Voices from Russia

Thursday, 23 June 2016

23 June 2016. A Thought From Oscar Wilde…

00 Karol Nienartowicz. Stairway to the Castle. 2014 Oscar Wilde. 220616

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Unity of the Church and the Super-Correct

What is the Church. 05.04.15

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We must refrain from living the life of the super-correct

Driven by fear, there are people who leave the Church and head into schism. In Greece, there are at least eighteen “Old Calendar” Orthodox churches claiming to be THE Church, not recognising each other as canonical. In the USA, there are nearly the same numbers, some Slavic, others of Greek origin. Prideful people populate these groups; they think of themselves as the only remnant of Christ’s Church. These people practise a form of Christianity filled with self-righteous rigidity, totally lacking in humility. Walling themselves off from World Orthodoxy, they become extremely pharisitical*, harsh, punitive, and rotten to the core. In their legalistic approach to the canons and traditions of the Church, they enter into a state of constant judgement against anyone outside their arrogant cultish religiosity.

  • Pharisitical: A portmanteau of “pharisaical” and “parasitical”; by this neologism, Abba Tryphon suggests not only pettifoggery, but also a vampiric parasitism. It suggests how such an attitude not only deadens the conscience and narrows the mind, but also how it feeds upon the very life-force and humanity of the individuals involved. I’d call this a rather inspired turn of thought.

In their narrow-minded approach to the Church, they fail to trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding and protecting His Church. They don’t see the Holy Spirit operating in the life of people because they closed themselves off to the Holy Spirit. Where is the life of the Church manifested among such people? They do nothing for the love of humanity and their lack of love begets more schism. Schism begets schism begets schism, becoming a never-ending downward spiral into the abyss. They base their usual premise on the issue of the calendar change and false ecumenism. The calendar issue is more important to them than Church Unity is, forgetting, as they do, that the early Church celebrated many of the great feasts on different days. False ecumenism is hardly an issue today; the number of theologians and bishops truly caught up in it has dwindled to almost nothing, along with the liberal thinking that has gone out of fashion since the fall of communism. The Russian Church, the largest of the Local Churches, has taken a strong stand against false ecumenism and is powerfully pushing forth the unchanging canons, traditions, and faith of the ancient Church.

Orthodox Christianity has withstood 2,000 years of attacks and persecution, yet the gates of hell haven’t prevailed against her. This was Christ’s promise to His disciples before His Holy Resurrection. To believe otherwise is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.

20 June 2016

Igumen Tryphon Parsons

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Editor:

My reply to this was:

Our Church is the BIG TENT. Oikonomia, kids… the Church “bends” the rule for this-or-that individual, but the rule doesn’t go in the dumpster. Remember, the Church has Christ’s mercy in it, not Judas’ pride and stiff-necked judgement. I do daresay that the Church will survive being compassionate to save souls… after all, the Apostle did say, “Love God and do what you will”. That isn’t licence to do vice… but it does imply that there are several roads to “good”… do think on that…

BMD

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Orthodoxy is About Christ… NOT Religion

01zl Faces of a Religious Procession

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Orthodoxy isn’t a religion, but a way of life centred in Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy, as a way of life, has the cure to what ails us and can return us to that state of wholeness that was God’s original intent for mankind. Because Orthodoxy isn’t about religion, it can offer the transformation of the heart that comes with entering into a relationship with our Creator. This transformation begins with repentance, that moment when we decide to return to that pure state of communion with God, for which He created us. When we renounce ourselves, we become a different person through the action of God’s grace. Where we became corrupt because of the fall, repentance returns us to that state for which God created us.

Igumen Tryphon Parsons

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

30 March 2016. The Revival Will NOT be Televised… The Revival Will be Live… Kid’s Choir at the Khram Spasitelya

00 kid's choir moscow russia 300316

Children’s Choir of Moscow and Moscow Oblast at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow

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Many people think of “revival” in Born-Again Proddie terms. Sober observation soon convinces all grounded people that such emotionalism rarely lasts, and hardly ever leads to real reformation and conversion. Real revival is the work of years… even generations. If one looks at Russia today, a solid foundation is there. More people go to church on a given Sunday than they do in the contemporary West. Let’s keep it simple… in the West (including the USA!) church buildings are falling vacant and finding new use as clubs, restaurants, or even private homes. In Russia, new churches pop up… most are rarely empty and operate seven days a week (if you want a pannikhida any day of the week, the priest and dirigent are normally there). People go in and light candles… they confess… they pray… it’s not like American parishes, where the church building stands locked most of the time.

The konvertsy want us to follow “Evangelical” models. I say that’s evil. If we want revival… let’s follow the Mother Church. It may take years… I certainly wouldn’t see the full fruit of it… but it’d be real, unlike Born-Again ersatz spiritualism. It’s time to take the first step… by denouncing ALL forms of “Evangelical” sectarianism (it isn’t Christian in the least) and all those who want to bring such rubbish into Christ’s Church. Let’s be REAL Christians, following the traditions given us by the Saints and our forefathers (not Antichristian “Evangelical” notions)… after all, the Church DID exist before the Born-Agains popped up, didn’t it?

BMD

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