Re: FWD: The historical position of the Church Abroad
- Dear List,
Roman Martin writes:
"the first thing to correct here is the notion that anyone--even the
martyrs!--saves the Church. The Church saves us. We do not save the
Let me kindly comment as follows.
If there is no clergy left and no believers left in a country, the
Church has ceased to be present in that country (has been lost).
Achieving this in the USSR (destroying the Church) was the goal of
the communists. Preventing this from happening (by being faithful)
was "saving the Church".
The faith does save the Church. The Faith essential to the Church. No
faith, no Church. If all are living out of the faith, nobody is
living in it, and there is no Church.
The reason the Sergianists allowed themselves to collaborate with the
atheist regime is that they thought or claimed that this was the only
way to prevent the extinction of the faith in the Soviet Union.
In those who accepted this view, they actually did destroy the faith,
which is indispensable for the Church to be. A great deal of MP
faithful tell you now that had it not been for Met Sergius, there
would have been no place left to pray in the Soviet Union or even no
notion that Christ had ever existed. They thus considered that they
did save the Faith and thus the Church from disappearing.
We all know that the Church saves us if we are in Her. This does not
at all contradict the statement that the martyrs (in Christ) save (in
Christ) the Church from all our sins. Our faith is to believe that,
by the grace of God, there will always be martyrs on earth to save
the Church from disappearing from earth, in spite of all apparently
realistic predictions. In spite also of the fact that man can, if he
chooses to, refuse God and thus destroy the Chuch.
Our sins and our Sergianism in particular (a frequent mistake which
consists in using evil means for supposedly sacred goals) do harm
(kill) the Church. Acknowledging Christ in the most difficult
conditions (being a martyr) is counteracting our sins and thus saving
The martyrs do prevent the Church from disappearing (save Her) and,
in doing so, allow us to be saved in Her. That is the Communion of
Practicing or approving Sergianism is, by definition, not believing
in the Church, that is not believing Christ: "And I tell you that you
are rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of
Hell will not overcome it".(Matthew 16:18)
"for just as it is a work of his will and is called the world, so
also the salvation of men is his will and this is called the church"
(Clement of Alexandria).
--- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Russell Martin" <martinre@w...> wrote:
> I find nothing whatsoever questionable and dubious in Fr.
> post. In fact, it is the kind of thing that, if one listens to
> calm and charitable heart, only stirs compassion and optimism. At
> for me. On the other hand:
> <<< We are together
> with the millions of martyrs of Russia. They, and only they, saved
> the Church in Russia.
> Am I mistaken?
> or is this so difficult to understand?>>>
> It is I who am frequently mistaken, but it seems to me that the
> thing to correct here is the notion that anyone--even the
> martyrs!--saves the Church. The Church saves us. We do not save
> I am not, moreover, familiar with any official proclamations that
> suggest that Met. Sergius, in taking the actions he did, "saved" the
> In Christ,
> Roman Martin
> Russell E. Martin
> Asst. Professor of History
> Westminster College
> New Wilmington, PA 16172-0001
> phone: 724.946.7246
> fax: 724.946.7256
> webpage: http://www.westminster.edu/staff/martinre/
> other email: remartin@p...