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Friday, May 29, 2015

Astrology Is Astrolatry


Father Alexander Karloutsos

"When our soul departs from life, we shall not be accused because we have not worked miracles, or have not been theologians, or have not seen visions, but we shall all certainly have to give account before God, because we have not wept unceasingly for our sins."

-St. John Climacus, Author of the Divine Ladder

Christian man does not have to be a miracle-worker, brilliant theologian or heavenly vision soothsayer or maker, but he does have to account for not being aware of his sins. A sin in the Orthodox Church is understood in the spirit of the Greek word "amartia." In Ancient Greece, when a person aimed to hit the bull's eye and failed, they called it "amartia," "he missed." Falling short of the mark, not reaching your goal, not attaining your purpose is sin. When a Christian does things that keep him away from Christ, he sins because he does not live up to his purpose, and that is to live in Christ. When we do not live up to our goal, being the image and becoming the likeness of God, then we sin. When we allow the stars of heaven to guide our actions and not God, who created the stars, then we are sinning. When we run to the newspapers to look up our horoscopes and our futures, and do not seek wisdom and learning from the Bible, then we are sinning. When we do, or don't do, this and that because astrologers say so, and close our ears to God's Commandments, then we are sinning. We are sinning when we pray to our Christian God and, simultaneously, take somewhat seriously the zodiac. We are not Aquarians, Pisceans or Librans, sons and daughters of stars; we are men and women, sons and daughters of God.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula": Interesting Orthodox Facts


Though Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is one of my top five favorite works of fiction, the movie adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992 is among my least favorite on-screen depictions (though it is a very entertaining movie with good cinematography and gothic atmospherics). By putting the authors name into the title, it was hailed to be the most accurate depiction of the story on film, when in reality very little is accurate but for certain details. The same false advertising was done with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, also directed by Coppola. Having said this, there are a few interesting facts within the film that may be of interest to Orthodox Christians.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Documentary: "Ancient Aliens Debunked"



Ancient Aliens Debunked is a 3 hour refutation of the theories proposed on the History Channel series Ancient Aliens. It is essentially a point by point critique of the "ancient astronaut theory" which has been proposed by people like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin as well as many others.

The film covers topics like:

Ancient building sites: Puma Punku, The Pyramids, Baalbek, Incan sites, and Easter Island.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Monster Within: Where Horror and Theology Meet


- "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man." 

(Jesus in Matthew 15:19-20)

- "Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." 


(Stephen King)

- "In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer. But in our own hands lies the power to choose – what we want most to be we are." 


(Robert Louis Stevenson in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Saint Glykeria and the Pagan Magician Paulinus

St. Glykeria the Great Martyr (Feast Day - May 13)

Dositheos in his Dodekavivlos records that the holy relics of Saint Glykeria were interred at Heraclea in Thrace. At Heraclea, a copper pot was used to collect divinely-flowing myrrh which gushed from the Saint's tomb. By means of this streaming myrrh, many received miracles, as also attested by Saint Theophylact of Ochrid. The Metropolitan of Heraclea, while in Constantinople, found an impressive gold pot. He bought it with the intention of substituting it for the copper vessel that received that sanctified outflow from the Saint's tomb. However, when the exchange was made, the miracles also ceased.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Protodeacon Andrey Kurayev On Alien Life


October 1, 2010
Interfax

Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Protodeacon Andrey Kurayev believes that the possibility of life on the recently discovered planet by American astronauts does not contradict Christian teaching.

"When people discovered atmosphere on Venus in the 18th century, Lomonosov assumed there could be people there. If they live there then there are two options: they committed sin as we did or they have not done it," Father Andrey told an Interfax-Religion correspondent.

Thus he commented on the news that American astronomers discovered a new planet and conditions there are very similar to Earth, which gave them grounds to think that their "discovery" may be inhabited.

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