Дорога домой. Выпуск ДД-77.4а  [14янв10] [с.9]
APOLOGETIC NOTES
РУС    РУС-ENG
The fool has said in his heart,
"There is no God".
(Psalm 53:1 NKJV)

The Apologetics is a science which proves by means of science, logic and common sense the existence of God. Some people challenge legitimacy of such science since the science and faith address different spheres (area). Other people consider that it is possible and it is necessary, since the Christian faith involves not only outlook, but also creation and building of the world, psychology, physiology, sociology, medicine and other sciences.
    Contents: Preface;
(1) Creation of the world; (11) World was created from nothing; (12) World was created by God; (13) World was especially created for man; (14) huge wanderful world; (15) Beauty of the world; (16) Complexity of the world; (17) Origin of a man;
(2) Christianity; (21) People always had a religion; (22) Western Christianity; (23) Russian Orthodoxy; (24) All Russian ancestors were Orthodox; (25) Christian faith is wise, loves man and is noble; (26) Persons could not invent it by himself; (27) Positive influence of the faith; (28) Man does not know everything; (29) Interpretation of the Bible;
(3) Christian Teaching; (31) Christian Teaching, Commandments and Postulates; (32) Sin and Virtue; (33) Seeming Paradoxes; (34) Christian Common Sense; (35) Seventh Commandment; (36) Christianity saved Western Civilization; (37) Life after Death; (38) Science is catching up with Christ's Teaching;
(4) Christian Life; (41) Christian Life; (42) Personal Experience of Christians; (43) Prayers; (44) God's Providence; (45) Miracles; (46) Spiritual Meaning;
(5) Atheism; (51) Non-believers, Godless and atheists; (52) Disbelief Corrupts;
Conclusion.

In our age, XXI Century, to believe in only what we see with our own eyes is ignorance and feeblemindedness.

Preface. [05мар09]
This work is written for students of the last grade of a High School. Our children, after completion of secondary education [Russian Gimnazia and English-speaking (High School)], will meet in a life different confessions (faiths), religions, and also non-believers of all kinds. They should know and be able to explain in short, simply and clearly the truth for God's existence, and basics a Christianity and Orthodoxy. In this short review there are several arguments for that purpose.
    Initially this work was conceived to consist of short paragraphs, but some themes simply cannot fit into several phrases.

1. Creation of the World.
11. World was created from nothing.
The first verse of the Bible says: «In the beginning God created heaven and earth» (Genesis 1:1). This statement of the Scripture caused criticism of atheists. But, it has appeared that it is valid so.
    Here, as well as in many other places Christian teaching goes ahead of sciences and it, the science, in many years, eventually proves it.
    In the beginning of the XX century discoveries say that everything really begun with the explosion when from nothing the earth and all the world was created. Before there was no matter, world, space and time. It is known under the name «Big Bang Theory».
    In 1922 Russian scientist-mathematician Alexander Friedmann (1888-1925) has calculated and has shown that the Universe is not static as it was assumed earlier, and expands. Later, in 1929, well known American scientist-astronomer Edwin Hubble, has shown by his observations and measurements that stars, planets and all the Universe flies from some center point. After that it has been calculated that it has occurred about 13.7 billions years ago from one point, i.e. from nothing.
    • (ДД-79) Обзор книги: Уникальность христианства. Динеш Де'Суза

12. The world was created by God. [05мар09]
Proceeding from the above point (1), at the moment of the creation of the world there was no matter, i.e. nothing physical. Therefore, the cause of the explosion could be only metaphysical (not physical), means that that was GOD.
    This fact has been confirmed by the Church in 325, on I Ecumenical Council. The Symbol of Faith (Creed) is the shortest definition of Christian faith. The first article reads: «I believe in one God, Father, All-Sovereign Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible».
    • (ДД-09) Что такое Катихизис?

