On the Ancient Faith

St. Tikhon of Moscow 1865-1925

Let not our quest be to overthrow what is old, that which has been hallowed by the testament of the ages; let our earthly sojourn be dedicated in agreement with the eternal truth of Providence. If even the customs of our daily life are so near and dear to us, then let the holy customs of our faith and church life, the very Christianity announced by Christ, the ancient, Orthodox order of life, be for us a hundredfold more dear… Is it not for the support of the old order of church life, this so-to-say spiritual “conservatism,” to which the instructive words of [the] apostolic reading profoundly appeal: But continue thou in things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them (II Tim. 3:14)?

…The holy Orthodox Church also keeps the apostolic testament. Having shattered abuses raised against it over the course of long centuries by its enemies, up to now it has kept and maintained the holy Faith as passed on by the holy Apostles and teachers to the generations following them. Because of this, lovers of innovation quite often accuse it of being ossified and lifeless. Who of us has not heard similar reproaches? But do they not return upon the heads of the accusers? Have not we, who reside here, often come to see how heterodox people, fed up by constant innovations in faith, are drawn to the universal Orthodox Church and strive to find in it sound and immovable foundations on which they can pacify their restless souls? (The Orthodox Word 2008 no. 262, pp. 245-246)

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