Ah, there's a difference in analogies which have evolved into different ontological realities for the respective parties. You are calling "sin a crime (aka breaking God's law)" a mere analogy. My protestant teachers taught this as a reality through giving examples of this in Holy Scripture (from the protestant point of view of course). In my limited exposure thus far, Orthodoxy also presents sin in ontological language as well, "sin is a disease" instead of "sin is like a disease". That explains some of my confusion.
I understand where the analogy of "sin as a crime" comes from. Can someone give a basis for the analogy of "sin as a disease"?
Something I just noticed ... I see you mentioned "sin as a crime" being made a mere
analogy, and you also are looking for the basis of the analogy of "sin as a disease"?
I certainly understand where you are coming from. However (and anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong) ... I think what you will find is that the Orthodox Church can consider sin in terms of a crime as an analogy, yes, but the reality they see is that sin is a disease. Not a mere analogy in that case.
Sin is the sickness ... the result is death (which implies we would not have died if there had never been sin?). That is why one of the major ways of looking at Christ's death was in the "breaking" of death.
Every time we meet, our prayer (during this Paschal season) is the song - Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.
(I'm so happy, I actually had to look up the English to make sure I had it just right, since I actually know the Greek better - I'm easily pleased, lol)
(and everything I say, I want to leave open to correction, but I will do my best and only repeat what I have been taught by reliable Orthodox priests)
The Church teaches that the result of the fall was death (and of course we were separated from God). In Christ dying (as a man He could die), it became that God Himself (in Christ) entered death. Since God cannot die, death was "spoiled" or "broken" ... Death swallowed a man and encountered God. Death was no longer the victor, and so mankind could be redeemed from death.
That's primary, I would say. Considering how Pascha is celebrated, our hymnology at this season, etc. I think that is accurate to say this is of greatest importance in the faith, concerning Christ's work on our behalf.
One thing that sort of led me into Orthodoxy, that I understood by studying for myself before I discovered what the Orthodox Church taught, is I kept seeing connections between "forgiveness" and "healing" in the Scripture. Why did Jesus say "Rise up and walk, your sins are forgiven?" Why are the two so closely intertwined so many places in Scripture?
A (protestant) friend told me to do a study on the word σῴζω - which I did. Primarily it will be translated "save" (regarding salvation) but I also found repeated use of the word in the context of saving from injury, to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health.
Which at the time only served to confuse me a bit more (my friend was promoting healing as the "right" along with salvation), so I kept searching and when I first understood the Orthodox idea of sin being disease, and Christ being the "cure" for that illness, all of that wondering suddenly seemed to make sense.
I can't tell you where the idea came from (I suspect from the Apostolic understanding, since it seems to be woven into Scripture), but I would imagine the early church fathers further explained. I'm sure someone with experience can better answer that question.
Just wanted to share what little I had.
Thank you very much for your prayers, and I will pray for you and your wife as well. The advice I was given was to live out the faith - I will say that as I kept a prayer rule, learned the theology, involved myself in the life of the church, and attended services as often as possible, I have changed. Not perfectly, certainly, but it has made a difference that was noticeable to my husband, which got him at least interested. And perhaps that is why he has not forbidden me from going, though he does not understand the church and thinks I am sadly misled. But slowly, it is making a difference in our marriage, and I pray, pray, pray for him. It really does seem to make a difference ... at times I was more faithful and fervent in my prayers and at those times, I could tell a difference.
Will be praying for you both.