In our confused days, when a hundred conflicting voices claim to speak for Orthodoxy, it is essential to know whom one can trust as spokesmen for true Orthodoxy. It is not enough to claim to speak for Patristic Orthodoxy; one must be in the genuine tradition of the Holy Fathers, not merely "rediscovering" them in a modern academy or seminary, but actually receiving their tradition from one's own fathers. A merely clever explainer of the Patristic doctrine is not in this tradition, but only one who, not trusting his own judgment or that of his peers, is constantly asking of his own fathers what is the proper approach to and understanding of the Holy Fathers.
Archbishop Averky was in this genuine Patristic tradition as few other Orthodox fathers. A disciple of the great 20th-century theologian and holy hierarch, Archbishop Theophan of Poltava (+1940), Archbishop Averky was, and through his writings is, a bearer and transmitter, in a direct and unbroken line of Orthodox theologians, of the genuine Patristic doctrine which is in danger of being eclipsed by today's generation of Western-educated proud "young theologians." In his lifetime Archbishop Averky's voice resounded and thundered as he strove to give the true Orthodox teaching to Orthodox Christians who were rapidly losing the salt of Orthodoxy. His excellent article on "Christianity" and "Orthodoxy," showing the solidarity of True Orthodox Christians today in Russia, Greece, and the Diaspora, has already been printed in English. In the article that follows he gives the authentic Orthodox teaching on holy zeal, as against those who fall short of it and make senseless compromises with the fashions of this world, as well as against those who err on the "right", "official", "canonical" and "this worldly" side, by inexperience or immaturity, and quote canons and Fathers without understanding the spirit behind them.
by Archbishop Averky (Taushev)
I am come to send fire on the earth,
and what will I, but that it be already kindled?
The chief thing in Christianity, according to the clear teaching of the Word of God, is the fire of Divine zeal, zeal for God and His glory — the holy zeal which alone is able to inspire man in labors and struggles pleasing to God, and without which there is no authentic spiritual life and there is not and cannot be any true Christianity. Without this holy zeal Christians are "Christians" in name only: they only "have a name that they live," but in reality "they are dead," as was said to the holy Seer of Mysteries John (Apocalypse 3:1). True spiritual zeal is expressed, first of all, in zeal for God's glory, which is taught us in the words of the Lord's Prayer which stand at its very beginning: Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9).
Be zealous, therefore, and repent! (Apocalypse 3:19). Amen.