"Christianity is not a religion of prohibitions; Christianity is a religion of Easter joy and fullness of being." These words were read in an interview with a priest. Similar statements can often be heard from those who have left the Church. However, those who are still outside the church walls have a different perspective. I remember a conversation with a friend about faith. He seemed to be okay with the Sacrament of Baptism but honestly admitted that he was not ready to live a church life with so many restrictions. My friend's reaction was not unique.
Let's consider a simple scenario. How do we greet our loved ones and close friends? How do we welcome guests? How do we greet business partners before negotiations? The answer is evident: with warmth, smiles, hugs, handshakes, and offering refreshments. Even if something didn't go well during the meeting, we'll delicately avoid discussing it.
And how are dear guests welcomed in a church or monastery? Typically, with a list of prohibitions at the entrance: no mobile phones, no ice cream, no roller skating or cycling, no dogs, women must not wear trousers, and men must not wear shorts.
The motivation behind such restrictions appears understandable. It's an attempt to remind people of the sacredness of the place. However, the actual effect can be quite different, and much has been said and written about it.
When I encounter prohibitive signs at the church entrance, I'm reminded of the famous film by director Elem Klimov. Only, I add a question mark to its title: "Welcome, or No Entry for Outsiders?"
Some might argue that human history began with a prohibition. The Lord Himself forbade Adam and Eve from eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, they might say, prohibition is a normal part of life.
But I believe such reasoning is not quite normal. If we open the Bible and read the first chapters carefully, we'll see that God communicated differently with the first humans on Earth. "Welcome to paradise! Everything here is yours!" is a sign that could have been placed at the entrance to the Garden of Eden. Only after immersing humans in an ocean of love, warmth, and beauty does God touch upon the topic of the forbidden fruit.
That's why I find myself asking repeatedly, "Welcome, or No Entry?"
Original article: https://radiovera.ru/dobro-pozhalovat-ili-postoronnim-vhod-vospreshhyon.html