13. World was especially created for man. [05мар09]
Not only the God created the world, but it also appears that all Universe was arranged so that on the earth, specially on earth, there could be life, in such a form as it is now. Physicists named this phenomenon "anthropic principle". On other planets there are no vital conditions for life present.
    • (ДД-79) Обзор книги: Уникальность христианства (Динеш Де'Суза)

14. Huge and wonderful world. [05мар09]
Our world is huge, majestic and wonderful world. It is impossible that all this was created accidentally, or by itself. Obviously, there had to be the Creator.
    About 3,500 years ago, holy Psalmist King David wrote, and the Orthodox Church till now, in Prokimen (Prokimenon), piously keeps these words: «O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches» (Psalm 104:24 KJV*, Prokimen a voice of 4th) *(In Russian Bible it is Psalm 103).

15. Beauty of the world. [05мар09]
It is enough to look at different views of the nature in order to be amazed by its grandeur and beauty. Scientists have established that on the other planets everything is dead, empty and there is no beauty. Comes to mind fantastic thought that our Lord God is not only the Creator, but also the Artisan. He has created not only the world, but also the beautiful world.

16. Complexity of the world. [05мар09]
Improbable complexity and a variety of each plant and every living being surprises and statrles. It is impossible that all of this was created accidentally or that it was created by itself by some "nature". Certainly there had to be a Divine Developer.

17. Origin of Man. [13мар09]
Opinions that a man has descended from a monkey and considering his biological, physiological, psychological, social, etc. complexity, that all this developed by itself or accidentally causes one to smile, if not to laugh.
    Atheists are attempting to prove that in a man there is nothing holy, that he is simply a product of evolution and has descended from a monkey. This is not a scientifically proven fact, but only a theory, moreover it has many holes. Despite this, they aggressively push it everywhere as a truth. This question can be simply resolved. Atheists, ungodly activists (богоборцы), godless (безбожники) and other non-believers, and with them any criminals not recognizing God, have really descended from a monkey, and believing Christians from God. That is all!
    Vladimir Pozner, a TV anchorman, recently said on Russian TV that a man has descended from a monkey. To this Patriarch Alexey II, on the recent "XV Christmas readings" (2007) said: «If somebody thinks that he descended from a monkey, let him think that, but should not impose this belief on the other». This caused indignation among atheists.
    The American scientists studying DNA (ДНК) established that all people descended from one woman in east Africa, approximately 140,000 years ago.


2. Christianity.
21. People always had a Religion. [07мар09]
Every people, culture and civilization always had a belief in something higher. In most cases it required worship and prayers to some deity, and some sacrifice, often human. All this was thought up by people for regulation of their life, being based on an innate sense of conscience and concept of good and bad.
    Only Christianity is revealed by God (богооткровенная), the religion received from God. It proclaims that God is Love and the Lover of Mankind (Человеколюбец), gives an absolute and eternal (вечный) scale of values and gives the plan for life. He is our Father who teaches how to live and not get in a trouble.
    • (ДД-13.8a) Religions in the beginning of the XXI Century

22. The Western Christianity. [16мар09]
Although in Russia and in the West the religion is Christian, but owing to complex historical circumstances, in the West the understanding of the Christian belief is distorted and is characterized by false spirituality (ei. "stigmata").
    The whole history of the Western Church is full of deviations from Christian teaching. They consider themselves the true Church and are systematically attempting to spread all over the world. They are aiming at Russia from her very beginning. They follow russophobic politics and are of the opinion that in 1054 Orthodox Church separated from them, the true Church. They are well known for persecution of Orthodox. Their plan is to subordinate Orthodox Church to Roman Pope.
    The Christianity has arisen in pagan Roman Empire, after many years of its glory, during its spiritual and moral decay. The Empire was characterized by arrogance, cruelty, aggression, militarism (war like), imperialism, slavery, polygamy, debauchery (разврат), sodomy, materialism, etc., and was in a dusk (twilight, decline) of its glory. The Christ's sermon has inhaled a new life. But, unfortunately local defects which deeply settled in the society, have penetrated into the Roman Church (now Catholic) and together with the Christian sermon have expanded all over Europe.
    Thus, the sources of western culture and civilization are pagan Roman Empire and Catholic Church. Many present qualities and behaviors of western peoples and their governments can be traced back to these two factors.
    God is represented as angry, constantly punishing, demanding impossible, demanding unnatural behavior and against human nature. Since deviation from the Christian sermon is destructive, in the western Christianity there was a delayed-action mine (мина замедленного действия). Therefore, there was for many centuries a gradual movement away from Christian roots and dechristianization (дехристианизация).
    * It is interesting to consider a well known comparison of holiness of Orthodox St.Seraphim of Sarov with Catholic St.Francis of Assisi. For Orthodox holiness is difficult labor of inner doing (work, labor) to cleanse oneself from sinfulness. For Catholic it is good deeds. According to Catholic understanding Lord God rewards them for good deeds by holy spiritual qualities. Orthodox methodology is more realistic then Catholic. Catholics are doing good deeds, but their inner world is not rectified, and is full of defects and sinful passions. Seraphim has humility, and Francis absence of it. (по Лодыженскому).
    It is interesting to note the comparison of holiness of Orthodox St.Seraphim of Sarov and Catholic St.Franciss of Assisi. For Orthodox holiness is difficult work (labor) of inner doing of cleansing oneself from sinfulness. For Catholic these are good deeds. According to Catholic understanding Lord God is rewarding them for good deeds with spiritual qualities. Orthodox methodology of obtaining holiness is more realistic than Catholic. Catholics are doing good deeds, but are not rectifying their inner world, and remains full of defects and sinful passions. St.Seraphim has humility and St.Franciss the absence of it.
    Here we can note, that due to personal contacts among Catholic Clergy and Russian Clergy in jurisdictions outside of Russia, there were some positive changes on Vatican II Council (XXI Ecumenical Council).

    • (ДД-11а) Great Lent and Christ's Paskha (2009)
    • (ДД-16.5р) Серафим Саровский и Франциск Ассизский (Лодыженский, 1912)
    • (ДД-33.3р) Россия спасет Запад (Писарев и Мультатули)   • (ДД-79) Уникальность христианства (Динеш Де'Суза)
    • (ДД-16) Православие и протестантизм   • (ДД-16.9р) О Православии и Католичестве (Ильин)
    • (ДД-13а) History of the Christian Church. Short Overview   • (ДД-13.3а) Introduction into the History of Christian Church, Short Overview

23. Russian Orthodoxy. [09мар09а]
Lord Jesus Christ has sown the essentials of the new teaching and instructed apostles to continue the sermon in the Church. After the first 300 years of persecution of Christianity, it begun to organize itself and conduct Ecumenical Councils. With a prayer and with combined forces representatives of Local Churches developed rules and canons for internal life of the Church. Ist Council was in 325 and last VIIth in 787. During all this time there were debates and disputes.
    By the time of Christening of Russia, in 988, after last Ecumenical Council, all disagreements were solved, also the Church teaching was established (solidified). Thus, Russian pagans who were not able to read or write, received a spiritual stronghold, education, writing and well developed Orthodox, Christian, advanced culture. They are making in their development tremendous jump forward. Thus the Orthodox faith became the spring of Russian culture and civilization. The Lord God is seen as loving Father, the Lover of Mankind (Человеколюбец), and the Church as loving mother. Therefore we did not have atheism, and it had to be forcibly imported. Besides this Orthodox Russia never started a single war, all wars were always defensive. The same thing one may say about the other Orthodox nations.
    • (ДД-13.7) Истоки разницы между Западной и Русской Церквами. Русское Православие

24. All Russian ancestors were Orthodox. [09мар09]
All Russian ancestors, from ordinary people and until scientists, all were believers, Orthodox Christians.
    At black in America there is a song «Old belief of my fathers» (This Old Time Religion). In it it is approximately said that this old belief was good for my father, was good for my grandfather so it will be good and for me (This Old Time Religion was good for my father, good for my grandfather and it is good enough for me). Old Time Religion was good for my father, good for my grandfather and it is good enough for me).
    One believing Russian young man when he came to the West was confused by many religions and sects. After some reflections, and, especially, having heard this song, he decided to remain Orthodox and to delve deeper into Orthodoxy.

25. Christian Faith is wise, loves Mankind and is noble. [13мар09]
Orthodox faith is wise, loves mankind (человеколюбивая), noble and natural to a man. It creates peace, silence, love, calmness, spiritual balance in a man, his family and society.

26. Persons could not invent it by himself. [09мар09]
2000 years ago, during such distant and cruel time the man could not have figured out such ennobled Christian teaching by himself.
    One young Russian woman, who recently came to the West, engineer by profession, when heard first time about Beatitude Commandments said, that she does not need any proves of God's existence, since in that distant and cruel time, ordinary man would not be capable to stand up and make these kind of pronouncements.

27. Positive influence of the faith. [13мар09]
The faith changes a person, people and nations towards better, and in certain cases rescues from destruction. This can be said about the whole western civilization, Christianity saved it from self-destruction 2000 years ago.
    • (ДД-06а) Beneficial influence of Christianity  • (ДД-06.12а) Beneficial influence of Christianity. Remarks
    • (ДД-06.13) Христианство спасло человечество от гибели

28. Man does not know everything. [09мар09]
The man cannot know and understand everything. The faith gives a guidance to any life problems.
    In the Gospel from John Christ said: «Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life» (John 8:12). It means that in the teaching of Lord Jesus Christ there are answers to all life questions and their successful solution.
    Atheists criticize and consider that the strong person should solve their own problems and not hope for help from somebody else. But, one asks, why is it necessary to again and again to invent a bicycle. If one follows this logic then it is not necessary to go to school, and it is necessary to learn everything by one's own experience.

29. Interpretation of the Bible. [09мар09]
At present time the Bible is a with Christians, Moslems and Jews. But, all of them interpret it in own way.
    Christians interpret Old and New Testaments in the light of coming of Lord Jesus Christ, His sermon and according to the Greatest Commandments: love your Lord God and your neighbor.
    (Matthew 22:36-40) «Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets» affirms.
    Orthodox Christians follow interpretation by St John Goldenmouth (Chrysostom, Иоанн Златоуст), Basil the Great (Василий Великий) and Gregory the Theologian (Григорий Богослов) which all lived in IV century, together with myriad of other theologians, which all followed initial interpretation of the three saints. The best Russian Orthodox translation is Church-Slavic, and then followed by Russian-Synod. Recently appeared other translations, but they do not deserve our attention, since together with new translation they are pushing their ideology.
    Catholic (Roman) Church, which separated in 1054 from Orthodox, interprets slightly in their own way, with emphasis on supremacy of St. Apostle Peter and the pope, and their correctness. Together with their homily they denounce Orthodoxy and spread russophobia.
    Protestant and other Churches of the West interpret it also in their own way. They do not know Orthodoxy, but have separated from Catholic Church because of its deviations from the Christian teaching and other excesses, do not recognize sanctity of Virgin Maria (Дева Мария), and also others saints and are in many respects close to Jews. Unfortunately some confessions interpret the Bible from russophobic positions. According to them it says that Russia will attack Israel, America will intercede, there will be a world war and this will be the end of the world.
    ROCA (ROCOR) (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) in the English-speaking countries when necessary to use local language they are using translation by King James of 1611 (KJV Version).

    Moslems interpret the Bible as the prophetical book, but on the level below the Koran.
    Jews recognize only the Old Testament and with emphasis on being "chosen" one and expectation of the Messiah. They do not consider Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but a dangerous rebel and the magician, though there are jurisdictions which look at this more softly.
    Secularists and Atheists also study the Bible. They interpret it at the best as the literature, and at worst try to find its inaccuracy (flaws, errors).
    Reading the literature on the Bible, it is necessary to note that all these groups in their literature propagate their opinions and bias, and in the Bible itself accentuate the "correctness" to their own advantage with newer new and newer translations or supply them with corresponding notes.
    • (ДД-38.4) Что такое Священное Писание или Библия


3. Christian Teaching.
31. Christian Teaching, Commandments and Postulates. [09мар09]
The Christian teaching is contained in the Holy Scriptures, the Sermon on the Mount, Ten Commandments, Beatitude Commandments, Gospel (Evangelical) Commandments, the writing of the holy fathers and other church writers, prayers, divine service, church rules etc., etc.
    Sometimes some teachings are not absolutely clear to the sinning person. But if one considers the influence of a sin on the sinner, his environment, a society, now, in the future and even after death, including afterlife then they become clear.

