|Charismatic Revival As a Sign of the Times (Part III)|
Physical Accompaniments of "Charismatic" Experience
ONE OF THE COMMONEST RESPONSES to the experience of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" is laughter. One Catholic testifies: "I was so joyful that all I could do was laugh as I lay on the floor" (Ranaghan, p. 28). Another Catholic: "The sense of the presence and love of God was so strong that I can remember sitting in the chapel for a half hour just laughing out of joy over the love of God" (Ranaghan, p. 64). A Protestant testifies that at his Baptism, "I started laughing... I just wanted to laugh and laugh the way you do when you feel so good you just can't talk about it. I held my sides and laughed until I doubled over" (Sherrill, p. 113). Another Protestant: "The new tongue I was given was intermingled with waves of mirth in which every fear I had just seemed to roll away. It was a tongue of laughter" (Sherrill, p. 115). An Orthodox priest, Fr. Eusebius Stephanou, writes: "I could not conceal the broad smile on my face that any minute could have broken out into laughter - a laughter of the Holy Spirit stirring in me a refreshing release" (Logos, April, 1972, p. 4).
Many, many examples could be collected of this truly strange reaction to a "spiritual" experience, and some "charismatic" apologists have a whole philosophy of "spiritual joy" and "God's foolishness" to explain it. But this philosophy is not in the least Christian; such a concept as the "laughter of the Holy Spirit" is unheard of in the whole history of Christian thought and experience. Here perhaps more clearly than anywhere else the "charismatic revival" reveals itself as not at all Christian in religious orientation; this experience is purely worldly and pagan, and where it cannot be explained in terms of emotional hysteria (for Fr. Eusebius, indeed, laughter provided "relief" and "release" from "an intense feeling of self-consciousness and embarrassment" and "emotional devastation"), it can only be due to some degree of "possession" by one or more of the pagan gods, which the Orthodox church calls demons. Here, for example, is a comparable "initiation" experience of a pagan Eskimo shaman: Not finding initiation, "I would sometimes fall to weeping and feel unhappy without knowing why. Then for no reason all would suddenly be changed, and I felt a great, inexplicable joy, a joy so powerful that I could not restrain it, but had to break into song, a mighty song, with room for only one word: joy, joy! And I had to use the full strength of my voice. And then in the midst of such a fit of mysterious and overwhelming delight I became a shaman...I could see and hear in a totally different way. I had gained my enlightenment...and it was not only I who could see through the darkness of life, but the same bright light also shone out of me... and all the spirits of earth and sky and sea now came to me and became my helping spirits" (Lewis, Ecstatic Religion, p. 37).
It is not surprising that unsuspecting "Christians," having deliberately laid themselves open to a similar pagan experience, would still interpret it as a "Christian" experience; psychologically they are still Christians, although spiritually they have entered the realm of distinctly non-Christian attitudes and practices. What is the judgment of the Orthodox ascetic tradition concerning such a thing as a "laughter of the Holy Spirit"? Sts. Barsanuphius and John, the 6th-century ascetics, give the unequivocal Orthodox answer in reply to an Orthodox monk who was plagued by this problem (Answer 451): "In the fear of God there is no laughter. The Scripture says of the foolish, that they raise their voice in laughter (Sirach 21:23); and the word of the foolish is always disturbed and deprived of grace." St. Ephraim the Syrian just as clearly teaches: "Laughter and familiarity are the beginning of a soul's corruption. If you see these in yourself, know that you have come to the depths of evils. Do not cease to pray God that He will deliver you from this death...Laughter removes from us that blessing which is promised to those who mourn (Matt. 5:4) and destroys what has been built up. Laughter offends the Holy Spirit, gives no benefit to the soul, dishonors the body. Laughter drives out virtues, has no remembrance of death or thought of tortures" (Philokalia, Russian edition, Moscow, 1913: vol. 2, p. 448). Is it not evident how far astray ignorance of basic Christianity can lead one?
At least as common as laughter as a response to charismatic "Baptism" is its psychologically close relative, tears. These occur to individuals and, quite often, to whole groups at once (in this case quite apart from the experience of "Baptism"), spreading infectiously for no apparent reason at all (see Sherrill, pp. 109, 117). "Charismatic" writers do not find the reason for this in the "conviction of sin" that produces such results at Protestant revivals; they give no reason at all, and there seems to be none, except that this experience simply comes upon one who is exposed to the "charismatic" atmosphere. The Orthodox Fathers, as Bishop Ignatius notes, teach that tears often accompany the second form of spiritual deception. St. John of the Ladder, telling of the many different causes of tears, some good and some bad, warns: "Do not trust your fountains of tears before your soul has been perfectly purified" (Step 7:35); and of one kind of tears he states definitely: "Tears without thought are proper only to an irrational nature and not to a rational one" (7:17).
Besides laughter and tears, and often together with them, there are a number of other physical reactions to the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit," including warmth, many kinds of trembling and contortions, and falling to the floor. All the examples given here, it should be emphasized, are those of ordinary Protestants and Catholics, and not at all those of any Pentecostal extremists, whose experiences are much more spectacular and unrestrained.
"When hands were laid on me, immediately it felt as if my whole chest were trying to rise into my head. My lips started trembling, and my brain started turning flips. Then I started grinning" (Ranaghan, p. 67). Another was "without emotion following the event, but with great warmth of body and a great ease" (Ranaghan, p. 91). Another gives this testimony: "As soon as I knelt down I began to tremble...All of a sudden I became filled with the Holy Spirit and realized that 'God is real.' I started laughing and crying at the same time. The next thing I knew I was prostrate before the altar and filled with the peace of Christ" (Ranaghan, p. 34). Another says: "As I knelt quietly thanking the Lord, D. lay prostrate and suddenly began to heave by the power of someone unseen. By an insight that must have been divinely inspired... I knew D. was being moved quite visibly by the Holy Spirit" (Ranaghan, p. 29). Another: "My hands (usually cold because of poor circulation) grew moist and warm. Warmth enveloped me" (Ranaghan, p. 30). Another: "I knew God was working within me. I could feel a distinct tingling in my hands, and immediately I became bathed in a hard sweat" (Ranaghan, p. 102). A member of the "Jesus Movement" says: "I feel something welling up inside me and all of a sudden I'm speaking in tongues" (Ortega, p. 49). One "charismatic" apologist emphasizes that such experiences are typical in the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit," which "has often been marked by a subjective experience which has brought the recipient into a wonderful new sense of nearness to the Lord. This sometimes demands such an expression of worship and adoration as cannot be contained within the usual restrictions imposed by the etiquette of our Western society! At such times, some have been known to shake violently, to lift up their hands to the Lord, to raise the voice above the normal pitch, or even to fall to the floor" (Lillie, p. 17).
One does not know at what to marvel the more: at the total incongruence of such hysterical feelings and experiences with anything at all spiritual or at the incredible light-mindedness that leads such deceived people to ascribe their contortions to the "Holy Spirit," to "divine inspiration," to the "peace of Christ." These are clearly people who, in the spiritual and religious realm, are not only totally inexperienced and without guidance, but are absolutely illiterate. The whole history of Orthodox Christianity does not know of any such "ecstatic" experiences produced by the Holy Spirit. It is only foolishness when some "charismatic" apologists presume to compare these childish and hysterical experiences, which are open to absolutely everyone, with the Divine revelations accorded to the greatest Saints, such as to St. Paul on the road to Damascus or to St. John the Evangelist on Patmos. Those Saints fell down before the true God (without contortions, and certainly without laughter), whereas these pseudo-Christians are merely reacting to the presence of an invading spirit, and are worshipping only themselves. The Elder Macarius of Optina wrote to a person in a similar state: "Thinking to find the love of God in consoling feelings, you are seeking not God but yourself, that is, your own consolation, while you avoid the path of sorrows, considering yourself supposedly lost without spiritual consolations" .
If these "charismatic" experiences are religious experiences at all, then they are pagan religious experiences; and in fact they seem to correspond exactly to the mediumistic initiation experience of spirit-possession, which is caused by "an inner force welling up inside attempting to take control" (Koch, Occult Bondage, p. 44). Of course, not all "Baptisms of the Holy Spirit" are as ecstatic as some of these experiences (although some are even more ecstatic); but this too is in accord with spiritistic practice: "When spirits find a medium friendly or well-disposed in submissiveness or passivity of mind, they enter quietly as into their own home; while, on the contrary, when the psychic is less well-disposed from some resistance, or want of passivity of mind, the spirit enters with more or less force, and this is often reflected in the contortions of the face and tremor of the medium's members" (Blackmore, Spiritism, p. 97).
This experience of "spirit-possession," however, should not be confused with actual demonic possession, which is the condition when an unclean spirit takes up permanent habitation in someone and produces physical and psychic disorders which do not seem to be indicated in "charismatic" sources. Mediumistic "possession" is temporary and partial, the medium consenting to be used for a particular function by the invading spirit. But the "charismatic" texts themselves make it quite clear that what is involved in these experiences - when they are genuine and not merely the product of suggestion - is not merely the development of some mediumistic ability, but actual possession by a spirit. These people would seem to be correct in calling themselves "spirit-filled" - but it is certainly not the Holy Spirit with which they are filled!
Bishop Ignatius gives several examples of such physical accompaniments of spiritual deception: one, a monk who trembled and made strange sounds, and identified these signs as the "fruits of prayer"; another, a monk whom the bishop met who as a result of his ecstatic method of prayer felt such heat in his body that he needed no warm clothing in winter, and this heat could even be felt by others. As a general principle, Bishop Ignatius writes, the second kind of spiritual deception is accompanied by "a material, passionate warmth of the blood"; "the behavior of the ascetics of Latinism, embraced by deception, has always been ecstatic, by reason of this extraordinary material, passionate warmth" - the state of such Latin "saints" as Francis of Assisi and Ignatius Loyola. This material warmth of the blood, a mark of the spiritually deceived, is to be distinguished from the spiritual warmth felt by those such as St. Seraphim of Sarov who genuinely acquired the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is not acquired from ecstatic "charismatic" experiences, but by the long and arduous path of asceticism the "path of sorrows" of which the Elder Macarius spoke, within the Church of Christ.
"Spiritual Gifts" Accompanying "Charismatic" Experience
THE CHIEF CLAIM of the followers of the "charismatic revival" is that they have acquired "spiritual" gifts. One of the first such "gifts" that becomes noticeable in those "baptized with the Holy Spirit" is a new "spiritual" power and boldness. What gives them boldness is the definite experience which no one can doubt that they have had, although one can certainly doubt their interpretation of it. Some typical examples: "I do not have to believe in Pentecost, because I have seen it" (Ranaghan, p. 40). "I began to feel that I knew exactly what to say to others and what they needed to hear...I found that the Holy Spirit gave me a real boldness to say it and it had a marked effect" (Ranaghan, p. 64). "I was so confident that the Spirit would be true to His word that I prayed without any ifs. I prayed in wills and shalls and in every other kind of declarative statement." (Ranaghan, p. 67). An Orthodox example: "We pray for wisdom and suddenly we are wise in the Lord. We pray for love and true love is felt for all men. We pray for healings, and health has been restored. We pray for miracles and, believing, we have seen miracles happen. We pray for signs, and receive them. We pray in tongues known and tongues unknown" (Logos , April, 1972, p. 13).
Here, again, a genuine Orthodox characteristic, acquired and tested by long years of ascetic labor and maturing in faith, is supposedly obtained instantly by means of "charismatic" experience. It is true, of course, that the Apostles and Martyrs were given a magnificent boldness by the special grace of God; but it is only ridiculous when every "charismatic Christian," without any notion of what Divine grace is, wishes to compare himself to these great Saints. Being based on an experience of deception, "charismatic" boldness is no more than a feverish, "revivalistic" imitation of true Christian boldness, and it only serves as another identifying mark of "charismatic" deception. Bishop Ignatius writes that a certain "self-confidence and boldness are usually noticeable in people who are in self-deception, supposing that they are holy or are spiritually progressing." "An extraordinary pomposity appears in those afflicted with this deception: they are as it were intoxicated with themselves, by their state of self-deception, seeing in it a state of grace. They are steeped in, overflowing with high-mindedness and pride, while appearing humble to many who judge by appearances without being able to judge by fruits."
