Letter to the Editor: Implement These Solutions Regarding Church in America

To the Editor:

Thank you for a good editorial “The Demetrios Doctrine: ‘Let it Burn,’” (Jun. 9).
Most important is the solution:

Retire bishops at 75 years old like the Roman Catholic Church does. The Greek Orthodox cannot tolerate stagnation.

Where are the metropolitans’ performance reports? Fr. Ephraim of Mount Athos and St. Anthony’s Monastery Florence, Arizona built seven Churches on 300 acres, rendering it the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona, along with 20-plus monasteries in America.

The late Metropolitan Anthony built 25 Churches in 25 years and developed the St. Nicholas Ranch Retreat Center with a convent.

Fire Santiago Calatrava, like the Denver Airport did, and hire Greek Orthodox theological architects for the St. Nicholas National Shrine. There is $80 million spent for a church that holds just 130? Four times over budget.

The Greek Orthodox need a theological and liturgical church, not a Calatrava work of art.

Every metropolis needs to raise at least $2 millionfor the Archdiocese and Holy Cross Seminary, or retire them.

Joel Osteen’s preaching brings in $100 million a year.

 

Stelios M. Zervos

West Jordan, UT

21 Comments

  1. A GOA 1970s Gallup found no unity of vision. Being Orthodox or Greek meant different things to different people. We need to make Savas Zembillas Patriarch of the Americas and unite all Orthodox. Make the ghetto parishes like Astoria metochia of their home countries, so they leave us alone. We are not the church of Gyro or Zeus, but of Jesus Christ. We need to increase our electronic ministries, because folks work odder hours, live farther away and are increasingly old and immobile. Greece is very different than what our forefathers left behind and we don’t really care what happens there any more. They have no right to deny us our American birthright.

    1. Paul you make some interesting points some of which I agree with and some of which I want to think about more.

      I don’t know much about Metropolitan Savvas. In your opinion why is he / would he be a good leader for the Church in America? Does he have the humility and gentleness of spirit that are clearly lacking in Evangelos and Methodios?

    2. The suggestion that Savas Zembillas become Patriarch of the America’s is idiotic.

    3. I love that description
      The Church of Greek Gyro.
      Fries and drink
      $5.99 with coupon

    4. Yes we do care what happens to our Mother Country, Greece. I was born there I am 3nd Generation of the Greeks who immigrated to the United States and go every year to my Home Country. Πατρίδα μου. Ελλάδα μου, So don’t be a fool and an idiot on top of that, you may not care what happens in Greece but many Greeks here in America still do! Yes the Greek Orthodox Church in America needs many changes. Look at that fiasco of St Nicholas Church in New Yourk at Ground Zero, WHAT A SHAME!! Archbishop Dimitrios it’s time to retire, and take with you Bishop Evangelos. Methodios, and especially Kouremetis, and give them their walking papers. Πανάθεμα τους!!!!

  2. Osteen at least tries supposedly to proclaim the Gospel, whatever our bishops are doing only they know. I agree with a mandatory retirement age for the bishops/metropolitans.

  3. Joel Osteen’s preaching brings in 100 million dollars a year. And the reason is;
    He is preaching the word of God. He is bringing the un-churched to Christ. He is changing lives. He is fulfilling the great commission of Christ.
    What are we doing? Nada!!!

    1. Joel Osteen, you know the fellow who doesn’t even have a cross in his mega audtorium church but stands in front of a slowly revolving globe, wouldn’t know the word of God if it bit his head off. And, there’s a reasonable expectation that just might happen some day.

      1. Are you sure about that? His message is crystal clear. You do not need to display a cross and icons to be on fire for Jesus. The church begins in the heart because that is where Christ is.

      2. When Joel visited Staten Island, Nicole Meliatakis said she listens to him on her Albany drives. Ostens knows better Greek than demonic demoted demotic.

  4. Joel may not be the best example. In my local community, we have saddleback church. They boast a membership the size of our metropolis (San Francisco). The pastor Rick Warren is a humble man and his church is known for its good works.

