From 15 September 1944 to 8 May 1945, the great Serbian Orthodox theologian and contemporary Church Father, Bishop Nicholas (Velimirovich) of Zhicha, was imprisoned by the Nazis in the notorious concentration camp of Dachau. There he kept a diary of seventy-six chapters, “Through a Prison Window,” in which he addressed himself to the Serbian people.
In it St. Nicholas the Serb, as many now call him, never mentioned his own sufferings, but rather expressed his profound grief at the spiritual and moral decadence of contemporary mankind, which he called, “Life without aim and death without hope.” According to the Saint, it was this aimlessness and hopelessness which explained the European catastrophe of the twentieth century and its World Wars. Here follows the translation of one of those chapters within which the saint is still calling Europe to repentance.
What could the Old Testament be called in contemporary language? It could be called the court records of the judgment of God and His people, at that time, the chosen people. The prophets literally say that God enters into judgment with His people (Isaiah 3, 13-14; Micah 6,2; Malachi 3,5).
In our own times the we hear of so-called secret records and documents, some of which have been exposed and have even been published. These records are supposed to describe various schemes to subjugate the world. In them there is no God, no prophetic word, no testament, no heavenly holiness in its words, no heavenly imprint. This is because they are vain journalism. These contemporary secret records contain about one hundred pages. But the records of the judgment of God with the Jewish people over thousands of years constitute about a thousand pages. Reading these ancient court records—the Old Testament—each of us has two sincere feelings. The first is amazement at Divine faithfulness and longsuffering; the second—shame at the perfidiousness of the chosen people in their relation to God their Benefactor, at their resistance to Him, that can only be explained as satanic malice, disobedience to Him, a disobedience which even a mule or some other beast does not show to its master and the one who feeds it.
But we, who live in the twentieth century, no longer belong to the Old Testament but to the New Testament. What is the difference? The difference is great. In the Old Testament God spoke to people through the mouths of prophets and angels, but in the New Testament, where He appeared as a man in the flesh, He speaks personally and directly. What can be said of those who flee the light of the Gospel for the darkness of Egypt and seek to enter into judgment with God with the same Jewish obstinacy of Old Testament times? We can only say that Christians who enter into judgment with God, who renounce Christ, show malice and disobedience to God Who is made manifest; such people are foolish and sinful, worse than the Old Testament Jews, who did not wish to hear the angels of God, the prophets and the righteous, for they were insolent to the servants of the Master, but the former are insolent to the Master Himself.
If the history of the last three centuries—the 18th, 19th and 20th—were to be given its true name, then there could not be found a more fitting name than “The Records of the Judgment between Europe and Christ;” for all the significant events in Europe of the last three centuries are connected to our Lord Jesus Christ.
In reality, at the judgment between Europe and Christ the following is happening.
Christ reminds Europe that it is baptized in His Name and must be faithful to Him and His Gospel. The defendant Europe replies:
- All denominations are equal. The French Encyclopedists told us this and it is wrong to force anyone to believe in any one of them. Europe shows tolerance to all denominations as national customs, as it wishes to keep its imperialistic interests, but Europe itself is not attached to any of them. But when it has achieved its political goals, then it will swiftly settle accounts with these vain folk beliefs.
Then Christ asks with sorrow: