Salvation according to the Ancient Church by Ken Athanasios

Salvation according to the Ancient Church by Ken Athanasios

THE SAD REALITY OF LIFE IS THAT WE ALL MUST DIE. AS THE BOOK OF HEBREWS SAYS, “IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGEMENT.” IF IT WAS NOT FOR CHRIST’S COMING TO THIS WORLD, WE WOULD ALL BE DOOMED. I THINK ALL OF US WHO ARE CHRISTIANS WOULD AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT. HOWEVER, WHEN IT COMES TIME TO STATE HOW WE UNDERSTAND HIS WORK OF SALVATION, WE WOULD PROBABLY arrive at SOME DISAGREEMENT AND CONFUSION.

TO GET THE ANCIENT CHURCH’S UNDERSTANDING, WE MUST FIRST LOOK AT SOME OF THE WRONG OR INCOMPLETE WAYS PEOPLE HAVE PEOPLE HAVE LOOKED AT REDEMPTION AND SALVATION.

SINCE THE NEW TESTAMENT IS A PROCLAMATION OF THE GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION RATHER THAN A CONCISE THEOLOGICAL EXPLANATION, MANY CHRISTIANS HAVE REFLECTED ON THE REDEMPTION PASSAGES IN THE GOSPELS AND EPISTLES, TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND HOW SALVATION WORKS. HISTORICALLY THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDINGS THAT THEY HAVE COME UP WITH. I WILL LIMIT THESE TO THE TWO MOST POPULARLY HELD AMONG MOST CHRISTIANS TODAY.
I WILL LIST THE VIEWS AS THE SATISFACTION VIEW AND THE PENAL SUBSTITUTION VIEW.

THE FIRST IS WHAT I WOULD CALL THE SATISFACTION VIEW. THIS VIEW WAS ARTICULATED FIRST BY A WESTERN BISHOP, ANSELM OF CANTERBURY. FOR SURE THE SCRIPTURE AND CHURCH FATHERS USE THE LANGUAGE OF A DEBT BEING OWED AND A RANSOM BEING PAID. BUT WHAT ANSELM DID WRONG WAS TO CONSTRUCT A RATIONALISTIC SYSTEM IN WHICH HE SAW GOD AS A SORT OF MEDIEVAL LORD OR KING WHO HAD TO MAINTAIN HIS HONOR AND REPUTATION. AS A MEDIEVAL LORD, GOD THE FATHER, HAD CERTAIN LAWS THAT MUST BE OBEYED. IF ANY MAN DARED TO VIOLATE THESE LAWS THEN IT WOULD BE AN OFFENSE AGAINST THE HONOR AND MAJESTY OF THE PERSON OFFENDED, IN THIS CASE, GOD HIMSELF. THEREFORE, THERE WOULD NEED TO BE A OFFERING MADE TO THE OFFEDED PERSON, AND THE PAYMENT WOULD HAVE TO BE INFINITE, SINCE GOD HIMSELF IS INFINITE. IN ANSELM’S MODEL, THE ONLY PERSON WHO COULD MAKE THE PAYMENT TO SATISFY GOD’S OFFENDED HONOR WAS GOD HIMSELF. THEREFORE, CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, BECAME MAN IN ORDER TO OFFERER TO THE FATHER A SUPREMLY MERITORIOUES GIFT ON BEHALF OF MAN, WHAT MAN OWED GOD. AND HE DID THIS BY THE VALUE OF HIS SINLESS, GOD PLEASING LIFE, AND HIS SUFFERINGS AND DEATH ON BEHALF OF HUMANITY. THIS WOULD COME TO BE KNOWN AS THE SATISFACTION THEORY, AND WOULD PREDOMINATE FOR CENTURIES IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC WEST.

THE NEXT VIEW WAS ARTICULATED BY THE PROTESTANT REFORMERS. AND IT IS CALLED THE PENAL SUBSTITUTION VIEW. THIS VIEW SAYS, THAT GOD THE FATHER, HAD GIVEN MANKIND COMMANDMENTS THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW. BUT SINCE ADAM AND ALL MANKIND AFTER HIM BROKE THE LAW, THE FATHER, IN ABSOLUTE JUSTICE, REQUIRED THAT AN INFINITE AMOUNT OF ETERNAL PUNISHMENT BE DEALT OUT UPON EVERY HUMAN BEING WHO EVER LIVED, BECAUSE THEY ALL HAVE SINNED. BUT SINCE GOD LOVES MANKIND, HE SENT HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO BE OUR “SUBSTITUTE” AND TAKE UPON HIMSELF THE GUILT AND PUNISHMENT OF EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED, MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR GOD THE FATHER TO FORGIVE ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM. CHRIST HAD TO ENDURE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT; EITHER ON THE CROSS, ACCORDING TO CALVIN, OR IN HELL AS SEEMS TO BE THE CASE, WITH LUTHER. I SAY IT AGAIN, THE IDEA BECAME THAT GOD MUST POUR OUT HIS WRATH AND ETERNAL PUNISHMENT ON THE GUILTY OR MANKIND COULD NOT BE FORGIVEN. THERE ARE SEVERAL PROBLEMS WITH THIS IDEA. AS WITH THE PREVIOUS ONE, IT MAKES GOD BOUND TO A KIND OF JUSTICE THAT IS SOMEHOW ABOVE HIM. IT ALSO MAKES GOD OUT TO HAVE A VENGFUL NATURE, SOMETHING HE HIMSELF FORBIDS. WE MUST REMEMBER THAT FORGIVENESS AND RESTITUTION, WHETHER BY “MERIT” OR BY “PUNISHMENT,” ARE OPPOSITE. FORGIVENESS REQUIRES NO PAYMENT, IT IS ABSOLUTELY FREE.
SO THESE THEN ARE THE TWO MOST POPULAR UNDERSTANDINGS OF WHAT CHRIST CAME TO DO, “SATISFATION” AND “PENAL SUBSTITUTION.”

ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS WITH ANY “TRANSACTION” UNDERSTANDING OF SALVATION IS THAT IT TOTALLY MAKES THE WHOLE OF SALVATION A ONCE AND FOR ALL “DONE DEAL”. YOU WILL HEAR THE PHRASE: “ARE YOU SAVED?” AND, OF COURSE, WHAT THAT MEANS IS: “ARE YOU A RECIPIENT OF THE WORK OF GOD, THE SON, PAYING OFF GOD, THE FATHER, TO GET YOU FORGIVEN AND THEREFORE, SAVED?”

WITH THE ORTHODOX THIS IS NOT THE CASE. TO UNDERSTAND THE ANCIENT CHURCH’S VIEW, WE MUST GO BACK TO THE BEGINING. After God created Adam and Eve as our first parents He gave Adam headship over all creation. Adam was not created perfect, as some people think, but He was created good. Adam was not created unable to die but he was created with the ability through God’s grace to keep from dying. Clothed with God’s Grace Adam could live forever as long as he held to that Grace by obeying God’s commandment not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam “On the day you eat of it, you will die.” Which meant that Adam would lose the life-giving Power that kept him alive? Keep in mind God did not tell Adam that He would kill him.

In the Garden of Eden was another intelligent creature, the devil. God allowed the devil to test Adam and Eve’s obedience. And the devil used the snake to trick Adam into disobeying God.

When Adam disobeyed the commandment, he lost Grace and he died spiritually. Later he would also die bodily. So then, the devil led Adam through trickery, to lose Grace and die. The book of John says, “The devil was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44.) God has given permission to the devil to bring death upon all who depart from Gods commandments. If we were sinless we would not die but because we sin, the devil is allowed to bring death upon us.
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyv states “Most assuredly, God is not a party to evil (Or the devil), yet evil is somehow under His control: it is God who sets the boundaries in which evil can operate. As the opening of the book of Job shows, there is a certain direct and personal relationship between God and the devil (cf. Job 1-2); the nature of this relationship is, however, unknown to us. According to the mysterious ways of His Providence, and for purposes of edification, God allows evil to act as a means of setting people aright. This is evident from those parts of Scripture where God is recorded as visiting evil upon people: thus God hardened the heart of Pharaoh (Ex.4:21; 7:3; 14:4); God visited Saul with an evil spirit (1 Sam.16:14; 19:9); God gave the people ‘statutes that were not good’ (Ezek.20:25); God gave the people up to ‘impurity’, ‘dishonorable passions’ and a ‘base mind’ (Rom.1:24-32). In all of these instances it is not God Who is the source of evil: in possessing utter power over both good and evil, God can allow evil to operate in order to transform it into a source of virtue and to direct it towards good consequences. He can also use it to deliver people from a yet greater evil.”

