The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

When the Winds Blow . . . Act Like Men

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1 Corinthians 16:13. Learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications.

Ancient faith radio and patristic nectar publications, present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah Trenham, knowingthe ten commandments and what they mean. This is not for experts, thisis not for monks and nuns or priests. The Ten commandments are for every Christian, educated or uneducated. We should know the ten commandments, like weshould know the nicene creed, so that when we lie at that moment,we become co laborers, literal collaborators, with the devil in the work ofhis kingdom of darkness. How shameful is the false teaching, so often banteredabout today by irresponsible clergymen, that the church has nothing to say about thebedroom? What this really means is that this very significant area of human lifewill remain unredeemed, consigned to existence outside of Christ. The light of Christilluminates all. There is no aspect of human life, let alone one sosignificant and influential as human sexuality, that is not ennobled or inspired, guided, purified and redeemed by our Lord Jesus and his teachings. What you havejust heard our sound bites from some of the lectures in a ten part lectureseries entitled do this and you shall live. An exposition of the Ten Commandments forthe twenty one century. patristic nectar publications invites you to download the firstof these ten lectures here at ancient faith radio. For more information and forthe remaining lectures, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. And now here's father Josiah with the Sunday homily, in the name ofthe father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, one God.Mean what strange weather we endured this week. If you're like me, you spendyesterday trying to clean up the mess. Very unusual in the heat of summerto have such wind dust blowing everywhere, tornadoes in Paris last night. Inthis morning I was driving around palm fronds and massive branches broken down fromtrees laying on the road, and I thought to myself, as I waswalking through it, trying to clean up its mess, that in many waysthe experience of our weather this week is a picture, the small portrait ofthe chaos that's existing in our society today...

...and in the conversations that we're having. Lots of winds blowing. They're very warm, heated from below. Lotsof dust is in the air because of it, which is causing many whoare not firmly planted to the tree to be confused and not be able tosee up, down, left and right. The Great Oak, this magnificent treeof life in the midst of the Earth. The church has felt thisconstant, these incessant winds, and she stood against these nasty winds, asshe has for Millennia. She's outlasted them every time. She's prevailed over againstevery storm, and she only becomes stronger, healthier, more vibrant as she standsfor the Truth and in the love of God, which together animate hervery existence. This is nothing new for us. We don't fear for thechurch. She is the pillar and ground of the truth, Saint Paul says, against her the gates of Hades cannot prevail. We don't fear for her. We fear rather, for those who dared to raise high hands against Godor to fight against God himself, which is always a losing battle. Aswe finished the last days of August, those of you who were reading withus through the year, through the whole scriptures, we ended by reading theprophecy of Daniel, such a magnificent text, and there is a depiction in thereof the two great kings of Babylon who had to learn the hard waythat when you fight against God, you lose. Nebuchadnezzar was one. Hehimself was so enchanted by his talents, he was so mesmerized by his immensebuilding ability, the expanse of his kingdom, the beauty of the city of Babylonand its walls and gardens, that he had to be humbled by theLord God. He was tricked by the appearance of his Own Majesty and heended up losing his mind and walking on all fours. He crawled like ananimal for seven years until he acknowledged that the Almighty, the most high,is in heaven and he gives power on earth to whom he pleases and hetakes it away from whom he pleases. It took seven years of humiliation forNebuchadnezzar to recognize that, and when he was done, he issued a proclamationthroughout his kingdom to acknowledge this, that there is one God in heaven whorules over all. He had a son, Belle chazars his name, who followedhis father's vice and not his father's...

...virtue. He was also amazed athis power and in chapter five of Daniel's prophecy describes a raucous banquet that BellShazzar orchestrated with his Lords, a thousand of them, his wives and hisconcubines, even though the Persian and Meeti's were just outside the gates of Babylon, their armies were there. They had issued war threats, and Bell Shazarcould care less, so confident was he in the power of his defenses.Did Not Babylon have the greatest walls of any city in the history of mankind? No Army could do anything except crush themselves as they tried to attack thecity, or so he thought. And so, with the armies of thePersians and the meads just outside, he began to drink and party and orchestratethis filthy orgy. And then he did the unthinkable. He called from thestorehouses for his servants to bring the sacred and consecrated chalices that were in theTemple of God in Jerusalem that his father, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken when he sackedthe city of Jerusalem. He called for those chalices and he brought theminto his Raucous Party and he passed them out to his filthy co laborers inthis vice and they filled them with wine and toasted the gods of gold,silver, wood, iron and stone, who can't see here or act.And in the midst of that, a hand appeared in front of him,was the hand of the Almighty, and the hand wrote on the Plaster Walla message, men, a men a tech Alu Faterson. His knees beganto shake, the great confident and arrogant one, his knees began to shakeand he summoned his wise men, his conjurors, his astrologers, and theycame into his banquet and he said, anyone who can interpret this for mewill be given wealth and be power as number three in the kingdom. Noone could do it until the Queen Regent came in and said, you know, there is one in the kingdom that served your father who can give youan interpretation of this. Called Daniel from the exiles, from Judea, andthey called Daniel and he came into the presence of Bel Shazar. Bel Chazarmade all of his promises of wealth and glory, and Daniel said, keepyour gifts yourself or give them to somebody else. But I'll tell you whatit says. He said your father, Nebuchadnezzar, grew arrogant in his greatpower until God humbled him, and you,...

