Tolerance and Charity, from a Christian Perspective

Tolerance is Not a Christian Virtue by Brian A. Graebe -
Tolerance is a nice word, but is it a Christian virtue? Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver doesn’t think so, and his claim has occasioned no small amount of protest. In a smug editorial, America magazine recently chastened Chaput for coarsening the tenor of intra-ecclesial discourse. While no call for courtesy and civility should go unheeded, an apology for toleration that ignores its niceties only furthers the intellectual and moral torpor plaguing the public square.

Proponents of a kinder, gentler discussion on the great issues of our day often attempt a rhetorical sleight of hand, coupling tolerance with charity. Such a pairing is ambiguous at best. The call to charity “loving one’s fellow man as a child of God” is universal and, one hopes, uncontroversial. But what does it mean to be tolerant of those with whom we disagree on serious matters? If used as a synonym for charity, combined patience and magnanimity, one can make a case, but that case remains weak and the term imprecise. [Read more...]

Most Common Regrets of the Dying

Most Common Regrets of the Dyingby Bronnie Ware -
For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five: [Read more...]

Making the Most of Your New Year – 2014

How to Make the Most of Your New Year 2014by Allen West -
On his blog, Allen West reflects on Pastor Scott Eynon’s sermon titled “How to Make the Most of Your New Year” based on the core scriptures in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Pastor Scott emphasized four points:

1. Accept responsibility for your life, your actions, no blame game. He emphasized that you will never reach God’s potential for your life by blaming others. The Bible even addresses that premise in Galatians 5:6, “for each one should carry their own load.” I also liked this quote from John Maxwell: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”

2. Believe you can change and set goals. If you want something to be different, first you have to want it, and second you have to commit to hard work, focus, and discipline in achieving it. [Read more...]

An Orthodox Christian Moral Case for Property Rights

Orthodox Christian Moral Case for Property Rightsby Fr. Gregory Jensen -
As a pastor, I’ve been struck by the hostility, or at least suspicion, that some Orthodox Christians reveal in their discussions of private property. While there are no doubt many reasons for this disconnect, I think a central factor is a lack of appreciation for the role that private property can, and does, play in fostering human flourishing.

It is through the wise and prudent use of our property that we are able to give ourselves over in love to the next generation and so give them the possibility of likewise transcending a purely material way of life through an act of self-donation. Economists Terry Anderson and Laura Huggins, in Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity  (Hoover Institution, 2009), are right when they remind us that while not a panacea, “property rights to oneself (human capital), one’s investments (physical capital), or one’s ideas (intellectual capital), secure claims to assets” and so “give people the ability to make their own decisions, reaping the benefits of good choices and bearing the costs of bad ones.” [Read more...]

God’s Providence Leads Us Through Life

Orthodox Nun Iconby Sister Paula -
God’s providence leads us through life; and how good it is for those who can hear it in time, who try to understand God’s will for themselves. If we make plans for one thing or another but find numerous obstacles on our path to attaining it, we have to slow down and try to discern—is this plan God’s will for us? Sometimes the Lord protects us from danger, holds us back from our impulsive race through life, but we don’t understand it, we keep fussing, insisting upon our own will, instead of simply stepping back, waiting a bit, trying some other way…

God’s will is revealed through circumstances in our life. St. Ambrose of Optina used to advise people, “Go where they lead you, look at what they show you, and always say, ‘Thy will be done!’” This seems very hard for us in the modern world; in fact it seems downright impossible. How could we, intelligent people, who know everything and are the creators of our own destiny, go wherever they lead us?! Why, they could lead us anywhere! But the saint was in no way talking about breaking the commandments; he was instructing us to see signs from God in our lives, to seek God’s will in circumstances, in coincidences that are not really coincidences at all. [Read more...]

