Orthodox Spirituality

By Kassahun Chanie

Christianity is a way of life. Its path is also a way of salvation and holiness that leads to eternal glory. To become a Christian is to be a member of the Church where a man is baptized on the 40th and women 80th day after birth accordingly. That is to be born again by the Holy Spirit. Our Lord has said this: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

He, who believes and is baptized, will receive the grace of God. He will be a member of the church. It extends from Christian unity, from secularism to spirituality to the temple of God, from falsehood to truth and glory and grace to eternity. Orthodoxy is a life of maturity and transition.

This is why the Bible says “all of you, who have been baptized into being one as Christ, have attired Christ.” (Gela. 3:27) Saint Paul stated this truth as: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, which you are” (1 Cor. 3: 16). We must recognize, then, that every Christian must keep himself free from all impurity and sin. Life is like clay, it could be broken, and in return is its guarantee of restoration, so we must be careful not to lose our identity and not to disappoint him.

Orthodox spirituality is a life of reflection and exemplary life and a person or ways of behaving that are seen as a model ought to be followed. He has described this book saying: “My children, let us not love by word, neither by tongue, but by deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)  Orthodoxy is the life of truth which we live through faith in religion and self-expression is a life of living, reflecting eternal life, eternal grace and glory. Orthodox spirituality is life and truth. This is why our Lord told us, “The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:83).

In relation, orthodox spirituality is anti-Christian attitude, perception, conduct, wish, self preserving from fornication, lies, racism, divisiveness, greed, disillusionment, being hopeless, unfaithfulness and excess contentment including anger, infuriate, rage, envy, sluggishness, pride, preserving from self extreme ego; noting that preservation is a life of self governance and good conduct to live in peace, holiness, purity, humility, kindness and integrity.

Saint Paul described this in more detail: “They claimed to be wise, and they became illiterates and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for an image like to corruptible man, birds and four-footed animals. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves; because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature, instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.

Therefore, God brought plague on them; their wives committed deed other than their nature. Their Men changed their manhood and fornicated. Men sinned amongst each other and became homosexual. But their sins shall be answered by themselves. God gave them sluggish for their unwillingness of knowing him. Those who committed dispute, evil, wish, stealing, jealousy, murder and malicious, arrogant and they are ill mannered with bad attitude; gossipers, heresies, scorners, haughty, egoist, searching for evil, defiant; Ignorant, clumsy, malignant and merciless. Acknowledging God’s law of being sentenced to death for these evil deeds, they don’t only commit felony themselves but deceive others as well.” (Romans 1: 23: 32).

An Orthodox man is a man of faith who matures through his faith. Because orthodoxy is a life of maturity and alteration. He who is not Orthodox, and does not practice the unwavering self-examination of yesterday’s life, is not Orthodox.

Being a religious person is not worth enough. For religion must be expressed through the action devotedly, implementing it. “What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, telling them to depart in peace, be warm and full; but if you haven’t provided the essentials for the corporeal what good is that? Faith without works is dead in itself: but one man’s faith, Thou hast faith, and I also have work: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God; you do well: even the demons believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? ” as he has told us (James: 2:14:20).

Orthodoxy and racism never intersect, since no Christian can be a racist, a nationalist, and narrow-minded rather being an orthodox spiritual (man of God). This is a heathen practice. The love that defines us is the value of solidarity, the support of justice, the tolerance of equality, understanding each other and conducting dialogue on a problematic issue to find out solutions.

Saint John the Baptist described it this way: “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren: he that loves not his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer; you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever attain this world’s prosperity, and watching his brother desperate, and doesn’t have mercy, how dwelled the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:14 – 17)

Orthodoxy is a life faith, truth and gratitude. It also means living for the truth and submitting to it. The falsehood of deceit is fraudulently disregarding the word of deceit, unconfident, are tedious descriptions of corporeal attitudes need not be embraced by us since they are evil spirits.

