.

.

After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY






Book Review

from Joanna's notepad

The Ark of Salvation
A Young Adult's Guide to the Orthodox Church


I ordered a copy of this book for my grandson, but I wanted to read it first before giving it to him.  I was looking for errors that are creeping into our Church such as evolutionism and the idea that Harry Potter is harmless Christian fantasy.  I found something unexpected instead.

The book is 158 pages.  Five pages into the first chapter there is already a 2-page section on the "energies of God."  This exalted concept is never even mentioned by our Church Fathers, or rarely, if ever, is it even mentioned.  St. Philaret, in his catechism of 611 questions mentions the word "energies" one time. Once!  And this one time that it is used he refers to human energies, not God's energies.

In the The Ark of Salvation, in the 2-page section on the "energies of God" is a quote taken from Archimandrite George, Deification As The Purpose of Man's Life, [Mt. Athos: Monastery of Gregoriou, 2001]  p. 3.

Is this a surprise?  Neo-Athos.  With it's pitiful fall into lip-serving the new calendar and  commemorating the ecumenist mason EP, now it brings out these exalted writings of past confessors to stimulate their deadened condition.  I underline the word "confessors" because without first confessing the Truth [about the EP], they have no business contemplating or teaching about God's uncreated energies.

It would be ok if this subject  were confined to the 2-page section, but it isn't.  Instead the rest of the book, up to page 89, at least, is permeated with references to God's energies.  At page 89, after the chapter on marriage, I closed the book.  I've seen enough.  I don't want to give this book to my grandson.

As Fr. Seraphim used to say, "Poor suffering Orthodoxy."

related post:


______________________________


...as a monk, he knew virtually nothing of married life and had no business knowing about it, anyway



added note 12Nov2014:  When a married couple convert questioned Fr. Seraphim Rose about marriage, Fr. Seraphim "gave us the strictest and highest standard to followBut in subsequent conversation he also urged us to consult with a married priest to see if there are sometimes legitimate exceptionsHe pointed out that, as a monk, he knew virtually nothing of married lifein particular, marital lifeand had no business knowing about it, anyway."
Letters p. 7  

This is the unofficial rule of seasoned priests and archimandrites: that monastics advise monastics, and non-monastics advise non-monastics.  A young man or woman considering monasticism needs guidance from both the married parish priest and the hieromonk.

One of the cruelest things I've seen happen is where the young man considering monasticism allowed a girl to get her hopes for marriage with him, and then chose the monastery.  This left the woman feeling used.  One girl said, "I was just his stepping stone to be a monk."  This is because it is one thing to choose monasticism regardless of whether marriage is a possibility or not, and another thing to choose monasticism after being unlucky in the love department.  Another case was particularly tragic.  After her monk decided on monasticism, she married another man, who knew (as did she know too well) that he was her second choice.  Later, her monk decided monasticism was not for him, but his bride was already married to Mr. Second Choice.  The third case the girl had been very invested in the relationship, she left the state and I can not find her.  I hope she eventually married a good husband.

Another case I observed was where monasticism was not involved.  It is worth mentioning.  A young seminarian aspired for the priesthood.  His wedding was scheduled, and ordination was in his future.  This couple was given a blessing for conjugal relations.  But before the wedding the woman backed out, leaving the seminarian not just heartbroken, but no longer a virgin.  Technically, strictly, this was to be treated like a divorce, making him unfit for the priesthood.

Stalin's daughter dies at age 85

Svetlana Peters, November 22, Wisconsin

Her death was peaceful, and she was surrounded by loved ones.
News Story Here:


How she came to believe in God:

We remember her account of her father's death in 1953:
"The death agony was terrible. God grants an easy death only to the just. He literally choked to death as we watched. At what seemed like the very last moment he suddenly opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance, insane or perhaps angry and full of fear of death. . .Then something incomprehensible and terrible happened that to this day I can’t forget. . .He suddenly lifted his left hand as though he were pointing to something up above and bring down a curse on us all. The gesture was incomprehensible and full of menace. . .The next moment, after a final effort, the spirit wrenched itself free of the flesh.  The death of sinners is evil...


Memory Eternal!
She was baptized in an MP Church in the 60's.  But there is no indication that she lived a life in the Church or that she is being buried in the Church.  There is no indication she ever renounced the Faith.
Lord have mercy


Church and Society


Metropolitan Agafangel's article "Church and Society", published in the magazine No.14  "Tribune Russian thought" 

This article by the Metropolitan is MOST instructive, as it clearly spells out what SHOULD be the Orthodox Church's stance towards any and all earthly governments, from Old Testament roots to the present. This is very sound solid Orthodox teaching.  He tells us, thusly, why our church cannot be a tool nor subservient to the evil regime currently ruling Russia, nor be tools neither of any other earthly governments, anywhere!.

Note: google machine translation has greatly improved, so that MOST can be understood, by most English speakers. One warning, the machine cannot seem to differentiate between English articles, when translating from the Russian, so that: 'and' ....can be substituted for, 'to' , or 'with' or 'also' or....other WRONG interpretations from the original Russian. Also the machine translates the word for ...parish...(prihod) in Russian, to it's literal meaning, 'coming', and etc....which can be most confusing and often changes entirely the essential meaning of a sentence.
That is a danger of being too trusting of google machine translations, as they can give the wrong meaning.
Also, another dumb thing that google does, is to: literally translate the last names of people, rather than just keep them as is.  Thus, as an example, a  Fr. Peter Zelony, becomes, Priest Peter GREEN (!)...most confusing.  
-RD

http://sinod.ruschurchabroad.org/

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fsinod.ruschurchabroad.org


Metropolitan Agafangel

Church and Society

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is God's
(Luke 20:25).

