|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Orthodox Psychotherapy|
The strength of faith and the weakness of faithlessness
Excerpt from the book by Fotis Kontoglou “Immovable Foundation”,
by AKRITAS PublicationsSource: http://www.vimaorthodoxias.gr/theologikos-logos-diafora/fotis-kontoglou-i-dinami-tis-pistis-ke-i-adinamia-tis-apistias/
People have an immense fear in their heart, that they may find themselves unprotected and poor in their life, and for that reason, their mindset and their thoughts are focused on accumulating money or acquiring properties and other wealth, to have when they find themselves in need.
Well, that is to be expected with people who don’t believe in God and instead hinge their hopes on money and other forms of wealth. But what can one say about those who call themselves Christians, who go to church and pray to God to help them in their life; who claim they have their hopes in Christ, in the Most Holy Mother and the Saints, and yet, they are prone to avarice, don’t give anything to their brethren, the poor, and who persist in accumulating money and wealth?
In my own lifetime, I have noticed that these so-called Christians are quite numerous, and it makes one wonder how they strive to accommodate the self-seeking way of life with Christ’s words: “Do not attend to what you will eat and with what you will clothe your body. Isn’t the soul superior to food, and the body to clothing? Observe the ravens, for they neither sow nor harvest; they have neither a store room nor a barn, and yet the Lord feeds them. How much more do you differ from the birds? Observe the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was attired as one of them. So, if God thus adorns the grass of the field (which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace), how much more will He look after you, of little faith?” (Luke 12:22-28)
These are clear-cut words, simple and sure, and they clearly show how the basis and the foundation of Christ’s teaching should be. Because, how can a person have faith in Christ and at the same time be so attached to money and self-seeking - and very often even more so than atheists? That person will probably say he believes he can fool God… except that God “cannot be mocked” (Gal.6:7). Unfortunately however, man’s wicked mind is able to accommodate everything: be persistently stuck to money - that is, the devil (whom Christ refers to as Mammon, the god of avarice) - and at the same time present himself as a Christian, go to church, cross himself and do prostrations; often even weeping out of love for Christ, and yet, unable to detach himself from money and money-mania. There is no space for logic in such people. They are entirely unprincipled and wicked, and whatever they do, they do it to have it as a kind of security - and with whatever profit it brings them.
Their mentality says: “Hang tightly on to the money - which is tangible – but also light a candle every now and then and do some prostrations, so that you can be on good terms with Christ as well. If His words about Paradise and Hell are true, we will have secured His favour. No matter what eventuates, we will have benefited.”
Elsewhere the Apostle Paul says: “It is good to fasten your heart with hope in God’s grace, and not with foods (that is, with fleshy and material things), given that those who had dedicated their lives to such things (to the accumulation of wealth) had not been benefited at all, having fooled themselves that those materials would provide them with security....” because “with the onset of death, all these things disappear.”
There is nothing more certain than the futility of this world – none whatsoever. Mankind’s entire history reveals this fruitless futility. And yet, how many people in the world have actually sat down and given thought to this so obvious and sure phenomenon – futility –which all of us should have before our eyes? Instead, we act like ostriches that bury their heads in the sand so they can’t see their enemy, and in doing so, they think they have actually hidden themselves from him.
How pitiful are the important people of the world! Even though they are clearly aware of the abyss that has swallowed up all the important personalities since the beginning of time, and that its gaping mouth is waiting to swallow them too eventually, they relentlessly continue to pursue all the “vain and false things”, with wily policies, with wars, with childish pseudo-grandeurs and foolishness, which are trumpeted throughout the world… Oh, the foolishness of those who are seen as serious, sagacious, brainy, geniuses! Oh, what poverty of judgment and knowledge do they really possess! And yet, they are the ones who govern the world…
Then there are those who dedicate themselves obsessively to futile philosophies and the arts and are glorified by others who don’t have an ounce of proper judgment, even though they know it won’t be long before they too will vanish from this world!
Article published in English on: 6-5-2017.
Last update: 6-5-2017.