Translated from Russian
by Natalia Makeeva and Natalie Semyanko
Contents: "I am treated by a sorcerer" (Archpriest Lev Lebedev). Do not participate in the acts of the darkness (George Shevkunov). Pagical passes (Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)..
Appendix The Holy Scriptures about false miracles
"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether
they are from God, because many false prophets
have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
We offer our readers three articles about modern TV healers and psychics. These articles are taken from the "Troitsky Blagovestnik" (Number 21, issued by Holy Trinity / Sergius Lavra in 1990). In the appendix you will find the quotes from the Scriptures concerning this topic.
"I am treated by a sorcerer."
Lately many people with unusual psychic and hypnotherapeutic abilities have appeared, who are granted space in newspapers and even television. What these people show on the screen is often called a "miracle." It is not surprising that nonbelievers (who still secretly long for miracles!) value such phenomena, but sometimes Orthodox Christians have an impression that the actions of the psychics are Godís gift. This is supported by the holy healers (unmercenaries), who were able to heal the sick ones with the help of just one word, a prayer, laying hands. Meanwhile every honest doctor-hypnotist will say that there is no miracle in his hypnotic influence. What happens here is the influence on the nervous system of a willful person, the nature of which is not very clear yet Ö
Many people think that this is how theSaints healed the sick ones. That is, the miracles of healing described in the Scriptures and lives of the Saints are the phenomena of the same kind and character as the actions of the modern hypnotists and psychics.
How todistinguish a real miracle, Godís power ó from the power, whose nature is not yet clear to the science?
Christian saints:like Holy Great-martyr and Healer St. Panteleimon, Cosmas and Damian, Saint Sergius of Radonezh, St. Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov and others are not just people with strong will and not simply sincere believers and highly moral people. These are people who received Grace of the Holy Spirit by means of a difficult exploit of ascent to God in accordance with the rules of the Orthodox asceticism. Grace may show itself through different gifts, including the ability to heal people. Orthodox sanctity, the height of the spiritual and prayer exploit of a person in Christ in accordance with the rules of the Church ó are the guarantors and criteria that healing coming from such person are done by the uncreated power (energy) of God and are the real miracle, that is, when supernatural divine powers come into the natural laws of the material life set by God. In such cases healing is perfect, unconditional and can be done in respect to any sick person, regardless his bodyís features, nervous system, scale of the illness, even dead ones can be resurrected (who died not a clinical death, but real).
But ifsome unusual ability (for example to hypnotize other people) appears not as a result of praying and spiritual life in Christ but from the birth or as a result of a painful shock or some auto-training (yoga, for example) then it is obviously not the Grace of Holy Spirit. Thus, what kind of power is it? What is its nature?
Two answers are possible. This is either a powercoming directly from the fallen angels, or one of the material powers (energies) of the human nature, which is focused in a guided ray (something like a magnifying glass phenomenon, when a normal dispersed sunlight gathers into a beam, able to light paper, wood, skin).
Letís study the second variant ó the material, natural power. Abstractly speaking, the supernatural powerscould be recognized as neutral in respect of spiritual and moral state of their owner (i.e. they depend only on who uses them and with what purpose). But it is not so in reality. "Earthly" powers of Nature are in the relative power of the devil until Christís Second coming. He is the "prince of the world."
After his fall, man with his material, bodily compound and "passions and lust" came under the power of the devil. Due to this, any unusual supernatural energy of the soul or body is dissolved by sin and through this it is subdued to the devil. Only the "narrowgates" of a prayerful selfless life of an Orthodox Christian are able to free him from the fatal power of infernal powers, but this can be done only with the special personal help of God. If such a transfiguration does not happen, then the following happens with even the kindest people by nature who possess supernatural abilities and energies: they are exposed to demonic instilling inconspicuously to themselves, this revives in the person a sense of self-exclusiveness, uniqueness, this is pride either evident or secret, which is not always noticed by the person himself. More often such people are tempted by the power they may have over other people or by human fame, which is still a pride.
We mayhear an objection: psychics do heal people! People become free from pains, diseases, illnesses which were considered to be incurable. Is this bad? Does this contradict Christian mercy? What is the difference in methods of healing? As long as it healsÖ
During my pastoral ministeringI often met local yogis, hypnotists, psychics, psychiatrists. The most experienced of them say that about 20 per cent of the tested people can be hypnotized. A hypnotist determines a group of such people with the help of some simple tests. With the help of more difficult tests he determines among them another group of people who are more sensitive to hypnosis. These are who he "works" with, making their nervous system do any of his orders and commands. Such hypnotists can demonstrate these people to the audience, thus making an effective impression of imaginary mighty power, almost a miracle. True, he may honestly admit that not all people can be healed by him. But people usually ignore such confessions, impressed by what they have seen.
So,not many people can work psychic miracles. What happens to those who can do it? Psychiatrists say not without a reason that one of the secrets of hypnosis is in the mobilization of the maximum abilities of these or those functions of a human body. Usually his abilities, powers, functions are used much lower their maximum capabilities. If these functions reach maximum level of effort, it is possible to achieve an effect of healing from some illnesses. But what is next? Having used the maximum load, our body will not be able to cope with other illnesses. A collapse of his inner abilities will occur as a reaction, and the consequences may be even worse. Due to this there come even more terrible illnesses and mental problems (madness) or spiritual enslaving by the dark forces. Neither "healers," nor those who want to get rid of their suffering by any means take this fact into consideration. "And the final condition of that man is worse than the first" (Matthew 12:45). Besides this, hypnotic influence breaks that protective seal, which protected personís consciousness from external instilling, kept his necessary inner freedom. Now this person can be easily influenced by other kinds of external instilling. This is perhaps the most harmful consequence of hypnotic healing.
