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Author Topic: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?  (Read 2765 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 15, 2014, 04:46:39 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 04:56:30 PM »

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose will be mentioned in this thread. My recommendation would be to avoid it.
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 05:14:48 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would strongly recommend Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr Seraphim Rose. 

Just kidding...I posted this to brighten Asteriktos' day.
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 05:22:56 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would strongly recommend Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr Seraphim Rose. 

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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 05:29:53 PM »

The website of the Brotherhood of St Symeon the New Theologian.  Maybe not a polemic but  a viewing in the proper light.
http://www.stsymeon.org
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 05:40:07 PM »

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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »

It's not a polemic exactly, but more of a study.
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 07:25:22 PM »

Hi, Salpy.  Yes, there are tons since, as my sig line says:

Quote
There is nothing Orthodox about the charismatic movement. It is incompatible with Orthodoxy, in that it justifies itself only by perverting the message of the Fathers, suggesting that the Church of Christ needs renewal, and indulging in the theological imagery of, Pentecostal cultism. With such things, one cannot be too bold in his language of condemnation and reprobation.

That quote is from The Charismatic Movement and Orthodoxy, an article from Orthodox Tradition.

Here's another from Archimandrite George on the falsehoods of Charismatism.

Here is Fr. Seraphim's above mentioned article on the demonic origins of the Charismatic Movement.

Here is Elder Cleopa's article contrasting the authentic gift of tongues with the false babbling of the Charismatic Movement.

Here is an article critiquing the so-called "Toronto Blessing" from an Orthodox perspective.

Here's a statement against a Pentecostal sect by the Church of Greece.

And an article about an apostate to Pentecostalism who returned to Orthodoxy.

The website of the Brotherhood of St Symeon the New Theologian.  Maybe not a polemic but  a viewing in the proper light.
http://www.stsymeon.org

This is the opposite of what you want, Salpy.  This group believes the falsehoods of the Charismatic Movement to be the authentic work of the Holy Spirit and is in favor of bringing these falsehoods into Orthodoxy.  It was established by the Greek priest Eusebius Stephanou, who ran in Charismatic circles back in the 1970s.  Thank God, this poison never really caught on.  Fr. Seraphim's article addresses this.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 08:02:43 PM »

That is throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Fr. Eusebius has the blessing of his bishop for his ministry and I don't see him advocating what is going on in the Coptic Church as you describe.
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 10:08:23 PM »

That is throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Fr. Eusebius has the blessing of his bishop for his ministry and I don't see him advocating what is going on in the Coptic Church as you describe.

No, I'm not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Fr. Eusebius' teaching never gained much traction in the Orthodox Church.  It was marginalized and withered, and no bishop ever endorsed it.  In fact, as Fr. David Moser, who knew Fr. Eusebius has reported:

Quote
I don't know what Fr E teaches today - he has changed his position somewhat and eliminated some of the more extreme pentecostal views due to threats from the heirarchy that if he did not "change his ways" he would be defrocked and thrown out of the Greek Church.

The Charismatic Movement originated outside of the Church and the spirit that motivates it is not the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, it has no place in Orthodoxy.

Fr. Eusebius would disagree.  He viewed the Charismatic Movement which swept over the Roman Catholic and Mainline Protestant churches in the 1960-1970s as the authentic work of the Holy Spirit and prayed for it to sweep over the Orthodox Church.  This is wrong.  His evaluation of the Charismatic Movement was as follows:

Quote
"The tree is known by its fruits... Do these fruits demonstrate the presence of the devil or of the sanctifying Spirit of Christ? No Orthodox in his right mind who has seen the fruits of the Spirit with his own eyes can give a mistaken answer to this question" (Logos, Jan., 1972, p.13).

A poster on another Orthodox forum said this about Fr. Eusebius' teaching:

Quote
I was at one time on Fr Eusebius Stephanou's mailing list, and received several newsletters from him, so I am aware of what he teaches. And the problem is not the presence of spiritual gifts, or that the higher gifts should be exercised only by monastics. The problem is that Fr Eusebius uses a Pentecostal, rather than an Orthodox pneumatology to interpret spiritual gifts. Many non-Pentecostal bodies that experienced the charismatic renewal of the 1960s-1980s tended to do this, and it often clashed with the pneumatology of their own groups, so it did not just affect Orthodox.

I have read quite a few of these newsletters myself, and I agree.

The Charismatic Movement is not the work of the Holy Spirit and it has no place in Orthodoxy.

More from the same poster which demonstrates why Fr. Eusebius' teaching is dangerous:

Quote
The point I was making was that in his writings Fathe Eusebius Stephanou bases much of what he says on Pentecostal pneumatology, not Orthodox pneumatology. Many of the non-Pentecostal denominations that were affected by the charismatic movement of the 1970s and 1980s did something similar -- Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Roman Catholics -- they interpreted what was happening in terms of Pentecostal pneumatology, rather than, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran or Roman Catholic pneumatology.

