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Re: Church services in St. Petersburg

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  • vkozyreff
    Dear Viacheslav, As music is the expression of a civilisation that we accept or reject, dictionaries are productions of a civilisation that we accept or
    Message 1 of 36 , Feb 2, 2005
      Dear Viacheslav,

      As music is the expression of a civilisation that we accept or
      reject, dictionaries are productions of a civilisation that we accept
      or reject. Your resorting to an American dictionary shows only that
      you belong to the corresponding current of thinking. In classical
      Russian literature, a character emigrating to America, symbolises his
      losing his soul.

      We are not speaking about any "American heritage" but about God's
      heritage ("dostoyanye" as in "Spasi Bozhe liudi tvoya i blagoslovi
      tvoe dostoyanye"). If you look for the term "heritage" in your
      dictionary, you will find no mention of it being synonymous
      for "God's people".

      My dear Viacheslav, when I speak about legitimacy of the government,
      I am not talking in democratic terms. Any collective decision, be
      it "democratic" to make of a people an entity that does not recognise
      God as his God is illegitimate. You speak about "leadership". Again,
      a totally profane term. My quotes about the collective responsibility
      before God are not only from the Old testament, but also from the new
      (I quote again and add other quotations). In the second, old is
      quoted by new.

      He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a
      miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the
      prophet Jonah. Matthew 12:38-40.

      But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands
      to a disobedient and obstinate people." [ Isaiah 65:2]
      Romans 10:20-22

      Our prayers are very often collective prayers. We often say "Save
      us", and refer to us as "Israel". Many of our prayers come literally
      from the bible. We sing "by the river of Babylon", which is a purely
      collective prayer of a people asking for collective salvation.

      Matthew 18:18 "Listen to what I say to you! God approves of
      everything you permit or prohibit in the community. 19 Listen again
      to what I say to you! Any time two among you pray for agreement about
      any dispute between them, my Father in heaven will do it for them. 20
      For, when two or three believers GATHER TOGETHER to pray in my name,
      I am present with them."

      You say: "My understanding was that we were discussing the situation
      in that state and not in some abstract entity (as nice as it may

      I never discussed Russia as a "State". Talking about "abstraction",
      as an American, you rail abstraction, because you belong to a
      materialistic society. Please read:

      "The absence of deep local roots and the overwhelming feeling of the
      uniformity of the Russian land and of the universal sameness of the
      social environment were undoubtedly among the important and permanent
      experiences of the Russian nobleman. They were also experiences
      acquired from childhood onwards and may go far towards explaining the
      nobleman's detachment from the soil and easy adaptability to the
      capitals and to foreign lands. They may also help to explain why the
      Russian nobleman often thought of his country, his nation, Russia in
      short, as a sort of compete entity, a general category, EVEN AN

      This did not prevent him from feeling a strong attachment to her and
      even worshipping her emotionally. But his attachment lacked the
      concreteness and specificity of the attachment which the nobleman in
      the west possessed to a well-defined environment. While the nation
      was seen in the west as a union of many local loyalties, the
      comprehensive all-Russian loyalty had primacy in Russia both in fact
      and in feeling."

      (The making of a Russian nobleman)


      We, Russians, love Russia in a way that is incomprehensible for
      Westerners. We cannot separate Russia from orthodoxy, so that any
      truly patriotic feeling of manifestation for us is also a
      manifestation of our orthodox faith. No American dictionary will
      explain this to you. It would be very easy if it would be sufficient
      to read a dictionary to understand our civilisation or our Faith.