This is why Scripture: “but know this, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men will be lovers of themselves, greedy, egoist, haughty, scoffers, defiant, ungrateful, unholy, malignant, having a form of godliness but denying the power of the same: and from these turn away. For these are they, who enter the houses, are captives of the foolish women, whom are burdened with sins, led by various sin, always learning and never be able to reach the knowledge of the truth”. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

There are people whose money is their idol. The power of money rules the world. Money is the power of development as well as demolition. Materialism contradicts with spirituality. It also refutes religion. It differs from Orthodox thinking and thought, grace and glory. Today, some materialistic individuals kill people for the love of money, disrupt the peace, disband the family, and destroy the country. This belief is not accepted from a person who fears the Creator and who cares for the country and for generations to come. A Christian should never abstain from such evil thoughts and actions. We should not sow evil with good, but with good fortune, with love and unity. We should not sow evil but good. We must rid ourselves of cruelty. We have to be kind and compassion considering them as wealth.

This is why the Holy Bible states: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through, with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, holiness, faith, love, serenity, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you have been called, and grasp the faith you vowed for the eternal life in the presence of many witnesses”. (2 Timothy 6:11-12) On the other hand: If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warm and full’; but if you haven’t provided the essentials for the corporeal what good is that? Faith without works is dead in itself. (Jacob 2: 15-17)

Orthodoxy is the reality of living and believing in true religion. (Jude 1:3) Spirituality means being a spiritual person. The spiritual man has his way of thinking and livings. The practice is different from the spiritual one. Spirituality is not a fantasy religious life. Spirituality is not a hypothesis to belief in God rather only in faith manifested in the act of religion. A spiritual person is different from a sinful man. A spiritual person has the power of the Holy Spirit within him. But the incarnate is not the soul and the body, but the Holy Spirit who gives life to the soul. He describes this book as saying: “The Spirit of God does not accept the man as it is foolish, and He does not accept it. But, spiritual person probes everything with him being probed by any. (I Cor. 2:14-15, 1 Cor. 31:3, Rom. 8: 12 – 16).

Spiritual is a person who is a witness to the Holy Spirit within him. He is a person who is not guided by emotion and rumors. He is a man who can think critically controlling his sentiments. and is guided by faith and knowledge; he knows that he is the Son of God preserving his chastity and holiness, and is a man of secrecy, who accepts and respects his identity. He knows that a spiritual person is the lodging of the Holy Spirit, and is a person who lives in harmony, love and mutual understanding. He, who has patience, is governed by faith, hope and not hasty. An Orthodox spiritual person has always lived in search of God:. It is in union with Him. In a nutshell, a spiritual person is a person who has the Holy Spirit and dwells in the Holy Spirit. He is a person who always lives in a constant state of alertness to God. A spiritual person is a saint who is born of the Holy Spirit from the womb of Jordan with the Holy Spirit.

A spiritual person is careful, humble, gentle, and strong in prayer and with God. His every action is inspected with spirit. He is the highest spiritual person of all. A spiritual man is the disciple of the alive by God’s will. Our union with the Holy Spirit makes the physical man spiritual. As a result, he becomes a saint. This is why Saint Paul says, “God has called us, not for uncleanness, but holiness.” (1 Thess. 4:7)

Holiness is imitating Orthodox spirituality to the world. The saints are witnesses of God, living by God’s law. Saints are living temples witnessing Orthodox spirituality. Saints are good people, morally upright, governed to the Holy Spirit. And this is a blessing from orthodox manners. The saints have received and witnessed the revelation of God.

Orthodoxy is not just knowledge. It is not a matter of Being informative person or being a follower. Orthodoxy is the truth, life, holiness and love. A spiritual person is a person with the power of the Holy Spirit. May He give us unity and strength to become a spiritual man, religious diligent with demeanor, Amen!

Source: Amharic Text by Lemeasa Guteta at www.mahiberekidusan.com/amharic website/