Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Mission of the Church

An aggressive stance, however, is completely inappropriate for the Church. We should struggle with sin in all its manifestations, but first of all in ourselves and only after that in people around us. It is certainly easier to struggle with sin in others than in ourselves. We can and must help our neighbours and generally people around us, doing it in the first place through our own example and way of life.

The Church states very clearly that sin is sin. The Church is against accepting sin as a norm. But we should not be hostile to people leading sinful life, because sin, from the Christian point of view, is an illness. And we should treat such people as ill, that is, be compassionate and tolerant towards them.

We should struggle with sin but be compassionate to a sinner. Compassion does not consist in saying to a sick person that he is healthy and needs neither treatment nor medicines. On the contrary, compassion consists precisely in calling an illness and illness, in making the right diagnosis and proposing medical assistance. In this lies the mission of the Church.

-- Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk

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