Monday, February 14, 2011

Three More Warning Signs

I don’t yet know enough about what's going on to list for you all the warning signs that you may have encountered a cult, but I have been made vividly and painfully aware of a few.

* While you are confessing your sins, the priest asks too many, too intimate questions or leads you on to discuss sexual matters too much AND/OR lays shame upon you, as if you were the scum of the earth, AND/OR excludes you from Holy Communion for a time that seems disproportionate. Such a person is trying to manipulate you by guilt - and/or getting his vicarious sexual jollies in this way.

* You are advised that you and your spouse need to live as brother and sister from now on. St. Paul says no, you aren’t to do that.

* You are told that blind obedience to your spiritual father is necessary. Obedience is good, but blind obedience is very dangerous. Even (especially!) when your spiritual father is very charming and you have complete confidence in him. There’s a good reason “con artist” is short for “confidence artist”.

* The Orthodox Christian Faith is all about God's Love, and about having faith in God's Love, all about taking great joy in His Love, all about having peace in His Love. All the rest is props. If any group takes away these things, leading you to doubt God will save you unless you do everything exactly as they tell you, they are definitely working for the wrong side. And it is absolutely certain that any group that values the props more than the person (you) is not representing the Lord Christ.

UPDATES:

Beware a priest or other spiritual advisor who tells you you must not have sex with your spouse except to procreate, and even then must take care to avoid having any pleasure in it. This is more puritannical than the Puritans.

Beware the one who tells you that if you have sex with your spouse, you must wait 40 days afterward to receive Holy Communion. And if you haven't done that up to now, you have committed the further sin of receiving the sacrament unworthily.

FLEE from such. Flee first and ask questions later. This drivel has nothing to do with Holy Orthodoxy.

3 comments:

s-p said...

Thank you for posting these things. Unfortunately the "mysticism" of Orthodoxy feeds the delusions and prelest of both clergy and their followers. It saddens me to see how cultism is promoted as "Orthodox spirituality" among American converts.

amy said...

Your recent posts are really alarming...if you are speaking about a church or monastery in the US, I would like to know more details, such as where this place is and under what name. I have never run across such bizarre things under the name of Orthodoxy.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Amy, I hope you never do run into this!

For now, all I can do is publish as many warning signs as possible. Am not yet free to name names. That day, however, will come.