Voices from Russia

Friday, 26 January 2018

A Smile from the Babylon Bee… Russian Orthodox Church Accused of Interfering With Doctrine of Election


On Thursday, the nation’s agitated soteriologically Calvinistic Christians released another statement alleging that the Russian Orthodox Church has, and continues to, meddle in the historical Christian Doctrine of Election. A Reformed pastor, who declined to give his name, complained:

One can hardly read the comments under my blog without some mention of the Patriarch of Moscow, or #ReleaseTheWillFromBondage. The Russians have clearly weaponised their faulty theology against our precious doctrine. They think they have an ability to choose… but this is our election, and Totally Depraved Americans won’t stand for it!

Facebook and Twitter are feeling pressure to censor pro-Russian Orthodox dogma, which overran the two social media platforms through automated robotic posts. You can identify these Russian bots by their frequent use of icons, in contrast to the stoic emoticons familiar in Reformed social media posts. Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the charges of Russian Orthodox interference, saying:

Election is hardly a Russian concern.

However, American Calvinists are still fuming over the wilted tulips he recently posted on Instagram, claiming the Russian leader’s predestination is certain.

25 January 2018

Babylon Bee



Tuesday, 5 November 2013

5 November 2013. Some Takes on the Tea Party from the NYT Commboxes

00 05.12 Political cartoon slashing spending 02


The remarks in the commboxes for a NYT article made more sense than the article itself! I present them below, as is, without comment. I found them thought-provoking… I think that you’ll find them likewise.



There’s much overlap between folks who identify themselves as Tea Party and who also identify as some flavour of rightwing Christian. This identification is especially strong in states where the most radical elements have done best (in the South and Midwest). The real unholy alliance here is the Republican Party and rightwing religion. The latter cherishes a belief system that sees opponents as purely evil, and compromise with them means that you’re surrendering to the forces of evil. The list of evil people is very long for them (the equivalence of poverty with evil remains a mainstay of Calvinism). Politics becomes a holy war, not a way to resolve competing interests in a society and economy. They’re also perfectly fine with the destruction of the world, because their religion anticipates it with glee. The Republican Party will be stuck until they sever this relationship. As with any divorce, short-term pain will be very great. However, they can’t participate in the 21st century, and solve the problems of the 21st century, until they make this painful step.


Nashville TN


Much of the Tea Party is Astroturf and is composed of Republican activists. It’s about time that the funders who fuelled this plastic revolution realise that their money’s wasted. As for the push back on the poor, I suspect that this comes at the behest of the other power centre in the GOP, the Catholic bishops, who form the backbone of the Pro-Life movement, who’re finding it increasingly difficult to hide their political affair with the GOP from Pope Francisco. They’re in danger of violating that other Eleventh Commandment… “Don’t get caught”.

Michael Bindner

Alexandria VA


While conservatives and Republicans “sought to harness its energy”, the Tea Party was no grassroots movement; it was a top-down movement started by the Koch brothers and friends. It sought to “harness” racist rage, which was evermore powerful after the election of our first black president, towards a GOP/corporate agenda. Hate is a most powerful motivator. Now, the corporate bigwigs have lost control of the Tea Party… I have no sympathy for them. A split in the Republican Party and its subsequent weakening is welcome, as is a move towards the centre in the general electorate.


Brookline MA


If the Tea Party disintegrates, the Republican base will absorb most of the detritus, and, unfortunately, the base and the Tea Party share many of the worst elements. They want “their” country back, and it’s clear that “their” country is patriarchal, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, and feudal in nature. Resentment of the loss of white privilege… whether it’s recognised as such or not… is the driving factor. There are Republican Party members who talk about a big tent and changing their message, but its window dressing at best. Meantime, the result of a generation of trickle-down economics has all but destroyed the country’s infrastructure, whether transportation, education, or healthcare, because of Republican Party resentment towards benefits to the common good that help too many people… they disapprove of such.

Vanessa Hall

Millersburg MO


Read n’ heed, kids… the Tea Party’s EVIL…


Saturday, 19 October 2013

19 October 2013. Saw This on Yahoo! Answers

00 hand holding an onion. Dostoyevsky Parable of the Onion. 19.10.13


This was on Yahoo! Answers (click here for the original page):

Can you explain, in less than fifty words, why Eastern Orthodoxy is heresy?

