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Chrysostom (pt. 2)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2023 9:00 am

Chrysostom (pt. 2)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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June 2, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah continues to tell us about the life and ministry of Chrysostom.

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Welcome back, everyone. Today is Friday, June the 2nd. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at That's right, and all of you guys listening can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. Before I choke and die, why don't you read from us Isaiah 10, 1-2. You're just so choked up about the verse of the day.

So moved. The verse of the day today comes from Isaiah 10, verses 1 and 2, like John said, Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless. Yeah, that was kind of that seventh grade book report, like all the books we read in seventh grade. Talk about that. Absolute power, it corrupts. When you have power that is completely unchecked, it corrupts. But what we don't talk about is the more power that we attain, the more we forget where we come from. And the reason that it corrupts is because only God can handle that kind of power. We can't handle it. As human beings, we cannot handle something that was meant for God and for God alone. So our desire to attain all that power, to write misfortune, to decree unrighteous decrees, all that comes from the corruption of our hearts. That's right.

This verse makes me think of another verse in the Bible that talks about when we're weak, then we're strong, because it's God's strength, not ours. I don't ever want to get to a point where I feel like, yeah, I've got this. I've got it under control. I've got everything. I'm the man.

I'm the one who has everything lined up. Because then it's my strength. Then I'm only excelling to my level of capability. But in humility, if I can recognize that it's God's strength, and I'm just being used by Him, I'm being an instrument of His will here on earth, then it keeps me in check.

It keeps my ego in check, and it keeps the focus where it needs to be, on Him and not on me. That's right. For an opening segment, this one was submitted, but it was not submitted by a listener.

Well, I guess in a way it was. This one was submitted by my wife. Ellie wants to give you $1 million. Ellie, that's very generous.

Thank you so much. Here's the thing. The only bugaboo is that if you get the million dollars, any time in the future, any time you're in here... There's a little snafu. Yeah, there's a little snafu. If you are in an awkward situation, have you ever been in one of those situations where you're like, oh, I wish I was anywhere else?

I work with teenagers for a living. Yeah. Any time you're in that situation, you can leave, but you have to shout, hee-hee, and moonwalk away. 100% yes. Absolutely, I would do this.

I may do this without the money. I just want to see people's faces. The situation's getting awkward. People are uncomfortable. I'm just hee-hee. I'm at a dinner party, and someone's like, wow, Janet, the pork really isn't up to par. She's like, well, if someone had been helping me in the kitchen instead of going fishing all day, that's when it happened.

You're sitting there, you're like, hee-hee, and just moonwalk away. Immediately, yes. Absolutely. Without question.

Maybe even without the money. I would just love to do that. I'd love to just see the reaction when that happens. Absolutely, yes. Really?

Yes. I feel like that makes... It either will break the tension completely. People will be like, why aren't we fighting?

What are we arguing about? Or it would just make it way, way worse. But you don't have to be there for it. Exactly, because I've moonwalked away at this point.

See, that's my thing. When I'm in awkward situations like that, I don't ever look to resolve it. I just leave. I just have to vacate. If I need to go to the bathroom, or I play like I'm on a phone call, or sometimes I actually just text David and I'm like, hey, call me real quick. But to just be like, hee-hee, and moonwalk away.

Everyone's looking at you. Where do you go? Just away? Yeah, just somewhere else. Okay, Ellie.

That's the answer. I would absolutely take that. Would you take it? Yeah. I wouldn't like it, though.

I wouldn't be happy about it. Number one, I can't moonwalk. So my moonwalk... Oh, I can't either. My moonwalk is just kind of like... I'm in a chair right now somewhere.

That was probably terrible for audio. It's just kind of like walking backwards and doing my arms like this. This is how you moonwalk.

Oh, that was great. If you're not watching the... How do you moonwalk? Can you put your arms by your side? I don't know. If you're not watching the video podcast, you really need to. Moonwalk doesn't really have anything to do with the arms.

It's all footwork. Yeah. I would still do it. I would do it.

You know what's funny? I might would get... We have a vocal coach here at Clearview who taught dance for like 20-something years, and he can moonwalk. I'm sure he can.

I bet I would get him... I think what I would do is I would get him to do it, or I would just pay him like $100 every time, and he'd do it for me. So if we're in an awkward situation and he just goes, and moonwalks away, but then I'm still there. Right. You're still in an awkward situation. I got to figure this one out.

I might would do it, but I got to figure out how it would work. Yeah. If you can moonwalk, you can do it really well. I mean, that's more impressive than anything else. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone's like, wow. I'd be like, oh, wow, wow. And they politely clap. Cool.

