On Orthodoxy and Secular Governments

St. Nikolai Velimirovich 1880-1956

There are three ages in the history of the Church: the Golden Age, when the Church was opposed to political governments; the Iron Age, when she was politically directing Europe’s kingdoms; and the Stone Age, when she has been subdued to the service of political governments. What a humiliation for the present generation to live in the Stone Age of Christianity!

Trying to unite Church and State we are trying to unite what God separated from the beginning of our era. To separate the Church from the State does not mean, as many think, to separate soul from body; it means to separate two quite opposed spirits unakin and hostile to each other, like Cross and Capitol.

The worm of comfort and human inertia has reconciled Christianity with secular, pagan governments, and so paralyzed the most divine movement in human history… Christianity is neither monarchical nor republican. It does not care about institutions but about the spirit living in them. That institution is the best which is fullest of the Christian spirit. From this point of view, an autocracy may be better than a republic, and vice versa. (The Works of Rev. Nicholai Velimirovic D.D., “The Agony of the Church”.)

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