Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Tension

“As Christians, we live in the tension of the already and the not yet. Already Christ is risen, and death is conquered; not yet do we live in the fullness of time when Christ becomes all in all.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)


“We must not fool ourselves with an illusory, superficial spirituality that distracts us from experiencing the true state of our souls before God. Instead, we must know from our hearts how we have refused to embrace our Lord’s gracious healing, how we have refused to accept His love, and how we have chosen not to entrust ourselves and all our earthly cares to Him. Even as we confront the grave tension between the infinite holiness of God and our corruption, we must refuse to despair in the sense of believing that there is no hope for us, our loved ones, and our world in the mercy of the Lord.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

…the spiritual realities that are revealed to us in the Bible and through our life experience, while they often seem contradictory to us, would make perfect sense if we could only see behind the wall, behind the wall created by a logic trained by our five senses, a logic formed by the assumptions and experiences of merely physical reality. But maybe this is why contradictions are so necessary. The very paradoxes and non sequiturs of life lead us to conclude that there must be something more, Someone more. This is probably why the bible and Orthodox theology generally do not attempt to resolve the tension, the contradictions, the incongruity, the paradox. It is in the space between the yes and the no, between judgement and mercy, between knowing and not knowing that we actually come to know not the what or how behind the wall of eternity, but the Who.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)


“…tension…can be observed between our knowledge and our ignorance can be found between our desire to do good and the thoughts and desires that pull us away from the good. (cf. Romans 7). Our life is properly found at the point of these tensions…St. Maximus offers something of a hint in thinking about this important tension. He describes us as having “two wills.” The first he called the “natural will” that is the fundamental drive of our nature. It is inherently good, and desires the good that properly belongs to us as human beings. The second he named the “gnomic will,” (meaning the “choosing will”). It is fragmented, separated from the natural will as a result of the Fall. It is uncertain and inconsistent, sometimes choosing the good, and sometimes not. The presence of these two wills means that there is always a tension within us, a “background noise” that is the sound of our present existence.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Living with an understanding of divine tension is something like this. You know that feeling of extreme tension when your favorite team is in a championship game or series and you want them to win so badly but you don’t know if they will. Think if you knew for sure in advance that they were going to win. You wouldn’t be tense all of those days leading up to the game. That’s essentially the Christian message. Through Christ, the power of death has been defeated but not yet destroyed. The power of sin has been defeated but we still exist in the presence of sin for the time being and need to continually make good choices. But we know the outcome is that death and sin will eventually be destroyed completely and that is the hope we live with and in. In the meantime, we suffer all of the bumps and bruises of participating in the game, but with the knowledge of eventual victory, and that we will be part of that victory if we stay in union with Christ.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


“In the Orthodox Church, the icon of the Incarnation, the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child, is on the left side of the door to the altar, while the icon of Christ as Ruler is placed on the right side. Thus we proclaim that Christ has come first in the Incarnation and will come again in glory as Ruler and Judge. We learn that we live in a tension between our present and future experience of the Kingdom, one marked by both sufferings and glory.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 8:18)


“Baptism is an ordination, a calling to share in the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ our Lord, making us in effect new being. From that moment, we experience a tension within ourselves between the world of the flesh, and the kingdom of God. Everything we do, each decision we make, unites us with one or the other forces demanding loyalty from us; the natural world of the flesh, or the spiritual world of Christ.” (Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“As Christians, we should expect continuing tension with an unbelieving world that is “out of sync” with Christ, his Good News, and his people. At the same time, we can expect our relationship with Christ to produce peace and comfort because we are “in sync” with Him." (Life Application Study Bible, John 16:31-33)

“…we have the conviction that God, who created the world, is all-knowing and all-powerful. Between the apparent condition of the world and the nature of God as we know Him to be there is an unavoidable tension, and this tension is of the very essence of religion as a human experience.” (Father Alexander Turner)

"The tension between transcendence and finiteness and the anxieties that it generates, along with its potential imbalances, do not fully exhaust the possibilities of living the fullness of human life. Human life flourishes by its enhancement through the active and all pervasive presence of God’s presence in the world.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

“Life is a constant battle with the material world. If you understand the tension that takes place on the spiritual level between what is transitory and what is eternal, you are better prepared for this spiritual warfare.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“...keep in mind that the basis of transparency is Scripture’s clear teaching that we do not attain perfection in this life. This is a standard we can all live up to, and it is a unique truth of the Christian faith. Humans are not capable of ever reaching God’s standards, and we will be in constant tension with this elusive goal.” (David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons)

“To follow Jesus doesn’t remove us from the stuff of life. It is not resolution. It is tension and journey.” (David Crowder)

“The Christian always lives with tension, the tension between what is transformable and that from which he or she must separate.” (James Eckman)


#RevDrEmmanuelClapsis #AbbotTryphon #DavidKinnamanGabeLyons #DavidCrowder #JamesEckman #OrthodoxStudyBible #SacramentalLivingMinistries #FrVladimirBerzonsky #FatherAlexanderTurner #LifeApplicationStudyBible #RevChristopherHMartin #FrPhilipLeMasters #FrMichaelGillis #FatherStephenFreeman

Quote of the Day

News