UNBELIEVERS AND IDOLATERS
“They will be put to shame who say to a stick:
You are my father, and to a stone: You have given birth to me,
for they have turned their back on Me and not their faces,
but in time of trouble they will say: Arise and save us”
In the present time this Scripture reading really has meaning. For many in the scientific communities strive to demonstrate that there is no Creator and God who made all creation and us. They defame man by claiming that man came from animals, from a sticks or stones. Others claim man came from mineral matters and will return to them again. They do not turn their faces toward heaven and the true God who created heaven and earth with a specific purpose and gave mankind specific instructions of responsibility. Truly they shall be put to shame when troubles and they are compelled to call for help from God whom they rejected and made Him an object of mockery.
It is not only science but a large part of humanity who daily eat food, drink water, breath air, and they do not recognize or give thanks to God who with love supplies everything that man needs. Day by day they rise up in the morning, go about their business with their many duties and pleasures, eat and drink and then at the end of the day take a welcome rest. They do not raise their eyes to heaven to seek God to give him their thanks. Like the ancient Epicureans, they would say: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!” Nor do they seek Him to find out what is their purpose on earth and why they die, how can they live forever, for they seek mostly satisfaction of their material things and various pleasures.
Forgetting and unbelieving that there is a true God they call creation the creator, some claim that man is born from nature making him to be lower than nature, being a servant in nature’s chains, a corpse in nature’s tomb. They cannot understand begin to understand a little about the extreme complexity and glorious beauty of creation but they readily deny a creator.
Unbelievers and idolaters do not know how to rejoice in the Lord, how to struggle to do his will and keep His commandments, they are dead before they die. For to be separated from God who is the source of our life is real death. They also degrade God by their unbelief and by worshiping idols in place of God. Idolaters show by their actions that they belief in something because they worship gods made with human hands. Another group of idolaters are those who indulge in various material things as if their was nothing higher or better.
They all have a common error, for they fail to acknowledge the wonderful and supreme intelligence and divine perfection that is responsible for all that exists. The magnificence of God is partially seen in His glorious and innumerable creatures, visible and invisible, animals that live on earth, fish that swim and birds that fly, and men that inhabit a good part of the earth. They fail to see themselves, their value and their ultimate and perfect destination. Man is above all creatures that we know, for he is endowed with divine qualities of intellect and feelings, and he rules over all the earth. No other creature resembles man, but man is the image of God.
Also in degrading and denying God they also degrade man materializing him and failing to see that of all creatures on earth, man is superior to them all. After degrading God and man what is left? Only matter and eventual death. We who are believers in the true God have the most valuable gift to offer others, that gift is eternal life.
The law of God is not a bunch of do and don’t do commands. The law of God is given to mankind through His Son and His Church. It is designed to form man into His own image and likeness, that is to become gods like God. If the world followed Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church, earth would become heavenly for Christ taught us to do only good and no evil, and for this a perfect moral law has been given. Lying, stealing, killing, adultery, bearing false witness, and every other evil are against Christian law. There is also the positive law, where we become humble and meek, honest and just, feed the poor, assist others, love everyone including unbelievers and idolaters. Everyone keeping the law does so not by compulsion but by free choice.
There is a penalty to being an unbeliever or idolater for it encourages and worships evil and fails to reward good and this leads to a bad and corrupt society, with injustice, crime, wars, and with much bloodshed. Only Orthodoxy headed by Jesus Christ can offer these good benefits to the human race, for she alone possesses them.