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.
Modernity and the Church
It has become very apparent that our modern world, in many ways, is the enemy of a pious Christian life. I know that sounds outrageous to many people. When I talk about this with most people, even those who claim to be Christian, they mostly look at me like I have three heads. Consider with me if you will our lives in today’s world.
We are quite possibly the most distracted people in the history of humanity. That probably sounds hyperbolic, but I really don’t think it is. From the moment we rise in the morning until we close our eyes at night, we are bombarded. Our minds and hearts are in a constant state and world of noise and entertainment. Our so-called smart phones think for us. Rather, they constantly keep our minds and hearts dulled with an endless barrage of nonsense. Social media dictates our ideas to us and implants in us a worldview and lifestyle that is not only not true but is indeed harmful to our souls.
Our televisions stay on close to around the clock. From that screen, images are burned into our psyche and messages are planted in our brains that literally change the way we think. Propaganda is the norm. We are “taught” by our TVs that homosexuality and transgenderism and all the other “wokeness” is not only attractive and cool but normal and not something that should be questioned. We are given an image of what our lives should be like, how we should speak to others and how we should spend our money and time. Rarely, if ever, are these images those of the life of Christ or His Church. And if they are, the images we mostly see of Christians is either comedic and ridiculous or painted as either ignorant or “behind the times.” Christianity is not portrayed as something attractive or beautiful or fulfilling.
If we are really honest with ourselves, even the behavior of most who claim to be Christian in the modern world is a little fuzzy at best. Most modern people who call themselves Christian will openly say they have no problem with homosexuality or promiscuity or whatever else is corrupting our society. They tacitly approve of sin with expressions like, “It’s none of my business,” or, “You do you,” or, “Follow your heart.” And the worst is, “You have to follow your truth,” as if Truth were something that is entirely subjective and up to you. Or, even more sadly, those who claim to be Christian participate in these sins.
If you want to know how Christians are supposed to live, I suggest a few things. Number one, read Holy Scripture. The Scriptures are resplendent with instructions and commands we are to live by as followers of Christ; both Old and New Testament are important. After all, God has not changed His mind about what holiness is. As we review just the New Testament, it becomes readily apparent that most of us (including me) are not living as the Scriptures tell us to. Even a cursory consideration of our lives will show us that.
Another thing that we can do is to read the lives of the Saints. These brothers and sisters in the faith lived luminous lives of faith, chastity, asceticism, and holiness. That’s why they are Saints. Frankly, when I read the lives of the Saints, I am embarrassed by how weak my own faith is and how poorly I live my life. Another group that we can emulate as much as possible and learn from are the Church Fathers. If you want to know how Christians should live and what they should believe, these men are humble and brilliant examples and teachers. There is much more I could say about the Fathers but I will refrain right now. You can also study the lives and writings of the monastics. Although they are, in many ways, outside our experience, we can learn much from them.
Last but certainly not least, we see how Christians are supposed to live by emulating the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. You may say, yes but that’s Jesus, and I can’t be Jesus. No, you and I cannot be Jesus. But we can be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29) and we should be. We have put on Christ and therefore should look like Him (Romans 13:11-14, Galatians 3:27, Colossians 3:9-12, Ephesians 4:22-24).
We are to be different than the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). We should look different, walk differently, talk differently, have different priorities etc. Our love for the world, wordly things and ways are anti-Christian (1 John 2:15-17). In fact, they make us anti-christs. My brothers and sisters, we need to repent. For the sake of our souls, we need to turn again to the Lord Jesus and forsake the world. If we do not, we will perish. Go into your prayer “closet,” stand before the icons, prostrate yourself and beg God’s forgiveness. Ask Him for His strength to stand against the world and things thereof. Come out from among them and be ye separate.
Pray for me and each other.