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The Saints: how do they emerge?

Katya1965

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Only the schismatic holds to a narrow and now irrelevant view. They are always trying to justify their schism by inventing further justifications, all of which grow more and more anachronistic.
Those who are stronger and more numerous shout that all who are not with them are schismatics. But they are stronger and more numerous because there is a totalitarian state behind them and the repressive apparatus of the state persecutes their opponents. This is not a reason to consider them to be canonical. They are officers of a totalitarian state, charged with handling religious people.
 

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In addition, according to the statutes of the ROCOR, the first hierarch is elected for life. And no one has the right to remove him and elect another. When the First Hierarch cannot physically govern, he still stays First Hierarch, and the one who governs is an acting First Hierarch.
Metroplitan Anastassy retired and his successor was not "acting" First Hierarch, but the actual First Hierarch.
 

Katya1965

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... the feat of the Tsar's servants ...
I'd like to understand why this excerpt says the MP failed in the further and I was always curious to know ROCOR's stance on the latter.

An Orthodox Tsar has a sacred rank in the Church and does not lose it, remaining God's anointed, if he is forcibly removed from power or is imprisoned. He is the "Tsar in captivity" and not "former Tsar". Serving the Orthodox Tsar and sharing his martyrdom is serving the Orthodoxy and become martyr. This is the feat of the Tsar’s servants. Including St. Alexei Trupp who was Roman Catholic and got his Orthodox baptisme in blood, becoming Orthodox in his martyr.
 

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ROCOR's faith is based on strict adherence to doctrine.
I'd bet Novatian, Donatus and Metropolitan Ambrose of Belaya Krinitsa said exactly the same about their respective denominations at some point, and, unfortunately for both sides but moreso for yours and theirs, they were pretty much as right as you are.

The doctrine requires apostolic succession as the basic condition for the God’s grace of the hierarchy. This has already been discussed in another thread.

Metropolitan Sergius lost his apostolic succession when he separated from his acting First Hierarch Metropolitan Peter. From that moment, Metr. Sergius lost his rank of hierarch and metropolitan.

This is an example, when the Church is reduced to the First Hierarch in captivity, and the insubordinate Synod leaves from the Church forming an unlawful congregation.
If it were by these sectarian standards that aren't really written anywhere authoritative enough, there would probably be no Orthodox Church in the first place. For example, the 1484 Synod of Constantinople that rejected the Robber Council of Florence would have been invalid, since its bishops were presumably appointed by others that had accepted the latter. Not to mention the wild oscillations between Arianism and Orthodoxy that bishops went through in the 4th century, for another example.

Anyway, I'll never change your take on Metropolitan Sergius's actions and their consequences. Neither do I want to risk giving anyone the illusion that the minutiae of this horrible period are remotely as relevant as you portray them to be. Partial truths and lies are almost identical for the listener/reader. I'll just invite everyone to look into his biography through credible sources and, if there's any doubt, check it against the Meletian schism.

Those who are stronger and more numerous shout that all who are not with them are schismatics. But they are stronger and more numerous because there is a totalitarian state behind them and the repressive apparatus of the state persecutes their opponents. This is not a reason to consider them to be canonical. They are officers of a totalitarian state, charged with handling religious people.
Also because our synods don't halve themselves as often.
 
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Katya1965

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Metroplitan Anastassy retired and his successor was not "acting" First Hierarch, but the actual First Hierarch.
The statutes of the ROCOR were adopted in 1956, modified in 1964. Starting from that moment the first hierarchs are elected for life, and there are no articles allowing for their removal.

Art. 8. The President of the Council of Bishops and the Synod of Bishops is the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, with the rank of Metropolitan, elected by the Council for life. The members of the Council are all the hierarchs who are members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Art. 11. The responsibilities of the Council of Bishops include:

a) The election of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for life with his elevation to the rank of Metropolitan, ...
 

Katya1965

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Also because our synods don't halve themselves as often.
Apparently, the KGB doesn't care about your synods and doesn't infiltrate its agents to your synods in order to halve them (or to divide in 10, as it did with the ROCOR).
 

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Apparently, the KGB doesn't care about your synods and doesn't infiltrate its agents to your synods in order to halve them (or to divide in 10, as it did with the ROCOR).
So is yours the only one that was spared from being divided by God's servants?

Anyway, it might as well have something to do with ethos.

