Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What to Do with Outrage

I've spent a fair part of the day investigating the cult my friend seems to have joined.

Its bad... Its really really bad.

I am angry.  I am outraged by what these people teach, their antisemitism, and by the way some of them have used our Holy Icons to substantiate their perverted, heretical, shameful teachings.  I know I am using strong language here and I can't get into specifics with it.  Suffice it to say that I do not use those words lightly.

Rather than argue with anyone, I will turn inward and upward for strength and stability.  I will dive into the Holy Scriptures with gusto.  I will keep every appointment to pray that I possibly can.  I will fill my mind and heart with the sounds and teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church.  I will take an extra moment to gaze through our icons, reaching past them to the person whom they represent, begging their prayers... because, if I'm honest with myself, I hate these teachings and I am angry at those who promote it.  I do not love them.  And yet, I am reminded of St. Maximos the Confessor who said:
“Be as eager as you can to love every man, but if you cannot do this, at least do not  hate anyone [which] you cannot do unless you scorn the things of this world”  
I'm not sure I can love these people.  I'm not sure I want to.  Not even the cool Christian "Jesus loves everyone" kind of love... cuz believe it or not, I'm not sure I like the fact that Jesus loved Hitler and Stalin, who between them, killed more than 16,000,000 people in the 20th Century.  I don't understand that, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.  After all, He is God and He is, in many ways, beyond understanding.

And so, I will ask for God's mercy to fall upon me and upon us all, for we are so in need.


  1. I'm sorry. I understand the pain of seeing someone walk into a cult-like church. And it is SO HARD to not hate them. That sounds strong, but I get angry at the leaders of these movements for leading people astray. And they're appropriating icons?!? Lord have mercy!!

    You're right, though: you can lose your own soul in hate and anger and then they will have led you astray too. Better to surround yourself with God and his Holy Church and pray fervently.

    I'm sorry. ((hugs))

  2. Ok, so, here is my experience on this... I came out of a cult in TN almost two years ago. That is why I am so screwed up right now. We were in it for just over 2 years. They also used the Holy Icons to further thier perverted teachings too. Even giving us a 2 hour movie on the whys and hows of them being evil and mostly perverted. When I see some of the Holy Icons that they used in their teachings, I literally can not get the ideas they planted in my head, out of my head. They are gross. At the time, I had no idea what they even where, as I had never seen an Icon before. I did not realise what they were until I started my journey into Orthodoxy. And then I was pretty horrified by what the cult was teaching. Although I never bought into the agenda they were trying to push about the Icons, the damage had been done. I can not even look at several of the Holy Icons of Christ because of the trash that I saw in that video. Not because I believe it, but because of the images they overlaped over them. I am so afraid that when I look at them, I will dishonor God by my thoughts. It is very dangerous stuff. And very damaging.

    Another issue is that if it is really a cult, no matter what you say to her, she will look to her pastor for the "right" answers and he will do anything and everything to prove you wrong. The pastor will eventiually tell them to totally depart from you and everyone else who does not "believe". (if that has not already happened)Using scripture to back himself up. Sadly I have been there. In a very sick way, he will use this as the perfect time to bond to the family as they turn to him for advice... Then, they will do whatever he says, no matter how strange or perverted, becasue he is a "true man of God"...

    It is really hard, but please just let your friend know that you will always be there for her. Because when she comes out of it, next week, next year, in ten years, whatever, she will be desperate for you to love her again. And she will feel shame like no other.....

    So... is your friend in TN? If so, I might be able to help point some things out that may make her see what she is doing... I will email you the link to the cult I was in if you want to check it out. I shared it with another friend this morning... It is hard and very humbling for others to see what you once shamfully believed. If not, I would be happy to look into where ever she is going and possibly give you some things for her to look into when she is ready.

    Deb - garnettmama@yahoo.com

  3. *huuuug*

    For some of my family members, I am at the point where I trust that God is faithful even when we struggle unfaithfully, and that He is concerned about their soul and life even more than I am. Even though from my viewpoint things look bleak, I trust that they are in His grip of grace.

    Not to be falsely reassuring and rainbows and unicorns. . . Just where my heart has to be when I struggle with what I see.