Monday, February 20, 2006

Christian churches urge Burma junta to stop religious persecutions

Christian churches urge Burma junta to stop religious persecutions

Feb 20, 2006 (DVB) - Six Christian churches in Rangoon jointly urged Burma’s military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) chairman Gen Than Shwe, to stop religious persecutions on Christians, in a pleading letter dated 20 February.

The action was prompted by the continuing intimidations of evangelical Christians at Rangoon Insein, Phawkkan, Shwepyitha and Hlaing Thaya areas by the local authorities. They were forced to pledge not to attend the church and bible classes which were also threatened with closures.

"We told the low-level authorities about them, but there is no development," a church member told DVB. "Therefore, we directly appealed to Gen Than Shwe for all the churches in Burma".

He added that his church members are not involved in politics as they are only interested in freedom of worship. "It is not right for Burma for them (local authorities) to persecute, intimidate and extort money from us thus."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

In defense of the Nazaraean Church of Jerusalem

In defense of the Nazaraean Church of Jerusalem - Part 1

I found these comments on a forum. I later learned that these comments were posted by Mother Karen Giuseppe, a highly respected nun in India.

In defense of the Nazaraean Church of Jerusalem, also known as the Nestorian Orthodox Church - Nasrani Church of the East:

My comments are in bold, the other comments in italics come from the postings of a former priest (he was never fully consecrated as a bishop) who ousted himself in November and now makes accusations and false claims about the Church:

According to the official statements of this church their origins began during the Second Temple era of Judaism.

The former priest is wrong. The Church states that it began at Sinai with the giving of Torah and sealed with the Blood of Messiah in the first century.

They now refer to themselves as the Nestorian Orthodox Church-Church of the East & Abroad in order to historically legitimize themselves. They liberally borrow from the history of the Assyrian Church of the East, which has historically been referred to as the Nestorian Church by their opponents.

The Church has always been known in the East as the “Nazaraean Church of Jerusalem” (and sometimes the “Nazaraean Orthodox Church of Jerusalem” or simply “Church of Jerusalem”) and in America as the “Nestorian Orthodox Church – Nasrani Church of the East” but even this American name has not been adopted elsewhere. The American “name” is seen only as an official description of the Church to identify her theology (Christology) and her heritage as Orthodox Nasranis (Nazaraeans). This former priest, now a member of a Western Rite sect of Greco-American Orthodoxy has even concocted what he now calls the “Nazaraean Orthodox Church”, which appears to be borrowing from the name of the Holy Church in which he excommunicated himself from even after taking a public oath before God and Messiah and the world.

The Nestorian Orthodox Church has also adopted the psuedo-Essene belief of being the "Guardians" (i.e. Notzrim) of true Religion, whom the original Nazarenes (i.e. Naztarim) of Jerusalem opposed.

The former priest’s facts are all wrong again. The name “Notzrim” was even used by him in his own writings when he came to this Church just a few years ago and in his writings he defended this name and told everyone that the Church should proclaim its heritage. But later, judging by his own writings and recent comments, he got himself involved with Western ideals instead of ancient Eastern Apostolic Faith.

They also use the name Nestorian Nasranis due to it's ancient connections with the missionary minded Assyrian Church of the East, which is also called the Church of the Oriental Nasraya (i.e. Nazarenes ) in Aramaic.

The former priest and now Western Rite Orthodox church member stretches the facts once again. The Church makes it clear that it is not Assyrian nor is it connected with the Assyrian Church.

This group also makes "Nasrani" connect to the Akkadian word "Nettara" which means "to protect, guard or watch." This fits into their church lore that they are the true and continuing ancient Church, and the authentic "Guardians" of the Faith of Jerusalem.

A childish, immature or lacking in knowledge statement if I ever saw one. The Church does not use the word “Nettara” in connection with the word “Nasrani”. Both mean something entirely different.

He goes on to say that the Church’s Holy See resides in Tennessee. This is incorrect. They have offices in West and Middle Tennessee but the private residence is in Westland, Michigan. The Catholicos also has a home in Jerusalem where I “heard” he is moving to soon.

