Voices from Russia

Thursday, 15 February 2018

15 February 2018. A Thought from Vladyki Lazar

“Everyone needs to carry their cross”… this reminds me of puffed-up clergy such as Trenham, Paffhausen, Damick, and Reardon… they turn more people away from Christ and His Church than they attract to it… those that they do attract are nutters we’re better off without.

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It isn’t that atheists in the West don’t believe in God; rather, many of them believe in Him, but hate Him. This is because they see the Western God as being “out to get them”. He’s preached as vain and vindictive, looking for an excuse to punish you, while claiming to love you.

Photios Kontoglou

Indeed, God is preached, not only in the West, but by some Orthodox clergy, as being the supreme child-abusing father who pretends to forgive, but actually punishes his own Son in the most hideous manner on behalf of mankind for his own satisfaction. However, punishment and forgiveness are mutually exclusive. You can have one or the other, but not both. Who actually would want to spend eternity in the house of an abusive father?

13 February 2018

Bishop Lazar Puhalo

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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.

Monday, 19 May 2014

19 May 2014. An Easter E-Mail Conversation

00 Happy Beer Drinkers. 15.10.12

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Party for everybody! Be yourself and the whole world will smile with you! Be like the happy babas (it seems like staid stuff until 0:45… then, hey, see it for yourself)…

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Editor:

My interlocutor is in plain type, I’m in italics. I deleted all personal details to protect the innocent…

BMD

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I hope you have a peaceful day while we remember what the Messiah has done for us.

This is THE DAY for Christians. We reflect on what Our Lord Christ had to suffer to give us LIFE. Of course, the tomb DOES lead to the Resurrection (and such will be so for those in the OCA, too)…

It does indeed.

That means YOU, too… perhaps, you should think on staying put. It’s your HOME, after all. I wouldn’t leave here in the Northeast for that reason. God does plant us in various places for HIS reasons, not ours…

I’m not very popular in many quarters; I seem to consistently have the wrong opinion. I know that you know how this feels, but it does take its toll on person after a while, how did Bilbo Baggins put it? “Butter scraped over too much bread”.

Indeed. I just turned 60, and I decided that I wasn’t going to give a shit about that anymore. I try to please God, the Truth, and me… and if the rest of ’em don’t like it, fuck em! It makes life easier… and people like you better (people can tell when you’re puttin’ on an act to please them). Try it… you’ll not only like it, so will those about you!

BMD

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