Here are some more words about those who urge Christians to run after “progress” and public opinion. Fr Wojciech Giertych, one of the cleverest Catholic theologians today and the Pope’s closest adviser, once said these brilliant words, “Those who want to go with the fashion in the Church soon get out of date”.
A wise Russian Baptist once compared our nation to the Jews wandering in the desert for forty years after their Egyptian slavery. People who couldn’t live in freedom, died… The pastor believes, nowadays, such people leave for America.
Meanwhile, not only numerous Protestants have left our new Russia, but, even some Orthodox intellectuals. Life without persecutions, the KGB, and “dissidence” appeared to be wholly devoid of sense. In the early 90s, I urged former “underground Christians” to come out and give popular sermons on TV, in the media, and in large halls… They couldn’t do it. Mostly, they didn’t even want to try. There were only few, individual, exceptions. Their argument against it was “adamant”. “We won’t do it on these pop channels, with yesterday’s young communists, new Russians, and rocker-bikers! Not for anything in the world!”
They still spend their time in “dissident” kitchens, drinking litres of coffee and vodka, reading the underground press, and talking about “filthy Russia”. The most decisive of them have left the country. Now, they live in the same kitchen atmosphere somewhere in the suburbs of New York or Paris and make a little money with articles about how horrific Putin’s régime is and [the danger of] age-old Russian imperialism.
It is very sad in fact, and not only because their articles sustain wild Western myths about Russia. Mainly, because the people we speak about are faithful, clever, and talented, but, they couldn’t answer the Lord’s appeal to give a sermon for freedom when it was needed. The Soviet reality made them hate people and be afraid of them. They didn’t manage to overcome this hatred and this fear. Eventually, these people, who had a chance to help create a new Russian Christian culture, and could have helped to plant it through broadcasts and the press, didn’t manage to step outside the limits of their narrow and stuffy circle of “the chosen”.