The Holy See is stated to have been transfered from Portugal by way of South India and Burma. The Nestorian Nasranis affirm that their Catholicos Patriarch is a member of the surviving Desposyni (i.e. Relatives of the Lord Jesus Christ). This Desposyni Family is said to be of Hebrew-Burmese descent, and are called the Shemishqo in Aramaic.

The word “Shemishqo” is not Aramaic. It is Nasramit and is an acronym. The man who write the above comment even uses Nasramit on his free websites. This is quite ironic since Nasramit is now unique to the Nestorian Orthodox.

In Burmese their name is Yaza, which is Raja (i.e. King) in the Indian language. It is also stated that this Family is the royal family of ancient Burma, as well as the Davidic Desposyni in exile.

He got something right! Perhaps he should be given a cookie.

It is believed by all Nestorian Nasranis that their Catholicos Patriarch is above all human judgment, and that only Christ Himself can be his judge. A Loyalty Oath of fealty to the Catholicos Patriarch and his Desposyni Family must be declared and signed by all church members on pains of excommunication.

Another false statement. The Catholicos is bound to Apostolic Dogma and he nor any other individual has control over the Church. There are “checks and balances”. Lay members are not required to sign the oath that the former priest is referring to.

Since the Catholicos Patriarch is directly descended from James the Just and the relatives of the Virgin Mary, he is viewed as the sole and rightful Patriarch of Jerusalem and of all true followers of Jesus Christ world-wide. He is, in effect, the Lord's vice-regent on earth as well as His blood relative.

Another cookie perhaps?

The Kingdom of Nettara: In 2003 some 1000 Burmese Christians joined the Nestorian Orthodox Church-Church of the East & Abroad, and were granted the name The Burmese Orthodox Church of the East. They reside along the border of Thailand, which is where rebel forces control the territory of Burma, and where many refugee camps are located.

Burmese Christians from among Karen and Shan states came into full communion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem which had Shemishqo representatives in China. The Burmese Church then requested to be called the “Burmese Orthodox Church” and their request was granted by the Holy See.

On May 22, 2004 the Catholicos Patriarch declared himself king of this rebel held territory and re-established the old Burmese kingdom on Nasrani principles with the name Kingdom of Nettara. This Nestorian Homeland exists, according to the church, "along the border of Thailand extending from Laos to the Adaman Sea." Some 25,000 church members are said to presently inhabit this kingdom, with Nestorian refugees from Iraq included.

The Catholicos did not proclaim himself the king of anything. The people of this highly persecuted, refugee area proclaimed the Catholicos and his deputy patriarch as the government rulers. The Catholicos and the Deputy Patriarch (Sar Patriarch) were very reluctant to be called by that name because of Western misunderstandings.

It seems, from their own various maps, that Nettara is actually the eastern states of Burma which are known to be presently under rebel control, near the the Golden Triangle.

The people in this area are persecuted by Laos and by Myanmar. People, including former clergy, undermine their efforts in bringing peaceful and better living conditions to this area by their false statements. There was a radio program on in Israel a while back that mentioned the commentator travelling to the area and visiting with some of the people on the border. Some of the people gave their experiences and it was broadcast later.

Official Recognition: No official recognition of this Nestorian Homeland has been granted by any of the governments of Burma, Laos, Thailand or any other member of the United Nations. It therefore must be considered a religious conviction promulgated by this church and their Catholicos Patriarch, who is believed to be the heir of the Burman and Hebrew thrones. Nettara is nothing more than the Burmese areas in which christian refugees, many who have become members of this church, reside under the protection of these rebel forces in Northeastern Burma, and nothing more.

The people do not seek recognition from the U.N. or any other such worldly political organization. They work with other refugees through refugee programs by providing food and shelter when possible but they want nothing to do with the U.N. or the corrupt governments of Laos and Myanmar. The people are not under the control of drug lords as was previously stated by someone else in the Wikipedia site.

Claims, Beliefs, Links and Aliases: The Nestorian Orthodox Church claims to be the only true church, and calls all other churches Klal Kristiani (i.e. all of Pauline Christianity), which it vehemently condemns as corrupted, westernized, paganistic and anti-semitic.

