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Atw June Web Final

June 2015

Orthodox Christianity

Orthodox Christianity Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish... And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him... And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Matthew 25 The Treasure Hunter “Don’t do it... without checking with me first” Milton Sawyer ON THE FAST, ASCETICISM, AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE The flow of the fat and the lean seasons, of the feasts and the fasts—the weeks of introspection and ascetical effort that open onto the days of rejoicing—such is the great cadence of the liturgical year for Orthodox Christians. Now we’re about six weeks out from Great Lent and Pascha—the Feast of Feasts (Easter, in the Western confessions). And we look ahead to Pentecost, and beyond it, to the Apostles Fast. Great Lent. The Apostles Fast. Any discussion with Western Christians of fasting—or of ascetical practices in general—meanders about a great divide that goes often unrecognized, or, at least, uninspected. What, then, is the Christian life? The Orthodox understanding, the ancient understanding of the Christian life, is that this is a vast work, a desperate struggle, an interior warfare for the highest possible stakes: for my immortal life, and for the life of the cosmos. And that our adversaries in this great and bitter contest are the passions that beset us, and the dark spiritual beings who play upon these perverse tendencies, toward ensnaring and consuming us. The Church, in this understanding, is a hospital, in which we spiritually infirm beings undertake the course of treatment toward the healing of our deep spiritual wounds. The goal of the treatment is our return to our natural, undefiled state of spiritual health—that state into which our father Adam was first created—the primal, pre-fallen, Christ-like blessedness. And the ancient ascetical practices, which peel away from our hearts the vice-like grip of the passions, are an essential part of the treatment. This understanding presupposes two things: firstly, that we possess the capacity to choose for Christ, and against the great darkness; and, secondly, that our efforts, in symbiosis with God’s loving-kindness, can be efficacious. How can this understanding mesh with such innovative Western doctrines as “once saved, always saved,” or the Calvinist teaching of the soul’s predestination, or the Latin granting of indulgences? From whence proceed such doctrines? How old are these Western teachings; and how did they first find their ways into the thinking of the Christian West? Are they compatible with the ancient and Orthodox understanding of what the Christian life is; or might they be dangerous novelties? NEXT MONTH: ORTHODOXY AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE All chapters copyright © 2014 by author N. M., c/o St. George’s Church Inquiries to St. George’s Orthodox Church, Edenton, NC. Telephone 482-2006 I entreat you not to leave your heart unguarded, as long as you are in the body. Just as a farmer cannot feel confident about the crop growing in his fields, because he does not know what will happen to it before it is stored away in his granary, so a man should not leave his heart unguarded as long as he still has breath in his nostrils. Up to his last breath he cannot know what passion will attack him; as long as he breathes, therefore, he must not leave his heart unguarded, but should at every moment pray to God for his help and mercy. St. Isaiah the Solitary,c.370 AD. The AT reaches 60k readers 252-722-6078 each month in printed and Cash Buyer Gold & Silver Jewelry & Coins social media Ken and learn how. 8 Albemarle Tradewinds June 2015

Continued from last month D. HOW OLD MUST I BE TO PURCHASE A HANDGUN, SHOTGUN, OR RIFLE? ANSWER: To purchase a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer, an individual must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older. The age at which a person can purchase a shotgun or rifle from a licensed dealer is eighteen (18). Please note that although an eighteen (18), nineteen (19), or twenty (20) year old may be issued a pistol purchase permit, they would not be able to purchase a handgun with it from a licensed firearms dealer but could purchase a handgun from a private person E. IS IT LAWFUL TO CARRY A WEAPON TO A BAR OR SIMILAR ESTABLISHMENT FOR PURPOSES OF PROTECTION? ANSWER: As a general rule, no. North Carolina General Statutes generally forbid a person to carry a weapon into an assembly where an admission fee has been charged, or a place where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. There is a limited exception for those in possession of a lawfully issued concealed handgun permit. However, even these permittees may not carry a handgun into such a premises if a notice has been posted prohibiting such carry and they may not consume any alcohol. A more detailed discussion of these areas is contained in section III. E. of this publication. F. DO MY GUNS HAVE TO BE REGISTERED WITH THE SHERIFF OR POLICE DEPARTMENT WHERE I LIVE? ANSWER: Except as to the requirement to lawfully possess a machine gun under G.S. § 14- 409, North Carolina does not require other types of firearms to be registered with the sheriff or Police Department. Continues next month Question of the Month Should govenor McCrory have vetoed the religious objection bill on gay marriage? Email your thoughts to and we will publish the most interesting ones in our next issue! Last Month’s Question: Should the police forces be nationalized? Absolutely not! This will only add power to the already over extended reach of Washington. We do need changes in our police forces, but handing control over to the federal government is the wrong direction. What communities really need is a privatized police force. Think about it! If a privatized police force is hired by the voters of a community, paid for by the tax payers of the community, and that police force is unsatisfactory to the community, simply fire them and hire another organization. IF, Ferguson & Baltimore had a privatized police force, there wouldn’t have been a need for rioting or protesting. The voters simply choose to replace the entire force with one that would be better managed. The competitive nature of the free market would keep all privatized police striving for complete satisfaction in the communities they work for. As for police limitations, such as tactics, military style vehicles, weapons and gear. These limits should be decided upon by the community which hires the police force and not some slick lawyer from Illinois. -Libertarian & States Rights Advocate - Albemarle Tradewinds June 2015 9