Never mind that they don’t believe in the Bible. They don’t even believe in Jesus or predestination.

Goaty McGoat von Ziegen


Here are the “answers”:

1. Theophilous

Can you provide proof that Eastern Orthodox Christians don’t believe in Jesus? I’d tend to think that would be very difficult.

2. Tommy

Religions are only con men organisations made up by man to take control of mans minds and their money!!! (In only nineteen words!!!)

3. Alexander

Its not heresy, just miss guided like you.

4. Mikey, just Mikey

Eastern Orthodoxy is heresy because their beliefs are stupid and, more important, they conflict with the stupid beliefs of others. Everyone else’s stupid beliefs are heresy according to stupid people who post stupid questions on this forum.

Hope that helps!


The Scriptures are an important part of the Orthodox faith. So important, in fact, that the Orthodox don’t separate them from the tradition in which they arose. Remember, the earliest any book of the New Testament was written was 10-15 years after Pentecost, which meant the earliest Christians had no concept of the Bible as we now know it, and therefore weren’t limited to it. Furthermore, the first time the 27 books of the New Testament as we now have it were listed together was in 367, by St Athanasius the Great. The same letter places Esther amongst the books that are useful, but not in the Canon proper, something Protestants would object to.

It’s impossible to be an Eastern Orthodox Christian without believing in Jesus.

While Calvinism is incompatible with EO, predestination isn’t (Synod of Jerusalem, 1672). Where Orthodoxy differs from Calvinism is Calvinism teaches that predestination is a “God just decided to” thing, whereas Orthodoxy teaches that predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge.

You’re 0-3.

6. lawrenceba549

Bigoted much?

You may limit yourself only to a Bible that wasn’t in existence until some 350 or more years AFTER the Crucifixion, but Orthodoxy views that as contrary to a living God. Tradition is all-encapsulating in the Church, and at its heart is Scripture, a Scripture that, without tradition, couldn’t have been compiled.

Your statement that we don’t believe in Jesus is a lie, and you know it.

Predestination isn’t incompatible with Orthodox theology, but it’s nothing we dwell on, either.

7. Barbara-Marie

“Eastern Orthodoxy” isn’t heresy… it has a history as long as Christianity. Protestantism IS heresy… it only arose in the 16th century. It’s NOT rocket science. Next question?


The last submission is from your faithful intrepid editor. I had 50 words… I used 28. DO note that numbers 5 and 6 are overly prolix… are they konvertsy, I wonder? They do tend to like the sound of their own voices and they all think that they have something IMPORTANT to say… especially to us “nominal” ethnic Orthodox, dontcha know!

However, I post this to make a point. Most Evangelicals don’t believe us to be Christians. The Bible Bashers don’t accept us as being “Christian“… that’s interesting… some of the people with the shortest institutional histories sit in judgement of those of us with the longest institutional histories. All things being equal, isn’t that lunatic? That’s sectarians for ya… after all, some of ‘em are polygamists, some roll on the floor, some “give their hearts to Jesus”, and some babble in incoherent jabber… which makes them better “Christians” than we are. What utter rot! I’ll retire to Bedlam with Mr Scrooge

Do light a candle for such misguided sorts (some are amongst us and are trying to bring Evangelical rubbish into the Church, dontcha know)… ask God to offer them “the onion” at the Last Day. They’ll need it…


Monday, 3 September 2012

3 September 2012. Video. An Old C of I Hymn in Modern Vesture… An Illustration of the “Open Gate” Spoken of in the Last Post


This is a beloved old Church of Ireland hymn set to a modern orchestration… it’s one of the legitimate Reformation Protestant bodies… which go all the way from Anglicanism to REAL Evengelicalism (“Lutherans“) to Calvinism (Reformed/Presbyterian) to Mennonites, Amish, and real Baptists (NOT Southern Baptists). Orthodoxy has always gotten on well with real Protestants… and they’re welcome. As for sectarians… they’re the enemies of all Christendom, not just we Orthodox. Just because someone is anti-abortion doesn’t mean a thing… trust me on that. Real Christians should have nothing but the most unavoidable contacts with sectarians… they aren’t of us, and that’s that. The company of unbelievers is preferable to that of such heretics.

Thank you to the friend who passed this on to me. It’s real… remember, the key IS under the mat, dears… and the jug is still open…


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