Death is allowed by God, and in a sense is a great mercy, because it puts an end to sin and through it, as we will see later, our separation from God.

Because Adam was the head of all humanity, he not only brought suffering and death upon himself but also upon Eve and the rest of us who are their children.

Adam was unable to reverse the consequences of His sin. If repentance and God’s forgiveness were all that was needed to escape suffering and death then surely repentance would have been enough. For, God is forgiving and merciful, and his divine justice is not the same as human justice. God’s justice allows for forgiveness free of charge as long as one truly repents. But the problem went deeper than just good standing with God. Adam’s nature, which we share, lost Grace and his nature came under the power of the devil, decomposition and death. What or rather who was needed to bring Adam back to spiritual and physical life?

God so loved us that He sent His Son into the world to save us.
Before the world was created, it was the plan of the Holy Trinity that the Son would humble Himself by becoming human, born of the Virgin Mary to become a “New Second Adam” to save us from death and the devil. Christ came and lived a perfect human life in full obedience, fulfilling all of God’s will, the opposite of the First Adam, who disobeyed. Through every moment of Christ’s life He set Human nature free from slavery to the devil. As the book of Hebrews says “Christ was tempted in all things as we were yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15), setting our human nature free to serve God. The devil saw Christ’s works but did not fully understand, for he did not know that Christ was God. All that the devil knew for sure was that of all men that he had tempted this one was as close to sinless as he had ever seen before. Therefore he sought His destruction so as to have an even greater trophy in his showroom, in Hades.

The devil stirred up the Pharisees and Romans to kill Jesus. Therefore they hung him on the Cross, where Christ allowed Himself to die, not of necessity as with us sinners but by His own will he died and then went down into Hades.

The devil thought he had won the victory over Christ because he thought Christ was like every other man. But, unknown to him, he had put to death the one who was life itself, the God-man Jesus Christ. Through this great mistake, the devil along with death and Hades was overthrown by Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
Christ destroyed the devil’s kingdom, smashing the bars of the prison house of Hades and taking death and the devil prisoner. He resurrected spiritually all the dead who had followed the True God. And Christ will resurrect all men physically on the last day.
Please allow me the time to read these beautiful words from the book of Hebrews:
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” and again “Inasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham (and therefore Adam). Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”

Now my friends the path is open to paradise. Christ has once again given man access to the eternal kingdom. And through the sacraments of His Holy Church and the struggle against sin man can appropriate this passage into eternal life with our conquering King Jesus Christ.

But, the Ancient Church’s understanding of salvation was not limited to Christ’s Redemption. On the contrary man was viewed as needing, to make his own, the fruits of this redemption. All humanity will rise on the last day, but how will we experience Christ’s coming? What will be the condition of our soul?

How does a person appropriate, or make his own, salvation in Christ? The answer one will get depends largely on which understanding of Christ’s work one holds to. If salvation is only, or primarily juridical and forensic, Christ paying all that we owe, or suffering all we should have suffered, than one will more than likely believe that once you have been declared not guilty, than whether you are truly righteous or not makes no difference. Kind of like the O.J. Simpson case. Even if O.J. was truly guilty, it doesn’t matter the court found him innocent, end of discussion.
However, if one believes that Christ really came to change mankind totally, than one must believe that salvation is a process and not a once for all declaration of righteousness.
Salvation than implies a growing into what we should be. The ordinary means by which an un-baptized adult is saved according to the Orthodox Church is to first hear and believe the Good News about our Lord Jesus Christ, and believe that He is the Only Begotten Son of God, that for us and for our salvation He came down from heaven, that he became man, lived a human life, suffered on the Cross, died, and was buried. That on the third day He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father and that He is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead and that His Kingdom will have no end. Then what one needs to do is to receive catechesis, sound instruction in the Orthodox Christian Faith. Next one must receive Holy Baptism followed by Chrismation and Holy Communion which begins the Sacramental Life in Christ.
Finally one needs to grow in the Grace of God through a life of prayer, spiritual struggle with the devil and ones passions (spiritual warfare), A journey that includes three phases which are Purification, Illumination and Theosis which is Union with God.
I will explain these steps in a little detail.
Purification is the phase of the journey where we are, by God’s Grace and our own effort, being cleansed from the selfishness of our ego and desires to please our body. This is accomplished on our part by continual repentance, fasting, struggling against sin and prayer. It is achieved only through our working with God, and by spiritual council with ones Priest or spiritual father, and obedience to him, the Church, and its teachings.
Illumination, Is totally the work of God’s Grace. It is where our heart becomes pure and we see people and situations in life from God’s perspective and not from a deceived mind.
Theosis or Union with God, is the last stage in the spiritual life and is the state that the Saints are in. They have become through Grace what God is by nature. That is Truly Holy. They are connected to God and their will is the same as His.

The Orthodox Christian in working out his salvation with fear and trembling must always say after we have done all these things we must consider ourselves unworthy servants only doing what we were supposed to do and pray for God’s mercy. For He is a loving Father who is rich in mercy and will not abandon us. This is Orthodox salvation, the Faith of the Ancient and Undivided Church.
Amen.

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St. Bede, The Venerable: Conversion of England, 597 AD

St. Bede, The Venerable:
Conversion of England, 597 AD

Of all the early historians, Bede, the Venerable, is the most noteworthy and reliable. In the early eighth century, he was a monk at the monastery of Jarrow, located in the far north of England, in what is now the county of Tyne and Wear. His attention to detail and accuracy set him apart from most other writers in the area of history. His “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” is a valuable account of the arrival and development of Roman Christianity to Britain in 597 AD. Below is an excerpt from his account.

The Arrival in Kent of the missionaries sent By Gregory the Great (597)

In the year of our Lord 582, Maurice, the fifty-fourth emperor from Augustus, ascended the throne and reigned twenty-one years. In the tenth year of his reign, Gregory, a man renowned for learning and behavior, was promoted to the apostolic see of Rome,’ and presided over it thirteen years, six months, and ten days. He, being moved by divine inspiration, about the one hundred and fiftieth year after the coming of the English into Britain, sent the servant of God, Augustine, and with him several other monks who feared the Lord, to preach the word of God to the English nation. . . .

[Augustine, with his companions, arrived in Britain.]. The powerful Ethelbert was at that time king of Kent; he had extended his dominions as far as the great river Humber, by which the southern Saxons are divided from the northern. On the east of Kent is the large Isle of Thanet, containing, according to the English way of reckoning, six hundred families, and divided from the other land by the river Wantsum, which is about three furlongs across and fordable only in two places, for both ends of it run into the sea.

In this island landed the servant of our Lord, Augustine, and his companions, being, as is reported, nearly forty men. They had, by order of the blessed Pope Gregory, brought interpreters of the nation of the Franks, and sending to Ethelbert, signified that they were come from Rome, and brought a joyful message, which most undoubtedly assured to all that took advantage of it everlasting joys in heaven, and a kingdom that would never end with the living and true God.

The king, having heard this, ordered them to stay in that island where they had landed and that they should be furnished with all necessaries till he should consider what to do with them. For he had heard of the Christian religion, having a Christian wife, of the royal family of the Franks, called Bertha, whom he had received from her parents upon condition that she should be permitted to practice her religion with the bishop, Luidhard, who was sent with her to preserve the faith.

Some days later the king came into the island and, sitting in the open air, ordered Augustine and his companions to be brought into his presence. For he had taken precaution that they should not come to him in any house, lest, according to an ancient superstition, if they practiced any magical arts they might impose upon him, and so get the better of him. But they came furnished with divine, not with magic, power, bearing a silver cross for their banner, and the image of our Lord and Saviour painted on a board; and singing”the the litany, they offered up their prayers to the Lord for eternal salvation both of themselves and of those to whom they came.

When Augustine had sat down, pursuant to the king’s commands, and preached to him and his attendants there present the word of life, the king answered thus: ” Your words and promises are very fair, but they are new to us and of uncertain import, and I cannot approve of them so far as to forsake that which I have so long followed with the whole English nation. But because you are come from far into my kingdom, and, as I conceive, are desirous to impart to us those things which you believe to be true and most beneficial, we will not molest you, but give you favorable entertainment and take care to supply you with the necessary sustenance; nor do we forbid you to preach and gain as many as you can to your religion.”

Accordingly, he permitted them to reside in the city of Canterbury, which was the metropolis of all his dominions, and pursuant of his promise, besides allowing them sustenance, did not refuse them the liberty to preach. . . .

