Origins and Transformation of the Hristovers: Features of the Doctrine
In the XVII-XVIII centuries. socio-political contradictions in the Russian empire led to the separation from orthodoxy of a number of communities, commonly known as "spiritual Christians," or the old Russian sectarianism. Declaring the doctrine of Orthodoxy authoritarian, they advocated the profession of faith "in the spirit and in the truth," for a spiritual interpretation of Scripture. All spiritual Christians are characterized by: the rejection of the Orthodox Church and the whole institute of the church hierarchy, the basic Orthodox dogmas, sacraments, the cult of the saints, icons, as well as the belief in the incarnation of the Holy Spirit in living people, the "spiritual" baptism which is the teaching of the word of God, human self-communication with God. They declared the whole world spiritual, condemned luxury, preached severe asceticism.