Beyond speaking in tongues itself, the most common "supernatural" gift of those "baptized in the Spirit" is the direct reception of "messages from God" in the form of "prophecies" and "interpretations." One Catholic girl says of her "charismatic" friends: "In some of them I witnessed the speaking in tongues, some of which I have been able to interpret. The messages have always been those of great solace and joy from the Lord" (Ranaghan. p. 32). One "interpretation" is summarized thus: "He was speaking words from God, a message of consolation" (Ranaghan, p. 181). The messages are nothing if not bold; at one meeting "still another young woman announced a 'message from God,' speaking in the first person" (Ranaghan, p. 2). A "charismatic" Protestant writes that in such messages "God's Word is directly spoken!... The Word may suddenly be spoken by anyone present, and so, variously a 'Thus says the Lord' breaks forth in the fellowship. It is usually in the first person (though not always), such as 'I am with you to bless you'" (Williams, p. 27).
A few specific texts of "prophecy" and "interpretation" are given in the apologetical books of the "charismatic" movement:
"Be like a tree swaying with His will, rooted in His strength, reaching up to His love and light" (Ford, p. 35).
"As the Holy Spirit came down upon Mary and Jesus was formed within her, so the Holy Spirit comes upon you and Jesus is in your midst" - given in tongues by a Roman Catholic and "interpreted" by a Protestant (Ford, p. 35).
"The feet of Him who walked the streets of Jerusalem are behind -you. His gaze is healing to those who draw near but death to those who flee" -this had special meaning for one member of the prayer group (Ford, p. 35).
"I reach out my hand to you. You need only take it and I will lead you" -this same message was given a few minutes earlier to a Roman Catholic priest in another room; he wrote it down and entered the prayer room just in time to hear it uttered in exactly the words he had written down (Ranaghan, P 54).
"Do not worry, I am pleased with the stand you have taken. This is difficult for you but will bring much blessing to another" - this brought final reassurance to one person present concerning a recent difficult decision (Sherrill, p. 88).
"My wife walked in and began to play the organ. Suddenly, the Spirit of God came upon her and she began to speak in tongues and prophesy, 'My son, I am with you. Because you have been faithful in little things I am going to use you in a greater way. I am leading you by the hand. I am guiding you, be not afraid. You are in the center of My will. Do not look to the right or to the left, but continue therein' - this "prophecy" was accompanied by a "vision" and was directly responsible for the founding of a large and influential Pentecostal organization, the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International (Logos Journal , Sept.-Oct., 1971, p. 14).
We may well believe, according to the testimony of witnesses who find that such messages apply directly to them, that there is something preternatural about a number of them, that they are not just "made up." But does the Holy Spirit use such artificial methods to communicate with men? (The "spirits" at seances certainly do!) Why is the language so monotonous and stereotyped, sometimes worthy of the penny fortune - telling machines in American cafes? Why are the messages so vague and dreamlike, sounding indeed like trance-utterances? Why is their content always one of "consolation," "solace and joy," reassurance, precisely without prophetic or dogmatic character - as if the "spirit," even like the "spirits" at seances, were especially pleased with his non-denominational audience? Who, after all, is the strangely characterless "I" that speaks? Are we wrong in applying the words of a true Prophet of God to all this? - "Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you... For they prophesy falsely unto you in My name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 29:8-9).
Just as one "baptized in the Spirit" usually carries the ability to speak in tongues over into his private devotions, and in general is aware that "the Lord" is constantly with him, so too, even outside the atmosphere of the prayer meeting he often has private "revelations," including audible voices and tangible "presences." Thus does the "prophet" of the "charismatic revival" describe one of his experiences: "I was awakened from a deep restful sleep by a voice that seemed loud and clear... distinctly saying: 'God has no grandsons'... Then it seemed as if there was someone in my room and the presence made me feel good. Suddenly it dawned on me. It must be the Holy Spirit who spoke to me" (Du Pleissis, p. 61).
How can one account for such experiences? Bishop Ignatius writes: "One possessed by this kind of spiritual deception fancies of himself [the second form of prelest is called 'fancy,' mnenie in Russian] that he abounds in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This fancy is composed of false concepts and false feelings, and in this character which it has it belongs fully to the realm of the father and representative of falsehood, the devil. One who, in praying, strives to unveil in the heart the feeling of the new man, yet does not have any possibility to do this, substitutes for this feelings of his own invention, counterfeits, to which the action of fallen spirits does not tarry to join itself. Acknowledging his incorrect feelings, both his own and those from the demons, to be true and grace-given, he receives conceptions which correspond to the feelings."
Precisely such a process has been observed by writers on spiritism. For someone seriously involved in spiritism (and not only mediums themselves), a moment comes when the whole false spirituality that cultivates passivity of mind and openness to the activity of "spirits," manifested even in such seemingly innocent pastimes as the use of a ouija-board, passes over into the actual possession of this person by an invading spirit, after which undeniably "supernatural" phenomena begin to appear . In the "charismatic revival" this moment of transition is identified as the experience of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit," which, when it is genuine, is precisely the moment when self-deception becomes demonic deception, and the "charismatic" victim is virtually assured that from then on his deceived "religious feelings" can expect a response from the "Spirit" and he will enter a "life of miracles."
The New "Outpouring of the Holy Spirit"
IN GENERAL, followers of the "charismatic revival" have the feeling of being (as they constantly repeat) "Spirit-filled." "I felt free, clean and a new person and completely filled with the Holy Spirit" (Ranaghan, p. 98). "Because of what was begun in the baptism of the Spirit, I have now begun to see more a vision of what life in the Spirit is like. It is truly a life of miraclesŠof being filled over and over with the life-giving love of the Spirit of God" (Ranaghan, p. 65). They invariably characterize their "spiritual" state in similar words; a Catholic priest writes, "Whatever other particular effects may have occurred, peace and joy seem to have been received by all, almost without exception, of those who have been touched by the Spirit" (Ranaghan, p. 185). One inter-denominational "charismatic" group states that the aim of its members is "to show and spread Jesus Christ's Love, Joy and Peace wherever they are" (Inter-Church Renewal). In this "spiritual" state (in which, characteristically, both repentance and salvation are seldom mentioned), some rise to great heights. In one Catholic, the gift of the "Spirit" "has risen within me to long periods (several hours) of near ecstasy in which I¹d swear I was experiencing a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven" (Ranaghan, p. 103).
