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Religious Articles Archive
Years: 2007 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002-prior |
Year 2006
The Historical Problem of Christmas
A special historical problem attends the Gospel accounts of our Lord's Nativity, but the correct solution to that problem, I believe, offers a unique perspective on those narratives. This subject is easily understood and very much worth the pursuit. We will look first at the problem, and then consider its solution. [12/21/2006]
Celebrating Christ's Nativity
With the hyper-commercialization of Christmas in American culture, it's important for us to step away from the noise and tinsel, in order to hear once again what Orthodox Christian tradition tells us about the real significance of this feast. This takes us back first of all to the Nativity stories of the Gospels. [12/21/2006]
God's Greatest Gift at Christmas
As Christians, we believe that the birth in the flesh of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ, has set into motion the process of salvation. St. John Chrysostom's insightful characterization of the Nativity feast as "the center of all festivals" indicates that all subsequent events in the life of our Lord, celebrated liturgically by the Church, find their commencement with the human birth of Christ. [12/21/2006]
Micro-Finance: A Way Out of Poverty
“The poor you will always have with you,” a great wise man once told us long ago. And indeed we do. But the micro-credit movement has helped many of the poor become less poor, and to lift themselves, their families, and their neighbors out of abject poverty. [10/25/2006]
The Nexus of Moral Discernment in the Church
Today, in the sophisticated world of the West, there is a profusion of anxiety about the future, and about what is really happening underneath the simplistic reports on the evening news. There is a foreboding sense of danger on many horizons, and a rising level of unease about society and the state of the world. [10/22/2006]
A Marriage Made in Heaven: Longevity in the Pastorate
How long should a pastor remain in a particular parish? Twenty years ago, the conventional wisdom was seven years: Years one through three, the pastor accrues leadership capital; the fourth and fifth year are his most productive; by year six he has worn out his welcome and it is time to shepherd a flock in greener pastures. [10/22/2006]
What if God Was One of Us?
"What if God was One of Us?" asks Joan Osborne in her song of the same name. What would the answer be? He is one of us. The second would be Jesus. But is this really so? [10/17/2006]
What is the Church's Stand on War?
What happens to Christians is that we get caught up in the current culture that labels warfare as the greatest of all evils and so we reflexively renounce it. There certainly are times when war should be renounced, but a more sober understanding sees warfare as a part of life that you just can't wish away. [10/4/2006]
Waiting for God
How does God work? Judging from St. Paul's experience, He doesn't follow our way of doing things. God's timetable tends to flow at a very different speed from what we are used to and often that bothers us, especially if we are trying to do things for the Church - even for God. [10/31/2006]
The Nexus of Moral Discernment in the Church
Today, in the sophisticated world of the West, there is a profusion of anxiety about the future, and about what is really happening underneath the simplistic reports on the evening news. There is a foreboding sense of danger on many horizons, and a rising level of unease about society and the state of the world. [10/22/2006]
Overcoming Depression
Of all mental disorders, depression is the third most prevalent with about 8% of the population suffering from it. It is also currently the leading cause of disability world-wide. The effects of depression are varied affecting not only the patient, but family and society as well. [10/5/2006]
What is the Church's Stand on War?
