I have one thing to bring up with you.I said you know you really should give DuCredit. Where credit is due that fortyday fafting thing you did notacknowledge where you got that Uhhah these prodestents are readinglike Oh. This is a great idea who came up with this idea. He got it. He got it. He laughed and gave me a hug.I guess that's payment. We could talk about the whole NewTestament for that matter. The doctrine of the Trinity. I won't gointo that Doctor Albern moler Robert Land of theSouthern Baptist Convention. These...

Protestant leaders are also engagedvery seriously with our Roman Catholic brethren in this task of being faithful and preserving the freedoms of thisland. For instance, one of the plans that many Protestant pastors arestrategizing about. In are involved right now is provoking a response facing down thegovernmental intimidation against Protestant pastors and other religiousleaders that has been dangled over the heads ofpastors by the irs for about fifty years. Ever since t nineteen, fiftyfour in something called the Johnson Bill, there was a bill that passed.That said, something vaguely was never discussed in Congress. There was nodebate on the floor. It was something that that was very passed, very quietly.That said that the pulpit could not address politics. Haven't we heard this is like a mantraand it's complete nonsense. A not a single church has ever beenprosecuted and successfully had their tax exemption removed by the irs in thehistory of our country. It never happened under this amendment underthis bill, but it has kept many pastors fromspeaking the truth about very obvious things that have serious politicalimplications like moral issues, strong moral issues, and so these pastors have.This is the third year running have dedicated a Sunday in October, in whichthey preach very strong moralpolitical sermons, print out their sermons andthen mail them to the IRS. In the first year, two hundred and fifty pafter tdidit last yeur five hundred pastors did it this year they already have onethousand pastors. They already have the Christian legal team that has askedthem to do that because they want to take this issue. They want the irs toprosecute them so that they can take this to the Supreme Court and strike itdown as unconstitutional. Anyone who knows anything aboutAmerican history knows the idea that...

...the pulpit doesn't influence. Politicsis nuts. You ever heard of abolition ever heard of the overthrow of slavery,any Historin of slavery, knos that the most powerful force in our nation tooppose slavery was this not Congressmen and senators. We Command these Protestant leaders and their churches,Wich them coud strength in this effort. I met there also a representative ofperhaps the religious group, most engaged most burdened by this incursion,especially by the attack on godly marriage, and that is the blackcommunity. The subculture, the black subculture inour nation, is most opposed. Just statistically, this is a demographicfact. The black community is that subculture in America, Mol oppoved tothe attack on marriage and has been multed assaulted bysecularism and its sacrament of abortion. There had been more blackchildren murdered by planned parenthood and its affiliates, then wereever everhurt and attacked by the KKK. The demographics are horrible, and atthis meeting in New York it was an honor to meet archibishop Peter Acinolaof Nigeria, listed by Time magazine as one of theworld's most influential leaders in two thousand and six and the former primateof the Anglican Church in Nigeria, the largest black Protestant church, withover twenty million members at one time, president of the ChristianUnion in Africa and a man with vast experience in resisting the attack inAfrica on marriage. He was intimately involved in theresistance of the propagation of...

...homosexuality by the UN funded byAmerican dollars, and he worked very hard to help. Manycountries establish traditional Christian laws that protected marriageand did not allow homosexuality to become normative or recognized asnormative under the law. For this he is persona non grata in the United States, but very famous, very famous around theworld, and it was an honour to meet him there and to listen to what hesuggested. There was also a man there who is ayoung and talented sociologist professor Mark Ragnairis from theUniversity of Texas, some of you. If you read the papers, he was in thepapers about six months ago, because he came out with a new family structuresurvey, the most indepth collection of data, comparing the health,sychlosomatic health and well being of children over the course of their wholelife, comparing those who live in a family with a father and a mother andthose who live in a family with two lesbian mothers and those who live in afamily with two gay fathers. The conclusions in many categoryes,something like eighteen categories. He examine this everything from success inschool use of drugs, preponderance of going into prison. The statistics arefrightening and very clear that the the recipe for health for love for for well being, naturally, is that recipe that God hasasked for families and that when we deviate from that, the children sufferterribly from this. For this he was attacked by over forty differentprofessors. From around the United States. He had letters, email campaigns,orchestrated by gay activist groups across our country, asking for him tobe fired from his university, asking...

...him to be banned from his academicassociations. Thank God, a multim month. Evaluation was done by his universityand they concluded that he should be commended for a very excellent studyand for high academic standards. Also, I met there, the attorneys that are representingproposition eight and the seven million Californians who voted for it beforethe Supreme Court. This is why I flew to New York City, slept very little and then flew home.It was worth it brothers and sisters. It was tremendously encouraging and Itook away from it a deep resolve and new thoughts, new thoughts, and I wantto end my hormily by having told you those things by telling you how love is at the very heart of this conflict on our side. How do you love your enemies when youare locked in a very serious conflict with them? How do we as faithful Christians, holdon to our saviour and engage in this kind of really serious spiritualwarfare that has all sorts of political and economic consequences? How do we actually engage in thislovingly? This is what I want to and Mahamaly with forft this conflict. We are engaged inthis conflict. We are in this fight for the love of God. Chiefly, we love hisname. We love his honor and we love his law. That's what Christians do. The real question in our country is: Dowe want to respect the Lord God or do we want us snub our nose at him? This is what's behind it. To put itsimply, it's not a coincidence that, at...

...the same time that the Democratic Partyformally incorporated support for unnatural marriage in its partyplatform, it also stripped its platform of any reference to God. That is not acoincidence, our dear mayore, of Los Angeles, barelynobody knows how God back into the Democratic Platform a reference to God. But it's not a coincidence that thevery same conference in which they stripped reference to God they formally endorsedwhat is perversion we're fighting for the love of God andno one who loves God can just turn the other way and say: Oh well, that's notpossible for us that brothers and sisters is indifference. That's hatred, we're fighting for the love of God,we're also fighting for the love of the church, those who attack the church, those who attacked and make hostilethreats that have all sorts of serious consequences. These people are the enemies of theChurch and we have to fight to defend her. We don't just allow our bishops and ore,clergy and our properties and Aur educational institutions and ourhospitals and our ministries to be threatened by people who have no rightto do so. We don't allow that so we're fighting for the love of the church,we're not going to be indifferent to the success of ourchurch, and we certainly are not going to accept any concept that the Americanreligious freedoms that are have been cherished by our forefathers mean onlyfreedom to worship. The way you want in the four walls of your building. Thatis what President Obama would like us to think. Religious Freedom and Americameans today, and that is not what religious freedom is. Religious Freedommeans you are free to be a Christian in...

...your church and outside your church.You are free to hold your faith and live according to your conscience inyour profession, in your school, and you cannot be molested by thegovernment for it, and that is exactly what the government is not allowing usto do. If you're a doctor, you have to proscribe abortion in ducing drugs. Ifyou're a physician, you have to pass them out and we say no, no, we're fighting for the love of ourchurch in the love of our nation and especially for our kids, we're fighting for the love of thisnation and for the love of our young people, who are being indoctrited intoa way of life that is personally destructive to spiritual ife and totheir own well being enpsychosomatic health. We care about our youth, wecare about what they're hearing now most of you dyou know that we have one hundred andeighty six children under the age of eighteen in this parish, one hundred and eighty six. We have five hundred and thirty eightactive parisioners in this parish, so they're, not a majority, but that's apretty big chunk. This is a youthful congregation. Theyare not being taught what you were taught, I'm speaking to you who areover eighteen. They are not being taught what you aretaught when you grew up. I promise you they're here in all sorts of strangestuff. They're watching TV shows that have gay lovers everywhere, you look. How are they ever going to grow up knowing how valuable and precious thelove of a man and a woman is how sanctify why we Call Marriage HolyMatrimony? How are they going to know that if we don't take a stand and investourselves to make sure that they're properly educated bygetted by the church and that they can...

...make a judgment and judge a righteousjudgment about what they're hearing about what's happened in their country?If we don't they're going to think it's normal and believe me, brothers andsisters, if you were in my position, hearing confessions and if you were, ifyou read the data, you would see that there has been a massive spike in thelast five years, a massive spike in experimentation in gay and lesbianlifestyle by teenagers. It's popular, it's fat, Ish, we're fighting for the love of God,we're fighting for the love of the church, we're fighting for the love ofour nation and we're also fighting for the love of our opponents. We insist on engaging in this becausewe love those who are on the other side. There are enemies because of theirchoice, not because of our choice, and we can't say that we care about peoplewho have embraced something that will lead to their misery. We don't justleave people in that condition. No, we want to engage them. We want to talk.We want to negotiate, we want to persuade, because we know indifference is hatredand silence is not love and therefore brothers and sisters. For these reasons, for these reasons, we pray with a greater impetus wepreach and teach with a greater resolve. We resist the encroachment ofGodlessness and immoral legislation. We refuse to compromise our conscience orto cooperate with immorality. We seek to recover lost ground. How in the world, is it possible thatgay adoption became legal in all fifty states without us, even blinking oureyes? It just slipped in none of us even knowwe have ground to recover. We urge reconsideration, we oppose withall our strength leaders of...

...secularization who hade becomeknowingly or unknowingly servants of antichrist, and we seek to limit theirinfluence and to serve them an early retirement. We support leaders in thestate who respect the Ten Commandments of Almighty God, and we do it allbecause of love in love and for love, and also knowing that we every singleone of US leader or not priest or not, willanswer for how we responded to this challenge on the great and DreadJudgment Day. God help us to love our enemies and to do good to those who abuse us take from us that righteousness killing spirit ofindifference, Uma. We hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar,Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spirituallythirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers until next time.

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