Peace in Our Times

Peace In Our Times

Peace!.. peace!.. peace!.. – we hear from all sides: “universal disarmament!.. peaceful co-existence!.. let us fight for peace!.. everyone is for peace!..”

How wonderful it would be, what a joyous and bright future would await mankind if all these appeals referred to the peace of which the angels sang in the night of Christ’s Nativity: “Glory to God on high and peace on earth, good will toward men!”; if this were the peace which the Lord Saviour bequeathed to His disciples at the Mystic Supper, saying: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you”; if this were that “peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” in which the holy apostles instructed the first Christians according to the Lord’s commandment, which they advised them to seek, and which they urged them to have with God and with all people… But alas! it is not this kind of peace that is now spoken about. All these artificially pompous and often hysterical cries about peace in the world currently issue, for the most part, from individuals who are either alien to true Christianity or are directly hostile to the Church, – from individuals who themselves do not live in peace with God and with their own conscience, and are filled with malice toward their neighbors… Can we believe that peace is truly the objective of those who, blaspheming insolently and defiantly, have declared war on God Himself and on His holy Church, and who openly preach class hate as the basis of their ideology, having no compunction about spilling whole streams of blood and destroying millions of people on sole suspicion of disagreement with their ideology? Can we believe in the true peacefulness of those who with unctuous and saccharine words preach “Christian love” and “universal forgiveness,” but in reality sow discord and strife and, spreading lies and slander, cause enmity and division, turn their neighbors one against the other? Where God’s truth is absent, there cannot be any genuine peace.

While engaging in a decisive battle with even the least manifestations of evil and sin in our own souls, let us not be afraid to identify and denounce evil whereever it reveals itself in modern-day life – not through pride or vanity, but solely out of love for truth. Our main goal in these times of deceitful shamelessness is to preserve total fidelity and loyalty to the genuine Evangelic truth and to the Leader of our salvation – the resurrected Christ, Giver of life and Conqueror of hell and death.

We should well know and understand that Tolstoy’s harmful teaching on “non-resistance to evil” (which, by the way, destroyed the poor land of Russia and plunged it into the bloody terror of Bolshevism!) is absolutely alien to true Christianity; every true Christian is irreconcilable to evil, wherever and in whomever he may meet it.

Throughout the entire history of the Church all true Christians followed the example of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His holy apostles in universally condemning evil and combating it, even though it brought them all kinds of deprivations, including that of life itself.
Archbishop Averky of Syracuse and Trinity

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