Outside of genuine Orthodoxy the darkness... grows. Judging from the latest
"religious" news, the "charismatic revival" may well be
only the faint beginning of a whole "age of miracles." Many
Protestants who have discerned the fraud of the "charismatic revival"
now accept as "the real thing" the spectacular "revival" in
Indonesia where, we are told, there are really occurring "the self
same things that one finds reported in the Acts of the Apostles." In the
space of three years 200,000 pagans have been converted to Protestantism under
constantly miraculous conditions: No one does anything except in absolute
obedience to "voices" and "angels" who are constantly
appearing, usually quoting Scripture by number and verse; water is turned into
wine every time the Protestant communion service comes around; detached hands
appear from nowhere to distribute miraculous food to the hungry; a whole band
of demons is seen to abandon a pagan village because a "more
powerful" one ("Jesus") has come to take their place; "Christians"
have a "countdown" for an unrepentant sinner, and when they come to
"zero" he dies; children are taught new Protestant hymns by voices
that come from nowhere (and repeat the song twenty times so the children will
remember); "God's tape-recorder" records the song of a childrenšs
choir and plays it back in the air for the astonished children; fire comes down
from the sky to consume Catholic religious images ("the Lord" in
Indonesia is very anti-Catholic); 30,000 have been healed; "Christ"
appears in the sky and "falls" on people in order to heal them;
people are miraculously transported from place to place and walk on water;
lights accompany evangelists and guide them at night, and clouds follow them
and give them shelter during the day: the dead are raised .
Interestingly, in some parts of the Indonesian "revival" the
element of "speaking in tongues" is almost totally absent and is even
forbidden (although it is present in many places), and the element of mediumism
seems sometimes to be replaced by a direct intervention of fallen spirits. It
may well be that this new "revival," more powerful than
Pentecostalism, is a more developed stage of the same "spiritual"
phenomenon (just as Pentecostalism itself is more advanced than spiritism) and
heralds the imminence of the dreadful day when, as the "voices" and
"angels" in Indonesia also proclaim, "the Lord" is to come
- for we know that antichrist will prove to the world that he is
"Christ" by just such "miracles."
In an age of almost universal darkness and deception, when for most
"Christians" Christ has become precisely what Orthodox
teaching means by antichrist, the Orthodox Church of Christ alone
possesses and communicates the grace of God. This is a priceless treasure the
very existence of which is not so much as suspected even by the
"Christian" world. The "Christian" world, indeed, joins
hands with the forces of darkness in order to seduce the faithful of the Church
of Christ, blindly trusting that the "name of Jesus" will save them
even in their apostasy and blasphemy, mindless of the fearful warning of the
Lord: "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name
done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:22-23).
St. Paul continues his warning about the coming of antichrist with this
command: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions
which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thess.
2:15). "There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of
Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto
you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we said
before, so say I now again: If any preach any other gospel unto you than that
ye have received, let him be anathema" (Gal. 1:8-9).
The Orthodox answer to every new "revival," and even to the final
terrible "revival" of antichrist, is this Gospel of Christ, which the
Orthodox Church alone has preserved unchanged in an unbroken line from Christ
and His Apostles, and the grace of the Holy Spirit which the Orthodox Church
alone communicates, and only to her faithful children, who have received in
Chrismation, and kept, the true seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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