Grace, Moralism and Unmoral Christianity

Eclectic Orthodoxy

In his recent blog article “The Un-moral Christian,” Fr Stephen Freeman criticizes the tendency to reduce the Christian life to obedience to moral rules. “The nature of the Christian life,” he declares, “is not rightly described as the adherence to an external set of norms and standards, even if those norms and standards are described as being ‘from God.’ The ‘unmoral’ life of Christians is a different mode of existence. The Christian life is not described so much by what it does as by how it does.” I was reminded of a letter C. S. Lewis wrote to Dom Bede Griffiths:

The bad (material) tree cannot produce good fruit. But oddly, it can produce fruits that by all external tests are indistinguishable from the good ones: the act done from one’s own separate and unredeemed, tho’ “moral” will, looks exactly like the act done by Christ in us…

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About padrerichard

I am a Priest with ROCOR and serve as Rector at St. Joseph of Optina Parish in Virginia Beach, VA
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