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To the conflict around the temple in Yekaterinburg: an atheistic caricature

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To the conflict around the temple in Yekaterinburg: an atheistic caricature

“Of course, priests are useful to us both as decor and as masters of decoration, they are suitable for raising the spirit, for the army, weapons, and the economy. But we already used them like that and, one might say, gutted them so far that you won’t squeeze anything out of them, soon they will turn into a burden. They don’t bring voters anymore. ”

Heinrich Belle. "Women on the Rhine"

Of course, like any event, the conflict over the construction of the temple in Yekaterinburg is more complicated than the media picture. Of course, among the opponents of the temple there are "demshiza" and people embittered against Christianity as such; Of course, among the defenders of the temple there are many real, good Christians. Nevertheless, it is surprising with what tremendous readiness the Church, as it were, inserts itself into an atheistic caricature.

What do we see? State power and two capitalists supporting the construction of the temple. So that the atheistic caricature of the “priests-gendarmes-capitalists” was especially evident, the capitalists set “fighting believers” on the protesters. The backbone of the “martial believers” was made up of the fighters of the Martial Arts Academy of the Russian Copper Company, the very company that finances the construction of the temple. The police simply watched, doing nothing, as the "Orthodox fighters" "put things in order." At the same time, of course, the RMK “sponsoring” the temple receives the right to “improve” the territory, that is, the possibility of building a couple of profitable establishments (shopping center, fitness center, etc.). The real argument is around real estate and profit, not the temple. All this is called by the way – LLC "Temple of St. Catherine." Wonderful.

Temple. Police officers. Fighters. The capitalists. Agree, a beautiful picture: no cartoons are needed.

There is a square. Some residents want to build a temple there. Part – does not want. A normal, essentially innocent civil conflict. However, the trouble is: there is a civil conflict, but there are no institutions and procedures through which they could be resolved. The referendum is denied. The "negotiations" arranged by the mayor – the mayor, which no one elected, because the election of the mayor was canceled in Yekaterinburg – ended in nothing: the mayor decided that "a temple is needed." Moreover, it was not even the policemen who brought the “order”, but some “fighters,” that is, state power is degrading before our eyes, giving anyone their monopoly on violence.

Perhaps there are many more supporters of the temple, opponents – a miserable minority. But we can’t find out in any way in the absence of civil society institutions, and the picture is such that the “priests-gendarmes-capitalists” united against the “common people”.

This is just a special case, they will tell us. But this is not the first case of a media scandal with the Church, where it appears as a “power structure”. And time after time, the Church, the Orthodox community, cannot normally get out of such a scandal. (What always surprised me: even if the clerical elite consists entirely of cynics – which I don’t believe in, this is a purely hypothetical situation – even from a purely cynical, pragmatic point of view, is it really impossible to play the “good Church”, to say a couple of banalities “about love "? Why take a position of frankly pushing your will? What prevents you from building a temple on some undeveloped, abandoned territory, thereby not only not causing conflict, but doing good to all the townspeople, thus attracting them to yourself, and not pushing them away ?)

There is nothing wrong with cooperation with the state itself, in building up instruments of influence. The whole question is how the Church uses this collaboration and these tools. Does she use all this for the “right of grief”, for instilling mercy and justice in the authorities? Or for the construction of an increasing number of churches, for the expansion of the presence of not the Church, but clerics in all pores of the state apparatus?

There is a clear incommensurability of the state influence of the Church and its real presence in the people. The influence is great, the presence is so-so. The church is in the illusion that it is – as it once was – “state”, “nationwide”, while the Orthodox are actually a minority. Will anyone fill in the newly built temples?

This is the root of the problem. The church is chasing after external attributes – temples, the military-industrial complex, clericalization, not realizing that she herself – as a community, as a union of communities – is decreasing. In the modern world, where there is a minority of Christians, one needs to think about strong, real communities capable of preserving and spreading the light of Christ in the ocean of new paganism. And not about the temples in which such communities are supposed to gather. Shepherds are catchers of people, not real estate. Right?

The Church is a Kingdom space not of this world, present in this world. Here is the only truly ecclesiastical, Christian conflict perpendicular to all worldly conflicts.

The Yekaterinburg conflict is a mundane conflict (by the way, many were horrified by the "maydanut" youth among the opponents of the temple: weren't the rightists among the defenders of the temple horrified?). And the Church, as a community of Christians, as the vanguard of the non-peaceable Kingdom, must show how Christians “conflict”: without conflict at all, not embittered, showing love for Christ – “because our battle is not against blood and flesh, but against authorities, against authorities, against world rulers the darkness of this world, against the spirits of wickedness under heaven ”(Eph 6). So are we, Orthodox Christians, fighting now in Yekaterinburg? If not, if not, do we need a temple? “For you say:“ I am rich, rich and have no need ”; but you do not know that you are unhappy, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked ”(Rev. 3). Won't we find ourselves miserable, miserable, poor, blind, naked with brand new, chic temples?

Suppose the opponents of the temple are embittered. This is normal: how else to behave “worldly”. It is Christians who must be gentle. “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23). The warriors of Christ are martyrs, like lambs going to death. Suppose that the opponents of the temple act as one on demonic suggestion, and the Church does not give them any reason to become embittered, but why is “our” answer “martial believers”, “restoring order” among the protesters with the connivance of the police? Where is the gospel in all this?

The church placed itself in an atheistic caricature. And at least you count on the head with the apologetics of Christianity, the “religion of love and freedom”, but to no avail – for we are all smeared in all these “cute” scandals. Incidentally, this is precisely why the “criticism” of the Church must be carried out by the Church itself, by the Christians themselves: in the end, for Christians it is more – immensely more – more expensive. Christians should be the first to say in such cases: it is not Christian, and not “protect their interests.”

And I have not yet touched on one thing – the terrible, immeasurable squalor of what is happening. Not even at the level of faith, but at the level of common sense and taste: is the growing number of all these “Orthodox” “academies” and “companies” terrifying?

There are two types of power – the power of authority and the power of power. The church, building up the second, wastes the first. But precisely because of the authority of the Church, people come to it. So the Church, accumulating power as a clerical structure, destroys itself as a community of those gathered in the name of the One who allowed Himself only once “violence” – in the Temple, and was crucified by the authorities. Just as our state is not an association of citizens, but an authority structure independent of them (bureaucrats plus capitalists minus people), so our Church is not a network of communities, but a clerical structure independent of them. And as such, it is built into the first and thereby appears on the understandable side of an understandable conflict – the conflict is actually not a church conflict.

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