God is Dead, Faith-Based Fanatics, Spiritual but Not Religious – Making Sense of the News

God is Dead, Faith-Based Fanatics, Spiritual but Not Religious – Making Sense of the News

  • “God is Dead” proclaimed Nietzsche, naming Christianity, “the one great curse, the one intrinsic depravity” in a July feature of the ‘Philosophers’ Mail’.
  • “Faith-Based Fanatics,” the headline of a New York Times op-ed piece proclaiming, “He’s had a
    Pew Research Chart on Millennials and Percent with no religious affiliation

    Source: New York Times & Pew Research Center

    busy summer.  As God only knows, he was summoned to slaughter in the Holy Land” and “played both sides again in the 1,400-year-old-dispute over the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad.”

  • “Spiritual but not religious,” a Pew Research study highlighted “three-in-ten (29%) (Millennials) say they are not affiliated with any religion,” “the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics.”

In the past two weeks, these articles reminded me that  losing hope in God and Christianity is a subtle process; validated through one’s experiences and reinforced with what we see in our news and via social media – whether Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times.  There is no doubt, these are difficult times that are testing the faith of many.

Nietzsche & ‘God is Dead’

In college at the University of Michigan, I had almost lost my faith.  I was brought to my knees by Nietzsche’s proclamation -  ‘God is Dead’ – a summation that Christianity was a man-made mechanism designed to pacify the masses.  Only upon reading about Nietzsche this week, did I learn of his failed career, loss of confidence, alienation from society and his mental illness; yet he is called a “great philosopher.”

The Echo Chamber of Hopelessness

The echo chamber of hopelessness has a counterbalance in what often does not get reported enough – the countless acts of igniting

Pew Research Chart - Millennials and God

Source: New York Times and Pew Research Center

faith, of love, of forgiveness and of selflessness  – the messages of Christ, carried on and performed by Christians around the world. The Mother’s countless acts of love for her child, the business persons’ care for their workforce’s prosperity, the Father who takes the early train to work to better provide for his family, the child who helps a senior, the family that welcomes service members home, a school who feeds the homeless, a friend who invites one person to learn about Christ.  And Father Chris, Father Steve, and the countless number of priests who serve as Guardians of the Tomb of Christ, and who endure in preserving the original teachings of Christ.  Through them, we are the beneficiaries of God’s word and love.

Our Corollary to the Broken Windows Theory

At the Orthodox Christian Network, we seek to nurture the community of Orthodox Christians around the globe by being a catalyst of hope.  It is our corollary to the Broken Windows Theory* – countering hopelessness by igniting faith.

Myocn.net has experienced dramatic growth, touching hundreds of thousands of Christians across the globe, simply by igniting their Faith through sharing God’s love, forgiveness and selflessness, every single day.  The more we share via blogs, podcasts and videos, the more Orthodox Christians want to hear from us, and the more they share with friends to ignite their faith.

In what has become one of my favorite quotes, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity has survived every corrupt culture in the history of the world.  Our response to the current moral trend is not to worry, but neither do we do nothing.  Light shines, salt savors, truth matters, prayer works, love overcomes, Jesus saves, the gospel transforms.”

We invite you into our community, the Orthodox Christian Network, to share your experiences of igniting your faith by sending us a comment, sharing the web site with a friend, listening to a podcast, joining us on our New Years Eve Cruise and Footsteps of Paul trips, or by making a donation to our Summer Matching Campaign.

Over the next several months, we will be asking for your help in supporting our ministry by giving 10 cents / day or $36 / year.

We look forward to hearing from you.

By Nick Mavrick, Volunteer Chairman for the Orthodox Christian Network

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

Sources:

The Philosopher’s Mail, ‘The Great Philosophers 4:  Nietzsche’, July 2014

New York Times, ‘Faith-Based Fanatics’, July 18, 2014

New York Times, ‘Examining the Growth of ‘Spiritual but Not Religious’, July 18, 2014

Pew Research, ‘Millennials in Adulthood’, March 7, 2014

Wikipedia, Broken Windows Theory

Britannica, Broken Windows Theory

*Britannica explains Broken Windows Theory:

“Prior to the development and implementation of various incivility theories such as broken windows, law enforcement scholars and police tended to focus on serious crime; that is, the major concern was with crimes that were perceived to be the most serious and consequential for the victim, such as rape, robbery, and murder. Wilson and Kelling took a different view. They saw serious crime as the final result of a lengthier chain of events, theorizing that crime emanated from disorder and that if disorder were eliminated, then serious crimes would not occur.”

“Their theory further posits that the prevalence of disorder creates fear in the minds of citizens who are convinced that the area is unsafe. This withdrawal from the community weakens social controls that previously kept criminals in check. Once this process begins, it feeds itself. Disorder causes crime, and crime causes further disorder and crime.”

 

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Nick Mavrick is the Chairman of the OCN Board of…
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