Why so glum, chum?
This isn’t the first time the structures of the Church have been taken over by an heretical sect:
“Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears “ [Jeremiah 9:1] and I will weep many days for the people who are being driven to destruction by these vile doctrines. The ears of the simple are being led astray, and have now got used to heretical impiety. The nurslings of the Church are being brought up in the doctrines of iniquity. What are they to do? Our opponents have the command of baptisms; they speed the dying on their way; they visit the sick; they console the sorrowful; they aid the distressed; they give succour of various kinds; they communicate the mysteries. All these things, as long as the performance of them is in their hands, are so many ties to bind the people to their views. The result will be that in a little time, even if some liberty be conceded to us, there is small hope that they who have been long under the influence of error will be recalled to recognition of the truth.”
St. Basil of Caesarea, Letter 243
“The ears of the simple are being led astray, and have now got used to heretical impiety.”
This more or less sums up what worries me most about the Novusordoist sect. It offers an easygoing, friendly and socially acceptable impiety that everyone can love. It’s religious Soma.
I suppose, looking back through the long history of the heresies, that’s more or less what they all do. Every heresy ever offered in exchange for the Faith has done the same sort of thing: an answer to the difficult questions that looks good on the surface, looks easy and warm and comfy, socially acceptable, not a “stumbling block” but an easy path. And, to paraphrase Flannery O’Connor, these “compassionate” ideas inevitably lead to some variation on the gas chambers, including, ultimately the eternal one.
But the main reason I’m not really personally worried about any of the things going on in the world – even with ISIS on my doorstep – is that I have confidence in The Real. It wins. Even if the dark powers of anti-reality gain the upper hand for a time. Even if they manage to kill us, they can do nothing to change the nature of Truth by a single jot or tittle. That was the certainty that brought the martyrs through the fires. It always will be.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly!