August 10, 2009

"Foolish" Discussion

(By Mulugeta Negash)
As the forces of Satan are getting smarter and stronger, we, the “foolish” Orthodox Christians all over the world exhaust a great deal of energy and time in petty infighting; many hierarchies, particularly in Eastern Europe, have almost no personal contact with their flocks. Many hierarchies and clergy are arrogant and condescending toward the faithful.

No one in the Islamic world is talking about abolishing or shortening Ramadan, but some in the Orthodox world are talking about abolishing some fasting periods, shortening others. Muslims maintain the appearance of their faith, while many Orthodox clergy are embarrassed or ashamed to be seen in public looking like Orthodox clergy. Muslims maintain the tradition of stopping to pray at the given times several times a day, while Orthodox Christians are seeking to reduce the already scant time we spend in the Divine Services.

One could go on with such comparisons, but the point has to do with commitment, discipline and self-control. And these qualities shouldn't be obtained by force or by the sword, like the Muslim community obviously show, but by our self-generated initiatives, because, if other humans force us to execute our faith-related duties with the fear factor (dread of devils), we'll of course be driven far away from the holy spiritual work, from the one and true God.

Faith can only be challenged by faith; commitment can only be faced with commitment. We, as Orthodox Christians cannot offer anything that will counter a committed Islamic missionary effort while we are occupied only with provincial and local problems, with petty self-interest, with "defending MY turf" against other Orthodox clergy. The divided state of the Orthodox Church today, world-wide, and the internecine power struggles undermine and weaken the Orthodox Christian witness. Self-interested fear of each other on the local level can only make the problems we face more systemic and pervasive. Moreover, they are a betrayal of the true Gospel and of the powerful faith.

All make themselves more aware of this challenge and that we struggle, primarily with our own selves, to overcome our own pettiness and find a greater unity of spirit and purpose. Instead of having a delusion of "competition," we should be sharing the resources that each has to offer, and strengthening the commitment of our selves and the faithful. Everyone has some ability to offer, and we need to be willing to share our "self" with all for the sake of the Gospel and in order to face, with a unity of love for Christ, the challenges and temptations that are so rapidly arising before us.

The devil does not get desperate, however strong, the person whom he fights is. The devil wants to resist God's Kingdom by every means and rejoices when he is able to overthrow "if possible, even the elect." (Matt 24:24).

Our faith, our Kingdom will continuously be tempted, but we need to restore our confidence in learning that the temptation of Christ by Satan is a comfort for us in all our trials.

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:11, 12)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved this artcile. You have read my mind. Would you please convert into Amharic so that most church servants can get the message clealry?

Good job, keep on it.
May God raises His grace upon you,

Chala

Anonymous said...

This was the kind of message I have been waiting for.

God bless you brother!

haile

Cheru said...

I hope the writer is not refering/including the recent discussion we were having on the state and affairs of the Kidus Synod or the discussions on the actions of Aba Paulos, as part of his note "foolish discussions".

The discussions that we have been having recently are part of strengthening the Orthodox Church. Our faith and values are so erroded by those who were meant to be the guardians and shepperds of the faithful.

To be able to stand up against the forces of Satan we need to stand on a firm faith foundation. If you are being pulled down from the inside how can you stand against the outside force?

orthodox unit said...

This is really what we should work for. Thank you the author. I don't know why we are fighting each other in our own house. One group is fighting with others rather than being united and work for the kingdom of God together.

Brothers and sisters don't forget we are for Church and the church is for Christ and Christ is one. So why we fight each other instead of brotherly love, peace and humility?

But it is known that we have to improve bad administration practices that the church is facing.

If every body sticks for the benefit of Church, why should we quarrel? Or Are we who are trying to show God for others still in flesh? If we are still in flesh, we never know God.Let us teach ourselves before serving God.

So brothers and sisters let us have good mind to understand sisters and brothers who are serving church. Don't look brothers' service pessimistically. Let us develop sharing ideas, discussion.

Let God bless us

tad said...

Good article in general terms, but lacks specifications.I would like to hear the author's ponint of view in reference to the fights with in the todays EOC.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

"...Would you please convert into Amharic so that most church servants can get the message clealry?"

ጸሐፊው በተመቸው ቋንቋ ጻፈ። በመጻፉም ደከም ሳይለው አይቀርም። ትርጉሙን ደግሞ ሌላ ቢያግዘው ምንአለ?

እኔ እንዳቅሜ እንዲህ ተርጉሜዋለኹ፦

እናክር (ማኅበረ-ቅዱሳን) እናድስ (ተሐድሶ) እየተባባልን በመናቆር ኀይል እና ጊዜ አናጥፋ! በቃ ይኸው ነው።

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of you guys, it's a good article, well thought after. And unlike "Tad", I can understand why "Mulugeta Negash" wants us not to waste anymore time on "foolish discussions".

