The Coming Christian Unity

Stream: The Coming Christian Unity

There is disunity in Christendom, and has been since at least the gnostic Cerinthus around 100 anno Domini gained a small following by teaching that Jesus and the Christ were two separate people.

Bifurcations increased through time, and we now have the Big Three, Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, but also such sects as Christadelphians, Nestorians, and Iglesia ni Cristo. Some might even class Jews and Muslims in the list, with their incorrect, but correctable, beliefs about our Lord and with their better understandings of God the Father.

Thinking about it, the ability to assent to the phrase “incorrect beliefs about our Lord” might be a good marker for who counts as Christian.

The Great Unity

The good news is that our unhappy disunity will at some point in the future dissolve. The bad news is that the coming reunion is not going to be painless.

Peter reminds us of what must someday happen:

But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up…But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth.

No man knows when, but there is a rich tradition in literature in imagining how the end will come.

Enter Vladimir Sergeyevich Soloviev

One such work is by Vladimir Sergeyevich Soloviev (sometimes spelled Solovyov), a Twentieth Century Russian philosopher and theologian. A contemporary and friend of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, he was Russian Orthodox who advocated Christian unity through the idea of sobornost, the “spiritual community of many jointly living people”.

In his 1900 apocalypse A Short Narrative About Antichrist, he explored our coming final Christian unity (quotations come the Natalie Duddington translation). Actually, he spoke of many different unities.

The Antichrist

The story opens with Antichrist, a man who, like Satan himself, believes in Christ, but who believes in himself more. With Satan’s dark blessing, Antichrist becomes a master and teacher of self-love. He quickly gains worldwide admiration for his book The Open Way to Universal Peace and Welfare. This global glow is the first unity.

The wonderful writer carried all with him and was acceptable to everyone, so that Christ’s word
were fulfilled: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” For in order to be received, one must be acceptable.

Soloviev foresaw European history correctly. He has the “European States Union” convene a constituent assembly which “decided to concentrate executive power in the hands of one person”, Antichrist, who was recognized as theman of the future.” Antichrist healed the many great secular divisions (which even now surround us). Peace was upon the land.

Christianity had greatly diminished: “there were not more than forty-five million Christians on the whole of the globe.” The missing Christians, i.e. the great apostasy, is the (unfortunate) unity of the second kind.

A Test of Faith

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There is still time to click here and read the rest.

Special thanks to Fr Rickert and Ianto Watt for introducing us to Soloviev.

3 Comments

  1. Boo!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LZRfUkw2VU

    If there is anything genuine about that video’s analysis, which was already rather fanciful and suspiciously void of real critical comment at the bottom then the comment from JR Watts seals it’s fate as occult.

    Who do these people think they are kidding?
    It’s not okay just because it’s Halloween. That is all saints day Eve.
    Watch out Thomas moor might come and get you.

  2. What never ceases to amaze is how people will mindlessly accept whatever drivel spills over their transom when it conforms to their preconceptions, values or whatever else they already accept or would like to be the case.

    For example:

    “Vladimir Sergeyevich Soloviev… advocated Christian unity through the idea of sobornost, the “spiritual community of many jointly living people”.”

    Isn’t that a kind of circular way of saying that such a spiritual community should simply band together as a sort of clique (kind of like what the Jews have done for centuries)? And what about the missionary zeal of the Catholic Church, give that up and just huddle together? That missionary outreach seems to be a necessary component Soloviev has either rejected or forgot to factor in.

    As for the anti-Christ bit — consider the impact of Martin Luther on Christendom … there’s an “anti-Christ” for you. No-one since has or appears ready to come close to install divisiveness while concurrently advocating truth (kind of like a religious version of the Genesis device in Star Trek).

    And how in the blazes did this comment come to fruition in today’s blog:

    “Soloviev FORESAW European history correctly. He has the “European States Union” convene a constituent assembly which “decided to concentrate executive power in the hands of one person”,…”

    What “one person”/who is that???

    The current European Union (EU) has a committee approach involving representatives from some 28 countries (e.g. see: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/institutions-bodies/council-eu_en). There are separate presidents for the European Council, European Commission, European Parliament, and, the Presidency of the Council of the EU doesn’t have (by design) a permanent, single-person president — that position rotates every six months (see https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/presidents_en).

    And, recall, the United Kingdom just voted itself out — without need for an EU entity whatsoever being able to intervene.

    I suppose we can trust [for at least the sake of argument] the representation that Soloviev predicted Europe to be ultimately under the helm of one person … however … the EU’s current committee-of-committees arrangement (also linked in some fashion to the United Nations — more committees) is a far cry from ‘executive power concentrated in one person’ that Soloviev purportedly predicted.

    That purported prediction possibly will present … but to say it has passed is premature. As far as we know, Soloviev hasn’t “foresaw” anything about the EU. Maybe such a govt under one person will someday come about, but for now the trend has gone exactly the opposite direction.

    Consider the anti-Christ claims presented: The gist goes like this, instead of breaking up faith into competing denominations (aka M. Luther), we read, here, the anti-Christ is going to take the faithful of competing Christian denominations and unite them [‘heal the secular divisions’]…maliciously.

    PEW and many others keep showing how atheism is growing along with irreligiosity. France, for example, has 53 percent of its population who are atheist or irreligious (e.g. see http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/14/map-these-are-the-worlds-least-religious-countries/?utm_term=.c05a283270ac). The anti-Christ better hurry before there’s no critical mass of faithful who give enough of a damn to be united over their differences. It sure looks like the means via which the anti-Christ will arise won’t be via the means espoused by Soloviev.

    I’m not saying (for the immediate moment) there won’t be an anti-Christ, just that the way things have trended, the way things are, and the way they’re trending makes Soloviev’s prognostications about it almost certainly uber-wrong.

    Time to pick a better philosopher/prophet/soothsayer….or if Soloviev is the guy, then cherry-pick those themes that seem like they have some relevancy to the real world.

  3. Your Antichrist used Christian disunity as a powerful argument and may have said: said, “… Unfortunately you have been broken up into various sects and parties since time immemorial and perhaps you have no longer a common aim. But if you cannot agree between yourselves I hope to bring agreement between all your parties by showing them all equal love and equal readiness to satisfy the true desire of each.”

    You call a Chrisian mouvement like the Christadelphians a sect, by which we wounder what you understand by the word sect. In any case they are according to the definitions of the law no sect. We do agree Christadelphians or Brothers in Christ, with other Brethren, Bereans, Restoration Church, Abrahamic Faith Church members and other non-trinitarian people try to live according the teachings of the Nazarene Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who is the sent one of God and mediator between God and man,but who many in Christendom have made him into their god.

    In the end it are just such movements who follow the teachings of Jesus who are having to bring people to the Most High God, by showing them that Jesus is the Way to God and not to himself.

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