To say that it was “bold” for Hilarion to take such a stand in such a place somehow doesn’t do it justice. It had the “holy boldness” people remember of St. Nicholas. No, not the modern secular derivation, “Santa Claus,” but the real, live St. Nicholas, better remembered for extravagant generosity and such strong Gospel-faithfulness that one tradition says he boxed the ears of the heretic Arius at the Council of Nicea.
Just recently, Metropolitan Hilarion came to D.C. to meet with evangelicals who are concerned about family values and support the sanctity of life. Along with fifteen other evangelical leaders, CWA’s Dr. Janice Crouse joined the Metropolitan at a luncheon at the Russian-American Institute. Others attending the luncheon included: Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute, and Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
The Metropolitan heard from each of those attending and addressed both theological and social issues. While he made it clear that he wanted to build bridges with representatives of different and varied theological positions, he was firm in stating that productive dialogue with religious groups is impossible with those who hold to non-Biblical beliefs. As a case in point, he noted that the Orthodox Church could no longer dialogue with the Episcopal Church because of its new practice of ordaining practicing homosexual clergy.
He discussed the common challenges facing the different faiths, especially the destruction of the family by secular society and negative influences of the media on morality. He was especially concerned about the values crisis — the decline in marriage and the increase in divorce and cohabitation — and the undermining of the moral principles that people have held for centuries. He lamented the fact that political correctness is replacing personal convictions and Biblical orthodoxy.
Clearly, Metropolitan Hilarion’s consistent animating principle is fidelity to Christ and the truth of the Christian gospel. Therein lie the unfailing wellsprings of charity, mercy, and saving grace. CWA looks forward to working closely with this influential Christian leader.