A Tale of Two Theologians

I recently ran across this amazing video interview on Freedomain Radio. The host, Stefan Molyneaux, interviewed Iben Thranholm, a Danish theologian who is presently on an EU watch list simply because she’s a committed Christian who won’t buy the Neocon line about Russia.

She’s traveled to Russia several times and gotten to see the Christian revival there first-hand. Also, I’m pleasantly pleased by her fidelity to traditional Christianity. I don’t know whether she’s converted to Orthodoxy but listening to her words it wouldn’t surprise me if she had. Regardless, it’s a powerful interview.

On the other hand, please take a look at this Facebook photo of another Christian theologian. This one an Orthodox bishop. Our old friend Metropolitan Savvas Zembillas of Pittsburgh (GOA), decided to pay homage to the Karl Marx during his recent trip to England.

I’d like to think that this was nothing more than visiting a historical site, like going to Westminster and visiting the tomb of Henry VIII. Leaving aside what it may say about the personal politics of His Eminence, I wonder what the Russian Orthodox Church would say about a prelate from the Ecumenical Patriarchate appearing at the grave-site of the false messiah of the twentieth century? A man whose writings created the most evil, totalitarian state in human history? Lest we forget, the Marxist regime decimated the Holy Orthodox Church throughout all of Eastern Europe.

While you think on these things, please take the time to listen to this excellent podcast.


  1. Peter Millman says

    Hi George,
    Let’s not forget that we must have Russia as an enemy; they are a very powerful country with as many nuclear weapons as we have. If they’re our enemy that means billions upon billions of dollars spent on behalf of the US military- industrial complex. I wish Russia and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin all the best.
    By the way, if Russia hacked the US election, all I can say to Mr. Putin is: Thank you for your service to our country, sir. It’s not like the US hasn’t overthrown hundreds of regimes in our sordid past.

  2. Marx’s heart may have been in the right place, but his head was dead wrong. Orthodox Christianity is the Apostolic Word of Jesus Christ, His Body, His Bride.

    The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church.

    Not so long as God lives, and not so long as His servant Misha lives.

    Game on.

    • Peter Millman says

      Hi Misha,
      ” Not so long as God lives, and not so long as His servant Misha lives.” My friend, you have accomplished a miracle. You actually make President Trump sound humble in comparison to you. We Orthodox are very lucky to have such a special Saint as you.

      • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

        C’mon, man. Misha is joking. BTW, Misha, you’ve hit the head on the nail with that comment. Very funny and apropos.

        • Спасибо брат. Христос является шуткой к неверующим.

        • Misha has consistently demonstrated that he is not kidding. In fact, I think he probably prefers I use capitol letters when referring to him. Also, I believe the concept of the gates of hell not prevailing against the church is misunderstood. Some quote the passage from Matthew using it as an excuse for the Church do whatever it wants and not worry about consequences. Look at what John writes to the Church of Ephesus in the first century:

          “Without growing weary, you have persevered and endured many things for the sake of My name. 4But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. 5Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.…

          Many interpret the lampstand as representing the Church. God call us to be faithful stewards of His Church and remember our first love JESUS the CHRIST.

          • “Many interpret the lampstand as representing the Church.”

            The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. He will not remove the Church. That is Protestantism.

            The Church is the Body of Christ, and His Bride.

            Why would God remove the Pillar and Ground of Truth?

            Oh, rest assured, on the Last Day He will separate the wheat from the chafe . . .

      • I would accept your gratitude Peter, but I cannot for a second believe that you are Orthodox and so I know it is disingenuous.

        • Peter Millman says

          Hi Misha,
          Trust me, my friend, I may not be a super Saint like you, but I am most assuredly an Orthodox Christian.

  3. Pat Reardon says

    Iben Thranholm is a Roman Catholic, I believe.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I wonder how long that’s going to last. Seriously Fr, I’m not being snarky. My feeling is that Pope Francis is too double-minded and that can’t be good for honest, simple Catholics who are trying to be faithful to the Chair of Peter.

  4. Mark E. Fisus says

    What she said about European men:

    Iben Thranholm: – European men act like women

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yes, and?

      Seriously, this woman needs to be listened to on a Solzhenitsyn-level basis.

      • Mark E. Fisus says

        It was jarring to hear a European woman talk about their own men so bluntly and critically.

        Not that it isn’t true.

  5. Caroline Humphrey says

    I am reading a book titled, “Homilies on the Book of Revelation” Volume one by Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios. page 39

    The Church’s lot is to be in a state of war. The Church had to stand, to be established, and to await Christ’s Second Coming. Doesn’t St. Paul say that the mystery of the Holy Eucharist will be offered continually and will continue to be offered until Christ comes back, He returns? (cf 1 Cor11: 26) Yet, the reaction of the world is incorrigible! The world has irreconcilable differences with the Church.

    • Caroline,

      I will let you in on a little secret, which is not much of a secret anymore: Ezekiel is an apocalyptic account of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua and the Hebrews. The Apocalypse of St. John is organized in a parallel fashion and is an account of the Eschaton.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Hi Caroline,

      I have both Volume One and Volume Two of “Homilies on the Book of Revelation” Volume one by Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios. He is a true modern Father of the Church like Blessed Seraphim Rose, Fr. Thomas Hopko, Fr. Stanley Harakis, Fr, Bloom and others.

      Please know that what you are reading is also on audio file on St. Nicodemus’ website even Volume Three.

  6. Does anyone remember the Metropolitan’s blog post from 8 years ago cheering on Obama and using the words “This the Day the Lord has Made” to praise him. Here is the link to refresh your memory.


  7. George Michalopulos says

    BTW, here’s some of Met Savvas’ defense of Marx:


  8. http://www.nysun.com/national/bourbons-of-the-press-believed-by-but-15-straggle/89876/

    This dude gets it close to the mark. However, I could more easily see a dominant party system emerging rather than a continuation of the schizophrenia we experience in a dualistic, two party system. Russia has had a dominant party system for some time now. Japan had one for a long time. The minority party (or parties) simply serves to keep the dominant party accountable. The dominant party makes all the important decisions.

    The Democrats and the MSM seem to be auditioning for the roles of minority parties, as are Hollywood and a significant part of academia.

    I love it when a Plan comes together.

    Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.

    And this:


    Once…the pervs are caged, we really do need to focus on the Podvig of addressing Islam.

  9. Michael Bauman says

    I remember it well. Chilling. I doubt he visited the Marx site just from historical curiosity.

  10. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    “Do I expect miracles from the President-Elect? Am I confusing the man with the Messiah? Of course not. But neither is he the Antichrist, as some of his opponents would have you believe.” – Metropolitan Savvas Zembillas

    I voted twice for Obama because I believed, and still believe, in Universal Healthcare. However, he made a complete mess of it that the whole thing needs to be scrapped and start over. I also support President Trump’s repeal and replace. Let’s give the new President a chance.

    Yet, Obama was far closer to Antichrist that anything else. If you want confirmation please talk to some Syrian Christians and see what they have to say.


  11. Sean Richardson says

    While Putin has definitely taken the side of conservative Orthodoxy, it is always scary to me when a political leader supports a religious view, because the next political leader will most likely take the opposite view, and then the previous religious view has a serious problem.
    I very much prefer the separation of church and state. That way, I know where I stand.

  12. Both the US and Russia need their Christian warrior culture functioning. Their the best fighters, which the Caesar on either side needs to at least keep them willing to fight each other, willing to be spitefully used by both political worldly rulers. What if the Orthodox fighters declare they will not go to war with other Orthodox peoples? I don’t believe Jesus Christ would condemn them. The planet needs solders who will reason why, not blindly do their duty to kill or die.Who you gonna follow?

    • Michael,

      Have faith in Holy Orthodoxy. It is the Law of God, the Law of Love. Sometimes it may seem harsh, but that is just tough love. We are immortal. Getting taken out of the game is not the end. Have faith.

      Satan seeks to convince the world that Trump is the antichrist. Trump is not the antichrist. The battle to come is with Islam. It is the religion of antichrist, the religion of the devil. God wants strong warriors to battle this evil because few appreciate how deep the tentacles of Sunni/Saudi Islam have gotten into the Western world. They have operated for decades with a practically unlimited budget. What we see of ISIS/al-Qaeda/etc is just the tip of the iceberg.

      I see Muslims on public transit all the time. Each one of them is a potential agent of the evil one. At any time, any one of them could strap on some C4 and go boom.

      Think about that for a minute.

      Never let a vampire into your home.

      There is much work to be done. Don’t be intimidated by Trump. He’s what he appears to be, a fallible man trying to do the best he can.

      It’s just that he has God on his side.

