Ghetto Christianity

Impoverished Institutional Christianity and the Rise of Islam in the West

The cure for the societal, political and demographic decline in Nordic and European countries is not to be found in nationalistic racism, nor in war against foreigners. The cure for all that ails the western world is a return to piety and fear of God. Spiritual decline has led to the total meltdown of societies that were previously rooted in the Christian faith. What remains of Christianity has been turned into a spiritual ghetto, where ethnic preservation and tradition have replaced the Power of the Imperishable, which is a life in Christ.

Until we in the western world bow our heads in humble repentance before God and restore the source of Western Civilization, Christianity, our world is lost. Attacking foreigners and Muslims will only quicken the end of our culture and societal institutions, for the basis of our very existence must be centered in the power of our life in Christ. In Jesus we can do anything. Violence against people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds is a terrible insult to the teachings of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, who came to save the whole world.

The apostles entered a pagan world and transformed it because they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. They did not remain in an institutional ghetto of religiosity, but went into all the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. It was the essence of this faith that transformed the western world, and it is this essence that can do it again.

What a wonderful world it would be if  we lived our lives in total commitment to Jesus and giving witness to our neighbors of the sanctifying and transformational power that can be had in a life in Christ. Rather than fear immigrants of a different faith and race, let us reach out in love, welcoming them into hearts centered in Jesus Christ and devoid of institutional dryness.

Orthodoxy must be vibrant in her evangelical zeal. It is not the Church that is at fault, nor the liturgical worship and dogma of the Church that are in need of change, but rather the hearts and minds of her people. This can only be done with a renewed commitment to the Lord and the living out of an authentic and transformational Christianity that is truly the center of our daily living.

How attractive this Christianity would be to our immigrant neighbors if they could see the love we have for them. Radical Islam within our borders could be diffused if these new immigrants could see the love of Christ in the way we welcomed them. Instead of fearing them, let us reach out as missionaries, inviting them into the life of the Church that has changed us.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

About the author

Fr. Tryphon is the Abbot of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, which was established in 1986 by Archimandrite Dimitry (Egoroff) of blessed memory. The Monastery is under the omophore of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

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2 thoughts on “Ghetto Christianity”

  1. This is such an important article, thank you Abbot Tryphon! I'm seeing more people, especially young people, turn toward racial identity as some kind of anchor in tough times because of how American Christianity has devolved. They know something is wrong with modernity, so they end up looking to their pagan racial roots as a solution. If more of them knew that ancient Christianity is alive and well, I think many would turn to Orthodoxy instead.

  2. Rachael Muratore

    Dear Abbot Tryphon,
    This is a wonderful and meaningful piece of guidance for all of us! And, as an Orthodox Christian, I am inspired anew to bear witness to the Holy Spirit in my life and in all my interactions. This truly is the way to transform our society and our community. Thank you so much!
    Rachael Muratore

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