There may have been some excuse for Western bodies to do such a thing, but there was far less excuse for an Orthodox priest like Fr Eusebius to do so.

Western theology, since the introduction of the filioque, has tended to play down or neglect the role of the Holy Spirit. They retained some teaching about the Holy Spirit, but it was unrelated to their practice. They could read about things in the scriptures that were not part of their experience of the church.

Then at the end of the 19th century the Pentecostal movement sprang up. People spoke in strange tongues, people were healed after prayer, people prophesied. These things caught on and became fashionable. They had no clairvoyant spiritual elders to determine what was of God and what was not. They had several different (and clashing) strands of 19th century Protestant theology to help them interpret what was happening -- including Dispensationalism, which said that such things could not happen because they were only intended by God for the period when the canon of scripture was incomplete. so Pentecostal pneumatology was a raction against a distortion which was therefore iself distorted. Many of the Pentecostals adopted dispensationalist eschatology, though, which came to be known as premillennial and pretribulational. Orthodoxy recognises no such scheme, which it regards as chiliasm, which Orthodoxy rejects.

Pentecostal pneumatology varies, because there are thousands of different Pentecostal denominations, but most of them teach that there is an experience of "baptism in the Holy Spirit" which they see as separate from what they describe as "water baptism", and that the initial evidence for the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" is "speaking in tongues" -- in other words, if you don't speak in tongues, you haven't been "baptized in the Holy Spirit" and you are therefore a second-class Christian, and lack what they call "the full gospel" or "the four-square gospel".

In Fr Eusebius Stephanou's writings it is clear that he has bought into this pneumatology, and he teaches it in such a way that implies that Orthodox pneumatology is somehow deficient without it. So the Orthodox Church as a whole does not accept the teaching of Fr Eusebius Stephanou and does not regard it as Orthodox.

Unlike Western, and especially Protestant bodies, manifestations of the Holy Spirit (such as those mentioned in I Cor 4-11), and spiritual gifts (such as those mentioned in Ephesians 4:12-16) have never disappeared from the Orthodox Church. So the Orthodox Church has never had the urge to develop a theology to account for their absence (like Dispensationalism) or to account for their sudden reappearance (like the Pentecostal modifications of dispensationalism).

In the Orthodox Church the "higher gifts" are not "possible only to monastics" as the person I was replying to (Jan Sunkvist) suggests. But those who manifest such gifts tend to enter monasteries, often on the advice of their spiritual fathers, perhaps precisely because they (or their spiritual fathers) are aware of the danger of prelest, and that monasteries are the best places to test such gifts to see whether they are of God or not. And thousands of people came to see clairvoyant spiritual elders like St Seraphim of Sarov, because they had the "higher gifts" that St Paul refers to as "the word of wisdom", "the word of knowledge" and "prophecy" in I Co 12:8-10. It is not impossible for these gifts to appear outside monasteries, but it is much easier for them and for those who manifest them (or think they do) to go off the rails. That is why there are so many different Pentecostal sects, because for some, especially in the charismatic renewal movement, the highest spiritual gift is novelty. So you get self-proclaimed "apostles" and "prophets" saying that "God is doing a new thing" and of course he is doing it through them. And that is how most of todays Neopentecostal sects started.

Some Pentecostals and charismatics have been concerned about this indiscipline, and have tried to restore some discipline. So the "Fort Lauderdale Five" (you can Google for them) came up with notions of "shepherding" and "covering". They lacked apostolic succession so they had to had to come up with something that filled the gap, so they started a succession that started with themselves, self-proclaimed apostles who offered "covering" to others. If one of them asks me what "covering" I have, I say I am covered by the omphorion of my bishop, whose "covering" goes back to the real apostles who gathered on the day of Pentecost to receive the Holy Spirit in AD 33. But, having lost the real thing, they felt impelled to concoct a man-made substitute, which itself went off the rails.

So these are some of the ways in which I think Fr Eusebius Stephanou has gone wrong, and his teaching is not accepted by most Orthodox Christians, or any Orthodox bishop that I know of.

http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/6435-orthodoxy-and-pentecostalcharismatic-teaching/

I have to say, I truly glorify God that there has never been an Orthodox equivalent of Charismatic Catholicism.  The demonic cancer of the Charismatic Movement can't survive in the true Body of Christ.
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 10:32:00 PM »

We'll we agree to disagree then.  I have seen good fruit from the Catholic Charismatic Movement, which is not to say I haven't seen problems either.
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 10:52:17 PM »

We'll we agree to disagree then.  I have seen good fruit from the Catholic Charismatic Movement, which is not to say I haven't seen problems either.

