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Word Count: 6,137
The question of how to attract and keep our young people close to the Church is one of major concern in our troubled age To remain indifferent to this problem can only be regarded as a grave sin and is an indication of soul-destroying self-love The proposed solutions to this problem are many and varied but unfortunately most succumb to the easy allure of gimmicks ie the attempt to use methods popular in our fallen society but sadly distant from the true aim of our salvation Among these we find an exaggerated call to social action distraction through social activities appeals to the intellect and outright distortions of the Gospel message to accommodate each individual appetite Let us briefly examine each of these methods beginning with the call to social action This approach plays upon what are basically positive and as surely Christian virtues such as mercy loving-kindness and brotherly concern Apostles of social action exaggerate the human aspect of Christs message stressing it over and above all other considerations Thus the primary functions of our Lords Incarnation are understood to be feeding the hungry clothing the naked healing the sick etc Far different is the Orthodox concept which recognizes as above all these things the freedom from the slavery of sin wrought by the Passion Death and Resurrection of our Savior Therein lies the fullness and the perfection of love However to belittle the previously mentioned works of mercy would be to belittle the very command of our dear Savior Himself The ideal we must aspire to is to place all this good in a sound perspective in accordance with that hierarchy of values revealed to us by the divinely-wise Fathers of the Church For a false perspective destroys the delicate balance in which our Creator has placed these things The distortion of this perspective has caused many purposely to direct the high values of youth towards exaggerated social action to the lamentable
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