If you abide in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free
(John 8.31-32).


The question of coexistence of the Church and civil society is relevant at all times.  Despite the fact that members of the Church are both citizens of a state, in thinking of the Church and Society Church - The Church and the world, always contrasted.  It is known that the opposition did not come out now, and it took place in Old Testament times.

The Scripture says a lot about the Church (the Old Testament - God's people) and that now we call politics.  For example, we know that one of the historical periods of God's people, led by a judge, delivered the people of the Lord Himself, Who by the people of the judges (Judges 2.16-18).  However, the stand supplied by God judges the people of Israel refused.  "And all the elders of Israel, and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now therefore make us a king to judge us like all the nations" (1 Samuel 08.04 -5).  "It is not the thing displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge us.  And Samuel prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for it is not you they have rejected, but rejected me, that I should not reign over them (1 Samuel 8.6-7).  But the power of an earthly king blessed by God through the anointing - in contrast to the present times when people, unfortunately, rejected God and did not wish his power in any the form.

Thus, from the Scriptures, and, of course, not only from the above passage, we see that the people (in the XI century BC) wanted to be their ruler is not God, and the world's leader.  Even after the prophet described the harassment, which will be delivered on human rights, "the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and said: No, let the king will be upon us, and we like all the nations will judge us our king, and walk before us and fight our battles" (1 Samuel 8.19-20).  This renunciation of the power of God in favor of civil authority in the history repeats itself continually until the present day.  And when faith was more in the people, he thought much of his earthly power and sole authority felt the power of God.  But when faith is weakened, then the question of earthly power has always been forward.  So it was in Old Testament times, as happens now.

At the time of the captivity of the people of Israel, the latter was always trying to find their feet, or running away (outcome), or an uprising against the enslaved and oppressed his civil authority.  In this regard, Christians showed to innovation - as our Lord Jesus Christ never called for violence and power of resistance against the Jews enslaved the Roman authorities, and urged his followers to obey these authorities, unless, of course, the authorities did not require certain ungodly actions.

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no authority except from God, existing as the authorities are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.  And the adversaries themselves incur condemnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil.  Do you want to not be afraid of the authorities?  Do good, and you will have praise from it, because [the chief] is the minister of God to thee for good.  If you do evil, be afraid, for he was not in vain bear the sword he is God's servant in wrath doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only from [fear] punishment, but also for conscience sake.  For this you pay taxes and because they are God's ministers, this very thing.  So to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; who rents, rents; whom fear, fear, honor to whom honor.  Owe no one anything except to love one another for loving fulfilled the law" (Rom 13.1-8).

Thus, the Apostle, contrary to the expectations of other Jews (some would say - of the Jewish people), waiting and waiting for this day, the prince who will win the Jews all the other people - faithful obedience to the commands Christians to existing pagan authorities. Of course, from the above passage, the Apostle Paul shows that it is a contemporary authority, which did not require this kind of obedience itself, which was a betrayal of God.

To increase and strengthen the Church of Christ, which stepped the national and state boundaries, a convert to preach Christ to all people, needed a solution solely domestic issues, and for that there was no need to change the government or seek the assistance of the ruling elite.  Church - a faith in the Resurrection of Christ, which does not require the publication of state laws.  The Church, being the kingdom not of this world, suddenly began to speak many languages, spread "from person to person," among other peoples and states, as if among them there were no boundaries, and ignoring existing local civil government.  Christianity, converting the world to create a new spiritual man recognizes all forms of government, refusing only to perform ungodly laws.  It considers each existing order as set by God, the natural conditions of the order in which the Church predlezhit resolve their "supranational" the problem of universal salvation.

This approach is supported and the Russian Church Abroad in exile: "The Church can not and should not have any universally valid political setup.  For it lasted only one guiding principle of conduct and irrevocable political: to stay true to itself, respectively, by changing their political setting, depending on on what, where and when the power she sees before him." 1

At the same time, according to the Scriptures, if a legitimate civil government shied away from God's Commandments, the prophets denounced it - that was not calling for elimination of the existing government, but this was manifested their service to society.  Without giving ample evidence of the Old Testament, we show similar episodes occurring in the New Testament.  For example, the greatest of the prophets - John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded for having denounced Herod the king for illicit cohabitation - that is, in modern terms and in accordance with modern concepts, he intervenes in family affairs of the legitimate ruler.  Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ, disrespectful attitude to Herod the king, and if you talk to the generally accepted now categories, threatening to undermine his authority exposures popular governors.  When the Pharisees said to Christ, that he has disappeared, for Herod wants to kill him, the Savior said to them: "Go tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and healing I make today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish" (Luke 13.31-32).  And sitting on the throne of Moses, the scribes and Pharisees, Christ was not only popularly called hypocrites and blind guides, and brood of vipers, because they left the court, mercy, and faith  2.  The Lord called Himself and the King (whose kingdom not of this world) (John 18.33-37), and Judge (John 5:30; 8.16).

