The Russian Orthodox Church has undermined its spiritual (therefore, true) power. The Russian Government has recently put the Jehovah Witness cult under the ban.
The Russian Supreme Court upheld on Thursday a decision by the nation’s Ministry of Justice to liquidate the center for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and to close 395 Local Religious Organizations belonging to the group. According to a press statement by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the high court’s ruling will go into effect immediately. NPR reports the religious group’s property will now belong to the Russian government. There are roughly 170,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.Rubbish. Worse still is the mistaken position of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Russia has labeled the group “extremist” on multiple occasions, and NPR says an Interfax report recorded Svetlana Borisova, an attorney for the Justice Ministry, claiming the Jehovah’s Witnesses “pose a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and public security.” [TheBlaze]
Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses are a recrudescence of the ancient Arian heresy, denying the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, the Russian Orthodox Church is entirely wrong in advocating and supporting the use of the state, the civil and criminal magistracy, to repress such a cult. The power of the Russian Orthodox Church does not rest in deploying the power of the sword against heretics and heresies. Rather, its power resides in the preaching of the Gospel, in the Word of God, prayer, the sacraments, and using the Keys of the Kingdom of God.
Christianity is the largest religious group in Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church claims to have a worldwide membership of about 150 million. According to several media reports, Russian Orthodox leaders have supported the ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose religious views conflict with many Russian Orthodox teachings.
The church that relies upon the State and its powers to advance its particular duties and responsibilities commits three egregious errors: it undermines the proper duty of the State as God's servant, thereby weakening and eventually compromising the State. Secondly, it robs itself of its true spiritual power. Moreover, it testifies to the world that the church has no faith nor trust in the efficacy and power of the Keys of the Kingdom as given to it by its Head, Christ Jesus. The church thereby grieves God's Spirit and poisons itself.