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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Church services in St. Petersburg

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  • vjb
    Irina, ... Some of the ideas expressed on this list (in my own opinion) are based on false premises. In some instances, a question incorrectly formulated
    Message 1 of 36 , Feb 1, 2005
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      Irina,

      >Forgive me, but sometimes you give me the impression that you are
      >playing with words and refusing the evidence.

      Some of the ideas expressed on this list (in my own opinion) are based on false premises. In some instances, a question incorrectly formulated produces a wrong answer. Clarifying the question solves the problem.

      >Your two statements contradicted one another because in the first you
      >say you do not want to get into "Yes, you did - No, I did not" type
      >of discussion and in the second, when Vladimir writes that he never
      >was against reconciliation, your answer is «It sounds as if you are»
      >which is the same as «yes, you are».

      This is the type of discussion I was trying to avoid.

      >When I say that "Russia will never be redeemed if she keeps the evil
      >symbols over her", it seems quite clear to me that accepting evil
      >symbols (i.e. as part of a country's history) is refusing God, or let
      >us say, not understand quite clearly that God cannot compromise with
      >evil.

      And my answer to that was that Russia is a secular state. We are Orthodox Christians seeking Salvation individually in the Orthodox Church (not a state). Note, that being Orthodox still does not get us there automatically. I rejected the idea that states or nations (countries, governments, or ethnic groups) may be redeemed corporately, as a whole.

      >In this context I do not speak about the Orthodox people (who
      >are certainly rejecting the symbols) but about the country's lenient
      >attitude towards them.

      We can only pray that more Russians (rossiiane) convert to Orthodoxy and that the country is delivered from any atheistic authorities, as we do in our prayer "for the Salvation of Russia."

      >I quote Michael Bulgakov (who, as we all know perfectly well,
      >compromised somewhat with the regime) because, though he was a
      >sinner, his instinct was correct when he uttered: "God is not
      >looking at us any more!" He knew it in his heart. You do not have
      >to be a theologian to assert such a thing.

      It was an understandable emotional statement and an expression of a private opinion of a great Russian writer. However, it was not in his power or authority to speak about the limits of God's Grace or to limit God in where "He is looking at." God has no limits and He sees everything and will render each according to their deeds. However, there is a common idea expressed in the Church that God allows certain things to happen (rus: popushcheniem Gospodnim, Gospod popustil, etc.) That is something that I find more acceptable.

      viatcheslav





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    • vjb
      Paul, This entire discussion has a very strong political connotation and most of it concerns issues outside the Church. It happens very often that some of us
      Message 36 of 36 , Feb 3, 2005
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        Paul,

        This entire discussion has a very strong political connotation and most of it concerns issues outside the Church. It happens very often that some of us (Russians) bring our political ideas to Church because we are likely to find an audience there. ROCOR does not represent the entirety of Orthodox Christianity. It is a part of a historical Russian Church. I am sure you are aware that Orthodox Church is a community of Churches and those Churches are ethnic. That is why you are likely to encounter some cultural issues. Unless you are interested in Russian politics/history/culture I would suggest to stay away from "all of this" and focus on Salvation. It sounds as if you left Orthodoxy. I am sorry to hear that. Despite its ethnic character (the word Russia appears twice in the name of the Church) ROCOR was very successful as a missionary church in America. I have seen many communities composed entirely of non-Russian converts.

        viatcheslav



        On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, vkozyreff wrote (small excerpts):

        > Russia is a spiritual concept. I suppose this
        > is easier to understand for Russians.

        > There was a time when "Russian" and "Christian"
        > were synonymous, in Russia.

        Is there any place for non-Russians in all of this? If I were to
        try to come back to Orthodox Christianity, would there even be a place
        for me, a non-Russian, in ROCOR? Is Orthodox Christianity bigger and
        more inclusive than merely Russia?

        --
        Paul Bartlett
        PGP key info in message headers



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