An unbeliever turned into one of the greatest apologetic.
An unbeliever turned into one of the greatest apologetic.
by Chris Banescu
Sic semper tyrannis.
“But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The prophetic words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn resonate like thunder across the history of man.
“Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
Thus summarized the Nobel laureate, Orthodox Christian author, and Russian dissident the main reason why the communist revolution was able to enslave, terrorize, and murder tens of millions of innocent people. An atheistic mentality and a long process of secularization gradually alienated the people from God and His moral laws. This lead them away from truth and authentic liberty and facilitated the rise of tyranny.
Godlessness is always the first step to the concentration camp. Tragically that same process is now at work in America and many other parts of the world. Too many unfortunately refuse to see it or believe it.
America has long been a beacon of freedom for millions of souls who came here seeking liberty and opportunity. It achieved this unique place in history by recognizing the authority of God and his moral laws and declaring that men have the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Founded by faithful and God-fearing men who despised government tyranny and sought religious freedom and individual liberty, America incorporated these universally true principles in its Declaration of Independence and Constitution. These ideals eventually became the bedrock upon which all our laws, government, and institutions were originally built.
America’s Founding Fathers understood and proclaimed that all rights came from God alone, not governments. They insisted that government must always serve man and that man was created by God to be free. Their deep faith and reverence of the Almighty inspired and guided their actions and motivated their decisions. It is this belief and trust in God’s authority and wisdom that ultimately transformed America from a tiny British colony with a handful of refugees, to the mighty economic and military superpower and an oasis of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity for tens of millions of immigrants.
The Founding Fathers, like Solzhenitsyn, understood the dependence of freedom on morality. A virtuous and faithful people who placed God at the center of their lives and the foundations of their institutions helped America become that shining city on a hill “whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere”, said President Ronald Reagan.
“We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us…to govern ourselves according to commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which the Constitution is founded,” wrote James Madison.
This same theme is found throughout the writings of the Founders. John Adams clearly understood that our
“Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country,”
observed Samuel Adams. Patrick Henry wrote that
“virtue, morality, and religion … is the armor that renders us invincible[.] … [I]f we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed[.] … [S]o long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.”
Solzhenitsyn warned that by forgetting God, America and the West faced a “calamity of a despiritualized and irreligious humanistic consciousness” that would weaken their foundations and make them vulnerable to moral decay and internal collapse. Only by turning back to God from the self-centered and atheistic humanism where “man is the touchstone [measure] in judging and evaluating everything on earth” would the West have any hope of escaping the destruction toward which it inevitably moves.
Unfortunately America did not heed Solzhenitsyn’s warnings. In the last several decades America has been rapidly transformed from a God-fearing and worshiping nation, into a secularist and atheistic society, where communist and atheistic ideals are glorified and promoted, while Judeo-Christian values and morality are attacked, ridiculed, and increasingly eradicated from the public and social consciousness of our nation. Under the decades-long assault and militant radicalism of many so-called “liberal” and “progressive” elites, God and His moral laws have been progressively erased from our public and educational institutions, to be replaced with all manner of delusion, perversion, corruption, violence, decadence, and insanity.
“Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants,”
warned William Penn.
Throughout history, the most serious threats to man’s freedom always arise when men refuse to acknowledge that God is ultimately the source and protector of real and lasting liberty and freedom. When that timeless truth is erased from men’s consciousness, when God’s wisdom and laws are forgotten, when morality is no longer a virtue to be treasured and emulated, when human life is no longer sacred, and man becomes the only standard of all that is true, then genuine freedom will begin to vanish from any group, institution, community, or society. Carnality, greed, selfishness, and worldly pleasure and power become the main goals of human existence. The moral and ethical clarity, conviction, and courage required to defend freedom and protect genuine liberty ultimately disappear, to be replaced by the most cruel, unethical, tyrannical, and godless ideologies.
It is no coincidence that advocates and followers of Fascism, Nazism, and Communism – all secular, immoral, atheistic, and godless ideologies – enslaved and murdered the greatest number of people in the history of mankind. All produced some of the most cruel, violent, and evil tyrants this world has ever known, despots who persecuted their own citizens, slaughtered the innocent, destroyed their own people, and brought calamities to other nations. All subjugated the liberty and property of men to the absolute power and control of the state. All were enemies of God and blasphemers of His Holy Scriptures. All viciously persecuted the most devout and religious members of their societies, primarily the religious Christians and Jews who righteously and faithfully followed the Lord.
