(Dateline OC.net Palace) After failing to awaken Fr. Chris from his Vasilopita-induced hibernation, the Global Moderators proceeded to break into his secure cardboard-and-tissue-paper Post of the Month Ballot box. And having seen the results, they raced out onto the balcony of the brewpub/bowling alley/bread factory/palace to announce the winner. However, upon exiting the door, Fr. George slipped toward the balcony, and was only saved by Veniamin's quick reflexes. So, while holding his fellow Global Mod by the arm to keep him from falling, and holding the winning post in the other hand, he declared to the ice-covered and Alberta-clipped masses:
"Today we are pleased to announce that our Post-of-the-Month honoree for December 2009 is Minasoliman, for the following post:
I never knew that in the Orthodox Church it was dogmatically declared that we should proclaim loud and proud "Atheists are fools." We're not evangelical fundamentalists going around and throwing stones. I don't understand what is that possesses people to throw insults. Yes, "fool" is an insult. Does God therefore insult? Absolutely, and He has every right to do so, because that is part of His chastisement. He also can swear, He also take away lives. But He didn't ask you to do His job for Him.
What is the man who doesn't believe in God? Is it just atheists? God didn't say atheists are fools, God said those who don't believe in God. Have you ever asked yourself if you truly believe in God, if you loved Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength? Are you a perfect and righteous person? Indeed, the Psalms say in the very beginning, "Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous." Are you therefore "Godly" and "a non-sinner?" Because if you are, then truly as Christ said, "He who is without sin, may cast the first stone." Are you "brothers" without sin? Do you have a right to stand in the judgment seat with God and profess things like that? Even St. Paul, who is righteous and perfect in the eyes of many, in his life of struggle and compassion for the Church, in his Apostolic authority, he who had the right to loose and bind sins of those who confessed to him, who has the power to excommunicate, he did not teach people to condemn, but rather by example to others, called himself, called himself, NOT others, HIMSELF a "fool for Christ," while calling the Corinthians, the same Corinthians who committed sins that are unheard of that displeased him, "kings, wise, strong." "Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat." This is not to shame them, but to warn them because they were "puffed up." He asked them therefore, to "imitate him." Be a fool.
How dare any of us here have an authoritative spiritual position to call someone a fool? The only ones who you should be calling fools are yourselves. The authority was not given to you to call someone a fool, but to those ordained by Christ to loose and bind. As for you, you were to forgive seventy-seven times seven, knowing that your trespasses are no greater than he. And when you meet a stranger in the street, and you want to "show love" to him, do you go tell him, stop smoking or stop drinking, because as science has proven, you become filthy and disgusting? If you see an acquaintance you're not even close to, who's an atheist, do you go up to his face and tell him, "you're a fool." Do you expect to change them by rebuking them in that manner? Do you not know you will be judged in the same way? And then what next? If the smoker or drinker in the street, or the atheist walks away from your rebuke, will then call him stupid (Prov. 12:1)? These verses weren't there for you to use against your neighbor. They were there for your own personal rebuke and to cause sympathy for others, because God judges YOU, not him or her, YOU and ME. And because He will judge ME, I show sympathy, not rebuke, to those I love. Then, my "love" to the other will be apparent. I love my neighbor as myself, that is, since I don't self-mutilate, I don't mutilate others, but I sacrifice myself for the other. Whatever stones or insults are thrown at someone, I should take it myself.
Apostasy? Why do think people apostatize? Because we didn't follow St. Paul's example. Instead of being a fool in Christ's name for the sake of others, we make others out as fools, and we drive them away from the Church.
And after pulling Fr. George back up, they returned to the palace room, to awaken Fr. Chris with frozen, rotten fruit.