Frank Schaeffer is a ‘Christian Atheist’

Frank Schaeffer Christian Atheist Leftist Progressive Delusionalby Kristin Rudolph -
Usually Frank Schaeffer’s talks follow a predictable pattern in which he describes how he followed in the footsteps of his prominent evangelical father, Francis Schaeffer, became disillusioned with the “Religious Right,” and now learns about God mostly through his relationship with his grandchildren. Recently, however, Schaeffer candidly discussed his personal theological views at Revolution NYC, an emergent congregation in Brooklyn, NY.

Over the past couple decades, Schaeffer has distanced himself from his family’s evangelicalism, and describes himself as Eastern Orthodox. But during his talk, Schaeffer told Jay Bakker, pastor of Revolution NYC and son of former televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker: “I describe myself as a Christian atheist.” [Read more...]

The Soul Abstracted from Life

Public School Indoctrination Brainwashingby Daren Jonescu -
Modern civilization willingly consigns almost all of its children to the living hell of forced retardation. Everyone knows the educational establishment is beset with problems, corruptions, and the downward ratchet of lowest common denominator standards. And yet parents continue to send their children to government schools, hoping, perhaps even half-believing, that this will not significantly harm the children’s adult lives. They are dead wrong. What follows is an anatomical diagram of mankind’s greatest shame.

The primary purpose of all government-controlled education — regardless of how this is expressed by particular defenders of the enterprise — is to produce the kind of citizens the government sees as best suited to its established form of governance. By “the government,” I mean those people and factions within the political infrastructure who are in a position to determine the long-term structure and interests of the community as a whole. [Read more...]

The Secret Sloth of Busy, Active People

Secret Sloth of Busy, Active Peopleby Dave White -
Slothful people, to many people’s surprise, are often active, busy, and hard-working people who have given their lives to trivial matters, not transcendent ones. They have immersed their lives with empty pleasures. Slothful people regularly find themselves bored and struggle to compensate by filling their time with self-centered diversions. It’s not that their lives are filled with motion, energy, and bustling about; it’s that their lives are slothful regarding the things that really matter!

Slothful People Embrace Escapism
Sloth is not mere laziness. It’s not a couch potato. Sloth is escapism of the deadly sort—including drug users, TiVo addicts, and obsessive video gamers. Yet escapism also includes most workaholics! Sloth saps our time and emotions through positive activities like clubs, hobbies, and sports—while leaving scant energy for our marriages or kids or preeminent duties. [Read more...]

The Search For Meaning

The Search For Meaning in Lifeby Dan Doyle -
Suffering comes into every life. Often it is so terrible we wonder how we can ever survive it. We can’t imagine the there could be any meaning in it. One of the most important books I’ve ever read is Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In it he tells of his experiences as an inmate in several of the Nazi death camps during WWII. Frankl was one of the lucky ones, he survived. He was liberated at the end of the war from Auchwitz as the only survivor of his family. Out of his pain and loss, out of the hell of it all, he came away with a deeper faith in God and, ironically, in humanity. We are the lucky ones, then, who can read this small book and be edified by the powerful meaning he discovered in and through his own suffering.

When we suffer, nothing makes sense to us. We are overwhelmed with a feeling that the world is cold, indifferent to our suffering, that we are utterly alone in it and imprisoned by it. How could there be any meaning in it at all? This is the central question of Viktor Frankl’s book. The core responsibility of our individual human lives is to find meaning and purpose, not just in fame, or wealth, but in transcendent ways, through faith, hope and, most importantly through love. [Read more...]

The Image of God and the Dignity of Work

The Image of God and the Dignity of Workby Art Lindsley -
The number one fear of the millennial generation is living a meaningless life.

In a recent informal survey of undergraduate students at Regent University, 27 percent of students asked expressed anxiety when considering their vocation. “Scared,” “uneasy,” “unsure,” “confused,” and “apprehensive” were common words in describing the way they felt about their future vocation.

But college students aren’t the only ones struggling with their calling. Many adults fail to discover their calling in life, too. Why is it so hard to find this thing we call our “vocation”?

When I use the words “calling” and “vocation,” I am referring to what Os Guinness calls our secondary calling. As Guinness points out, along with Luther, Calvin, and many other Reformers, our primary calling is the call to faith in Christ. Several secondary callings flow from this primary calling, including the call to work. [Read more...]

