Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: My Father Is an Atheist

Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: My Father Is an Atheist

What would you like to know about the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith? Submit your question.

By Nicholas Damascus

My father is an atheist, a wonderful and loving father, and a pillar of charity and compassion. Question: According to the doctrines of the church (I’m still converting), is my father destined for damnation? Should he retain his beliefs? 

Who can actually say for certain? It is not within our purview to judge or declare who is destined for hell or heaven. However, gathering as in doing good just for the sake of good is scattering. The implication is if good is not done for the sake of God, that good brings neither the grace of God in this life or reward in the next.  

Luke 11:23 

“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” 

Any good deed done for Christ’s sake brings us the everlasting and eternal fruit of the Holy Spirit as in eternal joy, love that is unconditional, peace beyond our human understanding. The true aim of every Christian should be the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God, and by doing so, gaining entrance into the eternal Kingdom of God.  

In Luke 16:19 to 31, the parable of the Lazarus and the rich man describes the conditions and gulf of separation of Hades from those united in Christ. There is no possibility of transfer between heaven and hell after death. Repentance, Christ’s first and most important message, is for this life and not the next.   

In the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, there is no official doctrine or dogma concerning heaven and hell. However, they are understood from a consensus of theological opinions and commentary of the saints and church fathers.  

The Orthodox belief is that God is everywhere, present, and fillest all things. There is no created place of divine absence. Heaven or hell may not be so much a place, but rather the individual’s attitude towards God’s ever-present love.  

See the article on what Eastern Orthodox understand about heaven and hell. 

About Nicholas Damascus

Nick Damascus is one who seeks to discover and apply the proverbial question of what is truth and wisdom, to fill that gaping hole, to become complete and to become realistically and synergistically functional. In an attempt to live the Christian life, which he says is a definite work in progress, he has discovered that he's created the Christ that fits his lifestyle and agrees with his ego (and boy what an ego, he says), often finding himself avoiding what God intended him to be.

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