UOC cleric: They protest against slavery in history but not slavery to sin
Now there're worldwide protests against slavery that existed hundreds of years ago, but no one protests against the slavery of modern people to sin, said Abp. Alexy.
On June 23, 2020, the ruling bishop of Voznesensk Eparchy of the UOC, Archbishop Alexy of Voznesensk and Pervomaisk, commented on the protest actions, which are now taking place in the U.S. and Europe.
"Today there are mass demonstrations in the United States and Europe condemning slavery. Not modern, but what happened hundreds of years ago. Besides pogroms and riots, the actions are accompanied by the desecration and destruction of monuments to historical figures who may have been directly or even indirectly related to slavery. There is even news of the demolition of monuments to Catholic saints. All this raises a question to us: what was the attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ to such a phenomenon as slavery? And when we read the Holy Scripture, we should admit that the Saviour considered only one form of slavery to be true – slavery to sin. "... Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (John 8:34), the archpriest explained.
According to him, " the Lord not only opposed this but also ascended to the Cross in order to redeem us from such slavery. All other forms of slavery, as well as to such phenomena as social order, political formation, the power of this or that state over others and so on, Christ regarded as historical conditions of life, in which a person can become either a slave of God or a slave of sin. The apostle Paul wrote: "Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Rom. 6, 16)."
"A slave owner could abuse slaves and thus become a slave to sin. Or he could be merciful to them and please God. In the same way, a slave in his slave state could do either vices or virtues. In the epistle to the Ephesians, the Holy Apostle Paul instructs both: " Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him" (Eph. 6, 5-9), said Archbishop Alexy.
"So, we see that our Saviour Jesus Christ does not express his attitude to social and political phenomena, because they are temporary and passing, but raises the thought of man to eternity, because having become either servants of God or slaves of sin in this life, we will take this state to eternity. And, unfortunately, we see today that no one protests against this slavery, slavery to sin, on the contrary, it is marching victoriously across the planet. We, Christians, with the help of God, will fight against slavery to sin to become free in Jesus Christ our Lord," resumed the bishop.
As reported earlier, the ROC condemned the demolition of monuments in the United States of America.