UOC Сhancellor: The same 4 steps always lead to falling away from God
The hierarch of the UOC spoke about the interpretation of the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, which describes the 4 steps of man’s falling away from God.
The UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary explained that the same 4 steps always lead to falling away from God. The UOC Information and Educational Department published an interpretation of Metropolitan Anthony on verses 21-24 of Chapter 1 of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.
“The process of falling away from God is always the same <...>. The real madness is to replace the perfect eternal God with material things. Saint John Chrysostom notes: “Replacing only the glory of God is extremely ridiculous in itself, and replacing with such things is absolutely unjustified,” the bishop said.
According to him, the first step in falling away from the True God is the ingratitude of man.
“From a theoretical point of view, glorification and gratitude are the logical consequences of true knowledge of the power and glory of God, and from a practical point of view, direct moral duties. [Without this] our religion turns into something abstract and ceases to be the content of man’s inner life,” Metropolitan Anthony emphasized.
He recalled that St. Theophan the Recluse calls this state when he does not glorify and does not thank God, God-oblivion.
The second step of falling away from God is fussiness in thoughts, which indicates a false activity of the mind, the UOC hierarchy explained. A man who has turned away from God with all his abilities is trying to achieve earthly blessings and happiness. Those who are in this state are beginning to perceive faith as a custom that does not require the heart’s participation, Metropolitan Anthony added.
Then there is a blackout of the inner man when he who falls away from God loses the fear of God and no longer hears his conscience, the bishop said. According to him, after that a spiritual life dies in a person. It is unpleasant for such a person to look into the total darkness that settles in him after that, and then he tries to convince himself that the sinful order of life is the norm.
“This is the fourth degree. They called darkness the light. The characteristic features of the so-called wisdom are arrogance and self-confidence,” the UOC hierarch explained.
He emphasized that such a purely materialistic worldview always leads to paganism and idolatry.
“A special role in such human madness belongs …. to the devil, who directed the innate religious need of people to the wrong path. The subjugation of paganism to the power and influence of demons and their distorted immoral life is an inevitable consequence of falling away from God,” Metropolitan Anthony concluded.