Anglicans who are given to righteous rant about being "orthodox," and those of us who are the object of their disdain might take to heart Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. In a somewhat fawning article from the London Observer's "online supplement" writers Leonid Sevastyanov and Robert Moynihan had this to report"
"On March 8 in Moscow, Kirill showed the type of spirit that he is bringing to his pastoral task. He warned during a Sunday sermon not to trust radical Orthodox believers who are battling for the “purity of faith” and whose motto is “Orthodoxy or death!”
“When we meet a man who claims to be fighting for the purity of Orthodoxy, but his eyes are lit with the fire of anger… if we find someone who is ready to shake the foundation of church life to defend Orthodoxy… this is the first sign of that we have a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” he said."
Remember: the first sign that we have a wolf in sheep's clothing is if we find someone who is ready to shake the foundation of church life to defend Orthodoxy.
On the other hand experience tells us that perhaps the second sign is the prelate who wants to drag out the numbers. The article drags out this little known fact, " Kirill now heads a church with about 140m adherents, far larger than the Anglican church and second only to the Roman Catholic church." Nothing of course in this about whether or not this is a good thing. And nothing about the lingering suspicions that leadership in the Russian Orthodox Church was in the pay and employ of the KGB. But then similar things can be said about our, and now ACNA's "orthodox" leaders. The numbers game sure sounds familiar, and so do the elements of subterfuge.
Once, visiting St. Nicholas Church in Bucharest, Romania, I met with students from the University, among them were some theological students. I remember one of them saying to me, "I don't know why we are hear, it is supposed to be about conversation, but the only reason to talk to you is possibility that you might convert to the true faith. We talked on, but the conversation was over.