His Grace Bishop Anthony has refused, despite every effort on our part to humble ourselves, refrain from controversy, and open our ears to wisdom, to explain how what we’re doing is heretical. This is because he can’t. He cannot explain why the Antiochian Orthodox Church proudly sponsors an annual conference celebrating Black identity while denying Matthew Heimbach communion for that very same thing. He cannot explain why he endorses and supports ethnic pride for just about every ethnicity but my own.
Championing and promoting one identity while denying communion altogether to a man for daring to champion and promote another identity is clearly and directly ecclesial ethnophyletism.
We’re glad that there’s a Brotherhood of St. Moses, and pray that our attempt to resolve this stark double-standard does not result in their coming under undue pressure. Our position is in favor of celebrating and promoting the glorious kaleidoscope of identities (including blended identities) within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. For years, we’ve attended several immigrant, minority, and non-white parishes, and we’ve shown and will continue to show nothing but love for our fellow Christians of every tribe, ethnicity, and identity.
St. Moses’ own teaching of the broken jug, in which men gather hastily to judge a brother while blind to their own sins they’re leaving behind, can be instructive for the thousands upon thousands of men and women who are gathering to cast judgment on Matthew Heimbach. We’ve gone out of our way, before and during this unholy farce, to make our absence of “hate” for other groups plain. In fact, Matthew Heimbach and I promptly delivered the following statement to Bishop Anthony, removing any lingering doubt that we may still stand behind statements made years ago.
I reject the heresy of phyletism. Nobody is to be denied entry into the Church, warm fellowship, or communion on the basis of their racial, national, or ethnic identity. The Orthodox Christian Church is Universal, transcending racial, national, and ethnic identities, and each parish must remain a safe harbor for any and all Orthodox Christians.
I reject the sinful notion of supremacism. Humility is a cornerstone of Church Tradition and an attitude of superiority over our fellow man is incompatible with the Faith. I reject racial supremacism, sexual chauvinism, class elitism, and all other worldly attempts to glorify myself at the expense of others. Regardless of our strengths and virtues, which are themselves but gifts from God, we are all equally sinners and penitents unworthy of God’s grace.
I reject the sinful notion of homophobia. A subtle but vital distinction is to be made here between a rejection of the sinner’s behavior and hateful bigotry toward that sinner. We are all sinners, and imagining that this particular sin renders a man or woman uniquely wicked is a prideful and uncharitable approach to the problem. While homosexual behavior must not be tolerated or accepted as anything other than a sin, homosexuals themselves are also God’s children and are not to be persecuted, attacked, or denied their basic human dignity.
I reject the attitude of violence. Defending one’s family, folk, and faith with force may be necessary from time to time, but only after all peaceful means of conflict resolution have been exhausted and a precedent of preferring peace and harmony over strife and injury has been clearly established.
I will abstain from controversy within the Church. Even the smallest and most outwardly homogenous parish contains a wealth of political opinions, personality types, and backstories. It’s vital for the defense of the sacrality and unity of the Church, its Divine Liturgy, its Holy Icons, and its parishioners that undue controversy not be stoked within its walls. I will seek at all times to bring the congregation together in a shared love of Christ rather than pulling it apart along inevitable differences.
I will also be mindful of how my words and deeds outside the Church may bring unwelcome controversy into it. I will avoid appearing to speak on behalf of the Church, making controversial statements about the Church, or intermingling symbolic elements associated with the Church with any controversy I may be involved in outside the Church.
I will respect the authority of the Church, humbly accepting penitence and guidance as it is generously provided. If I have issues, conflicts, and concerns relating to the Church which are too burdensome to silently bear, I will discreetly and respectfully raise them through the proper channels. I will strive to set an example of obedience and will refrain from idle gossip, controversy, factionalism, and squabbling either among fellow parishioners or with clergy.
As for the last paragraph about respecting the authority of the Church, Heimbach continues to remain too fearful for his salvation to speak out. I firmly believe that this diocese is indulging in heresy. If I had received any answer at all, I would still be contemplating on it. We’ve been stonewalled. I cannot silently tolerate its ongoing slander of and humiliation of my dear friend. I cannot reconcile its message and actions with Holy Tradition. I’ll cease my squabbling the moment they stop teaching and enforcing the heretical doctrine of anti-White political correctness.
Political correctness is the “orthodoxy” being enforced, here, and that’s not the Orthodoxy I signed up for. For centuries and centuries, the Church carried on not knowing that ethnic identities and their preservation were heretical. Even now, the vast majority of Orthodox Christians around the world would find that surprising. The Orthodox of the Mother Churches and immigrant Orthodox here in America may not have any sympathy for us, though we have the utmost sympathy for them. They likely believe the lies that we’re racial supremacists. They likely see this all as not pertaining to them. It does. We’re merely the first casualties in the Western Atlanticist neo-colonialist war against our Church’s God-given diversity.
To quote Gregory Hood, “Whatever God TYN’s critics worship, it is not the God of St. John of Kronstadt, St. John Chrysostom, or the soldiers that fought in the name of Holy Russia throughout the centuries. It is not the God that sustained the monarchies of Eastern Europe, the oppressed Christians groaning under Muslim occupation for centuries, or even the Russian faithful of today.” I appeal to the intercession of the Church’s ethnomartyrs, Christian saints who died for their Christian identities, to intercede on Matthew Heimbach’s behalf as he awaits mercy and refuge from a Church which is being subverted by a decadent gaggle of Western “converts” who’ve adopted its outward trappings while busily working to subvert its doctrine and mission.
Fortunately, with Church Tradition firmly on our side, we cannot lose. All we must do is stand firm on the inspired words and deeds of the countless saints, bishops, and Orthodox faithful who throughout the centuries affirmed our simple message: The doors of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church remain open for all of God’s nations. They stand open even for my people, with no demand that we must agree to terms which guarantee our oblivion. And if the doors are held closed by the enforcers of the other orthodoxy, Modernity, then I will kick them open.
Gott Mit Uns.