Byzantium, Nationhood & Walls: Some Thoughts

Christ is risen!

I pray that Eastertide has been as joyful for you as for me. Sure and lot of things have transpired over the last few weeks when I took a somewhat abbreviated sabbatical. Facebook has been exposed as a nefarious monopoly, Trump bombed Damascus and the kakistocrats continue to lose their minds. (I’m looking at you, John Brennan; I’d watch your back if I were you.)

I’ll comment on these in due time. Long story short: I’m glad Zuck’s going down; not happy about the Damascus thing; and I’m alarmed at the open threats leveled against a sitting President of the United States. Even in my darkest imaginings, I never wished any harm to come to Barack Malik Hussein Abdul-Aziz Obama, the wicked Mahometan whose misrule has been an unmitigated disaster for our nation. I have a feeling that shit’s about to get real.

Anyway, I was putting the finishing touches on the second part of my essay on Christian governance when this ten-minute snippet alighted upon my YouTube rotation. It’s the inimitable and wise Victor Davis Hanson speaking about Byzantium and its parallels today. Think of it as the back-story, a preparation if you will, about my thoughts on Christian governance.

Now, I have some problems with Dr Hanson but they’re mostly around the edges. He gets Western Civilization –i.e. Christendom–right, so I give him a pass on his quasi-neoconservatism. Anyway, I find absolutely no fault wit his take on Classical Greece and Rome and now I’m happy to report that he “gets” Byzantium. For me, an Orthodox Christian, that’s a step in the right direction.

So, without further ado, here is VDH on Byzantium:


  1. Constaantinos says

    Are we supposed to use words like s##t? What is with all the names for former President Obama? For the one thousandth time, Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim.
    The interesting thing is word on the street is apartheid Israel is engaging in a war with Iran in Syria. Although I hate war, if there is to be a war, I sincerely hope Israel is taught a lesson by Iran. Unfortunately, Bibi will do his best to draw its puppet state (the US) into a hot war with Iran- and possibly Russia. I hope the US will refuse to engage in Israel’s nefarious schemes. If Iran is a threat to Israel- good! The racist, apartheid regime occupying the Holy Land needs to be peacefully dismantled. The warmongering, illegal so called state of Israel is a very serious threat to world peace.

    • cynthia curran says

      Obama is an agnostic not a christian. He attended an liberation theology church that had a pastor that said Jews were blacks not Semitics, That is very poor history since even the ancient Egyptians had little black African. Recent DNA studies show ancient Egyptians had less black than modern Egyptians. So, ancient Jews during Christ’s time even had less.

      • George Michalopulos says

        The DNA of the Pharoahs shows remarkable similarities with those of ancient Britain. Ancient Egyptians in general show the same alleles as are present in the indigenous people of southwestern Turkey.

        • Monk James says

          Christ is risen, truly risen!

          Well, there might have been some intermarriage between ancient Egyptians and ancient Britons.

          For what it’s worth, I’d like to point out two connections between the pharaohs (and other eastern Mediterranean civilizations) and the British Isles.

          First, while Egypt and Rome had great trading relationships with Cyprus, eponymously so called because of its rich sources of copper ( or vice versa — who knows?) but yet needed tin to make bronze, so important to their armies and economies, it’s very likely that Egypt and Britain were in contact, if for nothing else than that Britain was the ancient Mediterranean world’s best source of tin.

          This also is a fact of history underlying the Glastonbury stories. It was a bit amazing that St Joseph of Arimathaia so easily gained an audience with Pilatus, the Roman governor of Judea, late on the afternoon of the first Holy Friday, while our Lord Jesus Christ was — already dead — still hanging on His cross. How could St Joseph be so readily admitted to see the governor unless he were already well known to him?

          Tradition tells us several things about St Joseph, most especially that he befriended the most holy Mother of God and her divine Son after the death of the other St Joseph, her betrothed but never married husband. Oh, their marriage bond was secure, but never consummated, thanks to divine intervention.

          In any event, as sure as we can be about the economic relationship between Britain and Egypt in the first Christian century, we must also acknowledge something else.

          So here is my second point. Christianity came to England in the first Christian century with St Joseph, the Theotokos, and Jesus Christ our Lord Himself.

          Our Lord, with His Mother and St Joseph of Arimathaia , obviously returned to Judea later, at some point before He began preaching and teaching there. And St Joseph, together with St Nikodemos, were among His disciples who tenderly took Him down from the cross, and — temporarily, at least — buried Him in St Joseph’s new tomb.

          And the He rose from the dead, just as He predicted!

          All of this eventuated, in (at least as late as) the fourth Christian century monastic practice in the British Isles, specifically in Ireland and Scotland.

          The monasteries there were greatly influenced by Egyptian and Palestinian practice, and were forced to abandon their ancient customs only after the 8th-centuty Synod of Whitby, which made all monks and nuns Benedictine and required all the Christians of the British Isles to observe the Roman way of calculating the date of Paskha. regardless of the canons of the first ecumenical synod at Nikaia in A.D/ 325.

          Just so you know.

          Lord, glory to Your cross and resurrection!

          • Sean Richardson says

            Very nicely stated Monk James. Thank you.
            One additional point that should be made is that monasticism from Egypt had a significant affect on Irish Christianity and their monasteries. Places like Skellig Michael and its tradition are reflections of what Egyptian Christianity was in the first millennium. Yes, sadly, a great deal changed at Whitby. One might also note that the Irish have suggested that Christianity flowed from Ireland to Scotland (via Iona), and to some degree to England (although there are early pockets in England).
            One must, however, in the study of Irish Christianity, come to terms with their comfort level of having ‘mixed’ houses, monasteries with both men and women, and entire families, and with their comfort level of having women as leaders of Christian communities, of these houses.

    • i hope your gay relative stays far away from the “Holy Land” for his personal safety once the jews are gone and the muslims win

    • Michael Bauman says

      If Obama is a Christian he is, at best, thoroughly heretical. But he is not. Look at his theological understanding of sin (a quote): “Sin is when I violate my own values.”

      The theological repercussions of that statement alone invalidate any pretense that he is a Christian. He despises people of faith who actually believe the Bible and seek Jesus Christ as God Incarnate, Savior and Lord.

      Given his theological comment on sin it is unlikely that he could/would agree with anything in the Nicene Creed let alone the standard Biblical understanding of redemption. He could not even acknowledge the need for redemption or repentance.

      None of his political agenda is reflective of nor supportive of Christian belief or thought.

      So, how is he a Christian? He is not.

      He is a hard line, totalitarian ideological politician mentored by the domestic terrorist Saul Alinsky. Raised by radical grandparents he had an Islamic education during a significant part of his life. He is smoothly Machiavellian in approach and understanding–dismissive of religion and faith unless he can twist it to his ends.

      Calling him a Christian takes our Lord’s name and His sacrifice on the Cross in vain and you should be ashamed.

      • Constantinos says

        Mr. Bauman,
        I give up. I get so tired of Orthodox pharisaical self righteousness. I’ll make a deal with you : I’ll pray for former President Obama along with all the other dirty, filthy, profane sinners and you can sit in judgment of all those who don’t think exactly the same way you do.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Just because I think and reject egalitarianism while recognizing a hierarchy of truth does not mean I judge anyone. I love it when people think differently than I do. That is a really good way to learn IF both me and the other are willing to engage each other in search for the truth.

          I am actually open to someone, some encounter showing me that the Papal claims of the RCC are sure because I want the truth.

          See, under the rules of egalitarianism anyone who discerns differences in value and recognizes a hierarchy of truth is judgmental. But labeling someone judgemental is a judgement. Circular reasoning is logically invalid.

          Obama may be a better man than I am but he is not a Christian.

          The Mormans do help people, but they are not Christian.

          I have met people both Protestant and Catholic who are better Christians than I am–but their theology, ecclesiology and much of their soteriology is skewed.

          It is no mercy or kindness not to say so. I have seen heretical belief kill as it gradually saps both hope and life from people.

          It leaves scars in any case.

          Since I taught heretical garbage for a time (about 13 years) I have an extra responsibility to declare the truth.

          Heresy requires neither repentance nor transformation only adherence to the rules.

          To really be Orthodox requires repentance and a submission to God’s love that by grace covers and transforms our shame all the way back to Adam.

          Christ is risen.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Mr. C, if you include me along with all the other dirty filthy sinners you got a deal except for the judgement part.

          So, just pray for me.

        • cynthia curran says

          Its good to pray for Obama.

  2. I do sympathize. And I do think that Trump and Company are attempting to do the right thing by and large. But they do not have the ideological tools and perspective to characterize the nature of the conflict accurately and thus they are limited by their own preconceptions.

    America did not become great because it was a democracy or even because it was a constitutional republic. America has been governed from the top down by a vested elite since its inception, albeit within the veneer of a constitutional framework that purportedly limited the power of the executive, et al. in favor of broad consensus.

    Business and the military have always ruled here, as most everywhere. It is only a question of the formula exploited to achieve the ends of the powers that be. America has always had an educated mercantile class and an abundance of natural resources with few natural enemies on the continent of consequence.

    America’s oceans have kept it from being invaded and thus allowed business and technology to prosper.

    America became a world power because of its ties to the European continent. We focused production and our workforce for the first and second world wars. That is what “made us great”.

    So my point is that we need not get on the 1776 bandwagon in order to save the country. In fact, that may be counterproductive in some ways. What America needs is to resolve to focus more power in the executive and to decide to be a Christian nation again. Trump is a step in that direction. Eviscerating the Democratic Party and elevating the Republican Party to dominant party status in our political culture would be the best way to accomplish this.

    But the trick is to keep one’s eyes on the ball. We want an America restored to its place in Christendom. We want an America with a Christian culture evinced by Christian laws. We want a productive sector that does not have to compete against virtual slave labor in order to maintain its middle class status.

    This is achievable within the framework of the American Constitution. But let us Orthodox not kid ourselves that there is anything sacred about the republican form of government. One looks in vain throughout the Fathers for evidence that they endorsed any system other than monarchy.


    Another good one from VDH, documenting the depth of the swamp water.

    The entire Democratic establishment including the Obama Administration, Justice Department, FBI and CIA colluded in an effort to prevent Trump from coming to power and governing according to the mandate of that electoral block that put him in office. There were no rules, no lines. It was like Columbian drug lords blowing up a plane of 250 people in order to get to one person.

    No restraint.

    The only question is whether Trump and and some critical mass of Republicans have the prowess, the mojo, to incarcerate the lot of them and transform the system.

    • cynthia curran says

      Good Point, and now I heard the Bay Area leftist in Ca are banning books that support Christians views on marriage or homosexuality, This is way too extreme, The problem is Ca has lots of big megachurches like Saddleback and Harvest in Riverside. Along with conservative Catholics and the Orthodox that the left will suffer a setback on this. Obama and Clinton support this kind of thing..

  4. In watching the monkey-sh*t-fight-at-the-zoo into which our national politics has descended, I have come to appreciate the fact that Trump seriously misunderestimated the level of idiocy and corruption in the swamp, even among neo-cons like Nikki Haley. I don’t think he would have hired any of these people if he truly thought that they could not get on the same ideological page as he.

    This was Trump’s major mistake. I would not go so far as to call it a character flaw because, basically, you play the hand you’re dealt. He had a limited spectrum of worldview from which to select seasoned people. That is the source of his difficulty in this area. American politics vis a vis Russia and Eastern Europe have been screwed up since the Clinton Administration. And Mideast policy has been adrift since Bush the elder.

    It’s hard to find good help.

    The WSJ editorial board eviscerates Comey in the above piece. Interesting times.

    Here’s another one. This is the line that will sink the anti-Trump ship:

    God bless and save the editorial board of the WSJ!!!!!!!

    • George Michalopulos says

      A rebuttal if you will. Trump initially hired Swamp Creatures such as Nikki Haley and Reince Priebus because he was buying time. To this day, he still doesn’t have full control of the Executive branch but he’s in a stronger position than he was even 4 months ago. I think that all of the old Goldman-Sachs hires have been replaced.

      The strike on Syria was (I hope) the last gasp of the Swamp. Trump, by tweeting “Mission Accomplised” was also sending a signal: You like all the crap that came out after Bush43 issued those words? You want more? I can do more but you’ll be sorry in the end.

      • As near as I can tell, the Spy v. Spy game went something like this, given what the parties have so far admitted was their motivation:

        Putin (or somebody in FSB) decided to put out a false flag type piece of disinformatsiya and see if he couldn’t provoke a reaction in the US intelligence community to unstick the Hillary email investigation.

        CIA (most likely) intercepts this little gem, that Lynch and someone in Hilary’s campaign were caught on some type of surveillance by Russian intelligence discussing the willful and illegal suppression of the Clinton email-gate investigation.

        CIA forward the little gem to FBI. Comey believes it to be genuine. And whether the deal is real or not, he sees it as potential blackmail leverage held by the Russians over Hilary, should she become elected – which he thought was a lock.

