Mortal sins in Orthodoxy: a list of vices, the meaning of repentance
Christians know that a conscious violation of God’s commandments leads to the death of the soul. Sin is a crime of moral law against God and man. What are the deadly sins in Orthodoxy?
Is it possible to atone for your transgressions before God, and how to do it? Is a sincere prayer of repentance enough or do you need to perform some special actions?
Consider these exciting questions in detail.
The notion of sin in the bible
The Bible tells us that because of the fall Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise. They lost their grace and eternal life, became mortal.
From this tragic moment of human history, death has become a constant companion to life. The punishment for sin is death.
This is the unshakable law of God, which cannot be undone.
Sin is a distortion of human nature. Undefeated sin entails other transgressions.
So, gluttony can lead to greed and lust. Thirst for more money to satisfy greed can lead to theft, possessiveness and even murder.
Therefore, victory over one sin leads to liberation from other vices. Because everything is interconnected.
Violation of one commandment is considered a violation of the law as a whole.
Do all sins lead to death, or are there minor sins? The Bible says that every sin separates man from God, is an obstacle to God’s grace.
Violation of at least one of God’s commandments is considered a violation of the whole law. And it does not matter, envy has overcome a person or the need to steal — he is a criminal of law and commandments.
The concept of mortal sin has its roots in the Old Testament, when people were physically destroyed for their wrongs. For example, stoned for adultery.
It was believed that this sin can not be redeemed by any repentance. The basis of such a belief lies in the plane of concepts that the fornicator has long since moved away from the Source of Life and draws her inspiration from the waters of death.
The logical chain of reasoning leads to the fact that the fornicator is spiritually dead for a long time, so he is supposed to be laid to rest forever and physically.
Old Testament religious doctrine was based on the eradication of everything that opposed God’s commandments. The bearer of spiritual death must be destroyed so as not to infect it with the whole society.
That is, sin was considered an infection to be exterminated.
For the first time, people heard about the commandments of God from Moses in the Sinai desert. These were the 10 commandments on which modern Christianity is based. The commandments were given to people to save them from trouble.
Not everyone understood that violation of moral laws leads to disaster. The commandments explained to people how to behave in society and what to avoid.
The concept of sin in the gospel
In the gospel the concept of sin remains the same, but the attitude towards it changes. The good news (gospel) is filled with the forgiveness and mercy of God to sinners.
In this way it differs from all the holy books of any religion of the world. God’s grace descended to earth through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and now man has a chance to be forgiven.
But this requires faith in the atoning sacrifice and sincere repentance of the deed.
Why do sins lead to death if sinners live in clover for many years and do not die? Because death means spiritual — death of the soul.
Unrepentant sins destroy the love of God in man’s heart, therefore his soul cannot enter the heavenly abode and find eternal existence in the heavenly palaces.
St. Ignatius Brianchaninov cites as an example the classification of the eight sins that lead to death. However, one should not understand this classification as exclusively 8 deadly sins: these are 8 groups of passions that can take possession of a person. In fact, they are much more.
Abba Dorofey believes that 3 passions can master a person — avarice, voluptuousness and selfishness. The remaining sins are only a consequence of these passions.
The division of sins into small and large, mortal and non-mortal — is very conditional. Any unrepentant sin leads to death and separation from God.
Will a person suffer a conviction for repentant sin? Fathers of the Church instruct: there are no unforgivable sins, there are only unrepentant. Therefore, there is the sacrament of confession, so that a person can purify his soul by repenting what he has done.
And why not just pray to God and repent of sins? Because the mystery of confession was given from God, and it is also impossible to violate this law.
According to the fathers of the church, only one sin leads to the death of the soul — suicide. This is the biggest and most terrible sin.
Because a person deprives himself of the opportunity to repent and receive redemption. Therefore, it is unacceptable to fall into despair because of committing sins, since despair can lead to suicide.
There are no unforgiven sins — all of them can be redeemed by repentance.
The danger of unrepentant sins leads to sin becoming a skill. A person gets used to living in sin and does not feel its deadly influence on the soul.
This is promoted by the enemy of man — Satan, who tirelessly catches the souls in his networks of temptation.
Hulenia Holy Spirit
In addition to suicide, there is another worst sin in Orthodoxy — it is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. If a suicide foolishly loses the grace of eternal salvation, then the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a conscious and purposeful refusal of eternal life.
How can you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, how? Fathers of the church give us the following interpretation. For example, St. Basil the Great said:
Why blasphemy against the Spirit is never forgiven? Because the opponents of Christ accused his miraculous actions by demonic power. Here is what they said:
The opponents of Christ did not see divine grace in his actions and considered miracles to be demonic obsession. Their logic was simple: since demons obey him, then Christ is the supreme demon.
To which Jesus replied to them that they blaspheme the Holy Spirit working through him.
List of sins in Orthodoxy
There are 7 sins that lead to death. Why did Christianity single out these sins from all the rest who are countless?
The history of the definition of mortal sins originates from the selection of eight grave vices of mankind, which were described in the ӀV century of our era by the Eugraphius of Pontic. In 590, this list of vices was changed by the Pope, who identified only 7 deadly sins.
The list of sins approved by the Pope is still used in Orthodoxy.
Sins in Orthodoxy — a list:
Pride — it is a belief in yourself and your abilities. Pride excludes faith in God and his help to people.
Greed eclipses the thoughts about the spiritual, as all human strivings are aimed at obtaining and increasing material wealth. Man is so absorbed in this process that he simply has no time to think about his soul and its condition.
Envy — This desire to be different, to achieve or steal his fate. Envy does not make it possible to realize its purpose in life, constantly directing the attention of the envious to the fate of another person.
The envious person loses peace in his soul, languishing from the feeling of “injustice in this world.” He thereby rebukes God in a prejudiced attitude towards people and an unjust distribution of mercy and grace.
Anger carries destruction in itself. The angry person forgets the grace of God, he is completely ruled by the devil’s will.
During anger, a person can commit a serious crime, including murder. Anger is the opposite of love, which is the result of a distance from God’s grace.
Lust called any excess, which allows a person. It is an addiction to sensual pleasures that lead away from spiritual truths.
Man does not think about the salvation of the soul, but is absorbed in satisfying carnal desires. He is pleasing his body, which will still die, to the detriment of the eternal and imperishable soul.
Gluttony — This is an excessive consumption of food, which leads away from spiritual truths. Man is consumed by eating delicious dishes, which becomes the meaning of his life.
He fills the mortal body with pleasure, forgetting about the immortal soul.
Depression also attributed to mortal sins, as it deprives a person of stimulus to action. He is preoccupied with thoughts about the futility of any action, since he finds no sense in anything. But the purpose of earthly existence is to serve the Lord, and the absence of such a goal is sin.
Although despondency does not harm other people, it leads the sinner to spiritual death because of his refusal to serve God. Also, a despondent man constantly blasphemes God in his heart for his unfair attitude.
Virtues are opposed to sin, which are also 7 in Orthodoxy:
These are the spiritual fruits that man will take with him into eternity. Therefore, every Christian should carefully cultivate virtues in order to come to the judgment of God with spiritual fruits instead of transgressions.
Remember that every sin begins with the thought that the devil seduces us.
If a sinful thought takes hold of the human mind, it will inevitably lead to a sinful act. Therefore, it is important to keep track of your thoughts and keep them clean and holy. Prayer helps the believer to clear the mind of filth and prevent the fall.
As long as sin exists at the level of thought, everything can be corrected.
Uncorrected sin does not disappear anywhere; it pursues the soul even after the death of the body. In hell, the soul undergoes terrible agony, since unremitting sinful thoughts literally tear it apart. Therefore, it is important to get rid of sins still here on earth, since after death there will be no such possibility.
After death there will be only hellish torment from the incompleteness of sinful desires. Just imagine for a moment the unquenchable thirst, your torment from this feeling — and everything will become clear.
No one will allow a sinner to quench his thirst for sin in hell, so his sufferings will be unbearable.
How to deal with sins
What are the sins, we found out. Now let’s look at the question of how to deal with them. One should not think that only monks should fight off temptations and charm — this is a clear mistake.
The monks bear a certain responsibility before God, but the worldly man is also not deprived of responsibility for his actions. At baptism, a person renounces the devil, thereby confirming his position as a Christian — to overcome the sinful in the daily vigil.
In the lives of many Christians, sins have become simply a habit that is very difficult to part with. But it is necessary to do this, since human sins are separated from God.
What you need to do to get rid of the vices?
Rules of dealing with sins:
- Realize the perniciousness of vice and hate it with all your heart.
- Repent of sin at confession, to be freed from the burden of guilt.
- Sincerely repudiate sinful thoughts in your heart, not just in words.
- Overcome fear and shame in front of a priest, honestly reveal your sinful inclinations.
- Hope for God’s help in getting rid of sins.
Sins in Orthodoxy are considered as a weakness of human nature. Man is so spiritually weak and unable to resist the devilish charms on his own.
Therefore, he must perform a daily feat of prayer, asking God for help in getting rid of vices.
An important role in getting rid of passions is played by a confidential conversation with a spiritual mentor — a priest. The servant of God will help find the right path to liberation from addictions, will indicate the methods of dealing with the crafty seducer.
Remember that the continuation of sinful actions is unacceptable. If you have realized your sinfulness and repented of it, it is unacceptable to continue to sin and follow the wrong path. Man cannot gain grace if he is a slave to earthly passions.
It is necessary to find the courage to put an end to the devil’s obsessions once and for all and to realize that deadly sins really lead to spiritual death. Sin kills the spiritual nature of man, depriving him of eternal life. Therefore, only by finding grace can one be worthy of the kingdom of heaven.
Decide once and for all what you choose — death or life?
Guess today with the help of the tarot spread "Day map"!
For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.