“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 post at present, 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 life. One that does not challenge; one that does not require of us steadfastness. 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 for an excuse to be spinless.
When the clear Revelation of the Faith is at stake, all faithful believers are called to take a humble, courageous, and steadfast stand. True humility does not compromise the Faith, because the Faith is a Revelation from God incarnate. Only the most arrogant and insolent of men seek to subtlely and seductively altar the Faith, which will thereby make it not the Faith.
I’ve been tracking at my blog the situation of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. I’m doing this because it has massive spiritual ramifications, yes even for the sleepy American Orthodox. 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. The intended picture 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 will know better than God. “God” will be retained as a convenient means to manipulate and control people but in reality, He will not be welcome whatsoever. After all, His revelation is cruel. It does not make people feel good about themselves. It does not affirm every wandering lust and desire to be valid and okay. True Orthodoxy is just a big 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!
This “neo-doxy” will be the offer of the new order to Orthodoxy: we’ll let you be but you must change your teaching. You must surrender 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.”
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. I mean, ultimately, it does not really affect my personal prayer life … (I heard this from one person.)
Our willful “unconsciousness” will only end in the loss of True Orthodoxy.
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!