Like so many other schisms, this schism bred schisms within itself. In Mauretania and Numidia these separated sects were so numerous that the Donatists themselves could not name them all. We hear of Urbanists; of Claudianists, who were reconciled to the main body by Primianus of Carthage; of Rogatists, a Mauretanian sect, of mild character, because no Circumcellion belonged to it; the Rogatists were severely punished whenever the Donatists could induce the magistrates to do so, and were also persecuted by Optatus of Timgad. But the most famous sectaries were the Maximianists, for the story of their separation from the Donatists reproduces with strange exactitude that of the withdrawal of the Donatists themselves from the communion of the Church; and the conduct of the Donatists towards them was so inconsistent with their avowed principles, that it became in the skilled hands of Augustine the most effective weapon of all his controversial armoury.

 

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Those who are stronger and more numerous shout that all who are not with them are schismatics. But they are stronger and more numerous because there is a totalitarian state behind them and the repressive apparatus of the state persecutes their opponents. This is not a reason to consider them to be canonical. They are officers of a totalitarian state, charged with handling religious people.
This is ridiculous and the product of delusion.
 

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Metropolitan Vitaly wrote in his District Epistle of June 9/22, 2001:
"'Glorification' of St. New Martyrs by the Moscow Patriarchate, done under the pressure of the believing people, accompanied by a number of humiliating clauses, completely excluding the eschatological significance of regicide, cannot please and console us. We all know that the Holy Royal Martyrs suffered precisely in connection with their royal service; killing them was a symbolic part of the deliberate destruction of the God-established Orthodox state. With its own compromises and lies about the Royal Martyrs, non-recognition of the feat of the Tsar's servants, the Moscow Patriarchate deliberately leads the flock away from the spiritual understanding of the committed atrocity."

I understand what both allude to, but I'd like to understand why this excerpt says the MP failed in the further and I was always curious to know ROCOR's stance on the latter.

Eschatology of regicide

I started writing the reply, and it's getting too long. I will divide it in three sections:

1. Tsardom as a Godly estabishment. On the service of the God’s anointed.

2. The Christian emperor, the one who restrains. Commentary of John Chrysostom on the 2nd Epistle of St. Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians.

3. The feat and spiritual testament of the last Christian emperor. Tsar's servants.

This plan is developed in three forthcoming comments.
 

Katya1965

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1. Tsardom as a Godly establishment

From the teaching of Holy Fathers about the symphony of Tsar and Church power

The Christian Tsar is the defender of the Orthodox Church and all Christians, the guardian of the dogmas of the Church. The Orthodox Tsar introduces into his activity the highest truth, which he learns from the Church, and through the connection of his ideal with the Church, he enters into that relationship with the Church, which is called a symphony, expressed in spiritual harmony in joint submission to one God-revealed truth.
St. Cyril of Alexandria wrote to Emperor Theodosius: “Most Christ-loving emperors, truly you are some image and likeness (similarity) of the Heavenly Tsardom. You alone are worthy of the destiny to rule.”

The ideal of the Christian Tsar is also described by St. Augustine ("About the city of God » ch. 24). We can read about the exclusive status of the Christian emperor in the Church in the canons of the Council of Carthage (71,73,74,104) and some others.

The Christian Tsar is God's anointed

Before accepting the ecclesiastical rank of the Anointed of God, each Sovereign receives a sacred ardination as Tsar and is crowned to the Tsardom. During the Liturgy, before communion, one of the metropolitans at the altar performs the Sacrament of holy anointment of the Sovereign as Tsar: on the forehead, on the eyes, nostrils, ears, chest and hands with a well-known sacred exclamation. Another metropolitan then brings the Emperor inside the altar through the royal doors for communion as belonging to the order of the clergy: separately for the Body and separately for the Blood. Bishop Nikodim, in his interpretation of the sixty-ninth canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, states that "The Tsars were always allowed to enter the altar and in the altar—as God's Anointed Ones—take communion on an equal basis with the clergy".

Canon 69: “None of all those belonging to the category of the laity should be allowed to enter the sacred altar, but, according to some ancient tradition, this power and dignity of the Tsar is by no means forbidden when he wishes to bring gifts to the Creator.”

By this, the Holy Church emphasizes the great spiritual significance of the feat of the Royal Service, equating it with the priestly service.

«So, the Christian Sovereign is the Anointed of God, a Sacred Person, bearer of the special power of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. This divine power, acting through the Anointed of God, kept the spread of the evil "mystery of iniquity."» ( From Bishop Nectarios (Kontsevich) of Seattle, "The Mystical Significance of the Russian Martyrs".)

