Thursday, September 25, 2014

REBUTTAL GUEST EDITORIAL


JOANNA HIGGINBOTHAM, ROCA UNDER METROPOLITAN AGATHANGEL

Nathan Lee Lewis's text is in white. Joanna Higginbotham's interjections are in blue and my own interjections are in yellow

 


 I asked Joanna if she would be so kind as to give her thoughts and refute the now regurgitated Milan reader Nathan Lee Lewis's mindless attempt to discredit Fr. Seraphim (Rose) in his self serving  un Orthodox JTO post of Aug 15, 2012, "Roseites and the Charismatic Gifts".  This strange, allegedly Orthodox man attempts very hard to prove his views as being Orthodox, however it is quite evident he is in reality just some weird, deluded Protestant Charismatic nincompoop. 
Joanna Higginbotham : Yes, I will.  My comments are interspersed in blue
Roseites and the Charismatic Gifts
First of all, to refute this I would ask anyone to first read Fr. Seraphim's book:  Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, with special attention to the chapter on the charismatic movement.  This books helps one to gain the discernment necessary to recognize "Satan dressed up as an Angel of Light".    With this discernment, it is clear that Nathan Lewis and the Orthodox Church are talking about two very different spirits.   Nathan has mistaken Satan for an "Angel of Light".
I have been dismayed* to discover the existence, in Orthodox circles, of disciples of Father Seraphim Rose, or "Roseites". Roseites are those who, don't just revere Rose's writings, but consider his writings to be Orthodox Dogma. In the body of orthodox writings, Father Seraphim Rose was a profound contributor, however, caution should be taken by those who would trend toward allowing Rose, or any personally-preferred saint, to be the plumb line of their Christian experience. Apostle Paul warned about this very thing:
Fr. Seraphim was extremely careful only to present the collective teachings of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church. 
Fr. Seraphim can not be considered a "contributor" to Church writings in the sense that he added or expounded any doctrine or theology.  He merely translated the Holy Fathers' collective teaching, showed their unity (not always apparent) and applied the precepts to current times.  
An example of this is with the space aliens.  By studying the descriptions of demonic visitations in the Holy Fathers, Fr. Seraphim was able to recognize that today's space aliens are nothing more than demons.  Nothing new.  No new teachings.  Same old tricks the demons always used. 
 *Yea, he's dismayed that there are millions of Orthodox believers who consider his brain farts the heretical nonsense of a lunkhead
1 Corinthians 1
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? *
This Bible quote does not apply to the situation here.  St. Paul was saying that all the bishops baptized under the head of the Church (Christ).  It is the same as saying whether somebody is baptized by a priest under Bishop Sophrony in the Ukraine, or a priest under Bishop Andronik in America, for example, – that it is still the same baptism. 
*Nathan thinks he's a great teacher and reformer of the Orthodox Church.  Truth is, he's got a two cent Baptist minister certificate boosted by his travels in and out of just about every Protestant heresy there is, with a doctorate in bible thumping
Divisions come when these Roseites, who have fallen prey to a version of saint worship, demand that others follow suit and become like them. These demands come in the form of public and private denouncements, and judgements of the spiritual state of others. These Roseites are the creators of contentions and divisions among us*
Since Nathan is talking about me – saying that I demand others follow Fr. Seraphim – I will answer this directly.  No, I do not demand that others follow Fr. Seraphim.  But the Church does demand of Her members that they believe what the Church believes.  What the Church teaches and prescribes for us is given by Christ; this is His Church.  I see that Nathan's problem is not with Fr. Seraphim, but with the Church.  
*Actually divisions come when Lewisites start believing that he really knows what he's talking about. Don't forget, Nathan's chosen profession is acting, and what do actors do ? They act, or you could say they lie, and try to sell themselves as the real thing. Outside the sphere of the church Lewis is a two bit actor who attempts to aline himself with famous, well known actors to appear important. I've seen some of his work, and it is forgettable at best. Even his so called production company seems to exist only on paper and webpages, much like the synod he is currently a member of, the regurgitated Milan Synod. Truth is, they are quite small in numbers despite their huge internet presence thanks to the efforts of his fellow big talking gang member, Joseph Suaiden, and the other dark misfits that inhabit the outer limits of the Orthodox Bizarro World. These vagante's could care less about a persons spiritual state, they even seem to promote their delusions and only care about filling their ranks and coffers.
"This is of particular note in light of Father Seraphim Rose's controversial writings on the subject of charismatics. The controversy comes not in Rose's appropriately-issued warnings about the demonic nature of much of the modern-day Charismatic Movement, but in Father Seraphim Rose's propensity to disavow, or at least avoid, any supernatural gifts of the faith.* This is the proverbial "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". It is the imbalanced error of pusillanimity, where one so fears the bad, that he misses the good. The Roseites have taken this a step further. Some Roseite-leaning "orthodox" blogs, have taken to denouncing, by name, individuals and groups who are coming into the Church from charismatic backgrounds. These Roseites even become internet trolls, going from site to site, chat room to chat room, sending accusatory e-mails, making phone calls, tattling to priests and bishops, arguing, denouncing, and causing dissension, even with brothers and sisters in their own jurisdictions. Without any shred of evidence as to current heretical activity, these Roseites assume that such converts are not truly converted, or have "incomplete salvation", or are demonized, satanic agents bent on destroying the church. They hold as suspect, and deem as enemies, anyone who dares use the scriptural word, "charisma", and who promotes the scriptural and traditional orthodox dogma that ALL of the gifts of the spirit are still in the church. They fail to consider that, perhaps, one who has been led by the grace of God through the maze of the Charismatic Movement and into true Orthodox Faith through enlightenment, repentance, and baptism, just might have a more balanced grasp on what is, and is not to be trusted in the supernatural realm. It seems the Church as a whole could benefit from such converts".

