fredag 23 februari 2018

Remainer food hypocrisy

Remainers claim that Brexit will allow in a torrent of toxic meat. This Guardian article, unsurprisingly not open for comment, shows yet again that there is already a grave home-produced problem.

Tests carried out on food at the point of entry to a country are almost worthless in ensuring that it will be safe by the time it it put on the shelves of the shops, or served in restaurants. Food can be badly handled, or frozen food thawed and re-frozen. The most effective deterrent is the likelihood of random checks, with contraventions punishable by heavy fines or imprisonment.

To supplement the resources of local authorities, it would also be worth giving the public better access to public analytical and testing services.

Import controls exist primarily to protect producer interests. Benefits to consumers are largely incidental.

onsdag 21 februari 2018

Remainers: lovers blind to the faults of the beloved

Remainers are like lovers who are blind to the faults of the loved one, even when these faults are expensive habits which can kill. How is this?

The EU can be seen as operating in three levels in a hierarchical structure.

At the top level is the principle of a forum where major issues of common interest can be discussed and differences resolved. This is one of the places where a particular moral tone is set eg through promoting values, human rights issues, legal structures, developing cultural and educational collaboration such as the Erasmus programme, and keeping a watchful eye on what is happening elsewhere in the world. There are also shared concerns such as the management of rivers which flow through several countries.

Significantly, the EU steered clear of associating itself with Christianity, despite pleas such as that made by the Pope in 2002, when he said, of the EU draft Constitution, “How can we not mention the decisive contribution of the values which Christianity espouses and that have contributed to strengthening culture and humanism of which Europe feels legitimately proud and without which its most profound identity could not be understood?”

Score: C

Next level down is about trade, economics, tax and tariff policies. These are in principle both moral and practical decisions “coloured” by the moral tone that comes from above. It has profound implications for the quality of people's lives and political relations with the rest of the world.

Score: FAIL

I rate it as a fail because it a moral failure. Tariffs and trade protection are corrupt and immoral, as well as damaging; the Mafia lives on protection, as in “protection racket”. VAT is a immoral tax which is inefficient and economically damaging. If the EU had been doing its job properly at the top level, it would have pushed member countries to get rid of VAT, not make it a membershi requirement.

The bottom “artisan” level is about regulation and technical matters. Whilst important to individuals, it is trivial within the broader context. Much of this regulation is, or can be, dealt with other international bodies such as the ISO and industrial organisations. Some originates there and is transcribed into EU regulation. The EU has been responsible for plenty of silly and counter-productive regulation, but taking one thing with another - food additives and E-numbers, for example - it does not do too badly.

Score: B

IN CONCLUSION, I would count myself broadly in support of the concept of an EU, provided it kept to the principle of subsidiarity.  Failure in the policy areas of tax, economics, trade and tariffs, however, is a critical moral and practical top-level failure. That most national governments are no better is beside the point. It is easier to change the direction of a country than a continent, and the larger the body, the larger the scale of the damage can be, up to and including the possibility of major conflict and war.

If those who had been committed to the EU had spoken up and demanded change, the toxic political situation today would never have developed.

fredag 16 februari 2018

Calendar confusions

I have taken down my Christmas lights at last, yesterday being the Feast of the Presentation, 2nd February, which marks the end of the Christmas season. Except that yesterday was 15th February. It was 2nd February on the Julian calendar, which is now 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar in secular use.

Muslims use a lunar calendar with 12 months, but the months are  28 or 29 days long. The year is shorter than the real year, and feasts like Ramadan are 11 or 12 days earlier each year. At the moment, Ramadan is in the middle of the summer, which would be tough on those near the Arctic circle if the rules were not relaxed.

The Jewish calendar is also a lunar calendar but extra months are added according to a 19 year cycle of leap years. The extra month, called Adar Sheni, the Second Adar, is in the spring, and is inserted on the 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19th years of the cycle. In practice the Jewish calendar is more complicated than that. Passover is on 15th Nisan, the month after Adar. In leap years, Nisan is after Adar Sheni, which brings Passover into late April if there is a leap year. The earliest date for Passover is 26th March.

The Jewish calendar keeps reasonably good time, with a drift of one day every 231 years, about 4 days per millennium. It will be several millennia before Passover is so late in the year as to be a problem. There is no need for anyone alive today to worry about it.

The Julian calendar is worse, with a leap year every four years and a drift of 12 days per millennium. It came about like this. A solar year is reckoned as 365 and a quarter days; after four years, an extra day is added to the year. Each year is 11 minutes too long, a discrepancy which builds up over time. This drift had been noticed by the early middle ages but it took a long time to devise a way of fixing the problem.

The solution adopted was to make an adjustment every hundred years, by not having a leap year unless the year was divisible by 400. Thus 1600 and 2000 were leap years but 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not, and 2100 will not be. The calendar was first introduced in 1582 and its use spread gradually. By the time it was adopted in Britain, in 1752, 11 days had to be skipped; 2th September 1752 was followed by 14th September 1752. This change is the reason why the British tax year ends on 5th April; it is the old Lady Day, 25th March.

Thus the Gregorian calendar has 238 leap years per millennium compared to the 250 leap years of the Julian calendar. The separation of 12 days per thousand years is not desperate but becomes appreciable with the passing of the centuries. 

The trouble with the Gregorian calender, however, is that, every few years, 2005 and 2008, for example, Easter can be one month before the Jewish Passover. This matters from a theological perspective because the Last Supper was on 14th Nisan, the night before the Jewish Seder on the 15th. The earliest possible date for Easter is 22th March is but there will not be another until 2353; about once a century, Easter is on 23th March but it is not unusual for Easter to be a month before Passover.

The Julian calendar still used by some of the Orthodox churches avoids Easter from coming before Passover, but is drifting to the point where it is sometimes, and increasingly, in May; if the calendar is still in use, it will be on 10th May in 2268. This is of course nothing that any of us alive today needs to bother ourselves about, but at some time it would be a good idea to skip a fortnight and bring the Julian calendar back into line if the churches want to carry on using it. There is a lot to be said for not adopting the Gregorian calendar with its breaking of the link to the Jewish Passover.

onsdag 14 februari 2018

The True Catholic Doctrine of Salvation

This is extracted, unedited and without comment, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905).

Here is an alternative interpretation of Matthew 16:18, the passage on which the perpetual Supremacy of Peter is based: that the Rock is not the person of Peter, but the faith which Peter confesses.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him. Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16: 15-19).

The Father of Christ revealed to Peter that Christ was the Son of the living God, and not what other men thought about Him, who thought Christ to be John the Baptist, or Elias, or Jeremiah, or as one of the prophets. And Christ supplementing the divine revelation made to Peter, says to him that for this reason he was named Peter, he who was formally called Simon son of Jona—that he knew the rock of faith and became the foundation stone of the holy structure and the fact that upon this rock of faith Christ will build His own Church, which the ruler of darkness will fight with all his might, but shall not prevail against it. (The effectiveness of the above passage in Greek lies in the etymology of the name Peter meaning of rock.)