As many comment writers before me have tried to remind us all in so many words time and again, I would like to do that one more time (bear with me for about 2 min ).

If you take yourself as a true Christian and follower/member of His one and only Holy Church, use the time and energy you are already investing (even visiting EOTC sites like Deje Selam shouldn't be in vain) on being positive and work towards a constructive outcome. As "Mulugeta" put it, "Petty infighting" is only helping the antagonists, dividers, accusers, etc; who like to see division and chaos or down fall of the Church. Of course the Church will persevere till end with the few members left, if need be, but the question is "are we ready to be counted for or against the Church ?". Some have already made the choice to work against, and some might not know, but in any case the task rests on our individual calling to make the effort to pull the strays in and to proclaim the Truth (God's truth) every where no matter what (with the help of God and His saints, of course). That, my fellow Christians, is how we stay away from "foolish discussions" and work toward unity. And, I think, that is "Mulugeta's" wake up call.

"Wey sew kentu!" ale yagere sew.
Tazabiw

Anonymous said...

You broader message to me is go for Alexanderia???

tad said...

I couldn't understand what Tazabiw wanted to say. Are you suggesting that we are wasting our ime and energy by demanding accountability from our leaders? Are we trying invain because we wanted our EOC to have the necessary well organized adminisration it desrves for the 21st century? Are we working to divide our church by demanding for all rounded reconcilitation among our fathers both in Ethiopia and in diaspora? Is our church not already divided? Or may be we all are afraid of challenging ourselves and and just looking for the easiest way out?

Moona said...

Thank you ! Mulugeta . nice article .

Why are we fail to be seccessful as asociety (or as a team )?
Are we living the curse of CAM(OR CUSH) ? are we ?
why we are fail to stand united ? even in church. why....?...why?...why?...
why we are eating each other?rather than finding a solution.

zemecha said...

