How American Politics Destroys Orthodoxy

Freemasons, Franklin and Washington

Conquering the storms of secularism and ecumenism has been a treacherous journey for many since America’s Revolutionary War. But there is adaptability, to which some faiths have embraced. Protestantism is one such faith! It was completely dismantled through the help of secular and ecumenistic movements, and there are now “Protestants of Protestants,” called ‘Evangelicals,’ who are attempting to correct the Protestant crash. Some of these Evangelicals have pursued non-ecumenist and pro-community routes of the Christian faith in order to survive the ‘American experiment.’ Since they do not have the truth of the Orthodox Church, they will ultimately continue to reform time after time, but their recognition of what has attacked their movement is quite admirable.

A cursory study of Protestant history will show us this map of destruction.

The Protestants’ first challenge of survival was that of social survival. Their movement rejected the near 700 year old Catholic community, and so, in order to protect the very motif/mission of their churches, the Protestants had to physically move to other countries, America being the primary destination for most of these original Protestants.

The early colonization of Protestants within America involved primarily Presbyterian and Anglican “Puritans,” who thought of the new American world as “The City on the Hill.”[1] As the years went by, a radical amount of tension between the various religious communities began surfacing. A scapegoat was found (the monarchy) which enabled the Freemason politicians to rally their people. Parties were formed and the Puritans were convinced to join revolutionary forces with the Rebels, buying into a notion of freedom for their church, hoping to preserve the already weakened City on the Hill.

Post-Revolutionary America had no desire for the City on the Hill and the Puritan communities completely fell apart.[2] Eventually, even the schools and hospitals they built were consumed by the state.

Under philosophies of the Freemasons, the Federalists, who were begining to controll the country, began promoting radical ecumenistic philosophies, where the likes of the cultic Unitarian John Adams could become George Washington’s successor, helping to grow America as the greatest ecumenist nation on earth. All religions are worthy of counseling and guiding the country, and the government was reforming in order to become this chameleon type of leadership.

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

After the Revolution, the Episcopalian Church of America could no longer build their community that would be modeled after England. The Puritan/Presbyterian community would no longer have their community that was to be modeled after Geneva. The Lutherans…no longer the dream that they had to build from Germany. Into the 19th century, Protestants began to conform to the radical heresy of the American state where the Church would not be tolerated to create literal community, and be reduced to a temple service…one that would be under constant pressure to submit to ecumenism, where all religions were accepted as valid forms of reaching God.

Slowly but surely the Protestant churches began conforming to the beast of America. First, their communal occupation was taken, followed by their educational/philanthropic, and finally, after several decades of battling, their exclusive doctrines of spirituality were given over. The Protestant churches were now ecumenists. By the mid-20th century, they were labeled by conservatives as liberal churches.

These new liberal Protestants not only accepted other religious traditions for their teachings of salvation, but their political involvement was strong, and by the 1970s the Democratic political party was in full force as a liberal party. Visit most any Episcopal church in America and you will likely spot political activism right away. It is a part of their theology, to dichotomize Church and community, attempting to moralize the secular community with their particular worldview…not create Christian community, but moral community with complete acceptance of other religions. Yes, an impossibility, which leaves them exhausted after every day.

THE END OF TRADITIONAL PROTESTANTISM

To sum up the modern day “mainline” Protestant in a few sentences would be the fact that they have polarized their traditional doctrines and practices into two heretical categories: Ecumenism, where the accepting of other religions enters and replaces vital aspects of the church’s doctrinal teachings, and Secularism, where the acceptance of modern culture and politics enters and replaces vital aspects of the church’s actual function.

There are degrees of potency within each of the categories above, but the primary motif and mission of Protestantism was what was ultimately being threatened! The Protestant ‘church’ was no longer a community, much less, nation, and they were slowly losing their spiritual authority, becoming a mere cog in the massive wheel of modernity.

EVANGELICALISM

Evangelicalism, a 20th century spinoff of Protestantism, has recognized the ecumenistic problem of their former denominations. Many of them have also recognized the communal problem of their former denominations.

Many of these Evangelical Churches are attempting to Avoid:

1.      Merging their teachings and ethos of salvation into ecumenist American society, so as to become inclusive to sinful cultures, cults, and other “non-biblical” religions.

2.      Merging their very communal activity and motif into secular, ecumenistic America, so as to become inclusive to modern, anti-Christian culture and political movements. [3]

The Evangelicals’ Solution

1.      Searching for their traditional identity through historical Protestant teachings as well as attempting to understand the Orthodox Church’s Canon of Scripture. [4]

2.      Organizing communal and even ‘catacomb’ types of groups: cell groups, care groups, wards, and other small, typically geographically-based groups, as well as full-fledged agrarian communities. [5]

CAN ORTHODOXY BE INFECTED?

Today’s spiritually viral surroundings are unavoidable, but taking precautions can prevent infection. First we must recognize what needs to be done since it seems that much of American Orthodoxy has not recognized these demonic attacks that have already taken down Protestantism. Granted, these demons attacked them differently – because of our differences in theology, etc, but the goal is the same: to conquer us through radical forms of secularism and ecumenism.

1.      SECULARISM

Secularism has a number of nasty effects on the Orthodox Church, but there is one primary factor that stands out, as discussed in the rest of this series: Community! Because of our lack of any structured Orthodox community in America, a variety of legalisms have surfaced in recent times: There is now a fervent desire by many to stand and labor for secular causes. The reason for this, it seems, is because we have built into our soul, through our very baptism, to fight for true community, but not for secular community! The core of these people in America have been labeled as “Social Justice Warriors,” but that is essentially a tag for liberals. Conservatives are doing similar things, though, just with different social problems.

a.      VIRTUE SIGNALING

Taking stands on publicized political issues makes a Christian feel like they are fulfilling their Christian calling of truth and community. The problem, as Fr Seraphim Rose once said, is that today’s political plots are distractions. They draw us away from the taking a true stand for who we are by doing it under the protection of a political party and FOR a political party…for an organization that has a completely different agenda than that of the Church. A completely different agenda!

When a Christian takes a stand for or against a political subject in such a way where they make declarations to their peers and family, they could be “virtue signaling.” Virtue Signaling is when we take a political problem, like racism in America, for instance, and creating rebuke and declaration around this social/political problem to create attention and appease our conscience. It has to do with “scapegoating” where our spiritual convictions are in a sense, transferred to something completely different through the means of “signaling” to our peers.

A Christian can completely fall from the Church (save Sunday liturgy) through virtue signaling. We can pay close attention to the news and make declarations even to just ourselves on how one thing might be so wrong or another thing might be so wrong within secular society. Even if the particular topic is one that is clearly against the teachings of the Church, raising our ‘political voice’ is merely a “clanging symbol” as St Paul the Apostle states. Our voices need to be voices from the Church, to build her community. This will take a lot more backbone than raising our political voice. Raising our religious/Church voice will make us vulnerable to martyrdom, whereas raising our political voice will keep us under the secular covering of the particular party, a party that is not building Christ’s kingdom.

b.      POLITICAL ACTIVISM

The so called “separation of Church and State” in America has a lot of brutal consequences, but the reality of what was happening within the Church of England at that time was something to learn from. The C of E at that time was completely confused as to who she was. After the Great Schism, England and her Church did not have the “symphony” of the Byzantine Empire to glean from. The C of E had become completely politicized. Their hope was always that they could create a strong national Christian community, but their new theology could not support such a thing.

Now, let’s notch this subject of monarchy down one and say that now, within post-Revolutionary America, not only is there not a broken, confused monarchy, but there is NO FORMAL RELATIONSHIP AT ALL BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE STATE, WHATSOEVER. So, to presuppose within our thoughts and actions that we have a monarchy of any sort, is delusional and dangerous. In other words, American Republic/Democracy is nothing even close to Christian monarchy and so to act as if they are on our side is simply naïve, at best.

The secular state has no formal interest in the Orthodox Church and their agenda in every philanthropic work is completely different than ours. Our philanthropic work (education, hospice, child welfare, etc) is done with the hope/goal of salvation. And salvation is found only within the Church. Pointing to the secular government as a philanthropic organization only supports their radical ecumenistic/pagan cause of what many today call “Cultural Marxism.” The more cultural and philanthropic authority we give them, the more they are going to become what we do not want them to be. Cultural Marxism replaces the Church!

So now we are without the covering and protection of the Orthodox Monarchy, and as St John Chrysostom and other saints state, without this “restrainer,” the devil wreaks havoc!

