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…]

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…]

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…]

God is Good and Goodness is Divine

God is not merely good, but goodness; goodness is not merely divine, but God.by Chris Banescu –

Most of recorded human history points to the reality of the Moral Law, written in our hearts, that governs the affairs of men. Since the beginning of time mankind has recognized (more definitively and clearly in some ages and civilizations than others) that universal concepts of right and wrong and good and evil do in fact exist.

We acknowledge this timeless truth every time we judge whether a person’s behavior is just or unjust, right or wrong, or good or evil. We make this determination not by claiming that a specific act is only “good” if we subjectively like and agree with it, but rather by comparing it with an actual standard of good and evil. Such an evaluation is logical only if these standards are real and absolute, otherwise it would make no sense in labeling anything as evil or good. [Read more…]

Eliminating the Notion of God Leads Man to Tyranny, Insanity, and Carnality

Malcolm Muggeridgeby Chris Banescu –

The renowned journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, in his “The Great Liberal Death Wish” article observed the universal pattern of tyranny, delusion, and depravity that follows once man rejects God and embraces godless materialism in all its forms (socialism, communism, progressivism, etc.). His insights are as valid today as they were in 1979 when he first published it. Looking around the world around us we see the darkness, corruption, insanity, and chaos that accompany man’s rejection of his Creator. As the Psalmist declared “Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

“Once you eliminate the notion of a God, a creator, once you eliminate the notion that the creator has a purpose for us, and that life consists essentially in fulfilling that purpose, then you are bound, as Pascal points out, to induce the megalomania of which we’ve seen so many manifestations in our time – in the crazy dictators, as in the lunacies of people who are rich, or who consider themselves to be important or celebrated in the western world. [Read more…]

The Truth War, by John MacArthur – Memorable Quotes

The Truth War, by John MacArthur - Memorable Quotesby Chris Banescu –
“God and truth are inseparable. Every thought about the essence of truth — what it is, what makes it ‘true,’ and how we can possibly know anything for sure, quickly moves us back to God. That is why God incarnate — Jesus Christ — is called the truth (John 14:6),” reminds us John MacArthur. His book, The Truth War, is full of timeless wisdom from Scriptures applicable to our day and age.

MacArthur does a wonderful job explaining why truth forms the foundation of the Christian faith and why it should play a critical role in the lives of all Christians. He reminds us that we all bear a responsibility to defend and preach the truth. He also cautions us that throughout history some of the most dangerous assaults on truth and the Christian faith come from within the church.

Here are a few memorable quotes from his book (from just the first few pages):

“The idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have authoritative biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior. [Read more…]

Mental Breakdown Precedes the Moral Breakdown

G. K. Chesterton The Apostle of Common Sense
G. K. Chesterton was one of the deepest and clearest thinkers of the 20th century. He was also a strong defender of the Christian faith, a modern day apologist in the truest sense of the word. As Dale Ahlquist points out in his book, Chesterton was indeed The Apostle of Common Sense who fearlessly challenged the lies and falsehoods of his time. His insights and logic are as relevant today as they were then.

Chesterton foresaw the coming moral breakdowns that we’re currently experiencing. He understood that the corruption and misuse of language in order to obfuscate the truth were symptoms of a mental breakdown that will inevitably lead to moral corruption. He was right.[Read more…]

In Rejecting Truth Man Dooms Himself

Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times by Chris Banescu –

The increasing darkness, corruption, and delusion we witness all around us are direct and predictable consequences of man’s rejection of God and truth. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn warned of the devastating consequences that follow when men forsake God. Dennis Engleman issues a similar warning in his book Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times regarding the dangers of man’s rejection of truth.

In rejecting truth, man, who was created in the image and likeness of God, denies himself and the godly nature with which he was blessed from the beginning by his Creator. He purposely blinds himself to reality and destroys the very faculty (reason) that allows him to find and discern truth. In rejecting truth, man purposely closes all “doors to authentic understanding” and obliterates the only avenue that can lead him into communion with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).

When man rejects truth he rejects God and destroys himself. In abandoning truth man opens himself to all manner of delusion, falsehood, and corruption. He abandons the narrow road to salvation and wonders in the wilderness of “this world” at the mercy of evil. He forsakes God’s wisdom and embraces “worldly wisdom” which always leads down the road to perdition, to despair, suffering, and death. [Read more…]

Living Among Immortals – C.S. Lewis

Weight of Glory Living Among Immortalsby Chris Banescu –

In his The Weight of Glory sermon C.S. Lewis reminds us that God created men and women as immortal beings. While our sin and rebellion has temporarily alienated us from God, resulting in the death of our physical bodies, our souls do not die. Past death, our souls live on waiting for the Second Coming of Christ and the restoration of our full humanity; when our renewed and transformed bodies will be once again in full union and symbiosis with our souls.

Lewis masterfully pulls aside the veil of worldly cares and materialist presumptions. He reveals the godly and eternal dimension of our existence with the wisdom and insight that only a messenger of the Lord could posses. “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare.”

This timeless truth is important because it draws attention to how precious and special human life truly is. Nothing in this world compares with the value of human life. “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours,” proclaims Lewis. [Read more…]