Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ leaves ROCOR
- Thank you MIchael, Another fabulous post on our terrible & earthly church situation. I really appreciate your commentaries.
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Woodson
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2007 4:20 AM
Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ leaves ROCOR
Dear Rev. Fr. Anthony:
The matter of names and titles in a world in which they are abused
and treated as if they were mere entitlements to intellectual and
real property rights, causes groups to have to find names for
themselves when they disagree with those who have abused or
appropriated visible, earthly, legally charged powers of title. One
who causes a human frailty with their own passions has no place to
label their victims as schismatics.
With the ROCOR/MP anchluss, that is what we have, as the lawsuits
initiated by the ROCOR over the years in service to the MP agenda
themselves testify. Christ never filed one lawsuit, even say, against
those who were for Him but were not individually called as were his
disciples and apostles. And St. Paul, even though he suffered chains
at some others' preaching, did not say they should stop preaching or
meddle in their affairs. His mind was open that it is very possible
that God has greater plans in mind than even he, an apostle, could
fathom. Today's title holder may be tomorrow's prisoner. St. Paul
knew both. Think on that as you enjoy the heady sense of victory
numbing the minds of those receiving the wealth of nationalized
Russia as a substitute for spiritual wealth.
The many capitalist prosperity gospel heresies in 'churches' in the
US have nothing on the Moscow Patriarchate, whose chief difference is
where they get their money which causes them to prosper. If you want
to prosper, you toe the regime line. That is the same with some
protestant missionaries -- if you want the good stuff -- the food,
education, clothes and such, you become one of them. Otherwise, back
to the heathen street, I'm afraid.
Also, the Lord said that if He wished He could call an army of angels
down to earth. This would bypass the need for human due process,
swords, armor or really, any known weapon, strategies, lawsuits or
ruses. The sacred scriptures say that God "laughs" at man's prideful
plans. I suspect that this is not unlike the sound of a late
afternoon mountain storm that envelopes climbers seeking a peak with
pride. I wouldn't want to hear the "laughter" of God's "scorn".
Having heard a "chuckle" or two, I want no part of a "laugh."
What storms are there in the after-life; in the non-physical realm?
Don't even want to think about it, or what is reserved for the
powerful who abused power on earth when they get there.
Granted, if a mainstream Church by name has not been abusing power,
and there truly is schism by a protesting group rather than an honest
case for healthy defense mechanisms at work in the group seeking
refuge or safe distance from its leadership, you may have a
schismatic small group.
That said, not every schismatic group is small. At times in history,
they have been the great mass of deceived. Quite often, actually.
Were it not so, why would St. Ephraim the Syrian, himself a great
ascetic, refer to himself in such lowly, broken and weak-titled
terms. With the Lord, he took no particular place to lay his head. As
I understand it, many a hierarch and clergyman enjoys his tax-free
Surely in the invisible realm, the Lord speaks of wide and narrow
paths. If the small group was always the schismatic one, then you'd
better take up your case against the narrow Way along with the
council and start heaving your "majoritarian accusations." I
apologize: perhaps that is already underway. Otherwise, rethink your
broad position and consider that Russia is in unChristian hands by
the clear cut evidence in the many premature deaths piling up to this
A regime and its national church claiming to be Orthodox Christian in
character cannot serve God and mammon any more than one man. Its
righteousness in terms of purity of heart cannot exceed its actions
and inactions. The entire church militant and its leadership ought to
sound a lot more like St. Ephraim the Syrian and a lot less like the
Putin regime and MP.
Now watch. The next effort will be to get all of its operatives
to "sound" like St. Ephraim the Syrian having achieved and held onto
ill-acquired wealth and power. But you can't be like St. Ephraim
without giving up that abused wealth and power. That is, the Church
should rely on donations from the people, not the government. And,
the government ought to share and diffuse power and wealth into the
people and their economies to build a tradition of basic stewardship
and well being among the Russian people such that they may freely and
voluntarily give to the Church rather than be taxed (formally or
informally) and the Church directed by a command regime of behind the
scenes KGB potentate. What is giving except a spiritual act that is
good for each person? If the government takes care of it for the
people, while neglecting the people's needs, it guarantees that it
will keep control over the Church's voice in Russia over that of its
people. It makes the government the church member with the veto who
is more equal than others, and not a human soul in the first place.
Sounds familiar to a not-so-distant USSR.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Fr. Anthony Nelson"
> > >Re: Our Lady of Kazan Russian Orthodox Church
> > >
> > >It is with joy that the Holy Metropolis announces that the
> > >Our Lady of Kazan Russian Orthodox Church in Newark, New Jersey
> > >been accepted into the Holy Metropolis under the omophorion of
> > >Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos.
> This would be that group that calls itself, the "Church of the
> Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and the Diaspora." In an
> encyclical promulgated by the first hierarch of that group in
> September of 1995, their first hierarch - declared that
> new-calendarists and psuedo-old-calendarists "are not members of
> Body of Christ, which is the Church...All of them are either
> or schismatics."
> That is the pot calling the kettle black: for what greater evidence
> can there be of schism than to declare all the rest of the Church
> to be the Church?
> Those in the ROCOR who make or have made the mistake of seeing the
> ROCOR as the Russian-tradition equivalent of the old-calendar
> and who erroneously believe that the schismatic groups calling
> themselves such things as "Genuine Orthodox Christians" can be a
> place of refuge from obedience to the Bishops (and, therefore,
> obedience to Christ's Church) are placing their souls in the
> jeopardy. And giving soul-destroying scandal to the innocent.
> Fr. Anthony
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Protopriest Anthony Nelson
> St. Benedict Russian Orthodox Church
> Oklahoma City, OK USA 405-672-1441
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