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‘The Love of Many Shall Wax Cold’: A Christian Interpretation of Our Times

Summary:
Witnessing to All Nations (Excerpt from Mathew 24) (Mark 13:10-13; Luke 21:10-19) 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. A Secular overview of recent events LewRockwell.com has had many excellent posts in recent weeks so that

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Witnessing to All Nations

(Excerpt from Mathew 24)

(Mark 13:10-13; Luke 21:10-19)

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

A Secular overview of recent events

LewRockwell.com has had many excellent posts in recent weeks so that we may attempt to make sense of what is happening during the Coronavirus “pandemic.” Recently, Ron Paul discussed “Next in Coronavirus Tyranny: Forced Vaccinations and ‘Digital Certificates’ where he noted: “Right now, governments and private industries are working to rapidly develop and deploy a coronavirus vaccine. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is a major funder of these efforts, has suggested everyone who receives a vaccine be issued a ‘digital certificate’ proving he has been vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose record of wrong predictions makes him the Bill Kristol of epidemiology, also wants individuals to carry some proof they have been vaccinated.”

On LewRockwell.com for the past several months up to the present time, useful information by authors committed to questioning the motives of those in power has been published, about the “oligarchs” who have in effect created medical martial law in the lock-down all over the world, and as to its potential consequences.

Ron Unz has recently published an article by Israel Shamir titled “Enough Is Enough,” in which he discussed why the United States, China, and Russia appear to have had a coordinated a very similar response to COVID-19, although it is less lethal than an ordinary flu virus. In fact, many of his observations (and from past articles it is very clear Shamir has high level and credible sources and is not just engaging in speculation) are to me reminiscent of the articles posted many years ago by The Daily Bell, in which they promulgated the concept of “directed history,” meaning that events, people and lives are manipulated on an international level to achieve a desired outcome by the putative “elites.”

To summarize Shamir’s perspective, he noted that (although I would modify his use of “capitalism” to “oligarchic” or “crony capitalism”) just as in the events preceding the First and Second World War, financial collapse was inevitable; the “rulers” now as then (and I suspect we can only speculate as to the identities of the most likely individuals but not know for certain) think that the only solution to these crises is a great war, leaving tens if not hundreds of millions dead. Yet now a real war, which would involve hypersonic and nuclear weapons, since Russia’s and China’s capabilities can rival, in the case of the former America’s, and do severe harm in the case of the latter, would be too destructive to “their” property in America, Europe and the City of London. Hence they have come to an agreement to create a “phony war” using the virus to cause many of the desired results but like a biologic neutron bomb, leaving property intact—at least if my suspicions, based on Robert F. Kennedy Junior’s research on vaccines are accurate (and also posted here and here on LewRockwell.com), that is, the ultimate COVID-19 vaccine will be a Trojan horse to effect massive depopulation and sterilization.

To quote Shamir: “Let us imagine that the Masters of Universe, those very powerful individuals envisaged a dummy world war that would destroy surplus capacity, lock away unneeded consumers, and lead us to a new Yalta of the Virus Victors. The rulers of our states will have to accept the rules of the game, or find themselves outside the new power-sharing scheme.”

He then cites the example of densely populated India, population of 1.5 billion, yet the total deaths in that nation due to Coronavirus amounted at most to five hundred. Obviously that number “is infinitely less than India had lost to any other recorded disease, say tuberculosis (220,000) or even to lack of potable water. Millions go starving, but the upper classes of India lit candles as a sign of their struggle with corona. India went into lockdown for corona…”

Shamir also notes Russia was seduced by the siren call of the “Masters of the Universe.” Shamir notes, “Apparently President Putin was eventually persuaded to accept the producers’ script for the dummy war by the promise of a seat at the new Yalta. Gordon Brown’s efforts bore fruit, as the former British PM described the future world ruled by a Temporary (!) World Government composed of G20 Virus Vanquishers. He was seconded by Henry Kissinger who retained a channel to Putin’s ear. No, Putin would not miss such an opportunity to bring himself and his Russia into the new world elite.”

And what about America and China? Shamir writes, “These two states are the leading protagonist and antagonist of the world. The dummy virus war has come instead of the real US-China war. China and the US faced the choice: real warfare with nuclear strikes destroying and burning our civilisation, or acceptance of the dummy war as the lesser evil. The choice was proposed by the US Deep State; it was accepted by the Chinese who followed the script including bats and other mammals in the wet market and lockdowns for millions of their citizens. Painful, but still less painful than a nuclear holocaust.”

Of course, in the end, Shamir details how Russia was betrayed, due to the actions of MBS of Saudi Arabia, encouraged by Jared Kushner that resulted in the crash of the price of oil and China, with all the trillions of dollars in in likely litigation against them, also got played by the treacherous Western “Masters of the Universe” who are unrivaled in their duplicity, and to use his words, both nations got “screwed;” in a follow-up piece, he’ll answer further questions.

