Voices from Russia

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Ukraine’s War on Orthodox Christianity

________________________

The Ukrainian Verkhovnaya Rada is considering legislation that could lead to a ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/Moscow Patriarchate (UPTs/MP). If the new laws pass, they’d allow the Ukrainian régime to ban churches, regulate worship, monitor church activities, ban missionaries from entering the country, and seize the assets of churches. The laws would only apply to churches whose ecclesiastical leadership was in what Ukrainian nationalists consider “aggressor states”. Russia is the only state that the Ukraine currently views as an aggressor. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of worship, it’s clearly a racially motivated attack on believers. Advocates of religious freedom all over the world condemned these proposals. The Ukrainian proposals would be totally illegal in the EU (which Ukraine seeks to join) as well as the USA. Previously, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev drew the world’s attention to the oppression of Middle Eastern Christians at the hands of western-backed jihadist groups. He called the Ukrainian proposals:

It’s a full-scale war on believers. In the first place, these draft laws target the UPTs/MP. That’s no question; it’s obvious. These bills don’t even try to cover it up. The UPTs/MP would be under the submission of the Kiev authorities in a way that didn’t exist even in Soviet times.

Fr Andrei Zuevsky told RT:

Should state officials be given the right to forcefully eliminate religious communities, that’d be open and brutal interference into believers’ private lives. In Orthodox Christianity, personal faith is largely realised within a community, a church. When a government interferes in its life, it violates religious freedom.

An MP statement said:

The proposals threaten the constitutional rights of millions of Ukrainian believers; they may cause a wave of violence, new seizures of churches, and escalate the intercommunal conflict in the Ukraine.

Over 300,000 people signed a petition protesting attempts to destroy religious freedom in the Ukraine.

18 May 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/ukraines-war-on-orthodox-christianity/

Advertisements

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Particular Judgement and the Toll Houses are NOT the Same Thing

____________________________________

A Russian priest told me this:

The level of interest in the Toll Houses is proportional to one’s education in the faith. The ignorant love them. The educated are much more circumspect, and many reject the more popular manifestations.

There is a difference between the Particular Judgement, which is an important part of Sacred Tradition and IS doctrine, and the Toll Houses, which are (at best) only a theological opinion, and are mostly folk belief found amongst the ignorant. That is, one MUST believe that there’s a Particular Judgement. That’s doctrine. However, the Church is silent as to the details of it. Ergo, talk of the Toll Houses is sheer mummery, at best. No Council of the Church has EVER affirmed the Toll Houses in the form that one sees amongst ignorant konvertsy (the Serafim Rose crowd, in particular).

The Toll Houses weren’t a factor in Church Life prior to Rose’s untutored and rambling writings in the late 70s. Never forget that Rose lacked even a basic seminary formation, let alone any advanced study at a recognised Orthodox institution. That is, he lacked the credibility and education to have even posited his notion in the first place! The konvertsy swoon at a notion floated by a man who lacked the basic grounding that seminary and monastic formation give one. Too many of these toddlers take Platina’s hagiographic propaganda at face value. Rose was a simple hieromonk without the slightest hint of clerical formation, he wasn’t an archimandrite, and he certainly wasn’t a trained academic theologian. Furthermore, the St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood was a minor parvenu skete in the backwoods of Northern California, not a major influence in world Orthodoxy at all.

A priest told me that one must believe in the Particular Judgement, but that it wasn’t healthy to be speculating on the details:

You will face judgement, mark my words… but it does us no good to try to trick out the details.

I find this sage advice. Unfortunately, the Toll House nutters won’t stop squalling about their “Doctrine”… as for me, I’m tired of refuting their nonsense. Just because I’m stopping to reply to the Toll House trolls doesn’t mean that they’re right. I have things that are more important on my plate… like being a Christian and having a real life.

One last thing… no Church is considering Rose for canonisation. You can’t call him “Blessed”, as that’s the Orthodox title for a canonised Fool-in-Christ. Interesting that the konvertsy use a papist concept here (just as the Toll Houses are a corrupt form of the papist Purgatory, as St Mark of Ephesus pointed up)…

Keep it focused. There are demented toddlers afoot, screaming out this-or-that Patristic quotation. Pray for these idiots… we’re Christians; that’s what we do. Don’t feed the trolls…

BMD

Sunday, 23 April 2017

23 April 2017. A Colloquy with an Acquaintance on the Toll Houses and the Serafim Rose Nutters Who Defend Them

THIS is the centre of our faith… not the goofy Toll House fable spouted by the ungrounded. Need I say more?

____________________________________

I’m in plain type… my interlocutor is in italics.

BMD

******

Your conclusion that they are simply Seraphim Rose cultists who must fanatically defend EVERY word of The Master is sadly the only explanation that makes any sense.

They’re Anglos… that means that they have a superiority complex. They need an Anglo “Elder”… there’s never been such, so they had to make one up. The Rose that they venerate is leagues away from the reality. He was into theosophy, Oriental religions, and thought that UFOs were demonic manifestations. He wasn’t evil… but he was far from holy either. He had no monastic or clerical formation… that is, he simply swanned out into the woods with Podmo.