The Holy Church proclaims its heritage boldly but does not put history above Apostolic Teaching. Anyone who reads the article “Only Angels Have Halos” can clearly see that the Church does not condemn other Christians. But she will stand up when there is gross error and anti-Semitism.

The Nestorian Orthodox Church has past links to Interfaith Christians and holds to a Universalist belief system. Many off shoot Interfaith, Universalist and Gnostic Thomasine sects have their origins and received their Apostolic Succession from this church.

The Church is not connected with any “interfaith” groups. A casual reading of its books and websites should easily dispel that myth promulgated by two apostate members and now this former priest. The Church has never consecrated anyone who knowingly or even hinted at a Gnostic belief system.

It has adopted Judaizing among it's Gentile membership; and has begun to become Ebionite in it's theology.

“Judaizing”? Does this mean boldly proclaiming that the Church is the Judaeo-Nazaraean Orthodox Church of Jerusalem? or does he mean that the Church requires its members to be familiar with the Whole Scriptures (Torah and Brith Chadashah)? Ebionite? Sighhhhh. Again we see an entirely Western minded individual’s false label.

This church has used many other aliases, such as originally "The Malakara Iberian Orthodox Church"," The Universal Bible Church-St. Thomas Christian Church", "The Universal Bible Society", "The Mar Thoma Nasrani Church of the East & Abroad" and now "The Nestorian Orthodox Church-Church of the East & Abroad".

It was only known as the “Malankara” church among the Saint Thomas Christians in India and those who moved into Portugal. The name “Universal Bible Church” was used in reference to the Church being “Catholic – i.e., Universal” and the “Bible” as the Scriptures. The former priest is wrong to claim that the Church was known as the “Universal Bible Society”. This was once a publishing company in Colorado that was used by the Church to print Bibles and tracts. There was a branch set up in Syria under the care of a man named "Lombardi" who had an ulterior motive. He soon changed the mission statement and many webpages that belonged to the Church. The individual was quickly given the opportunity to repent but he chose to be excommunicated.

Though officially a jurisdiction of the Saint Thomas Christians out of South India, it has an become an eclectic blend of theology and customs from the Assyrian Church of the East, Charismatic Protestantism, Messianic Judaism, and the Essene Dead Sea Scrolls.

Only one group in India is even connected to the Saint Thomas Christians and they came into membership with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1918 under Mar Dalin I who was consecrated as the Catholicos. It is widely known that the Church of Jerusalem was connected in the past with the Assyrians, but the Assyrians broke from the Church of Jerusalem and became independent and began ordaining their own bishops and patriarchs which was seen to be proper. They became known as the Patriarchate of Babylon, essentially. I do not know anything about “Charismatic Protestantism”. I assume this man is referring to a Western view (again) of what “Messianic Judaism” is all about. This is all in the history webpages of the Church and always has been.

Apostolic Succession: The Nestorian Orthodox Church make various claims as to their Apostolic Succession, such as their primary Apostolic Succession from the Church of Jerusalem through the Desposyni Line after 135 CE in Mesopotamia; their secondary line was received "sub conditione" from Assyrian Church of the East (1901) under Patriarch Benjamin Shimun, who was murdered in 1918; their third line was received "sub conditione" from the Syrian Orthodox Church by Metropolitan "Old Catholic" Metropolitan Archbishop +Mar Timotheos I (Rene Vilatte) in 1926, and their fourth line was recieved "sub conditione" from Chaldean Catholic Church under Patriarch +Mar Yusef Emmanuel II Thoma also (1930s?), and finally their secondary line is said to have been re-affirmed by "sub conditione" from the the late Assyrian Patriarch of the East, +Mar Eshai Shimun (1972-73).

The Church’s Apostolic Succession is outlined on the webpages of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Catholicos Patriarch Resource Center’s website. It was claimed by some that the Church received her Apostolic Succession from Joseph Rene Vilatte but this was never clear but it can be seen that the Church does not endorse him or any of his so called “ordinations.” Western and Eastern Orthodox always seem to use this claim against any religious organization that they do not like attempting to de-legitimatize the jurisdiction on any level they can even if they have to stoop to religious slander.