If Good and Evil Exist, God Must Exist (Prager University)

If Good and Evil Exist, God Existsby Peter Kreeft-
Is there such a thing as objective morality? If there is, does that suggest a moral law giver? Peter Kreeft, distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, takes on these critical questions and offers some challenging answers.

“Good and evil are not the difference between I like and I don’t like,” observes Professor Kreeft in this video lecture. He conducts a thorough review of the five (5) theoretical sources of morality offered by atheists, and disproves each one using logic, common sense, and historical examples: [Read more...]

Converging and Convincing Proof of God: If Truth, Then God

What is Truth, GODby Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq. -
“What is truth?” famously stated Pontius Pilate to Jesus who had proclaimed himself to be “the Truth.”  (Cf. John 18:38; John 14:6).  As an unbelieving pagan blind to the Incarnate Truth before him, the Roman procurator was oblivious of the irony in his words.

Pilate, it should be noted, was not asking Jesus the question as a philosopher or a religious seeker.  He was asking the question as a human judge, as the holder of authority, of temporal power.  “Don’t you realize I have the power either to free you or to crucify you?”  (John 19:10).

Truth, however, does not rely on human or temporal power.  Truth and temporal power are altogether different categories.  Whether freed or crucified, Truth remains what it is: Truth. [Read more...]

Godly Character Is Formed in the Little Moments

Godly Character Small Moments Prayerby Paul Tripp -
“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord my refuge that I may tell of all your works” (Psalm 73:28).
It is a grace to get it right, because so often I get it wrong. No, I don’t mean that I fall into gross and willing sin, and I don’t mean that I am seduced by the old arguments of new atheism. No, I don’t mean that I occasionally question the tenets of my faith or question whether ministry is really worth it. No, getting it wrong is much more subtle. Getting it wrong is not about the big, dramatic, consequential moments of life. No, getting it wrong is much more about the little mundane moments of everyday life.

It’s easy to let up your guard and be all too relaxed in these moments precisely because they are little. It’s also tempting to minimize the wrong choices that you make in these little moments. But the opposite is true. The little moments of life are profoundly important because they are little. Little moments are the ones we live in every day. The character and course of a person’s life isn’t set in three or four grand, significant moments. No, the character of a person’s life is shaped in 10,000 little moments. You carry the character formed in the mundane into those rare consequential moments of life. [Read more...]

Big Business Is Not Conservative

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager -
Big business has often been at ideological odds with conservatism.

For example, many big businesses did business with the Soviet Union. A well-known example was Occidental Petroleum’s Armand Hammer — a major donor to the Republican Party, no less — who did business whenever possible with Soviet dictators. And Pepsi-Cola began selling its product in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

How is one to explain the lack of conservative principles among big businessmen? There are two things at work here.

One is an absence of thought.

Whenever I read about multi-millionaire and billionaire businessmen advocating and financially supporting left-wing causes, I am reinforced in my belief that most businessmen are proficient at one thing: making money. [Read more...]

On Consecrating the Entire Economic Order

Consecrating the Entire Economic Order by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon -
St. Luke’s account of Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree (19:1-10) is a story rich in spiritual reflection; preachers and Bible-readers, coming from a variety of backgrounds, have explored the narrative unto great profit for the education of the soul.

A certain liturgical use of the text is particularly instructive; namely, the story of Zacchaeus has long been read in the dedicatory service of a new church building. This liturgical custom—warranted by Jesus’ assertion, “Today, I must stay at your house” indicates a symbolism: The home of Zacchaeus represents the consecrated places where Christians gather to meet, worship, and commune with Jesus.

There is an irony here: Even as we insist that Jesus preached the Gospel to the poor, he sometimes did so in the homes of wealthy. The reason was very simple: the wealthy had larger homes; a greater number of people could actually assemble there. (Some folks, doubtless, will be offended by this consideration, but let me mention that the first complaint [Read more...]