Khen omethmi aftonf (not many Copts know the Coptic response, they only know the Greek)
Why should one care about Russian monarchy? God willed it to be destroyed because of the church's mingling with politics.
I'm afraid you are extrapolating what some consider the Coptic experience. Pope St. Cyril had absolutely NO problem mingling the Church with politics, and I know of no Coptic criticism for him doing so. Pope Dioscoros had absolutely no problem with that either, and all the criticism I've seen from Copts on his papacy is directed to the Emperor Marcian, the Empresss Pulcheria and the Emperor Theodosios (which also conveniently forgets the backing of the latter two (in particular Pulceria) to Pope St. Cyril), and of the last to Pope Dioscoros at Ephesus. Nor did I ever hear Coptic criticism of the Ethiopian Emperor, nor in Medieveal times of the Nubian King.
Of course, not without repercussions. If you're looking for a Coptic criticism of the mixing of politics, in looking back to history, we have to acknowledge some members of the Church or emperors may have crossed the line in this one despite some good it may have brought, it also brought about some not so good. The punishment of heretics under imperial law for instance directly contradicts the Edict of Milan, guaranteeing all a freedom of religion. I find it very telling in history that when a persecuted group gets power, they can become quite oppressive and sometimes vengefully so. When powerless, worldly that is, spirituality strengthens (reminds me of the Pauline verse, foolishness in the eyes of God is wiser than the wisest, and weakness in the eyes of God is stronger than the strongest, or something like that). There is no doubt for instance that the golden age of Russian saints happened during Communist persecution, and there is no doubt that the surge of monasticism in Roman imperial Christianity happened when the rate of fake Christians increased so that they may receive political benefits, not spiritual benefits.
So, St. Cyril. We have St. Cyril who was helped by Empress Pulcheria and Emperor Theodosius. And yet St. Cyril in the end was still incarcerated by the brief schism caused by John of Antioch at the anti-council of Ephesus. Did St. Cyril ask the emperor help for the resolution of the schism? No! Instead, there was a two year dialogue that eventually lead to the famous Formulary letter, and this was no thanks to the emperor.
What else? Ah, yes, St. Dioscorus. I'm not going to get much into this. But considering that you are a supporter of the Joint Commissions, and that there were some devastating consequences on the punishment of heretics in the middle of that fiery fifth century, we can imply that there were mistakes made that allowed us to have the imperial authorities handle the punishments of heretics, pagans, and Jews quite brutally at that time that seemed to solidify our respective OO/EO divisions.
One can accuse me of unfair anachronism. But as I repeated, the edict of Milan gave the idea, and for Christian emperors to forget about the edict...my gosh!!! You mentioned the councils; wonderful thing about Nicea; its convener seemed to have forgotten about this precious council, just as he had forgotten about his precious edict, which lead to St. Athanasius being a fugitive; and you're asking me, I should tip my hat to St. Constantine for Nicea?
If God willed it to be destroyed because of "the Church's mingling with politics," He sure took his sweet time:988-1917, the state of all the Rus' placed a premium on itself as the sponser of the Orthodox Faith.
Someone else wrote here, and I vigorously wrote against it, about how the Russian emperor at one point asked all the people to be baptized to the nearest waters or else they be punished severely or something like that. Is that really the foundation of "glorious Orthodox Russia," to spread Christianity by force, and then there would be peace? Does not that sound like Islam? "Submit to (fill in religion) and then there will be peace." or let's compare this to the Roman empire, "Submit to (fill in religion) and then you will get imperial benefits." This is the type of stuff atheists feed on.
God wanted the Church to be humbled and to call Christ its King and not sully herself with earthly kings, even if they be "Orthodox."Caesar finally rendered to God that which is God's
and that was by His own indication
which made all the Ecumenical Councils possible, each one-whether you hold 2, 3 or 7, were called by the involvement of the Emperor.
He who said "my Kingdom is not of this world" sought not a worldly kingdom to be established by the Church,
You mean this
This is more like it
but for the Church to store her treasures in a spiritual manner, in the Kingdom of Heaven. I do not pray that Thou shouldst take them out of the world...As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world...
As for what's going on in Great Britain, I am quite frustrated at the media's waste of time, where so many other more important issues are going on in the world.Man does not live by bread alone. I rather liked the Bp. of London's sermonizing on that point. In the era of the Vegas "wedding" it's nice to see one done right that expounds on what marriage is about (and they expounded quite a bit:I like the way the Abp. of Cantebury tied the knot, literally).
I have no comment on Latins. Clearly, they also had power for 1000+ years (talk about God taking his time?), and yet even the Latin Church will admit a lot of wrong things occurred. And their dissolution was different than the dissolution Orthodox people experienced. Perhaps it may be heterodoxy, perhaps it may be culture, I don't know. All I know is that there is a clear, very very clear pattern in history, where Christian empires are doomed to failure. It may have taken a millenium, it may have taken less. The Ethiopian empire herself is not without her faults in history either. In fact, even Haille Sellassie was criticized. He may have had great saintly qualities, but his dabbling in politics also puts him at a level of defilement as well.
You quoted a verse:
I do not pray that Thou shouldst take them out of the world...As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world...
I don't see how that proves Christian imperialism or monarchy is okay. As history has shown, it has never been okay. In fact, we are "sojourners in this world," and nothing I read speaks more perfectly of the Christian role in this world better than this "follower of the disciples:"http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29369.msg466841.html#msg466841
What ever happened to the idea that a Christian is sufficient where he is? In the Arabic countries, I've visited poor people, and while I may go back home and complain about taxes and exams and debt, here I see poor people always smiling, always accommodating, and they say "Thank God." You have the typical atheist sitting comfortably in his mediocre house (giving the benefit of the doubt) who sells his books based on the condemnation of God and how God is not here to take away the evil and the poor of this world, but the poor of the this world feel they have more than enough because of God's grace? How interestingly ironic life is, and how stupid I must be to go back and complain about taxes and debt and studying, when I should be thanking God more than they do because of the lofty position I am in right now. These are the Christians, who always "Thank God" for any condition, concerning any condition, and in any condition, who do not need a monarchy, who do not need loftiness, who do not need anything in this world but God. They are good citizens of the world, but they are reminded that they still foreigners of this world. Whatever rights I possess, Thank God. Thank God for those rights. And clearly Egypt is probably one of the worst in this world when it comes to human rights, and yet, they say, "Thank God." And what do I care about? "May God bring back Russian Orthodox monarchy!" Why don't first ask, "May God have mercy on my soul, may God comfort me and give me peace, may God give peace upon the world." Because time and time again, an Orthodox monarchy was not the source of peace and good Orthodoxy in this world. If anything, communist Russia weeded out the fake Christians from the true ones. Yes, I said it. Not that I support their oppression, but that the Russian saints made the best of it, and showed them what real Christians are made of.
So ya, whether it be three councils, or seven, whether it be St. Constantine, or St. Vladimir, or Haille Sellassie, I don't care. What the councils brought about, thanks for them. May God reward their Orthodoxy. But may God also deliver us from unnecessary foolish thinking that those were great times of Christianity.