History: The Desposyni (i.e. Family of the Lord) and the Nazarenes left Jerusalem in 135 CE for Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia they merged with the fledgling Assyrian Church of the East, and their Desposyni became Patriarchs of the early Church of the East (i.e +Mar Abris, +Mar Oraham, +Mar Yakov I, Mar Ebius M'shikha & +Mar Akhu d'Awu). Then in 223 CE, Metropolitan +Mar Yusif II, a Desposyni Archbishop, relocated the Nazarene community of Mesopotamia to far off Burma, there to re-establish their community as a semi-independent Mission of the Assyrian Church of the East. They claim that it is from this isolated Metropolitanate of Judeo-Burmese Nazarenes, once in communion with the Assyrian Church of the East, that their present church is descended. Although they do admit that they were established by and were in full communion with the Assyrian Church of the East at various periods in their long history,

The Church was never officially merged with any other jurisdiction. That false claim is a new one for me. The Church was associated loosely and received when necessary ordination from Assyrian clergy but they never made any formal pact or concordat of agreement.

they presently reject all ties to their ancient parent Church. This history is said to be recorded in a Book they possess called "The Annals of the Oriental Nasraya."

Again the Church is independent and always has been. One can read history concerning the Assyrians and it tells anyone that the Assyrians became independent of the Church of Jerusalem and not the other way around. In other words the Church of Jerusalem was the parent Church. The Assyrians’ books even state this.

They presently have several small communities in Syria, Israel, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Burma, Portugal, Brazil, Izmir and in the United States. Their numbers have never been given, so it can be assumed that they are a very small association of small communities world-wide. In the U.S.A. they are not registered as non-profit religious organization, but they do take donations and sell various products.

Should this man be given a third cookie? The Church, just like any other religious organization sells products. The Church has Scriptures, books, etc. They even sold his writings for a while but the store sales reports show that only a few people ever purchased the materials.

Theology, N.T. Canon and Practice: The Nestorian Orthodox Church's theology and rituals are an admixture of Assyrian Church of the East and St. Thomas Christian Orthodoxy blended with a Judaizing type of Messianic Judaism, as well as mix of some Essene and Charismatic Protestant notions. They state that they depend upon their Scriptures, Traditions, Revelations and the Magisterium of the Church for their Faith, Morals, Practices and Customs.

We have already gone through this point. He is repeating himself for the most part. Anyone can read the writings of the Church to know where she received her theology. There are no secrets about that.

Unlike the 8th Century Assyrian Church of the East's Monuments in China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan, which describe the New Testament Canon as containing the present 27 Books, this church states that it only accepts the 22 Books of the ancient Aramaic Peshitta New Testament, which excludes II John, III John; II Peter; Jude & Revelations.

Everyone who has been participating in the threads on this forum already know the stand of the Church as to the “New Testament” and the Church’s official canon is published on its webpages for all to see. Again false accusations.

As far as the original language of the New Testament is concerned they are adherents of "Aramaic Primacy."

The Church does not and never has concerned herself with the ideals or trappings of what this man calls “Aramaic Primacy”. He is also aware of the posted messages in other forums which I was an assistant manager, where senior clergy of the Church stated to him very clearly that the Church does not promote “Aramaic Primacy”. But, unfortunately for this former priest, the Church also made it clear to him that neither does it promote “Greek Primacy.” The Church holds a very balanced view on this debated subject.

More recently, however, they have determined that along with these five excluded books, all of the Epistles of St. Paul are Apocryphal. They have adopted the Ebionite position that St. Paul contradicts Christ and His Apostles, and is therefore at best of secondary value (Read "But what about Paul?" by H.G. Rabban +Mar Andreos Channer: The Nestorian Orthodox Congregation of Beaverton, Oregon USA).

I wonder what definition this person gives to the word “Apocryphal”. I have heard some Protestant people say that their understanding of “apocrypha” was basically the “junk yard books”. But the Church does not see it this way. “Apocrypha” are those other books that came to her late and were never counted among her official canon. In other words, the Church was unaware that some of these books became “canonical” in a sense to some of Roman, Greek and Hellenistic churches because she was isolated and never invited to any council.

