12757Re: [orthodox-synod] MP nachala sud! Bozos in the woodwork!
- Oct 22, 2004Someone, just who it was is in dispute, wrote:
<Please submit your evidience that Monarchies possess Divine Right.
<Please submit your evidence that Monarchial Rule is inherently
<over other types of government?
This is, I think, not a very useful approach. Protestants like to ask
us to prove that the wine and bread in the cup is the Body and Blood of
Christ; atheists ask us to prove that God exists; amateur historians
like to ask for proof of the single-bullet theory.
If we ask for evidence in one thing, we open the door to that question
being thrown at us in all things.
So, perhaps the question about monarchy is poorly put in the first
place. All creation is good. All that is, is God's will. Salvation is
possible in democratic America, in the Soviet Union, in despotic Cuba,
in pagan Rome of the first century or Orthodox Russia of the nineteenth.
The world is, if you'll excuse the expression, "lousy" with salvation.
It lays before us incessantly, invisibly. We are alas often unable to
latch hold of it, on account of our sins. But the Church is there,
always. Through it comes our salvation.
To pine away for something, like a monarchy, may be pointless to our own
salvation. To pray for the election of Bush or Kerry or anyone else is
equally distracting, I think. Salvation comes to each of us
individually through the Holy Sacraments of the Church, and through the
life lived, day in and day out, emulating Christ (something I do not
hesitate to say I fail to do horribly).
And is life for Christians better in a country that is Orthodox and
ruled by a just king? Perhaps so. I myself remember the odd serenity
and exuberance I felt celebrating a couple of years worth of Church
feastdays in Russia in the early '90s and amazed how easier it was to
fast and pick myself up and go to church when I knew so, so many others
around me were doing the same thing. A whole society celebrating
Nativity and Paskha at the same time! No calendrical distractions.
But these things happened in barely-democratic Russia, not Royal Russia
and certainly not sviataia Rus'. And that's my point. The life of a
Christian can be difficult or easy in any kind of political environment.
Provided the gov't isn't overtly hostile to the faith of believers,
what really does it matter what the constitution says or who the ruler
is? Would Jesus have lived his life and taught his message any
differently if it were the Jews, and not the Romans, who were the
masters of Judea?
Humble obedience to the Church and prayerfulness.
Having said all this, monarchs and monarchies are special. The Church
considered coronation something of a sacrament on a par with any of the
other traditionally numbered sacraments. Monarchs were accorded a
status in the ecclesiology of the Church that permitted them to summon
and attend Church councils, to commune not as laity, to officiate over
many of the Churches major feasts (Epiphany, e.g.), to be annointed at
coronation. The Church's historic attitude is the best "evidence" (if
such is something we're really interested in) for monarchy's
But as for salvation, it comes whether there be a president, a khan, a
general-secretary, a dictator, an emir, or a king.
Seems to me.
Russell E. Martin
Assoc. Professor of History
New Wilmington, PA 16172-0001
other email: remartin@...
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