Fr. Seraphim certainly recognized genuine miracles of the Church.  He himself  received miracles from the very beginning starting with a miracle at his first communion. He was given a very sweet taste in his mouth that lasted for weeks. It was years later he realized this didn't happen to everyone. In his writings he referred to the "taste" of true Orthodoxy to impress on us how real is the grace that comes through the Church and Her Mysteries. People who have "tasted" or experienced the grace that comes through the Church have a much easier time discerning between heavenly gifts and satanic gifts.  
 Nobody in the Church denies that there is grace outside the Church. Hitler himself would not have been able to draw a single breath without the grace of God. Even prophesy, such as when the dumb ass spoke (Numbers 22:21-30), can occur outside the Church. And as when Herod said that it is fitting for one man to die for the people. But these are very different from the gifts given to holy ascetics and holy men such as St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco and St. John of Kronstadt.
 Nathan is not talking about me when he lists activities such as chat rooms, since I never visited one. This indicates I am not the only one who has noticed and said something about Nathan's prelest inspired ideas. Yes, I did alert his spiritual father (at the time) – I guess that is what he means by "tattling to priests". And I did try to alert Nathan as well, but it fell on deaf ears. Since Nathan had somewhat of a following on his blog of innocent sheep, – potential converts, – I wanted to be sure they were armed with the information necessary to discern the demonic nature of the charismatic movement. I did post articles about it. These articles are on the Remnant ROCOR blog under the label "Orthodox Charismatics".   
 Nathan already recognizes the false nature of most of the charismatic phenomena outside the Church. But somehow he thinks that his own charismata is true, in his mind his gift has been "Orthodoxized". But he did not receive a gift of prophesy from within the Church, he believes he instead had a already pre-existing gift before he joined the Church and that his gift is sanctified by his joining the Church, his is an incomplete conversion. Incomplete conversion, not "incomplete salvation", as Nathan mistakenly says – (I have no idea what an incomplete salvation might be).




