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Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: Fr. Deacon Lance] #343307 02/12/10 07:34 AM
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Slavipodvizhnik Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
There is no "Holy Russia", just as there is no "Holy" anywhere else. Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, and it is a failure that we do not remember this and canonize our homelands.



"Holy Russia is not a dream, not a fiction, as some enemies of our Orthodox fatherland purport, and even some "Ivans-who-forgot-their-family," along with hostile foreigners. Holy Russia was, she lived and continues to exist in the souls of many Russians who did not abandon their Russian names, nor anything holy from their Russian past. This is not sinful "nationalism" or "mere politics," alien to the Church and to religious life, as some false wise men today teach, rejecting the right of the Russian Church to exist outside the borders of our fatherland, enslaved now by brutal atheists. Morbid and truly sinful nationalism, often called "chauvinism," was always profoundly alien to the soul of every true Russian Orthodox person. Love for Russia, for the Russian people, for our centuries-old history is closely bound with love for the true Christian faith—Holy Orthodoxy, which bred the Russian people and gave them the truly great Orthodox culture, which the finest, most lofty-minded individuals throughout the world venerate. The Russian person, ever since the days of the Illuminator, Holy Grand Duke Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, so deeply absorbed the Orthodox faith into his heart that for him "Orthodoxy" and "Russianness" became virtually synonymous. It was the careless, overt rush towards the West, which had long ago fallen away from Orthodoxy, that caused the fatal crack in the consciousness of the Russian person, and finally led to the bloody disaster which befell the Russian Land.

The scattering of the Russian people throughout the world, of course, is providential. Only now has the West begun to become acquainted with the holy Orthodox faith and the Church from Russian ОmigrОs who have not lost their faith and did not abandon their Russian Church in distant lands. And here we see with great joy the acceptance of Orthodoxy by foreigners and those of other religions. Yet here also is a great danger which is important to remember and guard against.

The main good deed of the Orthodox Christian faith is humility. So in order to become truly Orthodox—in spirit, and not just formally—Orthodoxy must be accepted with humility, not with a feeling of one's own "goodness," not by puffing up one's worth with egotism; on the contrary, with the recognition of one's own nothingness, one's own profound sinfulness and with the earnest desire to learn, so that one could become Orthodox not only in name but in spirit. For this, one must immerse oneself in the true spirit of Orthodoxy—unmodernized, unreformed, true Orthodoxy.

This is difficult for those people of other nations who accept Orthodoxy, since they were born, educated and lived their entire lives in an entirely different environment, possessing another spirit more or less alien to Orthodoxy. This is why for a foreigner converting to Orthodoxy, it is very important not only to refrain from derogating the thousand-year history of Russian Orthodox culture with its language and daily life, but on the contrary, to study it and draw nearer to it. For remaining locked within one's own national culture, and remaining aloof from Orthodox culture and daily life, he cannot learn about Orthodoxy and cannot become truly Orthodox in spirit, which is the most important thing, because Orthodoxy is not simply a set of bare dogmatic truths, but spirit and life, as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught about His Divine teachings (John 6:63). Here it is very important to note what a powerful positive effect Russian culture can have: many foreigners who become interested in Russian culture and study it approached Orthodoxy and themselves often became Orthodox—and very zealously, even more than many Russians today.

And the reverse is true: the Russian Orthodox Christian who loses his "Russianness" often loses his Orthodoxy, easily betraying it and taking on another religion, or losing his faith altogether, which we have often come to see abroad. Those who have lost their identity in other countries, who lost their Russian "face," melding with their environment, either abandon the Orthodox Church completely or preserve only a purely formal adherence to it, becoming more or less alien to the Holy Orthodox faith, its spirit, its centuries-old norms, customs and traditions.

It is very characteristic also that foreigners who convert to Orthodoxy and study Russian Orthodox culture with condescension, with the feeling that they, non-Russians, can dispense with it, often end up straying, inventing their own "Orthodoxy" and creating "sects" in which nothing Orthodox remains except the name. Such instances are well known to us.

As a result of all of the above, it is exceedingly important for us to preserve our Holy Trinity Monastery, specifically as a "corner of Holy Russia," for if it ceases to be that, eventually nothing of Orthodoxy will be left either, and it will truly be as "salt that has lost its savor." May this never be!

But the danger is great! The elder brethren who still remember our old Holy Russia and keep the spirit of Russian Orthodox culture to one degree or another are growing old and weak and are departing for the other world, and there are few to replace them, too few for the great internal and external mission which Holy Trinity Monastery selflessly performs, seeking not its own interests and benefits, seeking only the victory of the true faith and of the Church in today's godless world—it strives for the triumph of Holy Orthodoxy, the only thing our monks selflessly and wholeheartedly strive for.

Now on this, our great feast day, we turn to all the Russian Orthodox people for whom our holy Orthodox faith is dear with the fervent appeal to join the ranks of our clerical warriors fighting for holy Orthodoxy, to fill the ranks of our monastic brethren, who possess true zeal for the glory of God, for Christ our Savior and the true faith in Christ and good will; selflessly, "not seeking their own," to serve our Holy Church, the true Orthodox Church, in the midst of this horrifying spiritual darkness which is enveloping the entire modern world."

+Averky

From Iz poucheniya na prazdnik Svyatoy Troitsy [Sermons on the Feast Day of the Holy Trinity] (1975)


Hmmmm, whom to believe, Deacon Lance of Canonsburg, or +Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, a modern day saint. The answer is there for all to see.

Alexandr

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: Slavipodvizhnik] #343308 02/12/10 08:45 AM
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Replace "Russia" and "Russian" with "Ukraine" and "Ukrainian" in the above sermon for the Feast of the Holy Trinity and just imagine the reaction.

And I thought Ukrainians could be nationalistic.....

I think what Archbishop Averky is getting at is that Orthodoxy and its practice is synonymous with the culture, and in his case, Russia circa 1916 and prior. I am sure there are many Greeks who feel the same way, along with Serbs, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, and so on.

I do not think that loosing one's "Russianness" will often lead to one loosing his/her Orthodoxy as the Archbishop suggests. The OCA has largely de-Russified itself and still remains quite Orthodox, at least in my eyes.

A lot of Ukrainian bishops in the past have extolled the glory of Greek Catholic or Orthodox Ukraine. I am certain Greeks have done the some. Archbishop Averky is saying nothing new; where I think he or any other person is wrong is to assert that one particular culture embodies Orthodoxy to the fullest as opposed to another culture.

Just my two cents.


Last edited by ukrainiancatholic; 02/12/10 08:47 AM. Reason: grammar
Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: ukrainiancatholic] #343312 02/12/10 10:41 AM
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For those of us who love the Orthodox Church and love the Russian people his posts are rather offensive.


For those who love truth, those who make a fetish of Russia are rather offensive.

It's also interesting that it is only the Russophiles who believe I do not love Orthodoxy (perhaps because they confuse Russia with Orthodoxy?). Normally, I am accused of being too Orthodoxophile by my fellow Catholics. Since nobody loves me anymore, I will take this as an indication that I am probably hitting the nail on the head in both cases.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343314 02/12/10 11:25 AM
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where I think he or any other person is wrong is to assert that one particular culture embodies Orthodoxy to the fullest as opposed to another culture.


Not since the fall of Byzantium, in any case. The problem for all the Constantinopolitan Churches since 1453 has been "Byzance apres Byzance"; i.e., maintaining the Byzantine faith after the destruction of Byzantine culture.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343320 02/12/10 12:50 PM
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"Since nobody loves me anymore, I will take this as an indication that I am probably hitting the nail on the head in both cases."

Not that I'm stepping in here to make a claim, but this almost sounds like "since nobody agrees with me, I must be right."

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: Terry Bohannon] #343321 02/12/10 01:26 PM
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That's usually the case, I have found.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343328 02/12/10 04:14 PM
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Really humble of you!!

Stuart I agree with what you say in many of you posts and do not see you to be anti-Orthodox, though you certainly need to realize that you are a Russophobe and are quite aggressive in condemning all things Russian.

Michael

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: Mike L.] #343331 02/12/10 04:35 PM
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I have been working on my false humility problem for some time.

As for your accusation, no, I am not a Russophobe. I know and love Russia well. I do not condemn all things Russian. But, having studied Russia up close for more than thirty years, I am nothing if not open-eyed about the country and its problems. I also have no time for people who wish to append the word "holy" to any country or people. As Christians, our kingdom is not of this world, and those who believe there is any country which can substitute for the Kingdom of God not only delude themselves but are guilty of idolatry.

I say the same things about people who try to elevate the United States in a similar manner. That said, the problems of the United States pale to insignificance next to those of Russia. I could enumerate at length, but do not wish to be seen as "aggressive" in condemning all things Russian. Be wary, though, of those who say to be Orthodox one must either be Russian or accept Russian culture wholesale, just as much as one would have to reject the notion that one must be Greek or accept Greek culture wholesale to be Orthodox. Both notions ignore history, and verge on being heretical.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343332 02/12/10 05:14 PM
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"That's usually the case, I have found."

You are a smart man and possess an uncommon common sense, but I must question the premise and, by consequence, the conclusion of your claim. It has the scent of a logical fallacy to me.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343333 02/12/10 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
I have been working on my false humility problem for some time.

As for your accusation, no, I am not a Russophobe. I know and love Russia well. I do not condemn all things Russian. But, having studied Russia up close for more than thirty years, I am nothing if not open-eyed about the country and its problems. I also have no time for people who wish to append the word "holy" to any country or people. As Christians, our kingdom is not of this world, and those who believe there is any country which can substitute for the Kingdom of God not only delude themselves but are guilty of idolatry.

I say the same things about people who try to elevate the United States in a similar manner. That said, the problems of the United States pale to insignificance next to those of Russia. I could enumerate at length, but do not wish to be seen as "aggressive" in condemning all things Russian. Be wary, though, of those who say to be Orthodox one must either be Russian or accept Russian culture wholesale, just as much as one would have to reject the notion that one must be Greek or accept Greek culture wholesale to be Orthodox. Both notions ignore history, and verge on being heretical.


Sorry to come across as an accuser, I just stated what I have percieved and what I am sure others percieve, but as you have stated you must be right because we do not agree.

I apologize for pointing out your behavior when I am a wretch myself but somehow I could not resist. I will go back to holding my tongue.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: Mike L.] #343336 02/12/10 06:00 PM
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Nah. I'm a big boy used to rough-and-tumble discourse. I do wish more people would discuss what I actually say, as opposed to what they think I say. I also wish more Orthodox--and particularly Orthodox of a certain Slavic variety--would learn that love and affection does not mean blindness or indifference to faults and shortcomings. If you truly love someone or something, then you can speak frankly to him.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343337 02/12/10 06:01 PM
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It has the scent of a logical fallacy to me.


It just an empirical observation in my case, neither more nor less.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343339 02/12/10 06:36 PM
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But it can lead to more than just an empirical observation in time; it is a dangerous attitude to possess. I like the attitude of Plato's Socrates.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: Terry Bohannon] #343340 02/12/10 06:47 PM
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Healthy skepticism and energetic discourse keep me honest, as does a houseful of women adept at ego deflation.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism [Re: StuartK] #343341 02/12/10 06:52 PM
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May I offer a suggestion to those who are accusing Stuart of Russophobia? While I have no intention of attempting to persuade you to agree with Stuart's opinions about Russia (I am by no means an expert on Russia, and am not in a position either to affirm or to refute his opinitions concerning Russia), perhaps you should give him the benefit of the doubt when he insists that he does not in any way hate Russia, and that it is indeed his love of Russia that compels him to speak what he believes to be the truth concerning Russia.

Sincerely,

Ryan

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