MAN: To Err, the Church and Holy Spirit
          
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American Orthodox Church, Inc

.(a California Non-Profit Religious Corporation)
and His Eminence
Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D.
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MAN: To err, the Church and Holy Spirit
Compiled by: +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D.

Updated: July 2004

{Resources: "Not of this World," Life of Fr. Seraphim Rose; Writings of St. John Maximovitch, Archbishop Averky, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Gregory the Theologian}

Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, sent to believers who physically, mentally and spiritually struggle according to their nature and degree of ability to maintain themselves in their thoughts, words and actions, to come into conformity to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and His Holy Apostles; are indeed blessed.  This is a life-long pilgrimage that never stops until the day of our crossing over.

Yet, we often find that there are far to many so-called "Christians," both people and clergy alike, who make claims and give pronouncements based on man-made historical events and writings, but who, seemingly, lack the Holy Spirit in themselves without even knowing it, because they have failed to maintain themselves appropriately and properly in spirit and truth.

Often we find that historical information can become a 'graven image' (Ex. 20:24, KJV; DEUT. 5:8) to the detriment of faithful believers by the manner of abusive use upon their minds, hearts and souls.

We know that history shows us how often the original writings, or as close as one can come to the originals, of not only the New Testament writings of the Holy Apostles, but of so very many other documents of historical importance, including many of the translations and the manner with which some were accomplished, have been abused and misused.  Such adulterations and misuse over time and history have been hidden or kept from being made known to the general public; important things about religion, the people of the past, or personages behind the writings.  Such misuse and abuses or adulterations whereby things were added or taken out of context to suit the whim of another's personal agenda is not unknown to many scholarly research professionals in the academic world.

It is through the Person of Jesus Christ that all come to the knowledge of God in Three Persons (Jn. 1:18; 14:16, 26; 15:26).  Jesus Christ is the radiance of the Father, the WORD made flesh through Virgin Mary, the Holy Theotokos (meaning "Birth-Giver of God"); and through Him, the Holy Spirit acts in the world even today!

The Kingdom of God described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount says very much about the action and activities of Holy Spirit by how you live and believe, (Matt. 5-7 and Luke 6:17-49).

There are many today who speak in the tongues of men who have lost the love which Jesus Christ would have each one of us bear within, thinking they are speaking in the tongues of angels.  Thus, Holy Spirit has departed them; leaving them as a noisy gong or clanging cymbal (I Cor. 13:1).

We cannot limit the action or activity of the Holy Spirit and we certainly cannot describe the fullness of action of the Holy Spirit or we would be limiting God.

It can be said where Holy Spirit does not take up residence; the kinds or types of persons, people or clergy.  In this that follows, we give only an example of some of those types who have caused for Holy Spirit to depart from them, if Holy Spirit had been with them at all.

If you know anyone, especially clergy, who may in any one or more examples provided, fit such partial or all descriptions - - - earnestly pray for them.  Prayerfully, that person may, through self-examination, meditation, prayer, contrite confession and penance be motivated by Holy Spirit, to be truly and sincerely repentant and seek forgiveness; finding themselves imbued once again with that they had unknowingly lost by their actions, their words and lack of them.  Holy Spirit can motivate a sincere seeker of truth about God and themselves with right thinking, right desire, right action and such that fits the many examples Jesus Christ provided.

In these times of unrest, when evil has manifested itself to ever greater degrees in society, there are appearing those who, unbeknownst even to themselves, have become the servants of the spirit of Antichrist, putting out all effort to undermine and replace authentic Orthodox Catholic Christianity with such that is "Orthodox" in name only, led by 'Pastors' or 'Clergy' whose training and knowledge are rather illustrious, to say the least, but themselves lack the Holy Spirit.  They know the 'LETTER' of many things, but lack the essence of understanding the spirit within... the Holy Spirit!

The Church is not an ordinary human organization, even though each part of the church, parish or other entity be under a bishop which is often times incorporated by secular (civil) law in each State or Province they operate and under the jurisdiction they primarily operate are responsible to, error occurs.  Yet, and again, the true Church is not an arena for the struggle for power, nor any other political or partisan struggle in which the opponents become 'victim' and are governed by the pride, vanity, ambitious desires to 'play a role' or to obtain some sort of reward through their aggressive and oft times, persistent striving over their opponents or victims.  To hear these types talk or see them act, they show only on the surface as ones who are the epitome of religiousness. And, they lack the essence of understanding the spirit within... the Holy Spirit!

Being respectful and formal is always proper.  But, insisting upon and demanding a particular or strict formalistic observance to a particular path (Holy Order or even Liturgy, etc.) for all to follow can become a curse against the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit blows and moves where it wills, not as man wills it!  The Church has always allowed, with some restraint, many ways of expression in Worship as handed down through time and history from the Holy Fathers, as has the Holy Spirit.

False pastors, priests, even Bishops, are filling the ranks of various churches both East and West who follow such ego oriented approaches that limit and inhibit the free flow of the Holy Spirit in and through the Church.  Having great knowledge of men, knowing the 'letter' - - - with many having great scholarly charisma, they are often found to become the very thing they have so strenuously, in times past, objected and rejected.

They speak much about the wrongs of others, especially clergy or bishops, while themselves often appearing as the epitome of "virtue" and "correctness" in adhering to the doctrines and teachings, the very life of religious bearing.  They suffer from that which our Holy Fathers have termed as a  disease, the "Correctness Disease".  They have, again, much knowledge, being well 'lettered,' while their own spirit is gray or dark on closer microscopic inspection.  These silver tongued foxes will cause division, while making themselves appear to many as being something more than what they actually are, going so far to say and do all manner of things that will cast away any means potentially possible for themselves to be microscopically viewed or seen for what they are.  These types are in practically every branch and twig of the vine of the Church.  Many there are who have followed them who, if they have not already, will suffer form the many ills of this life and those whom they have or are following whom we've described.

There are other clergy in the Church who, as human beings, as individuals, as faithful servants; know they too suffer from many spiritual defects which affect the human condition.  These are, for many of them, the ones who may not appear so swift of mind, not necessarily well lettered on man's "I.Q." standards or even scholarly according to the teachings of man.  Yet, while knowing there are fewer and fewer 'living saints' in these last times, these clergy are very well aware that given their limitations (in some instances), they have the Holy Spirit about them, in them and with them.  Many know that what they lack in many things normally honored by mankind and that they have much repentance to do, along with giving and accepting forgiveness... they persist as true strugglers in the faith once delivered and thereby Holy Spirit takes abode in them.

These clergy, following and practicing Holy tradition of the Church in observances according to their nature and degree of ability in spirit and truth, are often unaware that God has marked them with special gifts through Holy Spirit as they advance in their earthly spiritual struggle.  While they may not stand out, by man's standards, as being well 'lettered,' they stand out in God's because they have the one ingredient within them that many a well 'lettered' clergyman or person has not... the spiritual essence of understanding and therefore they have the armor of Light, Jesus Christ.  These clergy have indeed been marked by Holy Spirit which imbues them with the blueprint in their soul to do all that God, through Jesus Christ as the WORD OF GOD demands for conscientious strugglers in this Orthodox Catholic Christian walk.  Repentance, penance, forgiveness, ability to admit error without hesitation, ability to admit wrongdoing (intentional and unintentional) because they know that like most people, they too suffer from the many ills of the human condition and society, in this life, which can make one weak.

Often times you will find these types of struggling clergy working together to guide and guard both themselves and their flock, aiding and assisting each other directly and indirectly out of charity, to act in a loving, repentant, compassionate manner toward healing without asking or seeking reward based on self-image, self-glory or aggrandizement, or any of the other forms or empirical attitudes as exist in many today who are 'lettered' or more scholarly in a bully-ish form of approach who often view these struggling clergy as 'bumbling' or inadequate.

It would be better to have a less scholarly priest, even a bumbling one, a sinful-repentant one, to help you as the Holy Spirit leaves not these kind of priests so quickly because they are more pliable to the Glory of God; because they are undaunted by man's boastings and more concerned for the blessings of Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit than those who suffer from the "CORRECTNESS DISEASE" that has infected so very many scholarly types (or wanna-bee types) with, among many things, pride, envy, sloth, false witness, slanderings and promoting slander through psychological manipulation of others, and worse!

The inspiring source of a true Orthodox Catholic Christian is their desire to think, act and talk in a manner that supports their very LIVING FAITH which is for the sake of salvation and that through Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, without being like the proselytizing types, .

Such inspiration derived from faith reveals itself equally in the attitude of just such a Christian who is constantly occupied with their salvation in and through daily habits which is expressed in a corresponding life of prayer, meditation, contemplation, repentance, penance, forgiveness (of self and others in an active and aggressive way), including their relationships with other people.