Just a real quiet clap. I got to ask Dr. Shaw if he would do that. I would absolutely take that.

Okay. We're going to bring Dr. Shaw in. I'm anxious to hear his answer, but if you guys would moonwalk out of an awkward situation, complete with a hee-hee, text in and let us know. I'll say you could also go, sha-moong. Sha-ka-cha-ka. Sha-ka-cha-koong. Sha-moong.

Yeah. Text us in at 2525825028, or visit us online at We'll be back after this. Hey, everyone.

My name's Elli. And I'm David. And we want to take a minute and let you know how we can actually serve you as you're listening to Clearview Today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clearview Church is to lead all people into a life-changing, ever-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A huge part of leading people is praying for them. A big reason that Christians have unanswered prayers in their life is because they're not praying.

You know, 1 John 515 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clearview Today Show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clearview and share your prayer request, but the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at, or you can download the Clearview app on iTunes or Google Play. You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you, and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction.

Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abhinansha, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

That's right. If today is your first day joining us here on the Clear View Today Show, we want to welcome you, let you know exactly who's talking to you today. Dr. Abhinansha is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. You can find all of his work on his website.

That's Dr. Abhinansha, I think I speak for all of our listening audience when I say I am hooked on the story of John Chrysostom. We started talking about it yesterday, and we got to the end of the episode, and I was like, that's it?

That's all there is? I want to know more. I want to know more about this guy. Well, today we're going to talk about the rest of the story.

What's the guy's name used to say that? The rest of the story? I don't know. Yeah, I forgot now. It'll come to me.

But anyways. It'll come to you as soon as we start recording you. Yeah, it'll come to me.

I'll remember who it is. So, the year now is 398 AD, and he gets kidnapped. Kidnapped? Sorry, the pastor got kidnapped? Yeah. That was not the direction I was expecting.

Well, let me back up a little bit and explain what that means. Paul Harvey, by the way. Paul Harvey, yes. Oh, Paul. Paul. But anyways, he used to say for the rest of the story, but back in those days, the really, really good speakers, pastors, bishops, whatever you want to call them, when they were being asked to take on a major pulpit, the first church of so-and-so, their reaction is completely opposite to the reactions people have today.

Really? People canvas. They try to get to the people on the pulpit search committee. They try to make themselves look better than they are, so that they can get that church. They want that pulpit. They want that county seat church. They want that big church. They want that church with, man, we got so many subdivisions going over here. It's a matter of time. It's like waiting. You know what these guys used to do?

I don't want it. They would escape. I know a good way. He didn't pay people to kidnap him, did he? They would run away.

Huh? They would escape. They would skip town. They go into hiding. They just didn't, they didn't want it?

They didn't want it. Huh. Wow. Yeah.

And that's something that's funny because today it's like, hey, so-and-so big church is going to, I wonder, unless they make somebody from their own staff up there, you know, you need to apply for it. Yeah. I don't, I don't know which is, I don't know which is better. No, absolutely not.

Should you want it too much or did you just not want it at all? Back in those days they would, they would skip town. And so the emperor, not emperor, but the guy who was behind making him the, the pastor of the flagship church of the empire. Okay. Because the capital is Constantinople now instead of Rome, sends a contingent of soldier to find him. So they do detective or figure out where he is and they capture him and they kidnap him and take him to Constantinople and say, you will be the pastor of this church. Unbelievable. So he, he ran, he fled to avoid being called his pastor and they, they nabbed him and brought him back. Yeah. They brought him back.

I got you. So they kidnapped him so he would be the pastor. He had to be the pastor. But they took him by force and they made him. But I think it tells a lot about how people thought of themselves.

Today we market ourselves. Back then this thought of themselves so low that no, no, no, not me. Why don't they pick somebody else? He's better than I am. No, no, no, no. I don't want it. It's just, it's not me.

It's not, it's just too big for me. I'm not, I'm not worthy of that. I'm not.

There's, there's so many people better than me. That's true. Like you think about today, like that's, that's all social media really is is we're marketing ourselves. Every single, it's called humble brag.

Oh yeah. Every single person with a smartphone thinks they have a brand. Well, I mean there's, even on social media, there's a platform designed to market yourself. That's all LinkedIn is, is marketing yourself and making connections.

Tick tock. You, you, you work on your brand as a person, like your personality, things that people just used to like you for is now your brand. That's your selling point.

Hey, selfie with Billy Graham. Hey, humbled. You're not humbled.

No, you're 100%. Look who I'm with. Look who I'm with.

But then he's smiling and it looks real too. So that's how you know we're friends. Now my project is going to be to Google the hashtag humbled and see what those posts actually are.

