Infiltration of the Orthodox church

Hi there Orthodox brothers, I am catholic, and I have come to accept that sadly my church, at least in terms of the hierarchy and the vatican has been infiltrated by the enemy to a large degree. I mean, at this point I still pray for my pope, but I am praying that he be converted to catholicism, I wish I was joking. My question is has there been a similar infiltration of the Orthodox church at all? If not, then what do you think kept your church protected from this?
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Depends on who you ask and what you mean by infiltration, but most of us here agree that GOARCH (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) is being actively subverted. There are also concerns about OCA (Orthodox Church in America) succumbing to coronavirus dictates. But the degree of corruption will also depend on the parish, so if you are curious about Orthodoxy, you should visit local parishes and test them yourself.

As we get closer to the end times, most churches will be severely corrupted, so as time goes on, it will be hard to find the "perfect" church. In the meanwhile, your best options are the Antiochian Church and ROCOR.
 

NickK

Woodpecker
Hi there Orthodox brothers, I am catholic, and I have come to accept that sadly my church, at least in terms of the hierarchy and the vatican has been infiltrated by the enemy to a large degree. I mean, at this point I still pray for my pope, but I am praying that he be converted to catholicism, I wish I was joking. My question is has there been a similar infiltration of the Orthodox church at all? If not, then what do you think kept your church protected from this?
The beauty of the Orthodox Church is that it's decentralized, which means that if one local church is infiltrated, sooner or later it's going to be cut off by the other churches. Whereas with a Pope as the head of a church, if he and his cronies are corrupt, then the victory of the enemy is pretty much complete.

As Roosh said, as we are nearing the end times, some (most?) Orthodox local churches will be compromised at the top. But there will always be sound bishops to gather around.
 
Depends on who you ask and what you mean by infiltration, but most of us here agree that GOARCH (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) is being actively subverted. There are also concerns about OCA (Orthodox Church in America) succumbing to coronavirus dictates. But the degree of corruption will also depend on the parish, so if you are curious about Orthodoxy, you should visit local parishes and test them yourself.

As we get closer to the end times, most churches will be severely corrupted, so as time goes on, it will be hard to find the "perfect" church. In the meanwhile, your best options are the Antiochian Church and ROCOR.

Why did they choose to subvert the Greek Orthodox Church? Is there any particular vulnerability there?
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
GOARCH is the largest Orthodox jurisdiction in the United States; they completely dwarf ROCOR, for example. There is a large Greek diaspora and they seem much wealthier than Russian/Eastern European or Middle Eastern Christians in America, so there are more resources invested in GOARCH as well. Therefore it makes sense that Satan would attack the largest and most influential* group first.

Fordham University is a Jesuit school with a "department of Orthodox studies" that's filled with subversive liberals connected GOARCH and OCA. The "Public Orthodoxy" blog, which might be more appropriately called "Byzantine-Rite Episcopalianism," is a Fordham product dedicated to trying to undermine traditional Orthodox thought with feminism, homosexual acceptance, downplaying of the Church Fathers, and more. Basically the same stuff going on in other churches, but with an Orthodox twist.

Despite this, however, Orthodoxy is far less undermined because of its decentralized nature, as NickK pointed out. And the clear teachings of the Church Fathers, which guide Orthodox interpretation of Scripture, act as a powerful safeguard against theological novelty and innovation. This is perhaps why most opposition against Orthodoxy throughout history has been in the form of blunt physical persecution rather than the more psychological sort we've seen in the West.

Another issue is internal schisms over political issues. This was an issue with ROCOR, where not everyone agreed with the decision to re-unite with Moscow in 2007. There are various disparate schismatic groups from ROCOR, and Greek Old Calendarists along the same lines, but these divisions are based on internal politics rather than theological issues, and in my experience the people in these schismatic groups come across as very nasty and often crazy, so it's hard to take them seriously.

For a while it seems like a lot of converts to Orthodoxy were liberal, upper-middle class types either attracted a more "Eastern" manifestation of Christianity for similar reasons to why they might embrace Buddhism, or out of disillusionment with "culture war" conservative evangelicalism and a desire for a less political church - Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer, being a good example of this. (Now he's functionally an atheist, so it didn't end well for him.) So for a while there was an influx of already-liberal people. Today, however, that's flipped and the vast majority of growth is coming from based guys like us and is causing great consternation among the Fordhamite crowd.

