15 years before...



Tuesday, 16 February, 2016

The 5th Clerical Synaxis of Holy Metropolis of Demetrias was held today for the current Missionary year in the "Thessalia" Conference Center. Regarding their further education on the subjects of heresies and sects, our clerics dealt with the heresy of Pentecostialists:

Arch. Augustine Myrou, PhD in Theology, preacher of the Holy Metropolis of Servia and Kozani, gave the first speech with the title "Answering the basic fallacies of Pentecostialists". The speaker pointed out that "Pentecostialists claim that they constitute the true Church of Christ. They insist that they believe, live and worship God as neatly as the apostles of the Christ did, along with the first Christians. They argue that having the Bible as a base, which they interpret on their own way, they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Under all these circumstances, they are certain that the Church of Pentecostialists is identified with the Church of the apostles and that is the reason why they call it Apostolic Church of Pentecost or Free Church of Pentecost or some others call it Apostolic Church of God or Church of God of Pentecost etc. No simple arguments though are enough to give us the truth. It is essential that some basic requirements are fulfilled. After a careful study of the Divine Scriptures and the history of Church, we realize that there are three basic criteria in order to detect that the Church is true: 1. The authentic Teaching as a doctrine, 2. The Christ-alike way of life as a morality and 3. The already known way of communication with God as a pure and spotless worship. At this point, a question is set: Are these criteria fulfilled in Pentecostialists, as in the Apostolic Church?"

Referring to the first, fr. Augustine pointed out that "Jesus Christ revealed and gave to Christians via the Apostles the perfect and unchanged truth concerning God, the world, the human and the salvation. In order to preserve the integrity of the truth revealed by Christ, some premises are required, often met in the ecclesiastical history. Some of them are the existence of one true Church, the unchanged apostolic Teaching and the incessant apostolic succession. Pentecostialists acquire none of these premises so as to be part of the true Church of Christ...The careful study of the Pentecostialists' history clearly shows that they are not at all related to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, but it is of protestant origin Organization." Then, he proved their perception for Church and Bible wrong. This perception drives them to the distortion of the holy Mysteries of Apostolic Church, and he particularly referred to their heretic positions on Baptism, Holy Communion, priesthood, the Mystery of Confession and Repentance, the Saints and the icons "which are thought to be worship of idols...Concerning the incessant apostolic Succession, there is no reference, due to the short presence of Pentecostialists in history..."

Referring to the second criterion, fr. Augustine observed that the Orthodox Christian morality has nothing to do with "the simplifying morality of Pentecostialists, which is identified with the protestant pietism..." He reviled "their deceitful methods for their followers' increase" whereas "the most important sample of Pentecostialists' morality corruption is their venture to be divided from the one ageless Church of Christ...All the above show that the criterion of Christ-alike morality does not exist in the so-called church of Pentecostialists."

As far as their devotional life is concerned, the speaker referred to the predominant issue of the tongues, but it is not the only one. "In some cases, their followers repeatedly and hilariously laugh "in spirit". Some others mournfully lament. Others ostentatiously tremble. Others dance and in the end collapse. All these expressions are thought to be inspired by the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is obvious that the spirit of petulance and ecstasy has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit that fills us with peace, "which passeth all understanding" when we conscientiously participate in the mystical worship of Church. Blessed fr. Seraph Rose concludes that the Pentecostialists' experiences are religious pagan experiences, which apply to the medium initiative experience..."      

Completing his suggestion, fr. Augustine ended with the following: "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church induces those who seek for Christ and have been without careful thinking transferred to the private infirmary of Pentecostialists, which is definitely ornate and condescending but insolvent for its healing treatment, to return to the unabatedly recognized and tested for thousands of years, Infirmary of Prophets, to the Saints and Apostles, to the unique Church, the Orthodox Church, which offers not only the true spiritual healing but the real gifts of Holy Spirit and blissful eternal life."

The next speaker was Mr. Anastassios Polyhronis, former member of the "Free Church of Pentecost", who gave a speech with the title "My experience in the area of Pentecostialists."The speaker, being in a touching and confessional mood, referred to his first contact with heresy in 1981 and to his weakness to distinct the fallacy since he did not acquire then any Orthodox criterion, because he was not familiar with the Mystical life of the Church while he trusted himself and his wrong perception. He also referred to the systematic brain-washing he underwent from the heresy head, against the Orthodox Church, and his nurture on the principles of the heresy where he remained for 12, 5 years. Since then, he started promoting the heresy and proselytizing in the thought he was helping with the work of God. He characterized the spirit of the heresy satanic and invited the clerics and the pastors of the Church to approach the brothers with love and lenience, and not with aggressiveness.

During his narration on the exit of the heresy of Pentecostialists, he noted that it was his naïve option and his prayer to receive from God the spirit of distinction that led him to the gradual detection of the fallacy. His acquaintance with the Elders of our Church, in Mount Athos and in Crete, contributed a lot for his detoxification from the fallacy's energy and his gradual return within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church.

A discussion upon the proposals and a summary of the conclusions followed by His Eminence Metropolitan Mr. Ignatius.