On Allegations of Orthodox Fundamentalism (Part 2)

The Church and Modernity Earlier this week, I began examining an article from Public Orthodoxy entitled “Fundamentalism as ‘Orthodoxism.'” In this article, the author laments what is, in his opinion, “our long-standing captivity to a sad caricature of Orthodoxy.” In the first part of my analysis I discussed two of his four main allegations: that the Orthodox world has developed an idolatrous attitude towards the Holy Fathers, and that it has additionally come to an…

Against Modern Legalism

For all of its godlessness, this modern age hungers more than any other for love, compassion, and mercy. It hungers too for God (though often without realizing it), perhaps all the more strongly since no other age has banished Him more thoroughly from all its affairs. Yet so many modern people think of the God of the Bible as a vengeful, wrathful, angry deity, a god of hellfire and brimstone, a god…

The Pursuit of Happiness

The New York times recently published an article about how to tell if you are gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. It included the usual hash of self-contradictory talking points, beginning with the assertion that LGBTQ feelings are completely normal, and then proceeding directly to an all-out attack on the idea that there can be any such thing as “normal” in the realm of sex or gender at all. But buried underneath all the…

On Political Philosophy, Fairy Tales, and the Spiritual Life

It might, at first glance, seem strange that I spend so much time writing about political philosophy and propaganda on a site dedicated to Orthodoxy and the spiritual life. It might seem even stranger given the fact that I am a monk, and claim to have renounced the world. Why should I concern myself at all with political philosophy, much less write articles on the internet trying to convince others of my…

On Doubt

I was not always a Christian. For many years of my life — may God forgive me — I viewed Christianity as something primitive and simplistic, something irrational and even immoral (like so many of the children of modernity, I considered the entire concept of the Last Judgment as theologically and morally indefensible — such was the enormity of my pride). And for many years, like the young St. Augustine, I wandered…

The Inseparability of Church and State

A glimmer of truth appeared in The Washington Post several days ago when Kathleen Parker responded to yet another legal battle being waged across the country relating to the separation of Church and State: can government entities grant funds or contracts to religious adoption and foster care agencies who decline to place children into the homes of same-sex couples? Parker criticizes the city of Philadelphia for answering “no” to this question, but she…

The Forgotten Beauty of Sacrifice

“Love is not sentimentality, but sacrifice.” -Archimandrite Vasileios The Language Barrier One of the greatest difficulties which modern Americans face when encountering Holy Orthodoxy is one of language. I do not refer, however, to the outward obstacle of the use of Church Slavonic, Greek, Arabic, or any other of the languages of Orthodox immigrants to this country. I refer rather to the colossal problem of the usage of the English language. For…

Pope Francis, Homosexuality, and the Love of God

A furor has erupted recently over a statement Pope Francis reportedly made about homosexuality during a private conversation with a victim of Catholic clerical sexual abuse in Latin America: Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are. The reactions in society at large…

The New Christianity

Mother Jones has an article today about a new movement of young evangelical Christians embracing left-wing social justice issues as an expression of the true heart of the Gospel. The title of the article is I Went To an Evangelical Revival and It Was All About Fighting Racism and Protecting LGBT Rights. The subtitle: “What if Jesus actually meant the stuff he said?” The movement calls itself “Red Letter Christians.” According to…

The Shape of Things to Come

These “forerunners” of the Antichrist also direct that world-wide process which the Apostle St. Paul called “apostasy” (II Thess. 2:3). The essence of this process is Christian mankind’s ever greater departure from the genuine, uncorrupted teaching of the Gospel and the replacement of the Gospel commands with other ideals. The destructive nature of these ideals proposed to mankind by the Antichrist’s forerunners is that they sometimes seem acceptable for Christians, compatible with…