What happens to Christians is that we get caught up in the current culture that labels warfare as the greatest of all evils and so we reflexively renounce it. There certainly are times when war should be renounced, but a more sober understanding sees warfare as a part of life that you just can't wish away. [10/4/2006]
Orthodox Church Archbishop attacks ‘Islamic fanaticism’
In yet another furore to grip the Christian community, the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece has joined the Pope controversy by attacking what he calls Islamic fanaticism in Africa. In a scathing attack, barely 48 hours after a Somali Islamic cleric called for Muslims to kill the Pope for his Tuesday utterances, Archbishop Christodoulos told a sermon in Athens that Christians in Africa were suffering at the hands of ‘fanatic Islamists’. [9/17/2006]
Murder in the Cathedral: Terrorizing the Innocent
Those of us who have attained the status of what is now called "senior citizen" can recall a far different time when most of the manifest evils of our time -- abortion, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drug addiction, pornography, political corruption -- were, if not completely absent, at least known to be evil, and so were vigorously fought by individual citizens, by civic groups, and by the various levels of government. [9/5/2006]
Greek Orthodox Church Should Say No to NCC Collaboration on Stem Cell Research
Fr Johannes L. Jacobse - Why are we compromising the Orthodox moral tradition in order to satisfy the demands of NCC member communions? Why do we turn a blind eye to a moral question of such crucial cultural importance? We are we so eager to curry favor with the NCC while ignoring the needs of our own faithful and the larger culture? [9/2/2006]
There is an American Orthodoxy
Fr Aris Metrakos - A myth needs to be debunked. It goes like this: Orthodox unity is years away because there is no such thing as "American Orthodoxy". Call it an ecclesiastical instead of urban legend if you want. It's been in circulation for at least two decades among the Orthodox Christians of the United States and it keeps us frozen in a state of tribalism and territorialism that prevents us from planting Orthodoxy more firmly in America. [8/28/2006]
Abortion, Morality and the Guidance of Christianity
Should Christian churches provide guidance on abortion, or should they just leave such life-and-death decision-making to the whims of personal opinion and secular culture? [8/25/2006]
What the Heart Sees
In the desert of our hearts, God is apparent. We do not acknowledge His presence until we really need Him. Our journey is fraught with trying to succeed in a world that is finite. We use our eyes and minds to make our lives a better place not realizing that the Heart is what should be guiding us to our successes and failures. [8/4/2006]
When Schools Silence God Talk
With schools opening around the country, it's unfortunate that many principals and school boards are not educated on the true meaning of the Establishment Clause. Under the Free Exercise Clause, a student can express his or her personal religious beliefs in an assignment or as a valedictorian. [8/27/2006]
What the Heart Sees
In the desert of our hearts, God is apparent. We do not acknowledge His presence until we really need Him. Our journey is fraught with trying to succeed in a world that is finite. We use our eyes and minds to make our lives a better place not realizing that the Heart is what should be guiding us to our successes and failures. [8/4/2006]
Vatican vows to expel stem cell scientists from Church
Scientists who carry out embryonic stem cell research and politicians who pass laws permitting the practice will be excommunicated, the Vatican said yesterday. [6/30/2006]
Animals Are People Too
No matter how virtuous the strong feelings of compassion felt by congressmen may be, we don't pay our representatives to legislate on the basis of their feelings. That is how civilizations commit suicide. We would greatly prefer it if they weighed up long term future effects against today's call of compassion. [5/26/2006]
The Dictatorship of Relativism
We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires. We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. [5/19/2006]
The Da Vinci Code: Decoding the Agenda
Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos - Much has been written and said about Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Potential viewers, as they evaluate the film for themselves, ought to be mindful of the whopping historical falsehoods on which the book is based. [May 2006]
The Da Vinci Code: The X-Files of Ancient Lies
Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos - The apocryphal myths contained in the X-Files of early heretical texts have once again emerged as the protagonists against the Sacred Tradition of Orthodox Christianity seeking to lead the catechetically uninformed and spiritually fickle into a hollow pursuit whose ultimate destination is death and destruction. [May 2006]
An Orthodox Response To The Da Vinci Code
The articles on this site have been assembled to provide real seekers of "Truth" with an opportunity for honest dialogue. Since Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is based on so many inaccuracies - our goal is to help set an appropriate basis for a healthy discussion concerning the cultural merits of Christianity by first setting the historical, scriptural and theological record straight!
He Is Not Here!
Fr. John Breck - As the Risen One, we declare with the angel, Jesus was "not there." As the Crucified One, however, he is and remains in the darkness of the tomb, in the abyss of Sheol, reaching out his hands to seize, to embrace, and to raise up with himself both the living and the dead. [4/20/2006]
Testing our faith
Easter is the most extraordinary of religious holidays because it dares believers to step up and embrace the impossible: the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth died, was buried and rose on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.
What Is Important
Fr. Alexander Schmemann - If in humility we attempt always to obey the Truth, if we try unceasingly to overcome all which is sinful and narrow for the sake of the Truth, then our controversies born of human weakness may lead to the glory of the Church, "for the strength of Christ is made perfect in weakness."
A Gospel In The Gospel Of Judas?
The fact that the Gospel of Judas has been authenticated as belonging to the third century, the original written about a century earlier, does not of course mean what it says is true. St. Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 180 AD) knew about it and denounced it as heresy. Many other Church Fathers and theologians have, before and after Irenaeus, refuted the same kind of thinking found in dozens of similar documents which distorted the apostolic faith. [4/20/2006]
Worship and Rhythm of Life
Fr. Bohdan Hladio - There is no easy or painless way to achieve spiritual renewal or growth either in our Church or in our personal life - but attending the services is the first step if we're truly interested in seeing this growth. [3/5/2006]
What Becomes You
The first Christian text on abortion is in the Didache (first century), which states, “You shall not kill a child by abortion nor kill it after it is born.” The same teaching is found in other works of the second to the fourth centuries, including apocalyptic texts where people face their aborted children at the Judgment. In the fifth century, John Chrysostom calls abortion “something even worse than murder” because it involves killing one’s own flesh and blood. [Feb. 2006]
NCC Exit Poll
Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse - The NCC has become increasingly more political than religious, and that its politics has a decidedly leftward slant. The organization had also become increasingly associated with pro-homosexual and anti-marriage causes. [2/24/2006]
Lessons from Limbo
The Roman Catholic Church recently announced that it is closing the doors on "limbo." For important theological reasons, this is a good thing. Yet it gives us cause to reflect a little on our own understanding of the state of existence after death and on the development of theology within the Church. [2/19/2006]
The Education Monopoly and Intelligent Design
With the recent election results in Kansas and Delaware, the debate continues to intensify over teaching evolution and "Intelligent Design" in the public schools. There is much at stake, from scientific integrity to philosophical baggage. The stakes are greater than they ought to be because of the way our country delivers educational services. [1/4/2006]
Can God Suffer?
The image God offers us of Himself in the Gospel takes this conviction a crucial step further. It is the image of a God who not only governs the world and our individual lives, bringing blessings and permitting pain and suffering. This same God makes it clear that He actually shares that suffering with us. [1/2/2006]
Year 2005
Séances & Science
Intelligent Design is the wedge that, driven in correctly, will destroy naturalism. The movement must be careful not to repeat the errors of psychic research. The key difference between the Intelligent Design movement and psychic research is philosophic. I believe that if this difference is maintained, Intelligent Design will not meet Spiritualism’s fate. [Sept. 2005]
Disarming Men
If Christians are going to be serious about recovering a biblical vision of manhood, we ought to start by looking around our churches this next Sunday. Young Scott Peterson will be there, waiting to hear if we have anything different to say. [May 2005]
United Churches of Castro
Fr. Johannes Jacobse - Like many of its left-wing counterparts, the NCC displayed a slavish devotion to Marxist ideas and anti-American cant. It strove to become the official dispenser of religious respectability to those who adopted either. Dispensing respectability made NCC bureaucrats feel important and offered the rationale that justified the NCC’s existence. [8/25/2005]
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
St. Nicholas, when discussed in his true form, truly gives the meaning of Christmas. This great wonder-worker humbled himself before his God and before mankind, by spreading joy to those less fortunate than him.
Bishop Tikhon (OCA) on Intelligent Design
Bishop Tikhon - "I feel it's important to note that "intelligent design" has NO scientific answers to any scientific question. It is an expression of various religious tenets held mostly by the Evangelicals." [12/5/2005]
Bishop Tikhon (OCA) Against Intelligent Design in Schools
Bishop Tikhon - "the fact remains that "Intelligent Design" doesn't make it as any kind of science, and to subject children to a religious teaching that is even more half-baked than the most rigid Fundamentalism is not respectable pedagogy." [12/6/2005]
Uncommon Dissent (Read for Arguments Supporting Intelligent Design)
Book Review: Darwinists demand a bigger miracle than any creationist could ever claim, as they assert that "only matter in mindless motion" gave birth to intelligent life and consciousness. Indeed, the faith required to believe that chaos allowed inanimate matter to become alive and to eventually develop into rational beings is far greater than the faith needed to acknowledge that an intelligent Creator designed it all from the beginning.
God and Gambling
Is gambling a sin? With the proliferation of gambling throughout society in recent years, this question seems more pertinent than ever before. But at the same time, the stigma that once went along with gambling obviously has diminished. [11/2/2005]
Wearing the Cross
Our Lord never promised his apostles great success, or told them to count, or offered them a concrete program of pastoral ministry. He just said, "Follow me, take up your cross, baptize, teach all things I have commanded, do this in remembrance of me." He gave his pastors a crucifix, not a plan; he led them to walk in his footsteps, in the darkness of faith, with his promises only. [Oct. 2005]
Upbringing of Children as Pious and Orthodox Christians
All Orthodox Christian parents who have babies or young children should consider very carefully how they are going to raise those children. Each one is a beloved and precious gift from God. From their first breath - indeed, from their conception - children should be surrounded by both love and prayer. [Oct. 2005]
Vanishing Sea of Faith
The plight of Christianity in Europe, if not yet in America, has become the topic of the moment in religious as well as secular circles, and the modern Christian establishment professes bewilderment. [Oct. 2005]
Goodbye My Son
Fr. Apostolos Hill - Are we adults living the kind of lives to which our own children can resort for inspiration, example, and encouragement? Are we leaving a legacy of faith, fortitude, contentment, character, and joy in our relationships that will serve as a bulwark to the cynical resentment which so animates civic life today? [10/22/2005]
Atheism And Orthodoxy in Modern Russia
Bishop Hilarion - Russian atheism may well one day die, but this will happen when the country has not only been baptized, but has been enlightened and born again. The Orthodox Church should play a key role in this spiritual rebirth. [10/14/2005]
Character
Fr. John G. Panagiotou - So many times today we are confronted with the reality that many people do not understand what the meaning of the word character is. Literally, the word means that which typifies a person in his/her own inner essence. In effect, it is the aroma of our souls that lingers with people once we have exited a room. [8/18/2005]
Smart Parenting
Fr. George Morelli - The first place we have to start is with ourselves. If we are not keeping a "life in Christ" how can we expect our children to do so? [9/17/2005]
Miracles of God and Miracles of Science
Why do so many medical doctors believe in God? Maybe it’s because they understand their art, and even the technology behind it, as gifts that cooperate with God’s saving grace. David Michael Phelps looks at a recent case hailed as a miracle. [8/10/2005]
The Decline and Fall of Christian Morality
No Christian today can deny that we are drowning in a deluge of immoral sexuality. We are living in a culture that is bent on desecrating marriage and sex. We are sexualizing our children, exploiting our teens and producing adults whose understanding of relationships is so warped that marriages are now more likely to end in divorce than not. [9/17/2005]
Whose Side is God On?
Jesus clearly upholds the moral law regarding "sexual immorality." (Mark 7:21) St. Paul specifically affirms the prohibitions against homosexual acts at several points. He wrote: "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) [9/8/2005]
Remembering September 11
Fr. James Kordaris - This month we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Lifegiving Cross. Every September for the rest of our lives, we will remember the horrible events of September 11. And yet, as Orthodox Christians, we will also remember that three days later, the Church raises up before us the Cross of Christ. [Sept. 2005]
The rejection of materialism (Part XXI)
The primary reason Karl Marx hated religion -- specifically Judaism and Christianity -- was that he regarded it as the "opiate of the masses." This attitude has permeated all leftist views of religion since Marx: Religion keeps people from making revolutions to materially better their lives.
Religious War & Peace
The equating of Christians with Wahhabis (radical Islamists) is reminiscent of the assertion of the moral equivalence of the West and the Soviet Union that we so often heard from the European and American left during the Cold War. [July-Aug 2005]
Bishop Tikhon of the OCA on Banning Abortions
Bishop Tikhon: "One of the most successful instruments in the latters' [neoconservatives] propaganda kit, Anti-abortion as a slogan, accompanied by great temporizing and a certain ambiguity, because if abortion were to be banned outright and we returned automatically to the old illegal unsanitary and more-profitable-than-drugs "coat-hangar" garage abortions that we had in the good old days..." (Posted on 9/9/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Fr. Symeon Responds to Bishop Tikhon's Comments on Abortions
Fr. Symeon: "Do I read that he suggests the slaughter of the unborn on a massive scale is BETTER than the danger of a few unsterile abortions???? Oh yea, that's reasonable, that's rational! Such reasoning is as irrational as the Good Bishop's theory that man was CREATED 'omnisexual.'" (Posted on 9/9/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Bishop Tikhon: Man is an "Omnisexual" Being, Post #2
Bishop Tikhon: "A human being is born biologically and traditionally capable of being sexually excited by anything and everything; hence the 'omni-' in 'omnisexual'." (Posted on 8/26/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Fr. Symeon Debunks Bishop Tikhon's "Omnisexual" Teaching
Fr. Symeon: "I suggest that the proper challenge is for the Dear Bishop to produce a single teaching of the Church that confirms his absurd teaching that man was CREATED with an aberrant sexuality, called omnisexuality." (Posted on 8/27/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Bishop Tikhon: "Man Mostly an Omnisexual Being"
Bishop Tikhon: "Man being mostly an omnisexual being, able to get excited by a tree trunk, a calf, satin, all sorts of oils and unguents, tubes, sharp objects, pressure faucets, and so on, which can be found in almost any house or other dwelling, is going to act as he pleases." (Posted on 8/23/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Fr. Symeon Challenges Bishop Tikhon's Comments
Fr. Symeon: "For one of such a cynical view as to see human sexuality as "omnisexual" sex itself is so debased it is "animal only" "physical only," so how could such a one grasp the spiritual reality of marital intimacy? This bishop or any bishop does not stand in your bedroom and should not insinuate himself into what the Holy Spirit has deemed, 'undefiled in all.'" (Posted on 8/26/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Terrorism and Liberty
Fr. Hans Jacobse - The terror inflicted on America last week should shake clear thinking Americans into deeper sobriety. It should ring in our ears as a wake up call. Strong democracies are strong by more than military might. Strong democracies are strong through the virtue of its citizens.
