I have just read through the Anathemas that are proclaimed during the Sunday of Orthodoxy and there are some that caught my attention. I have put them here with an explanation why I thought them interesting.
To those who deny the existence of God, and assert that the world is self-existing, and that all things in it occur by chance, and not by the providence of God, Anathema!
In other words being Orthodox means rejecting a purely materialistic evolutionary model or big-bang theory. The providence of God must be seen throughout the process of creation. It seems we need to take great care when dealing with this topic lest we come under the anathema to which we adhere during the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
To those who foolishly say that the coming of the Son of God into the world in the flesh, and His voluntary passion, death, and resurrection were not necessary for our salvation and the cleansing of sins, Anathema!
This is interesting in that some suggest that God could save us in a manner other than through His incarnation and crucifixion. This Anathema seems to suggest otherwise and that it was necessary for God to take these steps to save us, which is different to say that it was necessary for God to save us, i.e. He freely came to save us but to do so He needed to become incarnate, die and rise again. This process means that He had to be connected to the created world to save us and could not save us only by His divine energies. He needed to save us both in a created and uncreated manner. If this is so then we should not be surprised that we need to be saved by both water and spirit, by created and by uncreated means thus providing an explanation for the necessity of baptism within the Church.
To those who dare to say that the all-pure Virgin Mary was not virgin before giving birth, during birthgiving, and after her child-birth, Anathema!
It seems that we have no choice regarding the Mother of God as being ever-virgin.
To those who reject the Councils of the holy fathers and their traditions, which are agreeable to divine revelation and kept piously by the Orthodox Church, Anathema!
Anyone thinking of modernising the traditions of the Church may need to take care with this anathema. Also, this seems to reinforce the position in the post on “Changing the unchanging” that both doctrine and practice are to be kept without change.
To the followers of the occult, spiritualists, wizards, and all who do not believe in the one God, but honour the demons; or who do not humbly give their lives over to God, but strive to learn the future through sorcery, Anathema!
This could also extend in principle to reading horoscopes and such things. It seems that seeking to learn about the future and not solely trusting in God is a serious matter and up with denying our faith or blasphemy.