I recently received another package of “helpful” information from my anonymous apostate friends containing all manner of ecumenical rants and raves. It is a little sad as the propaganda is becoming more tinted with hate and accusations; well the stuff I can read anyway.
The Russian stuff looked much more interesting, complete with masonic symbols in pictures with strange animals and all sorts of buildings pointing to the masonic conspiracy behind all construction projects.
In occasional conversation with relatives who have left the Church since the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, any conversation of faith is filled with conspiracy and talk of the end times and the antichrist. Others have had the same experience and are putting it down to some form of intense sermoning to keep us separate. Whatever the motives I feel these poor folk are taking more from Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Evangelical Protestants than Church Fathers.
The concentration and manner of discussion on the end times and the antichrist takes me back to my time as a protestant, where there was much analysis of Revelations and sporadic anticipation of the end of the world. The usual superstitious nonsense around bar codes, mobile phones and credit cards being the way we are controlled by the antichrist and all the symbols of “when the end will come” show all these signs in abundance.
I cannot imagine how these doctrines have become so fused into an orthodox group claiming to retain “True Orthodoxy” when they have never been part of the dialogue of Church Tradition. There are few major commentaries on the Apocalypse of John, and it was debated much before being included into the canon of the Bible. Those readings of the Apocalypse point more to it’s description of heavenly worship and warnings to live a faithful life rather than it’s use as a map to the destruction of time.
An open and honest discussion with these anonymous posters is unlikely to occur, but any further gatherings will give me the opportunity to present the basics of the Gospel in the hope that something will trigger in their hearts. The superstition and confusion has more chance of shielding their hearts from God than any bar code.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on those whom I have offended or scandalized by my madness or inadvertence, and whom I have turned from the way of salvation, and whom I have led into evil and harmful deeds. By Thy divine providence restore them again to the way of salvation.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on those who hate and offend me, and do me harm, and let them not perish through me, a sinner.
Illumine with the light of grace all apostates from the Orthodox Faith, and those blinded by pernicious heresies, and draw them to Thyself, and unite them to Thy Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church.