Also, during the reign of the Orthodox Church is not the Emperors once raised her voice against the tyranny and wickedness of earthly rulers.  We remember the example of St. John Chrysostom, denounces wicked Queen Eudoxios.  There are also examples of St. Ambrose, sternly denounced the emperor Theodosius, St. Basil the Great, who fought with the Emperor for the authority of the Church authorities, the Metropolitan of Moscow Philip, who spoke with the accusations against Ivan the Terrible.  Are these examples can be called the introduction of politics into the Church?  When power operates shamelessly declares war on God, atheism implants, corruption, defies divine and human laws, - the Church can not and must not be silent.  A must expose.  It is her duty. 3

Thus, we see from Scripture that a true people of God, represented by its best representatives, and the Church of Christ in all cases, the relationship with civil authorities, above all, defended the faith in true God, and the possibility of free service to Him, and the open denouncing the rulers transgressed against God's commandments.  In contrast to the Old Testament times, the Church of Christ is not called, and took no action to overthrow the civilian rulers, but rather called for obedience to such rulers that do not interfere with the free life of Christians.  This demonstrates the evolutionary principle of the impact of the Orthodox Church in society, in contrast to the revolutionary inherent in our day only enemies of the Church and the enemies of God, as well as all sorts of political adventurers.

Terms of the free life of the Church in society

In my opinion, it is possible to build on the three principles that govern the freedom of the Church in society - 1) no effect on its internal affairs by outside forces, 2) with impunity ignore the Church decrees ungodly power and 3) the freedom of service to the Church Society.  In other words - the Church can fully live in a society in which the state can not encroach on her inner life, where there is no enforcement of laws and ungodly are no obstacles for Preaching and social service of the Church.

***
In Old Testament times the Lord Himself visibly protected the people from the distortion of faith in the True God - while there is no question of doubt and controversy regarding the knowledge of God.  However, representatives of the Jewish people are often offended and deviated to the worship of "the gods of other nations."

The question of faith openly and widely began to rise during the Ecumenical Councils, after Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the state religion.  This was the moment the question of relations of Church and State, apparently largely under the influence of Hellenic aspirations base object of his faith, became a truly important.  And from that time began a process of active government influence on the internal life of the Church.  I must admit that the Church as it could defend itself from this influence.  For example, since its formation in the Church to ordain in all the church itself will be done by the Church, which was later adopted by the recorded church legislation. Church rules in such cases, strictly protect the Church from outside influences - "Once a bishop, having used worldly commanders, after they receive the bishop's authority in the church, let him be deposed and excommunicated, and all communicating with him" (30th Apostolic Canon).  Also, there are many other similar rules that protect the Church from outside influences.

Modern power, not only in the former Soviet Union, but practically everywhere, to some extent can (and should) be seen as a pagan power (despite the fact that the government itself calls himself a "secular" - for Christians there is no difference in the title power "secular" or "pagan", the issue is not the name, but that power is not alien to the Orthodox and the Church).  Therefore, we may well apply to her those instructions which the apostles gave to his congregation in relation to their modern Roman authorities.  In this sense (as in many other ways) now we are in a distant analog of the apostolic times.  As I have already written above, from the Church, above all, requires guarding of sacred tradition, rather than instant response to queries today.  On the contrary, due to escort the Holy Tradition, we need freedom from the daily changing needs of time.  You can not divide the church to "internal" and "external" and define it for each service - because, in the words of Christ: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other or one will hold, but on the other slack . can not serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).  After all, every single person there and the image of the whole Church - is absurd to demand from a man split his personality.  The Church can not take upon itself the role of a newspaper reporter and respond to each incident in the community event.  Beginning with the Old Testament and ending today, we see that the church (God's people) lived and lives among the different nationalities, religions, beliefs and political systems, while remaining within a constant.  Here is the immutability of religion: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and is the main thing that the Church must maintain at all times, no matter what the external conditions.  Therefore, it should carefully protect themselves from the effects of ongoing events around her.

***
The Old Testament the Jewish people were adamant to those who persecuted him. In the Old Testament we often find direct opposition to those or other authorities that oppress the people - as an example we can recall the conquest and victory, are listed in the Book of Psalms (Psalms 135 and 136).  There are in Scripture many other examples.

In the New Testament we see, on the one hand, the voluntary acceptance of decisions of the Roman authorities by Christ and the perfect renunciation of what we call the political struggle, his disciples.  And along with it, a perfect failure (for example, three young men who refused to VI. BC.  Obey the commandment of king Nebuchadnezzar) to fulfill the requirements of ungodly power.  In heathen countries in the past necessarily required to make sacrifices to idols and appropriate for their refusal to bring many Christians shared in the same lost their lives, as we all know.  In the Soviet state of Christians required to testify under threat of reprisals loyalty to the idol of the communist regime (the ideology) who refuse to do this enlisted in the ranks of the anti-Soviet, with all its consequences.  We may confidently assert that the ranks of the clergy of the Church officially permitted in communist times, there was no open "anti-Soviet" and could not be there, we can say is, by definition.  In the Soviet Union could not exist, no organization that would be beyond the control of "authorities" and would have a purpose contrary to the construction of communism.  If it were not so, then the Church would not share in the catacomb and the Soviet one.  Catacomb Church, as Overseas, refused to testify their loyalty to communist ideals (which were, in fact, the Soviet idols), for which both the godless authorities have been enrolled in the category of anti-Soviet counter-revolutionary organizations.  The True Church of Christ, it was impossible to be loyal to the communist ideology, as it openly godless, atheistic doctrine that denies the very existence of God and openly aiming to destroy religion. Thus, the Church of Christ could not live freely in the Soviet Union and, especially, the support of the atheist state.  The Moscow Patriarchate, testifying their loyalty to the Soviet government, according to the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) "not for fear but for conscience", giving the gods Caesar deliberately entered the submission of this authority and dutifully fulfilled all its requirements.  Up to the bringing of Soviet statues of the victim (honors) in the form of wreaths and flowers, there is clear evidence that separation from the Church. Church canons (laws) of these cases, expressed clearly and definitely.  For example, the Local Rules of the Council of Ancyra say that the clergy, under duress falsely brought sacrifice to idols, but then turned to sincere confession of Christ, may continue to wear the priestly garments, but they are forever forbidden to preach and to perform any religious rite (right one).  The laity also, for sacrifice to the idols, depending on the circumstances, the rules of this Council excommunicated from 3 to 10 years.  But all this was possible only with the full and sincere repentance of the fallen Christian.  For any member of the Church is totally unacceptable response to ungodly demands, and under the provisions of the Ecumenical Councils and Church rules - even in the simplest of everyday situations.  Therefore, the true Church of Christ, even with indignation, rejected the request of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) attest to their loyalty to the God-fighting authorities.  By itself, fulfillment of that requirement would be the same as the offering of sacrifice to the idols on the one hand, and on the other - opened up the possibility of access to the active intervention of atheists in the internal life.