*Maybe. You could argue that ROCOR, despite being (currently) numerically small, has far outsized influence due to Jordanville's publications and highly influential figures within, like Fr. Seraphim Rose.
 

Joe316

Robin
The beauty of the Orthodox Church is that it's decentralized, which means that if one local church is infiltrated, sooner or later it's going to be cut off by the other churches. Whereas with a Pope as the head of a church, if he and his cronies are corrupt, then the victory of the enemy is pretty much complete.

That's an advantage Protestant churches always had. Obviously there are lots of fake (mega)churches sailing under that banner, which the Pandemonic shut down now, but between them there are lots of decentralized Bible-believing congregations as well. Discernment is up to the faithful believer.
 

budoslavic

Owl
Gold Member
Why did they choose to subvert the Greek Orthodox Church? Is there any particular vulnerability there?
See below links from Orthodox Christian news as examples.




This one is unrelated to Greek Orthodox Church, but related to ROCOR-A schism.

 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
That's an advantage Protestant churches always had. Obviously there are lots of fake (mega)churches sailing under that banner, which the Pandemonic shut down now, but between them there are lots of decentralized Bible-believing congregations as well. Discernment is up to the faithful believer.

But the difference is that the Orthodox Churches believe the same thing. If I attend a ROCOR parish but move somewhere that there's only an Antiochian one, I know that I'm going to a church that believes the same thing and encapsulates the same Faith. Amongst independent protestant churches, there's no theological unity at all.

This one believes in Calvinism, that one doesn't.
This one believes in gifts of the Holy Spirit, that one doesn't.
This one believes in Dispensationalism, a pre-trib Rapture, and Israel First. That one believes in post-millennial Dominionism.
This one serves communion every week, that one once a year.

Further, there's no such thing as a lone-wolf Orthodox parish. They're part of a hierarchy - it works the same whether you're in an OCA church or a Serbian one. So the individual parish is accountable to the hierarchy. The problem with independent protestant churches is that they have a tendency toward drama, scandal, and implosion because they have one central charismatic leader who drives everything and has little to no accountability. Mark Driscoll, Jack Hyles, Robert Thieme, and most recently Carl Lentz, all show the shortcomings of this model.

Of course this was less of an issue for historic protestant denominations like Baptists, Methodist, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and so on. But unfortunately the downfall of those denominations was in full effect a century ago, and now the same thing is repeating amongst the consolidated conservative exiles, like Southern Baptists.

This one is unrelated to Greek Orthodox Church, but related to ROCOR-A schism.

This is a great example of the antics of ROCOR schismatics. I've seen these sorts of articles before and it's hard to make sense of them as anything other than petty infighting that comes across as the ecclesiastical version of high school girl clique drama. This guy said this to him and I can't believe it, blah blah blah. Don't they have any idea how ridiculous this makes them look?

What's really sad is that Andrei Erastov, mentioned in this article, was a monk at Jordanville who created many of Holy Trinity's most familiar icons and trained iconographers. But apparently he felt the need to go to Australia and be a bishop or whatever. It's all quite strange.
 
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Joe316

Robin
But the difference is that the Orthodox Churches believe the same thing. If I attend a ROCOR parish but move somewhere that there's only an Antiochian one, I know that I'm going to a church that believes the same thing and encapsulates the same Faith. Amongst independent protestant churches, there's no theological unity at all.

Any non-independent structure is at the danger of getting infiltrated and subverted.

This one believes in Calvinism, that one doesn't.
This one believes in gifts of the Holy Spirit, that one doesn't.
This one believes in Dispensationalism, a pre-trib Rapture, and Israel First. That one believes in post-millennial Dominionism.
This one serves communion every week, that one once a year.

And the Lord Himself guides His faithful children through this. My approach is to behave like a child to the Lord and behave as a responsible adult to church authorities - not the other way around.

Further, there's no such thing as a lone-wolf Orthodox parish. They're part of a hierarchy - it works the same whether you're in an OCA church or a Serbian one. So the individual parish is accountable to the hierarchy.

Any hierarchy is in immediate danger of getting persecuted. When the calling is evangelization of unsaved souls and not just martyrdom, being organized in independent cells instead of a hierarchy is more advantageous to a longer lasting ministry.

The problem with independent protestant churches is that they have a tendency toward drama, scandal, and implosion because they have one central charismatic leader who drives everything and has little to no accountability. Mark Driscoll, Jack Hyles, Robert Thieme, and most recently Carl Lentz, all show the shortcomings of this model.

