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Church and State, Government and Religion:

Social Concept (Policies) of the Russian Orthodox Church: Letter to the Russians

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by Manfred Davidmann

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Contents

Overview

Introduction

Intellectual Knowledge and Understanding; Intellectual Property

Men and Women, Family and Children

Morality

Church and State

Policies of the Russian Orthodox Church

Findings

Relevant Current and Associated Works

Notes <..>,   References {..}   and Links


Appendix 1: Meaning and Use of Words

Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview




Overview: Church and State, Government and Religion

This report is one of a series, which together lay bare the controversies between church and state, between religious belief and practice on the one hand, and the government on the other. Each work is self-standing but together they provide the knowledge needed for understanding the causes of conflicts and point to solving them.

The works in this series bring together findings and conclusions from Manfred Davidmann's published reports and provide new knowledge and insights, exploring their subject in depth, generally in advance of current knowledge.

1     The God-given Human Rights, Social Laws and Social System
           

A comprehensive statement of the God-given human rights which underlie all freedom, liberty and independence. They are the foundation of the main religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and they underlie and determine a good life of high quality.

         
2     Judaism, Christianity and Islam
       

Shows that underlying Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the Pentateuch's benevolent and egalitarian social laws and social system. Reveals for each religion the controversies and conflicts between church and state, between beliefs and practice.

         
3     Social Concept (Policies) of the Russian Orthodox Church
       

Reviews the Russian Orthodox Church's social and church-state policies. The church is shown to be quoting out of context from Paul's letter to the Romans, in relation to what seems to be a central core teaching on Christian church-state relationships.

         
4     Religion, Government and Education
       

Illustrates conflicting aims and interests of state and church with reference to teaching evolution (creationism) and teaching immorality (state-condoned promiscuity). Relative authority of Bible, common law, case law, religious leaderships, judges.

         
5     Social Policies (Doctrine) of the Roman Catholic Church: An Evaluation
       

The essential and fundamental social doctrines are evaluated in plain and meaningful language. About important principles of faith in relation to globalisation and benevolent church-state-people policies. Aims of the Church's doctrines and the consequences for Catholics. Challenging decisions are needed.

         
6     Creationism and Intelligent Design, Evolution, Education or Indoctrination
       

Conflicts have arisen because parts of Genesis have been mistranslated or misinterpreted.

The 'Creationism' hypothesis apparently assumes that the resulting erroneous text correctly states God's deeds. And the 'Intelligent Design' hypothesis apparently assumes that the same erroneous text correctly states the deeds of some other supernatural being.


Manfred Davidmann's research and discoveries showed and proved that the source text of Genesis corresponds in the major steps to the order in which the earth and life are known to have been formed and developed. Described is the formation of the earth and early plant life, and evolution by the 'survival of the fittest'. The evolution from reptilian to mammalian instincts, feelings and behaviour is clearly stated, as is the evolution and corresponding behaviour, feeling and thinking of human beings from humanoids (animals resembling humans) through Homo erectus (early man) to Homo sapiens (human beings, ourselves).

There is no conflict or contradiction between what is recorded in the source Genesis text and our scientific knowledge about evolution of human beings and of our planet.



Introduction

The Russian Orthodox Church's policies on church-state relations and on social problems of our times are stated and summarised in an extensive document called 'Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church' {1}.

The church's Sacred Bishop's Council has adopted this document which lays down guidelines which are to be followed and applied by its episcopate, clergy and laity. <1>


For background information and underlying knowledge and understanding, see 'Relevant Current and Associated Works'.

Note that quotations from the Russian Orthodox Church's document are here set in as follows:
"... quotation from church's document ..."


Intellectual Knowledge and Understanding; Intellectual Property

In section VII.3 on property, the church acknowledges the growing significance of intellectual property and deplores the violation of copyright, stating that it
"cannot approve the alienation and re-distribution of property with violations of the rights of its legitimate owners."
And in section XVI.3 on globalisation in the field of culture and information, societies are said to be becoming multicultural, and that this process is accompanied

"by attempts to establish the dominion of the rich elite over the rest of the people ... worldwide ...,

which is especially intolerable in the religious field,

There being a tendency to regard universal culture as being entirely without spirituality, unrestrained in anything by absolute values or measures of the truth.

The globalisation developing in this way is compared by many ... to the construction of the Tower of Babel."

This knowledge and understanding appears to have come from Manfred Davidmann's report on 'Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty' {5}. This may be one of his more popular works on Genesis, but the source of the insight could have been stated by the compilers of the church document.

In the church's document, in section VI.3 on 'Labour and its fruits', we find

"Among the most vivid biblical images of the failure of the fallen humanity 'to make a name for itself' is the construction of the Tower of Babel 'whose top may reach unto heaven'. The Babel is presented as a symbol of people's joining efforts to achieve an ungodly goal. The Lord punishes the arrogant men: by confusing their tongues He makes understanding among them impossible and scattered them throughout the earth."

We see that the church's document refers to a 'fallen humanity' constructing the Tower of Babel. This interpretation (suggested meaning) has been overtaken by current knowledge of God's intended meaning of Genesis. Manfred Davidmann showed in 'The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil' {4} that Genesis states that it is the later descendants of Seth (Genesis, Chapter 5) who know of, can distinguish between and can choose between, good and evil, who spread across the planet.