      In God,

      Vladimir Kozyreff

      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vjb" <tompkins440@v...> wrote:
      > Vladimir,
      > >Russians know that Russia is not a State, secular or religious.
      > >Russia is a country and a Nation that has got a State among other
      > >things, the legitimacy of which is disputable.
      > I am afraid that you missed some of the points in one of my
      previous messages. Let me repeat:
      > According to American Heritage Dictionary:
      > Nation is
      > 1. A relatively large group of people organized under a single,
      usually independent government; a country.
      > 2. The government of a sovereign state.
      > 3. A people who share common customs, origins, history, and
      frequently language; a nationality.
      > Now let's plug it in with some other dictionary definitions:
      Russians (1) or (2) know that Russia is not a State, secular or
      religious. Russia is a country (1. Territory of a nation or state;
      land. c. The people of a nation or state; populace. 2. The land of a
      person's birth or citizenship. 3. A region, territory, or large tract
      of land distinguishable by features of topography, biology, or
      culture) and a Nation (3) that has got a State (one of the more or
      less internally autonomous territorial and political units composing
      a federation under a sovereign government) among other things, the
      legitimacy of which is disputable.
      > Sounds pretty redundant, doesn't it. Although, think I understand
      what you are trying to say, and, in principle, I agree with it. When
      I was speaking about Russia today I meant the Russian state, which
      now exists only as the Russian Federation. "Legitimacy" in what
      sense? I do not think you would deny that Russia is a (or
      maybe "the") successor state of the Kiev Rus/Moscow Rus/Russian
      Empire. Its current political system is another issue. Putin's
      biggest advantage is that he does represent the nation (I mean #1
      here not #3) as an elected president.
      > >As a Russian, I would
      > >never even think of equating Russia with the "Russian Federation"
      > >(Bozhe sokhrani), nor with Putin's, Yeltsin's, Gorbachev's or
      > >Stalin's governments.
      > Neither would I equate Russia with any of its leadership. However,
      at the given moment there is a sovereign Russian state, that is the
      Russian Federation. I agree that "Russia" could be a broader idea,
      both from historical and spiritual perspective, if you wish. My
      understanding was that we were discussing the situation in that state
      and not in some abstract entity (as nice as it may sound).
      > >Russia is a spiritual concept. I suppose this
      > >is easier to understand for Russians.
      > OK
      > >Man is not an individual being. Considering that he is just an
      > >individual who must free himself from his community generally
      > >as primitive tribalism is "liberal", western, enlightenment-
      > >romantic, capitalistic, New-World-Order-like thinking. Man belongs
      > >always to a community...
      > No objections here.
      > >A nation is a nation, not an "ethnic group". The Russian nation is
      > >made of innumerable "ethnic groups".
      > Let us go back to the definition (above). I never said nation was
      only an ethnic group. I would prefer if you could clarify the term
      Russian. As I have mentioned before, Russian language makes that
      distinction. Not all Russians (Russian) and Russians (russkie), and
      not all Russians (russkie) are (rossiiane). And besides, getting back
      to the definition what do you mean by "Russian nation": (1) or (3)?
      Russia (as in Russian Federation) is in fact a very diverse state or
      society with many ethnic groups. And of course there are people of
      various ethnic backgrounds, who identify with Russia. Here in New
      York there is a large community of third wave immigrants, most of
      whom come from places other than Russia proper, of different ethnic
      origins, and anything but Orthodox Christians, who nonetheless
      identify themselves as "russkie," that is (3) according to the
      dictionary definition.
      > >Among the most patriotic
      > >Russians are the Baltic Germans who served Russia and his emperors
      > >well. The painter of "Vyechniy pokoy", Levitan (a Jew), is among
      > >most "Russian" people.
      > You are speaking about (3) "people, who share common customs,
      origins, history, and frequently language." No objections.
      > >In message 13516, I mentioned places in the scriptures about
      > >collective salvation or condemnation.
      > Vladimir, I will not comment on the scriptures because I am not a
      biblical scholar and I do not have any authority. If you want my own
      worthless opinion, many of your quotes come from the Old Testament.
      There is an idea in the OT that children pay for the sins of their
      parents for several generations. It is also my understanding that
      Jews to this day believe that what we receive in this life is a
      reflection of our righteousness. My understanding is that these ideas
      are rejected in Orthodox Christianity. Quite honestly, I do not find
      your examples convincing. Besides, if you follow that logic, you will
      have to come up with some explanation as to why the Orthodox states
      of Byzantium and Russia disappeared.
      > >We know that the Soviet regime has done all it could to eradicate
      > >idea of "Holy Rus".
      > Alas, you are right.
      > >Only revolutionaries and their heirs such as the
      > >Marxist, the Capitalist, the consumerist etc. see nations in
      > >bureaucratic, political or biological-ethnographical terms
      > >passport, government, ethnic group,...).
      > However, one has to use clear defenitions when speaking about
      things. Any idea can be expressed in clear terms. Simply being vague
      does not help.
      > >There was a time when "Russian" and "Christian"
      > >were synonymous, in Russia.
      > Are we talking about "russkii" or "rossiianin?" Please date that
      > victcheslav
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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

        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.


        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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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