Churching: self-destruction or the creation of life? Reflections on the reasons for churching
For the first time these thoughts were expressed in a personal blog on Facebook and seemed so interesting to us that we asked them to develop. Dmitriy Matveyev, a teacher at the Heritage Bible College, shares his thoughts.
I will try to add my 5 kopecks to the topic of churching so actively discussed now.
Churching as a loss of self
I think the churching is very often due to the fact that the previous churching was associated with the loss of oneself. And this loss, in turn, is connected with attempts to become "church-going" instead of remaining and further becoming oneself.
After all, what is very often meant by “churchhood”, what are its criteria and qualities? It is striking that an important role in the idea of them is played by the idea that the duty of the Church is to confront modernity. To come to church from here is to leave somewhere “at an earlier time,” to a greater or lesser extent, with greater or less zeal. In a situation that no longer exists and, most importantly, that did not shape us as human beings. But the ordinary Orthodox church does not take this into account and provokes to escape somewhere far away from himself. In the Byzantine style of thought, in the patriarchal lifestyle. If to speak bluntly, in virtual reality.
There are great reasons to say even more: all this specifics is in a certain sense and degree our “I” itself, it is formed by it by a huge percentage. And if you try to resist it, then we will not confront sin, but ourselves. And it will not be evangelical understood self-sacrifice, which means something completely different: life is not for oneself, but self-splitting, self-destruction for the sake of virtual reality of the formally understood “churching.” But then, sooner or later, we will feel the limit to this self-destruction, and if we feel that our church life comes down to it, we will run away from it, at least for a little more.
What is this age?
But what about the “inconsistency with the age of this”, about which the apostle speaks (Romans 2:12)? – may reasonably ask.
But what is this age? And if the call not to conform with it sounded quite in another century, the first century of our era, then why would we think that our century is more or less “this” than this or any other? This age, this world is not a specific historical period of time or a region of space. This is the very dual, contradictory reality of our existence, in which there is a place for both creation and destruction. In fact, we are dual in this sense. Some kind of “built-in” tendency in us to destroy life, our own and around us (which the apostle Paul means by “other law in members”) —that may be a generally understood translation, it seems, of our most popular Christian term: “sin ". “The century (world)“ this ”is a world in which human sin operates.
But there was no historical time and place where and when he did not act. Reality says: you cannot get rid of this either by joining the “right” organization, or by stylizing it under the “right” time. Trying in such ways “not to conform with the age of this”, we will only achieve the opposite: “this century” will catch us even more by surprise, simply because of our illusion that there is no longer “this” around, but already “that”.
Resist Sin, Not Present
The churching should include the realization that it is impossible to leave this “allegedly” century or world into some kind of “not this one”. But another thing is possible and necessary: the readiness to resist sin as destruction, the destruction of life. It can be said, “do not conform with the age of this one” against the background and in the midst of “this century. But, first, it is we who should do it, and it is in our life, and not in the artificial casing of this or that stylization. While confronting with this is destruction, destruction, and not the specifics of modernity indiscriminately.