Religion and church today: The Orthodox difference

By religion today is meant, primarily, a concrete theory which enables us to surpass the dividing wall between us and God and thus to expiate God. Also, we often refer to religion as man’s invention: God is man’s creation, since the latter feels isolated in the universe and weak. So he needs a strong God to secure his weakness. Moreover by religion it is considered that we ensure our future so as to be happy in the future life. Or finally religion is simply the satisfaction of our religious feelings.

However none of these definitions apply to Orthodoxy: this is called and actually is the Church, that is, the real Body of Christ, whose Body Christ Himself is the head. The Church is the unity of all worlds, earthly and heavenly, of angels and men, of dead and alive. We obtain real communion with God, we participate in God’s uncreated energy. God is not isolated in heaven, governing history from there, but He rules the world with His uncreated energies, that is, with His uncreated governing energy.

We do not aim at appeasing God, but at healing ourselves, so that the vision of God becomes light for us and not fire. Furthermore, in the Church we experience eternal life from now. We do not simply expect the life to come, but we enjoy it from now. The Kingdom of God, according to the Fathers, is not life beyond death, but it is communion with God; the vision of the uncreated Light.

Based on Metr. Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktou