Saturday, April 21, 2007

Once a "Convert," Always a Convert

Fr. Matthew Thurman has asked a pertinent question on his blog:
I became a catechumen in the Orthodox Church during Bright Week of 1998—roughly nine years ago. My duration in the Episcopal Church before that (both before my baptism and afterwards) was roughly eight years and nine months. Now that I've eclipsed the time in my past ecclesial body with the time in the Orthodox Church, does that officially cancel out my status as a "convert"?
For certain ethnics, one is only "Orthodox" if one is Greek, Russian, Serbian, etc. Unfortunately, for them, "convert" is not merely a lifelong but a generational appellation. A friend told me of a recent discussion at a West Coast Orthodox Church, in which a cradle Orthodox said something disparaging about "converts." Just then, a young Caucasian woman of college age spoke up. "I am cradle Orthodox," she said. Her parents converted long ago, and she had never known any other Church than that of the East, nor any church service than that of St. John Chrysostom. The point was lost on the crowd, but it shouldn't be lost on us. Some are Orthodox in thought and theology before joining the Church. Others are never Orthodox in thought nor action, regardless of where they occasionally "commune."

Don't they listen to the sermon preached the one Sunday of the year they go to church? God rewards us, not by whether we joined at the sixth or eleventh hour of the day, but by His grace and the fruit our lives yield (in that order). Some ethnics may never accept "the converts," but One far more significant certainly does.

(Thanks to Father, because this raises a question I received some time ago and am derelict in addressing. Watch for future posts.)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How Blanco Did It

A reader has sent in an update on the "Texan Thebaid": One of the monks of Christ of the Hills "Monastery" in Blanco, Texas, revealed how they swindled everyone with their "weeping icon." The Brownsville (TX) Herald reports:
In July, monk Hugh Brian Fallon detailed to investigators some of the activities going on at the monastery. That statement was released by court order last month.

The monks claimed that a Virgin Mary icon wept tears of myrrh, but those tears came from an eyedropper [Samuel A. "Bishop Benedict"] Greene kept in his nightstand, Fallon said.

Greene encouraged sex among the monks and would offer marijuana "when people were having problems," Fallon said in his statement.
All but one of the pervert Pseudodox "monks" are at the monastery, as their trial is pending.

As I wrote before, may God change their hearts...but may a prison guard change their sheets for the next 50 years.

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