Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Secularism

“Today’s passage [Genesis 4:16-26] describes the history of Cain and his descendants, whom we might call the first “secularists.” Cain shows us what becomes of human life when it is devoid of any awareness of God. Here we see into the heart of secular man: his existence is entirely organized around the material and psychological dimensions of life, where the passions reign over the spirit…This is secularism: a life devoid of relationship with God…Secularism inevitably leads men to greater indulgence of the passions…the greatest enemy of our souls, greater than the devil himself, is the secular spirit.” (Dynamis 3/24/2021, St. Paisios)


“Secularism is the belief that the world exists independent of God, that its meaning and use are defined by human beings. Things are merely things. The world is no more wonderful than its surface. To this is contrasted Christian orthodoxy – that all things “live, and move, and have their being,” in God. God sustains the world and directs it providentially towards its end: union with Him. More than this, all that exists does so with depths and layers. The universe has a sacramental or iconic structure, such that everything is a point of communion with God…the opposite of secularism is not transcendence, secularism is the opposite of a sacramental view of the world…secularism as a modern heresy gestated from within a decaying Christian order.” (Father Stephen Freeman, Vigen Guroian)


“Cain built named the city after his son Enoch. He glorified himself and his accomplishment, not God who he unrepentantly turned his back completely on, and passed this onto his son. Here we see the beginning of secularism, a rebellion against God, and a preference for self and self-will that persists to this day. But Adam and Eve had another son Seth, and Seth had a son he named Enosh. The Bible said Enosh, in contrast to Enoch, hoped in the Lord and called upon his name (Genesis 4:26). Christ established His Church to call upon the name of the Lord and nothing will ever prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“In our time, the notions of secularism have been in the ascendancy for well over 200 years. They have found their way into the bedrock understanding of most Christians, and chipped away at the faith...It is a largely unrecognized heresy in that it appears to be a “non-religious” point of view, being outside the realm of theology. For modern people, it is simply thought to be “the way things are…The answer to secularism, however, is not to be found in attacking it. Rather, it is best seen by presenting what is true and real – the shape of the world that is denied by the secular dogma…“One way to begin the journey out of secularism is to follow the path of beauty. We have been trapped in the syllogism that says, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” something as patently untrue as it is opposed to beauty itself. When beauty is reduced to subjectivity, its meaning is lost, as well as its ability to save us. Dostoevsky famously wrote, “The world will be saved by Beauty.” The mystery of this thought is lost within a secular mind.” (Father Stephen Freeman) 


“...we should not make the mistake of believing that the choice is between a sacramental or a sacrament free, secular life. Sacramentality is built into our very being. It is the most profound part of our human nature and we cannot escape it. No, the choice is rather which sacramental life we wish to live.” (Archpriest Lawrence Cross)


“The Church calls the Lord her Bridegroom, and she knows herself as His bride (Mk 2:19-20; Jn 3:29; Eph 5:21-32; Rev 21:2). We who are united to Christ have profound reasons for rejoicing in this mystical union, for we belong to the heavenly Bridegroom and are “no longer two, but one flesh.” Contemporary society, by contrast, is a culture of divorce – not simply because the majority of people accept marital divorce, but because of the deep spiritual divorce penetrating the souls of many men and women today. In modern parlance this spiritual divorce is called secularism; in the biblical and Orthodox [Christian] traditions it is known as godlessness.” (Dynamis 1/21/2020)

“The secular (impersonal) way of looking at the world has become increasingly dominant over the last couple of generations. Why? Because too often even people who are Christians in their religious life think as if the secular worldview of naturalistic science—everything goes back to the impersonal interactions of atoms—is true. Their Christian faith is an outlier, an exotic plant trying to grow in the foreign intellectual soil of secularity because they have never been taught that it has anything to do with how they see the world. Their teachers have unthinkingly accepted the premise of modern culture that religion is purely an internal matter of the “heart.” (Donald Williams)

"I’m always troubled to hear “there is no grace outside the Church.” I can’t fathom what such a statement means. Since the entire universe is sustained by the grace of God, I can only assume a sort of heresy of secularism by such a statement – the notion that anything can exist apart from God’s grace. For His own mysterious reasons, God even sustains the fallen angels by His grace. If it were not so, they would cease to exist. Only God has existence in and of Himself.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Through iconography, majestic cathedrals, and poetic hymnography, the Christian faithful of antiquity experienced Christ by means of a holistic, sacramental, and artistic reality. This early Christian vision did not divide the sacred from the secular or the physical from the spiritual, creating the schizophrenia of our modern religious psychology.” (Jonathan Jackson)

