Orthodox Forum | by Pastor Symeon | Nov. 24, 2009
On the one hand there are those who find it [the Manhattan Declaration] “shocking” and part of the culture war, etc. These are frightened that the document will be perceived as harsh and unloving, etc.. God forbid that anyone Christian ever stand in public for Truth. And on the other hand those that are relieved to see an Orthodox Pastor with backbone to stand with others and speak truth to error, truth to power, and truth to the politically correct stricture in our society that is choking free speech and seeking to criminalize Truth. – If this much sets you off, don’t bother to read further.
My Bishop, fifth generation Orthodox priest, survived the Holodomor, the systematic starvation of between 10 and 20 million people mostly Christians in Ukraine by the communist in 1932 and 33. His father was forbidden to celebrate divine liturgy – all Christian worship was forbidden. He celebrated liturgy anyway and at the end of the service the local commissar showed up and told the congregation to return at 3pm that he had a wonderful surprise for them. He asked the priest to remain behind to help him prepare it. At 3pm the people returned and the priest was hanging upside down on the church doors. They held the crowd at gunpoint and slit the priest’s throat. My bishop at age 14 watched his father bled like a pig on the church doors.
He escaped the communist on the way to “reeducation camp” and in the fifties made his way to America. About ten years ago, at least before 9/11 he asked me one day, “Father tell me, why are all these news people constantly painting everything that is good about America as evil and everything that is evil in society and is killing this country as good.”
I told him what I knew to be true. “It is the spirit of the anti-christ trying to snuff-out the brightest light on the planet.” He said, “These people are sitting on soft couches in a grand cathedral God has ordained, throwing bombs at the foundation walls. And still they are going to be the most shocked when the entire edifice comes tumbling in around them.”
I have for more than fifteen years, been beating the drum about Christian persecution around the world. Until 9/11 no one would listen, and then they only listened for a very short time. Now every news media is as silent as they were on 9/10, as silent as they were for two generations. The death toll is in the millions. We think it isn’t about to happen here?
If something truly drastic does not happen shortly, it surely will happen here. Stricture of “laws” keeps slowly closing on free speech and soon, very soon it will be illegal to preach the Gospel. Oh yes, it will be legal to preach “some sort of feel-good inspirational gospel of all inclusion love and antinomian heretical grace, but the second you add that salvation comes also by living Jesus’ moral teachings, you will be in violation and the second you say that Salvation is by Jesus the Person, and not through feel-good inspirational all inclusive antinomian love, you will be in violation.
We are already crossing the lines of ‘political correctness’ to speak the truth and political correctness is constantly being incorporated into law. It is an all out assault on truth in this country and Truth is a person, Jesus Christ.
- Archpriest Symeon