UOC advises how to keep spiritual safety in a situation of schism
Protecting the Church, take care of yourself, as the struggle for truth does not exempt you from the rules of Christian life, Met. Anthony (Pakanich) reminded.
"Let the world hate us better for the truth than love for lies, and we had better be left alone with the truth than in the crowd, but with lies and delusion," the UOC Chancellor Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary gave some spiritual guidance to believers, published by the portal "Orthodox Life".
According to Met. Anthony, unceasing talks about the Tomos and the newly-created church structure are not worth such close attention since such events in different variations have already occurred in history more than once. At the same time, the objective reality is such that the overwhelming majority of the faithful children remain faithful to their Church, regardless of any life or political circumstances.
He recalled that the current situation is exactly repeating the scenario of the 1990s, when "for the sake of the political conjuncture, the project" Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate was created".
“All the monastics and all church people, who regularly attended Divine Services, confessed and received communion and lived the church life, remained with the true Church. People can't be deceived! Only those who put politics and national interests above Christ and His Church, who did not go to churches, but dropped in on major holidays, because "it is a custom", who succumbed to political propaganda went to the schismatic church. (...) There were, of course, incidents of violent seizures of temples. But you can't build a Church with violence,” the hierarch emphasized.
The bishop reminded that the information field has now expanded significantly, and warned against participating in virtual battles, since “there is a threat that the wars of individual believers in the virtual plane will lead souls away from the real struggle — the internal one.” This, in particular, concerns various “analysts” and forecasts, which are often based on our own speculations, fears, and rumors, and have no relation to real events, but only confuse and intimidate people.
Separately, Vladyka noted those who spread frightening unverified rumors: “Those who sow panic are worse than enemies. Enemies openly speak out against the Church, and alarmists undermine its unity from within, weaken the spirit of believers.”
“Protecting the Church, it is important to take care of yourself. Because the struggle for the truth does not exempt us from the rules of the Christian life. You certainly need to fight for the truth. But it does matter at what cost. Turning to insults, slander, speculation, humiliation of others, we lower ourselves. This is neither Christian nor human,” he explained, adding that the protection of the Church should take place exclusively under the guidance of a shepherd or Hierarchy.
“As for disputes and polemics in social networks, it is worth remembering that it is often impossible to win a dispute. Truth is not born in dispute. It's a delusion. Truth is absolute, it has always been and will always be. (...) Truth is God,” added Vladyka Anthony and stressed that the believer’s task is not to argue, but to testify about Truth and “reveal, if possible, slander against the Church and Her ministers.”
At the same time, he stressed that the main evidence of truth and the only way of serving it is living in Christ.
“Troubled times are characterized by the fact that temptations and internal attacks increase, spiritual struggle intensifies. And the task of the enemy is to divert a person from work on themselves with the help of external factors. Our passions tear us apart, strengthen their power and action. Therefore, it is important to keep peace at heart (...), to focus on your sins, identify them, honestly admit to yourself, sincerely repent and correct. With our inner work, we will balance the harmony in the world, help the good to prevail over evil. Our heart should be the platform for the most important battles to take place, because for the God's Judgment we will stand alone, without any escort, face-to-face with God, with our personal history of spiritual wars, and will answer only for our victories and defeats,” resumed Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary.