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The Great Confusion – reflections on the disruption of God’s order in our lives

February 1st, 2013 by Fr. Vasile

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Gen 1:21)

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Gen 1:21)

Last night I went to a talent show at my kids’ school. It was enjoyable to watch an entirely random blend of performances unfolding in front of a room full of parents eager to applaud at the slightest hint of aptitude showing on the stage. I know this because I was one of them. There really was true talent to applaud and, even when talent was not really present, there was a lot of courage to be praised.

The one thing that set me back was the poor choice of songs by a number of children, averaging roughly ten years of age. Why, for instance, would a little girl sing with excitement that she’s getting married tomorrow? Or sigh with desire for a lost relationship with an abusive type of a boyfriend? What happened with the age appropriate subjects? Are there no more things in God’s creation that can entertain a middleschooler without instantly jumping over childhood?

This is probably one of the many signs of the times we live in, where children don’t want to be children anymore and,  when they become adults, they want to go back to childhood by engaging  all kind of immature activities. We seem to have replaced the order that God has put in all creation with a great confusion that leads to no good.

The reshuffling of life seasons is not the only confusion that is perpetuated by our contemporary way of life. Another one with profound ramifications is gender confusion. Today women dress and act more and more like man while men become day after day more effeminate. Just look around to see how many women cut their hair short now and how many men have replaced the beard with a clean shaved face. Women wearing pants in church was something unheard of a few decades ago. Men wearing tight fit pink shirts was considered just as outrageous. But nowadays is just fashionable and very normal.

You may ask yourself by now if I really am that old fashioned that I can’t understand that we don’t live in the 1800’s anymore? Of course not, I do live also in the contemporary world, but this frightening disorder, brought by apparently simple things like fashion, can greatly influence our lives. If men are not men while women are not women anymore and children cease to be children while adults become like kids, then all bets are off.

The number one victim of this confusion is the family. We see how the God given definition of family is changed today by the political agenda, how younger and younger girls drop off school because of a teenage pregnancy, how divorce becomes the norm and celibacy with a libertarian lifestyle is looked upon as a viable way of living. These are all consequences of this confusion.

But God has not created the world in this way, he did not planted disorder. He made a child different than an adult and a woman different than a man. Strip them all naked of modern fashion, culture, prejudice, political correctness and you will see the true face of the world that is still there, buried, just as it was created by God.

Adam and Eve in paradise wore no clothing because they were pure and immaculate. They were vested with the royal garment of grace and no confusion dawned upon them. They Knew God and God knew them just as they were made. But through sin they lost this original purity and started wearing garments of skin that could be fashionably interchanged to hide what’s really underneath, that create a false identity, an identity that is hiding further away from God, in a garden of confusion and deception.  The secular tendencies of our contemporary living are exactly such garments, hiding the true God given nature and purpose of the world and replacing it with a self-made unguided hodgepodge.

God intent for order is very clear in the book of Ecclesiastes “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: “A time to be born, and a time to die; […] a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecc 5:1-5). He has created all things with a purpose in mind and when we forget or change this purpose we miss the very goal of our existence which is to be with God. We can rebel against this fact, we can try to cover it, but this will only bring pain in our lives because we act against ourselves, against who we really are.

All our problems arise when we fight against the faultless order of God and try to replace it with a man-made flawed proposition. We think that we can outsmart God, but in doing that we only trade perfection for limitation, eternity for a lifetime, communion for isolation, and love for indifference.

But we don’t have to reinvent anything: God has already created everything perfect. We only have to shake off these garments of skin and wear again the cloth of grace by aligning our will with His will and rediscovering our personal identity by paradoxically uniting ourselves with Him. “He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

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  • Ok age inappropriate songs….I’m with you. Childhood is a thing too quickly discarded in this culture. But a man not having a beard is effeminate? Good grief. When will you be satisfied? When every layman is wearing a monk’s cassock with a five foot beard and women are in slavic head scarves or Hajibs? Is that, then, who we “really are?” And how sure can you be that your distaste for men in tight pink shirts is an illumination from the mind of God or simply your own dated personal discrimination and preference? Your 12th century central european vision of Christianity and what appropriate outer image and clothing should be is as surface-based, temporally imprisoned, and corrupt as the modern culture you so blithely disdain.

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    • Dear Grady,

      I have no illusions of illuminations from God, believe me :)

      I just look around and see a society where the traditional family is been actively replaced with a bunch of androgyne individuals that can be manipulated by the state any way it wants. The reason? It is much easier to push single people around than strong families with roots.

      This is an atheistic socialist goal. Marx himself has pointed out that modern industry, by assigning an important part in socially organized production to women, young persons, and children, and thereby removing them from the sphere of domestic life, is creating the economic basis for “a higher form of the family and of the relation of the sexes.” And he adds that it is rather silly to consider the Christian form of marriage or any other form as absolute and unchangeable.

      See more in this book, written many moons ago.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=bN4lAAAAMAAJ&lpg=PA341&ots=MOqP965Yyi&dq=destruction%20of%20the%20family%20socialism&pg=PA341#v=onepage&q=destruction%20of%20the%20family%20socialism&f=false

      Isn’t this what our 21st century, poast-modern, post-Christian, post-whatever society is saying today ?

      You can laugh at my taste for facial hair and displeasure of pink shirts, but that does not change the fact that we see that man and women look more and more alike and their roles in society are interchanged to the confusion of our children.

      Let’s be clear, I am not advocating that all should become monks, nor that women should look like Russian babushka’s, but there should be a level of decency and differentiation that needs to be maintained so that the natural order would be preserved.

      Any tree is know by its fruits, I see some of the the fruits of this prosperous society and I wonder sometimes if this is real progress? Spiritually thinking of course.

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  • Trust me Im not laughing at your taste in beards. Im horrified by it. But even more horrified by the attempt to suggest that a clean shaven man is effeminate and somehow further from god than a bearded one. and i find most disturbing your attempt to pass off your idiosyncrasy as a doctrine of faith.

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  • However I will respectfully leave your blog alone from this point on. My vision of proper christian faith is clearly light -years away from your vision of christianity and we will never see eye to eye.

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  • May i support you here, dear Fr.Vasile. I live in Moscow and it’s all the same here. But why? I can say for the women. We just can’t rely on men nowdays, they leave families now and then and easily forget all their responsibilities. That’s why many women are focused on career, they are just afraid to be left in pain and poverty with nothing to give to their children. I wish i could see the resurrection of the family values before i die and the old-fashioned one life-one love comeback, that would bring back the missed order in many ways…

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