Spectacular stories are told of deliverance from drug addiction and the like. The Greek priest Fr. Eusebius Stephanou summarizes this "spirituality" by quoting a Roman Catholic priest who states that the "charismatic" movement involves "a new sense of the presence of God, a new awareness of Christ, a greater desire to pray, an ability to praise God, a new desire to read the Scriptures, the Scriptures coming alive as the Word of God, a new eagerness to have others know about Christ, a new compassion for others and a sensitiveness to their needs, a new sense of peace and joy..." And Fr. Eusebius presents the ultimate argument of the whole movement: "The tree is known by its fruits... Do these fruits demonstrate the presence of the devil or of the sanctifying Spirit of Christ? No Orthodox in his right mind who has seen the fruits of the Spirit with his own eyes can give a mistaken answer to this question" (Logos, Jan., 1972, p.13).
There is no reason to doubt any of this testimony. True, there is also much testimony - we have given a few examples - that contradicts this and states definitely that the "spirit" of the "charismatic revival" is something dark and ominous; but still it cannot be doubted that many followers of the "charismatic revival" actually feel that it is something "Christian" and "spiritual." As long as these people remain outside the Orthodox Church, we might well leave their opinions without comment. But when an Orthodox priest tells us that sectarian phenomena are produced by the Holy Spirit, and he even exhorts us: "Don't be left out. Open your heart to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be part of the growing charismatic renewal" (loc. cit.) - then we have the right and the duty to examine their opinions quite closely, judging them not by the standard of the vague humanist "Christianity" which prevails in the West and is prepared to call anything "Christian" that merely "feels" so, but by the quite different standard of Orthodox Christianity. And by this standard there is not one item in the above list of "spiritual fruits" but that can be, and has been in the sectarian and heretical movements of the past, produced by the devil appearing as an "angel of light," precisely with the aim of leading people away from the Church of Christ into some other kind of "Christianity. " If the "spirit" of the "charismatic revival" is not the Holy Spirit, then these "spiritual fruits" likewise are not from God.
According to Bishop Ignatius, the deception known as "fancy" is satisfied with the invention of counterfeit feelings and states of grace, from which there is born a false, wrong conception of the whole spiritual undertaking... It constantly invents pseudo-spiritual states, an intimate companionship with Jesus, an inward conversation with him, mystical revelations, voices, enjoyments... From this activity the blood receives a sinful, deceiving movement, which presents itself as a grace-given delight... It clothes itself in the mask of humility, piety, wisdom." Unlike the more spectacular form of spiritual deception, fancy, while "bringing the mind into the most frightful error, does not however lead it to delirium," so that the state may continue for many years or a whole lifetime and not be easily detected. One who falls into this warm, comfortable, fevered state of deception virtually commits spiritual suicide, blinding himself to his own true spiritual state. Writes Bishop Ignatius: "Fancying of himself... that he is filled with grace, he will never receive grace... He who ascribes to himself gifts of grace fences off from himself by this 'fancy' the entrance into himself of Divine grace, and opens wide the door to the infection of sin and to demons." "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Apoc. 3:17)
Those infected with the "charismatic" deception are not only themselves "spirit-filled"; they also see around them the beginning of a "new age" of the "out-pouring of the Holy Spirit," believing, as does Fr. Eusebius Stephanou, that "the world is on the threshold of a great spiritual awakening" (Logos, Feb., 1972, p. 18); and the words of the Prophet Joel are constantly on their lips: "I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh" (Joel 2:28). The Orthodox Christian knows that this prophecy refers in general to the last age that began with the coming of our Lord, and more specifically to Pentecost (Acts 2), and to every Orthodox Saint who truly possesses in abundance the gifts of the Holy Spirit - such as St. John of Kronstadt and St. Nectarios of Pentapolis, who have worked thousands of miracles even in this corrupt 20th century. But to today's "charismatics," miraculous gifts are for everyone; almost everyone who wants to can and does speak in tongues, and there are manuals telling you how to do it.
But what do the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church teach us? According to Bishop Ignatius, the gifts of the Holy Spirit "exist only in Orthodox Christians who have attained Christian perfection, purified and prepared beforehand by repentance." They "are given to Saints of God solely at God's good will and God's action, and not by the will of men and not by one's own power. They are given unexpectedly, extremely rarely, in cases of extreme need, by God's wondrous providence, and not just at random' (St. Isaac the Syrian). "It should be noted that at the present time spiritual gifts are granted in great moderation, corresponding to the enfeeblement that has enveloped Christianity in general. These gifts serve entirely the needs of salvation. On the contrary, 'fancy' lavishes its gifts in boundless abundance and with the greatest speed."
In a word, the "spirit" that suddenly lavishes its "gifts" upon this adulterous generation which, corrupted and deceived by centuries of false belief and pseudo-piety, seeks only a "sign" - is not the Holy Spirit of God. These people have never known the Holy Spirit and never worshipped Him. True spirituality is so far beyond them that, to the sober observer, they only mock it by their psychic and emotional - and sometimes demonic - phenomena and blasphemous utterances. Of true spiritual feelings, writes Bishop Ignatius, "the fleshly man cannot form any conception: because a conception of feeling is always based on those feelings already known to the heart, while spiritual feelings are entirely foreign to the heart that knows only fleshly and emotional feelings. Such a heart does not so much as know of the existence of spiritual feelings."
The Spirit of the Last Times A "Pentecost Without Christ"
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?
The "New Christianity"
THERE MAY BE THOSE who will doubt that the "charismatic revival" is a form of mediumism; that is only a secondary question of the means or technique by which the "spirit" of the "charismatic revival" is communicated. But that this "spirit" has nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity is abundantly clear. And in fact this "spirit" follows almost to the letter the "prophecies" of Nicholas Berdyaev concerning a "New Christianity." It completely leaves behind the "monastic ascetic spirit of historical Orthodoxy," which most effectively exposes its falsity. It is not satisfied with the "conservative Christianity which directs the spiritual forces of man only towards contrition and salvation," but rather, apparently believing like Berdyaev that such a Christianity is still "incomplete," adds a second level of "spiritual" phenomena, not one of which is specifically Christian in character (although one is free to interpret them as "Christian"), which are open to people of every denomination with or without repentance, and which are completely unrelated to salvation. It looks to "a new era in Christianity, a new and deep spirituality, which means a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit" - in complete contradiction of Orthodox tradition and prophecy.
