The Cult of Niceness

The Cult of Niceness by Bruce Frohnen –
More than twenty-five years ago, in The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom pointed out that college students in the United States had become very “nice.” Students in general did not want to offend anyone and there was a constant concern to protect one another’s feelings. Bloom meant this as a half-hearted, even backhanded compliment at the time. It should not be seen as any kind of compliment any longer. In fact, niceness has become the enemy of excellence in our universities, and its pervasive role is setting up our young people and our society for failure and an especially venal form of soft despotism.

“Niceness” is a rather shallow set of habits and attitudes more concerned with comfort than engagement, ease than excellence, contentment than striving to do one’s best. It was and is the perfect complement to our contemporary liberal insistence on “tolerance” as the chief virtue. Tolerance, after all, means simply allowing others to do and/or say what we may not like. [Read more…]

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Christians Must Witness Their Faith, Speak Up, and Resist Evil

St. Paisios the Athonite by St. Paisios the Athonite –
If Christians don’t begin to witness their faith, to resist evil, then the destroyers will become even more insolent. But today’s Christians are no warriors. If the Church keeps silent, to avoid conflict with the government, if the metropolitans are silent, if the monks hold their peace, then who will speak up?

The spirit of lukewarmness reigns. There’s no manliness at all! We’ve been spoiled for good! How does God still tolerate us? Today’s generation is the generation of indifference. There are no warriors The majority are fit only for parades.

Godlessness and blasphemy are allowed to appear on television. And the Church is silent and doesn’t excommunicate the blasphemers. And they need to be excommunicated. What are they waiting for? Let’s not wait for someone else to pull the snake out from its hole so that we can live in peace.

They’re silent out of indifference. What’s bad is that even people who’ve got something inside have begun to grow cool, saying: “Can I really do anything to change the situation?” We have to witness our faith with boldness, because if we continue to be silent we’ll have to answer in the end. [Read more…]

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On the Virtue of Goodness

On the Virtue of Goodness, Choose Goodby Fr. Lawrence Farley –
In his list of virtues which comprise the fruit of Spirit working in one’s life, St. Paul lists that of “goodness” (Greek agathosune, αγαθοσυνη) about midway in the list (Galatians 5:22f). One scarcely speaks of goodness as one of the virtues anymore. In our culture describing something as “good” is rather tepid praise; it is like saying something is “okay”, and “good” comes first in our ascending ladder of praise—“good, better, best”. Love, joy, and kindness are praised and admired, but goodness is hardly remembered at all.

Indeed, though it stood toward the summit of virtues in the ancient world, our culture replaces “goodness” as the summit of virtues with “tolerance”—a tolerance always subject to the whims of fashion and standing within a world which knows no unchanging moral compass. Those whims might dictate almost anything. One season eating meat is declared unethical, and the next the wearing of fur. But apart from these arbitrary declarations of fashion, pretty much everything is tolerated—except, paradoxically, true goodness. [Read more…]

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Political Correctness, Progressivism, and Present Day Bolsheviks

Political Correctness, Progressivism, and Present Day BolsheviksExcerpts from multiple posts by Fr. Johannes Jacobse in the comments section of “It’s a Brand New Age” blog post. Some edits made to transform multiple individual comments by Fr. Jacobse into a cohesive stand-alone article. Special care was taken to preserve the original meaning of the author.

Political correctness is the cultic aspect of Liberalism and Progressivism mostly because it attempts to control thought through language. It’s Orwell, but on a deeper level Dostoevsky and even Nietzsche. The markers are easy to spot especially the cruder terms — racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe, white privilege — anything to shut down discussion and censure thought. Language is used promiscuously, laced with moral opprobrium and other self-justifying blather. It’s intimidation, like the Brownshirts or Bolsheviks.

The corruption of language is both a cause and effect of the moral inversion [Read more…]

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Man Saved from Homosexuality: There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Gay Christian’

Man Saved from Homosexuality: There's No Such Thing as a Gay Christianby Matt Moore –

The grace of God is so much stronger than any sin that may have a hold on you. I am living, walking proof of that. He will pour His mercy and grace on those who truly surrender to Him, and repent of their sins.

It is extremely difficult for me to talk about this, but I have decided to let Jesus be glorified in my weakness, and to let Him use my past and my experience to further His Kingdom by communicating the amazing and saving truth of His Word.

