Saint Nicholas Velimirovich: "the causes of war"
From the book "War and the Bible", by St. Nicholas Velimirovich
Culture as an idol is nowadays one of the most blind idols. Rejecting God who is the sole inspirer and instigator of the most noble culture of both soul and body, atheists began to worship their works and constructs which they call in one word - culture. But to worship human works is the most hateful thing before God.
“... Of these five idols, two can be called foolish and three hypocritical. Foolish are nationalism and culture, because many people shout and declare themselves, while hypocritical are materialism, imperialism and egoism, because they hide and lie by presenting themselves under different names. All these idols could be called, in Dostoevsky's language, maniacs.”
Since God in His commandments has strictly forbidden people to worship His works and His creation, of which the most trivial is more perfect than the most perfect human culture. And since civilization is placed in dependence on the other idols mentioned here, especially material goods, it is because it too serves dynamically the culture of war germs which before or after leads to the birth of warlike inflammation.
Of these five idols, two can be called foolish and three hypocritical. Foolish are nationalism and culture, because many people shout and declare themselves, while hypocritical are materialism, imperialism and egoism, because they hide and lie by presenting themselves under different names. All these idols could be called, in Dostoevsky's language, maniacs.
Of course, all five of these were once real values and could still be. They are real values when they are illuminated by faith in God, the One and Living One, and when they are under the law of God, in a word, when they are under the absolute sovereignty of God and serve the glory of God's name. All comes from God and was given to men to serve them and not to rule over their souls. Empires are given by God to certain charismatic peoples who as stronger brothers serve the weaker and less charismatic peoples, as the stronger brother serves the weaker. The nation is a limited, but extremely beautiful and proper field of service to God and man.
The person (the ego) is a rational soul, given by God to every human being so that through ministry and love he can elevate it to the likeness of Him, his creator. Culture is inspired by God, so that through it the human soul may express its dominion over the material world and its submission to the service of God. All five of these take on an angelic face through ministry and love as the Lord Christ has ordained and commanded. But just as the seraphim who fell from God was once called Lucifer and was instantly transformed into the devil, so all these five values, cut off from God, become idols and maniacs.
Now notice how the relative saturation of these five idols leads people to sloth, corruption, decay and disgust for everything, foolishness and suicide (as just before the end of the Roman Empire). But this gluttony leads men to the depths of bitterness, jealousy, remorse, unconsciousness and all kinds of violence, and again to suicide. In both cases all idols exude hatred and contempt for the meek and good Lord Christ and thus lead people to war.
It is better not to enter into the enumeration of all the heavy wounds which this fivefold idolatry has opened in the organism of Europe and America, because we would be repeating day after day what is repeated in the columns of crimes and crimes, as well as in other columns which could be called: indifference to Christ and His commandments. It is clear from what we have said so far, that the Christian peoples who were in a spiritual marriage with Christ, disbelieved and surrendered to lowly bonds with nothingness, with dust, with ashes and shadows.
But does not everyone who believes live in constant fear and anxiety for the defense and assurance of his life? This is the image and fruit of modern idolatry - fear, and because of fear, extreme selfishness, convulsive attachment to all and the grasping of material goods. And because for the one and the same material good many are competing for it inevitably means conflict and war.