Saturday, March 27, 2021

Orthodox Christians and Chresmology

 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Ever since I became a Clergyman, fifty years ago (in 1971), and came into contact with various Christians, one of the issues I was dealing with was chresmology, which means the formulation of an oracle, a prophesy, a future event, which is given by various chresmologists.

Chresmology was systematically practiced by the Millennialists (Jehovah's Witnesses), who set various dates according to which the world would be destroyed, humanity would be unified by a single Government, and so on. And of course they were constantly shown to be deceived.

The mentality of chresmology was rampant in America in Protestant circles, for the coming of the Antichrist, for the mark he would impose on people, and much more, misinterpreting passages from the Book of Revelation. I say this because the Book of Revelation speaks not only of the mark of the Antichrist, but also of the mark of Christ, and whoever accepts this mark, which is the Grace of God, belongs to Christ. However, all these views passed from the Protestants of America to Greece as well.

Apart from that, during all the years that I have been a Clergyman, I have heard many "Orthodox" Clergymen and monks spread a lot of fright, giving many chronologies of events and catastrophes, such that if there is a war, the Turks will invade Greece, there will be hunger, and this is why people should cultivate various products in their homes and villages; that they spray us from planes and put us to sleep, that the markets will stop being supplied with products, that is why we have to cultivate a lot of food at home; that with drugs and vaccines they chip us and put poisons in our bodies, that they watch us and file us, and many more things.

Chresmologists of this kind, especially when they are Clergy, spread fear, panic, anxiety among the people, who lose their sleep, end up at psychiatrists and take medicines, and they feel enemies all around them, who threaten their existence.

Thinking about all these issues, I try to find out where the problem is and why in times of crisis all these chresmologsts come out, who terrorize people and why, in the end, especially Christians should be such?

Of course there are many reasons, but the main one I think is the lack of serious theological education and life. Most people have ceased to theologize seriously and are limited to slogans, psychopathological interpretations, insecurities, Protestant influences. Instead of theologizing, they mislead people. When these chresmologists are asked about a theological issue dealt with by the Ecumenical Synods and the Fathers of the Church, they do not know how to answer.

Ultimately, the chresmologist Clergy bring to the surface their own insecurities, their ignorance with oracles, with dates when God will punish the people.

However, the serious theological confrontation of the issues that arise in society is not with chresmology, which is a terror, but the absolute faith in the Providence of God, the struggle and the attention to the will of God in our life, our faith in the Church, as expressed by worship, the Divine Liturgy and the Synodal decisions.

Chresmology not only does not lead people to repentance, but it also terrorizes them and leads them to psychopathy in the paternal sense of the word.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.