Actually, I believe many of us have answered your question. We pointed out that St. John is a fallible human being who sinned.
And some of us gave him the correct answer to his question, by pointing out that St John was a holy Saint whose actions should not automatically be regarded in the manner they ordinarily would in the case of anyone else I think "Christ-like human", rather than "fallible human", should be the default setting of the lenses through which we view the lives of the Saints.
^I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here; I actually don't think your answer to be an appropriate resolution to the matter, despite its clearly being a well-intentioned resolution to the matter (and one that is easier to digest, perhaps--particularly by one who is prima facie skeptical). We shouldn't be so quick to judge the Saints.
Correct. There seems to be a somewhat "Puritanical" view of what constitutes holiness among some.
I came accross a Holy Fool in Athens four years ago who, for all appearances, was an insane homeless man, but in reality was a spititually advanced heiromonk. To a Puritan, this would also be "deception".
The past and current examples are quite endless. The "Holy Fool" phenomenon is not at all an uncommon element of most contemporary Coptic desert saints. Fr. Abdel-Messih el-Menehry (20th century) is known to have made quite some effort to try and convince his contemporaries that, despite his monastic vows, he sought and longed for marriage and that he was just waiting for the right lady to come along—when in fact, such was far from the truth. When a group of nuns conspired to test the Saint by having the prettiest amongst them express interest in fulfilling his apparent marital pre-occupation, he sternly rebuked the nun and gave her a lecture on the sanctity of the monastic path that she had committed herself to. His lecture not only vindicated him in the eyes of the suspicious nuns (who were observing the exchange from a concealed distance) but it also served the pretty young nun's salvation, for until that point she had not completely abandoned the vanity of the world, having kept amongst her possessions of the previous life a mirror by which she would reflect on her outward beauty daily. After this encounter, she crushed the mirror and repented.
Now I deliberately chose to recount the above in some detail because it is truly beyond me how one could possibly read the above account and its implications and have as their first reaction, "what a liar! Oh, what deceit!" as opposed to the reaction I and others first had--"what a saint! Oh, what a marvel!"
I think your comment alluding to your personal meeting of the Athonite monk you refer to says more about why you’re so easily inclined to come to the conclusion we both agree on than what that comment may at face value suggest. Maybe, George, some skeptics just need, as you and I have, to meet and see the contemporary, living continuations of the spirits of Sts John Chrysostom, Nicholas, Shenoute, Marina the so-called “cross-dresser” etc. to experience firsthand the life of Christ in these Saints and to know…to just *know* on account of the privilege of being in their presence, that they are beyond the reproof of worldly standards. I still remember the occasion of my meeting a certain Abuna Elia of Deir El-Baramous in Egypt. Before having met him, I was told of how he greeted my father's friend's wife by slapping her on the face. I was told that he didn't explain his reasons for doing so, but that it was understood clearly by everyone at the time that he was rebuking her for her refusal to permit her husband to accept the priesthood. I recall how on the way to meeting this Saint I had felt rather uncomfortable about his act, thinking it to be quite rude and uncalled for; I had in mind at the time the famous incident of St Nicholas slapping Arius, but did not think the situation analogous in any meaningful sense. When we stepped out of the car upon our arrival at Deir el-Baramous, and before hardly having the chance to stretch our legs, my family and I were confronted by this Abuna Elia who openly convicted each and everyone of us of some of the hidden things of our lives and thoughts, walking away before giving us the chance to even digest what had just happened. So much for my reluctance to meet this Saint, my family and I were begging the monks to track him down and to give us some of his time. Christ had visited me that day through his living Saint, and who am I to question Christ?
In a sense then, I feel sorry for truthstalker…I can understand how, on a worldly level of thinking, he can object to those who carried out a life that is beyond this world. Why should anyone be upset with him for this? He doesn’t know any better! He belongs to a tradition that does not offer his "community" the tools of Grace capable of raising and nurturing other-and-beyond-worldly men and women; he has no communion with such persons. He is missing out! Why are we upset with, rather than for him?