In my opinion, Shamir explains a great deal of the international political theater but as I wrote, as do many authors on LewRockwell.com, but these explanations are secular and in my opinion, incomplete, especially to traditional Christians.

A Christian Perspective: A More Frightening Explanation of What Is Occurring

My own understanding of what it means to truly follow Jesus Christ—for all my sins and flaws—has changed over the years. Yet I am deeply appreciative when Lew Rockwell posts other perspectives than the secular ones, in the past from writers like the late Joseph Sobran, and most recently on Tuesday April 28th in this piece by Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, “Can the Gates Of Hell Prevail?” in which he asks the following in his conclusion to discussing Orwell’s novel 1984 and the perhaps the best film version, and states, “Be that as it may, the only reason I am suggesting seeing the film again or reading the book again is that you see or read 1984 through the lens of the question ‘How can one be a faithful follower and disciple of Jesus in such a society?’ If there is no way to live a Christlike life, ‘to love one another as I have loved you,’ in such a society, then the ‘gates of hell’ have prevailed over the Christian community, assembly, ekklēsia, church.”

Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age

I quoted from Matthew 24 in the beginning of this piece; I have recently discovered the work of Orthodox Christian Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, who has written about Nihilism in his book, Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age (which Amazon doesn’t sell) and also through Fr. Rose’s writings posted on the Internet I found (in English translation) Catholic scholar Henri De Lubac’s The Drama of Atheist Humanism, which I do not suspect influenced Seraphim Rose’s work at the time of its writing although he later became aware and promoted his work. While I know many readers are facing economic hardship and might also have neither the time nor inclination to read such books, suffice it to say that both show the path of destruction created by these anti-Christ philosophies that are resonating in their power to our day.

The preface to (then Eugene Rose’s) book on Nihilism, written by its editor Hieromonk Damascene of the Saint Herman Monastery, has been posted to the Internet. The following I find especially relevant to understanding its composition and the motives of Fr. Seraphim Rose:

In a basement apartment near downtown San Francisco in the early 1960s, Eugene Rose, the future Fr. Seraphim, sat at his desk covered with stacks of books and piles of paper folders. The room was perpetually dark, for little light could come in from the window. Some years before Eugene had moved there, a murder had occurred in that room, and some said that an ominous spirit still lingered there. But Eugene, as if in defiance of this spirit and the ever-darkening spirit of the city around him, had one wall covered with icons, before which a red icon-lamp always flickered.

In this room Eugene undertook to write a monumental chronicle of modern man’s war against God, his attempt to destroy the Old Order and raise up a new one without Christ, to deny the existence of the Kingdom of God and raise up his own earthly Utopia in its stead. This projected work was entitled The Kingdom of Man and the Kingdom of God.

Only a few years before this, Eugene himself had been ensnared in the Kingdom of Man and had suffered in it; he too had been at war against God. Having rejected the Protestant Christianity of his formative years as being weak and ineffectual, he had taken part in the Bohemian counterculture of the 1950s, and had delved into Eastern religions and philosophies which taught that God is ultimately impersonal. Like the absurdist artists and writers of his day, he had experimented with insanity, breaking down logical thought processes as a way of “breaking on over to the other side.” He read the words of the mad “prophet” of Nihilism, Friedrich Nietzsche, until those words resonated in his soul with an electric, infernal power. Through all these means, he was seeking to attain to Truth or Reality with his mind; but they all resulted in failure. He was reduced to such a state of despair that, when later asked to describe it, he could only say, “I was in Hell.” He would get drunk, and would grapple with the God Whom he had claimed was dead, pounding on the floor and screaming at Him to leave him alone. Once while intoxicated, he wrote, “I am sick, as all men are sick who are absent from the love of God.”

Of all the fourteen chapters Eugene planned to write for his magnum opus, only the seventh was typed in completed form; the rest remain in handwritten notes. This seventh chapter, which we present below, was on the philosophy of Nihilism.

Nihilism—the belief that there is no Absolute Truth, that all truth is relative—is, Eugene affirmed, the basic philosophy of the 20th century: “It has become, in our time, so widespread and pervasive, has entered so thoroughly and so deeply into the minds and hearts of all men living today, that there is no longer any ‘front’ on which it may be fought.” The heart of this philosophy, he said, was “expressed most clearly by Nietzsche and by a character of Dostoevsky in the phrase: ‘God is dead, therefore man becomes God and everything is possible.’”

