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email: pater@christopherklitou.com   


QUESTIONS FROM ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST FACEBOOK GROUP

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11/11/2016 QUESTION
1

Is it possible to have a full service of Orthros and Divine Liturgy in English?
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24/3/2017 QUESTION
2
Father Christopher, should our kids go for confession?
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8/5/2017 QUESTION
3
Hi Pater another silly topic that keeps coming up, what's the story behind these supposed anti bad eyes (supposed to protect from evil eye) ..we had some bad luck recently and some friends bought this for us ...we have our prayers of course but whats this origin here ? Is it all nonsense?
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6/6/2017 QUESTION
4
Is it possible to have a proxy in place at a baptism if one of the godparents cannot make the service?
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24/6/2017 QUESTION
5
In the old testament when God is referred to, are the writers referring to the Trinity or a specific Person of the Trinity? In the first chapters of genesis God refers to "our image" so that's obviously a reference to the Trinity but in other places where God speaks and acts, whom is referred to?  
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26/6/2017 QUESTION
6
In your most recent post you mentioned that God forbids incest and it was punished. Why then did God allow Cain to sleep with one of his sister's for the continuation of the human race and why did He allow Abraham to marry his half sister?
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4/7/2017 QUESTION
7
Hi, Father Christopher, what is the Church's position on curses?
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10/7/2017 QUESTION
8
Hi, Father, you mentioned that if we have faith, whatever we ask of God it will be granted. However, sometimes our prayers are not always answered or answered as we like. Shouldn't we always pray for God's will to be done and can it be said that unanswered prayers are a sign that its not God's will or that we are asking for foolish things?
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10/7/2017 QUESTION
9
Father, I have a question. Why couldn't God and the devil solve their problems and differences on their own without involving us? 1. We got involved in a war that we understood almost nothing about. 2. We got blamed for the war and we bear the consequences of Adam's sin namely sin, death and suffering! 3. We got saved and one day we'll have to give an account of our life on earth and we don't even know whether we will be accounted worthy to enter paradise. This sounds like taxi bosses fighting over routes, then involving us in it!! Is this fair on us humans?
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11/7/2017 QUESTION
10
Pater, can you please explain what Psalm 34:19 means and how I can apply it in my Orthodox life?
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13/7/2017 QUESTION
11
Can a father in this Group please tell me if there is a Saint Demitrius Lekka as my mum saw him during the time I was in hospital with my first transplant.
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14/7/2017 QUESTION
12
Hi, Father I have a question. A couple of friends and I were discussing Mel Gibson's film "the passion of the Christ". Was the actual scourging of our Lord as violent as that as depicted in that film? Some commentators claim that there are parts in the book of Isaiah which claim that the Suffering Servant was beaten beyond recognition and his body marred beyond human likeness. I'm well aware of the fact that the Catholics of which Gibson is one claim that Christ was punished for our sins and this explains the bloodied image of Christ in their literature and films. Some people claim that the actual passion was even worse in reality! My question however is was the scourging as violent as depicted in the film?
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14/7/2017 QUESTION
13
Father, yesterday I became extremely upset about a piece of Art that was posted in an arts group on Facebook which portrays an Orthodox priest molesting a child. The artist herself apparently is portraying her disappointment in priests in General because of what they do. I did not post the art out of respect to you and the members but I have it upon your requests.  We know that such despicable things occur but I am fed up with the way Christianity is always targeted. I do NOT feel this is creative art. And for this particular artist to express her disappointment in priests in general, I have expressed that I do hope she has reported this to the police and not just expressed it through Art. What are your thoughts please. Thank you father
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16/7/2017 QUESTION
1
4
Hi, Father,  I was just wondering what happened to Judas Iscariot ultimately. We all know that he committed suicide which is a grave sin. Yet, after he died, Christ died and according to our Church's teaching He went to preach to the souls in Hades which presumably the soul of Judas was. According to our Church, was Judas saved?