ከፍልስጣ በላይ እኩይ ፍልስጣ(ከመምህሩ ደቀ መዝሙሩ)
አጋንንት በወገን ብዙ ናቸው መንፈስ ጽርፈት፣ መንፈሰ ዝሙት፣ መንፈሰ ትዕቢት.. ከአጋንንት መካከል የሰውን የእለት ተእለት ኃጢአት የሚመዘግብ እኩይ ፍልስጣ የሚባል አለ የሀገር ፍቅር ሬዲዮ አዘጋጅ ንጉሴ እኩይ ፍልስጣን መሆን ብቻ ሳይሆን አስከንድቶታል ከሆኑ አይቀር እንዲህ ነው ከመምህሩ ደቀ መዝሙሩ እንዲሉ፡፡ገንዘብ የሰውን ህሊና እንዴት እንደሚነሳ በንጉሴ ታዘብኩ ከቅዱስ ፓትርያርኩ መቶ ሺህ ብር እንደተቀበለ ለቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ አባላት በቀረበው ጥናታዊ ጽሁፍ የተገለጸ መሆኑን ንጉሴ ከሚኮንናት በመላ አሜሪካ ያሉ ምእመናን ደግሞ በቀን ቢያንስ ሶስት ግዜ በሚጎበኙዋት ደጀ ሰላም ላይ ገሃድ ወጥቶ ለማንበብ በቅተናል እድሜን፣ ብርታትና ጥንካሬን ለደጀ ሰላም ያጎናጽፍልንና ንጉሴም ይህ የዘወትር ተግባሩ ስለተገለጸበት ደጀ ሰላምን ያዘጋጃል ብሎ የሚጠረጥረው ማህበር ላይራሱ ንጉሴ ለዘመናት ያህል እግዚብሄርን ሳይፈራ ሰውን ሳያፍር ተሸክሞት የሚኖረውን የርክሰት የኃጢአት ሸክም ያለ እዳው ለማህበሩ ሊያሸክመው ሲቃትት አስተውለነዋል እዚህ ላይ ዝምታ ለበግም አልበጃትም እንደተባለው ማህበሩ ባልዋለበት እንደዋለ ባልሰራው እንደሰራ ተደርጎ ከሁሉ በላይ ደግሞ በአንድ ሚዲያ ላይ የጋዜጠኝነት ስነ ምግባር ብቻ አይደለም የምንኖርባት ሀገር ህግን በጣሰ መልኩ የሚወርደውን የሥም ማጥፋትን ክብር ነክ የሆኑ አነጋገሮችን የሬዲዮኑ አፍ ማሙሻ የሆነው ማህበርም ሆነ ስማቸው እየተነሳ የስም ማጥፋት ዘመቻ የተደረገባቸው ግለሰቦች ሁሉ ይህን ዋልጌ መረን የወጣ ጋዜጠኛ ተብዬ የነገር ጡቱን እያጠባ እያሳደገው ካለው ቡችላው ጋር በህግ ልትፋረዱት ይገባል እብድን ማን ይሰማዋል ብላችሁ በቸልታ ማለፉ አግባብ አይደለም ባለማወቅ በእብድ ውሻ የሚለከፉ መኖራቸውን አትዘንጉ
በተለይ በቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ አውቅና አግኝቶ ለቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ የጀርባ አጥንት ሆኖ እያገለገለ ያለውን በብዙ መቶ ሺህ የሚቆጠሩ አባላቶች ያሉትን ማህበር ምንም ባልተጨበጠ ነገር በፓትርያርኩ ላይ የቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ አባላትን አነሳስቱዋል በማለት ያንን ሁሉ ርግማን ወንጀል እኔ በምድር ላይ ያለ ኃጢአት ሁሉ የቀረ አይመስለኝም በማህበሩ እየተፈጸመ እንደሆነ አድርጎ ሲለፍፍ ከሰደበኝ የደገመው እንዲሉ የእርሱን ስድብ እየመዘዛችሁ እንኪያ ሰላምታ ከእርሱ ጋር ፍጠሩ አይደለም እንዲሁም እንደ ቁራ ቢጮህ ማን ም አይሰማውም ተብሎም በቸልታም መታለፍ የለበትም በእርግጥ በንጉሴ አንደበት የሚሰደቡ የጽድቅን ተግባር እየፈጸሙ ያሉ መሆናቸውን በሰማዕያኑ ግንዛቤን ቢፈጥርም ምክንያቱም ያ ከእግሩ ስር ቁጭ ብሎ ስድብ የሚቀጽለው ደቀ መዝሙር ብለው የሚበዛበት መሰለኝ ግዴለም እሱም አይከፋውም ቡችላው ልበለውና እንደሚጠራው ልጥራውና ንጉስ የሚያወድሳቸውና በንጽህና እርካብ ላይ የሚያስቀምጣቸው ከእጃቸው በረከትን የተቀበለውን ወንጀለኞችና ሀሰተኞችን ነው ስለዚህ ለቤተ ክርስቲያን ያበረከታችሁት አስተዋጽኦ እንደ እንጉዳይ በየገዳሙ በየአድባሩ ፍንድቅ ብሎ እየታየ ዳሩ ንጉሴ እግር አድርሶት ኢትየጵያም ቢሄድ የፓትርያርኩን ቤተ መንግስት ተሳልሞ ከመመለስ ውጭ ወደ ገዳማቱ ጎራ ብሎም የሚያውቅ አይመስለኝም ቢል ኖሮ ምን አልባት ህሊናውን ቆንጠጥ የሚያደርገው ነገር ይዞ ይመጣ ነበር ግና ገንዘብ ያሳወረው ንጉሴ የሙስና አሞሌ በላሰበት ምላሱ ርኩሱን ቅዱስ ሲያደርግ ቅዱሱን ደግሞ ሲያረክስ መስማት ህሊና ላለው ሰው ታግሶ መስማቱ በራሱ የኢዮብን ያህል ትእግስትን ይጠይቃል“በሚሰድቡአችሁና በሚያሳድዱዋችሁ ግዜ ስለ እኔም እየዋሹ ክፉውን ሁሉ በሚናገሩባችሁ ግዜ ብፁዓን ናችሁ ደስ ይበላችሁ ሀሴትንም አድርጉ ዋጋችሁ በሰማያት ብዙ ነውና ከእናንተ አስቀድመው የነበሩ ነቢያትንም እንዲሁ አሳድደዋቸው ነበርና”የሚለውን የጌታን ቃል በመዘንጋት አይደለም መልካሙን ተጋድሎ እየተጋደላችሁ ሳለ በቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱ ስም እየማለ ቤተ ክርስቲያኒቱን ለማጥፋት ከሚያሴሩት የጥፋት ኃይሎች ጋር አንድነትና ህብረት ያለው የንጉሴ ላንቃ ለስድብ ስለተከፈተ ከአላማችሁ እንደማትዛነፉ እርሱንም ንቃችሁት እንደተዋችሁት በራሱ ግዜ በኖ ይጠፋል የማህበሩ እንቅስቃሴ ከእግዚአብሄር እንጂ ከሰው አይደለም በሚል ጽኑ እምነትና በየግዜው ስይጣን ከሚያስፈነጥረው የጥፋት ፍላጻ በእግዚአብሄር ቸርነት በእናቱ አማላጅነት ተጠባቃችሁ መኖራችሁን