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Individualism versus Personhood

“…although we are created as personal beings, our personhood is something that is becoming. We are moving towards the fullness of our person. The fullness of who we are is something hidden, something that shall be revealed.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“By becoming a child of God, we become more of a real person, no longer an autonomous individual. We become who we really are and were meant to be." (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“We are all called to be saints no matter who we are, no matter where we are, and no matter what we do, and yet not all respond to this call.” (Archimandrite Sergius)

“ many people are looking for their identity, for their place in the world, for who they are. The only place we can find who we are is in God.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“A healthy self-image is not one of pride or arrogance, but one that coincides with God’s viewpoint. It is choosing to accept God’s evaluation, learning to see ourselves as God sees us, agreeing with who we are in His eyes, and giving Him permission to make us what He designed us to be. In His eyes, every person is valuable.” (Mary Southerland)

“Living in this present age, we are constantly exposed to the secular assumptions of modern society…The word"body” (soma) is a case in point. The translators of the Old Testament…applied a very specific meaning to soma. Indeed, our modern notion of the body as the individual’s corporal or physical substance rarely appears in the Old Testament…Saint Paul’s use of"body” [in the New Testament] corresponds most closely to our modern concept of the"total person.” (Dynamis 1/8/2015)

"...labeling people in life can be very destructive. When we fail to look at the person, but rather group him/her impersonally...we failed to see him/her as a person loved by God and others. Yet let someone who group us unjustly, and we are the first ones to defend our personhood. We might be categorized by others, or we may categorize others, but in reality, all of us belong to only one God..." (Marianne C. Sailus)

“When societies deny personhood as an intrinsic quality of humans, they commonly digress into injustice and dehumanize portions of their populations...the Church is formed from out of ordinary existence through a radical conversion from individualism to personhood” (Rice Broocks, Metropolitan John Zizioulas)

“As Christians we are here to affirm the supreme value of direct sharing, of immediate encounter —not machine to machine, but person to person, face to face.” (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

"God’s character goes into the creation of every person.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 139:13-15)

“What do we mean by the terms person and personal? Based on the fact that we are made in God’s image – and knowing that He creates, deliberates, proposes, decides, and communicates – we understand that human beings are likewise persons with the capacity to do these sorts of things. What is remarkable about mankind is that each and every man bears within his breast what Saint Gregory the Theologian calls a"divine particle” that confers self-awareness and a modicum of freedom of choice.” (Dynamis 3/5/2014)

"As persons created in the image of God we are not only free, we are also unique and unrepeatable. Just as no two fingerprints are exactly alike, so no two people are exactly alike. Of course, our society often tries to suppress our uniqueness. Indeed, it seems as though our human identity is reduced to our Social Security number. Yet no matter how dehumanizing modern life may be, it can never suppress the absolute uniqueness of the human person, for that uniqueness is the imprint of God upon us all. God calls us all to grow into His likeness, but in a way that is unique to each of us.” (Clark Carlton)

"...the Holy Spirit is not a spirit that possesses us and takes away our freedom or absorbs our personhood. The unity of the Church in the Holy Spirit does not mean a flattening of human personality. But the purity and integrity of our unique personality is distorted by sin. And so the holier we become, the more we discover our true selves.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“But how can we acquire holiness? How can we become saints? Through continuous repentance, by getting up every time we fall, by battling with our passions and forever cutting away the sin that distorts the purity and"beauty of the Divine Image in which we were made. The holy Image of God is present within every one of us, but we must cut away the sin that mars and conceals it if it is to become manifest, just as a sculptor produces a work of art by the act of cutting away.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Our oneness in Christ does not destroy our individuality…God is almighty and all-powerful; but even so, He cares for each of us personally.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 4:1112, Isaiah 40:12-31)

“The term, person, is difficult to define because people by nature defy definition. We can classify people according to age or height or race or sex, but these things cannot begin to explain the mystery of personhood.” (Clark Carlton)

"Each person is a valuable and unique creation of God…Remember this when prejudice enters your mind or hatred invades your feelings.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 5:3-5)

"Make no mistake, from a Christian point of view prejudice from a moral and spiritual point of view is a serious wrong because it is sacrilegious. Sacrilege, as defined by the Oxford American Dictionary, is"disrespect or damage to something sacred.” As Christians, we believe life comes from God and that human beings are created in"the image and likeness of God.” To then disrespect or damage others in our thoughts and actions is to profane God’s creation.” (Sacramental Living)

“Prejudice in any form is in direct opposition of these commands of love from our Lord and it actually separates us from Christ. ‘Such a person is outside the spiritual teachings as set down by Christ and the great saints who followed His footsteps. The entire therapeutic pedagogy of the Eclessia is built on the practice of humility. To follow Christ means to have the capacity to coexist with other people who may be radically different from you.’ ” (Sacramental Living, Kyriacos C. Markides)

“Jesus commanded us to love one another which is the essence of Christianity. Loving one another has much to do with understanding and appreciating differences and not letting them be an artificial barrier to community.” (Sacramental Living)

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