The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father to abide in the Son, restoring glory to the Father through the Son when falls from glory confuse and divide God’s ineffable co-inherence of unselfish love. The heresy of ‘innocent Russianness’ divides and confuses Holy Orthodoxy, replacing God’s reign of love with Eurasian imperialism, usurping God by reducing co-inherence to divisive nationalism. The ghost of a similar heresy has long haunted Byzantium, infecting Muscovy when Moscow became the third Rome, threatening to pervert the Orthodoxy of the City of God into the beast, the Babylon of the Apocalypse, forcing Orthodoxy to flee into desert wastelands, mountainous sketes or impenetrable forests to glorify the Father through the Son. Restored by the witness of the Spirit in generation after generation, Holy Orthodoxy centres on Holy Trinity in action as co-inherent glory, purged of ethnic nationalism, which imposes autocracy by destroying democracy in the name of populist imperialism, replacing Holy Trinity in practice whilst retaining it as ideology. Diabolical duplicity is always powerful over divided minds but powerless against Christ’s empowering love, revealed by the Cross of saving grace. Holy Orthodoxy has long been susceptible to ethnic nationalism that replaces God’s reign of glory with autocratic imperialism, still tragically familiar today, as it deludes a patriarch and deceives some among the populace when ruling oligarchy empowers autocracy to impose its nationalist heresy on martyred Orthodoxy.
The sacred history of enlightenment in the Holy Spirit includes the redemption and liberation of sinners from heresies like ethnic nationalism, restoring sound Orthodox patriotism, cured of the perverting heresy of ethnic nationalism. Holy Orthodoxy is intrinsically right-glorification of God healing patriotism of the virus of ethnic idolatry, unseating Rome or Byzantium, Constantinople or Moscow from usurping God’s throne of glory. War against evil powers was always first of all a holy war in heaven, contending with powers stealing crown and throne, then war on earth with belligerent forces of imperialist autocracy. Wars between rival imperialisms also lay claim to glory but should not be confused with the glory of martyrdom that contests imperialism in the name of wholesome, God-glorifying Orthodox patriotism. Martyred Orthodoxy bears witness to the peace of God, deferring to God’s reign of mercy, the glory of love exposing imperialist lies which justify violence using Orthodox language and theology ideologically. Discernment is needed to distinguish union from confusion and communion from collusive conformity to the lies of fallen powers, lies dictatorially imposed as ideological truth. It is the Spirit of Truth who bears witness to truth in times of war, restoring Holy Orthodoxy when it suffers cancelling persecution at the hands of those who desire the world to think Russians are always innocent victims.
The holy history of illumination in the Holy Spirit is the history of discernment of truth from lies in each generation. The Holy Dove descends to save sinners who fall short of glory, violating the Spirit whose aim was always God’s reign of glory and who imparts deified life to those whose lives were confused by division. The Spirit descends as the City of God, gathering every people, nation, language and culture into the boundless embrace of love’s glory, unveiling the glory of grace. Pentecost crowns Christ’s ascension with the Spirit’s glorious descent as his Bride, unveiling the truth of his Name. No fall from grace is incurable when the Spirit descends to cure it in the Name, gloriously glorifying the Holy Name of God. Cheep grace engenders worthless forgiveness but costly grace truly forgives to heal, liberating all who embrace God’s embrace of them. The Holy Spirit descends to cure vainglory and pride, releasing confusion to heal division. Ethnic nationalist heresies dissolve as idolatry is consumed by the fierce flame of love, inspiring, like Barth’s confessing church in Germany, a costly confessing Orthodoxy. Fratricidal war is nothing new, nor ethnic rivalry a novelty, although new technologies proliferate new ways to spread lies concealing the same old, vainglorious lies. The Holy Spirit is not outwitted by demonic devilry now, nor was it confused by diabolical division in the past, always descending in timely ways to restore glory when angels fall, dragging humanity down with them. The Holy Spirit restores the glory of wholesome co-inherence in Christ, opening Holy Orthodoxy to unexpected revelations of the glory of love through hallowing, costly glorification.