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23
Why does God Allow Evil?
If God is all powerful, all knowing, just and loving, and if He's all goodness and graciousness then why is there such evil in the world?!  Where is God's love then?  Where is His justice?  If He's all powerful, why can't He stop the injustice?  If He's all loving, then why does He not protect His children from evil?  Why do we always hear about these terrorists and their heinous acts of evil?  Why does God allow such evil?   This is a question that comes to everyone's mind at some point in their lives and the answer to it might surprise you...  It is because of God's love, mercy and justice that He allows evil in the world!  Perhaps this might sound very strange at first, but allow me to explain and I hope that by the end of this article you might thank God for allowing evil for so long!   There's Evil in the World Because God is Merciful God is merciful upon all His creation.  Some of His children have strayed from His way and inflict evil upon the world.  God however is a "gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm." (Jonah 4:2)  God is patient because He has "no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live." (Ezekiel 33:11)  This is why St. Peter says "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some ...

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21
Is the Bible a Science Book?
Recently there has been much talk and debates around "Creationism vs. Evolution".  The argument at its very core is "God vs. Science" or "The Bible vs. Science" as if they contradict.  What is right and what is wrong?  What is proven and what cannot be proven?  And if something cannot be proven then how do we know it's true?  If the theory of evolution proves true does that nullify Christianity?  Can I be a Christian and believe in evolution at the same time? God is the Author of Science The fact is that God and science do not contradict.  God is the author of nature and the rules of nature.  He's also the creator of humans and their brains which allow them to observe, measure and theorize the rules of nature in a scientific way.  If God is the author of science then how can they be at odds?  As a matter of fact, God even taught man science!  When God created Adam He "took the man He formed and put him in the garden to tend and keep it." (Genesis 2:15)  How did Adam know to water the plants unless God taught him how to tend and keep the Garden?  "Also, God formed out of the ground all the wild animals of the field and all the birds of heaven, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them..." (Genesis 2:19)  Adam gave the animals names according to their nature.  It other words Adam would obse...

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11
Noah's Ark Covered with Pitch
In Genesis we read "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.  And this is how you shall make it..." (Genesis 6:14-15) The ark is a symbol of the Church.  Everyone outside the ark perished, whereas everyone inside the ark was saved.  Similarly the Orthodox Church teaches us that the Church is essential for our salvation, through which we receive the Mysteries which God gave us.  Many church buildings are designed to be shaped like Noah's ark for this reason. God instructed Noah to cover the ark with pitch from the inside and the outside.  The pitch here is used to protect the ark from the water so that it wouldn't leak through inside the ark.  Notice here that the pitch is to be on the inside and the outside, not just the outside.  Similarly the Church should be protected from attacks on the inside and the outside.  Also note that God instructed Noah to cover the ark with pitch from the inside first.  The attacks that target the Church from the inside are usually more detrimental than the attacks from the outside. Protecting the Church from the inside: Attacks on the Church from the inside could come in many forms.  One form would be attacks of heresies.  For example a heresy that says that Christ is not fully divine, or Christ is not fully human.  S...

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09
The Effects of My Sins
Quite often we hear arguments that sound like the following: "I can do whatever I want even if it's wrong as long as I'm not bothering anybody", or "It's my body, I can smoke or do drugs as long as I'm not affecting anyone", or "Me and her are in agreement, if we sleep together, what's it to you?!", or "Why do you care if I pray or not, go to church or not, etc...  I'm only impacting my spiritual life"... etc. Basically an argument that follows a pattern like "I can do ______ (a negative action) as long as I'm not bothering anybody or affecting anybody".  Sound familiar?  The answer to this argument comes in Genesis in the following verses: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth."  (Genesis 6:11-12) At a first glance the second sentence might seem redundant.  However, after carefully reading it we see that it adds a new concept.  The first verse simply says that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence.  This could be understood as "the people on the earth" were corrupt and filled with violence.  Then comes the second verse to clarify and make the point that "the earth" was corrupt because "all flesh" corrupted their way.  As in, the earth and the nature were...

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13
The Ark Took How Long to Build?
In Genesis chapter 6 we read about Noah building the ark according to God's commandment.  We can estimate the length of time it took Noah to build the ark from a few verses.  Genesis 5:32 and Genesis 6:10 mention that Noah was 500 years old.  Genesis 7:6 reads "Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth."  This tell us that the ark took about 100 years to build. A question that comes to mind is why did it take that long?  Obviously it's a very large vessel built by a 500 year old man, but why did God allow this to take 100 years to build?  Remember at that time the earth was filled with corruption and unrighteousness but God didn't destroy it yet.  The Bible reads "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth." (Genesis 6:11-12)  Yet God tolerated man's atrocities for over 100 years while the ark was being built!  How can God let evil flourish for that long?  Even today we might find ourselves asking the same question.  We're living in a time where innocent people are being murdered, Churches being burnt, Christians' homes and shops being destroyed, and yet God is letting it all happen.  It might seem to us that God is looking the other way w...

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05
Did Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ Have Other Children?
I recently received the following question in email:  Did Mary the mother of Jesus Christ have other children?  Since the answer to this question might be useful to others, I decided to post it on the website. To answer the question:  Of course St. Mary had other children.  She's the mother of all saints, and the mother of us all.  She will also become the mother of many other children. But of course the question is asking if she physically gave birth to other children than the Word of God.  The short answer is no.  We believe in her perpetual virginity.  She was a virgin before giving birth to God and she remained a virgin after the fact. The long answer is through prophecies, her life, tradition and through logic as well.  Let me explain… Old Testament Prophecies There are many prophecies in the Old Testament about the Theotokos (Mother of God) St. Mary.  Some of them address her perpetual virginity.  A couple of them jump to mind.  The first one is in the book of Ezekiel where he saw the outer gate of the sanctuary which was shut.  "And the Lord said to me, ‘This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.'" (Ezekiel 44:2)  Here we see that the Gate is a symbol of Saint Mary through...

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23
Noah - An Example of Righteousness
 "... Noah was a righteous man, who was perfect in his generation and well-pleasing to God." (Genesis 6:9) Continuing on with the Story of Noah, this verse raised many questions.  In a previous article we talked about The Righteousness of Noah.  In describing his righteousness, the above verse adds "in his generation".  Why did the bible need to say "perfect in his generation"?  Does this mean that perfection is relative?  Is perfection in Noah's generation different than todays? Certainly not!  Perfection is from God, and perfection is God.  Our Lord Jesus Christ in His sermon on the Mount teaches us saying "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48).  Also, from St. Paul we know that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8).  If God is Perfect, and we know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then it must be the case that perfection is the same as well.  So now the question still remains, why did the verse add "perfect in his generation".  Also why did the verse need to add "well-pleasing to God" since it already said that he was a righteous and perfect man? The verse starts by saying that "Noah was a righteous man", then it goes on to explain this righteousness in two parts:  The first ...

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28
A Name Above Every Name
Last Article, we talked about Names and what their significance is as well as the significance of knowing someone's name.  In this article we would like to meditate on the Name of God. In the Old Testament the people didn't know God's name.  They addressed Him with various terms such as "Elohim" (Hebrew: אלהים) which means "God", or "El Shaddai" (Hebrew: אל שדי‎) which means "God Almighty", or "Adonai" (Hebrew: אֲדֹנָי) which means "The Lord", etc... It is worthy to note that the term "Elohim" (God) was used when God was dealing with the whole creation, and the term "Adonai Elohim" (Lord God) was used when God was dealing with someone on a personal level.  For example Genesis Chapter 1 talks about the relationship of God with the world and the creation of the heavens and the earth.  Thus in this chapter the term "Elohim" is used to signify that God is the Almighty and All Powerful creator "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).  Genesis Chapter 2 however talks about the relationship of God with man which is why the term "Lord God" was repeatedly used to signify God's love for mankind "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7) Since mankind didn't know God's name, they were...

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14
What's in a Name?
There's a special connection between a person and his name.  It's a connection that is very personal.  Not only does it identify a person, but it also carries a part of the person's personality.  In any training for a customer service type jobs, they advice the employees to use the customer's name often just for that very reason.  Also, how many times have you been embarrassed by not remembering your friend's name on the spot?  It's ok for not remembering their age, their profession, etc... but there's something special about a person's name. When someone works hard they say that they're trying to make a name for themselves.  When another person departs leaving nothing behind it is said that their name is wiped out from the earth.  When someone loves another person dearly, they call them with a special name, a term of endearment, or a nickname that nobody else uses.  When another person wants to insult someone they call them names.  When you label a student as a "lazy student", that label/name somehow turns out to be true.  On the other hand, when you label the same student as a "clever student", even if that student didn't do so good on a test it would be considered an exception and the student will continue to live up to his/her "name". Thus, there's a special connection, and special power to names.  The Bible tells us ...

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Posted in: Old Testament
09
Grace in the Presence of the Lord God
Genesis is the book of beginnings.  In Chapter 6 is the first mention of the word "Grace" in the following verse: "But Noah found grace in the presence of the Lord God." (Genesis 6:8) This leads us to a series of more questions.  For example, What is grace?  What does it do for us?  How do we obtain it?  Once obtained, can we lose it?  etc...  To attempt to answer these questions we did a Topical Bible Study on "Grace" to attempt to gain more understanding and insight.  In doing so, we believe all the above questions are answered and more.  Having said that, we do not believe that this is an exhaustive study about grace.  This study does not include many sayings of the fathers about Grace, and it does not include any personal experiences about the topic either.  These will be left as an exercise to the readers to research and experience the Grace of God. First we start with 'What is Grace?'  Grace is a divine gift from God that is freely given.  "...much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many." (Romans 15:5) So it's a free gift, but why would we want the Grace of God? In other words, what does His Grace do for us?  From Our topical study, we find the following: The Grace of God cleanses us: "Moreover the law entered that the offense ...

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