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Changing the Brand

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  • Ajai Thomas, Saudi Arabia
    Sent by La poq Sheep Thief (orig. subject) From: God s Little Devotional CHANGING THE BRAND A story is told of two brothers who were convicted of stealing
    Message 1 of 43 , May 3, 2002
      Sent by La poq
      Sheep Thief (orig. subject)
      From: God's Little Devotional

      A story is told of two brothers who were convicted of stealing sheep. They
      each have branded on the forehead with letters "ST" for "Sheep Thief."
      One brother immediately run away from the area and attempted to build a new
      life in a foreign land. Even there, people ask him about the strange
      letters on his forehead. He wandered restlessly and eventually, unable to
      bare the stigma, took his own life.
      The other brother took a different approach. He said to himself, "I can't
      run away from the fact that I stole sheep. But I will stay here and win back
      the respect of my neighbors and myself."
      As the years passed, he built the reputation of integrity. One day, a
      stranger saw the old man with the letters ST branded on his forehead. He
      asked a citizen of the town what the letters stood for. The villager
      replied, "It happened a great while ago. I've forgotten the particulars, but
      I think the letters are an abbreviation of "Saint."
      You may get away with an evil deed and not be branded for it, but evil deeds
      always brand your heart. The only true way to change the brand on the heart
      is to repent and say, "I am sorry." Then your subsequent acts of kindness
      can rebuild your good reputation.
      "A man of honor regrets a discreditable act even when it has worked."
      A wise man's heart direct's him toward the right, but a foolish man's heart
      directs him toward the left (Ecclesiates 10:2 NAB).
      Shared by Ajai Thomas
      Saudi Arabia
    • Thomas P A
      Dear Friends, Mar George Punnakottil of Syro-Malabar (Roman Catholic) church inaugurated the prayer meeting of Fr. Kallaapara, who is an ardent advocate of
      Message 43 of 43 , May 7, 2002
        Dear Friends,

        Mar George Punnakottil of Syro-Malabar (Roman Catholic) church
        inaugurated the prayer meeting of Fr. Kallaapara, who is an ardent
        advocate of separation. In this meeting at Kothamangalam, they are
        praying along with Mar Punnakottil for separation. Together, they
        are misleading the church of Mar Thoma (Malankara Church) by teaching
        a faith that is against the faith of all Orthodox churches world wide.

        They all represent the teaching of Mar Abdulla, who replaced blessed
        Mar Abded Messiah, the Patriarch of Anthioc who loved the Malankara
        Church. Mar Abdulla was in the RCC confession just before he became
        Patriarch of Anthioc. You know about the "firman" of Turkey ruler.
        You can read it here:

        Mar Abdulla's teaching is what brings Jacobites and RCC closer.
        Mar Abdulla introduced Roman Catholicism in to pure Orthodox faith
        of ancient church of Anthioc.

        Earlier, in another message, I said that we should not involve
        the RCC in internal matters of our Malankara Church which follows
        Oriental Orthodox confession. Mar Divannasios requested that RCC be
        allowed to mediate.

        Mar Punnakottil taught the faithful of Malankara Church in that
        meeting that all priesthood originates from Apostle Peter and all
        should follow this teaching. This way our brethren in North Kerala
        are braiwashed by Roman Catholic bishops of North Kerala. This is
        an ingoing process towards full merger with RCC.

        You can read about Mar Punnakottil at Deepika:
        (you need the fonts )

        This faith of Mar Punnakottil, which he is trying to teach Malankara
        church is not accepted as Orthodox by any ancient Oriental or Eastern
        Orthodox churches. Rome has aan aim about this teaching - to bring
        all local churches under their temporal rule. Orthodox churches in
        all parts of the world defeated this false teaching. In Malankara
        this was done in the "Kuunen Kurishu" oath, when Mar Thoma, the
        Malankara Metran, rejected the RCC teaching.

        Mar Kurillose (Patriarch St. Cyril), the pillar of faith teaches:
        "Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the
        foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all
        built as a spiritual edifice."

        Faith is the foundation:

        This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he
        may receive the foundations of the Church." - St. Gregory Nazianzen,
        26th Discourse (Mar Gregorios)

        "In one place I said... that the Church had been built on Peter
        as the Rock... but in fact it was not said to Peter, "Thou art the
        Rock," but rather "Thou art Peter." The Rock was Jesus Christ,
        Peter having confessed Him as all the Church confesses
        Him, He was then called Peter, "the Rock"... (ed, for his faith)
        ...Between these two sentiments let the reader choose the
        most probable." (St. Augustine, Retractions - 13th Sermon; Contra
        Julianum 1:13) (Mar Agasthinos, Coptic Orthodox saint)

        "Jesus Christ is the Rock. He did not deny the grace of His name...
        to Peter because he borrowed from the Rock the constancy and solidity
        of his faith- thy Rock is thy faith, and faith is the foundation of
        the Church. If thou art a Rock, thou shalt be in the Church, for the
        Church is built upon the Rock... (the profession of faith in Christ
        Jesus)." - St. Ambrose: The Incarnation

        "The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of
        confession." - St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew
        (Mar Ivanios the Gold-mouthed)

        "validity of priesthood is not founded on throne, but in maintaining
        the Orthodox faith" - St. Severus (Mar Severios, the exalted
        Patriarch of Anthioc and mouth of the Church)

        Be firm in the Orthodox faith of saints and reject the teaching of
        Mar Punnakottil. Aim of Mar Punnakottil, Fr. Kallaapara etc. is
        clear. We need to retain our North Kerala brethren in the correct

        Pray for the survival of true faith in Church of Mar Thoma.


        PS: Syro-Malabar practise of using "Mar" before house name is against
        Orthodox traditions. (Mar Angadiyath, Mar Punnakottil etc.).

        One question: Why Syro-Malabar/Malankara rite in U.S. need Indian
        born bishops? Why can't they remain under local U.S. bishops,
        if they believe RCC is really universal as they teach?

        Links to study:
        Ancient writings (Ancient Orthodox Fathers):

        Fr. Markos (Alexandrian Coptic Orthodox Church):
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