From his own experience, Eugene believed that modern man cannot come to Christ fully until he is first aware of how far he and his society have fallen away from Him, that is, until he has first faced the Nihilism in himself. “The Nihilism of our age exists in all,” he wrote, “and those who do not, with the aid of God, choose to combat it in the name of the fullness of Being of the living God, are swallowed up in it already. We have been brought to the edge of the abyss of nothingness and, whether we recognize its nature or not, we will, through affinity for the ever-present nothingness within us, be engulfed in it beyond all hope of redemption—unless we cling in full and certain faith (which, doubting, does not doubt) to Christ, without Whom we are truly nothing.”

As a writer, Eugene felt he must call his contemporaries back from the abyss. He wrote not only out of his own desire for God, but out of his concern for others who desired Him also—even those who, as he himself had once done, rejected God or warred against Him out of their very desire for Him.

The Introduction to the book is titled The Question of Truth; Fr. Rose, for those who understand the possibility and limitations of science, wrote, “‘Relative truth’ is primarily represented, for our age, by knowledge of science, which begins in observation, proceeds by logic, and progresses in orderly fashion from the known to the unknown. It is always discursive, contingent, qualified, always expressed in ‘relation’ to something else, never standing alone, never categorical, never ‘absolute.’

“The unreflective scientific specialist sees no need for any other kind of knowledge; occupied with the demands of his specialty, he has, perhaps, neither time nor inclination for ‘abstract’ questions that inquire, for example, into the basic presuppositions of that specialty. If he is pressed, or his mind spontaneously turns to such questions, the most obvious explanation is usually sufficient to satisfy his curiosity: all truth is is empirical, all truth is relative.

“Either statement, of course, is a self-contradiction. The first statement is itself not empirical at all, but metaphysical; the second is an absolute statement. The question of absolute truth is raised first of all, for the critical observer, by such self-contradictions; and the first logical conclusion to which he must be led is this: if there is any truth at all, it cannot be merely ‘relative.’..”

Fr. Rose makes the point that there science by its very nature is not representative of Truth. In the first chapter of the work, an excerpt of which is available via this link, of the frightening implications implicit in the world we now live in:

The “pragmatist” and the “agnostic” may be quite sincere and well meaning; but they only deceive themselves and others if they continue to use the word “truth” to describe what they are seeking. Their existence, in fact, is testimony to the fact that the search for truth which has so long animated European man has come to an end. Four centuries and more of modern thought have been, from one point of view, an experiment in the possibilities of knowledge open to man, assuming that there is no Revealed Truth. The conclusion: which Hume already saw and from which he fled into the comfort of “common sense” and conventional life, and which the multitudes sense today without possessing any such secure refuge the conclusion of this experiment is an absolute negation: if there is no Revealed Truth, there is no truth at all; the search for truth outside of Revelation has come to a dead end. The scientist admits this by restricting himself to the narrowest of specialties, content if he sees a certain coherence in a limited aggregate of facts, without troubling himself over the existence of any truth, large or small; the multitudes demonstrate it by looking to the scientist, not for truth, but for the technological applications of a knowledge which has no more than a practical value, and by looking to other, irrational sources for the ultimate values men once expected to find in truth. The despotism of science over practical life is contemporaneous with the advent of a whole series of pseudo religious “revelations”; the two are correlative symptoms of the same malady: the abandonment of truth.

Logic, thus, can take us this far: denial or doubt of absolute truth leads (if one is consistent and honest) to the abyss of solipsism and irrationalism; the only position that involves no logical contradictions is the affirmation of an absolute truth which underlies and secures all lesser truths; and this absolute truth can be attained by no relative, human means. At this point logic fails us, and we must enter an entirely different universe of discourse if we are to proceed. It is one thing to state that there is no logical barrier to the affirmation of absolute truth; it is quite another actually to affirm it. Such an affirmation can be based upon only one source; the question of truth must come in the end to the question of Revelation.

The critical mind hesitates at this point. Must we seek from without what we cannot attain by our own unaided power? It is a blow to pride, most of all to that pride which passes today for scientific “humility” that “sits down before fact as a little child” and yet refuses to acknowledge any arbiter of fact save the proud human reason. It is, however, a particular revelation—Divine Revelation, the Christian Revelation—that so repels the rationalist; other revelations he does not gainsay.

Indeed, the man who does not accept, fully and consciously, a coherent doctrine of truth such as the Christian Revelation provides, is forced—if he has any pretensions to knowledge whatever—to seek such a doctrine elsewhere; this has been the path of modern philosophy, which has ended in obscurity and confusion because it would never squarely face the fact that it cannot supply for itself what can only be given from without. The blindness and confusion of modern philosophers with regard to first principles and the dimension of the absolute have been the direct consequence of their own primary assumption, the non existence of Revelation; for this assumption in effect blinded men to the light of the sun and rendered obscure everything that had once been clear in its light.

