Hallelujah Christmas by Cloverton Proclaims the Savior’s Birth

Hallelujah Christmas by Clovertonby Chris Banescu –
Christian rock band Cloverton updated Leonard Cohen’s iconic “Hallelujah” song and gave it a Christmas makeover. Cohen’s familiar melody was infused with lyrics proclaiming the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The result is simply majestic.

What a wonderful, inspired, and blessed way to keep Christ in Christmas and bear witness to the truth, love, and majesty of God in this Nativity season. What a brilliant way to shine a light into our culture and reach people’s hearts and souls.

Posted below are the updated lyrics and the video of the band’s beautiful and uplifting rendition of Hallelujah.

Hallelujah Christmas by Cloverton [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…]

Jesus Christ Taught: Go and Sin No More!

Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
Jesus Christ Taught: Go and Sin No More! [Read more…]

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…]

The Beginning of the Day Belongs to Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ Light of the World, God and Saviorby Chris Banescu –
In Life Together, the book that highlights the importance of Christian fellowship and community life centered on Christ, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that the beginning of the day belongs to God. “At the threshold of the new day stand the Lord who made it.” He exhorts us to silence all empty talk and distractions when we rise each day and instead let our first thoughts and words be offered to Jesus Christ, “to whom our whole life belongs.”

This is the same message that the Scriptures, wise men of God, the Orthodox Church, and the Christian Saints have taught and practiced throughout the ages. The Gospels bear witness that Jesus Christ himself started each day with prayer. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).

“For Christians, the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day’s work. At the threshold of the new day stand the Lord who made it. All the darkness and distraction of the dreams of night retreat before the clear light of Jesus Christ and His wakening Word. All unrest, all impurity, all care and anxiety flee before Him. [Read more…]

Christians Need Each Other to Hear the Word of God

Christians Need Each Other to Hear the Word of Godby Chris Banescu –
This Nativity season it’s good to remember the sacramental role that a Christian community plays in our lives. Man was not created to be alone but live in communion with God and other human beings. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian martyr and theologian, reminds us that our brothers are the means through which Christ, the Word of God, reaches us most powerfully and effectively.

We need each other because the Christ in our “own heart is weaker that the Christ in the word” of our brother. Our own heart can sometimes be uncertain, but our brother’s is sure. That’s why we need other Christians as bearers and proclaimers “of the divine word of salvation” to remind us of the Word of God. [Read more…]

Still, Still, Still – A Beautiful Austrian Christmas Carol

Nativity Manger, Still, Still, Still - Austrian Christmas Carolby Chris Banescu –
Beautiful music often reflects the beauty and majesty of God. It touches our minds, hearts, and souls and gives us a glimpse of the divine. Music is a mystery of creation that reveals part of God’s infinite creativity and love for us.

Pope Benedict XVI once observed that when words are not enough, beautiful music can express the joy and mystery of God’s love. “It is hard to find words to convey the sheer joy of the soul’s loving encounter with God; indeed, the great mystics could only remain silent before the mystery,” he said.

This Christmas season I heard “Still, Still, Still”, an Austrian Christmas carol, for the first time. The very beautiful and moving performance by the orchestra and choir touched my heart and soul. The angelic rendition reminded me of a church hymn. I searched and found the words to share with you. The video of the orchestra and choir is also provided below.

Still, Still, Still – Austrian Christmas Carol
Still, still, still,
The child’s eyes softly close.
And Mary breathless, draws Him, weeping,
To her heart made pure for keeping.
Still, still, still,
The child’s eyes softly close. [Read more…]

Men are Mirrors or ‘Carriers’ of Christ to Other Men

Men are Mirrors or Carriers of Christ to Other Menby Chris Banescu –
C.S. Lewis reminds of the significance of our work and witness in the world and the importance Christian fellowship in bringing Christ and the Truth to others.

“Men are mirrors, or ‘carriers’ of Christ to other men. Sometimes unconscious carriers. This ‘good infection’ can be carried by those who have not got it themselves. People who were not Christians themselves helped me to Christianity. But usually it is those who know Him that bring Him to others.

That is why the Church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another, is so important. You might say that when two Christians are following Christ together there is not twice as much Christianity as when they are apart, but sixteen times as much.” ~ C.S. Lewis

This same message was proclaimed by Christ. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

The Greater the Darkness, The Brighter Our Lights Must Shine

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The Greater the Darkness, The Brighter Our Lights Must Shine [Read more…]