As soon as they entered the dwelling place assigned them, they began to imitate the course of life practiced in the primitive church : applying themselves to frequent prayer, watching, and fasting; preaching the word of life to as many as they could; despising all worldly things, as not belonging to them; receiving only their necessary food from those they taught; living in all respects conformably to what -they prescribed to others, and being always disposed to suffer any adversity, and even to die for that truth which they preached. In short, several believed and were baptized, admiring the simplicity of their innocent life and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine.

There was on the east side of the city a church dedicated to St. Martin, built whilst the Romans were still in the island, wherein the queen, who, as has been said before, was a Christian, used to pray. In this they first began to meet, to sing, to pray, to say mass, to preach and to baptize, till the king, being converted to the faith, allowed them to preach openly and to build or repair churches in all places.

When he among the rest, induced by the unspotted life of these holy men and their delightful promises, which, by many miracles, they proved to be most certain, believed and was baptized, greater numbers be-an daily to flock together to hear the word and, forsaking their heathen rites. to associate themselves, by believing, to the unity of the Church of Christ.

Gregory the Great: Instructions to the Missionaries

The Letter to Mellitus of 601
When Almighty God shall bring you to the most reverend Bishop Augustine, our brother, tell him what I have, after mature deliberation on the affairs of the English, determined upon, namely, that the temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed, but let the idols that are in them be destroyed; let holy water be made and sprinkled in the said temples – let altars be erected, and relics placed. For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts and, knowing and adoring the true God, may the more familiarly resort to the places to which they have been accustomed.

And because they have been used to slaughter many oxen in the sacrifices to devils, some solemnity must be substituted for them on this account, as, for instance, that on the day of the dedication, or of the nativities of the holy martyrs whose relics are there deposited, they may build themselves huts of the boughs of trees about those churches which have been turned to that use from temples, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasting, no more offering beasts to the devil, but killing cattle to the praise of God in their eating, and returning thanks to the Giver of all things for their sustenance; to the end that, whilst some outward gratifications are permitted them, they may the more easily consent to thee inward consolations of the grace of God.

For there is no doubt that it is impossible to efface every thing at once from their obdurate minds., because he who endeavors to ascend to the highest place rises by degrees or steps and not by leaps. This the Lord made himself known to the people of Israel in Egypt: and yet he allowed them to use the sacrifices which they were wont to offer to the devil in his own worship, commanding them in his sacrifice to kill beasts to the end that, changing their hearts they mad lay aside one part of the sacrifice whilst retained another: that whilest they offered the same beasts which they were wont to offer, they should offer them to God, and not to idols, and thus they would no longer be the same sacrifices.

The conversion of Northumbria

[Edwin, the king of Northumbria, urged by his Christian wife Ethelberga, and by the bishop Paulinus,] answered that he was both willing and bound to receive the new faith which the bishop taught, but that he wished, nevertheless, to confer about it with his principal friends and counselors, to the end that, if they also were of his opinion, they might all be cleansed together in Christ, the Fount of Life. Paulinus consenting, the king did as he said; for holding a council with the wise men, he asked of every one in particular what he thought of the new doctrine and the new worship that was preached.

To which the chief of his priests, Coifi, immediately answered: “O king, consider what this is which is now preached to us; for verily I declare to you that the religion which we have hitherto professed has, as far as I can learn, no virtue in it. For none of your people has applied himself more diligently to the worship of our gods than I; and yet there are many who receive greater favors from you, and are more preferred than I, and who are more prosperous in all their undertakings. Now if the gods were good for anything, they would rather forward me who has been more careful to serve them. It follows, therefore, that if upon examination you find those new doctrines which are now preached to us better and more efficacious, we should immediately receive them without any delay’ ”

Another of the king’s chief men, approving of Coifi’s words and exhortations, presently added: ” The present life man, O king, seems to me, in comparison with that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter amid your officers and ministers, with a good fire in the midst whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door and immediately another, whilst he is within is safe from the wintry but after a short space of fair weather he immediately vanishes out of your sight into the dark winter from which he has emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space but of what went before or what is to follow we are ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed.’

The other elders and king’s counselors, by divine inspiration, spoke to the same effect., But Coifi added that he, wished more attentively to hear Paulinus’ discourse concerning the God whom he preached. So the bishop having spoken by the king’s command at greater length, Coifi, hearing his words,- cried out: “I have long since been sensible that there was nothing in that which we worshiped, because the more diligently I sought after truth in that worship the less I found it. But now I freely confess that such evident, truth appears in this preaching as can confer on us the gifts of life, of salvation, and of eternal happiness. For which reason I advise, O king, that we instantly abjure and set fire to those temples and altars which we have consecrated out reaping any benefits from them.”

In short, the king publicly gave his permission to Paulinus to preach the gospel, and, renouncing idolatry, declare he received the faith of Christ: and when he inquired high priest who should first profane the altars and temples of their idols, with the enclosures that were about them, the high priest answered, ,I; for who can more properly than myself destroy those things which I worshiped through ignorance, for an example to all others, through the wisdom which been given me by the true God ? ”

Then immediately, in contempt of his former superstitions, desired the king to furnish him with arms and a stallion, and mounting the latter, he set out to destroy the idols ; for it was not lawful before for the high priest either to carry arms or to ride on any beast but a mare. Having, therefore, girt on a sword and carrying a spear in his hand, he mounted the king’s stallion and proceeded to the idols. The multitude, beholding him, concluded he was distracted; but he lost no time, for as soon as he drew near the temple he profaned the same, casting into it the spear which he held. And rejoicing in the knowledge of the worship of the true God, he commanded his companions to destroy the temple, with all its enclosures, by fire.

This place where the idols were is still shown, not far from York, to the eastward, beyond the river Derwent, and is now called Godmundingham; where the high priest, by the inspiration of the true God, profaned and destroyed the altars which he had himself consecrated.

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About Russian Nationalism by Ivan Ilyin

About Russian nationalism by Ivan Ilyin

As we look forward into the distance and see the future of Russia, we see it as a national state, which protects and serves Russian national culture. After a long break, after the painful failure of the international communist – Russia will return to it’s free self-assertion, and find it’s common instinct of self-preservation, to reconcile it’self to it’s spiritual well-being and begin a new period advancing toward it’s historical peak.

For the last thirty years the Russian people suffered humiliation, and it seems they have no end in sight. For Thirty years they have been trampled by dark and criminal people who have had their hands in and on the people’s pockets and altars, forbidding them to pray, mistreating the best people – the most faithful, the most persistent, the bravest and the patriotic – inhibiting the people’s freedom, distorting their spiritual countenance, squandering their property, ruining it, decomposing their state, taking from them the free labor and free inspiration … For thirty years treating them as if they were deprived of national dignity, national spirit and national instinct. These years of violence and shame will not pass in vain: the national body can not be denied health,” – it will break through to them at all costs, you can not deprive the people of spiritual self-esteem – these attempts only awaken a new awareness and a new force. What is going
through the Russian people – there is a strict and lengthy learning process, a living school of mental purification, humility and sobriety. This first awakening, perhaps, may be passionate, excessive and even violent, but the future will bring us a new Russian nationalism with its true strength and its true extent. This nationalism we must now speak out and draw.

In contrast to every internationalism, which is sentimental and fierce- we say Russian nationalism opposes any kind of denationalization. It takes the domestic and political, instinctual and spiritual, confesses it and raises it to God.

We welcome its revival. We rejoice in it’s spirituality and it’s originality. And we consider it precious to the Russian people who did not associate themselves with any kind of internationalist “sympathy” and “commitment.”

Each nation has a national instinct, given to him by nature (and that means – and of God), and the gifts of the Spirit is poured into it from the Creator in every way. And every instinct and spirit of the people live in their own way and create precious uniqueness. This Russian peculiarity we should cherish, cherish it, live in it and create from it: it was given to us from time immemorial, in the embryo, and the disclosure of it was given to us throughout our history. Revealing it, carrying it, we fulfill our historic mission, and to deny it, we have neither the right nor the desire. For any kind of national identity in its own way contains the Spirit of God and a nation’s praise of the Lord.

Every nation, has it’s own way treating things, of giving birth, getting sick, dying, working, farming and leisure, all have their own way of grieving, crying, getting angry and despairing, of smiling, joking, laughing and having joy, in their own walks and dances, sings in their own way and creates music, in its own way says, declaims, jokes and oratory, in their own watches, contemplates and creates paintings, in their own studies, learns, thinks and argues, in their own begging, shows charity and hospitality, in its own way builds houses and monasteries. In their own way pray and understands heroism … lifts up their spirit and repents. In its own organized way. Each nation has its own particular sense of right and justice, a different character, a different discipline, different view of the moral ideal, of family life, a different religion and different political dream, and state instinct. In short, every nation has a different, special way of
peace, spiritual life and creative act.