There are those pastors and priests who speak against the false ecumenism of modern time while themselves following an approach that is just as, or equally, bad or false as the very ones they speak against, but on the psychological level, they fear being the object of view or inspection for fear their own intentional and unintentional faults will be found out.  The "Correctness Disease" has so infected these particular types of clergy that they rally, and get those who succumb to them to rally, against those who do not accept them in the way they believe themselves to be or appear.  They follow a form of modern day renovationsim according to the dictates of their heart and not Holy Spirit. These particular types of clergy are just as bad as the extremist ethnic Orthodox, the atheist and the modern day synchrestic ecumenist.

Within this nightmarish background or phenomenon, something more frightful than open atheism, fighting against God and such as we have already described... is taking place... it threatens to destroy true American Orthodox Catholic Christianity from the root by its corrupting influence on so very many potential faithful.

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," Christ had said concerning His disciples who had fallen asleep at the Mount of Olives where He spent His last free moments in prayer (Matt. 26:41).

This flesh, this falling asleep of the disciples is rather similar to the falling asleep of our own selves, in spirit, our souls when we are not watching from within and outside.  Holy spirit 'oils' our spiritual self, that is to constantly keep us attuned in spirit if we just meditate, pray, continually undergo self-examination; so that we can listen from within when others on the outside bombard us with their own rantings and ravings.  Through guile, and guise, there are many who do attempt to manipulate and even deceive with artful words and actions that 'seem' to be 'correct' - but are often found to be from those who suffer from that CORRECTNESS DISEASE we had earlier alluded to where formalism is more important.  Their bombardments and constant assaultive nature provides no room for interruption for they will not listen to anyone unless it is from their own lips who the lips of those who are in support of them.  Do not fall asleep from within for you will find yourself in the dark where your listening will be to them!

Oddly enough, many committed Orthodox Catholic Christians, especially in these present times, including many pseudo-Christians, do not understand or even comprehend the purpose for which the Church was founded by Christ our Savior, and therefore they cannot account for its existence beyond historical points and as given by Holy Scripture and those of the CORRECTNESS DISEASE.

As said earlier, the Church is not an ordinary human organization.  Neither is it a "Democracy".  The attitude of "Democracy" was only with regard to 'government' or 'administration' and not as regards other aspect of the Church.  The Church exists not of the mutual antagonism of those who seek honor, prominence, materiality, nor for partisan squabbling, and most certainly not for sowing enmity, intrigue, calumny and slander and assuredly not for the earning of points or keeping score of who has to many followers, parishioners or clergy under what bishop, etc.

The Church was not founded by people, but by Jesus Christ Himself, Who is the salvation of souls unto life eternal, through prayer, fasting, repentance, penance, forgiveness, communion by which agency the faithful are offered the saving grace of Holy Spirit and through the fervent observance of all soul-saving determinations the Church has taught from the times of Jesus Christ to the present.  To this extant, all are bound by the need of both repentance and forgiveness, otherwise each one of us are become distanced from Christ, from Holy Spirit and the Church for all are bound together as One.

For Christ's Church, founded and invisibly guided by the Divine Founder Himself, and inspired by Holy Spirit, there is not and cannot be a place for any kind of "Democracy" as we know or understand such, which is totally alien to the true cause most important.  Remember, the attitude of "Democracy" was only with regard to 'government' or 'administration' and not as regards other aspect of the Church.  "Democracy" is alien to the saving of souls, alien to the true faith in God, alien to Christianity, to its ethics and morality, alien also to true repentant sinners and to faithful forgiveness of others.

The Church has always been a spiritual hospital for sick souls, all people!  The Church is a place for a sinning society, the people and clergy alike.  When one cannot admit error, they are alien to the life-blood of the Church which is Jesus Christ Himself!  To be unforgiving, by thought, word or even by deed, is to be distanced from Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit and the Church.

From what you have read thus far it should become obvious that the Church is no place in which is based a struggle for political, social or social ambitions on the frenzied fight between egos and personalities that will not hesitate by any means possible, even the immoral, to dirty their antagonists and to brazenly falsify truth using slander against them, gong further on into uninspired formalisms where victory belongs to the purely formalistic, by far not always responsive to truth, the will and veritable good of the people.  Those who do these things, especially clergy, have multiplied in the Church; they are alien members acting and speaking as though they are the "Church" - even Bishops who have fallen into disgrace because they have forgotten the purpose for their primary holy office and as a result, live a lie that they claim others should live by.

Such formalisms are sometimes found within those claim to observe certain traditions of a holy order, calling themselves monastic or a monastic community consisting of only themselves as the professed to a particular tradition while truly having not the Holy Spirit with them because they have fallen onto usage of scholarly words and actions as a replacement for what they knowingly, or not, have lost; being silver-tongued foxes in sheep's clothing.