...his son, have done the same. Let me read the interpretation for you. And he said men A, men a techloufar sin. Your kingdom has been evaluated by God, andyou yourself, Belshazzar, have been weighed in the scales and found to bedeficient. Your Kingdom is divided and it is given into the power of thePersians and the meads. And that very evening, Bell Shazar was slain bythe Persian soldiers and the kingdom came into the hands of Darius. This ishow it reads in Daniels Prophecy, that right hand that appeared. We priestshave to think about it every liturgy. We think about that right hand whenwe put our vestments on. The reason is that there's a small prayer thatthe priests and the deacons say for each part of their vestments. When weput on the Cicarian we say a prayer, we put on the Appithe Helien wesay a prayer of the felone. It's all the same. We allsay different prayers about the meaning of what we're putting on. We think ofthe right hand of God and we put on the cuff, the right cuff, because we say something from the Scriptures. We say thy right hand, OLord, is glorified in strength. Thy Right hand, O Lord,has shattered thine enemies and in the multitude of Thy mercy, Hast Thou crushedthine adversaries. Always now endeavor and on to ages of ages, we exalt. When we put on our right cuff, we remember the right hand of Godand we remember his power to crush his adversaries and shatter to pieces hisenemies. We do that because when you serve the liturgy, when you dosomething of such spiritual significance, you provoke reaction from the demonic realm, andthe church covers her priests in the remembrance of the power of the Lord,that he is our protector and that no demon of darkness, no wicked spirit, has any power or authority against those who serve the Holy Liturgy. Godwill protect us and God will strengthen us to put them under the feet ofthe people of God. We remember this right hand. Those who fight Godlose, those who attack his houses and who oppose his church and attempt todefile her sacred things will be destroyed and the church will prevail forever. Thisis the truth of history, our holy history, and it's the truth Iwant to remind you of now, when the winds are blowing. Did youhear the beautiful counsel of St Paul, so appropriate for the times when thewinds blow? In his epistle to the...

Corinthians, he says this, bewatchful. This is chapter sixteen, verse thirteen. Be Watchful, stand firmin your faith, act like men, be strong for exhortations in one verseso appropriate. Be Watchful. This means keep your news awake, keep theeye of your soul open, watch what's going on. Don't fall asleep spiritually. Keep your prayer alive. Don't walk away from God six days out ofseven and only revive your awareness of God when you come to church. LetChurch refresh you. To stay awake when you go out, so that youare about the business six days a week that you're praying about when you're inthe Lord's House. Be Watchful. Be Watchful to of what's happening around you, what's happening in your society. Care about it. Stand firm in yourfaith. Here Saint Paul says, put your root down deep if you're goingto be like the tree that have the wind blowing against it, if you'regoing to stand, you have to have your roots deep, deep in yourfaith. Put your roots down deeper, stand firm so that you aren't movedand when all of those things are going crazy around you, you don't haveto be flailing in the wind. Those who love you and those who knowyour faith can come and touch you and feel a modicum of stability. Theycan say that person doesn't seem to be shaking. act like men. Now, let me explain this, ladies, let me explain this. When StPaul Commands all the Christians, men and women, to act like men,he's not asking you not to be a lady. In other places he asksall the Christians to act like ladies. Yes, it's true. He himselfin fact said that he forced himself, as an apostle, to become anursing mother, that tender, that compassionate to his flow. So sometimes menare called to imitate the special virtues of the women, and sometimes the womenare called to imitate the special virtues of the men, and in this catcase, St Paula saying, look, we all have to be manly,which means that we have to be willing to fight, we have to bewilling to look at the opposition in the face. We have to recognize what'sgoing on and not be timid and not be one over because we're fearful.We need to act like men. And in the last thing he says,I love this, he says be strong, be strong. If he was talkingabout our body's then you would know he was commanding you to eat right, get your exercise, don't be a...

