I stayed up yesterday night watching the movie of St. Polycarp and thought it beneficial to capture some thoughts that came to mind .
The response of St. Polycarp at the time of his martyrdom "I have served my Lord Christ for 86 years and He never harmed me so how can I blaspheme against my King Who saved me?" was very much an inspiration in my Engineering days when within the Church seeing shortcomings of many including priests , I was reminded then that it is not my place to condemn and walk away from Church which served the Lord Jesus Christ for 2000 years and join in like many close to me to join in born again fellowships.
Even then I could see the parallels in line of St. Polycarp's with the message of St. Paul to the Church in Ephesians ( Ephesians Chapter 1 and 2) and that it holds to me an everyone within the Church . For reference just Eph 1:7-14)
" In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. "
I could see very clearly then that these new born again preachers, bible studies without the foundation of the teaching of the Apostles , the Apostolic fathers like St. Polycarp and the Church are the heretics against whom the Church will face martyrdom .
They miss out in not asking the most crucial question in the teaching of the Church to those who through Holy Baptism and Chrismation as Orthodox Christians - How have we have served our Lord Jesus Christ in whatever we are faced and how worthy by our lives have borne the name as Orthodox Christians as followed by those before us. By us spending time more with them and pondering on their thoughts , they lead those out from the Church into not reading up learning from the teachings of the Church and implementing it in our lives- The faith and practice followed by the Apostles , the Apostolic fathers and the Church from first Century.
Now as I grow older, I see that added to them this heretical teaching and behavior will creep into the mind of the Clergy and Laity within the Church . Also, more than any of these - the short coming and willingly not to ponder within my heart and put to practice what I should have learned from the Church.
Praying the Lord have Mercy upon us and Help
July 9, 2016