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…over at First Things.
It should be no wonder why the Western media and governments hate Putin with such passion.
Are you arguing that they hate Putin so much because of his relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church and the revival in Russia?
That is one undeniable facet… that Russia is objecting to and actively fighting the West’s ideological colonialism. That’s even portrayed in popular Western media.
You’re right. It’s one undeniable facet. But it’s also undeniable that Putin has many things for which he can be rightly hated.
As have all princes of the earth.
Russia is a tough nut… always has been for the western mind to crack. Their history and their faith have combined to give them a different view of the world. While some aspects of that are troublesome and are being manifested in Russia’s current foreign policy, it would be a shame if they were westernized and lost that distinctiveness that in the past has brought the world some of its greatest thinkers.
For all his experience in Russia, I could tell from the outset the author of the article does not come from any classical Christian communion. He has some sociological insights, but it seems to be largely judged by the standards of the American Christian experience.
First, do not expect a lot of education when it comes to the Orthodox Church. That is more of a Protestant thing.Orthodoxy lives, and has lived through liturgy. This is an expression of the Christian’s first duty to God being worship. One must understand also that for centuries Russia was ruled by an upper class which was largely dominated by German fortune seekers. The ordinary people did have a very hard life. Short farming seasons that far north inculcated some lazy habits, but on the whole they lived through life according to the rhythm of the Church year by means of the liturgy, which provided a kind of catechesis. The social inertia then could only be broken by the sort of catastrophic revolution they experienced. Though he is right that there has been a great deal of nominalism in Christianity, there has been within this a core of evangelization. As this is a spiritual matter, there is no worldly standard against which to judge this phenomenon…which seems to be a mistake this Protestant writer makes.