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24/7/2017 QUESTION
15
Hi Father  Is it true that the Roman Catholics overdo it when it comes to the veneration of the Virgin Mary? This was according to what an orthodox priest once told me. He said we should not honour her too much like the Catholics or too little or nothing at all like what the protestants do. However, it appears from our Church literature that we honour her as much as the Catholics if not more. The person of the Panagia is held in awe by us Orthodox. Please may you clarify what the Orthodox position regarding Mary, the Mother of God is and the proper place we should accord her?
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24/7/2017 QUESTION
16
Can you clarify and explain what the word "honour " or "venerate" actually entails when we are told to honour the Saints and how this is distinguished from worship of God since is there a possibility that too much honour may amount to worship?
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29/8/2017 QUESTION
17
Please can you let me know if we are still bound by the 10 commandments or if we are exempt from them as we are Christian. I would greatly appreciate the time and the knowledge you will give me, thanks in advance for your help.
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30/8/2017 QUESTION
18
Hi, Father According to a book I read by a Greek orthodox theologian called Francopolous,he states that people who do not believe in the devil's existence fall into his trap and this is a way he leads them into perdition. Another saying goes that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to fool the world into believing he does not exist. In light of the above was it fair for God to allow Adam and Eve to be tempted by Satan without warning them beforehand that they had an enemy??
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15/9/2017 QUESTION
19
Hi Father, What is Hell in the teaching of the Orthodox Church? In the gospels, Christ describes a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and speaks of a worm that does not die.In the book of Revelations it speaks of a lake of fire.Some priests speak of Hell merely as a place of separation from God which is the ultimate suffering in itself.Some Orthodox writings describe the sufferings of sinners in Hell as analogous to what they did on earth for example a liar will be hanged from his tongue!! How should we understand Hell?
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15/9/2017 QUESTION
20
Can memorial services and praying for the dead transfer them from Hell to Heaven?
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15/9/2017 QUESTION
2
1
Are the demonic toll gates which a soul must pass an actual teaching of the Orthodox Church?
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24/9/2017 QUESTION
2
2
Hello, Father Christopher  What form do angels have? In some parts of the bible such as the book of Isaiah they are described as having wings and icons depict them so. Do they have a particular form?
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24/9/2017 QUESTION
2
3
Are the fallen angels really dark in appearance?
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25/9/2017 QUESTION
2
4
Hello, Fr. Christopher  I was just wondering. The gospels have accounts of Christ healing persons who were demon possessed. Were this actual accounts of people possessed by demons or were these persons mentally ill? Perhaps the gospel writers referred to them as demon possessed because maybe at the time mental illness was attributed to the devil. How and why would demons possess someone??
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26/9/2017 QUESTION
2
5
Hi Father,  God said to Moses that no man shall see Him and live. Also in the book of Isaiah, the angels which accompanied God covered their faces with their wings in the presence of God. Is this due to the fact that no creature can bare to look at the Almighty and live or what does this mean exactly?
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28/9/2017 QUESTION
2
6
Hi, Father If no creature can behold God in His essence or nature, then what made Lucifer and his angels think they even had the slightest chance to succeed in a rebellion against God? Since as one theologian, Francopolous in his book "on the Orthodox Christian faith" put it, all of creation constitutes one big zero before God. Also, angels know more than we do!
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28/9/2017 QUESTION
2
7
Further to our brief conversation about Mary Magdalene; the reason I asked whether Mary had anything to do with the Schism is because I read that Pope Gregory (the great?!) played down Mary's role as The Apostle to The Apostles because she was a woman and even went as far as brandishing her a prostitute; which I understand the Apostolic Church did not agree with as nowhere in scripture is this recorded. Miriam (Maria Mary) was a common name and there is no evidence that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute yet that is how she is portrayed so I'm thinking sexism goes way way back ......
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1/10/2017 QUESTION
2
8
Father with the holiday of halloween coming up, what is the view of the Greek Orthodox Church and what is your opinion?
