The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


30 December 2012

Neo-Mt. Athos

neo-Athos "elders" vs. True Elders

For the sake of the Kingdom, please steer away from the neo-Athos false elders.  These are any new-calendar "elders" or any "elders" less than 150 years old.  To name a few:  Paisios the Athonite (+ 1994)  Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (+ 1991)  Cleopa (+ 1998) Elder Sophrony of Sakharov (+ 1993)  
  The first clue is their century.  The second clue is their defense of the new-calendar.

In 1976 Fr. Seraphim warned us:
  There are no more elders like Paisius today [St. Paisius Velichkovsky 1794].  If we imagine there are we can do irreparable harm to our souls ...
  Many young people today are seeking gurus and are ready to enslave themselves to any likely candidate; but woe to those who take advantage of this climate of the times to proclaim themselves "God-bearing Elders" in the ancient tradition—they only deceive themselves and others.
(Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky by Fr. Seraphim Rose, p.19)

they deceive themselves and others

A trick used by the devil is to slip in false teachings among the true teachings, so that the false teachings are accepted, either consciously or unconsciously.  With Fr. Seraphim's warning, we should know to be very careful whom we choose and accept as our teachers.  Orthodox who want an excuse to follow the new calendar will like the neo-Athos "elders"; because, as a group, they all defend the new calendar.   They all agree that Orthodox should obey the EP, and that old calendarists are disobedient schismatics

     [EP means Ecumenical Patriarch, who is currently Bartholomew, and he is a known mason.  The EP and the MP, Moscow Patriarch, are rivals.]

"Disobedient schismatics"?! – would they also say St. John S&SF, was a disobedient schismatic? – who totally ignored the new calendar even in his personal correspondences?    That would make the whole lot of St. John's golden contemporaries also "disobedient schismatics", including Fr. Seraphim Rose!

  Another thing about the neo-elders that makes the new calendarists happy is this: they now can think their apostasized jurisdiction is justified by saints – that their jurisdiction has produced fruit.  But in reality their Church has produced an evil fruit.

Take a look at these "fruits".  There is a stark difference in sobriety between the neo-Athos "elders" and true elders such as the Optina elders.

Unsober character: EXAMPLE
neo-"elder" Porphyrios:
     ...I lived with the thought of leaving this world. I felt great joy at the thought that I would meet the Lord. I had a very deep sense of the presence of God. And God desired at that time to strengthen and comfort me with something very blessed. Every so often I would feel that my soul was about to depart. I saw in the sky a star which twinkled and emitted sweet rays of light. It was bright and very sweet. It was so beautiful! Its light possessed a great sweetness. Its colour was a light sky blue, like a diamond, like a precious stone. Whenever I saw it I was filled with comfort and joy because I felt that the whole Church the Triune Godhead, our Lady, the angels and the saints was contained in that star. I had the sense that in it were contained all the souls of all my loved ones, of my elders. I believed that when I would leave this life I, too, would go to that star through the love of God, not through my virtues. I wanted to believe that God, who loves me, revealed it to me in order to tell me, ‘I’m waiting for you!’
     I didn’t want to think about hell and about tollgates.  I didn’t remember my sins, although I had many. I set them aside. I remembered only the love of God and was glad. And I made entreaty, ‘O my God, for the sake of your love, may I also be there. But if on account of my sins I must go to hell, may your love place me wherever it wishes. It is sufficient for me to be with You.’ For so many years I lived in the desert with love for Christ. I said to myself: ‘If you go to heaven and God says to you, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?  What do you want here?” I’ll reply, “Whatever You want, my Lord, whatever Your love desires; place me wherever Your love wishes. I abandon myself to Your love. If You want to place me in hell, then do so, only don’t let me lose Your love.”’
This is from his book, Wounded by Love.  As was pointed out to me by a respected peer, "...the rest is here, I can hardly read it, it's so creepy. The more you look at this guy, the more whacked he seems.
And he goes on and on about how humble he is and how much he loves God. ... What saint says these things?"  People who find this drivel appealing have developed their souls in a very different way from what Fr. Seraphim meant when he said we should strive to acquire the "patristic mind".  No, my friends, saints do not talk like this.  This is a cheap imitation.

Unsober teaching: EXAMPLE
Positive Thinking [as in Norman Vincent Peale]
"Elder Paisios always taught the necessity for christians to be positive thinkers - to only see the good things in life and be blind to every evil.   We must not have any thoughts in our mind or heart, neither positive ones, nor negative ones, for this space inside us belongs to the grace of God". 
God wants us to be air-heads, empty-headed?  This sounds to me more like the Hindu teaching that we can achieve "nirvana" by having no thoughts, by going back into a "nothingness".  This is the devil's hateful desire, that human beings will to go back into a nothingness from whence God called us into being.  
Book review:   Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Deception: EXAMPLE
 Satan knows that world-orthodox have been deprived and starved of the Church's end times teachings, according to what our Fathers in the real ROCOR continually tell us.  World-orthodox have been trained to willfully and completely avoid a subject that really ought to be reviewed frequently.  In their starved condition, when some thread of a teaching comes along and gives them finally some glimpse into the forbidden subject of eschatology, they lap it up.  

In this example, the "elder" is saying that a good man from God will come and unite the world.  Those who are starved for end times teachings accept this in desperation to understand what they see happening in the world today.

But we who have true bishops are taught that this "good man" is the Antichrist who will fool people by pretending to be good and by pretending to be from God.  This false "elder" is helping the Antichrist to deceive people by teaching that men can expect a good "man of God" to unite the world.  

So then, what's the answer?  To be on the safe side, don't read any neo-Athos elders materials.  Fr. Seraphim Rose went to a lot of work to give us safe, sober, and nourishing reading materials:

Acquisition of the Holy Spirit series:
The Acquisition of the Holy Spirit in Ancient Russia
    by I. M. Kontzevitch
Salt of the Earth: Elder Isidore
     by St. Paul Florensky
One of the Ancients: Elder Gabriel 
     by St. Simeon Kholmogorov
Elder Melchizedek:  Hermit of Roslavl Forest
     by Serge N. Bolshakoff

The Optina Elder series is recommended AFTER reading Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky which is available through St. John Kronstadt Press in Tennessee:
Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky is a solid foundation and an important introduction to the Optina Elder series: Elder Leonid, Elder Anthony, Elder Marcarius , Elder Ambrose, Elder Nektary, Elder Sabastian, Elder Barsanuphius, Elder Anatole II.  Also available through St. John of Kronstadt Press.

The Philokalia series:
St. Paisius Velichkovsky, Vol. IV, contains The Scroll and The Field Flowers.  This was translated by Fr. Seraphim and originally was serialized in the Orthodox Word magazines by Fr. Seraphim.   Try St. John of Kronstadt Press first, but if it is not there, then it should still be available through Platina.

Reading these books, if one is either raised on these materials, or even if only later steeped in these materials, then the neo-Athos elders are not a temptation, and the neo-Athos deceptions can be quickly detected.

1 comment:

  1. Contact me for help locating Orthodox Word magazines.


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