That's your church and your business, so I'm fine with agreeing to disagree on that particular point.  That's for you and Charles Martel to debate.  Smiley

Knowing the origins of the Charismatic Movement, however - and the difference between the authentic gifts of the Holy Spirit as they have always been maintained in the Orthodox Church and the pseudo-gifts of Charismatism - I truly give glory to God that He has never permitted the false spirit which motivates "the global charismatic movement" to "sweep over" the Orthodox Church.

Salpy asked for a polemic against the Charismatic Movement from an Orthodox perspective.  An apologetic for the movement, authored by a fellow who made a failed attempt to introduce it into Orthodoxy, would only serve to muddy the waters.
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 01:05:47 AM »

Antonious Nikolas,

Thanks for your post. The quote from the "other forum" you posted have been one of the more helpful things I've read on the subject so far. Having come to Orthodoxy from a Pentecostal type church I have been happy to know that the gifts have never left the Orthodox Church. However, getting information on how this actually works in the Orthodox Church has been difficult at best. Even bringing it up is usually an instant conversation stopper, unless of course your saying it's all of the devil, or be careful it might be of the devil.

We need more reasoned out responses like that.  It's amazing how for a Church that preaches overcoming passion and condemns the Pentecostal penchant for emotionalism reactions in the issue seem to be anything but non-emotional. Again thanks.
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 03:20:01 AM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?
Should we Christians seek out such things?
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 10:05:59 AM »

Antonious Nikolas,

Thanks for your post. The quote from the "other forum" you posted have been one of the more helpful things I've read on the subject so far. Having come to Orthodoxy from a Pentecostal type church I have been happy to know that the gifts have never left the Orthodox Church. However, getting information on how this actually works in the Orthodox Church has been difficult at best. Even bringing it up is usually an instant conversation stopper, unless of course your saying it's all of the devil, or be careful it might be of the devil.

We need more reasoned out responses like that.  It's amazing how for a Church that preaches overcoming passion and condemns the Pentecostal penchant for emotionalism reactions in the issue seem to be anything but non-emotional. Again thanks.

Hi, Bob.  Thanks very much.  I agree.  It is important to acknowledge the fact that the Orthodox Church has never lacked the pleroma of the gifts of the Spirit.  Well thought out, well reasoned responses are necessary.  Countering emotionalism with more emotionalism is counterproductive.  I can understand, to a degree, however, where a visceral response to the attempted penetration of one's Church by such insidious ideas or activities may come from, especially if one is lacking the resources to effectively express oneself to counter it, but more education and an appreciation for the depth and fullness of Orthodoxy is the key.

Should we Christians seek out such things?

I think so, yes.  Obviously not for the sake of meanness or triumphalism, but as St. Paul says, we always have to be prepared to give an answer in love.  When someone in our community finds themselves attracted to such deceptions and suggests that we should bring them into the life of our Church, we have to be prepared to tell them why this can never be the case.  When they ask why we don't believe that this is who the Holy Spirit is or how He acts, we have to be prepared to explain Orthodox pneumatology to them, not just simply say, "It's not the way we do things".  Unfortunately, some folks in our Oriental Orthodox community think that Charismatism and Evangelicalism are simply "American Christianity" and that Orthodoxy is "Egyptian (or Armenian, or Indian, etc.) Christianity" and that the differences are cultural, so why not open the door to this stuff to entice the "Americanized" youth?  We need to find ways to articulate the real and substantial theological differences here rather than let them persist in that dangerous misconception.
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2014, 03:23:47 PM »

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose will be mentioned in this thread. My recommendation would be to avoid it.
Why?

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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2014, 03:32:37 PM »

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose will be mentioned in this thread. My recommendation would be to avoid it.
Why?

In Christ,
Andrew
Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose will be mentioned in this thread. My recommendation would be to avoid it.
Why?

In Christ,
Andrew
Huh. That should be obvious. The book is as out there as what it purportedly combats. Plus it's really dated . Lots of White Russian emigree apocalyptic fears and hopes presented as the gospel.
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2014, 04:29:35 PM »

Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose will be mentioned in this thread. My recommendation would be to avoid it.
Why?

In Christ,
Andrew
Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future by Fr. Seraphim Rose will be mentioned in this thread. My recommendation would be to avoid it.
Why?

In Christ,
Andrew
Huh. That should be obvious. The book is as out there as what it purportedly combats. Plus it's really dated . Lots of White Russian emigree apocalyptic fears and hopes presented as the gospel.
Not obvious at all, broski. It's a little dated in some respects, but I don't think anyone, including Fr. Seraphim claim that it wouldn't. He addressed specific trends he saw at the time, before either of us were born. The spiritual issues, I found to be on par.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2014, 04:39:17 PM »

Huh. That should be obvious. The book is as out there as what it purportedly combats. Plus it's really dated . Lots of White Russian emigree apocalyptic fears and hopes presented as the gospel.