Oh, that's a good point. We ought to put them on the show. Hashtag humbled? I think not. We need to, that should be a sec, that should be a segment of our podcast.

Hashtag humbled is like every week we'll find people who have, who have put hashtag humbled and we'll just look through the pictures and we can judge whether they're actually hashtag humbled. Well, he begins, you said, all right, all right, all right. Okay.

Calm down. Let me go. Okay. I don't know if he said that or not. Well, I mean, it's like, all right, I guess I'll do it.

It's like, oh yeah, no, you're going to do it. Oh, we'll find you again. Yeah.

So he becomes the Bishop of Constantinople and immediately he takes step to reform the Imperial court, the clergy and people like, I'm not here to play games. Yeah. You wanted me. Here I am. Here I am.

I like this hashtag Batman style. You wanted me. Here I am. I'm the pastor you need right now. And he preaches a series of homily.

Homilies are like sermons, but they're different, kind of shorter, but he begins a series on the incomprehensible nature of God. And then he even did a series on Philippians and Colossians. I mean, amazing. He began series after series. That's incredible.

And many of those messages are available today. God, yeah, they were, they were kept down. So he begins this and then the guy who got him that position, Eutropius, he was not a good guy. He just wanted to have the most illustrious pastor in the Roman empire to be the pastor of the Capitol. That's what he was doing. And so he said, and did something that made the emperor, the Empress mad. And so they went after him.

So he immediately ran to Hagia Sophia. No. Was it like, yeah, was it like a sanctuary thing or was it like, I feel like Chris system can help me out? Yeah. I mean, that's, that's what he was doing. He's like, please help me, please help me. And so Chris System took him in, but I want you to hear what he said is kind of, kind of funny.

If I can find that, that, that, that section right quick. I can imagine, I can just imagine this dude, like getting word that the Empress, like the emperor is mad at you. That's pretty bad. But now his wife mad at you? The Empress is mad at you? Oh yeah.

You have well and truly messed up. He's going in there and he's like, please dude, you got to help me. So he, he, he's Sunday morning. Eutropius is standing there in front of the whole congregation. John begins a sermon with, Oh, vanity of vanities, Chris, don't drag him. And he rebukes Eutropius for all his worldly behavior.

And then he turned to the people and said, I say this now, not in order to shame the fallen, but to exhort to prudence those who are still upright, not in order to push a shipwrecked person into the deep, but to warn the others before they're also shipwrecked. Golly, this dude is on fire. He's on fire, man. He's letting them have it. Oh man.

I love it. My kind of preacher. I mean, he's just, he's, you know, serious business.

It's like a father who knows when his kids are messing up and he's not going to be like sitting here completely, you know, you know, snowed and he doesn't know what's going on, you know, kind of gumming his food. He's like, no, I'm telling you, I know exactly what you did. And I, here's what I'm going to talk to you about. And he's not letting the, he's not letting the, I think the allure of being a powerful person and rubbing shoulders with powerful people get him. Like it would have been tempting, I think in today's age to be like, Hey, I'll help you out. We'll keep it quiet.

Just me and you. And now, now you owe me. And we've got this thing under the scenes that we, he's like, no, I'm going to stand up for what's right. And so after the sermon, you know, he, he talked to the emperor Arcadius and said, you know, let this guy go.

I mean, he's, he is what it is. And so they, they worked it out and Eutropius was okay. And then he later on broke the agreement and then he was beheaded. Unbelievable!

Eutropius wouldn't get it. He just didn't make it in there. That kind of shocked me a little bit. I was like, oh, oh, well, I tried.

You hate to see the redemption arc cut short by a beheading. No pun intended. Yeah. There was other things that happened, which we don't have time to get into where, you know, Chrysostom really distinguished himself as being a very authoritative voice, a voice of reason, a voice of grace, a voice of God to the people. And it was, it was pretty, pretty amazing. That's incredible.

But then about three years into being the pastor there. Okay. He was in trouble.

Why? He got, he's in trouble now? Yeah. He's in trouble. He's in trouble because you know, in Antioch, you know, he was preaching the truth.

He, he had his strengths and weaknesses kind of come together. It was perfectly suited for Antioch. Constantinople was a different world where people were not going to humble themselves and go, Hey, he's our pastor, you know, let's, he's got his ways, but he's speaking the truth. And if you know, we got to listen. Constantinople, they're like, who do you think you are?

Who do you think you are? This is not why we brought you here. We gave you the biggest pulpit in the world.

