A Defense of Christian Faith Against Disbelief

Defense of Christian Faith Against Disbeliefby Fr. Grigori Dyachenko (written in 1900) –
Our times can in all truth be called the times of disbelief: from all directions all sorts of teachings inimical to Christian religion comes to us, and in our midst too there unceasingly come about all manner of fantastic ideas contrary to the spirit of Christian faith. These ideas are usually born among the so-called educated. Contemporary disbelief utilizes for its own ends the liberty that it finds throughout the civilized world. Apparently, disbelief is preparing to engage faith in a decisive battle. Disbelief uses all its efforts and rejects no means in order to uproot faith from the hearts of men.

The press proves to be a suitable tool for this purpose in the hands of unbelievers. No misconceptions of human reason are too monstrous to be released by it. How much blasphemy, how much mockery of all sorts, how many words of ridicule, both crass and subtle, are directed against the holiest and most heartfelt feelings of the faithful! [Read more...]

Spiritual Warfare in the Pauline Epistles

Spiritual Warfare Full armor of God by Fr James Parnell –
Throughout his letters, St. Paul stresses a sense of urgency and vigilance that we have long since lost. This emphasis is based on the reality of a conflict described plainly as a war against evil. It can even seem foreign to us, as it is spoken of in terms far different from the culture wars in which the sins of others become the targets for our Bible bombs and canonical cannons.

No, the conflict he most often references is not that of public conflict with other groups/individuals, but of spiritual conflict. Even conflicts related to those who preached other doctrines (focus on circumcision, spiritual gifts, etc.) are viewed as but a manifestation and example of a spiritual reality:

“For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” [1]

[Read more...]

Trail Life USA: A Moral, Godly, and Safe Boy Scouts Alternative

Trail Life USA - a Christian adventure, character, and leadership program for young men by David Rose –
It was Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 6, 2013. The huge hall was overflowing, the convention sold out. Over 1,200 attendees, with many spilling out into the foyer, eagerly awaited the announcement. What would this safe, moral and non-sexualized alternative to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) look like?

With a stirring introductory video came the answer: “Trail Life USA” would now endeavor to “be the premier national character development organization for young men, which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens.”

The reveal, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of Americans was met with rousing cheers. “Our mission is simple and clear,” came the official mission statement, “to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others and experience outdoor adventure.” [Read more...]

The Weeping Baby Elephant and The Silent Scream

Weeping Baby Elephant by Fr. Ben Johnson –
For a few hours on Thursday, the all-seeing eyes of the world’s media were fixed on the eyes of a pachyderm.

In a story that tugged at heartstrings around the globe, the media reported that a baby elephant named Zhuangzhuang, born in a Chinese zoo on August 30, cried for five hours after being rejected by his mother.

When zoo trainers saw her trying to stomp the newborn to death in her cage, they thought it was an accident. But after the mother tried to kill her child a second time, personnel had to remove the calf for his own safety.

By nature’s design, a child loves his parent, even a murderous one, and the tears began to flow until his eyes turned red. “He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him,” a spokesman from the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Natural Reserve Area said. [Read more...]

What is Family Happiness: An Orthodox Christian Understanding

Sts. Peter and Febronia a married couple who later lived in the monastic rank by Fr. Gleb Grozovsky –
What is family happiness? When you hear the word “happiness,” a bright feeling of the joy of living, of participation, is born in the soul from the word itself. Happiness is harmony of spirit, soul, and body. It is when the body submits to the soul, and the soul to the spirit. Not the swan, the crab, and the fish, as in Krylov’s fable, but when the feelings and movements of the flesh are in submission to the reason. Just look at what catastrophic consequences can come from a bodily movement that is not in submission to the spirit. The body sees a beautiful woman and goes off in answer to the call of lower demands not in submission to the spirit. His reasoning says, “Family happiness is not in this…” But the body does not ask anyone for advice; it just wants something, then goes and does it, without thinking about the consequences.

In Trinity Leaves From the Spiritual Meadow there is a story. One day a woman learned of her husband’s unfaithfulness. She cried bitter tears and asked God to forgive her husband’s sin. When her husband left for work, his wife, not saying anything, with tears in her eyes, blessed her husband as she usually did. When they said good-bye, the husband could not bear it, and fell on his knees asking his wife’s forgiveness—so sincerely, that he never sinned again. This was the true repentance of the husband. Thanks to the wife’s long-suffering, the marriage was saved, and happiness and harmony returned to their relationship. [Read more...]

