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17589Re: The MP, the ROCOR and ecumenism

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  • Mike Woodson
    Aug 7, 2006
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      Hello again Aleks,

      Pluralism is also a governing theory. It suggests that groups govern,
      not the people in their diversity as individuals. The implication:
      those who organize into blocs will win over individuals in the battle to
      be arbiters of resources. The blocs that plague individual freedom,
      both from sin and from government, are called parties, or, worse, The
      Party. For it is in these organized blocs that the most venal,
      ambitious and power seeking passions may be found, which move to
      isolate, discredit or defeat all dissenters from the Party in power.
      The best sort of government for people subject to the temptations of
      power is one with lots of checks and balances.

      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Aleksandr Andreev
      <aleksandr.andreev@...> wrote:
      > The point of the latest inter-religious assembly, which gathered in
      > Moscow before the G8 summit was clearly not "ecumenical" but
      > "pluralistic". The point was to let G8 leaders know that religious
      > people are in the world, that they're active, and that political
      leaders
      > should consider their views.

      Or else, what? They will strike out as power brokers over billions of
      religious persons all over the globe and instruct the faithful to
      overthrow or vote-out the governments that disagree with them? If once
      such an interreligious body of leaders exercises the shared political
      power of a new entity, do you think it will disband when it achieves a
      few objectives? Or will it find the power more and more alluring,
      seeking entrenchment and expansion?

      Should any Church that names the name of Christ seek out such worldly
      power? Is that what the Lord Jesus Christ sought? Did he accept it
      even when it was set before him as a temptation by the devil in the
      wilderness? And so what should Orthodox Christian clergy, even the holy
      hierarchs, do? Organize and join a world interreligious organization to
      keep from being "left out"? Or commune in their hearts with the Church
      triumphant and wait on the Lord Jesus Christ to come establish the
      government to end all governments, that is, the self-government of the
      Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, or God Is Love?

      > The point was also to discuss common
      > problems, like terrorism and inter-religious violence. All of these
      are
      > noble reasons, and should be praised: in our increasingly secular
      world,
      > religious people do need to have their voice heard, so that next time
      > politicians are about to do something stupid, they consider what we
      have
      > to say about it.

      As a political bloc? When Pilate was about to order the scourging and
      crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and he asked the Lord if he knew
      that he (Pilate) had the power to release him or send him to his death,
      the Lord answered Pilate in a way that ministered to Pilate's need to be
      healed of pride -- He said, " you would not have the power unless it
      had been given to you from on high." And the Lord did not even say,
      "unless I had given it to you," even though He could have said so. How
      great He Is in His Lordly humility.

      > But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit was held
      in
      > the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Church
      > hierarchs and leading Russian historians and sociologists were telling
      > delegates about how to deal with inter-religious violence. But then,
      > what's wrong with that? After all, Russia didn't know religious
      violence
      > until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. Russia
      > didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.

      Not at all. Russia is a fine place to hold a G8 Summit in and of
      itself. What is disappointing is that those whose careers enforced the
      dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia remain in positions of power
      that they have never even tried to relinquish as a repentance. Worse,
      they now reach out to expand their influence to international political
      affairs, using the Church as a vehicle and leveraging tool. And yet the
      Lord said that His Kingdom was not of this world.

      As for Russia not exterminating, not doing religious violence to, and
      not forcibly converting anyone before the revolution in 1917 I will
      defer to your expertise in making that statement, however, I would ask
      you: what is a Pogrom other than a clap of thunder?

      Remember what St. John Maximovitch envisioned as the repentance of those
      in the Moscow Patriarchate who collaborated with pain and reservations
      with the Soviet monstrosity. He wrote:

      "The Lord God, Who preserved seven thousand men who did not bend the
      knee
      to Baal in the days of Elias, today also has a multitude of His servants
      who secretly serve and pray to Him throughout the whole expanse of the
      Russian Land. Even among the hieararchs outwardly subject to the Soviet
      Regime, many are inwardly tormented by this; when the opportunity comes,
      they will act according to the example of those at the Council of
      Chalcedon who declared with tears that they had given their signatures
      at the Robber Council under coercion, following the example of the Most
      Holy Patriarch Paul, who was tortured by his conscience and took the
      Schema in recognition of his weakness under the Iconoclasts."
      --from The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: A Short History, p. 37.

      And when the wondrous St. John said St. Paul took on the Schema, what is
      the story behind that? Read here:

      "For, when the most holy Patriarch Paul, by the divine will, was about
      to be liberated from the bands of mortality and to exchange his earthly
      pilgrimage for a heavenly home with his Master Christ, he abdicated the
      Patriarchate and took upon him the monastic life, and when we asked
      him, Why hast thou done this? he answered, Because I fear that, if
      death should surprise me still in the episcopate of this royal and
      heaven-defended city, I should have to carry with me the anathema of
      the whole Catholic Church, which consigns me to that outer darkness
      which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for they say that a
      certain synod hath been held here in order to the subversion of
      pictures and images which the Catholic Church holds, embraces, and
      receives, in memory of the persons whom they represent. This is that
      which distracts my soul -- this is that which makes me anxiously to
      enquire how I may escape the judgment of God -- since among such men I
      have been brought up and with such am I numbered. No sooner had he thus
      spoken in the presence of some of our most illustrious nobles than he
      expired." --from The Imperial Sacra. Read at the First Session. (Found
      in Labbe
      and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 49.) page 531, with permission
      from Medieval Sourcebook: The Second Council of Nicea, 787 AD
      <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.html
      <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.html> > .


      This post is too long, and that, by an unworthy sinner.

      Glory to God in the highest.

      Michael



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