Transcript: Episode 0054

This transcript:
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gonna be talking to you.

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Welcome to the Stone Choir podcast. I am Corey J. Moeller, and I'm still woe.

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On today's Stone Choir, we are going to be discussing the subject of Eastern Orthodoxy.

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This is a subject that we've had requested many, many times, pretty much since we began doing Stone

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Choir, and we've avoided it nearly as long because, frankly, it's unpleasant to delve into,

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and it's one that's going to get people riled up in ways that are not at all productive.

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But the reason that we're going to discuss it today is that there are a lot of you

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who are asking for the sake of friends who are in the same position as all of us. You're in a world

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that is on fire. You see churches that are becoming more faithless by the day, and you have friends

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who are looking around at that and thinking, I need to go find real Christianity somewhere because

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I think real Christianity has to be the solution to what I'm seeing in the world. That's absolutely

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true. That is a godly impulse of the problem. As we've said in the past, the reason that I,

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in particular, and that Corey also, have spent several years reaching out to men on the right

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and this political sphere to discuss religion is that most people, especially if you're starting

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from a dead stop or you've been away from church for a long time and you probably never paid much

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attention to begin with, when you look at the state of the various churches, you're probably not

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equipped to judge their theology. That's not anything to be ashamed of. It's not insulting.

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You're starting from zero. Whatever you know today about whatever church you're going to become

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interested in, you know the least amount today that you will ever know about it for the rest of

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your life because you're going to spend more time learning about it and maybe you like it, maybe you

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don't. If you become more invested, you're going to know a lot more a year from now than you do

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today. The problem is that when someone is starting from zero, you don't know how to weigh the various

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claims, you don't know how to weigh the various doctrines. One thing that I noticed years ago

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on the right was the guys in that situation not understanding the theology stuff apart from the

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very basic. If you're trying to trans kids and all the obvious wicked things that are happening

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out in public today, that's obvious. You can tell that's morality. The other distinctive

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marks of particular churches, usually there's going to be someone who's going to look for

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historical claims, who has a better historical claim on the oldest version of Christianity

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or the purest version or the most involved version. Maybe the liturgical practices and

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the vestments and the beauty of Rome and of the east are marks of the church that you can rely on

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even when you don't know how to judge their claims based on scripture. I particularly,

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and I think Corey also began talking about Lutheranism as we were discussing religion

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and politics because we believe that there are actually Protestant versions of what those men

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are seeking that do not involve going east or going to Rome. We have to make the case. If all

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you know in the world is that, well, I see these parishes or these dioceses that are full of young

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kids and full of families and I know that that is a mark of God's blessing, I'm going to take

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whatever else is in that place and hope that God will bless that as well. It's a reasonable

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calculation. The problem is that there are things about theology that God will bless us

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even when we are dumb. I think it's a recurring theme. You can disobey God in some areas,

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but your obedience to God and others will necessarily have the blessing attached to the

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act that is obedience. This occurs even for the faithless, even for someone who has no

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thing about Christianity. If they get married, if they're faithful to their spouse, if they do not

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use contraception, you're going to have lots of kids. That's a blessing from God. It's free to

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everybody. Christianity should properly teach you why that happens, how that happens, that it's a

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blessing, but anyone anywhere who's doing the right things is going to be blessed. Hindus have

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growing families, Muslims have growing families. That's God blessing them in one sense, but it's

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not because they are obeying the Creator whom they know, it's simply because they are following

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the pattern that God has established in creation. There are certain things in churches that you

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can point to and say, yeah, that looks good and it's true, but it does not prove the theology of

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the place. Today, as we discuss Eastern Orthodoxy, it's giving me two parts. The latter part, the

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bulk of this is going to be about the theology and the profound errors in the theology. I want you

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to think of this episode as being structurally very similar to the episode that we did on Martin

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Luther King, Archeritic, and on Bon Offer. Both of those, we didn't try to debunk every single thing

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that those guys taught or said or did. We focus on a few key areas to demonstrate the presence of

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these teachings cannot possibly be in the hearts or mouths of Christians, and therefore, you don't

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need to debunk every single possible permutation of whatever they said or thought at this time or

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that time. The presence of certain things naturally demonstrates this is not Christian.

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That's something that anyone can understand. That's going to be approach that we take today.

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The bulk of this, the latter portion is going to be theological. We're going to begin just briefly

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with a bit of historical context, mostly today, mostly in the last century, about why we're even

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talking about Orthodoxy to begin with. One of the things that, to their credit, the Orthodox have

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managed to preserve, even though almost all other churches have lost, is the notion that a church is

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fundamentally racial. It's fundamentally tied to a particular nation. You have blood, soil,

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culture, and religion. Those four things are inextricably bound in space and a place and time

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with the people. When you change any one of those four things, you have a different kind of people.

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That's one of the chief problems in Ireland. You have Protestant Irish and you have Irish Catholics.

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They're mostly racially homogeneous, but they're divided by religion. It's a profound division

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that has caused political divisions and warfare and strife and misery for centuries.

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When we look at Eastern Orthodoxy, they're mostly broken down by various national churches,

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which is a good thing. That's something that's been preserved from the very beginning of

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Christianity. That, in and of itself, is commendable. Where it becomes something that as Americans,

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most of our audience as American, is a matter of skepticism, is that why are we, in the 21st

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century, seeing so many people on social media adopting Eastern Orthodoxy, mostly Russian

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Orthodoxy, some Greek Orthodoxy, or some other permutation, usually just maybe if you have a

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local parish. In a lot of cases, people are just doing it based on YouTube channels. It's not even

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if they're making a connection with a local church. They're just making a connection with

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some ideology that they found on the internet. We've had people who have told me on Twitter and

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elsewhere, I don't have a church to go to. I listened to Stone Quirer on Sunday and I beg them.

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I'm begging you if you do that. This is not church. We're not pastors. This is not

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the sort of fellowship that you get when you go to church. We never want anyone to think or to do

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that. We hope that it's valuable teaching and it should be edifying and it should be good study

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and impetus for you to go join churches, to study your Bible, to do all of the other regular Christian

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things that should be part of all of our lives. A lot more people have been doing that, so it's

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not that Stone Quirer has been a replacement for church. It's usually people who really don't feel

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like they have any options. I would encourage any of you, if that's the boat you feel like you're in,

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to the best of your ability, please try to find a congregation. I'm always happy to help people

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try to get connected with somebody in the area that's at least going to be a decent congregation,

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but a YouTube channel, a podcast is not the fellowship of the saints. You're just listening

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to a couple guys talk. It's not the equivalent of attending church and hearing the word preached

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and receiving forgiveness and absolution and all the benefits of fellowship that come

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from actually participating in the divine service. The issue with the social media context of

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orthodoxy is that it is a racial church and that virtually all of the adherents in America today,

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the overwhelming majority are foreigners. Pew data, the Pew did a study in 2013,

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which is the most recent data I have. It's probably changed some, but as many immigrants as

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we're having come in from these countries, I doubt that it would change the ratio that much.

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His date is 10 years old at this point, but in Eastern Orthodox congregations in this country,

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40% were immigrants, 40% were fresh off the boat, second generation was 22%, so only 36%

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were at least third generation. We know just historically that it probably is mostly third

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generation because orthodoxy has never had any historical foothold in the United States,

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which is not, to be explicit, not an argument against it being bad theology. We're going to

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deal with that later. Lutheranism existed prior to the foundation of the United States in 1776,

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but most Lutheranism today, at least what we consider good Lutheranism, came over in the 1840s.

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That's new too. It's not a bad thing for new people to show up with new teachings by itself,

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so I want to make explicit. I'm not making that an argument against orthodoxy.

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I just think that it's important to know that when you see the huge volume of people,

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especially on Twitter, but also on social media, getting interested in orthodoxy,

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they're adopting religions that have come in with foreigners to our lands. That could be good or bad.

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Again, that's not any value judgment, but it's a key fact that if you go down this path,

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you're adopting something alien. As we look at some of the beliefs that those people have,

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just to give you a sense of numbers, both Pew in 2013 and PRRI in 2020 when they did surveys,

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they both pegged the number of Eastern orthodox adherents on this continent,

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in the United States in particular, about $1.7 million. That's not that many people. It's about

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the same numbers in the LCMS. Again, I'm not making an argument that a certain number is good

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and a different number is invalid. That's not the point. I want to go to the Pew Answers that came

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from that 2013 study. This was the largest, most recent study that anyone has done of Christianity

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in the United States. They asked a large number of questions about a variety of topics for

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narrowing down to particular subsets. It's a great way to contrast what one group believes

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versus another group. I'm going to give you some of these numbers. We're not really going to contrast

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them with other denominations. I will tell you that as you hear these numbers, they're going to be

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surprising. I can tell you that, for the most part, Lutheranism fares a lot better. We're not

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trying to make the argument here either that, well, these survey answers are bad. Therefore,

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it's not a good religion. What I do want to make clear is that when you are trying to get your

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bearings, you're trying to figure out what's a good church, what's a church that's traditional,

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some degree of based. Whatever your metric is for finding some true version of Christianity,

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keep these numbers in mind because this is what is actually being produced in

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Eastern Orthodox congregations in this country. Belief in God, 61% strongly or believe in God.

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Either they believe or they're absolutely certain that God exists. 29% believe in God,

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fairly certain. 7% believe in God, not too certain, and 3% don't believe at all.

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The 3% is an anomaly, but I think the fact that only 61% can effectively say, yeah,

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God is real, that's shockingly low for a Christian denomination for 29% to be like,

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then God's probably real. Just by itself, that is not the hallmark of sound teaching. Again,

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it's not simply Eastern Orthodoxy. This is repeated in a lot of other denominations.

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A lot of Protestant denominations, especially mainline ones, are in worse shape. We're not

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trying to compare apples and oranges. I'm just trying to say that as an exclusive

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measure, if you look at this sort of answer, you should not find it in something if you're

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looking for a based traditional church. Doubt about God at nearly 40%, no.

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Party affiliation is one that's not at all related to religion explicitly, but 44% of

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Orthodox in this country are Democrats, which makes perfect sense when you understand the

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two thirds of them are immigrants. They're fresh off the boat or they're kids of immigrants.

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Those people are overwhelmingly Democrats. That's always been the case. They're much more liberal.

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They are not interested in this country. They're interested in what they can get from it,

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but they're not interested in the political values of America.

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So, again, the Orthodox churches are not changing people's hearts.

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Views about abortion, 53% say legal in almost all cases, but 45% say illegal.

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I mean, that's actually a number that's similar to the LCMS. It's obscene. Everyone who would say

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that is not a Christian. If you think that murdering children is okay, you're not a Christian.

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Period. You cannot murder infants in the womb and expect to go to heaven.

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Again, this is not a case of one denomination is doing really great and another is doing poorly,

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but when you look at that number, that's impermissibly evil and it's over half of them.

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Homosexuality, 60% say it should be accepted.

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Sodomite marriage, 54% strongly favor. Just in a brief survey, if you're looking for based church,

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it's not orthodoxy. Period. Whatever you see online, whatever, you know,

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desert father, somebody wants to quote and say, oh, well, XYZ says that we must believe this.

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The truth on the ground when you talk to the people in those churches is it's liberal.

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They're basically Episcopalians at this point. And last one I found interesting was views about

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human evolution. 29% said we definitely evolved. 25% say we evolved, but due to God's design,

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both of those are old earth. Both of those are saying that Genesis is a lie. Adam never existed.

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We came from monkeys. Only 36% say that we always existed in present form. Again,

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not based church, not Christian doctrine at all. But we're talking about extremely liberal views

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in the pews, or I mean, in a lot of them don't have pews. That's kind of a misnomer.

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Pardon my Lutheranism. This sort of belief is not what you should be looking for in a church,

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any church. You could look at these survey results all by themselves, knowing nothing about

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any denominations or any history or where they're from, or understanding scripture at all,

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and know that if the majority of people in the pews or in the church are their Democrats,

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their pro-abortion, their prosotomy, their pro-evolution, that's not historic Christianity.

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That's not the Christianity you should want, period, even if you know nothing. And then when

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you start looking at why, it starts to make sense when you look at some of the doctrines.

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It makes sense why they would be so liberal. So I just hope that in this brief few minutes

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established that the memes and the chest beating and thumping and the vigorous youthful energy

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that you find on social media for guys saying, yes, I'm extremely based. I'm finding an extremely

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based church. They're not going to be finding any orthodoxy because this is what their doctrines

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are producing. The people who believe and attend these congregations, this is how they turn out.

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And the subject of attendance is we look specifically at the racial nature of some

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of these churches. Russian orthodoxy is one of the biggest examples. And I think the Russian

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orthodox in particular are a crucial part of all of this in terms of why it's been

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memed so heavily online. Because when you look at the history of Christianity in the USSR

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between 1917 and the collapse of the Soviet Union, what you will find was that there was a 25-year

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period beginning with the revolution where Christianity was effectively stamped out. It was

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not illegal for you to privately be Christian, but they murdered hundreds of thousands of priests

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or they arrested them. They destroyed or took most of the church property. They basically

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persecuted the Russian Orthodox Church almost out of existence. And it wasn't until Stalin had

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been in power for a while and the Germans had opened up the Eastern Front and were invading Russia

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that Stalin realized the need for bringing back the sort of patriotic fervor that the religion of

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Russian orthodoxy in particular brought to the people. Because basically everyone in Russia

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effectively was Russian Orthodox. Historically, there were quite a few Lutherans in Russia for

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centuries, but it was an ethnic church. Again, it was Germans who had been imported centuries

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prior to do particular work in particular places. And up until 1905, it was permissible to be a

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Lutheran in Russian territory, but Lutherans were not permitted to have their liturgy in the

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Russian language. And they were also not permitted to proselytize two ethnic Russians. So basically,

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this is what amounted to pluralism and religious tolerance in prior centuries. If you are an alien

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and you come into a land, perhaps you'll be permitted, perhaps you'll be given some space and

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some territory, and you'll be permitted to practice your own strange foreign religion,

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but you cannot corrupt anyone local. You cannot reach out to the locals in Russia and turn them

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into German Lutherans, because it was seen as a foreign religion. So as a result, when

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the Soviet Union, when Jewish atheists stamped out Christianity for 25 years in Russia,

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they were almost exclusively targeting Russian Orthodox just because that's most what was there.

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And everyone else was completely either exterminated or gulagged. Most of the

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remnant of Lutherans ended up in Siberia. And so at the fall of the Soviet Union, the Siberian

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Lutheran Church was reconstituted with significant support from the LCMS. Something very crucial

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happened in 1943. After 25 years of Russian Orthodoxy being crushed by the Jewish atheist

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Soviets, they then made it legal in a broader context and was done for geopolitical purposes.

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Stalin did not have a change of heart. What Stalin realized was that as they were looking

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towards the future, towards the end of the war, and hopefully expanding westward into Europe,

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and in terms of ginning up support against the invading Germans, one of the things that the

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Germans did as they were taking territory in the east was they liberalized many of the things that

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the Russians had made illegal. So Stalin realized that if he retook lands, Russian lands or Russian

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controlled lands, that the Germans had occupied and the Germans had permitted Christianity again.

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If the Russians came back in and stamped it out in just a couple years, it was going to be a huge

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problem politically. And so what did he do? He invited in a man, a couple men, and basically

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made them swear fealty and reconstituted the Moscow Patriarchate. And it was interesting if

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they chose that particular name because that name had been extinguished 200 odd years prior.

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It's something that had existed 350 years before, but I think it was Peter the Great

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got rid of it and changed the name. So when Stalin repristinated Russian orthodoxy, he didn't go

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back to 1918 version. He branded it as a version that was 350 years old. And that was a way of

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disconnecting what Soviets believed and remembered from their own living memory and said this is

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something much older. And that was a way for him to borrow the cultural affinity that Russians had

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for that thing without being necessarily bound to the teachings. Because when Stalin reconstituted

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Russian orthodoxy, it was as an arm of the state. It was no longer the religion that had been previously.

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It was a state religion at this point that was permitted because it was a political vehicle

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for Soviet ends. And there's an article that I'll link in the show notes. It's from a former

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Mellon part and fellow who was in the State Department. It's basically a bad guy. So if you

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think the bad guys writing about this stuff is completely a jumbot, all I can say is grow up.

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If the bad guys were so terrible that all they ever did was lie 100% of the time,

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there would be no threat. Most of the time, the bad guys tell enough truth that they can get by

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with whatever lies they're pushing. I don't think there are many lies in the article, but

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it's a useful view because it goes over how Stalin used restoring Russian orthodoxy as a means of

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political control. And it's one that was extended up until the very end, even as liberalization was

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occurring. It was still not nearly the same degree of Christian freedom that existed in 1917.

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So the reason this matters today is that Putin was a KGB agent. That's like being CIA. You don't

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stop being CIA. You are KGB forever. And Putin was fairly senior when the Soviet Union collapsed

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and he moved into power. He was trained under the Soviet system. And all the things that the Soviets

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developed over 70 years prior were designed around using cultural tools to maintain political control.

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As we mentioned in the second episode on Martin Luther King, where we talked about

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his political side, we talked about the fact that in the 1920s, the Soviet Jews created

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the strategy of using racial stratification in the United States as a political weapon

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to collapse us from the inside. And then Martin Luther King Jr.'s handlers were Soviet agents.

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They were using the civil rights movement specifically to collapse the United States

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in the 60s. It is my belief, and I'm not going to present any evidence. I don't have it,

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but in so some of you are going to find this completely unsatisfying. But I think that when

25:20.160 --> 25:26.480
you look at the way these things are being memed online today, and when you look at the history

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of the way Russians, when they were Soviet, but they didn't change, like the flag changed,

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the stationary changed, it was the same people with the same training, the same mindset.

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Putin didn't change. He became more convinced than ever that he had to do whatever was necessary

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to preserve the Russian way of life as he self-fed, and he enriched himself to a great

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means in the process. I believe that when you look at the sort of affinity that is being developed

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on social media today for orthodoxy in particular, I think that you have to look at it in geopolitical

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terms. Because again, churches are always necessarily racial, and it's not an exclusive

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claim. It's not saying if you're not German, you can't come to a Lutheran church. But the fact is

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that 94% of Lutheran churches are white even today. Despite Lutheran's best efforts for

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over a century to try to reach out, and particularly the African-American community,

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they don't want any part of it. Okay, at some point you have to shake the dust off your feet.

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When we look at how things get memed online, it's important to remember that this is a battle

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space. It's battling for the hearts and minds of people globally, and there are certain entities

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that are going to be operating on the internet with complete impunity. We've seen the past when

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there have been outages or events where suddenly all the shilling on 4chan just vanishes or funding

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expires, and suddenly all the moderators go away in some other form. You can occasionally see the

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cracks through the curtain and find that what was being portrayed as completely organic, natural.

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Just people talking on forums is revealed to actually be paid orchestrated action. That is

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certainly the case with some of this stuff. Because if you have affinity for Eastern orthodoxy,

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you're naturally going to have affinity mostly for Russia. Obviously there's strongly held views

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on both sides because of what's gone on recently in Ukraine, and there are all sorts of historical

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infighting among the various orthodox groups. But one of the things that's been very clearly laid

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out, as we've seen just the last couple years online, anyone who becomes involved in affinity

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for Russian orthodoxy or Eastern orthodoxy is inherently very pro-Russian. That's been virtually

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all of my experience watching this for many years. I don't believe that's a coincidence. I believe

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that's a desirable outcome. Now, again, this is not a theological argument against the belief system

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of the orthodox. It is simply to illustrate that when you're trying to look at these patterns and

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these beliefs as they're playing out in the world, you're dealing with human beings. You're never

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only religious. You're never only political. You shouldn't be. I mean, if you're only ever

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political, that's also your religion. You can't escape it. We're always multiple things at the

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same time. It is entirely not only permissible but necessary when you're looking at something

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like orthodoxy coming out of nowhere on social media in the last few years. It's pervasive.

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If you judge from Twitter, you would think that orthodoxy, I mean, it's kind of like Africans

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in TV commercials. You just see it everywhere. It's in no way representative of reality. It's

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representative of a small corner of social media. These things have influence, though,

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because if you think, well, everybody's like that, then it must be normal. If there's a lot of it,

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it must be normal. Again, it's not an argument against orthodoxy per se. It's simply to say that

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when we look in the historical context, we see that Russia has always viewed culture as a weapon.

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The joke has always been that no one's a KGB agent on foreign soil. They're a cultural

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attaché. We think that's kind of a punchline. Well, I think in part they use that because

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they understood correctly that culture is a weapon. When it is being used, when you're

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taking your culture and putting it in a foreign place, that's a weapon, as what we do with McDonald's

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and Blue Jeans as a punchline behind the Iron Curtain, that we were subverting them with rock

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and roll music and fast food. Culture is always a weapon. It's not simply that these things are

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religious beliefs, but they also expand your mind in a way that causes you to have affinity for

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something foreign that you never would have cared about before. There are guys who are very

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strongly pro-Russia today that never would have cared in the slightest before they became interested

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in Eastern Orthodox history and theology. I believe with absolute certainty that as a case,

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you don't have to take my word for it. Just consider the fact that when you're seeing these

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things play out, it's never only one thing. There's always going to be several things

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in motion at the same time. We should take them all seriously because if it's having

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effects on real people's lives that goes beyond simply a faith life, that's a way that we should

30:48.480 --> 30:53.600
view what it is we're looking at. You should never just assume that people are coming to you

30:53.600 --> 30:58.800
honestly and telling you what they think, including us. Be skeptical about whatever we say. I don't

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want people to just to swallow what anyone tells you. When someone brings a message,

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be skeptical, weigh it against what you have. When you weigh the claims of the Orthodox against

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reality, you find liberals and the congregations, you find foreigners, and you find no real connection

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to this people or to our values or to our way of thinking about things. I think that by that self,

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that's a reason enough to maybe just look elsewhere, but it's certainly a reason to be skeptical.

31:33.440 --> 31:39.440
Before we get into the bulk of this episode, which will be the theology, although we will

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attempt not to belabor the points too much, there is one other sort of practical or political

31:45.840 --> 31:53.120
point that needs to be made about one of the claims that is frequently, to say the least, seen

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from particularly the online Orthodox, and that is the supposed unity of the EO churches. I'm

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going to use probably mostly EO to refer to them simply because it's short. And under that, I mean

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all of them. I don't just mean one particular group, which is the point that I am making here.

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They really are not unified. You have different patriarchates, you have different metropolitan,

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you have different leaders of different groups within the umbrella that is called the Orthodox

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Church. And so you have the Russian Orthodox Church, you have the Greek Orthodox Church,

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you have the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and they are to some degree in communion, but they're not

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in full communion. And so when they tell you that there is this unified body called the Orthodox

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Church, that's simply not true. You've had in the past and even today you have some of these issues

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lingering. You've had one patriarchate excommunicate another, you've had this leader say that that

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one's a heretic. You do not have the sort of full communion and unity that they present to the world

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when you actually start looking at how things are playing out in reality. And so that claim

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of unity, which is attractive to some people, because obviously one of the critiques that is

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often leveraged against various church bodies is look at how many there are. Clearly you must

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all be wrong because there are so many of you, which is stupid, of course, because just because

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there are a lot of people who are in error does not mean there is no one who is right.

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And it also doesn't mean that just because you have a room full of people who are mostly in error,

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no one in the room is right. The argument just doesn't follow. But so you'll have the EO who'll

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present this supposedly unified front. And it's just false. It doesn't exist in reality. It is a

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lie. It is propaganda. You should not believe it. We will put a chart in the show notes showing

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which group is in communion with which other one and some of the historical disputes and

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arguments they've had excommunicating each other and whatnot. And so just don't believe that claim

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when it's advanced. It's just not true. There's no church that is going to be able to make the

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argument that absolutely everyone under this big umbrella is in unity. We all agree. Rome can't

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make that claim because Rome has different groups that are competing within the umbrella that is

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Rome. The EO can't make that claim because they have different groups competing within the

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umbrella that is the Orthodox Church. And of course, Protestants compete with each other. We're

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open about it. We're not going to say that, for instance, we as Lutherans agree with the

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Presbyterians on everything. We agree on some things. We disagree on some things.

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That's a more honest way of going about it. And I wish that the EO and Rome would be a little

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more honest about it. But just don't take that claim seriously because it isn't a real claim.

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It's not a thing. And so then I guess we will jump into the theology here.

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When it comes to the theology of the EO, you have to understand there is an initial

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challenge, an initial hurdle to overcome if it is even possible.

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If, for instance, I told you to critique the Lutheran faith to say,

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to list the items with which you disagree, you could do that because I can hand you the

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Book of Concord and tell you this is what we believe. Obviously, I'm going to hand you Scripture

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as well. But I can give you the Book of Concord because that is our interpretation of Scripture.

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If you find something in there with which you disagree, well, you disagree with Lutheranism

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on that point. No such thing exists for the Eastern Orthodox. This goes back, of course,

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to my point about them not being fully in communion because different groups within the

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Eastern Orthodox will give you different books. Now, I know that some who are EO who are listening

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to this podcast are probably screaming right now because you're saying, well, no, we all believe

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in the ecumenical councils. Okay, which ones? And there begins the fundamental problem with the

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supposed unity with regard to councils. They'll tell you that they all believe in the ecumenical

36:26.160 --> 36:33.040
councils. Then they'll tell you which ones are the ecumenical councils. The problem is

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there were more councils than the ones they will list. Now they'll say, well, those weren't true

36:38.720 --> 36:45.920
ecumenical councils. The way that they do this, and this is a significant problem both for their

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understanding of councils and just generally theologically, they have developed the idea

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of what they call receptionism. Now for those who are familiar with theology, this is not

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receptionism in the sense of the Lord's Supper, but it is similar. This is receptionism in the sense

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that they say the councils are not binding until they are recognized by the church.

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The problem with that is that historically the claim and the claim of the councils themselves

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was and is that the councils are binding because the councils are the church in council and therefore

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they are guided by the Holy Spirit and cannot air. Now I don't believe that. Lutherans don't hold

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that. So woe doesn't believe that either. That is the historic position of the EO. It is not the

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position that they hold today. So they have doctrinal development. So if they try to tell

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you their doctrine has not changed, that's simply false. They develop this idea of receptionism

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because there are certain councils they want to reject. There are certain things said by

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certain councils. They want to say that council was false. That was a robber council. That was

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not ecumenical because the church didn't receive it. And so one of these will be some parts of

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one of the Jerusalem councils. Well one of the Jerusalem councils said that the laity should

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not read the scriptures in the vernacular. Some of the EO will tell you that today.

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They'll try to excuse it. It's false. It's anti-Christian. But some of them will just say

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oh that's not ecumenical. It's not binding. And you have this with many of the councils because

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there weren't just seven ecumenical councils. So even if they give you this list of the ones

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to which they adhere, there are other councils they are deliberately rejecting or just not mentioning

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because they do not agree with them. And if you're saying I believe the councils only in

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so far as I agree with them, you aren't saying anything about the councils. You aren't saying

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councils are binding. You aren't saying the councils are true. You're not saying they're

38:55.840 --> 39:01.840
guided by the Holy Spirit. You're just saying in so far as we like them, they're true.

39:02.080 --> 39:08.240
Well that's the same thing as people who try to say, for instance, in Lutheranism we have those

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who will say their subscription to the confession is quatness. In so far as the confessions are

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true, I agree with them, those people aren't Lutheran because that's not a subscription. That doesn't

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mean anything. As I pointed out before, in so far as the menu at Wendy's is true, I can subscribe to

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it. It's a completely meaningless statement to say you subscribe to something in so far as it is

39:32.240 --> 39:40.320
true. Scripture we subscribe to because it is true, absolutely. We do the same thing as Lutherans

39:40.320 --> 39:45.840
with the Book of Concord. We subscribe to it because it is a faithful explication of Scripture.

39:45.840 --> 39:53.440
It is not in so far as it is true. But that's what you see the EO doing with the councils.

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And so advance this claim that our confession is the councils because the councils are the church

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drawn together as one, guided by the Spirit and speaking the truth without error.

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But then they immediately undermine that by not actually believing all of the councils.

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And so the initial challenge is just discovering what it is they actually believe. What do they

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actually teach? For this particular podcast, we are going to focus on a few different theological

40:25.280 --> 40:32.320
points. Obviously, we have to go over Penal Substitutionary Atonement because the EO rejected.

40:33.200 --> 40:38.080
And the problem with rejecting that is that it is the gospel. We will make that point in that

40:38.080 --> 40:45.600
section, but Penal Substitutionary Atonement is the gospel. The gospel is Christ crucified in the

40:45.600 --> 40:54.880
place of, to say, four sinners. He died in your place. He took your punishment on the cross.

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He was a substitute for you. He atoned for your sins. That is the Christian belief and the EO

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rejected. They substitute their idea of Christ as victor and some other things,

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which isn't wrong in itself, but it is wrong when you substitute it and you

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eject, you jettison Penal Substitutionary Atonement because you cannot jettison the gospel

41:18.800 --> 41:25.600
and then reinterpret scripture in your own light. We will also be going over, obviously,

41:25.600 --> 41:32.400
Palomism. Because by and large, the modern EO, which is important to draw this distinction because

41:32.400 --> 41:40.560
Palomas died in the 1300s, the modern EO are Palomites. That is, in fact, an accurate thing

41:40.560 --> 41:46.240
to call them. I would say call them Palomites or EO. I consider them interchangeable because they

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hold to the teachings of Gregory Palomas when it comes to a number of different things. One,

41:53.920 --> 41:59.680
they call hasochastic prayer. We will get into that. The other big one being the essence energy's

41:59.680 --> 42:06.160
distinction. Now, yes, there were other so-called fathers of the church on the eastern side of

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things who taught this, but the one who really formalizes it in a way that is then adopted by

42:13.040 --> 42:19.680
the EO churches is Palomas. He is a big part of this. We will go over that probably at some length.

42:21.520 --> 42:30.240
Another point is really more the philosophy of it than necessarily just theology, but we do have

42:30.240 --> 42:36.400
to go over some philosophy to understand why the theological errors, particularly of Palomism,

42:36.400 --> 42:41.360
of Palomas, why those matter. You need a little bit of philosophy to understand what he got wrong

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and why. And yes, philosophy and theology do interact. They're not at odds because all truth

42:48.160 --> 42:55.440
is one and all truth and is God. We'll compare to Eastern religions a little bit too because that

42:55.440 --> 43:01.200
does play into this. That is a big part of the point. And then the last point will be

43:02.240 --> 43:06.160
not necessarily in this order as we go over them, but the last point will be monasticism

43:07.200 --> 43:15.440
because that also is a big part of the entire system of the EO and it plays into Palomism and

43:15.440 --> 43:22.640
obviously hasochastic prayer. So before we get into the theology proper, I am going to give you

43:23.200 --> 43:27.760
a list of instructions. And I just want you to think about this list of instructions as I'm

43:27.760 --> 43:32.080
reading it. I will comment on it after I give the list. So you don't have to, it's not a test. You

43:32.080 --> 43:37.040
don't have to hold it in your mind and repeat it to me later or think about it until the end of the

43:37.040 --> 43:42.880
episode because there'll be a quiz or something. That's not how this is going. But just think of

43:42.880 --> 43:49.680
this list of instructions for doing something. First, I want you to, you don't actually have to

43:49.760 --> 43:54.320
do this. So please don't do this as I'm saying it. Just think about it. First, you need to prepare

43:54.320 --> 44:00.720
your space. So find a quiet and comfortable place where you won't be disturbed. You can sit on a

44:00.720 --> 44:07.920
chair, the floor, that's up to you. Then begin by centering yourself, by drawing yourself into

44:07.920 --> 44:13.520
yourself. Take some deep breath, slow breath, focus on your breathing. Something that we kind of

44:13.520 --> 44:19.280
have to do on this podcast sometimes to not get too much background noise and things. So relax

44:19.280 --> 44:25.200
your body, focus on your breathing. Sort of set aside some of the external distractions.

44:27.200 --> 44:33.440
Set an intention for what it is you're going to be doing here. And again, focus your attention.

44:34.080 --> 44:40.640
Bring that attention to this point. Ignore the external stimuli as best you can. Now,

44:41.280 --> 44:48.640
external stimuli are going to arise sometimes. Simply take notice of that and dismiss it. You

44:48.640 --> 44:55.360
want to continue to remain relaxed and focused. Now, when you have your intention that you set

44:55.360 --> 45:00.320
earlier, the thing on which you are going to focus, make sure to keep that in your mind, repeat that

45:00.320 --> 45:08.320
as you are going with this process. When you conclude this process, have a moment of gratitude,

45:08.320 --> 45:14.960
reflect on what it is that you experienced, what you thought, and then of course try to make this a

45:14.960 --> 45:24.320
regular practice. There are going to be two groups of people listening to this podcast

45:24.320 --> 45:29.840
who are going to recognize the list through which I just went. The fundamental problem

45:30.880 --> 45:35.600
is that those two groups are completely different groups. First will be those who have

45:35.600 --> 45:43.760
practiced meditation or various Eastern religious practices. The second will be the EO who practice

45:43.760 --> 45:51.600
hasacastic prayer. Now, the difference, and I use the term from the Eastern practice instead of what

45:51.600 --> 45:59.200
the EO would call it, the difference is in that setting of an intention because that is usually

45:59.200 --> 46:04.240
the meditation practice, the Buddhist practice, the Hindu practice, Taoist, whatever it happens to be,

46:04.240 --> 46:11.760
whichever group of demon worshipers. The EO on the other hand would say that they would set or

46:11.760 --> 46:17.920
rather begin with an invocation. This is usually the Jesus Prayer. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,

46:17.920 --> 46:23.840
have mercy on me as sinner. There's nothing wrong with that prayer. The EO make it a problem

46:24.400 --> 46:30.400
because they repeated ad nauseam. One would think it would come to mind that Scripture is very clear.

46:30.960 --> 46:34.800
Do not simply pile up meaningless words when you pray. They'll of course say, well, it's not

46:34.800 --> 46:41.120
meaningless. The problem is when you repeat something like that a thousand times, 10,000 times,

46:41.120 --> 46:46.720
however many times they repeated on Mount Athos, it becomes meaningless, rote repetition.

46:47.920 --> 46:51.040
But I don't want you to focus on that yet. We'll get to that issue more later.

46:51.600 --> 46:56.720
I want you to focus on the list. Everything except for the setting of an intention versus an

46:56.720 --> 47:04.640
invocation is the same in this supposed form of prayer called hasacastic prayer, which the EO

47:04.640 --> 47:10.880
practice, particularly their monks practice and particularly on Mount Athos and Eastern practices,

47:11.440 --> 47:20.320
Eastern mysticism, Eastern religion. You are going to see a lot of this commonality between the EO

47:20.960 --> 47:25.520
appropriately called the Eastern Orthodox, inappropriately called Orthodox, but

47:26.480 --> 47:32.080
and actual Eastern religions that call themselves a different religion.

47:34.960 --> 47:41.520
You really should not see this sort of commonality between Christianity and between

47:42.240 --> 47:47.840
pagan religions, between demon worship, because that is what these religions, these other religions

47:47.840 --> 47:55.440
are. They are demon worship. Now I want to be very clear. Meditation is a practice that is

47:55.440 --> 48:02.960
appropriate in the Christian life. Meditation is something that Christians do. Here is the difference

48:02.960 --> 48:10.160
between Christian meditation and Eastern meditation. If someone tells you to clear your

48:10.160 --> 48:18.160
mind, it's Eastern meditation. If someone tells you to meditate on the scriptures, so meditate on

48:18.160 --> 48:22.480
the First Commandment, the Fifth Commandment, all of the commandments, the Lord's Prayer,

48:22.480 --> 48:29.520
the Book of Job, if you're meditating on something that is Christian, that is the Christian practice

48:29.520 --> 48:34.720
of meditation. The Christian practice is not clear your mind. That is the Eastern practice.

48:35.760 --> 48:40.800
Now I'm not saying you can't ever clear your mind and relax. There's a difference between relaxation

48:41.360 --> 48:46.160
and this kind of meditation. If you're getting a massage, go ahead and clear your mind and relax.

48:46.160 --> 48:53.920
That's fine. You should do that. Not when it is religion. The religious practice of clear your

48:53.920 --> 48:59.280
mind is Eastern. It is not something that Christians do. It is foreign to the Christian

48:59.280 --> 49:04.640
religion. When I was in grade school in the 80s, this is something that was actually being pushed

49:04.640 --> 49:10.320
in public schools. My parents ended up pulling me out of public school specifically because

49:11.200 --> 49:18.960
teachers were doing guided meditation with students. I don't know what method or

49:19.920 --> 49:26.800
program that came from, but it was very much something that was being pushed in our culture

49:26.800 --> 49:33.680
completely, secularly. They claimed, of course, my parents as Christians who at the time were

49:33.680 --> 49:39.600
acutely aware of some of the spiritual warfare that was going on in this country, they're like,

49:39.600 --> 49:44.640
no, I was forbidden to ever participate. I was commanded to leave the room if it ever happened

49:44.640 --> 49:49.520
again. They pulled me out of public school as soon as they could because they understood it's

49:49.520 --> 49:55.600
demonic. I think one of the crucial things that we've talked about a bit in the past,

49:56.400 --> 50:03.440
when you participate in something that is physically evil, it may well seem harmless.

50:04.640 --> 50:10.320
I think the best example is fornication. It is a sin which you commit within your own body,

50:10.880 --> 50:19.120
but it doesn't feel like a sin. Usually the good version and the bad version may seem the same.

50:19.760 --> 50:26.880
The distinction is the context of the behavior. The difference when you're talking about

50:26.880 --> 50:34.960
participating in something like Eastern meditation is that the act itself has no necessary hallmarks

50:34.960 --> 50:42.480
of doing something evil. One must necessarily know from outside of the act, from outside of what

50:42.480 --> 50:47.520
you're being taught that this is Eastern, that this is evil. If you haven't already been taught that,

50:47.520 --> 50:52.240
if you're not prepared, you just go along with it. You might think it was a little strange,

50:52.240 --> 50:57.040
as I did as a kid, but I didn't know any better. My parents had to warn me and I thought they're

50:57.040 --> 51:02.560
overreacting. It was embarrassed to be singled out once again as a kid that couldn't do stuff that

51:02.560 --> 51:08.560
other kids were doing, but it was because they were aware of the nature of the thing inherently.

51:10.080 --> 51:18.480
The nature of this sort of meditation is inherently one of emptying your mind, emptying your soul,

51:18.480 --> 51:24.880
and leaving a vacuum for the demonic. Practitioners of Eastern meditation, that is fundamentally

51:24.880 --> 51:30.480
their goal, is to invite demons into themselves and then to perceive them and communicate with them.

51:31.440 --> 51:37.600
It's something that's done in a variety of contexts, but the physical act, the fact that all

51:37.600 --> 51:44.160
those instructions that Kori gave have a repetitive, complete process for achieving

51:44.160 --> 51:49.120
that particular goal, it's because it works. You do the thing and you get the result,

51:50.000 --> 51:54.880
even if you don't believe it. That's crucial. Even if you don't believe it, if you do what

51:54.880 --> 52:00.640
Kori described, as he said, please don't do it, if you do that over and over again, it will work.

52:01.440 --> 52:09.680
It will actually have a spiritual and physical impact on yourself. It was not just body,

52:09.680 --> 52:14.080
because we're talking about the mind and the spirit. We're talking about all three elements of the human

52:14.080 --> 52:20.480
nature at once being acted upon by a physical and mental act. When you do the thing, you get the

52:20.480 --> 52:26.640
result. You don't have any control over it at that point. That's why it's so incredibly dangerous,

52:26.640 --> 52:30.720
because it seems harmless. You're just going along and doing something very peaceful,

52:30.720 --> 52:36.320
very relaxing. There's nothing remotely threatening. You're just clearing your mind what could be less

52:36.320 --> 52:42.640
dangerous than that, and that the exact opposite is true. This is one of those fundamental distinctions

52:42.640 --> 52:49.200
between the things of Satan and the things of God. I want you to pay very close attention to what

52:49.200 --> 52:54.240
I'm going to say here, because there is a distinction. The contours of this are very

52:54.240 --> 53:00.160
important. You need to understand exactly what the distinction is. There are natural things,

53:00.160 --> 53:06.720
and I mean that in sort of the biological sense, the natural world. There are natural things that

53:06.720 --> 53:15.920
work ex opere operato. By the thing being done, it is accomplished. A great example, sexual intercourse.

53:16.240 --> 53:22.400
If you have sex with your wife, and you don't use contraception, and neither one of you was infertile,

53:22.400 --> 53:29.840
obviously, chances are you are going to wind up with children. Children are a blessing from God.

53:29.840 --> 53:39.040
That happens ex opere operato. It happens by the act having been performed. When it comes to religion,

53:39.200 --> 53:48.480
here's the distinction. In the natural world, many things work ex opere operato. In the religious,

53:48.480 --> 53:57.440
or the spiritual, the things of God occur with faith, by faith. You do not receive the blessings

53:57.440 --> 54:05.040
from God except in and by faith. That is how it works on God's side. On the demonic side,

54:05.680 --> 54:13.040
it is ex opere operato. You do the thing, you get the result. Faith does not play a role in the

54:13.040 --> 54:20.640
demonic side. If you believe in Satan and you have a true faith in Satan, if that's even a thing,

54:20.640 --> 54:27.120
perhaps that makes things worse. But on the demonic side, it is by the act being done

54:27.120 --> 54:33.680
that the result is obtained. If you invite in demons, eventually demons will show up.

54:35.680 --> 54:40.560
These are not minor matters. We're not joking in this episode, this particular serious episode.

54:41.680 --> 54:45.280
All of them are serious, of course, but this one is particularly serious. This is your eternal

54:45.280 --> 54:52.080
soul that is on the line. Do not play with these things. Don't play with a Ouija board.

54:52.080 --> 54:56.480
Don't play with whatever they do during seance stuff. Don't play with any of these things.

54:57.120 --> 55:04.880
Do not invite in demons. Do not open a space for them to come in. If you do that, they'll respond.

55:06.320 --> 55:12.000
Satan is glad to answer. He's not going to give you what you want. Now, of course, he may,

55:12.000 --> 55:15.200
in the short term, you may get fame and fortune, whatever it happens to be,

55:16.000 --> 55:22.240
but there's always a hook and you're going to lose your soul. Do not play with these things.

55:23.200 --> 55:29.920
I'd just like to give one brief example. If you're skeptical about doing something physical

55:29.920 --> 55:35.200
and mental like that, having a profound effect on you, I can give you an example of something

55:35.200 --> 55:40.800
that's completely safe that involves a breathing exercise. It does involve clearing your mind.

55:40.800 --> 55:46.960
There's nothing spiritual about this. This is a specific breathing exercise that in someday down

55:46.960 --> 55:51.840
the road, you maybe feel like you're having a panic attack. Maybe you feel like your heart rate

55:51.840 --> 55:57.040
is through the roof. You're amped up. Maybe your hands are shaking. Something's happened

55:57.040 --> 56:05.200
and you feel like you're on the verge of losing control. It's called breathing by force. It's

56:05.200 --> 56:13.680
very simple. You take a slow four beat count to exhale, hold, inhale, and hold. I'm not going to

56:13.680 --> 56:22.800
do it, but just one, two, three, four. You breathe, you hold, you exhale, you hold. If you do that a

56:22.800 --> 56:30.160
few times, physiologically, it will reset your body systems. Again, this isn't dangerous because

56:30.160 --> 56:35.840
it's not clearing your mind. You're just saying, I'm filtering all the crap out that's got me

56:35.840 --> 56:40.000
freaking out right now. I'm just going to do this one thing. It's something you can do like if

56:40.640 --> 56:46.240
I learned it in the context of competitive shooting. You can lower your heart rate. You can get your

56:46.240 --> 56:52.880
whole body to just settle down. You don't have to be worked up. You can be okay and it will really,

56:54.000 --> 56:59.200
I don't want to say recenter because we just condemn that, but there is a physical sensation to

57:00.080 --> 57:07.120
pulling it back in and feeling like you have control again. You're not vibrating. It's breathing

57:07.120 --> 57:14.400
by force. In four, hold four, out four, hold four. Someday when you're freaking out, try that out,

57:14.400 --> 57:19.520
and you will find that it will work within just a couple of cycles because it's not guided meditation.

57:19.520 --> 57:26.560
It's not emptying your mind or your soul. It's just working on an autonomic system in your body,

57:27.120 --> 57:34.000
gaining some momentary control over it, and you're basically pressing the reset button. It's

57:34.080 --> 57:39.520
just as like our guts and our brains are connected, our breathing and our emotions are connected.

57:41.440 --> 57:46.160
We're all these things at once. We're an incredibly complicated, beautiful machine that

57:46.160 --> 57:53.040
God has invented. That's why the physical can actually affect the mental and the spiritual.

57:53.040 --> 57:59.200
It goes in both directions. All those things are interconnected. It's common that when someone

57:59.200 --> 58:04.640
gets old, maybe they lose their spouse. They just lose the will to live and everything's fine.

58:04.640 --> 58:11.600
They weren't unhealthy, but frequently the other spouse may die within a month or two or even a

58:11.600 --> 58:18.000
day or two. It's not even necessarily from sadness. It's just a loss of the will to live.

58:18.640 --> 58:24.320
They had something and they didn't. They're like, okay, I'm done here. The mental and the spiritual

58:24.320 --> 58:29.440
and the physical are all deeply intertwined, and that's a blessing when you're aware of it

58:29.440 --> 58:34.080
and you obey God and you stick to taking care of your body and your mind and your soul

58:34.080 --> 58:38.160
independently and then collectively, because when one thing is not working so well,

58:38.720 --> 58:44.640
the others can help pick up the slack. When you start playing with these things that are exploiting it

58:44.640 --> 58:50.720
to allow outside influences, it's spiritually deadly as Corey just emphasized.

58:50.720 --> 58:55.360
So think about it. Remember breathing by force. If you ever freak out in the future,

58:55.360 --> 58:59.520
try it out. It's not going to make things any worse. I promise it will actually help you.

58:59.520 --> 59:04.640
And just remember that these connections, even if you don't believe in them, like you,

59:04.640 --> 59:09.280
if you've never heard that before and it sounds ridiculous, great. If you ever need it, try it.

59:09.280 --> 59:15.680
It's going to work because there's an interlocking mechanism between the state of your emotional

59:15.680 --> 59:20.160
and the state of your physical. It's also true the state of the spiritual.

59:20.960 --> 59:30.240
We are one connected entity. You are all those things at once, and these tools that are brought

59:30.240 --> 59:35.840
in from the outside to exploit that know that if they can get that crack through the physical

59:35.840 --> 59:40.560
into the spiritual, a demon can take over everything. That's why it's so incredibly dangerous,

59:41.120 --> 59:44.320
but it's real. Stuff is real whether you believe it or not.

59:46.000 --> 59:51.520
Man is a Gestalt, and it is important to remember that you are not just soul and not just body.

59:51.520 --> 59:56.560
You are both. And we will get into that later on in this episode, actually, because there are

59:56.560 --> 01:00:06.240
problems in eotheology with regard, particularly to the fact that man is in reality, body and soul.

01:00:06.320 --> 01:00:11.200
There's a focus on the soul at the expense of the body. But before we get into that, and before I

01:00:11.200 --> 01:00:18.640
get into really what Hezekastic prayer is in the practice, I want to go over a little bit of

01:00:18.640 --> 01:00:24.800
Eastern religion, just a handful of the practices and some differences and commonalities.

01:00:26.480 --> 01:00:31.760
And so I already mentioned that there's meditation and similar practices in various

01:00:31.760 --> 01:00:37.920
Eastern religions. And primarily, that's going to be Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism,

01:00:37.920 --> 01:00:41.520
some others as well. And these obviously have different strains within them. But that's not

01:00:41.520 --> 01:00:50.160
the point of this episode. During this meditation, and this is common across all of these groups,

01:00:51.360 --> 01:00:57.520
if you achieve, according to the practitioners, a depth to your meditation, a certain level of

01:00:57.520 --> 01:01:05.440
inner stillness, a certain level of proficiency in these practices, you will eventually see a light

01:01:06.080 --> 01:01:12.560
that is one of their claims. It depends on the particular religious tradition as to what they

01:01:12.560 --> 01:01:19.920
will claim that this light is. In the yogic tradition, they'll claim the inner light is

01:01:19.920 --> 01:01:25.600
something achieved during their advanced meditative practices. And they will say this is related to

01:01:25.680 --> 01:01:30.160
the third eye or seeing through the third eye, depending on how they were in which group.

01:01:31.040 --> 01:01:36.320
That's related to the Ajna Chakra, so called, I'll go into that in a minute here. In Tibetan

01:01:36.320 --> 01:01:41.760
Buddhism, for instance, they have the practice of Jogchen, which includes the experience of

01:01:41.760 --> 01:01:46.720
seeing what they call the clear light, which is considered a direct encounter with the true

01:01:46.720 --> 01:01:54.240
nature of reality, as they call it. And you have in other traditions as well, these similar practices.

01:01:54.960 --> 01:02:00.240
But to go into a little more depth on the Ajna Chakra, so called in these traditions,

01:02:01.040 --> 01:02:08.960
in Hinduism, this is linked to the God Shiva and represents wisdom and sort of a total understanding

01:02:08.960 --> 01:02:16.240
of the reality of things rising above the physical world to see the true nature of things.

01:02:17.600 --> 01:02:22.160
In Tibetan Buddhism, as I said previously, is associated with the concept of the clear light

01:02:23.040 --> 01:02:29.280
and is often seen supposedly around the time of death. You'll even have some who practice

01:02:29.280 --> 01:02:36.000
these religions who will meditate and fast until they die. There are people who have

01:02:36.000 --> 01:02:40.640
self mummified using these practices, or perhaps linked to some of that in the show notes, so

01:02:40.640 --> 01:02:47.760
you can see the results of that. And I already mentioned what happens in yoga. I won't go into

01:02:47.760 --> 01:02:53.600
that again for this section. But I want to focus again on the fact that it is linked to the third

01:02:53.600 --> 01:02:58.320
eye, which is yes, linked to the yoga as well, but they all sort of have this sort of concept of a

01:02:58.320 --> 01:03:05.120
third eye, which is a heightened state of perception. You see the ultimate reality supposedly

01:03:05.120 --> 01:03:11.280
instead of the physical reality, because a lot of these religions are by large Gnostic. They

01:03:11.360 --> 01:03:17.120
deny the reality of the material or at the very least deny the possible goodness

01:03:18.080 --> 01:03:22.720
of the material and say that the spiritual is all that really exists, or it is the only

01:03:22.720 --> 01:03:28.640
good thing that exists. Now, some of them have as their ultimate goal, unification

01:03:29.440 --> 01:03:34.960
with some greater consciousness, or some of them have annihilation. And I would hope that

01:03:34.960 --> 01:03:40.880
Christians can see that neither one of these is the ultimate goal of humanity. Although there

01:03:40.960 --> 01:03:44.000
are some problems we'll get into with Hezekastic prayer on this note.

01:03:46.800 --> 01:03:50.880
And so obviously, you have samsara and these other things where there's the escape from the cycle

01:03:50.880 --> 01:03:55.360
of suffering because you achieve nirvana, whatever it whatever it happens to be the specifics of

01:03:55.360 --> 01:04:02.160
the religions don't matter, just focus on this thread of commonality between them, particularly

01:04:03.040 --> 01:04:08.160
seeing that light, because they all mention that if you do these practices, and if you're good enough

01:04:08.160 --> 01:04:12.480
at these practices, and you do them for long enough, you'll see a light. It's a divine light.

01:04:13.120 --> 01:04:18.800
It's the light of an ultimate reality. Before getting into Hezekastic prayer, I would just

01:04:18.800 --> 01:04:25.840
like to briefly mention you also see these sorts of claims with particular kinds of drugs.

01:04:27.440 --> 01:04:32.880
You see many drug users who will claim to see visions of lights and colors and things like that,

01:04:32.880 --> 01:04:38.800
particularly hallucinogens, one in particular that comes to mind would be DMT. There's a little

01:04:38.800 --> 01:04:46.000
bit of that with ecstasy MDMA use, some with LSD or psilocybin. But really it's DMT is one of the

01:04:46.000 --> 01:04:52.000
big ones and they often see not only lights, but machine elves, which are demons. Do not do these

01:04:52.000 --> 01:04:58.160
drugs. Do not do these practices, do not do these drugs. These are both ways to invite demons into

01:04:58.160 --> 01:05:04.240
your life, into your soul. And now to get to Hezekastic prayer.

01:05:06.320 --> 01:05:13.120
One of the things that the Hezekas, one of the terms for them, have been called that they object to

01:05:14.240 --> 01:05:21.280
would be Amphilosochites, which is not actually derogatory. It is in fact descriptive,

01:05:22.000 --> 01:05:29.520
because it means one with his soul in his navel. And it is a description of their practice of

01:05:29.520 --> 01:05:36.960
meditation. They call it Hezekastic prayer. It is a meditative practice. What they do, at least

01:05:36.960 --> 01:05:44.240
those who are new to the practice, they are advised to stare at their navel and to breathe heavily.

01:05:46.240 --> 01:05:50.720
This may sound similar to some of the other practices I just described, and that is in fact

01:05:50.720 --> 01:05:58.400
why I described those other practices, because they are in fact similar. You see the same sort of thing

01:05:59.360 --> 01:06:04.640
in these Eastern religious practices and in Hezekastic prayer. You have the positioning of

01:06:04.640 --> 01:06:08.720
the body, which occurs in all of them, but obviously yoga is going to be the big one,

01:06:08.720 --> 01:06:13.040
where you immediately recognize, of course, there's positioning of the body and breathing,

01:06:13.040 --> 01:06:19.120
pranayama as they call it, they're breathing exercises. You see that same thing occurring

01:06:19.120 --> 01:06:22.960
with Hezekastic prayer. What is the point of Hezekastic prayer?

01:06:24.400 --> 01:06:31.360
And here is where you see the most damning corollary, the most damning connection between

01:06:31.360 --> 01:06:37.200
these Eastern religious practices and what the Eos say, in effect, in their writings,

01:06:37.200 --> 01:06:45.120
is required of Christians. The goal of Hezekastic prayer is to see the so-called uncreated light

01:06:45.120 --> 01:06:53.360
of God. So what they claim is that if you do these practices, which usually involve positioning of

01:06:53.360 --> 01:07:00.880
the body, breathing, if you're a novice that involves staring at your navel, if you do these

01:07:00.880 --> 01:07:07.280
practices, you will see a light. It is the exact same claim as these Eastern religions.

01:07:08.000 --> 01:07:15.760
This is not a claim from Christianity. This is not a Christian practice. This is nowhere in

01:07:15.760 --> 01:07:21.680
Scripture, and I will go over their claims to supposed scriptural warrant for this belief,

01:07:21.680 --> 01:07:29.600
but nowhere in Scripture does it ever tell us to breathe heavily and stare at our navel and you

01:07:30.560 --> 01:07:38.480
will see the uncreated light of God. This is evil. This is demonic to be entirely blunt.

01:07:39.040 --> 01:07:42.880
This is not something that Christians do. This is not something we are commanded to do.

01:07:42.880 --> 01:07:47.280
This is not a part of our religion. This is not in our sacred Scriptures. This is something that

01:07:47.280 --> 01:07:54.560
has been imported from the demonic East into the Eo churches, and it is something they are now pushing.

01:07:54.800 --> 01:08:02.160
And to be entirely clear, this is not even the historic practice of the Eo. Yes, there were some

01:08:02.160 --> 01:08:07.680
who engaged in meditation and perhaps breathing exercises and some similar things, particularly

01:08:07.680 --> 01:08:14.640
amongst the ascetics, the desert fathers and others, so-called. But the practice of Hezekastic

01:08:14.640 --> 01:08:24.080
prayer did not really come around, did not become a major thing in the Eo churches until the 1300s.

01:08:25.440 --> 01:08:31.760
This is in particular when Palomas was writing, when he defended this. This is when it became

01:08:31.760 --> 01:08:39.440
formalized, as it were, in the Eo practice. This is now part of their church. He is a saint. He is

01:08:39.440 --> 01:08:46.640
considered a theologian. They hold to what he said as true. This is not some minor or fringe

01:08:46.640 --> 01:08:52.320
opinion. This is not something that is optional for the Eo to believe. This is what their churches

01:08:52.320 --> 01:09:01.200
teach. This is what they are required to believe. And it began, as I said, to be formalized, to

01:09:01.200 --> 01:09:09.040
become a thing actually accepted and practiced in their churches in the 1300s. And so do bear

01:09:09.040 --> 01:09:15.520
in mind, if you're reading older authors from the Eastern churches, they may be sound. John

01:09:15.520 --> 01:09:23.520
Chrysostom is great on many topics. He is worth reading. He died long before this became a thing.

