Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Faith versus Religiosity

Hat Tip to Salt of the Earth for this all too accurate indictment of what passes for "faith" for too many. To learn more about Fr Alexander Men, check here and here.
Often what passes for Orthodoxy or another Christian confession is simply natural religiosity which, in its own right, is a kind of opium of the people. It functions as a sort of spiritual anesthetic, it helps a person adjust to his surrounding world, over which one can hang the slogan: ‘Blessed is the one who believes that it is cozy in the world.’ This is all wrong! …Your God is a consuming fire and not a warm hearth, and he is calling you to a place where all sorts of cold winds are blowing, so that what you imagine does not exist. You adapted and developed a completely different teaching to suit your own human needs. You transformed Christianity into a mediocre, popular religion. …Christianity can be authentic and it can be false. The false form is always more convenient. It always suits us better, which is why contemporary religious life is often characterized by a churchly falsehood when people prefer that which is convenient, calm and pleasant, conforms to their own ideas, consoles them, and which they enjoy. It is not at all to this that the Lord called us when he said ‘the gate is narrow’ and ‘the way is narrow.’ Again and again we need to understand that this Spirit is not warmth, but a fire. It is a fire.
Would that we all recognized the truth of this quote and took it to heart with seriousness and commitment. No one is immune from such temptations, the laity, the clergy, or the hierarchy.


あじ said...

We are called to take up the cross. This can mean neither convenience nor pleasure.

earlcapps said...

Unable to add anything to such a simple and profound statement, I cannot help but agree wholeheartedly with it.