Many interpretations of Christianity have been formulated and many answers given to the questions: What is Christianity and what is its
mission in the world? Most are not true.
Many people interpreting the character of Christianity see it as one of the numerous philosophies and religions known from antiquity. Certainly Christianity is not a philosophy in the sense that prevails today. Philosophy sets up a system of thought which in most cases bears no relationship to life. The main difference between Christianity and philosophy is that the latter is human thinking, while Christianity is a revelation of God. It is not a discovery by man but a revelation by God Himself to man.
Orthodoxy cannot be characterised as the `opium of the people’, precisely because it does not postpone the problem. It offers life, transforms biological life, sanctifies and transforms societies. Where Orthodoxy is lived in the right way and in the Holy Spirit, it is a communion of God and men, of heavenly and earthly, of the living and the dead. In this communion all the problems which present themselves in our life are truly resolved.
In the Church we are divided into the sick, those undergoing therapeutic treatment, and those – saints – who have already been healed. “The Fathers do not categorise people as moral and immoral or good and bad on the basis of moral laws.
Christianity is principally a science which cures, that is to say, a psychotherapeutic method and treatment. The same should be said of theology. It is not a philosophy but mainly a therapeutic treatment.
Therapy of the soul essentially means therapy and freeing of the nous. Human nature became `sick’ through its fall away from God. This sickness is mainly the captivity and fall of the nous.
The term “Orthodox Psychotherapy” does not refer to specific cases of people suffering from psychological problems of neurosis. Rather it refers to all people. According to Orthodox Tradition, after Adam’s fall man became ill; his “nous” was derkened and lost communion with God.
Thus psychiatry and neurology are called to cure pathological anomalies, whereas Orthodox theology cures the deeper causes that engender them.
From the book:
ORTHODOX PHYCOTHERAPY, By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
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