I don't know any of these names, as I don't receive American TV. However "church implosion" is part of the process to separate the wheat from the chaff. That's nothing to be worried about.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Any non-independent structure is at the danger of getting infiltrated and subverted.

Which is why we ought to take the Orthodox Church very seriously since their hierarchical structure has held to the same beliefs as it did in, say, the 7th century. This is compelling, empirical evidence that they have maintained the Apostolic faith. Despite all the hee-hawing from Fordhamites and their ilk, they haven't actually succeeded in changing any theology yet. Just influencing the politics surrounding the Church.

But why should I believe an independent church is less likely to be subverted? I've seen it happen in person at least three or four times. It's easier to subvert because there's less accountability. Knock down or corrupt the guy at the top, and the whole thing follows. Meanwhile, in Orthodoxy, you might have one lousy bishop, but he's counterbalanced by the other bishops who keep him in line. Corrupting most or all of them is harder than corrupting the single guy at the top. It's simple math.

And the Lord Himself guides His faithful children through this. My approach is to behave like a child to the Lord and behave as a responsible adult to church authorities - not the other way around.

That's just evasion. These are mutually exclusive claims. Which one is right? Don't they all claim to be led by the Spirit? Is God leading them to contradictory beliefs? I find that highly unconvincing.

Any hierarchy is in immediate danger of getting persecuted. When the calling is evangelization of unsaved souls and not just martyrdom, being organized in independent cells instead of a hierarchy is more advantageous to a longer lasting ministry.

I see no evidence of this. The Orthodox Church has been around for two thousand years. Most independent churches fall into irrelevance or cease to exist after the death of their founder. There's no stability at all. The very concept of an "independent church" is a 20th-century novelty with no basis in historical Christian practice anyway.

I don't know any of these names, as I don't receive American TV. However "church implosion" is part of the process to separate the wheat from the chaff. That's nothing to be worried about.

It's absolutely something worth worrying about if you invest years of your life into a church only for the pastor to die/leave/be deposed in a scandal and replaced by someone preaching cultural marxist politics, to name a pertinent example. Constantly bouncing from one church to the next as one after another falls to theological compromise or scandal, like jumping from one sinking ship to the next, is no way to go through life. This was a leading indicator to me that the evangelical tradition had gotten things wrong and was built on a deeply unstable foundation. The conservative protestant churches I attended would either not be there for my children by the time they're grown, or they'd be flying rainbow flags and flaunt female pastors. No thanks.

The problem is that most conservative American Christians are so used to this sad state of affairs that they're genuinely unware of how unnatural it is.
 

Joe316

Robin
Which is why we ought to take the Orthodox Church very seriously since their hierarchical structure has held to the same beliefs as it did in, say, the 7th century. This is compelling, empirical evidence that they have maintained the Apostolic faith.

While apostolic succession looks like nice concept on paper, it's something impossible to verify for a single Christian human. I have no way to tell, if the Great Schism even happened how it's reported (like on Wikipedia) and if the Pope of current era RCC is even the real Pope or just a deception of an imposter. So all I can depend on is on our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

But why should I believe an independent church is less likely to be subverted?

It isn't, but in a fully decentral cell structure it doesn't matter, if one cell goes rogue and colludes with government authorities, that cell isn't going to survive.

Which one is right? Don't they all claim to be led by the Spirit? Is God leading them to contradictory beliefs? I find that highly unconvincing.

Matthew 7:15 - You will know them by their fruits: How do they conduct their lives? Are they living in perpetual sin? Do they show the fruits of Spirit (Galatians 5:22) or are they SJW-type shrieks?

I see no evidence of this. The Orthodox Church has been around for two thousand years. Most independent churches fall into irrelevance or cease to exist after the death of their founder.

As the goal is saving souls, boasting of being around for so-and-so-thousand years is not really required.

It's absolutely something worth worrying about if you invest years of your life into a church only for the pastor to die/leave/be deposed in a scandal and replaced by someone preaching cultural marxist politics, to name a pertinent example. Constantly bouncing from one church to the next as one after another falls to theological compromise or scandal, like jumping from one sinking ship to the next, is no way to go through life.

