www.byzcath.org

We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism

Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 06:28 AM

http://www.geotimes.ge/index.php?m=home&newsid=20199

We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism



As swine flu took hold in the West, many countries reportedly installed holy water sterilizing machines in Catholic Churches. Scientists have not yet explained the miracle of holy water, which has unique properties it maintains for a whole year. The question is, if a person is so irreligious that he is afraid of catching “Pig Flu” from holy water what purpose do his visits to church serve?

Faith does not obey the laws of reason. Nor does arguing about which religion is better than another. This is a matter of belief, and you can never explain to anyone else why your belief is better than theirs. This is why people of other faiths peacefully co-exist with the Orthodox in Georgia.

In Georgia people did not only uphold their own values but took the same attitude towards the values of others. When King David the Builder prohibited the slaughtering of pigs in Moslem districts this was not a gesture of tolerance. It was an acknowledgment of the legal culture and principles of that community. King of Kartli Vakhtang VI included the traditional laws of the Jewish, Armenian and Greek inhabitants of Georgia in his collection of laws (these had been practiced well before the King wrote these laws between 1705 and 1709). This move gave Georgians the opportunity to judge cases according to laws appropriate to the community offended against by the alleged lawbreaker.

“We have collected noble books and chosen from them the parts we believe are appropriate for the sake of justice,” Vakhtang VI stated. He added, however, that foreign laws should not likewise extend to the people of Kartli as the “rules and behaviour of Georgians are not similar to those of other countries.” Georgians do not force others to live against their beliefs and values and do not do so themselves.

Today local liberals often talk about the Orthodox Church 'interfering' in political life, saying this is inadmissible. They often cite the principle of secularism - separating State and Church from each another, with neither interfering in the other's affairs. No one disputes that this is a valid idea. But despite this no one condemned Pope John Paul II when he interfered in the political affairs of Poland in support of democracy, although as a direct result of his action the public threw their support behind Solidarity and the political system there changed. When the West wanted to win, the principle of non-interference went out of the window. The same double standard was also applied to Georgian nationalism. The West thought this was a good thing when it could use it to dismantle the USSR, but building an independent state on this basis was declared inadmissible.

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the aggression Georgian liberals show towards “Motherland, Language, Faith”, but this is another expression of their double standards. They do not condemn the State interfering in the affairs of the Georgian Orthodox Church, only the other way round. Furthermore they expect the Patriarch to justify his actions but not the State. They ask naively, "Do we not have the right to ask questions?" Of course, everyone has that right, but no liberal questioned the Government's zero tolerance of opposition, or indeed valid questions. They did not question how many millions had been spent on building the President’s residence. They do not question the increased number of shootings of young people, why the number of prisoners has increased to 30,000, nor the strategic facilities of the country being sold off. Where did Kakha Bendukidze disappear to during the August 2008 war? He who says he does not know what strategic facilities are? If they don't exist why the Government tell us during the war that the Russians were deliberately bombing them?

While they see no need to comment on these issues, they are concerned about the Government supporting the Church from the Budget. Not long ago a priest told me that when he was studying at the seminary in the 1970s he was sitting on the windowsill and saw Patriarch David V being driven into the yard and said - His Holiness has come by car! The Patriarch called him over during a break and said, "My son, consider this and then answer me - if Our Saviour had had a car would he have entered Jerusalem on foot?"

We are reminded of double standards every day. As the Georgian proverb goes: you can put a handle on a pot on whichever side you like. An expensive concert is given in Guria “to attract investment”, in Ukraine a group of Georgian election observers, entirely unqualified for this job, behaves lawlessly, farces are held under the name of elections which are then declared an indisputable victory for the Government, and this all passes without comment. Does all this happen by chance? Are these double standards unconscious or wilful? What good is a liberalism which allows a narrow circle to do what it wants but abuses everyone else?

Today the phrase "true Orthodox believers" is often used sarcastically. Talking about religious fundamentalism and “ignorance” as the same thing has become very fashionable in liberal circles. People say that reform of the Orthodox Church is inevitable and its theology needs to be updated but these statements are purely political, they are not the product of a desire to help the Church. In the West the Protestant work ethic is regarded as the “machine of capitalism”, so it is said that if you want to build a capitalist country you should adopt Protestant ethics. It is clear that an Orthodox believer cannot do this. That is why attempts to “modernise” Orthodoxy do not stop.

