The Life of a Christian in our Modern World
The Life of a Christian in our Modern World
The Christian world nowadays presents a terrifying and cheerless picture of profound religious and moral decay. The servants of Antichrist do their utmost to completely displace God from people’s lives, in order that mankind, content with its material well-being, would not feel any need to turn to God in prayer, would not think of God at all, but would live as though God did not exist. Thus the entire structure of contemporary life in the so-called “free” world, where there is no open and bloody persecution of faith, where everyone has the right to believe as he wishes, represents a far greater danger to a Christian’s soul by drawing the Christian wholly down to earth and making him forget heaven.
The entire modern culture, which is aimed at purely worldly achievements, and the resultant whirlwind of everyday life, keep a person in such a state of constant bustle and absent-mindedness that he has no opportunity for any soul-searching, and spiritual life within him gradually becomes extinguished. Everything that is now happening at the summits of religious, national, and social life of mankind, particularly since the fall of Orthodox Russia, is nothing else but an intense preparation by the servants of the coming Antichrist for his future reign.
All those who wish to remain loyal to Christ our Saviour must especially guard themselves from becoming attracted to material things, from being tempted by them. It is extremely dangerous to allow oneself to be lured into making a career, making a name for oneself, attempting to gain power and influence in society, acquiring great wealth, surrounding oneself with luxury and comfort.
Now is the time to confess Christ, to stand up firmly, even unto death if need be, for our Orthodox faith, which is being subjected everywhere to open and secret assault, persecution, and oppression by the servants of the coming Antichrist. We must remain true Christians, not succumbing to the spirit of the times, and making the Church the center of our lives. We must be true and faithful children of our Orthodox Church, and at the same time we must be its missionaries, fighters for the true faith of Christ, both within the non-Orthodox environment which surrounds us and among those who have fallen away or are falling away from the Church.
Despite the false promises of modern progress, the path which lies before us is the path of suffering. The Lord has clearly said that it is not “progress” which awaits us but ever increasing trials and tribulations, resulting from “increasing iniquity” and the “scarcity of love,” and that when He comes, He shall hardly find faith on earth (Luke 18:8).
The power of true Christians in present and forthcoming times lies in the anticipation of the second coming of Christ. The spirit of constant waiting for the second coming of Christ is the spirit of early Christianity, which prayerfully cried out to the Lord: “Yea, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20). While the opposite spirit to this is undoubtedly the spirit of Antichrist, which tries in all ways to distract Christians form the thought of the second coming of Christ and the subsequent universal judgment. Those who succumb to this spirit are in danger of not recognizing the Antichrist when he comes and falling into his nets. It is this which is most terrifying in our modern world, full of all manner of temptations and delusions. The servants of Antichrist, as the Lord has warned us, will attempt to deceive, if possible, even the chosen ones (Matt. 24:24). However, the thought of this should not depress us, but, on the contrary: “Look up, – says the Lord, – and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).
(From his book “True Orthodoxy and the Modern World”)
Comment by Fr. Seraphim Rose:
There has yet been no official announcement as to where all of this is leading, but logically the road is quite obvious. The ideology on which ecumenism is based, which inspires its actions and words, is a heresy in itself. How else can one view assertions that the Church of Christ does not exist, that no one possesses the entire Truth, that the Church is still in the process of being created. However, without too much ado it can be seen that the self-liquidation of the Orthodoxy that participates in ecumenism is at the same time the self-destruction of Christianity as such: for if there is not one single church that is specifically the Church of Christ, then neither will the combination of all the sects be such a Church, at least in the sense in which that concept was presented by its founder – the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, if all “Christian” groups are related to one another, then all of them together are related to other religious groups, and such Christian ecumenism can only lead to a syncretic world religion (the religion of Antichrist).
Such is truly the underlying goal of the ideology that inspire the ecumenical movement, and currently this ideology has so taken over the participants in the ecumenical movement that a “dialogue” and subsequent unification with non-Christian religions becomes the next logical step for today’s corrupt Christianity.
Father Seraphim Rose