This is truly a "New Christianity" - but the specifically "new" ingredient in this "Christianity" is nothing original or "advanced," but merely a modern form of the devil's age - old religion of shamanistic paganism. The Orthodox "charismatic" periodical The Logos recommends Nicholas Berdyaev as a "prophet" precisely because he was "the greatest theologian of spiritual creativeness" (Logos , March, 1972, p. 8). And indeed, it is precisely the shamans of every primitive tribe who know how to get in contact with and utilize the primordial "creative" powers of the universe - those "spirits of earth and sky and sea" which the Church of Christ recognizes as demons, and in serving which it is indeed possible to attain to a "creative" ecstasy and joy (the "Nietzschean enthusiasm and ecstasy" to which Berdyaev felt so close) which are unknown to the weary and half-hearted "Christians" who fall for the "charismatic" deception. But there is no Christ here. God has forbidden contact with this "creative," occult realm into which "Christians" have stumbled through ignorance and self-deception. The "charismatic revival" will have no need to enter a "dialogue with non-Christian religions," because, under the name of "Christianity," it is already embracing non-Christian religion and is itself becoming the new religion which Berdyaev foresaw, strangely combining "Christianity" and paganism.
The strange "Christian" spirit of the "charismatic revival" is clearly identified in the Holy Scriptures and the Orthodox patristic tradition. According to these sources, world history will culminate in an almost superhuman "Christian" figure, the false messiah or antichrist. He will be "Christian" in the sense that his whole function and his very being will center on Christ, Whom he will imitate in every respect possible, and he will be not merely the greatest enemy of Christ, but in order to deceive Christians will appear to be Christ, come to earth for a second time and ruling from the restored Temple in Jerusalem.
Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away (apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God... even him whose coming is after the working of satan with all lying wonders, and with all deceivableness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:3-4, 9-12).
The Orthodox teaching concerning antichrist is a large subject in itself and cannot be presented here. But if, as the followers of the "charismatic revival" believe, the last days are indeed at hand, it is of crucial importance for the Orthodox Christian to be informed of this teaching concerning one who, as the Saviour Himself has told us, together with the "false prophets" of that time, shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). And the "elect" are certainly not those multitudes of people who are coming to accept the gross and most unscriptural delusion that "the world is on the threshold of a great spiritual awakening," but rather the "little flock" to which alone our Saviour has promised: It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Even the true "elect" will be sorely tempted by the "great signs and wonders" of antichrist; but most "Christians" will accept him without any question, for his "New Christianity" is precisely what they seek.
"Jesus is Coming Soon"
JUST IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, significantly, the figure of "Jesus" has been thrust into strange prominence in America. On stage and in films long-standing prohibitions against portraying the person of Christ have been abrogated. Sensationally popular musicals present blasphemous parodies of His life. The "Jesus Movement," which was largely "charismatic" in orientation, spread spectacularly among teenagers and young people. The crudest form of American popular music is "Christianized" at mass "Jesus-Rock Festivals," and "Christian" tunes for the first time in the century become the most popular in the land. And underlying this whole strange conglomeration of sacrilege and absolutely unenlightened worldliness is the constantly reiterated expression of seemingly everyone's expectation and hope: Jesus is coming soon.
The careful observer of the contemporary religious scene - especially in America, where the most popular religious currents have originated for over a century - cannot fail to notice a very decided air of chiliastic expectation. And this is not only true of "charismatic" circles, but even of the traditionalist or fundamentalist circles that have rejected the "charismatic revival." Thus, many traditionalist Roman Catholics believe in the coming of a chiliastic "Age of Mary" before the end of the world, and this is only one variant on the more widespread Latin error of trying to "sanctify the world," or, as Archbishop Thomas Connolly of Seattle expressed it [as] "transforming the modern world into the Kingdom of God in preparation for His return." Protestant evangelists such as Billy Graham, in their mistaken private interpretation of the Apocalypse, await the "millennium" when "Christ" will reign on earth. Other evangelists in Israel find that their millenarian interpretation of the "Messiah" is just what is needed to "prepare" the Jews for his coming . And the arch-fundamentalist Carl McIntire prepares to build a life-size replica of the Temple of Jerusalem in Florida (near Disneyworld!), believing that the time is at hand when the Jews will build the very "Temple to which the Lord Himself will return as He promised" (Christian Beacon , Nov. 11, 1971; Jan. 6, 1972).
Thus, even anti-ecumenists find it possible to prepare to join the unrepentant Jews in welcoming the false messiah - antichrist - in contrast to the faithful remnant of Jews who will accept Christ as the Orthodox Church preaches Him, when the Prophet Elijah returns to earth.
It is therefore no great consolation for a sober Orthodox Christian who knows the Scriptural prophecies concerning the last days, when he is told by a "charismatic" Protestant minister that, "It's glorious what Jesus can do when we open up to Him. No wonder people of all faiths are now able to pray together" (Harold Bredesen, in Logos Journal , Jan.-Feb., 1972, p. 24); or by a Catholic Pentecostal that the members of all the denominations now "begin to peer over those walls of separation only to recognize in each other the image of Jesus Christ" (Kevin Ranaghan in Logos Journal , Nov.-Dec., 1971, p. 21). Which "Christ" is this for whom an accelerated program of psychological and even physical preparation is now being made throughout the world? - Is this our true God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who founded the Church wherein men may find salvation? Or is it the false Christ who will come in his own name (John 5:43) and unite all who reject or pervert the teaching of the one Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church?
Our Saviour Himself has warned us: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold I have told you beforehand. If therefore they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness, go not forth; Behold, he is in the inner chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man" (Matt. 24:23-27).
The Second Coming of Christ will be unmistakable: it will be sudden, from heaven (Acts 1:11), and it will mark the end of this world. There can be no "preparation" for it - save only the Orthodox Christian preparation of repentance, spiritual life, and watchfulness. Those who are "preparing" for it in any other way, who say that he is anywhere "here" - especially "here" in the Temple of Jerusalem - or who preach that "Jesus is coming soon" without warning of the great deception that is to precede His Coming: are clearly the prophets of antichrist, the false Christ who must come first and deceive the world, including all "Christians" who are not or do not become truly Orthodox. There is to be no future "millennium." For those who can receive it, the "millennium" of the Apocalypse (Apoc. 20:6) is now; the life of grace in the Orthodox Church for the whole "thousand years" between the First Coming of Christ and the time of antichrist . That Protestants should expect the "millennium" in the future is only their confession that they do not live in it in the present - that is, that they are outside the Church of Christ and have not tasted of Divine grace.