  13. Francis Frost says

    Of course this is all Manichaeean nonsense. Putin is no more an authentic Orthodox Christian than Trump is a pious Presbyterian. The Russian government has repeatedly used its own Muslim citizens as weapons against its Christian neighbors in Georgia and Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchate has repeatedly and flagrantly violated the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox faith and the Savior’s saving commandments in its slavish service to a godless imperialist regime. The time for God’s righteous chastisement may be delayed but still draws ever nearer, as Russia’s own prophetic saints have repeatedly warned.

    In 1811, St. Seraphim of Sarov wrote to Tsar Alexandr: “Georgia is the divine inheritance of the Most Holy Mother of God. Do not make war on the Georgians. If you make war on Georgia, God will make war on Russia, and Russia will be destroyed.” In 1992, St. Gabriel Urgebadze warned: “If the Russians take Abkhazeti, The Most Holy Theotokos will never forgive them (be reconciled to them)” In 1989, Blessed Mother Makaria of Temkino warned “Russia will be turned into salt” (like Lot’s wife)

    Not long after the Republic of Georgia declared its independence from the USSR, the Yeltsin regime organized and funded an armed Muslim “Confederation of the Mountain People of the Caucasus” and used these mercenaries in the invasion and occupation of the Abkhazeti and Samechablo ( South Ossetia) regions of Georgia. These invasions were marked by vicious attacks on ordinary unarmed civilians with some 47,000 Orthodox Georgians tortured and murdered in their own homes and villages and another 300,000 Orthodox Georgians driven into exile by massive ethnic cleansing organized by the Russian military occupation forces. In July of 1992, Hieromonk Andrea Kurashvili and Subdeacon Giorgi Adua, the restorers and guardians of the shrine of the Repose of St. John Chrysostom in Komana were brutally tortured and murdered by the invaders. Subdeacon Giorgi was nailed to a tree in mockery of the Crucifixion and then used as target practice by the drunken soldiers. The Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate will canonize those holy martyrs next year on the anniversary of their martyrdom.

    As an aside, fully one quarter of the jihadists now fighting in Syria, some 7,000 fighters, are Russian Muslims, the ideological and biological descendants of the militias organized and armed by the Russian government to kill Christians in Georgia during the 1990’s

    After the invasion and occupation of Abkhazeti, The Moscow Patriarchate set up its own schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” headed by a renegade monk, Vissarion Apliaa, who abandoned his monastic and ecclesiastical obedience to Metropolitan Daniel, the legitimate bishop of Sokhumi and Abkhazeti. The Russian bishops including both Patriarchs Aleksei and Kirill have concelebrated with the renegade Apliaa in violation of the Sacred canons. After the 2008 war, The Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate awarded Apliaa, the “Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov” in reward for his betrayal of the canonical church in Abkhazeti. In 2009, this same Vissarion Apliaa, led soldiers to drive out the last legitimate Orthodox clergy and monastics in the newly occupied eastern Abkhazia.

    During he 2008 invasion of Georgia, the Russian Patriarchate sent its bishops, Panteleimon of Adyghe-Bolkaria and Feofan of Saratov to accompany and bless the invasion forces. These bishops, transgressed into the territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, and there literally “blessed” the tanks, missiles and weapons used to attack civilian populations and Orthodox Holy Places. On August 8, 2008, the missiles blessed by Bihsop Feofan were used in a rocket attack on the 5th century Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikazi. Metropolitan Isaiah, the legitimate bishop of Tskhinvali, escaped just seconds before his church and residence were rocketed. The next day, the ‘holy warriors’ of the Russian military looted the Cathedral, desecrated the Holy Altar and burned the iconostas and the entire interior of the Cathedral – with the overt and public “blessing” of the Moscow Patriarchate and its bishops. These infernal “blessings” were televised in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video yourself on You Tube under the title “Orthodox Occupancy”. The participation of the Russian bishops in the invasion is also shown in the documentary “Uroki Russkovo” (Russian Lessons), filmed by Russian filmmakers Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya, which is also posted in 12 segments on You Tube.