32. Sin and Virtue. [13мар09]
The Christianity divides all human activity into good and bad, that is into a virtue and sin. A sin is destructive behavior, and virtue is constructive. Thus the sin creates damage and harm for the man and a society, and virtue on the contrary is constructive. The Christianity teaches not to sin neither in actions, nor in words, nor in thoughts and thus creates the peaceful, kind and loving person. Look at the faces of saints and semisaints, the family of the last Russian Tsar, clericals and similar persons.
    • (ДД-38) Что такое христианство?

33. Seeming Paradoxes. [10мар09]
God's Law Commandments are law of our nature, the law of life. Some of them look like paradoxes and that they contradict the common sense. As it was said earlier if one takes into consideration the man and influence of his actions, words and thoughts on him, on other people, now, in the future and even after death, then all Commandments and postulates are understood and become clear and logical. Modern sciences like medicine, physiology, psychology, sociology, etc. all confirm that.
    Negative consequences of a sin and as it to resist not always are obvious and sometimes looks like paradox (contradicting common sense). For example: that it is necessary to love everybody, even enemies; that humility wins; that it is necessary to forgive; that the truth makes us free etc., etc. All this seems to the sinning man as madness. St. apostle Paul said: «But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned» (1 Corinthians 2:14)
    Modern sciences as medicine, physiology, psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, etc. agree with what Christ taught 2000 years ago.
    So it is really «necessary to love everybody, even enemies». Rage, hatred are destructive feelings and emotions. They sow ill-intention (недоброжелание), ill will, destroy, peace, silence, calmness etc. From the viewpoint of physiology and sciences like medicine, psychology and others, say that all of them promote all kinds of illnesses.
    About forgiveness, also it is possible to say something similar. The insult, rage, etc. creates a negative attitude which does not promote neither peace of mind, nor creativity, nor health.
    About «the truth makes us free», it required 2000 years to realize how true is this. Often guilty person is not capable to admit his sin and starts «to shift from a sick head on a healthy one», or expressing it in modern psychological terms, he projects his sin on the victim, or becomes paranoid. Also the feeling of guilt can traumatize the person, etc. In these cases and many others, admitting the truth and subsequent confession promotes recovery.
    About arrogance and the humility, the whole Holy Scripture and Tradition are full of examples that arrogance is destructive, and humility is constructive. And what do we see in life. The pride and arrogance darkens minds of the man, he sees everything in his own way, does not see truth and becomes paranoid. Such state of mind is often observed in the West.

34. Christian Common Sense. [10мар09]
The Christian teaching, Commandments and postulates it is necessary to apply with common sense (reasonably). It is necessary to know psychology secular and Orthodox, Holy Scripture interpretation by holy fathers and their teaching, to know people, have life experience, etc. Wrong application can lead to whole tragedies. Popular wisdom says: "tell the fool to pray to God and he will hurt his forehead".
    Father archpriest Serafim Slobodskoy (ROCOR) in his famous textbook, after discussion of commandments, in Conclusion has written (p513): "Obtained knowledge of true faith and Christian life (piety) should be used for guidance of our life. But, in order to use the knowledge of our faith and piety correctly and for our salvation, it is necessary for every Christian to have the virtue of reasoning, i.e. Christian common sense. Apostle Peter, addressing Christians, says: "show in your faith virtue, in virtue common sense" (NKJV: but also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge) (2 Peter 1:5). Whatever is done without reasoning, can become unreasonable, and can even bring harm, instead of benefit".
    • (ДД-55ар) God's Law. For Study at Home and School (Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy)

