“There shall be false prophets among the people,
who shall bring in false teachings and destructive heresies,
even denying the Lord God who bought them” (2 Peter 3:1).
Many attacks have and will continue to be made upon the Church, its members and its true doctrine., Among the most dangerous are false teachings which seek to corrupt the truths which are secured in the Church from earliest times to the present, almost two thousand years! How can we escape the attacks waged by preachers of false teachings and destructive heresies? Only by remaining close to God having our mind fixed on Him through continuous communication and prayer. The Church will always survive and preserve its many truths, but the false teachings and destructive heresies, while assaulting the faithful, are capable of producing many casualties upon those who are unaware of their poisonous nature.
Many false teachers have appeared in the past and many destructive heresies have been sown like corn in the four corners of the world. If you are aware of these heresies which the fathers of the Councils condemned, you will be able to distinguish the newer heresies which are dangerous. Prayer and signing ourselves with the Cross offers very good protection.
The false teachings and heresies do not always come from the outside but many arise within the Church usually from the clergy. An important question is what false teachings and heresies are attacking the Church during this present era? This is important to know in order to be avoid being caught in a pernicious trap.
Ecumenism and false love are presently the greatest attacks upon the Church, and has assaulted the Church continuously for decades. Among the higher clergy this heresy flourishes and its perpetrators have abandoned Orthodox beliefs, as they openly spread this heresy, claiming it to be love of those outside the Church.
To understand the heresy of ecumenism is, we must first recall what constitutes the true Church. Orthodoxy is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and is unique for it is full and complete in itself, and is never mixed with erroneous teaching. Jesus Christ is its only divine and human Head, and the Holy Spirit is its one and only Guide. She preserves all the pure, true and correct dogmas Christian teaching. She rejects false teachings and heresies which seek to attack and corrupt her truths and doctrine.
Ecumenism is a pernicious heresy that seeks to undermine the basic truths of Orthodoxy by union with those outside the Church without converting and baptizing them. Its perpetrators would unite Orthodoxy with the many false teachings of heretical Christians all who are members of ecumenism. Their method is to teach that Christianity is divided into many churches and need to be united with each other.
Patriarchs including the former Athenagoras and Demetrios, the present Bartholemew and many Archbishops and Bishops are presently spreading the heresy of ecumenism throughout most of the Church. They ignore all the dogmas and canons which forbid them from their actions, but they continue having little opposition. The damage is extreme for they assert that their division (from heresies) is evil and Orthodoxy needs to be united with them into one church, considering Orthodoxy nor to be the true Church but only a branch among many others. But the true Church can never be united with the many heretical groups that consist of all the “churches” outside of the Church. Such a union would be destructive and she would no longer be the one true Church. For each of these “churches”who are seeking unity with us embrace various heresies and schisms.
The many divisions outside the Church were first formed by the popes of the Papacy or Roman Catholics who broke away from Orthodoxy almost a thousand years ago. Subsequently in the 16th century, many so called “reformers” broke away from the papacy, and formed new “churches” which continually increase in number. Ecumenist in Orthodoxy are uniting her with many of these heresies.
Another false teaching from ecumenism is the Orthodox Church’s recognition of papal and protestant baptisms and other sacraments. But there is no baptism, or other sacraments possible outside the Church. Those who abandon their heresies and enter Orthodoxy by chrism and acceptance of their heretical baptism is improper and violates the canons so they remain unbaptized and in are greatly in need of it.
Also those entering Orthodoxy need to denounce the former heretical group and its teaching.
Another serious error is Orthodox leaders meeting and praying with these various groups and the papacy which is forbidden by Holy Scripture and the sacred Canons. Some church leaders have encouraged Church members to pray with these heretics which is also forbidden.
Church communities are very much in need of funds to operate. And ecumenism drains millions of dollars used for its operation, this money would be better used by local churches.
A major serious error of ecumenism is it prevents the Church from bearing witness to itself as the Body of Christ, headed by Christ and is the only Ark of salvation.
Another error is the Church leaders involved in ecumenism fail to testify that there is no salvation outside of Orthodoxy, and everyone needs to give up their false beliefs and be properly baptized into the only true Church.
All claims by those outside the Church to be united to Christ are not possible for you cannot be united to the Head which is Christ without the Body the Church, which is Holy Orthodoxy! They may know of Christ, read His teaching, try to obey and honor Him, even desire to love Him, but they unable to fulfill their desires without the Church and its wealth of truths, valid sacraments and divine authority established by Christ, “Upon this rock I will build my church . . . “