01:09:26.080 --> 01:09:32.880
But we have to deal with the Eo churches as we find them. And as we find them, they are Palomite.

01:09:33.600 --> 01:09:40.640
They hold to this practice. They hold to his theology. And we'll get into more of his theology

01:09:41.200 --> 01:09:46.960
in a little while because there's the essence, energies distinction that becomes a major problem.

01:09:47.840 --> 01:09:54.800
And that is really formalized by Palomis in his book, The Triads, which is where he also

01:09:54.800 --> 01:10:02.320
defends Hezakastic prayer. In fact, the entire point of the book, The Triads, was the defense

01:10:02.880 --> 01:10:09.840
of Hezakastic prayer. The subtitle of the book is In Defense of Those Who Practice Sacred

01:10:09.840 --> 01:10:14.480
Quietude. Sacred Quietude being one of the ways that they translate Hezakasm,

01:10:15.920 --> 01:10:21.600
and they call the practitioners Hezakass. This is something they do even to this day. This is

01:10:22.240 --> 01:10:26.640
a major practice, particularly on Mount Athos. This is basically what their monks spend their

01:10:26.640 --> 01:10:33.600
time doing, breathing heavily and trying to see the uncreated light of God. It's one of those

01:10:33.600 --> 01:10:39.920
times where you wish you were exaggerating or joking or making a parody of what they do. But

01:10:39.920 --> 01:10:44.720
this is just simply what they do. This is from their own writings. They will even admit this to

01:10:44.720 --> 01:10:51.760
you if you ask them. They will try to equivocate or prevaricate about the specifics of the practice

01:10:51.760 --> 01:10:58.320
to try to say that, well, it's not really naval gazing. It's X, Y, and Z. But this is what's said

01:10:58.320 --> 01:11:05.680
in their books. This is, I could quote from The Triads and others, what these practices are

01:11:05.680 --> 01:11:12.080
and how they are conducted, because this is what their theologians say about their religion.

01:11:13.360 --> 01:11:19.840
So ask yourself, is this Christian? Do you see this in Scripture? Search through Scripture and

01:11:19.840 --> 01:11:26.080
try to find it. You will not find it because it is not there. Now, I said I would mention

01:11:26.800 --> 01:11:33.440
where they try to couch, where they try to found this practice. They're firmest foundation,

01:11:33.440 --> 01:11:39.040
as they believe it to be. Their greatest claim, which is completely ridiculous, and I will go

01:11:39.040 --> 01:11:46.640
over why, but their primary claim about this uncreated light of God and the ability of Christians

01:11:46.640 --> 01:11:57.040
who do this sort of prayer so-called to see it, is the transfiguration. They say, they claim,

01:11:57.920 --> 01:12:03.760
that during the transfiguration, it is the glory of God that's shown on the disciples,

01:12:04.320 --> 01:12:11.520
and that glory, that light that they saw, is the uncreated light of God. This is wrong for many

01:12:11.520 --> 01:12:18.160
reasons. First off, I would point out, Christ took the three disciples to the top of a mountain

01:12:19.600 --> 01:12:26.240
to show them his glory, and they saw light. Okay, he took them to the top of a mountain

01:12:27.280 --> 01:12:31.600
so they would be in seclusion. This was a bright light. This was a light. They actually saw light.

01:12:31.600 --> 01:12:36.160
That's what Scripture says. It doesn't say they saw the uncreated light of God. It says they saw

01:12:36.160 --> 01:12:44.560
light, and so Scripture says they saw a light. That is what Christians believe. They saw, we see

01:12:44.560 --> 01:12:51.840
with our eyes, a light. We all know what light is. This is not the uncreated light of God,

01:12:51.840 --> 01:12:56.080
and I will get into this more when we talk about essence energies, because that's where the real

01:12:56.080 --> 01:13:03.120
problem comes in, because they use this to say that the light and these other things that are seen

01:13:03.120 --> 01:13:07.840
by those who practice Hezekastic prayer are energies, not the essence of God,

01:13:09.120 --> 01:13:15.520
and so that is where they try to base this belief in the ability of Christians to see the uncreated

01:13:15.520 --> 01:13:23.680
light of God, and they make this out to be the whole goal of the Christian life, and they make

01:13:23.680 --> 01:13:28.560
the same mistake that others make about the supposed holiness of monks, and they'll claim that monks

01:13:28.560 --> 01:13:33.120
are more holy than the average person, because they dedicate their lives to these things,

01:13:34.080 --> 01:13:37.840
and they basically tell them to starve themselves, because if you starve yourself,

01:13:37.840 --> 01:13:41.920
and then you breathe heavily, you'll see the uncreated light. That's a better way to do it.

01:13:41.920 --> 01:13:46.400
They will in fact say that you cannot really pray unless you are also fasting.

01:13:47.760 --> 01:13:53.760
These are cultic practices. Starving yourself, breathing heavily, is going to put you in an

01:13:53.760 --> 01:13:59.200
altered mental state. Of course, you're going to see something. The best case scenario is that

01:13:59.200 --> 01:14:05.520
you hallucinate from hunger or lack of oxygen, whatever it happens to be. The worst case scenario

01:14:05.520 --> 01:14:11.680
is you simply invite in demons. Satan appears as an angel of light. Do you want to see that light?

01:14:12.400 --> 01:14:16.240
That's the light you're going to see if you engage in these particular practices,

01:14:16.960 --> 01:14:22.160
as many in the East have learned undoubtedly, and I don't just mean the Far East in this case.

01:14:23.120 --> 01:14:28.320
It's important to note that this is not merely aspirational for them. They succeed,

01:14:28.960 --> 01:14:35.760
just as yogis succeed, just as Buddhist monks succeed. When they go looking to find this light,

01:14:35.760 --> 01:14:42.720
when they are performing these physical actions, they find it. It's not imaginary,

01:14:42.720 --> 01:14:48.800
as Kori said. That would be the best case. The best case would be that it was strictly physiological.

01:14:49.680 --> 01:14:54.320
Unfortunately, it's not, because if that were the case, you wouldn't find it in all of these

01:14:54.320 --> 01:15:00.160
demonic religions. Every demonic religion says do the same thing and get the same outcome,

01:15:00.160 --> 01:15:06.720
and for thousands of years, practitioners have done it because it works. They seek communion with

01:15:06.720 --> 01:15:12.800
demons, the light appears, and they commune with the light. They commune with the demons. When these

01:15:12.800 --> 01:15:20.240
EOs say do this and it works, they're not wrong. They're wrong about the nature of it. They're not

01:15:20.240 --> 01:15:27.600
wrong about achieving those results, and that's why this is not simply a theological disagreement.

01:15:28.240 --> 01:15:33.840
This is not simply being uncomfortable with something that's kind of a weird cultural

01:15:33.840 --> 01:15:40.640
practice from the wrong side of a mountain range. This is literally Eastern demon summoning.

01:15:40.640 --> 01:15:47.360
It's a universal practice with universal rules and universal results, regardless of what God it

01:15:47.360 --> 01:15:53.440
is that they're seeking. That is absolute proof all by itself that this is not a Christian practice.

01:15:53.440 --> 01:16:00.080
This is an antichrist practice, and it works. Again, that's the crucial thing. It's not just

01:16:00.080 --> 01:16:06.800
that this is a bad idea. It's it's demon summoning that works. When you hollow yourself out and you

01:16:06.800 --> 01:16:15.040
say, I'm ready, show me the light, it's gonna work. It's horrifying. It's the last thing that any

01:16:15.040 --> 01:16:23.040
Christian would ever want. These people go down this path where they're enticed by this esoteric

01:16:23.040 --> 01:16:30.480
occult knowledge of seeking that which is unrevealed. We have scriptures that they're not interested in

01:16:30.480 --> 01:16:37.200
reading, and they go looking on mountains and caves for things that God did not reveal.

01:16:37.200 --> 01:16:42.080
That's not the life that we as Christians were told to lead, and it's simply not the life that

01:16:42.080 --> 01:16:48.080
Christians lead. It is, however, the life that these men advocate for their adherents,

01:16:48.080 --> 01:16:52.000
and if they do it, it's gonna work, and it's going to lead to eternal damnation.

01:16:53.600 --> 01:16:59.280
For anyone that thinks that woe is going overboard by saying that it's a mystery cult or implying it's

01:16:59.280 --> 01:17:04.960
a mystery cult, it is. We'll both say that. That is what this is. But he's not going overboard,

01:17:06.400 --> 01:17:13.360
and I can prove that by the dozens of quotes I could pull from the triads saying that those who

01:17:13.360 --> 01:17:19.760
are initiated, those who are taught by the fathers, and it often does use the exact word initiated.

01:17:20.400 --> 01:17:27.360
This is cultic language. This is what you expect from the masons or a doomsday cult. This is not

01:17:27.360 --> 01:17:32.560
what you expect from Christianity. Christianity is not a mystery religion. Now I want to be

01:17:32.560 --> 01:17:37.600
careful in this. I do not mean that Christianity does not have mysteries because mystery is simply

01:17:37.600 --> 01:17:46.960
the Greek term for sacrament. Christianity has mysteries. How exactly we're regenerated in

01:17:46.960 --> 01:17:54.720
baptism is a mystery. It's a sacrament. How God, how Christ is present in the bread and the wine

01:17:54.720 --> 01:18:00.400
is a mystery. It's a sacrament. There are things that are mystery. There are things that are beyond

01:18:00.400 --> 01:18:07.600
human knowledge in Christianity. But Christianity is not a mystery religion. A mystery religion is a

01:18:07.600 --> 01:18:13.440
specific thing. In the Western tradition, as it were, it ties into the mystery cults which were

01:18:13.440 --> 01:18:19.440
very popular in Greece and Rome. These are cults you would be initiated with secret knowledge,

01:18:19.440 --> 01:18:24.320
usually some sort of ritual. We see the same thing as I said with the masons today.

01:18:24.320 --> 01:18:31.120
Those are mystery religions. Christianity is not. Christianity is open. We literally have a book.

01:18:31.680 --> 01:18:36.560
Read the book. It tells you exactly what Christians believe and how to be a Christian or not be a

01:18:36.560 --> 01:18:43.200
Christian. Christianity is not a mystery religion. You do not go to someone living in a desert cave

01:18:43.200 --> 01:18:47.040
and he will tell you the secrets of the universe if only you look at your navel and breathe heavily.

01:18:48.400 --> 01:18:51.840
And it sounds like I'm joking and perhaps there's some humor to be had there,

01:18:51.840 --> 01:18:54.960
but it's also deadly serious. This is a wicked evil practice.

01:18:56.960 --> 01:19:02.000
And I want to read a quote now describing how this works. And I just want you,

01:19:02.000 --> 01:19:07.440
as a Christian, or even if you're not a Christian, does this sound like a good thing to you?

01:19:07.440 --> 01:19:12.960
Does this sound like an experience you want? Or does this sound like the exact opposite of that?

01:19:14.720 --> 01:19:20.160
In fervent prayer, when the spiritual fire appears and the spiritual candle is lit

01:19:20.240 --> 01:19:23.600
and the mind is raised through spiritual vision to an intense flame,

01:19:24.320 --> 01:19:30.560
then paradoxically the body too is lit and warmed so that to those who see it it appears

01:19:30.560 --> 01:19:35.280
to be coming out of the fire of a visible furnace according to the author of the spiritual ladder.

01:19:37.920 --> 01:19:43.920
I don't think I even need to comment on that particular quote. I know how I respond to it

01:19:43.920 --> 01:19:48.320
and I think I know how any Christian is going to respond to hearing those words in that order.

01:19:50.480 --> 01:19:54.080
And to be clear, this is not something that you find in one place. That's from the triads,

01:19:54.080 --> 01:19:57.840
I'm quoting. This is not something found in one place. This is found throughout the book.

01:19:57.840 --> 01:20:04.080
This is found throughout the other supposed fathers of the East. This is not a fringe practice.

01:20:04.640 --> 01:20:10.880
This is central to their religion. And I do mean their religion because this is not a shared religion.

01:20:11.520 --> 01:20:18.800
This is not Christianity. This is something that is very much Eastern and very much not Orthodox.

01:20:20.640 --> 01:20:24.720
And the important thing about the timing of Palimus in the 1300s is that,

01:20:25.520 --> 01:20:32.720
as Corey said, this is the father of everything that's come since. You cannot be EO

01:20:33.280 --> 01:20:40.880
without following in his footsteps. And for centuries, the most prominent monks and leaders

01:20:40.880 --> 01:20:48.000
of this religion did what he said. They went to Mount Athos, they meditated, they summoned

01:20:48.640 --> 01:20:55.360
demons, and then they went and wrote theology. Can you trust anything that has come after him?

01:20:56.160 --> 01:21:02.400
Regardless of when it was introduced, when this came into being, when the 1300s,

01:21:02.400 --> 01:21:09.600
when Palimus established, from now on, this is EO Orthodoxy, redundantly. Because again,

01:21:09.600 --> 01:21:15.680
this is not Christian Orthodoxy. This is as far as it could go, which is why one of the reasons

01:21:15.760 --> 01:21:21.840
Corey's shortening it to, you know, Orthodox is the same sort of question-begging term as Catholic.

01:21:22.400 --> 01:21:27.200
Catholic means a universal or according to the whole. Orthodox means that it's right,

01:21:27.200 --> 01:21:34.400
that it's on the path, that it's true. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not

01:21:34.400 --> 01:21:42.320
Christian Orthodoxy. And crucially, if these beliefs and these practices have been in use

01:21:42.880 --> 01:21:51.040
by adherents for the last 700 years, what must a Christian do? How must we view whatever theology

01:21:51.040 --> 01:22:00.640
was produced by such men? No matter how nice it sounds, forget how pleasing and warming you find

01:22:00.640 --> 01:22:05.520
their words. If you know that they're summoning demons and it's working and they've been doing

01:22:05.520 --> 01:22:12.080
it their entire lives, is that someone you're going to trust? If you found out that a couple

01:22:12.160 --> 01:22:16.960
podcasters were having seances and summoning demons every night, would you keep listening to

01:22:16.960 --> 01:22:23.200
that podcast for theology or sports or anything? I would hope not. I would hope that if you hear

01:22:23.200 --> 01:22:28.880
that someone is involved with demons, you would flee from them, you know, pray for them, but stay

01:22:28.880 --> 01:22:35.680
away. That's not your spiritual battle to engage in. And when these men are dead and gone, but their

01:22:35.680 --> 01:22:42.880
words live on and their words have been removed from this sort of spiritual context, it's very

01:22:42.880 --> 01:22:50.160
easy to rebrand the products of these mutual manifestations of demonic entities and whatever

01:22:50.160 --> 01:22:57.840
teachings they were giving them. Here's the thing. Demons don't just show up and call you mean names.

01:22:57.840 --> 01:23:04.240
They don't just show up and make you sad. They often show up and tell people things. They will

01:23:04.240 --> 01:23:10.240
give them information. They will give them suggestions. They're there to hurt you and they're

01:23:10.240 --> 01:23:15.920
there to hurt other people. So when someone is conducting a seance or they're doing using a

01:23:15.920 --> 01:23:22.880
Ouija board or they're summoning the uncreated light into their own minds and it works,

01:23:23.680 --> 01:23:31.120
that person is now in communion with hell. And whatever happens after that must not only be

01:23:31.120 --> 01:23:37.040
suspect. You need to be, I don't want to say terrified, you need to treat it as a spiritual

01:23:37.040 --> 01:23:42.640
threat to your soul, because exactly what it is. And the fact that some of it might sound okay

01:23:42.640 --> 01:23:47.440
should be all the more terrifying, because guess what? Satan's good at that. Like I said earlier,

01:23:47.440 --> 01:23:52.720
with that article from this person with a terrible pedigree describing this history,

01:23:52.720 --> 01:23:58.160
if most of what she said were lies, it wouldn't do any good. If she sneaks in one or two lies,

01:23:58.160 --> 01:24:02.800
great, pick them out. But if everything that someone says is a lie, it's easy. That's not what

01:24:02.800 --> 01:24:09.680
happens. When a demon comes and gives you advice and gives you suggestions, it's going to be something

01:24:09.680 --> 01:24:15.360
that's going to be appealing. It's going to seem like it's going to work. That's the hook. They don't

01:24:15.360 --> 01:24:22.240
just show up and give you misery. We've referenced in the past in one of the episodes we did where we

01:24:22.240 --> 01:24:27.360
talked about the Not Conformed podcast and work that they did talking about witchcraft.

01:24:27.920 --> 01:24:33.200
There was a practitioner that they quoted at some length who talked about his demon summoning

01:24:33.200 --> 01:24:39.280
rituals and how they worked, how he was able to successfully, he believed, he thought that he was

01:24:39.280 --> 01:24:43.360
controlling the demons. He thought that when he would do these rituals and these practices,

01:24:43.360 --> 01:24:48.720
and then a demon would appear and he would make the demon do his will. That's not how the spiritual

01:24:48.720 --> 01:24:56.000
works. You don't summon a demon. You invite a demon and it doesn't take your orders. It's the one

01:24:56.000 --> 01:25:01.200
who's nudging you and pushing you towards hell. When these men are inviting this stuff in,

01:25:02.080 --> 01:25:06.640
whatever happens after that is necessarily straight from hell and it's not necessarily

01:25:06.640 --> 01:25:11.440
going to seem like it. Now, if you have the Holy Spirit, if you actually have some degree of spiritual

01:25:11.440 --> 01:25:17.760
discernment, all of this should be beyond hair-raising. Part of the reason I didn't want to

01:25:17.760 --> 01:25:22.880
read any of this crap is that his quarry for the last two months has been reading this stuff and

01:25:22.880 --> 01:25:28.240
just given me quotes periodically. It made my skin crawl. He would pick out something particularly

01:25:28.240 --> 01:25:33.520
horrifying and drop it because he knows that when I hear it, I'm not going to be tricked by it. I

01:25:33.520 --> 01:25:38.320
look at it immediately. It's just, this is the worst thing imaginable until an hour later he has

01:25:38.320 --> 01:25:43.040
another quote. Someone with spiritual discernment is going to have that response to this sort of

01:25:43.040 --> 01:25:49.280
evil. Unfortunately, as we said at the beginning, most of the guys who today are attracted to these

01:25:49.280 --> 01:25:54.960
Eastern practices, they don't know any better. The worst thing about delving into the so-called

01:25:54.960 --> 01:26:00.640
fathers is that they all disagree and they all separate. They're making arguments and fine.

01:26:00.640 --> 01:26:04.880
Luther makes arguments. Most of them are really, really good. That's why I'm Lutheran. Not that we

01:26:04.880 --> 01:26:10.720
adhere to specifically what he said, but the guy was really good at theology. He made good arguments,

01:26:10.720 --> 01:26:17.600
but there are arguments from Scripture. It wasn't a revelation. It wasn't anything special. It was

01:26:17.600 --> 01:26:22.640
just, I'm applying a reason and what I see in Scripture, I think this plays out like that.

