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"Believe and do not question" or "Question and do not believe"?
Father Dan Bădulescu
Who has not heard sometime this criticism came from the atheists, agnostics, profane, humanists, secular and free thinkers, be they philosophers, scientists and intellectuals or common people. And when bring those ones the above reproach, and to whom? When they are forced to accept certain dogmatic statements and religious teachings that they can not receive and which seem hostile to their mind and of the world in which they live and whose children feel to be. "Believe and do not question" is combined then with "I'm not dogmatic," "I can not have preconceptions," "I’m not obtuse" (in the sense of "narrow", although that angle is the widest...), "I do not want to bear horse blinders on"," narrow minded", and the like. What exactly demand those people? They demand unlimited freedom of research and not accept those "horse blinders" of dogma. It is obvious that people have forgotten why they invented the horse blinders: precisely because the horse to see only the march ahead, being driven by his coachman, and not to be disturbed or frightened by what he could see aside. The horse is led by spurs, bridle and blinders, being subject of his master. The wild horse does not have and do not know these things and can run about anywhere his impulses draw him. He ought to be caught and tamed, trained to serve his master, man. The same goes for our minds, in our natural state, wild, passionate and sinful, in need of these funds, "bridle, spurs and horse blinders" to obey the Master, i.e. God, who leads it to the spiritual pasture, i.e. the Kingdom of heaven. With no divine dogmas, i.e. those landmarks, or "horse blinders", the mind gets disturbed and scared easily, leaving the right track and wandering into the abyss. Such it is with research: it should be done with humility, fear and measure. And then, what shall we do? Believe and do not question, as, apparently, the suppressor Church teaches us to do? In this antithesis, as it was presented by the free thinkers and humanist atheists, it would seem that the Church believes, but not question/searches – so, only faith (more or less blind), while the science questions/investigates and does not believe (and even less hopes), but has solid evidence and certainty. So we have the separation of religion by science and faith by research. We will see that this is a new work of the one who divides, the devil, and that it was not the way that in the past, when religion and science were united, and faith and research, but not even today. The Church has also research, but it is a quite different one from the scientific research. But since there is not and there can never be a man devoid of any faith, the scientists too "believe" something, they believe in something, but that "something" is different from the revealed truth, and faith (for them) is heretical. Prejudices, preconceived ideas, there will be plenty of it in the science camp too, no matter how they deny the obvious. Our adversaries say that "believe and do not question" would be find in Scripture. Of course, if we put them to show us the spot they will not find it anywhere, because the form itself is not there, it was taught not at church but came from the Marxist anti-religion courses. However, we find in Scripture passages with this meaning, and even the commandment! - but given in another spirit than that raised by the atheists and free thinkers masons:
do not trespass our measure. those have already been revealed to man for thousands of years by their Creator. wishing to explore everything with their own thoughts. That's exactly what those branches of modern science did. and so encourages us to do.. i. but that message is: "Believe what I do say and do not question if it is true!" Do not seek to see what effect will have disobedience and transgression. said that His judgments. He has revealed everything we need. and so does the opposite: question and does not believe. there is no urge that he should test this on his flesh. and the trace of His ways. What you have commanded you. but impossible to research.." (Genesis 3:16-17) Here. Do not search over the plenty of your things.. are neither "free" nor "thinkers"! . shall not none of these." (The wisdom of Jesus Sirach. Models are now atheist. saying: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. nor seek those above us such as it have happened with the enemies of truth. but look down and believe in what it was said. in case of the "interdisciplinary" compromise introduce a lethal mixture of divine truth with devastating human errors. Namely.e. God... because they are not listening to the words: "Those more difficult than you do not question and those stronger than you do not investigate". as materialists and atheist free thinkers teach. i. But we. what is the meaning of "thou shalt surely die". Second.. and in the wrong assumption slipped their thoughts. is impossible to found . and human life! Why? Firstly because they are totally inaccessible to the scientific. that man so great and so equipped. (Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus) Here we can give a concrete example of hindrance. of course. and even that relied by the "free-thinkers"1 in the field of cosmology/cosmogony. 3:20-23) "I do not think that should be counted among believers those who dare to discuss such things. because more than human understanding have been shown to you. for the reason of "believe". who. thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. and we can not add anything. we do not see the commandment expressed in that way. Humanity has not agreed to do so. and thus arbitrary speculation and fantasy of the "alternative explanatory models" have reached to be blasphemies and heresies.. His ordinances and leadership. think of these. as well as one Romanian intellectual said to us. For too many were deceived by their thoughts. biology and anthropology. St. John Chrysostom says: "Let us receive with great gratitude the words of Scripture. When you hear "He made". and he did not say impossible to understood. You say to the child that he should not stick his fingers in the socket because is a mortal danger. did not think that is impossible to man to know perfectly God's creation. If Paul. "who mystically represent the Cherubim". the believers. that he allows no research. they totally remove God from the "equation" or.e. says he. are impossible to research. do not search for anything more. 1 Which. nor with any cat or chicken! "Those more difficult than you do not question and those stronger than you do not investigate. but only room for arbitrary speculation and fantasy. For the Church and her saints researched with measure. much less change. man should not investigate anything about the origins and meaning of the cosmos. because you don’t need the hidden ones.2 "And the Lord God commanded the man.
