Can sins be forgiven through vows?

Can sins be forgiven through vows?


Dr. Nikolaos Koios

The age we live in is full of contradictions. On the one hand, people are stubbornly indifferent towards their Relationship with God, but on the other, references to superstitions, zodiac charts and para-religious phenomena abound. You’ve got people who consider those who start their day with prayer or the sign of the Cross to be bizarre, yet they themselves will spit three times if they see a black cat on the street.
This mechanistic way of seeing things which are, in fact, metaphysical has unfortunately affected even those people who wish to have a relationship with the Church. One such instance is the belief on the part of some people that the spiritual life is exhausted merely by fulfilling a vow or completing a pilgrimage. Saint Païsios the Athonite, that great spiritual figure of our century, condemns this habit and calls it the devil’s art.
If we are to progress in the spiritual life and find genuine contentment, we need repentance, Confession and the spiritual struggle. In other words, we need to act in conjunction with Divine Grace, expressing our free will and making an ascetic effort.
The Church has never countenanced magical recipes to gain salvation. It wants us to be free collaborators with God in the task of salvation.




The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America, originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry.  CLICK HERE to download our brochure.  OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.

OCN is a 501(c)3 and recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, Orthodox media.

Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy!  Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.

donate now


Spark OCN app is an Orthodox Christian News portal that allows you to take action. Spark provides daily devotions, live Bible study, and you can read and learn about events going on in the Orthodox Christian world, especially those concerning persecuted Christians. In addition to making it easy to share news and articles with friends, Spark allows you make prayer requests for those who are suffering.

Orthodox Prayer Book is the ultimate prayer assistant for Orthodox Christians. Not only does it allow you to carry your prayers around, it was designed from the ground-up for the iPhone to allow you to pray in the least distracting manner possible. Carry all the prayers, information about daily saints and fasting schedules with you throughout your day. Keep a list of people you want to pray for and have them automatically embedded into the prayers.

Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, Google+, PinterestLinkedIn and Instagram

About author

Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership, in which content from the two organizations is published on both websites. This article from Pemptousia appears here as part of that arrangement. Not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.