What Can We Learn from King Herod Agrippa

Metropolitan Luke’s wartime notes

Christ is Risen, my dear readers!

Agrippa. Paris, Louvre Museum. Photo: Pinterest Agrippa. Paris, Louvre Museum. Photo: Pinterest Holy Scripture describes events that are repeated in one form or another in various times, under various circumstances. Thus, today [Bright Monday] we read in church how the Jewish high priest and Herod Agrippa formed a coalition of mutual aid and friendship. The king hoped that the religious figures would help him bolster his power. The religious figures thought that thanks to the king, their position in society would be stronger and more durable. But what in fact happens when you have a union of religion and state? There has never been an example in history when the state became more religious thanks to such a coalition. It has always turned out the other way around. Instead of religion serving God, it began to serve the state. The state in turn began to use religion to carry out plans that are not inherent to religion.

So then, what is the proper way? you ask. It is proper for the Church to teach the people how to save their souls. And for the state to concern itself with serving the people and not turn the lives of their citizens into hell. Each should concern itself with its own work.

The example of Herod Agrippa is an icon of what can happen to statesmen who decide to go against God for the sake of their own gain. No matter what they think of themselves, or how they exalt themselves, their fate will be very grievous. No less grievous will be the fate of those religious figures who, instead of serving God, start kowtowing to the powerful of this world.

Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko)     

No matter how hard it is for us, no matter how we are persecuted, or how we suffer, we must place all our hope not in the princes of this world, for in them there is no salvation, but in the merciful God. The Church should not always live in a state of bliss and peace, however we may wish for that. This is a direct path to the degradation of its members. The Church must periodically pass through renewal through persecutions, by which it is sanctified. And those who by God’s mercy will serve in the Church during that blessed period should be thankful to God for this gift, because this is the very best time of our life, in which we can prove our faithfulness to Christ not only in word, but also in deed.

Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporozhye and Melitopol
Translation by OrthoChristian.com



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