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Alice,

Thank you for posting the transcript of the talk by Fr. Seraphim Rose.

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Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

I understand all the aversion to the person of Mr. Putin. However, as Christians, we have to remember that the grace of repentance is always available to everyone at every moment. And we must also remember that the messenger is not the message. The Lord sends us what He wants us to hear through whomever He chooses. Sometimes that's so that He separates those who are truly listening from those who deal in surface realities only.

Bob

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Originally Posted by theophan
Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

I understand all the aversion to the person of Mr. Putin. However, as Christians, we have to remember that the grace of repentance is always available to everyone at every moment. And we must also remember that the messenger is not the message. The Lord sends us what He wants us to hear through whomever He chooses. Sometimes that's so that He separates those who are truly listening from those who deal in surface realities only.

Bob

Well said, my friend.

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Dear Bob,

One problem with what you've said is that we have no way of knowing anything about Putin's spiritual state.

He himself has said that he regards Lenin's body as being just as sacred as that of any Orthodox saint. He himself was involved in the military attack on the Orthodox country of Georgia (because of the issue of a pipeline to Israel) and killed many Orthodox Christians. And he has put away his wife. He is also not above using state money to build palaces for himself and quashes attempts to investigate.

Recluse said, in response to all this, that my Ukrainian background is what makes me cynical about Putin.

In fact, I know Georgians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs etc. who feel as I do.

Is it that Americans haven't had this history that makes them so naive (you guys are already hopeless when it comes to foreign policy - no wonder Putin skates circles around your government).

You are just unwilling to face the facts about Mr. Putin's "spiritual state" - I hope we can be sober enough to see his politics here.

But I think I now understand where you Americans are coming from. You are angry at your own society for its un-Christian, even anti-Christian values.

Rather than go admiring Mr. Putin for his words that are politically calculated, why don't you just take a good, hard look at the Christians in the U.S.?

"COP" or "Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants" - what the heck are you all doing about the erosion of Christian values, eh? (That's a Canadian expression.)

Aren't there enough of you to put pressure on your local politicians, TV stations etc. regarding these issues?

You people are a "COP-out" when it comes to any of this. You'd rather praise someone like Putin for his "repentance" etc. (The Byzantine Forum members who like him should perhaps write him a letter of your personal support - and tell him he could begin his repentance by NOT attacking and murdering Orthodox Christians in his own backyard before he goes presenting himself like a knight in shining armour out to defend Syrian Christians (and he has wide business dealings with Syria to whom he sells only the best Russian military weapons).

You'd rather talk about praying the rosary before the Divine Liturgy and Latinization generalities than discuss practical ways Christians (Latinized or not) can exercise real influence over the decision-makers in North America.

Enough guys! Let's get to work uniting all Christians into one strong bloc of political (that's right, not theological or religious, or spiritual etc.) influence to change things.

Let's stop with all the articles and emails about how bad things are - let's get working to change that.

It is within your capacity to change things around in favour of Christian values. That North America is in the state its in is because WE as Christians have failed - no one else. Our indifference to politics and social influence is what achieved that failure.

Whatever Putin was, is or will be - that won't change the way things are in North America - but we can change them as one Christian movement.

Where is that movement? What are we doing to help create it? These things should be the topics here when we talk about how bad things are.

So what if Putin gives a jaw-dropping defense of whatever? Will that help us here?! Not a bit!

We need to come down from the sky and do some practical thinking. Let's connect the dots regarding planning, organizing, writing, demonstrating, shouting!

A student of mine called me the other day and told me to go to a station that had the Jerry Springer Show on in the middle of the afternoon. I COULDN'T BELIEVE WHAT I WAS SEEING! And North American Christians can't work to shut something like that down? Really?!

Our religious indifferentism is what is killing us. Putin may save Christians in the Middle East but he won't/can't do anything for us here. Western leaders won't take his jaw-dropping words as a challenge to their issues, if that's what we believe.

Instead, why can't a united Christian movement here drop some jaws?