To one who gropes in this darkness there is but one path, if he will not be healed of his blindness; and that is to seek some light amidst the darkness here below. Many run to the flickering candle of “common sense” and conventional life and accept—because one must get along somehow—the current opinions of the social and intellectual circles to which they belong. But many others, finding this light too dim, flock to the magic lanterns that project beguiling, multicolored views that are, if nothing else, distracting; they become devotees of this or the other political or religious or artistic current that the “spirit of the age” has thrown into fashion.

In fact no one lives but by the light of some revelation, be it a true or a false one, whether it serve to enlighten or obscure. He who will nor live by the Christian Revelation must live by a false revelation; and all false revelations lead to the Abyss.

We began this investigation with the logical question, “What is truth?” That question may—and must—be framed from an entirely different point of view. The skeptic Pilate asked the question, though not in earnest; ironically for him, he asked it of the Truth Himself. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 13:6) “Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Truth in this sense, Truth that confers eternal life and freedom, cannot be attained by any human means; it can only be revealed from above by One Who has the power to do so.

The path to this Truth is a narrow one, and most men—because they travel the “broad” path—miss it. There is no man, however—for so the God Who is Truth created him—who does not seek this Truth. We shall examine, in later chapters, many of the false absolutes, the false gods men have invented and worshiped in our idolatrous age; and we shall find that what is perhaps most striking about them is that every one of them, far from being any “new revelation,” is a dilution, a distortion, a perversion, or a parody of the One Truth men cannot help but point to even in their error and blasphemy and pride. The notion of Divine Revelation has been thoroughly discredited for those who must obey the dictates of the “spirit of the age”; but it is impossible to extinguish the thirst for truth which God has implanted in man to lead them to Him, and which can only be satisfied in the acceptance of His Revelation. Even those who profess satisfaction with “relative” truths and consider themselves too “sophisticated” or “honest” or even “humble” to pursue the absolute—even they tire, eventually, of the fare of unsatisfying tidbits to which they have arbitrarily confined themselves, and long for more substantial fare.

The whole food of Christian Truth, however, is accessible only to faith; and the chief obstacle to such faith is not logic, as the facile modern view has it, but another and opposed faith. We have seen indeed, that logic cannot deny absolute truth without denying itself; the logic that sets itself up against the Christian Revelation is merely the servant of another “revelation,” of a false “absolute truth”: namely Nihilism.

In the following pages we shall characterize as “Nihilists” men of, as it seems, widely divergent views: humanists, skeptics, revolutionaries of all hues, artists and philosophers of various schools; but they are united in a common task. Whether in positivist “criticism” of Christian truths and institutions, revolutionary violence against the Old Order, apocalyptic visions of universal destruction and the advent of a paradise on earth, or objective scientific labors in the interests of a “better life” in this world—the tacit assumption being that there is no other world—their aim is the same: the annihilation of Divine Revelation and the preparation of a new order in which there shall be no trace of the “old” view of things, in which Man shall be the only god there is.

In addition, Fr. Rose in Chapter Two, The Stages of Nihilist Decline, has a subsidiary chapter on Liberalism, in which he explains “…it is rather a passive Nihilism, or better yet, the breeding ground of the more advanced stages of Nihilism. Those who have followed our earlier discussion concerning the impossibility of spiritual or intellectual “neutrality” will understand immediately why we have classified as Nihilist a point of view which, while not directly responsible for any striking Nihilist phenomena, has been an indispensable prerequisite for their appearance…”

Liberals who consequently lack a belief in a God “who is not powerful enough to raise men from the dead” causes Fr. Rose to conclude:

“If there is no immortality, the Liberal believes one can still lead a civilized life; ‘if there is no immortality’—is the far profounder logic of Ivan Karamazov in Dostoevsky’s novel—‘all things are lawful’…The Liberal lives in a fool’s paradise, which must collapse before the truth of things…If death is, as the Liberal and the Nihilist believe, the extinction of the individual, then the world and everything in it—love, goodness, sanctity, everything—are as a nothing, nothing that man may do is of ultimate consequence, and the full horror of life is hidden from man only by strength of their will to deceive themselves; and ‘all things are lawful,’ no otherworldly hope or fear restrains men from monstrous experiments and suicidal dreams.”