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5/10/2017 QUESTION
2
9
Good evening, Father I have a half brother in Cyprus who states that he was given a book to read by one of his customers which has to do with out of body experiences. Basically, how this works is that you lie on your back, mumble something in Latin and then you have an out of body experience. He claims that he decided to stop trying to have these experiences because he was shocked by what he saw. He even claims he saw his own body and that he could travel forward or backwards in...
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12/10/2017 QUESTION
30
Hi Father  According to our church's teaching and to Christian teaching in general, not only is God the creator of the universe, He also sustains His creation. Even in the gospels Christ refers to God sending His sun on the good and the bad and His rain on the just and unjust. Obviously a hole in the ozone layer is as a result of man's actions. Therefore this begs the question, are freakish weather conditions such as tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes caused or allowed by God or are they the results of sinful mankind abusing his environment? Also bearing in mind that we've always had freakish weather conditions to a certain extent.
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15/10/2017 QUESTION
31
Hi Father  I understand that suffering of humans is a result of the original sin of Adam which resulted in a fallen world. In a gospel account, when Christ healed a blind man, He repudiated the claim, common in the ancient world, that suffering is necessarily a result or punishment of an individual's personal sins or the sins of His parents by stating that the man's blindness was not because of His sins or those of his parents but in order that the glory of God may be manifest. In addition, God allowed Job in the old testament to be tested by Satan seemingly in order to test him and in a "bet" between Him and Satan to see whether he would blaspheme God's name if the Lord ceased to bless him. Yet, even a priest I spoke to many years ago concerning an earthquake which occurred in Turkey simply said that sometimes we have to pay for our sins! My question is simply what are the reasons that God may allow an individual to suffer? A further question is how are we to embrace suffering which is seemingly more than we can handle despite the assurance that we won't be sent more than we can handle?
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16/10/2017 QUESTION
32
Should we show our faith through wearing a cross? Or should we hide our faith by hiding our cross? As I have heard that we mustn't show our faith through material but through acts of kindness and through our charity.
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17/10/2017 QUESTION
33
Father, I have a question, If God is everywhere, is he also in hell? I also want to know do we Orthodox believe in hell in the sense that God is absent?
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17/10/2017 QUESTION
34
Father, after the last judgement what form will our bodies take? Also at the transfiguration of Christ, when Moses and Elijah appeared, they were recognizable as such. In addition in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man clearly recognised Lazarus. Does this mean we will recognise and be recognised by our loved ones after the final judgement? Christ said in response to a trick question by His enemies that after this life the resurrected are not married nor are given unto marriage but are like the angels of heaven and that God is the God of the living not of the dead. Besides, our marriage partners, what does this mean for our family relations here on earth? Will they cease in the after life?
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23/10/2017 QUESTION
35
In the gospel of John, where Christ admonishes His enemies, He describes Satan as the father of lies. What happens when we lie for a so called good purpose where our aim is for example to prevent harm from coming to another person or to put it differently to save an innocent life? Also, is it a sin to lie where we have to put up with meddling relations or other people who want to put their noses in our personal lives?
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30/10/2017 QUESTION
36
Hi, Father, Growing up in a Greek home, we were taught that burning incense in one's home wards of evil. Is the devil actual scared of incense and does burning incense protect one from the evil eye?
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5/11/2017 QUESTION
37
Father Christopher  Will all the non Orthodox such as the Roman Catholics, protestants, other Christian groups and non Christians such as Muslims and Hindus automatically be sent to hell? Also does God listen to the prayers of the non Orthodox Christians and to Muslims and Hindus?
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6/11/2017 QUESTION
38
Hi, Father, correct me if I'm wrong but from my understanding of our church's teaching about sacraments, baptism is a rite or passage into the life of Christ. This is wherein we die and are born again. Yet baptism by itself does not save us. We have to live a life of repentance nourished by the body and blood of Christ. We are required to become sanctified or divinized through the grace of God. In contrast to the charismatic churches we are not saved once but are in a process of being saved. Even the thief who died next to Christ and asked Him to remember him in His kingdom was told he would be with Christ in paradise but was not deemed a Saint. My question is, no disrespect intended, how was it possible for the Orthodox Church to proclaim St Constantine a Saint since he was only baptized on his death bed?