It is the 'fallen' nephilim {5} who are selfish, corrupt, dominating, exploiting and oppressing. The driving force behind the building of the Tower of Babel is stated to be Nimrod who is referred to as the people's king. It is the ability of such nephilim to manipulate ordinary people into working for the nephil, which is pointed out and criticised. Ordinary people are being manipulated into serving nephilim, into working to increase a selfish and corrupt nephil's personal influence and power. <2>

Aiming to reach heaven and become god-like, to set themselves up in opposition to God. Which means that Nimrod is attempting to gain, to assign to himself, god-like (absolute) authority and power. <3>

The allegory states that if any become too powerful, a threat to that which is humane and good, then they need to be, and are to be, dispersed. In other words, their tower <4> (power, organisation, country, empire, corporation, monopoly, government, rulers, multinational, global corporation, hierarchy) needs to be dispersed.


Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence the great need, and the importance of the need, for scattering and dispersal, for multiplicity and variety. {5}

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Humanity and human behaviour depend on opposition and balance, on democracy. <9>


Men and Women, Family and Children

There is a genetic difference between men and women. {3}

"... Man and woman are two different modes of existence in one humanity. ... (X. 1)"

Primarily the family exists to protect and support its young, and this means supporting and looking after the female bearing the child within her body, through birth and while she is protecting and teaching the young how to behave. {3}

It is women who bear the child and who need protecting and looking after while bearing the child and after childbirth. There clearly are close emotional bonds between mother and child. {3}

It is usually the woman whose role it is to ensure the family provides the young with the humane, emotionally and mentally stimulating environment they need to enable them to mature into socially responsible adults. {3}

Women generally look after people, after the welfare and well-being of the members of the family. Care, concern, affection and love, feelings and emotions, are important and matter, and women developed, and have, much skill and expertise in such matters. {3}

Men generally struggle outside the family to secure survival and good living for the family. A struggle for survival in a seemingly hostile environment engineered by other humans. {3}

"... A man and a woman who love each other, united in marriage ... . Children become fruits of their love and communion, and their birth and upbringing belong, according to the Orthodox teaching, to one of the most important goals of marriage. (X. 4)

... The negligence of children is the greatest of all sins as it leads to extreme impiety ... (X. 4)"


When women are persuaded to regard work outside of the family as more important than caring for the young or the family's members, they are in effect handing over the family's key role to outsiders such as day-care businesses and television programme makers. With disastrous results on the way the young perceive home life and adult behaviour, tending to condition the young into behaving like fictional and unreal role models, for example concerning sexual behaviour. Instead of gaining an adult understanding of the reality of living, of family values and relationships, instead of understanding and experiencing socially-responsible behaviour caring for and living with other people, instead of seeing adults (parents) behave in socially responsible way struggling in a hostile environment to do the best they can for the young and for each other. {3}

The number of young people who run away from home and family, often becoming homeless, placing themselves at a big disadvantage right at the beginning of their lives, speaks for itself. {3}

"... The experience of family relations teaches a person to overcome sinful egoism and lays the foundations for his sense of civil duty. It is in the family as a school of devotion that the right attitude to one's neighbours and therefore to one's people and society as a whole is formed. ... This is why it is so dangerous to distort the traditional parents-child relationship, which, unfortunately, have been in many ways endangered by the contemporary way of life. (X. 4)

The diminished social significance of motherhood and fatherhood compared to the progress made by men and women in the professional field leads to the treatment of children as an unnecessary burden, contributing also to the development of alienation and antagonism between generations. The role of family in the formation of the personality is exceptional; no other social institution can replace it. The erosion of family relations inevitably entails the deformation of the normal development of children and leaves a long, and to a certain extent indelible trace in them for life. (X. 4)"


Human rights are based on controlling primitive dominant behaviour, on concern, care and affection for our young, our families, for people, for our communities, and express themselves in co-operation and teamwork between men and women to achieve a good life of high quality. Men and women are struggling together to achieve a better life, a humane way of living and government, and social security. {3}

When one member of a family dominates others, then competition, conflict and struggle replace co-operation and teamwork. Dominance weakens all the family's members, robbing them of emotional and economic support, and so makes it easier to exploit them through their needs. All the family's members suffer as a result. {3}

"... While appreciating the social role of women and welcoming their political, cultural and social equality with men, the Church opposes the tendency to diminish the role of woman as wife and mother. ... . (but) the Church cannot misconstrue the words of St. Paul about the special responsibility of husband who is called to be "the head of the wife" ... and about the calling of the wife to obey the husband as the Church obeys Christ. (X. 5)"

The often quoted phrase '..., and he shall rule over you.' from Genesis {15}, is quite mistakenly assumed to lay down male dominance over the female. Genesis Chapter 3 describes the evolution of early human beings, the role of the family in bringing up their children, and the respective roles of husband and wife within the family. What is described is the so-necessary division of work and teamwork between them, between husband and wife, between equals. <5>

And among the first laws of behaviour to be established by the Patriarchs were the sanctity of marriage and of chastity, and the condemnation and punishment of rape. <6>



Morality


Chastity

Human beings work primarily for their family and members of a family stand by, support and help each other in times of need. The family looks after the interests of all its members, as individuals as well as collectively. This gives great strength to each member of the family in the struggle for daily bread, security and happiness. {6, 3}

It is control of the sexual urge which distinguishes human beings from animals. Promiscuous unrestrained sexual behaviour indicates cold inhuman, often harsh, behaviour towards others, is characteristic of the cold unemotional behaviour of those who exploit others. Sexual self-control and restraint indicates human caring behaviour. {6, 3}

Those who understand its effects know that when sex is restrained and controlled, it performs the enormously important function of creating a special single deep emotional relationship between two people which gives them the strength to overcome life's problems, to form a strong family unit which serves and protects all its members. To be strong the relationship has to be unique and secure. It depends on the ability of the partners to commit themselves to each other. The depth of such a relationship between husband and wife can be appreciated as one sees them both battling on together successfully regardless of how tough the struggle may be. {6, 3}

The family is the basic unit of society. Its strength depends on the ability of the partners to commit themselves to each other, that is its strength depends on those who restrict sexual relations to within marriage. Men and women who do so practice a form of self-control which enables them to form a deep and lasting relationship, which in turn lays the basis for happy and contented family life for themselves and their children. The relationship between them is based on mutual trust and respect arising from the sure knowledge that they are in a vital exclusive relationship to each other, that they are working and co-operating with each other for the common good of themselves and their children. {6, 3}

What gives the family strength is restricting sex to within marriage. {6, 3}

"The virtue of chastity preached by the Church is the basis of the inner unity of the human personality, which should always be in the state of harmony between its mental and bodily powers. (X. 6)

... the Church invariably denounces prostitution and the preaching of the so-called free love in which physical intimacy is completely divorced from personal and spiritual communion, selflessness and all-round responsibility for each other, which are possible only in the lifetime conjugal faithfulness. (X. 6)"


Casual Sex (Fornication; Sexual Relations)

People who behave promiscuously (permissively) have sexual relations before marriage, or after marriage with a person other than their spouse. Promiscuity turns men against women, and women against men, and robs both of the support of their family. {3}

Promiscuous behaviour and casual sexual relationships separate people and turn them against each other, turn men against women and women against men. Promiscuous behaviour and casual sexual relationships break up families, isolate people and rob people of the strength to resist exploitation and oppression. {3}

Those who sleep around (behave promiscuously) pay a heavy price, namely lose the ability to form a satisfying emotionally deeply binding lasting and shared relationship with one other person. They also lose the emotional strength and economic backup such a shared relationship brings. Promiscuity turns men against women, and women against men, and robs both of the support of their family. {3}

In such ways promiscuity breaks up families, weakens the strength of individuals and thus of the community to resist exploitation and oppression. Society corrupts itself when human care, affection and concern for one's own family, and for other people, is weakened, is bypassed by self-interest at the expense of others. Promiscuity conditions people into primitive selfish uncaring behaviour which uses other people for personal gain (pleasure), creating a non-caring society, putting people against each other, at times brutalising them. {3}

"Fornication inevitably ruins the harmony and integrity of one's life, damaging heavily one's spiritual health. Libertinism dulls the spiritual vision and hardens the heart, making it incapable of true love. The happiness of full-blooded family life becomes unattainable for the fornicator. Sins against chastity also lead to negative social consequences. (X. 6)"

There is increasing wanton antisocial behaviour such as vandalism and mugging. There is a loss of internal security, by loss of property and by attack against the person. The quality of life is lowered even further by those who pursue personal gain regardless of its cost to other people. {3}

As permissiveness has increased so we have seen increasing the number of people using others for their own gratification and pleasure without care or concern for them, and also the number of parents behaving brutally towards each other and their children. A process driven by those who want sexual gratification, knowingly or unknowingly without regard to the costs their 'partners' have to pay. {3}

History shows that free societies which allow themselves to become 'permissive' (promiscuous) weaken themselves to the point where their civilisation destroys itself, or is destroyed by outsiders. Those who wish to weaken democracy condone or encourage 'permissiveness'. On the other hand, those who restrict sex to within marriage gain creativity and increase their strength. {3}

"The propaganda of vice is especially harmful for the still infirm souls of children and youth. Through books, films and other video products, as well as the mass media and some educational curricula, teenagers are often taught an idea of sexual relations extremely humiliating for the human dignity, since it gives no room to such notions as chastity, marital faithfulness and selfless love. Intimate relations between man and woman are not only exposed for show, offending the natural feeling of prudence, but also presented as an act of purely corporal gratification without any association with inner communion or any moral obligations. The Church urges the faithful to struggle, in co-operation with all morally healthy forces, against the propagation of this diabolical temptation, which, by destroying the family, undermines the foundations of society. ... (X. 6)"


Mass Media, Sex Education and Pornography

The media seem to be concentrating on portraying superstition, violence and casual-sex behaviour as acceptable, so strengthening primitive uncaring and antisocial behaviour towards others. And images penetrate deeply into the human mind. {3}

Sexually explicit and pornographic material would seem to be taking this process even further. {3}

So media are at present persuading and conditioning people into thinking that antisocial behaviour such as promiscuity will not have unpleasant consequences. However, the cost to the individual and to the community of the kind of negative and antisocial behaviour outlined in the sections above, of the lowering of the quality of life, is enormous. {3, 12, 11}

"In the situation of a spiritual crisis of the human society, the mass media and the products of the so-called mass culture sometimes become instruments of moral corruption by praising sexual laxity, all kinds of sexual perversion and other sinful passions. (X. 6)

Pornography, which is the exploitation of the sexual drive for commercial, political or ideological purposes, contributes to the suppression of the spiritual and moral principles, thus reducing man to an animal motivated by instinct alone. (X. 6)"

What we see is an almost intentional-seeming conditioning towards antisocial behaviour which breaks up families and so weakens individuals, and which divides people against each other and so weakens them even further. {3}

