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““The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”(Psalm 14:1). This verse is not so much about principled atheists, but practical atheists, which we all are in those dark moments when we stubbornly follow our own will and passions and eclipse God from our decision-making. Liturgically we use this verse at the 9th Hour on Holy Friday, as Jesus hangs on the Cross surrounded by abusers and abandoned by almost all his friends. In those terrible hours when the disciples turned away from Jesus did they not become atheists as much as the crucifiers?” (Fr. John Jillions)

“ This practical atheism—living as if there is no God who will hold them accountable for their actions—makes them fools, for one of the earmarks of folly is to fail to anticipate the long range consequences of one’s behavior.” (NET Bible, Psalm 53:6)

“Genuine faith is not a blind leap in the dark, an irrational and unreasonable acceptance of the unreasonable and the absurd. Genuine faith is eminently reasonable; it is rooted and grounded in man’s reasonable nature as made in the image of God. Not to believe, according to the scriptures and the saints, is the epitome of absurdity and foolishness. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God. They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely that seek after God. (Pss 14.1–2, 53.1–2). Man was made to have faith in God. Not to believe in God is a perversion of human nature and the cause of all evils. The weakness and absence of faith in God is rooted in sin, impurity and pride. It is never simply the result of an intellectual mistake or mental confusion. It is always the result of the suppression of the truth through wickedness, the exchange of God’s truth for a lie, the refusal, consciously or unconsciously, to acknowledge God with honor and thanksgiving (cf. Rom 1).” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“Today’s world rejects Christian truth and morals, replacing them with a modern version Pilate’s conclusion, claiming there is no truth, because there is no God. Be a god for yourself, the world says, and create your own truths. Jesus Christ as Truth must be found and followed in our time by each who is eager to follow the Way and share Life that He offers along with the peace that He gives “not as the world gives.” Christ as Truth is not objective. He was not a philosopher like Socrates sharing wisdom among his devotees or even a rabbi instructing pupils from the Bible….He was ever challenging the conventions, confusing the authorities and astounding the despondent, ever gathering disciples and bonding them to Himself in the upper room and more securely on the Cross and beyond the tomb. That truth cannot be understood or contained in one’s mind alone or in the heart alone, not at any one moment. It, or rather He, needs always to be born within our souls, developing and expanding as we open ourselves to His Truth on our own way through life and beyond.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“We may not get what we so hope for in this world, and we may not be spared disappointments or sorrows. That doesn’t mean there is no God. It only tells us that God is not limited by time as we are. We think “always” or “never” but we really only mean in the course of our temporal life. God who is beyond time and in whom we live and move and have our being is there whenever this world and its rewards and failures come to an end. That is why we don’t live for this world alone.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Some people call themselves atheists, but they do not know that in their hearts they long after God. For when someone yearns for justice, love and truth, he is really yearning after God. All people long for love that never changes and justice that is always the same. All living things long for God. The only difference is that some oppose Him and others don’t, some yearn after Him consciously while others are not aware that their yearning is really after God.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“When someone says they do not believe in God, they are quite likely simply relaying accurately how they perceive the world – that the world they see is simply disenchanted… The disenchanted world is doubtless a major source of modern atheism.” (Father Stephen Freeman)"Clearly God’s mercy and love for us is unlimited and no one, Christian, atheist or pagan is loved any less by Him." (Father Spyridon Baily)

"fool. This word does not refer to mental inability, but to moral and spiritual insensitivity. A fool is one who lives a life of “practical atheism,” the view that even if there is a God, it really does not matter to one’s life.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 14:1)

“…we are such a practical people. Our culture, formed and shaped by modernity, is deeply “utilitarian.” We can justify doing almost anything “because it works.” When problems arise, we try to fix them. This same drive, in the life of the Church, can often lead to practical atheism…We do things because doing them is an obedience to Christ Himself. The drive to practicality often carries within it a certain amount of “necessary evil.” We do a bit of harm in order to arrive at a greater good. This is atheism, regardless of the greatness of the good. We find ourselves trying to do the “heavy lifting” for God, because, we do not trust that He’ll do it Himself. This is the inherent temptation of “making a better world.” We have no such commandment from God. Every atheist regime that has existed has done so in the name of a better world.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“We may acknowledge God exists in our minds, but we deny He exists through our behavior.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

"The greatest danger is not atheism, but that we ask God to co-exist with idols." (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“…let us recall that simply receiving, learning, and reciting the words of the historic faith does not means we fully practice the faith of the martyrs, confessors, and saints. The Apostle Paul warns us that we may have “a form of godliness” but deny “its power” (2 Tim 3:5).” (OCPM 8/16/2017)

#FoundationStudyBible #FatherStephenFreeman #SacramentalLivingMinistries #PastorTimothyKeller #OCPM #ElderThaddeusofVitovnica #FatherSpyridonBaily #FrJohnJillions #NETBible #FrThomasHopko #FrVladimirBerzonsky #FrTedBobosh

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