...flub. But he's talking about yoursoul. He's talking about being a spiritual athlete. If you want to befirm in the midst of the chaos, you need to be strong. Youneed to make sure that you are taking care of yourself spiritually, that you'redisciplined, that you're doing your prayers, that you're keeping to the fast ofthe church. If you can take your seriousness in your spiritual life and translatedinto physical and your physical would then be healthy, then you know you're ina good spot. Spiritually, but if you took your spiritual commitment and youput it into the physical and you would end up being a couch potato,you would know you've got improvement to make in order to be strong spiritually.What we don't want to be, brothers and sisters, are the branches thatare so tenuously attached to the tree, or perhaps so weighed down with thecares of the world, so heavy that when the wind blows, they breakoff the tree. This is what we don't want to be. We don'twant to be the refuse, the debris scattered on the ground when the windsblow. This week the winds blew right into the living room of one ofour Paris families. Literally, if you didn't know, notice this in thepress enterprise on the front page on the Feast of the beheading of the forerunner. You might go home and look up the article. But on the twentynine of August, how apropos that it would come out in the press.The winds of this world blew right into the living room of one of ourown Paris families. It has to do with the cub scout pack twenty fourand Redlands, a very old cub scout pack, the cub master and amajority of the families in that pack decided that it was their duty to defythe boy scouts of America. It was their duty because, in order,not allowing avowedly homosexual leaders, according to these folks, is prejudice and itborders on racism, if it is not explicit racism. And so they decided, even though they had voluntarily joined this wonderful organization called the boy scouts,even though they knew the boy scouts has had this policy since its conception,even though they knew the butt of Boy Scouts have won in court and defendingthese basic moral principles in their organization, the Cub Scout Master and a numberof the parents decided that they were going to defy the boy scouts and theywere going to open their pact to allow openly gay leaders and boys in it. Let me just read a quote from the news press. Pack leader,Mr Rich, said he was aware of...

...only two families in the pack whosupport the national policy of the boy scouts. One of these families is the Griffinfamily of redlands. Sherlyn and Brian Griffin are taking their son out ofpack twenty four and enrolling him in a different redlands pack. Sherlyn Griffin said, quote. They have a right to their own opinion, she said,of other pack, twenty four families, but they're part of a private,nonprofit organization that always made a decision on this, that has already made adecision on this, and the appropriate thing to do would be to not bea part of this organization. Unquote. Mr Griffin resigned as treasure of thepack and the Committee Chairwoman resigned her post after it became clear that most parentsat the meeting opposed the national policy. She says that she agrees with theexclusion of open the game members, volunteers and employees. Quote. The issuesof sexual orientation and preference are really issues that should be taking care of athome, not in a group of young boys in a pack. She said. There you have it. How would you like to have your children ina pack and have the issues of the politically correct blow right into your livingroom so that you can't even participate in the cub scouts without having perversion beinginsisted upon as normal? Now, Christian leaders across our land, brothers andsisters, and I myself have been talking to about this for some years,yes, many years. Most of you have listened. Some of you havebeen real complainers. Oh, you're over exaggerating, father, it's not goingto happen. Do I need to say I told you so? I don'tthink so. I don't think so. We all know that the winds ofthis world are blowing and they are not going to just say out there.They are going to come into our living rooms and blow on every side.And the important thing for us, brothers and sisters, is that we ourselvesremain firmly attached to the tree so that we ourselves don't get broken off,so that we don't ended up some withered branch on the side of the road. I'm very proud of how our parishioners dealt with the situation this week.I hope that those who want to use the cub scouts to promote secularism andto affirm perversion will have a little integrity and cease the molestation of the boyscouts. I hope that faithful Christians will hold fast to the tree of theChurch and deepen their roots and face down these hostile winds and only increase theirlove and their zeal for the truth that their fruit bearing might shine the lightof Christ upon those who are watching, that the church might truly be abeacon in a light tower, so that many seeking through the dust that's blowingto find a harbor of salvation will know...

...where to go and they will knowthat the Orthodox Church stands firm and refuses either extreme of reaction. We absolutelywill not permit the growth of any contempt for any human being, whatever sinhe may be entangled in. We will not allow any hatred to grow.We refuse to stop loving, even those who are angry at us. Werefuse and we will not stop being that way ever. And on the otherhand, we will not ever tolerate the acceptance of immoral positions that degrade thehuman person and retard, if not ruined, their salvation. We will never dothat. We will speak the truth of Christ on this side and wewill speak the truth on that side. And if it's uncomfortable, we recognizethat the Christian life is uncomfortable. I read a beautiful quote. I Iwas shared a quote by my oldest daughter this week. She has an APPon her phone. I need to learn all these things. She has anAPP on her phone that sends her a daily quote from C S Lewis.I want that APP I don't know how to get it, but I wantedshe sent me this one and it was so appropriate. He said that someonewas asking him about why he ceased to be an atheist, why he becamea Christian. He said, I did not go to religion to make mehappy. I always knew that a bottle of part would do that. Ifwe want a religion to make us really comfortable, I certainly do not recommendChristianity. Brothers and sisters, let's not seek the Comfort, let's seek faithfulness. Let's do what St Paul said in these turbulent times, be watchful,stand firm in your faith, act like men and be strong, and thenwe'll stay in the tree and prosper to the glory of God. Amen.We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered toyou by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirstywith the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. Until next time,.

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