gurbolikov (gurbolikov) wrote,

Foma - english version

I am pleased to hear from all of you though it's difficult for me to read and write in English (a person helps me to translate your and my answers).

In many of your replies was an idea that the Orthodox has ecumenical character. I agree with this statement. Moreover while talking on the pages of Russian version of FOMA to our readers who aren't orthodox we try to stress that Orthodoxy is not only the Russian faith. We even have the column dedicated to the orthodox live in the foreign countries. And that is why one of our purpose to obtain with the help of the English version of FOMA the evidence of the orthodox live experience in foreign countries.

I agree that the Western Orthodox has its own works on theology that can be read. And FOMA isn't aimed to break in this sphere. For missionary journal it isn't so important. Our audience is the people who don't know anything about Orthodoxy or for some reason or other don't consider themselves as Orthodox but at the same time they have an interest in Orthodoxy, the search of the sense of life, moral principles, and peculiarly the history of Orthodoxy. To find the contact with such people we try to understand what unifies us with them. We try to find mutual sphere of interest.

Alas such people don't accompany us to the church – we enter it alone. We receive the Lord's Supper and come out into the world and the Lord expect that we will carry Him to this world. That doesn't mean that  we will catch people in the streets and ask them to confess. That means that we will change all our life, all its spheres: in the field of the relationship between the man and the woman, in the family, in the school, in the work. That means that we will start to read and even may be write other books not only theological. That means that we will watch other cinema or/and understand films in another way. In the end we will understand the life in another way. It is the our place, our point of meeting with the people who doesn't know the faith. On our point of view this is the sphere where our journal can display and develop itself. But we don't know if this culture mission is relevant in the West or not.

We were told that we should tell about Orthodox so the Protestants and Catholics change and pass to Orthodoxy.  Also we were told that the atheists are very far from the Orthodox view – there is a huge mental distance. So it isn't useful to speak about Orthodox at all. And considering the negative attention to Russia we were told that it isn't useful to mention about Russia as the country that have a big history with the deep ground of Orthodox tradition. All these questions are opened and we need some more points of view of them. All of them concern the dialog with atheists.

As to ourselves, who realized and accepted the Orthodoxy, we see another problem – the problem of the tradition to live with the faith. I was christened 10 years ago and I feel how it is difficult to live without the tradition of family prayer, the tradition of going to church and reading church books since childhood. This is the problem of a whole generation of the modern believers in Russia. Although we have an Orthodox tradition of thousand years those 70 years when the church was persecuted those 70 years have complicated our church life. It doesn't even enough for us to read the works of Dostoevsky, the culture of 19 century, the culture before the 19 century. That is why in Russia appear some attempts to write fiction, belles-lettres, the attempt to find new approach to old traditions, to find the ways to lead the life to church. If this aim is very difficult for Russian people, if we come short only with our literacy and every educated and intelligent Christian person should read  the works of Luis and Chesterton, we think that perhaps the same problem must have people of the first generation in foreign countries. That is why it becomes very relevant to find together the modern ways of Orthodox life. We think that we have mutual problem of the Orthodox exchange between cultures to resist the spirit of the time, of this world. That is why when we read in the replies that a person would like to know the people's personal experiences of Orthodox life, we would like to know too! Let's exchange. We are interested in the stories of a man who go through the difficulties of the life and the doubts to the Lord. I think that the interest of people to the destinies of each other can help us to tell somebody about the Lord and the faith.

I apologise for not speaking English – I'm the co-redactor of the Russian version of FOMA, but I hope to create with time a command to edit out English version of FOMA. But we will do it if only it is necessary to anybody.  And if we will feel the interest and real help. It is very important. I ask those who know anyhow the Russian language to try to read our Russian texts attentively and help to our interpreters if they don't put correct accents and if their stylistics isn't correct according to the Russian texts and to the English language.

I do appreciate the concern of all of us although I can speak with the help of an interpreter. Thank you for the things that have already been done, for the exchange of opinions (I have already 15 pages of the text). These are the polar opinions and they are being read now by all our editorial staff with grate interest.

I am very happy that we are all together.

Yours faithfully,
Vladimir Gurbolikov

P.S.: thanks to Julia for her translation of my reply into English



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