Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 February 2018

10 February 2018. Some Thoughts from Vladyki Lazar

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Frankly, I’m not so certain why the existence of evil should be an enigma. Evil is primarily “the absence of empathy”, which is why the two prime commands of Christ are to love God will all your being and to have empathy for your neighbour (which is the only way that you could love your neighbour as yourself). Loss of empathy is evident in the “Fall” story because it chronicles the birth of ego, egoism, and self-love. Those characteristics are at the very essence of Satan and the root of the demonic. Perhaps, this is why Romanides insisted that the way to defeat Satan was through growth in unselfish love.

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Please, please, people of faith, don’t assert what “Jesus would do” or what “Jesus wouldn’t do”. Nobody knows the answer to that, and it’s such a tired formula. Moreover, it really is important to remember that we follow the Christ, and it isn’t painful to refer to Him as Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus (I realise that’s primarily the Orthodox Christian practice, but I’d like to encourage our fellow Christians to practise it also). Salvation really does consists in the restoration of the human nature to unity with God in the person of Christ Jesus, who has saved us, not by being a human sacrifice to God, but by ransoming us from the power of death, thus redeeming us from the bondage to “him who held the power of death”. He’s the recapitulation (as Apostle Paul says) of the human nature. He accomplished this because He is the Christ, Who is fully God become also, at the same time, without dilution or admixture, fully wholly human… ending, in Himself, the alienation of the human nature from the Divine, and making our Theosis possible. Jesus is never “just Jesus”… He’s always and inseparably the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Remember… we follow Him… He doesn’t follow us.

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Saturday, 24 November 2012

24 November 2012. Black Friday: The Black Mass of Crapitalism

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Black Friday is THE “holiday” of crapitalism, bar none. Its votaries wait for hours for the store’s doors to open; when they do open, the crowds are so frenzied that people are trampled, and the crazed “consumers” don’t give a ruby-red god-damn. There are things that they have to have… and they’re going to get them. I guess that you can tell that I’m a “conscientious objector” from Black Friday.

Why is Black Friday so important? Firstly, it’s the Easter of Neoliberalism in the USA. If you take part in it, you affirm your adherence to the religion of the Almighty Dollar and the Free Market. You affirm your allegiance to Materialism and to Consumerism. That is, you’re “respectable” and you’re “well-adjusted”. The Decalogue states, “You shall no other Gods before Me”. Materialism is Satan‘s substitute for real religion; its his ersatz religion. If you take part in Black Friday, you throw a pinch of incense on Lucifer‘s altar. That makes you a thurificatus in religious terms. Maybe, it doesn’t invalidate your religious professions; yet, it does damage them. It’s much the same as lusting to live in the “right” suburb and choosing a life career solely on the basis of how much money it’d bring you. It tells the world that Materialism is one of your Gods… which makes you a transgressor of the Decalogue, doesn’t it?

Black Friday is a sacrament of Consumerism. To take part in it is the same as taking part in the Eucharist. If we take the Eucharist, we affirm publicly our faith in Christianity. If we take part in Black Friday, we affirm publicly our faith in the Almighty Dollar. Note well that some who make loud pretensions of being against Materialism aren’t essentially in favour of the True God… they simply worship spiritual “other gods”, which makes them WORSE than the votaries of Consumerism. As pitiful as the Black Friday hordes are, they’re not as spiritually-barren as sectarians are (and the Orthodox who wish to build bridges to such are even worse). Remember, “the rankest flowers of evil grow in the shadow of the altar”. Old Clive Staples was right in that… do bite the coin before accepting it… there’s crank coinage circulating in the agora. Have a care…

I’d recommend that you watch a ten-part Polish series called The Decalogue (Dekalog)it’s available on Amazon.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 November 2012

Albany NY

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