Decades earlier (1944), in his The Drama of Atheist Humanism, Henri De Lubac observed similarly:

“Critical atheism, liberal atheism, atheism resulting from laicism, all these are marks of an age that is dying. Like deism before them, they often preserved a number of values that were Christian in origin; but having cut off these values from their source, they were powerless to maintain them in their full strength or even in their authentic integrity. Spirit, reason, truth, brotherhood, justice: these great things, without which there is no true humanity, which ancient paganism had half perceived and Christianity had instituted, quickly became unreal when no longer seen as a radiation from God, when faith in the living God no longer provides their vital substance. They become empty forms…Without God, even truth is an idol, even justice is an idol. Idols too pure and pale in face of the flesh-and-blood  idols that are regaining their pedestals; ideals too abstract in the face of the great collective myths that are reawakening the strongest instincts—the ‘de-germed wheat,’ as they have been called. Thus the laicism of this present day society has, though often despite itself, prepared the way for the great revolutionary systems now loosed with the enveloping sweep of an avalanche.”

He also discussed with great insight the writing of Dostoevsky. Consequently, these two great thinkers, one Orthodox, the other Roman Catholic, are diagnosing the spiritual sickness of our age, and the consequences this dread disease—far more than COVID-19—has had for each and every one of us in the world we find ourselves.

“Life Today Has Become Abnormal”

In my recent writing for LewRockwell.com, I quoted Fr. Seraphim Rose from the section of his long essay on how abnormal our times have become; this abnormality accelerated faster than ever before I believe most likely in the twentieth century and now is spilling forth with greater power into the twenty-first (after Fr. Rose’s passing in 1982) as in no time before in human history. While his perspective is not to induce fear in the faithful but to instruct and warn, as Jesus Christ has warned us, we must watch. Quoting an excerpt from the essay above, these words I hope will resonate with all traditional Christians, although it was written decades ago (in the early 1980s):

Conclusion

It is obvious to any Orthodox Christian who is aware of what is going on around him today, that the world is coming to its end. The signs of the times are so obvious that one might say that the world is crashing to its end.

What are some of these signs?

—The abnormality of the world. Never have such weird and unnatural manifestations and behavior been accepted as a matter of course as in our days. Just look at the world around you: what is in the newspapers, what kind of movies are being shown, what is on television, what it is that people think is interesting and amusing, what they laugh at; it is absolutely weird. And there are people who deliberately promote this, of course, for their own financial benefit, and because that is the fashion, because there is a perverse craving for this kind of thing.

—The wars and rumors of wars, each more cold and merciless than the preceding, and all overshadowed by the treat of the unthinkable universal nuclear war, which could be set off by the touch of a button.

—The widespread natural disasters: earthquakes, and now volcanoes— the newest one forming not far from here near Yosemite Park in central California—which are already changing the world’s weather patterns.

—The increasing centralization of information on and power over the individual, represented in particular by the enormous new computer in Luxembourg, which has the capacity to keep a file of information on every man living; its code number is 666 and it is nicknamed “the beast” by those who work on it. To facilitate the working of such computers, the American government plans to begin in 1984 the issuance of Social Security checks to persons with a number (apparently including the code number 666) stamped on their right hand or forehead—precisely the condition which will prevail, according to the Apocalypse (ch. 13) during the reign of Antichrist. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the first person to get himself stamped 666 is the Antichrist, or the servant of Antichrist, but once you are used to this, who will be able to resist? They will train you first and then they will make you bow down to him.

—Again, the multiplication of false Christs and false Antichrists. The latest candidate just this summer spent probably millions of dollars advertising his impending appearance on world television, promising to give at that time a “telepathic message” to all the world’s inhabitants. Quite apart from any occult powers that might be involved in such events, we already know well enough the opportunities for presenting subliminal messages by radio and especially by television, as well as the fact that this can be done by anyone with the technology for breaking into normal radio and television signals, no matter how many laws there might be against it.

—The truly weird response to the new movie everyone in America is talking about and seeing: “E.T.,” which has caused literally millions of seemingly normal people to express their affection and love for the hero, a “Saviour” from outer space who is quite obviously a demon—an obvious preparation for the worship of the coming Antichrist. (And incidentally, the movie editor of the official Greek Archdiocese newspaper in America, an Orthodox priest, has heartily recommended this movie to Orthodox people saying that it is a wonderful movie which can teach us about love, and everyone should go see it. There is quite a contrast between people who are trying to be aware of what is going on, and those who are simply led into the mood of the times.)

I could go on with details like this, but my purpose is not to frighten you, but to make you aware of what is happening around us. It is truly later than we think; the Apocalypse is now

In fact, Fr. Seraphim Rose’s perhaps most popular work is Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future where he continue with much more depth the above themes including discussing UFOs, in which he contradicts the recent History Channel TV Series featuring a fictional Dr. J. Allen Hynek and its presentation of “alien” technological UFOs, he quotes Dr. Hynek on “interlocking universes” and “poltergeists,” that is the “technology” of the demonic.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the U.S. military released this video in April 2020:

Aliens confirmed? | Pentagon officially releases UFO footage.

The Department of Defense said it was making an official release “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.

