“Until the last decade or so the development of what it is perhaps still too early to call ‘American Orthodoxy’ had been largely unconscious, as it indeed remains in the majority of those who call themselves “Orthodox” today. But, as the history of Orthodoxy in America has made abundantly clear, “unconscious” Orthodoxy is but a step on the road to the abandonment of Orthodoxy altogether.” Fr. Seraphim (Rose) of Blessed Memory.
The above quote is from a review that Fr. Seraphim wrote for a small book called “The History of the Russian Church Abroad.” The book is a fascinating read. The book itself is not really relevant to this present post but Bl. Seraphim’s observation is. ( I was directed to the review and the book itself by a reader, I’m always very thankful for such things.)
Christ our Lord tells us, “For the gate is wide and the way easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14).
At present, it seems there are many who want to construct an “easy” Orthodoxy. One that does not disrupt our modern sensibilities too much. One that does not challenge; one that does not require of us steadfast confession of the Faith of the Fathers. Our general insouciance is gussied up in pietistic clothing – “who am I to judge!” “What do I know, I’m just a sinner,” as one casts a coy glance towards the ground with listless hands folded over the chest while heaving a deep sigh.
I have yet to encounter that spinelessness is a Christian virtue. There exists a vast gulf between being truly humble and being spinless. Yet, it seems that humility is commonly used as an excuse to be spinless and unconscious.
When the clear Revelation of the Faith is at stake, all faithful believers are called to take a humble, courageous, and steadfast stand (according to their ability). True humility does not compromise the Faith, because the Faith is a Revelation from God incarnate. It does not stand aside with gentle sighs as the treasure of Faith is pillaged. Only the most arrogant and insolent of men seek to subtlely and seductively alter the Faith, which will thereby make it no longer the Faith.
I’ve been tracking on my blog the situation of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. I’m doing this because it has massive spiritual ramifications, yes even for sleepy American Orthodoxy. The time for sleep is passed, it is time to awake. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead” (Eph. 5:14).
The group constructed by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Ukraine, the self-styled “orthodox church” of Ukraine is both apostate and blasphemous. Fellowship and communion with them is fellowship in their blasphemy.
Another piece to the puzzle has been revealed. At their latest “synod” meeting a major LGBTQ activist in Ukraine was present. This coincides with the fact that earlier Epiphany (self-styled leader of said group) stated that the church needs to reform its stance on LGBT issues. Orthodoxy needs to be more open, it’s just too close-minded! (The destruction of Christian morality is a grand means to destroy Christian teaching, all in the name of “love” of course!) The intended agenda should be abundantly clear by now for anyone who has eyes to see. (Keep in mind that the Greek Archdiocese of America under the EP has also been promoting anti-christian morality. This comes not from simply scattered individuals but from places of authority and money, see Fr. John Whiteford’s article for some basic references.)
Yes, in the “new and improved orthodoxy” men know better than God. “God” will be retained as a convenient means to manipulate and control people (you better be obedient, by golly!) but in reality, He will not be welcome whatsoever (unless reference to Him can be used to advance oneself or garner donations). After all, His revelation is cruel. Tradition doesn’t understand modern man. It doesn’t make people feel good about themselves. It doesn’t affirm every wandering lust and desire to be valid and okay. True Orthodoxy is just a big meany! You don’t want to be a meany!
In the “new and improved orthodoxy” you can fulfill your passions and be saved too! How convenient! It’s easy. Nice and wide and broad. No inconvenient “narrowness.” After all, being narrow is just mean! You don’t want to be a fanatic!
This “neo-doxy” will be the offering of the new order to the Orthodox: we’ll let you exist but you must change your teaching. You must disavow absolute Truth. You must surrender Divine Revelation.
To keep power and prestige many will make the trade: the treasure of Orthodoxy for worldly gain. This will not be limited to one “jurisdiction” in America, and possibly no jurisdiction will be excluded from this exchange.
The situation in Ukraine is a further and more aggressive manifestation of the emerging global neo-doxy. Yet, it seems, rather than face it, we here in America just want to fluff our pillows and go back to sleep. It will all just be okay if I just ignore it. I mean, ultimately, it doesn’t really affect my personal prayer life … (I heard this from one person.)
Our willful “unconsciousness” will only end in the loss of True Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy by nature is watchful and conscious.
O, Lord, where are the defenders of the Faith?! We need them desperately! Grant grace and strength to His Beatitude, Met. Onuphry, and the faithful in Ukraine. May we be inspired by their struggles for the Gospel and Holy Orthodoxy!
6 thoughts on “Go to Sleep, Everything is Just Fine”
Very well said, Father!
It’s akin to taking that first step onto the slippery slope or opening Pandora’s box. When it comes to the Church’s theology those who change “this” today can & will change “that” tomorrow. There is no end to it…
Your Matrix reverence to the red pill / blue pill scene is very fitting. If we can’t see the danger here we are most certainly deep in a dream-state while comfortably sound asleep.
Very well said, Father!
It’s akin to taking that first step onto the slippery slope or opening Pandora’s box. When it comes to the Church’s theology those the change “this” today can & will change “that” tomorrow. There is no end to it…
Your Matrix reference to the red pill / blue pill scene it very fitting. If we can’t see the clear & present danger here we are most certainly deep in a dream-state while comfortably sound asleep.
