St. Jacob Baradaeus Pan-Oriental Orthodox Fellowship – OCP News Service – 1/2/2017
Visit – http://returntoorthodoxy.com/
It is the unfortunate truth that in the modern day the Oriental Orthodox Churches have proven permeable (to one degree or another, depending upon the jurisdiction) to the influence of heterodox pop culture of the Evangelical and Charismatic variety. In most cases, this influence manifests itself as the singing of Christian Contemporary Music – or so-called “Praise & Worship” – another term for vapid pop songs with a pseudo-Christian veneer – at youth retreats and related meetings. At other times, it takes the form of heterodox materials used in the educational curricula of certain parishes, or even entire dioceses. Sadly, in a handful of Coptic parishes, heterodox music has even found its way into the Divine Liturgy, sung after Psalm 150 when the faithful process to the chalice to receive Holy Communion.
In the hopes of addressing this creeping influence through prayer, advocacy and education, a number of concerned laity and clergy from a variety of nations joined together in the summer of 2013 to form the Fellowship of St. Jacob Baradaeus, a pan-Oriental Orthodox effort, for the purposes of, “Upholding the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox practice to the absolute exclusion of heterodox influence in the Oriental Orthodox Communion”. From the official website of the Fellowship, returntoorthodoxy.com:
“The St. Jacob Baradaeus Orthodox Christian Fellowship is a network of Coptic, Malankara-Syriac, Syriac, Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Armenian Orthodox priests, deacons, and lay-servants from several nations (including the UK, Canada, Sweden, India, Australia, and the USA) operating under the authority of their bishops to uphold the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox practice and to halt and reverse the spread of heterodox theology and forms of worship in the Oriental Orthodox Church.
This fellowship has placed itself under the patronage of the great St. Jacob Baradaeus as he is a pan-Oriental Orthodox father who strove against the corruption and annihilation of Orthodoxy in his own era and suffered much hardship for his efforts. St. Jacob was ordained by an international coalition of Oriental Orthodox bishops at the behest of the Empress St. Theodora and his ministry touched every family of the Oriental Orthodox Communion. He visited Syria, Armenia, Egypt, and other nations in the Near and Middle East, and some accounts even credit him with sending the famous Nine Saints to strengthen Miaphysite Orthodoxy in Ethiopia. May his prayers be with us in our efforts. Amen.”
Oftentimes, those who speak up against heterodoxy and heteropraxis in the Oriental Orthodox Church are villainized as “extremists” by those who for whom such activities have become a crutch – or worse yet – their bread and butter.
The Fellowship of St. Jacob Baradaeus is happy to partner with the Orthodox Cognate Page in the hopes of spreading its word to those determined to resist the spread of this spiritual cancer, and not only provide apologetic and educational resources for them, but more importantly, to let them know that they are neither extremists nor alone. The Fellowship is grateful to OCP for its support. To join the Fellowship of St. Jacob Baradaeus – or to submit material to the site – please visit: http://returntoorthodoxy.com/contact/