When Orthodox Bishops Spoke Boldly: Clear Teaching on Marriage and Family

Orthodox Bishop Defend Marriage Family Wedding Ceremonyby Chris Banescu -
The current societal moral collapse and the intensifying attacks on traditional marriage and the family were foreseen by previous generations of bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Approximately 40 years ago, the Holy Synod of the OCA issued an Encyclical Letter on Marriage warning their flocks of the dangers posed by an increasingly secularized world and re-affirming the traditional, biblical, and orthodox teaching on marriage. The clarity of their teaching, boldness of their condemnation, and prophetic dimensions of their preaching are undeniable.

These shepherds saw the “signs of the times.” They discerned the growing darkness and corruption all around them and the seriousness of the cultural battles to come. They forewarned the faithful that the “moral foundations of society are collapsing.” They understood the ultimate consequences of a society that abandons its moral principles, abuses its freedoms, embraces the evil of abortion, is indifferent to the murder of millions of unborn children, and glorifies corrupt sexual behaviors.

We find it imperative to address you on an issue of crucial importance for the Christian life. An increasingly secularized world tends more and more to neglect the traditional biblical understanding of marriage and family. Misunderstanding freedom and proclaiming the progress of a humanity supposedly too mature, sophisticated and scientific to follow Christ’s Gospel, many have abandoned its moral demands. The consequences are plain for all to see: the family is disintegrating, legalized abortion is killing millions of unborn children, corrupt sexual behavior is rampant. The moral foundations of society are collapsing.

[Read more...]

When Men Forsake God, Tyranny Always Follows

Communists Atheists Destroy Church Godless Tyrannyby Chris Banescu -

“But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The prophetic words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn resonate like thunder across the history of man. “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Thus summarized the Nobel laureate, Orthodox Christian author, and Russian dissident the main reason why the communist revolution was able to enslave, terrorize, and murder tens of millions of innocent people. An atheistic mentality and a long process of secularization gradually alienated the people from God and His moral laws. This lead them away from truth and authentic liberty and facilitated the rise of tyranny.

Godlessness is always the first step to the concentration camp. Tragically that same process is now at work in America and many other parts of the world. Too many unfortunately refuse to see it or believe it. [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...]

Chuck Colson: A Life Redeemed by Christ

Chuck Colson Redeemed by Christ by Chris Banescu -
This past weekend we lost an influential and great champion for Christ and truth. Charles W. “Chuck” Colson’s bright light is no longer in the world, but still shines on in eternity as a beacon of hope and faith for current and future generations. His legacy and example will live on in the hearts and souls of many Christians – Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant – who were inspired by his strong faith, admired his clarity of thought and vision, and were reassured by his courage and conviction.

It is fitting that he went to meet the Lord at the end of what is Bright Week for all Orthodox Christians. For during this time the Resurrection Hymn is sung at all memorial services to remind us that Christ’s Resurrection destroyed death granting us eternal life: “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”

Unfortunately, I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Colson in person. However, I have followed his active Christian ministry and prolific commentaries with a lot of interest and admiration, often sharing his wisdom with many of our Orthodox Christian readers [Read more...]

Orthodox Christians Are Thankful for Catholic Bishops’ Defense of Religious Liberty

Cardinal Dolan and Metropolitan Jonah

Cardinal Dolan and Metropolitan Jonah

by Chris Banescu -
Orthodox Christians are thankful and grateful for the vocal and passionate public stance of Catholic Bishops and Catholic leaders who categorically oppose Obama’s HHS healthcare mandate.  Your courage in defending our constitutionally protected religious liberty is making us stronger.  Your public and uncompromising witness to Christian principles and your passionate advocacy in protecting the life of the unborn is giving us hope.

We embrace and support you as brothers in Christ and co-workers for righteousness.  As Orthodox Metropolitan Jonah stood side-by-side with Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan in praying together at this year’s March for Life , we stand in solidarity with you in demanding the repeal of the HHS mandate and in defense of the religious liberty of all Americans.

It’s impressive and inspiring to witness the speed and conviction with which Catholic Bishops and other Catholic organizations responded to the new HHS rule and denounced it as unconstitutional and immoral from the start.  On the same day the Obama administration made the announcement, January 20, 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a press release declaring it unconscionable and a blatant violation of religious liberty. [Read more...]

Predators with Ph.D.s

B4U-ACT evil abuse demonic predatorsby Chris Banescu -
The latest offensive against morality, decency, and sanity in America has been launched by a pro-pedophilia group and several academics who openly advocate for the normalization and legalization of pedophilia.  Referring to Judeo-Christian moral principles and values as “cultural baggage of wrongfulness” and an adult’s desire to sexually molest a child as “normative,” these predators with Ph.D.s are hell-bent on destroying key moral boundaries and critical societal norms that protect innocent children from pathological and dangerous adults.

On August 17 of this year, the pro-pedophilia group B4U-ACT sponsored an event in Baltimore attended by researchers, professors, mental health professionals, and “minor-attracted persons” (MAP, a euphemism for “adults who crave sex with children”).  These individuals endorse the adult molestation of children, consider this sexual perversion as normal, and advocate for the declassification of pedophilia as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). [Read more...]

Obama: Destroying Human Life for the ‘Greater Good’

Obama signs executive order removing curbs on embryonic stem cell research

Obama signs executive order removing curbs on embryonic stem cell research

by Chris Banescu

On March 9th President Obama’s executive order reversed the Bush administration’s long-standing restrictions on using federal funds for embryonic stem cells research and authorized the destruction of live human embryos in medical experimentation. The administration ignored the promising results from adult stem cell therapies. It reopened a Pandora’s box of bioethical concerns and raised vocal opposition from many Christian leaders, including 191 Catholic bishops.

Science is on the side of embryonic stem cell research, the president argued. Linking fetal stem cells experiments with “scientific integrity” in the order titled “Signing of Stem Cell Executive Order and Scientific Integrity“, Obama proclaimed:

we will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research. We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield.

But is the grandiose promise and lofty language supported by the facts? [Read more...]

Church Groups Foggy Up Stem Cell Initiative

by Chris Banescu

Another campaign of stem cell disinformation and misdirection is in full swing in California. The sponsors of Proposition 71, the “California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act,” are promoting a measure that would allow researchers a constitutional right to experiment on embryonic stem cells, and equip them with almost $3 billion in public funds. The drafters of this initiative have cunningly phrased their proposition to purposely avoid using the words “embryo” or “embryonic.” Hoping to obfuscate the real biological issues at hand, supporters of Proposition 71 are deliberately trying to circumvent an honest debate on the issues and legalize research on human embryos without the public’s full understanding of the truth.

On July 8, the California Council of Churches issued a press release titled “California Church IMPACT Endorses Proposition 71.” The announcement touted the measure — slated to appear on the November 2004 ballot — as providing much needed funds and support for “the development of lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults.” [Read more...]

Orthodox Deafening Silence on 2004 Elections

by Chris Banescu

A deafening silence on vital election matters seems to have engulfed most of the Orthodox Christian Churches in America. As one of the most monumental elections in our nation’s history approaches, with two candidates that hold sharply contrasting views on key moral issues, there are little if any official declarations or concrete guidance coming from any of the Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in the United States.

While Orthodox Christians may disagree how best to approach a variety of social and cultural issues, there are many key moral principles on which the Holy Orthodox Church offers no compromise. The Church has spoken consistently, definitively, and strongly for over two millennia in defense of innocence and in unconditional support of the sanctity of life and marriage. Specifically the Orthodox Church does not condone any form of abortion, especially partial-birth abortion, does not permit euthanasia, does not allow or recognize homosexual “marriage” and does not support embryonic stem cells research or human cloning. [Read more...]