Voices from Russia

Sunday, 8 November 2015

7 November 2015. Wisdom from the Doadejing

00 a rowdy greek monk at anti-austerity protest. 220615

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  • When we lose goodness, we replace it with morality.
  • Without Darkness, there can be no Light.
  • The emptiness of a pot gives it usefulness.
  • The best people are like water, which benefits all things and doesn’t compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject. This is why it’s so similar to the Way.
  • When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad.
  • Try to change it… you’ll ruin it. Try to hold it… you’ll lose it.
  • Those who know, don’t speak. Those who speak, don’t know.
  • A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.
  • The more you give laws and regulations prominence, the more thieves and robbers we’ll have.

Laozi

Daodejing

(The Classic of the Virtuous Way)

Note well that Orthodoxy is the most “Eastern”-minded part of Christianity… that’s why the konvertsy are so clueless. They wish to bring a Western crusading spirit into a Zen-like paradox-embracing faith. They’re doomed to failure…

BMD

Sunday, 14 August 2011

14 August 2011. A Point of Unity. Faces of the Christian Faith: Ethiopia… the Light from Africa

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Editor’s Foreword:

To forestall any criticism from nit-picking konvertsy… yes, “Eastern Orthodoxy” isn’t in communion with “Oriental Orthodoxy” (nor are we in communion with the Church of Rome or with Classical Reformation Protestants either). That being said, we’re CHRISTIANS… we aren’t Sectarians… such as the American Radical “Evangelicals” and “Pentecostalists” are. The latter are, in a Russian Orthodox bishop’s scathing words, “Christian atheists”. They don’t have the Eucharist, the Saints, the Holy Mother of God, iconography, or the complete text of Holy Scripture… they don’t hold anything distinctively Christian, they’re closest to Radical Islamocist Muslims, in fact (although they hate Muslims passionately, oddly enough… the group that they’re closest to). Sectarians are anti-Incarnational, which means that they deny Our Lord Christ in the most basic ways. Those misguided Orthodox who think that we have ANYTHING to learn from such self-worshipping God-deniers are all wet (how can anyone be a Christian and deny icons? Ridiculous!). I don’t care how much they holler about “Jayzuss” and their “personal relationship with the ‘Lord'”… they’re not Christians, and that’s that. To put it another way, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann aren’t Christians in the least, they’re posturing blasphemers of the worst possible sort. Bear that in mind as you hear their self-centred rants over the coming months…

Here are the faces of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the face of the Christian Faith in Ethiopia… which has been the State Church since the Fourth Century AD. THESE are our brethren and “neighbours”, indeed, much more so than the Hardshell Baptists, Holy Rollers, and Smug “Evangelical” Anglicans down the block…

BMD

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

9 August 2011. Some Vox Pop Reaction to JP’s Pompous “Pronouncements”

ZOUNDS! Shades of JP and Dickie…

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A friend sent me this… have a cleansing laugh…

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Rumour has it this was another DC resolution, but Jonah squashed it… 🙂

SANCTITY OF THE BODY SUNDAY

WHEREAS the Orthodox Christian teaching on the Sanctity of the Body, firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, 2,000 years of Church tradition, and canon law, holds that “…your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you… (I Corinthians 6.19) and warns against those who hold that “… their god is their belly…” (Philippians 3.18-19), and rails against those whose excesses include “…banquetings…” (I Peter 4.3 ),   BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the Sixteenth All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America strongly commends the efforts of Orthodox bishops, clergy, and laity to bear witness to the Sanctity of the Body in the public arena; commits the Orthodox Church in America to continued witness and defence of the elimination of obesity amongst our faithful; strongly reaffirms the Orthodox Church’s opposition to raising overweight children who mature to overweight adults who place a burden on our ability to sustain the medical needs of population, particularly the poor and aged, who have serious illness, and that it does so on theological and moral grounds; and stresses God’s will that we abstain from all activities which demean the body.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Sunday in July falling on or after the celebration of the Fourth of July holiday, traditionally, the start of the summer barbecue season, will be called Sanctity of Body Sunday and on this Sunday, an annual letter from our Metropolitan will be read in all OCA Parishes during the Divine Liturgy affirming the Orthodox understanding of Sanctity of Body; and each parish priest will declare his availability to counsel overweight individuals, children or couples desiring to lose weight; and that His Holy Church establish a fund to provide for medical and psychological treatment for our overweight clergy and episcopate.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Orthodox Church stresses that all persons tempted to act contrary to the Orthodox Church’s teaching on Sanctity of Body, and all those who succumb to such temptations of gluttony, are to be offered pastoral guidance and cared for with the same mercy and love that is bestowed by our Lord Jesus Christ upon all of humanity and that all persons are called by God to grow spiritually and morally toward holiness.

