May 17, 2014

Better To Sin Out Of Weakness Than Ideology

Below is an excerpt from a discussion between a young man and Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos (+ 1989):

"Why, Father Epiphanios, is this and that and the other thing prohibited, when they are done out of 'sincere love'?" asked a young person in regards to the various sins of the flesh. Why are 'relations' prohibited for young boys and girls?

The discussion was long and tedious, because the young person did not want to accept reality, that Christ seeks purity of life in every sector, especially with the flesh. He clarifies this clearly when He says that the slightest look with the purpose of lust is adultery within the heart.

"Listen, my child, I think that it is more honorable for you to accept that you do not have the strength to get rid of this passion and to ask for God's mercy, instead of claiming that this is not a sin. Be careful, because this could be for you a tragic mistake!

Indeed, you are committing something much worse than the sin of fornication! You are converting your passion into something good and making it into a banner. You are modifying the great blunder and trying to propagate it to others.

I believe that you are not sinning mostly out of weakness, but out of ideology. This condition consolidates your illness into an incurable and deadly spiritual disease.

Unfortunately the passions create their own absurd and incurable logic.

It is known to all that the perversion of God's Law occurs in many ways. One of these ways is by altering the definition of the word "sin".

A) Sin' is identified with wickedness, and it is only committed when evil is done to someone else.

If this definition was applied, then a multitude of grave acts would not be considered a sin. Glaring examples are drugs, homosexuality, smoking, drinking, corruption and generally all the sins of the flesh would not be considered a sin, inasmuch as they do not cause harm to third persons.

The same corrupt people even have the following wicked view, in order to justify their non-spiritual life:

B) 'We should not do something, unless we feel it in our hearts.'

On the basis of this reasoning, people do not pray, do not go to church, do not fast, do not live morally, as long as they do not feel it to be imperative within themselves.

But, my man, in school no one feels that they should graduate, but they are obligated to do so, otherwise they will remain illiterate.

Quite obviously, then, the argument of 'what the heart feels' is a destructive element of fallen man.

C) 'Unless I comprehend, I cannot understand the prayer, so I don't pray.'

We respond as follows:

A professor holds in his hands the written text that you turned in after learning the lesson 'by heart'. And yet, he grades you with an 'A', because you put in the effort to memorize it. This is how God acts. (He blesses the labor and the effort.)

Even so when we pray, yet have failed to understand the content correctly. He gladly accepts the intention, the mood, the decision, the effort, the offering of time and of your entire self to Him. He receives it and measures it according to the greatness of His compassion. He blesses according to His great mercy and His infinite love.

In addition, they make the following despicable argument:

D) 'Do what your heart requires. Listen to it, and no one else.'

This reasoning leads to great immorality. Perhaps 'obeying your heart', or rather your carnal passions, liberates you to fornicate, to cheat on your spouse, to dissolve your marriage, etc.?

But, my man, your spouse may feel that 'her heart has been touched by the neighbor'. Is she free to sin? Certainly not.

These and many other wicked arguments are raised by the devil, to push people into his terrible nets.

And unfortunately, many Christians synergize with the flesh, and are captured in the wicked trap.

They adopt these destructive opinions. The enemy who introduced them twisted their logic with great skill and mastery. In the end, of course, the result is tragic and detrimental to the progress and happiness of man."

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.