It looks as if men are being conditioned into opting out of their responsibilities for family, wife and children. Women, on the other hand, are apparently being conditioned into giving away the real support and security they and their children could expect from husband and family, for no real gain. {3}

But there are ways of teaching social responsibility, of teaching the young how to take responsibility for others, how to care for, work with and look after other people. Social responsibility, the caring, giving and sharing with others, the taking on of responsibility for others including conflict management, can be and is being taught. {13}

"The mass media play an ever-increasing role in the contemporary world. ... It is important to remember at the same time that the information of the spectator, listener and reader should be based not only on the firm commitment to the truth, but also concern for the moral state of the individual and society. This involves the interpretation of positive ideals as well as the struggle with the spreading of evil, sin and vice. The propaganda of violence, enmity and hatred and ethnic, social and religious discord and the sinful exploitation of human instincts, including for commercial purposes, are inadmissible. The mass media, which have an enormous influence on the audience, bear a great responsibility for the education of people, especially the younger generation. Journalists and mass media executives should never forget about this responsibility. (XV. 1.)" "Aware of the need for the school, along with the family, to give children and adolescents the knowledge of sexuality and the physical human nature, the Church cannot support those programs of sexual education in which premarital intercourse and, all the more so, various perversions are recognised as the norm. It is absolutely unacceptable to impose such programs upon schoolchildren. School is called to oppose vice which erodes the integrity of the personality, to educate children for chastity and prepare them for creating solid families based on faithfulness and purity. (X. 6.)"


Church and State

At issue between 'church' and 'state' are the laws of behaviour and the social system {5, 10} which are laid down in the Pentateuch <7>:

The Pentateuch states that all are equal, that no person may oppress or exploit another, that all have the right to be free and be independent masters of their own fate.

Every person is entitled as a matter of right to social security. This means that people are entitled to be supported by the community not only when they fall on hard times but also to maintain their independence as independent breadwinners for their families.

For example, the community has to provide backup funds to those who need them and they have to be provided as and when required. To prevent people being exploited through their need these funds have to be provided without charging interest and such 'loans' are cancelled every seventh year if the borrower has been unable to repay them.

The country's wealth, and this applies particularly to productive capital, belongs to all equally and has to be shared out. This equal and fair distribution of the community's wealth has to be updated at regular intervals.

The role of those who are rich is seen to be that of administering their wealth and money on behalf of and for the community and not that of enriching themselves at the expense of the community.


But support and co-operation have to be two-way flows. The community supports the individual but only if the individual supports the community. Those supported by the community are under obligation to support others in need of support, when able to do so, to share with others who are in need.

It is only those who themselves keep and apply the social laws and social system of the Pentateuch in their daily lives who are entitled to rights and benefits. Otherwise, to give but one example, funds provided by the community free-of-interest to a non-member (stranger) might be used by the stranger to exploit people by lending funds to others and charging interest so as to enrich himself.

Jesus Christ taught that all the laws had to be kept, that belief and practice included and had to include the Ten Commandments, the social laws and the social system of the Pentateuch. {2}

Included in the social laws of the Pentateuch, for example, are the kingship laws (Pentateuch, Deut 17: 14-20) which state that those in authority must not oppress people so as to increase their own possessions and power, that they must not put themselves above the people and so enrich themselves. They are warned against oppressing people and against forming enforcing squads or organisations so as to multiply their own power, must not be promiscuous and must not amass wealth. They must know and observe the Pentateuch law and its intent and aim to see the Pentateuch laws applied.


Romans 13: Verses 1-10

What came to be known as Paul's letters were written about 50 AD and what stands out is that no one before Paul wrote such letters and that no one did so afterwards. They give his own point of view and personal ideology and he gives them an authority which they would not otherwise have had by means of a self-proclaimed vision. {2}

For no apparent reason, without justification and without stating a source {2}, Paul says in his letter to the 'Romans' (Romans 13: 1-10) that:

  1. All authority comes from God,
    so that rulers (those who are in a position of authority) have been appointed by God.
    Hence let every person
    submit to those who rule.

  2. It follows that whoever resists the rulers
    resists whom God has appointed
    and those who resist rulers will be punished,

  3. for rulers do not terrorise those whose conduct is "good", but those whose conduct is "evil".

    If you want to live without fearing the person who is in authority, then do what is "good" and you will be praised,

  4. for he rules over you in God's place for your own good.

    But if you do that which is "evil", be afraid,
    for his is not an empty threat;
    he will in God's place punish the doer of "evil".

  5. Therefore one must be obedient,
    to avoid their anger (if you do not obey)
    and because to obey is the right thing to do.

  6. For the same reason you also pay taxes,
    for those in authority collecting taxes
    are acting on God's behalf.

  7. Pay all those in authority what they demand,
    taxes, revenues, respect, honour.

  8. Your only obligation to others is to love one another;
    Because he who loves another has fulfilled "the law".

  9. For this
    You shall not commit adultery,
    You shall not murder,
    You shall not steal,
    You shall not bear false witness,
    You shall not covet;
    and if there be any other commandment,
    it is summed up in this saying:
    You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

  10. Love does not do harm to a neighbour;
    therefore love (is) the fulfilling of the law.


Verses 1-7   (Romans 13: )

Astonishingly and without good reason he (Paul) states in verses 1-7 that those in authority rule by 'divine right', that whatever they do is justified because in his opinion they act on God's behalf. Whatever those in authority do or want is called 'good' by Paul and those who resist or oppose them do 'evil' and will be punished. Paul wants all to obey those in authority and to be obedient, to pay taxes and revenues, to respect and honour those in authority.

