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Homily - A Meandering Mess of Homily on Something or Other

OrthoAnalytika

Release Date: 08/23/2021

My Fool Head - Are all aliens and sidhe demons? show art My Fool Head - Are all aliens and sidhe demons?

OrthoAnalytika

In the 11/27/21 livestream, Fr. Anthony answers the question of whether or not all aliens and sidhe (fairies) are demons.  He gives the answer pretty early on (along with the usual stream of consciousness), but the real value is in the explanation and its defense of a Logos-grounded social science.  Enjoy the show!

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Homily - In Awe of the Angels among Us show art Homily - In Awe of the Angels among Us

OrthoAnalytika

This homily was given on the day of the celebration of St. Michael and the Hosts of Heaven.  Although it was never explicated, it is a meditation triangling in from on Hebrews 13:2; "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares", Christ's words (Matthew 25:40); "And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’" and the expectation that the saints will join the Lord's Divine Council (e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:3).  The main point is that we should be in as much...

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My Fool Head - Getting Theology Right show art My Fool Head - Getting Theology Right

OrthoAnalytika

After talking about his experience with a dead battery, Fr. Anthony ties the theology of the Logos and beauty into his ongoing conversation on worldviews, framing, and connecting dots in a way that is eternally true and not just accurate.  Enjoy the show!

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Homily - The Samaritan, Fasting, and Ancestral Sin show art Homily - The Samaritan, Fasting, and Ancestral Sin

OrthoAnalytika

The Good Samaritan and the Eve of St. Phillip's Fast.   It isn't just our understanding of "neighbor" that needs adjusting.  We misunderstand love. And because of that, we tend to get fasting wrong.  Part of the problem is that we misunderstand the fall and ancestral sin.  Enjoy the show!

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My Fool Head – Framing, Confirmation Bias, and Worldviews show art My Fool Head – Framing, Confirmation Bias, and Worldviews

OrthoAnalytika

After talking about the heresy of decaf coffee, Fr. Anthony triangulates from three verses of scripture: "I said in my amazement every man is a liar" (Psalm 116:11), "If You O Lord should mark iniquities who shall stand, but there is forgiveness with You" (Psalm 130:3) and "What is truth" (John 18:38) to talk about framing, confirmation bias, and worldviews, pointing out the importance of cultivating a worldview that promotes discernment and harmony; holiness and truth.  Enjoy the show!

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Homily on Seeing the Poor with Noetic Sight show art Homily on Seeing the Poor with Noetic Sight

OrthoAnalytika

Homily on Luke 16:19-31.  After covering the more superficial material "brain-based" message of the Gospel, Fr. Anthony tries to guide the listener to the deeper meanings.  Enjoy the show!

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My Fool Head - Worship, Worldview, and Truth show art My Fool Head - Worship, Worldview, and Truth

OrthoAnalytika

After introducing myself, I talk about the importance of worship and home in fostering a Christian phronema and how the forces of the world convince us to accept and rally around lies.  Enjoy the show!  From my YouTube livestream.

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Inquiry Class 001 - Mysteries/Sacraments (Take One) show art Inquiry Class 001 - Mysteries/Sacraments (Take One)

OrthoAnalytika

Tonight continue our inquiry classes by talking about the Mysteries/Sacraments within the context of sacramental theology.  The notes are available at:

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Homily - Judgment without Love (and Humility) is Demonolatry show art Homily - Judgment without Love (and Humility) is Demonolatry

OrthoAnalytika

Meditation on St. Paul (2 Corinthians 9:8) "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."  Somewhere in the midst of all those words (30 minutes!!!), Fr. Anthony is making an important point: our judgments are clanging gongs because we skipped loving our neighbors (and our enemies).  Enjoy the show!

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Inquiry Class 001 - Introduction show art Inquiry Class 001 - Introduction

OrthoAnalytika

[Videos and livestreams: ] Inquiry Class 001: IntroductionHoly Resurrection (Waynesville NC) Christ the Savior (Anderson, SC) Introduce self.  Married for thirty- one years.  Orthodox twenty-one years.  Priest for fourteen.  Taught at seminary for thirteen.  I’m on my third parish assignment.  Role of Orthodoxy. Purpose of these classes.  Inquirers at Holy Resurrection and Christ the Savior.  Others are always welcome.  Deeper purpose of this class.  God desires that all be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth.  He has given...

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1 Corinthians 3:9-17; Matthew 14:22-34.  

Here's the text of the homily I was going to give.  Instead of it, I preached on what "the day" has declared in our lives over the last couple of years.  It was partially prompted by recent events in Afghanistan (I worked the Afghanistan situation for several years as an intelligence analyst).

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Homily – Building a House of God
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

1 Corinthians 3: 9-17; St. Matthew 14: 22-34

A building set on a firm foundation, made well and of the best materials is both more durable and more suiting than one thrown together on the weekends with leftover scraps.  Which method describes the temple that is you?

 Three points from today’s Epistle reading, each of them explores what St. Paul means when he says that ; “You are God’s building… his holy temple.”

The First Point: St. Paul is using a metaphor.  He is comparing us to a building in order to teach us something we have not realized about ourselves.  We may think we know more about what it means to be a Christian than we do about being a building, but what if we are wrong?  St. Paul – and all of our other teachers – try to bring us to the truth by stating it plainly; but one of the problems with being human is that we hear such plain speaking in a manner that matches our expectations.  It is rarely transformative in the way we need.  We think we know what it means to be a Christian, so when someone tries to tell us a better way to do it rarely sinks in.  On the other hand, we probably haven’t thought much about how we are like buildings, so the hope is that the metaphor of the building will make it through our defense systems in order to challenge us to live better.  There are many ways in which we are certainly NOT a building, but let’s see how we are, and what that says about living the Christian life.

The Second Point: every building needs a proper foundation.  If this foundation is ourselves (the “contractor’s grade” default option), or even something so noble as our families, our work, our friends, our community, or our, then no matter how well we build that house, it will not last.  The only proper foundation for the house that is each one of us, is Christ Himself.  Our imaginations may have a hard time with this.  Many of us grew up singing a wonderful song; “On Christ the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand” – now what is the child’s imagination to do with such an image?!  But this song is based on Christ’s teaching towards the end of His “sermon on the mount” (St. Matthew 5-7), where, after telling everyone to dedicate themselves completely to love and service in God’s name, He says that this kind of life will make them like the wise man who built his house on the rock, and his house survived every buffet; and those who do not are like the fool who built his house on sand, and his house fell with a great crash (St. Matthew 7: 24-27). 

Our foundation must be on Christ; and not the Christ of our imaginations or as we think He is or want Him to be (this is just sand by another name); but on Christ as He really is.  And there is no better way to learn who Christ really is than through opening ourselves completely to the prayer, worship, teachings, and experience of the Orthodox Church.  St. Paul is speaking as an Apostle of this Church when he says; “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation.”  We must center our feet squarely on the unmovable source of power, love, and truth; and that source is Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The Third Point: it matters what sort of materials you use.  St. Paul puts it this way;

“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” 

We understand what this means, because we have seen what happens to buildings that were made poorly of cheap materials ; and we can compare them with the buildings that were made well and of the best materials.  The best materials are sometimes harder to get, and it takes more effort to build something to last.  I remember the fort my friends and I built in the woods using left over scraps from our basements and garages.  It was so cool – but it did not last.  I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences.  Think about his: If we knew that we were meant to live somewhere for thousands of years – perhaps even forever, wouldn’t we take the time to build it well?  Or would we throw something up as the mood struck us and hope for the best?  And yet isn’t that the way we act; putting Christian spackle over the walls we threw up willy-nilly based on what are hearts desired in any given moment? 

In the metaphor, the materials are gold, silver, stones, wood, hay, and straw; but in real life, the materials are your actions.  How have we lived?  Have we been chaste?   Self-sacrificing? Charitable?  Patient with others?    Have we followed the counsel of our ego; the wisdom of the age; … or the guidance of Christ and His Church?  

We can pretend that all actions are the same (God loves us!  He can bless the things my heart truly desires!), but St. Paul is pointing out that they are not – there is an objective standard for judging our actions.  A straw house will be blown down by the first hungry wolf that comes to the door; a brick house will stand up to his huffing and puffing.  The spiritual wolves [fire] will destroy the man who has built his life in deceit and selfishness; but cannot harm the one who has built his life in love and repentance.  

So, in conclusion, I ask you: have you built your life on the solid rock that is Christ?  Is it the real Christ, or is it one that simply suits your fancy?  Are you sure? 

Have you intentionally laid the walls of your house brick by brick with humility, love, patience, long-suffering, and charity?  When a bad brick was laid in, have you repented of your misdeed, rooted it out, and repaired the damage?  Have you constantly checked for leaks and performed the maintenance necessary to keep your house secure from the constant abuse of the elements?  

And last of all, have you filled this house with the only thing worthy of such a temple: the Holy Spirit of God Himself?  For as St. Paul ends today’s lesson; “For the temple of God is holy, whose temple you are.”

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