were. By this silence. and sight being the sense chiefly used for attaining knowledge. John of Damascus. fire and the results from them.3 The Hellenes have lost themselves because they have allowed everything to their mind and they did not want to know that the human mind is weak. water and air." In the same meaning the saints Gregory of Nyssa. In fact what useful observations will long experience make us discover. to avoid tediousness. Blessed Augustine.. that which floated on the surface of the earth was water--the fluid essence which had not yet been confined to its own place But let us return to the examination of the ingenious contrivances of creation.. the contrary as well. as we are told that the earth was invisible. without doubt. never cease to wonder. and. and not to exceed my limits.. ask yourself what could have covered it… Only one supposition remains. made at the same time as the universe." St.. all forming in reality the true complement of the world.. the Fathers call for moderate research: "Thus. history wishes to train the activity or our intelligence. but curiosity. through every creature. to impel it to the discovery of the truth… but. water. Athanasius of Paros and Theophanes the Recluse.. And once you have strayed from the straight path. fire. recognise everywhere the wisdom of God." the sacred writer passed over many things in silence. went to ruin and were rolled in the depths of wickedness. Elsewhere. How should we proceed? What does the Scripture tells us in this regard? "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Basil the Great. In saying "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... for trial's sake. far exceeded their own borders and fell from their proper dignity. they thought about things beyond their power... air. Gregory of Nyssa speaks in the same way. air and fire. which. if one has to investigate by reason and not to listen to the faith. not for the sake of suffering annoyance. if we ask without undue curiosity. it is in Divine language called "The lust of the eyes"2. Think of all those which my speech has left out. in the earth. giving it a weak point for starting." (Proverbs 1:7) For here was taken the famous crede ut intellegas (believe so that you may understand) of Blessed Augustine.. but out of the lust of making trial and knowing them… 2 1 John 2:16 .. imagine that they were all compounded together. And if someone would say: How can someone be caught up out of the body? I will ask: How is it possible to be caught up in the body? The latter situation is more difficult than the first. although there is no mention of the elements. He also speaks about his research: "The seat whereof being in the appetite of knowledge. to glorify the Creator… But let us return to the research of creation. and you will find water.
who can recount? . how "In the Beginning Thou madest the heaven and earth. which comes directly or indirectly from forefathers curiosity.Nor was I myself. Holy of holies.".4 Thus also in the other senses. which it were long to go through. curiosity that does not "killed the cat" as goes the saying. to seek further. let not my purpose be confounded… My soul is on fire to know this most intricate enigma. from my desire. if we observe the phenomenon occurred in history. certainly did not know at all the above arguments. so we let them to God's judgement. and reveal them unto me… I would hear and understand. and the hardcore ones will not give up even if it would be invoked a hundred other similar arguments.. let no man disturb me. But look. O my hope. who found out these things. do not shut up these usual.. in His Name.. since the parents fall until today. but let them dawn through Thy enlightening mercy." The Holly Fathers draw unquestionably the limits of research... giving heed to seducing spirits. that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith." (Confessions) And in the law of grace it is said: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments. The opponents of "believe and do not question" are placing themselves without acknowledging on the opposite position: "question and do not believe"." (1 Timothy 4:1) . O Lord. O Lord. and laboured to distinguish and to value every thing according to its dignity. through Christ I beseech Thee.. it seems that the two went in the opposite direction: the greater one the lesser the other! The most honest of them. nor care I to know the courses of the stars. Lord. and doctrines of devils. O Lord my God. Shut it not up. believe not every spirit. Grant thereof a space for our meditations in the hidden things of Thy law. Whom shall I enquire of concerning these things? … By Christ I beseech Thee.. yet hidden things.." (1 John 4:1) "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly. in how many most petty and contemptible things is our curiosity daily tempted. Let us see now the urge of the Holy Spirit to explore. but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. to question: "Beloved. Notwithstanding. claiming that God gave us minds and senses to research and knowledge. to try.. and his ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33) We consider that the patristic quotations above are sufficient to clear the problem "believe and do not question.. good Father. nor did my soul ever consult ghosts departed. that it be hindered from piercing into them. and close it not against us who knock… Perfect me. human "question". but the whole human race. who went over them all. Permit me. and how often we give way.
