President-elect Obama campaigned on the promise of Change in the politics as usual found in Washington DC.
Unnoticed by the mainstream media (MSM), the last two years have brought major changes in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), after nearly 90 years, reconciled with the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate (MP). This reconciliation was just as historic and newsworthy as was the separation of ROCOR from the MP. However, little attention has been paid to these changes by the MSM.
Within a year of this major event in the life of both sections of the Russian Church, Metropolitan Laurus of the ROCOR died quietly in his sleep. The elevation of Archbishop Hilarion of Australia and New Zealand to the rank of Metropolitan of ROCOR has brought in more historic change in ROCOR. One priest said he has “hot hands.” He has consecrated numerous new Bishops, elevated some to Archbishop, and is ensuring that each Diocese has a Hierarch. He is visiting each of the Dioceses, and determining what is needed there. He is throwing his support firmly behind the Hierarchs.
Changes that will NOT be seen, that will NOT happen, however, are changes in doctrine and theology. The Liturgy will remain as it always was. Homilies will not strive for “relevance” to “our times.” Rather, the timeless values of the Orthodox Church will continue to be taught from the Amvon.
There have been no changes in doctrine or theology of the Orthodox Church since Pentecost and the 7 Ecumenical Councils. There have been no significant changes in the Divine Liturgy since the 2nd century AD. There have been no changes in the basic structure of the Church and its Hierarchy since New Testament times.
How can a Church that is so “old fashioned” continue to exist and even thrive in the 21st century? It thrives and will continue to thrive in God’s time and God’s way because it does NOT change. It stands as the rock it is because God set it there – as a rock. It attests to the timelessness of God’s Word and the timelessness of God’s great love and condescension toward us in His Incarnation, Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, Descent and His Salvation of His Creation.
The Orthodox Church is the earthly presence of the heavenly Church, the Spotless Bride of Christ. She stands ever stalwart, defending the Faith of our Fathers, once given and ever new.
She – does – NOT – change the faith, the theology, the doctrine. Through God’s grace, she can be relied upon to be there, forever the same, bringing God’s Word, His Divine Theology, His Divine condescension, His great Love to us.
 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: Both now and forever, and unto the ages of ages, amen.