Written by Vladimir Moss



     The Christian teaching on society is based on the concept of order: “the powers that be are established by God” (Romans 13.1), and social order consists in each member of society knowing his place in the hierarchy of power and carrying out the obligations that attach to that place. Salvation does not consist in this order alone: if the hierarchy does not extend on upward to the Church, “the pillar and ground of the Truth” (I Timothy 3.15) and from there to the Truth Himself, the Head of the Church and the Word of God, then this “order” must be counted disorder in essence insofar as this societal order is not subject to the fount and founder of all true order, God. Rebellion against it can in certain circumstances be justified, but only on the grounds that society is now “out of order”, has lost its bearings and anchorage in the true order, and can only be returned to it by stepping out and protesting against the new, disorderly order and, in extreme cases, overturning it altogether.

     The first rebel against the true order was Lucifer, and the first rebel against the disorder created by him was the holy Archangel Michael. Lucifer believed himself to be like God, and even equal to him; to which the Archangel Michael responded: “Who is like unto God?” St. Michael was considerably lower than Lucifer in the angelic hierarchy: Lucifer was a cherub in the very first rank of the nine angelic ranks, while Michael was an archangel in the eighth of the nine ranks. However, God blessed him to fight against Lucifer in order to cast out the rebel and restore the true Order and Hierarchy of Being. He was successful; for, as the Lord Himself said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10.18: cf. Revelation 12.7-8).

     Today, there is no society on earth that preserves the true order. The general tendency in the world today is for all natural hierarchical relationships to be despised and destroyed; nobody knows his place any more, and almost everyone lays claim to privileges and powers and places that are not his by right or nature. Some of these disordered societies openly rebel against God and His commandments – these are mainly the societies of the contemporary West. Others claim that they are following God, but this “god” is a false one – such are, for example, the Muslim societies of Iran and Saudi Arabia. A third category of states claims to believe in the True God, Jesus Christ, but only as a cover for their continuation of an earlier rebellion – such is, for example, the contemporary Russian Federation, which is ruled by the greatest anti-Christian organization in history, the KGB (FSB). 

     So is rebellion justified? Undoubtedly. Indeed, passive rebellion is mandatory for every True Orthodox Christian if he wishes to remain grounded in the true Order. In no way is a Christian allowed to disobey God for the sake of obedience to an earthly authority. For “whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge” (Acts 4.19). 

     However, active rebellion – that is, revolution, taking up arms against a sea of troubles - is another matter. New Hieromartyr Mark (Novoselov), Bishop of Novo Sergievo, wrote: “I am an enemy of Soviet power - and what is more, by dint of my religious convictions, insofar as Soviet power is an atheist power and even anti-theist. I believe that as a true Christian I cannot strengthen this power by any means... [There is] a petition which the Church has commanded to be used everyday in certain well-known conditions... The purpose of this formula is to request the overthrow of the infidel power by God... But this formula does not amount to a summons to believers to take active measures, but only calls them to pray for the overthrow of the power that has fallen away from God.” 

     Active rebellion against the existing New World Disorder (NWD) cannot be undertaken on a personal whim (most likely it would in fact be demonic prelest’), but only at the express call of God and/or with the blessing of the Church or her chosen prophets or elders. An example of the first is God’s summoning of Righteous Gideon to lead the Israelites to throw off the Midianite yoke (interestingly, Gideon is commemorated on November 8/21, the feast of the Archangel Michael). An example of the second is the blessing given by St. Sergius of Radonezh, perhaps the greatest saint of Russian history, to the Russian army of Prince Dmitri Donskoj at Kulikovo field in 1389, and again (in a vision to the Greek Bishop Arsenius) to the Russian liberation army outside Moscow in 1612. A more ambiguous example is the Greek revolution of 1825, when Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople did not bless the uprising, while Metropolitan Germanos of Patras did. The result: the murder of St. Gregory and a schism in the Greek Church that lasted for more than thirty years. Another ambiguous example: in the Russian Civil War of 1918-22 Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow did not bless the Whites to fight the Bolsheviks (although according to one account he did bless Admiral Kolchak), and the Elder Aristocles of Moscow said that “the spirit was not right” in the White ranks; whereas Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), first head of the Russian Church Abroad, did. The result was: the defeat of the White cause, and the continuation of the Bolshevik holocaust, the greatest in Christian history, for the best part of a century.

     Any such revolution may seem wildly unlikely at the present time, and with no chance of success in any region of the world with the possible exception of Russia – the primary fount of disorder throughout the world since the abdication of the Tsar in 1917. However, it is necessary to think about the possibility for three major reasons. First, there are several prophecies of the saints that prophesy just such a revolution (i.e. counter-revolution) in Russia, that will bring a True Orthodox Tsar to the throne who will restore order to the Orthodox Church. Secondly, to judge from the extraordinarily rapid collapse of true piety even in the supposedly Orthodox countries, unless something dramatic happens very soon to save Orthodoxy, the reign of the Antichrist is upon us… And thirdly, “with God all things are possible”, and He is perfectly capable of raising a new Moses to overthrow the new Pharaoh now.

     In that case we must be ready to follow him immediately, as the Israelites followed Moses on the night of the first Pascha. For St. Paul admonishes us: “See that you do not refuse Him Who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him Who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him Who speaks from heaven, Whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven’” (Hebrews 12.25-26).


November 4/17, 2017.

St. Joannicius the Great.




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