Lest We Forget - Remembering Romanian persecution
In 1999, the Romanian National Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism published a volume entitled "The Imprisoned Church: Romania, 1944-1989." It is presented as a "dictionary" that details the persecution and suffering endured by clergy and other figures in the Orthodox, Catholic (Eastern and Roman) and Protestant Churches in Romania during the period of communist domination. [Aug. 2005]
Great News: Antiochian Orthodox Church Leaves National Council of Churches
The nearly 400,000 member Antiochian Orthodox Church of America has voted overwhelmingly to leave the National Council of Churches (NCC) because of its liberalism. "This decision by the Antiochian Orthodox is good news for all who care about genuine Christian ecumenism, as opposed to the faux ecumenism of the NCC, whose primary concern is politics, not churches." [8/4/2005]
God-Lite Doesn’t Cut It
A new poll tells an old story: Americans are deeply religious, especially compared to Europeans. "Religious devotion sets the United States apart from some of its closest allies."
Meaning or Meanings of Scripture?
Fr. John Breck - This is an odd question, one that has been asked many times since the beginning of this “postmodern” age. Yet the thought behind it is as ancient as the pre-Socratic philosopher who asked if a person can step twice into the same stream. Now, as then, the answer is both Yes and No. [May 2005]
Debate Between Christianity and Secularism
Bishop Hilarion - In the modern battle for values people find themselves more often than not on opposite sides of the barricades, with those inspired by religious ideals on the one side and those whose world-view is formed by secular humanism on the other. Today only religion is systematically resisting the desperate attack of globalization, entering into an unequal battle for the defense of those values which it considers fundamental and which are being challenged by globalization. [4/12/2005]
Sinful Silence - When Christians neglect their civil duty
Chris Banescu (book review) - Christianity requires us to not only stay faithful to Christ's teachings and our religious traditions, but to also actively engage our society and civil authorities and help them reflect God's wisdom, truth, and love. Anything less will mean that our Christian calling is missing a key characteristic that God has always expected from His people and their works; both in the Old and also the New Testament.
Nature must not be worshipped: Judeo-Christian values, Part XVI
Why would people who value compassion, kindness or justice venerate nature? The notions of justice and caring for the weak are unique to humanity. In the rest of nature, the weak are to be killed. The individual means nothing in nature; the individual is everything to humans.
The Pope Is Christian!
The changes Catholic revisionists are proposing for their own church are not simply of the sort that offend conservative Catholics, but all Christians. At the base of the progressive mind as it is revealing itself in the Catholic Church is a will to make it not a different kind of Catholic Church, but no church at all. [June 2005]
Secularism and the meaningless life
Judeo-Christian values: Part XIII - Whatever the logical inconsistencies or theoretical arguments in either direction, the fact remains that while secular individuals can believe that their own lives have meaning, secularism by definition denies that life has meaning. The consequences have been devastating to mental health and to social order.
Evangelicals Equated With Nazis at NCC-Sponsored Conference
If your denomination is a member of the National Council of Churches, prayerfully consider presenting a resolution to your church council opposing any nominal or financial support for a body like the NCC that undermines Christian unity rather than promoting it.
Got Salt?
