Friday, April 24, 2015

Blind Guides

There are many posing as wise leaders.  Southerners like any people must discern the truth-tellers from the liars, following the good and running away from the evil.  The choices are the same as they always have been:  whether to follow those who love man and seek to overcome the evil ghosts; or those who love the evil spirits and seek to destroy men.

In men like Glenn Beck and Pastor John Hagee, we have those who lean toward the latter, however good-intentioned they may be. 

 . . .

With his end-of-the world predictions long unfulfilled, Hal Lindsey has long since faded into relative obscurity, yet others have ambitiously taken up his mantle. Among the most prominent of the current crop of evangelical Christian Zionists stands John Hagee, the pastor of a Texas mega-church and founder of the lobbying group Christians United for Israel. His theological platform is based not only on uncritical, unwavering support for the nation-state of Israel, but a belief that at some point in the near future Russia, in an alliance with several Islamic countries, particularly Iran, will attack Israel, only to be defeated by God’s divine intervention.

Unfortunately, Hagee isn’t some irrelevant firebrand country pastor. He is a man with deep connections to the Republican Party faction of the ruling establishment. Republican presidential candidates seek out his endorsement, and he has been honored by the Israel lobby for his vocal advocacy for Zionism. But Hagee goes further than mere pro-Israel sermonizing; he also uses his pulpit and political connections to push for a belligerent US position against any and all of Israel’s enemies, again, with a special emphasis on Iran, against which he advocates a preemptive military strike. He claims this confrontation is a necessary precondition that “will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.”

Standing behind or perhaps next to John Hagee is the billionaire casino mogul and heavyweight fundraiser for Zionist causes, Sheldon Adelson. Adelson uses his vast wealth not simply in the American Jewish community, but consistently rewards Republican politicians for screamingly hawkish pro-Israel, bomb-Iran posturing. He is also an admitted pro-abortion social liberal, which makes Hagee’s warm association with him all the more dubious. John Hagee has on numerous occasions intoned against America’s moral degeneracy and warned that God would punish the nation with various natural disasters as a result. Yet that Adelson made his fortune promoting said degeneracy in the casino industry is irrelevant to Hagee, since cultish devotion to Israel trumps all other considerations.

John Hagee exploits a variety of Biblical prophecies to push for what amounts to a holy war against Muslim nations. When he writes his books and preaches his sermons, his aim is not spiritual or academic; he clearly desires war against Iran and increased American hostility toward Russia. He also completely distains political self-determination for the Palestinians; he opposes granting them an independent state, dismissing their identity as entirely manufactured. Waxing prophetic for his followers, he even suggested that last year’s Ebola outbreak was punishment on America for Obama allegedly trying to “divide” the land of Israel.

Being an appendage of the Atlanticist establishment, John Hagee is eager to hype war and hatred against America and Israel’s enemies. Absent in his commentary on “blood moons” and Israel’s sacred status is any mention that the very radical Muslim groups he rails against have been fostered by the West and Israel. Nor does he speak up for the millions of Christians displaced and massacred in the wars he has supported. The Christian notion of charity is absent from his worldview.

Cynical geopolitics masked as end-times prophecy is far from restricted to Hagee’s church congregation and a few offices in Congress. It is distilled and widely promoted by prominent American conservative outlets. Among its most prominent cheerleaders is the odd Dispensationalist-Mormon hybrid Glenn Beck, embraced by Dispensationalist Protestants despite his Mormon beliefs. Beck has allowed Hagee, who he describes as “one of the bravest guys I know,” and other pro-war Dispensationalists such as Joel Rosenberg, onto his TV program to espouse all sorts of anti-Iranian and anti-Russian sentiments.

Glenn Beck uses his program to regularly accuse Iran of trying to unleash apocalyptic chaos to usher in their Twelfth Imam, a messianic figure in Shiite Islamic eschatology that Beck associates with the Antichrist. But Beck is not content to project the nihilistic apocalyptic fantasies of his cohorts onto Iran; as of late, he has set his sights on Russia.

Like Hal Lindsey and John Hagee, Beck has posited Russia, along with China, as being “the alliance of Gog and Magog.” Beck, childishly babbling and crying his way through his pseudo-history presentations, also never misses a chance to suggest that Russian president Vladimir Putin is a new Hitler seeking to carry out a thousand year old plan for Russian fascist domination.

 . . .

In the theological view of Lindsey, Hagee, Beck and their fellow travelers, the Iranians, Russians, and Palestinians aren’t viewed as actual human personalities. They aren’t seen as people bearing the divine image of God, however imperfectly (much like the rest of us). Instead, they are reduced to little more than Satan’s hordes, predestined as cannon fodder for the Apocalypse. Whether by delusion or naked cynicism, “Christian Zionists” proclaim a theology of de-humanization.

The Russian philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev in his book The Fate of Man in the Modern World commented on this trend among certain Protestant thinkers who see in the world “only sin and powerlessness.” And that while they still believe in God, it is a deity “absolutely transcendent, separated by an abyss from the world and from man.” In this theology, the “image of God in man is shattered.”