LOL at “They’re Anglos”… that’s a phrase I use all the time!” I read Not of This World and some of his other things in the 90s, so I know about his preoccupation with things occult. I’ve worked closely with Evangelicals for almost twenty years now and can spot one a block away, even when they’re in Orthodox guise. Unfortunately, when they “convert”, not much changes for many of them. They cling to the Evangelical political and cultural agenda stubbornly:

  • American Exceptionalism
  • Christian Zionism
  • Racism
  • Islamophobia
  • Anti-unionism
  • Homophobia
  • Pro-life-ism
  • Creationism
  • Millennialism
  • Tithing
  • Homeschooling fanaticism

And on and on. Moreover, they’re all hell-bent on improving Orthodoxy, aren’t they? Their attempts at liturgical tinkering often distress me most of all.

I prefer Living Orthodoxy… it’s why I advocate defrocking all former Prod clergy amongst us and sending our young bucks to the homelands for advanced study. They’d find out that it’s just as modern there, and that it’s far from perfect. Besides, they might get to stand in the South Stands with the guys holding the Kenny banner…

******

Yes, we have those amongst us who’ve strayed from the common path in pursuit of strange doctrines pushed by phoney pseudo-elders and puffed-up pseudo-experts. Remember what HH said:

If we hear fervent appeals to struggle, for separation, to save Orthodoxy even at the cost of one’s death, when we hear them exclaim and shout, “Orthodoxy or death”… you need to be wary of these preachers. Never did the Lord say, “My teaching or death”. None of the Apostles said, “Orthodoxy or Death”. Because Orthodoxy is life eternal, it’s joy in the Holy Spirit, it’s the joy of life, but death is decay that came because of the Fall and the devil’s action. Now, we see, from time to time, false teachers who seduce people by calling to save Christianity, to save its purity, who repeat this dangerous, sinful, and self-contradictory slogan, “Orthodoxy or death”. In the eyes of these people, you won’t find love; there burns a fire of demonic pride, a desire for power, which destroys the Church’s unity. Of course, they put on a good show, they hide behind pious visages, and they enjoy adulation from a certain set of people.

That’s the Toll House Set. Be wary of them. They’re contemporary Imyaslavtsy and are just as dangerous and false. Have a care… the times aren’t good.

BMD

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Patriarch Kirill: If Love is There, Christ is There! If There’s No Love, There’s No Christ!

___________________________________

There’s unity where there’s love; where there’s love, God is there. If someone comes up with an idea to say something about our doctrine that diverges from the tradition of the Holy Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils, then, thinking people should ask, “For what, in the name of what purpose, do they offer a particular innovation?” If from the mouth of a man we hear invective, sometimes, we even hear dirt that afflicts the Church and its ministers, if we hear fervent appeals to struggle, for separation, to save Orthodoxy even at the cost of one’s death, when we hear them exclaim and shout, “Orthodoxy or death”… you need to be wary of these preachers.

Never did the Lord say, “My teaching or death”. None of the Apostles said, “Orthodoxy or Death”. Because Orthodoxy is life eternal, it’s joy in the Holy Spirit, it’s the joy of life, but death is decay that came because of the Fall and the devil’s action. Now, we see, from time to time, false teachers who seduce people by calling to save Christianity, to save its purity, who repeat this dangerous, sinful, and self-contradictory slogan “Orthodoxy or death”. In the eyes of these people, you won’t find love; there burns a fire of demonic pride, a desire for power, which destroys the Church’s unity. Of course, they put on a good show, they hide behind pious visages, and they enjoy adulation from a certain set of people.

What we say against heresies, is true of any other division. Sometimes, in our parishes, there are divisions amongst the clergy and believers. Often, these divisions are associated with a struggle for superiority, for a certain power in the parish. We know how sometimes congregations divide, clustering around one or another priest. The veneration of a shepherd and adulation for him… so-called division in the name of love… is sinful, because there can’t be separation where love exists.

We must keep the unity of Universal Orthodoxy not only free from any heresies and schisms, we must keep the unity of our Local Church as our foremost care, as the suffering of the Martyrs of the Church gave us the gift of being one and indivisible. We must maintain the unity of our parishes and monasteries, bearing in mind that the most important criterion for evaluation of any Christian… from the Patriarch to the simplest believer… is love. If Love is there, Christ is there! If there’s no love, there’s no Christ!

Yes, may the Lord help all of us to keep the unity of our Church, to keep it as our foremost care, taking heed of chilling and dangerous examples from the past, but at the same time being inspired by the podvigs* of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, who protected and maintained the unity of the Church of Christ, asserting that Church life is based only on the tangible Law of God… only the law of love saves.

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

Sunday of Orthodoxy 2009

His Holiness Kirill Gundyaev

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

8 March 2009

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/print/577278.html

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.