Tag Archives: Idolatry

St. Justin Popovich: . . . Our era is, above all, an era of idol-worship. . . .

The Great ExhibitDo you not notice that, in his mania for culture, European man has transformed Europe into an idol-factory? Almost every cultural item has become an idol. Our era is, above all, an era of idol-worship. No other continent is so engulfed by idols as is contemporary Europe. Nowhere else are material things so revered, nowhere else do people live for them as much as in Europe. This is idol-worship of the worst kind, for it is the worship of clay. Tell me, does a man not worship clay when he selfishly loves his earthen flesh of clay, and persistently asserts: I am flesh, and flesh alone? Tell me, does European man not worship clay when he takes as his ideal a class, a nation or mankind as a whole?Book St Justin Popovich Man and the God-Man

+ St. Justin Popovich, Man and the God-Man (Contemporary Christian Thought Series Book 4)

St. Isaac the Syrian: O glutton, bent on the worship of your own belly . . .

“O glutton, bent on the worship of your own belly! It is better for you to cast a live coal into your stomach than the fried foods of rulers and princes.”

+ St. Isaac the Syrian, The Ascetical Homilies, Homily 17

St. Sebastian Dabovich: We hear it frequently remarked that it matters not what one believes if he does right. But . . .

St. Sebastian Dabovich 4“We hear it frequently remarked that it matters not what one believes if he does right. But if one does not believe right, he does not do the right thing—that is, if his belief is sincere and carried out in practice. If one believes that which is wrong, and still acts otherwise from force of circumstance, he is wrong in heart. A man may believe in polygamy, but the law and common custom may forbid its practice. He would be in outward life aright, but in heart would be a virtual polygamist. And if circumstances were favorable, his life would bear its legitimate fruit. And this is just as true of every other moral evil. It is all-important to believe right. Every false religion which has cursed mankind has started in a wrong belief. It might not have affected practical duties for a time, but the fruit finally developed. Thus belief in that first lie of Satan’s (Gen. iii: 4) has borne its legitimate fruit in—first, the deification of the beautiful, and unnatural curiosity; second, self-love, delusion, and idol-worship; third, free-thinking, protesting, infidelity, and anarchy.”Book The Lives of Saints St Sebastian Dabovich

+ St. Sebastian Dabovich,  The Lives of Saints: With Several Lectures and Sermons [hard-copy book] | [read online], “Sincere Religion”

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: . . . The error of the nature worshipers, the ancient as well as the modern . . .

RaThus then we Christians understand the earth, the sun and the stars as the symbols of spiritual reality and in no way as the reality itself. Pagans of all ages, however, have mistaken those luminous bodies of the firmament for reality. As soon as they took them for reality they began to worship them. That is how the pagans have been ensnared by a terrible error to worship the creatures instead of the Creator. The Greeks worshiped the earth under the name of goddess Gaia, and the sun under the name of Apollo. The sun was worshiped in Egypt under the name of Osiris, and the moon under the name Isis. The moon was worshiped in Babylon, Assyria, Arabia and in many other countries under the name Ishtar.The Persians, as fire worshipers, bowed before the stars as divinities.

The error of the nature worshipers, the ancient as well as the modern, was caused by the fact that their spirit did not guide their eyes but vice versa: their eyes guided their spirit. Similar to a blind person their spirit tottered after their physical eyes and worshiped everything that the eyes declared as reality, and consequently as divinity.

+ St.  Nikolai Velimirovich, The Universe as Signs and Symbols

 

St. Maximos the Confessor: . . . I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience.

Icon of St. Maximos the ConfessorWhen all the people in Babylon were worshiping the golden idol, the Three Holy Children did not condemn anyone to perdition. They did not concern themselves with the doings of others, but took care only for themselves, lest they should fall away from true piety. In precisely the same way, when Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, he did not condemn any of those who, fulfilling the law of Darius, did not wish to pray to God, but he kept in mind his own duty, and desired rather to die than to sin against his conscience by transgressing the Law of God. God forbid that I should condemn anyone or say that I alone am being saved! However, I shall sooner agree to die than to apostatize in any way from the true Faith and thereby suffer torments of conscience.