***
The ministry of the church community as a whole is, above all, spreading the Gospel and evangelism to be attached to the Church of the new members, promotion of adoption of Christian principles in society the relationship between people and the prayers of the Church of the polity and feasible social service.  State government can be divided into 
a) Orthodox, 
b) do not interfere in the internal affairs of the Church, and 
c) anti-God.  
Depending on the nature of government, the Church's prayer for those in power and its social service to the community may be different.

Of course, in our time the Church must, in accordance with its Holy Tradition, denouncing the vices of society and their corresponding public policies - such as a broad propaganda of immorality (just as John the Baptist rebuked Herod's illicit cohabitation), the cult street democracy (bearing in mind that that the Lord was crucified "democratic" way), permissiveness, under the guise of "human rights" (leading to the abolition of the Law of God).  But while calling for correction of defects, not to overthrow the current rulers.

The church must become the conscience of society, and if it is not, then all of its appeals and declarations will only be retroactive.

Serving the Orthodox Church in the state.

The Church in Russia, "was connected with the state represented by the King-Emperor: he united the state and the Church.  The state has lived a life that is separate from the Church.  The church lived its own life, separate from the state.  Merged these two elements together - in the person of Samuel I, which leading the state belonged to the Church". 4  Of course, all of the available forms of government, only the Orthodox monarchy as the most contributes to the spiritual health of the nation and the salvation of souls of his subjects.

Russian Orthodox church, unfortunately, easily gave up the monarchy in favor of democracy and its independent, without care orthodox state of existence.  But when she was faced with the God-fighting regime seized power in Russia in 1917, it is quite conscious of the destructiveness of this reckless act.  Many representatives of the Russian Church then supported the monarchy and directly involved in the political struggle, calling for struggle against the Bolsheviks.  There have been acts of appeals and the anathema of Patriarch Tikhon (confirmed by the Local Council) to the natural resistance of the faithful to protect the shrine.  However, calls for the violent overthrow of the Bolsheviks were not vsetserkovnogo character.  Public calls to overthrow the Church Abroad, the Soviet government met resistance from the Church authorities in Russia and, ultimately, the ROCOR obeyed her voice (though only after izsyakla hope for an armed overthrow of the godless regime).

In the midst of the struggle for power in Russia there were also cases of authoritative influence of the priests at the election of delegates to the state political bodies.  For example, an episode described by H. Thalberg: "Zaveduya in the Office of the Minister of Internal Affairs office work for the elections to the Duma and the Council of State, considering pre-election plan to the fifth State.  Duma (the fourth term of office expired in the summer of 1917), it is I was calm for the Volyn province, where the outcome of the elections in large measure, as before, independent of Archimandrite Vitaly.  He believed, and the clergy, the nobility, and townspeople, especially the peasantry". 5

Church and State, which does not interfere in its internal affairs.

Found themselves outside the fatherland Russian Church Abroad always treated with gratitude to the authorities of those States which have sheltered her.  In the ROCOR has always been made to pray to the Great Litany, and the entrance of the country where Russian refugees had to live and about the rulers of this country as follows: "About this, and the host of vlasteh her, pray to the Lord," in contrast to the Soviet authorities in pursuit of the Church at home: "That He may deliver His people from the bitter torment bezbozhnyya power."

Russian Orthodox people, get a job and housing in their country of exile, tried to feasibly participate in public life - served in the Army and worked in public office, and just from the heart, were grateful to those who extended a helping hand in difficult times of life.

"Obviously, ... Christian patriotism ... requires each of us manageable service to the fatherland.  This ministry is carried out by man, especially when it is on this or that government or public service.  Of course, the value of such service has increased if it is committed bezkorystno - regardless of any material considerations and concerns.  But the man somehow serves the State and when he, for example, is involved in his life, working and speaking in the press or in public elections and etc.  And this is where he should seek to benefit from it throughout their country, all the people, not only to comply with their personal (or party) interests.  And then his conscience is at peace.  Let it not reach the large external success - but honestly, as a Christian duty to perform a patriot and a loyal son of his country" 6 - these words of St. Philaret also apply to the new homeland razseyannyh worldwide Russian people.

If today's post-Soviet states are also tolerant of the Church Abroad, who returned to his homeland, its representatives, of course, responded to rewarding work for the benefit of their country.

Church of the atheist state.

Of course, neither of which the state ministry of the Church atheist can be no question, as it can not service the power of Antichrist.  In the case of the arrival of the atheist government, the Church in all ages of its existence, fleeing (An 12.6), or hid in the "crevices of the earth" (An 12.16).  However, under conditions of open persecution of some members of the Church thought it possible to pray even for the atheist government. For example, in exile Martyr Metropolitan Kirill (Smirnov) wrote in 1929: "The commemoration of the authorities that be clergy who were in exile Zyriansky be carried out in 1923 as follows: ... "of all ilk are in power and the hedgehog vozglagolati in their hearts the good and peace of the Church of Holy, pray to the Lord" ... According to this formula, I am making commemoration prederzhschih authorities, and to this day it is consistent with pomyanniku, placed in the Psalms and the Book of Hours Learning and reflects a sincere attitude toward the Church of God and to Caesar". 7

In commemoration of the Russian liturgical tradition of the authorities in one form or another is required.  But, as we see how you can pray for the welfare authorities, who favored or at least not to pursue the church, or pray for the enlightenment of the authorities, the Church is oppressed, as well as to pray for deliverance from the authorities, the Church is pursuing.  Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and at once uniquely determined in their attitude toward the Soviet regime and always prayed for deliverance of their country from its "bitter torment."

"The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad can not, under any circumstances, recognize the power in Russia, which denies the freedom of the Church and the regime carries out violence against Russia.  Recognition of the Soviet Union - Russia, from the Church, it would be glaring violation of the prohibition established by the Council. Patriarchal Church.   In this sense, Soviet hard pregreshaet against the Moscow Cathedral. ... The Church Abroad can not until all of Russia under the Soviet yoke, no power, claim to supremacy over vozstanovlennoy Russia, to recognize that the Russian authorities, the denial of which would razsmatrivatsya as disobedience of the Church". 8
"We can not be attributed to the Soviet doctrine of St.. Apostle Paul's authority (Rom 13.1-4).  ...  Of Soviet power, we as a temporary razsmatrivaem's permission of God, as a natural evil to discipline the people who sinned before God.  Therefore, Christians are bound to obey only lawful authority to execute and obey only those laws and regulations of which agree with the divine will, and do not destroy God's law.  Otherwise, they should be following the example of St. Apostles to obey God more than men (Acts 4.19), and the example of Saviour Christ, to be obedient to God the Father even unto death, and death on the cross (Phil. 2.8).  We dare to do so and ... and continually offer to God the Almighty fervent prayers for deliverance from it us, our country and the Church as we pray to the Lord God of ridding us of the smooth, pestilence, fire, gubitelstva, the invasion of foreigners.  We are deeply convinced and confident that this point of view - a purely Christian. Otherwise, think - does this mean that all Christians must recognize that in the future and brutal rule, which says St. John Taynovidets in the XIII chapter of the Apocalypse.  And yet, by the Divine teachings, that the authorities recognize only those whose names are not written in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (An 13.8)." 9

Thus, we see that the church clearly defining the godless government as evil, while at the same time find it possible to pray for her correction (Metropolitan Kirill), and the deliverance of the Church and the people from the oppressive power of the godless.

Church and State

Thus, we can conclude that the Orthodox Catholic Church in principle not limited to the boundaries of any state and independent living, independent lives.  The church where God's elect and the people of God gathered around these representatives.  Of course, where the state encourages the church, there are more people of the Church.  But the number of elected representatives does not depend on the state, but depends only on God: "Do not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you" (Jn 15.16). God Himself erects His Apostles and sent them to the service.

The Orthodox Church is the state of its main ideological component, whereas in the States it is only part of the democratic, along with others, often the opposite of Christianity, ideological doctrines.  In the historical process of its formation, the Church of Christ has had a tremendous impact on society, one might even say - the whole course of world history.  However, especially in these days, the principles of developing the so-called "democracies" more and more in conflict with the Law of God - gay marriage, legalization of corruption in its various forms and the destruction of the family, legitimizing murder and vices, the equation between a variety of religions and even superstition, which merged into a single process of globalization of the world community - all of it suppresses the spiritual principle in man, and brings meaning to his life to consume surrogate, both physiologically and spiritually.  The Church can not stop the development of these processes, as well as it can not go in their bed than dooms itself to the progressive "marginalized" in the eyes of the spiritually degrading modern society.

Life of the Church and society evolve separately from each other in accordance with its domestic laws, mutually assisting each other influence.  In this church, being self-sufficient organism, having its head of our Lord Jesus Christ, directly from the society and the state obviously can not get a positive experience (except for periods when the government itself is part of the Church), while the influence of the Church in State has an exceptionally good value, as the influence of Christ. Church of Christ stands outside of time and, therefore, responds to requests of this world not by compulsion, but solely on the weakness of her children living at the time. Therefore, the Orthodox Church should seek, wherever possible, be a spiritual leader in the field of its location - showing the public a sample of the moral and spiritual life, civic responsibility and social service.

     Summarizing this article, we can conclude that the Church in all periods of his life to enter into relations with various authorities on the basis of their internal motivations world preaching Christ crucified and risen, according to His command, "Go and teach all nations" (Mt 28.19), but Any communication with its external forces can only be subject to the precondition: preserving the freedom granted her by Christ.