01:26:23.280 --> 01:26:29.760
When you look at it, it stands the test of time. When these guys who become catechumens in EO

01:26:31.200 --> 01:26:37.520
start, I've had discussions with them online where they have these strongly held opinions about

01:26:37.520 --> 01:26:43.440
these obscure councils and obscure fights with obscure words. I've never heard before, and it's

01:26:43.440 --> 01:26:48.000
the most important thing to them in theology. I'm like, what are you doing? They've never read the

01:26:48.000 --> 01:26:54.240
Bible, but they're vehemently engaged in these things. It's not the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

01:26:54.240 --> 01:27:00.320
That's not what God does with people. God does with them what this podcast is doing for guys.

01:27:00.320 --> 01:27:05.040
You hear an episode, pretty much a random, and most people have the response of,

01:27:05.040 --> 01:27:09.920
I need to read my Bible more. I need to go to church. That's not what you find from these guys,

01:27:09.920 --> 01:27:16.320
and I desperately want to save as many as possible from going down this path of destruction,

01:27:16.320 --> 01:27:22.720
because they're not spiritually equipped to see just how dangerous it is. Part of the reason that

01:27:22.720 --> 01:27:30.320
this episode is not directly addressing the EO to their faces is that they're going to have a

01:27:30.320 --> 01:27:34.800
counter-argument for everything, or they're just going to be irrational, because fundamentally what

01:27:34.800 --> 01:27:40.000
they're doing is a rejection of reason. It's one of the things that they go back on and say, well,

01:27:40.000 --> 01:27:44.640
that's the distinction between the East and the West. The East is involved in mysteries,

01:27:44.640 --> 01:27:50.960
and the West wants reason. Well, Jesus used reason. Paul used reason to argue from Scripture.

01:27:50.960 --> 01:27:57.280
Reason is a gift from God. If you're being unreasonable against Scripture, you're doing

01:27:57.360 --> 01:28:03.120
something wrong, and in the narrow cases where Scripture itself defies reason, okay, that's

01:28:03.120 --> 01:28:07.280
because it's supernatural. That's not something for us to worry about, but most of it is not

01:28:07.280 --> 01:28:12.320
unreasonable. Most of it makes perfect sense when you believe and you have the Holy Spirit.

01:28:12.320 --> 01:28:17.680
These guys, they're just not doing that, and they go down these paths and they listen to these men

01:28:17.680 --> 01:28:22.480
who were communing with demons, and then they read their stuff, and then they show up on Twitter and

01:28:22.480 --> 01:28:27.040
pick fights. I'm like, God help you, but I don't know how to reach them.

01:28:28.400 --> 01:28:34.400
You reminded me of a quote from Palomas that I particularly remember because it was somewhat

01:28:34.400 --> 01:28:39.520
ironic on the topic of discernment, but as a preface to that quote before I read the quote,

01:28:39.520 --> 01:28:46.400
it's a short quote. If you invite in a demon, and that demon particularly hates you, or is

01:28:46.400 --> 01:28:54.240
particularly malicious, you may actually find that the demon incentivizes you, or causes you

01:28:54.240 --> 01:29:00.160
depending how far things have progressed, to speak the truth, but in such a way that you are generally

01:29:00.160 --> 01:29:06.640
damning yourself with it. And so it reminded me of this quote from the Triads, only a few have

01:29:06.640 --> 01:29:11.680
the gift of discernment, namely those who have the senses of the soul skilled in discerning good from

01:29:11.680 --> 01:29:18.560
evil. And this is not quite in the middle, it's maybe a fifth of the way through the book give

01:29:18.560 --> 01:29:23.280
or take. This is right in the middle of some of the most wicked theology I've ever read.

01:29:25.520 --> 01:29:30.480
That is sometimes how this works. And we see that in some individuals today as well.

01:29:32.400 --> 01:29:39.520
But on the note of mixing the bad with the good in order to hide the bad, that reminded me of a

01:29:39.520 --> 01:29:46.400
paragraph in I have a set of books from the OCA detailing their stance on things so I could see

01:29:46.960 --> 01:29:52.960
one of the Orthodox churches what they claim. It reminded me of this paragraph that ends with

01:29:52.960 --> 01:29:58.480
listing some of the church fathers, and I'll just read this paragraph. The writings of some of those

01:29:58.480 --> 01:30:03.200
fathers who have received the universal approval and praise of the church through the ages are of

01:30:03.200 --> 01:30:09.360
particular importance, such as those of Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Leon, Athanasius of

01:30:09.360 --> 01:30:15.760
Alexandria, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nissa, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Cyril of

01:30:15.760 --> 01:30:23.920
Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Maximus the Confessor, John of Damascus, Photeus of Constantinople,

01:30:23.920 --> 01:30:29.200
and Gregory Palimus. Now for those who are actually familiar with those names you'll

01:30:29.200 --> 01:30:37.120
note that the quality essentially decreases as you go on, but you have good Christian men at

01:30:37.120 --> 01:30:40.880
the beginning of this. I won't say I agree with them on absolutely everything, I won't say they're

01:30:40.880 --> 01:30:46.320
right on everything, but they're Christians and I expect to meet them one day. But it ends with

01:30:46.320 --> 01:30:56.720
Palimus. This is an official book from an Orthodox church saying that Palimus is one of their most

01:30:56.800 --> 01:31:04.960
important theologians. So again, this stuff is not fringe, this is the core of their doctrine,

01:31:04.960 --> 01:31:09.680
this is the core of what they teach, and that is particularly true when we get to the essence

01:31:09.680 --> 01:31:18.160
energy's distinction. So keep in mind that we are not taking some fringe group, we had those who

01:31:18.720 --> 01:31:23.920
hoped that we wouldn't bring up the magic foot water, and I'm not bringing it up, I'm mentioning

01:31:23.920 --> 01:31:30.240
it to say we're not because we're not saying that that group, they tell us it's a fringe group,

01:31:30.240 --> 01:31:35.360
a fringe group, I will go ahead and believe them on that. We're not using the beliefs of any fringe

01:31:35.360 --> 01:31:44.480
group, we are using the exact beliefs of the mainstream of the EO. This is what their churches

01:31:44.480 --> 01:31:49.600
teach, this is what their theologians teach, this is what their monks practice, this is what they

01:31:49.680 --> 01:31:55.600
are told they have to do to be Christians. It is not Christian, it is certainly Eastern.

01:31:57.520 --> 01:32:00.800
But I don't really want to pick on the East specifically, not because they don't deserve

01:32:00.800 --> 01:32:06.480
it, because insofar as they're demon worshipers they deserve worse. But I want to mention there is,

01:32:07.280 --> 01:32:12.480
I really did mention it earlier, but I want to make it explicit, there are two prongs as it were

01:32:12.480 --> 01:32:19.760
to Satan's attack when it comes to this particular sort of practice, which is under the umbrella of

01:32:19.760 --> 01:32:28.480
the altered state of mind that then results in hallucinations or visions. One is the largely

01:32:28.480 --> 01:32:35.760
Eastern Asian practice of breathing exercises accompanied with certain positioning of the body

01:32:35.840 --> 01:32:41.760
that then results in seeing a light. The other, as I mentioned, would be drug use,

01:32:42.320 --> 01:32:45.680
and that's not just modern, yes I listed off relatively modern drugs,

01:32:46.240 --> 01:32:51.440
MDMA and other things, mushrooms aren't really modern, LSD is because it has to be made in a lab,

01:32:52.480 --> 01:32:57.840
but you have things like ayahuasca, you have these drugs that were used in other parts of

01:32:57.840 --> 01:33:03.600
the world to achieve these same results, and so Satan, depending on the culture he was attempting

01:33:03.600 --> 01:33:11.600
to subvert and destroy, used different methods. For the Indians and the Chinese, it was meditation

01:33:11.600 --> 01:33:17.200
and heavy breathing. For the Amerindians and the South Americans and the Africans, whatever drug

01:33:17.200 --> 01:33:24.640
happened to be available. It is the same thing, you see the same sort of outcomes, because it has

01:33:24.640 --> 01:33:31.840
the same animating intelligence behind it. These are not Christian practices, they are not things

01:33:31.840 --> 01:33:37.600
into which you should look. Now I say that after obviously having read about them a fair amount.

01:33:39.360 --> 01:33:43.440
This is not something that is profitable for Christians, and we're told to pursue things

01:33:43.440 --> 01:33:48.800
that are profitable, not in the capitalist sense obviously, but in the theological sense,

01:33:48.800 --> 01:33:54.960
in the Christian life sense. There are things that are profitable to explore, to read, to learn,

01:33:54.960 --> 01:33:59.200
on which to meditate in the good sense, and there are things which are unprofitable.

01:34:00.160 --> 01:34:05.840
These materials are unprofitable. Listening to this episode is fine because it is a live issue,

01:34:06.640 --> 01:34:10.960
and many of you will need to know how to respond to this if it comes up in your life,

01:34:10.960 --> 01:34:16.960
because you may have a friend who tries to go, EO, you may have others you know, someone in your

01:34:16.960 --> 01:34:21.280
family even who is looking at this stuff, you may have been interested in it in the past,

01:34:21.280 --> 01:34:25.360
you may very well be EO if you're still listening to this episode. Thank you for doing that, I'm

01:34:25.360 --> 01:34:31.600
glad you can at least listen to this and perhaps meditate on it in the Christian sense,

01:34:32.640 --> 01:34:38.000
which is to say search the scriptures and see which beliefs you find, test the spirits as God

01:34:38.000 --> 01:34:44.320
commands us to do. It's important to know how to respond to these things because they are live

01:34:44.320 --> 01:34:50.960
issues, and it is paramount that Christians know how to respond to, again, at risk of ad nauseam,

01:34:51.520 --> 01:34:57.920
live issues, and that plays into this because you'll have those who focus, as Woe said,

01:34:59.120 --> 01:35:03.600
on some hyper-technical point. I won't say it as an important, there are very important things that

01:35:03.600 --> 01:35:09.360
were discussed at the councils, and many of the councils did actually produce Christian documents

01:35:09.360 --> 01:35:14.720
as a result, their canons are correct in large part, there are errors, we all know that, we all

01:35:14.720 --> 01:35:21.680
admit that, even the EO as I went over earlier, those points are not unimportant, but they may

01:35:21.680 --> 01:35:26.720
not be live today, this is something we run into constantly, this is sort of an aside, but this

01:35:26.720 --> 01:35:33.360
is something we run into all the time, the confessions of most of the major protest denominations

01:35:34.240 --> 01:35:40.480
go over issues that aren't really live today. Yes, to some degree, we still have

01:35:41.120 --> 01:35:48.240
disagreements with regard to the real presence, or the sacramental union, or the nature of baptism,

01:35:48.800 --> 01:35:53.360
or any of these other things, the specifics of justification and sanctification, synergism

01:35:53.360 --> 01:35:58.160
versus monergism, synergism and sanctification, versus synergism and justification, all these

01:35:58.160 --> 01:36:03.760
issues on which we disagree, but the big issues that are tearing the church apart, that are

01:36:03.760 --> 01:36:09.840
destroying our society around us, these issues are not addressed by and large in our confessions,

01:36:10.400 --> 01:36:15.280
and that is the case whether we are Baptist, or Presbyterian, or Lutheran, or anything else,

01:36:17.200 --> 01:36:22.800
in part because the men of the day when they wrote those confessions, these things were

01:36:22.800 --> 01:36:27.920
unthinkable, you would have never thought you had to deal with men who claimed to be women, which

01:36:28.720 --> 01:36:32.080
perhaps they should have thought of that one because you did have temple prostitution in

01:36:32.080 --> 01:36:37.600
which that was the case in ancient times, but at any rate, you have the issues that are tearing

01:36:37.600 --> 01:36:43.040
apart the church that are tearing apart civilization that are not addressed. Those are the issues on

01:36:43.040 --> 01:36:49.360
which we have to focus, and so we're focusing on this issue of the EO, because the EO are a live

01:36:49.360 --> 01:36:56.560
issue insofar as they are being used, and I agree with Woe, being used as a geopolitical weapon in

01:36:56.560 --> 01:37:02.320
part, and being used on the other hand by Satan, because these practices are not Christian, they

01:37:02.320 --> 01:37:09.200
are being used to subvert Christianity, to draw in men who have been isolated or alienated from

01:37:09.200 --> 01:37:16.080
society, and it is attempting to attract them psychologically primarily, with the appeal to

01:37:16.080 --> 01:37:22.080
aesthetics, or supposed tradition, historicity, whatever it happens to be, to draw these men

01:37:22.160 --> 01:37:28.880
in psychologically, and then get them invested in it so they can't possibly leave. And we have seen,

01:37:29.760 --> 01:37:35.520
far too many, of those who have become invested in EO and have despaired and then killed themselves.

01:37:36.400 --> 01:37:41.840
This is unfortunately on an uncommon outcome. Christianity does not drive men to despair,

01:37:43.040 --> 01:37:48.240
and so that is another consideration in this. If you have a religion that is driving men to

01:37:48.240 --> 01:37:55.760
despair and suicide, it's not Christianity, because Christ gives us hope. That is what Christianity

01:37:55.760 --> 01:38:01.440
gives us. If you have a true Christianity, it is going to provide you hope, regardless of how

01:38:01.440 --> 01:38:05.760
bad things may be, how bad they may seem, and they are not good today, most certainly, we've gone over

01:38:05.760 --> 01:38:13.680
that at length in many episodes. But regardless of how bad things get, we have the assurance of

01:38:13.760 --> 01:38:19.680
salvation, we have the assurance that Christ will be with us to the end of the age. There is joy,

01:38:20.240 --> 01:38:27.360
and I do mean joy, not necessarily happiness, but joy. There is joy even in the face of all the

01:38:27.360 --> 01:38:35.280
trials for a Christian. Not despair. Christianity does not cause despair. That is not the religion

01:38:36.320 --> 01:38:42.800
of God. That is not the religion of the Lord God. That is the religion of another deity entirely.

01:38:44.160 --> 01:38:50.720
The reason that the suicide thing came up is that Corey and I paid attention to Twitter, and

01:38:51.680 --> 01:38:58.240
I would say probably maybe once a month, once every six weeks, you'll see a tweet from someone

01:38:58.240 --> 01:39:05.040
reposted where someone is clearly at the end of the rope. They're asking for prayers, they're begging,

01:39:05.600 --> 01:39:12.720
and they're suicidal, and they're saying, I'm despairing, I'm about to kill myself, please

01:39:12.720 --> 01:39:20.240
pray for me, or goodbye, or whatever. They always seem serious. Unfortunately, we have seen enough

01:39:20.240 --> 01:39:27.360
of those go by that as soon as I see one of those appear on my timeline, my first instinct. I don't

01:39:27.360 --> 01:39:33.440
mean this to sound heartless, but the very first reaction that I have is instinctively to check

01:39:33.440 --> 01:39:38.080
their bio to see whether or not they're Eastern Orthodox. At least 80% of the time they are,

01:39:38.080 --> 01:39:43.360
probably higher. I don't have a spreadsheet. I pray for them. I pray for mercy and for them to

01:39:44.160 --> 01:39:51.360
find God and for God to find them in that moment of despair, but it is overwhelmingly men who are

01:39:52.160 --> 01:39:58.560
psychologically damaged, who go into EO, and I have never seen someone who's gone in psychologically

01:39:58.560 --> 01:40:04.320
damaged, where I've been paying any attention, come out of it better off. What I do see is the

01:40:04.320 --> 01:40:10.560
opposite. I see men who emerge from EO teaching and practice in that community,

01:40:12.080 --> 01:40:18.960
killing themselves. I would beg anyone, if you do not know what Christian denomination

01:40:18.960 --> 01:40:25.360
to join, rather than joining the EO, I would say just load a map or look at a phone book

01:40:25.360 --> 01:40:31.200
and pick a church at random. It is guaranteed to be less damaging to your soul, even if it's

01:40:31.200 --> 01:40:36.800
pagans, even if there's a tranny pastor up there. Frankly, you would be better off if you went to

01:40:36.800 --> 01:40:42.800
a church with a tranny pastor for the specific reason that you would know was evil. You're

01:40:42.800 --> 01:40:49.440
not going to know it's evil when you're going into an EO congregation. Again, they're Christians in EO,

01:40:49.440 --> 01:40:55.600
just as they're Christians in every denomination that's lost its way, that has bad teachings and

01:40:55.920 --> 01:41:04.880
practices. The problem is that the thing itself, the body itself, is producing nothing but death

01:41:04.880 --> 01:41:10.320
and despair, as it must. These teachings that have gone on for probably a thousand years,

01:41:10.320 --> 01:41:21.520
provably 700 years, have been in unavoidably evil. I don't want that for guys. This is a

01:41:21.520 --> 01:41:27.200
discussion about theology and another denomination. I don't want guys killing themselves. I don't

01:41:27.200 --> 01:41:34.400
want young men despairing, period. I don't want anything that would cause that to come about for

01:41:34.400 --> 01:41:42.800
them. If we were doing episodes that were causing that sort of response, we would stop. I don't think

01:41:42.800 --> 01:41:48.160
we would be capable of doing that because we're producing the opposite sort of fruits. The fact

01:41:48.240 --> 01:41:55.440
that men who are exposed to EO end up there frequently, this is not rare, is proof of the

01:41:55.440 --> 01:42:01.840
disease tree that they're eating from. This is something that came up in another DM group just

01:42:01.840 --> 01:42:08.400
a couple days ago. Someone said that he had been in a DM group with a bunch of EOs. It was a consistent

01:42:08.400 --> 01:42:13.280
pattern that a new guy would come in and say, hey, I'm trying to find a local church. I want to

01:42:13.280 --> 01:42:19.920
attend the liturgy. The response would generally be, and this is a fairly common response, here's a

01:42:19.920 --> 01:42:25.200
YouTube video. Most of them don't attend church. They don't read scripture. They don't attend the

01:42:25.200 --> 01:42:32.320
liturgy. It's almost exclusively online practice for a lot of these guys. Again, that's not church.

01:42:32.320 --> 01:42:38.080
Stone choir is not church. This is not the preaching of the word for edification. We try to talk about

01:42:38.080 --> 01:42:43.920
subjects that are edifying. The fruits of our discussions are clearly beneficial, but this

01:42:43.920 --> 01:42:50.880
is not church. YouTube is not church. Even a YouTube video of a church service is not church.

01:42:50.880 --> 01:42:56.880
It can be beneficial if it's absolutely the only option you have. It's better than nothing,

01:42:56.880 --> 01:43:02.320
but you have not attended church. You're by yourself. You're viewing something voyeuristically.

01:43:02.320 --> 01:43:10.800
It's not the same. So much of what we see in particular from the EO seems to be entirely

01:43:10.800 --> 01:43:16.400
online, and that by itself should be another warning sign. We've linked, and I've mentioned

01:43:16.400 --> 01:43:23.600
several times, the 10-minute Bible Hour YouTube channel where he did a three-part video with

01:43:23.600 --> 01:43:28.880
Lutheran pastor. I was very grateful for that, and I point people to it as often as possible,

01:43:28.880 --> 01:43:34.480
because it's a great primer for why do Lutherans believe the stuff we do? Why is the liturgy the

01:43:34.480 --> 01:43:39.440
way it is when they're standing up and sitting down and chanting and responding? Why do we do

01:43:39.440 --> 01:43:45.360
those things that seem weird to so many Protestants? It does a really good job explaining why it's like

01:43:45.360 --> 01:43:52.080
that. Prior to that, the same host Matt Whitman had visited an Eastern Orthodox congregation.