Thus every man who knows and confesses Christ as Peter did to be the Son of the living God, becomes petros (like rock) that is a rock useful toward the building of the Church all the members -of which possess the same essential characteristic, of confessing Christ as the Son of the living God, perfect God, begotten of true God without time, and perfect man born within time of .the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary according to the testimony of the Evangelists. He who does not believe and testify this does not become petros nor a member of the Church of Christ.

And he moreover, who denies this testimony, crumbles away from the divine structure or is cut off from association with the Church because he has lost the most essential asset of membership. Therefore the stone upon which Christ promises to build his Church is the confession of Peter, the truth revealed to him by the heavenly Father which abides for ever, the truth which gives birth to Peter’s and the stones of the divine structure. But the Papists destroy this scriptural passage toward their own damnation arguing sophistically and erroneously that Christ promised Peter to build upon the latter’s persons His Church; and the phrase “upon this rock” which clearly signifies the confession of Peter they interpret upon thee Peter. And by heaping up more falsehoods upon this one they build up the system of their diabolical heresy through which Satan has attempted the overthrow of the orthodox Church but failed totally; for falsehood is not strong enough to overcome truth.

The foundation of the Christian Church in Christ and Peter’s testimony. Upon this foundation the apostles have built the once Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God, as Peter also testifies in his first Catholic Epistle saying: To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also, as living stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” Behold the living stone, the chosen, the precious, the corner stone upon which Apostle Peter built the church; behold too the living stones placed upon the Foundation stone of the structure and constituting God’s spiritual house within which holy priests offer acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. But the Papists of Rome, after repudiating this doctrine of Apostle Peter, boast that they are his only successors, thus deluding themselves and others and bound toward perdition.

But this delusion of theirs we have reproached in our work which has been fully reprinted under the title “Memoir of the Nature of the Church of Christ” and whoever wishes may find therein the reproach. But the prophetic statement of Christ regarding the Church to be built upon the testimony of Peter “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” has received full historic proof; because since the beginning of the foundation and organization of the Church, Satan’s attacks out of the gates of Hell, against the Church and its basic truth for the purpose of destroying them, have proven powerless either toward shaking the foundation. or toward tearing down the super-structure on the foundation. And the well founded and fighting Church shall prevail against the gates of hell, and after finally overcoming the enemy will imprison him in the place whence he attacked her. The invincible Church will prove victorious through sheer strength over her bitter enemy and will eventually wipe out his power and authority from the face of the earth.

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The kingdom of heaven has a door which closes and opens, and the door has keys by which it is opened and closed. But what is the door to the kingdom of heaven, and what are the keys that open and close it. The door to the kingdom of heaven is Christ as He says: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” This door is opened to those who will repent and bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, but it is closed to the unrepentant and unbelieving.

And the keys which open and shut this door are the power to bind and loose n1en’s sins. He who has been granted remission of sins by the one who has the authority to do so, enters freely through the door opened for him; whereas he who has not been granted forgiveness does not enter, the door being closed to him. The power to forgive sins was possessed by Christ who exercised it by announcing to those who approached Him in faith the remission- of their sins, and by saying “Child be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.” This power Christ, after his resurrection imparted to his own disciples by breathing upon them and saying “receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Then Peter with the other disciples received the keys of the kingdom which Christ promised to give him after his testimony of the truth. The Father showed Peter the door of the kingdom of heaven; and the Son fulfilling the work of the Father gave Peter the keys for opening and closing the door, for ushering in or keeping out those whom he judged worthy or unworthy of admittance. But Peter was not the only one who received from the Father the knowledge of the door nor was he the only one to whom Christ gave the keys for opening and closing it. Christ praying to His Father says: “O righteous Father the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee and these have known that thou hast sent me.” And Peter answering Christ says: “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Obviously Peter testifies to a common knowledge of the faith in Christ among the disciples and does not boast that he alone knew and believed in Christ. Therefore he received the keys in common with the other disciples, no one disciple being given the keys individually. But those who distort the Scriptures toward their own perdition, those who have misinterpreted the rock of faith, and have built the house of their heresy on false foundation, have also misinterpreted the keys of the kingdom and commercialised them toward filling their purse. The self-elected successors of Peter have become the exclusive and only heirs to the keys of God’s kingdom, and the only possessors of the authority to bind and loose and to usher in and put out of Paradise those they wish. And they wish to usher in those who give them silver and gold, whereas Peter excludes from the kingdom of heaven those who offer him silver and gold according to the following proof. The book of Acts of the Apostles record that Simon the sorcerer seeing that the Apostles imparted the Holy Spirit through the laying of their hands he offered them money saying: “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.” But Peter said unto him. “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”

Behold, Peter, the key-master of God’s kingdom excluded Simon the sorcerer from it for offering silver to the former. But his self-termed successors usher the one offering them the most silver farthings into Paradise. And what may be gathered logically from this contrast? That the keys of Peter are different from those that the Papists hold in their hands. The keys of the latter being different from those of Peter open and close an opposite door—the door of hell and death. And those who give silver to them in order to enter Paradise, enter the Tartarus of eternal damnation whereas these who turn away and flee from the Papists, get farther from the door and entrance which ushers all that enter through it, to everlasting perdition.

Speaking more simple—Christ established His Church on the Confession of St. Peter (Petra) in Greek meaning a Great Rock, and Christ is (the Rock of our salvation. The Romish Church established its claim on the person of St. Peter. Therefore, they worship St. Peter more than God, and look to the Pope for their salvation and wage continual war upon Christ’s true people everywhere with a view to world-wide domination to rule the Church and Politics in every country and to bring down ruin on all nations.

Innovations of the Roman Church—Minor innovations

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). I do not like the style but am in agreement with the substance. 

Neither statues nor pictures are approved according to Jewish practice. Statues are indeed problematic; whilst they are intended only as a help to worship, it does not always stop there in practice. Ikons are a different matter because they are not made by human hands and are the product of prayer.

The Gregorian calendar has been criticised by Jewish authorities on the same grounds: that Easter can occur a month too early.

On the celibacy of the clergy, recent experience should be sufficient to condemn the practice. Married clergy is not of course a guarantee that misdemeanours will not occur, and this is not to suggest that most Catholic priests do not keep their vow of celibacy, but the requirement is neither necessary nor desirable.

But besides the seven major innovations (heresies) and the infallible primacy, the Popes fabricated and introduced other innovations of a lower order, such as, for instance:

1) The use of statues instead of icons (sacred images, or pictures), in imitation of the idolators. The icon, being a picture represents and depicts to the eye the departed soul, whereas the statue represents to the touch the body of the departed. The Church of Christ handed down the icons from the very beginning, having ousted the statues from the churches. St. Luke, one of the seventy Apostles and the author of the Gospel bearing his name as well as of the Acts of the Apostles, initiated the practice by painting pictures of the Theotokos while she was still alive, which she blessed. The Eastern Church preserved this heritage in spite of the furious war waged by the iconoclasts and notwithstanding the pressure and propaganda put forth by the statuarian Romanists.

2) The celibacy of the clergy, instituted in the sixteenth century by Pope Gregory XIII of Rome, which is not recommended anywhere in the Holy Scriptures or in the Apostolical or Synodical Canons. Everyone is left free to choose marriage or celibacy for himself. The Lord said: “All men cannot receive this saying, but they to Whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who were so born from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matt. 19.11-12). As a consequence of the law of celibacy of the Papal clergy, the latter fell into malfeasances for which they were subject to no disposal from office when caught in the act, nor are they even now so punished, but only transferred.

For in the Roman Catholic Church the doctrine of the Jesuits that “The end justifies the means” prevails and is practised. That is to say, whatever they do they do for the glory of God, and therefore it is no sin. Adultery, wars with those who oppose the Holy Pope, etc. are all pardonable, because they are practiced for the glory of God and the subjection of all to the Pope!

3) The change of the Julian calendar by Pope Gregory XIII of Rome in the year 1582 by calling October 5th October 15th.

Satan had long endeavoured to change the calendar through the agency of many antichrists and astrologers, but had been constantly defeated by the monkery of both the East and the West, aided by those fearful anathemas of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod against all who should attempt to add to or to subtract from the decrees and regulations issued by the Holy Synods. St. Bede, a monk and philosopher (Anglo-Saxon, A.D. 730) stoutly declared: “The alleged correction of the ecclesiastical calendar is not permissible to anyone.” Likewise conscientious astronomers have at various times declared that no Synod should permit a change of the calendar on an astronomical basis, because astronomers never agree in their astronomical calculations.

In the end, however, the aforesaid Gregory ascended the Papal throne (A.D. 1572) and in cooperation with the astrologers J. Stoeffler, Regiomonus, and Aloysius Lilius effected the change, of the calendar, and changed its name to the “Gregorian”. But it took 150 years to establish the new calendar in the West, during which rivers of blood were shed, and it is even now acknowledged to be erroneous both from the ecclesiastical and from the scientific points of view by astronomers of the West.

The Orthodox Eastern Church disapproved and condemned and anathematised the Gregorian calendar at three consecutive Synods in Constantinople in A.D. 1583 under the presidency of the patriarchs Jeremiah of Constantinople, Silvester of Alexandria, and Sophronios of Jerusalem; and the second time by the same authorities in the year 1587; and the third under the presidency of Jeremiah of Constantinople, Meletios Pegas of Alexandria, Joachim of Antioch, and Sophronios of Jerusalem.

The Innovations of the Roman Church #7 Immaculate Conception

This is extracted, unedited and without comment, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). I am not going to distance myself from this.

The seventh innovation of the Popes is that decreed a century ago by the Vatican Council as the dogma of immaculate conception of the Theotokos (mother-who-has-given-birth-to-God), which asserts that she did not share the original sin—a dogma which is blasphemous, for it represents her as being at the same time Mother and Son, notwithstanding that she derived her substance (hypostasis) from the seed of earthly Adam, having been born of parents named Joachim and Anna.

These are the principal innovations introduced by the Popes and are all due to the Popes’ claim to primacy, which caused the separation and the excommunication issued against them by the pastors of the Orthodox Church of Christ.

The Innovations of the Roman Church #6 Purgatory

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). 

Having a background in Judaism, the notions of Purgatory and the associated Original Sin have never made sense to me.

The sixth innovation of the Popes is that of Purgatory. According to the Papists, sinful souls (but what soul, besides that of Jesus, is righteous?) enter it after death and are purified through the prayers of the Popes. When, however? Whenever the relatives of the deceased pay the requisite sums, the amount of which depends upon the sins of the deceased and the financial status of the living, unless they are Willing to let their beloved be condemned to everlasting punishment. On the basis of this Purgatory the Popes have brought forth their life-saving “indulgences” in behalf of both the living and the dead, which have resulted in the rise of Protestantism with its many heads.

Protestantism, in seeking to eradicate heresy by means of its own heresy, and error by means of its own error, and falsehood by means of its own falsehood, contributed rather to the consolidation of the Papal heresy. The Biblical saying, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch,” is applicable to them. If Luther and his followers had adopted the dogma of the Eastern Orthodox Church, neither Protestantism nor Romanism would have been in existence today, but only a single flock under the chief shepherd Christ.

The Innovations of the Roman Church #5 Communion under only one kind

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). The first paragraph is about faithfulness to scripture. The second paragraph is unfortunate.

Communion under one kind follows logically from the notion of Transubstantiation, a concept developed by Aquinas. It is set out in the Sequence for the Feast of Corpus Christi, introduced in the thirteenth century. This feast is normally the occasion of Blessed Sacrament processions, a practice which was condemned by the Protestants, as in Article XXV of the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles of Faith (The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them.) 

The fifth innovation of the Popes is that of administering communion in only one kind, excluding the laity from partaking of the cup and allowing it only to the clergy, contrary to the command of the Lord, who said: “Drink ye of it all.” They claim that they mix (or soak) the bread (which, however, is not bread but only unleavened wafers in all respects like Jewish matzos) with the wine, and thereby commune the laity.

This innovation, too, was inspired by the infernal Dragon, who presented it as a gift to his image—which is to say to the beast rising up out of the earth—since it has no reference to the words of Jesus and does not fulfil His commandment. The Roman Catholics rely upon the Pope and his words, and pay no attention to the Lord’s words. But let them listen to what the Holy Spirit prophesies with regard to such persons: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and Whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jer. 17.5).

The Innovations of the Roman Church #4 Transubstantiation

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905), “Orthodox Fundamentalist”. 

The first paragraph makes a coherent case. The second is superfluous rant. I am not going to distance myself from the main point, which leads to the belief in the power of the words of consecration alone, apart from the overall context and action in which they are spoken. From that view emanates the wider and prevalent one where liturgy can been regarded as a mere trimming. Transubstantiation also spreads over into pious practices such as Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Blessed Sacrament processions, condemned in Article 25 of the Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles. The commandment in John 6 is to eat and drink.

The fourth innovation of the Popes is the doctrine that the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the very body and blood of Christ takes place simply through enunciation of the Lord’s words: “Take, eat”; which is an egregious error and heresy and a perversion of the Lord’s words, who first “blessed” the bread and afterwards invited the disciples to partake thereof by saying, “Take, eat.” Likewise, in reference to the cup, He first “gave thanks” and then said, “Drink ye of it all.”

