My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
DELUSION AND DECEPTION
By Saint Paisios the Athonite, from "Elder Paisios" Spiritual Counsels: Spiritual Struggle," vol. 3, ch. 4.
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13).
Regarding the Delusion of the Pentecostals
--Elder (Geronda), the things that are said by those who go over to the Pentecostals--that is, about seeing visions, speaking in tongues, etc.---are those things from their own imagination, or from demonic influence?
---They are energies of demonic influences; because when they go over to the Pentecostals and are re-baptized, they are actually disregarding, denying the Holy Baptism: "I confess one baptism, in absolution of sins..." as the Creed declares, in which case, they un-baptize themselves and become susceptible to demonic influences and they...jabber-jabber, supposedly in tongues. "It is the Holy Spirit of the Pentecost talking" they tell us. But it is not the Holy Spirit; it is a whole mess of unclean spirits.
What tongues? They are merely uttering gibberish, which not even they can comprehend. They even record conclusions: "That tongue has so many hallelujahs in it, and there are so many in the other tongue..." Well, it's to be expected, among so much jabber-jabber, you will surely hear something that resembles the word hallelujah in one of the languages of the world! And so you can see, while it is something demonic, they actually believe that demonism to be the energy of the Holy Spirit, and that they are supposedly experiencing what the Apostles had experienced on the day of the Pentecost! It is blasphemies that they believe, which is the reason why they become demon-possessed.
--Elder, why are they re-baptized?
--Because they claim: "When I was baptized, I was young and didn't know; now I am baptized and fully aware." They are re-baptized, and thus justify their sins. If the Church didn't have infant Baptism, what would happen to infants in case of death before their Baptism? That is why a godparent becomes the child's guarantor and recites the Creed and bears the responsibility for the child until it is of age. Is the child treated unfairly, simply for being baptized young? No! On the contrary, it is helped because it receives Holy Communion. And when the child has grown up and is already baptized, even if any sin is committed, there is always repentance and confession, which can wash away any committed sin, without the need of being baptized again.
People Being Misled
---Elder (Geronda), when the Prophets Elijah and Enoch come back in order to preach repentance, will people understand that is happening, and come back to their senses?
--Those who have a good predisposition will understand. Those who aren't positively predisposed will not understand and will be misled. Our Lord has warned us that we must be very careful, because "false Christ's and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders, to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (St. Mark 13:22).
There are some who mistake certain deluded persons for prophets. Several years ago, there was a Protestant who constantly wandered around with a leather briefcase which had an inscription on it, written in English: "I am the Prophet Elijah"! He wore a short-sleeved shirt, he had a Bible in English and he claimed to have descended from heaven!
When they asked him what he believes in and what religion he belongs to, he said "Eh, they are obsolete things. Religions didn't exist then!" See? To him, everyone--Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals, all the heresies and all the branches of heresies are the same to him. Is it not obvious then what his true state was? And oh, how many letters did that person send me! He would write down various passages from the Holy Bible and all his positions were Protestant...he would also send a whole lot of letters to various other people, sometimes from England and sometimes from other places. There were those who believed the things he wrote and they wanted to publish in a magazine that the Prophet Elijah had come. "Are you in your right minds? What on earth are you about to do?" I said to them...Poor people...they are so confused!
A person sins just through listening to what such deluded people have to say. There are some who say: "If you believe that it will happen that way, then it will." This pure belief in themselves, but behind them is the little imp (mythological demonic-looking creature,). Thus, they deify themselves and they strip themselves of Divine Grace. It is with theories like these that they strive to fool people.
Return to Orthodoxy
Today's world feels comfortable with weird things, not the correct ones. They know about India--which is at the other end of the globe--because of her "magic," and they go there. But the Holy Mountain--which is their homeland, very close to them and with the true, mystical, in-Christ life--they are totally oblivious to! A student once told me that he had gone to India and stayed there for three and a half years. He went there looking for the truth in regard to religions. Finally, an Indian said to him: "Why did you come here? The thing you're looking for exists in Orthodoxy. That's where the Light is. Go to the Holy Mountain and find what you're seeking. (It is a well-known fact that God may reveal His will to a well-meaning person, in various ways. One example is the narration about Barlaam's donkey, who spoke to him in order to avert his actions, which would have been contrary to the Divine Will. See Numbers 22:18-35). That's how he returned to Greece and came to the Holy Mountain.
Elder (Geronda), when an Orthodox Christian goes to the Hinduists, gurus, etc., and repents afterwards, does he become accepted again in the Orthodox Church?
He will need a lot of repentance, then Holy Myrrh. If he wishes to return to Orthodoxy and become a member of the Church again, he will normally have to first confirm with a "libel" (from the Latin term libellus--booklet, pamphlet, meant a written confession of faith, which was submitted to the Synod or the Bishop of the Kingdom); this confirmation is his declaration that he denounces their cacodoxies and confesses the Orthodox faith. Then the Orthodox priest will read the special "prayers for those returning to the True faith" over him (from the Major Book of Blessing), and then chrismate him with Holy Myrrh.
One must first become acquainted with Orthodoxy and then, if he doesn't like it, he may leave. But he should first get to know Orthodox Christianity properly, before making any comparisons with the various theories that he has heard. Because, if he gets to know Orthodox Christianity, he will be able to distinguish between copper and gold, or evaluate how many karats the gold is. He will not be fooled easily, into making whatever glistens as gold. However, I have noticed that only an egotist leaves Orthodoxy when he does get to know it. A truly humble person never leaves...
A personal note: Saint Paul writes, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle..." (2 Thess. 2:15). In 1 Timothy 4:1-2 he says, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron." ("A conscience seared with a hot iron" describes the reality that repeated willful sin blunts our sensitivity to good and evil. A grim warning to all Christians to reject evil in all forms and thereby maintain a softness of heart toward God). Saint Paul continues his warning: "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord Who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber" (2 Peter 2:1-3). Also, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds " (2 John 9-11).
We live in very dangerous times and we must be discerning and vigilant always. Evil, deception, distortion, immorality, unbelief, falsehood (heresies) of all kinds are increasing throughout the world. Don't listen to the voices of the evil one. Remain strong and faithful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to His authentic Holy Church. Continue teaching your children our Holy Christian Faith and our Christian values and precepts.
May the Almighty God be merciful to us and to our fellow human beings. Amen.
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Glory Be To GOD For All Things!
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God