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I don’t need to comment… ‘nuff said! Don’t forget, Paffhausen and Dickie are obese, practically morbidly so. A bow to my nameless friend!

BMD

Friday, 22 July 2011

22 July 2011. “Tithing”… It’s NOT Gonna Happen Any Time Soon… or, Any Time Later, For that Matter…

Some of the konvertsy are gaga over tithing… perhaps, because their former confession/sect preached it. I said, “Preached it”, because even those who “preach” the tithe don’t receive it, unless they back it with draconian penalties (as the Mormons and Baptists do). Look at the following, I saw it on the ‘net:

The entire OCA should be on a tithing system. Individuals should tithe to the parish, the parishes to their Diocese, and the Dioceses to the CCA. Any other system is problematic from all points of view, the most important being doing it in accordance with the most basic source that we have… the Holy Scriptures. It also makes great financial sense if you think about it… the tithing approach functions as a self-regulator. If the revenues are increasing, you can spend more on the needful things, and if they’re declining, you can tighten the belt in accordance with spending priorities. This haggling over a dollar or 50 cents per head is a shot in the dark from a financial planning perspective, based on zero-sum thinking, and thus is unworthy of a church body.

(Name withheld to spare the author shame for writing such dreck)

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This is unhinged and divorced from reality. NO Orthodox Local Church has EVER “preached” tithing… it’s not part of the Church’s Deposit of Tradition. Holy Scripture is NOT “the most basic source that we have”… that’s Sectarian thinking at its most nasty and insidious. The CHURCH is the bedrock of Truth. The Church defines and interprets Scripture; Scripture does NOT define and interpret the Church. The Church preceded Scripture; ergo, the Church trumps Scripture, every time. Usually, though, the Church does NOT go “against” Scripture, but there are times when it extends its pastoral oikonomia over this-or-that individual (as in the case of Mark Stokoe)… when it does so, it doesn’t negate Scripture; it makes a salutary exception for the salvation of a given person, that’s all.

In any case, how would we “enforce” tithing? Would we verify what everyone donated, and, then, post the figures publicly? That was done in some old-time Metropolia parishes (thank God, it’s mostly dead, now). Would we bar non-tithers from communion? Would we prohibit non-tithers from attending family marriages, as the Mormons do? Would we have two “levels” of “membership”… one for tithers, and another, lower one, for those who didn’t tithe? As you see, it opens up far more problems than it “solves”. There’s another thing that’s worrisome in the above quotation… it assumes that all parishioners have an equal level of commitment and that all parishioners have an equal ability to give at a stated level of giving. That’s foolish. Some people only show up for the main holidays… hell, some come only on Easter, let’s keep it simple. Others are regular in attendance, but not every week (that’d be Nicky and me)… it’s best not to conjecture as to why a given person isn’t at services, that’s an open invitation for Ol’ Scratch to come in and set up shop. Then, there are the “church hobbyists”… they’re different from the “faithful attendees” (you know ‘em… they’re always there, but they don’t make a fuss over it). The “hobbyists” know better… their influence increases if there’s a “hobbyist priest” (a badly-formed convert with a 40-hour-a-week job who moonlights as a priest on the weekends) in the parish. Becoming a “hobbyist” is a danger to all of us… hell, I even had such a period, but I grew out of it… reality has its ways of asserting itself, kids.

Nevertheless, what’s happened is that we’ve ordained far too many converts, especially in the OCA and in the AOCANA. No organisation can have over a certain level of newbies in its leadership ranks… and it becomes positively dangerous if they were “clergy” in their previous confession/sect, which means that we have too many clergy lacking a basic Orthodox formation, who, in it’s place, have a heterodox formation instead. Thus, the “hobbyists”, far from being restrained, become “empowered”… look at Chad Hatfield, and you’ll know what I mean. He’s brought in his Anglican formation with him, and he’s refused to jettison his baggage (one can see that he believes wholeheartedly in the Branch Theory after the Nashotah House débâcle), to the point where he accepted an “honorary degree” from his Anglican alma mater. I’ve never heard of the like in my life. That’s why konvertsy fools are jawing about “tithing”. What I dread is that a group’s going to split off from us, call itself “Orthodox”, and muddy our reputation in the larger society (yes… any grounded person can see that happening). It may even call itself the “Orthodox Church in America”… it’ll have clergy exclusively recruited from the ranks of rebellious Anglicans and disgrunt Sectarians… it’ll teach all kinds of oddball stuff… including “tithing”. As for the Church… it’s NEVER taught tithing… it does NOT do so now… and it NEVER shall. I know, this’ll disappoint the “hobbyists”… but that’s the way it is. Ergo, they’re going to leave us. Don’t EVER argue with them… they’re impervious. If they won’t listen to Christ and His Church, they’re not going to listen to sinners like you or me.

We live in “interesting” times… may we acquit ourselves well…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 22 July 2011

Albany NY

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