35. Seventh Commandment. [10мар09]
The Seventh Commandment «Thou shalt not commit adultery» (Exodus 20:14) has been given in the Old Testament, 3600 years ago. It is a stumbling-block for secularists and atheists. The problem is that it, as well as many other bodily functions can become an obsession (a bad habit, passion) and to demand more and more attention. In the spiritual literature it is known under a name of "passion". The same thing can happen with any normal action when it is abused. Say gluttony, alcoholism, etc. But, it is not known in secular and atheistic literature and consequently they declare that sex is a natural instinct during the whole life, and demands constant gratification, even in an old age.
    The Orthodox do not agree with this view. If the person does not constantly excite himself with pornography, jokes, movies, TV, etc. then it is necessary only while birth giving functions in a person are active. After they have ended, the person calms down and sex is not necessary any more.
    • (ДД-08.3а) Love and Seventh Commandment

36. Christianity saved Western Civilization. [13мар09]
In history of mankind are known cycles of occurrence of new peoples, cultures and civilizations. They appear, develop, ripen and eventually perish and disappear, from internal contradictions, decay and lack of knowledge how to handle them. The same thing happened with pagan Roman Empire. As it was said above, it was famous for its arrogance, cruelty, slavery, polygamy, immorality, materialism, etc. The Christ's Sermon inhaled a new life based on love for God and man. The western civilization was gradually reborn and successfully exists already 2000 years (see #29)(Matthew 22:36-40). At that time there was no any kind of movement for renewal. People of that time, could never do it by themselves, and this was done by Lord Jesus Christ, and only He.
    The great Russian poet and writer A.S.Pushkin wrote: «Great spiritual and political revolution of our planet is Christianity. In this sacred force (стихия) the world disappeared and was renewed».
    • (ДД-06.13) Христианство спасло человечество от гибели

37. Life after Death. [10мар09]
The teaching about a life after death is so unusual for people living with earthly life, that even believers are sometimes questioning it. There were cases of the revived people after death, but they were not recorded, and with time were forgotten.
    With the advent of computers, databases and the Internet, much that became known. Among worthless material there were some authentic works on this theme. People died and after known time were revived and were shaken by what they saw. Some saw the relatives who died, others have visited paradise, others hell. Almost on all it made tremendous impression and because of this they completely changed their life.
    • (ДД-71) Жизнь после смерти

38. Science is catching up with Christ's Teaching. [11мар09]
Seriously studying all teaching of Lord Jesus Christ it is observed that it is two thousand years ahead of a science. The science gradually confirms all Christian arguments.


4. Christian Life.
41. Christian Life. [11мар09]
Believing person sees in God's Law postulates the teaching about how to live life so that it will be fruitful and without errors. Therefore he correlates it with his life, works (deeds), words and thoughts. Besides this the believer gradually rectifies (corrects) his habits and qualities.
    The Greek Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos (Vlachos) calls Orthodoxy a psychotherapy in his book "Orthodox Psychotherapy, a Science of the Fathers of Church" (in English)
    (Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos. Orthodox Psychotherapy, The science of the Fathers. 1994. Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, P.O.Box 107, 321 00 Levadia, Greece).

    In order to do this correctly it is necessary to have Christian common sense and it would be, of course, good to know Psychology of Adjustment, Normal and Abnormal, obviously from Orthodox point of view.
    The believer uses two thousand years of Church experience. He does not have to follow her teaching, but he knows which way is the best. For him there already exist all answers. Holy Apostle Paul in the message to Corinthians writes: "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (I Corinthians 6:12).
    A non-believer is guided only by his reason. He does not have any other solid guidance. He has to consider everything by himself and obtain all decisions by himself. He has to again and again "invent a bicycle". Since he does not have solid foundation he gradually falls under the influence of mass-media and the world in general.
    • (ДД-78.2) Два взгляда на жизнь – вера и неверие

42. Personal Experience of Christians. [11мар09]
The majority of people believe in God not because somebody proved to them something, but because they are convinced in it from their own personal experience.
    • (ДД-78.2) Два взгляда на жизнь – вера и неверие

43. Prayers. [11мар09]
Believers see that their prayers are often fulfilled.

44. God's Providence. [18мар09]
Believers see that frequently God's Providence acts upon them. Sometimes it occurs in the form the form of lucky coincidence and accidents.
    Lord God creates necessary conditions, but does not break the will of the man and does not force him to do what he does not want. Good parent does the same. He does not force, but creates only proper conditions, and the child has to make freely his own choice.
    On the Internet there is a testimony (evidence) by an atheist who became believer when he noted that in his life there were many "strange" (unusual) coincidences and happenstances.
    In secular analytic psychology there is a concept of "synchronicity", when unrelated events occur simultaneously.

