Art and Faith

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Ilya Galkin. A Portrait of Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich. 1898

A Portrait of Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich

Ilya Galkin



You can quickly take the gauge of an Orthodox Christian, be they a cleric or a member of the laity, by ascertaining where they stand on the issue of the Holy Royal Martyrs. Those who honour the Martyrs are usually reliable, trustworthy, and hold to the traditional faith. Those who do not (such as pre-1991 OCA and many in the AOCANA) are usually modernists and Renovationists, full of bootless plans for “church reform” and cloud-cuckoo land notions of “democracy in the church”. Tsar St Nikolai is the head of the Assembly of the New Martyrs of the Bolshevik Persecution. That is why all those who call the current bishops of the MP KGB agents are utterly deluded and without reason. These bishops canonised the New Martyrs! Patriarch Aleksei apologised publicly for the sin of regicide. What more do you want? Their blood staining the pavement? Be serious! Any church that honours the podvig of the New Martyrs is not led by “Chekists in riassas”.

There are others who refuse to honour the royal martyrs on the grounds that they were “shot for political reasons”. That’s utter blather and rot. Tsar St Nikolai was an anointed monarch, he was a living icon that the Reds felt they had to destroy. But, then again, those who refuse to honour the martyrdom of the imperial family are usually fanatical devotees to the cult of American Democracy, and the idea of an anointed kingship is anathema to them. Their belief in a radical egalitarianism is touching, but, it’s led to the current crisis in the OCA, and to the often crack-brained solutions to it found on certain websites. A true Orthodox Christian respects authority. Authoritarianism isn’t a nasty concept. It’s the simple recognition that there are those who wield legitimate authority. As for the devotees of American democracy… I’d say that the present antics of Bush, Cheney, Rice, and the neocons are proof positive that “democracy” doesn’t exist in the USA today (unfortunately), and that the Founding Fathers would’ve disowned the lot of ’em. They did form a federative republic, not a centralised imperial state. How many of today’s politicians heed the wisdom of Washington’s Farewell Address? Few to none, I’d say.

Pray for us, Tsar St Nikolai. Forgive us, for having wronged you.


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