Until we can do that (and stop discussing, for the time being, "breathing with both lungs" and "rosaries before the Divine Liturgy," and "how Latin the Ukrainian Catechism is"), we are part of the problem.

We need to become part of the solution.

I will join such a movement.

I just want to know where I can sign up.

Please let me know when someone here figures that out. For the time being, I'm going out to look for Christians who want to act and write letters and knock on doors and shout into the telephone when they call their political leaders.

That's the only relevant activity in this climate of Christian martyrdom and attacks on Christian values.

Let's learn the political prowess of a Putin and put it to good use for the Christian cause on this side of the ocean.

And, with Putin, I too repent. I repent that I've not understood this before and that I've not sought out like-minded people in my milieu to act.

Perhaps the political mind of a Vladimir Lenin is the order of the day for Christians. Perhaps, with Putin, we too may learn to emulate his skills too.

Good bye and I hope, in future, to read about actions undertaken in this regard.

Alex

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We have a grave weakness in foreign policy in the U.S. that is embedded in the system. Depending on election results, our policies change every 4 or 8 years. There is little, if any, consistency over time. It must drive other nations crazy to deal with us.

Putin - always keep an eye on him. He's no saint, even when he promotes Christianity. Keep what is good, but the old saying, "trust but verify" is still good advice.

Christians work together? That would be truly wonderful but we have around two thousand years now of not doing that very well. LOL.


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Let's keep our anger at bay, please, dear posters.

Getting back to Putin, I don't think some here are getting it. We are against promoting the homosexual, 'two mommy', 'two daddy' agenda.

Sesame Street, as Recluse pointed out, the once safest television show to park one's impressionable toddlers infront of, is now promoting the 'two mommy' and 'two daddy' family as normal. The agenda is so strong that our President has done an about face about gay marriage, and we know that there is no going back now.

To address Alex's exhortations that we Americans should do something,

Quote
But I think I now understand where you Americans are coming from. You are angry at your own society for its un-Christian, even anti-Christian values.

Rather than go admiring Mr. Putin for his words that are politically calculated, why don't you just take a good, hard look at the Christians in the U.S.?

"COP" or "Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants" - what the heck are you all doing about the erosion of Christian values, eh? (That's a Canadian expression.)

Aren't there enough of you to put pressure on your local politicians, TV stations etc. regarding these issues?

You people are a "COP-out" when it comes to any of this. You'd rather praise someone like Putin for his "repentance" etc. (The Byzantine Forum members who like him should perhaps write him a letter of your personal support - and tell him he could begin his repentance by NOT attacking and murdering Orthodox Christians in his own backyard before he goes presenting himself like a knight in shining armour out to defend Syrian Christians (and he has wide business dealings with Syria to whom he sells only the best Russian military weapons).


Well, we do...and the more we do, the more we are fought.

Do you know how many Christians will find out who the advertisers of racy television shows are, and boycott them? Many. There are many organizers that help this.

To quote a Hollywood executive two decades ago, about the American Family Association boycotting the advertisers of racy shows (that now seem innocent in comparison)--the more they boycott, the more we will push the envelope on television. And they have.

Tipper Gore, Al Gore's wife, two decades ago, was very involved in organizing people to petition the music industry about the lyrics on music. Have they become better? No, they are worse, more sexually explicit, more violent, more abhorrent.

Then there are those good Christians who feel, 'whatever', I am happy, so who cares.

Then there are those good Christians who say, I hate the political party that advocates these Christian values, so I don't care.

Then there are those good Christians who somehow feel that all this immorality is somehow fair and good.

*sigh* The great prophecies have said that such would be the times.

So, we know that no matter how much we organize and fight, and vote, and hope, there is no answer and our country is getting more immoral by the day-- (as is the EU and Canada--as I understand,On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world, and the first country outside Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition.)

Then, we see someone who says NO to all this immoral insanity(and he is not alone with a voice in that part of the world/see the thread I started elsewhere with the letter from the Georgian Patriarch to the EU) and we say 'good for him'.