This is the lesson the 20th century expended so much blood to teach us. It appears that without a marked change in course, the Western world is going to have to learn it again.
To many people the monk seems remote and unsociable. It seems that he is concerned with his own soul and that he offers nothing to the Church or to the world. That is not the case. If the Church has been preserved for so many years, this is due to monasticism. The person who enters a monastery and offers everything to Christ enters into the Church. Perhaps someone will ask, ‘Do those who live alone in a cave help the Church?’ The answer is ‘yes’. The cave-dwellers help the Church in a mystical way. A monk who lives in a cave may not cultivate trees and vegetable gardens, he may not write books and do other things that help towards spiritual life and progress, but there he creates and develops and is assimilated to God. Hermits stay in caves so that no one distracts them from the spiritual life. With their fervent and pure life and above all with their prayer they help the Church. I’ll say something that will seem grossly excessive to you. But I want you to believe it. It is about the contribution of a monk’s prayer. Listen to me carefully.
Let us assume that there are seven educated preachers, who live holy lives. Their rhetorical skill is unparalleled. Each has a parish with ten thousand parishioners. Thousands who hear them are moved to repentance and return to Christ. Whole families are saved. Nevertheless, one monk who no one sees and who sits in a cave somewhere has a much greater effect with his humble prayer. One produces a greater effect than seven. That is what I see. I am sure of it. That is how important a monk’s prayer is. He is on his own in his cell, but the reverberations of his prayer reach everyone, even if they are far off. With his prayer, the monk participates in all the problems which people face and works miracles. His contribution, accordingly, is greater than that of the most gifted and worthy preacher.
Excerpt from a book, Wounded by Love, The Life and the wisdom of Saint Porphyrios, page 171.
The soul is multilayered: Conscious, subconscious, unconscious
Either we want it or not, because of the original sin, because of our falls and of the guile that entered man, he folds his soul in two –hides his soul. Ultimately, to speak with psychological terms and definitions, man has the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious: namely, the soul is multilayered. This means that if man’s soul was divided into ten layers, the six lowest layers would be the unconscious, the next three would be the subconscious, and the topmost layer would be the conscious. Thus, from these ten layers which are the object of man’s soul, only 1/10 is conscious –and barely. This means that someone knows, is aware of, and is able to control, only a very small part of himself.
As a result, the moment someone says “I love God and I give myself to Him”, no matter how well disposed he is, he’s only actually giving that 1/10. Over the other 9/10 he has absolutely no control, and is unable to give them over. Someone, however, doing this work, namely giving his whole self to God –in reality giving this 1/10- somehow experiences the following. The next day, or even within that exact moment, a certain part of that 9/10 which is hidden inside the subconscious and the unconscious, becomes conscious.
Consequently, the next day someone, if he is honest with himself, will admit that although yesterday he gave his whole self to God, today he feels as though he must give himself again to God, as a new state has arisen within him. In the spiritual life it is in this way that one makes a start and again makes a new start, giving himself again and again to God. And, if one does this both honestly, and honorably, he progresses and someday arrives at a state where he has finally given his whole self to God. And because of this the saints don’t have what we have: a conscious, a subconscious and an unconscious. No; their entire being is transparent before God. In this way, the saint controls himself completely. Never does a saint feel that within him exists states that are crude and dark, let’s say, a basement of the soul, states that he doesn’t know, and doesn’t control. The saint doesn’t have such things.
You understand, therefore, what work we have to do on ourselves. And this work is interesting. This is not, however, simply like a practical work. This is the great mystery; the more someone knows himself and gives himself to God, the more he is immersed in the grace of God, in the love of God, and the more he is captured by this grace, and this love of God. In this way, man becomes radiant, is illumined, is gladdened, rejoices, has joy, and is made gleeful.
Why are you concerned about your opinions? I do not like this…, “Why is it like this? Why did he tell it like this? I would have told it better. Why did he do that? Etc.. These are the biggest evil and badness.
Taken from Elder Joseph the Heyscast
This is exactly what got Judas to deny Christ.
But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
So the question, should be directed at me only. Christ said, why have you forsaken me while on the cross? But when it comes to those who crucified him, He says ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do’, eventhough what they were doing was completely wrong. So logical and rational thinking can make us deny Christ today, God forbid, if we don’t focus on our own brokeness.