Blog Tag: Orthodox Teaching
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Learning to live a life of repentance is aided greatly by the Holy Mystery of Repentance. Commonly called “Confession,” it brings enormous relief from the burden of sin. Sin erects a barrier that feels like it cuts us off from God, interrupting our intimacy with Him. Confessing our sins to Christ and being assured they are forgiven restores intimacy.
At the beginning of Netflix’s historical drama “The Crown,” King George VI is describing the mystery of coronation to a very young Princess Elizabeth: “Unless I am anointed, I cannot be King.” “Do you understand?” “When the holy oil touches me, I am transformed: brought into direct contact with the Divine — forever changed — bound to God. It is the most important part of the entire ceremony.”
When couples come to ministers to talk about their marriage ceremonies, ministers think it’s interesting to ask if they love one another. What a stupid question! How would they know? A Christian marriage isn’t about whether you’re in love. Christian marriage is giving you the practice of fidelity over a lifetime in which you can look back upon the marriage and call it love. It is a hard discipline over many years. — Stanley Hauerwas
I have been receiving a lot of dismayed, uncomprehending and perhaps angry emails in the last week. My correspondents appear bewildered at why Orthodox Christian ethics does not share the conclusions of popular secular ethics. After all, they both appear to share many of the same values. Both ethical systems value “equality,” “freedom of choice,” “human brotherhood,” “fairness” and “justice.” So if they share these values, why doesn’t Orthodox Christianity support the same conclusions?
‘Euthanasia’ comes from two Greek words (eu - good, thanatos - death) which means ‘good death.’ The Orthodox Christian perspective is that the only good death is one in which a person approaches the end of his or her life: in the spirit of moral and spiritual purity, in hope and trust in God, and as a member of His Kingdom. Yet today this word has been distorted to mean something entirely different.
Here is an interesting interview by Protestant Christian & Scientist Jonathan Sarfati Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati, B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D., F.M., with church history scholar Dr Benno Zuiddam about the Early Church Fathers and their beliefs about the first book of the Bible; Genesis and creation. Worth a read.
From the very beginning Christianity claimed that Jesus was raised from the dead. Not in the sense of the internal mental and spiritual states of His followers a few days after His crucifixion, but about something that had happened in the real, public world.
The knowledge of God, generally spoken of in a very experiential manner, is an absolute foundation in Orthodox theology. Nothing replaces it — no dogmatic formula, no Creed, not even Scripture — though Orthodoxy would see none of these things as separate from the knowledge of God. But the questions I have received are very apt. In a culture that is awash in “experience,” what do the Orthodox mean when we speak of such things and what do we mean by such knowledge of God?