It always has been, it must be so in the future.

2011.
------------------

[1] Russian Orthodox Church and politics. "Holy Russia", 1950, № 16, p.1-2.
[2] Archbishop Innocent. On the Soviet authorities. "Church Gazette", № 17 and 18, 1924, p.6.
[3] Letter of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of His Holiness Cyrus Gregory VII, the Archbishop of Constantinople - New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch. "Church Gazette", № 15 and 16, 1924,. 7.
[4] The Russian Church Abroad, and politics. "Holy Russia", 1950, № 16, p.1-2.
[5] H. Thalberg. By the fifth anniversary of the death of Archbishop Vitaly. "Holy Russia", 1965, № 6, p.4-5.
[6] Met. Filaret. Summaries of moral theology. 23. Family and state.
[7] Acts of the Holy Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Compiled by ME Gubonin. Orthodox St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, the Brotherhood in the name of the Merciful Saviour, Moscow, 1994. 640-641.
[8] The Russian Church Abroad, and politics. "Holy Russia", 1950, № 16, p.1-2.
[9] Letter of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of His Holiness Cyrus Gregory VII, the Archbishop of Constantinople - New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch. "Church Gazette", № 15 and 16, 1924,. 7.

today's links of interest


New Website
Rocor Parishes of the South Russian Diocese

RocorMp continued shenanigans 

Theotokos' Sash Visits Russia

Archdeacon German on the recent Synod meeting

General Grapsas, Elder Paisios, and the Prophecy


Can world orthodoxy produce a true prophet?  They can't say this new calendarist elder was "above politics," because he is known to have openly denounced the fathers of Esphigmenou, who are living martyrs suffering and dying for the old calendar.  Besides, there is no such thing as being "above politics," anyway.
The english translation of this article was originally published on the GOC of Portland website by GOC Bishop Photios of Marathon who is under GOC Metropolitan Pavlos of Astoria:

In the August 6, 2009 edition of the newspaper «Ελεύθερη Ώρα» (Free Time), the following article was published with the title “Grapsas, Paisios and the Prophecy!”:

The Reading is from the False Prophecy of Paisios...
“There was another prophecy for General Grapsas and they feared it.
For some time now the prophecy of Elder Paisios is circulating. Certainly, while the prophecy is one thing, reality is something else, but somewhere there is an extreme. For about a year now we have come across from many sources an event which occurred between Fr. Paisios of the Holy Mountain and General Demetrios Grapsas, head of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff.
Specifically, Fr. Paisios told General Grapsas that he would enter Constantinople as a liberator.
A group of soldiers waited at the elder’s fence in Panagouda. They lifted up their eyes and saw the elder coming towards them. He opened the gate of the fence and welcomed them. They sat down under a tree and he began talking with them.
At some point one of the people from the group said to him:
“I can’t take any more Elder, I’m going to retire from the military.”
The Elder turned, looked at him and said:
“You will not resign; you will be the leader of our country’s defense staff when the Turks will attack us.”
Everyone looked, full of amazement.
“And when will this happen, Elder?” they asked him.
“When it will be the time for spinach.” he told them, and he changed the subject.
Many years have passed since then, the elder reposed and the officer remained in the army and progressed.
He is Mr. Grapsas, who up until Thursday August 6 has been the leader of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff.”
Of course, “the time for spinach” passed and General Grapsas has already retired. But neither have the Turks attacked our country, neither is Mr. Grapsas any longer the leader of the army. Thus the prophecy of Elder Paisios, who is alleged by the New Calendarists to be a saint, was proved false.
In the Old Testament it states: “Whatsoever words that prophet shall speak in the name of the Lord, and they shall not come true, and not come to pass, this is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; that prophet has spoken wickedly: ye shall not fear him.”
Translated from the Greek
 http://hotca.org/orthodoxy/orthodox-awareness/331-the-reading-is-from-the-false-prophecy-of-paisios

SJKP Boycotted by RocorMP

from Joanna's notepad...

Fr. Gregory says this about his getting out the custom orders for the 2012 wall calendars:

... but that's not the formidable task it once was, as it seems ROCOR-MP hierarchs have forbidden their parishes to use our calendars.

We know that in the Laurus Rocor, in the Western Diocese at least, there were no new ordinations to the priesthood unless the candidate agreed in advance to go along with the coming union.  We know that some of the existing Rocor clergy were approached by the Laurus synod several years before the union and questioned about which way they would go.  Fr. Gregory was one who was not approached in advance.

http://rocorrefugees.blogspot.com/2008/03/fr-gregorys-open-letter-of-december.html  

Why was he not approached?  I see maybe two reasons.  First, his son Matthew was studying in Jordanville under the rewritten Laurus curriculum, and was being prepared to betray his father if necessary.  Second, the Laurus synod knew that Fr. Gregory would lose his already minimal income from SJKP, which also helps support the Haiti mission.  The Laurus synod was betting that Fr. Gregory would do the proper sergianist thing and go with the union for the sake of the Haiti mission, and for the sake of not rocking his boat by having his income eliminated.  To tear his family apart and lose everything he had built since the 70's, his life's work?  And now in his old age, with his youthful energy spent?  And if their hunch was wrong, they had Matthew ready to take action, which he regrettably and most certainly did.

Thank God their hunch was wrong.  

