“Your moralism is killing you”

I’ll never forget the time I was sitting at the Starbucks in downtown Estes Park, Colorado with my friend Brad Jersak and his relating to me how Archbishop Lazar Puhalo of the Orthodox Church of Canada had replied upon being asked, “What message would you have for the evangelical church?” The Archbishop’s reply was this:

“Your moralism is killing you.”

Wow! That hit me like a ton of bricks. And the line has stuck with me ever since. “Your moralism is killing you.” Sometimes it takes the perspective of an outsider to get to the heart of the matter. Orthodoxy has its own issues to contend with, but as far as I’m concerned Archbishop Lazar’s diagnosis of the chief malady within evangelicalism is right on target. Our moralism is killing us. But Jesus wants to save us!

Here is another quote from Archbishop Lazar which expounds upon the topic.

“If our faith is primarily a mantra to drive away punishment, our faith isn’t really a faith, it is a fear. We feign faith in order to keep from being punished. When we do that it usually manifests itself as a kind of harsh and brutal moralism. Because in this system it is psychologically comforting to see ourselves as better than other people. Thus trying to hype up our ego leads us to a kind of moralism where we have to denigrate others in order to make ourselves feel better.” -Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Alright, that’s all I wanted to share with you, but if you are interested in more of this conversation you can view the Symposium on Deep Structural Fear with my friends Brad Jersak, Ron Dart and Archbishop Lazar. It will be well worth your time.

Grace and Peace,


Symposium on Deep Structural Fear from Orthodox Canada on Vimeo.