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The Self-Indulgent Self-Idolatry of the Eastern Orthodox Church

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A few years ago, I reported on the apostasy of the Bible Answer Man, Hank Hanegraaff when he defected from the Christian faith and joined the ranks of the sybaritic self-indulgent worship of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since then, the onslaught of attacks from these mystics has been interminable. Almost daily, one of these Pagan idolaters tries to convince me their religion is the “one true church” that was started by Jesus himself and all other expressions of Christianity are false.

Of course, the Roman Catholic Church makes this same spurious claim. To them, Protestantism is a new invention with no historical foundation. They are merely “protesting Catholics.” Biblical Christianity — which includes some Protestants — lay no claim to a historic institution, as there is no need. Biblical Christianity recognizes the true Church as a regenerate body of believers with Christ as the head. The only biblical institution is the local Church.

The point of this article, however, is to expose the erotic, self-indulgent worship of the Eastern Orthodox Church that is so carnally attractive.

First, it’s important to point out that the Eastern Orthodox Church is completely devoid of the biblical gospel, it’s just not something that they teach. The Eastern Orthodox Church lays claim to the apostolic traditions of the Early Church yet the gospel message that the Apostles labored so intensively to teach, spread, and record in the Scriptures is nowhere to be found in the official teachings of the Orthodox Church. Since there really is no official dogmatic doctrine on salvation in the Orthodox Church, it is more likely that you will find a stray believer within its ranks than you would the Roman Catholic Church, which actually forbids one from believing the biblical gospel. All in all, the Eastern Orthodox Church isn’t about the gospel, it’s about worship.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, you will find a worship service that is centered around the continual “bloodless sacrifice” of the Eucharist much like the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church, like Roman Catholicism, recognizes the Mass as efficacious and affirm the doctrine of transubstantiation — the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus. One must continually eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus as a worshipful act of Eastern Orthodoxy.

This, of course, is not a Christian doctrine or practice found in Scripture — it is actually a perversion of Jesus’ teaching on the Lord’s supper, which is to symbolically do these things in remembrance of Him (1 Corinthians 11:24, Luke 22:19). This act in Eastern Orthodoxy serves to gratify the flesh of those who partake in it as it assuages the consciences and gives a false assurance of absolution from sin that eats away at their soul. The act — like Old Testament animal sacrifice — is temporary, which is why it must be repeated regularly. The Eastern Orthodox Church essentially strips Jesus of his deity and turns him into a mere animal that has no power to actually take away sins.

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Hebrews 10:1-4

It is, indeed, idolatrous and God hates it. Jesus last words on the cross were “it is finished.”

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For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified…Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Hebrews 10:14,18

But this isn’t the only self-indulgent aspect of the Eastern Orthodox Mass. In it, you will find an overemphasis on a placid and pacific atmosphere designed to soothe the minds and consciousness of the worshipers. It is almost like a drug-induced state with a trance-inducing dose of incense, bells, extravagant iconography, and repetitive monotonic chanting. It actually has much more in common with a seance than Christian worship.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the dead are believed to join in worship with those who are still alive. It is a salacious and ecstatic experience that one official website describes as “elaborate, solemn, and lengthy,” and expressive of “a deep and pervasive sense of joy.” It also describes this mood as an expression of their “belief in the Resurrection of Christ and the deification of humanity.

Of course, the doctrine of the deification of humanity is nowhere found in the Scriptures — the teachings of the Apostles they lay claim to. The doctrine of the deification of humanity is the ultimate self-indulgent idolatry and denial of God as God states, “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)

The Eastern Orthodox Church is not an expression of true Christianity, it is an expression of self-worship. It does not seek to honor Jesus Christ but instead to gratify the carnal nature of sinful flesh. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not seek to fulfill the Great Commission in making converts or spreading the gospel nor does it seek to teach or defend the faith. The faith does not develop a trusting relationship between Christ and its followers nor does it teach a need to do so. It is no different than any other religious or secular indulgence that seeks to temporarily take one’s mind off of the perpetual fear of the impending death that awaits the dying soul of fallen man apart from Christ. Hebrews 2:15 says that this fear torments the souls of fallen man into slavery — in this case, enslavement to the religious works of a dead church.

         

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