We now can thank Fr. Gregory by checking the SJKP catalogue first for books we wish to order for ourselves and for gifts.  Also  calendars and CD's.

Black Friday

Taking the "Chinese" out of Christmas


This was received in an emailing:

 As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. 

Yes there is! 

It's time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?  Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? 

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement. 

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. 

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course. 

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. 

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy? 

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

Every one uses their local dry cleaners. How about a gift certificate to your favorite? 

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running. 

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. 

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands. 

Honestly, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. 

THIS is the new American Christmas.
Spread the Christmas cheer!

Sober Talk on Uncreated Energies



Talk on the Spiritual Life
for the Toronto Conference of October, 2011  
Fr. Maximus Maretta, GOC


The subject of uncreated light is explained by Fr. Maximus Maretta in his talk given at a [super-correct] conference in 2011.  Fr. Maximus used to be in our Roca, but with the RocorMP union he joined a GOC.  His talk applies to all, today, and does not exhibit a super-correct mindset.

World Orthodoxy seems to have taken this subject out of context.  Fr. Maximus puts it right back into exactly the proper perspective with perfect sobriety.  Read this to get an overview of our present-day place and present-day condition in the grander scheme of things. 

original pdf link above or see post on the Newcomers page:

What Our Sister Church Says About Charismatics

From Orthodox Tradition, Vol. I, Nos. 4&5, pp. 29-32.
Question: Would you comment on the so-called "Charismatic Renewal" and its relation to Orthodoxy? (M.B., TX)

Answer: This subject deserves constant attention, since the charismatic movement is gaining more and more attention in the media and among Orthodox.  We will begin our remarks by recounting an episode that occurred several years ago.  A very dedicated and sincere clergyman, as best we could gather from speaking with him, visited our monastery during the Paschal Season.  He entered the monastery Church with one of his followers, who had "converted" to Orthodoxy under the influence of this Priest, who was active in the charismatic movement among Orthodox, from a Protestant Pentecostal sect.  Both the Priest and his companion were somewhat uneasy on entering the Church, not knowing what to do in confronting a place of worship free of pews (as all Orthodox Churches should be), where men and women were standing on opposite sides.

The two visitors began to follow the service in one of the standard Lenten service books used in the more modernized Orthodox jurisdictions or, of necessity, by English-speaking Orthodox.  It was immediately apparent that they were lost, as they discovered that their books contained only portions of the prescribed services—something tremendously unfortunate, since the Lenten services are so magnificent in their structure.  Added to the fact that they expected the service to last ninety minutes, when it fact it was almost three hours in length, the inadequacy of their service books obviously frustrated them, since they began to pray aloud and to make loud exclamations—"Praise the Lord..... Amen."

Finally, one of the Faithful, not knowing that the Priest, who had no beard and wore western clerical garb, was Orthodox, quietly informed him that Orthodox worship in silence and solemnity, with great attention to inner prayer.  He explained that the clergyman and his companion were interrupting the service and thus cutting the Faithful off from the mystical quiet that is so conducive to true worship.  The Priest and his friend stood through the rest of the service quietly and apparently moved by the worshipful atmosphere.

Afterwards, we cordially greeted the clergyman and his young friend.  They openly expressed their pleasure at the service, the chanting, and the solemnity of the Faithful.  We pointed out to them that we preserve many of the external traditions of the Church, if only because they aid one to lift his mind into the spiritual realm.  In the glory of all of the traditions of the Church, complete and unaltered, we explained to our visitors, there is a spiritual fullness that has sustained Orthodox throughout the ages—these traditions reaching down to how a Priest dresses, whether the Faithful stand during worship, and even how we position ourselves, in terms of posture, during prayer.  There was no response from the clergyman and no attempt to "push" any charismatic theology on us.

This incident has always struck us.  It is precisely because we have—in America, mostly through modernization and an uncareful attitude toward tradition—, abandoned the richness and fullness of the Church's services that the charismatic movement has taken hold in many of our Churches.  And it is precisely in the most modernistic Churches, those with the most innovative services, that the movement is rampant.  In a good, traditionalist Orthodox community, this could not happen.  It is only where something is missing in Orthodox tradition that something like the charismatic movement can move in to fill the empty spaces.  This is a very difficult and wounding thing for most clergymen to accept.  Most, in fact, fight the notion "tooth and nail."  Nonetheless, it is true.  This failure, however, is not the fault of the Priest, but convicts the whole of the Orthodox Church for being less than vigilant in fulfilling St. Paul's injunction that we guard the traditions handed down to us, challenging us, not to be innovative, but to return to Holy Tradition.

In Churches where Priests look and act like lay people, where quiet meditation and spiritual chanting have been replaced by organs and the theatre, where pews dull our senses and cater to our bodies, where physical preparation for an encounter with the divine (fasting, prostrations, etc.) is inadequate—is it not exactly here that we find Pentecostal emotionalism spreading like fire among the simple Faithful and the unfulfilled believers?  We need not even answer the question.

