METROPOLITAN ANTHONY (PACKANICH): THE CHURCH PREACHES ABOUT THE FUTURE, NOT ABOUT THE PAST

It is human nature to be nostalgic about the past. Almost all cultures have their own myth about the golden age, when people lived correctly and happily.

And it is little wonder because the expulsion of the forefathers from paradise somehow or other could be boundto be chased in the collective memory of mankind. And an ordinary person sometimes likes to philosophize that "it was better before." There is such a phenomenon in the Church: many are looking for a "golden age" in the church's past, considering the current state of the Church to be inappropriate. Of course, no one has canceled the epoch of apostasy predicted for us, but the desire for a "pious past" sometimes goes beyond the bounds of sobriety.

Moreover, everyone has their own "golden age of the Church". Someone considers the Stoglav Cathedral to be the standard of church life and tries to put the modern Church into the framework of the statutes of the XVI century. Someone remembers with a sigh the greatness of the Byzantine Empire, although it has been lying in the dust for more than half a thousand years. Someone likes todaydream about the simplicity of the first Christian community, completely breaking away from the realities of today. And someone continues to live in the Synodal period of the XIX century, as if there were no revolutions…

Basically, deriving inspiration from the past for such a traditional institution as the Church is a normal process. But to completely go into past is already abnormal.

Because the Church is not only a lament for the lost paradise, to a greater extent it is a pursuit of the future Kingdom of Heaven. What do we say daily in the symbol of our faith? "Believe... and life everlasting." The everlasting, not the "beautiful past".

True to form, the worldly non-church society picks up the idea that the Church supposedly dwellson the past, claiming that religion in general is a "set of outmoded dogmas" that bothersprogress.

But striving for worldly "progress", yielding to the spirit of this century, is also a non-church way, moreover, it is frankly anti-Christian.

In order to follow the "narrow path" commanded by Christ, we should not renounce our own essence for the sake of momentary "public opinion" and "progressive agenda". However, "role-playing games" that reproduce of old age are not our way either.

The Church draws on the wisdom of its holy ascetics of the past, but it intelligently uses it in the current realities, expecting to be reunited with Christ in His coming Kingdom.

 

Recorded by Natalia Goroshkova

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Опубликовано: Tue, 28/09/2021 - 18:57

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