Orthodox Priest forcibly retired for teaching true aspects of Judeao-Christianity

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An Eastern Orthodox priest in Canada, which is part of the Orthodox Church of America, was fired by way of forced retirement for teaching aspects of early church history and for being pro-Israel:

September 8, 2019

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – A Christian Orthodox priest in Nova Scotia was forced to retire after delivering a sermon that honored Judaism and Israel reported the Canadian Jewish News.

The head priest of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Halifax, Father Vladimir Tobin, got a letter from the Orthodox Church in America Archbishop Irénée, the archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, on Aug. 12, letting him know that he is being forcibly retired. The forced resignation was due to the “Jewish twist in your ministry.” …

“I was happy in Orthodoxy but felt there was some anti-Jewishness there. I wrote a piece for publication, but was told by my superiors that it was ‘too Jewish.’ That increased my determination that Christianity grew from Judaism. My own theology recognized a faith that started with Abraham and grew through the centuries through Christ,” he explained. …

The Parish Council was upset at the news of his dismissal and subsequently wrote a penned a letter urging Father Tobin’s reinstatement. Archbishop Irénée agreed, but then reneged on that agreement in August. https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/136728/canada-orthodox-priest-fired-praying-israel/

HALIFAX – A Christian Orthodox priest in Nova Scotia was forcibly retired for delivering a sermon that honoured Judaism and Israel. …

He admits that his sermons over the last several years have tied together Christianity’s roots and the Old Testament’s Jewish background.

The 77-year-old cleric …

“I was happy in Orthodoxy, but felt there was some anti-Jewishness there. I wrote a piece for publication, but was told by my superiors that it was ‘too Jewish.’ That increased my determination that Christianity grew from Judaism. My own theology recognized a faith that started with Abraham and grew through the centuries through Christ,” he said.

He was first sent a letter from Archbishop Irénée in April, following a written complaint by the assistant priest, Father Alexander Treiger, who alleged that Father Tobin was, among other things, including prayers for Israel in his services. …

On Aug. 12, the archbishop wrote to Father Tobin: “Now, I place you once more on retirement as of Monday, August 26, 2019. This will permit you to say your farewells to the Faithful of Saint Vladimir Parish and remove your personal possessions from the church premises.” 09/05/19 https://www.cjnews.com/news/canada/nova-scotia-priest-fired-for-praying-for-israel?fbclid=IwAR0BRcLVVrorLMtrPKcKN_6btnLTM066sHKhbEq108lAvFryMzJZBsKUYsQ

As far as praying for Israel, Samuel did that:

1 Now Samuel said to all Israel … “23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:1,23)

The Bible also says:

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6)

Now, Orthodox priest seemingly was more ‘political’ in his prayer, but it seems that it was his teaching about early Judeao-Christianity that offended his archbishop.

The Orthodox do have a history of antisemitism.

The Orthodox saint, and late fourth century bishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom preached eight Homilies Against the Jews. Here are a few of his statements:

But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable (I:II:1).

But what is the source of this hardness? It come from gluttony and drunkenness. (I:II:5).

I said that the synagogue is no better than a theater and I bring forward a prophet as my witness. Surely the Jews are not more deserving of belief than their prophets. “You had a harlot’s brow; you became shameless before all”. Where a harlot has set herself up, that place is a brothel. But the synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater; it also is a den of robbers and a lodging for wild beasts. (I:III:1).

So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on a par. But the Jews practice a deceit which is more dangerous (I:VI:4).

Do you see that demons dwell in their souls and that these demons are more dangerous than the ones of old? (I:VI:7).

Now then, let me strip down for the fight against the Jews themselves, so that the victory may be more glorious—so that you will learn that they are abominable and lawless and murderous and enemies of God. (II:IV:11)

My battle against the Jews did come to a fitting end. The monument marking their rout has been set up, the victory crown belongs to me, and I have captured the prize I sought from my previous discourse. (V:I:3)

Since it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle line, let me extend my instruction further. Let me show that, by fasting now, the Jews dishonor the law and trample underfoot God’s commands because they are always doing everything contrary to his decrees. When God wished them to fast, they got fat and flabby (VI:IV:2).

Indeed, the fasting of the Jews, which is more disgraceful than any drunkenness, is over and gone (VIII:I:5).

