What is Reasonable to Expect of People? (Teachings of the Orthodox Church) Christianity. Orthodoxy. Catholicism. Sense of life. Articles for Christians.
I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.                But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.                Aren't five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God.                But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don't be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.                I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God;                but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God.               
English versionChristian Portal

Christian Resources


What is Reasonable to Expect of People? (Teachings of the Orthodox Church)


What you say sounds super-human. Is it really reasonable to expect the people to do it? Indeed, who can do it?


The question about who can do it was asked a long time ago. St. Peter asked it of Christ when he was listening to His teachings. The answer of Christ was conclusive: "With men these things are impossible. But with God all things are possible."

This is the point. Christian morality is, strictly speaking, not a human morality designed for the happy life in this world. Christian morality is the morality of perfection. "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." These are the words of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount.

Such a morality in this world is really open-ended. It is never complete. As a matter of fact, it is the teaching of the Orthodox Church that man's life is never complete even in the Kingdom of God. Man will always be "on the way." His very perfection, as one saint put it, is always to grow more perfect.

To be as perfect as God is impossible to men. But to move toward this perfection eternally and forever is within man's possibilities with the help of God. And this is the life and the moral position to which Christians are called.

The Church is always ready to forgive the sinner, since Christ is the Head of the Church and He has come exactly to save sinners. But while condescending to forgive every sort of sin and weakness and necessity to indulge in relativistic and morally ambiguous actions (such as warfare and politics and birth control...), the Church cannot give these actions complete approval and cannot change its gospel which proclaims that man is created for the Kingdom of God and divine perfection.

Published in January 2011.

Read more Christian articles

Recommend this page to your friend!

Read also: