June 5, 2013

Three Misconceptions About the Role of the Church

By Hieromonk Savvas the Athonite

1. In Hades there is no repentance.

"In Hades there is no repentance" - this is a very basic teaching of Orthodoxy. If your spiritual eyes do not open from here, it will be impossible in the next life.

It is not by coincidence that your eyes will be opened. You must do it, with the help of God of course. You do it with the Grace of God, not by yourself! But you must want to do it in this life.

2. The Church is primarily for this life.

The Church is for this life. There is a fallacy, unfortunately, among Orthodox that the Church prepares us for the other life.

Wrong. It does not prepare us for the other life. It fixes us in this life, for this life, to open our eyes here and to enter the Kingdom of God here and now! In Paradise here and now! And if you do not find Paradise here and now, neither will you find it in the other life, because in the other life you will not be able to repent. There is no repentance in the other life: "In Hades there is no repentance".

3. The Church does not exist "so that all things may go well with us".

There are some who think that the Church exists so that things may go well for us in this life. The Church is not for this either. If we view the Orthodox Church in this way, then we see it as a superstition, and as a religion among other religions. Orthodoxy is not a religion. It is the revelation of God to man, with the purpose of healing the entire person, by healing the nous of man, his body and soul.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos