UOC bishop: In the persecution, one should preach Christ with their lives
Bishop Victor of Baryshivka said that today the Church is deprived of the opportunity to preach outside the church ambo.
Holy Scripture, Church Sacraments, prayers, asceticism and traditions – all this serves one main purpose to bring a person to unity with God. Bishop Victor of Baryshivka wrote about this in his Telegram channel.
“The Church testifies to the presence of God in human life, and not only about the presence, but also about His participation in all aspects of our existence. The sermon (or kerygma) of the Church is aimed at proclaiming the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that begins, in the words of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, from the place where we stand at the moment. This sermon expresses the inner nature of the Church as the Body of Christ. He became one of us, which means we can become one with Him,” Vladyka noted.
Bishop Victor stated that today the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is restricted or completely deprived of the opportunity to speak about Christ in educational institutions, medical and other institutions.
“The only place from which we can proclaim the Gospel is the church pulpit. In fact, we have returned to the times when freedom of religion was declared by the Constitution, but limited by the current state of affairs… Is it good or bad?” the UOC hierarch inquires.
In answering it, Vladyka reminds the faithful that the Church evolves best not in greenhouse conditions, but precisely when it is limited.
“The times of oppression are the times of serious theological thought, times of reassessment of values, understanding of the true nature of the Church. Therefore, existing in modern conditions, we trust in the mercy of God and hope for a spiritual rebirth,” the Bishop of Baryshivka expresses hope.
“On the other hand, being deprived of the opportunity to preach ‘from the roofs’ (Matt. 10:27), the Church can and must preach with the life of Her children. It is clear that there are administrative or canonical decisions, the adoption of which can remove some of the problems and accusations from the Church. However, one should not rely solely on them. First of all, a believer must make every possible effort in the spiritual plane, where the grace of God lives and acts. Therefore, the primary task is to learn to be Christians, ‘to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33),’” Bishop Victor edified the believers with these words.
Recall that Archbishop Bogolep of Alexandria and Svitlovodsk noted that only the Lord will show the right path to the UOC.