45. Miracles. [11мар09]
Almost every believer can tell about miracles which have occurred in his life.
    "Holy water" is a miracle which occurs in each Orthodox church when water is consecrated on 6/19 January, on the Baptism of the Lord. This water does not get spoiled. Other well-known miracle, is occurrence of fertile fire on the God's Grave on Paskha (Easter). It occurs only on Orthodox Easter. Also well-known are "myrrh-bearing", crying and miraculous icons.
    The fall of atheism in Russia and the beginning of its transformation and spiritual revival occurred on the Lord's Transfiguration on 6/19 August, 1991. This occurred: (1) 70 years after the endorsement of reading of the prayer on each liturgy "Prayer for the Salvation of Russia" ROCA (ROCOR)(Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) in 1921, and (2) exactly 10 years after canonization of Russian New Martyrs by ROCOR (ROCA) in 1981. The Moscow Patriarchat repeated this canonization 19 years later, in 2000.
    • (ДД-19) День святых новомучеников и исповедников российских   • (ДД-19.2м) Prayer for the salvation of Russia

46. Spiritual Meaning. [13мар09]
Believers see spiritual meaning in many events. They become clear and understood when taken into consideration that the Lord God: (1) loves us and to cares about us, but is not a puppeteer (micromanager); (2) hears our prayers, but does not always fulfill them, since they are not to our advantage; (3) wishes our sanctity (holiness); (4) gave us free will and a freedom of action; (5) wishes us to became better and to earn the Kingdom of Heaven; (6) wishes our free love; (7) sometimes applies pedagogical punishment. Also it is necessary to remember that: (1) there is a life after death and (2) to man some life hardship are difficult, but there is an afterlife were everything will be corrected.


5. Atheism.
51. Non-believers, Godless and Atheists. [11мар09]
Non-believers, godless and atheists do not know and do not understand Christianity and Orthodoxy. They have a caricature understanding about Christianity and start to criticize it. Besides this they do not make any distinction between western Christianity and eastern, the Orthodoxy, and accuse Orthodoxy of sins of the Western Curches.

52. Disbelief Corrupts. [11мар09]
Without belief in God people become corrupted, as there is no authority prescribing the correct behavior.
    A psalm says "the fool said in his heart: 'there is no God'. They have become perverted, have made wicked things; none is doing good" (Psalm 13:1, Russian version).
    (KJV Psalm 14:1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good).


Conclusion. [21мар09]
The Christian faith is obtained by experience. In Russia, during ancient times people did not read and had no books, and they studied faith directly in a church: through prayers, observance of holidays, lents, listening to sermons, etc. In a church everything is instructive and everything has some kind of meaning: icons, crosses, domes, colors, lights, attires etc., etc. Prayers, church chanting, exclamations. The Church Calendar with holy days (feasts) and lents constantly teaches us something. Standing in a church calms down, teaches respect to holiness, patience and selfdiscipline. Christianity's foundation is the life of Lord Jesus Christ and in the Church all main moments of His life are noted by holidays: Paskha (Easter) and Twelve Major Holidays. Church is not only a place of communion with Lord God, but also a school of Orthodoxy.
    Therefore our advice is, do not search for proofs, do not philosophize, and start to pray and go to church, and slowly you will receive answers to all your questions. The more you will comprehend the divine service and the Church, the more you will be shaken by their depth, truth and sanctity.
    May the Good Lord help you!
    • (ДД-07) Письмо к некрещенному


Notes
[N1] Aid to reading Russian alphabet

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(ДД-77.4а),  http://www.dorogadomoj.com/  de774apo.html,  (нач:01мар09), (I-й вып:09мар09а),  14янв10