“People come to the Orthodox Church because it is a solid stable bastion of traditional Christian values, where marriage and family are highly valued, multiple children are encouraged and the lifestyle is focused on the services and disciplines of the Church. In Orthodoxy, the only alternative lifestyle is monasticism. These values and the life of the Orthodox Church are the context for raising healthy families, and for the healing of the souls of those devastated by the world, as the whole community works out its salvation together…
Here we have the essential mission of the Church: to bring consolation and healing, through repentance, to those who are suffering. “To proclaim the good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to give sight to the blind…” This mission and its message are not to make people feel guilty and ashamed. That is wrong in and of itself, especially when they already are cowed by their shame and guilt.
Our mission is to proclaim the Kingdom of God by loving people into the Church, by teaching them that repentance means healing and transformation, and that God loves them unconditionally. Maybe eventually they will begin to be able to accept the love of God, and of others, and be healed.
We will only be able to do this by being healed ourselves, by overcoming our egos and self-centeredness, and by learning to love. This demands asceticism. We must overcome the effects of Protestant culture that teach that God in his Sovereignty has created some for salvation, and some for damnation. That there is such a God, we reject. God wills that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth.”
– Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen. 2022