We see someone who doesn't care what the liberal west and their misguided and skewed notions say. We see someone who doesn't give a damn about the ever sickening 'political correctness' of social issues in the U.S. Simply put, I don't know about others, but I find it refreshing.

I do not think that any one here is saying that he is a saint! LOL...

As I read this thread, I don't think that anyone has even said that he is a good man or a good Christian...only God and his spiritual father, (who is an Archimandrite and author and a holy monk), knows who Vladimir Putin is and what he struggles with in his soul...and then, ultimately, only God knows. Only God knows about any of us! smile

At the very least, we can feel safe that Putin is not the Anti-Christ, because he doesn't promote one world religion and he is not won over by all! wink

Quote
(and he has wide business dealings with Syria to whom he sells only the best Russian military weapons).


Yes, he is arming the pro-Christian Assad government which all the Syrians I know who live there have not had a problem with at all, while the United States, the country I used to be proud of, sells arms to the raping, beheading, murdering anti-Christian terrorist rebels. mad It seems to me that our foreign policy has absolutely no regard for minority Christians anywhere and that saddens me.

Anyway, let's all understand the sentiments behind the postings here, as related to the topic, and not read more than what they are into them--- please. smile

In Christ,
Alice

P.S. Here is one such ECUMENICAL Christian group who tries to change our country: http://manhattandeclaration.org/#0

This is one of many organizations, Alex. We aren't just sitting back and doing nothing, as you seem to think. We DO lament how our once great and honorable country has become and the values it is imposing on us and the rest of the world.


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Dear Alex:

Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

Quote
One problem with what you've said is that we have no way of knowing anything about Putin's spiritual state.


I certainly agree. Only the Lord "searches the reins and the heart and clearly discerns the most hidden things of men" as a prayer I recite each day says. But I also recall that no one calls Jesus "Lord" except by the Holy Spirit, so I won't let the medium lessen the message.


Quote
He himself has said that he regards Lenin's body as being just as sacred as that of any Orthodox saint. He himself was involved in the military attack on the Orthodox country of Georgia (because of the issue of a pipeline to Israel) and killed many Orthodox Christians. And he has put away his wife. He is also not above using state money to build palaces for himself and quashes attempts to investigate.


So the man's not perfect. Neither am I. What did the Lord say to the men who caught the woman in adultery and wanted to stone her? Let him who is sinless cast the first stone. I don't trust the man, but I was focused on the fact that of all the politicians on earth, he's the only one who has stood up and defended us Christians in the face of world-wide persecution, both active in the Middle East to the point of blood and in every Western country for the past four decades. I have to think of that in this time we might have to assess whether our enemies may even be allies, though we may have to hold our noses. Our own politicians have the blood of the innocents by abortion on their hands so we don't have any saints running any country.

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(you guys are already hopeless when it comes to foreign policy - no wonder Putin skates circles around your government)


No argument here. The qualifications to be a politician include being semi-literate about history and the world, naive when it comes to thinking everyone is like us and wants to be like us, and that we are missionaries to the world rather than sitting down to the world table and understanding that we need to be suspicious of each and every one.

Quote
"COP" or "Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants" - what the heck are you all doing about the erosion of Christian values, eh?


I'll tell you. We're in a post-Christian mileau and eroding faster than an ice cube on a hot sidewalk in July. Remember what St. John Chrysostom said about full churches. That's where we're at. Most people just don't "get it."

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Originally Posted by Alice

As I read this thread, I don't think that anyone has even said that he is a good man or a good Christian...only God and his spiritual father, (who is an Archimandrite and author and a holy monk), knows who Vladimir Putin is and what he struggles with in his soul...and then, ultimately, only God knows. Only God knows about any of us! smile


His bully theft of Bob Kraft's Super Bowl Ring and continued refusal to return it after several requests tells me everything I need to know about the man.

We need to quit to defending the man simply because he says what we want to hear. He certainly doesn't practice what he preaches.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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Getting back to same sex marriage, here is what I don't understand. What percentage of the population is homosexual? Certainly the 10% figure often stated is not borne out by any research. As a sociologist (a minor degree not my primary one, but Alex would be proud since he is also one, I hear) research I have seen states that closer to 4% of the population is homosexual. If so, this is a very small tail that has been allowed to wag a very large dog.

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
We have a grave weakness in foreign policy in the U.S. that is embedded in the system. Depending on election results, our policies change every 4 or 8 years. There is little, if any, consistency over time. It must drive other nations crazy to deal with us.

Putin - always keep an eye on him. He's no saint, even when he promotes Christianity. Keep what is good, but the old saying, "trust but verify" is still good advice.

Christians work together? That would be truly wonderful but we have around two thousand years now of not doing that very well. LOL.



Ask Alex or someone else from outside of the United States about how real the transitions in our system every number of years actually are. From the European point of view, the distinctions between our ruling parties are just window dressings to keep the electorate distracted.Both would be center right parties in Canada and the rest of the industrialized world, traditionally the Republicans are a bit more right than are the Democrats. For the first time in perhaps a century and a half we have a committed minority (Tea Party republicans) who are willing to hold their ground regardless of the impact on the overall body politic and tack to the extreme right.(I take that back, the Dixiecrats of the 1940's and 50's held similar ground in their day.) Most folks didn't really like the recent tactics of taking no prisoners or giving no ground when push came to shove.

The differences in foreign policy and military policy since the end of World War 2 in the American system are nuanced between the parties - the foreign policy and military industrial policy establishment calls the shots, they trot out their GOP team when needed and their Democrat team when needed.

The extreme voices on the left and the right talk loudly in America and they raise the stakes because they are frustrated with our nation's history of consensus building and compromise.But if you look past their rhetoric and to the history and the governing principles of the United States, the political shifts are no where near as dramatic as they hold them out to be or they really want them to be.

When our system, as designed by the authors of the Constitution, broke down in the 1850's, the result was disastrous and a price in blood that is unimaginable in terms of the percentage of citizens involved with the war in today's America was paid to preserve the union.

I agree with Alex pretty much. Neither party here does more than play lip service to the goals of believers.' Put not your trust in princes' and 'render to Caesar that which is his' were two good maxims to take from two different periods of our Scripture.











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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
One problem with what you've said is that we have no way of knowing anything about Putin's spiritual state.

That includes you, Alex.

I think you have been treading on a rather slippery slope.

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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance

His bully theft of Bob Kraft's Super Bowl Ring and continued refusal to return it after several requests tells me everything I need to know about the man.

Really?!? You know everything you need to know because of the perception that Mr. Putin stole a super bowl ring?

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Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance

His bully theft of Bob Kraft's Super Bowl Ring and continued refusal to return it after several requests tells me everything I need to know about the man.

Really?!? You know everything you need to know because of the perception that Mr. Putin stole a super bowl ring?


--which was probably a misunderstanding anyway.

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Quote
Our religious indifferentism is what is killing us. Putin may save Christians in the Middle East but he won't/can't do anything for us here. Western leaders won't take his jaw-dropping words as a challenge to their issues, if that's what we believe.

Instead, why can't a united Christian movement here drop some jaws?

Until we can do that (and stop discussing, for the time being, "breathing with both lungs" and "rosaries before the Divine Liturgy," and "how Latin the Ukrainian Catechism is"), we are part of the problem.

We need to become part of the solution.

I will join such a movement.

I just want to know where I can sign up.

Please let me know when someone here figures that out. For the time being, I'm going out to look for Christians who want to act and write letters and knock on doors and shout into the telephone when they call their political leaders.

That's the only relevant activity in this climate of Christian martyrdom and attacks on Christian values.


Alex:

Glory be to Jesus Christ!!