ተማምናችሁ እንደሆነ እገነዘባለሁ ቢሆንም ግን ይህን ዋልጌ የህግ የበላይነት ሰፍኖ ባለበት ሀገር እየኖረ ሳይሆን የመንፈስ አባቱ የአሰተዳደር ድክመት አለ ብለው የእርምት እርምጃ እንዲወሰድ ጥረት ባደረጉ አባቶች ላይ አይደለም ከመንፈሳዊው መንደር ከአለማውያን መንደር እንኩዋን በማይጠበቅ መልኩ የሥድብና የመርገም መጥሀፍ አስፅፈው እንዳስበተኑና ምንም እንዳልተባሉ እርሱም እንደርሱ በገንዘብ ተገዝተው ማሩን አምርረው ወተቱን አጥቁረው የግብር አባታቸው የዲያብሎስን ስራ ተግባራዊ እንዳደረጉት ሁሉ እርሱም የአባቱን በረከት ተቀብሉዋልና በበላበት እየጮኸ ነው እርሱ ዋሽቶ ቀጥፎ መብላት ስራው ነው በመንግስት የተፈቀደለት ሳይሆን ኅሊናውን አሳምኖ የገባበት የማህበረ ቅዱሳን የስራ አመራር አባላትም የማሕበሩን ህላውና የማስጠበቅ ኃላፊነት እንዳለባችሁ አትዘንጉ ሸማ በየፈርጁ ይለበሳል እንዲሉ አበው ሁሉን በአግባቡ ልታስኬዱ ይገባል እላለሁ
ንጉሴ የአቦን ግብር የበላ ይለፈልፋል እንደሚባለው ካልሆነ እርሱን በሲኖዶስ አባላትና በቅዱስ ፓትርያርኩ መካከል በተፈጠረው አለመግባባት ምን ዶለው? በአቡነ ሳሙኤል በአቡነ ፋኑኤል በአቡነ አብርሃምስ ላይ የነገር ድሪቶውን ለመደረት ልቡናውን ያተጋው በእውነት የቤተ ክርስቲያን ፍቅር ነው ቅዱስ ፓትርያርኩንስ በእውነት ወዶ ነው ከዚህ በፊት የዲያብሎስ ታናሽ ወንድም እድርጎ ያስቀመጣቸውን ዛሬ ምን ቢያገኝ ነው? ይሄ ሳይታለም የተፈታ ነው የንጉሴ ምስ ያው ገንዘብ ነው
በአፈ ጮሌነትና በቅጥፈት የእግዚአብሄር መንግስት የሚወረስ ቢሆን ኖሮ ከምላሴ ጸጉር ይነቀል ንጉሴን የሚቀድም በወረንጦ ቢለቀም አይገኝም ግን እግዚአብሄር ፈታሄ በርትህ ኮናኔ በጽድቅ ነውና ለሁሉም እንደየስራው ይከፍላል መንፈሰ ጽርፈት ያደረብህ አንተ ንጉሴም የምትዘብትበት አምላክ ከላይ ሆኖ እየታዘበህ ነውና አንድ ቀን የስራህን ይከፍልሃል ህሊናህ እያወቀው እውነትን ትቢያ አልብሰህ ሀሰትን ለማንገስ እየጣርህ ያለህ በመሆኑ የዲያብሎስ የግብር ልጅ መሆነህን አረጋግጠሃል በእርግጥ ሰው ሁሉ ማንነትህን አውቆት አንቅሮ የተፋህ ስለሆነ ጩኸትህ ሁሉ የተስፋ መቁረጥ ጩኸት ነው
ወደ ህሊናህ ተመለስ አለበለዚያ የቤተ ክርስቲያን አምላክ ይመጣብሃል

Melkamu said...

I don't think we pray enough prayers in daily life. God is real and true and He does not begrudge us the knowledge of a living relationship with Him.

As a foolish man I go so far as to speak of the experience of prayer. I say this not to speak of great experiences but, if possible, to quiet our minds, and to speak a word of peace in a world that is full of madness and spiritual delusion.

So what is normative for the spiritual life? What should someone expect? The first thing any Christian should expect in prayer is to struggle and to fall. “Prayer is struggle to a man’s dying breath,” says one of our faithful fathers. When asked what the monks do all day in the monastery, one of the fathers replied, “We fall down and get up, fall down and get up, fall down and get up again.”
A brother asked a hermit, “If I oversleep and miss the time for prayer, I hesitate to keep the rule of prayer. I am embarrassed and do not want the brothers to hear me praying.”

The hermit gave him this advice: “If you sleep late, get up and shut your door and windows. Then pray your psalms. Both day and night belong to God. You will glorify God whatever time it is.”

Anonymous said...

Melkamu, 'melkamun' neger selasemahen, kale hiwot yasemalign.

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የአቡነ ጳውሎስ "ሐውልተ ስምዕ"

ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)