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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Nashville Statement Affirms Traditional Christian Principles on Marriage and Sexuality

Nashville Statement: Affirming Traditional Christian Principles on Marriage and Sexuality Here’s a worthy, true, and clear statement that all Orthodox Churches and hierarchs in America should support.

A coalition of conservative evangelical leaders across America issued a public declaration titled the Nashville Statement that affirms universal and traditional Christian principles on marriage and human sexuality. It is a response to an increasingly post-Christian, Western culture where many homosexual advocacy groups aggressively attack and purposely distort the moral teaching of Christianity.

“The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female. Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity. … The aim of The Nashville Statement is to shine a light into the darkness — to declare the goodness of God’s design in our sexuality and in creating us as male and female.” ~ Denny Burk (President, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Theistic Evolution Incompatible with the Bible and Christian Theology

Theistic Evolution Incompatible with the Bible and Christian Theology by Hank Hanegraaff –
Creation versus Evolution. As the debate rages, there remain those who contend that they can subscribe to modern evolutionary theory and, at the same time, believe in God’s Good News as revealed in the Bible. Is this belief in Theistic Evolution truly rational?

What Is Theistic Evolution?
Proponents of theistic evolution claim that God created man by evolutionary processes, that is man is said to have evolved from lower forms of life. If this were the case, then all life, including man and his presumed ancestors, would have been subject to death throughout history. This is because theistic evolution depends on death to weed out lesser fit organisms to make room for the development and refinement of surviving species.

However, the Bible tells us that death came about as a result of sin. If Adam had not eaten of the forbidden fruit, if he had not fallen into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what need is there for redemption? None! [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Spiritual Blindness: Inability to Discern Good from Evil, Truth from Lies

Patriarch Kirill Spiritual Blindness: Inability to Discern Good from Evil, Truth from Liesby Patriarch Kirill of Russia –
What is spiritual blindness? It is people’s inability to see into the essence of what is happening around them. It is the inability to see good and evil, to discern truth from lies.

The spiritually blind person is like a vessel in the ocean without a navigator. If the captain has no idea where the vessel is located, where it is going, where the reefs are and where the calm waters are, where it is shallow and where it is sufficiently deep, then such a vessel will most likely shipwreck. It is the same in our lives—if a person has no spiritual vision he is taking a great risk. He can choose the wrong way of life, the wrong path in life. He can join his fate with a person in whom he did not see, did not discern evil from good or good from evil. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The Abnormal Cannot Dictate What’s Normal

The Abnormal Cannot Dictate What is Normalby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Those who are darkened by spiritual corruption or sexual depravity cannot be trusted to lecture others about what’s normal or demand that the normal embrace abnormality.

Those who are confused about their own sexuality or reject traditional Christian moral principles are incapable of giving advice on normal human relationships or family life inside or outside the Orthodox Church.

Those who believe or teach that sodomy is either “normal” or not sinful have separated themselves from the true teaching of the Orthodox Church and go against the laws of nature. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Fr. Thomas Hopko: Homosexual Advocates Should be Denied Communion in the Orthodox Church

Homosexual Advocates Should be Denied Communion in the Orthodox Churchby Fr. Thomas Hopko –
For this reason, those who publicly affirm and promote homosexual behavior (like those who publicly advocate abortion) cannot be sacramental communicants in the Orthodox Church.

When Church leaders rightly remove persons from sacramental communion, they must understand their action as therapeutic and not punitive.

From Chapter 23 – Same-Sex Attraction and Sacraments in
Christian Faith and Same Sex Attraction: Eastern Orthodox Reflections book by Fr. Thomas Hopko

  • In Orthodoxy, communicants in the sacramental mysteries are not only obliged to be steadfast in the Christian faith and perpetually repentant over their failures, they are also obliged to take full responsibility for the Church’s teachings and practices, and to be ready, to defend them unto death. [Read more…]
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Why Atheists Don’t Really Exist

there are no such things as atheists by Joe Bissonnette –
In the deeper rumblings of their very selves, where nature speaks through instinct and God speaks through conscience, there are eternal truths that can be avoided for a time but not ultimately denied. The truth is that there are no such things as atheists.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to ascribe greater significance to information that supports our pre-existing theories and lesser significance to information that contradicts those theories. We often do this subconsciously.

For example you get a new car, and now you notice that same type of car on the road with a much greater frequency than you had noticed before. But though confirmation bias generally refers to the inclusion or exclusion of data, there are other ways we can shoehorn the obvious to make it fit within our world view. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail