Kamal Hourani is a first year student in the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a participant of our Digital Disciples Program.
“The God You Don’t Believe in – Conversations with a Secular World”
A crowd gathered in the Maliotis Cultural Center of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox of Theology on the evening of October 29, 2015, the last night of the Speaking to Secular America Conference hosted by the Missions Institute. The room was filled and bustling with excitement for Fr. Stephen Freeman’s talk entitled: “The God You Don’t Believe In – Conversations with a Secular World”. Fr. Stephen is the pastor of St. Anne’s Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, TN and the author of “Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Story Universe”.
The priest began by quoting the late Father Alexander Schmemann, who said that secularism is the “greatest heresy of our time.” He went on to explain how secularism has created a great misunderstanding of God in the minds of nones and dones. People view God as an imposing commander, a terrible tyrant, an enabler of their consumerism, or a therapeutic deity.
Father pointed out what he recognized as one of the major consequences of prevalent secularism: “The Modern Project”. He talked in length about the modern obsession with progress and transhumanism. People want to use consumer products and advanced technology to take the human race to the next level of existence, but this is a false trajectory. The items and methods that we think will improve our life such as are subtly burying our natural humanity. The reality is not that we need to transcend our humanity but get back to the baseline of being human, below which we have fallen because of sin.
Fr. Stephen recognized Calvary as the finishing point of the human project, which we have tried to imitate. Christ takes us back to the baseline of living as human and then beyond it to the heights of deified humanity. Thus, we have to repent and makes ourselves witnesses of Christ’s greater reality. That way, Orthodoxy will not just be another product for consumerist religious seekers but the simple truth of how to live a righteous human life.
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops. OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life. Orthodox Seminary News supports the work done in Orthodox Christian seminaries, as they are the heart and future of the Orthodox priesthood and lay leadership. Widespread understanding of the mission and activities of our seminaries and their sacred work is an essential part of a healthy church.
$20,000 MATCHING CHALLENGE FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners. Anonymous donors have issued a $20,000 matching challenge in honor of OCN’s 20th Anniversary! For every $1 you give, $2 will be donated! You can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website.
Your gift during our annual End of the Year Appeal will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media.
Be on the lookout for our new mobile app, “Spark”, to be launched in the near future. The app will raise awareness of Christian persecution worldwide and provide you and millions of Orthodox with different ways to act.
Digital Disciple Scholars Program. The Orthodox Christian Network has established the Digital Disciple Scholars Program on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. The purpose is to begin training our ministry leaders to use multi-media resources to spread the Gospel. Students will be trained to promote current issues related to the Orthodox Faith, Christian Persecution, cover Orthodox News and events on campus.