I'm not going to address the White Russian émigré stuff, but as someone intimately familiar with Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement, I can tell you that Fr. Seraphim's treatment of those subjects, including his assessment of their historical and ultimate origins, is insightful and accurate.  As to being dated, yes, it addresses events current at the time of writing, but as it pertains to the Charismatic Movement at least, things have only moved further along the road that Fr. Seraphim discerned this movement to be taking in his own time.
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2014, 05:30:37 PM »

Huh. That should be obvious. The book is as out there as what it purportedly combats. Plus it's really dated . Lots of White Russian emigree apocalyptic fears and hopes presented as the gospel.

I'm not going to address the White Russian émigré stuff, but as someone intimately familiar with Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement, I can tell you that Fr. Seraphim's treatment of those subjects, including his assessment of their historical and ultimate origins, is insightful and accurate.  As to being dated, yes, it addresses events current at the time of writing, but as it pertains to the Charismatic Movement at least, things have only moved further along the road that Fr. Seraphim discerned this movement to be taking in his own time.
Testify!!  Wink

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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2014, 01:08:57 AM »

Fr. Eusebius would disagree.  He viewed the Charismatic Movement which swept over the Roman Catholic and Mainline Protestant churches in the 1960-1970s as the authentic work of the Holy Spirit and prayed for it to sweep over the Orthodox Church. 

Interesting. This was the same time women stopped covering their heads and the divorce rate began to shoot through the roof. Feminism was born, people started to leave the Church. Secular Humanism went into practice, prayers got kicked out of Schools.

Funny how its the same time frame.
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2014, 01:48:56 AM »

Antonious Nikolas,

Thanks for your post. The quote from the "other forum" you posted have been one of the more helpful things I've read on the subject so far. Having come to Orthodoxy from a Pentecostal type church I have been happy to know that the gifts have never left the Orthodox Church. However, getting information on how this actually works in the Orthodox Church has been difficult at best. Even bringing it up is usually an instant conversation stopper, unless of course your saying it's all of the devil, or be careful it might be of the devil.

We need more reasoned out responses like that.  It's amazing how for a Church that preaches overcoming passion and condemns the Pentecostal penchant for emotionalism reactions in the issue seem to be anything but non-emotional. Again thanks.

Hi, Bob.  Thanks very much.  I agree.  It is important to acknowledge the fact that the Orthodox Church has never lacked the pleroma of the gifts of the Spirit.  Well thought out, well reasoned responses are necessary.  Countering emotionalism with more emotionalism is counterproductive. I can understand, to a degree, however, where a visceral response to the attempted penetration of one's Church by such insidious ideas or activities may come from, especially if one is lacking the resources to effectively express oneself to counter it, but more education and an appreciation for the depth and fullness of Orthodoxy is the key.

Yes, I agree that is the key and I think more education will lead to more appreciation, kind of a package deal, and who better to teach this than the Church? Our Church who has had experience with such things, both the highlights and the pitfalls, for 2000 years. Why should we run scared when the topic comes up, or if we respond do so with negativity? In some ways,  perhaps, we may even have ourselves to blame for such encroachments if we fail to offer an understandable and readily accessible approach to the truth. I don't mean to say such an approach should throw caution to the wind or, really, take any attitude that differs from that which Orthodoxy has always had. Just make those teachings that we already have more accessible to the lay person including and especially the cautions. After all just because we don't talk about it more often doesn't mean that people are going to stop having extraordinary experiences either false or genuine. It just means they will be less equipped to handle them.
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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2014, 08:59:45 AM »

Interesting. This was the same time women stopped covering their heads and the divorce rate began to shoot through the roof. Feminism was born, people started to leave the Church. Secular Humanism went into practice, prayers got kicked out of Schools.

Funny how its the same time frame.


Context considered, it's not too much of a stretch to see a correlation between guitar masses and what you're describing; said masses featuring the Charismatic Movement's anthem, They Will Know We Are Christians (aka "We Are One") - a prayer for the spirit of the charismatic movement to sweep over the various Christian bodies of the world and unite them without anyone having to adjust their doctrine.  Unfortunately, this same "hymn" has been adopted in some unofficial Oriental Orthodox youth circles without an investigation of its origins or meaning.  Hearing it played over youtube vids featuring Orthodox bishops who I know would be opposed to it if they knew what was going on is just creepy.

Yes, I agree that is the key and I think more education will lead to more appreciation, kind of a package deal, and who better to teach this than the Church? Our Church who has had experience with such things, both the highlights and the pitfalls, for 2000 years. Why should we run scared when the topic comes up, or if we respond do so with negativity? In some ways,  perhaps, we may even have ourselves to blame for such encroachments if we fail to offer an understandable and readily accessible approach to the truth. I don't mean to say such an approach should throw caution to the wind or, really, take any attitude that differs from that which Orthodoxy has always had. Just make those teachings that we already have more accessible to the lay person including and especially the cautions. After all just because we don't talk about it more often doesn't mean that people are going to stop having extraordinary experiences either false or genuine. It just means they will be less equipped to handle them.

I couldn't agree more.  I think that the onus is on those of us who've had experience in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, as well as those such as the OP from the other board who truly understand what is going on, to begin to produce such materials.  Obviously, such polemics (in the best sense of the word) are needed.  Salpy is not the first Oriental Orthodox Christian on these boards to solicit them.  Posting on message boards is not enough.  Thank God, this will pass, however, and the Church will still exist untainted.  I've talked to lots of older Eastern Orthodox priests about this, and they all tell me the same thing.  The Eastern Orthodox Church went through what the Oriental Orthodox Church is going through now in the 1960s-1970s, and the Evangelical and Charismatic influence stuff burnt itself out.  It can never find a lasting home in Orthodoxy.  The Body of Christ is an inhospitable environment for such poison.  I take great comfort in that.  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2014, 02:00:42 PM »

The book, "The Acquisition of the Holy Spirit in Ancient Russia," by  I. M. Kontzevich, discusses how the Holy Spirit works. Charismatic "Christians" are deluded."

However, charismatic "Christians" are often more childlike in faith and zealous for Christ than the dead and ethnic oriented Orthodox.
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2014, 05:09:32 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2014, 09:35:59 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2014, 09:47:11 PM »

I don't know why the Catholic hierarchy is OK with it  Huh Maybe they are thinking the Gamaliel protocol is good enough: "if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." Of course that leaves out the 3rd option in which case it would need to be vigorously opposed by the Church.

In any case there are 2 problems with the movement I see: 1. You can read all the Lives of the Saints in the East and West alike and not find anyone acting like those in the Charismatic movement. 2. From the bits I've read about it there is more emphasis about the gifts (which can easily be faked by the evil one) than the Giver.
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2014, 10:03:26 PM »

In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord

Fr. Alexis Trader

Regina Orthodox Press

I ordered this book and I have not regretted it.  I highly recommend it to anyone concerned.
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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2014, 10:28:06 PM »

However, charismatic "Christians" are often more childlike in faith and zealous for Christ than the dead and ethnic oriented Orthodox.

But which Christ? Buddy Spasm-Inducing Christ? There is zeal not according to knowledge, and sincerity doesn't absolve madness.

I'd take a 'dead' ethnic over a holy-roller any day.
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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2014, 10:34:54 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2014, 10:51:26 PM »

In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord

Fr. Alexis Trader

Regina Orthodox Press

I ordered this book and I have not regretted it.  I highly recommend it to anyone concerned.

I have read this book. He exposes the Charismatic Renewal, especially the Laughing Christ and the so-called Toronto Blessing where people laugh so hard that they cannot control themselves.
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2014, 12:32:03 AM »

In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord

Fr. Alexis Trader

Regina Orthodox Press

I ordered this book and I have not regretted it.  I highly recommend it to anyone concerned.

Sorry for the belated reply, but good, I'm very pleased that you found it useful. 
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2014, 05:20:11 AM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.

It is still available here.

Scratch that. Available, but too many survey hoops to jump through.
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2014, 09:13:42 AM »

I don't know why the Catholic hierarchy is OK with it  Huh Maybe they are thinking the Gamaliel protocol is good enough: "if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." Of course that leaves out the 3rd option in which case it would need to be vigorously opposed by the Church.

In any case there are 2 problems with the movement I see: 1. You can read all the Lives of the Saints in the East and West alike and not find anyone acting like those in the Charismatic movement. 2. From the bits I've read about it there is more emphasis about the gifts (which can easily be faked by the evil one) than the Giver.

There are three other serious problems with the Charismatic Movement. Inevitable the Charismatic Movement leads some Charismatics to spiritual pride and judging others as unspiritual who are not Charismatics. This leads to serious division within the local parish between Charismatics and non-Charismatics. Finally, some people confuse their personal thoughts with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and believe that they have a special revelation of God that is superior to the Holy Tradition of the Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.
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« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2014, 09:33:30 AM »

That is throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Fr. Eusebius has the blessing of his bishop for his ministry and I don't see him advocating what is going on in the Coptic Church as you describe.