Divorce, Denial and the Death of God: How the West Really Lost God

Divorce, Denial and the Death of God: How the West Really Lost God by Elise Hilton –
On Christmas Eve 2011, I opened our front door to find one of my teenage daughter’s friends, sobbing. Her parents had divorced months before, and her dad wasn’t around. Her mother started bringing men home regularly to spend the night. The girl told her mom that having the men around made her feel uncomfortable. Her mom kicked her out of the house. On Christmas Eve.

This could be a single story of one young girl and the fall-out of one divorce, but it’s not. It’s becoming Our American Story: adults who do as they wish with little regard for the child, divorce, cohabitation, children with a revolving door of adults in their lives, no longer a family but a group of people with tenuous ties to each other, their community, their faith.

There are plenty of statistics that bear out that this American Story is the norm (the CDC report hereand a report from the Institute of American Values here.) How did it become Our Story? [Read more...]

Destroying Christianity in Syria, The West Supports the Wrong Side

Syrian Orthodox Church Destroyed by Islamic Terrorists Rebels by Robin Phillips –
The pattern of persecution is being repeated in Syria as Muslim rebel groups seek both to overthrow the lawful government as well as to eliminate the native Christian population. Consequently, Christians in Syria are frightened to worship publicly and many have had to flee to refugee camps in neighbouring countries.

The equilibrium in Syria began to be disrupted after the, so called, ‘Arab Spring’ hit the country in 2011. Rebel groups, many of whom have links to Al-Qaeda, began seeking to overthrow the government. Syria’s Christian population became engulfed in the crossfire of this civil war. Because most Christians in Syria have remained neutral in the two-year civil war and some have supported the government, the insurgents with the ‘Free Syrian Army’ perceive Christians as enemies. Consequently, they have begun systematically confiscating land belonging to Christians, in addition raping women and killing children. Dozens of churches have also been desecrated or completely destroyed, mainly around Homs and Aleppo.

Astoundingly, the anti-government ‘Free Syrian Army’ is considered moderate by the West and is supported by the David Cameron, the Obama administration, NATO and [Read more...]

Christians Massacred by ‘Free’ Syrian Army Terrorists (Rebels)

Orthodox church destroyed in Christian village of Duwayr/Douar Syriaby Editors –
Obama’s and John McCain’s friends in Syria – the so-called “Syrian rebels” continue to bring death and destruction upon Christians and Christian churches in Syria. They’re nothing more than bloodthirsty killers seeking to impose Islamic law on the Syrian people.

The following describes some of the latest atrocities committed by Obama & McCain’s supposed allies in Syria:

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (BosNewsLife)– Mourning Christians in Syria were still awaiting answers Monday, July 8, as to why  Islamic militants with links to opposition rebels entered Christian villages more than a month ago killing several people,  including children, in what locals called a “massacre”.

Vatican-backed news agency Fides said the gunmen raided the village of al-Duwayr/Douar, outside the city of Homs near Lebanon, where they immediately executed a man and his daughter in their home and burned their bodies.

The fighters reportedly also occupied the village church from where snipers began firing at terrified civilians, killing an- 11-year-old boy and a girl of 18, [Read more...]

The Myth of Liberal Compassion

Myth of Liberal Compassion - Welfareby David Limbaugh –
What will it take for the country to wake up to the destructive ravages of liberalism — and finally do something about them?

Liberals continue to masquerade as exclusive proprietors of compassion, but their policies stubbornly undermine their possessory claim. Indeed, Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America is nothing less than America’s decline and destruction in the name of compassion and fairness.

You can’t scan a day’s news without seeing proof of this. Let’s look at just two items in today’s news digest.

The Cato Institute has released a report documenting that in Obama’s America, “welfare pays better than work.” Cato’s Michael Tanner concludes that the federal government funds 126 programs targeted at low-income Americans, a shocking 72 of which involve the transfer of cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. This does not include the many assistance programs provided by state and local governments. [Read more...]

Disney Brings Lesbian Moms to Children’s TV Sitcom

Disney Brings Lesbian Moms to Children's TV Sitcomby WND editors –
In a move that’s being described as chasing “the whims of political correctness,” the Disney Channel reportedly will feature a “married” lesbian couple on a popular kids sitcom in the coming season.

“It’s a disappointment to millions of Americans that Disney would choose to become a groundbreaker in immorality,” commented Mediaguide, the organization headed by Christian media critic Ted Baehr. “New concepts of morality have had a very negative impact on marriage, families, and children.”