“How tragic it is that so much of the popular version of Christianity preaches a secularized message. It keeps God isolated, but popping in from time to time. It has lost the sense of the permeation of matter by divine Grace, the sacramental vision of reality...It preaches a moralism of being “good,” leading only to obsession with guilt, and then, when that becomes too much, to shamelessness." (Metropolitan Jonah)

“Cain shows us what becomes of human life when it is devoid of any awareness of God. Here we see into the heart of secular man: his existence is entirely organized around the material and psychological dimensions of life, where the passions reign over the spirit.” (Dynamis 2/28/2018)

“Secularism makes you selfish. Religion makes you tribal. The gospel makes you sacrificial.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“…worldly or secular people "maintain that the world is getting more and more united, more and more bound together in brotherly community, as it overcomes distance and sets thoughts flying through the air. But in reality the opposite is true, as is evident in international conflicts and wars.” (George C. Papademetriou)

“… it is easy for zealous adherents of these types of secular ideologies, whether politically left or right, to easily sacrifice the rights, or even lives, of individuals for the sake of the perceived improvement for the race, nation, or country as a whole.” (Os Guinness, Sacramental Living)

“Secularism holds that the world somehow exists apart from God. God only cares what we think or feel; intention and sentiment are what is essential. All that sort of thinking can yield is a bifurcation of our lives, a rupture in the fundamental unity of our being. It is a disintegration of the spiritual life. And, in the end, what you do will win. The modern secularization of Christianity (and then the heart) is an inevitable result.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Even those who are members of the Church are in danger of becoming lost sheep if they are ill-prepared for a secular and atheistic society that is increasingly Christianophobic.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Secular man today sees, and yet he does not see. Secular man today hears, and yet he does not hear. For all of creation speaks of the existence of God.” (Bishop John of Amorion)

“The modern notion of the secular, a sphere of life in which religion need play no part, is the ground on which the concept of normal was constructed. That ground itself is false, for there is no realm or space within all of creation that is not utterly dependent upon God and permeated with His life and presence. Sacred and secular are false distinctions. “The whole earth is full of Your glory.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“...sacramentality implies a particular view of nature which is radically at odds with the secular, materialist view of modern western culture – a view that holds creation to be graced, sacred and full of meaning. The sacredness of nature thus lies at the very heart of Christianity and it is vital, when our relationship with nature is looming as one of the great moral questions of our time, that we understand how fundamental the sacredness of nature is to the sacramental life of the Church.” (Archpriest Lawrence Cross)

“The operative agnosticism or atheism of the majority of professional, corporate, intellectual, and artistic elite in our country has decisively penetrated mainstream media, political, educational and cultural institutions and shaped popular opinion. Our contemporary popular culture…trivializes religion, makes the spiritual a commodity, confuses accidents for substance, absorbs potentially subversive ideologies, promotes a consumerism approach to traditions of wisdom, glamorizes the expedient, scorns self-denial, creates needs and exploits desire, celebrates superficiality, and courts violence.” (Father John Zeyack)

"From the early heresy of Pelagianism to modern day secular heresies, such as Nietzscheanism, it has been a recurring error to believe that the human will acting alone and without divine assistance (grace) can overcome the power of evil." (Joseph Pearce)

“When our heart is reunited to our Creator by means of a personal relationship and faith in Jesus Christ, who is the way to God the Father, we do not get mere words of encouragement that we are valuable, such as a secular therapist or motivational speaker might give, but instead we gain a spiritual awakening, an intuitive noetic knowing that comes from a direct experiential relationship with God Himself through the Holy Spirit in our heart.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)


#FatherDavidLFontes #JosephPearce #FatherJohnZeyack #ArchpriestLawrenceCross #FatherStephenFreeman #GeorgeCPapademetriou #OsGuinness #SacramentalLiving #AbbotTryphon #BishopJohnofAmorion #JonathanJackson #MetropolitanJonah #Dynamis #PastorTimothyKeller #DonaldWilliams #StPaisios #VigenGuroian #SacramentalLivingMinistries

Quote of the Day

News