We seem to be unable to retain the communal aspect of the Church here. We have been boiled down to a Eucharistic service, which is fine, ONLY if we were to admit that. But there are many overzealous political activists within Orthodoxy who will not let this happen. They do not want to admit that America is an unholy nation and that our government cannot be won over to Orthodoxy without something radical happening. The end result: “Catacomb” community is not formed, and even tabooed, Political activism and posturing is the norm, and because of us fragmenting away from an actual community, we become a doctrinal religion with doctrinal fragmentation leaving us out as prey. Each of our doctrines can be narrowed down, one by one, many of which becoming capitalized on as a “non essentials.” Suddenly, we are simply another Christian “denomination” in Ecumenist America!

2.      ECUMENISM

a.      DOCTRINAL “ESSENTIALS”

There are many doctrinal differences between Orthodoxy and Protestantism/Catholicism but without recognizing the very motif of Orthodoxy, doctrinal differences will eventually be narrowed down to just a few “dogmatic” doctrines, to which will fall into the “non essential” camp in the modernist’s mind. A recent Protestant theologian of sorts who has converted to Greek Orthodoxy has been recently speaking of Orthodoxy as a religion of essentials, the supposedly same essentials that Protestantism has.

Orthodoxy does not work with “essentials.” Unlike Roman Catholicism, and much of Protestantism, Orthodoxy does not create Church council, for instance, to make the gospel, but merely to defend the gospel. This is a HUGE difference. The essence of the gospel is not doctrinal but it is communal. We enter communion with Christ through the communion of the Church. We do not attempt to dissect and dismantle this communal aspect with volumes of “salvific” doctrinal ascertains because that would be circular. We would end right back at the communal aspect.

b.     WHAT’S OURS IS OURS

The Roman Catholics learned about the communal aspect of the faith from Orthodox, and the Protestants learned it from Catholicism. If Protestants are embracing the aspect of Christian community (loving thy neighbor) we should not be so arrogant so as to point fingers at their “cell groups” and “wards.” These are sensible solutions for the times. The other, non-sensible things that Protestants teach, such as salvation by intellect, anti-sacrament, etc, need to be firmly protected against.

There is hope for Orthodoxy, primarily because we are the true Church that has communal roots in Christ, unlike any copycat church from the west. Doctrinal, modernist-styled religion has to be left behind. We do not have to become instant martyrs by insisting on Orthodox nationhood in America. We take it one step at a time.

We need to be humble! The deaconate needs to be embraced as well as the traditional role of lay teachers, where leadership organizes “small groups” or other sustainable forms of community.  Our children depend on us making a change like this. Our souls depend on us making a change like this. Orthodoxy simply cannot continue to submit to the American way of ecumenism and secularism.

[1] Puritan Governor John Winthrop stated: “We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.”
[2] 1) http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/brown/brown_englishpuritan.htm...

“We can surley say, that once the “Glorious Revolution” was embraced by New Englanders, their religious and political agenda had so fundamentally changed, that it didnt make sense to call them Puritans any longer.” Thomas S. Kidd (Protestant Author and Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University)

2)
Perry Miller: Declension in a Bible Commonwealth. Pg. 55-56
www.americanantiquarian.org/proceedings/44807037.pdf

economic ambition and religious ferment profoundly altered the structure of Puritan society, enlarging the bounds of liberty and inspiring resistance to established authority.

3)
In Puritan to Yankee, Richard Bushman investigates the strains that accompanied the growth of liberty in an authoritarian society. Mr. Bushman traces the deterioration of Puritan social institutions and the consequences for human character. He does this by focusing on day-to-day life in Connecticut—on the farms, in the churches, and in the town meetings. Controversies within the towns over property, money, and church discipline shook the “land of steady habits,” and the mounting frustration of common needs compelled those in authority, in contradiction to Puritan assumptions, to become more responsive to popular demands.
[3] http://www.pewforum.org/2011/06/22/global-survey-beliefs/ This is only scratching the surface but it shows the fact that serving the poor and the family is top priority for these Evangelicals.
[4] Low Church Protestants:

Southern Baptists: https://juicyecumenism.com/2014/02/08/dr-al-mohler-and-dennis-prager-dis...
[5] SOMA Communities

Kinship Community :
Minute 45 and 47:27
https://www.efca.org/podcasts/episodes/episode-111-church-new-kinship-co...

Community Groups:

Calvary Chapel Small Groups: These groups are the primary organizing structure of Calvary Chapel San Diego. We gather weekly as one big family, and then scatter weekly as a decentralized network of smaller communities, mobilized to love one another and live out the mission of Jesus in our city and region.

SBC: Fellowship Groups, designed for specific groups of people

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