01:43:52.720 --> 01:44:00.160
And Matt is not an old guy, but he's bald. He's lost his hair, and so because he's on camera and

01:44:00.160 --> 01:44:06.000
there's bright lights, so it's well lit, he usually wears a baseball cap, not because he's

01:44:06.000 --> 01:44:11.040
embarrassed about not having his hair, but because you get glare and it's blinding and it screws up

01:44:11.040 --> 01:44:17.600
the shot. And so he asked the permission of the EO priest that he visited if he could wear

01:44:17.600 --> 01:44:23.040
his hat inside the church. He probably shouldn't have done it. It was probably not a great idea,

01:44:23.040 --> 01:44:27.760
but he was given permission. He knew that it was questionable. He specifically asked for the reason

01:44:27.760 --> 01:44:31.840
that he didn't want to screw up the shot with his shiny bald head. The pastor said,

01:44:31.840 --> 01:44:35.040
yeah, it's fine. Don't worry about it. It's not the church service. It's not disrespectful.

01:44:37.840 --> 01:44:43.680
For the next year, Matt Whitman on almost all the other videos that he did with other people

01:44:43.680 --> 01:44:49.360
talked about how unbelievably hateful the EO commenters were on that video. He said that he

01:44:49.360 --> 01:44:55.040
had so much hate mail and vitriol poured out that he had worn that hat and he was doing this and that

01:44:55.040 --> 01:45:00.320
wrong and said this and that wrong. They were so vicious that Matt is an incredibly nice,

01:45:00.320 --> 01:45:06.480
very gentle guy. He's very gracious, even when he doesn't understand. There's not

01:45:07.120 --> 01:45:14.640
an abrasive bone in his body and yet he was so shocked by the abuse from just random rank and

01:45:14.640 --> 01:45:21.600
file EO online commenters that it traumatized him. He was clearly profoundly offended and he on

01:45:21.600 --> 01:45:28.640
multiple occasions has said, I don't necessarily stand in a position to judge another congregation's

01:45:28.640 --> 01:45:34.320
theology, but I can absolutely judge the fruits. I'm paraphrasing, but he said, I can tell from

01:45:34.320 --> 01:45:39.680
the EO behavior online that that's not a good church. He didn't say that. He made it very clear

01:45:39.680 --> 01:45:45.440
that that was his conclusion because of their behavior. I see the same thing. There are absolutely

01:45:45.440 --> 01:45:50.160
Christians that are in EO. I have a few friends online. I respect them. I like them. I hope we

01:45:50.160 --> 01:45:59.040
can keep them. The vast majority of EO adherents, EO catechumens, it's another thing. They become

01:45:59.120 --> 01:46:06.080
catechumens. It's a special status. Then for years, they're given reading material and videos,

01:46:06.080 --> 01:46:11.520
and they're not really participating. They're supposed to study and meditate. At what point

01:46:11.520 --> 01:46:16.320
do they actually join the church? Frankly, a lot of them don't. They'll stay in that status for years.

01:46:17.440 --> 01:46:21.840
As a Christian, it's bizarre, but then once you understand what it is that's going on, it's like,

01:46:21.840 --> 01:46:26.560
well, that's both inevitable and it's pernicious. It's bad for these people.

01:46:26.800 --> 01:46:35.360
That sort of environment has created some truly toxic people. The EO people on Twitter are some

01:46:35.360 --> 01:46:41.200
of the very worst people I've ever enacted. Not all of them. I'm not at all saying that every EO guy

01:46:41.200 --> 01:46:47.920
is terrible. I'm saying that when there is a seething brigade of horrible, amateur, vicious

01:46:47.920 --> 01:46:53.760
people, it's usually with the orthodox cross in their bio. I just block as fast as I can because

01:46:53.760 --> 01:47:00.320
I know that there's no getting through to them. That's not a theological critique, but it is tasting

01:47:00.320 --> 01:47:06.800
the fruit and saying, this tree needs to be chopped down. We talk about suicide and bad behavior

01:47:06.800 --> 01:47:13.120
and all this stuff. These are the fruits of the Palomite tree. These are the fruits of

01:47:13.120 --> 01:47:19.040
Hezakism, of summoning demons for centuries and then writing down the things that they told them

01:47:19.040 --> 01:47:23.840
and then passing that on. What we see is some of the very worst behavior on the internet,

01:47:23.840 --> 01:47:27.920
some of the least Christian people I have ever seen who claim to be Christian.

01:47:28.480 --> 01:47:33.440
There's nothing Christian about them. It's all just fighting and hatred and

01:47:34.240 --> 01:47:43.760
immaturity. They're not bright. It's a train wreck. I would not wish this for anyone or on anyone.

01:47:44.000 --> 01:47:50.080
Part of the reason we put this off is Cori and I have disagreements with Roman Catholics.

01:47:51.200 --> 01:47:56.000
When I was raised as a Lutheran, we talked about comparative religions and I went to

01:47:56.000 --> 01:48:04.480
Lutheran schools. They basically taught me the EO and RC were just variations on the same theme.

01:48:04.480 --> 01:48:10.720
After looking at that stuff, not even remotely true. I profound disagreements with Roman Catholic

01:48:10.720 --> 01:48:17.920
doctrine and disagreements with their view of history. I would in a heartbeat be Roman Catholic

01:48:17.920 --> 01:48:23.280
before I would even consider going anywhere near the EO because for all RC's faults,

01:48:24.400 --> 01:48:32.400
it's not fundamentally demonic. Their errors are bad. This stuff is an entirely different ball game.

01:48:32.400 --> 01:48:36.400
I know that it's a blanket statement. It's the sort of thing that makes people,

01:48:36.400 --> 01:48:41.920
some of them hate us, some like us, not trying to be strident of all the things you could possibly

01:48:41.920 --> 01:48:48.400
be, please don't be EO. It's the fast track to hell and you can see that if you actually look

01:48:48.400 --> 01:48:53.120
at the people and track them and follow their trajectories online, you will never see any

01:48:53.120 --> 01:49:00.960
good outcomes ever. Not once I've ever seen anyone who was drawn into it exit better or become better

01:49:00.960 --> 01:49:07.600
as a result. That's all anyone should need to know. I think unavoidably this episode is going to

01:49:07.600 --> 01:49:13.040
run a little long, so we will just accept that. As listeners, you can of course pause it whenever

01:49:13.040 --> 01:49:18.560
and come back to it. It hardly matters how long it is, but we have a few more topics that we have

01:49:18.560 --> 01:49:24.240
to cover. One of them is really the core of this matter, as I've said a number of times already.

01:49:24.240 --> 01:49:27.760
That's the essence, energy's distinction. I'm not going to start with that one, but I will

01:49:28.480 --> 01:49:33.040
get to that one. I think we will really close on that and then some concluding comments.

01:49:34.800 --> 01:49:39.680
But just as an aside, before I get into a little bit of philosophy that's necessary as a

01:49:40.560 --> 01:49:46.720
preamble as it were, a prelude to the discussion of penal substitutionary atonement and then

01:49:47.440 --> 01:49:52.720
the essence, energy's distinction. When it comes to monasticism,

01:49:53.120 --> 01:50:01.040
obviously, as Lutherans, we disagree with it. Our confession rejects it. We reject monasticism

01:50:01.040 --> 01:50:09.200
as a thing, and we have many reasons for that. The eastern practice of monasticism is particularly

01:50:09.200 --> 01:50:18.320
pernicious because it is everything that we said in our confessions and elsewhere about the medieval

01:50:18.320 --> 01:50:25.280
practice and more, because obviously it has all of the demonic stuff on top of it, but you have

01:50:25.280 --> 01:50:35.040
monks who claim to be humble, to claim to be living these lives of holiness and closeness to God

01:50:35.040 --> 01:50:40.160
and all these various things. These are some of the most prideful people on the face of the planet.

01:50:41.120 --> 01:50:47.280
They believe that because of their works, they are the closest people to God, period.

01:50:48.720 --> 01:50:53.280
And this is one of the reasons that you see this despair amongst those who go EO.

01:50:55.360 --> 01:51:02.960
There is no real division in the EO theology between justification and sanctification. They

01:51:02.960 --> 01:51:06.720
don't even really deal in those categories because, again, they reject PSA and we'll be

01:51:06.720 --> 01:51:16.080
getting to that. They have this synergistic view of faith and works. It is you work and you get

01:51:16.080 --> 01:51:19.760
faith and you work some more because you have more faith and you get faith and you do works,

01:51:21.680 --> 01:51:28.080
and it's this cycle, this vicious cycle of works that just causes despair. I'm not saying you

01:51:28.080 --> 01:51:32.240
shouldn't have works because, of course, you will have works, but you will have works as an

01:51:32.240 --> 01:51:39.600
outgrowth of your living faith. God gives you the faith and then God has already prepared the

01:51:39.600 --> 01:51:44.240
works that you should walk in and that's just Scripture. It is all from God. It is all a gift.

01:51:44.240 --> 01:51:50.640
All of it is good news for the Christian and that's just not what the EO teach. And the issue of

01:51:50.640 --> 01:51:56.160
faith brought to mind, another line from one of the other books in this series from the OCA,

01:51:57.120 --> 01:52:02.960
and here's how they define faith or rather describe faith really, but it is also a definition.

01:52:03.680 --> 01:52:08.080
Faith is the natural possession of all men who are wise and virtuous.

01:52:10.480 --> 01:52:17.840
The best thing I can say about that is that it's not Christian. That's not a very good thing to

01:52:17.840 --> 01:52:21.200
say about something, but it's certainly not Christian. It's worse than that. It's demonic.

01:52:21.200 --> 01:52:28.640
Faith is not the natural possession of all men who are wise and virtuous. And of course,

01:52:28.640 --> 01:52:34.480
this feeds into, this is really another aside, but the EO also say that in this life, you can become

01:52:34.480 --> 01:52:41.520
so perfect that you no longer sin, which goes directly against Scripture. You cannot become

01:52:41.520 --> 01:52:45.680
so perfect in this life that you no longer sin. So long as you are in this life, you will continue

01:52:45.680 --> 01:52:50.560
to sin. Of course, that's an outgrowth of their misconception of original sin. They effectively

01:52:50.560 --> 01:52:55.440
deny original sin. They say there's ancestral sin, but it's not imputed guilt. And so you're

01:52:55.440 --> 01:53:00.960
not really guilty. And so you don't really need a savior. You just need an example. You can follow

01:53:00.960 --> 01:53:07.040
after him. It gets complicated, their view, but it's not Christian. This is not how Christians

01:53:07.040 --> 01:53:15.600
speak about these things. The Christian view is very simple. In the death of Christ, all things

01:53:15.600 --> 01:53:20.400
were redeemed. He atoned for everything. And yes, of course, that is, I'm using shorthand,

01:53:20.400 --> 01:53:26.960
it is his life and his death. That is the totality of his offering, of his atonement,

01:53:26.960 --> 01:53:33.600
of his sacrifice. He atoned for all things. And so in that, there is the objective justification,

01:53:33.600 --> 01:53:40.320
which is the justification of all things. Individuals are subjectively justified by faith.

01:53:41.200 --> 01:53:48.000
You are given that faith by means, typically baptism, but also the word. You are strengthened

01:53:48.000 --> 01:53:54.960
that faith again by means, the word and the sacrament. That is how Christianity works. Once

01:53:54.960 --> 01:54:01.760
you are justified, then begins the process of sanctification. Sanctification is synergistic.

01:54:01.760 --> 01:54:07.760
Justification is monogistic. That's why it's good news. The work is done. All of the work

01:54:08.720 --> 01:54:13.360
is of God. It relies on God. It does not rely on you. And so there's no reason to despair.

01:54:14.240 --> 01:54:20.880
You are absolutely secure because God did the work, not you. Your works don't save you. Your works

01:54:20.880 --> 01:54:27.520
are a response to that goodness from God, to God's justifying, to his gifts. Works are a response.

01:54:27.520 --> 01:54:33.280
Works do not contribute to your salvation. And so Christianity is good news. The EO system is

01:54:33.280 --> 01:54:37.120
terrible news because the EO system is, you have to do works or you're damned.

01:54:39.280 --> 01:54:44.480
That's awful news. If it relies on me, I'm screwed. That's the whole point of Christianity.

01:54:45.280 --> 01:54:50.160
Yes, there's obviously more to it. The infinite debt of sin requires an infinite sacrifice to

01:54:50.160 --> 01:54:56.640
atone for it. But it's terrible news if it relies on man. As Luther said,

01:54:56.640 --> 01:55:01.600
everything I have ever held, I have lost from my hands. But everything I have given to Christ

01:55:01.680 --> 01:55:07.040
is still there to paraphrase his statement. That is the exact right sentiment. If it is

01:55:07.040 --> 01:55:11.120
in Christ's hands, it is absolutely secure because he has never lost anything from his hands.

01:55:12.400 --> 01:55:16.720
Everything we hold, we will eventually lose because, of course, we take nothing with us in

01:55:16.720 --> 01:55:24.080
death. And so if it relies on us, that is terrible news. And that is why the EO system causes despair,

01:55:24.080 --> 01:55:28.560
one of many reasons. But I said I would get to a little bit of philosophy before we talk about

01:55:28.560 --> 01:55:36.000
penal substitutionary atonement. There are two terms that you need to understand to some degree,

01:55:36.000 --> 01:55:40.400
not fully, because these are very deep terms, particularly philosophically, which there's

01:55:40.400 --> 01:55:44.800
some irony there, because the EO loved to condemn Greek philosophy, and then they use Greek

01:55:44.800 --> 01:55:51.440
philosophical terms. But at any rate, the two terms are catharsis and apothea. Apothea is usually

01:55:52.000 --> 01:55:55.840
translated, you may have sensed what the term is. It's usually translated as dispassion,

01:55:55.840 --> 01:56:04.480
but obviously it's related to apathy. Catharsis in Greek philosophy is purification or cleansing,

01:56:04.480 --> 01:56:10.480
particularly related to the emotions. It's a bringing of the emotions under control.

01:56:10.480 --> 01:56:16.480
This was particularly important to, of course, the Stoics. But this is also a thing in the EO

01:56:16.480 --> 01:56:22.560
conception of quite frankly, to call it Christianity is almost misleading, but in their conception of

01:56:22.560 --> 01:56:30.240
theology. For them, it is a purification of the heart and the soul from the passions,

01:56:30.240 --> 01:56:37.760
which they consider to be impurities or disturbances, things that hinder your relationship,

01:56:37.760 --> 01:56:43.680
your focus on God. And they believe this purification process is repentance,

01:56:43.680 --> 01:56:49.280
ascetic practices, particularly fasting, giving of alms to some degree, and obviously,

01:56:49.280 --> 01:56:55.360
chesacastic prayer. And they also often lump the sacraments in there as well. The reception of

01:56:55.360 --> 01:57:02.960
the sacraments is included in this purification of the passions. Now I would define for you what

01:57:02.960 --> 01:57:08.160
they mean by the passions, but I cannot do that because they define the passions differently

01:57:08.800 --> 01:57:12.000
in different authors and in different books from different Orthodox churches.

01:57:12.560 --> 01:57:18.880
And so there's no one definition here. Some of them say it is particularly just the evil passions

01:57:18.880 --> 01:57:23.520
they will call them literally that. Some of them will simply say it is the passions. Some of them

01:57:23.520 --> 01:57:28.480
seem to include all of the passionate parts of the soul. Some of them include only some parts of the

01:57:28.480 --> 01:57:32.720
soul. And so I cannot give you an exact definition of what they mean by the passions. They just say

01:57:32.720 --> 01:57:39.200
you have to purify yourself from your passions, which of course is going to cause a great deal of

01:57:39.200 --> 01:57:45.360
mental and psychological anguish. If you have to clean yourself, cleanse yourself, purify yourself

01:57:45.360 --> 01:57:51.600
from the passions. One, it's relying on you to do it. And two, what on earth does that mean? You

01:57:51.600 --> 01:57:56.080
can't do a thing if they don't tell you what you need to do. And of course, that's part of the reason

01:57:56.080 --> 01:58:00.960
for this. If you're in this constant sense of angst and uncertainty, you're always going to look for

01:58:00.960 --> 01:58:07.200
more to do. And that's what it is. It's a vicious cycle to cause despair. And then the term, the

01:58:07.200 --> 01:58:14.880
next one is, of course, dispassion. This again, very important for the Stoics. It is being free from

01:58:14.880 --> 01:58:19.040
in the Stoic sense, the passions, the Stoics understood that that was basically,

01:58:19.040 --> 01:58:24.240
you should not be controlled by your emotions, rather, you should be controlled by your reason

01:58:24.240 --> 01:58:32.160
and your logic. They wanted rational control over the passions, partly because Greek philosophy was

01:58:32.160 --> 01:58:37.520
largely Gnostic. And so there was this exercise of the rational soul over the irrational material,

01:58:37.520 --> 01:58:43.360
the body, but also just because they did not want to be ruled by the emotions. By and large,

01:58:44.080 --> 01:58:51.680
not being ruled by the emotions is a fine goal. Making yourself entirely dispassionate or apathetic

01:58:51.680 --> 01:58:58.960
is not a good goal. God gave us emotions. We have them for a reason. If you are entirely

01:58:58.960 --> 01:59:04.560
dispassionate in your relationship with your wife, odds are your marriage will not last very long.

01:59:05.680 --> 01:59:11.040
The goal of the Christian life, the goal of human life is not to completely cleanse yourself of the

01:59:11.040 --> 01:59:16.080
passions. Yes, you need to bring them under control to some degree, and you should most

01:59:16.080 --> 01:59:22.240
certainly not let your sinful nature run wild. But completely jettisoning the passions is not

01:59:22.240 --> 01:59:27.680
part of the Christian faith that is not part of human life, properly understood how God wants us to

01:59:27.680 --> 01:59:39.440
live. In the EO sense, most of them seem to characterize this dispassion as mastery over wrongful

01:59:40.160 --> 01:59:44.240
or misguided passions. So I will give them their credit there. They seem to be clear

01:59:44.240 --> 01:59:49.680
on their definition of what they mean when it comes to dispassion, more so than catharsis.

01:59:51.040 --> 01:59:54.640
Yes, I realize there's a little bit of contradiction there, but that's simply what

01:59:54.640 --> 01:59:59.760
the writings say. And so this relates to your spiritual growth. You're supposed to bring these

01:59:59.760 --> 02:00:07.440
things under your control, and they help you to complete more and greater good works in your life

02:00:07.440 --> 02:00:12.160
because you're no longer distracted by these things. Which of course is a problem,

02:00:12.960 --> 02:00:19.920
because essentially what they're saying is Gnostic. This is just Gnosticism cloaked in supposed

02:00:19.920 --> 02:00:25.680
Christianity, saying that it is the body that is wicked and wrong, and we have to bring it under

02:00:26.240 --> 02:00:30.640
the rational control of the soul. Of course, the problem with that, additionally, another layer,

02:00:32.000 --> 02:00:37.120
is that the east again essentially rejects reason. So there's no way to square this circle,

02:00:37.120 --> 02:00:44.000
but this is just the basic outline of these terms and the setting for how they view things.