The Meaning of Affliction
Eugene [Fr. Seraphim] Rose Lay Sermon July 1963 from his book “Heavenly Realm”
Among the innumerable spiritual lessons we may learn from the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, one of the most important is that of the meaning of affliction. Most men in their days, as in our own, sought “peace” and “security”; but the Apostles were in continual peril and uncertainty, often hungry and cold, beaten, stoned, persecuted, imprisoned, and finally martyred. Far from despairing over their lot, they rejoiced in it, knowing that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom 8:18). They knew the necessity of pain and affliction for the spiritual life. Through the bearing of tribulation one learns patience and hope (Rom 5:1-3); the greater one’s suffering, the greater is one’s consolation in Christ, and the better one is able to console others in distress (II Cor. 1:4-5); even dissensions and divisions among the faithful are necessary so that the true servants of Christ may be separated from the false (I Cor 11:19). But perhaps the most valuable thing to be learned from affliction is the knowledge of one’s own weakness; for then one comes entirely to depend upon the strength of Christ. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor 12:10).
Today the power and seductiveness of the world are stronger than ever. Everywhere Christians are tempted to take the easy path, to seek “peace” and “security” and flee from pain and affliction, to view life as an occasion for the enjoyment of earthly blessings, instead of a time of trial in which our eternal destiny is to be decided. But God expects more than this from those who glory in the name of Orthodox Christians. So that we will not forget Him and His eternal Kingdom, God mercifully sends us troubles, distress, sorrows, persecution; these are to awaken us who sleep and show us where our true home is. Let us remember the example of the Holy Apostles, and especially the burning fervor and faith which sustained them in all their trials; let us heed the many exhortations of the Apostle Paul, as well as those of our shepherds today who continue to speak and tell us to prepare, in pain and tribulation, for the Kingdom of eternal glory and joy. Weak as we are, no trial is too great for us if our strength is of Christ. “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).
SEE ALSO:The Folly of Comfortable Christianity “Comfortable Christianity is not wanting to carry your cross.”http://orthochristian.com/82574.html
Christ is born! Glorify Him! John
Forgive me, I meant to add this as well…
There are no lives that meet the standards of modernity. Those lives that are marked by maximum consumption, enjoyment, and productivity are never free from suffering (though wealth can forestall many things). A profound absence within modernity is the ability to account for suffering as anything other than failure and misfortune. Many contemporary Christians, enamored of a false interpretation of the fall, agree with this absence. This creates a modern Christianity willing to join in the project of eliminating suffering, regardless of the moral cost. However, there can be no authentic Christian voice that does not also ask for suffering on the part of its adherents.
The equation of suffering with evil distorts the meaning of love. True love, in the image of Christ, involves suffering. It is self-emptying, voluntarily denying the demands of self in the interests of the other. This form of suffering is placed in the midst of Paradise itself.
A Full Life· Christ does not flee from suffering Fr. Stephen Freeman
Again: Christ is born! Glorify Him! John
The Fall of the Phanar: Why Now?
The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.
Saying attributed variously to St John Chrysostom and St Athanasius the Great
We do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy among the five sister Patriarchates; and we recognize her rights to the most honourable seat at a Universal Council. But she has separated herself from us by her own deeds, when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office…How shall we accept from her decrees that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge?…What kind of parenthood, or even what kind of brotherhood can this be? We should be the slaves, not the sons, of such a Church…
Archbishop Nicetas of Nicomedia in 1136
Wilt thou be lord over all the earth?
Antony and Cleopatra, 2, 7, 62, Shakespeare
Well over 200 million Orthodox have no idea that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has fallen into schism and is now out of communion with most Orthodox. They live in their own countries. It is only in the Diaspora, where national dioceses live side by side, that anything is apparent. Power and money corrupt and US ambassadors have been given ‘the dirt’ on many a Greek bishop, not to mention a few Serbs, Bulgarians and others. Those who morally compromised themselves in the past are now slaves to the US State Department, just as, in my youth, compromised bishops in Moscow were slaves to the KGB.
After 100 years of schism and heresy, caused by the Greek national passion of not seeing their Patriarch as an instrument of God, but as a mere ethnarch, things are ending badly. Several Local Churches, who look, it seems, more to nationalism than to Christ, are now dividing into Orthodox and Western-backed nationalists. All this began with Constantinople’s adoption of the Roman Catholic calendar nearly 100 years ago, behind which hid ecumenism. And behind this hid the Greek bid for power, attempted Greek nationalist domination of the Orthodox world after the Western-engineered Russian Revolution, in which the Phanar rejoiced.
Why now? As the Russian Church revived after the fall of atheism and then the fall of the American puppet-regime under Yeltsin, it became urgent for the US-backed Phanar to make a bid for ultimate power before it was finally pushed aside by reality. With its last desperate and reckless fling of the dice, it is now ending with Constantinople’s schism and unashamedly openly-preached heresy of unity with Roman Catholicism, as before 1453. The Saints of Athos weep. Who would want to unite with a pedophile organization? The Patriarchate of Constantinople is today disgraced by homosexual scandals.
Of course, Constantinople, and the ethnic phyletists who support it, in Greece, Alexandria and elsewhere, can still come back to Orthodoxy, can still repent. We can only pray that this may be so.
This entry was posted in Apostasy, Constantinople, Orthodox Unity and tagged Repentance on December 4, 2019 by Father Andrew. http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/
Your blessing, Fr +
Christ is Born!
“When the clear Revelation of the Faith is at stake, all faithful believers are called to take a humble, courageous, and steadfast stand. True humility does not compromise the Faith, because the Faith is a Revelation from God incarnate. Only the most arrogant and insolent of men seek to subtlely and seductively alter the Faith, which will thereby make it not the Faith.”
Thank you, always for your insight, Fr. Always spot on!
Your servant, Deacon Michael +
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