God's Mercy

God’s Charity?

I came across while looking for pictures for another of my sites:

Милостыня божья.
«Милостыня божья.» на Яндекс.Фотках

It’s labeled “God’s Charity.”

Such a beautiful building, and leaning against it, a man with serious problems.  It would be very easy to go off on a rant now about the priorities of the Orthodox Church.  It is a corrupt institution, with a lust for earthly power.  It deceives people into thinking that they’re saved if they pay some money and go through the motions.  It has failed abysmally to take advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union to bring people to Christ and combat the moral decay and nihilism that is rampant in that part of the world.  That is all true, but it is too simple an interpretation of the photograph.

As one commenter said:

Впечатление, что храм при всей своей красоте абсолютно равнодушен к судьбе этого человека…

(I get the impression that the church, with all it’s beauty, is absolutely indifferent to the fate of this person)

That feeling is made even stronger by the fact that the church is surrounded by a sturdy fence.  Could this picture describe our church, here in America, or our spirituality?  Beautiful on the outside, but walled off to those who need it?

The church in America does a much better job with this, but there is always room for reflection and self-criticism.  And this picture should touch the hearts of anyone who considers themselves a Christian.

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