For more on John Chyrsostom, the Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce our latest sermon on the ContinuingCOG channel:


John Chrysostom, Holy Days, and Holidays

‘The Catholic Encylopedia’ calls him “the greatest greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit.” The Protestant ‘Christianity Today’ referred to him as the “Early church’s greatest preacher.” Did John Chrysostom teach the Bible or traditions of men? What did he teach about the biblical holy days? What did he teach about New Year’s, Christmas, and Easter? John Chrysostom was born in Antioch in 347 and died in exile in September 14, 407. Did early Christians, like the Apostle Paul, keep the biblical holy days? Did they keep Fall holy days? What did the Catholic bishop and saint Methodius of Olympus teach about the Feast of Tabernacles? Was John Chrysostom an anti-Semite? What did he teach about the Jews? Did Jesus keep the biblical holy days? Are biblical holy days the “times” warned against in Galatians 4? Should you imitate Jesus and the Apostle Paul or follow the teachings of John Chrysostom? Is the ‘Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom’ the original Christian liturgy? What days, if any, should true Christians keep today? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: John Chrysostom, Holy Days, and Holidays.

Now, I would like to touch on early church history.

Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, is considered to essentially be the first among equals in the Orthodox Church. Notice something that he wrote:

Whoever believes that Orthodoxy has the truth does not fear dialogue, because truth has never been endangered by dialogue. (Bartholomew I. Patriarchal and Synodal Encyclical on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Prot. No. 213, February 21, 2010. http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=1168&tla=en)

The Orthodox Bishop T. Kallistos Ware wrote:

Christianity, if true, has nothing to fear from honest inquiry (Ware T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books, London, 1997, p.201).

Well, if the Orthodox believe that, then they should have no problem with writings from their priests that show that the early Christian church was much more ‘Jewish’ in character than their church now is.

Early Christian liturgy essentially was a modification of Jewish synagogue services. And what the Orthodox now use, which is actually called “The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom” (https://www.goarch.org/-/the-divine-liturgy-of-saint-john-chrysostom accessed 09/06/19) is NOT close to the original liturgy of early Christians (for details about the earliest liturgical practices, checkout What was the Liturgy of the Early Church?; a related sermon is also available What were early Christian church services like?).

Notice the following claim about the Orthodox church:


(Home page of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. http://www.antiochian.org/ accessed 08/22/19)

The Orthodox claim one of its strongest point is:

… its determination to remain loyal to the past, its sense of living continuity with the church of ancient times … Orthodoxy, believing that the Church on earth has remained and must remain visibly one, also believes itself to be that one visible Church. This is a bold claim … The Orthodox believe that they are the true church … Claiming as it does to be the one true Church, the Orthodox Church believes… (Ware, pp.203, 246-247).

Of course, if many Orthodox priests would teach the truth about early Christianity, then the Eastern Orthodox congregants would learn that they do NOT practice the original Christian faith–and since they have repeatedly been taught that they are, this would cause much disruption within the Eastern Orthodox world.

That being said, the Orthodox do have several points right on doctrine, though often they have compromised.

The Continuing Church of God recently put together a sermon related to the Eastern Orthodox on its ContinuingCOG channel:


Both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God believe that they best represent the original Christian church in the 21st century. The groups are very different in many ways, however, there are a surprisingly high number of beliefs that both groups share. This even includes beliefs that various Protestants that are unfamiliar with Christian church history tend to consider to be cultic or heretical. In this sermon, Dr. Thiel covers over 40 similar beliefs that both groups hold. These include matters related to Adam, the fate of babies, where the true Christian church began, certain saints, lack of purgatory, semi-Arian early view of the Godhead, Jesus as Savior, the original date and time of Passover, early millennium views, aspects of apokatastasis, aspects of the Last Day, the Ten Commandments, and baptism by immersion. Though they do not agree with all aspects of the similar beliefs. Which church changed? Which church still represents the original Christian church? Knowing the Bible, early church history, and these similar beliefs should help those truly interested in sincere and honest inquiry know.

Here is a link to the sermon: Eastern Orthodox 40+ Similar Beliefs to the CCOG.

Anyway, it may be that Vladimir Tobin was at least partially forced into retirement because some of his teachings of the more Jewish character of the original Christian church are in massive conflict with what the Eastern Orthodox teach.

All who profess Christ should “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), which is what we in the Continuing Church of God are doing. The Eastern Orthodox need to change mightily in order to also do that.

Those interested in the truth about Church history, its original doctrines, and some who compromised.should find the following of assistance:

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are? Here is a link to a related sermon: Eastern Orthodox 40+ Similar Beliefs to the CCOG.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach? A related short video is also available: Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.


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