We're on the same page here. Unfortunately I don't believe we have enough people to start a "movement" let alone "move" anything or anybody. We've got a lot of CINOs--Christian in name only--and even the ones who seem to be committed are more interested in the minutiae you mention. Drives me nuts, too. I think in our focus on becoming assimilated we've become neutralized instead. I also think that so many believe that the underlying culture is Christian and that things will right themselves if we just let time pass. In the meantime the secularists and the hegarenes are taking the place over.

Then there's the group that thinks good Christians don't rock the boat by going around knocking on doors and that the best thing is just to pray a solution into place.

Another problem is that we never act in concert. Each one has his own idea of how things ought to be and any point is lost in the shuffle.

Bob

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For our information, there are those who are trying in this country...

American Family Association
Non-profit

The American Family Association is a United States non-profit organization that promotes fundamentalist Christian values. It opposes same-sex marriage, pornography, and abortion. Wikipedia



Founder: Donald Wildmon

Founded: 1977

Nonprofit category: Religious Radio Organizations
Quote
The American Family Association (AFA) has been a long-time promoter of "traditional moral values" in the media, particularly television--


Quote
The American Family Association has also enthusiastically endorsed Russian President Vladimir Putin's draconian anti-gay laws, with Fischer stating that the country isn't being homophobic but "homorealistic."


Please note that this organization is often characterized and labeled a 'hate group'.

The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience is a manifesto issued by Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christian leaders[1][2][3] to affirm support of "the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty".[4] It was drafted on October 20, 2009 and released November 20, 2009, having been signed by more than 150 American religious leaders.[5] On the issue of marriage, the declaration objects not only to same-sex marriage but also to the general erosion of the "marriage culture" with the spectre of divorce, greater acceptance of infidelity and the uncoupling of marriage from childbearing.[6]

The Declaration's website encourages supporters to sign the declaration, and counts approximately 538,700 signatories as of April 23, 2013.[7]

Drafting committee[edit]

The drafting committee includes evangelical leader and Charles Colson, Princeton University law professor Robert P. George and Beeson Divinity School dean Timothy George.[8]

Signatories[edit]

Notable signatories include:
Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family
Archbishop (now Cardinal) Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York
Robert Wm. Duncan, primate of the Anglican Church in North America
Ligon Duncan, president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals [9]
Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.[6][10]
Cardinal John Patrick Foley, Grand Master (now Grand Master Emeritus) of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Bishop Mark (Maymon), formerly of the Diocese of Toledo of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, now of the Orthodox Church in America
Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary[11]
Rev. Robert A. Sirico, president of Acton Institute
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
Jonah (Paffhausen), former primate Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America
Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, Archbishop (now Archbishop Emeritus) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Chuck Swindoll, chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary
Joseph M. Stowell, III, president of Cornerstone University
Robert B. Sloan, Jr., president of Houston Baptist University
Timothy C. Tennent, president of Asbury Theological Seminary
Archbishop (now Cardinal) Donald William Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Ravi Zacharias, Christian apologetic, author, and lecturer

Excerpt[edit]

The Declaration summarizes itself as follows:


Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.


The declaration vows civil disobedience if Christians feel that their rights to civil liberties of free exercise of religion and freedom of speech are being violated. It states :[13]


We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.

Through the centuries, Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required.[13] There is no more eloquent defense of the rights and duties of religious conscience than the one offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, and citing Christian writers such as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught that just laws elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose ultimate source is God Himself.[12]

One of the drafters, Princeton Law professor Robert George, stated, "We certainly hope it doesn't come to that. However, we see case after case of challenges to religious liberty," including laws which he claims would force health care workers to assist in abortions or pharmacists to carry abortifacient drugs or birth control.[13] George continued, "When the limits of conscience are reached and you cannot comply, it's better to suffer a wrong than to do it."[13]

Catholic Archbishop of Washington, Donald W. Wuerl's office was restrained about the issue of civil disobedience, indicating that the prelate was not calling on the faithful to "do anything specific".[6][10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Declaration:_A_Call_of_Christian_Conscience

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