This note is not geared towards non-Christians. It is geared towards those of us who are professing believers of Jesus Christ and who believe in the God of the Bible. But I hope that even if you are not a Christian that you will read this with an open mind and evaluate your own beliefs and do your own research on Christianity and the Bible.

Our faith is NOT a blind faith. There is plenty of evidence, and I encourage you to seek it. [Read more…]

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On the Character of Men and on the Virtuous Life: 170 Texts (Philokalia, Vol 1)

St. Anthony the Great Character of Men and the Virtuous Lifeby St. Anthony the Great –

1. Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who have an intelligent soul and can discriminate between good and evil. They avoid what is sinful and harms the soul; and with deep gratitude to God they resolutely adhere by dint of practice to what is good and benefits the soul. These men alone should truly be called intelligent.

2. The truly intelligent man pursues one sole objective: to obey and to conform to the God of all. With this single aim in view, he disciplines his soul, and whatever he may encounter in the course of his life, he gives thanks to God for the compass and depth of His providential ordering of all things. For it is absurd to be grateful to doctors who give us bitter and unpleasant medicines to cure our bodies, and yet to be ungrateful to God for what appears to us to be harsh, not grasping that all we encounter is for our benefit and in accordance with His providence. For knowledge of God and faith in Him is the salvation and perfection of the soul. [Read more…]

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Mystery and History Collide on Christmas

Nativity God with Us Jesus Christby Regis Martin –
When we consider the Christmas Miracle, it is worth recalling the fact that Joseph does not at once repudiate his betrothed, despite his discovery that she is pregnant with another’s child. It is an astonishing development. How painfully bewildering it must have been for him, however, to try and account for a conception for which he was not at all responsible. Still, for all that Joseph is entitled to collect in the way of punitive damages, including death by stoning, he refuses to go that route, resolving instead “to divorce her quietly.”

At which point, of course, an angel of the Lord intervenes, advising Joseph in a dream not to heed the counsel of fear, nor to give way to the demands of justice, but to welcome Mary into his home. How so? Because the Child she bears is the Son of the living God. [Read more…]

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Thou Shall Not Judge – The Misunderstood 11th Commandment

hou Shall Not Judge - The Misunderstood 11th Commandmentby Robert Meyer –
The idea that we can never judge about anything is patently absurd. To say that we can never judge is to wander aimlessly. The Scriptures tell us that we should reprove each other, speaking the truth in love. What our society lacks is righteous judgment. What we have an abundance of is knit-picking and indifference. Neither of those two alternatives promotes justice and righteousness.

Regardless of the level of theological sophistication, we can always be sure the critics “know” one thing: The Bible says that we should not judge one another. Anyone who would do so is clearly being un-Christian. Such obtuse reasoning is employed against Christians who offer a negative commentary on certain cultural trends, behaviors or lifestyles. Still, I wonder how many people have taken this concept to its logical conclusion? [Read more…]

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The Goal of Classical Education is Truth

The Goal of Classical Education is Truthby Tom Jay –
A truly classical and Christian education must link the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty to the One Who is truth, goodness, and beauty.

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Aristotle wrote this in the fourth century B.C. in a text called On the Heavens. Sixteen hundred years later Thomas Aquinas began his treatise On Being and Essence by paraphrasing Aristotle: “Because a small error in the beginning grows enormous at the end.…” The application of this wisdom to the moral life might be rather obvious. Tell a lie once, however small, and you will probably end up telling more. While it’s easy to see, in the realms of space or morality, how a slight error can lead to enormous complications later, these maxims are not only meaningful for astrophysicists and theologians. Teachers and school administrators would do well to reflect on these words as well. [Read more…]

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Ashley Purpura: Orthodox Church Needs Women Priests and Bishops

Ashley Purpura: Orthodox Church Needs Women Priests and Bishops Ms. Ashley Purpura, Ph.D. recently published her outrageous “Beyond the Binary: Hymnographic Constructions of Orthodox Gender” article on “Public Orthodoxy.” Relying on secular LGBT language and concepts, she ridiculously asserted that the “Orthodox understandings of gender span a spectrum of diverse views” and maintained that singing certain liturgical hymns are evidence of “gender-bending” Church traditions! Thankfully, Fr. John Whiteford easily dissected her absurd claims and exposed Ms. Purpura’s blasphemous tendencies (see: Public Orthodoxy: Promoting Cultural Marxism and LGBT Blasphemy).