That is not quite true. Fr. Eusebius was suspended for his Charismatic activities and the movement denounced by the hierarchy. I was Pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Huntington, West Virginia where the movement first entered Orthodoxy under a previous Pastor and where Fr. Eusebius fell under Charismatic influence. After they pronounced me uspiritual because I am not a follower of the Charismatic Movement and would not allow them to have their Charismatic prayer meeting sin the Church, they caused a many problems in the parish. Finally, I received a telephone call from Metropolitan Philip with instructions to assemble the parish and read a formal lecture on the correct Orthodox doctrine of the Holy Spirit and to tell the Charismatics who were dividing  the parish that they must accept the Orthodox doctrine or leave. Some of them left.  Then I was transferred to Fort Wayne where Fr. Eusebius had his headquarters. He attended St. John Chrysostom,  parish of the Antiochian Archdicoese, because he was banned from the local Greek Orthodox parish. I was told by my Bishop  that he could take Communion as a layman, but not as a Priest, after my Bishop consulted the Greek Archdiocese about his status. Suffice it to say, he was less than happy with this arrangement. Finally, he moved to Florida and has been relatively quite since then. To my knowledge, the Charismatic Movement has ceased to have any influence within the Orthodox Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.
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« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2014, 10:07:10 AM »

That is not quite true. Fr. Eusebius was suspended for his Charismatic activities and the movement denounced by the hierarchy. I was Pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Huntington, West Virginia where the movement first entered Orthodoxy under a previous Pastor and where Fr. Eusebius fell under Charismatic influence. After they pronounced me uspiritual because I am not a follower of the Charismatic Movement and would not allow them to have their Charismatic prayer meeting sin the Church, they caused a many problems in the parish. Finally, I received a telephone call from Metropolitan Philip with instructions to assemble the parish and read a formal lecture on the correct Orthodox doctrine of the Holy Spirit and to tell the Charismatics who were dividing  the parish that they must accept the Orthodox doctrine or leave. Some of them left.  Then I was transferred to Fort Wayne where Fr. Eusebius had his headquarters. He attended St. John Chrysostom,  parish of the Antiochian Archdicoese, because he was banned from the local Greek Orthodox parish. I was told by my Bishop  that he could take Communion as a layman, but not as a Priest, after my Bishop consulted the Greek Archdiocese about his status. Suffice it to say, he was less than happy with this arrangement. Finally, he moved to Florida and has been relatively quite since then. To my knowledge, the Charismatic Movement has ceased to have any influence within the Orthodox Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.

Glory to God!  Thank you for sharing this information, Abouna.  I'm glad you're here to dispel the myths concerning this situation, as there are websites out there actively distorting the truth of the matter, giving readers the false impression that Charismatism was indeed accepted in some quarters of the Eastern Orthodox Church in order to further their own agenda.  I ask your blessing.
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« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2014, 12:11:17 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.

It is still available here.

Scratch that. Available, but too many survey hoops to jump through.
actually this is also a dummy link that you get spam with, and you will not get the book, even though you may download something (could be a virus PDF). Trust me i know. The positive comments made are fake, and usually made within the last couple of days
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2014, 02:07:57 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.

It is still available here.

Scratch that. Available, but too many survey hoops to jump through.
actually this is also a dummy link that you get spam with, and you will not get the book, even though you may download something (could be a virus PDF). Trust me i know. The positive comments made are fake, and usually made within the last couple of days

Two real-life friends of mine use the site and follow its FB page. Of course, things may have changed more recently... Ah well.

If Fr. John holds the work's copyright and wants to make it available for free, Scribd or Smashwords are solid places to offer it.
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« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2014, 03:02:39 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.

It is still available here.

Scratch that. Available, but too many survey hoops to jump through.
actually this is also a dummy link that you get spam with, and you will not get the book, even though you may download something (could be a virus PDF). Trust me i know. The positive comments made are fake, and usually made within the last couple of days

Two real-life friends of mine use the site and follow its FB page. Of course, things may have changed more recently... Ah well.

If Fr. John holds the work's copyright and wants to make it available for free, Scribd or Smashwords are solid places to offer it.
there was one book I tried to get and I got a password protected rar file that requires me to fill up surveys to get the password, and curiously, it wouldn't recognize my completion of the survey on my MacBook. It seems to only do so with a PC.  After doing some research around, many people complained that this was spam and there's really nothing in those rar files.  Some may get empty PDFs and could get viruses.  And there are multiple websites with the same formats and the same positive comments, sometimes with the same names you read here, that usually comments very recently.  All these are red flag symptoms of a very suspicious site.
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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2014, 03:14:11 PM »

Also, if there is an actual book, very likely you can find it in another website without all the extra annoying steps to get it or giving an email
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« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2014, 05:26:11 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.

It is still available here.

Scratch that. Available, but too many survey hoops to jump through.
actually this is also a dummy link that you get spam with, and you will not get the book, even though you may download something (could be a virus PDF). Trust me i know. The positive comments made are fake, and usually made within the last couple of days

Two real-life friends of mine use the site and follow its FB page. Of course, things may have changed more recently... Ah well.

If Fr. John holds the work's copyright and wants to make it available for free, Scribd or Smashwords are solid places to offer it.