Doug Giles - To be a faithful salt dispenser for Christ, you and I must have the resilient thick hide and attitude of a bulldog to maintain faithfulness to His call, even, or especially, when it means saying that which might cause consternation.
Abortion and Ecumenical Relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches
It is ironic that even as the Greek Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople is working hard to improve relations between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, the American Archdiocese of his Greek Church jeopardizes those relations by awarding abortionists
We are not just animals: Judeo-Christian values part XV
People who do not believe in God or religion can surely lead ethical lives. But they cannot lead holy lives. By definition, the ideal of the holy, as understood by Judaism and Christianity and that unique amalgam known as Judeo-Christian values, needs God and religion.
The Jews have a mission: Judeo-Christian values: Part XII
Dennis Prager - Ask any non-Christian what the Christian mission is, and you will get the same answer. Just about everyone, Christian or non-Christian, knows the Christian mission. Now ask any Jew, religious or secular, "What is the Jewish mission?" and the most likely response will be: "What do you mean?"
Democrats, Christians and social issues
The popular culture does routinely mock and demean Christians, who are the only group not protected by the selective "tolerance" of political correctness, but mere derision is not our primary grievance. We cite it mainly to demonstrate the antipathy of the secularist culture toward people of faith.
The Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem
"The Miracle of the Holy Fire" by Christians from the Orthodox Churches is known as "The greatest of all Christian miracles". It takes place every single year, on the same time, in the same manner, and on the same spot. No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and for such an extensive period of time; one can read about it in sources as old as from the eighth Century AD. [5/1/2005]
The war on religion
Religion may be a fine, stained-glass thing in its purely ornamental place, but actually to take a stand on religious conviction and fight for it, well, then you've gone from preachin' to meddlin' - and become a special interest, to use Mark Pryor's (Democrat) damning description.
Holding On to all that Humanity can Mean
Fr. Thomas Hopko - Pope John Paul II was not only a human being, but, amazing to say, he was a male human being in a world where prominent and popular people, particular men, are hardly human. He was the polar opposite of the men, and now also the women, who are ready to do whatever it takes to get whatever they want for the sake of personal power, position, prestige, profit and pleasure. [4/18/2005]
Towards a Catholic-Orthodox Alliance
"As a Russian Orthodox bishop, I hope, first of all, that the new pontificate will be marked by a breakthrough in relations between the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches, and that a meeting of the Pope of Rome with the Patriarch of Moscow does take place. This meeting must be preceded by concrete steps in the direction of a better mutual understanding, and by careful elaboration of a common position on major dividing issues." [4/28/2005]
The Origins of Lent
Fr. Patrick Reardon - The word "Lent," now associated exclusively with the observance of the liturgical year, originally meant "spring" and had no directly religious significance. In English usage, however, its reference was gradually limited to the season of preparation for Pascha, a season that does, in fact, coincide with spring. [3/15/2005]
The Cube and the Cathedral (Europe's Church Crisis)
Europe's largest churches are often unused these days, reduced to monuments for tourists to admire. And there is a reason for this neglect. In "The Cube and the Cathedral," George Weigel describes a European culture that has become not only increasingly secular but in many cases downright hostile to Christianity. [4/14/2005]
Life in the Fast Lane
For Christians, the most important lesson about fasting is presented in blunt terms: Christ warns us in the Gospels that fasting is not to make us gloomy! It is not a bitter, excruciating ordeal: “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites. . . . But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father” (Matt. 6:16–17). [March 2005]
Rat Research Hints at God's Creation
Chris Banescu - Earlier this year, researchers in Spain made a remarkable scientific discovery. Rats are capable of discerning the rhythms of the human language and can tell the difference between different languages. Rather than support evolution, these findings actually reinforce the Creation model of the world. The research seems to indicate yet another weakness of the evolutionary model and adds more weight to a growing body of scientific evidence that disproves many aspects of evolution.
No need for Orthodox pickles
The heart of Orthodoxy must stay the same, but it is not enough to "put our faith into pickle jar and preserve it." Orthodox leaders must find a way to save the traditions of their homelands, but the clergy and laity must realize that their own children and grandchildren are Americans who need a faith that is stronger than old music, familiar foods, folk dancing and traces of an ancient language. [2/23/2005]
What Will Be Will Be?
Fr. Patrick Reardon - To say, as the Bible and the Church have always insisted on saying, that we are responsible beings answerable to God for our lives and our moral decisions, is to assert that our choices are really free, that we have a genuine say about what will be, that we do not simply act from compulsory forces outside of our control, that what comes forth from us is not just the sum total of the influences brought to bear upon us, that "it is not what enters a man from without that defiles him." [2/16/2005]
Mad Court Disease
Canada used to have an exemplary record of respect for human rights. That ended with adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Under the pretense of upholding this Charter, activists on the Supreme Court of Canada have conducted a systematic attack on freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, and expression for Canadians who affirm the traditional principles of Judeo-Christian morality. [March 2005]
Choose life: The case for Judeo-Christian values: IX
There are good people on both sides of the Terri Schiavo tragedy, but chances are that if you affirm Judeo-Christian values, you have opposed pulling the feeding tubes from the severely brain damaged woman's body. Why? Because if there is anything that Judeo-Christian values stand for, it is choosing life and rejecting death.
Hate evil: Case for Judeo-Christian values, part VII
Dennis Prager - A core value of the Bible is hatred of evil. Indeed, it is the only thing the Bible instructs its followers to hate -- so much so that love of God is equated with hatred of evil. "Those who love God -- you must hate evil," the Psalms tell us. The notion of hating evil was and remains revolutionary. [3/1/2005]
Liberal feeling vs. Judeo-Christian values: Part VI
Dennis Prager - With the decline of the authority of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many people stopped looking to external sources of moral standards in order to decide what is right and wrong. Instead of being guided by God, the Bible and religion, great numbers -- in Western Europe, the great majority -- have looked elsewhere for moral and social guidelines. [2/22/2005]
Restating the obvious - the American Church is hurting
We are in trouble – Christians, the nation, the world – because of the Church. As so-called believers we do not act as we ought. And it is costing our witness, big-time. [2/16/2005]
Judeo-Christian values: Part V
Dennis Prager - Before continuing to make the case for Judeo-Christian values, it is time to answer a question frequently posed by Jews and Christians as well as others: How can there be such a thing as Judeo-Christian values when Judaism and Christianity have different, sometimes mutually exclusive, beliefs? [2/15/2005]
Judeo-Christian values: Part IV
Dennis Prager - One of the most obvious and significant differences between secular and Judeo-Christian values concerns human worth. One of the great ironies of secular humanism is that it devalues the worth of human beings. As ironic as it may sound, the God-based Judeo-Christian value system renders man infinitely more valuable and significant than any humanistic value system. [2/8/2005]
Raising Children Who Believe: Five Steps We Took as Christian Parents
Fr. Peter E. Gillquist - One of the great struggles we have today in the Church is preserving our children in the Orthodox Faith. Too often they seem not to be interested. Can we somehow motivate our kids to be excited about following Christ and being Orthodox Christians? I believe there is a way. It takes commitment and hard work, but it’s worth it. [Jan. 2005]
Judeo-Christian values: Part III
Dennis Prager - Those who do not believe that moral values must come from the Bible or be based upon God's moral instruction argue that they have a better source for values: human reason.
The case for Judeo-Christian values: Part II
Dennis Prager - For those who subscribe to Judeo-Christian values, right and wrong, good and evil, are derived from God, not from reason alone, nor from the human heart, the state or through majority rule.
Better answers: The case for Judeo-Christian values
Dennis Prager - Now, it is time to make the case for Judeo-Christian, specifically biblical, values. I believe they are the finest set of values to guide the lives of both individuals and societies. Unfortunately, they are rarely rationally explained -- even among Jewish and Christian believers, let alone to nonbelievers and members of other faiths.
Kingdom of This World
George Neumayr - The gravitation of liberals to illiberal ideologies is uncanny. The more illiberal the ideology, the more likely liberals will endeavor to understand and defend it. Militant Islam enjoys the benefits of this phenomenon in this century, just as the totalitarians of the Soviet Union benefited from it in the last.
Year 2004
Right Alliances
The fact that Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians are able to come together as we do tonight, in a spirit of fellowship and good will, is a tribute to our nation and to its great tradition of religious pluralism. Of course, it has taken us some time, we Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians, to get to this point. [Nov. 2004]
First Things First
A society in which vulnerable human life is not protected and in which marriage is made irrelevant is a society that will not long continue to care for the freedom, peace, and health of others. [Oct. 2004]
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