New York Times – The Spiritual Recession
The New York Times featured an excellent editorial on ‘The Spiritual Recession’ on June 27, 2014.
Op-Ed columnist David Brooks writes about the recession of spirituality, religion, capitalism and democracy and the rise of “debauched libertarianism” where “we just go our own separate ways making individual choices.”
The article is notable, as it captures the fatigue of a nation and democracy that is questioning the role of its faith. Mr. Brooks writes:
“Without the vibrant faith, there is no spiritual counterweight to rampant materialism. Without the faith, the left has grown strangely callous and withdrawing in the face of genocide around the world. The right adopts a zero-sum mentality about immigration and a pinched attitude about foreign affairs.
Without the faith, leaders grow small; they have no sacred purpose to align themselves with.”
The article presciently closes by highlighting that democracy is based on “the idea that biblical morality is necessary precisely because people are selfish and shortsighted, capitalism is necessary because economies are too complicated to understand and plan; democracy is necessary because concentrated power is always dangerous, no matter how seductive it seems in the short term.”
While the article speaks of a spiritual recession and its consequences for democracy, there is a counter-weight of hope that can reinvigorate democracy, and the Orthodox Church at any moment.
I recently listened to a podcast that notes that:
“Tough times call for listening to God clearly. As we move into the future, walking more by faith, walking a little more alone, in the sense that the world may not agree with your values and who you follow, you may experience a kind of circumstance that may call you to hear God in a greater possible way.”
C.S. Lewis writes that “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.”
In spite of what is going on around us, you can have confidence that your faith, my faith, our faith…can make a difference in your family, your Orthodox Church and our democracy.
At the Orthodox Christian Network, we have experienced a rapid increase in engagement from parishioners around the globe, as we have accelerated our outreach. While significant challenges for democracy abound, one should not lose faith as we move into the future.
To read the full article on the NY Times web site, click here.
By Nick Mavrick, Volunteer Chairman of The Orthodox Christian Network
You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+