Abbot Tryphon cautions against politicization of the Gospel

The Reverend Father Abbot Tryphon of All Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound speaks in this May 3, 2012 podcast on his popular Ancient Faith Radio series “The Morning Offering” about the danger of politicizing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Very Reverend Igumen Abbot Tryphon is the spiritual leader at All Merciful Saviour Orthodox Christian monastery located on Vashon Island in Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington State. The monastery is within the canonical jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The monastery’s widely acclaimed and popular Facebook page can be found here. Abbot Tryphon’s popular blog can be accessed here.

“It is deeply disturbing to me to have witnessed the politicizing of Christianity in this nation. The conjoining of politics and faith have led to a polarization of our nation that we have not seen since just prior to the Civil War.”. . .

“In our having politicized Christianity, we’ve reduced the Gospel of Christ to a battle between political and social issues that have alienated many from the ultimate message of Christ, that we are all in need of redemption, and that redemption and conversion of heart are to become the priority for each and every one of us.”

“By insisting that we are still a Christian nation, we have allowed a polarization to take place that has pushed Christianity to the brink, having linked values and moral teachings that are based on the Gospels while the world around us has become jaded, even hostile, to whatever the Church has to say. Thus, the primary message of the Gospel is dismissed before people can even be brought through the door of our temples.”

“Today’s youth are leaving Christianity in droves, as has been demonstrated in the demographics of america’s Bible Belt. The number of young people even in the conservative South who are giving birth out of wedlock or having abortions has skyrocketed. The support of civil marriage for same-sex couples has increased dramatically. These moral issues are of course a concern for Christians, but our acceptance of the moral standards set forth in the Scriptures are received by us not as Law, but as a result of our personal an encounter with Christ.”

“Legislative action ignores the fact that Christ changes the heart. In a society that is to be transformed must see this transformation take place in the hearts of this people. . .”

“To foist our beliefs on the nation only creates resentment and contributes to Christophobia. Society must be transformed but it cannot be done by force of law. It must be done by bringing Christ to the center of our national scene. This can only be done when Christian love and charity rule, and when the nation can see in its Christian peoples an honesty of heart and an authentic witness to Christ that is not based on an angry polarization that contributes nothing but distrust and disunity.”. . .

“Biblical morality can only become an integral part of our nation when we as a people have taken Christ into our hearts and allowed the Holy Spirit to change us. As Christians we must not detract from the central message of the Gospels by making it appear to be a part of one political party. Do do would eventually lead to the total discrediting of the institution of the Church.”

“History has proven time and again that the Church must remain aloof from political parties or movements, for when the party is out of office , so too will the Church’s influence. The Christianizing of a nation cannot be the result of legislation  it must come from the conversion of its people. ”

All Merciful Savior Monastery, Vashon Island, Puget Sound, Washington State.

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