Christ is Risen!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
“The Church is forever eager to joyfully walk towards apocalyptic martyrdom in order to defend and preserve the theanthropic Person of Christ,” St. Justin Popovich.
The vocation of the True Christian is to valiantly defend the Truth and Revelation of the God-man in this world.
A primary temptation is to compromise the Truth of the God-man so as to appease this fallen world.
Holding steadfast to Christ is an apocalyptic endeavor, one that is inevitably tied to martyrdom. Martyrdom is the willingness to suffer persecution, rejection, defamation, and such for the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Martyrdom may include a physical death, but it is essentially a spiritual state in which a Christian learns to live.
When those in the Church begin to short-sale the Gospel in an attempt to maintain a seeming “peace” with the fallen world, something is terribly wrong. Even more terrifying is when the framework of Christianity is used to promote an anti-gospel. One that will inevitably lead to desecration and destruction. The only end for such will be that of “anathema.”
“I marvel that you are so quickly transferring yourselves from the One Who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, not that there is another gospel” (Gal. 1:6).
St. Vincent of Lerins speaks to us these sobering words, “It behooves us then to have a great dread of the crime of perverting the faith and adulterating religion, a crime from which we are deterred not only by the Church’s discipline, but also the censure of apostolic authority. For everyone knows how gravely, how seriously, how vehemently, the blessed Apostle Paul inveighs against certain who, with marvelous levity, had been so soon to remove from him who had called them to the grace of Christ to another gospel, which was not another, ‘but was according to their own desires; they who have itching ears and who have heaped up for themselves teachers – and indeed they have turned away their ear from the truth and were turned aside to fables’ [cf. 2 Tim. 4:3].”
Do we witness around us a great dread in things touching upon the Life of Christ in His Church? How many holy things have been and continue to be mishandled, and with what levity? Have we been more akin to Uzzah in our disposition towards the things of Christ?
“We must not be mistaken: Christianity is Christianity only on account of the God-man; in this lies its extraordinary meaning and power” teaches St. Justin.
Once we who may be members of the Church begin to willingly compromise this essential uniqueness, then the movement away from the Truth and reality of Christ in His Church is begun. The Heavenly reality does not change according to the whims of men. It is immutable. Neither are the times, politics, social happenings, sickness, or death itself able to alter the extraordinary meaning and power of Christ in His Church.
“The God-man is the essence, the purpose, the meaning, and the essential value of the Church. He is its soul, its heart, and its life. He is the Church in its entire theanthropic fullness. The Church is nothing other than the God-man Christ projected through all the centuries: ‘And lo, I am with you always, to the the close of the age (Matt. 28:20)” proclaims the contemporary holy father St. Justin.
Thus, what will become of the Church if Christ – the soul, the heart, and the life – is expelled so to placate the powers of this age? This is an age old struggle. Truly the Church in Her essential and mysterious reality is incapable of such an act; yet we Her members may attempt to sell Christ to Pilate so that we do not lose our place. Lest, we begin to cry out in word and deed, “we have no king but Caesar!” – valuing Caesar and his benevolence above the Prince of Peace, and in action and word acknowledging our disposition of faith that only Caesar can give us “peace” and “safety.” In doing so we will find ourselves in another gospel, and therefore outside of the Church in Her reality. For there is no other gospel.
Such deeds participate in the spirit of “abomination of the desolation … standing in the holy place” (cf. Matt. 24:15). St. Ambrose of Milan links this abomination to the denial of Christ in the temple. (Clearly there are multiple layers of understanding here, I highlight but one.) He says, ultimately of the Antichrist, but it is also applicable to the spirit thereof, which is at work even now in the world, “he will deny Christ in a temple, not one inviolate but subject to corruption, which is either surrounded by the ruin of unbelief or undermined by the violence of anger, or burned by the fires of desires.”
The abomination is clearly linked to a corrupting of the temple, which may be understood as the Church. Again, the true Church can never be corrupted. An aspect of this corrupting is to reduce the temple to but a part of the corrupting factors of this fallen world. The abomination is the placing of a new anti-gospel in the midst of the temples of God. The final abomination will only be possible because the spirit was allowed to operate primarily in those places that should be temples of the Most High. An aspect of the abomination is to set the reason of the fallen world above the Holy Truth of Revelation in the Church. It is to subjugate the holy things to the profane.
The temple may also be our own hearts. We much keep them steadfast in Christ through repentance and a longing to be faithful to Him.
“What is the essence of Orthodoxy? It is the God-man Christ. Everything that is Orthodox has a divine-human character: knowledge, the senses, the will, the mind, morality, dogma, philosophy, and life. Divine humanity is the only category in which all the manifestations of Orthodoxy are received and fully operate,” elucidates St. Justin.
Thus, anything that is done that is not clearly and evidently founded upon the Divine humanity, the God-man, and the principles of His Incarnation, is not proper or befitting. The Incarnation is the standard for the operation of the Body of Christ, the Church, even unto this very day.
Outside of the Life in Christ, even the form of Orthodoxy will become a hollow shell, devoid of life and power. And let us beware, for we may have “a form of godliness, and deny the power thereof,” and from such, St. Paul says, turn away (cf. 2 Tim 3:5). Devoid of the living power of the God-man and the firm testimony of His Life operating continuously in His body, St, John Chrysostom says one is left with only “a form, a type, and hypocrisy.” Only desolation remains.
There is no other way for the Church to live but in and through Christ Her Lord. If people build on any principles other than the Incarnation of the Logos, then they are building anti-church As St. Justin teaches, “The Church because she is the body of Christ, constantly depends upon the incarnate divine Logos for Her essential being. The Church receives her immeasurable fullness of divine-human grace and power form Christ who fulfills all things that belong to the Church through Him (cf. Eph. 1:23; Col 2:9)”
It is impossible for the Church to be the Church without Christ Her Lord. If, in the name of the Church, the Traditions and Truth of Christ are abandoned, in either word or practice, then one is left with only anti-church. Such becomes another church, a false church, which must be turned over to anathema. For there is only One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
We are Orthodox only in as much as we cling steadfast, even if weakly, to Christ our Lord. Christ our Lord is continually incarnate in and through His Body, the saints, the oral and written traditions, the holy mysteries which are rays from the great mystery of the Church.
“The Church continues the greatest and holiest mystery of God in all the worlds. In comparison with God’s other mysteries, it is the Mystery of mysteries. All the mysteries of God in it are good tidings and beatitude, and each of them is Paradise, because each of them is full to overflowing with the sweet Lord,” preaches St. Justin.
At current we are witnessing the continued rise of anti-church, the ground has been prepared through the pan-heresy of ecumenism. Ecumenism has long ago denied the theanthropic nature of the true Church. It is the foundation of anti-church. Is it a wonder that now the very theanthropic reality is being practically denied even by those who bear the name of Orthodox? Take the situation in Ukraine as an example. The true Orthodox Church is persecuted by a form of orthodoxy that supports the current secular agendas. One should not be too surprised.
Orthodox believers will be and are being called by the world to lay aside the Life of Christ in His Church in the name of “love of neighbor.” Yet St. Justin prophetically observes, “The heretical humanistic division and separation of Love and Truth is simply the sign of lack of theanthropic faith and a loss of theanthropic balance and common sense.”
The enemy hates the Truth of Christ in His body, the Church. Thus, he assails it and encourages even Her own members to doubt and deny the unique theanthropic Truth of the Incarnation as continuously manifest in the Church. He seeks to deconstruct the Truth under the guise of what amounts to humanistic “care of neighbor.”
In the anti-church the divine-human reality of true Church is practicality and experientially denied. Its members will be directed to earthly means for their salvation. Christ will no longer trample down death, rather, the wonders of global order and scientistic achievement will be promoted as the primary saviors from sickness, human suffering, and death. Its miracles are the progress of humanistic ingenuity. Its priestly class is the “experts” who have gnostic knowledge regarding the “well-being” of humanity. It will place the occult of scientistic existence above the holy Traditions of Orthodoxy. Violence and persecution will be used to attempt to bring people into line (again take Ukraine as an example).
It will demand that Orthodoxy “humbles” and adapts itself before the new emerging humanistic gnosis.
In closing, let the opening words of St. Justin sink deep into your heart – “The Church is forever eager to joyfully walk towards apocalyptic martyrdom in order to defend and preserve the theanthropic Person of Christ.”
Conversely, anti-church will do all that it can to avoid the walk to apocalyptic martyrdom in defense of the theanthropic Person of Christ.
14 thoughts on “Anti-church and the Abomination of the Desolation”
Christ comes to us, and instead of receiving Him with a kiss as our beloved, we hold him at arms length, fearing that He may communicate disease to us; who, even among earthly lovers would not be offended at such behavior? They would justly conclude that their erstwhile lover’s heart had become cold to them, and would sadly depart.
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Dear Father Lynch. I came across your blog while searching for St. Paisios prophecy concerning the vaccine. I am a Catholic and I agreed with almost everything you wrote in the blog I read. I don’t know if you are aware of the many apparitions of the Blessed Mother throughout the whole world the last several decades. She is saying that it will look like the Catholic Church is finished, Saying it will be betrayed by it’s own ascend Calvary and be purified. She has said all denominations including the Orthodox will return to the Catholic Church after the chastisements that God sends to purify the world and the Church are over. As you say in your blog, the signs of the end are multiplying all around us. You are not doom and gloom but as one of few who are crying out in the wilderness of corruption to warn Christ’s flock of impending danger of losing one’s soul. One thing I cannot reconcile with concerning the Orthodox is that they allow artificial birth control which goes against Scripture (Genesis 38: 8-10). Your liturgies are still what they should be but those who receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with this sin on their souls are receiving him unworthily. Tomorrow in the Catholic Church we celebrate Corpus Christi. May we all be one someday, purified and spotless as the Bride of Christ was intended to be. God bless you dear Priest of God. Maureen
Hi, Maureen, I hope you don’t mind if I address some of your points from an Orthodox perspective.
Orthodox tend to be highly suspicious of the recent “Marian” apparitions. There is of course a tradition of appearances of the Theotokos to the pious throughout the history of the Church, but they are of a much different character; there is also a long tradition in the Ascetic literature of the appearances of demons in various deceptive forms. Most of the recent apparitions to which you refer are of a similar nature to these deceptions, and should be counted among them. When the character of Western spirituality changed people in the West lost the discernment necessary to “test the spirits” accurately; this was one of the things which sent the West down the long road to apostasy.
Contraception is non-canonical; it is permitted in some places, and I guess I don’t know of anyplace where it is being addressed aggressively. It is a stain on the Church, but it is contrary to Her teaching, and can be counted as a sin of those who administer the Church. I agree with you as to the sinfulness of the act, especially in cases where the fertilized egg is prevented from being implanted in the womb, as this is actually a form of abortion.
The Church is not and can never be divided; branches have from time to time been cut off or have detached themselves. My hope is that, in a kind of reverse-ecumenism, all who are given the grace to resist the spirit of the age will be gathered once more into the Flock.
I hope that nothing I have written seems harsh or unloving; it is not intended in that spirit.
Long time reader, first time commenter. Very much appreciate your words and perspective, Fr Lynch!
Having recently returned to Christ, the biggest stumbling block I observe and experience is on the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism.
The vicious and vehement response to Christianity and Christians on these matters, no matter how compassionate and loving we may be, is keeping the Church and its members largely silent and afraid.
I myself am at a loss on how to respond to these topics without losing family members and friends.
Maybe that is your point. One cannot be in Christ without incurring the wrath of the world, both in one’s family and in the public sphere.
Anyone who expresses a Christian notion that isn’t fully aligned with the leftist orthodoxy is labeled as bigoted, hateful, and condescending.
I’ve even been told that contradicting the transgender agenda is the same as people who lynched Black Americans and enforced Jim Crow laws in the south.
This conflict seems ideally designed by the enemy to divide people against each other and destroy any church that stands firm on the gospel, but I’d like to hear your perspective on this Fr Lynch.
Hello, Mike, forgive my belated response. Our Lord foresaw and warned his disciples, those that strive to truly hold to His teachings, that they will be hated by all men because of His Name. Thus, anyone who strives to live in the Truth will face the enmity of the world. Of course, all reasonable dialogue is rejected and the world uses labels and name-calling to try and shame those who will not march to its tune. Those that reject the clear Gospel teaching on the manner in which people should live, the moral teaching, are indeed rejecting truth and Christianity. Thus, no matter if they still claim to be Christians, in reality, they are not. One cannot be a Christian while rejecting the teachings of Christ. It just doe not work.
The whole modern anti-moral, sexual debauchery, agenda is simply demonic. It seeks to enslave persons to terrible passions and justify such slavery. This is a truly hate-filled action because in promoting and justifying this agenda one is actively destroying souls. Rather, true Christianity seeks to free persons from slavery to sin, and thereby save the soul. It is far from loving to encourage sin and destruction. Those who support the modern anti-morals and claim to be Christians make themselves to be liars.
Thank you, Father Lynch. Very encouraging words.
