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Emmanuel_with_English_ScrollIF we separate any of these virtues from Christ they are not only meaningless, they are accursed. Love without Christ is meaningless, Faith without Christ is Godlessness, and Works without Christ, according to Saint Paul, are sinful. Without Truth there is no Love, because both Truth and Love proceed from God. Many people today are searching for love without Christ, for truth without Christ; in other words they have isolated these two uncreated energies of God from their Source. The result is an anthropocentric love: the attempt to promote love among all people regardless of faith, dogma, regardless of religious background. This is a trap, so in our need to avoid conflicts between people of different religions we begin dialogues of love patronizing other faiths compel to show our respect for other peoples’ faiths, as some of our Church leaders want to teach us. So very suddenly we find ourselves in the super-heresy of ecumenism, one of the greatest plagues of our Church. This ecumenistic and sick love plagued the church in the 60s when our patriarch was romancing a love without bounds, not in the name of Truth, casting aside dogmas, canons, and Œcumenical synods. This sinister ecumenistic movement, which suggests that not a single one religion has the absolute Truth, but all religions have part of the truth, is a brain child of the “branch theory,” a very blasphemous theory. Some day we will devote an entire program to this great menace of the Orthodox Church. The bitter truth is that the ecumenists control most of the posts of the Orthodox Church of the West. My friends I read a great deal of books on the Orthodox faith in both languages, and the differences are tremendous. The writers and publishers of Orthodox America, most of them Greek Orthodox are, singing a different tune than the contemporary fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Romania, Greece, Serbia and Russia. The other day I was visiting a Sunday school class and I happened to glance at the textbook that the teacher was using. The writer and publisher is a highly revered priest of Orthodoxy in America, and what I read on page 75 of this red book made me grieve deeply. So I quote, “So we respect the non-Christian religions, in essence Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc., for the truth we find in them—for whenever there is truth, it has come from God. And the father quotes E. Stanley, Jones: “I am convinced that while there are truths in all faiths, only Jesus is the Truth.” My friends, these teachings are treacherous, having been derived by Protestant ecumenistic thought. The publisher makes every effect to include a barrage of examples and role models in his red book from the Protestant world and from time to time he will quote from Church fathers and saints. The Jones, and Kings, and Dobsons, and the Eckharts are probably very nice people, but they are not Orthodox and certainly not saints. Traditional Orthodox theologians quote from St. John the Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Anthony, Arethas, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Isaac the Syrian, the apostles and our Lord. So let’s see what our contemporary Church fathers and our holy apostles say about this type of thing. St. John in his second epistle teaches that anyone that goes ahead and does not abide in Christ has no God. St. Paul had to exercise the demonic spirit in the slave girl, in the medium girl of Thessalonica (Acts 16:16) even though, the evil spirit was telling the truth. The evil spirit, though the medium girl, was constantly repeating, “These men are servants of the most high.” St. Paul did not respect his true teaching because its source was evil. St. James in his epistle reinforces that, and he says the demons believe in the true God and they tremble. But we certainly do not respect some of the “truths” that are found in the satanic cults and devil worshippers because their source is not from God. We do not respect any of the other religions because their father is the devil. We simply respect people as creations of God and we love them and we pray for them and we pray that they come to the Truth. And before I get many of our listeners upset, let me quote our Lord Jesus Christ in the second chapter of the book of the Revelation. “I know the slander of those that say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan,” which would mean that these people did not accept the truth about Christ. See how much respect our Lord shows for them? Christ actually loves the people but does not respect their religion. And now, I quote one of the contemporary pillars of Orthodoxy, a highly revered father in the Orthodox Eastern bloc, who reached great levels of holiness: Father Justino Popovič. And I translate, “Wherever Christ is absent, everything turns into a curse, bitterness, and terror.”—He uses this verse from the Psalms. “I only want you, my sweetest Christ, I don’t want death without you, and I don’t want life without You. The truth, if it is not Christ, it is useless to me, it is only hell. Even God without Christ is hell. I don’t want the truth without Christ; I don’t righteousness without Christ, nor love without Christ, nor God without Christ.”—The holy father is simply quoting scripture! His writings have been condemned as being harsh, but he is simply quoting Saint John and Saint Paul. My friends I know that a lot of our listeners may not accept some of these teachings, but this is the gospel truth. Ecumenists will find our message harsh, narrow-minded, and possibly judgmental. The ecumenistic movement has flourished here in the west in the last fifty to sixty years thanks to certain Church leaders. Just a simple observation: where are the saints of our modern day ecumenistic Orthodox American Church? Where are all the holy ones of America? The holy ones are to be found in the older countries of Orthodoxy who have fought ecumenism tooth and nail. Holy fathers such as Justino Popovič of Serbia, St. John of Romania at the monastery of St. George the Chozibite , with his body intact in Jerusalem; father Cleopa Elia, father Demetrius Staniloa, and father Chrysostom Apostolaki, father Paisios Olarou of Romania, Saint Savas of Calimnos, Saint Arsenios of Farissa, father Nicholas Planas, father Gervasios Paraskavopolous, father Philotheos Zervakos, father Joel Gianakopoulos, father Amphilochios Makris, father Demetrios Gagasthasis, father Porphyrios of Soulati, and father Iakavos of Osseos David, father Haralambos Vasilopolous, father Paisios of the Holy Mountain, and father Epiphanios Theodoropolous, and many more that only God knows. I must confess, and I know that I’m speaking like a fool, but having spent quite some time with their writings and life stories, they generally disagreed and disagreed sharply and fought heavily against the ecumenical movement looking at it as the greatest threat to the Truth and a forerunner of the antichrist. And they are known by the Truth Himself. All of our above saints reached holiness reached holiness by fearing and loving God at the same time. They also loved the Church of God and they had the wisdom to follow the Church and leave its traditions and canons intact—leave them the way they found them. They truly believed that the eternal Orthodox Church had the power to change them into saints where the modern ecumenists believe that it is up to them to change the Church in order to save it and preserve it making it comparable to the other denominations—a crime that will not go unnoticed on that day. The Orthodox Church is the only true Body of Christ, and since there is no truth or love or righteousness outside of Christ, true holiness and true theosis can only be attained by the true believers of the Orthodox Church who hold on to the traditions that were past down either by scripture or by word of mouth.

Constantine Zalalas