Now don't, don't start with us. Oh no. So what made it difficult was that, you know, now keep in mind these, his church had a hundred thousand members. Yeah, that's true. That's a big church.

Good gracious. I'm trying to think of a church today that's got a hundred thousand members. Not only are you talking about mega church, even by today's standards, that's a mega church. And according to some people, it was more than that, but every Sunday, close to a hundred thousand people would come listen to him. So he preached several times.

Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople. They all had close to a hundred thousand people. Wow. That's a lot.

Yeah. It's like the population of just one of those big mega empire cities. That's incredible.

Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, Egypt, Antioch from where Chrysostom came, and Constantinople. And of course, Rome had close to a hundred thousand members who showed up every Sunday. Wow. Or close to it. Maybe not a hundred, but let's just say 80,000. Yeah. Still a lot of people. I mean, 80,000 people. Yeah. Like, Oh, Oh, it was only 80,000?

What a trip. Yeah. Yeah.

So that's- Disregard him. No. No.

Chrysostom was not out to make friends. Yeah. So I mean, he was an equal opportunity offender. So did he have a hundred thousand people angry with him? No. No, they loved him. Uh-huh. Okay. People loved him because he told the truth.

Mm-hmm. So, but he confronted the wealth, the abuse of wealth and power by the imperial family. He was not into politics.

He said, I'm not going to do this politics. But in Antioch, he didn't have to because people still supported him. Yeah.

Right. Constantinople, they're like, Oh, you're not going to play politics, but we will. So only a few people were angry with him, but it was- But it was the powerful people.

It was the powerful few. I got you. I mean, when it came to eating and stuff, he would not like say, Oh yeah, let's, let's see, who am I having lunch with today? No. He's like, I eat by myself. That's the same kind of guy, I mean, he's just like- That's right. Yeah. I don't have time to get into the social life and stuff. And no time for those kinds of things. I'm your pastor and that's what I'm going to do. I got you. So he gets in trouble with these guys.

What happens as a result? Well, he also got in trouble with some of his own, own priests because he knew what they were doing. Right? I mean, they had, you know, these, they were supposed to be celibate, but they had, how do I say this, spiritual sisters. Yeah. They weren't celibate. Ah. Yeah. So he preached that some of the spiritual sisters kept becoming spiritual mothers. How is that possible?

He's scandalous at the whole thing. Here's what I need. And if anybody has this out there, let me know, two, five, two, five, eight, two, five, zero, two, eight. I need a John Chris system burn book, like a book of roasts. I need that. Just straight up, like if there's an app, I'll download it.

If I could order on Amazon, I need that. He takes like the, he takes like the priest's faces and just glues them into the book and just- Just like singers. He writes like spiritual mothers, three question marks behind it, underlined three times. I mean, so the priests are like, really?

You're exposing us? And so that didn't help matters. So, and then, then he, you know, people loved horse racing and gambling and all that. So then he had a message on that.

It was something like this. Let's just talk about the theater. He talked about the theater. He said, if you see a shameless woman in the theater who treads the stage with uncovered head and bold attitudes, dressed in garments, adorned with gold, flaunting her soft sensuality, singing immoral songs, throwing her limbs about in the dance and making shameless speeches. Do you still dare to say that nothing human happens to you then? Huh? Long after the theater is closed and everyone has gone away, those images still float before your soul.

Their words, their conduct, their glances, their walk, their position, their excitation, their unchaste limbs. And as for you, you go home covered with a thousand wounds. He's right, man. He's right. But not alone.

The prostitute goes with you, although not openly and visibly, but in your heart and in your conscience. And there within you, she kindles a Babylonian furnace in which the peace of your home, the purity of your heart, the happiness of your marriage will be burned up. Wow. Wow. He's, he's for real. He would come and stand in our pulpit today and there would be not like, well, I know. I mean, he's a man of a different time. It'd be like, he's, yeah.

You'd have the altar filled with people. That's right. He, I mean, he's speaking the same things we're struggling with today. Same exact things. Nothing new.

Nothing new at all. And those are just application oriented sermons. But then when he read his sermons on Christ and who he is through Colossians and all that, I mean, this theology was so rich and so full. Wow.

Yeah. So I mean, he, he, he, he fussed about that. He fussed about horse racing. He says, he says, still, there are those who simply leave us here alone and run off to the circus and the cherry tears and the horse races. So far have they yielded to their passions that they fill the whole city with their cries and unrestrained yelling.

I mean, like he's talking about football game, right? At which one would have to laugh it were not so sad. If some, he goes on and says this, if some will still persevere in their moral corruption, they will finally be separated and cut off. Then they will be excluded from the congregation. If you shudder with horror at this German, this judgment, then let the guilty one simply show repentance and the judgment will be lifted. I mean, he, he, he refused to give some of them communion. Wow. He said, I'm not giving it to you. Get out of here. Holy moly.

