We dare not even call this an Orthodox Church. It is a thinly-veiled masquerade. But it looks like an Orthodox Church, and the services sound like Orthodox Services. But, wait. They wish to be (not like Christ, but) like Europe, and become “open” to LGBT -Qrstuvwyz12345… people? So says the false First Hierarch, “Metropolitan Epiphany” when he was called by prank callers. He didn’t know that the callers were pranksters but it didn’t stop him from letting the world know the big plans for Ukraine.
OrthoChristian.com reported on this (emphasis added):
The newly-created Ukrainian Church needs to work on softening its views towards the LGBT community and supporting the gay community in Ukraine in order to not be like the conservative Russian Church, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of Ukraine’s new nationalist church said in a recent phone conversation.
Epiphany was called by Russian pranksters claiming to be David McAllister, a German member of the European Parliament, calling to offer congratulations on his election and support for the future of the new Ukrainian church. Interestingly, the callers spoke in English and Epiphany responded in Russian.
Epiphany told the callers that he was ready for immediate reforms in the church and for working towards softening the church’s stance towards the LGBT community in order to be more like Europe and less like Russia.
“Unfortunately, not all Ukrainians share western tolerance, but without this, you cannot be part of the European family, and the church usually has a conservative position. But you have the opportunity to lead this movement—making Ukraine part of Europe. This is not a question for today, but it should not be delayed,” the pranksters said.
Of course, I am for starting reforms in the church, so there wouldn’t be conservatism, so we would depart from Russian tradition and so the church would be open and a spiritual guide for the Ukrainian people. Because we are moving towards Europe, and therefore we should depart from the Russian conservative tradition. The church should be more open, because Russian Orthodoxy is very conservative and far from the people. I have the position that we should be with the people. We should understand their problems.
“I know that the Church has a conservative position, and if the new church will soften its position regarding the LGBT community, the gays of Ukraine, and it will take liberal values, it will be a great stimulus to develop European values. We spoke with Secretary Pompeo and he agrees that you should the increase your LGBT and gay values in the future,” the callers responded.
The new Ukrainian primate replied that the church needs to work on the Ukrainian people to adopt European values: “This is a difficult issue that we should not raise at the beginning of our journey, because, you know how Ukrainian society perceives this question. Now we need to work on it, so Ukrainian society would accept it. It’s a long path. Of we will discuss and seek for answers to these complex questions.”
The Ukrainian nationalist church’s press service later acknowledged that the call had taken place and stated: “During the conversation, Metropolitan Epiphany got a feeling that it was a provocation, so he ended it,” but not before he spoke with the pranksters for at least 15 minutes.
Supporters of the Ukrainian national church may point to the fact that this was a prank call, but the origin of the call was not the point. The answers given by this supposed church leader is.
Firstly, he spoke nothing about Christ, or the law of God, or the commandments. This is very commonly the case with regard to the Ukrainian “independent” church, of which only one communication reportedly even mentioned anything about Jesus Christ, who in Orthodox Christianity, is understood to be the real head of the Church.
Secondly, he spoke about becoming more like Europe and less like Russia. This is just a further manifestation of the first problem, because Russian Orthodoxy is not fealty to Russia, it is fealty to Christ in a local Church in Russia represented by and guided by a Russian Patriarch. Perhaps Epiphany never learned this in Seminary, but most Orthodox Christians know this.
As a further issue, the Russian (and Ukrainian!) attitude about homosexuality is pretty much the same – that it is a travesty against one’s own nature. This is the point of view stated by the Apostle Paul about homosexuality, and as the didactic of this condition is clearly laid out in Romans (Chapter 1:17-32), it is not a point of view for the Church to change in any way (here given in Paul’s own writings):
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
This passage lays out what happened to the people in the Roman Empire and how in those times homosexuality and libertine relationships had become commonplace. The same process is being played out again in the West, especially, where the spearhead of the aberrant sexuality agenda is the LGBT activism. For any Christian confession to accede to this lifestyle as normative or even good is an outrage, for a community masquerading as an Orthodox Church it is beyond the pale.
Further the leader misunderstands the Russian Church’s strong stance against this lifestyle and goes with the West, and plans to actually try to change the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian population, who largely does NOT support such lifestyles.
So, like in America and Europe, if you do not agree with it, you will have to accept it anyway. The New Religion has made its most radical inroad yet into the Orthodox world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.