Weber’s 'Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism' demonstrates that this work ethic leads to an extreme vulgarism which will never become part of the Georgian consciousness and cannot replace Orthodoxy. A world of extreme social inequalities, desperate poverty and excessive luxury, moral relativism, a Darwinist fight for survival, sacrificing other people for your own prosperity and a complete lack of principle is the monster disguised by the labels of Liberalism and Capitalism.

The complete neglect of national values in the education system is another problem and to satisfy the demands for these the Orthodox Church is welcoming increasing numbers of people. The Patriarch’s epistles are increasingly becoming the guidebooks for people who have lost everything and are now afraid of losing even their graves. Under capitalism, if you are a poor person it is your own fault and not the fault of the person who has grabbed your property, and only the rich can achieve justice; it is a world where competition must be maintained but not the Orthodox principles which should underpin social relations and where an aggressive minority sets rules to suit itself using the majority's name, thus displaying there is no actual good and moral principle they can refer to.

Some think that religion and faith are purely a means of cultural identification. In fact they provide a firm system of values, and trying to dismantle this is far more dangerous than changing political ideologies. The word 'ideology' has become discredited, like many other words, since the collapse of the USSR. When this happened people really thought that the era of non-ideology had come but in fact one ruling ideology has simply been replaced by another.

It took us years to realise that Liberalism and Marxism are two sides of the same coin, both eroding the historic character of nations. In Marxism history is the ultimate arbiter, in Liberalism it is the individual. Marxism is openly atheistic, liberalism hides its attitude towards religion but also tries as hard as Marxism to oppress it. You are allowed to be religious yourself but must not tell anyone else about it, 'imposing' its restrictive values in a world where, allegedly, anything goes. What is worse - openly declared war or pharisaic “freedom” of faith?

Both Marxism and Liberalism seek to destroy nation states and create a global universe. Georgia is a country from the old universe, which has restored its state after the collapse of the USSR. Our country cannot adjust to either of these two ideologies. Opposing the Orthodox Church is an ideological trick which serves to inculcate into this country values which are as alien to Georgians as Communism. The difference between the two is that we know Communism from experience, but have not yet seen what the full flowering of a liberal state will subject us to, thus making it appear the lesser evil.

The saying “an idle mind is the playground of demons” is very well known and its truth is manifest in the minds of fundamentalists of any ideology. Liberalism absorbed unthinkingly from other models during two months in the West is a demon we should immediately resist.

Alexandr
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 12:50 PM

A good course in history and another in political philosophy will clear up all this muddled thinking, Alexandr.
Posted By: domilsean

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 05:34 PM

Stuart,

which muddled thinking is that?

Alexandr is completely right that the choice must be made between Orthodoxy and Liberalism. The West has succumbed to Protestant ideas and liberalism, not to mention paganism and demonism. Look at how readily our culture accepts Yoga, a hindu spiritism practice.

I suggest you read Fr. Seraphim Rose's Orthodox and the Religion of the Future. You'll see just where we are in this battle. Georgia is just the next front line.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 05:40 PM

Aledandr is not the author of the essay.
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 09:49 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
A good course in history and another in political philosophy will clear up all this muddled thinking, Alexandr.


And where will you be taking these courses, Stuart?

Alexandr
Posted By: Utroque

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 09:53 PM

My wife just returned from the third Rome. That's not the one I mean. Reports that it's worse than NYC without the diversity.
Posted By: Kathleen Elsie

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 10:10 PM

My family and I have FAITH that we will never be made ill from Holy Water or the BODY & BLOOD of our Lord. Sadly the vast majority of the people I know do not think this way.
Posted By: Utroque

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/11/10 10:23 PM

Nor do I believe they will, but if you leave Holy Water in a bowl long enough it will evaporate. It can also harbor microbes and such that can make you sick. I sympathize with peoples' fears and precautions. It is no sin to be rational.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 02:27 AM

Quote
And where will you be taking these courses, Stuart?