(To be continued)
 

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@Katya1965 I appreciate your effort and I'm reading it with attention, but, just to be clear, I'm aware of the eschatological significance of regicide, I was asking more about how this relates to the differences between ROCOR's and ROC's glorifications. I meant "former" rather than "further" in the excerpt you coloured in yellow.
 

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2. The Christian emperor, the one who restrains

This part is about the 2nd epistle of st. Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians, which was quoted in the previous part, and its interpretation by St. John Chrysostom. The main thesis is that the Christian Tsardom, or the power of the Christian emperor, restrains the evil from reigning in the world.

"Let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know that which restrains, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mystery of lawlessness does already work: only there is one that restrains now, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of His coming: even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan."(2 Thess. 2:3-9)

St. John Chrysostom: "One may naturally enquire, what is that which withholds, and after that would know, why Paul expresses it so obscurely. What then is it that withholds, that is, hinders him from being revealed? Some indeed say, the grace of the Spirit, but others the Roman empire, to whom I most of all accede. Wherefore? Because if he meant to say the Spirit, he would not have spoken obscurely, but plainly, that even now the grace of the Spirit, that is the gifts, withhold him. And otherwise he ought now to have come, if he was about to come when the gifts ceased; for they have long since ceased.
...
When the Roman empire is taken out of the way, then he (Antichrist) shall come. And naturally. For as long as the fear of this empire lasts, no one will willingly exalt himself, but when that is dissolved, he will attack the anarchy, and endeavor to seize upon the government both of man and of God. For as the kingdoms before this were destroyed, for example, that of the Medes by the Babylonians, that of the Babylonians by the Persians, that of the Persians by the Macedonians, that of the Macedonians by the Romans: so will this also be by the Antichrist, and he by Christ, and it will no longer withhold."

Tertullian: "There is another great need for prayers for emperors, for the well-being of the empire and the Romans, we know that the greatest catastrophe hanging over the whole world, and the terrible disasters that threaten the world at its end, are postponed while the Roman state stands. We do not we want these fears and, praying for a respite, we pray for the many years of the Roman state." ( APOLOGETICUS)

The doctrine of the one who restrains was also developed in the writings of ROCOR:

“There is no longer in the whole universe a single ruler or government that would govern their people, by the grace of God, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Because the anointed of God, the restraining one, has been taken away from the earth. The Constantinian era of grace-filled rule has ended. The last book of Holy Scripture was revealed in life, the Revelation of St. app. John the Evangelist.

In the Providence of God, the grace-filled epoch of the reign of Orthodox sovereigns was given to us so that we could quietly, freely and consistently save our souls. The God's Anointed One protected us from the unbearable fiery temptation that has now fallen on the whole world, submitted either to communism or to lodges.” (Archbishop Vitaly Ustinov "Apocalypse of Our Days")

(The ending follows)
 

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"There is no longer in the whole universe a single ruler or government that would govern their people, by the grace of God, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Because the anointed of God, the restraining one, has been taken away from the earth. The Constantinian era of grace-filled rule has ended. The last book of Holy Scripture was revealed in life, the Revelation of St. app. John the Evangelist.

In the Providence of God, the grace-filled epoch of the reign of Orthodox sovereigns was given to us so that we could quietly, freely and consistently save our souls. The God's Anointed One protected us from the unbearable fiery temptation that has now fallen on the whole world, submitted either to communism or to lodges.”
How is this distinct from the anointment of Cyrus (Isaiah 41:5)?

Also, there's an entire host of biblical verses that point to God-given legitimacy of Pagan rulers, and the Church Fathers have written on this extensively. This is of course completely different from an anointed monarch, but the Church has always lived and thrived under this kind of regime. One shouldn't bet the unity of the Church on being in the endtimes (which is by itself questionable under St. Matthew 24:36) because of political and ecclesial tragedy in Moscow. This is Old Believer thought.
 

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3. The feat and spiritual testament of the last Christian emperor

(the 3rd and the last part of the text "Eschatology of regicide")

Historical reference necessary for understanding the feat of the royal servants and the Tsar himself.
The conspiracy that was realized in the Russian Empire in March 1917 was not directed against Nicholas II personally, but was aimed at destroying the God-established Christian state. Its "reformation", transformation into something else that will live not according to Christian law, but according to some other rules.

In March 1917, with the capture of the Christian sovereign, the destruction of the Christian state began. It was obvious to everyone and everyone made his choice: serve God to the end or adapt to the new reality. Everyone had a choice. The Tsar also had a choice. Holding him captive from the first day, the conspirators demanded that he abdicates, which would legalize the destruction of the sacred monarchy and open the way for the Antichrist (I am referring here to the quote from St. John Chrysostom in the 2nd part of the text).

