Disclaimer: In some of our articles, especially under the Modern Issues section, we present readers with challenging issues to examine, reflect upon and research. The material is neither supported nor rejected by us, and no one is responsible for its content, other than the original source. Therefore readers are requested not to make any complaints, but to take time to reflect on the material from an Orthodox perspective.

Fr Seraphim Rose on achieving “happiness” on Earth

Some 40 years ago Fr Seraphim Rose was writing:

“There was a particular philosopher in China in the late nineteenth century who brought this philosophy to its logical conclusion, as far as it could go. His name is K’ang Yu-Wei (1858-1927). He’s not particularly interesting except as he incarnates this philosophy of the age, this spirit of the times. He was actually one of the forerunners of Mao Tse-Tung and the takeover of China by the communists. He based his ideas not only on distorted Christianity, which he took from the liberals and Protestants in the West, but also on Buddhist ideas. He came up with the idea of a utopia that was to come into being, I think, in the twenty-first century according to his prophecies. In this utopia, all ranks of society, all religious differences, and all other kinds of differences that affect social intercourse will be abolished. Everyone will sleep in dormitories and eat in common halls. And then with his Buddhist ideas he began to go beyond this. He said that all distinctions between the sexes would be abolished. Once mankind is united, there’s no reason to halt there—this movement must go on further. There must be an abolition between man and animals. Animals also will come into this kingdom, and once you have animals… The Buddhists are also very respectful to vegetables and plants; therefore, the whole vegetable kingdom has to come into this paradise, and in the end the inanimate world, also. So, at the very end of the world, there will be an absolute utopia of all kinds of beings who have somehow become intermingled with each other, and everybody’s absolutely equal.

Of course, you read about this and you say the man must be crazy. But if you look deeply, you see that this is coming from a deep desire to have some kind of happiness on earth. No pagan philosophy, however, gives happiness; no man-made philosophy gives happiness. Only Christianity gives hope for a kingdom that is not of this world. The idea to have a perfect kingdom comes from Christianity, but since the early Socialists did not believe in the other world or in God, they dreamed of making this kingdom in this world. That is what communism is all about.”

But what has changed since then? One thing that did change is that these communist ideals have not at all dissappeared but have made their way into the Church through the adoption of various social doctrines (often in local synods) that culminated with the adoption of the document defining the “Mission of the Orthodox Church in the Contemporary World” in Crete.

In other words the Church’s mission has been corrupted to preach earthly ideals such as justice and equality, care for the environment and for the ecological systems etc, thus making the Church a militant activist for a false cause: happiness on earth just as described by Fr Seraphim in his lecture.

Of Course a spiritual person with a deep spiritual life understands that all things were created by God and would not try to destroy them. With the fall of Adam, together with man the whole world got corrupted, for the world was created for man and not the other way around. So we can see that this whole world, in its current state, is heading for destruction with the hope of restoration into another world which we know as paradise. The Church teaches that the redemption of the world is through repentance, death and resurrection into a new world. We can see why the hope for perfection in this world is at best misplaced. We as Orthodox Christians understand that perfection can only be attained “in the other world” through salvation. Thus any doctrine that comes to preach perfection in this world can only be of the Antichrist.

Sure, there is destruction visible in the world today, which some blame on “climate change”. Whether that is caused by us as humans “destroying the Earth”, or induced artificially by some obscure powers through technology widely available today in order to influence this worldwide movement of “caring about the Earth” is open to discussion. But regardless, calamities like this did happen in history, the most profound one being the Great Flood, in which many of the animals dissappeared (like the dinosaurs). The Great Flood was not “man made”, but allowed by God for the cleansing of the world and the purging of sin. Maybe what we face today is indeed man made, but not by us the little people, but by the powers that be who wish us to bow down to such new social doctrine.

Download PDF