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George Pinchuk's Blog

My Polemics with Mr. P.M. (a.k.a. Yur) at the Maidan Forum

25.05.2010, 20:42
This has been posted in Ukrainian already, but I just thought, maybe I should also post this in English, esp. since my parish priest speaks and reads Enlish but not Ukrainian.

Topic: My polemics with Mr. P.M. (Yur) on the "Maidan" forum

I am not a theologian by any stretch. My formal schooling has been in medicine, and by trade I am a teacher of biological disciplines at a small state-run university in the Deep South of the USA. However, I am Orthodox, and I am concerned about my faith being represented correctly - so I sometimes react when I see strange, un-Orthodox and even un-Christian "theology" being "sold" on public Internet fora as the faith of the Church. In this regard, for the last ~4 years or so I have been increasingly worried by "theology" of a poster who identified himself as P.M. on the Maidan forum, and now writes to the RISU forum under the nickname Yur.

What worries me in his writings is his adherence to what I understand as Dualism and Monophysitism.

Pretty much everything he discusses is linked, this way or other, to the idea that there is good and evil, and that "good" is purely spiritual while "evil" is material. Mr. P.M./Yur's basic idea is that God, Who has a "spiritual body," created us, humans, in bodies that were also spiritual and somehow linked to His spiritual body. Since we chose to be outside and apart from Him, we acquired rough, lowly, ugly MATERIAL bodies. In these new "rough" bodies we were "transferred" from a purely spiritual Paradise down to the ugly, prison-like material earth. Now, as Christ taught us, we have to pursue the goal of mortifying our useless, doomed material body and die, so that our souls migrate back to "heaven" or "Paradise" (i.e. become, again, parts of God), and then God gives these ascended souls their new spiritual nonmaterial, non-substantial, intangible, invisible, contourless bodies, and then these purely spiritual SAVED humans live with God (or even as parts of God) forever.

The argument that we, according to the Scriptures and Fathers, were CREATED with material bodies, made from the dust of the earth, does not influence Mr. P.M./Yur, because in his view that "earth" was radically different from the present-day earth. THAT 'earth" was a purely spiritual home of purely spiritual creatures, Adam and Eve. When I showed him lines from St. John Chrysostomos where the Father (in his Homily on the Book of Genesis, chapter 13) specifically underscores the idea that the Edem was a part of the earth and not a part of the Heavens, or another place from the same author where St. John says that "nowhere does Scripture talk about any "spiritual earth" - Mr. P.M./Yur invariably says that I am deceiving him and others and completely distorting everything, calling white black and vice versa.

Mr. P.M./Yur seems to be extremely "dualistic" in that he continuously loathes body and matter in general, OPPOSING it to things spiritual, heavenly, "things that are God's." His hamartiology is also dualistic; he views expressions of St. Paul from the epistle to Romas about "walking after the body" as an indication that the body itself is a sin (or THE sin), that the body is the seat of sin ("desires" of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5:24 - in the Ukrainian text, the same word for "desires" is used in Gal. 5:24 as in John 8:44, "pozhadlyvosti"). On the other hand, the spiritual, invisible, intangible, contourless resurrected "spiritual person" is free from sin. In this regard, Mr. P.M./Yur loves to quote 1 Cor. 15 where it says that the flesh and the blood will not inherit the Kingdom. Again, my appeal to the text of St. John Chrysostomos (his homilies on Romans and 1 Corinthians), where the holy Father explains that in these lines, the Apostle meant sinful life and NOT the "essence of the body," drive Mr. R.M./Yur mad; he asks questions like, 'so, you are saying that flesh and blood WILL inherit the Kingdom?" - and the discussion simply ends.

Mr. P.M./Yur refuses to even imagine any possible transformation, transfiguration of matter. In his mind, the material body of a human being irreversibly perishes in this "sinful earth," while the ascended soul receives a new spiritual body in the non-material "heavenly" realm - this new body being, apparently, made from something that is out there, in that non-material, non-physical realm. Arguing with me on this topic, he also showed that he, essentially, rejects the reality of the transformation of the Holy Gifts of Bread and Wine into the true Body and Blood of Christ. There is no real flesh and real blood of Christ in the Eucharist, according to Mr. P.M./Yur; regardless of what the priest says and does during the Divine Liturgy, the bread in the chalice remains bread, and the wine remains wine; the Eucharist means simply "spiritual unification" of the people who commune with a-substantial, non-physical, immaterial Christ.

Finally, Mr. P.M./Yur simply cannot admit, is almost physically unable to admit (or even repeat after someone) that Jesus Christ is one Person in TWO Natures, Divine and human. To Him, Christ has KILLED His human nature completely, deliberately got rid of it and ascended to Heaven as a pure spirit, "in His true and only nature that is Divine." The thesis, repeated many times by St. John Chrysostomos, St. John of Damascus and other Fathers, the thesis that Christ has lifted OUR HUMAN NATURE (albeit "healed" from its weaknesses, limitations and diseases caused by the Fall) to the heavenly throne of His Father, is, to Mr. P.M./Yur's ear, completely foreign, and he has repeatedly called it "a disgusting anti-Christian heresy."

My question is, what can and should be done about "preachers" like Mr. P.M./Yur? Again, he has been active on public Internet fora for YEARS. In the course of these years, various people, including a PRIEST of Mr. P.M./Yur's own Church (Fr. Oleh Zharovsky) , the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, have repeatedly told him that his "theology" is not the theology of the Church. But he never listened. His opposition, his literal hatred towards Fr. Zharovsky, myself and a few others who objected to him, grew more and more entrenched and vicious. As far as I understand, he never talks to any clergy or, if he does, he lures them into some sort of alleged "piety," talking about heaven, spirit, Scipture, God, obedience to Commandments etc...

The most atrociuos thing in this whole story, IMHO, is not that Mr. P.M./Yur misunderstands and misrepresents the dogmatics of the Church. It is bad, of course, but what is much worse is that he simply does not trust the Church. When he partakes in the Eucharist, I am sure that he, together with others, proclaims this, "I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" - but he LIES, saying this, whether willingly or unwillingly. Otherwise he would pay attention to Fr. Oleh's comments long time ago. But he never did. Instead, he says that he pays attention only to his Head, Who is Christ. I guess that's what all heretics have been always saying, from Arius and Nestorius to all the present-day "innovators" of the Apostolic doctrine...

How should we combat phenomena like this man?