To whom will I liken Andrew?
Andrew is like those Pharisees seeing clearly our Lord healing by the power of God but said that He did cast out demons by Belzeebub. In the same manner, the Lord has said that the fate of the unrepentant is the Gehenna and eternal torment, but Andrew says that He promised universal salvation.
But to whom will I liken Andrew?
Andrew is like the annoying plethora of non Christians who keeps on lecturing Christians about what it means to be a Christian, pointing out all the things Christ (and His Church) got wrong, before their salvific coming to the scene with their typical humility to rebuke and correct the Lord and all His Saints.
To whom then will I liken Andrew?
Andrew is like all those spoiled souls who have mistaken Christianity for a shopping mall. They take what they like and leave the rest. And if they really do not like that rest, they will scream and pretend to change it. Otherwise they will change place of shopping.
They forget that they do not come to the Church to be pleased and assured in the fantasies that overcrowd the vanity of their minds, but to please Christ and, if they leave, their apostasy is all that they can take away with them.
To whom will I liken Andrew indeed?
Knowledge puffs up! And Andrew is just like one of those balloons puffed up by hot air and go up and up in the heavenly places, where at the due time they will get punctured at one of the toll-houses and crash down to the place that will prove them eternally wrong.
If you are wondering who is Andrew, read the comments to this good piece by father Lawrence Farley*. In fact, Andrew is a type more than a person.
- *There are some points which need to be clarified, anyway, like the question of annihilation of the personality of the damned or some passages which seem to hint at the possibility of repentance after death (excluded by the Church), but indeed the main critic which can be made to father Lawrence is to mistake Dr. Hart for a Christian and a bit of timidity in dealing with these persons drowning in their delusions.
- What really does bother me is their constant portrait of God as a Deity subjected to His own perfection, which indeed makes the Almighty bounded by a sort of Necessity. He does not change because He contains everything, not because is constrained by His Essence, and He is absolutely free. He is not subject to passions because He’s entirely good, He does suffice to Himself and does not need anything as He everything can, but His refusal of the wicked and His rejection of every evil does not constitute a passion. It is not, not even when it’s carried on with what we define wrath or anger! It’s only an expression of His unchangeable good, just like His mercy in giving His only Son to call to salvation all who are willing to hear, trough repentance!
- This misunderstanding must be overcome once and for all. Our God is a Triune Person, not a naked transcendent concept born in the crooked minds of people who does not bear the Truth and turn on to fables, and He wiped out every life from Earth when Noah did enter the ark and destroyed the Sodomites with fire and brimstone from Heaven, because that’s exactly what Good does to evil, reject and destroy it, not because He’s passionate. These faked Christians preach universal salvation because they want to be saved on their own terms, like those who crucified the Lord, without change, without repentance, without rejecting evil, and they mask their hypocrisy with false love and self-righteousness, that kind of love who is ready to do any compromise with the evil. They (and their bishops, who will give account for not restraining them and permitting to lead astray the little ones in their flock) will discover bitterly that not one ounce of evil, real evil not human weaknesses, will enter the Kingdom and abide in the new heavens and the new earth.
- Another thing which is completely overlooked is the fact that will be our Lord to judge, precisely that Person of the Most Holy Trinity will seat in judgement at that day, we will answer to Christ, the Word incarnated, the only relation of God with His creation, through whom only the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father, Who did take our flesh and perfected it to return us a hope of salvation and to Whom has been given every authority upon the heaven and earth. Now Christ is obviously the Son of God and is God, but He’s also the Son of Man and is Man, the son who has been perfected forever and sits at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven as God and as Man, perfectly united and perfectly distinct. Many would think that it makes no difference, I think it does, not only in His judgements of Righteousness but also in His judgements of Mercy (having been tempted…., as St. Paul says). Just do not ask for details about that difference, all I am able to say is that the Will of the Father will be perfectly done!
- Finally, the real elephant in the room when talking about the Judgement of God is 1 Corinthians 3, 15. Everybody knows it’s there, but nobody speaks about it. Only St. John Chrysostom did, but his interpretation would mean the only case in the Holy Scripture where the word “saved” would apply to a damned. I know he’s St. John Chrysostom and I am nobody, but just because he is St. John Chrysostom he will forgive me, a sinner, if I beg to differ.
The debate about universalism has been closed by the Holy Spirit in 553 A.D. (it’s not so hard to understand, even for minds of fallen men):
9. If anyone says or thinks that the punishment of demons and of impious men is only temporary, and will one day have an end, AND that a restoration (ἀποκατάστασις) will take place of demons and of impious men, let him be anathema.
10. Anathema to Origen ….., who set forth these opinions together with his nefarious and execrable and wicked doctrine and anyone who holds to these thoughts, protects them and by any other way and reason will dare to repeat them.
For details, click here.
In fact, the debate should not even be started, because our Lord (the Word of God, you know…) states UNEQUIVOCALLY against these possibilities in SEVERAL Gospels’ passages. Below there is just one of them:
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Therefore, understand this: whoever stands by these doctrines is under anathema, they commune unworthily to the Body and the Blood of the Lord.
All the priests teaching these heresies should be severely reprimanded by their bishops, who ought to intervene urgently, and defrocked if they do not desist from spreading this spiritual poison to their flock. The bishops “must give account”, St. Paul says!
Economy cannot be administered to the shepherds in our times, which are evil as never before. Today the secular powers are entirely in the hands of the enemy and outside the Church men are educated by the devil since the birth; it’s NOT tolerable that errors and lies and fantasies attack them even inside the Church.
As for the laymen, I beg them to stop thinking that Christianity (i.e. Orthodoxy) is something negotiable. Do not come to the Church to be pleased, come to the Church to please Christ.
Stop the madness to impute to God the wickedness of men! Everybody will have earned his lot. To avoid that some men would end up in eternal sufferings (thanks to THEIR free choices), God could only create us in bondage, slaves (but what good slaves could be to the Almighty?), or do not create us at all! What is better?
The eternity is for the age to come, when our Lord will come again, this time in His Glory, and no evil will be allowed into His Kingdom.
Until that time, even dead people can still escape a terrifying lot, but only through the prayers of the Church (and everyone of you is a member of the Church). Therefore, do not waste your time with eclectic bags of hot air and gnostic inanities, but pray unceasingly and give alms for the dead. And watch yourself against wolves in sheep clothes, who misunderstand Christianity for their feelings and emotions, their fantasies, and lead astray the little ones.
No Christian talents should be wasted anymore with people who have been warned several times against their trespasses. So let them be like heathen now, as the Lord commands!