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Facing the Winds of Change in Our Society


ARCHPRIEST PANAYIOTIS PAPAGEORGIOU, PH.D.

​Change seems to be a good thing some times; we may change schools, neigh­bor­hoods, towns, or even states; we may change cars, doc­tors, even polit­i­cal par­ties. Change can be a wel­come renew­al at times. When it comes to issues of Faith, moral issues and fam­i­ly val­ues, how­ev­er, change may not be the best course of action for us.

Let me use an exam­ple from every­day life: Redec­o­rat­ing our house, paint­ing it a new col­or, mov­ing the fur­ni­ture around, get­ting a new couch, fix­ing the yard and redo­ing the land­scap­ing are all wel­come changes that refresh and renew our liv­ing space and may re-invig­o­rate our lives in var­i­ous ways. No one in their right mind, how­ev­er, will dig into the foun­da­tion of the house or med­dle with the struc­tur­al beams of the build­ing just for the sake of change. There are some things you do not touch, for the struc­ture will come down crum­bling on your head.

Sim­i­lar­ly, the Chris­t­ian Faith and the spiritual/moral aspects of our life are the foun­da­tion and struc­tur­al sup­ports of our soci­ety and human­i­ty itself. It has tak­en the very hum­bling of God Him­self and his pres­ence on earth for these things to be ful­ly revealed to us. In addi­tion, two thou­sand years of appli­ca­tion and test­ing of these prin­ci­ples in the lives of Ortho­dox Chris­tians, has shown their great val­ue for us both on the per­son­al as well as the soci­etal lev­el.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in our days, cer­tain peo­ple, them­selves removed from God and immersed in their own pas­sions, con­fused about the essen­tial things of life, have been med­dling with prin­ci­ples that we Ortho­dox have held pre­cious over the cen­turies: The doc­trines of the Faith (the divin­i­ty of Christ and the res­ur­rec­tion) have been under severe scruti­ny and out­right mock­ery for decades by the so called “intel­lec­tu­als” of our time; mar­riage has been under attack, both as a prin­ci­ple and also as an insti­tu­tion, lead­ing to a tremen­dous increase in bro­ken fam­i­lies with dire spir­i­tu­al, moral and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences for mil­lions of peo­ple (both spous­es and chil­dren); unbri­dled sex­u­al­i­ty and the idol­a­try of the flesh have been parad­ed even in our own liv­ing-rooms in the guise of enter­tain­ment and a norm of life, lead­ing mil­lions to sex­u­al addic­tions, while vir­gin­i­ty and the puri­ty of body and soul have been mocked and ridiculed as back­ward and up-nor­mal; the fam­i­ly, as a core insti­tu­tion of our soci­ety, is being pushed to the brink of destruc­tion by new norms, new types of rela­tion­ships and new ideas which are offer­ing a false sense of per­son­al free­dom with dire con­se­quences for all of us.

The ques­tion aris­es big­ger than life: What can we do as Ortho­dox Chris­tians?

The answer: Resist the winds of change!!! The Ortho­dox Church has sur­vived the deca­dence of the Roman soci­ety and con­quered it, estab­lish­ing a Chris­t­ian Empire and an Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian cul­ture that last­ed over a thou­sand years, because it refused to go along with the norms of their time. It, then, sur­vived four­teen cen­turies of sub­ju­ga­tion to the mus­lims and decades of abuse by the com­mu­nists because it held fast to the Chris­t­ian prin­ci­ples of life and the Faith in Christ’s divine pow­er and the hope of the res­ur­rec­tion through Him.

This is our call today as Amer­i­can Ortho­dox Chris­tians: We need to hold fast to the prin­ci­ples of Faith and life as hand­ed down through the cen­turies to us and resist the winds of change!!!

Source:
http://www.holytransfiguration.info/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/Syndiakonia-October-2014-Final.pdf