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The Profound Conservatism of the Russian Church Is Far Greater Than the West Realizes

The words of this revered Russian monk reflect widespread views in the Russian church.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Fr. Naum, the revered Russian monk who passed away recently

It is not widely understood in the West how deeply conservative many Russian clergy are. The ideas and thoughts expressed below by a popular Russian monk are typical across the width and breadth of this massive country.

Similar ideas fill the bookshelves of stores and can be heard from pulpits from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific.

The words below are from Elder Naum, who until his passing last month, was the oldest monk in the St. Sergius monastery outside Moscow, Russia's most important monastery.

Naum was revered across the country as a great 'starets', or elder, meaning someone who has achieved great spiritual advancement, and is looked to by other monks, and people in general, for spiritual guidance.

Fr. Naum's memorial service, worshippers kneeling around his coffin

Sometimes these elders have spiritual gifts like prophesy or the ability to heal, but they are mostly known for their ability to give excellent spiritual and practical advice, and for this reason they are often besieged by travelers from across the country in search of advice on some important life decision or problem.

Many of the powers that be ... today worship the devil. They hate the Church ... Everything is perverted with Satanists.

Naum was such a monk, and would receive thousands of visitors each month at his humble cell outside Moscow.

It was they who organized the revolution in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century, and (are trying) in this century

An 'elder' is not an official position conferred by the church, it is a general recognition from other monks and the public.

If evil will spread in Russia, then the end of the world will be nearer. Maybe there will be a great war.

Large crowds thronged the monastery to attend his memorial service. Here is a report on it from a national Christian TV channel: (in Russian)

The large church was overflowing, and hundreds of people stood outside during the service to pay their respects.

Below is a translation of Fr. Naum's teaching from the excellent OrthoChristian website, of the Moscow Stretensky monastery, about what caused the Russian revolution, what life was like in Tsarist Russia, some aspects of Russian history, and about major problems facing our current age.

It is interesting to note how much what he is saying coincides with the far right of American denominations, particularly Protestant ones. But instead of being a minority, as in the US, this view is common among many Russian clerics.

There are, of course, liberals in the Russian church, and clerics with views in between, but one very frequently hears such views from the Russian clergy and faithful, and more so in the provinces than the big cities, although it is present there too.

" ... the country (before the 1917 revolution) was already filled with Satanists.

Orthodox believers were fired from various management and teaching positions. They put in some Frenchmen.

Priests used to teach the Law of God in Russia, but by the twentieth century, fornicators began to teach the classes.

My mama went to school in 1908. She went once, twice… Then she came and said, “There’s no reason to go to such a school.” “What did they teach you there?” “The teachers say, ‘We will now build a happy life without priests and without the tsar!’”

There were so many clairvoyants then—why didn’t they take care of the people? Why did they allow the revolution? And in the army, they turned out to be entirely traitors.

Many of the powers that be in the world today worship the devil. They hate the Gospel, the Church, and Orthodoxy. Everything is perverted with Satanists.

It was they who organized the revolution in Russia in the beginning of the twentieth century, and in this century, they have already tried many times to stage coups (in current day Russia). But Vladimir Putin took measures to prevent a civil war. A revolution did not happen; no shots were fired.

The main thing is to preserve the unity of the people. It’s still a mystery that with all of Europe was working to destroy Russia during the Second World War, that we survived.

We were still able to quickly develop the production of tanks and aircraft in sufficient quantity, and even science was developed during the war.

When the Soviet authorities were faced with the miracles occurring on the front at the beginning of the war, it was ordered to open churches and to restore the patriarchate. Churches were opened on occupied territories.

The question of faith was critical then. On September 4, 1943, there was a Kremlin meeting between Stalin and the occupant of the patriarchal throne Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), Metropolitan Alexei (Simansky) of Leningrad and Novgorod, and Metropolitan Nikolai (Yarushevich) of Kiev. It was decided then to open the Lavra and to resume theological courses.

Today in Russia it is necessary to identify people so that everyone would be in his place.

Saboteurs and stupid people must not be trusted with anything. We need to mobilize now and remove morally defective officials and bosses from management positions.

100 years have passed since the coup was organized in Russia. The Satanists have not abandoned their plans for our country. Now they promote the enemies of Christ in power, who fiercely hate the Church.

Start seriously talking about the truth of Christ in a school or an institute and they can fire you.

Morally dirty people should not occupy leadership positions. This applies to the heads of individual businesses, municipal governments, and federal ministerial seats.

The people need good leaders today at every level. We need to attract the old and the wise to take counsel with them, that the name of God might not be blasphemed through stupid rulers. We need the people themselves, sensing God’s dispensation in everything in life, to become good.

The Lord has given everyone specific talents, and everyone should observe the commandments. They are given for us all. But how do we keep the Law of God if it is unknown?

You have to read the Bible, and it’s better to read it in Church Slavonic [for Russians; presumably he is advising against reading the Bible in the vernacular.—Ed.]. I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Ex. 20:2-3).

The system of legal recognition of same-sex marriage is gaining a foothold in the world now, and laws on changing your gender are being pushed ahead. The Church of England has such marriages, and even some bishops.

We must exclude sodomy, the murder of unborn babies, and the sale of land and property of the Russian state.

In the provinces, they say, foreigners often buy production in the area, they fire Russians and plunder, drain resources, and they send the money abroad. If this keeps up, you’ll end up having such masters in the Russian land.

“Did you come from an ape?” “I am from God!” “So go with God—feed yourselves!”

If evil will spread in Russia, then the end of the world will be nearer. Maybe there will be a great war.

If you take a big rope and one pulls on one end, and the other on the other, then obviously in the end someone will be pulled over.

If the modern Sadducees and Pharisees, fornicators, murderers, and reprobates win, then the prayer of the faithful will not stop disasters.

We must confirm the Gospel, and restore Truth, goodness and holiness. Especially women must restrain themselves in order to stop fornication. Faith in God must be built up, not diminished.

Russia will die if blasphemy is not stopped.

It seems the end is already near. Many miracles are occurring now in Africa. Many are receiving Baptism. They are leaving Islam and confessing Christ and the Mother of God.

There is a well-known case where a man killed his Christian wife and young daughters, buried them, and one of the daughters appeared to him and said, “Mama breastfed us, the Lord resurrected us all.”

In their time, the Jews—the sons of the Kingdom—erupted. The pagans, descendants of Japheth, the European peoples, who are now deviating more and more towards ungodliness, were called.

And now, just as the Jews once did, the European peoples are erupting in unbelief, but the descendants of Ham—mainly living in Africa—are coming to know and confess Christ.

They used to teach the Law of God in schools in the Russian Empire. The people kept the fasts, and kept the apostolic rule. The monasteries were strongholds of faith, and how many miracles happened by the people’s faith!

The Church educated the people; there were many parish schools. They would teach how to live for the salvation of the soul, how to save the family, how to raise children to be morally strong and healthy. Everything was done that there would be harmony in society, in families, and in souls.

The Church was in alliance with the state; and how was this union incarnated? The Church taught that abortion is murder, and the state forbade abortion.

The nation was not dying (he means declining demographics). We should have a population of almost a billion today!

During the twenty years of Tsar Nicholas’ II reign the population grew by fifty million. After the godless period, the population declined by almost a million per year.

And how many abortions have there been so far?

They kill and kill the babies, and the country needs soldiers, scientists…"

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