Αυγουστίνος Καντιώτης

The relationship of Orthodoxy with Heterodoxy

date Ιούν 14th, 2011 | filed Filed under: English

From: Monahos Nikodimos <monknicodemus@gmail.com>

The relationship of Orthodoxy with Heterodoxy

Message Body:
Dear beloved brothers,

Forgive me for my intervention, I am the last and least to teach any one of you. I am not here for that. Christ is our Divine, Eternal Teacher. He also gave us enlightened Teachers and Guides, Holy Teachers, Foundational Guides, the Holy Fathers, the Saints as well as the recent, most eminent Holy Elders of Orthodoxy. We should study them in depth and listen to them in confidence. We should find everything regarding our salvation in them. Everything that we need for our salvation, Orthodoxy provides it to us, super-adequately. We really should not be searching elsewhere or even admiring the confessions of ‘faith’ of the heterodox, which in Scriptural Fact, is a distorted, often heretical, (sometimes blasphemous) faith. The Holy Fathers taught us not only the totality and significance of the One and Only Path to Salvation, the One and Only Truth, but also how to deliver the Truth and if ever, to dare to sacrifice or try to negotiate the Truth (God forbid) for the sake of love, social obligation, multi-culturism and diverse interaction. Saint John Chrysostom prepares, protects and prevents us: “Be aware not to be corrupted from the love of heretics; for this reason, do not accept any false belief, (dogma, doctrine) in the name of love.”

Truth is not a value, a concept, an idea. Truth is a Person, a Divine Person, the God-Man Christ. Jesus is not the “personification” of truth but the Actual, Factual, Essential, Ontological (Nature Of Existence) Hypostatic Truth, THE Truth. “I AM the Truth!” The proper pronunciation is on the verb “I AM”, as in “I AM HE WHO IS!” Apostle John, who was the ‘Apostle of Love’, at his last breath, his very last words were: “My little children, love one another.” This Apostolic love, unfortunately, is very misunderstood. It is not an ethical kind of love, not even a human-centered love, otherwise this would be heresy because it would preach love for the sake of Human-ism, not Orthodox Christian-ism. This Biblical love, has nothing to do with secular harmony, trivial co-living and worldly peace. Christ Himself did not come to bring this kind of peace: «Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Math. 10, 34) This sword is ORTHODOXY, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6, 17) The unadulterated, pure Word of God. Christ came to separate the World between two battlefields, the believers and lovers of Truth, and the unbelievers and haters of Truth. There is no other middle way, no diplomatic path or comprising way. He is the Only Way, the Only Truth, the Only Life. There are no diversions, short-cuts, alternative paths. There are no variations of salvational Gospels. There is no pluralistic «Churches», no Ecumenism, Papism or any other «isms» that can save. The wholeness of Holy Fathers claimed: «Outside Orthodoxy, there is no salvation.» Of course, «the Holy Spirit blows wherever He wills» (John 3, 8) but this does not mean and does not imply that the rare exceptions of salvation can become a general rule. As a Secure System and Symbol of Faith, as an exclusive Body of Christ, a Channel of Grace and Source of Salvation, Orthodoxy can boldly, courageously make this claim, in vast contradiction to the cunning and evil heresy of absolute predestination in Protestantism.

If one carefully reads the three Letters of St John the Theologian, he will realise that this frequent, stressed out, austere repetition of truth, is quite overwhelming and alarming. “The Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.” (1 John 5, 7) The world needs the Holy Spirit. The world does not need Witnesses of Jehovah, the witness of Mormons, the possessed account of Pentecostals, the pseudo-witness of “born-agains” or any other new, modern, different Gospel, contrary to Orthodoxy, which was delivered by the Holy Apostles. “Even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel different (contrary) to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed!” We are not out there to curse anyone, they are self-cursed, self condemned. We should avoid them “knowing that such a person is perverted (in the faith) and sinful (in error); he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3, 11) God will make sure that through a person, or a book, a phone call or an email, all heterodox will have a chance to hear about Orthodoxy and know the Truth. “But I ask, have they not heard? (about Orthodoxy) Indeed they have; for ‘their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.» (Psalm 18, Rom. 10, 18) Therefore, their very stance and response, will critically determine their future place.

Brothers in Christ, regardless how touching or penetrating their testimony is, regardless how powerful their sermons appear and how truthful their account is, their actual Gospel is distorted, their content of faith is heretical. “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses (Orthodoxy) that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; Because He (Christ) Who is in you, is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth (Orthodoxy) and the spirit of error (heresy). (1 John 4, 2-6)

To be born as Orthodox, is a special privilege, a holy calling, but not a guarantee of salvation. There are many Orthodox who are disbelieving or totally ignorant of the Truth. Although they are supposed to belong to God, they belong to the world and subject to a worldly way of life. Along with worldly priests, they have polluted the Church and have somehow achieved a demonic worldification of the Church. They live in the world, just like the world. Instead of enlightening the world, they conform to this world and become part of it. Instead of the world becoming Church, the Church becomes world. But they “do not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4, 4) Friends or enemies, it is our choice. But we cannot be friends with the ungodly, friends with heretics, friends with Masons and Satanic organisations, friends with people from the Occult, friends with spiritualists and mediums, friends with atheistic family and relatives, and then also claim or think to be friends of God.

