After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


Paul Goble article is wrong about us

Paul Goble has written an article published in the Eurasia Review:

How Russian Émigré Introduced Fundamentalist Protestant Conspiracy Theory To Russian Orthodoxy

His opening paragraph:

Conspiracy thinking has never been absent from the Russian Orthodox Church, but one of its current central themes – that the Anti-Christ will soon appear – has an interesting origin. According to a Russian scholar, this idea comes from Fundamentalist Protestantism in the US and was introduced into Orthodoxy by an émigré professor.


Paul Goble is wrong about this.  After the foundational error in his opening paragraph, the rest of the article mixes truth with mis-thinking.  Reader Daniel skimmed through this article and rightly dismissed it as unimportant, saying, "It has some sound of truth to it, but not the full picture.  I will not share it."

The truth is this:  The teaching that the Antichrist will soon appear originated with Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.  He taught us that the Mystery of Iniquity already doth work, and that the thief comes in the middle of the night.  He taught us to discern the signs of the times and to WATCH.  It's the Chiliasts who think otherwise.  Chiliasm is the idea that there will someday be a heaven on earth – that the world is improving and progressing towards a perfect earthly society. 

This is my "opinion", yes.  But this is my "opinion" deliberately aligned with the "opinion" of  Fr. Seraphim Rose, Archbishop Averky, Archimandrite Constantine Ziatsev, St. Philaret of New York, and St. John S&SF – who are all of one mind on this subject of Antichrist.  To say that these great Church Fathers were influenced by Protestants is utter disrespect.  Very sad, indeed, if anyone in our Church could agree with Paul Goble, who is outside the Church, on his worldly-influenced assessment of our heavenly Church Fathers as he expresses in his article. 


"If we have a good bishop, we give thanks to God. If a bad one, we endure him".
- old Russian saying

Fanaticism (conspiracy theories) regarding the end times only happens to people when they do not have the true teaching.  In the ROCOR we are fortunate to have Church Fathers and true prophets, such as St. Ephraim the Syrian and St. Seraphim of Sarov.  They teach us the same as Christ, ... see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass.

The only reason Orthodox people would get fanatic about 666 or something would be if they were denied sound information.  People need to know.  If the Church won't teach them, then they look elsewhere for answers.  If Orthodox people are following Protestants, it is only because their Church has failed to give them the information they need.

This failure is characteristic of world-orthodoxy where end times study is a forbidden.  World-orthodoxy even ridicules a casual interest in the subject.  That's because end times teachings are a testimony against them, – apostasy is one of the predictions:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.   

Protestants have a reason to be afraid, since they are outside the Church.  We Orthodox only need to be afraid that the Church, when She goes into hiding, will be hidden from us.  Already She is hard enough to find.

When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on earth?


Joanna said...

At the end of Paul Goble's article, we see that his whole conclusion is based on the idea that the MP is being influenced by a neo-Athos pesuedo-elder.

(too nonsensical for me...)

Joanna said...

MP does not suppress end times teachings. Instead MP claims to be in the "flowering" before the end. Insufficient study of the details of this flowering prophesy has allowed people to believe what the MP claims. People see Churches opening and being rebuilt, so they think it is the flowering. But where is the Orthodox Tsar coming from Europe, from the maternal Romanov line? Where are all the people coming on ships to be baptized?

The flowering prophesy is conditional on Russia's repentance for regicide. St. John Maximovitch was careful to teach us about this. The fate of the world hinges on Russia's repentance. Fr. Seraphim Rose also gave us this information translated into English for us.

Antichrist will establish one world government and one world church. Anyone who can not see that happening now has to be in denial or under some kind of hypnosis. What surprise is it that Protestants would see this happening?

Also it is predicted that the devils will have increasingly more open activity on earth as we approach the time for Antichrist's appearance on the world stage – that the "psychic" or "astral" realm, which is of earth, where the devils live, will have more overlapping with the material realm where we live.* These are Orthodox teachings – not Protestant teachings. We learn this from the Church, not from Protestants.

If the Protestants are teaching this, then somehow they figured it out without the benefit of the Church. If science is teaching this, then science somehow figured it out without the benefit of the Church.

*see Fr. Seraphim's book, The Soul After Death.

Joanna said...

World Orthodoxy strongly discourages (even ridicules) interest in end times and study of end times. But recall that Theotokos herself was studying prophesy at the very moment when the Archangel Gabriel came to her with the annunciation. She was studying the prophesy that a Virgin would bear a Child. She desired to be the handmaid of that Virgin... and at this moment, the archangel appeared to her with an astonishing greeting. She was not astonished by his presence, since she was familiar with the angels – but she was astonished by his greeting. And the rest of the story... Back to the point I'm trying to make is that it is not wrong to be interested in end times teachings or to study them. It is instead wrong to discourage people from learning what our Church teaches – like how world-orthodoxy discourages it.

True story at a catechism class given by ROCOR-MP Fr. James Baglien, sometime just before the ROCOR-MP union: Fr. James was describing the state of the world just before Christ's advent 2000 years ago, and I noticed that the description was exactly parallel to the present state in our world today. I mentioned this and he, immediately, without missing a beat, barked at me to "worry about your own end". It was obvious he had been instructed (probably by his bishop) on how to nip off at the bud any interest or mention of end times. I was quite shutted up, but I got his number – this priest is in no way like Fr. Seraphim or Archbishop Averky, who would interrupt his own sermons to teach about end times and Antichrist. Soon later he confirmed it by going along with the ROCOR-MP union – no way would Fr. Seraphim or Abp. Averky go along with the ROCOR-MP union.

Joanna said...

Antichrist (Reprinted from Orthodox Life, Vol. XXX No.3 (May-June 1980) FREE PDF Archpriest Boris Molchanoff

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