Must Orthodoxy Join the Apostasy?
IT IS TRUE ENOUGH, to be sure, that an Orthodox awakening would be much to be desired in our days, when many Orthodox Christians have lost the salt of true Christianity, and the true and fervent Orthodox Christian life is indeed rarely to be seen. Modern life has become too comfortable; worldly life has become too attractive; for too many, Orthodoxy has become simply a matter of membership in a church organization or the "correct" fulfillment of external rites and practices. There would be need enough for a true Orthodox spiritual awakening, but this is not what we see in the Orthodox "charismatics." Just like the "charismatic" activists among Protestants and Roman Catholics, they are fully in harmony with the spirit of the times; they are not in living contact with the sources of the Orthodox spiritual tradition, preferring the currently fashionable Protestant techniques of revivalism. They are one with the leading current of today's apostate "Christianity": the ecumenical movement.
There have been true Orthodox "awakenings" in the past: one thinks immediately of St. Cosmas of Aitolia, who walked from village to village in 18th-century Greece and inspired the people to return to the true Christianity of their ancestors; or St. John of Kronstadt in our own century, who brought the age-old message of Orthodox spiritual life to the urban masses of Petersburg. Then there are the Orthodox monastic instructors who were truly "Spirit-filled" and left their teaching to the monastics as well as the laymen of the latter times: one thinks of the Greek St. Symeon the New Theologian in the 10th century, and the Russian St. Seraphim of Sarov in the 19th. St. Symeon is badly misused by the Orthodox "charismatics" (he was speaking of a Spirit different from theirs!); and St. Seraphim is invariably quoted out of context in order to minimize his emphasis on the necessity to belong to the Orthodox Church to have a true spiritual life. In the "Conversation" of St. Seraphim with the layman Motovilov on the "acquisition of the Holy Spirit" (which the Orthodox "charismatics" quote without the parts here italicized), this great Saint tells us: "The grace of the Holy Spirit which was given to us all, the faithful of Christ, in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, is sealed by the Sacrament of Chrismation on the chief parts of the body, as appointed by the Holy Church, the eternal keeper of this grace." And again: "The Lord listens equally to the monk and the simple Christian layman, provided that both are Orthodox."
As opposed to the true Orthodox spiritual life, the "charismatic revival" is only the experiential side of the prevailing "ecumenical" fashion - a counterfeit Christianity that betrays Christ and His Church. No Orthodox "charismatic" could possibly object to the coming "Union" with those very Protestants and Roman Catholics with whom, as the interdenominational "charismatic" song goes, they are already "one in the Spirit, one in the Lord," and who have led them and inspired their "charismatic" experience. The "spirit" that has inspired the "charismatic revival" is the spirit of antichrist , or more precisely those "spirits of devils" of the last times whose "miracles" prepare the world for the false messiah.
"Little Children, it is the Last Hour" (1 John 2:18)
Outside of genuine Orthodoxy the darkness... grows. Judging from the latest "religious" news, the "charismatic revival" may well be only the faint beginning of a whole "age of miracles." Many Protestants who have discerned the fraud of the "charismatic revival" now accept as "the real thing" the spectacular "revival" in Indonesia where, we are told, there are really occurring "the self same things that one finds reported in the Acts of the Apostles." In the space of three years 200,000 pagans have been converted to Protestantism under constantly miraculous conditions: No one does anything except in absolute obedience to "voices" and "angels" who are constantly appearing, usually quoting Scripture by number and verse; water is turned into wine every time the Protestant communion service comes around; detached hands appear from nowhere to distribute miraculous food to the hungry; a whole band of demons is seen to abandon a pagan village because a "more powerful" one ("Jesus") has come to take their place; "Christians" have a "countdown" for an unrepentant sinner, and when they come to "zero" he dies; children are taught new Protestant hymns by voices that come from nowhere (and repeat the song twenty times so the children will remember); "God's tape-recorder" records the song of a children¹s choir and plays it back in the air for the astonished children; fire comes down from the sky to consume Catholic religious images ("the Lord" in Indonesia is very anti-Catholic); 30,000 have been healed; "Christ" appears in the sky and "falls" on people in order to heal them; people are miraculously transported from place to place and walk on water; lights accompany evangelists and guide them at night, and clouds follow them and give them shelter during the day: the dead are raised .
Interestingly, in some parts of the Indonesian "revival" the element of "speaking in tongues" is almost totally absent and is even forbidden (although it is present in many places), and the element of mediumism seems sometimes to be replaced by a direct intervention of fallen spirits. It may well be that this new "revival," more powerful than Pentecostalism, is a more developed stage of the same "spiritual" phenomenon (just as Pentecostalism itself is more advanced than spiritism) and heralds the imminence of the dreadful day when, as the "voices" and "angels" in Indonesia also proclaim, "the Lord" is to come - for we know that antichrist will prove to the world that he is "Christ" by just such "miracles."
In an age of almost universal darkness and deception, when for most "Christians" Christ has become precisely what Orthodox teaching means by antichrist, the Orthodox Church of Christ alone possesses and communicates the grace of God. This is a priceless treasure the very existence of which is not so much as suspected even by the "Christian" world. The "Christian" world, indeed, joins hands with the forces of darkness in order to seduce the faithful of the Church of Christ, blindly trusting that the "name of Jesus" will save them even in their apostasy and blasphemy, mindless of the fearful warning of the Lord: "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" (Matt. 7:22-23).
St. Paul continues his warning about the coming of antichrist with this command: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thess. 2:15). "There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so say I now again: If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be anathema" (Gal. 1:8-9).
The Orthodox answer to every new "revival," and even to the final terrible "revival" of antichrist, is this Gospel of Christ, which the Orthodox Church alone has preserved unchanged in an unbroken line from Christ and His Apostles, and the grace of the Holy Spirit which the Orthodox Church alone communicates, and only to her faithful children, who have received in Chrismation, and kept, the true seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Religion of the Future
IT IS DEEPLY INDICATIVE of the spiritual state of contemporary mankind that the "charismatic" and "meditation" experiences are taking root among "Christians." An Eastern religious influence is undeniably at work in such "Christians," but it is only as a result of something much more fundamental: the loss of the very feeling and savor of Christianity, due to which something so alien to Christianity as Eastern "meditation" can take hold of "Christian" souls.