Such is the nature and of history. So much in instinct and spirit. So we were all given by God. This is good. This is beautiful. Various herbs and flowers in the field. Different trees and clouds. Rich and beautiful garden of God; abundant forms, colors and types of shine, shines, and pleased with the variety …

And that all things and all people and all nations – are right. And each nation ought – to be, and show off, and to glorify God in their own way. And in this very diversity and polyphony is singing and praise to the Creator, and you have to be spiritually blind and deaf not to comprehend this.

That is why the idea is to repay manifold praises, to abolish the wealth of historical garden of God, to reduce everything to a dead likeness and uniformity, for equality of sand, to indifference after already brightening up the difference in the world can only be born in a spiritually dead, sick soul. This flat and banal chimera, this atheistic idea is a product of rational souls, angry and jealous – still tends whether this chimera aggressively crush all nations under one nation (chimera of German National Socialism), or dissolve all national cultures in colorless and formless chimera of Soviet communism. In any case, this ugly chimera in which extreme nationalism converge with extreme internationalism – non-Russian in origin, as, indeed, the whole of nihilism is non-Christian in origin, as, indeed, the whole of egalitarianism.

Christianity brought the world the idea of a personal, immortal soul, independent of their gift, to their responsibility and their vocation, Especially in their sins and deeds and amateur in contemplation, love and prayer – that is, the idea of the metaphysical identity of the person. And so the idea of metaphysical identity of the people is only true and consistent development of the Christian understanding, Christ alone in the universe. It’s not for the Jews only, and not only to the Greeks, and his gospel is to the Greeks and the Jews, but it means that God recognized and called upon all nations, each in its place, with its own language and with their gifts (Acts srv.. 2. 1-42, I. Corinthians 1-31).

St. Seraphim of Sarov once expressed the view that God cares about each person as if he were the only one with Him. This is said of the individual man. What should we think about an individual nation? – that it is rejected and condemned by God? Each lily God clothes with beautiful garments, every bird of the air He feeds and nourishes. The hairs falling from a human head are counted, and the peculiarity of people’s lives, come from Him. The praise of a nation that He created, do you think He rejects? ..

Throughout history, all the culture, all the work and every nation singing their national songs serve God as best they can, and those people who are creative and inspired become great and spiritually lead their nations in history.

So, nationalism is a confident and strong feeling that my people also received gifts of the Holy Spirit that the nation hast taken them and creatively implemented them in their own way, that his strength is abundant and is designed to further the creative achievements and that is why a people befits a cultural pledge of greatness” (Pushkin) and the independence of the state of being.

Therefore, nationalism is primarily manifested in the national instinct of self-preservation, and this instinct is true and justified. You should not be ashamed of it, it makes sense in the face of God who spiritually justifies and elevates its manifestation. This instinct is not to sleep in the soul of the people, but to watch. Nationalism is not “beyond good and evil,” on the contrary, it is subject to the laws of goodness and spirit. It must have its manifestation in love, sacrifice, courage, and wisdom, and a nation ought to have it’s celebrations, their joys, their sorrows and their prayers. A nation must be born of the national unity in all its instinctive “bee” and “ant”.

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Ivan Ilyin On Christian Nationalism.

Ivan Ilyin
On Christian Nationalism.

From the Russian National Unity website
(please forgive the computer generated translation)

National feeling does not contradict Christianity, but it receives from its higher meaning and a base; because it creates a unity of people in the spirit and love of the heart and attaches to the highest on earth – the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed every people and in their own way to translate each of them in history and cultural creativity. That is why Christian culture feasible on the ground just as the national culture and nationalism are not subject to condemnation, but the joyful and creative enterprises.

Spiritual unity

A variety of herbs and flowers in a field. Different trees, water and clouds. “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars; and star differs from star in glory “(1Kor.15,41). Rich and beautiful garden of God; abundant species, shapes shine shines and pleased with the variety. And every nation and ought to be, and to show off, and praise God – in his own way. And in this very mnogovidnosti – already singing and praise to the Creator. And we must be spiritually blind and deaf not to comprehend this.

