We have received copies of two letters which are purported to be the “previous email” of Fr Mark Beesley mentioned last week. It is unclear to us precisely how they have surfaced, nor have we received confirmation of their veracity from Fr Mark Beesley.
If these letters are faked, they are the worst of slander. If they are real, then there can be no doubt that the author is precisely a name-worshipper. The author of the letter flatly states that he is a “name-glorifier” and expounds his belief that the condemned heretics Anthony Bulatovich and his companions were Orthodox, and that those who condemned them, like those in the present controversy, are “name-fighters”.
The letters are available for download and can be read below.
Your have such a beautiful name, Resurrection! My daughter is named Anastasia. How wonderful to live each day in the remembrance of our Paschal joy. I thank God that you want to inquire into the matter of Name-worshiping. I am always encouraged by people, like you, who humbly seek the truth.
I want to assure you, first of all, that our holy Hierarchs have not fallen into heresy. Quite the contrary. Met Ephraim, Met Makarios and Bishop Gregory have navigated these turbulent waters in a way which demonstrates their Christian patience, love and wisdom. Who is doing all the yelling and screaming? Isn’t it those who have departed the Church (or threatening to)?
As with most things in life, there is a way that is balanced, reasonable and true—and there are extremes to either side. There are two extreme views when it comes to this present controversy. They are as follows:
Name-worshipers. This view is heretical. It holds that the letters and sounds of the names of God are to be worshiped and adored as God Himself. They fail to distinguish between the Divine Essence (which no one can know) and the Divine Energies (which is God’s revelation of Himself). To my knowledge, there are no actual name worshipers in existence (there may be a few random individuals, however, but who knows?).
Name-fighters. This view is held by those who fight against the heresy of Name-worshipers. The Name-fighters are the ones in the Russian synod of 1913 who falsely accused Anthony Bulatovic and the Athonite monks of being Name-worshipers. They are also the ones who, today, falsely accuse our Hierarchs of being Name-worshipers.
The correct way is the Orthodox way. It is the way of balance and truth. We may be called*Name-glorifiers. God has given us His holy Name by which we may worship Him and praise Him. The Name is a gift and*the Holy Church has always glorified the holy Name of God.
Orthodoxy does not worship letters,*we do not worship the syllables or sounds of the names of God. But that does not mean that they are not sanctified by virtue of the Holy Spirit Who fills them.
King David said in Psalm 53, “O God, in Thy Name save me, and in Thy strength do Thou judge me”
Forgive me. I hit the “send” button by accident.
I wanted to also point you to the many instances in the Psalter which speak of our glorifying God’s Name.
Psalm 5:17, “And all shall glory in Thee that love Thy*Name, for Thou shalt bless the righteous.”
Psalm 7:17, “I will give praise unto the Lord according to His righteousness, and I will chant unto the*Name*of the Lord Most High.”
Psalm 8:9, “:O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful in your*Name*in all the earth!”
Psalm 28:2, “Bring unto the Lord the glory due unto His*Name, worship the Lord in His holy court.”
Psalm 32:21, “For our heart shall be glad in Him, and in His holy*Name*have we hoped.”
Psalm 33:3, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His*Name*together.”
Psalm 67:4, “Sing unto God, chant unto His*Name.”
There are so many more.
Proverbs 18:10 says that, “The*Name*of the Lord is a stong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe.”
St Hillary of Poitiers says that the*Name*of our Lord is*not an empty title. It is very powerful and makes the demons flee! St John of the Ladder wrote, ““Flog your enemies with the*Name*of Jesus, for there is no stronger weapon in heaven and earth” (21:7).
The fact is, the Holy Church has always glorified the precious Name of God. It is very sad that some are now causing faithful Christians to doubt the*Name*to which every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
I hope this helps. Again, forgive me for hitting “send” too soon. Please let me know if you have further questions. I think our Bishops have spoken very clearly.
+God bless you!
Your very unworthy servant,