He is arguing that one must fear and obey those in authority and do for them and give them all they ask, without regard to how selfish, rotten, corrupt, inhuman, vicious, murdering or evil they may be.

The Russian church's document {1} records Paul's statements thus: St. Paul wrote: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou them not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour" (Rom. 13:1-7). (III.1)
The Russian church's document introduces this statement by saying that Paul is:
"Explaining the teaching of Christ on the right attitude to state power".

However, what Paul is saying and putting forward is neither God's word nor is it what Jesus Christ taught. {2}


Verses 8-10   (Romans 13: )

Look again at the social laws and system of the Pentateuch which were briefly referred to at the beginning of this section and which include the kingship laws. You will see how the laws of the Pentateuch ensure freedom and material independence and provide a good life of high quality here and now, backed by effective social security. No one may oppress or exploit another and all are equal, as a matter of God-given law.

It is these laws of behaviour, it is these social laws and this social system which Paul opposes and he next (Romans 13: 8-10) attempts to stop people from keeping such laws.


Take the Ten Commandments.

The first five commandments are those which directly relate to freedom and independence, which give the working population strength in their struggle for a better life for themselves and their children against those who oppress and exploit. {2}

These laws state <8> that:

The only way to gain and keep freedom and independence and a good life free from oppression and exploitation is to follow all these laws.

One must not respect or serve oppressing, exploiting or enslaving beliefs or ideologies.

One must not use God's name to lend authority to a statement which it would not otherwise have or to a false or misleading statement.

One must observe the sabbath day, the seventh day which is a day of rest from work for all, on which all are equal and rest, on which our servants rest just as we do, remembering that it was God who by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm freed us from most brutal service.

One must honour one's father and one's mother and willingly accept God's commands and the tradition, knowledge and life experience of one's parents so that one will progress and advance in understanding and in life and so that one will have long and secure lives of high quality in the land God gives one.

The other five of the Ten Commandments <8> protect people against anti-social behaviour of others by prohibiting the doing of that which would harm or injure other people, prohibiting adultery, murder, theft, false witness and coveting.


Paul himself leaves us in no doubt about his intentions.

He says "Your only obligation to others is to love one another", and that this "fulfils the law" (Romans 13: 8)

Pointedly listing only the last five of the commandments <8>, namely those which protect people only against anti-social behaviour of others, he says that all other commandments are included in the saying "love your neighbour as yourself". (Romans 13: 9)

The laws he does not wish people to have to observe include the first five commandments <8> he pointedly left out from his list, the kingship laws, and the social laws and the social system laws which together ensure freedom and material independence and social security as rights and as entitlements.

And so Paul's letter seems to be more a vehicle for pronouncements directed against obligatory laws which ensure freedom, independence and equality. {2}



But the Russian church's document excludes from its extract these three key verses (Romans 13: 8-10) in which Paul attempts to annul those laws which directly relate to freedom and independence, which give the working population strength in their struggle for a better life for themselves and their children against those who oppress and exploit. {2}

And to that extent the church is quoting out of context.

So much has been written about Christianity and Judaism that it is fairly easy to select one sentence or two from one place, and a sentence or two from a completely different place, and more from another part unrelated to the others, and so on. These can then be added together or compared to arrive at conclusions which back the personal opinion of the individual doing the selecting.

What is valid within the meaning of one record is not necessarily valid within the meaning of another. And the process of 'quoting out of context' often results in conclusions which are totally different from the contexts from which they were selected.

So that the Oxford Dictionary defines 'Out of context' as meaning 'without the surrounding words and therefore giving a false impression of the meaning'.



When Moses brought the tables of the law he brought 'freedom upon the tables' {10}. It is the Ten Commandments as a whole which underlie freedom, independence, a good life and strength to oppose and resist oppression.

We saw that Jesus Christ taught that all the laws had to be kept, that belief and practice included and had to include the Ten Commandments, the social laws and the social system of the Pentateuch. {2}

Paul, however, acted on behalf of the rich and powerful when he tried to convince people that those in authority were God's representatives on earth and that the social laws did not have to be kept. {2}

Matthew struggled to put the record straight, struggled to record what Jesus Christ actually taught (See Manfred Davidmann's 'ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM' {2}). Throughout the ages, Christians of goodwill chose intuitively to interpret Paul's statements about those in authority as meaning that
'the authority of those in authority only comes from God to the extent to which they themselves live according to and apply the Ten Commandments, the social laws and the social system laws' and that only those can 'love one another' who comply with all these laws. {2}


Policies of the Russian Orthodox Church

The church's extensive document 'Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church' {1}, records its social aims and policies. It amounts to a considerable achievement.

The Russian Orthodox Church concludes and states, among other things, that (III.5)

"The Church infallibly preaches the Truth of Christ and teaches moral commandments which came from God Himself. Therefore, she has no power to change anything in her teaching.

Nor has she the power to fall silent and to stop preaching the truth whatever other teachings may be prescribed or propagated by state bodies.

In this respect, the Church is absolutely free from the state. For the sake of the unhindered and internally free preaching of the truth, the Church suffered persecution by the enemies of Christ more than once in history.

But the persecuted Church is also called to endure the persecution with patience, without refusing to be loyal to the state persecuting her."

And that (III.7)

"... the Church should give more attention not to the system of the outer organisation of state, but to the inner condition of her members' hearts.

