September 4, 2012

Fr. John Romanides On Moralism

By Fr. John Romanides

The biblical tradition as preserved by the Fathers cannot be identified with or reduced to a system of moral precepts or Christian ethics. It is rather a therapeutical asceticism which is not daunted by any degree of malady of the heart or noetic faculty short of its complete hardening. To take the shape of this asceticism without its heart and core and to apply it to a system of moral precepts for personal and social ethics is to produce a society of puritanical hypocrites who believe they have a special claim on God's love because of their morality, or predestination, or both. The commandments of Christ cannot be fulfilled by any simple decision to do so or by any confidence in having been elected. A person with broken legs cannot run in the race no matter how much he wants to. One can do so only when one's legs have healed and have been restored to a competitive degree of power. In the same way, one cannot fulfill the commandments unless he undergoes the cleansing and illumination of his noetic faculty and reaches the threshold of glorification.

Source: "Jesus Christ - The Life of the World"