They're going to stand. So you know, that's, that's the kind of preacher he was. That's how powerfully he preached against the sin of the time.

Did he get himself out of hot water? Well, people were, loved him, but then what made it difficult was that the Empress Eudoxium, I mean, there's a painting that was done by this French painter and I'm able to just, it's a painting, you know, he wasn't there at the time, but is the painting known as a Synod of Oak. And this is what the painting is. I mean, you see this, this preacher, I mean, he is ranting and raving against At the Empress. Wow.

Let's, let's post, we can post that in the, in the video episode. It is a powerful painting done by this French Jean Paul Laurence and it's called Chrysostom and Eudoxia. Wow. And he made her mad. Initially, Eudoxia was on his side, but when he began to call her down too, because you're doing things that are not right and you're, you're using your power to do this and that and the other, when he began to rail on her, that's when things turned ugly. You know, she was mad because Chrysostom was actually calling her out too.

And when this was going on, there was a pastor in Alexandria, Egypt, who was sort of a candidate for the same position that Chrysostom got. So when he knew that, Oh, seems like some people are mad. Yeah.

I feel like I might, I might get capitalized. Yeah. And he did. And he got a bunch of monks or whoever from Egypt to join him to go and fight against Chrysostom. And they showed up in Constantinople called the Synod of Oak and they tried to get Chrysostom out. And they did. And Eudoxia, you know, sent him off in an exile and it wasn't, but maybe a day or two if I'm not wrong. But they brought him right back because it was an earthquake. Really?

Yeah. They're like, we messed up. The Lord himself is, all right, get him back, get him back, get him back. So they brought him back. And then, just a little while later, and you know, people went into a riot.

Because they deported him? Yeah. Wow. But then the second time he did it again, or he didn't compromise. I'm not here to compromise.

I'm here to preach the truth and I will do that. And this time again, he was exiled, but this time he didn't come back. They kept him in exile.

They sent him on the east side of the Black Sea. And it was a tough time for him because, I mean, you know, he didn't live long. I mean, if his age, I'm trying to find his age right here. He was born in 349 AD and he died in 407. So how old was he? 349, you said?

349. He was 58. That's it. Wow.

But he looked like an old man, looked like a prophet out of the Old Testament. Wow. That's what he wanted.

Yeah. You know, that's the passion with which he lived his life. And so, but this time when they sent him off, he was deposed, he was exiled in 403, same year. You know, first time sent away, but came back immediately. Second time sent away, but this time, you know, he didn't come back.

In 404, he was sent off. And he lived for three more years. He wrote letters and all that to a lot of his friends and people he mentored, but never made it back. In fact, he got terribly sick and he died. What's the, if you could maybe find one or two things, what do you think are the biggest things you've learned from his life?

I mean, think about it today. What's the name of that bishop from Alexandria? The one who came to fight against him?

I've got no idea. There you go. Yeah. Nobody knows him, but you know Chrysostom. So sometimes the world's idea of what is success and who comes on top is not what matters to God. That's right. And here's a man who sort of lost, right? When he was sent away, he lost.

I mean, if you were to try and time travel and be in Constantinople in 404, it's like, yeah, we got rid of Chrysostom. No, they didn't. In fact, with this podcast, this radio show right here, we just introduced people to somebody they didn't know before. That's right. Gave his legacy new life. Yeah.

A whole new life. And it's going to go on for, you know, who knows, ages to come. So do things right by God and God will carry on your impact. That's a great point. God will care. In fact, his dying words were glory be to God in all things. Amen. Amen. And we still say that today. Glory be to God in all things. But those are actually Chrysostom's words. That's beautiful.

That's incredible. You guys enjoyed today's topic. You want to learn more about the life of John Chrysostom, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

Or you can visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes out only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Well, if any of y'all are interested in reading on his life, there are many good books out there, but here's a good one that I began reading.

Put it away. Now I'm going back to is called Golden Mouth, the Story of John Chrysostom, Ascetic Preacher and Bishop by J. N. D. Kelly. And J. N. D. Kelly was a professor in Oxford University in London, but he wrote a great book on him.

But you may have to do some research on the side to really understand the places, the names, the situations that he was talking about. Hopefully this show will come. Yeah, I think so. That's awesome. Adding that to my Amazon cart as we speak. We love you guys. We'll see you next time. I'll clear you today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 10:21:26 / 2023-06-02 10:35:13 / 14

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