    The book of James tells us even the demons believe. Christ tells us in Mathew he will judge us by our good works. We have a long way to go in the (Greek etc.) Orthodox Church in America. We have nothing to be prideful about, we need task that the Lord have Mercy on us. We need to be like the Protestant churches and be known for our good works. Our right belief is of no value without good works.

    The path to fixing the Archdiocese starts in repentance, moves to humility and ends in good works because of our right belief.

    1. Many good points in here. Everyone keeps going back to a similar theme. The need for humility and repentance. This starts at the top. Our leaders show zero repentance or humility and just keep repeating their arrogant bad acts. We need new fresh leadership at the top if Orthodoxy in America is going to enter into a golden age.

      1. You can’t repent and have humility when you think you’re a Byzantine era prince, dress like one and wear a crown, demand that people kiss your hand, and stuff your pockets with cash. These guys all live in an alternate sci-fi universe, similar to Game of Thrones or some game on the Dark Web.

    1. To deny icons is to deny the Incarnation. It is only in the Cross that we may boast. Joel Osteen has neither Grace nor humility. Listen carefully to his sermons, and, if you’re lucky he’ll invite you over to his multi-million dollar mansion for tea. And, no, we don’t need to be like the Protestant “churches”. You are confusing repentance and humility with Grace. We ask for mercy in every service. Whose fault is it that any of us don’t do good works? And, of course, if we do good works who needs to fast, attend services and receive frequent Communion, of which the Protestants do none? Etc., etc., etc.

      1. @repanidi1908
        Who are we to judge? I do not care where Joel lives. As long as he and his wife are spreading the word of God and doing good works – who cares. Btw: Joel Osteen took a huge chance purchasing the compact center. He had the courage to do so and it worked out well. The same is true for Billy Graham. He had a great energy and enthusiasm for Jesus Christ. He covered the entire globe – spreading the word of God. His Son Franklin and Grandson Will have that same zeal and our doing similar works.

        After 15 years of discussing the unpleasant decaying condition of our local church parking lot – guess what? We still do not have a newly paved parking lot. My point is, do not disparage Joel Osteen’s success. They have people working overtime for the glory of God and we do not.
        The Greek Orthodox church of America is our very own modern day Greek tragedy.

      2. I think there is truth in both of what you say, and what you are both saying is not necessarily inconsistent. Yes icons are important and critical to our theology. They are the underpinning of our belief that our invisible God took on human flesh, became one of us, dwelt among us and saved us.

        But we will never be able to shine until we have let our light here shine in the way our God commanded us. By feeding the hungry and thirsty and comforting the sick and needy and bringing visitation to the prisoners. We Orthodox as a group are largely failures at this, we hide in our pretty churches full of icons and never take God’s love and message to those who need to hear it.

        So you are both right, but doing only one of the two different things each of you describe without the other does not work.

  5. I agree with you Michael…you stated it much better than I did!
    My point is, Crosses and icons which are a part of me like my own beating heart cannot cure the sick and feed the poor independent of us. The love and compassion that comes from those of us that follow Christ and do His will is what moves mountains.

    1. So Michael , Michael and Jacob…agree, that beyond changing the Archbishop and the administrators of the Greek Orthodox Church, in order to survive, we must install people like JOEL OSTEEN and act like evangelicals, and the many Protestant members, who consider themselves so exceptional in the worship of God, just like the White Supremacist evangelicals like George Bush JR., Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Rumsfeld, etc etc. who have been put in office by the exceptional followers of these religious denomination …and justify their murder of 31/2 million people in the middle east, to bring their form of exceptionalism to the rest of the world! I can understand their animosity towards the Orthodox Christians…who have been crucified by these religious zealots thruout the MIddle East by the friends of the degenerate deviates…who regularly quote bible passages, and distort their meaning to ease their concious in committing these attrocities! It must be embarrasing ….when the heroes of the Anglican church of England and the Evangelical of the United States…….George Bush Jr. and Tony Blair… were banned forever by the Clergy of the Greek Orthodox church ….the caretakers of the Church of the Nativity…where Christ was born, and the tomb of Christ… from ever entering the church of the Nativity….for their war crimes attrocities in slaughtering 600,000 Iraqi men, women , and children based on lies and distortions to invade and bomb the people of Iraq Now to Michael, Michael And Jacob….I would say these people…. got it right! On the contrary…the exceptional evangelicals and their followers built a library in honor of Mr. Bush. I don’t think the Greek Orthodox church is failing to support the gospels and telling the world ….in defining what a sin against mankind and God’s children is !