The life of self-centeredness and self-satisfaction lived by most of today's "Christians" is so all-pervading that it effectively seals them off from any understanding at all of spiritual life; and when such people do undertake "spiritual life," it is only as another form of self-satisfaction. This can be seen quite clearly in the totally false religious ideal both of the "charismatic" movement and the various forms of "Christian meditation": all of them promise (and give very quickly) an experience of "contentment" and "peace." But this is not the Christian ideal at all, which if anything may be summed up as a fierce battle and struggle. The "contentment" and "peace" described in these contemporary "spiritual" movements are quite manifestly the product of spiritual deception, of spiritual self-satisfaction - which is the absolute death of the God-oriented spiritual life. All these forms of "Christian meditation" operate solely on the psychic level and have nothing whatever in common with Christian spirituality. Christian spirituality is formed in the arduous struggle to acquire the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, which fully begins only with the dissolution of this temporal world, and the true Christian struggler never finds repose even in the foretastes of eternal blessedness which might be vouchsafed to him in this life; but the Eastern religions, to which the Kingdom of Heaven has not been revealed, strive only to acquire psychic states which begin and end in this life.
In our age of apostasy preceding the manifestation of antichrist, the devil has been loosed for a time (Apoc. 20:7) to work the false miracles which he could not work during the "thousand years" of Grace in the Church of Christ (Apoc. 20:3), and to gather in his hellish harvest of those souls who "received not the love of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:10). We can tell that the time of antichrist is truly near by the very fact that this satanic harvest is now being reaped not merely among the pagan peoples, who have not heard of Christ, but even more among "Christians" who have lost the savor of Christianity. It is of the very nature of antichrist to present the kingdom of the devil as if it were of Christ. The present-day "charismatic" movement and "Christian meditation," and the "new religious consciousness" of which they are part, are forerunners of the religion of the future, the religion of the last humanity, the religion of antichrist, and their chief "spiritual" function is to make available to Christians the demonic initiation hitherto restricted to the pagan world. Let it be that these "religious experiments" are still often of a tentative and groping nature, that there is in them at least as much psychic self-deception as there is a genuinely demonic initiation rite; doubtless not everyone who has successfully "meditated" or thinks he has received the "Baptism of the Spirit" has actually received initiation into the kingdom of satan. But this is the aim of these "experiments," and doubtless the techniques of initiation will become ever more efficient as mankind becomes prepared for them by the attitudes or passivity and openness to new "religious experiences" which are inculcated by these movements.
What has brought humanity - and indeed "Christendom" - to this desperate state? Certainly it is not any overt worship of the devil, which is limited always to a few people; rather, it is something much more subtle, and something fearful for a conscious Orthodox Christian to reflect on: it is the loss of the grace of God, which follows on the loss of the savor of Christianity.
Roman Catholics and Protestants today have not fully tasted of God's grace, and so it is not surprising that they should be unable to discern its demonic counterfeit. But alas! The success of counterfeit spirituality even among Orthodox Christians today reveals how much they also have lost the savor of Christianity and so can no longer distinguish between true Christianity and pseudo-Christianity. For too long have Orthodox Christians taken for granted the precious treasure of their Faith and neglected to put into use the pure gold of its teachings. How many Orthodox Christians even know of the existence of the basic texts of Orthodox spiritual life, which teach precisely how to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit spirituality, texts which give the life and teaching of holy men and women who attained an abundant measure of God¹s grace in this life? How many have made their own the teaching of the Lausiac History, the Ladder of St. John, the Homilies of St. Macarius, the Lives of the God-bearing Fathers of the desert, Unseen Warfare, St. John of Kronstadt's My Life in Christ?
In the Life of the great Father of the Egyptian desert, St. Paisius the Great (June 19), we may see a shocking example of how easy it is to lose the grace of God. Once a disciple of his was walking to a city in Egypt to sell his handiwork. On the way he met a Jew who, seeing his simplicity, began to deceive him, saying: "O beloved, why do you believe in a simple, crucified Man, when He was not at all the awaited Messiah? Another is to come, but not He." The disciple, being weak in mind and simple in heart, began to listen to these words and allowed himself to say: "Perhaps what you say is correct." When he returned to the desert, St. Paisius turned away from him and would not speak a single word to him. Finally, after the disciple¹s long entreaty, the Saint said to him: "Who are you? I do not know you. This disciple of mine was a Christian and had upon him the grace of Baptism, but you are not such a one; if you are actually my disciple, then the grace of Baptism has left you and the image of a Christian has been removed." The disciple with tears related his conversation with the Jew, to which the Saint replied: "O wretched one! What could be worse and more foul than such words, by which you renounced Christ and His divine Baptism? Now go and weep over yourself as you wish, for you have no place with me; your name is written with those who have renounced Christ, and together with them you will receive judgment and torments." On hearing this judgment the disciple was filled with repentance, and at his entreaty the Saint shut himself up and prayed to the Lord to forgive his disciple this sin. The Lord heard the Saint¹s prayer and granted him to behold a sign of His forgiveness of the disciple. The Saint then warned the disciple: "O child, give glory and thanksgiving to Christ God together with me, for the unclean, blasphemous spirit has departed from you, and in his place the Holy Spirit has descended upon you, restoring to you the grace of Baptism. And so, guard yourself now, lest out of sloth and carelessness the nets of the enemy should fall upon you again and, having sinned, you should inherit the fire of gehenna."
Significantly, it is among "ecumenical Christians" that the "charismatic" and "meditation" movements have taken root. The characteristic belief of the heresy of ecumenism is this: that the Orthodox Church is not the one true Church of Christ; that the grace of God is present also in other "Christian" denominations, and even in non-Christian religions; that the narrow path of salvation according to the teaching of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church is only "one path among many" to salvation; and that the details of one's belief in Christ are of little importance, as is one's membership in any particular church. Not all the Orthodox participants in the ecumenical movement believe this entirely (although Protestants and Roman Catholics most certainly do); but by their very participation in this movement, including invariably common prayer with those who believe wrongly about Christ and His Church, they tell the heretics who behold them: "Perhaps what you say is correct," even as the wretched disciple of St. Paisius did. No more than this is required for an Orthodox Christian to lose the grace of God; and what labor it will cost for him to gain it back!
