Sunday of the Holy Fathers from the 1st Ecumenical Council - the New Arianism
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1Jo 5:12)
About a year ago, on April 24th a large crowd gathered in the Christ the Savior Cathedral of Moscow for a special event. The event was the bringing from Mount Athos of the relics of the hand of Saint Mary Magdalene.
The people in the crowd were there, however, for diverse purposes. One group, the true believers, were there to venerate the holy relics. Another group though were there not because of the Saint, but because of Dan Brown.
All of you probably heard about his fictional novel "The Da Vinci's Code" in which he alleges that Jesus Christ was married with Mary Magdalene and they had kids, establishing a bloodline that lasted to times.
Another troubling story like this is launched now on Discovery Chanel by a well known director, James Cameron, asserting that the actual tomb of Christ was found in Israel, and he has proof that the family of Jesus, namely Mary Magdalene, supposedly His wife and Judas, their son were buried there! The fact that Jesus had a tomb and that his relics are there it is supposed to prove that Jesus Christ did not rose from the dead and He did not ascended into heaven, as we just witnessed again this past Thursday.
Well, you'll ask me what is the link between James Cameron, Dan Brown and the Sunday of the Fathers of the first Ecumenical Council that we celebrate today? It is simple, all these three storylines try to answer one simple question: Who was Jesus Christ?
The first ecumenical council dealt with a man called Arius, who claimed, much like Brown and Cameron today, that Jesus was not God like the Father, but a creature made in time. Seeing all the noise about The Da Vinci's code in our times, one can imagine the controversy in the ancient times, when theology was discussed in the public, much like we discuss sports and politics today. The impact was indeed terrible. The society was split, the Church was split, conflict was everywhere, and this happen only few years after Constantine freed the Christian religion!
Therefore it was necessary to gather a council of bishops and to give a verdict on the issue. The issue was indeed that if Jesus Christ was not the Son of God, but a creature of God, he could not have redeemed us from sin, His suffering, crucifixion and death would have been in vain.
This consequence made clear that, from a theological perspective, the argument made no sense and the attitude of Arius was illogical. So illogical that even a saint like Saint Nicholas, The Bishop of Myra, could not refrain to slap Arius in the face. As a consequence, as the tradition says, he was deprived of his Episcopal insignia and was put into prison; but our Lord and His Mother appeared there and restored to him both his liberty and his office.
The arguments that our new arianists bring on the table today are nevertheless as preposterous as their ancestors'. It is a manufactured smoke and mirror story that falls down like a castle of cards at the very breeze of truth.
However somebody has to be listening to all this nonsense, otherwise they will not have made a fortune based on these theories. In fact, at the end of the day this is all about materialism and pride, the exact the same things that made Adam and Eve fell into temptation at the beginning. The audience of fictional theology is looking for the same things. They are looking for a story that would put to sleep their conscience, a conscience that still under layers and layers of self sufficiency and atheism has still a doubt about the non-existence of God.
A world without God propels man as the master of the universe. Knowledge and technology empower man to rule the created nature. But man does not realize that this indeed makes him the same with all the created order, his life is loosing its purpose, because without God we are nobody, a smarter monkey and that's it. With God however all makes sense, all falls back into place. We are not an evolutionary error; we are the children of God. Our life has sense only in Him, we come from Him and we go back to him in the eternal life. Our life has now a purpose, a logos, and this Logos is Jesus Christ.
This is why, as Orthodox Christians, keepers of the Holy Scriptures and of the Holy Tradition, we fear not the evil of modern Aryanism. We have the hand of Mary Magdalene that continues to work wonders in our days; hand could not have been found in the fake tomb of Jerusalem, because it was in Mount Athos for centuries! We have the testimony of the relics of Saint Nicholas from the first ecumenical council that are still working wonders in the cathedral of Bari in Italy. The Church speaks for itself, not in words of human scholarly wisdom, but in a higher language, the language of the citizens of the Kingdom of God, the language of the Holy Spirit that we are awaiting to come down on us again next Sunday, at the Pentecost.
It is not the human wisdom that found the truth at the ecumenical councils, but it was the work of the Holy Spirit as Saint Apostle Peter had declared at the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem, (Acts 15:28) "... it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us ..." Without God we fail to understand Him. We heard the other day the story of Luke and Cleopas, both Apostles, that were everyday with Jesus, and, on their way to Emmaus, they did not recognized Jesus Christ until He, Himself, performed a Liturgy for them through the breaking of the bread and then their eyes were open and knew Him. (Luk 24:13-31)
The truth of the divinity of Christ does not have to be declared by humans, it was declared by the Holy Trinity at the Baptism of Christ when God the Father Himself as a voice from Heaven proclaimed: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mat 3:17) and the Spirit came down on Him as a dove. We need no proof, we have the proof of our faith in our hearts, it is planted in each one of us, although sometimes, seems like we have a hard time to find it.
Let us try therefore today, when we are going to recite the Creed together, as we do it every Liturgy, to cherish the words of our Fathers of the First Ecumenical council that restored our faith in Jesus Christ, and at our turn, ask the Holy Spirit to assist us, in our days, to keep the right path to salvation. Amen.
 http://www.mosnews.com/news/2006/09/04/magdalene.shtml, retrieved on May 18th 2007