The New Epoch and the Loss of Personhood and Self-knowledge

We must speak with children about the dangers of temptation. Toward the end of the 1950s a new epoch dawned in Europe, and two misfortunes came quickly upon us: the post-Christian era and globalism, along with the erosion of faith and the crumbling of morality.

Now that I have reached old age I have begun to understand that in this time the last attack of the devil has begun, and it is directed against the treasures of the Orthodox faith and Christian life.

Globalism is like a huge mill that grinds everything; the result is an unrecognizable mixture in which no one will retain his personhood, and self-knowledge is lost.

Now everything will be easy, everything will be allowed – total freedom, for the Church has stood as a hindrance and barrier (to these things).”

(Fr. Gregory of Mt. Athos. Translated from Russian. Athonite Elders, Moscow, 2011.)

assimilated

After the World Wars the world was drastically altered. Truly, in some sense, a new order of world governments began to arise. The “Old” world, which was already being deconstructed for a few centuries, was blown away in the dust of global warfare. An event of vital importance during this time to Orthodox was the loss of an Orthodox ruler, I outlined this in an article on the significance of Tsar Nicholas II.

In the ashes of the “Old” world a “New” world is in the process of being built. A multitude of Orthodox voices, from the New-Martyrs of Rus’ to modern Elders in various places, have given sober testimony to the aims of this “New” order.

To our modern ears they sound somewhat radical and drastically apocalyptic. It may be that we simply have deadened ears. It may be that we resent the fact that such words challenge the tepidity of our Faith and the pleasure we take in comfort and ease. We don’t want our boat to be rocked.

Yet, for any sober Orthodox Christian it is vital to understand that the main enemy of the “New” order is True Christianity. The quote above from the elder on Mt. Athos puts it in stark terms, “the last attack of the devil … directed against the treasures of Orthodox faith …”

It is no stretch to state that the concept of “Personhood” was given to the world through the Orthodox Church and its defense of Christology. The general understanding of “personhood” is rooted in the Person of Christ Jesus.

Is it any wonder that globalism seeks to obliterate “person?” With the loss of true personhood, all self-knowledge is subsequently lost. Globalism tramples on everything and leaves only ashes in its tracts. Remember “communism” and “globalism” have similar connotations. Communism desired to make of the world a massive commune where there are no persons; globalism is in many aspects simply a “Neo-communism.” Communism’s fruits are evident to anyone who desires to know – blood, destruction, and the death of millions upon millions; most of all an utterly violent battle against Christianity.

Traditional cultures are ruthlessly assaulted by the current “globalist” spirit. It seeks to rip up the deep roots of traditional culture and replace it with blue-jeans, fast-food, entertainment and more! You will be assimilated.

Most of all Orthodox Christianity is seen as the enemy. Thus, as has been a repeated topic of mine, it is being assaulted. At present, it is not nearly in such a brutish manner as Soviet communism, for example. The current attack is much more subtle; it has much greater finesse.

Orthodoxy is being offered a place of position within Globalism. It is being offered a position of prestige amidst the pantheon of religious relics. Of course, all who accept the offer will only retain the outward shell of “Orthodoxy.” For by aligning themselves with the globalist powers they will deprive themselves of the grace of God. Sadly, there are those even now who are eagerly responding to the invitation.

The golden carrot is – look you may retain your position, your place, you may even have a certain influence in events, all you must do is recognize the authority of the “new” order. Underneath the gold is but poison and death. The soul must be given as payment; personhood must be relinquished.

As Orthodox who are striving to be faithful to Christ and His Church, we should not fear, nor should we be timid. We must be sober and we must be watchful as the Scriptures command us. We must be discerning and wise in the times in which God has placed us. To us it has been given to live in such times; to us it has been given to hold fast to the Faith as it has been delivered unto us. May we be as iron shards which break the teeth of God-less globalism.

In your patience possess ye your souls” (Lk. 21:19).

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