02:00:45.280 --> 02:00:52.880
If it's confusing, don't blame me. I didn't write these books. I didn't write these treatises.

02:00:53.680 --> 02:00:58.640
But now I want to switch gears, as it were, to a subject that is much more clear,

02:00:59.360 --> 02:01:03.600
and you will see it as clear because for this particular section of this episode,

02:01:03.840 --> 02:01:09.520
I will comment a little bit on one or two, maybe three of these passages, but I just want to read

02:01:09.520 --> 02:01:16.400
a few relatively short passages from Scripture. This is dealing with penal substitutionary

02:01:16.400 --> 02:01:23.280
atonement, and I just want you to have this in mind, a refresher, as it were, before we get into

02:01:23.280 --> 02:01:33.040
palimous and the essence energy's distinction. And so the first reading is from Isaiah, Isaiah 53.

02:01:54.000 --> 02:02:03.520
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the

02:02:03.520 --> 02:02:08.640
prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who

02:02:08.640 --> 02:02:14.800
believe, for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

02:02:14.800 --> 02:02:20.960
and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God

02:02:20.960 --> 02:02:27.360
put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's

02:02:27.360 --> 02:02:33.440
righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He has passed over former sins. It was to show

02:02:33.440 --> 02:02:38.560
His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who

02:02:38.560 --> 02:02:43.600
has faith in Jesus. The next is from 2 Corinthians.

02:02:50.960 --> 02:02:54.000
Galatians 3.

02:03:21.440 --> 02:03:30.000
Again, 1 Peter.

02:03:41.040 --> 02:03:47.840
First John. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for the sins

02:03:47.840 --> 02:03:53.840
of the whole world. Now I want to stop here briefly and comment on a word, because undoubtedly you

02:03:53.840 --> 02:03:58.480
have all heard the word, but maybe you don't know exactly what it means, and that word is

02:03:58.480 --> 02:04:06.880
propitiation. Propitiation comes from propitiatio, from propitiare, which means to win the favor

02:04:06.880 --> 02:04:14.880
of a God by presenting something that pleases Him. Christ is the propitiation, because His offering

02:04:14.880 --> 02:04:21.360
again, the totality of His life and death, His offering to God, was pleasing. It atoned

02:04:21.360 --> 02:04:26.240
for sin, all sin. The next reading is from Hebrews 9.

02:04:36.880 --> 02:04:37.920
Again Hebrews 9.

02:04:45.600 --> 02:04:55.760
Now from these passages, and obviously there are others, it is very clear

02:04:57.280 --> 02:05:02.080
the teaching of Scripture with regard to what the good news is, and that's all Gospel means,

02:05:02.080 --> 02:05:08.960
Gospel is the good news, is that Christ has paid the price. He died in our place.

02:05:09.920 --> 02:05:17.280
That is substitutionary atonement, and it is of a penal nature. Scripture speaks elsewhere

02:05:17.280 --> 02:05:26.800
of the legal debt. Scripture speaks in many places, in legal language, of this wonderful

02:05:26.800 --> 02:05:33.760
exchange, as Luther called it. Christ's death is good news for us, because we no longer have to

02:05:33.840 --> 02:05:40.000
suffer eternally for our sins, because of course, again, the debt of sin being infinite,

02:05:40.640 --> 02:05:45.840
the price necessary to pay for it is also infinite, and so it is only the death of

02:05:45.840 --> 02:05:53.840
God, the death of Christ, the Son of God, that can pay that infinite price. All those in hell

02:05:53.840 --> 02:06:00.240
are paying the price of their sins. The problem for them is that again the price is infinite,

02:06:00.240 --> 02:06:06.640
and to pay an infinite price as a finite creature requires an infinite time, and that is why hell

02:06:06.640 --> 02:06:16.400
is infinite, and so it is good news that we have been declared innocent, we have been declared

02:06:16.400 --> 02:06:24.880
righteous because of Christ's work on his behalf, because of his blood, and that is a legal declaration.

02:06:24.880 --> 02:06:29.760
It is juridical, one of the terms that the EO like to use to deride penal substitutionary

02:06:29.760 --> 02:06:37.040
atonement. This is simply the language that Scripture uses. Scripture speaks of God having

02:06:37.040 --> 02:06:43.040
a court, of there being a judgment. I don't know what these people think a judgment is,

02:06:43.040 --> 02:06:46.640
but a judgment is a legal declaration, it is a legal process.

02:06:48.320 --> 02:06:54.800
Many of you have probably seen one of the most famous screenshots on theology Twitter

02:06:54.800 --> 02:07:01.120
that I appear in a couple of years ago. Another EO guy was saying, Protestant theology is pagan

02:07:01.120 --> 02:07:06.000
and philosophical orientation due to penal substitutionary atonement. It isn't too complex,

02:07:06.000 --> 02:07:12.480
mate. The Church Fathers clearly teach Christ as victor and theosis, and I reply to him, quote,

02:07:12.480 --> 02:07:16.240
and you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

02:07:16.240 --> 02:07:21.520
God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by canceling the record of

02:07:21.520 --> 02:07:27.680
debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

02:07:27.680 --> 02:07:33.120
I attributed that, quote, to Luther, which was the trap. It's also true. We'll get that in a

02:07:33.120 --> 02:07:37.360
second. And he replied, I don't care what Luther says, I care what the Church Fathers and Apostles

02:07:37.360 --> 02:07:42.480
said. I said, do you reject that statement? To which he replied, I subscribe to Christus Victor

02:07:42.480 --> 02:07:47.600
and theosis. The last part of that is making it transactional and pits the son against the father,

02:07:47.600 --> 02:07:51.680
to which I replied, then you have a real problem because that's Colossians 2, 13, and 14.

02:07:52.560 --> 02:07:58.320
And he's still mad to this day. They all get incredibly mad that it was cheating or whatever.

02:07:58.320 --> 02:08:03.600
It was unfair. He condemned Scripture. I read Scripture to him and he said, that's evil. That

02:08:03.600 --> 02:08:09.280
is not my religion. The problem is that that's true. When these men are confronted with Scripture,

02:08:09.280 --> 02:08:15.840
by and large, they revile it. And that's not unique to EO. The LCMS is going through the same

02:08:15.920 --> 02:08:20.800
thing right now. When Cory and I say what Scripture says about other things, there are pastors who

02:08:20.800 --> 02:08:26.000
say, we're going to hell. They say, that's not our God, to which I can only say, okay. I hope

02:08:26.000 --> 02:08:31.040
that's not your final answer because on Judgment Day, when you say, that's not my God, you're going

02:08:31.040 --> 02:08:36.640
to be saying it to the God that you're rejecting. And the reason I attributed that to Luther, it was

02:08:36.640 --> 02:08:41.840
slight of hand, but Luther translated the entire Bible. So arguably, you could attribute every

02:08:41.840 --> 02:08:46.720
verse in the Bible to Luther because he translated it. It was cheating a little bit, but I knew that

02:08:47.840 --> 02:08:52.320
hating PSA is hating Scripture because Cory just read all those passages.

02:08:53.200 --> 02:09:00.320
Penal substitutionary atonement and the fact that we're talking about a divine court

02:09:00.320 --> 02:09:09.280
with evidence and judgment and sentence is Christian. The earthly court is a model of

02:09:09.280 --> 02:09:15.840
the heavenly court. All these things that we have in human society, we got from God. We borrowed

02:09:15.840 --> 02:09:24.080
from God. We have a type to God's anti-type. The perfect form is God's form. The imperfect form is

02:09:24.080 --> 02:09:30.800
our form, but it's the same stuff. So there's no pagan philosophy here. It's just Scripture.

02:09:30.800 --> 02:09:36.400
And that's what they must necessarily reject in order to hold their beliefs.

02:09:36.800 --> 02:09:44.080
There is a video of an EO priest saying that one of the reasons or perhaps the reason why the crucifixion

02:09:44.080 --> 02:09:54.000
was necessary is that it makes for a good story. That is the fruit of denying penal substitutionary

02:09:54.000 --> 02:10:00.720
atonement. I'm not saying that Christ is victor is wrong. I'm not saying that the ransom theory is

02:10:00.960 --> 02:10:08.080
wrong. These things are all part of it. There are many aspects to the crucifixion, the resurrection,

02:10:08.080 --> 02:10:14.880
the entirety of the story, but the beating heart of the gospel is penal substitutionary atonement.

02:10:16.400 --> 02:10:20.800
You and I sinned. We must be punished for that. That is the penal part.

02:10:22.000 --> 02:10:27.520
Christ died for us as a substitute. Obviously, that's the substitutionary part.

02:10:28.400 --> 02:10:34.000
His death was sufficient to atone for our sins. That is the atonement part.

02:10:35.280 --> 02:10:42.320
PSA is simply the teaching of Scripture. Again, it is the good news. You cannot reject it and be

02:10:42.320 --> 02:10:48.320
Christian. Scripture is abundantly clear on this point. There are few things, perhaps nothing,

02:10:48.320 --> 02:10:53.600
on which Scripture is more clear than that this is the good news. And one would hope of all things

02:10:53.600 --> 02:10:58.880
that Scripture is clear about the gospel, and it most certainly is. But that leads us into

02:10:59.680 --> 02:11:06.800
really our final section for this episode. This is one of the big differences. Obviously,

02:11:06.800 --> 02:11:10.960
there are a number of them as we have detailed so far, but this is one of the big differences

02:11:10.960 --> 02:11:18.160
between the theology of the east and the theology of the west, which I'll just be blunt. It's the

02:11:18.160 --> 02:11:23.040
difference between the theology of the Christian church, which is the west, and the theology of the

02:11:24.480 --> 02:11:29.840
eastern religion, whatever they want to call it. It's not Christian. And again, we're not saying

02:11:29.840 --> 02:11:35.120
that there are no Christians because wherever God's word is read, it does not return to him

02:11:35.120 --> 02:11:42.320
empty. It is not fruitless. There are Christians in the Mormon church. Again, not a church, but

02:11:42.320 --> 02:11:48.400
there are Christians, some few of them. The same thing is true with regard to the EO.

02:11:49.200 --> 02:11:54.240
But if you actually believe what they teach, if you delve deeply into it, you will not remain

02:11:54.240 --> 02:11:59.200
a Christian. You will become an apostate, and you will probably, if you engage in these practices,

02:11:59.200 --> 02:12:06.160
wind up possessed, the very least demon oppressed. I do not want to go into

02:12:07.760 --> 02:12:13.120
the philosophy of this too deeply because it gets a little complicated.

02:12:13.520 --> 02:12:22.080
But it's very simple to understand at a higher level, from a bird's eye view as it were.

02:12:24.080 --> 02:12:30.000
Before I get into the essence energy's distinction properly, I want to read the second paragraph

02:12:30.720 --> 02:12:36.240
from the Athanasian Creed. And you'll see why when I actually describe the EE.

02:12:36.880 --> 02:12:44.240
And the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity,

02:12:44.960 --> 02:12:51.360
neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. The Greek word there is Usia,

02:12:51.360 --> 02:12:58.560
the Latin word is Substantia. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son,

02:12:58.560 --> 02:13:05.920
and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead, Divinitas, Theotase, of the Father,

02:13:05.920 --> 02:13:12.800
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one. The glory equal, the majesty co-eternal,

02:13:12.800 --> 02:13:19.600
such as the Father is, such as the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated,

02:13:19.600 --> 02:13:27.920
the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible,

02:13:27.920 --> 02:13:34.000
and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost

02:13:34.000 --> 02:13:41.120
eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As there are not three uncreated,

02:13:41.120 --> 02:13:46.720
nor three incomprehensibles, but only one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

02:13:47.920 --> 02:13:54.400
So likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty,

02:13:54.960 --> 02:14:02.000
and yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God,

02:14:02.000 --> 02:14:08.000
and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God. So likewise,

02:14:08.000 --> 02:14:14.560
the Father is Lord, the Son, Lord, and the Holy Ghost, Lord, and yet not three Lords,

02:14:14.560 --> 02:14:20.720
but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person

02:14:20.720 --> 02:14:27.280
by himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three

02:14:27.280 --> 02:14:33.760
gods or three Lords. And just to make sure that those who are not as familiar with the terms

02:14:33.760 --> 02:14:40.320
recognize that last bit there, every person by himself to be God is capital P person,

02:14:40.320 --> 02:14:47.200
meaning the persons of the Trinity. We're not Mormon. Now, the reason that this is important

02:14:48.080 --> 02:14:54.240
is that the two terms that I emphasize by stating them, both in Greek and Latin, substance and

02:14:54.240 --> 02:15:03.600
Godhead play into the essence energy's distinction. I won't bury the lead as it were, I will simply

02:15:03.600 --> 02:15:09.120
state outright. The Eastern conception of the essence energy's distinction is polytheistic.

02:15:09.760 --> 02:15:16.960
And the reason that it is polytheistic is that it posits a real distinction between God's essence

02:15:16.960 --> 02:15:24.720
and his energies while maintaining that both are divine. Now, there's a little philosophy here,

02:15:25.680 --> 02:15:30.320
but very little. It's very easy to understand. The difference between a formal distinction and a

02:15:30.320 --> 02:15:35.760
real distinction is the difference between a distinction in terms and a distinction in,

02:15:35.760 --> 02:15:43.120
we'll call it, kind for the sake of simplicity. If you say that someone is your son and you say

02:15:43.120 --> 02:15:49.520
that he is John, those can both be true. There's a formal distinction there, just to use a very

02:15:49.520 --> 02:15:55.200
easy to understand example. There's no actual distinction between John and your son, assuming

02:15:55.200 --> 02:16:04.720
your son is named John. However, the distinction between John and his brother James is a real

02:16:04.800 --> 02:16:11.840
distinction. They are not the same person. This is a vitally important thing in theology

02:16:13.200 --> 02:16:17.840
for, well, a complicated reason to be frank, but a reason that I can explain in a simple way.

02:16:20.160 --> 02:16:27.040
God is simple. Simple means not composed of parts in the philosophical sense.

02:16:27.760 --> 02:16:35.840
God is also goodness, beauty, truth, being, and unity to list the five transcendentals.

02:16:37.520 --> 02:16:42.400
He is all those things. God is omnipresent. God is omniscient. God is omnipotent.

02:16:44.960 --> 02:16:49.920
We speak in these terms. We say that God is, and then we reference not a part of God,

02:16:50.640 --> 02:16:55.440
and not really actually an aspect, but we can use the term aspect because it's comprehensible.

02:16:55.440 --> 02:17:00.560
An aspect of God, we speak in those terms because as a human being, as human beings,

02:17:00.560 --> 02:17:09.280
we are limited. We cannot grasp the essence of God as it is. We cannot grasp God as he is in himself.

02:17:10.080 --> 02:17:14.720
But we can speak about these things that he has revealed to us, whether they are revealed in

02:17:14.720 --> 02:17:20.400
Scripture or they are revealed in nature, in creation, because yes, creation does tell us about

02:17:20.400 --> 02:17:25.760
God. We can learn things about God from what he has created. That should be obvious. You can

02:17:25.760 --> 02:17:30.320
learn something about the artist by his art. We all know that. You can learn something about the

02:17:30.320 --> 02:17:35.520
author by his writings. You can learn something about me and about Woe from listening to us on

02:17:35.520 --> 02:17:42.000
this podcast. God is the author. God is the artist of creation. We can learn about him

02:17:42.000 --> 02:17:49.600
from what he created. But when we speak about God, we have to speak in these little divisions

02:17:49.600 --> 02:17:54.400
because of our limitations. God does this as well when he speaks in Scripture. He condescends

02:17:54.400 --> 02:18:01.760
to our level and speaks in terms we understand. But Western philosophy, Western theology,

02:18:01.760 --> 02:18:07.440
properly recognizes that God is one. Scripture has something to say about that. Perhaps you

02:18:07.440 --> 02:18:15.200
know it verse I have in mind. And so God is, again, unity is one of the transcendentals.

02:18:15.760 --> 02:18:23.040
He is not divided. He does not have parts. And so if you speak about God's essence as being divine,

02:18:23.040 --> 02:18:27.680
this is the Eastern conception again, if you speak about God's essence as being divine,

02:18:28.320 --> 02:18:34.880
and yet also his energy is being divine, and there being a real distinction between them,

02:18:36.960 --> 02:18:42.320
your God is no longer unified, your God is no longer God. It may be that essence of which

02:18:42.320 --> 02:18:47.280
you speak is God, although in the Eastern case it's not, but then the energies can't be God.

02:18:48.080 --> 02:18:53.360
And so you wind up with at least ditheism, but really polytheism because they say there are

02:18:53.360 --> 02:18:59.840
many energies, and yet they're all divine. There's another aspect that is worth noting of this.

02:19:00.480 --> 02:19:06.160
In Palimus, and so this is the EO position, they hold that some of these divine energies

02:19:06.720 --> 02:19:12.960
had a beginning. And for those who are versed in philosophy or theology, you'll immediately

02:19:12.960 --> 02:19:17.600
recognize the problem here. That which has a beginning cannot be God, definitionally.

02:19:19.280 --> 02:19:25.360
And so if there are energies that are divine, but have a beginning, that's another God.

02:19:26.480 --> 02:19:34.160
This entire system is polytheistic. There is no way around this problem. Their conception

02:19:34.720 --> 02:19:41.520
of God, this essence energy's distinction is necessarily polytheistic. It is unavoidably

02:19:41.520 --> 02:19:51.040
polytheistic. And a particularly damning passage in Palimus speaks of it in terms that are

02:19:51.760 --> 02:19:57.760
completely and utterly undeniable. It is very clear to anyone reading this that the EO are

02:19:57.760 --> 02:20:02.960
polytheistic. I said the word for Godhead as used in the Greek is theites.

02:20:04.640 --> 02:20:08.960
But I'll spare you the Greek, because quite frankly, I don't want to bother having to pronounce it.

02:20:10.000 --> 02:20:16.640
There are two terms used. And the two terms, both attached to theatase as descriptors,

02:20:17.360 --> 02:20:25.760
as adjectives, are one is transcendent or higher. The other is imminent or lower.

02:20:26.240 --> 02:20:33.760
And so in this passage, Palimus speaks of a higher deity and a lower deity.

02:20:34.960 --> 02:20:42.560
He speaks of two gods in explicit terms. This is the belief. This is the teaching

02:20:42.560 --> 02:20:52.320
of the Eastern Orthodox. This is not Christianity. In Christianity, we worship the Trinity. The

02:20:52.320 --> 02:20:59.040
Trinity is one God, as I just read from the Athanasian Creed. That is what Christians believe.

