Foreword - The Faith of the First Millennium

Whatever we may think of the events surrounding the Year 2000, there is certainly no doubt that this year signals a turning-point in human history. For it comes at the end of the bloodiest century in human history, after two European-instigated World Wars and unspeakable genocides in Russia, China and many other parts of the world. It comes after a Cold War in which the world waited to be annihiliated in nuclear apocalypse. And, as a result, for many this new millennium represents a time of new crises and deep foreboding - eco-apocalypse, asteroids crashing into the Earth, the millennium bug, plagues of new and incurable diseases, the appearance of genetic monsters, mad sects, all manner of phenomena, both real and fictitious, devised by human invention and human imagination. There are now many who believe that the end of humanity will come soon, within our lifetimes, at the beginning of this 'New Age' of the Third Millennium, during the Twenty First Century.
Amid the frenzy of modern life, these apocalyptic strains in current thought have sobered many into seeking out the origins of the Year 2000. And this has meant seeking Him who was born over 2000 years ago, at the beginning of the First Millennium, Christ. And whoever mentions Christ and the First Millennium is bound to think of the Orthodox Church.
For it is a fact that the Orthodox Church alone guarded the Faith of the First Millennium through all the long centuries of assaults and temptations of the Second Millennium. And it is now She Who bears that selfsame Faith in the Third Millennium. For the Orthodox Church alone guarded the original Christian Creed unchanged, resisting the transformations of Christianity undergone in Western Europe, withstanding both the deformations of the Middle Ages and of the Reformation, and of Modern Times. And it is Her unchanging Orthodox Christian Faith of the First Millennium which now seems so relevant and needful as we enter the Third Millennium. For how can we live in this age of apocalyptic strain, if our lives do not have a basis in unchanging Christian Faith? It is our belief that to confess Orthodox Christianity is to believe in the possibility of reversing the whole sweep and tide of error in the Second Millennium of Western history. And to confess this unchanging Christian Faith is to return to Truth and Mercy, to Wisdom and Love, to the path of the Saints. It is to seek and to find the Lighted Way, which alone will lead us safely home to our inevitable and now ever more pressing appointment with Destiny, with our God and Maker.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Father Andrew Phillips
Seekings House
St Edmund's Tide 1999

More details of the book "The Lighted Way" and where to buy it, can be found on The English Orthodox Trust page of this site.

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