If you are anything like me, you have been paying attention to what is and has been going on in the world over the last two years. Specifically, I want to talk about what is called “The West.” Basically, the US, Canada and Western Europe is “the West.” I want to specifically talk about America though because, unfortunately, that’s where I live.
We’ve all been watching as our society disintegrates right before our very eyes. The last couple of years has seen societal decay accelerate at an alarmingly rapid pace. The whole “woke” movement and transgender and queer agenda has been force fed to us repeatedly. Riots, commercials, TV shows; nothing is safe. Even our sporting events have been taken over by this nonsense. Disney has openly said they want to promote more queer programming.
Nothing is safe anymore. Even so-called Christians are going woke.
The bombardment on the psyche and soul of the American people is relentless. I experienced this firsthand this last weekend. I went to a conference in a U.S. city that will remain nameless. What I experienced was mind numbing, soul crushing and deeply terrifying.
Here’s a funny thing that happened though. During a panel discussion on the first night of the conference, someone said something that was applause worthy. Rather than applaud, a bunch of people began snapping their fingers. I was utterly confused and was looking around wondering what was happening. I was informed that clapping can be disruptive and aggressive.
Disruptive and aggressive.
That should have been a warning sign of how the weekend would go. There was a whole lot of talk about being “inclusive” and a “safe place.” That’s code for woke, I discovered. You’re only inclusive if you accept as normal the transgender ideology and LGBTQwhatever ideology. In fact, these things were openly discussed as being ideal and totally normal. Pronouns were being thrown around. There were openly trans people and openly gay and openly whatever proudly flaunting their demonic ideologies all over the place. It was disgusting and disturbing and troubling and all I could do was pray. I prayed for those in the room who had lost themselves and whose souls are enslaved to this rot and for my own soul and I prayed fervently for the souls of my children.
Our kids are going to grow up in a society (in the West) that all this nonsense and godlessness will be “normal.” They will grow up being either numb to it or a part of it.
Unless we act. I believe with all my heart that we only have one of two choices left for Christians in the West. We are either going to have to hunker down with like-minded faithful brothers and sisters or flee.
For me to hunker down (as an Orthodox Christian), that means I must be where there is a strong and vibrant Orthodox community. That is hard to find in the U.S. I’m not being disparaging, I’m simply saying that Orthodoxy is not well known or easy to find, especially where I live. For most of us that’s true. That means we’d have to move. And the biggest problem with that is that, even if we move within the U.S., you still have to deal with a rapidly declining morality in society. In fact, I would say at this point that it’s basically already gone.
Which leaves the option of fleeing. Now, I’ve talked to several people about this and many of them have said to me things like, “But we are called to be a witnesses and lights,” and other such things as that. That is true. We are called to be witnesses to the Light in a dark world. But flight is also something Holy Scripture talks about repeatedly. Consider our friend Lot from the OT and the famous story of Sodom and Gomorrah. He was told to flee before the wrath of God descended on the city. As he and his family fled, his wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. She was still attached to Sodom and her comfortable life and was punished for it. Let that sink in for a minute.
To say that we are living in a modern Sodom in America is not a stretch by any definition.
Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 10 that when they are persecuted in one city, flee to another. In Matthew 24 and Luke 21, He told them when they see the abomination of desolation to flee into the mountains. We are witnessing abominations by the droves in our society. In Revelation 18, when the future Babylon is prophesied, God tells His people to “Come out of her, my people.”
Flee, He says.
And the great Apostle St. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
What fellowship do we have, brothers and sisters, with the darkness that pervades our country? What part do we believers have to do with the pagans who dominate our society? Are we not the temple of the living God? We are told not even to touch the unclean thing (pretty much our whole society).
Flee from it. Don’t have anything to do with it. Don’t touch it.
Lest you think it’s just the New Testament, we see the same in the Old Testament. In Jeremiah 51, we read,
“ Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence…We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.” (vs. 5, 9)
Flee. Forsake Babylon. Judgement is coming.