Berdyaev’s analysis describes well the fruits of wedding Dispensationalist eschatology to Atlanticist geopolitics. Such grand distortions deprive the image of God to Russians, Iranians, or other villains de jour, casting them only as evil and depraved instruments of infernal powers. They are not only denied the divine image, but the freedom and human agency that corresponds to the spiritual personality. And while a few individuals among them might be “saved,” according to this formula, the collective peoples of Russia, Iran, and other Muslim nations are primarily destined to be hurled into hellfire after they serve their purpose on the cosmic stage.  . . .

Source:  Daniel Spaulding, ‘End-Times Buffoonery’, Soul of the East, posted 10 April 2015,, accessed 19 April 2015

Of the former, we may look to St Matrona of Moscow (+1952).  Ræther than play power politics, she shunned it, and taught others to do the same.

On the days when political demonstrations were held, Matrona urged everyone not to go outside, but to close their windows and doors. Hordes of demons, she said, occupied the entire area, filling the air and troubling people. Perhaps, here, Blessed Matrona, who often spoke allegorically, wanted to remind those around her of the need to guard the ‘windows of the soul’ – as the Holy Fathers sometimes call the senses, from evil spirits.

Thinking of the years after the revolution, Zenaida Zhdanova once asked Matushka, “How can God allow so many churches to be closed and destroyed?” Matushka replied, “It is the will of God to reduce the number of churches because there will be few believers and no one to serve.” Later, she said,

“The people are under hypnosis, they are not themselves, a terrible power has come into being…This power exists in the air and penetrates everything. In earlier times, swamps and impenetrable forests were the habitations of these forces because people were going to churches, they wore crosses and their homes were defended by icons, lampadas and blessings. Before, demons could only fly near these houses, but now they inhabit both houses and people because of unbelief and apostasy from God.”

Source:  Orthodox Wiki,, posted 23 October 2012, accessed 24 April 2015

By her teachings and way of life she encouraged all to seek God the Most Holy Trinity:

St. Matrona led an ascetic life on her bed of pain. She fasted constantly, slept little, her head resting on her chest, and her forehead was dented by the innumerable signs of the Cross that she made. Not only the Muscovites but also people from afar, of all ages and conditions, thronged around her to ask her advice and her prayers. In this way she truly became the support of afflicted people, especially during World War II. To those who came to ask her for news of their relatives in battle, she reassured some and counseled others to hold memorial services. She spoke to some directly, and to others in parables, having in view their spiritual edification and recommending them to keep the Church’s laws, to marry in the Church and to regularly attend Confession and take Communion. When the sick and possessed were brought to her, she placed her hands on their heads, saying several prayers or driving the demons out with authority, always insisting that she was doing nothing of herself but that God was healing by her mediation. When asked why the Church was undergoing such great persecutions, she replied that it was because of the sins of the Christians and their lack of faith. “All the peoples who have turned away from God have disappeared from off the face of the earth,” she affirmed. “Difficult times are our lot, but we Christians must choose the Cross. Christ has placed us on His sleigh, and he will take us where He will.”

 . . .

In her memoirs, Zenaida Zhdanova writes: “Who was Matrona, exactly? Matushka was an angel incarnate – a warrior, doing battle with evil powers as if she held a flaming sword in her hands. She healed by her prayers, with holy water…

“She was small, like a child, and often lay on her side, on her clenched fist. She also slept this way, never really lying down completely. When she received people, she sat cross-legged, her legs beneath her [She lost the use of her legs at the age of 17--W.G.]. She would put her hands on the head of the person kneeling in front of her, make the sign of the Cross over them, pray, and then say whatever was needful for their soul. “It seems that Matushka knew everything that was going to happen ahead of time. Every day of her life was a stream of grief and sorrow from those who came to her. She would hold the head of a weeping person in both hands, suffering with them, warming them with her holiness. The person would leave as if on wings, and many healings occurred as a result of her prayers. Matrona herself was often exhausted; she sighed heavily and prayed all night long. She had a small depression on her forehead from her fingers because she had crossed herself so very often. She crossed herself slowly, carefully, her fingers searching for this place on her forehead.”

Source:  Full of Grace and Truth,, posted 2 May 2009, accessed 24 April 2015

Our Holy Mother Matrona will always be quick to answer the cries of those in need:

Having foretold the day of her death, she gave instructions for her funeral. Before falling asleep in peace on April 19, 1952, she cried out, “Come close, all of you, and tell me of your troubles as though I were alive! I’ll see you, I’ll hear you, and I’ll come to your aid.” Miracles were multiplied at her tomb and, ever since her translation to the women’s monastery of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God (March 13, 1998), the faithful who, in their thousands, line up to venerate Moscow’s new protectress, turn to her icon and bring her their various problems as though St. Matrona were alive in front of them." From Volume Four of the Synaxarion, compiled by the Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra, Mount Athos (taken from:

What can be said of those like Mr Glenn and Pastor John who bring forth those cries of the needy by stirring up wars and troubles in the world, with their death and grief and famine?

Those who give life or those who slay it?  Đose with bodily blindness (St Matrona was born blind) or those with ghostly blindness?  The Orthodox way of St Matrona and all the Church’s saints or the way of Western spiritual death? 

Such is your choice, Souðron.

Holy Saint Matrona, pray for us sinners! 

(For a fuller telling of St Matrona’s life, please follow this path:

No comments:

Post a Comment