The beloved community is described this way in song, prophetic words, and history. Those with right beliefs, the “orthodox,” never are dated, because they are never up to date. The Orthodox choose the eternal at the cost of the ephemeral, rejecting the calendar as a measure of truth. This is bold, good, and noble, but can lead to despair. The up to date look to be winning and so if one is not careful, faithfulness can lead to a mistaken despair.
The Orthodox always are seemingly losing, just to somebody new. Our losing is apparent, the result of some regional compromise, but our victory is eternal. We do not give into the world, flesh, or devils. The Orthodox keep celebrating, enduring, and yet dying under some red shirt or brown shirt.
How can we be said to survive? We have learned to endure. We were “conquered” and yet exist in Antioch, Athens, Aksum, and Alexandria.
As a result, in a world where compromise is too common, this is our moment: the Orthodox moment when history turns to the Faithful and looks at what the suffering, martyrdom, and faithfulness have produced in the twentieth century.
Christ’s followers in the West of the World are battered, beaten, and baffled by our times. We have fallen to colonial temptations and imperial dreams. We are falling, failing, flailing. The sensible center is not holding. This collapse is frightening. Even Evangelical colleges are considering a right to vice. The temptation is to oppose and so enter the forces of reaction.
The reactionary loses because he proposes nothing new, only a nostalgia for an imperfect past. We are not going back, but we are going forward: to goodness, truth, and beauty.
The Orthodox are kept in safety for all time because they side with eternity: virtue, wisdom, joy. We are the history of the Church, century after century, so we are not afraid of the democracy of the faithful. We give all the faithful a voice, living and dead. We know that the Holy Spirit within will say “Worthy” correctly if all the faithful have a voice.
The education that ignores the saints will fall into a chronological parochialism: unable to see beyond the prejudices of the times.
We are not afraid of ideas. We reject false ideas. We know men are men and women are women. We do not condone decadence. At the same time, we do not hate: we are commanded to love our enemies. We will never pick the brown shirts to avoid the red shirts.
So when it comes to education, this is the Orthodox moment, the time for the philhellenes and the children of Antioch.
College education is a union card in American culture, but college education has become usurious and unserious.
We need mentoring. We need individual tutoring. We need what Saint Basil advocated and Saint John of San Francisco demonstrated.
If a college drives a family into debt, it is not Christian. If a college will not consider the truth, beauty, or goodness, then it is not Christian. If the world, the flesh, and devils are the agenda, then no Christian would support such a school.
Instead, consider a School not built on reaction, but joy. We are for what we are for and that sometimes means being against evil things. That is a college worth considering. Living in debt, seeking coupons on a Publix Weekly Ad has nothing to do with it.
What will it profit a family to gain the world, but to lose souls?
Look for a community kept in safety for all time by the prayer of the Theotokos.
All is well. This community exists.