St. Nektarios on Darwinistic Evolution and the Human Soul

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My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST, HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

SAINT NEKTARIOS THE WONDERWORKER, METROPOLITAN OF PENTAPOLIS ON DARWINISTIC EVOLUTION AND THE HUMAN SOUL (Part II)

Man advances toward perfection daily. Man not only looks after himself, he is concerned for the well being of all of humanity in general, and he improves both himself as well as animals. Where do we see a trace of such preoccupation and improvement amongst the animals? Are not their accomplishments always the same? What comparison can be made between the shelter of monkeys that have remained unchanged for eons and the diverse range of buildings erected by man? What is there in common between man and monkeys, even if they have similar external characteristics? What if monkeys can build huts, swallows can make nests, bees construct hives, and other animals have dens?

What relationship is there between the chimpanzee that shatters nutshells with a stone and man who has devised an array of instruments to do the same? What is so remarkable if a monkey's hand was designed in such a precise way as was deemed necessary for its perpetuation), just as the elephant was given a dexterous trunk, and other animals analogous body parts according to their needs? What is so remarkable if God's Providence bestowed animals with adroitness, in order for them to preserve, sustain and perpetuate themselves? Who can confirm that a monkey would have ever felt the need or thought of using a stone to help it consume its food if its hand was not constructed the way it is. Never will an animal benefit from the skillfulness and adroitness of another animal. A monkey can watch a beaver build a dam for centuries; however, it will never mimic the bearer's accomplishment. Nor will a dog, or a bird, or any other animal (whether it be a simple organism or a highly-developed animal) mimic the skills of another animal.

Which intellectual accomplishment of any animal documents their ability to contemplate, judge and reason? Which animal ever turned an idea into knowledge? When did an animal even have an opinion on a certain matter? When did any animal think about the origin of its existence, the end of its life, or concerning life and death? None of the admirers of monkeys and the theory that man evolved from apes can substantiate that any such thing has ever taken place with any animal throughout the centuries. Therefore, to support the opinion that animals and man have similar spirits that differ only in degree [of development] is completely incorrect and illogical.

Man, this mysterious being, was created by God as the pinnacle of creation, in order for him to acquire knowledge his Creator. In accordance to his great destiny, man was formed analogously. He received the honor of being fashioned in an entirely extraordinary and unique manner and was brought to life through God's Divine breath. While all of creation was brought into existence from nothing by a single phrase--"let there be"--that externalized God's volition, man alone had his body formed by the hands of the Divine Creator, only he received a living soul created through God's inbreathing, and only he is made in the image and likeness of his Creator. What a marvelous creation indeed! What an honor for man! What a great destiny! Truly, his destiny is great, and his honor is sublime; however, more marvelous is the manner in which his body and soul were created. Because he became the image and likeness of God and was created in order to live eternally and dwell in the same place as the heavenly Angles.

How noble was manmade! How much did sin debase and ignorance humble him! But this is not so! Man was endowed with nobility, and he will remain noble, even if certain people degrade themselves, even if certain people have forgotten about their sublime descent. Yes! Man is a supreme creation, and nothing can be compared to him.

The prudent portion of the human race, all who are truly wise, confirm this truth. Behold what M. Frederic de Rougemont states concerning man in his wise and insightful essay titled Primitive Mankind: Its Religion, History and Civilization: "Man is of noble descent. He was born in Paradise and not with the wilderness. The sound of Angelic hymns, not the roars of tigers and cries of wolves, echoed in his homeland. God was vigilantly watching over him even before man came to know Him. It is not at all true that man created the idea of God in order to invent a certain divinity to worship. Humanity departed not from atheism but from faith; not from deception but from the Truth; not from ignorance but from revelation."

Unfortunately, they who pride themselves on their remembrance to the animals seek to recruit new followers. They seek laborers to overturn humanity's moral and ethical principles; they are looking for new diggers to help undermine the foundations of society and deprave mankind. Behold the unethical moral principles that constitute their "civilized" mission. "Pleasure", they say, "debauchery and love are good; but so is hatred. The truth is good as long as it provides us with some enjoyment; however, deception, hypocrisy, and deceit are also good if they can help us increase our assets. Faith is good as long as there is something to gain from it; however, treachery is also good if it can secure for us greater profit. Marriage is good as long as it make us happy; however, adultery is just as good when marriage no longer satisfies our desires. Life is good as long as it remains an enigma; however, suicide is also acceptable when this puzzle has been solved." (Source: From the book Sketch Concerning Man).

(To be continued. Next: Saint Nektarios and his works)

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George