The false doctrine under consideration is due to the Pope’s claim to primacy and infallibility. Once the Papists subscribed to the illogical and diabolical tenet of the Pope’s primacy, it was only natural that they should embrace every other foolish doctrine emanating from his infallible and diabolical head, disregarding the word of the Lord because of their own priggery.

tisdag 13 februari 2018

The Innovations of the Roman Church #3 Unleavened wafers

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). Even in his lifetime, Makrakis was notorious as an “Orthodox Fundamentalist” and got himself into trouble. However, whilst his approach is abstruse, and at times verges on rant. I make no claim to be able to follow the argument except in the most general terms. 

The comments on the chronology of Holy Week are important. That the Last Supper was not a Jewish Seder is evident from the Gospel of John, which records that the bodies were taken down from the Cross because it was Preparation Day for the Passover. Makrakis makes the important point that the confusion over the day arises from a mistranslation of Luke 22:7. From the confusion over this point arises a further confusion, that the Mass is a re-enactment of the Last Supper; in 1976, I was at a course where a Jesuit liturgical expert defended the Vatican 2 liturgical reforms with the statement that “the Last Supper certainly did not look like the Tridentine Mass.”

 “Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven... I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst... I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if anyone eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you... he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” (John 6.32,35,51,53,58).

Through Moses the heavenly Father gave the Jews the manna in the wilderness, which manna they called “bread from heaven.” (John 6.31). But that bread was the shadow, the type, and the similitude of the true bread. The true bread is Jesus, whom the good Father gave out of heaven, and the eaters of whom shall never die. Having first taught and theoretically explained the food value of the bread that came down out of heaven, he afterwards practically delivered to the Apostles the true bread—His body and His blood—as is related in the following passage: “And as they were eating, Jesus took the bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave of it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matt. 26.26).

It was through eating of the forbidden fruit in Paradise that sin and death entered into men, and it is through eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ out of the cup that righteousness and life enter and dispel death. The flesh and blood of Jesus is the antidote to death, and by eating and drinketh them man, who is mortal because of the original sin, becomes immortal.

The holy Apostles did as they had been taught by Jesus. They always performed the sacrament of the divine Eucharist by means of (leavened) bread. The church of Christ was instructed by the Apostles how to perform the sacrament with bread, and it observes and will forever observe this rigorous rule unchanged.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and in communion and in the breaking of bread and in prayer.” (Acts 2.42). They called the sacrament. of the Eucharist breaking of bread and communion.

“And upon the first day of the week (our Sunday), when the disciples gathered together to break bread, Paul conversed with them... And having come up, and having broken bread, and having tasted thereof, and having talked for quite a while until daybreak, he departed.” (Acts 20:7,11). “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and, after giving thanks, brake it, and said. “Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11.23-24). This custom the Orthodox Church strictly keeps and observes, performing the bloodless, sacrifice with leavened bread.

“For the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover?” (Mali. 26.17). “And for the first day of unleavened bread, when they were wont to sacrifice the passover, his disciples say unto him, Where wilt thou that we go away and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover.” (Mark 14.12). “And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover had to be sacrificed. And he sent Peter and John away, saying, Go and make ready for us the passover, that we may eat the passover.” (Luke 22.7.).

The fifteenth day of the month of March was called the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, because, beginning with this day, all leavened bread disappeared from every Jewish household, and unleavened bread (“matzos”) was eaten for seven days. On the evening of the fourteenth day of the same month the paschal lamb was sacrificed, and it was eaten during the night with unleavened bread in accordance with the law’s percept. But the Passover was made ready three or four days in advance, or before the day of unleavened bread, on which the lamb was sacrificed and eaten. For this reason the dative case of the Greek word for “first” (day) must be interpreted by the preposition “for” as an expression of a causal relation, and not by the preposition “on” as an expression of a temporal relation. The dative case is equivalent, as a general rule, to the English prepositions “to” and “for”—either the one or the other of which is employed to translate it, according to the context. In the case under discussion it is plain that “for”. And not “to” makes sense in English, as well as “on”, and in Greek likewise either a causal or a temporal meaning may be attached to the dative case in the sentence above quoted. Which is the true meaning can be inferred only by reference to the context as a whole and surrounding circumstances.

If we accept the causal sense as the true one,the meaning becomes: “Because of the first day of unleavened bread,” or, “on account of the approach of the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, and asked Him where He wanted them to get the Passover ready, so that they might eat it on the first day of unleavened bread.” But the headless translators of the Holy Scriptures overlooked these facts and relied only on guesswork, in making their translations; for this reasons their readers are unable afterwards to make heads or tails of their words. Their mistranslation is inconsistent with the preparation of the Passover, which took place several days before the first day, and not on the first day, for on that day the Passover was ready to be eaten. In order to reconcile the false statement in the English version with the truth of the matter, commentators are compelled to make many absurd assumptions, and become involved in an endless labyrinth of foolish suppositions. The same reasoning, of course, applies to all three of the passages above quoted. In order to convince himself concerning the truth of these conclusions, the reader is advised to consult the Old Testament passages bearing upon the celebration of the Jewish Passover, particularly Ex. 12.17-19.

The Jewish Passover was sacrificed (celebrated) on the evening of the fourteenth day of March; the preparation for it, however, began on the tenth day of the month and lasted until the thirteenth, which was the eve, or day before the Passover. Nevertheless, it was the custom to say “Passover has come” on the eve of Passover, and not on the day thereof.

Apostolic Canon LXX: “If any Bishop or Priest or anyone in the list of clergymen fasts with the Jews or celebrates a feast with them or receives from them the gifts of the feast, that is, azymes, or any such thing, let him be deposed. In case he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.”

From this also it becomes patent how reprehensible the Latins are, who have made innovations in the sacrament of the Eucharist and have introduced into it the Jewish azymes (“matzos”), or unleavened wafers. That the azymes are an innovation is quite plain. For, from the time of Christ down to the year 1053, the Western Church celebrated mass with leavened bread; in the year just mentioned Pope Leo IX substituted azymes for the first time. The first man to compose the Holy Mass was James the Apostle, and St. Basil extended it, and his extension was further lengthened by St. Chrysostom. All these writers direct the Holy Eucharist to be celebrated with bread.

The infallible Pope uses unleavened bread, instead of leavened, in celebrating the Eucharist, on the strength of the allegation that Christ ate the Passover with unleavened bread in the case under discussion, misinterpreting the passages above quoted and thereby inviting perdition upon himself and his followers.

In doing so he rejects or disregards the positive statements of Jesus; “I am the bread,” “he that eateth of this bread,” “Jesus took the bread... and said,... this is my body,” etc., so as to further his heresy and error. The disciples made ready the Passover on Thursday the fifth day of the week, and ate it in company with Jesus; then went to a place called Gethsemane, where Jesus was arrested by the Pharisees. However, it was the New Passover, or Easter, which they ate, and not the Old, or Jewish, Passover. The Jewish Passover was sacrificed, or celebrated, on the following Friday, the sixth day of the week, in the evening, about six o’clock by the Jewish hour, or twelve o’clock by ours, and was eaten in the night with azymes (matzos), and the following day (Saturday) was called the first day of azymes (unleavened), for it was counted the first and after it came the other six days of azymes.

“Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium (the governor’s headquarters, or hall of justice). It was morning; and they themselves (the Pharisees) went not into the praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.” (John 18.28).

The scribes and Pharisees dld not fear God, and, contrary to the law, they condemned righteous and innocent Jesus to death, but they did fear being defiled by going into the praetorium, which would have prevented their eating the Passover that evening. Though swallowing the camel, they strained out the gnat, lest they swallow it too. The infallible pontiffs of Rome, on the other hand, outview the Pharisees by swallowing the camel without even straining out the gnat; for they eat the Jewish azymes, but observe no law whatever.

The last-quoted passage is further proof that Jesus did not eat azymes and the paschal lamb at the supper of the last evening with His disciples, for that was not the day of azymes and of the Passover. Thus it is plain that they did not eat the “legal” Passover, but the new Passover of the Lord, which they ate with bread and reclining at the table; whereas, had it been the “legal” Passover, or Jewish Pasch, they would have been obliged to eat azymes standing and with their loins girded. No complaint was made against Jesus and His disciples that they had eaten the Passover reclining, for they did not eat the “legal” Passover at all. The Lamb of God took bread and, having blessed it, said: “This is my body. Take, eat;... do this.” Moreover, He sacrificed Himself the next day, Friday, becoming both sacrificer and sacrificial victim in the person of the Lamb. Therefore the bread offered in sacrifice at the Eucharist is in reality the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; and he that eateth of this bread will live forever.

The Roman Catholics keep the Jewish Passover instead of the Christian Easter, for instead of bread they use unleavened wafers, or azymes, and let them not deceive themselves. Instead of the essence they keep the type and the shadow; instead of grace, the curse of the law. But both the Jews and the Roman Catholics are on the road to perdition, which will surely be their fate unless they repent and embrace Christ. The few Orthodox Christians who join the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church are to be classed with Judas the betrayer and are only inviting their own perdition. Let them beware of hallucination.

Jesus expired upon the Cross the ninth hour of Friday, or about 3 p.m. according to our time of the day. While the Jewish Passover was being celebrated, Jesus was already in His new tomb. His disciples, having scattered out of fear or having hidden themselves in the attic, were groaning in grief, until they heard that immortal reveille announcing: “He is risen; He is not here!”

Consequently, the false supposition that Jesus ate the Jewish Passover with His disciples with azymes, before the advent of the Passover, is proven to be utterly fallacious. Yet upon that supposition the Roman Catholic Papists base their heresy of azymes—the heresy of celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist with unleavened wafers, and not with (leavened) bread in accordance with the Lord’s teaching. Moreover, those of our own Orthodox brethren who accept the sprinkling of Roman Catholics joining the Orthodox Church as valid and sufficient to take the place of true baptism (trine immersion) are equally guilty of the azyme heresy of the Pope, since he is the inventor and legislator of both those diabolical institutions; and let them not deceive themselves. The Holy Spirit prophesied with regard to such persons: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. But because thou art thus lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
(Rev. 3:15-16).

The Innovations of the Roman Church #2 Baptism

This is extracted, unedited and without comment, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). Even in his lifetime, Makrakis was notorious as an “Orthodox Fundamentalist” and got himself into trouble. However, whilst his approach is abstruse, and at times florid to the point of absurdity, he is not wrong in his identification of the main issues in which the Roman church appears to be in error. I make no claim to be able to follow the argument except in the most general terms.

The Lord said: “ . . .baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28.19).

The second innovation (heresy) of the Pope is pouring or sprinkling water on the person to be baptised, for the word baptism means dipping, and never means pouring or sprinkling — as anyone versed in the Greek language knows. The Latins “infallibly” assert that sprinkling (affusion or aspersion) was introduced and substituted for baptising (immersion) because of the physiological effect of water so as not to endanger the lives of infants; but this practice is in direct violation of the express command of Jesus Christ. Baptism is of God; sprinkling is of the man who has apostatised from God. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5.9). “Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written. That thou mayest be justified in thy words and mayest prevail when thou are judged”. (Rom. 3.4).

In a word: Baptism is of Christ, sprinkling is of Satan, the inventor of evils. Christ is true and is truth itself, whereas Satan is a liar and the father of falsehood, and “there is no truth in him; when he speaketh, he speaketh a lie out of his own.” (John 8.44). Everyone, however, is free to follow whichever of the two he prefers—Truth Itself, and be crowned, of the Archliar, and be condemned.

Baptism denotes total immersion of the body into water, just as in dyeing clothes they must be entirely immersed in the dye. Holy baptism is a type of death of the old Adamic man. Sprinkling (aspersion) or merely pouring the water upon the head (allusion) is subversive of holy Baptism and a mockery thereof. The Lord Jesus Christ did not command aspersion or affusion, but immersion (baptism). Nor did He say that mere invocation of the names of the Holy Trinity completes Baptism, but that baptism must come first and then the invocation—“... baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This proves that neither baptism alone apart from the invocation perfects the person baptised, nor the invocation without the baptism, but only both taken together. Hence any contradiction and opposition to the words of the Lord Jesus is a veritable Satanic invention.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was baptised with the baptism of repentance administered by John the Baptist and Forerunner in one immersion and at the age of thirty, yielding to the law and justice of God the Father, that the Devil might have nothing to accuse Him of. That is why He said to John the Baptist, who sought to avoid baptising Him: “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (Matt. 3.15). John baptised with one immersion and in the name of the one God, for the Holy Trinity had not yet been revealed. Jesus, however, first observed the Mosaic law and every iota thereof, and afterwards laid down the Gospel law, commanding the Apostles to baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit three times in succession.

He did not say, “ . . .baptising them in the name of the Holy Trinity once,” but enunciated the three hypostases separately and distinctly. Nor did He set any limit to the age at which a person may be baptised, or prohibit the baptism of infants. The holy Apostles put into practice all the laws laid down by Jesus, observing them with exactitude and making no distinction as to the age of the baptised or any attempt to confine baptism to a single immersion, for the set of laws laid down by Jesus are perfect and require to be observed by the faithful, and not to be corrected or to be replaced by others under any pretext whatever.

This is why St. Paul commanded the “twelve” who had been baptised with J ohn’s baptism to be “baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19.1-5). This shows that John’s single-immersion became useless after the legislation instituted by Jesus.

With regard to the age of persons being baptised, we read the following: “And he commanded them to be baptised in the Name of the Lord.” (Acts 10.48). A trance came upon St. Peter, and, after an oracle had been given to him by God, he went down to Caesarea, preaching Christ to Cornelius and all those roundabout him. While St. Peter was preaching “the Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word.” Then he-commanded them to be baptised. Cornelius was a “devout man and one that feared God with all his house,” upon whom the Holy Spirit fell before they had even been baptised with Water. Nevertheless, St. Peter, the Spirit-bearing Apostle, commanded that they be baptised with water also, since he evidently judged this to be necessary, and he drew no distinction as to age in regard thereto. (Only once in the history of the Church has the descent of the Holy Spirit preceded the act of baptism; this occurred so that circumcised Christians might be assured that the gift of the Holy Spirit is affused upon heathen too.)

“And when she was baptised, and her household...” (Acts 16.15). A certain woman named Lydia, hearing the chosen vessel preach Christ, believed and was baptised, she and her household (i.e., her family and servants). “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptised, he and all his, straightway,” (ibid. 33). The keeper of the prison came to believe in Christ as a result of the miracle and the teaching of Paul and Silas, and he and all his were baptised “with all his house.”

“And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptised.” (Acts 18.8). Thus St. Paul made no distinction as to the age of those baptised, but, on the contrary, with his own hands baptised “the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor. 1.16), irrespective of age. Nowhere in his epistles. does he prohibit the baptism of infants.

Having then,the holy Apostles as examples, let us imitate them, who not only precisely observed everything that had been decreed by Jesus, but both orally and practically imparted to the Church by tradition the manner in which the sacraments should be performed.

Indeed, St. Paul cautions the churches concerning the traditions, saying: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by our epistle.” (2 Thes. 2.14; cf. Gal. 1.8 and 1 Tim. 6.20).

Arguing from the words of the Lord Jesus in which He said: “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved” (Mark 16.16) and “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28.19), the heretics decry baptism of infants, on the grounds that the infants must first believe and then be baptised. However, a negative conclusion cannot be drawn from the above premises regarding the baptism of infants; rather may it be said that the premises favour it, for Christ made no distinction as to infants. The unbelieving and the idolatrous must first be catechised, believe, and be baptised. Infants. on the other hand. are subject to the will and inclination of their parents, who lead them to put their faith in whatever they themselves believe.

The Logical Conclusion: From positive premises, such as “baptising them,” without other distinction, and “he that believeth and is baptised,” likewise without other distinction, whether adult or infant (since the parents believe for their infants, for whom they are responsible), it is not permissible to draw negative conclusions. Yet heretics do draw negative conclusions therefrom, because they violate the laws of reason or leave it out of account altogether. Here is a concrete example from the Bible. Circumcision was a type of Baptism, regarding which a law was given that male infants had to be circumcised on the eighth day after their birth, otherwise they would be subject to God’s vengeance. Did the infants of those days have any consciousness or knowledge of the law of circumcision? Of course not.

Comparing death and baptism (figurative, or typical, death resulting from Holy Baptism), St. Paul teaches us the following: “Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptised into Christ were baptised into his death? Therefore we were buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ rose from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (Rom. 6.3-5). Water is an element and instrument of death. Every living body when plunged into water is drowned and dies; but every living body that is sprinkled with water not only does not die, but is even refreshed for the better. Where, then, is there a type of death in sprinkling? Only in the empty heads of the Popes.

“Planted together” is said of two or more grains of wheat sown in the ground and growing together. Our Lord Jesus Christ fell upon the earth like a grain of wheat and died, in order to rise and bear abundance of fruit, as He Himself said of Himself: “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12.24). In like manner, therefore, we, too, through the trine immersion of Holy Baptism die with and are buried with Christ, and thereby are planted with Him and share with Him in the Resurrection.

When we are baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, we confess that we are worthy of death because of our sins, and, in a way, we die. But when we are merely sprinkled with water, in the name of the Pope-for it was he that commanded sprinkling—we are physically refreshened, but metaphysically we die with him a moral death, and are buried with him, after the death of the body, in the lake of fire and brimstone forever, where the second death is (Rev. 20.14; 21.8); in which case we are separated from Christ forever.

The Apostolic Church was succeeded by the Martyric Church, which for two hundred and fifty years had rivers of blood of its members shed through martyrdom in behalf of Christ by the Caesars of Rome, the holy martyrs of which are estimated at fourteen millions. In the end, however, the blood-thirsty emperors of Rome were overcome through the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, in hoc signo vince, the Church being at last freed by Constantine the Great an Apostle-like champion of Christianity.

The Martyric Church was succeeded by the Dogmatic Church of the Holy Fathers which, through seven Ecumenical Synods, settled the faith which had been wavering under the impulse of variable winds—meaning, the heresy of evil spirits, or false teaching. “Wisdom hath built herself a house, and hath set seven pillars underneath as supports.” (Prov. 9.1). God hath built His Church (His house), setting Jesus Christ as its foundation and head: “This is my beloved Son, of whom I approve; hear ye him.” But the Evil One, after dashing many spirits (teachers) to the ground, raised them up against Christ’s Church, introducing many heresies to its detriment and through them combating the Foundation, the Head, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, the All-holy Virgin, the Sacraments, and, in general, every right doctrine of the Holy Spirit, endeavoring to upset and overthrow it entirely.

But the Lord of the Church, the Holy Spirit, on His part, was not sleeping: from time to time He gathered his children together, the Holy Fathers, through whom He cut off the heretics, locking them out of the Church, and by means of the Dogma settled the wavering faith, and morally regenerated the calumniated Lord Jesus Christ. “Wisdom hath built herself a house, and hath set seven pillars underneath as supports.” This prophecy alludes to the Seven Ecumenical Synods.

Originally the Dogma was scattered here and there in the Gospel and the sacred traditions. When the heresies, however, began appearing, the need came in for Synods and Dogmas, for which the heretics are to be blamed whose remains are still extant today and function as weeds. These weeds are not only harmless, but are even useful for the growth of the wheat. Naturally, the heretics of today refuse to abide by Synods and Dogmas, because they themselves are heirs to the doctrines of the founders of their respective heresies and the heretical teachers thereof, going to perdition along with them.

The evil Dragon having failed in his attempt to overthrow the Church of Christ by means of the “gates of Hades,” the mouths, that is to say, of the heretics who climbed to high places therein, he afterwards raised up out of the sea and out of the earth the “two beasts,” that of the East and that of the West, by means of which he tormented and continues to torment even today Christ’s Holy Church, although unable to overthrow it, for it has been built upon a “rock,” and it has been prophesied that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16.18).

The violation of the divine law is considered a sin, and it can be remedied by repentance and by execution of the divine law.

Non-repentance, on the other hand, encourages the violator in impiety and heresy. Heresy is a perversion of the divine law and of the text of the Holy Scriptures, and as such is considered “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” The violation is reparable, but the perversion is irreparable. “There is sin unto death,. . . and there is sin not unto death,” says John the Evangelist (1 John 5.16-17).

