“…THAT THE CREATION ITSELF ALSO SHALL BE FREED FROM THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION…” (Romans 8:21)

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

“…That the creation itself also shall be freed from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For
we know that the whole creation groaneth together and travaileth
together until now.” (Romans 8:21-22)

ORTHODOXY, ETHICS, AND MORALITY

We are reminded by Saint Paisios of Mt, Athos, “The devil does not hunt after those who are lost, he hunts after those who are aware, those who are close to God. He takes from them trust in God and begins to afflict them with self-assurance, logic, thinking, and criticism. Therefore, we should not trust our logical minds.” Also, from the Mysterion (Sacrament) of Baptism, the officiating priest as he is blessing the water recites, “…Let all invisible phantoms of the air depart from us, and let no demon of darkness be hidden in this water nor, we beseech The, O Lord, suffer to descend, with him whom we now baptize, any evil spirit WHICH BRINGETH DEFECTIVE REASON AND CONFUSION OF THOUGHT.” Satan and the evil spirits are constantly attracting people to evil. Satan dared to tempt the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the desert. The holy Apostle Paul calls them “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). The devil is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and his servants, the fallen angels, are “the spirits of wickedness under the heaven” (Ephesians 6:12).

Man’s struggle between good and evil in every is a continuous battle or conflict of two laws which oppose one another in the principles of life, both in faith and morals. On the one hand, man longs to obey the laws of God in his inmost self, on the other hand, he struggles against the laws of evil. “Man’s struggle is depicted by Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans 7:24-25, “Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then on the one hand with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but on the other hand with the flesh the law of sin.” Sin as interpreted in the Holy Scripture is not an abstract theory, but is embodied in the every day experience of every person.

Orthodox Christianity states that any ethical vision is inseparable from and ultimately founded in the Orthodox understanding of the Trinitarian Godhead. According to the Orthodox Church, the objective of human life is Deification (Theosis). The Christian standards of life are revealed in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5,6,7). These Divine teachings describe the characteristics of the True disciple of Christ. The Beatitudes do not describe various types of character, but one and the same. We known them as the “string of pearls” that adorn the crowning of Christian ethics. The Beatitudes are found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew 5:3-12). They constitute the principles and values of moral life.

Speaking of character, principles, ethics and values we must turn to the Old Testament and God’s Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) given to the human race for their implementation in man’s daily life. The Ten Commandments constitute the ETHICAL CODE by which the human race is guided, on the one hand, to believe in the True God, and, on the other hand, to sustain the godly society in the application of God’s will on earth. The Orthodox Church has embodied the Ten Commandments as a basic moral code.

According to the Holy Orthodox Church, “Both the spiritual birth and the further spiritual growth of a man occur through the MUTUAL ACTION OF TWO PRINCIPLES. One of these is the grace of the Holy Spirit; the other, man’s opening of his heart for the reception of it, a thirst for it, the desire to receive it, as the thirsty, dry earth receives the moisture of rain–in other words, PERSONAL EFFORT FOR THE RECEPTION, PRESERVATION, AND ACTIVITY IN THE SOUL OF THE Divine gifts.”

“Theosis, or deification must be a transformative process for the believer who strives FOR UNION with God. The desired Theosis can only happen when one is purified IN MIND and BODY and thus acts ETHICALLY ALL THE TIME and his or her mind IS ILLUMINATED WITH THE ‘VISION’ of God which is life’s ultimate resolution.” “Orthodox Christianity IS A WAY OF LIFE in which there is a profound and direct relationship between DOGMA and PRAXIS, FAITH and LIFE” (Chryssavgis). It is through daily prayer and partaking of the Divine Eucharist we begin to make sound ETHICAL CHOICES in the world.

“We are called to be discerning and study the Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, and Teachings in general of the Faith and promote our holiness. Orthodox believers are called to acknowledge, affirm, and respond positively to the uniqueness of each human being as their faith communicates invariable truths about both God and people. A Christian Orthodox believer who considers the unconditional value of life, cannot be inconsiderate in the workplace or society, but needs to be benevolent and loving toward all other people.”

“…The Orthodox Faith affirm the inseparability of ethics and one’s liturgical experience. One needs to live the faith in the body of Christ, and worship the Holy Trinity.” (Angelo Nicolaides Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics)

_____________

“Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!”

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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