Also note that the CIA and Pentagon have acknowledged involvement in psychic research, see “CIA releases psychic experiment documents and “Meet the Former Pentagon Scientist Who Says Psychics Can Help American Spies as well as this encyclopedia entry on Project MK Ultra.

In the epilogue to the Fifth Edition of Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future (which is the one currently available) written by Hieromonk Damascene details how the deterioration Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote about in the late 1970s has accelerated, from “The New Age Movement” to the revival of paganism and (through but not only Harry Potter books and films) the rise of witchcraft and also the rise of globalism. He wrote, “The youth are taking the bait. Since the release of The Craft in 1996, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of young people contacting Neopagan groups and Web sites, such as The Covenant of the Goddess and Witch’s Voice…which claims to be “the busiest religious website in the world,” has had over 100 million hits since its inception in 1996” and he notes that 60 percent of its respondents are under the age of thirty and 62 percent are female. To state that this trend is deplorable is an understatement.

I have written in the past as well of the work of the anonymous creators of the website Vigilant Citizen, which recently featured the article “Microsoft Releases (and Deletes) an Ad With Elite Occultist Marina Abramovic in which an inversion of the concept of Theosis was described:

To promote its mixed reality device Hololens 2, Microsoft teamed up with prominent occultist Marina Abramovic to create an art project named The Life. In a promotional video posted on Microsoft’s official YouTube account, Abramovic is described as the “most legendary performance artist working now”.

The art project consists of people wearing the Holohens device to witness a ghostly version of Abramovic appearing out of nowhere while walking around while wearing a symbolic red dress.

In the video, which was released on Good Friday, Marina says that the project allows her to attain a form of immortality.

“The Life is dealing with what is going to stay after I’m not there anymore, and I can face myself, and this frightening experience. Really like you’re facing your own ghost, but it is always this greater idea of immortality. Once you die the work could never die because the work of art can continue. In performance, the piece is only in the memory of the audience and nowhere else. Here I am kept forever.”

In addition, Vigilant Citizen posted this article, “Together At Home” Was An Infomercial for the Global Elite and its Agenda: “The most obvious (and annoying) aspect of Together At Home was its celebration of a ‘COVID culture.’ Indeed, in the past weeks, we’ve seen media doing its best to normalize a world where confinement, isolation, and video conferencing were the new norm. While social distancing is supposed to be an extreme (and very temporary) emergency measure to prevent the spread of a deadly disease, Together At Home appears to be promoting it as a long-term way of life. And, to prove that ‘it is not so bad,’ the usage of video conferencing is constantly promoted for everything. In the sad world that is presented in Together At Home, all aspects of life – including arts, family, business and education–can be fulfilled through video conferencing. In their new world, human connections depend on an internet connection. Maybe they want all human communications to be recorded…and monitored.”

What is the principal point I am making? It is for Christians to remember this, the words of Saint Paul in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Yes, we can be fearful but we of faith, despite our sinful nature, despite our vulnerability of body, must be strong. In the words of Fr. Seraphim Rose although decades old ring true, “Still the call of Christ comes to us; let us begin to heed it. The clearest expression of this call today is coming from the enslaved atheist world, where there is real suffering for Christ and a seriousness of life which we are rapidly losing or have already lost. One Orthodox priest in Romania, Fr. George Calciu, is now near death in a communist prison for daring to challenge young seminarians and students to put off their blind allegiance to the spirit of the times and come forward to labor for Christ. After speaking of the emptiness of atheism, he tells today’s young people: ‘I call you to a much higher flight, to total abandonment, to an act of courage which defies reason. I call you to God. To the One that transcends the world so that you might know an infinite heaven of spiritual joy, the heaven which you presently grope for in your personal hell, and which you seek even while in a state of non-deliberate revolt….Jesus has always loved you, but now you have the choice to respond to His invitation. In responding, you are ordained to go and bear fruit that will remain. To be a prophet of Christ in the world in which you live. To love your neighbor as yourself and to make all men your friend. To proclaim by every action this unique and limitless love which has raised man from the level of a serf to that of a friend of God. To the prophets of this liberating love which delivers you from all constraint, returning to you your integrity as you offer yourself to God.’”

In his essay, “In Step With Sts. Patrick and Gregory of Tours” (note the link to Saint Patrick’s Confessio is bad while this one is good) Father Seraphim Rose observed, after quoting William Butler Yeats’ The Second Coming: “This is a kind of factual view of life: the worst people are simply immersed in evil deeds and the best people are going frantic, because there is no more spirituality left, there is nothing left to strive for, everything is taken away, materialism is triumphing, there is no hope for the world, and ‘the beast slouches toward Bethlehem to be born’—the vision of Antichrist. The world is going hopelessly down and there is no hope of getting out.”