You so very funny, Alexandr. Unfortunately, your Russocentric panslavic paranoia is not.
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 03:02 AM

I do not claim to be funny. What is truly not funny are your constant jabs at Russia, Orthodoxy and anyone who does not kow-tow to your inflated sense of self worth.

Posted By: Administrator

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 03:48 AM

With all due respect, Alexandr, you tend to present Russia as some holy place where everyone is Orthodox, worships regularly, and lives the Orthodox life. While Orthodoxy has indeed become re-invigorated after the fall of the communists, the vast majority of Russians are not practicing Orthodox, and many are Orthodox in name only. The Church in Russia still has much work to do and will always have much work to do.

I can agree with several of the points the author of the article you posted makes, but he is incorrect in some points of history and a lot of the things he says are neither accurate nor logical. It is very much just a tirade against things that are bothering him. With a bit of good logic and history the article could be reworked into something.

Among other things, the author says that "local liberals often talk about the Orthodox Church 'interfering' in political life, saying this is inadmissible" but he does not describe who the "local liberals" are, what they believe in, what the Orthodox Church has said that these people find to be "interfering", why it is considered to be "interfering" and etc. I can envision a situation where the "liberals" are atheistic secularists to whom the Orthodox bishops are speaking correctly. I can also envision a situation where the "liberals" are way off the path but where the bishops are responding without understanding (good heavens - the Catholic bishops here in the United States certainly do that often enough when they engage in group-think). The author does not give enough information to inform us.

I expect the "Georgian (religious) values" he wishes be upheld were forgotten during the communist days. The chaos left from the Russian Communists will take generations to undo, and evangelization is very necessary, as well as good education. But one needs to also have a good understanding of economic models, and not just unfactual negative characterizations of them.
Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 03:58 AM

Forgive me John, but Stuart takes very opportunity to take a jab at Orthodox and he has been also very hateful towards Russia.

For those of us who love the Orthodox Church and love the Russian people his posts are rather offensive.

He also seems to be very angry...

Posted By: Administrator

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 04:14 AM

Originally Posted by Deacon Borislav
Forgive me John, but Stuart takes very opportunity to take a jab at Orthodox and he has been also very hateful towards Russia.

For those of us who love the Orthodox Church and love the Russian people his posts are rather offensive.

He also seems to be very angry...

No, I disagree. While Stuart's posts are sometimes curt to the extreme of being uncharitable he has never taken a jab at Orthodoxy or been hateful to Russia. He does take jabs at those who misrepresent both, but also treats all Churches and subjects the same way. Read what he writes and don't make a caricature of what he writes.

Orthodoxy - like Catholicism and all religions - is full of people trying to work out their salvation. Sometimes even believers make mistakes, are sinners, and are hypocrites. Catholics and others regularly have their failings pointed out on this forum. Orthodoxy is no different and being Orthodox does not raise one above legitimate criticism.

I would re-read some of his posts. He criticizes what people say, the people themselves, or what they do that is alien to Orthodoxy (or whatever the topic). If he or anyone criticizes unjustly, the best response to to challenge the criticism, to explain what is unjust and to invite that poster to rethink and repost. Certainly in this thread Stuart's posts are accurate, if curt.
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 04:34 AM

I hate to disagree John, but what I try to present is the concept of a "Holy Russia". Modern secular Russia, for all of it's faults, and I agree there are many, is at least pointed in the right direction, although the distance to go is vast. The West, on the other hand, not that it is lacking in an inherent "holiness" of it's own design, appears, at least to me, to be pointed in the opposite direction.

I did not author the article at hand. But I felt the author did have some valid points, if presented in a somewhat awkward and unpolished way.

John, you seem to see more shades of grey than I do. The best economic and social policies ever penned by man, if they come from a marxist-socialist/diabolical source, are unacceptable to me, no matter how well presented or munificent in their outcome they are.



Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 06:09 AM

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.
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 07:34 AM

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
Posted By: ukrainiancatholic

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 08:45 AM

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.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 10:41 AM

Quote
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.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 11:25 AM

Quote
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.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 12:50 PM

"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."
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 01:26 PM

That's usually the case, I have found.
Posted By: Mike L.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 04:14 PM

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
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 04:35 PM

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.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 05:14 PM

"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.
Posted By: Mike L.

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 05:25 PM

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.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 06:00 PM

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.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 06:01 PM

Quote
It has the scent of a logical fallacy to me.