Mediaguide said that instead of “becoming a leader in political correctness, we encourage Disney to hold on to their title as the leader in good, fun and wholesome.”

TV Guide reports the lesbian characters will appear on an episode of “Good Luck Charlie.” [Read more...]

Liberalism Makes It Easier to be Bad

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
There are many liberals who lead thoroughly decent lives. And there are conservatives who do not.

But that is not the whole issue.

There is something about liberalism that is not nearly as true about conservatism. The further left one goes, the more one finds that the ideology provides moral cover for a life that is not moral. While many people left of center lead fine personal lives, many do not. And left-wing ideals enable a person to do that much more than conservative ideals do.

There is an easy way to demonstrate this.

If a married — or even unmarried — conservative congressman had texted sexual images of himself to young women he did not even know, he would have been called something Anthony Wiener has not been called — a hypocrite. [Read more...]

Leftist Policies Trap the Poor in Cycle of Poverty – The Mindset of the Left

Welfare state: Immoral and irredeemable by Thomas Sowell –
The political left has long claimed the role of protector of “the poor.” It is one of their central moral claims to political power. But how valid is this claim?

Leaders of the left in many countries have promoted policies that enable the poor to be more comfortable in their poverty. But that raises a fundamental question: Just who are “the poor”?

If you use a bureaucratic definition of poverty as including all individuals or families below some arbitrary income level set by the government, then it is easy to get the kinds of statistics about “the poor” that are thrown around in the media and in politics. But do those statistics have much relationship to reality? [Read more...]

For Democrats, Abortion is Their Religion

Democrats Pro Abortionby Ben Johnson –
Why would the radical Left increasingly use such religious language to defend the indefensible, the gruesome murder of the unborn?

Because abortion is their religion.

Its promoters cling to it more closely than any other political principle. They consecrate it as “sacred” and brand any attempt to constrain it as “an abomination,” a blasphemy against their idolatrous creed. Any attempt to reason about it is met with emotion-laden non-sequiturs and fulminating excommunications. How else can one even conceive of a book like The Sacrament of Abortion?

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The rhetoric is getting weird out there.

As the House of Representatives considered passing a ban on abortions beyond the 20th week of pregnancy, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin filled the chamber with the rhetoric of a fundamentalist preacher. Reacting with righteous fury, the representative from the Milwaukee shouted, “This bill is an abomination!” [Read more...]

Abortion and the Mother’s Life and Safety

Abortion and the Mother's Life and Safetyby Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon –
Inasmuch as abortion is the willful taking of the life of the unborn, we are not permitted to do it even to save the life of the mother. Indeed, we are never permitted to commit any sin, for whatever praiseworthy motive. In addition, it is hard to imagine any case in which the death of an unborn child, considered in itself, would save the life of the mother.

A few years ago I was shocked to read in an Orthodox publication that the Orthodox Church condemns abortion “in all cases, except to save the life of the mother.” It was the sort of theological slipup anyone might have made, I suppose, but it was nonetheless a seriously defective statement of the teaching of the Orthodox Church.

A friend just sent me a statement from a rather famous conservative Episcopalian, a man of considerable learning and culture, who began by remarking on “the unholy alliance of abortion-on-demand and the feminization of God,” but continued in the very next sentence to announce that “No one, except fanatics and mechanists, would argue that abortion is in every case and without exception evil.” [Read more...]

Christ Was Not a Communist

Christ Was Not a Communistby Bill Flax –
Christians desire to live virtuously with beliefs grounded in love, truth and justice. However, for many churches, justice has been perverted from its biblical meaning — conformity to God’s statutes — into a quest for egalitarianism. Truth — consistency to the character and will of God — has lost its clarity. Love has been reduced into a mere emotion. Many mainline denominations afford more certainty to atheists in academia and media than Scripture.

Many Christians abandoned Scripture, embarrassed by its teachings anywhere they differ from what passes for progressive, nuanced or sophisticated thought. Paul warned against being deceived by the world’s philosophies (Colossians 2:8), but many mainline churches were overrun by the same leftist ideologies that overran every other facet of America’s intellectual current. Babel rises anew.

Salsman perceives this but mistakes its foundations. The religious left and, more frequently, irreligious opportunists transform Christ’s teachings from the spiritual to the political/economic. They even interpret the gospel through the decidedly un-Christian lens of humanistic socialism. [Read more...]