Heavy and oppressed hearts

When one hears of so many modern doctrines ostensibly in sympathy with Christianity, but actually proclaiming openly the alleged impotence of Christianity and its inability to branch out into the tree of life, and insisting that it should surrender all spheres of life, except our inner consciousness, to some self-sufficient activities “after the rudiments of this world” (Col. 2:8), one’s heart feels heavy and oppressed indeed. For that is really worse than a direct challenge by unbelief, which hates Christianity, thus obviously crediting it at least with some power. This kind of theology is nothing short of the obsequies of Christianity, when the heat of battle is already past and one may say a good word even for the foe, already annihilated. These teachings, in praising Christianity, without allotting to it any domain of life, destroy it also as our inner possession: for if Christianity is to be driven out everywhere on the ground that a different order, having nothing in common with spirituality, is now to reign on earth, and that there is to be an autonomy all of its own henceforth, then the same thing will have to be said of emotional life, which is also subject to laws of its own, also autonomous throughout, it must have an absolute immanent stability and must in itself be God.
Fr. Pavel Florensky


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