and not one of their systems has remained firm and unshaken. they were are and remain eternal. Some had recourse to material principles and attributed the origin of the Universe to the elements of the world. in a dead sociological statistic! The Holy Spirit is contrary to the Masonic world and the humanities. " . form. and to sea so weak an origin and so little consistency!. and indivisible bodies. molecules and ducts. the dogmas set some boundaries of these truths." (Word of Our Father Ephraim the Syrian) Exactly the same happens with the religious dogmas. i. through search. that is deciding: "For that. rejecting it under the charges of "dogmatism". and also what we ourselves. which here is called heresy and leads away from God and His kingdom. if those who pursue them imagine that this visible world is co-eternal with the Creator of all things. because they never try the spirits. Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of a God. found out. I thought it necessary to write to you what we have learned from divine Scriptures and what was advised by the devout men. with their human minds... (1 Corinthians 2:10) The one who is not submitted himself to the scriptural and patristic dogma. the church ones.e. To those who are not The Holy Fathers speak: "The philosophers of Greece have made much ado to explain nature. Exceeding these boundaries leads to fall into lie.. each being overturned by its successor. produce births and deaths and the most durable bodies only owe their consistency to the strength of their mutual adhesion: a true spider's web woven by these writers who give to heaven. But the scriptural and patristic arguments do not seem in the least convincing to everybody. to earth. but they put some limits. It is vain to refute them. the deep things of God". the nature of the visible world. Deceived by their inherent atheism it appeared to them that nothing governed or ruled the universe. Of what use then are geometry--the calculations of arithmetic--the study of solids and far-famed astronomy. because they themselves have done this fully. by their union.5 We realize immediately that the opponents of "believe and do not question" have replaced that phrase with its reverse "question and do not believe"! Moreover. Atoms reuniting or separating. and that was all was given up to chance. with God Himself. simply the rights due to God: "For the Spirit searcheth all things. yea. a primary error that involved them in sad consequences. unlit by the Holy Spirit and therefore subject to deception whenever and however. this laborious vanity. uncleaned by passions. absolute. for at they remain Orthodox.. but are confined to research of this fallen world. they reached also the transgression of the above commandment. They are not narrow and closed truths.. That is. but endless! Yet. The christians who often cite the argument "believe and do not question". and thus to the eternal loss of salvation. Note that the Fathers did not stop research altogether. requiring the right of endless research unimpeded by anyone and anything. is Christian only in name. in their unbelief.. for being in the realm of the divine mysteries. which they take as unquestionable truth. Others imagined that atoms. unchanged. could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the Universe. should take note of the spirit in which they say this: that of the Freemasons characterized by open or hidden atheism and of the humanist free thinkers or ordinary unbelieving atheists. they are sufficient in themselves to destroy one another.
"lukewarm" as well as the quote says. in the current of life. say the inventors of the fifth kind of body for the genesis of heaven and the stars. . not only of words but of whole phrases. which constrained them to reject the system of their predecessors and to have recourse to their own hypothesis.e.. So then because thou art lukewarm. the "fundamentalists"." This tough language belongs to King James Bible of 1611! It may sound shocking to our ears today. that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. to twist in such way as to return to the original meaning. As Father Raphael Noica says. Amen. and neither cold nor hot. and therefore will apply in different circumstances. the umpteenth time – to the diversion and change of the meaning by we know who. but possibly in some circumstances everyday.that is.is due. is the meaning of words (terms) is somehow "vampyrized". but here. we can draw the following conclusion: God through His Church. Of course they are contrary to one another. Here is the mystery: the insight is showing where you have one and when the other. God. Such statements are unsatisfied for both camps. But yet another fine speaker arises and disperses and destroys this theory to give predominance to an idea of his own invention. But this compromise is not always and fruitful. But also this was discovered. Basil the Great Hexaimeron) In an attempt to avoid conflict between science and revelation is sometimes preferred the type of an agnostic elegant solution that put you on the shelter from one side and the other. then.6 It is the force of these reasons. actually gives us both commandments: and "Believe and do not question". and "Do not believe but question". That they are currently understood as they are ." (St. to do both in the proper place and time. i. 3 "I know thy works. So help us God. both Christians and scientists. which come to mean something else than intended by the One who inspired them. totally wrong! .. guess). so that we should not do this thing (to intuit. who want a hot or cold confession and not a "lukewarm" one3 (Rev. I will spue thee out of my mouth. 3:15-16) Come to an end.
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