Tag Archives: The Holy Trinity

The Russian Orthodox Émigré Contribution to the Future World Orthodox Church

A few years ago the now Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov asked us the question: What distinctive contribution can the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) make to the Church inside Russia? Here is my answer to him in the light of the most recent events:

Our Orthodox Christian Faith is Trinitarian: God the Father, Who is the instinctive knowledge of the existence of God, God the Son, Who represents the Incarnation of the Faith in all human affairs on earth (as denied for a thousand years by the Western world), and God the Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies all the nations who accept Him. This Trinitarian knowledge has always been expressed in the Russian Orthodox words: ‘For the Faith, For the Tsar, For Rus’. This motto was in turn expressed in recent history by the three ROCOR Saints, the Three Saints of the Emigration:

‘For the Faith’ was expressed by St Jonah of Hankou (+ 1925), the first ROCOR saint. Fleeing as a refugee with the White Russians and absolutely faithful to the fullness of Russian Orthodoxy, within a very short time of becoming a bishop at a very young age in Manchuria, he established an orphanage, a school, and a dining hall for the poor. Thus he combined the love of the Liturgy with practical love for our neighbour, as the Gospel calls us to do. This is indeed the essence of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

‘For the Faith and for the Tsar’ was expressed a generation later by St Seraphim of Boguchar (+ 1950). He expressed the values of Russian Orthodoxy in his writings and was also the great defender of Orthodoxy against both the heresies of the renovationist Paris School in the 1930s and ecumenism, notably at the Inter-Orthodox Council of Moscow in July 1948. He asked: What is the role of the Tsar? He answered that he is the incarnation of the Faith in the life of the State, in social, political and economic affairs. This is why we await the coming of the next Tsar, the White Tsar, whether he is a man of piety, or Christ Himself in His Second Coming.

‘For the Faith, for the Tsar and for Rus’ was then expressed by St John of Shanghai (+ 1966). The first ‘universal saint’, as he has been called, he lived all over the planet and celebrated the Liturgy and preached in many languages, extending the understanding and practice of ‘Rus’ worldwide far beyond East Slavdom, which stretches from Slovakia to the shores of the Pacific. Now we talk about American Rus, Australian Rus, English Rus, French Rus, German Rus, Irish Rus, Peruvian Rus, Swiss Rus. Wherever, worldwide, there is the uncorrupted Christian Faith of the Russian Orthodox world, there is Rus.

Some in Russia would say that this is what they have always believed. True, but the emigration expressed it with a refined purity and much extended significance, all of which became possible only after the catastrophe of the 1917 Revolution.  All three saints together, the Three New Pillars of Orthodoxy, completed their lives on three different continents: St Jonah in China in Asia; St Seraphim in Bulgaria in Europe and St John in San Francisco in North America.

It is this, the global reality of Rus, which the Church inside Russia is now learning from us. Once captive inside the mental borders of the Soviet Union, the multinational Russian Orthodox Church has recently established a Western European Exarchate and a South-East Asian Exarchate, becoming ever more deeply the Church of Eurasia. Now, with the long-expected apostasy of Greek Churches, far too weak to stand up to corrupting American pressure, there has appeared the possibility of setting up a Turkish Exarchate in Asia and solving the old calendarist schism in Greece in Europe.

Moreover, extending to a new Continent, it could set up an African Orthodox Church with local, not colonial, bishops. Beyond this there is the possibility of founding a real North American Orthodox Church, with the future merger of the healthy elements of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) with ROCOR. And ROCOR in turn can, with canonical and practical support from inside Russia, help set up a Church of Oceania and a Church of South America. It is our hope that we shall yet see founded a church dedicated to the Three New Pillars of Orthodoxy, the Pillars of the Russian emigration of three different continents. The future begins now.

Our Credo

We Orthodox Christians are chosen by God to fulfil our appointed destinies. In this age it is our destiny to defy all who deny the Holy Trinity, whether in word or thought or deed. Our God is not the god of others, including those who have for all practical purposes lapsed from the Church and Faith, despite their outward label. Our God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We confess the Father and reject manmade nationalism and idolatrous ritualism, which place themselves above the Father from everlasting. Their victims put their tribal and racist local cultures above God, rejecting His Church.

They say, for example: ‘I cannot join the Orthodox Church because of my Western culture’. How many times we have heard the above myth. Such an attitude comes from the placing of our ethnic conditioning above Christ. They do not understand that Europe itself is an illusion: East and West were joined together in Christ’s Church. At the furthest tip off Eurasia, Europe was invented by cutting itself off from Eurasia 1,000 years ago, in order to justify its aggressive domination and annihilation of all else.

We confess the Incarnation and reject academic theories and disincarnate fantasies, which have no spiritual or moral effect in life. Their victims put their impure imaginations above God, rejecting the universal sacrifice of the God-man.

They say, for example: ‘I cannot live a Church life because of my personal views’. How many times we have heard the above selfishness. Such an attitude comes from the placing of our egoistic conditioning above Christ. They do not understand that the self is an illusion: we are all part of God’s Creation, joined together in Christ’s Church. The Western world invented such individualism, cutting itself off from solidarity with the rest of God’s Creation, man and nature, to justify its aggressive domination and annihilation of all else.

We confess the Holy Spirit and reject pharisaic bureaucracy and unprincipled careerism, which deaden and destroy Church life. Their victims put their worldly interests above the Holy Spirit, rejecting God’s Free Spirit, Who blows where He wills.

They say, for example: ‘Our rules and interests are higher than all else’. How many times we have heard the above artifice. Such an attitude comes from the placing of worldly conditioning above Christ. They do not understand that the world is an illusion: the world was overcome by Christ. Petty bureaucracy and careers will all fade away with time and death, for they were invented only in order to promote passing, manmade customs, with their attempts at the aggressive domination and annihilation of all else.

We Orthodox Christians are chosen by God to fulfil our appointed destinies. In this age it is our destiny to defy all who deny the Holy Trinity, whether in word or thought or deed. Today this destiny calls us to gather together before the end, for ours is the apostolic mission to preach to all and gather the faithful remnant out of all the nations before the Second Coming.