Modernity is composed of these “sweet lies”; essentially, that’s what the so-called “Enlightenment” is, a turning from the truth of the Gospel of Christ to a different gospel, the “Gospel of Man”. In this gospel, Man is perfectible by his own efforts, and the world can be remade by him into a new Eden. The faith of its adherents is perfect, unshaken by their unbroken record of failure; they remain confident that the Golden Utopia waits just around the corner, just as soon as they can construct enough prisons to contain all their enemies and contrive methods for the reeducation of the recalcitrant. By the 20th century it had become obvious to many that the real obstacle to the success of the project was Nature itself, both material and human, and so war was waged against this parsimonious Nature and the God who created it. This brings us to our situation at the moment, as Man denies the Fatherhood of God and follows the Devil as his adopted father, subjecting himself to painful surgeries in order to eradicate the evidences of his true parentage.
I was talking with someone at church once and he was saying in regards to Church Tradition “Some of these things aren’t practicable in our time”. I said “Really? What in the spiritual nature of man has changed? Has the essence of our being been so altered by the course of a few centuries that things which were salutary for our fathers are inconsequential for us? Do we really not have to struggle against the passions as our fathers, who were better than we, did most assiduously”?
Stated thus bluntly, (which is the way matters of truth should be stated) the error becomes obvious. The root of the problem is that we think in an evolutionary manner, believing in our heart of hearts that we are gradually becoming better than all who preceded us, automatically, without effort. We may say that the reason we don’t practice asceticism is because we are spiritually weaker than those who came before us, but the reality for many is that they don’t really believe they need these therapies. If we truly believed we were weak, we would know that we are in need of these things much more than those who were relatively healthy. If we recognize weakness in ourselves, this calls for repentance; since we are in truth very weak, we will fail and fall away repeatedly, but we must keep getting up and trying again, and gradually build our strength in this way. Baby steps are to be recommended, but we must not fail to strive to advance, and say that such things are not appropriate for us.
The only thing that has changed in recent times is the degree of temptation, and the invention of social forms which contain subverted but systemic evils. We break an arm patting ourselves on the back for having brought an end to slavery, but slavery was not ended because we became more virtuous, slaves were simply replaced by machines. The principle of sloth is deeply ingrained in the philosophy of mechanization; before, a man could subsist on the labor of his hands alone, but now all must form some kind of relationship to the owners of machines. Those who do not have such a relationship become superfluous people, living a tenuous existence on the fringes of society. Machines do not dictate, but they make it easy for people to live idle lives and to do sloppy work, not exercising the kind of care for things which would have been normative previously. Mass-production promotes waste, as it becomes cheaper to build something than to repair it. Planned obsolescence means that we throw away ten articles when we ought to be throwing away one. Because we want continual sexual gratification, and do not wish the cost and inconvenience of having many children, we invent contraceptives. Contraception makes it easy to take the step to abortion, as contraceptives do fail occasionally, and it is easy to regard the life which results from this failure as a mistake which needs to be corrected. We drown truth under floods of euphemism, and superimpose upon it a mechanistic terminology which reduces men and women to their several functions in society; they become “consumers” in one category, the “labor force” in another. The statistics which should merely describe human life almost become its substance under these circumstances.
People are trapped in these structures, and when they come to be regarded as normal, it is natural to think the things people in the past did no longer apply to us, but it is always possible to regain our humanity by breaking out of the prison. The prison is primarily one of the mind; our principle should be, “Live as you must, but don’t be conformed in your mind to the structures the world would impose upon you”. Even such things as cell-phones and computers can be regarded as useful tools, but their use must be circumscribed lest, instead of expressing ourselves through them we ourselves become merely expressions of the mechanistic capacities of our tools. As Fr. Lynch has counseled, we should begin to find ways to live more simply; anyone who has lived without electricity for a time will know that there is a great deal of asceticism just in the everyday life as our ancestors lived it. As we draw nearer to the Human and begin to shed some of the mechanistic strictures on our thinking, many of the practices of our fathers in the Faith will begin to make more sense to us.
Had we the Spirit of Martyrdom of the early Christians we would die rather than conform our practice to the spirit of the age. When they say to us “If you commune from a common chalice you may get a disease” we would say “I doubt it, but in any case, give to me the Bread of Life regardless of the threat; whatever its severity, it cannot deprive me of that life”. Even ordinary human fellowship should be regarded above the threat of disease; the poverty of our love for others can be seen in the ease with which we throw off all human concourse at the merest threat of disease.
The Abomination of the Desolation is the Desolation of the Obama Nation.
