New Men and Old Sins by James Kushiner
|Lenin's older brother Alexander|
No sin and no repentance. It seems we now live in a Country for New Men, for whom scientific technique and scientifically enlightened government is the path to paradise on earth. If something goes awry--say a dozen children are gunned down by a suicidal killer--why, we simply must create new laws and regulations, for we have obviously miscalculated. Wrong turns down our national highway to the future are thus met with a mere word, "Recalculating," from our national GPS leaders. Not, "We have sinned. Let us repent." How, indeed, to turn back from 55 million abortions (and counting) without saying "sin" I can't imagine.
Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment was also one of Russia's New Men, like Alexander Ulyanov, who did not believe in sin. But after his crime, through reading the account of raising Lazarus, Raskolnikov came to his senses and repented. He had sinned. He abandoned the attitude of the New People for that expressed by this verse from the Lenten Triodion of the Orthodox Church: "Hateful thoughts have covered my soul with leprosy: cleanse it, Word of God, with the sprinkling of Thy Blood, O Christ, who for my sake has suffered Crucifixion."
I do not wish to be one of those New Men, but one of those Old Men for whom redemption is found only in Christ and him Crucified. Jesus, who came to save Old Adam, if you will, was crucified through the calculations of New Men. And thus it always is. Let us stand with him on Golgotha that we may rise with him.