“Nothing Is Very Strong”

“Fact is, I had no reason to do it, and I just thought…(expletive deleted), life is boring so why not?”

That’s what the 1000 Oaks shooter posted on Instagram, when he paused in the midst of his stunning crime. The twenty-eight year old had already killed eleven people; he would go on to gun down a policeman and then take his own life.

We used to spend a good deal of time and energy wondering why someone would do something so terrible. We don’t do that much anymore, and that may be a sign that we’re actually getting used to this kind of random violence.

Prayer and Peace

I finally figured it out. Y’know how a lot of times one person will remind you of someone else, but you just can’t quite put your finger on who that someone else is? That’s the way it’s been with me and our current president, Donald Trump. Of course, The Donald has been around for a long time. I never paid much attention to him until he started his presidential campaign; however, ever since then, I’ve been dogged by the thought that he just reminds me of someone else.

Dear Young Couple That I Surprised This Past Week

Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I’m the guy in the black dress that was tapping on the window of your car at 5:45am. And, yeah, I know: when you’re sitting in your car with nothing on but your underwear, a priest is pretty much the last person you want to see. But, in the future, if you refrain from parking behind churches, you’ll significantly lower the odds of that kind of encounter.

Communicating with Christ Jesus

This time around, Editor Scott Coleman has asked us to select, from the Bible, the specific teaching of Christ Jesus that we believe is “most important today”. The question suggests that our Lord and Master is someone like Albert Einstein or Blaise Pascal or Aristotle—a great thinker or teacher or philosopher who has left behind a body of writing from which we can draw insights or principles that apply to our current cultural situation. That’s certainly the way a lot of folks think of Christ Jesus. But it’s a mistaken approach.

Bad Theology, Again

It’s time for another round of Bad Theology. Bad Theology happens when we say ridiculous things about the Most Holy Trinity. And, a lot of times, that ridiculous talk comes from pastors and preachers. For example, the Reverend Joel Osteen, one of the most high profile religious figures in North America, often says things like this: ‘God wants you to be successful in every area of your life. God wants you to prosper in your career, in your relationships, in your health, and in your finances’.

Music in the Orthodox Church

The first Divine Liturgy I ever attended was in 2006 and was at our parish. The first thing I noticed was that there was a beginning, ending, and lots and lots of amazingly beautiful acapella hymns and Lord Have Mercy’s in the middle. It was absolutely beautiful, but after months of attendance, I still only had a very basic grasp of how the services worked.