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6/11/2017 QUESTION
39
Good Morning Father, I'd like to ask if God is male as Adam was made in their image I assumed he would be and seen as we call God Father and Son. Thank you
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8/11/2017 QUESTION
40
Hi, Father  If any rational person witnesses an adult raping a child, he will try to stop them. Yet an almighty, omnipresent God allows such things to happen despite the pleas and prayers of a child and the same God blesses other people with wealth and cars! Why is that?
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20/11/2017 QUESTION
41
Hi Father What effect do external factors have on a person's blameworthiness regarding sin? We live in a world where wars, ruthless and corrupt governments, corporations and even people personally wreck havoc on the lives of others. For, example a person who was abused may end up becoming an abuser. A person in extreme need may turn to crime or prostitution. It's also believed that genetic factors may be responsible for a person becoming a homosexual. In addition we also have people who are psychopaths and who have no remorse in inflicting harm on others. Sin or amartia is a failure to live according to the will of God. I'm not merely referring to people subject to various passions such as lust or greed, which must be fought against, but to genuine victims of circumstances beyond their control. Sometimes even severe depression may result in a person having an altered sense of reality and he may commit certain acts which he wouldn't ordinarily commit. Christ even went so far as to say that on the day of judgment, man will render account for every careless word uttered. Can external factors negate a person's free will in certain circumstances and excuse them from certain sins? To put it differently, will Christ who is all wise, omniscient and a loving God take one's personal and above all external circumstances into account on the day of judgment?
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28/11/2017 QUESTION 
42
Hi Father Could this actually be a reality in the next life? I mean will rapists, murderers, sexual offenders and abusers be together with their victims should they repent?
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30/11/2017 QUESTION
43
A priest once told me that all those who haven't heard of Christ will be judged by their deeds which includes Hindus and Muslims. If that's true, what's the point of preaching the gospel?
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4/12/2017 QUESTION
44
Is fallen man capable of true love? Christ Himself said what credit is it if we love only those who love us! Even somewhere I think in Proverbs it states that a poor man is hated even by his own family. Furthermore, even when it comes to choosing life partners, how many of us will choose someone from a different race group or financially insecure? My question is ,is true, unadulterated love actually an attribute of the divine grace of God enabling us humans to love perfectly? After all didn't even Christ say that if we love one another as He has loved us then all men will know that we are His disciples! Very simply what is the church's position concerning love?
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9/12/2017 QUESTION
45
Hi Father Christopher Christ said that all sins and blasphemies will be forgiven man but he who sins against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Yet certain Saints wrote that the price paid to redeem us was exceedingly more valuable than any sin so we should not despair whether our sins will be forgiven should we repent. In light of the above please may you explain what is this unforgivable sin? Also, why does the Church deny a proper Orthodox funeral to those who commit suicide? Since all sins are potentially forgivable isn't denying a funeral in the above case actually usurping the role of Christ who is the ultimate Judge and actually implying that those who take their own lives won't be forgiven?
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28/12/2017 QUESTION
46
A few years back I lost the woman I loved around Christmas time due to a brutal attack in front of me in South Africa. As you recall at one stage I even contemplated becoming a monk and I contacted you personally via e-mail and even called you. I've asked you questions before but my question now is, was what happened to me part of some Divine plan? Also how do we deal with such a traumatic attack? God bless!
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20/1/2018 QUESTION
4
7
What is confusing is that we are told if we pray then 'God will (might) wave his magic wand' and help us. I read a story about Syrian Orthodox who were captured by Isis. they were good and pious people, they prayed and prayed yet their daughters were still raped and killed and they themselves suffered unimaginably. so I don't understand why we are instructed to pray when the results seem inconsistent and arbitrary at best.