  At this point I can interject that a member of Nathan's former ROCA parish, a long-time Orthodox, having a firsthand familiarity with the situation, (but who would very much dislike having his name brought into this) told me about Nathan, "He's not Orthodox." He is a communing member of the parish, but he is not Orthodox.  Being Orthodox is more than the externals.  It is also of the heart.  If a person is Orthodox in their heart, the externals will naturally follow.  But taking on the externals does not make a person wholly Orthodox.


 One writer, on Wikipedia, * gives clarity with a good historic picture of the problem with Roseites:
  
"More recently, Holy Fathers have parted with the Apostle Paul's teaching to "desire earnestly spiritual gifts" and discouraged desiring spiritual gifts because of fear of falling into "prelest" a condition where real spiritual gifts are counterfeited. They advise, To avoid "prelest" spiritual accountability of a priest or abbot. Fr. Seraphim was cured from this condition by his spiritual father, the blessed St. John Maximovitch; as a priest and monk himself, he had people under this condition come to his monastery for guidance and prayer. Despite, witnessing real miracles in his friend St. John Maximovitch's life, Fr. Seraphim Rose, did no miraculous deeds (that we are aware of) and discouraged the pursuit of Charismatic gifts at all. Though he made many great contributions to Orthodoxy in both founding a monastery and publishing many books, arguably Fr. Seraphim taught "The heresy of pusillanimity which proposes that since we are not living in the time of the apostles, and are not in the immediate physical presence of the Saviour, it is impossible for us to become holy in the way the apostles were holy." In his lecture, Living the Orthodox Worldview, Fr. Seraphim taught that we can't even approach the saints of old or even regular Orthodox Christians from 100 years ago. Sadly, this belief produced its result with Fr. Seraphim living a life void of the supernatural miracles that followed his friend St. John Maximovitch along with other factors causing him to reject the Charismatic movement. St. John Maximovitch like many non-orthodox charismatics advocated friendship with the Holy Spirit and taught this even to small children(see Illumined Heart podcast series on St. John). This friendship with the Holy Spirit, visible in the lives of St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Symeon the New Theologian, and in the life of St. John Maximovitch produces all true miracles and is the heart of the charismatic renewal within and outside of Eastern Orthodoxy"
Certainly this Wiki entry was written by an Orthodox Charismatic.* The Orthodox Charismatics prevent themselves from entering into the Church. If they could set aside their pride and submit to what the Church offers them for healing, then someday they would look back on their charismatic days with true horror – horrified at how close they came to falling off into the abyss.  
 * Yes, certainly this is written by a deluded Orthodox Charismatic, I wouldn't doubt if it isn't Lewis himself. It also predominately states these following citations. Contrary to popular belief people actually do make things up on the internet.

"This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2010"

And "The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (July 2014)"
  

 The tragedy for the Roseites is that they mirror their preferred saint's life, in that, they are "living a life void of the supernatural miracles", or void of even one of the spiritual gifts through which they may minister in the dynamous power. It is one thing, however, for the Roseites to choose for themselves, to live a life void of the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, it is another for them to have, as their mission, the denouncement and even, in some cases, the personal and often public destruction of the faithful orthodox believers who refuse to limit the workings of the Holy Spirit among us. I ask you: Who is the greater danger to the Body of Christ, those who live and attack out of fear, or those who live and act out of faith?
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?"
Here is what the Church says about the Charismatic Gifts: 
1 Corinthians 12
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. [No matter what the Roseites say]
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many. [Roseites take note!] *
 *No, Lewisites take note!
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
...and the more excellent way is to LOVE.  
Roseites: Be of Christ and let HIM increase. Let your favorite saint, Father Seraphim Rose, decrease. The Body of Christ is charismatic. If it is not, then it is dead, and not the Body of Christ at all.*

*Lewisites: Use your Holy Spirit given logic and quite believing anything this anti-Christ, anti-Church imposter has to say. Luke :34-35 "I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!" But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!" This shows that even though the demon in this man recognized and proclaimed Christ the Holy One of God, he was rebuked, showing us that even if a demon (or person) proclaims a truth, God still doesn't want us to pay him any mind because they will mix truth with falsehood


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