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Russian Orthodox Church and Putin


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#21 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 07:26 PM

Orthodox hierarchs should preach the truth, which includes an unwillingness to do to their neighbor what they would find hateful themselves. Is that not what their Master, Christ preached?

Consider the position of a supporter of another religion "We know that  (insert religion) is the Truth. Is it wrong for the government in a (insert religion) country to seek to limit the activities of heretics who are hostile to (insert religion)?"

How is your position materially different from theirs?

 



#22 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 07:41 PM

I would not say that I have formed a clearly defined position which is why I put questions rather than statements. How Orthodox Christians relate to the issues at hand is not easy to decide. Modern notions of rights and relativism appear very attractive and in some parts of the West seem sacrosanct. If we say that because the devotees of religion 'X' believe their religion to be the only truth, that must be respected and the devotees be entirely free to evangelize to all and sundry including Orthodox Christians, are we Orthodox Christians not giving in to relativism?



#23 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:06 PM

I understand your concerns. But I believe this has potential ramifications for the Orthodox Church herself.

Consider the case of someone like Irene Matta or Orthodox priests in the US who evangelize over social media, promoting Orthodox beliefs. Should suddenly the US government decide that this is no longer acceptable, I think it is fair to say that they/the Orthodox church would not be happy. It would be a violation of their desire as humans to speak freely, coercing none, but sharing their beliefs for others to accept or reject.

What should be sacrosanct here is the Golden Rule, especially considering the promise that even the gates of hell shall not prevail. The application of the Golden Rule, would then be evidence for the unbeliever to experience the love of the Father in Christ, and thereby help them discern Truth among competing claims/voices.


Edited by Sacha, 26 July 2016 - 08:11 PM.


#24 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:21 PM

Sasha, could you clarify what you mean by the Golden Rule and how it applies in these circumstances? I have only understood the Golden rule to mean taking the middle way in spiritual matters.



#25 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 08:45 PM

It is stated as:

"And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." Luke 6:31

It is a command...

The Orthodox Church has a global evangelical outreach. In that outreach and in many nations beyond Greece and Russia, her members have the privilege of gathering privately in homes to meet and pray, in addition to gathering in official Orthodox churches and also evangelizing using social media and other means.

The application then of the Golden Rule ought to be evident: If she values these freedoms, so should she allow men to enjoy the self same in Greece and Russia. The rule cannot be restricted to "spiritual matters" in the sense in which you understand the term, because spiritual matters themselves are often intrinsically interwoven in practical matters, the proof of this being borne out in the  intensely practical nature of the immediate context of verse 31 ( "give to those who ask of you,... lend to those who cannot repay you" ) 

To put it succinctly, Love is a verb, not a noun.
 



#26 Lakis Papas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 09:31 PM

The issue is political, it does not have theological aspect. There are some funds with political agenda that promote political propaganda covered under religion vehicle. I think these are targeted with these kind of laws.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 26 July 2016 - 09:32 PM.


#27 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 10:31 PM

I agree with Lakis.



#28 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:09 PM

Which brings me full circle to my OP, which is that the Russian Orthodox Church should reconsider its relationship with Russia's leadership. It is called to be salt and light in a dark world, not an aide to politicians.

Isaiah 30:

"Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD,
"Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
Who walk to go down to Egypt,
And have not asked My advice,
To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation..."



#29 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:43 PM

the Russian Orthodox Church should reconsider its relationship with Russia's leadership. It is called to be salt and light in a dark world, not an aide to politicians.

 

You mean the leaders of the ROC. I do not know how to characterize relations between the Church leaders and the political leadership. Also, one should not assume that in the Church as a whole there is unanimity of opinion about its leadership.



#30 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 11:57 PM

Yes, I should have clarified, the leaders. And your point re unanimity of opinion is well taken, thank you for the correction.



#31 Lakis Papas

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 12:44 PM

Which brings me full circle to my OP, which is that the Russian Orthodox Church should reconsider its relationship with Russia's leadership. It is called to be salt and light in a dark world, not an aide to politicians.

Isaiah 30:

"Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD,
"Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
Who walk to go down to Egypt,
And have not asked My advice,
To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
And to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation..."


Most OT prophets used secular phrasing to indicate spiritual analogies.

#32 Deacon John Martin

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 02:48 AM

I found several blog posts of an American living in Russia who actually read through the text of the law and offers more nuanced comments than the black-and-white picture depicted in the media: Russia's Anti-Missionary Law


Edited by Deacon John Martin, 03 August 2016 - 02:48 AM.


#33 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 06:10 AM

Thanks to Dcn John Martin for the link to the very good article. No Russians I know are much interested in the matter.






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