The Tsar did not conclude an agreement with the traitors, which is evidenced by the fact that they did not release him, but continued to hold him captive until the very end. This is the feat of the Tsar: he preferred Golgotha to an agreement with the envoys of the Antichrist. Metropolitan Anthony (Orlov) explains the spiritual testament of the last Christian emperor as follows: "Do not worship the Antichrist and do not enter into any agreements with him."

The tsar’s servants deliberately chose Golgotha, although they could leave the royal family at any moment. They chose to serve Christ and his anointed one. They were not just killed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks, who destroyed everyone who interfered with them. No, they chose Golgotha long before the Bolsheviks took power, in March 1917, when the God-established state began to crumble. Their Golgotha began in March 1917 and lasted 1 year and 4.5 months.
 

Katya1965

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@Katya1965 I appreciate your effort and I'm reading it with attention, but, just to be clear, I'm aware of the eschatological significance of regicide, I was asking more about how this relates to the differences between ROCOR's and ROC's glorifications. I meant "former" rather than "further" in the excerpt you coloured in yellow.
The position of ROCOR has always been the same as that of St. John Chrysostom: the last Christian tsardom keeps the world from iniquity, but one day it "will be devastated and destroyed by the Antichrist."

What is the MP's position? There is something we need to understand about the MP and what they believe in. The Declaration of Metr. Sergius Stragorodsky (on the subordination of the church to the Bolsheviks) is not a personal declaration, he acted in the role of their first hierarch. Therefore, it forms part of the doctrine of the MP. At least, it does not contradict the doctrine of the MP. Yes, this document was issued during a certain historical period, but it contains theses that go much further than this period. After all, Soviet power, which is mentioned in the declaration, ruled for many decades.

And to this day, despite the seemingly cardinal changes in politics, there has not been a single word condemning this declaration even from ordinary priests. Any expression of disagreement with the declaration, any critic is strictly prohibited. The MP holds on to the declaration very much, constantly emphasizing that it is a very correct document. In 2017, a monument to Metr. Sergius was erected in Arsamas on the occasion of his 150-th anniversary.

Therefore, the declaration cannot be neglected. We should take it as an integral part of the doctrine of the MP. There is no reason try to give to the text of the declaration some other meaning than what is written in it, so much the more that the MP itself does not do this.

Why I affirm that the Declaration of Sergius has an eschatological meaning?

As I said, the MP constantly emphasizes that this declaration was absolutely the right thing to do at that moment. And what was that moment? It was the time of destruction of the last Christian empire, a crucial event not only for Russia, but for all mankind, according to St. John Chrysostom.

Those who came to destroy the Christian Tsardom, the servants of the Antichrist, are called in the declaration the "Soviet government" and the "Soviet state". With them, a complete unity in everything and the intention to work on one common cause are officially declared. But what is this cause? Evidently, it is the cause of the Antichrist, the one of preparing his reign.

We now see the differences in the approach (viewpoints) to the eschatological significance of regicide. ROCOR says: the God’s anointed christian emperor was murdered by antichrist servants in order to destroy his kingdom and open the way for the iniquity. The MP says: "we are not with the enemies of the soviet state, but with our (Soviet) government." The Christian emperor was the enemy number one for the "Soviet state".

Therefore, the glorification of the emperor without condemning the declaration is not just "spiritual cynicism", as Metr. Vitaly says, but an apocalyptic phenomenon. The canonization of someone who, according to your own doctrine, is your enemy is unacceptable not only for a believer, but for any mentally sane person. That is why they refuse to recognize the martyrdom of the Tsar, his family and his servants. That is why, after more than 20 years from the moment of “canonization”, instead of veneration of the Royal Martyrs, we see a vague and ambiguous official stance of the MP, combined with sacrilegious destruction of memorial places related to the Tsar's Martyrdom, obscure machinations with secret expert examinations of the supposed remains of the Royal Martyrs, a muddy flow of bogus insinuations in numerous publications of the MP clerics. Not to mention the numerous monuments to the murderers, streets and squares bearing their names all over the country, in particular in Ekaterinburg.
 

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Claiming St. Nicholas is an enemy of the MP because of what Patriarch Sergius did to hold the unprecedented persecution of the Church is obvious anachronism. "Our government" is a lesser term than "servant of God", which is how the Holy Prophet Jeremiah prophetically called Nebuchadnezzar, also an antichrist, and even a 666.
 

