Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

24 May 2016. The Orthosphere is ONE!

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No, Oriental and Eastern Orthodox aren’t in communion, but we DO form a coherent historical, sociological, and cultural whole, especially, in relation to the heterodox confessions (and even more so in relation to the Antichristian “Evangelicals”). The Orthosphere exists… its cultural unity surpasses being out of communion and being theological opponents for centuries. Can we hope that our present disunity can find a solution in our time? God willing, it can!

BMD

24 May 2016. A Point to Ponder…

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The simple straightforward moral imperatives of Christ are the only real answer to our moral quandaries. Civil law has to deal with those that we can’t otherwise resolve. Social justice is an imperative of true morality, but rightwing religious people oppose it, sometimes vehemently. It’s disconcerting to see that what people consider to be “personal immorality” or a neurotic focus on often-petty sexual impropriety dominate the discourse, whilst the concentration of wealth in the hands of people who do and can afford to do the most abominable things, whilst impoverishing the majority of humanity, isn’t considered immoral, no matter how much damage they do to humanity or to their nation.

Bishop Lazar Puhalo

Sunday, 22 May 2016

22 May 2016. Some Thoughts on REAL Christian Love

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There was a real colloquy on love on FB:

Love is “all the law and the prophets”. It’s also the cheapest and most misused word in any language. Too many Christians destroy other human beings from fear and malice, and claim that they do it “from love”. For rightwing fundamentalists, law negates love.

My contribution was:

Love took a body… so St Chrysostom taught us. I believe that. That’s why I believe in an inclusive Church. Yes… there’s room even for the loudmouth haters. God WILL sort them out in the end… that’s the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.

You may have the exclusive “church” of the haters… with its rules, rules, rules… with its long faces and its long list of those excluded for not being “pure” enough or not simply not there as often as the Savanarolas dictate. I prefer the Church that Our Lord Christ founded… the BIG tent… with room for everybody, INCLUDING the haters. Remember what the Parable of the Wheat and Tares means… if you try to “purify” the Church, all that you’d do is to kill it. Do reflect on that the next time that you hear a young immature priest or recent convert ramble on about this-or-that fault or this-or-that sinner…

The Lord Christ forgives… the phonies don’t… bear that in mind…

BMD

22 May 2016. The Tollhouses are NOT Orthodox Doctrine in the Smallest Possible Way

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The Evil One loves stirring up controversy… his main tools are the ignorant and pigheaded… just sayin’…

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I posted this on FB:

The tollhouses are bullshit; the ROCOR Holy Synod forbade all discussion of them. Note well that the konvertsy brats know nothing of that.

It garnered this response:

Most cradles know nothing of that, either. A hieromonk gave me a book in favour of it; he told me it was true. Awkward…

I replied:

It happened in the early 80s [or was it the late 70s? My memory fails me: editor] over the rancorous criticism and advocacy of Seraphim Rose’s loopy defence of the tollhouse lunacy. Rose had no monastic or priestly formation… no seminary… but he’s the darling of the konvertsy set. After Rose’s death, Vladyki Antony Medvedev had to set the Platina mess right. There was no serious advocacy of the tollhouses before Rose… you didn’t hear Vladyki Averky Taushev speak on them nor did Vladyki Anastassy Gribanovsky. I’m 62… I’ve seen a few things…

Another person chipped in:

They’re too quick to believe evil of God and His Creation. It’s akin to listening to malicious gossip, but they call it pious opinion when it’s impious slander.

Let’s keep it simple. The tollhouses are NOT a doctrine of the Church. They aren’t dogma… they aren’t defined synodically anywhere. They aren’t even a theologoumena; that is, they aren’t a learned theological submission or opinion. They don’t even rise to the level of private piety… they’re just a oddbod opinion of one Basil the New, who’s a Nobody in Church History terms. They’re particularly popular with those influenced by papist notions of Purgatory (a concept rejected by the Holy Church). A belief in this notion is usually a sign of spiritual immaturity and persistence of heterodox ideas such as “proof-texting”.

One finds konvertsy telling grounded people, “Look at the Fathers. Look at the saints who approved of this”. Firstly, nothing in the Patristic Deposit directly corroborates the Tollhouse Lunacy. NOTHING. Secondly, saints aren’t infallible… we believe that they can be mistaken on this or on that, as everyone can be. In fact, I’ve received many warnings from experts over the years that the Fathers and saints contradict one another many times, and that it requires guidance to avoid falling into the ditch. The konvertsy are full of pride and hubris… they don’t seek out such guidance. Therefore, they fall into the ditch more often than not.

The tollhouses have NEVER been doctrine or dogma… they’re simply something held by a faction in the Church. As for me, I believe what St Chrysostom taught… the Judgement consists in us being in God’s Presence. Full stop. A larger circle accepts this submission than do those who accept the tollhouses. I offer it to you as a belief well proven and well accepted. After all, who’s more important in Church History, St Chrysostom, the greatest preacher who ever lived… or the obscure visionary Basil the New? I think that you know my answer… I confide to you… I’m not alone in thinking that way!

The ROCOR Holy Synod should reiterate its earlier decision… as they so wisely stated back then (if memory serves me correctly), “As we have little revelation on this, let all discussion on this topic cease”. It was wise then… it’d be wise now. It’s time to take these mewling toddlers out to the woodshed and give the boot to their juvenile theological ramblings. Let’s keep to the Golden Mean, as the Church teaches… that’s something that I think that most of my readers would applaud… and applaud loudly.

Keep it focused… the times aren’t good…

BMD

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