+ St. Maximos the Confessor, The Life of Our Holy Father St. Maximus the Confessor (Boston: Holy Transfiguration, 1982)

St. Justin Popovich: All the European humanisms . . .

Icon of St. Justin Popovich“All the European humanisms, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, from the fetishistic to the papal, are based on a belief in man as he finds himself in the midst of his given spiritual and physical empirical situation and his historical context. In this view the entire essence of every humanism is man (homo), and encapsulated in the ontology of every humanism is nothing other than humanism (homo hominis). Man is the highest value, the supreme value. Man is the principal criterion, the ultimate criterion. “Man is the measure of everything.” That, at its core (in nuce) is every humanism, every homanism. Therefore, all humanisms, all hominisms are, in the final analysis, idolatrous and polytheistic in origin. Pre-Renaissance, Renaissance, and post-Renaissance ─ Protestant, philosophical, religious, social, scientific, cultural, or political ─ all the European humanisms strive consciously or subconsciously, but they strive unceasingly, for one result: to replace faith in the God-man with a belief in man, to replace the Gospel of the God-man with a gospel according to man, to replace the philosophy of the God-man with a philosophy according to man, to replace the culture of the God-man with a culture according to man. In brief, they seek to replace life according to the God-man with life according to man.

This has been developing for centuries until in the last century, in 1870 at the First Vatican Council, all these efforts achieved their pinnacle in the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope. This dogma subsequently became the central dogma of the papacy. In our own times, during the Second Vatican Council, this doctrine was discussed so persistently and so skillfully that the notion of its inviolability and inalterability was strongly reinforced. This doctrine has an overwhelming significance for the fate of European civilization, and for the apocalyptic times into which it has brought itself. Through this dogma all European humanisms have built their ideals and their idol: man has been declared the supreme godhead, the ultimate godhead. The European humanistic pantheon has established its Zeus.”

— St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith & Life in Christ, “Reflections on the Infallibility of European Man”

St. John of Kronstadt: Do not cling with your heart to anything . . .

Photo of St. John of Kronstadt“Do not cling with your heart to anything, and do not make it the god of your heart; the sole God of our heart must be the Lord-God, Who created it: for our heart is His breath.

Do not cleave with your whole heart unto any person, that is to any flesh, for the sole God of our heart must be the Lord-God, and to Him only must we cleave. For attachment to material things, or to flesh, is a lie, an enticement of Satan and the will of the Devil. Amen.”

— St John of Kronstadt

St. Macarius of Optina: Avoid making idols . . .

Photo of St. Marcarius of Optina“Avoid making idols either of things or of practices.”

— St. Macarius of Optina

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: Let us remember our ancestors, the Holy Christian Martyrs of the early Church . . .

Icon of St. Nikodemus of Mt. Athos“Let us remember our ancestors, the Holy Christian Martyrs of the early Church, as well as our Serbian New Martyrs, who refused, despite painful penalties and horrendous persecution, to worship, venerate or pay obeisance in any way to idols who are angels of Satan. The foundation of our Holy Church is built upon their very blood. In today’s world of spiritual apathy and listlessness, which are the roots of atheism and turning away from God, one is urged to disregard the spiritual roots and origins of secular practices when their outward forms seem ordinary, entertaining and harmless. The dogma of atheism underlies many of these practices, denying the existence of both God and Satan.

Our Holy Church, through Jesus Christ, teaches that God alone stands in judgment over everything we do and believe and that our actions are either for God or against God. No one can serve two master.”

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. John Chrysostom: . . . I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? where there are many efforts at abortion? where there is murder before the birth? for even the harlot thou dost not let continue a mere harlot, but makest her a murderer also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine. Hence too come idolatries, since many, with a view to become acceptable, devise incantations, and libations, and love potions, and countless other plans. Yet still after such great unseemliness, after slaughters, after idolatries, the thing [fornication] seems to belong to things indifferent, aye, and to many that have wives, too.

— St. John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Romans