Thoughts on the Spiritual and Material. Thoughts on Questioning.
By Michael Haldas
Thoughts on the Spiritual and Material, June 9, 2016
“…the Church’s perspective is not dualistic, but rather sees that the spiritual and material parts of man are both in need of transfiguration and redemption. Man is not saved without the body; through the body he has his being and life. Our quest is not a mental salvation that we seek in the Church through our thoughts about God; such thinking is rationalistic Scholastic theology and can result in a schism of soul and body, perverting our perception of reality.” (Archimandrite Sergius)
“The truth about Jesus is that He is both God and man, both spiritual and physical; and the salvation that He offers is both for the soul and the body. Any group or teaching that emphasizes soul at the expense of body, or body at the expense of soul, is in danger of distorting Jesus’ Good News.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 9:2)
“As the man consists of a soul and body, so, correspondingly, there are double means for supporting his life – spiritual and bodily ones. Those for supporting the bodily life are air, food, drink, light and warmth, and those for supporting the spiritual life, prayer (like air), reading the word of God, the life-giving Sacrament, and pious meditations.” (St. John of Krondstat)
“The universe exists as an act of communion. Communion is the proper form of true existence…Spirit is not the opposite of matter, and material is not the opposite of spiritual. Creation is not the mere arena of our salvation – it is an eager participant, groaning for its fulfillment (Romans 8:21-23) … For creation itself is icon and sacrament, God’s gift in a good world.” (Father Stephen Freeman)
“…I do not see how we could have come to know the greatness of God without that hint furnished by the greatness of the material universe.” (C. S. Lewis)
Thoughts on Questioning
“If we are to have a personal relationship with God, we must be open and honest and unafraid to question.” (Abbott Tryphon)
“The more you are willing to express doubt honestly and humbly, the more you bring up your honest questions, the further you, and the people around you, are going to get…A faith without some doubts is like a human body without antibodies. It is susceptible to attack.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)
“Times of questioning can help us sort out our beliefs and strengthen our faith, but those times can also be dangerous. If we are dealing with doubt, be aware that we are especially vulnerable to temptation…God can handle our doubts and He welcomes our questions…Only as you face your doubts honestly can you begin to resolve them.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 4:3, 7:18-23)
“Religion can make valid claims upon any human being because it is not a blind force, demanding unquestioning acceptance, but a constant challenge to acceptable and widely held beliefs and opinions.” (Father Demetrios J. Constantelos)
“The whole point is not not ever doubting or questioning. It is that we walk it through and we find our God faithful.” (Beth Moore)
~Michael Haldas, https://www.ancientfaith.com/contributors/michael_haldas.
Michael Haldas is an author, a religious educator and a speaker. He wrote Sacramental Living: Understanding Christianity as a Way of Life (published by Eastern Christian Publications), a book which he presented special editions of as gifts to Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in private audiences. Michael is also published monthly in Theosis Magazine and he has authored several Orthodox Christian themed articles for various publications. Additionally, he has recorded and contributed to multiple YouTube, DVD and CD educational projects. He teaches adult religious education and high school Sunday school at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Education Department to create educational lessons and materials.