But he offers in the same article some things believers can do in these times:

6.LOOKING UPWARD

The Holy Scriptures, the writings of the Holy Fathers, the examples of Saint’s lives, the services of the Church—all these things have to do, not with worldliness in our daily life, but with conducting us to heaven. By looking above to these things, we are enabled to have zeal; that is, to see that there is something above this routine of worldliness, which is very boring, discouraging, and leads nowhere. But these higher things—these services, tales of people who have come back from the dead, Lives of Saints, writings of the Holy Fathers, Holy Scriptures, the interpretations of the Holy Fathers on passages of Scripture, which are very profound sometimes—these things always make us very zealous, if we have a spark of love for God within ourselves. We want ourselves to be living in such a state and to be going to heaven. But this zeal, by itself, must be of such a kind that it does not come just in a spurt and then eventually fade away. It must be of such a kind that it will last. This means the zeal must be tempered by something deeper, and that something deeper is what St. Seraphim calls determination; that is, zeal that is constant and keeps going—a sort of constant point for your whole life. It keeps you going even when you’re discouraged, because you see that there is something above towards which you are striving, and which does not depend upon your moods or your opinions. It is something which must be your constant possession. It is your determination to get to heaven. And this determination, or rather this zeal which becomes determination, must be constant, so that it will not go up and down and burn out.

In everything that happens, we must look at the higher side, that is, the spiritual side; because if we are sometimes looking at the higher side and sometimes at the lower side, we will be up and down. And the lower side is so powerful, operating even through what we saw in the life of St. Patrick in the golden age of Christianity: even through bishops, through those who are supposed to be the very ones leading the flock to heaven. They can be contrary, because they are human beings also. They can be actually discouraging, keeping people away from that goal in our times, of course, it is even worse.

Therefore, if we are sometimes looking above and sometimes below, if we are going one foot forward, one foot back, and then one foot forward and two feet back, we will simply not get to the gate of heaven. We must be at all times where we are in some way looking at the spiritual reality. I have an interesting quote from Abba Dorotheos of Gaza which we read just recently in church, and which gives a little hint about this. He says: “It is good, O brethren, as I always tell you, to place your hope for every deed upon God, and to say nothing happens without the will of God. Of course, God knew that this was good and useful and profitable, and therefore He did it, even though this matter also had some outward cause. For example, I could say that inasmuch as I ate food with pilgrims and forced myself a little in order to play the host to them, (that is, he overate) therefore my stomach was weighed down, and there was a numbness caused in my feet, and from this I became ill. I could also cite various other reasons for one who seeks them. For one who seeks them there is no lack of them. But the most sure and profitable thing is to say: in truth, God knew that this would be more profitable for my soul, and therefore it happened in this way. For out of everything which God creates, there is nothing of which it can be said that it is not good. For in the beginning He created all, and behold, they were all very good. And so no one should grieve over what happens, but in everything he should place his hope in God’s Providence, and be at ease.”*

* The Counsels of Abba Dorotheos, chapter 12 (translated from the Russian version by Fr. Seraphim Rose).

8. CONSTANT CHEERFULNESS

Our whole modern outlook is to look below to find the causes, the secondary causes. The whole Christian outlook is to look above, and that is why such people as St. Gregory as we can see by reading their writings and their lives—are constantly cheerful. This does not mean that they are overly happy, but rather that they are in a state of deep happiness, because they are constantly looking above and keeping in mind, with determination and constancy, to get to a certain place, which is heaven, and thus they see all the details in the world in that light. If what they see has to do with evil, with the nets of demons, with worldliness, with boredom, with discouragement, or just with ordinary details of living, all that is secondary and is never allowed to be first. In fact, we are told by the Holy Fathers that we are supposed to see in everything something for our salvation. If you can do that, you can be saved.

In a pedestrian way, you can look at something like a printing press which does not operate. You are standing around and enjoying yourself, watching nice, clean, good pages come out printed, which gives a very nice sense of satisfaction, and you are dreaming of missionary activity, of spreading more copies around to a lot of different countries. But in a while it begins to torture you, it begins to shoot pages right and left. The pages begin to stick and to tear each other on top. You see that all those extra copies you made are vanishing, destroying each other, and in the end you are so tense that all you can do is sort of stand there and say the Jesus Prayer as you try to make everything come out all right. Although that does not fill one with a sense of satisfaction (as would watching the nice, clean copies come out automatically), spiritually it probably does a great deal more, because it makes you tense and gives you the chance to struggle. But if instead of that you just get so discouraged that you smash the machine, then you have lost the battle. The battle is not how many copies per hour come out: the battle is what your soul is doing. If your soul can be saving itself and producing words which can save others, all the better; but if you are producing words which can save others and are all the time destroying your own soul, it’s not so good.