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22/1/2018 QUESTION
48
The bible states that we won't be sent more than we can handle and that we should not lose heart in the face of temptation since the same experience of suffering is required from our brethren around the world. Christ also said that not one hair shall fall from our heads apart from our Father's will. In light of the above can it not perhaps be said that notwithstanding the fact that evil does not proceed from God, He nevertheless allows it and sometimes for purposes unknown to us? Even in the book of Job ,God asks Job when he questions his sufferings where he namely Job was when God laid the foundations of the world. Even St Paul asked Christ for a certain problem of his to be removed but was told that the Lord's grace was sufficient for him. Furthermore we are told that we should cast all our cares upon the Lord and His grace will comfort us. Therefore in times of suffering in light of the above even when our suffering is not taken away, am I right to state that we must not forget that no matter what God is in control and take comfort from Him? Is it also true that we won't be sent more than we can handle or is that used in the context of temptations?
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24/1/2018 QUESTION
49
What is the church's teaching regarding capital punishment? In the old testament as far as I understand, God allowed the Jews to seek retribution proportional to the harm they suffered in order to curb excessive revenge i.e. an eye for an eye. In the New testament we are taught not only to not sin but to cut off the roots of our sins for example whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart and we are taught to turn the other cheek. However ,Christ said that we should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and the things that are God's unto God. What does the church teach concerning capital punishment?
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7/2/2018 QUESTION
50
Father Christopher, To what extent are the results of our lives the result of our own choices or the Divine providence of God? I'm not referring to the topic of suffering which has been dealt by you. I'm referring to events in our daily lives. The scriptures state that no man should say, tomorrow we will go into such and such a town but only if the Lord wills. Furthermore, someone who is willingly a thief should not say that it is God's will since it is his choice. In scripture we read that Job was initially blessed by God and had great wealth. Also, Joseph in the land of Egypt was helped by God to obtain favour with the Pharaoh and he told his brother's that what they meant for him for bad was meant for good for him by God. In the context of our lives should we be accepted for a certain position at a company or move to another country, are our choices or rather the results of our lives solely due to our choices or is there a synergy of our will and God's will?
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24/2/2018 QUESTION
51
Hi, Father Christopher, We believe as Orthodox Christians that God created the universe which obviously includes Earth and Heaven and as the Nicene creed states all things, visible and invisible. Man is the crown of God's creation being endowed with a body and soul. Our soul is so precious that Christ Himself said what shall it profit us if we gain the whole world but lose our soul. The question I want to ask is what is the position of the Orthodox church regarding human cloning? Apparently its possible and outlawed in many countries. Furthermore, if such cloning is eventually carried out will the said clones have actual souls? Will these clones be actual individual human beings created in the image and likeness of God or will they be a human creation by mankind who plays God? The Orthodox church also believes that a human person is formed in the normal scheme of things at the moment of conception and before an actual person is born so this also begs the question, are clones which resemble humans actually human? Surely the divine command to go forth and multiply did not also mean cloning!
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24/2/2018 QUESTION
52
Hi, Father Christopher, We read that in the Old testament, Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. Does that mean that she ceased to exist as a person?
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26/3/2018 QUESTION
53
Can you answer my question about a certain part of the Bible that I don't understand, When Jesus died on the cross, why did the veil tear directly in the middle?
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26/3/2018 QUESTION
54
Hi, Father Christopher  We are taught that Jesus Christ is the "same, yesterday, today and tomorrow" One of the attributes of God is that He is immutable and does not change. However, in the Old testament we read how God destroyed the known world at the time of Noah which presumably included women and children. We read further that Moses himself had to intercede for the children of Israel when God wanted to destroy the Israelis at one point. We even read how Jonah was sent to the city of Nineveh to warn them to repent otherwise they would be destroyed. Yet God did not destroy Nineveh and even showed Jonah by an example of a tree that he namely, Jonah was wrong to wish for their destruction. God even destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even the sons of Zebedee at one point in the New Testament asked Christ if they should pray that a certain village which refused them hospitality should be destroyed. Presumably the sons of Zebedee were influenced by the Old Testament image of God when they made that request. Yet in the New Testament the focus is on the overwhelming love of God for mankind who so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that the world may be saved through Him and not for the world to be condemned. My question is ,why does there appear to be such a difference between the ways God is depicted in both Testaments? One explanation which I thought of was that in the Old Testament, God had to manifest His power as events in the Old Testament were basically a war between the true God and false gods. What does the church say?