      Michael, MIchael, Jacob, and TNH….would have you believe that people and the religion they represent which is not the Greek Orthodox religion, but those “Praise the Lord ” baptist and evangelicals who are the only true christians, because they spread the world of our saviour and hope of mankind! Additionally, only they serve man, and help the suffering, in the name of the lord!

      Here is what I recommend…. take a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C and visit the area ,where Greek Orthodox Christians and in particular, Clergy were hung in Greece and in the islands of Greece…for not identifying to another exceptional bunch of white supremacist from Germany….. the Greek Jews in their communities .so they could be exported to some of the favorite killing ground of Europe!
      What make Orthodox Christians faithful….yesterday, today, and in the future…is that the original church of Christ…is and has been , since, Paul started his walk in Damascus, the caretakers of all the fundamental practices of understanding not only the roots of trust in Christ and his teachings, but making the connection thru the practices of our religion, which no other religion in the world can do! The bible and gospels …were written in Greek and Hebrew…..and over the centuries improved to convey how we should worship God!

      When you even suggest ….we should copy or adopt someone like Joel Osteen and his evangelical followers, to improve the Orthodox Church to spread the word of God and make more followers of the Greek Orthodox Church from an Anglo American community…and then insult all Orthodox Christians to change …. because they will receive 30 piece of silver, then you lose any legitimacy to your efforts to remove the Archbishop of our Church! Do you really believe…this Anglo community will join the Greek Orthodox church …because the Greek, or any of the other Orthodox church…spread the word to them!

      Joel Osteen …does nothing but serve up an empty box of Hope and salvation to a large population of empty souls, who are not willing and committed to worshiping god by actually following the sacraments of the church, which were put in place by the disciples of Christ based on what they learned from Christ himself! Today, the Orthodox church has retained these principles , and it does not matter who or how much money the church has….somewhere,and somehow ….the church will stand…as it always has for centuries! As long as , the church retains their trademark! How can you feel great about yourself….when you claim you spread the word of Christ, when only the Greek Orthodox Church can show you …. in their masses… what the word of Christ really means, and how we can prepare ourselves every Sunday to understand and support what we are spreading!

      What Next… should we emulate the services and rantings of self proclaimed tele evangelist …. Jimmy Baker and his wife Tammy…who were the predecesors to the likes of millionaire Joel Osteen and distinguished themselves in Prison by confessing that they never fully read the bible…and simply sold a narrative of lies to a desperate population…who thought they could get a ticket to Heaven…by simply listening to words of hope! What next…would you like to resurrect another religious prophet like Jimmy Jones, and the people’s temple. This guy was so good at spreading the word of God….that he got 900 people to take their own lives in Gyana!

      What you all should do ….is go back to your next revival of missionary evangelist , and stop trying to do what cult religions and secret societies do….believe that they are obligated to save everyone,not compliant to their definition of religion! Unfortunately, they only thing they offer…is a Fast food religious experience, which is cheap, requires no work or knowledge, but provides you with a feel good message and a fraudulent ticket to Heaven!

