Jesus Christ and the Social Problem

Jesus Christ and the Social Problem by Archimandrite Georgios Kapsanis –
The more that people are cleansed of the passions, the greater their capacity for real communion with God and other people.

Those who take a romantic and external view of the human person transfer wickedness from the person onto society, which is why they proclaim that any improvement in society will bring with it an improvement in people. But, without denying the importance of social effects on people, we Orthodox prioritize the transformation of the person through repentance and divine grace.

It’s a grave error to want to change society without first striving to change ourselves. It is, at the very least, naive to believe that a change in a few social institutions will also bring about a change in people even if they don’t repent. [Read more…]

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Trust Faithful Orthodox Elders, Avoid Modernist Liberal Academics

Trust Faithful Orthodox Elders, Avoid Modernist Liberal Academicsby Fr. Michael Wood (Hieromonk) –
For the academic, nothing is a given, nothing is sacred, all must be questioned and challenged.

While I have spent a fair amount of my life in and around academic institutions, and would count myself an historian and liturgist, I am above all an eremitic monastic priest. While I certainly cannot lay claim to the extremes of monastic asceticism that many of our great Orthodox Elders have held to, nevertheless in all matters theological, I will always come down on the side of Scripture, Tradition and the Fathers, for that is where Orthodox truth is to be found.

We are, as Orthodox Believers in The Church, dependent entirely upon revelation and as such our real theologians are not academics at all, but rather the great experiencers of God.

Hence when we have academic clergy presuming to pronounce on the faith, from their height of academe, I would counsel the faithful to run away from them. [Read more…]

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How to Know When God is Calling – Tuning in to the Call of God

How to Know When God is Calling - Tuning in to the Call of Godby Regis Nicoll –
“When God calls you to do something,” the speaker cautioned, “your only response is, yes.” I saw a number of heads nodding in agreement, but I sensed a question stirring in the heads of others: “But how do I know when God is calling?”

It’s an important question. In fact, there is no question more important for Christians. For how can we follow Christ, if we can’t tell his call from that of the culture or of those darker angels that would lead us into temptation or prod us to another have-to, got-to, need-to duty that seems good and feels good—and maybe, is good—but is not God sent? [Read more…]

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Preserve Your Purity and Modesty, Guard Against Moral Corruption in Contemporary Society

Preserve Your Purity and Modesty, Guard Against Moral Corruption in Contemporary Society by Met. Philaret of New York –
Our Lord Jesus Christ, instructing His disciples and apostles, imbued in them the necessity of observing purity of heart and thought. From the thought and from the heart proceed our sinful impulses: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart,” says the Saviour; “and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies” (Matt. 15:18-19).

The Saviour pointed to this further with the following words: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery; But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 27-28). This law of the psycho-political nature of man is well-known to contemporary perverters, who are consciously striving to corrupt our youth. [Read more…]

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God Has Inscribed on the Human Heart the Whole Order of Truth

God Has Inscribed on the Human Heart the Whole Order of Truthby Pope John Paul II –
The Creator, who at the same time is the supreme lawgiver, has inscribed on the human heart the whole order of truth. This order determines what is good, provides a foundation for the moral order and constitutes the basis of the dignity of man created in God’s image.

3. “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times” (Ps 106:3).

Brothers and sisters, meditating on God’s love, revealed in the Heart of his Son, requires a consistent response on our part. We have not been called only to contemplate the mystery of Christ’s love, but take part in it. Christ says: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).

He thus places before us a great calling and at the same time a condition: if you want to love me, keep my commandments, keep God’s holy law, walk in the ways God has shown you and I have shown you by the example of my life. [Read more…]

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The Bigotry of the Progressive Present

Bigotry of the Progressive Presentby Joseph Pearce –
These analogies all point to the uncomfortable fact that “progressivism” is as arrogant and as ignorant as the worst sort of redneck racism.

We live in very mean-spirited times. In spite of all the hypocritical cant about “love” and “tolerance” it can be shown that there is little real difference between the superciliousness of “progressivist” snobbery and the most pernicious forms of racism. If, for example, we were to visit a village in a remote corner of Africa and were to witness children playing with crudely crafted toys and presumed from our observations that these Africans must be inferior to Americans because American children have iPods and smart-phones we would rightly be accused of racism. Yet this is exactly what “progressivists” do when observing cultures separated by time instead of space. The past is deemed to be inferior and can be treated with scorn or, which is perhaps worse, with patronising condescension.

Let’s employ another provocative analogy. If Plato were to walk into a room of impeccably progressive moderns, he would no doubt become the cause of a good deal of humour on account of his quaint “ethnic” clothing. [Read more…]

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The Challenge of Defending the Normal

The Challenge of Defending the Normalby Dale Ahlquist –
It is normal to believe in God. It is normal to believe that a family is composed of a father, mother, and children.