The Prophet Isaiah also, when speaking of coming out of bondage (and can you say we’re not in bondage in the U.S.?)
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Is. 52:11)
Flee. Get out. Don’t even touch the unclean thing.
I don’t care about me. It’s my children. My children are going to grow up in a society that is utterly godless, a society that embraces its own “truth” and abandons Truth for their own pleasure. I cannot stand by and let this happen. What kind of father am I if I don’t do something to save my children from this coming flood of wickedness and judgement?
I think it’s time to go.
Pray for me and my family. Pray for each other. Pray for Christ’s return. Pray, brothers and sisters.
Hearing and doing
One of the marks of being a Christian is reading and studying Holy Scripture. We must recognize, as an aside, how fortunate we are in the modern world to have printed copies of the Bible available easily and affordably. The earliest Christians did not have that luxury, as it was virtually unheard of and ghastly expensive to have written copies of Holy Scripture back then.
Anyways, back to it. I have begun to follow a reading plan that I heard Fr. John Whiteford put out awhile back. You read six chapters a day, one chapter from each of the major sections of Holy Scripture. So, a chapter from the Torah, a chapter from the Wisdom writings, a chapter from the Prophets etc…
This morning my chapter from the Gospels was Matthew 7. If you’ve never read it or at least haven’t read it recently, you should go and do that before proceeding. Jesus says something here that is absolutely terrifying. Picking up in verse 18,
“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 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. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Right in the middle of this text..see that? Jesus says that not everyone who calls Him Lord and even prophesies, cast out demons and does wonderful works will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He says that not only will He say to them, “I never knew you” but also calls them workers of iniquity. What?! Think about this. These people, He says, will prophecy, cast out demons and do wonderful works in His Name. That indicates, to me, a certain amount of faith and we would even call them Christians. But He says that He will cast them out.
Because they will be known by their fruit. Because they will just hear but not do, He says. I’m noticing a trend among most people who call themselves Christian these days (including me). In fact, I had this conversation with a young man yesterday. I said to him that, if early Christians saw us today (in both our private and church lives), they would not recognize us as Christians. We are far too worldly.
We are far too worldly.
For example, I dare say that our forefathers in the faith would never have asked or thought, “if I go to a wedding, does that count as my Sunday obligation?” They would not have viewed attendance at Church as merely an obligation. I dare say that our forefathers in the faith would not have worried if the clothes they were wearing made them hip or trendy and they certainly would have made sure that their bodies were covered. Many of them lived in rags and abject poverty in the desert and monasteries and didn’t really care about the style of the day. Our forefathers would never have questioned “sacrificing” sleep for prayer or the giving of tithes because inflation has risen. Our forefathers in the faith never said they needed a vacation or that Church services lasted too long or that fasting isn’t necessary.
We are weak and worldly people, brothers and sisters. We have traded a way of Life, a manner of being for comfort. We have traded Christ for TV, fasting for fish on Fridays during Lent, and our preferences over prostration in humility before the majesty and grace of our Lord Jesus.
Will you join me as we purify our lives and hearts? We must flee from sin and run to Christ (1 Timothy 6:3-14). We must get rid of the things that hold us back from Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). Jesus even went so far as to tell us that, if our eye causes us to sin, we should gouge it out (Matthew 5:29)! We should be ruthless with sin and the things that can lead to sin and the world. We should be ruthless with ourselves and the passions which so easily enslave us (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Do we really think we are immune from God’s wrath because we espouse a certain set of moral imperatives? Because we go to what we call church once a week and don’t sleep around? What about what we say, the words that come out of our mouths (Eph. 4:29, James 3:10, Matt. 12:34-37, Prov. 4:24, Luke 6:45)?
We are weak and worldly, brothers and sisters. Let us fall on our faces and repent. Let us cleanse from our lives, our hearts the things of the world that we have allowed to distract us from Christ. Let us throw off the things that so easily ensnare us and turn again to Christ.
Pray for me and each other.