Ven. Seraphim of Sarov said that God cares about each person as if he were his only … This is said of the individual person. And about individual people? What about him Lord does not care at all? Rejects it, condemns and condemns? Each lily puts especial and beautiful garments; every fowl of the air and feeds remembers; and all the hair on the human head are counted, and the originality of the “World of genius” in national life curses as the origin of evil, and rejects, as a sin and an abomination? Can a Christian to adhere to such a view?

Every people serve God as best he can – throughout history, across cultures, Rudd and his singing. One nation is creatively, spiritually and flowers; and the other – not creatively and spiritually withers. There are some nations that no longer serve and become someone was history; and there are those that, in its small and sparsely-helpless ministry extinguished before reaching the peak. And there are those that can only exercise their ministry under the leadership of another, spiritually strong people …

Nationalism contemplates its kind on the face of God, contemplating his soul, his talents, his weaknesses, his historical perspective, its dangers and temptations.

NATIONALISM, it’s …

Nationalism is a system of actions arising out of this love, of this faith, in this will and this contemplation.

That is why the true nationalism is not dark, anti-Christian passion, but the spiritual fire, which traces person to sacrificial service, and the people to spiritual prosperity.

Christian nationalism is a delight in the contemplation of his people in the plan of God, in the gifts of his grace, in the ways of His Kingdom. This is thanks to God for these gifts; but that there is sorrow for his people, if the people are not at the height of these gifts.

The national feeling – a source of spiritual dignity: national, and through it – and their own, personal.

In it a source of unity, – for there is a deeper and stronger unity, both in spirit and in the sight of God. In it the source of justice – this feeling of his innocence in the deep and the last measurement, the feelings of his unconditional attachment and connectedness, his home and his faithful boldness. Nationalism and teaches humility – in contemplation weaknesses and downfalls of his people (remember the penitential poems Khomyakov to Russia).

Nationalism man opens his eyes and on the national identity of other nations; it teaches us not to despise other nations, and to honor their spiritual achievements and their national feeling: for they involved the gifts of God, and they put them in their own way.

So meaningful nationalism teaches man that there is a spiritual hollowness nationless; and futility; that internationalism is a spiritual disease and the source of temptations; and that supernationalism available only truly nationalist. For create something beautiful for all people, can only be one who is established in the creative act of his people. The attempt to become “great” of internationalism and staying in its atmosphere, and gave will give only imaginary screen “celebrities” or planetary villains. True greatness soil. True genius national.

ATTITUDE of strangers

In vain talk, though nationalist “hates and despises the other nations.” Hatred and contempt does not constitute a substantive nationalism; they can be attached to all if the human soul is evil and envious. True, there are nationalists, indulging these feelings. But all can distort and misuse can be everything. Abuse can be gymnastics, poison, freedom, power, knowledge, word; can distort the love, art, court, politics and even prayer; but no one thinks prohibit and eradicate all of this just because some people take perverse forms as the only possible and healthy forms do not notice at all … When the right understanding of nationalism – the religious sentiment and national feeling is not detached from one another, and are not opposed each other; but merge and form a kind of creative unity of life, from which grows in the womb which national culture.

PEOPLE – NOT GOD

This does not mean that the people become the subject of religious adoration, and the idea of God is reduced to the level of the earth’s nations. The people are not God and the deification of his blasphemous and sinful. And God is above earthly divisions. But people should be put before the face of God, and the powers it should be freely bestowed from above. And if that happened, and if it is recognized, then life gets its religious meaning, and religion finds its rightful home in the national spirit. All being and the whole history of the people conceptualized as an independent and unique service to God: the acceptance of gifts of the Holy Spirit, and their introduction into the national culture. So: people are not God, but the strength of his spirit – from God. Its historical path of struggle and suffering – has let the ascent to God. And this way – roads and sacred to the nationalist. And feeling it, he confesses that the homeland is sacred, that it is necessary to live, that it is worth fighting for in the face of God, and, if need be, and die.

Christian nationalism measures the life of its people and the dignity of its people religious measure: by the idea of God and Christ, the Son of God.

Religious faith interprets nationalism, and nationalism raises himself to God. These are the foundations of Christian nationalism.

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Three Types of Christians

http://classicalchristianity.com/2014/01/16/on-the-three-types-of-christians-2/

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Orthodoxy in Georgia!

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http://glory2godforallthings.com/2013/09/28/a-secular-orthodoxy/

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