We continue to reel from the blows dealt by the Culture of Death. The attack on life, and particularly on the family, that institution which is the incubator and nourisher of life, continues relentlessly. Our states and our courts have now given the name of “marriage” to a fundamentally unnatural and barren relationship that was once unmentionable in polite company. Being pummeled like this can be disorienting, and even good people are starting to talk like they’ve been hit in the head too many times.

We have let ourselves get cornered. But we can change the momentum in this fight. It starts by taking control of the conversation, and not being controlled by buzz words [Read more…]

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When Knights Surrender Their Sword – The Problem of Effeminate Men

When Knights Surrender Their Sword - The Problem of Effeminate Menby Fr. Richard Heilman –
Effeminate men abdicate their divinely-directed duties to sacrifice themselves for the greater good: the well-being of women, the survival of their nation, the protection of Truth.

I haven’t gone to the movies in years. Mostly because movies were almost always hyper-sexualized and/or they contained ridiculously gory violence. Also, along with television shows, I knew, very early on, that Hollywood was using their tools to “normalize” bad behavior. I’ve used this quote by Jeffrey Kuhner many times, and I believe it is apropos here, as well …

In 2011, Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Post lamented, “For the past 50 years, every major institution has been captured by the radical secular left. The media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, theater, the arts, literature — they relentlessly promote the false gods of sexual hedonism and radical individualism. Conservatives have ceded the culture to the enemy. [Read more…]

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If Evolution is Mindless, Why Does it Favor Survival?

Darwinism Evolution Blind Mindless Circular Reasoningby Scott Youngren –
Atheist biologists would have you believe that evolutionary processes are mindless, and purposeless. But the problem for such a claim is that survival is a goal or purpose. There is simply no way around this. If evolution is truly mindless and purposeless, why does it favor survival over non-survival?

Physicist Amit Goswami writes in his book Creative Evolution. A Physicist’s Resolution Between Darwinism and Intelligent Design: “The Darwinian theory of evolution is based on natural selection: Nature selects those organisms that are fittest to survive. In the materialist view, an organism is just a bundle of molecules that are completely specified by their physical and chemical properties.

Nowhere among these properties will you find a property called survivability.[Read more…]

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When You Direct the Soul Towards Beauty, You Direct It Towards God

When You Direct the Soul Towards Beauty, You Direct It Towards Godby Fr. Johannes Jacobse –
Advice I give to people who can’t escape their thoughts, especially when the thoughts cause worry and even depression is to take a walk, open your eyes to the beauty around you, and practice gratitude.

Think of the things you can be thankful for and consciously express gratitude for them, and with deliberation and conscientiousness ponder the beauty of nature — look at trees, flowers, the sky, anything beautiful around you and really *see* them. Make sure your body is moving as you do this. A slow walk is fine.

What happens is that thoughts quiet down and the mind can find some rest. What happens on a deeper level is that the soul is renewed. [Read more…]

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Unpracticed Faith is Functional Atheism

Unpracticed Faith is Functional Atheismby Regis Nicoll –
Unpracticed faith—that is, faith without works—St. James writes, is dead. It has no transformative or sanctifying power; it is intellectual assent that descends into paralyzing doubt (or worse), which is no faith at all. That’s because faith is revealed, confirmed, and made perfect by our actions not affirmations (for by their fruits you will know them).

Consider a child, standing nervously at the edge of the pool, coaxed by his father to dive into the water. He has a choice: plunge headlong into the pool where the able arms of dad are ready to receive him, or remain at water’s edge frozen in fear, dithering in doubt. He may sincerely believe that his father won’t let harm come to him, but until he jumps, fear holds him captive in functional unbelief, revealing that his faith is in a danger that his father cannot save him from.

When the “rubber” of belief meets the “road” of decision, a choice has to be made. There is no middle road other than doubt, which defaults to unbelief and tosses us to and fro on the agnostic waves of uncertainty. [Read more…]

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Sloth (Idleness) a Very Dangerous Vice, Mother of Many Other Vices

Sloth (Idleness) a Very Dangerous Vice, Mother of Many Other Vices by St. Luke, Archbishop of Crimea –
“O Lord and Master of my life! The spirit of idleness give me not!” Why does St. Ephraim the Syrian begin his prayer with a request about idleness [sloth], as if there are no worse faults?

In observing idleness [sloth] from the ordinary, everyday point of view we see that idleness is contemptible, and deserves all condemnation.

Idleness is a very dangerous vice, because it is the mother of many other vices. Idle people do not concentrate their thoughts on the profound seriousness of life, the huge responsibility that lies on them not only before people, but also before God Himself. [Read more…]

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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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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.

– Fr. Johannes Jacobse
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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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…]

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