How much, then, must Orthodox Christians walk in the fear of God, trembling lest they lose His grace, which by no means is given to everyone, but only to those who hold the true Faith, lead a life of Christian struggle, and treasure the grace of God which leads them heavenward. And how much more cautiously must Orthodox Christians walk today above all, when they are surrounded by a counterfeit Christianity that gives its own experiences of "grace" and the "Holy Spirit" and can abundantly quote the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers to "prove" it! Surely the last times are near, when there will come spiritual deception so persuasive as to "deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect" (Matt. 24:24).
Orthodox Christians! Hold fast to the grace which you have; never let it become a matter of habit; never measure it by merely human standards or expect it to be logical or comprehensible to those who understand nothing higher than what is human or who think to obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit in some other way than that which the one Church of Christ has handed down to us. True Orthodoxy by its very nature must seem totally out of place in these demonic times, a dwindling minority of the despised and "foolish," in the midst of a religious "revival" inspired by another kind of spirit. But let us take comfort from the certain words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
Let all true Orthodox Christians strengthen themselves for the battle ahead, never forgetting that in Christ the victory is already ours. He has promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church (Matt. 16:18), and that for the sake of the elect He will cut short the days of the last great tribulation (Matt. 24:22). 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). Let us live, even as true Christians of all times have lived, in expectation of the end of all things and the coming of our dear Saviour; for "He that giveth testimony of these things saith: Surely I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (Apoc. 22:20).
This article was reprinted from St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood of Platina, California.
Sources Cited In The Text Of This Article:
Burdick, Donald W. Tongues- To Speak or not to Speak. Moody Press, 1969.
Christenson, Larry. Speaking in Tongues. Dimension Books, Minneapolis, 1968.
Du Plessis, David J. The Spirit Bade Me Go. Logos International, Plainfield, New Jersey, 1970.
Ford, J. Massingherd. The Pentecostal Experience. Paulist Press, N. Y., 1970.
Gelpi, Donald L., S. J. Pentecostalism, A Theological Viewpoint. Paulist Press, N. Y., 1971
Harper, Michael. Life in the Holy Spirit. Logos Books, Plainfield, N. J., 1966.
Koch, Kurt. The Strife of Tongues. Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, 1969.
Lilli, D. G. Tongues under Fire. Fountain Trust, London, 1966.
Ortega, Ruben, compiler. The Jesus People Speak Out. David C. Cook Publishing Co., Elgin, III., 1972
Ranaghan, Kevin; Ranaghan, Dorothy. Catholic Pentecostals. Paulist Press, 1969.
Sherrill, John L. They Speak with Other Tongues. Spire Books, Old Tappan, N. J., 1965
Williams, J. Rodman. The Era of the Spirit. Logos International, 1971.
Pat King. in Logos Journal, Sept.-Oct., 1971, p. 50. This "international charismatic journal" should not be confused with Fr. E. Stephanou's Logos.
Most books will be cited only by author and page number. Full bibliographical information is supplied at the end.
Bishop Theophan the Recluse What is the Spiritual Life, Jordanville, New York, 1962, pp 247-8 (in Russian); English edition, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, Calif., 1995, p. 282. Fr. Eusebius Stephanou (Logos, Jan., 1972, p. 13) attempts to justify the present-day "reception of the Holy Spirit" outside the Church by citing the account of the household of Cornelius the Centurion (Acts 10), which received the Holy Spirit before Baptism. But the difference in the two cases is crucial: the reception of the Holy Spirit by Cornelius and his household was the sign that they should be joined to the Church by Baptism, whereas contemporary Pentecostals by their experience are only confirmed in their delusion that there is no one saving Church of Christ.
See Burdick, pp. 66-67.
V. P. ByLov, Tikhie Priyuty, Moscow 1913. pp. I 168-170.
See Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970, pp. l68-170.
Kurt Koch, Between Christ and Satan, Kregel Publications, 1962, p. 124. This book and Dr. Koch¹s Occult Bondage offer a remarkable confirmation, based on 20th-century experience, of virtually every manifestation of mediumism, magic, sorcery, etc., that is found in the Holy Scriptures and the Orthodox Lives of Saints - the source of all of which, of course, is the devil. On only a few points will the Orthodox reader have to correct his interpretations.
Simon A. Blackmore S. J, Spiritism Facts and Frauds, Benziger Bros., New York, 1924: Chapter IV, "Mediums," pp. 89-1 05 passim.
On Oral Roberts. see Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage, pp. 52-55.
Ronald A. Knox, Enthusiasm, A Chapter in the History of Religion, Oxford (Galaxy Book), 196l, pp. 550-551.
See The Orthodox Word, 1965, no. 4, pp. 155-158.
Conference XV:2, in Owen Chadwick, Western Asceticism, Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1958, p. 258.
Wilson Van Dusen, The Presence of Other Worlds, Harper and Row, New York, 1974, pp. 120-125.
See I. H. Lewis, Ecstatic Religion, An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Shamanism, Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1971, pp. 45, 88. 156 etc., and illustration 9.
Starets Macarius of Optina, Harbin, 1940, p. 100 (in Russian). (cf. Elder Macarius of Optina, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, Calif., 1995, p. 326)
See Blackmore, Spiritism, pp. 144-175, where an example is given of a Catholic priest who was physically pursued by a ouija-board (propelled, of course, by a demon) when he tried to give up using it!
See for example Gordon Lindsay, Israel's Destiny and the Coming Deliverer, Christ for the Nations Pub. Co., Dallas, Texas, pp. 28-30.
Such is the Orthodox teaching of Sts. Basil the Great. Gregory theTheologian, Andrew of Caesarea, and many other Fathers. See Archbishop Averky, Guide to the Study of the New Testament. Part II (in Russian), Jordanville, New York, 1956, pp. 434-438. (cf. The Apocalypse: In theTeaching of Ancient Christianity, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, Calif., 1995, pp. 253-4
See Kurt Koch, The Revival in Indonesia, Kregel Publications, 1970; and Mel Tari, Like a Mighty Wind. Creation House, Carol Stream, Illinois, 1971.