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Also, there's an entire host of biblical verses that point to God-given legitimacy of Pagan rulers, and the Church Fathers have written on this extensively. This is of course completely different from an anointed monarch, but the Church has always lived and thrived under this kind of regime.
Pagan rulers are better than bolsheviks. The former could be given by God, the latter were let to come.

The Holy Fathers teach us that it's not any specific ruler, but it's actually the institution of power that comes from God, as a system of organizing society, so that there is no anarchy and society does not fall into disarray.

The commentary from St. John Chrysostom: “... there is no power except from God,” says the Apostle. How is it possible that every leader is appointed from God? Not that, I say, the Apostle answers. I am now talking not about every ruler in particular, but about the rulers on the whole. That there is a ruler, that some rule, while others are subordinate to them ... Therefore, the Apostle did not say that there is no leader who would not be appointed from God, but, speaking in general about the power of rulers ... Similarly, when the Bible says that a wife is from the Lord (Pr. XIX:14), this means that marriage is established from God, and not that God blesses everyone who enters into marriage, for we see that many enter into marriage with bad looks and not according to the law, whereas we can’t blame God for this.

The commentary from St. Isidore Pelusiot: “Therefore, we have the right to say that the very thing—I mean power—that is, the authorities and royal power, are established by God, so that society does not fall into disarray. But if some villain unlawfully steals this power, then we do not claim that he was appointed by God, but we say that he is allowed to either vomit out all his cunning, like Pharaoh, and then suffer an extreme punishment, or chastise those who need cruelty for this, much as the king of Babylon chastised the Jews."

Thus, according to St. Fathers, the apostle Paul refers to God the origin of the institution of power only. The power is instituted for good goals, to prevent the anarchy and disarray. Only that power corresponds to God's design, the power which has good tasks and goals, while the power that has any "bad views", according to Chrysostom, is not from God. State power is from God, but not everyone who has power is from God; pastorship is from God, but not every pastor is from God.

(To be continued)
 

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(Part 2 of "Pagan rulers are better than bolsheviks")

Everything is from God, if we take it in both positive and negative senses. In the negative sense it means that God is letting some evil to happen. But the Apostle, speaking of a power from God, is not talking about letting to happen, this is clear from the context of his speech: he means only such authority that praises its subjects for virtue and punishes for evil.

"3. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer." (Rom. XIII, 3-4)

That these words are not applicable to the Soviet government is evident from the fact that the main tasks and goals declared by founding fathers of the Soviet government were the destruction of all God's establishments, starting by the faith in God in the people. The marxist dogma instructs that the future of the world is communism, without any state power in the classical meaning (as a power of one people to constrain other people, no police, no army), without private property, without family, with communization of wives/husbands and children. The project of demolition of all the traditional standards of morality, starting by their religious foundations. Those who stick too much to those vestiges of the past have to be exterminated.

Every Christian is fatally doomed to fight against this devil's plan and, doing this the goodness should not wait for praise, but for the sword. If a shepherd, in fulfilling his pastoral duty, keeps his flock from raising children in godless institutions, he will not receive praise. Until now, the earth has not yet seen such a state that would put the fight against every kind of religion and against the morality as its main goals.

Even the Godly establishment of statehood was deemed to destruction; the need in a strong state was considered as a provisional stage: first exterminate the enemies by the force of the state, and then the need in the state will die away on its own. Paradoxically, at this point the Soviet converge with the anarchists, who also deemed the statehood and the traditional morality for destruction. In his correspondence, the famous anarchist Bakunin wrote: "Voltaire said that if there were no God, then He would have to be invented; and I say, if there is a God, then he must be killed."

The slogan “religion is the opium of the people” is the center of the entire philosophy of scientific Marxism, and all followers of it consider it their first duty not only to depart from God, but also to fight against Him. "Unions of atheists" are created, a sea of anti-religious literature is published. All official ceremonies in the Soviet time were ostentatious theomachic. The schools are all state, public ones, and like all other public organizations, they actively fight against everything relating to God or holiness. "... and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped..." (2 Thess. 2:3-4)

They used statehood to kill for belief in God. And their ultimate declared goal was the destruction of any statehood, that is spreading anarchy, and the destruction of faith and family, that is the reign of amorality. Pagans believed in God and lived in families; they were better than the Soviet.

The depths of Satanism are the basis and the core of the Soviet statehood.
 

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Are you claiming the 666, destroyer of nations, murderer of prophets, who demanded worship to himself, judged fairly and didn't base his ideology on Satanism? I think your theodicy is off, and you missed the point of God calling Nebuchadnezzar his servant.
 

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Why do you say this?
The fact that the Apostle wrote that the pagan emperors were from God does not in the least justify the opinion that the Soviet power is from God. We judge the persons of public service not by their personal shortcomings, but by those main tasks and goals to which their public activity is directed. The pagan, and even many Christian emperors (including Russians, for example, Peter the Great the blasphemer) aspired to social tasks and goals which had nothing from the destructive nature, making the foundation of Bolshevism .

The reference to the persecution of Christians by the pagan authorities also does not have a serious meaning, since it is known from the history of the Church that the pagans persecuted Christians as atheists: the latter did not have temples, idols, sacrifices and other external expressions of a religious cult, which gave reason to suspect them in godlessness. Therefore, when any natural disaster happened (a flood of the Tiber or that of the Nile), the pagans saw in this the wrath of the gods for the godlessness of Christians, and the crowds yelled: "Christians to the lions!" And persecutions followed. The accusation of Christians in the so-called anti-Caesarism also had a religious lining in the "cult of Caesars." So much Christian blood was shed because of this religious veneration, more than anything else (Lebedev A.P. "The Age of Persecution", 1904).
 

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Are you claiming the 666, destroyer of nations, murderer of prophets, who demanded worship to himself, judged fairly and didn't base his ideology on Satanism? I think your theodicy is off, and you missed the point of God calling Nebuchadnezzar his servant.
The two quotations from my two-part comment (those of St. John Chrysostom and St. Isidore Pelusiot) give a comprehensive answer to the question on the "power coming from God."

Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky says the thesis of st. Isidore Pelusiot is quite common in the Old Testament. "The usual explanation in the Old Testament of the calamities of the people of God, according to which the enemies of the Jews are only a means of their admonition, sent from God; such is the role of the pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar according to the Bible." (Interpretation on the book of the prophet Micah, verse 12).
 

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Claiming St. Nicholas is an enemy of the MP because of what Patriarch Sergius did to hold the unprecedented persecution of the Church is obvious anachronism.
St. Nicholas II, Tsar and New-Martyr of Russia, is an enemy of those who murdered him, and of their successors, who govern today and erect monuments to the murderers. The Metr. Sergius' declaration of 1927 says that the enemies of the Soviet state are the enemies of the MP. This declaration has not been renounced, it is in force today. Just a little bit of logic. It is anachronism indeed if one wants to forget the bad things which happened 100 years ago. So much the more is Apostolic Orthodoxy itself, an anachronism of some 2000 years. But this is the way they believed in Christian Empires. And this is how we are supposed to believe today. (Gal. 1:8)
 

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The fact that the Apostle wrote that the pagan emperors were from God does not in the least justify the opinion that the Soviet power is from God. We judge the persons of public service not by their personal shortcomings, but by those main tasks and goals to which their public activity is directed. The pagan, and even many Christian emperors (including Russians, for example, Peter the Great the blasphemer) aspired to social tasks and goals which had nothing from the destructive nature, making the foundation of Bolshevism .

The reference to the persecution of Christians by the pagan authorities also does not have a serious meaning, since it is known from the history of the Church that the pagans persecuted Christians as atheists: the latter did not have temples, idols, sacrifices and other external expressions of a religious cult, which gave reason to suspect them in godlessness. Therefore, when any natural disaster happened (a flood of the Tiber or that of the Nile), the pagans saw in this the wrath of the gods for the godlessness of Christians, and the crowds yelled: "Christians to the lions!" And persecutions followed. The accusation of Christians in the so-called anti-Caesarism also had a religious lining in the "cult of Caesars." So much Christian blood was shed because of this religious veneration, more than anything else (Lebedev A.P. "The Age of Persecution", 1904).
You have the burden of proof here.
 

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If God used earthly rulers to punish Hebrews, why do you think He wouldn't do the same to any people of the earth?
Other nations are also punished. The question is which attitude should a Christian adopt toward such rulers. Do the Holy Scriptures really require obedience to any authority? Is any authority acceptable to a Christian?

The Church says no. August 1 the Church commemorates the Holy Maccabee Martyrs. They are revered because they fought against the authorities, which forcibly forbid the observance of the law of God: observance of Sabbath, not eating food forbidden by law. (3Mac3)

From St. Basil the Great:
“The powers should be obeyed, unless it is not prevented by the commandment of God.” (Moral rules 79:1)
 

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The Church says no. August 1 the Church commemorates the Holy Maccabee Martyrs. They are revered because they fought against the authorities, which forcibly forbid the observance of the law of God: observance of Sabbath, not eating food forbidden by law. (3Mac3)
This justifies the white movement and later partisans, not the esoteric idea that there was no real authority in Russia anymore until they won. Specially since the observance of the law of God hasn't been forbidden by the state since Gorbachov, regardless of what can be said about the Russian government. Otherwise we're moving beyond simple Donatism and falling into Circumcellion territory.

From St. Basil the Great:
“The powers should be obeyed, unless it is not prevented by the commandment of God.” (Moral rules 79:1)
This means a contradiction between secular and divine commandment must always be chosen in favour of the latter, not that such a contradiction means there's no secular authority at all anymore.
 

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Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,
Which will not heed the voice of charmers, Charming ever so skillfully.
This quote from 58th psalm misses context.

58th psalm:

(2) Do you indeed speak the truth, O judges, and do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
(3) You make up iniquity in your heart; you put on the scales the violence of your hands on the earth.
(4) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
(5) Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear.
(6) And does not hear the voice of the caster, the most skilled in spells…

It is clear, that David speaks about unscrupulous judges who abuse their power and render unfair judgements, who spread iniquity under the guise of justice.

Most likely, this psalm was written when Absalom was preparing a rebellion against the Tsar and power was gradually passing into the hands of the lawless. Absalom set the people against David, saying that David's courts are unfair and he, Absalom, would be the more impartial judge.

So, who are you pointing at when citing this psalm?
 

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This justifies the white movement and later partisans, not the esoteric idea that there was no real authority in Russia anymore until they won.
Bolshevik power was real in the sense that it had a real machine of violence. The persecutions and murders were absolutely real. But their power was not lawful.
According to Psalter, those who plot against the God’s annointed are lawless and deserve to go to hell alive (psalms 54 and 63).
 

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Bolshevik power was real in the sense that it had a real machine of violence. The persecutions and murders were absolutely real. But their power was not lawful.
According to Psalter, those who plot against the God’s annointed are lawless and deserve to go to hell alive (psalms 54 and 63).
I'm talking about authority, not power or lawfulness. There's a very delicate relationship between the three of them that may be hard to define, but your ideas on Bolshevik authority don't seem to mirror anything the Church has done in the past. Many saints served the Ottomans, not many were klephts or hajduks. I don't know any.

Didn't the Ottomans plot against God's anointed? St. Gennadius Scholarius had a great relationship with Mehmed the Conqueror, who was specifically responsible for the death of the last Roman Emperor.
 

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I'm talking about authority, not power or lawfulness. There's a very delicate relationship between the three of them that may be hard to define, but your ideas on Bolshevik authority don't seem to mirror anything the Church has done in the past. Many saints served the Ottomans, not many were klephts or hajduks. I don't know any.
This means a contradiction between secular and divine commandment must always be chosen in favour of the latter, not that such a contradiction means there's no secular authority at all anymore.
To summarize the view that mirrors the Holy Scriptures, there are three types of authority: a) legitimate power of the Anointed of God (Psalms 54 and 63; Kings 1 and 2), b) the power of an ungodly which forbids people to observe their faith and against which they should fight (3 Mac.), and c) the other authorities that allow the believers to observe their faith and are to be obeyed.

Didn't the Ottomans plot against God's anointed? St. Gennadius Scholarius had a great relationship with Mehmed the Conqueror, who was specifically responsible for the death of the last Roman Emperor.
Thus Mehmed the Conqueror belongs to the group c) and at the same time deserves to go to hell alive according to psalms 54 and 63.
 

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The interpretations given on this site are very vague and somewhat contradictory. Lopukhin's interpretation seems to be the most logical, since it is most consistent with the description of David's life in the Book of Kings. Other interpretations say that Saul and his servants are being referred to here. Why? We know that the Psalms are not in chronological order (psalm 54 is clearly about Absalom, and 56 is clearly about Saul).

The Book of Kings does not mention any judgments (trials) against David, nor slanderers who would so annoy David that he would want to wash his feet in their blood (10). In general, we see that David never punishes or kills for evil words, but only for evil deeds.

Saul does not judge David, but simply tries to kill him out of envy and fear. Saul's servants, whom he sends to capture David and kill him, just carry out his order. They do not “judge” or put anything "on the scales" (2).

David could not call Saul "wicked." He calls Saul only "God's anointed one", whom he must faithfully serve. In general, in the Book of Kings David is described as a God-fearing person who would never go against Saul, the anointed one, even if Saul was trying to get him killed.

Thus, David's anger and bitterness are not directed at Saul and his servants. But on some other people who are endowed with a certain power, but abuse it. Specifically, the judicial system, as verse 2 makes clear.

As concerns the citation from Athanasius the Great, it does not even try to correlate the content of the psalm with David’s earthly life and interprets the psalm only as a prophecy about the fate of Christ.
 

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To summarize the view that mirrors the Holy Scriptures, there are three types of authority: a) legitimate power of the Anointed of God (Psalms 54 and 63; Kings 1 and 2), b) the power of an ungodly which forbids people to observe their faith and against which they should fight (3 Mac.), and c) the other authorities that allow the believers to observe their faith and are to be obeyed.
Look, I'll assume you're honestly referring to sources you've never read, but rather you believe someone who read them and then distorted them to fit zealotry.

The Jews don't fight the authorities in 3 Maccabees at all, you're pointing to a book in which they try to just be ordinary citizens, get along with the Greeks and talk the authorities out of persecuting them until God delivers them miraculously. You're mixing it up with 1 and 2 Maccabees, which include numerous reconciliations between Jews and Macedonians...
 

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The interpretations given on this site are very vague and somewhat contradictory.
It speaks very clearly here about a person in a state of spiritual obscurity, resisting the truth. About the meaninglessness of discussions with such a person.
 

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It speaks very clearly here about a person in a state of spiritual obscurity, resisting the truth. About the meaninglessness of discussions with such a person.
This is a fantasy disconnected from the content of the psalm, consisting of 12 verses, and not of two that you are quoting. This is an attempt to make it pointless. But it very precisely points against vicious judges. The theme of vicious judges also appears in Psalm 82 (of Asaph).

In the verse 10 David says:

"The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked."

So you seriously believe that "a person in a state of spiritual obscurity, resisting the truth" deserves to be killed so that others bathe their feet in their blood? Do you seriously believe that "meaninglessness of discussions with such a person" implies the need to kill this person? Or you just attribute such bloodthirstiness to David?
 

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Look, I'll assume you're honestly referring to sources you've never read... You're mixing it up with 1 and 2 Maccabees"
Sorry for the unexpanded reference, which pushed you make assumptions about my insufficient reading.

For your convenience, I reproduce the full quotations below with some explanations added.

"10 And when he entered there, he was amazed at the majesty and splendor, and marveling at the arrangement of the temple, he desired to enter the sanctuary.

11 He was told that he should not do this, for none of the people was allowed to enter there, not even the priests, but only one higher priest who was in charge of all, and that only once a year; but he didn't want to listen." (3 Mac 1:10-11)

Here we see the disobedience to a blasphemous pagan king that intends to desecrate the sanctuary of the temple. This reference is important, because it shows a resistance to an authority which encroaches on the observance of faith, that is, belongs to group b) according to the classification of authorities in one of my previous comments. Though the Jews did not turn their arms against the pagan king that time, God helped them and the king fell down in convulsions near the entrance of the sanctuary and failed to enter there. Thus people's resistance to the blasphemous authority was praised by God.

As a retaliation for not letting him in the sanctuary, the king sent an army with drunk elephants to massacre a lot of Jews, and this time, too, God saved them:

"16 Just as Eleazar was ending his prayer, the king arrived at the hippodrome with the animals and all the arrogance of his forces.
17 And when the Jews observed this they raised great cries to heaven so that even the nearby valleys resounded with them and brought an uncontrollable terror upon the army.
18 Then the most glorious, almighty, and true God revealed his holy face and opened the heavenly gates, from which two glorious angels of fearful aspect descended, visible to all but the Jews.
19 They opposed the forces of the enemy and filled them with confusion and terror, binding them with immovable shackles.
20 Even the king began to shudder bodily, and he forgot his sullen insolence.
21 The animals turned back upon the armed forces following them and began trampling and destroying them." (3 Mac 6:16-21)

You say reconciliation. Indeed, the Jews with God's help forced the pagan authority to a reconciliation, but they did not give up on their principles. This is the type of authority the believers should resist. And if they do, God helps them. The authorities had to stop the persecution of believers. Sergians did not resist, and their stance did not stop, but accelerated the persecution.

you're honestly referring to sources you've never read, but rather you believe someone who read them...
I do not particularly appreciate your manner of asking for bibliographical citations, but anyway, here is the article from which I drew my ideas about what lessons can be learned from the books of Maccabees: the article by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky "The Jew Question and the Holy Bible."

... who read them and then distorted them to fit zealotry
An Orthodox Christian today is a synonym of zealot. An Orthodox Christian cannot justify Satan’s servants.
 
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