when we strive, as true Orthodox Christians to reach up to Christ through the established methods of the Orthodox Church, we grow in Grace, finding always within us the subtle, elusive comfort of the Holy Spirit
In fact, the Orthodox Church is ever renewed by the Presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit in its services, their mystical content, when properly and completely performed, transforming the soul and transcending the senses and emotions.  And when we strive, as true Orthodox Christians, not to babble and throw ourselves into unseemly emotional fits, but to reach up to Christ through the established methods of the Orthodox Church (quiet meditation, fasting, standing, proper posture, proper breathing, etc.), we grow in Grace, finding always within us the subtle, elusive comfort of the Holy Spirit—a quiet whisper or wind, not a loud, ugly gale.  But this true, subtle growth in the Spirit demands work and sacrifice from us—a true sacrifice of turning from the world, from creature comforts, from the din of emotional religion, from the realm of man.  And it is because true birth in the Holy Spirit is so profound and such a task that so many turn to the easy world of evangelical shouting and arrogant affirmations of "re-births", "gifts," and "renewals," mocking the Holy Spirit in its quiet whispers to the human heart.

our Church has always had nothing less than the fullness of the Holy Spirit



As for those who misinterpret, twist, and rearrange the words of the Fathers (especially St. Symeon the New Theologian) and thereby try to support their charismatic goals from within the Orthodox Church, let them think about this: At no time in the history of Orthodoxy—in a history of almost two thousand years—did the Faithful or the Fathers ever throw their hands frantically in the air, babbling, interrupting the chanting, and declaring the Church to have anything but the pleroma, or fullness, of the Holy Spirit.  Never!  Never!

Our Fathers raised the dead.  They cured the ill.  They ascended into the Heavenly Realm and conversed with angels.  They went to speak to those who spoke another tongue and found that, without having learned that tongue, they could preach to the people.  (This evangelical gift, which allowed the Apostles to spread the message of Christianity, was present in the Early Church.  St. Paul even warns those who have it not to cause confusion, but, in order to be consistent with the purpose of the gift—that of witnessing to the Faith—, to use the gift only if interpretation is available.)  Our Fathers were so united with the power of things spiritual, that often their flesh was infused with the Spirit, their bodies failing to corrupt after death.  YET, never once did the Fathers babble senselessly in tongues, let alone in the midst of the liturgy.  Never did they conduct themselves in the manner of the modern charismatics.  We can only conclude, then, that this movement is a demonic ruse, an attempt to fulfill our Orthodox longing for the fullness of Church Tradition with the emotional frenzy of Pentecostal sectarian pietism.

the charismatic movement perverts the message of the Fathers
There is nothing Orthodox about the charismatic movement.  It is incompatible with Orthodoxy, in that it justifies itself only by perverting the message of the Fathers, suggesting that the Church of Christ needs renewal, and indulging in the theological imagery of, Pentecostal cultism.  With such things, one cannot be too bold in his language of condemnation and reprobation.

As for those caught in the web of the charismatic movement, under no circumstances are we justified if we condemn them.  Those who imagine themselves saved by all of this are victims of a demonic arrogance which blinds them to true evangelical humility, which often serves certain personality deficits, and which, more often than not, convinces them inwardly of their own salvation—indeed, a dangerous thing.  We must reach out to these people with charitable words, constantly assuring them that the Orthodox Church has a fullness which is not yet realized in America.  Within that fullness, we must tell them, rests a true spiritual treasure, not a dull stone glimmering with the polish of deceit and emotionalism.  And then, to be sure, we must set about restoring the fullness of the Church's traditions, admitting readily that WE, not the Church, have lacked fullness!

Etna published this in 1984, nine years after Fr. Seraphim Rose published Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.  Want to see how degenerate the horror is today?  Warning:  The distortion of St. Symeon is unbearable. http://www.stsymeon.org/

Instructions for an Orthodox Christian

St. Philaret of New York
1.   Remember:  you are a son (daughter) of the Orthodox Church.  These are not empty words. Remember under what obligation this places  you.
2.   Earthly life is fleeting.  You won't notice how it flashes by.  But by this life, the eternal lot of your soul will be determined.  Do not forget this not even for a moment.
3.   Try to live piously.  Pray to God in church; pray to God at home with reverence, with faith, with devotion to the will of the Lord.  Carry out the holy and salvific rules of the Church, her regulations and commandments.  Outside the Church, outside of obedience to her, there is no salvation.
4.   The gift of speech is a great gift of God.  It elevates a person to nobility, it immeasurably lifts him over other earthly creatures.  But how mankind which has become perverse now abuses it.  Protect this gift and know how to use the word in a Christian manner.  Do not judge, do not speak idly.  Fear as fire foulness of speech and seductive speaking.  Do not forget the words of our Lord and Savior:  “by thy words shalt thou be justified and by thy words shalt thou shall be condemned.”  Do not permit lying.  The Holy Scriptures sternly warn:  “The Lord will destroy all those who speak a lie.”
5.   Love your neighbor as yourself according to the Lord's commandment.  Without love there is no Christianity.  Remember:  Christian love is self-sacrificing, and not egotistical.  Do not miss an opportunity to perform a work of love and mercy.
6.   Be modest, pure and chaste in your deeds, words and thoughts.  Do not imitate the perverse.  Do not take their example, and avoid any closeness to them.  Without need, have nothing to do with unbelievers — unbelief is contagious.  Observe modesty and decency always and everywhere; don't become infected with the shameless customs of our days.
7.   Fear and flee from vainglory and pride.  Pride cast down from the heavens the highest and most powerful of angels.  You remember:  thou art earth and unto the earth shalt thou return…. Deeply humble yourself.
8.   The basic objective of life is to save the soul for eternity.  Let this be the main objective and concern of your life.  Woe unto him who destroys his soul through indifference and carelessness.
May the Lord bless you and help you.
Your spiritual father,