Since we are here speaking of sprinkling (affusion or aspersion), the dogmatic testimony of certain Canons, as well as the opinions of eminent Church Fathers on this subject, must be cited in this connection, so as to bring out the truth more clearly.

The Ecumenical Councils adopted the Gospel, sacred tradition, and the 85 Apostolic Canons as a basis for their decisions against heretics. Accordingly, they first defined the Dogma of the faith by means of the Symbol of Faith (or Creed), and excommunicated from the Church those who did not accept it; afterwards they defined the sacraments (or mysteries, as they are called in Greek) and the duties of the clergy and of the laity by written decisions which they named “Synodical Canons.”

The Innovations of the Roman Church #1 Filioque

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). Even in his lifetime, Makrakis was notorious as an “Orthodox Fundamentalist” and got himself into trouble. However, whilst his approach is abstruse, and at times florid verging on rant, he is not wrong in his identification of the main issues in which the Roman church appears to be in error. I make no claim to be able to follow the argument except in the most general terms. 

I have seen simpler explanations: that the Son is begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. This makes more sense than the Roman formulation with Filioque, which conveys the image of the Holy Spirit as a kind of appendage to the Father and the Son.

The first innovation (or heresy) was the addition to the eighth article of the Symbol of Faith (or Creed) of the Latin words “filioque,” meaning “and from the Son,” and signifying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son, contrary to the words of our Lord, who said: “But when the Comforter cometh, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me.” (John 15.26). The addition “and from the Son” bisects the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit, cutting it in two, so to speak, and makes the Son a father—an allegation which is nothing short of blasphemous and heretical.

The Second Ecumenical Synod, which supplemented the Creed of the First, defined that no one has the right to add anything to or to subtract anything from the Symbol of Faith, or Creed, as established by it. The minutes of both these Synods were attested and signed by the representatives of the Popes then holding office. The addition of “filioque” is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and the source of it is the Devil, also called the Dragon; and, according to the words of the Lord, it will be forgiven “neither in this World nor in the world to come.”

“Proceedeth” signifies the manner of generation, and not the act of sending nor the fact of being sent. The Son is begotten only by the Father; but the Spirit, too, proceedeth only from the Father, or, as is more to the point and closer to the meaning of the Greek word in question, is yielded only by the Father: two branches from the same root, brothers, as it were; effects of the causeless, initial, and absolute cause; timeless, eternal, inalterable, everlasting, because their being is derived hypostatically from the timeless, eternal, inalterable, and everlasting Father; being simultaneously, and not alternatingly, at the same time the Father, at the same time the Son, and together and at the same time the Spirit. Mind, Speech, and Spirit—or, Nous, logos, and Pneuma; the first Mind (Father) begets (generates) the Speech or Word (Logos) and yields (prolates) the Spirit to the Logos and Son, and through Him to the Church.

That is why the Lord Said: “whom the Father will send in my name.” Jesus, as victor, legally acquired the right to send the Spirit to the Church, and the Father send the Spirit in His name.

The representative, therefore, of the militant Church of Christ on the earth is the Comforter, or Paraclete, a perfect God from the perfect God and Father, immortal and infallible. St. Peter and the other Apostles and Holy Fathers and teachers of the Church are faithful servants of the Holy Spirit, though sinful and mortal, yet the decisions of the many when convened and gathered together in one and the same place in Holy Spirit possess legal validity in the Church, but not the decisions of each singly, one by one. All pastors or teachers who oppose or defy the Canons of the Apostles and Ecumenical Synods or the text of the Holy Scriptures, err and build on sand. The Papal innovations and councils are invalid and illegal, because they oppose and defy the decisions of the Apostles and Ecumenical Synods and the text of the Holy Scriptures. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” (Rom. 3.4). The innovations, therefore, and decisions of the Pope, claiming primacy, must be combated until they disappear from the province of the Church.

Let us hope that this may be speedily consummated. Respecting the triune character of the Deity and the relations between the three persons of the Trinity, Christian theology teaches that God is essentially one and that He is the cause and Creator of all things, but that He exists in three coeternal persons; of whom the first person is the Father—Mind unbegotten, the second person is the Son-Logos eternally begotten of the Father Mind, and the third person is the Holy Spirit—Thought eternally yielded by only the Father Mind and revealed and sent in time to the World through the Son. Both the Son-Logos and the Spirit-Thought, however, are due to one and the same cause and eternal principle, the Father-Mind; and they are co-essential with the Principle from which the Son-Logos is begotten and the Spirit-Thought is yielded, or prelated (i.e., is caused and given forth), eternally. The terms begat and yield signify the manner of production and the relation of the Son-Logos and of the Spirit-Thought to the Father-Mind, by whom the one is begotten and the other yielded. But how are the terms begotten and yielded to be differentiated logically?

The first Being, the beginningless and unbegotten Mind, who, cognising Himself through Himself eternally, produces, in cognising Himself, the Idea of Himself, which, of course, is like Him and is His exact image and similitude, as well as the first Truth and presentation of Him, being, in fact, an Idea of the first Mind, or of the first Being, equal to God, substantial (hypostatic), personal, possessing beinghood and entity. For if it were otherwise, it would consequently be merely an imaginary (fantastic) idea and imperfect; but a perfect Mind cognising Himself imperfectly would not be a perfect Mind at all.

It follows, then, that the perfect Mind educes out of Himself a single perfect Idea of Himself, and thus begets, or generates, one who is consubstantial with Him, that is to say, one of the same substance. And because the Idea of the perfect Mind perfectly presents and pictures the first Mind, it is consequently also the first Truth, inasmuch as truth is a true and exact picture and presentation of whatever is. The manner in which the Idea is produced by the Mind is called begetting or generation, for it is similar to the begetting of a son by a father. But the relation of the Spirit Thought to the Mind is different from that of the Son-Logos being begotten by the Father-Mind.

The Spirit, as the cognitive power of the Mind—as Thought, that is to say—is yielded (prolated) by the Mind and out of the Mind as by and out of an eternal source, much in the same way as mother’s milk is yielded by and out of the breasts, as water flows from a spring, as fruit is yielded by a tree, or wool by a sheep. It reposes in the Son-Logos as It is yielded by the Father-Mind. The expression and production of the Spirit-Thought by and out of the Father-Mind is called yield, or procession, because it is similar to the yielding of milk by a mother, the flowing of water from a spring, the growth of wool from a sheep, the production of fruit by a tree, and the emission and radiation of light by the sun.

Thus the Spirit-Thought-is yielded by and proceeds from the Father-Mind, a perfect being from a perfect being, equal to and co-essential with the Father-Mind, a perfect personality proceeding only from that Father-Mind but reposing, or resting, in the Son-Logos, and being emitted and sent forth through the Son-Logos to those cognitive essences who are capable of receiving the latter. In fine, procession denotes the perpetual, the eternal emanation, emission, effusion, production, while transmission denotes Its being sent and passed on by and through the Son-Logos. The two words, in bold type are not, of course, exact translations of the corresponding terms used in the original Greek, ekporeusis and pompe respectively, to which there are no equivalents in the English language nor in the Latin.

That is why we have gone to such lengths in explaining just what they mean. Although the verbs yield and grant approach the true meaning of the Greek terms more closely than do the words procession and transmission, the use of them in this connection is attended with the inconvenience due to the lack of corresponding nouns distinguishable from the verbs and capable of being used in the same sense.

But the Roman Catholics confuse the transmission in time of the Spirit through the Son with the eternal procession thereof from the Father-Mind alone, wrongly assuming and holding that the Spirit’s procession is due to two factors,, the Father-Mind and the Son-Logos, which is absurd, for it implies an imperfection in both the producing Mind and the proceeding Spirit, If the Mind does not yield a perfect Spirit, then the Mind is by consequence imperfect, and the Spirit, or Thought, imperfect as well. But a mind thinking imperfectly, and having an imperfect thought, is not a perfect mind. Consequently it is plain that the Spirit-Thought proceeds perfect out of the perfect Mind alone, though It reposes in the Son-Logos, through whom It is also sent forth to the world, being granted in time for enlightenment and knowledge.

In God, therefore, there are three eternal and perfect beings, to-wit: 1) the Father-Mind; 2) the Son-Logos, His Idea;and 3) the Spirit, His Thought. Logos of God, Spirit of God, and God, the name of the essence of the perfect Being; Father, Logos, and Spirit—the names of the three co-eternal hypostases, or persons, of the one co-essential Deity. God the Father, or Mind; God the Son and Logos, or Idea; God the Spirit, or Thought—one triune God.

The distinction between the three hypostases may be seen from the fact that the Father-Mind is an uncaused cause, whereas the Son-Logos and the Spirit-Thought are causates co-eternal with the cause, and therefore are products, the Son-Logos being begotten and the Spirit-Thought being yielded by Him out of whom It proceedeth. Such is the concept of the one and triune God according to the Orthodox dogma and the Orthodox theology; and such is the logical explanation of the fact that the Son-Logos is begotten, and of the fact that the Spirit-Thought is yielded, and not that it merely proceeds of Itself, and also of the fact that the Spirit is transmitted and sent through the Son-Logos.

Such, indeed, is the relation by which the one and only true God, a Unity and a Trinity, can be conceived and understood just as He is lauded and glorified by our fathers and just as all Orthodox Christians believe and confess Him through the Creed, or Symbol of Faith. This relation becomes more clearly discernible by studying the following illustration.When a man’s soul clearly and distinctly knows itself and the things round and without——when it possesses knowledge of self and of God, it is called a mind.

A soul that is naturally mindful and intelligent begets speech, or discourse presentative of its own ideas and judgements. Those who hear the discourse imbibe the thoughts of the soul talking ,without removing them either from the discourse or from the soul’s mind. These thoughts are called spirit. Now, just as the soul’s mind naturally begets discourse and expresses, or emits, through its discourse thought and spirit to thousands of other souls, so the first and perfect Mind naturally begets the first and perfect Logos and at the same time yields the first and perfect Spirit, which is effused and transmitted from the Logos and by the Logos to other minds for their enlightenment and knowledge.

And just as the mind, the discourse, and the spirit of the soul are distinct yet united, naturally correlated and inseparable as regards the relation of the son to the father, of the picture to the original, and of flowing water to the source from which it springs, so do the same unity and distinctness and reference and relation exist as between God the Mind, God the Logos (Discourse), and God the Spirit, who for this reason is lauded and glorified as one and triune—a Unit in a Trinity and a Trinity in a Unit—Father, Son ,and Holy Spirit, the co-essential (homoousian) and inseparable Trinity.

fredag 9 februari 2018

Brexit cause of rotting unpicked strawberries?

Fruit and vegetable farms across the UK were, apparently, left short of thousands of migrant workers in 2017, leaving some produce to rot in the fields and farmers suffering big losses. Perhaps it is a naive question but surely the farmers could find all the pickers they needed if they paid the local rate for the job? The later part of the strawberry season is during the school holidays so that must be an opportunity to give teenagers the chance to earn some pocket money.

Or would the farmers prefer to let the strawberries rot than pay their pickers a proper wage? The article in the “progressive” Guardian does not tell. The farmer in the parable paid the wage for a full day’s work even to those hired at the eleventh hour, so anxious was he to gather in his crop. There must be more behind this story.

torsdag 1 februari 2018

Tax competition - may the best win

The EU is threatening the UK if it competes by reducing corporate and other taxes. Surely the most dangerous threat would be for the EU to do the same thing?

That would be tax competition, which is damned for being a “race to the bottom”.  Once again, it is looking through the wrong end of the telescope. Tax competition must be a good thing? Let the best system win!

The Physiocrats were possibly the first to note that all taxes are ultimately at the expense of land rent. This conclusion also follows from Ricardo’s Law of Rent, which has never been formally refuted. In principle, therefore, all existing taxes could be replaced by a single tax on the annual rental value of land, since as taxes on wages, goods, services and profits are removed, land values rise by roughly the same amount in aggregate. This is confirmed in a general way by observation; where taxes are low, land values are high, in some cases extraordinarily so. Singapore and Hong Kong in particular have exploited this with great success to the point that land values are a major source of public revenue.

Because of the strength of the landowning interest in the UK, this is not going to happen. However, in the not-distant past - as recently as thirty years ago - a substantially higher proportion of public revenue was raised from property taxes than is the case today. This is one of the reasons for the chronic shortage of public funds. There is no reason why income tax could not be reduced to a modest level for high earners for, Corporation Tax and VAT scrapped, vehicle fuel duties replaced by road pricing, and owners of valuable IPR monopolies made to pay a charge more commensurate with their value. The tax cuts would bring about an equivalent increase in land values (commercial and industrial rents and house prices) which would provide a buoyant tax base.

Realistically these changes would have to be brought in over a period of between five and ten years, but they are not impracticable. Amongst the benefits would be
  • Increase in production due to elimination of deadweight losses.
  • Reduction in associated welfare costs to the government.
  • Reduction in administration and compliance costs.
  • Release of some of the most talented people in the country from the tax avoidance industry, so that they could engage in wealth production.
This is a strategy which is available to any government, though not under present EU regulations. If the UK government decided to follow it, the E27 has the options of continuing and suffering from the competition, or following suit, to the benefit of its own people. That is what tax competition means. May the best system win. It is all the people who will benefit.

Croydon tram accident ‒ no charges

It has been announced that no charges will be brought in respect of the accident in 2016 when a tram was derailed and overturned at Addisco...