02:21:00.080 --> 02:21:03.200
And at the end of the Athanasian Creed, of course, it says, if you do not hold this

02:21:04.320 --> 02:21:09.440
Catholic faith whole and undefiled, you are no Christian. You're outside the church. You're

02:21:09.440 --> 02:21:17.120
damned. That is the belief of Christians. Not this distinction between the essence and the

02:21:17.120 --> 02:21:24.080
energies leading to polytheism. And so, like I said, it is relatively philosophically complicated

02:21:24.080 --> 02:21:30.400
if you get into the details. But at the same time, it is very easily understood at a high level,

02:21:30.960 --> 02:21:38.960
the Eoposite, a real distinction between God's essence and his energies. And therefore,

02:21:39.520 --> 02:21:45.520
they are necessarily polytheistic. And the reason this ties back into their practices and how this

02:21:45.520 --> 02:21:50.400
is part of their overall system is they say that that uncreated light of God that they see

02:21:50.400 --> 02:21:56.800
through their hesychastic so-called prayer is an energy from God. And so, they say they are

02:21:56.800 --> 02:22:03.040
seeing the uncreated light of God, which is an energy that is divine, that is, again, uncreated,

02:22:03.040 --> 02:22:11.280
so has no beginning. And this is God. But it's not the essence of God. The essence of God being

02:22:11.280 --> 02:22:19.040
truly distinct, being really distinct and therefore being another God. There is no way to describe

02:22:19.040 --> 02:22:27.120
this except, well, gobbledygook when you actually read his writing, but not Christian. This is

02:22:27.120 --> 02:22:33.120
polytheistic. This is paganism. This has no place in the church. And no Christian should entertain it

02:22:33.760 --> 02:22:40.800
for even a minute. It's worth noting that in Scripture, in the New Testament and the Old

02:22:40.800 --> 02:22:47.600
Testament and in, particularly in Revelation, the only way that a man could be in the presence of

02:22:47.600 --> 02:22:57.360
God was not to see him. To see God is to be struck dead. That's how God works. That was what made

02:22:57.920 --> 02:23:06.960
the incarnation so profoundly special was that the infinite uncreated God entered into creation

02:23:07.760 --> 02:23:13.600
and was a man that could be seen and touched and perceived and you could talk to him in a way that

02:23:13.600 --> 02:23:22.720
was not present in the theophanies. Well, that is not present when you're dealing with the other

02:23:22.720 --> 02:23:30.640
manners in which God appears. So, there's an explicit claim that the Eo make about seeing

02:23:30.640 --> 02:23:39.280
something that God says, if you see me, you will die. When a man has to shield his face or he will

02:23:39.280 --> 02:23:45.200
be struck dead when God passes by, that's precisely what we're talking about here.

02:23:46.080 --> 02:23:51.040
These people are saying, no, no, no, it's fine. You can look. God can reveal himself to you visually.

02:23:51.920 --> 02:23:58.160
And we're talking about the physical here. It's akin to what happened when the man reached out

02:23:58.240 --> 02:24:04.640
to steady the Ark of the Covenant, when it was being carried around on a cart and the oxen

02:24:04.640 --> 02:24:10.000
stumbled and it was about to hit the ground. The man reached out to do the right thing,

02:24:10.000 --> 02:24:15.360
in one sense, to keep the Ark of the Covenant from hitting the ground. But God had said, A,

02:24:16.480 --> 02:24:21.200
they were not permitted to do that and B, don't touch it. And so, when the man touched the Ark,

02:24:21.200 --> 02:24:27.360
he was struck dead. That's what God's special presence is like. You die on contact.

02:24:28.560 --> 02:24:36.000
I hope that it's coming through that these guys can't be talking about God. All their claims

02:24:36.000 --> 02:24:42.320
that they're encountering something, I think in most cases we must take them at face value,

02:24:42.320 --> 02:24:47.040
but we cannot take the claims of the nature of what they're encountering. Then there is a very

02:24:47.040 --> 02:24:54.880
easy explanation. Test the spirits. When something comes to you and says, I am an angel from God,

02:24:54.880 --> 02:25:02.080
if he has another message, he is to be anathema. That's not what we find when these men encounter

02:25:02.080 --> 02:25:08.800
things that say, Hey, I'm from God. Hey, look, you can see me here, even though with your own eyes,

02:25:08.800 --> 02:25:14.640
even though God says that will kill you, even though the practice by which that light is summoned

02:25:14.640 --> 02:25:19.840
is a demon summoning practice. They're doing something, but they're not getting God.

02:25:22.400 --> 02:25:28.240
It's one of the reasons that I'm always frustrated. I try to be verbally frustrated when people,

02:25:28.880 --> 02:25:33.760
we've said before, like calling things woke or saying it's just fictional. When you don't take

02:25:33.760 --> 02:25:40.080
people's claims seriously, when they're making a serious claim, you're going to miss the fundamental

02:25:40.160 --> 02:25:47.280
nature of what's going on. The cheap thing to do, the easy way out would be to say,

02:25:47.280 --> 02:25:53.200
Oh, those guys are crazy. They're hyperventilating and passing out and it's just, it's neurons

02:25:53.200 --> 02:25:59.920
misfiring. I think that's disrespectful. I think it's spiritually dangerous because when they're

02:25:59.920 --> 02:26:05.040
making very specific claims that are consistent with the claims of demon worshipers and other

02:26:05.040 --> 02:26:12.560
false religions and they get the same result, you have to take them seriously. This distinction of

02:26:12.560 --> 02:26:21.760
two gods is in a way, it's their confession. When the Christian faith says that God cannot be divided

02:26:21.760 --> 02:26:27.360
and they say, Look, here's a divided God appearing to us, they're kind of fessing up. They're telling

02:26:27.360 --> 02:26:33.120
the truth. They're at least admitting, they're confessing that God couldn't do this, but there's

02:26:33.200 --> 02:26:39.360
a different version of a different God that is manifesting. That's true. It's a small G God,

02:26:39.360 --> 02:26:44.960
it's hell, it's Satan, it's a demon appearing to them, but something is appearing. It's not

02:26:44.960 --> 02:26:50.480
just a hallucination, it's not just them making up stories. They're actually doing it and they're

02:26:50.480 --> 02:26:58.320
doing something wicked. To be entirely clear, there were a lot of other things in Palimus and

02:26:58.320 --> 02:27:03.440
elsewhere in eotheology that could have been included in this episode, but as we've noted

02:27:03.440 --> 02:27:07.440
with other subjects, we did not want the episode to be six hours long, although in fairness, we

02:27:07.440 --> 02:27:14.160
have done that in multi-part episodes now. There is one more thing that I want to pull out of some

02:27:14.160 --> 02:27:22.960
of my notes that I just noted was a thread running through Palimus and elsewhere. This is something

02:27:23.040 --> 02:27:29.520
that should cause Christians to recoil, particularly now that you've listened to some of the information

02:27:29.520 --> 02:27:36.160
about Eastern religions and some of their practices. Throughout the triads, and as I mentioned

02:27:36.160 --> 02:27:45.280
elsewhere in EO writings, they say that you obtain this state of elevated consciousness,

02:27:45.280 --> 02:27:48.960
sometimes even described in terms that look like an out-of-body experience,

02:27:49.360 --> 02:27:56.240
but they say that you achieve this once, quote, all rational activity has ceased.

02:27:57.520 --> 02:28:01.440
I won't just leave you to try to ponder what that means, that's possession.

02:28:03.040 --> 02:28:09.680
Nowhere in Christianity are we to cease all rational activity, to totally empty ourselves

02:28:09.680 --> 02:28:15.760
and be taken over by some external force. That is not what it means to have the indwelling of

02:28:15.760 --> 02:28:25.040
the Spirit, to be indwelt by God. We don't become less human in paradise, in eternity. That is

02:28:25.040 --> 02:28:30.000
certainly a thread that runs through these teachings of Palimus and others. They seem to deny the

02:28:30.000 --> 02:28:35.120
reality of paradise. They seem to think that we just stare at God's face for eternity,

02:28:36.400 --> 02:28:41.600
that we see this magical light they describe, and that's our eternity. That's not what Scripture

02:28:41.600 --> 02:28:50.320
says. There's a new heavens and a new earth. God made us to be what we are. Yes, we exist today in a

02:28:50.320 --> 02:28:56.640
fallen state, but we will be restored to the state that Adam had in the garden before the fall.

02:28:57.920 --> 02:29:04.800
We will be perfect again, and we will still be flesh, because we are body and soul, and yes,

02:29:04.800 --> 02:29:10.960
also mind. We are not just soul, we are not just spirit. We are not going to exist as the angels

02:29:10.960 --> 02:29:17.360
exist because we are not the angels. We do not exist to be angels, to become angels. God made

02:29:17.360 --> 02:29:24.400
angels to be angels. He made us to be human beings. He made us to be men. We are what we are,

02:29:24.400 --> 02:29:28.000
because that is what he intends for us to be, and that is what we will be in eternity.

02:29:28.880 --> 02:29:35.520
And so this idea that you totally empty yourself after every rational activity of the mind ceases,

02:29:35.520 --> 02:29:40.960
that is an actual quote from Palomas, and it is throughout, it is repeated many times.

02:29:41.680 --> 02:29:46.320
In one place it even says, so much of these rational and intellectual activities cease

02:29:46.320 --> 02:29:54.320
that this includes prayer itself, again a quote. This is not what Christians do. This is not what

02:29:54.320 --> 02:29:59.360
Christians advocate. This is not what the Scriptures teach. In one place it mentions

02:29:59.360 --> 02:30:04.960
being empty to these activities to such a point that you are taken over entirely by what he calls

02:30:04.960 --> 02:30:10.880
the Spirit of God, but that is most certainly not the Spirit of God that is taking you over if you

02:30:10.880 --> 02:30:17.120
empty yourself entirely of your faculties, and then some external force appears and takes over.

02:30:18.080 --> 02:30:22.480
That is demonic possession. That is what is being taught by the EO.

02:30:24.320 --> 02:30:30.800
But to return to the point of the reality of the flesh, contra the Gnosticism of the EO,

02:30:30.960 --> 02:30:41.840
Paradise is a physical paradise. In eternity you will still be a man or a woman, whatever you are

02:30:41.840 --> 02:30:50.160
now. You will still be flesh and blood, because that is what God made you to be, and that is one

02:30:50.160 --> 02:30:58.560
of the things that is so wonderful about the Incarnation. God became man. God took on, God

02:30:58.560 --> 02:31:05.360
assumed human flesh, and that is how we will see God face to face. We get to see God face to face

02:31:05.360 --> 02:31:11.040
because the fullness of deity dwells bodily in Christ, and we will see him face to face in eternity.

02:31:11.040 --> 02:31:16.320
We will see him face to face in Paradise, and in seeing Christ, as he himself says,

02:31:17.040 --> 02:31:24.640
we see the Father. That is how Christians get to see God. You don't see God by staring at your

02:31:24.640 --> 02:31:30.240
navel, breathing heavily, and waiting until you see a light. Whether that light happens to be

02:31:30.880 --> 02:31:37.520
brain cells dying from hyperventilating, or a demon taking possession. That is not the Christian

02:31:37.520 --> 02:31:43.120
practice. That is not the Christian hope. That is what the EO teach. And if they teach that,

02:31:43.680 --> 02:31:50.560
and it is contrary to Scripture, then they are not Christian. This is a vitally important point.

02:31:50.880 --> 02:31:56.320
We mentioned that we are not going to go through and refute every single point of what they teach,

02:31:56.320 --> 02:32:01.280
and we did not do that. That was never the intention. That would be a ridiculous waste of our time and

02:32:01.280 --> 02:32:09.680
yours. What we have done instead is pointed out some of the most salient, in some cases literally

02:32:09.680 --> 02:32:17.520
the most salient, ways in which Eastern Orthodoxy is something other than Christianity, something

02:32:18.480 --> 02:32:26.320
alien to Scripture, something alien to Christ's Church. And the point is, how many of these

02:32:26.320 --> 02:32:34.960
problems can be present before you as a Christian must reject it? An example I have used, perhaps

02:32:34.960 --> 02:32:41.280
it is a bit blunt and crass, but I will use it because it gets the point across. If I hand you

02:32:42.000 --> 02:32:45.600
a bag full of dog feces and tell you there is a skittle in there,

02:32:46.880 --> 02:32:52.000
are you going to dig through and find the skittle to eat it? I would hope the answer is no.

02:32:53.360 --> 02:33:01.840
On the other hand, if I hand you an entire bag of M&M's, and I tell you, that bag is 99% M&M's,

02:33:03.760 --> 02:33:07.760
one you are probably going to wonder what the 1% is and be a little hesitant to eat it,

02:33:07.840 --> 02:33:13.440
but if I then tell you that the 1%, maybe it's just one piece, there's just one piece in there,

02:33:13.440 --> 02:33:19.680
it's not an M&M, it's a piece of dog feces that I dipped in chocolate. Are you going to take a

02:33:19.680 --> 02:33:26.080
giant handful and eat it? Now I said it's a somewhat crass example, but it gets the point across.

02:33:27.520 --> 02:33:32.480
In this case it's even more important. Yes, eating the bag full of M&M's would be deeply

02:33:32.480 --> 02:33:38.800
unwise and possibly endanger your health. These EO practices endanger your soul.

02:33:40.960 --> 02:33:49.120
There will be men, will be men, who spend eternity in hell because they looked too deeply

02:33:49.120 --> 02:33:56.880
into what the EO teach. On the other side, there will be those in EO churches who will

02:33:56.880 --> 02:34:01.520
spend eternity in paradise. I will be glad to meet them there because they did not look

02:34:01.600 --> 02:34:07.280
into what their churches teach, because all they did was listen to Scripture and they believed in

02:34:07.280 --> 02:34:14.480
Jesus, and that is in fact sufficient. And so there are those in these wicked EO churches

02:34:15.120 --> 02:34:20.560
who will nonetheless, who will never the less be saved. But that does not mean that you should

02:34:20.560 --> 02:34:28.240
join them. You do not join a wicked body and hope for the best. I'm not saying as we have been very

02:34:28.240 --> 02:34:35.280
clear to explain in previous episodes, I am not saying that if your church is not 100%

02:34:35.280 --> 02:34:40.160
entirely perfect that you must leave and find a new church, because if you keep doing that,

02:34:40.160 --> 02:34:43.280
you will never find a church. There is no such thing. There are no perfect churches

02:34:44.080 --> 02:34:53.120
because they are all composed of run by, taught by, led by fallen men. In some cases even worse,

02:34:53.200 --> 02:34:58.080
fallen women. Not in the composed by sense, but the other ones. Women are not supposed

02:34:58.080 --> 02:35:00.720
to be in positions of leadership as we have clearly detailed elsewhere.

02:35:02.960 --> 02:35:08.320
Churches are always going to have these problems because in this life we will never be perfect,

02:35:08.320 --> 02:35:13.600
despite what again the EO teach about becoming sinless in this life. You will be a sinner

02:35:13.600 --> 02:35:21.200
until the day you die. The good news is that Christ already paid that price, gave you faith,

02:35:21.760 --> 02:35:26.320
and so it will not be counted against you at the judgment because you will be able

02:35:26.320 --> 02:35:32.800
to point to Christ. Say, he died in my place and so you get declared righteous on his behalf.

02:35:33.360 --> 02:35:39.360
That is the good news. And so I am not saying to leave your church because your church isn't

02:35:39.360 --> 02:35:43.280
perfect because your church isn't perfect. I can say that categorically, regardless of which

02:35:43.280 --> 02:35:50.160
church you attend. If you attend the best Lutheran church that has ever existed, and I'm saying that

02:35:50.160 --> 02:35:53.840
because of course I'm a Lutheran, I believe in Lutheran doctrine or I wouldn't be a Lutheran.

02:35:53.840 --> 02:35:58.160
If you attend the best Lutheran church that has ever existed in the history

02:35:59.440 --> 02:36:03.840
of Lutheranism in the history of the Christian church, it still won't be perfect.

02:36:05.200 --> 02:36:12.160
One of the best churches to exist in all of human history obviously had to be the one led by Adam.

02:36:12.960 --> 02:36:20.560
And yet one of his parishioners killed the other in cold blood, his brother no less.

02:36:22.720 --> 02:36:26.640
There will always be imperfections in this life. The standard is not perfection.

02:36:28.240 --> 02:36:35.280
What we are saying with regard to the EO is not that this is a matter of heterodoxy or a matter

02:36:35.280 --> 02:36:44.080
even of just heresy. And yes, I recognize perhaps the irony of mitigating or minimizing the term

02:36:44.080 --> 02:36:50.080
heresy there. But in relation to what is actually at stake, it makes sense. What we are saying here

02:36:50.800 --> 02:36:57.600
is that what the EO teach is actively wicked, actively endangers your soul. You have the very,

02:36:58.320 --> 02:37:05.040
very real chance, the very real possibility of becoming demon possessed if you engage in the

02:37:05.120 --> 02:37:11.520
practices that they say are necessary to your salvation. Because that is essentially what

02:37:11.520 --> 02:37:15.440
they teach about Hezekastic prayer. Now some of them will say that oh well it's not necessary,

02:37:15.440 --> 02:37:19.360
it's just the monks that engage in that. I won't tell you to read the writings because I think

02:37:19.360 --> 02:37:24.880
it will probably harm your soul. It is not helpful to read these things. These things are wicked

02:37:24.880 --> 02:37:28.160
and I'm not telling you that just because oh I don't want you to read it because there's secret

02:37:28.160 --> 02:37:33.200
knowledge in here. There's no secret knowledge. Again, Christianity is not a mystery religion.

02:37:33.200 --> 02:37:38.960
Read the Scriptures. It is all in there. Compare what you know about them to what you see in Scripture.

02:37:41.120 --> 02:37:45.680
If you engage in these practices, you will put your soul at risk. You will put the

02:37:45.680 --> 02:37:51.360
souls of all those entrusted to your care at risk. Then quite frankly it will probably call down

02:37:51.360 --> 02:37:58.000
the judgment of God on the nation that tolerates this evil. We shouldn't think that God is idle,

02:37:58.000 --> 02:38:02.160
that He doesn't pay any attention to what it is we're doing. When we tolerate evil,

02:38:02.160 --> 02:38:05.760
there are real consequences. Look at what happened to Old Testament Israel.

02:38:07.600 --> 02:38:12.800
These are the sorts of things that if we had godly princes, they would address because that is their

02:38:12.800 --> 02:38:17.840
task, that is their duty to make sure that this sort of wickedness does not spring up in their lands

02:38:17.840 --> 02:38:23.360
and therefore pollute them and destroy the souls of all those entrusted to their care.

02:38:26.640 --> 02:38:30.960
And so I hope that anyone who has listened to this episode, particularly if you made it all

02:38:30.960 --> 02:38:33.520
the way to the end of the episode, it's actually not as long as I thought it might be,

02:38:35.360 --> 02:38:41.360
I hope that you can see that Eastern Orthodoxy so-called is certainly Eastern,

02:38:42.320 --> 02:38:47.360
certainly not Orthodox, and most certainly not Christian.

02:39:30.960 --> 02:39:31.860