Joseph Suaiden, NFTU
Archbishop Demetrios, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Archbishop of America, wants lasting security in the world, according to his February Archpastoral reflections.
In our modern world, we continue to face these threats, even though they may have altered in their form. Some of these threats include nuclear arms proliferation in the world, continued instability between rival nations, border and land disputes, the development of organized cells of terrorists, the continued rise of deadly diseases, crimes of genocide, and ongoing strife in the Middle East. Also included among these threats are some very troubling potential realities for the future, such as the widespread use of biological warfare, potential conflicts in developing nations over such fundamental life sources as water, and the frightening consequences of global warming and climate change.
In the face of these alarming realities and potentials, it may be argued that what is needed now more than ever is, among other things, concentration in proper state action, wise diplomacy, and increased funding for sound scientific research. While this is certainly true, our faith as Greek Orthodox Christians informs us that what is also needed so urgently now is an intensification of our prayer to God by invoking the tremendously powerful interceding action of the saints for protection and security. This has always been a cornerstone of the teaching of our Church.
Has it always?
Is “diplomacy” with a couple of ecumenical prayers the answer to the world’s current chaos? Or is it something more obvious?
The Greek Archdiocese’s own (surprisingly) Arch. Nectarios (Serfes), echoing Fr Seraphim (Rose) of Blessed Memory and others, says that in fact this is the time of Antichrist, a position echoed by this newsblog.
In the loving truth of our Holy Orthodox Christian Faith, we ourselves are “experiencing a terrible time, a time such as has never before been seen in the history of Christianity, in the history of mankind! A time of almost total instability!” Thus wrote the humble Archbishop Averky of blessed memory. Without a doubt we have heard about the constant flow now of persecution of our Faith in almost every part of the world, and in general all Christian faiths. Many of us have heard that others are not living up the pure and unadulterated Holy Orthodox Christian faith, that we have those who feel that righteousness on their part is far better then giving guidance and expressing this faith in a truthful way of life. We hear of accusations of heresy and are called heretics! We have among us those who now believe that black is white, and white is black!
We are for sure seeing the neglect of the sufferings and the needs of others, as we turn our heads and hearts to the means of our worldly life. We ourselves notice that the world is now turning away from God and is even beginning to fall into apostasy. We feel that we must step into the times, and to deal with it as we stray away and leave Christ our Lord out of our lives, and the loving teachings of His Holy and Sacred Church. We become the sole interpreters of Holy Scripture and neglect our spiritual lives, and the way to avoid this is to turn to the Holy Fathers of our Church, as we cannot speak about Holy Scriptures without them as we only stray from the holiness and purity of the meaning. We notice that children are killing children, parents killing children, and children killing parents, crime is at our door steps of innocent people. War is at the door and rumors or more wars, as well as earthquakes are increasing, as even our weather is out of control, and the melting down of our hemisphere, and our earnest neglect of our environment the creation of our Lord God. Morals now mean nothing is the new philosophy. Nuclear power and nuclear energy become an excuse for us to save money and money becomes power in it’s neglect for the poor and starving children.
But the good Archbishop believes this can be solved with prayer (ecumenical prayers, we assume?) and diplomacy. Certainly the Antichrist will also believe in diplomacy: Fr Boris Molchanov, citing the Fathers, writes that “The Antichrist will offer the most successful project for solving the world crisis from the perspective of political and social wisdom, which would establish a uniform political and social order in the whole world. Exhausted from the shock of war, spiritually blinded humanity will not only by unaware that this project is a cowardly trap, enticing it into the most degrading and merciless slavery, but on the contrary, will recognize it as a manifestation of scholarship and genius.”
So much for diplomacy! Of course, one can see a relation between “ecumenism” and “diplomacy”: both are meetings of men who think that they change the world by their compromising behavior, both accomplish nothing.
The traditional Orthodox answer to World “Diplomacy” remains: Put not your faith in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.