Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal

Thursday, September 3, 2015

After surviving ISIS, this 10-year old Christian thanks God and teaches the world a lesson on forgiveness

A Christian girl in Iraq, displaced from her home and village by ISIS, praises God and shares her faith, love and forgiveness in this deeply moving interview.

An Orthodox Christian provides the following comments on this video ....

Here is another quite remarkable video forwarded by Presvytera featuring an extraordinary young girl named Miriam. Virtually impossible not to be deeply moved by this interview.  Miriam is not only articulate for her age, but she is a powerful Christian witness!  What Miriam says is not merely "cute" and her words spoken to her interviewer went well beyond any sentimental appeal.

"This little girl puts us to shame!"

There is something else at work here.  In fact, though it is not fair of me to speak for others, one of my first impressions was:  this little girl puts us to shame!  Her pure faith, her assurance of God's providential care for everyone, her openness in speaking of Christ, her maturity in articulating difficult feelings, and especially her attitude toward the ISIS forces that stripped her of her native town, might just eclipse our own Christian witness - by far!  I do not think that we need to necessarily consider her capacity to forgive as merely an indication of her young age and naïve outlook on life.  There is something experiential in her words.

Whenever I think of Christianity in the Middle East, I usually cannot help but feel discouraged if not depressed, because the Christian Faith seems to be disappearing in the land of its origin. The number of Christians is certainly declining annually. One wonderful little girl cannot alter that basic feeling and those basic facts. 

"Perhaps the Christian Faith is being purified and strengthened in the Middle East through the crucible of suffering and hardship."

Yet, listening to Miriam I realize that someone taught her about Christ and the power of forgiveness.  Her priest, her family, her wider circle of Christian neighbors, I would imagine. Perhaps the Christian Faith is being purified and strengthened in the Middle East through the crucible of suffering and hardship. 

There is a mysterious paradox at work here:  we do everything in our power to avoid the least bit of discomfort and struggle, while it seems as if those forces are the ones that are showing the world the power of the Cross and the suffering Christ. By the grace of God this seems to be shaping the mind and heart of this little girl.  The martyrdoms now occurring among Christians in the Middle East cannot but have some effect on even unbelievers throughout the world.  They may have to re-think their assessment of Christianity, if only grudgingly.

"... Humanity at its best in the beautiful face and words of this little girl."

We all need examples to inspire us. The faith of Miriam could just be that example, regardless of her tender years.  Parents may want to share and discuss this interview with their own children.  As a challenge: Whenever we get to feel complacent; whenever we put comfort and other "worldly things" before church and decide not to come to church because it is inconvenient; or because there is something better or more exciting to do; or when we just don't "feel like it;" this little girl's image might just help us reassess such attitudes. 

With all of the horrible and horrific images emerging on a daily basis in the Middle East, it was a breath of fresh air, so to speak, to momentarily see humanity at its best in the beautiful face and words of this little girl.  May God bless and protect her!

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