Worrying about "investments" in life is very human thing. Who wants to go to college and then realize, that it was all in vain? However as Christians we store up treasures in heaven, not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21), and nothing you do for the Lord is in vain. Even if a church blooming with life closes and disappears over night, some people still got saved.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
While apostolic succession looks like nice concept on paper, it's something impossible to verify for a single Christian human. I have no way to tell, if the Great Schism even happened how it's reported (like on Wikipedia) and if the Pope of current era RCC is even the real Pope or just a deception of an imposter. So all I can depend on is on our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Pure gnosticism. There's little difference from the atheist skeptic says "while the resurrection of Jesus looks like a nice concept on paper, it's something impossible to verify for a single human." The difference is only a matter of degree. The natural next step is to ask, why can we even trust the Bible? At least the Enlightenment Humanists and their fedora-doffing descendants were intellectually consistent: they rejected the Church that compiled and canonized the Scriptures, so rejecting the authority of Scripture naturally follows from that.

If you believe Jesus meant it when he said that He would establish His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16.18), it matters a lot because managing to maintain your faith and practices for well over a millennium lends some credence to the idea that this is the Church Jesus was describing, and Independent Fundamentalist Pastor Billy Bob's church that collapses after the ambitious music minister drives him away in a hostile takeover is not. Besides that, Scripture itself tells us that we can rely on the Church, which St. Paul calls the "pillar and ground of truth" (2 Thess. 2.15).

And don't bother giving me the line about the "invisible church," it's already been thoroughly dismantled.

Matthew 7:15 - You will know them by their fruits: How do they conduct their lives? Are they living in perpetual sin? Do they show the fruits of Spirit (Galatians 5:22) or are they SJW-type shrieks?

Mormons always seem incredibly nice and seem to show spiritual fruit, especially compared to the IFB crowd. Perhaps I should join their church.

Lots of nice, sincere people believe things that aren't true. Just because Barbara the Calvinist lady brings me nice cookies every once in a while, that doesn't make Calvinism correct, especially when Josh The TULIP Cultivator counteracts her as he shrieks at me about this thing or that from Calvin's Institutes. And none of the protestant churches I attended produced anything like Orthodox Saints, whose lives are inspiring and encouraging.

As the goal is saving souls, boasting of being around for so-and-so-thousand years is not really required.

And a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness would say the exact same thing to justify their theological novelties and disconnect from historical Christian belief and practice.

If the Church is meant to play a role in salvation as most Christians believed for the past two thousand years than it actually matters a lot. IFB types think that the most important thing is going door-to-door, salesman-style, "preaching the Gospel" at people, but in all my years as a Christian I have yet to meet a single person who actually became a Christian this way. This hyper-individualist model of Christianity is a historical novelty with no basis in the Patristic writings or pre-Schism Church.

Worrying about "investments" in life is very human thing. Who wants to go to college and then realize, that it was all in vain? However as Christians we store up treasures in heaven, not on earth (Matthew 6:19-21), and nothing you do for the Lord is in vain. Even if a church blooming with life closes and disappears over night, some people still got saved.

What a bleak perspective. You're conflating earthly investments with spiritual investments, and investing in your church IS storing up treasures in heaven. You just made the exact opposite point of what you wanted. This is just individualist pseudo-gnosticism, where no element of the Christian faith outside of the individual's rationalistic assent is real. Christianity and the Church is reduced from a real, tactile thing reflective of a God who became a real, actual man, into a theoretical philosophy and set of mental propositions with little connection to the real world.

This ends-justifies-the-means way of thinking about the Christian faith is a complete disaster, and is the direct origin of the theological compromise, marxism, and relativism running rampant in protestant churches today. If anything goes as long as "some people still got saved," then terrible power ballad worship songs and endless marketing gimmicks are the inevitable result; and at worst, you get female pastors, BLM parroting, and homosexual acceptance since the last thing you'd want to do is "push people away." And from an Orthodox perspective - the one held by posters of this sub-forum - you most definitely don't know that those "people still got saved," and the plight of their church might have an adverse impact on the odds of that.
 
Different Orthodox Churches are being attacked by different means of subversion. In my own OCA, the libs successfully got rid of Metropolitan Jonah when he got too vocal about the Christian teaching on sodomy. And St. Vlad's gave an honorary doctorate to Rowan Williams, of all people. That did not go unnoticed by priests like Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon who protested against the decision.

Other Orthodox Churches suffer different issues. For example, in the county where I recently moved the ROCOR and GOA parishes have closed their doors for COVID, resulting in the already rapidly-growing OCA parish getting too large for the building as formerly Russian or Greek Orthodox join us in American Orthodoxy.

Orthodox Churches tend to be very willing to excommunicate each other, which can make the Church seem disorganized but also means that outright subversion is very difficult. I've no doubt there's some bishop out there dying to ordain a woman, for example, but if he does it he'll be instantly excommunicated. So a subverted clergyman has little opportunity to effect change, and the best they usually do is turn a blind eye towards the truth rather than actively promote falsehood.

And the process of subversion has been going on for 2,000 years. It is not unique to our generation, and we need not worry. We just have to keep doing the Lord's work.
 
Sorry about the edits, I made a mess of this post initially :)

Thanks Roosh and others for your comments. I suspected that perhaps the decentralized nature may have helped. The thing that got me interested to ask the question was that I have noticed the amount of based orthodox priests and the quality of their teaching. I am a faithful catholic and the pedos and heretics are not going to drive me out, I will stay and fight until they "put me out of the synagogue" as Christ predicts they will. All my life though 90% of the priests I have had contact with have sadly been emasculated preachers of sentimentality and liberalism. The ones that have not been have been great though - sadly these guys usually get isolated by the hierarchy and sent off to serve a parish in some provincial backwoods area. I have however formed a prayer group within my church that consists of faithful traditionalists. One of them is a deacon and I told him that I was thinking of discerning a call to be a deacon as well. He proceeded to tell me about how as part of his training he was subjected to lectures by a feminist heretic that some Bishop thought was a good idea. Honestly, the shepherds are asleep and the wolves are in charge it seems.
 

NickK

Woodpecker
Orthodox Churches tend to be very willing to excommunicate each other, which can make the Church seem disorganized but also means that outright subversion is very difficult.
It is exactly this disorganisation that proves Orthodoxy is THE Church. By all earthly standards the logical and expected thing to happen would be the rapid and total collapse of Orthodoxy. That She still stands after 2000 years is truly God's miracle. "My power is made perfect in weakness".
 

Mountaineer

Pelican
Gold Member
It is exactly this disorganisation that proves Orthodoxy is THE Church. By all earthly standards the logical and expected thing to happen would be the rapid and total collapse of Orthodoxy. That She still stands after 2000 years is truly God's miracle. "My power is made perfect in weakness".
The Orthodox Church is the native Christian church by historical knowledge.

 
GOARCH also has the extreme weakness of having more than ten million dollars disappear that were donated for the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Shrine in New York, a building that was destroyed on 9/11. That disappearing money created an opening, so the theory goes, for the State Department to "look the other way" in exchange for favors (such as interfering with the Russian Orthodox Church, as Mike Pompeo bragged about doing). If that money was embezzled or something otherwise illegal happened to it, it was an easy opening for Satan to get his hooks in. There is no telling what level of compromise was hypothetically agreed to in order to not face the consequences of having all that money go missing. I don't have direct proof of this theory, just putting the pieces together in a way that seems coherent.
 

Joe316

Robin
There's little difference from the atheist skeptic says "while the resurrection of Jesus looks like a nice concept on paper, it's something impossible to verify for a single human."

That's a single event easy to verify. The entire story has been prophesized over thousands of years, before it happened.

And don't bother giving me the line about the "invisible church," it's already been thoroughly dismantled.

Obviously I don't believe in "You go to hell if you're not in communion with Mr. Bergoglio's Church", which is something many devout Catholics will continue to believe once they got their female pope.

Mormons always seem incredibly nice and seem to show spiritual fruit, especially compared to the IFB crowd. Perhaps I should join their church.

It doesn't work both ways. Just because people are nice, that doesn't mean they are saved. Nevertheless, neither Mormons nor "Independent Fundamental Baptists" have any relevance where I live. That's America's problems.
 
Another Protestant trying to convince us that authority and dogma does not matter, apostolic succession is not provable and that us Catholics are so subverted, whereas many Protestant churches are and always have been on the forefront of destroying the culture that was built by Catholics. Let us not forget, either, that these "free" churches almost alwas fail, while the Holy Church has existed for 2000 years. I do see the merits of the Orthodox path, however. It is not mutually exclusive.
 
Another Protestant trying to convince us that authority and dogma does not matter, apostolic succession is not provable and that us Catholics are so subverted, whereas many Protestant churches are and always have been on the forefront of destroying the culture that was built by Catholics. Let us not forget, either, that these "free" churches almost alwas fail, while the Holy Church has existed for 2000 years. I do see the merits of the Orthodox path, however. It is not mutually exclusive.
Reading E Michael Jones Jewish Revolutionary Spirit gave me some interesting perspectives on protestantism!
 
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