“Until the last decade or so the development of what it is perhaps still too early to call ‘American Orthodoxy’ had been largely unconscious, as it indeed remains in the majority of those who call themselves “Orthodox” today. But, as the history of Orthodoxy in America has made abundantly clear, “unconscious” Orthodoxy is but a step on the road to the abandonment of Orthodoxy altogether.” Fr. Seraphim (Rose) of Blessed Memory.
The above quote is from a review that Fr. Seraphim wrote for a small book called “The History of the Russian Church Abroad.” The book is a fascinating read. The book itself is not really relevant to this present post but Bl. Seraphim’s observation is. ( I was directed to the review and the book itself by a reader, I’m always very thankful for such things.)
Christ our Lord tells us, “For the gate is wide and the way easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14).
At present, it seems there are many who want to construct an “easy” Orthodoxy. One that does not disrupt our modern sensibilities too much. One that does not challenge; one that does not require of us steadfast confession of the Faith of the Fathers. Our general insouciance is gussied up in pietistic clothing – “who am I to judge!” “What do I know, I’m just a sinner,” as one casts a coy glance towards the ground with listless hands folded over the chest while heaving a deep sigh.
I have yet to encounter that spinelessness is a Christian virtue. There exists a vast gulf between being truly humble and being spinless. Yet, it seems that humility is commonly used as an excuse to be spinless and unconscious.
When the clear Revelation of the Faith is at stake, all faithful believers are called to take a humble, courageous, and steadfast stand (according to their ability). True humility does not compromise the Faith, because the Faith is a Revelation from God incarnate. It does not stand aside with gentle sighs as the treasure of Faith is pillaged. Only the most arrogant and insolent of men seek to subtlely and seductively alter the Faith, which will thereby make it no longer the Faith.
I’ve been tracking on my blog the situation of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. I’m doing this because it has massive spiritual ramifications, yes even for sleepy American Orthodoxy. The time for sleep is passed, it is time to awake. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead” (Eph. 5:14).
The group constructed by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, the self-styled “orthodox church” of Ukraine is both apostate and blasphemous. Fellowship and communion with them is fellowship in their blasphemy.
Another piece to the puzzle has been revealed. At their latest “synod” meeting a major LGBTQ activist in Ukraine was present. This coincides with the fact that earlier Epiphany (self-styled leader of said group) stated that the church needs to reform its stance on LGBT issues. Orthodoxy needs to be more open, it’s just too close-minded! (The destruction of Christian morality is a grand means to destroy Christian teaching, all in the name of “love” of course!) The intended agenda should be abundantly clear by now for anyone who has eyes to see. (Keep in mind that the Greek Archdiocese of America under the EP has also been promoting anti-christian morality. This comes not from simply scattered individuals but from places of authority and money, see Fr. John Whiteford’s article for some basic references.)
Yes, in the “new and improved orthodoxy” men know better than God. “God” will be retained as a convenient means to manipulate and control people (you better be obedient, by golly!) but in reality, He will not be welcome whatsoever (unless reference to Him can be used to advance oneself or garner donations). After all, His revelation is cruel. Tradition doesn’t understand modern man. It doesn’t make people feel good about themselves. It doesn’t affirm every wandering lust and desire to be valid and okay. True Orthodoxy is just a big meany! You don’t want to be a meany!
In the “new and improved orthodoxy” you can fulfill your passions and be saved too! How convenient! It’s easy. Nice and wide and broad. No inconvenient “narrowness.” After all, being narrow is just mean! You don’t want to be a fanatic!
This “neo-doxy” will be the offering of the new order to the Orthodox: we’ll let you exist but you must change your teaching. You must disavow absolute Truth. You must surrender Divine Revelation.
To keep power and prestige many will make the trade: the treasure of Orthodoxy for worldly gain. This will not be limited to one “jurisdiction” in America, and possibly no jurisdiction will be excluded from this exchange.
The situation in Ukraine is a further and more aggressive manifestation of the emerging global neo-doxy. Yet, it seems, rather than face it, we here in America just want to fluff our pillows and go back to sleep. It will all just be okay if I just ignore it. I mean, ultimately, it doesn’t really affect my personal prayer life … (I heard this from one person.)
Our willful “unconsciousness” will only end in the loss of True Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy by nature is watchful and conscious.
O, Lord, where are the defenders of the Faith?! We need them desperately! Grant grace and strength to His Beatitude, Met. Onuphry, and the faithful in Ukraine. May we be inspired by their struggles for the Gospel and Holy Orthodoxy!