        Thus, eleven days before the election, Comey reopens the Hilary-gate investigation to disarm the purported Russian leverage over Hilary’s campaign.

        And that’s more or less what Putin was fishing for.

        Result, new cloud over Hilary right before everyone goes to the polls.

        Who knows what effect it had?

        And that’s the problem. Hilary and the Left believe that Comey torpedoed her election. So all the rest of the dirt and crap and innuendoes and rumors and hints of things left unspoken and the press’s subsequent full court press is in compensation for the fact that US intelligence screwed Hilary rather than anything Trump did.

        They are all seething that they fell for it.

        • “Many analysts, including Mrs. Clinton, believe Mr. Comey’s actions – possibly driven by fake Russian intelligence, changed the outcome of the election. In brief, an intercepted Russian document cited a Democratic Party email that, in turn, referred to a private conversation in which attorney general Loretta Lynch assured a Clinton aide that Ms. Lynch would sit on the email investigation. In his book, Mr. Comey says of this unnameable intelligence that political opponents of Ms. Clinton could use it to cast “serious doubt” on the credibility of the Justice Department investigation.” –

          You have to subscribe or be able to hack in to the WSJ site to read the article, but that is what it says.

          So to defuse that Russian leverage, he reopens the Clinton email investigation. Thereafter, realizing how royally he screwed the proverbial pooch, he and Brennan (CIA), etc., point the finger at Trump to hide their own incompetence.


        • George Michalopulos says

          I will give the Left credit in the memetics dept for coming up with the Russian Collusion Narrative. It’s not true but it has boxed Trump into a corner re relations with Russia. Which should be robust and amiable instead of going down the toilet as they are.

          The Swamp is nothing if not resilient.

          Still, I have this sneaking suspicion that everything they throw at Trump backfires. I just saw today where the DOJ has issued a criminal referral against Andy McCabe. He may be the lynchpin that finally exposes the Deep State. (I’m also hearing the Lisa Page is singing like a bird.)

        • George Michalopulos says

          I’m also liking the fact that the Left is starting to turn on Comey. Not only did his 11 days out referral probably cost HRC the election but the entire Mueller investigation is turning up more dirt on the Dems than it is on Trump.

          Consider this: the entire Watergate affair lasted from June 17, 1972 (when the Watergate “plumbers” were arrested) until Aug 9, 1974 (when Nixon finally resigned). That’s 2 years, 2 months.

          The Monica Lewinsky affair lasted 1 year, 1 month. Drudge broke the story on Jan 21, 1998 and Clinton was impeached by the House on Dec 28, 1998. He was acquitted in the Senate on Feb 12, 1999. In both cases, there were crimes committed: burglary at the Watergate and perjury by Clinton.

          The Russian Collusion Narrative began on Wed, Nov 9, 2916 and as of today, 20 months later, there is still no evidence of a crime. My gut tells me that for a resolution to occur, it must be relatively quick –12 to 24 months. Anything longer will be harder to prosecute to a successful conclusion.

  5. Veras Coltroupis says

    If you study the book by Vikelas on, written in 1890s Scotland, you will see the Byzantine empire was the most democratic and tolerant regime of its time. The Senate impeached emperors and vetoed decrees, while the Emperor had to answer to the town halls of the Hippodrome. Even the Romanovs were chosen by a grand council of the land, and the Galitsines tried to bring back freedom against Anna of Courland. The fiction of Orthodox Autocracy derives instead from Rome: Peter the Great emulated the very Bourbons whose bolshevik curse befell Russia a mere century after the Jacobins; And the worst ides came from a Mennonite named Catherine the great who got them from her correspondence with Diderot.

  6. George Osborne says

    So, George, on a semi-related subject: What do you think of the article last week in Pravoslavie Rus (English) stating that it was the duty of Orthodox Christians to support the position of the state. In that case, apparently, the Russian State. I thought I heard a collective rumble as the new martyrs and confessors collectively rolled over in the graves. I wish I could locate the article but no luck. I thought this odd for the obvious reasons and began to consider a few thoughts:

    * Gee, maybe the Russians are crypto-Sergianist after all (it was a Russian article quoted).
    * Is this the ultimate political price for having Churches based on national boundaries? (The EP saying that all of the autocephalic Slavic Churches are Constantinople’s daughter Churches, therefore, it’s only his prerogative to grant them (Macedonia) autonomy or autocephaly).
    * So what is us “good Amercans” suppose to do when we attend Russian Churches and the Patriarch supports Putin and his ambitions over the interest of our native country?
    * So now that the Synod is part and parcel of the Mother Russian Church, hasn’t it become rather obvious that she supports the Motherland over the local homeland? (cf: Bishop George’s statements from AUS about the U.S. involvement in the Middle East.)
    * The Patriarch of Antioch blasts the U.S. for the action in Syria. What does this say for the sentiments of attendees of Antiochian Churches in the U.S? Are we Orthodox Syrians or Orthodox Americans? I mean if you are an Orthodox Russian or an Orthodox Syrian and criticize my homeland, to who is my allegiance directed towards? A local church (perhaps as opposed to the big “O” Orthodox Church)? Or can I be an Orthodox American and support the “right” interest of my country regardless of what the overseas bishops say?

    In short, it seems okay if you have a national Orthodox Church call out other countries or to support the interest of other Orthodox countries but what about the rest of us Orthodox who live among the great unwashed (pun intended). What are we to do? We love our country – not in an absolutist way, of course – but what do we do when the local Churches overseas line up and engage in political criticism?

    Just wondering? Is this the next stage of phyletism? To be truly Orthodox you have to support the positions and sentiments of other Orthodox countries over ours?

    • There is a low level shooting war going on between three ideological tribes right now: Secular Humanists, Christians and Muslims. The Secular Humanists are the ones attempting to push NATO and EU membership into Eastern Europe. They want to contain their ideological rivals, the Christians, based in Moscow. The Christians have ideological supporters in the West (many conservative evangelical and Pentecostal Christians) who, roughly speaking, share their moral/ideological mindset. The Muslims are making both hot and cold war on Christians and Secular Humanists through the vehicles of “terrorism” and demographic attrition.

      That is what is going on in the world, whether any particular person cares to wake up and smell the coffee or not. The Secular Humanists attempted an aggressive coup d’etat in the Ukraine in 2014. That and their previous efforts in the Russia-Georgia War of 2008 plus the attempt to pull various countries in Central and Eastern Europe into NATO and the EU in order to militarily and culturally isolate Christian Russia, is the reason that we continue to have problems with Russia due to its activities in the Ukraine and Syria.

      Secular Humanists are fighting to impose the ideology of Progressive Liberalism on the world. Muslims are fighting to impose the ideology of Islam (whether in its Sunni or Shiite variants) upon the world. Christians in Russia and here in the United States have been fighting to simply hold our ground and not get swallowed up by either of the other two.

      We need to be dramatically more aggressive in the propagation of our ideological perspective which rejects both Islam and the femininist/matriarchy that the Secular Humanists would impose upon us (and have to a large extent).

      It is a war. Our enemies are evil. And they deserve all the hell we can rain down upon them.

      Thus endeth the lesson.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Christians should not have much less propagate any ideology. That is not of our nature nor our purpose. We betray the Church and our Lord when we do that Misha. The way of Christ is the way of the Cross.

        Ideology always demands warfare and extinction of those who do not submit to the ruling precepts of the ideology.

        Ideologies are always perverse and full of lies. They are about gaining and retaining power “for the good of all” thus have no internal limits on the destruction necessary to achieve the “good of all”.

        How do we preserve ourselves and the faith? Union with Christ. Giving glory to God publically and privately, striving to live a life of holiness as revealed in the Church. He is with us always and provides all that we need, IF we listen to Him.

        Ideology, as the word suggests, is solely about ideas. Christianity is not an idea, Christianity is about God Incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. Being a Christian is simply about deepening our union with Him. Literally nothing else matters.

        The teaching and practice of the Church is not difficult to comprehend: Fast, Pray, give alms with a merciful heart to all who ask, glorify God in thanksgiving in sacramental worship and in daily living, repent, forgive, love your enemies, ah there’s the rub. They our are neighbors. In fact Jesus Christ Himself is an enemy to the sin we so often embody and that ideology breeds in us.

        Christianity teaches nothing about governments, wars, ideologies to be propagated, control over the world. Only total reliance on God and God alone for our lives and our provision. Especially in the face of hatred and persecution.

        Is there a “Christian” government? I have been pondering that question most of my life. The answer I have come to is no. A flat no. All government is upon His shoulders, not ours.

        Are there governments that make it easier to live a Christian life? Yes. That in turn tends to make the government better. As much as we like to think otherwise the government of the United States has never made it easier to life a Christian life except for some heretical Christians. The untruth and hypocrisy inherent in all heresy has helped to create the derision with which Christians of all types are thought of by many in this country today. Heretical Christianity has created secular humanism, empowered Islam and all those who hate Jesus Christ.

        The United States experiment in constitutional government bereft of a direct connection and formal acknowledgement to God Incarnate has done this more than any other government ever because it seems benign. So, I say good riddance.

        Government always flows from the spiritual reality of the people governed. We always get the type of government we want and deserve as a people.

        Want a better government–repent. It is that simple. Enough of us repent, we will get a government that is more amenable to a Christian life and the Church at least by our human standards.

        Remember, the Christian life is the way of the Cross. The world will always hate those who follow Christ. Government is always of the world. Sooner or later any government will turn on Christians and the Church because men cannot serve two masters.

      • PS:

        Now, of course I don’t mean literally “rain down hell upon them”. That may be necessary from time to time as well, but the main thing is polemic and apologia. We fight with tongues of fire coming out of our mouths. We slay our enemies by defeating them in polemics and apologetics. We draw blood when we make them doubt themselves. We inflict mortal wounds when we cause them to see the internal contradictions and self destructive nature of their paradigms and lead them to reevaluate themselves using the tenets of ours. We have slain them when they give up and are convinced of the truth.

        Gentle Reader: “What truth?”
        Misha: “Christ is Risen”
        Gentle Reader: “Truly, He is Risen.”

  7. Yes, Michael!

    Today, as ever before, we place our hope in the world – in some ‘new’ system or some idea that will make society a truly better place. In doing this we but put ourselves among the long, long line of others like us, utterly convinced that we see something that the predecessors missed. And time and time again we are disappointed – perhaps seeing, if we’re lucky, that things have only gotten worse. At this point, it is hoped, we may come to realise that the only ‘system’ or ‘idea’ worth contemplating is that which knew our predicament all along: the world is nothing if not hopeless, and our hope belongs someplace else. That, to me, seems like an avenue worth pursuing; anything else lacking adequate reflection.

    And this is the beauty of Orthodox Christianity: if the more or less stupid authorities at the time allow us to practice our faith with relative ease, then good – not because they themselves are good in any meaningful way, but because the Faith is good; and if they don’t, but prefer instead to persecute us in whatever way they can, then things are not just good, but even better.

    This is the power that all ideologies seek but never find, thanks always to the hope they see in the world. In my opinion, then, the only war Orthodoxy is fighting and has ever fought is the one to keep Tradition (which of course includes praxis) in tack.

    No doubt Moscow, Constantinople etc. are putting Tradition in a very precarious position, and it’s to this that I pray we all turn our attention, lest the only real power we have is taken away.

    Make no mistake: whether it’s right wing or left wing Orthodox Christianity that’s now emerging, all of it is not too far from being liberal. True conservation is that which completely rejects the world, while liberalism, by its very nature, eats away at that rejection. For convenience sake, which in no way detracts from the truth of what follows, Roman Catholicism was the first instance of liberalism that we knew. Rejecting the Orthodox rejection of the world, it established itself along the ideological lines of ‘Christian society’, believing itself, as it did so, to be doing God’s work. But this was wrong; for providing we have the Church, we must get along with whatever else we’re given, allowing no room for how we imagine things should be. But this isn’t harsh; to the contrary, it’s a blessing; for what could be more cruel than the whip of worldly success?

    But Roman Catholicism went and trampled on the easy yoke of our Lord, and things have only worsened with each succeeding generation of liberals. To be sure, if everybody, more or less, lived the ascetic Orthodox life, heaven on earth would actually emerge. But seeing as this won’t/can’t happen, we’re best to leave the world alone, seeing only, as we do this, to the maintenance of Church Tradition.

    In so far as we are able to do this, with God’s help, that much more real power will go on living in this world. But as soon as we succumb to wanting ‘Great and Holy Rus’, ‘united churches in brotherly Christian love’ and God only knows what else, then we’ve fed the worm of liberalism (worldly hope) which can’t be satisfied.

    A thousand times no to anything and everything which even hints at non-Orthodox, non-ascetic ideology, with double the amount of yeses to all that rams this home in our hearts. Admittedly, those of us living in the world don’t quite have the ‘luxury’ of real hesychasts and monks, but this should never be taken to mean that they, in line with Christ and His bride, don’t set the standard.

    “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”

  8. Michael Bauman says

    Well said, brother.