Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 October 2017

20 October 2017. “We’re Christians! That’s What We Do (And Don’t Do)!”

St Nicholas Prevents the Falsely-Accused from Being Executed

Ilya Repin



You see all sorts of Anglo toddler konvertsy crawling all over cyberspace, telling all and sundry about how great Orthodox Christians they are and telling the world “what the Church teaches”. This is rubbish of the highest order.

For instance, Rod Dreher boasted in a public post (on a major secular website) that he “prayed the Jesus Prayer hundreds of times a day”. NO REAL CHRISTIAN DOES THAT. That’s spiritual boasting of the most shallow and juvenile sort. Any real Christian will tell you that prayer is very difficult… very difficult, indeed. Furthermore, one NEVER boasts in public about one’s prayer life. It’s just beyond the pale and no real Christian does such a revolting thing. Real Christians keep their prayer lives private, confidential before Almighty God.

We’re Christians… that’s what we do.

In another case, a group of loud konvertsy brats attacked Bp Benjamin Peterson in public for showing mercy on a transsexual person. Firstly, a bishop can extend pastoral oikonomia to anyone that he pleases. In fact, one of the bishop’s roles is to protect individuals from ignoramus lynch mobs. In this case, the Church has no set doctrine on the matter… yes, there are many loudmouth rightwingers saying otherwise, but the Church has issued no synodical and binding ukase in a recognised Local or Ecumenical Sobor. Bp Benjamin carried out his duty as a bishop to protect an innocent from the mob.

We’re Christians… that’s what we do.

A Far Right political activist, James Jatras, stated on the website Russian Faith that the West is promoting degeneracy and implied that Russia is promoting morality. One of the obligations of a Christian is to tell the truth. Is Mr Jatras telling the truth? The truth is far more nuanced than this Far Right windbag puts it. For instance, in Russia, a person can change the designation of gender on their internal passport if they present the proper medical documentation to the OVIR (the office responsible for vital statistics and civil registry). In fact, the Russian rules are almost identical to the rules in New York State (and many other states in the USA). Therefore, the USA and Russia follow similar policies.

In Russia, homosexuality is no longer criminal. As the leading journo D K Kiselyov stated:

Everybody knows where the gay clubs are and everybody knows who’s gay. It’s no secret.

That’s the same as it is in the USA. Both countries have similar laws on child protection and child abuse. Mr Jatras is a liar by omission. He creates a straw-man in order to push his Far Right scheme. Christians should tell the truth. Mr Jatras doesn’t. That’s evil. Christians shouldn’t be silent in the face of such chicanery.

We’re Christians… that’s what we do.

One could go on. However, it’s truly simple. Christians don’t gang on up on others. Christians don’t boast about their prayer life. Christians don’t tell blatant lies to push a political agenda. Christians DO focus on their own sinfulness and work to root it out. I don’t harass the bishops to “punish” those that I deem “immoral”. I have plenty of sin on my own plate. Reflect on the fact that those making public accusations and pestering the bishops have just as much sin on their plates. I call that corruption and pretence. However, pray for these people and for their conversion to the real Faith.

We’re Christians… that’s what we do.



20 October 2017. “Internet Orthodoxy”… A Contradiction in Terms

I believe in the Orthodoxy of the Ages… not the made-up cult of Toll Houses, “Pro-Life” fanaticism, the “Elder” Serafim Rose, “uncompromising morality”, and the Platina mythos…


There many websites and FB pages calling themselves “Orthodox”. I’d observe that most of them have no official approval nor do most have grounded authors. However, they give the impression that they’re purveying the Teaching of the Church. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mostly, these sites are the creations of clueless Anglo KKKs (Krazy Konvert Kooks) with no real Churchly formation; furthermore, they brought in all their bad habits from Anti-Christian Evangelicalism or from crackbrained “Continuing Anglicanism”. They throw in a patristic quotation or two, stir it all together, and call it “Orthodoxy”. This vile brew creates more secularists than believers. It’s Satan’s own religion, I’d say. You can distinguish them easily. They all say, “Orthodoxy is uncompromising”.

Real Orthodoxy is rather different from all that. Orthodoxy is the Church of a Thousand Chances. Orthodoxy is the Church willing to bend the Letter of the Law to save a soul. Orthodoxy is a Church that contained both Bishop Kip and A D Schmemann… everyone knows of their loud and monumental disagreements! As a very wise man, Steve Shirokey, said many years ago to me:

Orthodoxy is the freest Church out there.

Let that sink in…

Orthodoxy is the freest Church out there.

Orthodoxy is NOT an uncompromising rightwing religion. Orthodoxy DOES believe in oikonomia… it’ll meet anyone halfway for the sake of saving them. Orthodoxy does NOT march in convict lockstep, as some konvertsy claim. Orthodoxy leaves everything not essential to salvation open to enquiry… you can agree with the papists on the Assumption if you will… you may disagree with them if you don’t. The Church gives you that freedom. As Fr Alexander Lebedeff said many years ago about the hardliners at Brookline (who went off into schism):

They don’t know an ecclesiastical court from a tennis court.

Sadly, my conclusion is that many of the Anglo converts aren’t of us or with us, but are merely amongst us at present. They have their own toxic agendas… all that they’ve done is to add a liturgical superstructure to them, without imbibing the essence of what the Church teaches. Shall they stay with us? That’s not clear… they haven’t received a clear challenge from real Orthodoxy yet. We won’t know until that happens. However, the existence of such badly-written and poorly-researched websites such as Russian Faith doesn’t give one hope.

They WILL go one way or the other… God willing, many will see the Truth and the Light. If not, they won’t be the first to go off into the outer darkness… nor will they be the last.


Sunday, 1 October 2017

1 October 2017. There IS a Difference…


There’s a real difference between a longing for our real tradition and the efforts of ungrounded converts to “recapture the Tradition”. The two aren’t the same at all. One is a longing for what one once had, but lost due to “reformers”. The other is a prideful attempt to erect what one never had. There’s a world of difference between the two things. The first is a real effort to grasp the living and life-giving Tradition found in the Russian liturgy. The other is an attempt by untutored former Prods to erect a prideful and stultifying liturgical superstructure over their Evangelical Anti-Christian Weltanschauung. Any grounded Orthodox Christian can tell the difference.

May God see and judge…


Saturday, 30 September 2017

30 September 2017. We Do NOT Have an “Uncompromising” Church… Thank God!

Our Lord Christ is the GOOD SHEPHERD… not a jackbooted prison warder. Thank God… the Church is NOT “uncompromising”…


Many unformed recent converts natter on about how the Church is “uncompromising”, which is why they “converted” to Orthodoxy. Patriarch Kirill said the following about those who advocate “uncompromising faith”:

Never did the Lord say, “My teaching or death”. None of the Apostles said, “Orthodoxy or Death”. Because Orthodoxy is life eternal, it’s joy in the Holy Spirit, it’s the joy of life, but death is decay that came because of the Fall and the devil’s action. Now, we see, from time to time, false teachers who seduce people by calling to save Christianity, to save its purity, who repeat this dangerous, sinful, and self-contradictory slogan “Orthodoxy or death”. In the eyes of these people, you won’t find love; there burns a fire of demonic pride, a desire for power, which destroys the Church’s unity. Of course, they put on a good show, they hide behind pious visages, and they enjoy adulation from a certain set of people.


We don’t have a wrathful God. Our God offers all of us the “onion”… that’s Dostoyevsky for them not in the know. God is MERCIFUL… not vengeful. Only the spiritually shallow believe in a vengeful God. Read St Chrysostom’s Easter Homily and get your mind right. One wonders if these jabronies have really converted in their heart-of-hearts… the Church has always been willing to bend the letter of the law if it helped someone’s salvation. I ask, “If they don’t like accommodation, why did they convert to Orthodoxy, which has oikonomia as one of its bedrock beliefs and practises?” It does make one wonder, doesn’t it?


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