    The next year after Pascha, Metropolitan Isaiah of Tskhinvali – Nikazi was ‘detained’ by the occupation forces and forbidden from crossing over the ‘line of demarcation’ in order to minister to his much suffering flock. The weapons “blessed” by the Russian clergy were also used to demolish 15 entire villages in the occupied territory and to literally hunt down like animals the remaining Georgian men in the region. This is how the Moscow Patriarchate demonstrates its obedience to the commandment “ You shall love your neighbor as yourself”

    Despite the horrific and egregious nature of the Russian crimes against the Georgian nation and the Georgian Patriarchate, His All Holiness, Patriarch Ilya and the Fathers of the Holy Synod have adhered to the apostolic example: “When reviled, we bless, when persecuted, we endure, when slandered, we try to conciliate” I Corinthians 4:9

    Three times Patriarch Ilya sent a delegation to Moscow to conciliate. The Georgians were willing to grant the Russian clergy in the occupied zone the status of a metochion as a fig leaf to hide their schismatic shame. The Russians would have nothing of it and demanded their “right of conquest” ; the canons and commandments be damned. Our friend, Archbishop Antony was a member of the delegation and described the proceedings to us during his last visit here to visit our Saidna Basil.

    God is patient, wishing that “all men might be saved”; but even the scriptures warn us three times” Vengeance is Mine. I will repay, says the LORD your God” This warning is found in both the Old and New Testaments.

    “For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
    Romans 2: 6-8

    • George Michalopulos says

      Far be it from me to judge the souls of world leaders, I will instead take the bait and debate about historical issues.

      Now, I don’t pretend to be as knowledgeable as you about all things Georgian, but what can be gleaned from a cursory reading of history is that Georgia’s relations with Muscovy (first) and then Russia were always friendly. It was Georgia which asked to become a protectorate of the Russian Empire in order to be protected from the Safavid Persians, no?

    • Francis,

      You buy into Georgian nationalist propaganda hook, line and sinker. That has always been your Achilles heel.

      However, the truth of the matter is that NATO and the neo-cons (like McCain) were egging Georgia/Saakashvili on to strike at and antagonize the Bear by killing 15 Russian peacekeepers and bombing civilians who dared to take dual citizenship from Russia because their ethnic kin were on the other side of an artificially constructed border (North Ossetia is part of Russia, South Ossetia is part of Georgia) and they felt safer with the Russians than the Georgian nationalists.

      That’s the God’s honest truth and what really happened.

      Now, whatever Russia and Putin may or may not have done after that is a subject we can debate until the cows come home. But the Georgians had it coming because they sided against their Orthodox brethren with the NATO/neo-cons.

      May God have mercy on them. I do not feel sorry for them in the slightest. They ought to be on their knees like their patriarch thanking God that Russia didn’t go into Tblisi and make an example. The US air dropped Condi Rice in to avoid that exact scenario.

      Get over it. Georgia got off easy.

      Putin is on God’s side.

  14. Francis,
    If you are hoping for Bishops not to be partisan to their regions, you will be sorely disappointed. Especially in the former Soviet states. For them not to do so, will make them irrelevant to their people, and thus lose authority. Orthodoxy is now a quasi political branch of the governments, in the former Soviet states, Russia obviously the largest, and most powerful will make the rules. Right or wrong it is the way it is. Regardless of the love shown here by most on Monomakhos, for Patriarch Kirill, there has to be a price paid for his actions, and close alliance with Putin.

    Even our GOA Archbishop here in America, who is not under the pressures, his counter parts are in the former Soviet states, bends over backwards to our politicians, regardless of their political positions(abortion, faggotry, etc.) that are in direct opposition to our faith, and traditions. I have repeated it quite a few times here, more for their sake, than ours, I hope they realize the consequences for their actions. I fear for my salvation, but what they are responsible for, in regards to their salvation, would make me shake with trepidation.

  15. I enjoyed Molyneux’s new interview with Vox Day.

    My takeaway was Vox’s observation that it is impossible to reason with SJWs and people who come to their beliefs for emotional reasons. That which was not arrived at by reason, cannot be taken away by reason.

    In short, his opinion is that you can only change the minds of emotional people by triggering them so much that they eventually cannot maintain their beliefs anymore. Such people will gravitate towards the strongest, most steadfast person. Vox believes some of the most anti-Trump people will be strongly pro-Trump come 2020.

    I have often wondered if this tactic would be better in other areas as well. We are pressured into a kid-gloves approach on so many topics, and I wonder if there are other ways.

  16. William Tighe says

    “like going to Westminster and visiting the tomb of Henry VIII.”

    Henry VIII is buried in the Chapel of Windsor Castle, and has no tomb, there or elsewhere. Perhaps you meant Henry VII.