Mattingly: Shocking words to the Presbyterians

Source: The Republic

Terry Mattingly

Terry Mattingly

Anyone who attends one of the national church assemblies that dot the calendar every summer knows that they are highly ritualized affairs.

Officers will be elected.

Political issues will be discussed. Lofty resolutions will be passed.

At least one long business session will include a proposal about clergy benefits and salaries.


But something unusual happened recently during the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). An official “ecumenical advisory delegate” — Father Siarhei Hardun of the Orthodox Church of Belarus — used his moment at the podium to deliver a message that was courteous and stunning at the same time, if not genuinely offensive to many in the audience.

Read the entire article on The Republic website.


  1. Curiously the opposing “voices” actually agreed:

    Father Hardun said

    “Christian morality is as old as Christianity itself. It doesn’t need to be invented now. Those attempts to invent new morality look for me like attempts to invent a new religion — a sort of modern paganism,” said Hardun, drawing scattered applause.

    “When people say that they are led and guided by the Holy Spirit to do it, I wonder if it is the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible, if it is the same Holy Spirit that inspires the Holy Orthodox Church not to change anything in Christian doctrine and moral standards. But if it is the same Spirit, I wonder … if there are different spirits acting in different denominations and inspiring them to develop in different directions and to create different theologies and different morals?”

    The priest closed with a quote from St. Paul, urging the Presbyterians: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

    The moderator – arguing for that very change in morality – said:

    “We have to learn how to proclaim the Gospel in a multicultural age where Christianity is no longer at the center,” she said. “We have to learn how to tell people who have grown suspicious of institutions why an institution like the P.C. (U.S.A.) can be of value to them. … And we have to accept the loss of the church we have always known — as the church transforms itself into something new.”

    This is, in how, how one tries to promote the very thing Father rightly condemned: the church “has” to become something new and conform to this world in order to be “relevant.”

    Oh how I despise that word “relevant.” It has been used since the 60’s to pry the Church loose from Christ. So – Father was right. They as much as said so.

  2. Father Siarhei is awesome. I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

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