Therefore, the Church does not believe it possible for her to become an initiator of any change in the form of government. Along the same line, the 1994 Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church stressed the soundness of the attitude whereby 'the Church does not give preference to any social system or any of the existing political doctrines'."


Abstract words (see Appendix 1) like 'infallibly' and 'truth' can mean different things to different people and this applies also to phrases such as 'truth of Christ' and 'right attitude'. Such words and phrases need to be clearly defined in detail when they are used.

For example, the word 'infallibly' is generally taken to mean 'incapable of making mistakes or being wrong'.

Another example is the word 'truth'. In Appendix 1 this is defined as follows:

Consider two media reports of a current event. Each reports the same event, each apparently telling the truth, each report giving its viewers different impressions of what actually happened.

How come? Can there be more than one truth?

Such reports may tell only part of what happened, may report only what seems relevant to the reporter, may then be selecting what seems to support the particular viewpoint of those who prepared the report.

Compare these 'truths' with that demanded from a witness in a court of law: 'The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.'

Which means that what is required in a court of law is the truth with nothing taken away and nothing added.

If we agree on this as a definition, then the word 'truth' has become more meaningful.

So if we agree that for us the word 'truth' means the truth with nothing taken away and nothing added, then the word 'truth' has indeed become more meaningful.


Findings

The church is shown to be quoting out of context from Paul's letter to the Romans, in relation to what seems to be a central core teaching on Christian church-state relationships.

Manfred Davidmann's reports 'ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM' {2} and 'Struggle for Freedom: The Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship' {10}, show that the consequences of not following the word of God, knowingly or unknowingly, are bitter and unavoidable.


A good deal of the church's social knowledge and understanding appears to follow selected insights from the published findings of Manfred Davidmann which were new at the time of publication. Insights such as those about the Tower of Babel, and Genesis generally. This could have been acknowledged in the church's document even although many of his insights have become public knowledge, are in the public domain and well-known.


The church's document also comments on social problems of 'globalisation'. Here I would suggest that reference could have been made to relevant reports by Manfred Davidmann {16-18}, also quoting from the maxims he laid down in 'Multinational Summits and Agreements, Top-level Decision-taking and Democracy' {16}, maxims such as

Representatives, governments or government officials do not have the authority or right to override, reduce or sign away the participative (democratic) rights of the electors, of the population.

No elected representative, government or government employee has overriding right or authority

  1. to hand over to corporations (that is to those who own and control them), to any other organisation or to anyone else, an overriding control over the present and future, economic and social, welfare of the people, or

  2. to sign away democratic rights of their people for the self-determination of key fundamental aspects of their lives.

Decision-taking by leaderships has to be replaced by decision-taking at the level of the people.

The real struggle is not between political left and right, but is a struggle for participation (the right to take decisions).


Abstract words like 'infallibly' and 'truth' (see Appendix 1) can mean different things to different people and this applies also to phrases such as 'right attitude'. Such words and phrases need to be clearly defined in detail when they are used, and particularly so when they are used for laying down principles of faith (doctrines).


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Relevant Current and Associated Works

Relevant current and associated reports by Manfred Davidmann:

To explore a reports new findings or insights, proposals or recommendations, download the report and read its Introduction, Summary, Contents list, Conclusions and Recommendations. The reports are comprehensive and usually some years ahead of current knowledge at the time of publication.

     
     
Title   Description
     
ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM   Proves by methods of biblical archaeology what Jesus really taught, how Paul changed what Jesus had taught, how this became Christianity's official doctrine. Outstanding are sections on Paul and the Gospels, on concurrent corresponding changes in Judaism.
     
Judaism, Christianity and Islam
(Church and State)
  Shows that underlying Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the Pentateuch's benevolent and egalitarian social laws and social system. Reveals for each religion the controversies and conflicts between church and state, between beliefs and practice.
     
Religion, Government and Education
(Church and State)
  Illustrates conflicting aims and interests of state and church with reference to teaching evolution (creationism) and teaching immorality (state-condoned promiscuity). Relative authority of Bible, common law, case law, religious leaderships, judges.
     
Social Policies (Doctrine) of the Roman Catholic Church: An Evaluation
(Church and State)
  The essential and fundamental social doctrines are evaluated in plain and meaningful language. About important principles of faith in relation to globalisation and benevolent church-state-people policies. Aims of the Church's doctrines and the consequences for Catholics. Challenging decisions are needed.
     
The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil   Shows that there is no conflict, no contradiction, no divergence, only awe-inspiring agreement, between what is recorded in Genesis and what we know about the evolution of human beings. And Genesis defines good and evil, pointing to the root of evil.
     
Genesis' Secrets: Pre-flood Evils and the Social Problems of Our Time   Genesis from pre-flood evil to after-flood behaviour, rewards and punishment. Derives hidden list of pre-flood behaviour in Chapter 5. Summarises corresponding present social problems, describes Bible's social laws and social system for overcoming them.
     
Genesis: Differentiating Between Good and Evil   Human beings became numerous and spread out. Different communities developed different traditions and ways of behaving. Shows that with the life and travels of the patriarchs, some learned the difference between good and evil and to behave humanely.
     
Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity   Moral and immoral behaviour and unavoidable consequences. Summarises corresponding present social problems. Describes the Pentateuch's social laws and social system for achieving a good life of high quality.
     
Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty   Genesis on consequences of gaining and misusing power over others. Summarises corresponding present social problems. Describes the Pentateuch's social laws and social system for achieving and keeping liberty and a good life of high quality.
     
