the Church Today
OF THE CATACOMB CHURCH IN THE USSR
of earthly glory will blind the reason: the word of truth
will be in disgrace. But in defence of faith there will
arise from among the people those who are unknown to the world
and they will restore what has been trampled on.
the prince of this world is pointed out, it is replied that this is essential for the preservation of the hierarchal succession, churches, etc.—that is, the external organization of the church. Naturally, such an indefiniteness testifies to the
- ritual unsureness, the internal (not to mention external) disorder of the .,Ioscow Patriarchate. Such a situation cannot continue forever. Religious wareness must either entirely become aware of itself, or else disappear altogether as religious awareness. The latter course, abstractly speaking, is likewise, possible: after all, the once flourishing Church of Carthage disappeared. We, however, fortify ourselves with the faith that the spiritual renewal of Russia and the liberation of the Church will yet occur. We believe that if the world does not perish, sooner or later in liberated Russia there will be a Local Council of our Church, to which the fruits of their labors and exploits for the long period without a Council (for one cannot call Councils those convocations of Soviet hierarchs which the Council of Religious Affairs organizes together with the Patriarchate) will be brought forth by the Moscow Patriarchate and by the persecuted Russian “Catacomb” Church, to which the authors of this article belong, and of the continuing existence of which they consider it a sacred duty to bear witnes8 at the first opportunity that has offered itself. To this future council the “Catacomb” Church will bring the testimony of the purity of her faith, unstained by any kind of compromises with the enemies of Christ; for prayer that has been bought is impure prayer. The “Catacomb” Church will bring also the testimony of the exploits in the name of Christ of her martyrs and confessors, whom we have already mentioned above. She will bring also the testimony of her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, by which alone she has fortified herself and lived already for decades, preserved by Divine grace amidst persecutions and betrayals. For just as the Soviet kingdom is a prefiguration of Antichrist, so also the “Catacomb” Church is the nearest of all prefigurations of the Church at the time of Antichrist—the Woman clothed with the sun who has fled to the wilderness.* Her garments are woven of the exploits of saints. Just as in the time of the Prophet Elijah, the Lord has preserved for Himself seven thousand faithful, until the time known to Him alone.
There is no authority but of God. Evidently it is our lot to live during the approach of the last times, when the enemy by a form of truth cunningly entangles men, while in essence it offers anti-truth.