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5/4/2018 QUESTION
55
May I ask what is your view of the Turin Shroud?
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28/4/2018 QUESTION
56
Pater, I need help explaining to a Greek American woman on why it can be dangerous if we dream of our dead loved ones, I have said that it is possible that it might be a demon disguised as our loved one.
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7/5/2018 QUESTION
57
If I may ask, is it true that if a member of the Greek church has a relationship with a Muslim or Jew, that they lose their chrismation?
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10/5/2018 QUESTION
58
Does God have a specific plan for our earthly lives or is everything which happens to us here on earth because of our choices or outside circumstances?
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14/5/2018 QUESTION
59
Hi, Fr Christopher  If our lives are the results of our own decisions and external circumstances, then is there any point to praying to God when we face difficult times? Does He decide if He will intervene to help us? Should we therefore merely pray that God's will be done in everything and for strength to endure whatever we must put up with?
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16/5/2018 QUESTION
60
What's the position of the Church concerning divorce?  A priest once told me persons who wanna divorce must go to an ecclesiastical court and that divorces are allowed only in some cases. What happens if someone is married to a lunatic who is on drugs and beats them and their child? Will the church ecclesiastical court give a divorce?
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19/5/2018 QUESTION
61
If you get a chance can you please explain the difference and creation of the Cypriot Orthodox Archdiocese Church. And the rules if any that they follow which differ from the Greek Orthodox Church.  This is a bain of contention here to no end, so your guidance would be most welcome.
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21/5/2018 QUESTION
62
Hi, Father Christopher,  a relative of mine decided to marry someone who was non Orthodox. However, their local priest asked her mother to baptize her fiancÚ as he then was. They then married after a while. However, this would mean that in reality, she married her God-brother which is forbidden by our Church!! What happens in such a situation?  Above all what happens when they have children?
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25/5/2018 QUESTION
63
Are the Old testament characters such as Samson and Moses actual historical characters?  Also was the exodus an actual event? There are no historical records that the Israelis ever were in Egypt and there are no records which shows that any Egyptian pharaoh was drowned!
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31/5/2018 QUESTION
64
What is the Orthodox church's teaching about God the Father? We are taught that God the Son was active in the Old testament and appears to Moses and leads the Israelis out of Egypt. What are we taught about the Father?
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2/6/2018 QUESTION
65
Fr....what's the church's stance on yoga and meditating?
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10/6/2018 QUESTION
66
Hi I have a question.  We read that that God through the saints still performs healings.  But why haven't we seen anyone with AIDS been healed?
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18/6/2018 QUESTION
67
Hi, Father Christopher! If we go back to the Genesis story of creation, we read that Eve was created out of a rib of Adam. Why was Eve created in that specific manner and not the same way as Adam? Also, since she was made from Adam's rib, doesn't that possibly mean that she was somehow related to Adam since in a sense she was made from a body part of his?
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21/6/2018 QUESTION
68
Hello, I wanted to find out if we as orthodox Christians are allowed to go and visit other churches just for fun or to attend weddings and baptisms? I'm not talking about being baptized and joining other churches but just to go visit?
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24/6/2018 QUESTION
69
Hi, Father Christopher  You said that we can go to another church and pray but we must be aware that they don't pray to the same God as we do. To which God do other churches pray to?
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24/6/2018 QUESTION
70
Hi Please may you explain the Muslim concept of Allah.  Do Muslims have the same beliefs regarding God as the Jews do? Or is the concept of Allah totally different?
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25/6/2018 QUESTION
71
Hi What's the difference between Hell and Hades? Also after the final judgment will all those who don't go to heaven end up with the devil in the pool of fire? Also is there a difference between paradise and heaven?
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