The Nestorian Orthodox Church also practices a form of Torah Observance and Kosher (i.e. Kashrut) laws according to their peculiar Halakha.

Yeshua said that anyone who teaches against Torah Observance would be called “least in the Kingdom” (Matthew 5).

On November 9th, 2005 this church formed a Sanhedrin (i.e. Knesset) of 70 secret Rabbis, whose location is not declared; and the Catholicos Partriarch is the Nasi (President & Prince) of the Nestorian Nasrani Beit Din.

I seem to recall some my father talking about the Beit Knushta when I was a child. That was over twenty years ago. His father, and his grandfather and great grandfather were all members of the Beit Knushta. So in a huff this man has misconstrued the facts by stating that the Knushta was founded in 2005. Anyone who knows the history of the ancient sanhedrin knows that the members have always been anonymous to even Church members for the most part. The ancient Jewish Sanhedrin which no longer exists, its members were also anonymous. A casual reading of the Jewish Encylopedia explains this.

In defense of the Nazaraean Church of Jerusalem - Part 2

These are some more accusations posted by a former priest. Again my comments are in bold while his are in italics.

Former cleric said: I was a member and cleric of this Jurisdiction. I do not know who Budo really is, but he is on the mark when it comes to this church.

Budo is someone who made comments in Wikipedia (their site that recently got into some hot water over the fact the libelous information was posted about a man in the United States. Anyone with a computer, even a monkey, can post things on that site and if you look at some of the articles, it would remind one of the fact the internet is full of people who have nothing better to do than to write vulgar and false statements). Budo claimed that the Church was "new age" and this former "cleric" stated that Budo was on the mark. Interesting.

Former cleric said: I do know who Marcus Levine is, and I suppose the other commenter is familiar too.

Marcus Levine is an archdeacon in New Zealand who posted in that site to defend the Church. Budo made comments saying that the Church was "new age" and never gave any references, yet he requested that Archdeacon Marcus+ give references to his defense.

Former cleric said: I was from 2002 until November 15th, 2005 a prominant cleric in this church.

The fact is that this "prominant cleric" was not even known in most circles and his writings were so confusing to lay people that the real clergy threw them in the trash when they came in email. I know this for a fact because for a short time I volunteered work in the office of the Patriarch in India. The clergy believed that some of the writings contained what they called very strange and foreign concepts that the Church did not hold to.

Former cleric said: I have separated from this ever crumbling deck of cards. My church and missionary diocese is now once again independent, but I am in full communion with an Orthodox Jurisdiction.

This former "cleric", known mostly among a handful in America, was offered the opportunity to repent of certain statements (of which I have not seen personally) or he could walk away. The Church always gives someone the opportunity to repent or walk away with some kind of dignity and does not wish to make a big fuss over the individual. He sent out a copy of his self-excommunication email to people throughout the Church. In his email he said that he did not want the Church to say anything bad about him and he wanted his writings removed the Church's webpages. The Church has not spoken bad about him and his few writings have been removed from the webpages at his request. This basically took place within just a matter of an hour or so.

Former cleric said: I have recently tried to edit and corrected the article... as I was a spiritual counsel (i.e. Abuna-Qasha)...

The site was vandalized several times in fact. There was even a curse posted on there. The IP addresses and usernames are public and anyone can see who posted those things.

Former cleric said: The current Rabban, H.G. Mar Andreos, was my former archdeacon and Confraternity assistant general director.... I was training him myself, but that was fast tracked because he who sits upon the throne of Jerusalem and Nettara (LOL!) liked his heterodoxy when it came to Anti-Pauline Judaizing of Gentile believers, his Universalist Mysticism and his fanatical zeal to do the bidding of the catholicoi.

Well, His Grace, Rabban +Mar Andreos is the Bishop of Education and he is well versed in both Eastern and Western views and all can easily see how Rabban +Mar Andreos teaches which is in line with the Ancient Apostolic Dogma held by the Nazaraean Orthodox Church of Jerusalem. Personally, I am not sure what a Western minded clergy would be able to teach a fully qualified Rabban and Bishop, unless it is Western Antiochene Greek philosophy and anything that does not line up with ancient Apostolic Church teachings.

Former cleric said: Actually, I began to have my doubts about this juisdiction back in the spring of 2005.

Why did this man not bring his thoughts to the Synod? Why did he remain in something he felt was heretical?

Former Cleric said: By August I had found direct evidence that Chazak Yaza was once a member of a New Age online Community.... He clearly states therein that he is the "founder and director of the Universal Bible Society, which is an Interfaith Christian publishing company and world-wide ministry." His stated interests are:"World Scripture (?), Universal Interfaith Movements, Ancient Texts, Gnosis and Christ Consciousness." Now this is beyond the pale of Nazaraean or Christian Orthodoxy, and he described himself as "interfaith" when his Faith is asked.

This former cleric, who claims to have been "prominant", was given the evidence from a nun in Israel who works with students in Syria that the man who was once in charge of the "Universal Bible Society", known as Rex Lombardi, signed His Holiness up for all sorts of email groups and internet organizations without the approval of the Holy Synod, or even the Catholicos himself! His Holiness is not a member of any internet new age group and he has spoken many times and in his book "Faithful Unto the Messiah" about the dangers of syncretism and interfaith groups.

Former clergy said: I know all the early and present revised histories of the church and it's various incarnations and aliases.....when I found all these things out I began to ask for answers and received none. So I left....and if you read all their sites now, I am the evil one they are referencing in their defensive rants.

Almost all of the revised materials were made by the former member of the Church who was trusted but later showed that he had an ulterior motive.

Former clergy said: This group is not aligned or related to Spruit's Malabar Rite Cult. Nor is it gnostic or masonic......

I think I need to give him another cookie.

Former clergy said: In my humble, but well learned opinion, like "the Society for the Advancement of Nazaraean Judaism (SANJ)" of the Diploma Mill'd Dr. James Trimm, this group's leadership is Academically challenged, Theologically incoherent and Biblically illiterate.

"Humble" yet “well learned”? Anyway, the Church does not promote Mr. Trimm’s “SANJ” organization. I suppose if a Greek Orthodox or Western Orthodox Rite priest thinks that another jurisdiction is not Greek or Western enough they think they can call them incoherent and "Biblically illiterate". Again, I wonder why he stayed.

Former cleric said: When I sent an Apologetics paper called "Contra Salus Universalus" againts their heresy, they could not rebut it, nor exegete Scripture in defense of their own position.

I wonder when he sent this. I wonder if he even waited for a reply. Considering how the Holy See receives countless letters, emails and telephone calls all day long and has such a small staff (24 last time I knew), it would be impossible to respond in a short time span. I personally suspect this is just an excuse.

Former cleric said: They do not rely upon Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition (Patristic Witness), but are subjective and have an eclectic mish mash of contrary theological positions. I found this out too late, but I am now liberated from this disfunctional spiritual family.

The fact is the Church does not rely on faulty translation or solely on Greek translations and Greek philosophical interpretations of the Jewish Messiah’s doctrines. Yes, the Church’s theological position is in opposition to anything that is not held by Yeshua and His Apostles.

Former cleric said: Anyone who defends this sect is a sect member who has signed the loyalty oath thought up by my former Archdeacon turned Rabban.

The Oath of Loyalty is for clergy and those who are entering into the clergy but not for laity. The Oath of Loyalty was originally composed by H.G. Rabban +Mar Andreos and guess what….it was approved by this former cleric before it even got sent to Mishqana! All of this information is documented in clergy forum that I am assistant manager of. This former cleric even made it publicly known that he was the first to sign the Oath.

Former cleric said: Like James Trimm's fake Hebrew Roots Version Bible, and the Watchtower's New World Translation, this group is now making it's own Bible Canon and Version too! If you can't find it is Scripture, make your own Version to find it!

That is an interesting statement indeed! I find it interesting because this very same man, the former cleric, has endorsed this Version of the Peshitta in online forums. That is, until he self-excommunicated himself from the Nazaraean Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and made up his own party known as the “Nazaraean Orthodox Church” borrowing from the name of Messiah’s Holy Church.

Former cleric said: So Budo, here is my salute. I have all the htmls and documents saved from every year beginning from 2002 until is quite a hoot.

