THE HOLY SCRIPTURES and Orthodox Fathers clearly tell us that the character
of the last times will not at all be one of a great spiritual
"revival," of an "outpouring of the Holy Spirit," but
rather one of almost universal apostasy, of spiritual deception so subtle that
the very elect, if that were possible, will be deceived, of the virtual
disappearance of Christianity from the face of the earth. "When the Son
of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) It is precisely
in the last times that satan is to be loosed (Apoc. 20:3) in order to produce
the final and greatest outpouring of evil upon the earth.
The "charismatic revival," the product of a world without
sacraments, without grace, a world thirsting for spiritual "signs"
without being able to discern the spirits that give the signs, is itself a
"sign" of these apostate times. The ecumenical movement itself
remains always a movement of "good intentions" and feeble
humanitarian "good deeds"; but when it is joined by a movement with
"power," indeed "with all power and signs and lying
wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9), then who will be able to stop it? The
"charismatic revival" comes to the rescue of a floundering ecumenism,
and pushes it on to its goal. And this goal, as we have seen, is not merely
"Christian" in nature - the "refounding of the Church of
Christ," to use the blasphemous utterance of Patriarch Athenagoras of
Constantinople - that is only the first step to a larger goal which lies
entirely outside of Christianity: the establishment of the "spiritual
unity" of all religions, of all mankind.
However, the followers of the "charismatic revival" believe their
experience is "Christian"; they will have nothing to do with
occultism and Eastern religions; and they doubtless reject outright the whole
comparison in the preceding pages of the "charismatic revival" with
spiritism. Now it is quite true that religiously the "charismatic
revival" is on a higher level than spiritism, which is a product of quite
gross credulity and superstition; that its techniques are more refined and its
phenomena more plentiful and more easily obtained; and that its whole ideology
gives the appearance of being "Christian" - not
Orthodox, but something that is not far from Protestant fundamentalism with an
added "ecumenical" coloring.
Those who bring Christian ideas to the experience assume that
the "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" is a Christian experience. But if it
can be given to those who merely seek a cheap, easy status experience - then
there is no necessary connection whatever between this experience and Christ.
The very possibility of an experience of a "Pentecost without Christ"
means that the experience in itself is not Christian at all;
"Christians," often sincere and well-meaning, are reading into the
experience a Christian content which in itself it does not have.
Do we not have here the common denominator of "spiritual
experience" which is needed for a new world religion? Is this not perhaps
the key to the "spiritual unity" of mankind which the ecumenical
movement has sought in vain?
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