Christmas in a Post-Christian Era

Christmas in a Post-Christian Era


Hieromonk Eleftherios Balakos


And while the messiahs are multiplying in this day and age, in the guise of persons, ideologies, policies or religions*, we see a world wallowing in the mud which it has created itself.

And you ask yourself: ‘What can I believe?’ ‘Where can I place my hope?’ ‘What can I expect?’

So are Christ, His Gospel and His work antiquated, then?

The New Age would claim that we live in an era for which Christ is the Old Age.

But despite the intense criticism to which Christianity has been and continues to be subjected, the Gospel message remains insurmountably powerful for people today, who want so much and have been disappointed by everything.

The Messiah promoted by Christmas is Jesus, the human person. God takes on the form of every human person, and shares in the pain, the anguish and the trial which is the lot of all of us. He’s a God Who isn’t imaginary, but is tangible in history and reality. He’s not a God Who’s a product of the human mind but One Who transcends it and even shocks it. Two thousand years since the Nativity and no human achievement, no atheist propaganda, no religious tradition has managed to uproot or moderate the love which was embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s a love which heals all human pain and responds to every human quest for what is true and what is of value.

The feast of Christmas is an opening onto living, incarnate love, the love which Christ gives so abundantly and of which people today are in so much need.

*In an article in the Daily Express (12/12/ 2017), Sean Martin writes:
‘HUMANS will one day worship artificial intelligence (AI) as if it was a god because the technology will be vastly superior to us, experts have claimed.As former Uber and Google engineer Anthony Levandowski creates a new religion based on AI, experts say it will not be long before the religion has a lot of followers as people tend to “worship supreme understanding”…And when that happens, people will begin worshipping machines as if it is the new messiah’.

Of course, saying so doesn’t make it true, but the fact that it’s being discussed at all lends weight to Fr. Eleftherios’ point [WJL].





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Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.