On November 18, 2017, I became a baptized, chrismated member of the Orthodox Church.
by James Perloff, JamesPerloff.com:
First, disclaimers. My opinions and words are my own; I am not a spokesman for the Orthodox Church.
Second, this post is not intended to invalidate anyone’s experience in non-Orthodox churches. I attended non-Orthodox churches for more than 30 years, and had very meaningful encounters with God in them. God is sovereign and extends His mercies wherever He wills. As the Apostle Peter said: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” (Acts 10:34-35)
A quick backgrounder: I grew up in an agnostic home, then spent 10 years (1972-82) in a New Age-style cult before coming to Christ.
For brevity, the following comments on Christianity’s history will necessarily require some generalization and oversimplification.
In America, we basically think Christians have two choices: Catholic or Protestant. I’ve never been a Catholic, but many traditional Catholics whom I know acknowledge the severe issues their church is experiencing, especially since Vatican II in the early 1960s—most notoriously, perhaps, pedophilia, gay scandals, and even reported satanism. A friend of mine has a 90-year-old mother who describes herself as having long been “ex-Catholic.” On the day of her confirmation, she said, the priest had “hand trouble.” You can use your imagination as to what that meant.
In fairness to Catholics, I believe their church has been the victim of infiltration, not inherent evil. As just one example, Bella Dodd, a former high-ranking official in the U.S. Communist Party, stated more than 60 years ago:
In the late 1920s and 1930s, directives were sent from Moscow to all Communist Party organizations. In order to destroy the Roman Catholic Church from within, party members were to be planted in seminaries and within diocesan organizations. . . . In the 1930s, we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within. The idea was for these men to be ordained, and then climb the ladder of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops. Right now the Communist infiltrators are in the highest places in the Church where they are working to bring about change in order to weaken the Church’s effectiveness against Communism. You will not recognize the Catholic Church.1
I’d guess my friend’s 90-year-old mother very possibly ran into one of those infiltrators.
On the other side of the West’s Christian aisle, there are also two basic divisions within the Protestant church: Modernism and Fundamentalism. In America, this rift erupted during the early 20th century. Modernism (also tagged “Higher Criticism”) denied all the faith’s fundamentals: the authority of the Bible, the reality of miracles (including the Virgin Birth and Resurrection), the Second Coming, and—in cases—even the historical existence of Jesus Christ. It was funded and carefully guided by the Rockefellers and their agencies. I have written an extensive post on it.
The Fundamentalists, on the other hand, asserted their belief in the Bible and in the historicity of Christ. It was churches of this type which I attended for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, the Fundamentalist churches and seminaries were themselves largely hijacked and controlled by the Rothschild/Zionist interests, especially through publication and mass distribution of the Scofield Reference Bible. I have also written an extensive post on this movement’s history. One church I attended became so Zionized that, on one occasion, it celebrated the feast of Purim, passing out noise-makers to the congregation and instructing us to mimic being members of a synagogue.
After over 30 years a Christian, I examined the available options—a degraded Vatican, unbelieving Modernism, and Zionized Fundamentalism—and discovered to my joy the “elephant in the room”; the form of Christianity the West has long forgotten: Eastern Orthodoxy.
Here is a little more history, which (again necessarily) will be informal and oversimplified for brevity.
For the first 1,000 years after the Resurrection, there was essentially one Christian Church. Nobody asked your denomination. There were some disagreements and schisms, but major doctrinal issues and heresies were resolved by Ecumenical Councils, of which seven were convened over the centuries. These were attended by the Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria, as well as bishops from throughout most, or much, of Christendom. The Patriarch of Rome was traditionally accorded the highest seat of honor, as “the first among equals.” His position could be compared to the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court: foremost in rank, but not an exclusive decision-maker holding the right to nullify the votes of the others.
However, in 1054, the church split. This came after the Patriarch of Rome (the Pope) declared himself to hold authority over the entire church, and also sought to change the ancient Nicene Creed (the “Filioque controversy,” which I will not elaborate on here).
Christianity became broadly divided in two: the Eastern (Orthodox) Church, centered in Constantinople, and the Western (Catholic) Church, centered in Rome. From thereon, Europe’s only exposure to Christianity was through the Vatican; the Eastern Church was virtually forgotten about in the West.
After about another 500 years came the Catholic-Protestant split. However legitimate Martin Luther’s grievances may have been, there is no denying that, for the long haul, the ultimate outcome was to splinter Western Christianity into hundreds of pieces. Denominations kept spinning off from one another over doctrinal disagreements. Henry VIII even started the Church of England because the Pope wouldn’t grant him a divorce. The process of continuous fragmentation had to be pleasing to Satan, for whom “divide and conquer” has long been a signature strategy. Today, after so many churches have been founded upon the divergent opinions of men, Christianity is increasingly unrecognizable from its original form.
That “original form,” however, remains visible in Eastern Orthodoxy, which has not given over to corruption, nor Modernism, nor Zionism.
My first “heads up” on Orthodoxy came from a YouTuber whom I normally follow for his geopolitical insights: Brother Nathanael, a Jewish convert to the Russian Orthodox Church.
But it wasn’t until I was invited to be a guest on Global Storyline by Dean Arnold that I ran head-on into Orthodoxy. I like to get to know a host before I go on a podcast, and I happened to select an interview Dean did with Jay Dyer. Both men are converts to Orthodoxy, from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds. I learned quite a bit about Orthodoxy and its place within Christianity. What perhaps impacted me most was learning that Orthodoxy continues to hold true to the original practices of the early Church. And who knew better how to run a church than the first Christians, who were taught by the Apostles, or by direct disciples of the Apostles?