As people struggle to make sense out of what happened in Las Vegas (Was it a false flag? Was Paddock a patsy? Were there multiple gunmen? Did a shooting even happen? Ciu bono, who benefits?–the questions are endless), a quote from one of the articles I’m posting below particularly resonates, or at least it does for me…
“The fundamental rupture in the traditional way of life – and I am now speaking … of the spiritual and cultural self-consciousness of the people – was possible only for the reason that something very important had disappeared from peoples’ lives.”
The quote is from Russian Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who was speaking of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. After the Bolsheviks seized power, something very, very important began to disappear from the lives of the Russian people–their Christian faith.
Much the same has happened in America. The bedrock of Christian values is now gone. In its place we have a society fricasseed in official lies, a landscape in which “lies beget other lies,” as one analyst puts it, to the point where no one can really believe anything, and where outbursts of mass insanity become increasingly common. People may be interested in reading Paul Craig Roberts’ commentary on the Las Vegas shooting. The gist of it is there is really no way to know what happened because the lies are so pervasive. But there is a way out of this.
Below are a couple of articles from a new website–Russian Faith. The site is dedicated to exploring the rather amazing Christian renaissance now taking place in Russia. The first article deals with comments by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, who issues some sage advice to Europe over its immigration policies and its own abandonment of Christian faith. The second article deals with Putin’s own embrace of Christianity and Russia’s rejection of the “separation of church and state” concept that has in many ways helped bring about America’s downfall.
And beneath all that you’ll see a video about the Russian Faith website.
The thing to remember in all of this is that “something very important” has disappeared from our lives here in the West. But it is possible to get it back again. ]
Russian Church Leader Warns EU on Immigration, Preserving Cultural Identity
(Hilarion Alfeyev is a very prominent and influential leader of the Russian church. He is one of the top 3-4 church leaders in Russia, the ‘foreign minister’ of the Russian Church, responsible for its relations with other churches and countries.)
Participating in a London conference on the topic of “The Christian Future of Europe,” Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the External Relations Departments of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, spoke on September 22 at the Russian Embassy to Great Britain, and his talk was something of a warning to the Churches of the West.
Opening his talk with an acknowledgement of Christian persecution throughout the world, and armed with research figures hewn from recent PEW polls and other studies, Hilarion painted a grim but up-to-date and accurate picture of what Christianity is currently facing due to migration and Western secularization, and also what the future of Christianity will look like without a deep and strenuous effort at evangelization.
The Archbishop [sic] presented a sobering look at how migration is impacting Europe:
“According to figures by the European Union agency Frontex, more than 1.8 million migrants entered the EU in 2015 alone … the number of migrants in Europe has increased from 49.3 million people in 2000 to 76.1 million people in 2015.”
“The other reason for the transformation of the religious map of Europe,” said Hilarion, “is the secularization of European society. Figures in a British opinion poll indicate that more than half of the country’s inhabitants – for the first time in history – do not affiliate themselves to any particular religion.”
This trend is not holding true in Russia, where an identification with faith is on the upswing, although “many defined themselves as ‘religious to some degree’ or ‘not too religious’ … However, the number of people who define themselves as being ‘very religious’ is growing steadily.”
That good news must be balanced an understanding of the rapid decline of religious practice in Europe and North America, and here Hilarion suggested that history must be given its due study, as a warning:
“I would like to remind you all that in Russia before 1917 nobody ever proposed that the collapse of a centuries-old Christian empire would happen and that it would be replaced by an atheistic totalitarian regime. And even when that did happen, few believed that it was serious and for long.”
“The modern-day decline of Christianity in the western world may be compared to the situation in the Russian Empire before 1917.”
“The revolution and the dramatic events which followed it have deep spiritual, as well as social and political, reasons. Over many years the aristocracy and intelligentsia had abandoned the faith, and were then followed by common people.”
“His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia spoke of this in January 2017:
“The fundamental rupture in the traditional way of life – and I am now speaking … of the spiritual and cultural self-consciousness of the people – was possible only for the reason that something very important had disappeared from peoples’ lives, in the first instance those people who belonged to the elite. In spite of an outward prosperity and appearance, the scientific and cultural achievements, less and less place was left in peoples’ lives for a living and sincere belief in God, an understanding of the exceptional importance of values belonging to a spiritual and moral tradition.”
Hilarion seemed to reserve a special condemnation of the resistance to religion demonstrated by the European Union:
And when half a century after the creation of the European Union its constitution was being written, it would have been natural for the Christian Churches to expect that the role of Christianity as one of the European values to have been included in this document, without encroaching upon the secular nature of the authorities in a unified Europe.
But, as we know, this did not happen.
The European Union, when writing its constitution, declined to mention its Christian heritage even in the preamble of the document.
I firmly believe that a Europe which has renounced Christ will not be able to preserve its cultural and spiritual identity.
The Archbishop’s [sic] full speech may be read here.
Putin’s Christian Vision
Putin continuously makes it clear that he envisions Russia as a Christian country.
In 2014, Putin called for the restoration of Kremlin’s historic Chudov (“of the Miracle”) and Voznesensky (Ascension) monasteries both of which were destroyed by the Bolsheviks. He also wants another church destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the Kremlin to be rebuilt.
While the project is currently on hold until a scientific research is completed on the sites, the intent itself is symbolic.
The Kremlin is both the political and historic center not just of Moscow but of Russia. By calling for the restoration of these Christian buildings Putin repudiated the Soviet legacy with its atheist ideology and its record of anti-Christianity and reaffirms Orthodoxy as the heart of Russian culture.
A key element of Putin’s worldview is not just his commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church as an institution, but also his admiration for three 19th and 20th century Russian Christian philosophers—Nikolai Berdyaev, Vladimir Solovyov and Ivan Ilyin, all of whom he often quotes in his speeches. Russia’s regional governors were even instructed to read the works of these philosophers during their 2014 winter holidays.
The key message of these philosophers is of Russia’s messianic role in world history and of its need to preserve itself through Orthodoxy and restoration of its historic borders.
Studying the causes of Russia’s 20th century tragedy, Ilyin wrote:
“The Russian revolution is a reflection of the religious crisis we are living through now, an attempt to establish an anti-Christian public and state system thought up by Friedrich Nietzsche and economically and politically realized by Karl Marx. This anti-Christian virus was exported to Russia from the West…..
Losing our bond with God and the Christian tradition, mankind has become morally blind and gripped by materialism, irrationalism and nihilism.”
In Ilyin’s view, the way to overcome this global moral crisis is for people to return to “eternal moral values”, which he defined as “faith, love, freedom, conscience, family, motherland and nation” but above all “faith and love”.
“To make Russia great again the Russian people should believe in God. This faith will strengthen their minds and willpower. It will make them strong enough to overcome themselves.”
Ilyin believed in the religious gift and talent of the Russian soul. In his words,
“Russian history is all about morality triumphing over difficulties, temptations, dangers and enemies.”
For their part Solovyov and Berdyaev argued that the historic mission of Russia is to lead the way to human unification. Russia would transcend secularism and atheism and create a unified spiritual kingdom. “The Russian messianic conception,” said Berdyaev, “always exalted Russia as a country that would help to solve the problems of humanity.”
In his biography entitled “First person“, Putin says the first line in any Russian law code should be moral values and that Russia has to be concerned as much with its spiritual position as its geographical one.
To understand Putin’s vision of Russia, his views on spirituality and his study of Christian thinkers such as Ilyin, Solovyov and Berdyaev, must be taken into account.