Anyone can save a webpage but in doing so one can be selective or even change the text of any webpage if they wanted to. By the way, the Mishqana does not permit any of its webpages to be distributed without written permission nor unless the page says it can be printed out and shared or reprinted in some manner. Any other manner would theft. Even sharing in email or posting online.

Former cleric said: My Motto is Unity in Dogmatic Essentials, Liberty in Nonessentials and Charity in all things...they borrowed this from me and now have warped it.

This former cleric sent that statement in and it was requested that it be put on his webpages that were being hosted by the Church with the Church’s own meager means. Later it was realized that, even though the Church does hold to such a sentiment in one way or another, the phrase itself is quite “Protestant” sounding so the Church’s webmasters started removing it.

Former cleric said: They no longer sell my translation of the Didache, my Artwork or any of my intellectual property.

This is because he requested the Church not to sell his “Messianic” doodling and his paraphrases of what he was calling a “Didache”. I was one of the sisters in charge of reviewing the editing process of his paraphrase of the Didache and I found it very difficult to see how his paraphrases fell in line with Ancient Apostolic Dogma. I asked to be taken off the editorial board at that time.

It is sad to see a former cleric to go to no ends in order to bash the Holy Church he swore to defend, even forming an organization he called “Confraternity” in order to defend it. Many people in India, Israel and Turkey spent their life’s savings to purchase or rent buildings and other property in order to organize a branch office in their own countries of this “confraternity”. When this man left the Church he also ripped out the hearts of many poor brothers and sisters who were ready to do anything they could to organize such a “confraternity”. He set himself up under the name of what he called “nasi”. But no more. Those days are gone. We will not be gullible to the whims of such individuals. We will stand strong, and even though we have been wounded and many of us, including myself, have spent every penny we ever owned to assist his “confraternity” in growing worldwide, even though most never even knew him; we soon learned that the constitution he adapted for his “confraternity” was not in line with the proper headship of the Church.

I pray for this man every day and for his family like I always have and I know the sisters in my convent also pray for him. I do not judge him, even though he throws accusations around like rice at a wedding. I ask others not to judge him either. That is not our place. That is between him and the God and Messiah he swore to in the Oath of Loyalty.

Brother Stephen Pingha in Australia posted the following on the internet:

I think a lot of people don't realize that donations are not accepted by non-members of the Church by the majority of the ministries and apostolates. A non-member who wants to donate to the Church is usually directed to a reliable, reputable charitable organization that is not associated with the Church instead. Members are supposed to take care of each other and not rely on the world for their money. The idea is that God is the provider and He does this through the Scripturally mandated tithe. So, almost all donations come from within the Church membership, not the other way around.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What is a Nation?

What is a Nation?

Posted by Brother Stephen Pingha in Australia

What makes a nation? A nation has a common language, religion, it's own "higher power" (or more than one), its own foods, clothing, etc.

Is the Nasrani Church of the East and Abroad a "nation"?

We have a common language throughout the Church and it's called "Nasramit", an ancient tongue akin to Aramaic and Hebrew.

Nestorians have religion and its' Marga Mshikha (or Derekh Mshikha) = the Law of Messiah = the Way of Messiah.

We have our own God = Mar Yah made incarnate in the Son = Maran Yeshua Mshikha, One Body, Two Essences!

We have many different foods, but there are those certain foods that are common to almost all Nasrani = but our most important food is Peshitta = the Word of God. "You give food for the sustenance of humankind and they praise You for that food; but You also give us spiritual food, for which we praise You for that Food as well."

The Nestorian Nation also has a specific clothing and it's called "modest". Real Nestorians don't go around with highly expensive and gaudy attire. It's not in our nature to do that. But most importantly we have Spiritual Clothing = Holy Spirit!

So are Nasranis a "nation"? Yes! We are the Nestorian Orthodox Nation. A small minority in a sea of sin and paganism lifting up the Banner of Truth = the Marga Mshihka! Yes! Members of the Church are a part of THE Nestorian Nation and our Nation has a homeland and it's called Nettara and it's Law is the Torah and it's God is Mar Yah Yeshua! AMEN!