It turns out Ms. Purpura specializes in distorting and attacking Orthodox Church right order, teaching, and theological Traditions. In her dissertation, titled Flexible Fixity: Theorizing, Realizing, and Negotiating Byzantine Ideals of Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, submitted in support of her Ph.D. from Fordham University in 2014, she challenges the “male-generated and delienated tradition” used to justify a male only priesthood, bemoans the “problem of hierarchic exclusivity,” and advocates for the reevaluation of the outdated Church tradition of ordaining only men as deacons, priests, and bishops.[Read more…]

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Public Orthodoxy: Promoting Cultural Marxism and LGBT Blasphemy

Public Orthodoxy: Promoting Cultural Marxism and LGBT Blasphemyby Fr. John Whiteford –
One could make a career of responding to all of the nonsense that “Public Orthodoxy” [run by George Demacopoulos] spews on a regular basis.

Recently, Ashley Purpura has made the unlikely argument that the services of the Church somehow promote gender fluidity, in her [dare I presume her binary gender?] article: “Beyond the Binary: Hymnographic Constructions of Orthodox Gender,” which begins with the manifestly ridiculous assertion: “Much like gender itself, Orthodox understandings of gender span a spectrum of diverse views.”

Of course, anyone with any concern for the truth who actually knows anything about the Orthodox Church knows that this is not even slightly true. There is not the most microbial fragment of a basis for such an absurd claim. Not even the remotest hint of such a microbial fragment…. [Read more…]

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Let There Be Light: God, Not Random Forces, Created Our Universe

Let There Be Light: God, Not Random Forces, Created Our Universeby Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon –
The opening chapter of Genesis has long been a favorite of Christians, and ancient commentators discovered in its lines profound levels of meaning.

In more recent times, on the other hand, some readers of Genesis, distracted by apologetic concerns alien to the deeper interests of the Sacred Text, have failed to discover those depths. For example, even from boyhood I recall that some of my teachers were preoccupied with the length of the six “days” of Creation. Was it really necessary, they asked, to think of those “days” in the sense of having twenty-four hours? Might they not, instead, represent long periods of Natural History?

No, this is certainly not what the biblical author has in mind. The problem with such questions is that they distract the mind from the deeper message of the Sacred Text. [Read more…]

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How to Evangelize Without Saying a Word

How to Evangelize Without Saying a Word by Jared M. Silvey –
The Christian message is made more credible and powerful when integrated within the flow of our everyday actions. It is one thing to say something; it is another thing to do it.

St. Francis of Assisi is said to have once instructed his followers to “preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Underlying this statement is the idea that the Christian message is made more credible and powerful when integrated within the flow of our everyday actions. It is one thing to say something; it is another thing to do it. A man may say that he loves his wife, but in the end it is what he does and is willing to go through for her that gives credence to his words.

Bishops, priests, and deacons are ordained with the authority to announce the Gospel to humanity. The laity are also called to proclaim Christ by their words, but they are also in a unique position to witness to Christ by their everyday actions. [Read more…]

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There is No Love in a Lie

There is no love in a lie. Homosexuality is sinful.by Lisa Moeller –
There is no love in a lie. And the lie of homosexuality is that it comes from a place of love. When in all actuality it comes from a place of brokenness.

Love. I am compelled to address this topic because I have been approached so many times lately by those who feel that “love always wins” and “love will save the day” and “love is the answer” no matter what.

But, what does love actually mean? First of all, we didn’t create love. It was created for us by a God Who understands its genuine definition. Therefore, only He can produce the genuine fruit of love in someone’s soul. [Read more…]

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Unhinged Hatred: Frank Schaeffer Curses Donald Trump and His Family

Unhinged Hatred: Frank Schaeffer Curses Donald Trump and His FamilyInfamous progressive leftist Frank Schaeffer, who describes himself as “an atheist who believes in God” has reached a new low in his descent towards insanity and spiritual darkness. In a video posted on facebook on September 5, 2017, Frank snarls: “G-d damn you Donald Trump” and proceeds to curse President Trump. Calling for a “day of prayer” to also “curse your nepotistic horrible grifter unloving hard-hearted callous family,” Frank then ends by wishing that Trump will “live to see” his family “torn apart.”

Frank is infamous for his many outrageous and hate-filled rants on his facebook wall, directed at Christian conservatives, President Donald Trump, and other Orthodox Christians who defend the traditional theology and moral teaching of the Orthodox Church. Frank claims that he is a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, despite contradicting and attacking the Church teaching on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, transgenderism, and other matters of faith and morality. [Read more…]

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