Christian Martyrdom in Modern Age: Be Pious, Chaste, Moral, Faithful to God

Christian Martyrdom in Modern Age: Be Pious, Chaste, Moral, Faithful to God by Chris Banescu –
“If you never chase God out of your house, your soul, and your heart, it is the last and greatest martyrdom.” ~ Fr. Calistrat Chifan

We often think of Christian martyrs as men and women who lived long ago and courageously gave up their lives in defense of their faith. We think of saints and disciples who were fed to the lions, tortured, maimed, burned alive, dismembered, or slaughtered for proclaiming Christ as Lord and Savior or refusing to renounce Christianity. We also witness similar modern day martyrdom of Christians living in the Middle East. Like their ancient brethren these innocents are shot, decapitated, raped, tortured, blown up, burned alive, and murdered for simply being Christian or daring to publicly proclaim the Gospel.

Few of us would think of modern Christians living in North or South America, Europe, Russia, Asia, or other parts of the world, where there’s no official government persecution or widespread Islamic oppression of the faithful, as doing anything worthy of the title “martyr.” We have freedom and religious liberty to worship God as citizens or residents of secular democracies or constitutional republics, where Christianity is either protected (in Russia, Romania, and a few other Eastern European countries) or tolerated, at least for now (in other Western countries). [Read more…]

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Faith and Reason vs. Emotion and Imagination – C.S. Lewis

Faith and Reason vs. Emotion and Imagination - C.S. LewisIn his timeless writings C. S. Lewis cautioned us about the battle between faith and reason versus emotion and imagination that frequently rages in our hearts and minds. He wisely warned that intense emotions can destroy our faith in what we already know to be true. Lewis counseled us that teaching our moods “where they get off” was a necessary virtue of being a good Christian or even a “sound atheist.”

In our progressive mainstream culture where rampant emotionalism and subjective feelings have been substituted for reason, logic, and common sense, his wisdom is more relevant and applicable than ever.

Key Points:

  • Battle is between faith and reason on one side and emotion and imagination on the other.
  • Emotions can destroy your faith in what you really know to be true.
  • Faith… is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.
  • For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes.
  • Necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods “where they get off,” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist.
  • We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. [Read more…]
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The Orthodox Church: Fighting Heresies and Resisting Worldly Errors

Sunday of Orthodoxy, Orthodox Church Fighting Heresies and Resisting Worldly ErrorsG. K. Chesterton points out the glorious sanity and vigorous life that has existed in the Christian Church since Her founding. While Chesterton doesn’t specifically mention the Orthodox Church I found his comments most appropriate for the Sunday of Orthodoxy we just celebrated. “This is the Faith of the Apostles, this is the Faith of the Fathers, this is the Faith of the Orthodox, this is the Faith which has established the Universe.” ~ Confession of faith from the Day of Orthodoxy

“This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. [Read more…]

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The Orthodox Church: Fierce Defender of Theological Truths and Sound Christian Doctrines

The Orthodox Church: Fierce Defender of Theological Truths and Sound Christian DoctrinesThe masterful and wisdom-filled writings of G. K. Chesterton remind us why the Christian Church cannot afford to swerve even “a hair’s breadth” on important theological truths. While not written with regards to the Orthodox Church specifically, his insights also describe how the Orthodox Church has continually fought to defend the Truth and the Christian faith as taught by Jesus Christ, embodied in the Scriptures, preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, reflected in the writings of the Saints, and expounded by the Fathers.

“Last and most important, it is exactly this which explains what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history of Christianity. I mean the monstrous wars about small points of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word. It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing. The Church could not afford to swerve a hair’s breadth on some things if she was to continue her great and daring experiment of the irregular equilibrium. Once let one idea become less powerful and some other idea would become too powerful. [Read more…]

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What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?

What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?by C.S. Lewis –
‘What are we to make of Jesus Christ?’ This is a question, which has, in a sense, a frantically comic side. For the real question is not what are we to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it. But perhaps the questioner meant what are we to make of Him in the sense of ‘How are we to solve the historical problem set us by the recorded sayings and acts of this Man?’

This problem is to reconcile two things. On the one hand you have got the almost generally admitted depth and sanity of His moral teaching, which is not very seriously questioned, even by those who are opposed to Christianity. In fact, I find when I am arguing with very anti-God people that they rather make a point of saying, ‘I am entirely in favour of the moral teaching of Christianity’ — and there seems to be a general agreement that in the teaching of this Man and of His immediate followers, moral truth is exhibited at its purest and best. It is not sloppy idealism; it is full of wisdom and shrewdness. The whole thing is realistic, fresh to the highest degree, the product of a sane mind. That is one phenomenon. [Read more…]

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Prayer for America, Prayer for Election Times

Prayer for America, Prayer for Election TimesFrom The Prayer of Azariah
Blessed are You and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name unto the ages. For You are righteous in all You did for us, and all Your works are true. Your ways are upright, and all Your judgments are true.

The judgments You made are true, according to all You brought on us and on the holy city of our fathers, because in truth and judgment You did all these things on account of our sins.

For we sinned and acted lawlessly to depart from You. We sinned in every way, and did not obey Your commandments. Neither did we treasure or do as You commanded, that it might go well with us. Everything You brought on us and all You did to us, You did in true judgment. [Read more…]

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