Throughout my time in the Church, I have become aware of these dueling realities. It is the presence of the Patristic Mind in the Church which nourishes the Church, making all of Her activities the transmission of essential blessings to the life of the believer. When the mind of the World intrudes into these sacred precincts, all of these activities are emptied of substance, and become empty form and ritual. This is the reality the Apostle points to when he speaks of the mind of the World and the mind of the Spirit which contend against each other. While it is true that when the Fathers speak of the World they do not mean the Creation itself (which was very good), this does not mean that we are not to combat the forms of the World, which are expressions of the corruption which fell upon the world when we sold it to the Devil for the price of a piece of fruit, making him its Prince. The World in this sense has no knowledge of its own life, but reduces everything to mechanistic principles; this is why the “Enlightenment”, with its characteristic principle that a man who could make two blades of grass grow where one did before is of more value than all the priests that ever existed, represented the triumph of the World over the mind of the Spirit. When this worldly mind enters the Church, She is indeed an empty vessel. When the mind of the Spirit rests in the Church which is its true home, then the Spirit Himself hovers above the altar, and the world itself is filled with Divine light.
The situation has been very cleverly managed along the lines which Marxist propaganda has used from the beginning; the people who propagate these lies don’t even believe them, but they are necessary to them to condition the populace so that they will be unable to resist the coming revolution. Free societies have a great deal of resilience; it is necessary for them to first destroy people’s reason. Public Schools and Universities have been working on this for decades. They need to get the populace to a place in which every thought is a slogan, and replace the natural knowledge that people have in their hearts concerning the nature and purposes of existence with a false philosophy dictated by “experts” who proclaim the Progressivist agenda, and unscientifically bolster their authority with the prestige of Science. The public is taught that all proclamations made by Scientists is Science, and is possessed of an incontestable authority.
Their aim is to establish a World-State whose power will be absolute, and will endure forever. Obviously in that case they have to remove all potentially destabilizing elements, such as those who think freely and live and worship in conformance to the traditions of their ancestors. Race can be a destabilizing factor; the Earth must be made one People through the blending of genetic heritages. There must be a new religion which will unite everyone, for religion can be a destabilizing factor. The fundamental objective however is the annihilation of the Human family, for families resist centralization, as where there are families they will command people’s fundamental loyalty. This is unacceptable; the State must command all loyalty; there must be no competitors. Every knee must bow, every tongue confess. Another reason for the Progressive hostility to the family is that it is of Nature, and they have come to realize that if they wish to usurp the place of God they must defeat Nature, as it is God’s creation; every natural process must be “rewritten” by the hand of Man to serve human purposes, not the Divine Order.
In order to attain this end the Male/Female dichotomy must be disrupted, because where it exists families are formed naturally. As soon as it is technically feasible, children will be conceived entirely in the laboratory. Homosex and Transgendering are to be promoted aggressively, because they disrupt these natural affinities. Any who affirm the value of traditional families will be seen as dangerous bigots whose opinions must be suppressed. Christ’s command to His disciples from the beginning is to pick up our cross and follow Him; we happen to live in a time in which this cross may become very heavy, and require us to surrender all our earthly goods, and may in the end even lead to martyrdom. This will be our glory, if we are faithful; in no time in world history has the demarcation between Good and Evil been more apparent. We just have to be true to the truth which we hold; he who endures to the end shall be saved.
You’ve summed up the moment very astutely and succinctly, sir.
There is a correlation between how we treat the Temple of God and how we treat the human creature; in a sense, of course, the local church resides in a building which is like any other building. Likewise, the Human body is like an animal body. Like the Holy Temple, however, the Human body is sacred space. This age insists on an exact equivalency between human and animal life, and will either insist that animals be treated as human or allow humans to be treated as animals; either we must not kill animals because we must not kill humans, or the human body and human populations are managed and utilized in exactly the same way as animals. It is being talked of that the bodies of deceased persons might be used as food (Soylent Green, anyone?) or disposed of like any other kind of sewage.
This is the evil of the animated talking-animal; it endows animals with human personalities, and sentimentally blurs the lines which exist very plainly for anyone who has the use of his reason. When we become unable to distinguish this separation, we enter into a kind of crypto-Buddhism, in which we rather vaguely worship some kind of undifferentiated Life-force in all of its manifestations. Of course the Christian has reverence for all life, but recognizes that some life is made in the Image and Likeness, and some is not, just as some buildings are consecrated Temples, and some are not.