We believe that God really does exist! He is not the figment of pious imagination, a devout fiction or wishful thinking. God and His will is our “top priority” in life! We believe that the Word of God quite literally became Incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth. We believe the Lord Jesus literally rose from the dead in a real though transfigured and glorified physical body. We believe that life apart from God is hollow and meaningless. We notice that people today talk often of “the meaning of life,” “having meaningful relationships,” “the common good,” “the good of humanity,” “hope for the future of mankind” and so on. Also, various cults continue to attract many followers in all parts of our country. This indicates to us that people today are hungry for the answers we believe God has revealed through His Word, Who is Jesus Christ.
We believe ultimate human values are revealed to us by God, and serve as constant guides in the use of our steadily expanding scientific knowledge. We seek to evaluate technological advances in the light of those basic values. It is our experience that our venerable Liturgy and the ancient Christian doctrines about God and the meaning of human life are just as relevant today as yesterday. These define our basic values. We know the whole ancient Christian Faith as that which makes more sense than anything else in this world of constant change, confusion and conflict. God is the Source of all Meaning; we believe that “mankind’s noblest ideals” such as truth, beauty, freedom and love, are not “merely ideals,” but real characteristics of a real Lord.
In and through Christ Jesus, God reveals Himself in human terms and in human terminology as One who is at the same time a Trinity of Persons. The word “person” as used in classical Christian theology is not the singular form of “people”; God is not “Three people.” Person here means something similar to “I,” or “Subject,” as in the subject of a sentence. The One God is revealed as having three personal “Centers of Being.” God is therefore neither alone nor lonely, for the One Lord is also perfect Communion of Persons. God as Trinity is the model and source of human inter-personal communion and fellowship.
We were created to be capable of communion (mystical union) with God. Human matrimony is a favorite biblical image for this communion-relationship. Our capacity for divine communion was soon damaged by human error, stubbornness, and evil (i.e., sin). Because of God’s infinite love, our potential for communion with God has been restored, renewed, and transfigured by Christ Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Christ communicates His very life to us through His Scriptures and Sacraments. In Christ and the Holy Spirit we can and do experience varying degrees of a mystical union with God now in this life, and on a regular basis.
We believe that the purpose of human life is for us to become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) through the grace of the Holy Spirit, in prayer, the sacraments, in study of the Scriptures, fasting, self-discipline, and active love for others. All other human projects and purposes, however noble and important, remain secondary to that, which gives ultimate meaning to human existence.
This brief outline of the Orthodox Faith necessarily only touches upon a number of more involved issues. If you would like to find out more, we welcome your inquiries.