Here’s something that I saw on FB:
This is something that always needs addressing. We don’t need Facebook Orthodoxy where self-proclaimed “holier-than-thou” traditionalists are always ready to hunt “heresies” and “heterodoxies”… all the while being harsher judges than God Himself. Where’s the meekness and gentleness in that?
I also saw:
“Ask an Orthodox Priest” also known as, “Why all Orthodox clergy are wrong”. Now I remember why I don’t answer any complex questions there.
I agree with both of the above emphatically. DO NOT RELY ON ANYTHING YOU SEE ONLINE. NOTHING. Only rely on intel posted on official sites. That’s the long and the short of it all. There are tons of internet poseurs with no real cred posting away like crazy.
There’s a place where you can expect Real-Deal Orthodoxy. Go to the Liturgy. That’s where it’s at. Even a konvertsy nutter can’t fuck that up. Let the words wash over you. Stand in God’s Presence. If you can, confess, be absolved, and receive. That’s where Orthodoxy is. As Orlando Figes wrote:
The Russian Church is contained entirely in its liturgy, and to understand it there’s no point reading books: one has to go and see the Church at prayer. The Russian Orthodox service is an emotional experience. The entire spirit of the Russian people, and much of their best art and music, has been poured into the Church, and at times of national crisis, they’ve always turned to it for support and hope. The liturgy has never become the preserve of scholars or the clergy, as happened in the medieval West. This is a people’s liturgy. There are no pews, no social hierarchies, in a Russian church. Worshippers are free to move around… as they do constantly to prostrate and cross themselves before the various icons… and this makes for an atmosphere not unlike a busy market square.
Orlando Figes, Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2002 Don’t ISBN: 0-312-42195-8), from Chapter 5, In Search of the Russian Soul, p. 297
This is just as true of any of the Orthodox “home nationalities”. Don’t attend to the jumped-up frauds on the internet. They have nothing to offer you (nor to anyone else, for that matter). Leave those like Rod Dreher and John Whiteford alone; let them bloviate and engage in their loud, vain, and fruitless spiritual masturbation. Don’t engage them, don’t frequent their online ruminations, and don’t let their empty chatter pervert your thinking.
The Church n’ socialism are natural soulmates… one can see this in the social policies of the Peoples Republics in Novorossiya. The Church has never trusted unbridled individualism, as it teaches that we live in a Fallen World. It has always blessed the State, as it believes that fallen mankind needs order and regulation, as Libertarian “freedom” leads only to licence, greed, perversion, and sin (most of all, don’t read this in a “sexual” manner… the worst sins involve the love of property, money, position, and power, NOT “morals”). The Church n’ socialism are like pizza n’ pivo… natural complements to one another.
Most of the unhinged posters on the internet are “American Conservatives”… their espousal of such a Unchurchly ideology proves that they’re not grounded Christians, let alone Orthodox Christians. American Conservatism isn’t Conservative in the least; any ideology that virtually worships such ultra-Whiggish Whigs as Burke aren’t conservative at all… they’re prancing phonies of the worst possible sort. Their ignorance of Lived Orthodoxy gets a premium upgrade via their Antichristian ideology. His Holiness is friends with Comrade Fidel… not the Koch Brothers, not Chilly Hilly or Butcher Biden, not with Trump or Cruz. I’d say that if you were a REAL Orthodox Christian, you’d emulate His Holiness, not the ignorant rightwing Pied Pipers on the internet.
Go to the liturgy… don’t read the online phonies. Emulate His Holiness… not Rod Dreher… not John Whiteford… not any of the rightwing internet gurus. That is, follow the REAL CHURCH… that way, you won’t fall into the ditch. Most of all, remember that the Church is MERCIFUL… it’s Christ, not the Grand Inquisitor (them who don’t catch the analogy should read The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov and reflect on it).
Orthodox Christianity is an Encounter with Life, not a dusty tome of rules, rules, rules… Orthodoxy isn’t something that you buy in a store… maybe, just maybe, it’s a little bit more…