I am not sure who holds the copyright of the work. I think it is held by Holy Cross or the Greek Orthodox Theological Review. I wrote it over 30 years ago first as a paper for the completion of my MTS degree at Holy Cross for Fr. Stanley Harakas. He asked if the Greek Orthodox Theological Review could publish it as an article. They did. Then without  informing me they published it as a book. If anyone made any money from it, it was not me. I have a copy somewhere in my office at the Church. At the time it caused quite a stir Fr. Eusebius devoted a whole edition of LOGOS, his magazine to denouncing it.
I did a Google search on the title of the book to see if it is still available and came up with a used copy on Amazon for $39, and that site. I did not test it before I posted it on this discussion. I should have tested it before I posted it. I apologize if I caused anyone any problems.
I cover a lot of the same territory in my book THE HISTORIC CHURCH: AN ORTHODOX VIEW OF CHRISTIAN HISTORY.  I took the lowest amount of royalities possible to make the book affordable. Here is a description:


The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. Although one can find many excellent studies of Christian history in the United States, none of them considers the development of Christianity from an Eastern Orthodox point of view. The work begins by laying a foundation for the study of Christian history by discussing the beliefs and practices of the ancient Church, during the age of the Fathers and the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The author then discusses the development of Roman Catholicism and the theological and cultural reasons for the split between Rome and Orthodoxy, and relations between East and West following the schism. He concludes his work with a discussion the origins and historical development of every major Protestant group and tells how they differ from Orthodoxy.

Although it is over 600 pages it is much cheaper than a used copy of my book on the Charismatic Movement. The paperback version is only $23.23. The Kindle version, which from what I have seen is not a good reproduction and has some gaps in it is only $3.03. You can read the first 100 pages at
http://books.google.com/books?id=KdEgOBdJqxEC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=The+Historic+Church+An+Orthodox+View+of+Christian+History&source=bl&ots=lzfcBDVGpt&sig=YUBDR741gSUdgIvdeh4YOI4szS8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Vmp-U5_HOMGFqgaY4YLoCw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=The%20Historic%20Church%20An%20Orthodox%20View%20of%20Christian%20History&f=false

Fr. John W. Morris.
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« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2014, 07:45:19 PM »

I don't know why the Catholic hierarchy is OK with it  Huh Maybe they are thinking the Gamaliel protocol is good enough: "if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." Of course that leaves out the 3rd option in which case it would need to be vigorously opposed by the Church.

In any case there are 2 problems with the movement I see: 1. You can read all the Lives of the Saints in the East and West alike and not find anyone acting like those in the Charismatic movement. 2. From the bits I've read about it there is more emphasis about the gifts (which can easily be faked by the evil one) than the Giver.

There are three other serious problems with the Charismatic Movement. Inevitable the Charismatic Movement leads some Charismatics to spiritual pride and judging others as unspiritual who are not Charismatics. This leads to serious division within the local parish between Charismatics and non-Charismatics. Finally, some people confuse their personal thoughts with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and believe that they have a special revelation of God that is superior to the Holy Tradition of the Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.

Fr., spiritual pride leading to division and disobediance seem to be also problems that could infect anyone in any movement or none at all. I get what you're saying that maybe they are especially pernicious in the Charismatic movement though.
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« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2014, 07:56:30 PM »

Is there a polemic against the Charismatic movement, including its practices and beliefs, written by an Orthodox Christian?

I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris

Father I don't trust that this link works.  I think these are dummy links made to collect emails and become spam.

You are probably right. When I tried to us the site it did not work for me.

Fr. John W. Morris.

It is still available here.

Scratch that. Available, but too many survey hoops to jump through.
actually this is also a dummy link that you get spam with, and you will not get the book, even though you may download something (could be a virus PDF). Trust me i know. The positive comments made are fake, and usually made within the last couple of days

Two real-life friends of mine use the site and follow its FB page. Of course, things may have changed more recently... Ah well.

If Fr. John holds the work's copyright and wants to make it available for free, Scribd or Smashwords are solid places to offer it.

I am not sure who holds the copyright of the work. I think it is held by Holy Cross or the Greek Orthodox Theological Review. I wrote it over 30 years ago first as a paper for the completion of my MTS degree at Holy Cross for Fr. Stanley Harakas. He asked if the Greek Orthodox Theological Review could publish it as an article. They did. Then without  informing me they published it as a book. If anyone made any money from it, it was not me. I have a copy somewhere in my office at the Church. At the time it caused quite a stir Fr. Eusebius devoted a whole edition of LOGOS, his magazine to denouncing it.
I did a Google search on the title of the book to see if it is still available and came up with a used copy on Amazon for $39, and that site. I did not test it before I posted it on this discussion. I should have tested it before I posted it. I apologize if I caused anyone any problems.
I cover a lot of the same territory in my book THE HISTORIC CHURCH: AN ORTHODOX VIEW OF CHRISTIAN HISTORY.  I took the lowest amount of royalities possible to make the book affordable. Here is a description:


The Historic Church is a survey of Christian history written for Orthodox Christians by an Eastern Orthodox scholar. Although one can find many excellent studies of Christian history in the United States, none of them considers the development of Christianity from an Eastern Orthodox point of view. The work begins by laying a foundation for the study of Christian history by discussing the beliefs and practices of the ancient Church, during the age of the Fathers and the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The author then discusses the development of Roman Catholicism and the theological and cultural reasons for the split between Rome and Orthodoxy, and relations between East and West following the schism. He concludes his work with a discussion the origins and historical development of every major Protestant group and tells how they differ from Orthodoxy.

Although it is over 600 pages it is much cheaper than a used copy of my book on the Charismatic Movement. The paperback version is only $23.23. The Kindle version, which from what I have seen is not a good reproduction and has some gaps in it is only $3.03. You can read the first 100 pages at
http://books.google.com/books?id=KdEgOBdJqxEC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=The+Historic+Church+An+Orthodox+View+of+Christian+History&source=bl&ots=lzfcBDVGpt&sig=YUBDR741gSUdgIvdeh4YOI4szS8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Vmp-U5_HOMGFqgaY4YLoCw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=The%20Historic%20Church%20An%20Orthodox%20View%20of%20Christian%20History&f=false

Fr. John W. Morris.


Father bless!

What do you think of this "glossolalia" that the Charismatic movement has?  Before you answer, let me preface this question a bit.

I remember listening to what I believe a Fr. Thomas Hopko podcast as well as one of the other AFR podcasts that interviewed a man who converted from Pentecostalism.  He mentions that he does in fact practice "glossolalia", and Fr. Thomas Hopko seems to give credence to it, but that they are all private practices, not the public charismatic practices that go on.

For the life of me, I always thought "glossolalia" meant that when you speak, everyone of different tongues miraculously was able to understand what you say.  But then many others would quote a passage in the Pauline epistles concerning a "speaker of tongues, and an interpreter".  So is there two types of glossolalia, or is St. Paul talking about something else?  Or is it all a bunch of strange cultic practice by the Charismatic movement?
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« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2014, 08:46:07 PM »

I remember listening to what I believe a Fr. Thomas Hopko podcast as well as one of the other AFR podcasts that interviewed a man who converted from Pentecostalism.  He mentions that he does in fact practice "glossolalia", and Fr. Thomas Hopko seems to give credence to it, but that they are all private practices, not the public charismatic practices that go on.

That's disturbing.

Or is it all a bunch of strange cultic practice by the Charismatic movement?

This.  If any Orthodox jurisdiction ever officially gave credence to what the Charismatic movement was doing, I'd say that jurisdiction had fallen away into error and heresy and would stay as far away from it as possible.  It's clear that what the Charismatic Movement does is not the same thing seen in the New Testament and never existed in the historic Church.  I really recommend you read Fr. Alexis Trader's book.  It makes a clear distinction between glossolalia in the New Testament and the historic church and what the Charismatic movement calls "tongues" on a case by case basis.  He wrote the book lovingly, for family members of his still involved in Charismatism who had questions for him.  I believe he's presently a monk on Athos now.  I can attest that my loved ones who were former Pentecostals (now Orthodox) also found it helpful.

Your definition of glossolalia, Mina, is the same as St. Gregory of Nyssa, by the way.
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« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2014, 08:53:09 PM »

I don't know why the Catholic hierarchy is OK with it  Huh Maybe they are thinking the Gamaliel protocol is good enough: "if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." Of course that leaves out the 3rd option in which case it would need to be vigorously opposed by the Church.

In any case there are 2 problems with the movement I see: 1. You can read all the Lives of the Saints in the East and West alike and not find anyone acting like those in the Charismatic movement. 2. From the bits I've read about it there is more emphasis about the gifts (which can easily be faked by the evil one) than the Giver.

There are three other serious problems with the Charismatic Movement. Inevitable the Charismatic Movement leads some Charismatics to spiritual pride and judging others as unspiritual who are not Charismatics. This leads to serious division within the local parish between Charismatics and non-Charismatics. Finally, some people confuse their personal thoughts with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and believe that they have a special revelation of God that is superior to the Holy Tradition of the Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.

Fr., spiritual pride leading to division and disobediance seem to be also problems that could infect anyone in any movement or none at all. I get what you're saying that maybe they are especially pernicious in the Charismatic movement though.


That is very true. I also wrote a book about similar problems caused by Orthodox Fundamentalists who are very judgmental of anyone they suspect of modernism or ecumenism. The first sign of spiritual pride is judging others.

Fr. John W. Morris.
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