To be born again does not mean to denounce the Truth and embrace a foreign Gospel, nor to simply, mechanically invoke the name of the Lord and be saved. To be born again means to embrace the Truth of Christ (Orthodoxy), to submit to the incorrupt Gospel of Christ and start a new spiritual life by battling against the dark powers of this world, struggling against our passions and sins. “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our (Holy Orthodox) Faith.” (1 John 5, 4) We are examined and judged by God if we abide by this True Orthodox Doctrine of Christ. “Anyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ (in Orthodoxy) does not have God; (he is an atheist, full stop) but he who abides in the (True) doctrine (in Orthodoxy) has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes to you and does not bring this (Orthodox) doctrine, do not receive him into your house and do not even greet them; because he who greets him shares his wicked work”. (2 John 1, 9-11)

This distancing might sound harsh, rude or mean, but don’t forget it’s coming from the Apostle of Love. He knows far better than us about what Christian love is, how and when to show it. This stance is not heartless or fanatical. Apostle John does not imply that we should even say “good morning” to our non-Orthodox neighbours, associates, work-mates or friends. He specifically refers to those who “come to us” with sly, cunning intentions to change our Faith and make us disown the Holy Orthodox Doctrine, “the Faith which was once and for all revealed and delivered to the Saints” at Pentecost. (Jude 1, 3) These people are very cunning and will systematically take advantage of any pain, afflictions and deaths within families to then “charge” and grab the chance to proselytise and convert. Therefore, we must “test the spirits”, examine them carefully. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets (Christian Denominations) have gone out into the world.”  (1 John. 4, 1) A “prophet” in the New Testament, is not necessarily a person who sees and discloses the future, but anyone in general preaching about Christ and pointing out His Truth and His Church! Christ Himself also warned us about Christian variations: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Math. 24, 11) We must also examine our own spirit (disposition, mentality) to see if it is in agreement with the Faith of the Holy Fathers. Otherwise we will very easily fall in to the great, fearsome and destructive deception of the cursed, “Ecumenism” being «the Chariot of the Antichrist.» (St Justin Popovich)

In cases where the respected heterodox have a strong, beneficial message to bring, or make us aware of certain dangers or truths, or confess Christ in public, we ought to first, immediately, fervently pray for them that they come to the Truth of Christ, that they soon become active members of His Holy Body, His Holy Church, that they soon meet and (with our possible inspiration) embrace Orthodoxy. If we have the ability or the chance, we ought to exhort any possible means to speak with them in person or directly write to them and boldly confess our love for them and our love for the Truth. If they are simply unaware, if they have good intentions, there is great hope. Let’s not forget that the spirit of deception is a very stubborn one and Christ warned that “this kind of demon cannot be cast out easily but only by prayer and fasting.” (Math. 17, 21) So, if we pray strongly and fast extensively, if we invoke on the Holy Trinity to interact and beg, beseech the assistance of Saints, only then we may have blessed results. For the heretics who are chronically and deeply into deception and hold critical positions, we must be extremely cautious and never rely on our own perception but always seek assistance. As for the ones who were formerly Orthodox but betrayed their Faith, disowned their Baptism and denied the Truth in the Person of Christ, just as Apostle Paul says, for them it is virtually impossible to come back. “It is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened (by the Holy Orthodox Baptism), who have tasted the heavenly gift, (Holy Communion) and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit (Holy Sacraments).” (Hebrew 6, 4) Of course, there are always exceptions, but we have spiritual obligation to try as much as we can and pray extensively. This is the best help we can offer them. This is the true Christian love, to show them kindly, the error of their way. This is what God wants from us and this is the best way to have our sins forgiven, then ones that we cannot remember at confession or are not simply aware of. “Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner (in particular, the sin of deception and heresy) from the error of his way will save his soul from (spiritual) death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5, 20)

Finally, I have no intentions to accuse or condemn anyone and I apologise if I have made any Sender of emails containing heterodox material feel a little uncomfortable, it wasn’t my aim. We just have to be very careful when forwarding emails of confessions by the heterodox and unintentionally act as vehicles and channels of the heresy they represent, because they might not even speak about it, but they will draw many souls near them, acting as guides and false teachers. This fear and caution is necessary in order to protect our Youth and the ones who are weak in the faith and will highly admire these public confessions and want to know more about their origins, their Fellowship and “Church” and then possibly fall victim (God forbid) to their sect, their denomination, deception and… (aloimono mas=woe to us) their condemnation. We will then be very seriously accountable and condemned ourselves on Judgment Day, placing our very own salvation at danger, if we ever became the reason for many souls to be lead astray. We cannot play with what is unplayable, the eternal souls of others. We cannot gamble our Faith and put our fellow Orthodox to risk. «I am not prepared to betray even a speck of our Gospel, or span of our Holy Orthodox Faith!» (Holy Bishop Augoustinos Kantiotis)

Orthodoxy is not just an identity and certainly not a Passport to heaven. It is a sacred calling which crucially depends on our cautious response. Orthodoxy is not a list of definitions or a barren adherence to dogma alone. Orthodoxy is the magnitude of “Orthodox Richness” of Theology, and striking beauty of Apophatic Theology. Orthodoxy is a life-long, living transformation, a divine manifestation of the image and likeness of God within us. Orthodoxy is a perpetual pursuit of purification and deification. Orthodoxy is an ongoing testimony of Truth, a constant confession of Faith. Orthodoxy is an endless, priceless, manifold sharing of LOVE IN TRUTH.

Monk Nicodemus

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