In a bizarre, presumably unintended way, Fr. Alexis Vinogradov’s latest “reflection” on the OCA”News” website is another case of the gift that keeps on giving. It affords us who cherish the moral tradition of the Church, along with all the wonderful facets of Orthodoxy as the light of the world as long as we reflect Christ the True Light, an unexpected windfall—a sobering glimpse of the way the spirit of the world (note the lower case) has captured the minds, speech, and, actions of some who would take it upon themselves to lecture and even scold us [fill in the blank: simplistic, frightened, totalitarian, intolerant, superficial, intransigent, self-centered, unrestrained, callous, spiritually weak—Fr. Vinogradov hurls all of those epithets our way in his brief for affirmation of the “other”] Orthodox Christians who reject the tiresome, very au courant notion that the times are a-changin’ and we must change with them.
He has thrown down a gauntlet for all the Orthodox world to see, a public challenge to abandon ancient Christian verities under the guise of a “conversation.” I, for one, am ready—and, I hope, able—to retrieve that gauntlet, brush aside the pseudo-dialogue, and engage in spiritual combat.
Here is the link to this, at once, erudite and tedious essay: http://www.ocanews.org/news/Vinogradov7.12.11.html. I invite a “conversation” about its content, what it portends, in particular, for the Orthodox Church in America, and how we can repulse this frontal assault on Orthodox moral tradition.
May God the Holy Trinity, the God of Truth and Virtue, sustain us in the dark times ahead.
Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD
Chaplain (Colonel), U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)
Board of Advisors, American Orthodox Institute (AOI)