      I would recommend to Michael, Michael and Jacob, that they stop their mission to save the Greek Orthodox church and its members….and if you don’t like the church….just leave and join MR. Osteen or any of your evangelical denomination that are so exceptional! From my standpoint…over the years, it has been very clear to me….the Orthodox Church is not the problem…it is the people who do not bring their children to church…and give them an opportunity to connect with God…and whose church is the only place to get their answers on how to live their lives and to find the answers to the many challenges that confront them! Whether the Church leaders are a million short of their financial obligations…is irrelevant! What is relevant….are they short or late in opening their doors every day of the week to provide the opportunity to the faithful to enter and pray and have a spiritual connection with god, with the help of their priest! And that is the only thing that matters, when we are members of the Greek Orthodox faithful..and no amount of money…will change that attendance!

      Michael Gianakos

      .

  6. “So Michael , Michael and Jacob…agree, that beyond changing the Archbishop and the administrators of the Greek Orthodox Church, in order to survive, we must install people like JOEL OSTEEN and act like evangelicals, and the many Protestant members, who consider themselves so exceptional in the worship of God”
    You are obviously not paying attention Michael G. The Greek Orthodox church of America within (the last fifteen years) has been ordaining deacons and priests from evangelical and protestant backgrounds. Fr. Barnabas Powell from the Atlanta diocese is one such example…a fine example. Awesome priest!

    1. So Michael, Michael, and Jacob agree…..that the willing conversion of evangelicals, and Protestant followers to the Greek Orthodox Church and who have committed themselves to teaching the doctrines of the original church of Christ …is Testament that your “Praise the Lord” and made for T.V. production of Evangelicals and Protestant messengers of God….may be great fund raisers, but should have their registration as a non profit religious organization revoked, because, obviously, these converted Evangelical and Protestants… would not support Jacob Lee’s delusional suggestion …that they and the Greek Orthodox Church .. “should be like the Protestant churches and be known for our good works. Our right belief is of no value without good works”

      How insulting to suggest ……. that the Greek Orthodox Church and its faithfull are followers of fraudulent beliefs and …get this …unlike the Protestants and evangelical do no Good Works! Obviously, Jacob is not Greek Orthodox..but one of these religious cults…that must save us, from ourselves…even if it kills us!

      My recommendation to MIchael , Michael and Jacob ….is go save your followers ….like Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, the entire Bush and Clinton Family….and cast of thousands in the government of the United States whose definition of supporting their values with good works ….is to drop a bomb on some country of the world every 12 minutes….and slaughter 31/2 million people in the Middle East to save them….something the Greek Orthodox Christians of the world ….have not shown that ability to do and demonstrate those good works! Importantly, when the Orthodox Christians of Syria… begged your boys to stop arming terrorist religious fanatics .who were killing all Christians, not Protestants or evangelical in Syria…they were told ….by John McCain, and Hillary Clinton to take a hike!

      What is your point…in telling us ….that the Greek Orthodox Church has taken in …former followers of the Evangelical and Protestant faithful…who appreciate what the original church of Christ practices, which you would like to change! Are you suggesting…that Archbishop Demetrios…is now guilty of corrupting the Greek Orthodox church by recruiting Protestants to the church…in order to make the church more like Protestants! Now that is a scoop…and your right…I am not paying attention to the real reason we need to remove Archbishop Demetrios…who you have crucified with TNH! Forgive me ….I didn’t realize that the Archbishop is conspiring to infiltrate the entire administration and clergy with Protestant faithful who do good works! Thanks for letting me know…count me in with the vigilante followers!

      What you should do….is stop wining about the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church and the direction of the church…and start …the First Anglo American Orthodox church …which can incorporate into it all the fund raising messenger of God, and fill the need of your followers ….for a Fast Food Religious experience, with no work or knowledge required of its followers,but earning a certified certificate and ticket to Heaven!

      There is a reason…why they call our church….The “GREEK” Orthodox Church….because it serves Greek faithful…who speak in Greek…the language of the Original Church of Christ, and the basis of the written testament and gospel of Christ!

      As far as the Greek Orthodox church ordaining former followers of Evangelical and Protestant denominations….why not….we Greeks and our church …support the equal opportunity doctrines of our country… and invite and embrace any ethnic, racial or religious people of the world to join our church….something history sadly, cannot be said about …some of the religious denominations you would like us to be like!

      Michael Gianakos

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