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“Throughout human history, the existence of evil spirits has been something so obvious that it is practically a universal constant across every known religion and civilization. Mankind has always sensed the presence of spiritual beings filled with malevolence and evil. And regardless of whether we modern men consider this universal human experience to have been shaped by groundless superstition or not, the fact remains that the experience is undeniable. We have felt the forces of evil lurking around us ever since the dawn of time. And we continue to sense such evil today. In fact, despite all of our rationalistic skepticism, I think we sense it now more strongly than ever. Because only in modern times has the Myth of Progress taken hold so completely within the human heart; only now — bolstered by the technological miracles which multiply around us almost by the hour — has the utopian fantasy of establishing heaven on earth seemed so certainly within our grasp.” (Hieromonk Gabriel) 

“Any ideology denies individual freedom; It sacrifices man to a utopia, to a truth torn away from life. Ideology Is Christianity Torn away from Christ, though it was born and reigns in the Christian world. Ideology is the denial of the present for the sake of the future; it is making the man into an instrument of its ideas. (How can man be used for ‘my’ or ‘our’ goals?). It is a screen of abstract truths thrown over the world and over life, which makes impossible any normal communication. All becomes strategy or tactics. Ideology is the means distinct from the goal, while Christ eliminates the distinction between means and goal. In Christ the goal is the Kingdom of God revealed through the means: He, Himself, His life.” (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

“The Church is not here to create a utopian society on earth. Rather, it always will be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) and light to the world (Matthew 5:14). In other words, we are not to take over the world but rather to have a relationship to it even though it is and remains a fallen world. We are here to witness to God’s Kingdom, not to grab power or force our ideas on others. We are to love the world which God so loved as to give His only Son to die for our sins. Even Jesus did not try to force others to obey Him – just note the presence of Judas among His disciples, or how he behaves before Pontius Pilate or the Jewish Sanhedrin.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“The church does not carry with it a social utopia, but the ferment of a new humanity, a new eternal order for the world. Only in the Kingdom of God and in the person of Jesus Christ Himself does one find the norm, the pattern of social action. Only there is the absolute with which one can evaluate any present situation.” (Fr. John Meyerndorff)

“Lest we confuse love for man with love for the works of man, a daily dose of any news outlet is enough to remind us what hell we’ve wrought. Society is certainly sick, and always has been to some degree or another. But opposition to the brokenness of society must never become an excuse for inaction, of cloistering ourselves from those who live in the world. Christians are to maintain a delicate balance between this age and the age to come, to pursue justice now while acknowledging that utopia is not found this side of the judgment. The same God who offers us eternal life also says, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Is 1:17).” (Rev. Fr. Joshua Lucas)


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