Freedom and Responsibility: Freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts to the human being. He who...

Christian news and happenings from around the world
 Freedom and Responsibility: Freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts to the human being. He who...

Post by Anonymous »

Freedom and Responsibility:

Freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts to the human being. He who created man in the beginning made him free and self-determined, limiting him solely by the laws of the commandment (Gregory the Theologian, Homily 14, On Love for the Poor, 25. PG 35, 892A). Freedom renders the human being capable of progressing toward spiritual perfection; yet, it also includes the risk of disobedience as independence from God and consequently the fall, which tragically gives rise to evil in the world.

The consequences of evil include those imperfections and shortcomings prevailing today, including: secularism; violence; moral laxity; detrimental phenomena such as the use of addictive substances and other addictions especially in the lives of certain youth; racism; the arms race and wars, as well as the resulting social catastrophes; the oppression of certain social groups, religious communities, and entire peoples; social inequality; the restriction of human rights in the field of freedom of conscience—in particular religious freedom; the misinformation and manipulation of public opinion; economic misery; the disproportionate redistribution of vital resources or complete lack thereof; the hunger of millions of people; forced migration of populations and human trafficking; the refugee crisis; the destruction of the environment; and the unrestrained use of genetic biotechnology and biomedicine at the beginning, duration, and end of human life. These all create infinite anxiety for humanity today.

Faced with this situation, which has degraded the concept of the human person, the duty of the Orthodox Church today is—through its preaching, theology, worship, and pastoral activity—to assert the truth of freedom in Christ. All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being…for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? (I Cor 10:23-24, 29). Freedom without responsibility and love eventually leads to loss of freedom.

The Attitude of the Church Toward Discrimination:

The Lord, as King of righteousness (Heb 7:2-3) denounces violence and injustice (Ps 10:5), while condemning the inhumane treatment of one’s neighbor (Mt 25:41-46; Jm 2:15-16). In His Kingdom, reflected and present in His Church on earth, there is no place for hatred, enmity, or intolerance (Is 11:6; Rom 12:10).

The Orthodox Church’s position on this is clear. She believes that God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26) and that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). To the question: Who is my neighbor?, Christ responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). In so doing, He taught us to tear down all barriers erected by enmity and prejudice. The Orthodox Church confesses that every human being, regardless of skin color, religion, race, sex, ethnicity, and language, is created in the image and likeness of God, and enjoys equal rights in society. Consistent with this belief, the Orthodox Church rejects discrimination for any of the aforementioned reasons since these presuppose a difference in dignity between people.

The Church, in the spirit of respecting human rights and equal treatment of all, values the application of these principles in the light of her teaching on the sacraments, the family, the role of both genders in the Church, and the overall principles of Church tradition. The Church has the right to proclaim and witness to her teaching in the public sphere.

- Holy And Great Council Of Crete, The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World, 2, 5.

Quick Reply

Change Text Case: 
This reply contains at least one attachment.

If you wish to attach one or more files enter the details below.

Maximum filesize per attachment: 15 MiB.

  • Similar Topics
    Last post