Welcome to the 21st century where you can place an order on practically anything you want. Where at the convenience of your own home you can order food and it’s delivered right to your door within minutes. With Amazon prime, you can order products and it’s delivered to you within a day or two. Where you can watch the most recent movies at the comfort of your own home. Where you can say you finished a book in one hour, all thanks to books on audio. Where if you don’t feel like driving to work, you can work right from home. As the world caters more and more to our needs, wants and selfish ways. We have now come to want a priest not according to God’s image, but according to our own image…
We want a priest who doesn’t correct us, but applauds our mistakes.
We want a priest who encourages sin and discourages discipline.
We want a priest who supports us living a life full of sin.
We want a priest who lies, steals and cheats.
We want a priest who is from our own tribe and hates other tribes.
We want a priest who doesn’t follow the Holy Scriptures, but only our ideologies.
We want a priest who agrees with our political point of views.
We want a priest who we can pay to do the things we want.
We want a priest who allows us to come to church late and leave early.
We want a priest who doesn’t tell us to take the Holy Communion.
We want a priest that permits us to dress as we wish.
We want a priest we can curse, yell and abuse as we please.
We want a priest who fears what people think and not what God thinks.
We want a priest who follows the god of this world, not the God of the Holy Bible.
Sadly, when God blesses us with a priest who has the fear of God embedded in his heart and follows the rules of God and not man. We quickly treat him like an Amazon package; we request a return with a refund. When that doesn’t work, we simply try to tarnish his name and his good reputation by telling lies after lies. As he refuses to conform to our own rules and to the rules of this world, we kick him out of our church and anyone else who follows him. We change the locks and tell him, he is no longer welcomed in God’s house. Out of respect and honor for the Holy Tabot, this poor priest is sometimes forced to pray outside the church building.
We watch as the church is no longer God’s house, as it has now become our house. We do whatever we like. We invite those we like and remove those we don’t like. We laugh and think we might as well put up a sign on the front entrance of the church building saying, we are in charge now. We then dance and celebrate in what has now become our “house” with no fear of God in our hearts. We think we have finally won. Not realizing the only thing, we have won is pleasing the devil and falling into his evil ways.
It griefs me to write about this, but I have seen it happen too many times to not write about it. I have seen this kind of behavior over and over again: people using and hiding behind God to justify their ungodly behaviors. Sadly, this evil and wicked behavior has been welcomed with open arms by our people. This is not the way of a true Tewahedo Orthodox Church and God would never condone the evil that is being done to our priests and the evil that has taken over His house.
So, why have we? Are we not called to be Christlike and are we not supposed to promote things that only pleases God? Why do we sit back and watch people treat our priests ungodly and turn God’s house into their own homes? Have we not learned we cannot pray in love and treat people like garbage? Are we not called to be followers of Christ and not followers of this world? When will this madness end? When will we stand for the truth? Why are we so afraid to speak up and to say this needs to end? Are we that afraid of being hated? Didn’t Christ tell us, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you (John 15:20).” My beautiful Tewahedo Orthodox brothers and sisters, doesn’t the Bible teach us to not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2)? Are we not supposed to rise and stand firm to Tewahedo Orthodox beliefs that we are never above a clergy and we uphold the rules of our church that our Holy Fathers honored and respected for hundreds of years?
So, why have we forgotten now? Are we so far away from God that we have slipped away from His ways? That we have become the hardship and pain our priests are having to bear. Have we forgotten the Priesthood is an honorable title granted by God to those He chooses and when we dishonour and disrespect our priest; we dishonor the cross that he carries? As a Kahen (priest) is the commander of the Eucharist and doctor of our soul. He is key holder of the heavens, and the most powerful human being we will ever see. My beautiful Tewahedo Orthodox brothers and sisters, be very careful to never dishonour or disrespect our priest. Wherefore they who despise these priests would be far more accursed than Dathan and his company and deserve more severe punishment (St. John Chrysostom on the Priesthood, book III.6).
As I’ve told you before, this type of behavior is not godly and is against all Tewahedo Orthodox doctrine, teachings and belief. As a Tewahedo Orthodox believer, please remember you are never above a priest. So, humble yourself when you talk to a priest, always show respect when you are in the presence of a priest. Never lie to a priest and never slander a priest. And with the exception of a Bishop, no one has the authority to order a priest. We have no authority to ever dictate to a priest, what to do or what not to do. As a priest was chosen by God to serve in God’s image and not according to our own image.
So, please revere the Lord with your whole being, and honor his priests.
– The Book of Sirach 7:29
Author Selam Seyoum