It just an empirical observation in my case, neither more nor less.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 06:36 PM

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.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 06:47 PM

Healthy skepticism and energetic discourse keep me honest, as does a houseful of women adept at ego deflation.
Posted By: Athanasius The L

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 06:52 PM

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
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 07:09 PM

Why, thank you, Ryan.
Posted By: Athanasius The L

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 07:51 PM

Your welcome, Stuart.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/12/10 08:15 PM

One point I would like to make is in regards to nationalism. I say this to help explain the point of view that some find offensive, not to make any claim about Orthodoxy and the Byzantine legacy of Russia being the Third Rome.

There were very destructive forms of nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th century. This sense of nationalism infected all schools of thought, especially with music, science, art, and philosophy. German Idealism from the late 1800s fueled the radical philosophy of the National Socialists and their pursuit of the purification of what they called the Aryan race. That extreme of nationalism, combined with observations of other extremes in China, Cambodia, and the Soviet Union, leaves very strong imprint on the West so that any strain of nationalism is questioned and presumed to be potentially dangerous.

Hearing Russia regarded as "The Third Rome" it can be difficult for an American to separate the Church from the State, so that a response to the State can also be seen as a distrust of the Church.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/13/10 12:36 AM

I will say one of the things I like most about the Melkites is the absence of the nationalities nonsense.

As to Russia being the "Third Rome", it was polemical when first uttered, it is polemical today, and worse still, not true. Also, my main complaint about the Orthodox Church in Russia is not that it interferes in the activities of the state, but that it has subordinated itself to the state as though it was 1900 all over again. Russians may not remember, but we historians do, that the Orthodox Church was merely a department of the Russian civil service from Peter the Great until 1917.

Say what you want about Byzantium, the Church was never subordinate to the crown, but a real synergia existed which ceased to exist in Russia from the end of the 17th century.
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/13/10 02:59 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK

As to Russia being the "Third Rome", it was polemical when first uttered, it is polemical today, and worse still, not true. .


You will be happy to know that Russia as the Third Rome is not a serious idea in church circles and among the hierarchy in Russia.

Nevertheless there are possibilities for Russia to slowly emerge as the most important Church within Orthodoxy. But that will have nothing to do with airy fairy ideas of a Third Rome.
Posted By: Father Borislav

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/13/10 05:50 AM

Stuart, what is wrong with being a Russophile?

Just wondering...
Posted By: Hieromonk Ambrose

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/13/10 08:04 AM

Originally Posted by Deacon Borislav
Stuart, what is wrong with being a Russophile?

Just wondering...


I was wondering that too, Father Deacon. There seems to be a lot more love of the fatherland among American youth. About 60,000 of them have been willing to die in overseas wars for their country.

Deaths in Vietnam were 58,000.

In Afghanistan, about a 1,000.

In Iraq, about a 1,000.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: We Will Have To Choose Between Orthodoxy and Liberalism - 02/13/10 01:31 PM

Nothing is wrong with being a Russophile, provided you remain objective and keep a sound perspective. Russia is a country with very serious, possibly intractable problems, which it needs to face and address squarely. Because of its failure so far to do so, Russia has not lived up to the potential that opened when the Soviet Union collapsed. Putinism is not the answer, nor are attempts to resurrect an empire in the near abroad. Unless present trends are reversed, there will be fewer than 100 million Russians by 2025, and a quarter of those will be Muslims. Unless economic and political reforms are implemented, Russia will collapse economically and socially long before then, which is a global concern because of Russia's large nuclear stockpiles, which could easily wind up in the wrong hands. Were it not for its nuclear weapons, nobody would much care what happens to Russia, because its economy is only the size of New Jersey's--but it is New Jersey with 6,000 nuclear warheads.

As for the Russian Church, it has the potential to be the instrument of moral renewal in Russia, but its overly close association with the state continues to deprive it of moral legitimacy, as does its inability to face up to its own past actions in the Soviet era. Like everyone else in Russia, under Putin it not only wishes to forget what happened under communism, but is intent on recreating a glorious and largely fictitious history of that period. That means there will be no introspection, no metanoia, and no possibility of reform.
© 2019 The Byzantine Forum