Maybe you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years or maybe, like me, you just turned off all the noise but there’s been a few things going on in the world. This is especially true here in the West (think America mostly and western Europe). All the riots, woke-ism, the LGBTQ whatever agenda, pronouns…it’s kind of dizzying. I mean, even in this rinky dink little town where we live in the middle of nowhere, it’s here. When you couple that together with the broad apostacy in both society and the Church, it can be discouraging.
Know what I spend a lot of time thinking about?
I wonder what the world is going to look like when my kids grow up. When they’re my age, how bad is it going to be?! I mean, if we spend any time at all paying attention, we have to admit that things are not getting better, they’re getting much worse. Acting like “it won’t happen here” or thinking we can just keep our heads down and “do our best” is not realistic, helpful, wise, nor biblical.
Deuteronomy 6:6-8, God tells the people of Israel (and us by the way),
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.”
And again, Deuteronomy 11:18-19,
“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
So, let me ask all of us a few questions: What do we talk to our kids about? What sorts of conversations are we having with our children? Are we depending on the school system to teach them what they need to know? Umm, if you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on in the American education system, you should be afraid. Sure, they are being taught math and such, but they are also being indoctrinated by the new agenda. You may say, “Not here that’s not happening.” Yes, it is. Stop being naïve. Pay attention.
My brothers and sisters, we will answer to God for our children. TV is not helpful to them. Modern music is not helpful. Disney is supremely not helpful. The “new world order” is coming for our children and, if we don’t teach them, Satan and the world will.
Look at what God has to say to His people. “Thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children.” Are we doing that? Or are we allowing the world to diligently teach our children? God says we are to “talk of them (His commands and how we are to live before Him) when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way…” and so on. Are we doing that with our children? Are we doing that with ourselves?
Here's the thing. This world is passing away. If that’s not obvious by now to us all, we are fools. Our world is utterly corrupt and broken and blackened by sin. This will not last forever. But we will.
One day, if we have fallen asleep in the Lord (or not in the Lord) and this world as we know it passes away and our Lord Jesus returns and the earth and heavens are made new, this will all be over. But the new heavens and the new earth and all who have been resurrected (that’s every human by the way) will last forever. Forever.
The spiritual reality of that has to hit us like a ton of bricks. This life is preparation for eternity. How’s that going for you right now? Are you preparing yourself for eternity? Are you preparing your children for eternity? Or are you too worried about being hip or woke or going along to get along or your job or your own comfort or just wanting them to be quiet so you can have some “me” time? P.S. I’m guilty of some of these also.
Husbands and fathers, if we are not stepping up and taking spiritual leadership of our home, we need to get on our faces and repent. We need to stop being weak. Get yourself right before the Lord and raise up your children properly. Pray for and with your family. Teach them how to pray and read Holy Scripture. If you don’t know how, find someone (your priest or pastor) who can teach you and learn. Take control of your home, men; not in a harsh way but as the one who will stand before God one day and answer for your family. This is not a game.
Wives and mothers, if you are not supporting your husband in this or you are in the way of this somehow, you need to repent. Your husband is the head of your household, not you. I know that may hit you wrong or sound harsh but it’s in the Bible and everything. It’s God’s order for the family and He didn’t ask your opinion before He made that. Swallow your pride and submit to your husband. If he is a godless man, then you still have to submit (unless it’s against Holy Scripture or Tradition) but you may have to take a more active role than you want in the spiritual life of your home and pray for your husband like his soul depends on it, because it does.
Brothers and sisters, our souls depend on this. The souls of our children depend on this. It’s time for us to stop sitting idly by while our crumbling and God-less culture indoctrinates our children. It’s time for us to fight with the weapons we have available to us. Turn the TV off, get rid of the tablets. Pray and study Holy Scripture together. Worship together. Show them by your own life how followers of Christ are to live.
Their souls will thank you one day.
