One thing is to receive Holy Baptismal that brings us into a new life, and, respectively, into a new world, and different is to live in the Church of Christ. But what we see is that most of our people are baptized, but not live by Church principles, in the spirit of Gospel teaching.
One thing is to confess your faith, to belong to a Christian cult, and different is to live a Christian life.
Although it is said that Orthodoxy is guarantee of our salvation, not all those baptized are saved. Orthodoxy needs to be lived, experienced, impregnated by virtue, to be able to lead us to a blessed and saving harbour.
Looking at the Church from an outsider’s perspective, often critically, we won’t be able to understand, why people gather, waste so much time in church services and prayers, fast, do charity, etc. An “economical” person doesn’t see any profit, on the contrary, it’s only waste. However, the Church is not about earthly dividends – the Church is a heavenly dimension!
If one continues considering the Church a merely human institution, he might have lots of rightful questions and too few answers. Probably, this is the reason why many people dare attack the Church (and the Church has been attacked since its very foundation), but nobody is able to destroy it.
We should understand that it is a Divine-and-human institution, that the Church belongs to God Who won it by His own blood (Acts 20, 28). And only those who enter the Church as a vessel of salvation can head to eternal blessedness fulfilled in God.
Those who do not believe or wrongly believe, do not understand the destination of so many holy shrines and monastic settlements. Some are tempted to play the role of moralizers of the Christian faith. They say, “I don’t go to church, but I know they don’t teach you to do bad things: do not steal, do not kill, etc.” But they also do not recommend others go to church too often, because frequent church-going is seen by them as fanaticism. Fearing to be come “too religious”, they prefer to be “just like everyone else”.
Paradoxically, many parents, being too far from faith, place obstacles for their own children. And when the children feel Gods calling, after attending church services for several weeks, they are blamed and mocked with words like, “What have you lost in that church? Do you want to be a saint? Go on, too much faith won’t do any good!”
Thus, faith is seen by such people as something detatched from everyday life. They don’t understand that faith, hope, love, wisdom, friendship, goodness, etc, are virtues we need to cultivate and apply in life, because they represent us as people, as Christians.
Although we live on earth, we are called to live heavenly live. Earthly life, temporary life, prepares us for eternity, for heavens. The Church helps us in this difficult and thorny way of edifying the man of God within us. Only in church can we reveal that we are created by the image of God, and that we can achieve likeness of Him.
If man doesn’t “tie up” with the Church, and by it with God, he becomes a slave to the earthly matter: of house, of family, of work, of food, of pleasures… And only become a servant of God does he become truly free and does not wish to sin, but live in purity and Truth, loving everybody and everything.
Uniting with the Church, we unite with eternity, we unite with the Creator… we start to love life… we start to live…
Priest Octavian MOŞIN