Voices from Russia

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Aleksei Ilyich on Idols… Orthodox Style

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Once I asked an audience of believers:

How does one pray to help someone struggling with drunkenness?

Everyone answered in unison:

Before the icon of the “Inexhaustible Chalice”.

I answered:

That’s right. Don’t even try to pray before the Vladimir, Iveron, or Kazan icons… it won’t help you.

Everyone was ashamed. This is what it can become. The Mother of God is no longer our hope; the icon becomes an idol for us. It’s so easy to reduce Orthodoxy to paganism. Read about the religions of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. There was a god in charge of each aspect of human life. People worshipped them; they sacrificed to them. They forgot the One God; they didn’t need Him. We can fall into this rut in the veneration of the saints. Already, unfortunately, many believers don’t seek God, but saints; they ask for help, not in healing from passions, not for salvation, but for signs and wonders. Moreover, this false faith is one of the main reasons for the infertility of our prayers and of our many services. Here you are right, with such a faith, the saints can indeed become a palisade behind which you can lose Christ.

Aleksei Ilyich Osipov

Honoured Professor of the Moscow Spiritual Academy  

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Saturday, 2 July 2016

2 July 2016. Is There a Gay Agenda? I Think NOT…

00 It's better to light a single candle... 01.10.12

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Editor:

Righties such as Dreher and Whiteford would have you believe that the Church refuses communion to homosexuals. That’s a lie. They’re spouting their unbalanced personal political idiosyncrasies… not the Church’s teaching. The Church takes ALL of us as individuals, not as members of this-or-that group… it considers ALL of us sinners. Do have a care with much posted on the internet, as most isn’t “kosher”, it’s by ungrounded people with no real Church education or experience. We do live in dicey times, kids, so, please, do show caution…

BMD

*****

If there’s a “Gay Agenda”, then, we must refute it. We must uphold the Doctrine of the Orthodox Church at all cost. However, upholding it shouldn’t entail language of hate, malice, pejorative, or lies. We can state Church doctrine clearly, unequivocally, and directly without ever using terms, words, and expressions that are clearly sinful in themselves. The Ecumenical Councils established Orthodox doctrine; they spoke in the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Some people asked me if I actually thought that there was a “Gay agenda”. No, of course, I don’t believe that. Nor is there any such thing as a “Gay Lifestyle”. That’s just part of the usual rightwing detritus, and few forces in our world today are as fraudulent and evil as rightwingers… i.e., ISIS is a rightwing movement. One of the most dangerous things in our world today is the Rightwing Agenda, especially, its war against the knowledge of and action against global warming and climate change. What do people think that a “lifestyle” consists of, anyway? It encompasses one’s economic status, whether one has an urban or rural lifestyle, whether one has the “lifestyle of the rich and famous” or of the homeless. A lifestyle involves whether one eats out often, what kind of car one drives, if one pays a mortgage or rents an apartment, what kind of job one has, what kind of friends one has, if one is vegetarian, religious, or atheist, if one helps to feed street people, etc. So, to say that there’s a “Gay Lifestyle” is just ideological propaganda, generally laced with hate, fear, malice, and (often enough) a “cover-up” for one’s own shameless “behind the scenes” activities.

We don’t accept same-sex marriages in the Orthodox Church, but many Orthodox communities embrace gay Orthodox Christians with openhearted love and recognition of their humanity. One can’t defend truth with lies nor can one defend the faith with slanders, wilful falsehoods, hate, malice, and anger. I’ve carefully studied more than a hundred careful, well carried out, provable, and repeatable medical/scientific studies that clearly demonstrate that being gay is not a “choice”… only an angry ideologue would add “a lifestyle choice”. Like [transsexuality], this is something that develops in the womb, its present in every studied species of mammal, as well as birds. This doesn’t compel us to alter our Church Doctrine… what it should compel us to do is to stop being just plain old liars. The only thing that I can see that gay people desire is to have full equality under the law… full total equality, not be deprived of their full rights as citizens of a nation, as full complete human beings, who are just as loving, just as compassionate, just as charitable, who give their lives in wars because they are just as patriotic, just as heroic, have just as much valour, humanity and, yes, just as much decency as any other human being in any society, in any nation under the sun.

Whilst I’ll defend Orthodox doctrine to the last breath, I deeply and sincerely believe that hateful homophobia is expressed only and solely by deeply self-hating homosexuals who project their self-loathing out toward others. Let none of these rightwing fanatics accuse me of not upholding Orthodox Christian Doctrine, though being natural liars, I’m sure that some will.

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Thursday, 10 March 2016

10 March 2016. OCA Synod: Slap Down These Disobedient Bastards

00 Ka-Pow! 14.09.13

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OCA Synod… here’s another example of the Convertadox Conventicle spitting on your order. I think that you should find out who posted this… then, warn all concerned (all posters, Grigorenko, Dominick, and Ryan Hunter, amongst others) that you’d ban them from the Chalice if they continued to defy you. These disobedient little pricks are beyond words… yet, as I stated before, they have the consummate gall to lecture all of us on OBEDIENCE! Here is what one of the Cabinet wrote me:

Not sure who runs this site, but the OCA SOBs needs to contact them and tell them to pull it down. There’s more to sainthood than incorruption of body, and as yet there aren’t too many, if any at all, reports of miracles attributed to his prayers. If Archbishop Dimitri is a saint, the Church will recognise that in due time, but at the moment, too many people are jumping the gun, either out of personal love for him or out of the desire to have another American saint (as if that proves something or another about the state of Orthodoxy in America).

I need add nothing… well said!

BMD

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

9 March 2016. It’s Time for the OCA to Formally Petition the MP to Remove the Offensive “Incorruptibility” Post on Pravoslavie… Shevkunov Be Damned!

00 this is wrong. 050715

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Tikhon Shevkunov is a loose cannon. His website Pravoslavie is NOT official… much on it (especially, in English) is Convertadox rubbish (one Jesse Dominick, a well-known konvertsy loudmouth, works on that side of the operation). The OCA Holy Synod of Bishops should formally petition HH to have the offensive post about the “incorruptibility” of Dmitri Royster on Pravoslavie taken down permanently. Jesse Dominick knew what the OCA Synod wanted in the case of this affair… he’s a disobedient little twit like Grigorenko (besides being a supporter of the American rightwing enemies of the Church)… he refused to follow the spirit of the OCA SOBs order. Ergo, the OCA SOBs should approach HH with the formal request that HH force Pravoslavie to take the offensive post down and destroy all images. It tells us much about Tikhon Shevkunov, Jesse Dominick, and the whole Pravoslavie operation. Shevkunov isn’t as important as the konvertsy imagine. He’s a powerless vicar bishop who has tread only because he’s the confessor to the Putin family and because of his ties to pro-Western oligarchs. Never forget that Shevkunov doesn’t have a kandidatura in theology… his higher education was at a film institute (thus, his slick public persona, which fools all the superficial and shallow konvertsy). Shevkunov’s main claim to fame is his website… which isn’t official, not in the least!

Have a care… much that glitters isn’t real… much that’s real, doesn’t glitter. Keep it focused…

BMD

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