After several centuries people can get used to any mistake, or come to love any distortion. But objectively speaking, the nature of this distortion does not change. It only grows into the consciousness of those who are used to it. However, the threat it carries has not gone anywhere.
God is an obvious reality, but man is a paradoxical being—God’s beloved creation, fallen away from real life and caught in some fiction, in a kingdom of crooked mirrors—and has lost himself in this kingdom, feeling his great torment and discomfort from his being in this false life.
If one disbelieves in Christ and Pascha, then our cultural of denial of death makes good sense. We can’t do anything about the fearful fate which awaits us, so why think about it? Eat, drink, be merry, and watch television. But if what the Church says about Christ and Pascha is true, we don’t need the lies or the denial.
You don’t necessarily have to be interested in the details of the lives of earthly kings, but no matter what, sooner or later, the decisions they make will affect you.
Nations (and individuals) who ignore their wounds and griefs do not leave them behind – they bring them forward and repeat their battles endlessly. Subsequent generations who never knew the first cause, become the unwitting bearers of the latent violence and destruction that they have inherited.
Millions of people have learned to read, but have not learned how to cull their choices of books. Tons of DVDs are available to millions of people, but the ability to cull a pearl from the manure is not.
If the church were to produce a new canon which read, “If anyone teaches that a woman may be ordained to the sacramental and holy priesthood just as men can, let him be anathema!” would these Orthodox feminists sign on and agree with the canonical sentiment?
Literary fiction, which evolved out of the texts found in the Gospel, turn the reader toward himself, toward his own conscience. And the more similarities between the lives of Dorian Gray and the reader (external celebrity purchased at the price of internal compromise), the more obvious and irrefutable the inner parallels.
These three are needed in any society that considers itself educated and intelligent; a society that is perhaps even somewhat bored with its feigned omniscience and, like Pilate, shrugs its shoulders and asks: “What is truth?”
Human rights are based on an individual’s worth and should have as their goal the realization of that person’s human dignity.
If a person is locked up in hell, he is locked up there voluntarily, like someone committing suicide in a burning house, or like an elderly, alcoholic bachelor living amidst the bedlam of empty bottles, cobwebs, and cigarette butts.
If God is not needed and there is no prayer, if you are nothing more than a tourist when you enter a temple, then hell eagerly assumes its rights and makes its presence known, not with the smell of sulfur, but with a sense of depression and meaninglessness.