Opposing the road sign to nullity
In the last few days, we have noticed in the daily press one and always the same text– surely from a man who thinks he has a lot to say, and with it try to change something; so the poor man has sent a text in the form of a letter to all the daily newspapers, but obviously he is not a living member of the Church. Rather, he is just another man who speaks, criticizes ‘from the outside’ - one more man who does not live within the Church, who does not feel Her pulse. If he were a man from within the Church, he would know that the Church is a living divine-human organism that does not tolerate violent interventions ‘from the outside’ with aim to make changes within Her. These unnatural interventions never have, nor they can bear any success. Very often, even justified critics within the Church are swallowed in the expectance of the fullness of time.
If the author of the letter was a living member of Christ’s Body, he would know that changes in the Church can happen only in a divine-human way, i.e. ‘from within’ and without violating man’s freedom and identity: “In this historical and eschatological event i.e. the Incarnation of Christ, the theological (Christological) and the anthropological, i.e. ecclesial bases of Orthodox (hesychastic) spirituality: in the mode that the God-man Christ showed us with His Incarnation and with His entire Dispensation for our salvation as well. He did all ‘from within’, immensely suffering at that. The Son of God saves man not through giving orders, decrees and “tomoses” from the skies and through demonstration of power, as some power-holder, judge or tyrant, but on the contrary, He revealed Himself to us through loving identification with us. He adopted our fallen human nature (apart from sin) and made it His own, healing and deifying it.” He did not violate our freedom and he did not ask for change in our personal and national identity, but he became one of us and gave us deification.
The acting ‘from within’ and ‘from the outside’ is the essence of the dispute between the spiritual fathers of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the “spiritual fathers” of the Serbian exarchate. The spiritual fathers of the Macedonian Orthodox Church are struggling, according to their inner spiritual growth and hierarchical progress, and also from their Episcopal positions, in the fullness of time to make it possible for the entire Macedonian Orthodox Church (all of the Macedonian Orthodox people and all of the Orthodox Christians who live on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia and are under the canonical jurisdiction of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-–restored Ohrid Archdiocese) (with its status and with its name) to enter worthily into canonical and liturgical unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church and with the other local sister Orthodox Churches. “The spiritual fathers” of the Serbian exarchate, let us say, have the same aim, yet they have missed the way, the method. They have discarded Christ’s divine-human method of resolving problems ‘from within’, through inner spiritual perfection and, in concord with this, the hierarchical progress of the clergy of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, in obedience of their Episcopes, which would enable the conditions for activity within the framework of the church and the pastoral reality ‘from within’, and have chosen the way of their thoughts instead. This is the “fate” of those who are poor from the inside. With no mind-and-heart prayer and spiritual enlightenment they arbitrarily called on themselves to resolve the key church question between the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church. They have chosen the ‘broad way’ and brought themselves personally into canonical and liturgical unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church, not being followed by their flock, by the people who were entrusted to them.
This is the difference between acting ‘from within’ without violating freedom, and aggressively acting ‘from the outside’; i.e. the difference between the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of the antichrist. However, we are obliged to show the way, but everyone will have to choose it freely on his own. Only the fact that: Christ’s way leads to eternal life, but the antichrist’s way…?
on behalf of the editorial staff
of the web site of the Macedonian Orthodox Church