11: The Mind of the Fathers

We have yet to expect in our times many surprising things, so we should not have the opinion that it is too late to do anything, everything is stuck, nobody cares, the world is collapsing…All that is opinion, and opinion is the first stage of prelest (deception). Therefore we should free ourselves from being stuck in opinions, and should look at things freshly, i.e., according to the spiritual life. Father Nicholas Deputatov, who is obviously one who has much love for the Holy Fathers, has read their writings, underlined them and written them out in books. He says: When I get in a very low mood, very discouraged and despondent, then I open one of my notebooks, and I begin to read something that inspired me. It is almost guaranteed that when I read something which once inspired me, I will again become inspired, because it’s my own soul that was at one time being inspired, and now I see that it was something which inspired me then and can nourish me now also. So it’s like an automatic inspiration, to open up something which inspired me before.

Thus, when we think of someone like St. Patrick, our attitude should not be merely: “Aha, that was a long time ago, that was inspiring; but now—well, what’s the use?” On the contrary, in the activity of St. Patrick we should see the activity of a contemporary person, of a soul who was burning with zeal and love for God. [Emphasis added.] He has gone to that country where we are to be citizens, if only we will strive. We are all of the same nationality, the Christian race. St. Patrick’s life should be for us a contemporary thing, something which applies to us today. Whatever inspiration we can take from it, is for us right now. And however much fruit this bears, depends on how much we love God and how much opportunity there is. The inspiration is ours for free.

The Failures of the Leadership of the Churches

I know that Fr. Rose did write about how many Orthodox Christians are ensnared by the world and the wiles of the evil one, including Orthodox priests. I don’t know what he would say about the Church outside Russia caving in to the government edicts on COVID-19 and canceling services (see this on their website), this church which brought him to Jesus Christ. Recently, The Saker has written on Unz.com “Why Orthodox Churches Are Still Used as Pawns in Political Games.” While Fr. Rose would be pleased that Russians can once again worship in their homeland and the Bolsheviks are no more, perhaps that so many Russians are as worldly and so “Western” in outlook even so would disturb him. Regarding the Roman Catholic church hierarchy, LewRockwell.com has also frequently posted dismaying news on Pope Francis’s actions on his site that are—at the least—contrary to the spirit of Jesus Christ.

What can Christians Do in These Times?

One can get discouraged but I think the opportunity presents us to take individual action; in fact, although perhaps my opinion is heretical or against the grain, I don’t believe what is happening to us is due to God’s will, the suffering from the authorities of the world responses to the pandemic; rather, our choices in the last several decades has increased the power of the evil in our world; hence I believe the importance of Hieromonk Rose’s writing and also of course Henri De Lubac to understand what has happened.

I don’t believe Fr. Rose speaks exclusively to the Orthodox; he himself has written God chooses whom he chooses; he concludes in his book that we must never forget “that in Christ the victory is already ours. He has promised that gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church (Matt. 16:18)…And in truth, ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom. 8:31). Even in the midst of the cruelest temptations, we are commanded to be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33.”

My own opinion is that something dreadful is upon us; as to the “end of the world,” whether that shall come in seven years, seventy years, or seven hundred, I cannot see; but I do agree the process is beginning, as love is waxing cold; examples abound every day. And the agenda of globalism, new “spiritual movements” in which Jesus Christ is entirely absent, in the inversion of His teachings are ominous indeed; an Orthodox concept of the coming of the anti-Christ is discussed here and it seems we yet have time. So if you are a “conservative” Christian (and I have limited this essay to the insights of Orthodox and Roman Catholic thinkers), not an evangelical who substitutes the State of Israel for Jesus Christ as Pastor Chuck Baldwin has written about the deception that once ensnared him, be wary of entirely secular explanations of recent events. My own recommendation—but be aware I am no where near the spiritual and intellectual heights of Fr. Rose or Henri De Lubac—is for each of us to become less worldly, to help those we can, social distancing notwithstanding, to love God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, to be watchful, to pray, and to resist, even at the pain of death, any who would compel us to deny our faith.

In the words of Fr. Andrew J. Anderson: “Stay true to the Lord Jesus Christ to the very end, trust in Him with all your heart, and everything will turn out fine for you in the End. Christ will be with you—and will help you—His true and faithful followers, as He promised, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Hebrews 13:5). He promised to be with us, saying when He ascended, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:20).

“St. Paul experienced this when he was brought to his first trial in Rome. Though all his friends ran away, afraid for their lives, leaving him alone to face the Roman judge, the Lord Jesus Himself came and stood by St. Paul and helped him get through: ‘At my first defense, no one stood with me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me.’ (2 Tim. 4:16-17).”

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