Meaning and Significance of the Names of God in Genesis   This short report describes the meaning and significance of the names of God which are used in Genesis. These are of the greatest importance for understanding the meaning of the text of the Bible.
     
Meaning and Intent of Genesis: Essential Notes on Hebrew Grammar   Short note describing the grammatical rules which help to differentiate between references to individuals and references to groups or life forms. Essential information for understanding the meaning of Genesis.
     
Bible Translations, Versions, Codes and Hidden Information in Bible and Talmud   Shows how changes made in the past have obscured the original intended meaning. Describes the ways in which hidden information has been encoded and labelled so that its original meaning could not be misunderstood or misinterpreted.
     
     
     
Family, Sex and the Individual; Women's Liberation, Feminism and Community   This report investigates casual sex and its effects on individuals, family and community. It examines the role of the family in bringing up children and relates dominance and confrontation within the family to that in the working environment.
     
How the Human Brain Developed and How the Human Mind Works   Describes clearly what happens while sleeping, role of dreaming, meaning of dreams. Functioning of the two halves of the human brain is related to the autonomic nervous and the immune systems. Shows how human behaviour is affected by primitive instincts.
     
The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve   Major review, analysis and report about motivation and motivating. Covers remuneration and job satisfaction as well as the factors which motivate. Develops a clear definition of 'motivation'. Lists what people are striving and struggling to achieve, and progress made, in corporations, communities, countries.
     
Motivation Summary   Reviews and summarises past work in Motivation. Provides a clear definition of 'motivation', of the factors which motivate and of what people are striving to achieve.
     
Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability   Incidents, disasters and catastrophes are here put together as individual case studies and reviewed as a whole. We are facing a sequence of events which are increasing in frequency, severity and extent. There are sections about what can be done about this, on community aims and community leadership, on the world-wide struggle for social accountability.
     
Social Responsibility and Accountability: Summary   Outlines basic causes of socially irresponsible behaviour and ways of solving the problem. Statement of aims. Public demonstrations and protests as essential survival mechanisms. Whistle-blowing. Worldwide struggle to achieve social accountability.
     
What People are Struggling Against: How Society is Organised for Controlling and Exploiting People   Report of study undertaken to find out why people have to struggle throughout their adult lives, in all countries, organisations and levels, to maintain and improve their standard of living and quality of life. Reviews what people are struggling against.
     
     
     
Struggle for Freedom: The Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship   Major review and analysis of the social laws and social system of the Torah and of the Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship. Also reviews the role of religion and of Judaism under modern conditions.
     
History Speaks: Monarchy, Exile and Maccabees   Major review and analysis of Jewish history, of King Solomon's reign and of the Maccabean dynasty, locating the causes of subsequent defeat of the people and loss of country. Covers Jewish belief and practice, social conditions and government.
     
At the Time of Jesus, This is What Actually Happened in Israel: The Truth about Hillel and his Times   Factual conclusive document describing what happened at the time of Jesus to Jewish belief and practice, based on research into texts published close to the events. A fully documented record of previously undiscovered material in the Talmud about Hillel.
     
One Law for All: Freedom Now, Freedom for Ever   Document describing the struggles within Judaism which accompanied the birth of Rabbinical Judaism, how people felt about what was happening, how the Talmud recorded events and what would have to be done to reverse the trend of events.
     
Causes of Antisemitism   Shows that there are two separate root causes of antisemitism. One cause can be remedied by increasing peoples' awareness, the other is under the control of the Jewish people and can be remedied from within.
     
The Right to the Land of Israel   This report proves that the right to the land in which one lives, that is the strength and success of a people, depends on how people behave towards each other. This applies to all. The history of the Jewish people provides a convincing example.
     
     
     
Exporting and Importing of Employment and Unemployment   Discusses exporting and importing of employment and unemployment, underlying principles, effect of trade, how to reduce unemployment, social costs of unemployment, community objectives, support for enterprises, socially irresponsible enterprise behaviour.
     
Transfer Pricing and Taxation   One of the most controversial operations of multinationals, transfer pricing, is clearly described and defined. An easily-followed illustration shows how transfer pricing can be used by multinationals to maximise their profits by tax avoidance and by obtaining tax rebates. Also discussed is the effect of transfer pricing on the tax burden carried by other tax payers.
     
Multinational Summits and Agreements, Top-level Decision-taking and Democracy   Describes how secretive top-level multinational meetings and agreements (such as GATT and MAI) negate democratic government and decision-taking. Shows that publicity about what is being planned or taking place is an effective deterrent.
     
     
     
Work and Pay   Major review and analysis of work and pay in relation to employer, employee and community. Provides the underlying knowledge and understanding for scientific determination and prediction of rates of pay, remuneration and differentials, of National Remuneration Scales and of the National Remuneration Pattern of pay and differentials.
     
Work and Pay: Summary   Concise summary review of whole subject of work and pay, in clear language. Covers pay, incomes and differentials and the interests and requirements of owners and employers, of the individual and his family, and of the community.
     
Style of Management and Leadership     Major review and analysis of the style of management and its effect on management effectiveness, decision taking and standard of living. Measures of style of management and government. Overcoming problems of size. Management effectiveness can be increased by 20-30 percent.
     
Role of Managers Under Different Styles of Management     Short summary of the role of managers under authoritarian and participative styles of management. Also covers decision taking and the basic characteristics of each style.
     
