Orthodox Anthropology

We are not as we were created by God. Whether or not the story of Adam and Eve is precise genealogy, it’s the story of God creating and humanity mucking it up.

Before they obeyed Satan rather than God, A&E were able to converse with God two-way, easily, and might also have been able to see His Glory, the Light of His Divine Energies, in some small way. They weren’t made ‘perfect,’ but perfectly capable of progressing in the Glory of God. How do we know this, just by blind faith in the Genesis text? No; also the witness, the experience, of the prophets, disciples, Church fathers and mothers, and Saints of Orthodoxy all these millenia. They all found that when they cleared themselves of sin by the Graciousness of God, and resisted the evil one — ie, followed the Orthodox Way — they too were given the constant memory of God, and the vision of His Transfiguration-Glory.

This whole witness and experience is largely forgotten in the West. But this is what’s “natural” for humanity, the way God made us, not the way we are now, mired in the effects of the First Couple’s disobedience and estrangement from God. Just because something seems natural, doesn’t mean it is. If you bought a used car and it made a funny noise, that’s not natural, it’s just how you came upon it. To restore it to its natural condition, you have to fix it, get rid of the funny noise.

So how do humans ‘get back to nature’?! By joining ourselves to the Body of Christ our God, His Orthodox Church, partaking of its mysteries (“sacraments”), praying, self-discipline, studying Scripture and the Fathers and Mothers of the Church, fasting, almsgiving and doing good, etc.

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