Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Thursday, January 31, 2013

An Orthodox D. Min. Degree

St. Vlad's launches an new D. min. program.
The empahsis of the degree will be on preaching!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Delusion and Individuality

Most people live out our lives unaware of our own delusions. Furthermore, many of us live in situations wherein our delusions are encouraged to unfold and grow by our very way of life. Consider our consumerist lifestyle of this present day. We see an item that attracts us, either by its beauty, or intricacy, or just plain usefulness. Then we begin to see ourselves with this item. Soon, we become convinced that the particular thing is an item that we must possess in order to be whole and complete. 

The plain fact is that we usually are not made more whole or complete, and the item enters the rest of the pile of junk that we store away to possibly use some day.  The driving force beneath consumerism is for the most part a kind of delusion.

Couple, our delusional tendencies with the view that every man is created with inalienable right to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the result is a very dangerous delusional recipe.  Not that there is anything wrong with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The problem is with individualistic interpretations each person gives to these concepts.  Let’s face it, there are all kinds of things that make people happy that are not good, not kind, not loving, not gentle, nor beautiful; in fact there are all kinds of things that make some happy but are in fact evil.

Individuals are not trustworthy; we always need a system that checks our individual nuttiness. Delusion is ENEMY NUMBER ONE!  Never is this more the case than when it comes to our spirituality.

A recent British study asked the question- Can being spiritual but not religious lead to mental health issues? The answer is yes, according to a recent study.

The study, published in the January edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry, says spiritual but not religious people, as opposed to people who are religious, agnostic or atheist, were more likely to develop a "mental disorder," "be dependent on drugs" and "have abnormal eating attitudes,” like bulimia and anorexia.
“People who have spiritual beliefs outside of the context of any organized religion are more likely to suffer from these maladies,” said Michael King, a professor at University College London and the head researcher on the project.
Thirty percent of respondents who identified as spiritual said they had used drugs, a number that was nearly twice as much as the 16% of religious respondents who said they had used drugs, according to the study. On mental health issues, the study said spiritual but not religious people were more likely to suffer from “any neurotic disorder,” “mixed anxiety/depressive disorders” or “depression” than their religious counterparts.
Read the whole CNN article here…

If there is one thing that is necessary is in order to avoid delusion it is a concilliar mind. Conciliarity is the experience of divinely restored human life. It describes an experience of synergy between God and humans, in which humans participate with God through the Holy Spirit in the formulation of Truth. “Through conciliarity, the nature of the Church as theanthropic communion in Christ is expressed.” By participating in the conciliar life of the community — unity in diversity through mutual-indwelling — we participate in the divine life, and vice versa. Thus conciliarity is found “in every act of communion among all members of the Church’s body.”
According to most Orthodox theologians, conciliarity is hierarchical. This is closely tied to its Trinitarian nature, for the Trinity itself is hierarchy. It is claimed that, far from being contradictory or competing systems, conciliarity actually presupposes and requires hierarchy.

Conciliarity, as the communion of divinely restored humanity, is deeply eucharistic. It is in the eucharist that we are made one in Christ, a unity in diversity.  Unity and catholicity are attributes of the eucharistic community. All conciliar activity is grounded in the eucharistic experience.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Statistics On American Marriages

It is now clear that the divorce rate in first marriages probably peaked at about 40 percent for first marriages around 1980 and has been declining since to about 30 percent in the early 2000s.

This is a dramatic difference. Rather than viewing marriage as a 50-50 shot in the dark it can be viewed as having a 70 percent likelihood of succeeding. But even to use that kind of generalization, i.e., one simple statistic for all marriages, grossly distorts what is actually going on.
Full article here...