Recently, I read some statements by an Orthodox Church leader here in America. I won’t use his name but suffice it to say, he is a prominent hierarch within the Orthodox Church. His comments took place at the March for Life in 2022. Now I know that some will say, “He was at the March, what else do you want? He’s supporting the anti-abortion agenda.” Is he?
He made the statement that, “We affirm the gift and sanctity of life – all life, born and unborn. As Christians we confess that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God. Every life is worthy of our prayer and our protection, whether in the womb, or in the world. We are all responsible for the well-being of children. We are their “keepers,” and cannot shirk from our accountability for their welfare.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But then, he made his next statement, “At the same time, we also affirm our respect for the autonomy of women.”
Then he went on, later, to say, “By His incarnation, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ assumed human nature, through His conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. She freely chose to bring Him into the world, and God respected her freedom.”
Now I’m even more confused. On the one hand, he says that Orthodox Christians affirm the sanctity of life but on the other hand, we affirm the “autonomy” of women and that God “respected” the freedom of the Holy Virgin to freely bring the Christ into the world.
Do you see the problem here? This is double speak. This is the same sort of ambiguity and nonsense that we hear out of the Vatican. This is trying to have it both ways; this is trying to please the world. What should have been said is that abortion is murder, and the Church has always condemned murder in any form and has always condemned abortion. Full stop.
The West is doomed, my friends. As a Western man, I don’t say that lightly. My family and I live in the West. But I believe this with all my heart. The West is doomed; our culture, such as it is, has and is disintegrating around us. We live in a culture of death and depravity. That should make us who call ourselves Christians ask some questions. Which culture are we part of? Are we part of the culture of Life or death? We need to examine our lives and the fruits thereof to be able to answer that question. We need to examine our hearts, our passions, our desires, what we fill our minds with. We need to fall on our faces before God and ask Him to show us where we have fallen away and repent.
Another thing that has recently happened that bears on this is the recent “leak” of Supreme Court documents on this issue of Roe v. Wade. It’s interesting that this has happened during the holiest time of the year for the Church. We are in the Paschal season. This is the time when we Christians celebrate Jesus’ triumph over death and Hell. He rose from the dead in order that we may embrace His Life and follow Him in resurrection, that we may be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). If we have been baptized into Christ, the Apostle tells us, we take part in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-11). This is Life, the divine Life that we, by grace may participate in!
Yet, our Western culture so strongly clings to its godless ideology of “choice” and “freedom” that we celebrate a woman’s “right” to murder her unborn child. Our culture clings so closely to death that we demonize the Russian president for what is happening in Ukraine without ourselves repenting of the many times our military has murdered innocent civilians and invaded sovereign countries willy-nilly for made up reasons. We have dropped bombs on a sovereign country every day (just about) for the last almost 20 years, but we stand on our moral high horse and lecture everyone else about morality. Meanwhile, we fail to account for the millions of children that we have murdered in abortion clinics and applaud the “freedom to choose” and “reproductive rights.”
Shame on our government. Shame on our culture. Shame on us who claim the name of God and embrace death. If you claim to be a Christian and support the “right to choose,” you either need to repent or stop calling yourself a Christian.
Long ago, God told His people that they had to make a choice and today, He calls out to us the same,
“Behold, I have set before thee this day life and death, good and evil. If thou wilt hearken to the commands of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to love the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his ordinances, and his judgments; then ye shall live, and shall be many in number, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all the land into which thou goest to inherit it. But if thy heart change, and thou wilt not hearken, and thou shalt go astray and worship other gods, and serve them, I declare to you this day, that ye shall utterly perish, and ye shall by no means live long upon the land, into which ye go over Jordan to inherit it. I call both heaven and earth to witness this day against you, I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: choose thou life, that thou and thy seed may live; to love the Lord thy God, to hearken to his voice, and cleave to him:” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20a, LXX)
The choice is before us, brothers and sisters.
We cannot be silent.
We cannot go along to get along.
We must choose.
Life or death, blessing or curse.