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"A Baptist Preacher Goes to Church"

 

Click here to read an article written by a Baptist minister who visited St. Anthony's and desribes his first experience with Orthodoxy.


Hospital for Souls: An Understanding of Salvation

 

Q. What do you mean by the church as a hospital for souls?

A. We are here because we have a sickness, a fatal disease. This disease is sin, and because of sin, each of us will die.

Q. That sounds bleak.  Why should I bother coming here?

A. Because there is hope! Jesus Christ, the Physician of All, has a treatment for us.  Through Christ, we can have eternal life.

Q. A treatment? I always heard if I believed in him I would be saved.

A. If you know you have a problem and there is a doctor who can help, but you do not visit him or follow his prescription, would you expect your condition to improve? Probably not. On the other hand, if you make that call, and he gives you a prescription of medicine, diet, and exercise to follow, then you would have a much better chance.

Q. So what exactly do you mean by a treatment?

A. Medicine, diet, exercise, and let’s call it… radiation therapy! Baptism is the radiation therapy; it will wash away sins. But sin is pervasive, so that is where the prescription comes in. God can “nuke” it out at your baptism, but we have to work at keeping it from reoccurring. The medicine is the Holy Communion, which is the body and blood of Christ.  Exercise is prayer, and the diet is fasting.

Q. How is prayer exercise?

A. Try adding prostrations. If a person wants a healthy heart, they do cardio. If they want a healthy soul, they need to pray. Just like exercise, we need to pray every day, and we can add more over time once we are ready to progress.

Q. Did you say fasting? Do you mean I have to go hungry?

A. We do not have to starve ourselves, but we do have to abstain from certain foods at prescribed times. The Lord Himself fasted, and we are called to follow His example.  To put it simply, how can we say “no” to spiritual temptations if we cannot say “no” to a hamburger?

Q. You said the body and blood of Christ.  Isn’t that gross?

A. Ever heard the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Partaking of the Body of Christ makes a person part of the Body of Christ, his Church.

Q. Are there other parts of this treatment?

A. Regular self-examinations are necessary to search for sin that reoccurs. This is called Reconciliation, or more commonly, Confession. The more thorough the self-examination, the better.

Q. So how did I get this "disease" in the first place?

A. We all inherit it from our parents, like they did from theirs. Because of the sins of Adam and Eve, mankind lost its communion with God, and sickness and death were the result. We all inherited this "condition.”

Q. There are a lot of other people who say they can do the same thing, and their way is a lot simpler.

A. There certainly are. The Orthodox Catholic Church is the Church of the New Testament, founded at the Pentecost by the Holy Spirit and has preserved the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles unchanged ever since. We have spent two thousand years staying on the straight and narrow, being cautious not to veer onto the broad and easy path.

Q. So how do I find out more?

A.  Come join us for worship! Feel free to stay and ask questions during coffee hour.

 


 

St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Church

103 Carolina

San Antonio, TX  78210

210.533.2492

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