Co-operatives and Co-operation: Causes of Failure, Guidelines for Success   Based on eight studies of co-operatives and mutual societies, the report's conclusions and recommendations cover fundamental and practical problems of co-ops and mutual societies, of members, of direction, of management and control. There are extensive sections on Style of Management, decision-taking, management motivation and performance, on General Management principles and their application in practice.
     
     
     
Using Words to Communicate Effectively   Shows how to communicate more effectively, covering aspects of thinking, writing, speaking and listening as well as formal and informal communications. Consists of guidelines found useful by university students and practising middle and senior managers.
     
     
     
Policies for a Better Future   Brings together findings and conclusions based on extensive research reported over a period of time by Manfred Davidmann in other publications. Relevant to individuals, communities, countries and the whole planet, it summarises what needs to be achieved.
     
Manfred Davidmann and his Works   Provides some information about Manfred Davidmann and reviews his work in the fields of General Management, Christianity and Judaism, referring to reports which had been placed on the website by September 1995.
     
The World in Which We Live: Life and Living   Reviews later works placed on the website between September 1995 and December 2001. These provide a unique overview and deep understanding of how we live. We see people struggling worldwide for a better life, see basic causes of conflicts and confrontations and how to overcome them.


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Notes, References and Links


Notes

< 1>     episcopate: the bishops of a church or region collectively.
clergy: the body of people ordained for religious duties in the Christian Church.
laity: lay people (not ordained into or belonging to the clergy.
     
< 2>   See {5}, Genesis 11:6
     
< 3>   See {5}, Genesis 11:4
     
< 4>   See {5}
     
< 5>   In {4} see 'Garden of Eden'.
     
< 6>   In {6} see 'Sanctity of Marriage' and 'Chastity and Rape: The Story of Dinah'.
     
< 7>   Also known as the 'Five Books of Moses' and as 'Torah'.
     
< 8>   In {2} see Appendix 1, 'Ten Commandments'.
     
< 9>   See {12, 14, 7, 8}


References and Links

{ 1}     Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Information and Press Department
17/09/2003
     
{ 2}   ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM:
What Actually Happened, What Jesus Actually Taught and
Later Changes

Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 3}   Family, Sex and the Individual; Women's Liberation, Feminism and Community
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 4}   The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 5}   Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 6}   Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 7}   Style of Management and Leadership
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 8}   Co-operatives and Co-operation: Causes of Failure, Guidelines for Success
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 9}   Using Words to Communicate Effectively
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{10}   Struggle for Freedom: The Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{11}   Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{12}   Social Responsibility and Accountability: Summary
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{13}   To Give or Not To Give
'Everyman' TV documentary
Editor: Jane Drabble; Producer: Angela Kaye
Broadcast on 5/1/92 by BBC 1
Based on book 'The Altruistic Person' by Professor Sam Oliner
     
{14}   What People are Struggling Against: How Society is Organised for Controlling and Exploiting People
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{15}   Genesis 3:16
     
{16}   Multinational Summits and Agreements, Top-level Decision-taking and Democracy
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{17}   Exporting and Importing of Employment and Unemployment
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{18}   Transfer Pricing and Taxation
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/



Appendix 1

Meaning and Use of Words    {9}

Words vary considerably as regards their value for communication. They differ in their level of abstraction. The greater the level of abstraction, the less meaning do they have, do they convey.



LEVELS OF ABSTRACTION


  1. Objects

    Objects represent a relatively low level of abstraction as they can be seen and touched and their characteristics detailed accurately.

    Examples are: Table, chair.


  2. Events

    In addition to objects, both action and time are implied, and so these are more complex.

    Examples are: Accident, sale, party.


  3. Generalisations

    Words are also used as labels for groups and collections of objects or events. These generalisations are more abstract and less precise.

    Examples of such labels are: Furniture, machine tools, employees, parents.

    Employees, for example, can be full-time, part-time, shift working, office working, home working, male, female, young, old, single, married, unskilled, skilled, professional, and more.


  4. Value Judgements or Ideology

    Value judgements and ideology are at the highest level of abstraction and words used as labels for them are quite useless for effective communication until the meaning of the word used is clearly defined in detail.

    Examples of such labels are: Beautiful, valuable, necessary, luxury, lazy, free enterprise, truth, infallible, 'right attitude'.

    Such words can be strung together and mixed with generalisations to provide good-sounding speeches and statements of the kind politicians like to use, to provide speeches and statements with no real meaning attached to the words used. Listeners or readers use their own idea of what the words mean and so their understanding of what is being said differs widely from person to person.


I listed the word 'truth' as an example of a label for a meaningless abstraction. Surely 'truth' ought to be more than a meaningless value judgement, so let us look at this in more detail.

Consider two media reports of a current event. Each reports the same event, each apparently telling the truth, each report giving its viewers different impressions of what actually happened.

How come? Can there be more than one truth?

Such reports may tell only part of what happened, may report only what seems relevant to the reporter, may then be selecting what seems to support the particular viewpoint of those who prepared the report.

Compare these 'truths' with that demanded from a witness in a court of law: 'The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.'

Which means that what is required in a court of law is the truth with nothing taken away and nothing added.

If we agree on this as a definition, then the word 'truth' has become more meaningful.



Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview


The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

To see the Site Overview page, click Overview

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Copyright    ©    2004    Manfred Davidmann
All rights reserved worldwide.

History
30/05/04 Completed
13/06/04 To Website
26/11/04 Added 'Overview'
16/01/05 Shorter description