Why the UOC cannot unite with the UOC KP and the UAOC
The question of the unity of Churches is very popular now. We are reminded: the Gospel speaks of the unity of Christians, God is one, and, hence, the Church must be one.
Indeed, the Holy Scripture calls on Christians for unity: “They all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, [so] and they also may be one in Us” (John 17, 21). “I beg you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1, 10). “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all” (Eph. 4, 5-6).
However, it must be understood that the Scripture calls for church unity in Christ (see 1 Cor. 1, 10), and not for some ephemeral unity on random grounds. The uniqueness of church unity is born by the prayer communication of Christians and by dogmatic agreement in the confession of God. The unification in another spirit and teaching forms the unity of another quality — worldly, human, and short-lived.
It is not difficult to understand that not all unity is pleasing to God. For example, the Third Reich – this is also some kind of unity, isn’t it? Recall how Nazi ideas super-effectively consolidated the Germans. But it was an association based on a man-hating ideology. Such unity is doomed to collapse. All unions based on false ideas, denying God or professing “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11.4) will crash. Such is the fate of all human organizations, driven by hatred of their neighbours, and distorting the revealed teachings about man and his salvation.
At all times, humanity has been trying to create an ideal society, but they all ended in failure precisely because people did not want to improve spiritually. And those who wallowed in hatred, as a rule, pulled down those who were looking for love and God. This is still relevant today when a new phantom of universal unity is being created in Ukraine: church autocephaly?
If only autocephaly could reconcile the warring parties of Ukraine! If only it destroyed all the hatred and malice that pervaded our entire society! But alas, the internal problem cannot be solved by external means. The question of the disorder of our society is a spiritual one related to such themes as repentance, forgiveness, sin-awareness, love for God, faith, following the Gospel commandments, etc. If the internal issues are solved, the external will also be resolved. From internal to external, not vice versa!
Today, all mankind is obsessed with the idea of synthesis, mutual dissolution, and reducing differences. With these ideas, the world is knocking at the door of the Church. “Unite!” they shout to us. “Do not be so proud, do not complicate an already difficult life. Stop showing off, make friends with everyone. Don't be marginals!”
“I’d like to take everything and share!” said the man-dog Sharikov. Today, new sharikovs say: “take everything and unite! Believers of all countries – unite!”
Sharikovs do not understand the simple thing: the Church is one and unified, but it will immediately cease to be a Church, if it unites with another spirit, and professes alien beliefs. That is why the Church has always rejected the teaching that was not recognized as apostolic and refused to consider Hers those who were at odds with the church rules. The Church has always been extremely sensitive to alien ideas – this is evidenced by the whole church history.
The Church has always rejected the teaching that was not recognized as apostolic and refused to consider Hers those who were at odds with the church rules.
The right spiritual experience of living in Christ leads not only to unity but also to the division. If for a person the questions of salvation are the most important in life, h will feel the truth of the biblical maxim with his heart: “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” (James 4: 5). It is not for nothing that the Holy Scripture often compares the God-man relationship with marriage, and treats evasion to other gods as spiritual adultery. Entry into the Church implies union with Christ and separation from everything that hinders unity with the Lord and other members of the Church. Just as after marriage there are no women for a man other than his wife, and for a woman – no men other than her husband, but there are just people of the opposite sex, brothers and sisters.
It is interesting that Christ Himself will divide us at the Last Judgment but not unite! Recall the parable of the sheep and goats (see Matt. 25, 31-46). “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword, for I came to divide a man with his father, and a daughter with her mother, and a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law,” (Matt. 10, 34-35) the Saviour also says. “Do you think that I have come to give peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division,” (Luke 12, 51) He proclaims the gospel in another place.
Therefore, the Church does not have the right to mix everyone into one. We must remember that the Kingdom of Heaven will not accept everyone but only those who fulfil the Divine will. The Church is waiting for those who at various times have left it. The Mother is waiting patiently for repentance and the return of her lost children. Only through repentance, those who only imitate the church life today will make the Church! “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” (Matt. 3, 2) Christ establishes the rules for joining the Church for all times.
But if the Church suddenly unites with those who have left it – in their teaching and in their spirit – She will cease to be the Church. There will be a spiritual infidelity to Christ – the Heavenly Bridegroom. For the sake of frail human unity, we will lose the miracle of true church unity in Christ, the unity of our salvation. And then all unity will be meaningless, for if God is not with us, all will be against us.
Therefore, we are waiting for the repentance of our brothers and pray, asking Heavenly Father: "Let all be one." And we fear only one thing: to cease to be what we should be – to cease to be the Church.