The Antichrist will be a shrewd man. He will flatter each person (or group of people) at his weakest points in order to gain his allegiance. Thus Vladimir Solovyov in his chapter ‘A Short Story of the Anti-Christ’ (found in War, Progress, and the End of History) sketches a picture of the False Messiah offering to Catholics a Pope adorned with as much ‘spiritual authority’ (p. 180), with as many ‘rights and privileges’ (p. 181), as he has ever held; to the Orthodox Christians, a museum displaying and celebrating all the outward forms of their holy tradition - icons, hymns, etc. (pgs. 181-2); and to Protestants, a center for studying the Holy Scriptures (pgs. 182-3). And many of all these proclaimed him their master.
In what danger the Southern people will be on such a day! We who desire a place among the nations, free of Washington City’s abusive domineering, will we bow before Antichrist for this liberation, for the recognition of the World Emperor that ‘the South was right and the North was wrong’ on the question of secession, the War, Reconstruction, and all that has followed? We who value a life of the soil rather than a life of sterile factory and office labor, will we bow before Antichrist for a return to the pastoral ideal? We who value our culture - foodcrafts, poets, novelists, historians, musicians, etc. - will we bow before Antichrist in return for his honoring and patronage of such things? We who desire a peaceful life between blacks and whites in the South, will we bow before Antichrist for his answer to the race question?
We must be ready for these greatest of trials. But we are not ready! As men like Richard Weaver (The Southern Culture at Bay), Cleanth Brooks (‘The Enduring Faith’ in Why the South Will Survive), and Lewis P. Simpson (The Dispossessed Garden) make clear, the Southern people are not theologically astute. In the backwoods, we have settled for simple and emotional forms of Protestant Christianity, and our upper classes have drifted from more traditional, liturgical Christian rites to vague notions of redeeming man through his reconnecting with history and memory. Said otherwise, the South has shallow theological roots, for we have honored tolerance and pluralism more highly than Truth, which has been enfleshed in all of its fulness and splendor in Jesus Christ the God-man, and is now therefore within reach of all men.
If we are to stand firm against Antichrist, we must unite ourselves as closely as possible to his enemy, Christ the God-man. He has left here on this earth His very Body, the Orthodox Church, that we may do this. In our union with Christ through His Divine-human Body, and through Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit - in this lies our one and only hope. If we continue to compromise the Faith given by Christ to His Apostles, the unchanging Faith of the Orthodox Church, through loyalty to Protestant and Catholic traditions, the South will most certainly fall to Antichrist.
Outside the Light of the Truth there is only darkness and error and confusion. But in the Light, our faith will grow from strength to strength, as the sturdy oak in good soil with abundant waters and sunlight. And nothing will make it to fall.
Put on the full armor of God, Southerner! We will find in Orthodoxy not the destruction of our inheritance but its highest fulfilment.
Here are just a few of the many good writings about what the Orthodox Church is, and how she differs from the Western (Catholic and Protestant) churches. While there is still time, we must study such things heartily.
‘The Church—The Treasury of Salvation’ by
of Krostadt: St John
‘The Attributes of the Church’ by St Justin Popovich:
‘The God-Man: The Foundation of the Truth of Orthodoxy’ by St Justin Popovich:
Solovyov, Vladimir. War, Progress, and the End of History. Alexander Bakshy, trans. Hudson, Ny.:
Lindisfarne Press, 1990.