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Image of God Church. Aim of Life Acquisition of Holy Spirit

Church. Aim of Life. Kingdom of Heaven
In the works of Vladimir Solovyov

This world, the Church, the Kingdom of God

From the point of view of religious morality, man lives in three different spheres: this world, the Kingdom of God and the Church.

The right or the due relation of man to the higher world, to other men, and to the lower nature is collectively organised in the forms of the Church, the state, and the economic society or the zemstvo.

Individual religious feeling finds its objective development and realisation in the universal Church, which thus may be said to be organised piety.

From the point of view of religious morality, man lives in three different spheres: the worldly or the conditional (this world), the Divine or the unconditional (the Kingdom of God), and the sphere which is intermediary between the two, and binds them together the religious sphere in the strict sense (the Church).

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
Chapter XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

Our final choice

It is clear that … without its progressive activity mankind would always remain at the same stage of the historical process, would never attain the power finally to receive or to reject the Kingdom of God, and therefore there would be nothing to live for.

The connection of right with morality makes it possible to speak of the Christian state. It would be unjust to maintain that in pre-Christian times the state had no moral foundation. In the kingdoms of Judaea and of Israel, the prophets directly put moral demands to the state, and reproached it for not fulfilling these demands. In the pagan world it is sufficient to mention Theseus, for instance, who at the risk of his life freed his subjects from the cannibalistic tribute to Crete, in order to recognise that here too the fundamental moral motive of the state was pity, demanding active help to the injured and the suffering. The difference between the Christian and the pagan state is not then in their natural basis but in something else. From the Christian point of view the state is only a part in the organisation of the collective man — a part conditioned by another higher part, the Church, which consecrates the state in its work of serving indirectly in its own worldly sphere and by its own means the unconditional purpose which the Church directly puts before it — to prepare humanity and the whole earth for the Kingdom of God. From this follow the two chief tasks of the state — the conservative and the progressive: to preserve the foundations of social life apart from which humanity could not exist, and to improve the conditions of its existence by furthering the free development of all human powers which are to be the instrument of the future perfection, and apart from which the Kingdom of God could not be realised in humanity. It is clear that just as without the conservative activity of the state humanity would fall apart and there would be no one left to enter the fulness of life, so without its progressive activity mankind would always remain at the same stage of the historical process, would never attain the power finally to receive or to reject the Kingdom of God, and therefore there would be nothing to live for.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
Chapter XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

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