…all the more at the thought that, while the strength and zeal of the leaders of the Church of Christ today are far from rivaling those of the Apostles, they must do battle with considerably stronger enemies and overcome considerably more powerful obstacles and difficulties in this service. The holy Apostles, after all, had to do with a fervent–even if falsely directed–striving toward truth, whereas we, in our time, must have to do with a hardened rejection of truth and even of the very idea of the Living God and His indispensability for the human heart. With all their dark sides, their insufficiencies and errors, the paganism and Judaism of antiquity were nonetheless an honest seeking of God, and honest desire to serve Him, a living and active exemplification of thirst for communion with Him. But the unbelief of today, every conceivable form of error and frenzy–both learned and illiterate, both anti-religious and anti-moral–and the whole public life of today: do they not express in men a complete unwillingness to know God, and unwillingness even to admit His existence, but on the contrary the desire to be completely rid of Him, to do without Him, to live solely by the accomplishments of the proud human mind and culture?
Metropolitan Joseph (Petrovykh) of Petrograd