Mental Breakdown Precedes the Moral Breakdown

G. K. Chesterton The Apostle of Common Senseby Chris Banescu -
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.

According to Chesterton, the modern world’s weakness for euphemism is evidence of a mental breakdown even more than of a moral breakdown. When we use language, not to express the truth, but to disguise the truth, we soon lose our ability to think clearly. It was this mental breakdown, this twisting of words and their meanings, that paved the way to today’s obvious moral breakdown. Chesterton saw it before it was obvious. And he clearly understood and explained the mental breakdown that precedes the moral breakdown. [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...]

Atheism’s Fatal Flaws

Atheism Fatal Flawsby Chris Banescu -
Atheism and materialism are illogical and internally inconsistent philosophies. Both are self-contradictory and suffer from fatal flaws that destroy their legitimacy and render them useless. Unfortunately, these obvious flaws are always ignored by atheists and materialists and insufficiently understood by those who believe in God and hold a theistic view of the universe.

Before we proceed, I believe some basic definitions are in order.

Atheism, is a theory that presumes that God does not exist. It is a doctrine that categorically denies the existence of a deity. By inference, atheists do no believe in anything supernatural and claim that nothing exists outside of natural phenomena and physical matter. They reject the notion that God created the universe, matter, life, and man. [Read more...]

Christianity is Truth, Not a Religion

Christ is Truth Creator God Christianity by Chris Banescu –
Christianity is not just a “religion.” The Christian Faith embodies the most important truths of this life and all human existence which God first revealed to Moses and the other Old Testament prophets. The fullness of that truth was then completely made manifest in the birth, life, teachings, miracles, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. “It is the fulfillment of all religions in their search for divine truth and human meaning as inspired by God’s law written on human hearts,” explains Fr. Thomas Hopko.

Our God is the God of the whole universe and all life. His laws and wisdom govern all creation and all matter, seen and unseen. This is why Saint John the Theologian so powerfully declared a truth that shook the very foundations of the world: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:1-5). [Read more...]

Fr. Peter Gillquist – Memory Eternal Faithful Servant of Christ

Fr. Peter Gillquist - Memory Eternal

Fr. Peter Gillquist

by Chris Banescu -
Fr. Peter Gillquist was a loving and faithful shepherd of our Lord. Not only did he bring many in America into the Orthodox Church, but his powerful and public witness to the truth served as a guide and inspiration to many Orthodox. His work helped re-kindle the faith and inspire many cradle Orthodox Christians, like myself and others, to better understand the depth and richness of our Christian Tradition and embrace our heritage with renewed fervor and commitment.

Having been born and raised in the Orthodox Church, I have always known that the Orthodox Faith is the one and only true faith. However, it was not until I read about Father Peter and his flock’s journey of discovery that I truly recognized how much of a priceless treasure it really is. The spark that triggered that awareness and forever changed the priorities of my life sprung from the pages of his book “Becoming Orthodox.”

Fr. Peter’s account of the incredible journey undertaken by the group of American Protestant ministers in search for the New Testament Church shook me to the very foundations of my soul. Here was a group of devout Christians who loved Jesus Christ so much that they dedicated their entire lives in searching for His True Church and in finding a deeper and closer communion with Christ. They did not have the privilege to grow up in the Orthodox Church and partake of its vast spiritual and religious wealth, yet they worked hard, searched steadfastly, and struggled for many years trying to find what was given to me freely. In reading their story I realized just how blessed and fortunate I was to have been entrusted with such a Pearl of Great Price and ashamed of how little I had done with it. [Read more...]

The Gospel, The Cure for Mankind’s Suffering

Fr. Basil (my grandfather) Preaching

Fr. Basil (my grandfather) Preaching

by Chris Banescu -
Perpetual crises and suffering, societal unrest, financial emergencies, institutional dysfunction, governmental tyranny, murder and mayhem, wars, riots, terrorism, and the persecution of the righteous and innocent continues to be the “normal” state of affairs for people and countries around the world. Despite the constant assurances from most secular governments and politicians who promise us “utopia on earth” in exchange for surrendering more of our freedoms and embracing their atheistic and progressive “solutions”, things are getting worse, not better. This seems to be a persistent problem of all human civilizations throughout history, not just a defect particular to our own age. “Terrific energy is expended — civilizations are built up — excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top, and then it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down,” observed C.S. Lewis. What is the real source of this suffering and is there any hope for a cure?

It is foolishness to believe that the turmoil, economic devastation, social corruption, and societal instability happening in Greece, Egypt, England, France, Romania, other European countries, and even here in America is simply about economics, politics, education, financial mismanagement, or religious, ethnic, or cultural differences. What it is about is the catastrophic moral failure of individuals with power and influence across many organizations and institutions, especially politicians and government leaders. The immorality, vanity, arrogance, hypocrisy, selfishness, corruption, cowardice, envy, greed, and reckless disregard for the long-term safety, liberty, and well-being of the people – whom they have sworn to serve and protect – that we see in the conduct of our leaders are symptoms of what always happens when man rejects God’s truth and wisdom and tries to setup for himself an earthly “utopia” separate from Christ’s teaching. [Read more...]

The True Light of Mankind

Christ the True Light of the World and all Mankind by Chris Banescu -
As the Christmas season fades into the distance and the New Year is upon us, we tend to feel the passage of time most acutely. With the conclusion of the bright and joyous celebrations that commemorate and bear witness to the birth of the Messiah, we often experience a sense of loss, of sadness. We never seem to have enough time to fully immerse ourselves in the feast and absorb the joy and peace that our souls yearn to rediscover and embrace. It all goes by much too quickly. We find ourselves heading back towards the daily routines of our lives, feeling weary, tired, and spent. The light inside us that burned so brightly a few days ago is flickering.

In response, writes Fr. Alexander Schmemann, “come words from an infinite loftiness and an infinite profundity” from the Gospel of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist. Jesus Christ “was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name… And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:9-12, 16). [Read more...]

Man’s Hunger and Thirst for God

Man's Hunger and Thirst for God and Christ by Chris Banescu -
There is a reality of the human condition that holds true throughout the history of mankind. Human beings are born with an inner desire for something timeless that nothing in this material world and life experiences can ever truly satisfy. We are all created with a hunger and thirst for God.

All creatures hunger for that for which they were created. A hummingbird hungers for nectar, a lion for meat, a sheep for grass, a dolphin for fish. Man also hungers for food, but he has an even stronger craving for something much greater and more meaningful. “Greater than the hunger for food in man is the hunger for God which manifests itself basically in the hunger for security, for love, peace, joy, meaning, and life,” explains Fr. Anthony Coniaris. This is why Christ reaffirms that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4-4). God is indeed the living water that Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan woman near Jacob’s well, the living water that whoever drinks “will never thirst again”, the water that will become in man “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4-14).

Real Want for Heaven
Man’s inner longing for meaning and happiness is often expressed in a “real want for Heaven” that is present in our souls but which we may not recognize or understand. [Read more...]