When you can look into the eyes of another human being you stand next to, be he or she in religious life or in society... and you see the Love of Jesus Christ in and with them; know that the Holy Spirit has taken residence, even for a short while.  If you see not, look deeper.  For in the one you stand next to, there will be some spark that will be the mark of either the Holy Spirit or the spirit of Antichrist.  You can light the spark of Holy Spirit in them only if they are less enthralled with themselves and are ready to throw out their 'old man' in them that has been a cause of great consternation for them.  To do so though, be ever so slow, compassionate, be a lover of the Spirit of Christ who desires they either return to Him or, if they do not know him in spirit and truth, to come to Him.

When you can see in the next person you stand to, that they, as a sinner, may indeed be truly repentant, more than you might be able to imagine; extend to them in spirit and truth, all that you can from your heart without guile or guise.  When you are able to do this, you will have begun to allow the Holy Spirit to do more things in and with yourself.

Man, the Church and Holy Spirit must be in accord each with the other for Christ's presence to be true.  If the man, be s/he/they of the religious life or otherwise; is overbearing, aggressive, assertive, interruptive, quick, hasty, rash to judgment: pray for them.  If you meet such a person who continually says that this spiritual path or that spiritual path, or this holy order or that holy order, or this manner of Divine Office is superior than another.... flee from them for that person has not the Holy Spirit in and with them as they have become self-serving and serving the desires, interest and needs of the spirit of Antichrist!

The goal of everything you do as a faithful member of the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith is to attain peace within, even though there is a maelstrom in the world about you.  Therefore extend such 'peace' to all whom you know and meet, including the gift and charisma of the Holy Spirit, the sign of His presence which brings us into communion with Him, Jesus Christ.

On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ said; "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God".  Therefore make haste to make peace where it is possible with everyone who you have offended, or been offended by, without regard for whether you feel such was intentional or unintentional offenses or harms done, and we shall become the sons and daughters of God.

Inasmuch as we have given you hallmarks or guides to follow and who might be, are or are not true to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit embodied in the Church ... yet, we also caution you.  While Holy Spirit is true to the repentant sinner, there also is the counter-part of Holy Spirit which has been actively mesmerizing and drawing away many into an un-holy zeal and alliance of false beliefs that 'superficially' appear as being Christian but are actually Antichristian in spirit and truth... Be on your guard at all times.

It is that spirit of Antichrist relies on an individual's weaknesses (of which there are many) where they will be lead into a an erroneous and false belief that a lie is a truth and a truth is a lie; making many to believe themselves as being true to Jesus Christ's Life and Teachings.  Those beliefs, subtle and seemingly small or un-noticeable to most, is such that causes for a weakness to become of such consequence that one will go further in departing from that which is called true Christianity in spirit and truth.  this Anti-Christian spirit is the result of non-Orthodox Catholic Christians who believe in something never before sanctioned by the early the Holy Apostles and Church Fathers.  And, there are many today who, by their actions and speech alone, both faithful and clergy alike, both East and West, have fallen prey to this endeavor which has seeped its ugly fangs and venom into the Church through the World Council of Churches, the Vatican State, as well as several jurisdictions of the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith.

You need to learn and come to know more about the spirit and forerunner of Antichrist.  For this forerunner has infected so very many of the world's governments, even in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada, the churches and many religious holy orders.

In closing, we must take upon ourselves the act and action of true self-examination, meditation, prayer, repentance, confession, penance, forgiveness by confessing truth without variance, by confessing our errors and faults; by standing up for this kind of truth, even unto prison and/or death.  We must remember the remarkable words of the courageous and unshakable servant of Divine Truth, Saint Gregory the Theologian: "When a pursuit goes on in an evidently impious way, then on must rather go to be burnt or beheaded, discarding the demands of the time, and of the rulers (I do not say only the worldly ones, but the spiritual ones also) and generally speaking, discarding everything, than join in an evil yeast, and kiss what is infected and contagious.  The most terrible of everything is to fear somebody than God and instead of possessing this fear which befits no servant of truth, to become otherwise a traitor to the teaching of the faith and truth."

Twenty First Century Desert Fathers

 

A Message From Our Metropolitan

 

Quotes From The Most Rev. Father +Thaddeus Continuously updated

 

AOC HISTORY

 

Lines of Apostolic Succession of His Eminence

 

 AOC CLERGY

 

Suggested Reading:

Is Christianity At The Cross Roads?

 

As The World Goes, So Goes The Church

 

Anomalies in Ecclesiology of Contemporary Orthodox Churches

 

MAN: To Err, the Church and Holy Spirit
 


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