Pay attention to how hypnotists (or other psychics) work. They may speak with people in a friendly calm tone, but in decisive moments they may yell, which gives force to his order. What for? This is done to suppress the natural resistance of the free consciousness and will of the patient, forcing them to subdue to the will of the doctor. Those who watched a TV program about that psychiatrist who provided anesthesia through a TV screen during surgeries for two women probably noticed a harsh and sometimes rough tone for a doctor in the most important moment before the surgeons started working with the scalpels. In the program they did not say that these women had been the psychiatristís experiments for a long time and he had worked with them before. The experiment was not clean even from the point of view of the doctors who were present. We can compare the tone, spirit, manner of communication with the ill people of such men of faith like St. Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov, Father John of Kronstadt. Elder Seraphim healed paralyzed N. A. Motovilov from paralysis with only kind words: no hails, orders, destructive willed intrusions.
Another famous psychicduring TV sessions offers the audience to place vessels with water on the table and then drink it as the healing water. Polls show that this water helps some people, but for the others (the majority) it either worsens the illness or makes no effect at all. Magic spells over water are known since early pagan ages and are determined not only by the Church but also by the modern science as magic. As the academician Rybakov pointed out that magic is an action over a cup (goblet, bowl, basin) with water. And in present days almost all sorcerers, in order to put illness into somebody, or, on the contrary, to heal somebody from illness, use different spells on water, pouring wax or tin into it and offering to drink this water. Such sorcerers may use church prayers, calling the names of the angels and saints, but between them they necessarily insert the abracadabra of magic spells. These spells connect the sorcerer and his patient with the infernal demons. As for the modern TV healer, according to his own public statement he hears "a voice" at night, telling him what to do and how. For the Orthodox believers everything is clear here. For psychiatrists as well.
It is not right to think that connection with the demons is done only while using water. All other magic actions (even with the purpose to heal) lead to the same fatal result. It is possible to quote the words of a modern scientist, academician, director of the Institute of supreme nervous activity and neurophysiology of Russia P.Simonov, said by him about the TV hypnosis in the most positive sense. "The effect of instilling, ó says the academician, ó is impossible without ritual actions, without a "shamanís tambourine." In our days the best tambourine is the TV screen. It is very good that it is adopted to armory" ("Izvestiya" dated August 29, 1980). Theses words are so frank that they need no commentary.
So, with water or without water,with the use of ancient magic symbols or without them ó the actions of the hypnotist and psychics are ritual in their core. And this rituality is not a Church one, not Christian. It is shamanistic, in its basis it is the same as the one that ancient magi and magicians used.
In the holy canons of the Church it is said: "For the magi are those whoÖ call for demons even for doing some good thingÖ "
We only need to sum up what has been said. "Miracles" of the psychics must be reasonably qualified not only as harmful, but also as false. They are false because they do not contain Godís uncreated power, "winning over the nature" in them, but there is quite natural material power or created power of the demons. Such "miracles" are not perfect in their results, not unconditional, cannot influence everyone without any exception, and this means they are not real miracles.
Archpriest Lev Lebedev
Do not participate
in the acts of the darkness
For the past years our country has witnessed not only stormy public and economic shocks. It is possible to state without fearing to be mistaken, that today everybodyís attention is attracted by psychic and spiritual phenomena which greatly influence individual and public consciousness. First of all we mean direct TV broadcasts of programs with various healers and psychics, whom mass media call "representatives of nontraditional medicine."
Programs with TV healers gather a considerable number of people in front of TV screens. Judging by enthusiasticcomments, these programs, besides special effect, represent almost the only expression of social optimism today. Both the results and the procedure itself of these programs are very impressive. It is stated that there are hundreds of people who have been healed from old or incurable illnesses. The atmosphere in the TV studios cause real emotional stress for many people, especially when the healed people demonstrate "miracle of healing" on stage.
The moralposition of the "nontraditional doctors" is unanimously and clearly stated by them: love for people, kindness, benevolence towards everyone. It is highlighted that their main purpose is not the physical but spiritual health of a person. They assure that by their means they will participate in the spiritual revival of the nation.
They do not forget about the Church. Almost in every such TV program they emphasize constrainedrespect for the Church and appeal for cooperation. Some psychics call themselves Orthodox, refuse to cure those who were not baptized and ask to consecrate their diplomas on "nontraditional medicine" in accordance with the Church ceremony.
To skepticsand those who try to tell about the danger of this kind of activity they point at the recovered people and say: "After all it does not matter who cures and how, what is important is to be healthy."
Yes, health is a great blessing. A person who loses it and then regains it, really gains the whole world! But we as Christians may not forget the words of the Savior: "what good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" (Mathew 16:26).
The Church would gladly bless its children to use the knowledge and skills of such healers, as it blesses many medical works, if only it did not know about the spiritual danger which follows such actions.
Such things have been known for a long timefrom the experience of the Orthodox Church, writings of the holy fathers and Christian apologists. They are too well studied to be mistaken about them.
Everyone who ever attended an act of "purification" through exorcism needs to have only one look at the people who get into trance and, against their will, dance, laugh or cry, in order to understand one thing: they behave exactly like people, possessed by those forces which in the Orthodox practice are called demons or dark spirits. And we no longer question why every "healer" perseveringly orders the patients to be more constrained: because in the state of obsession people may act furiously and unpredictably if the spirit which directs them fully possesses them.
As a rule, a person who is far from the Churcheither completely rejects the possibility of the influence of the spiritual life on our life or understands such influence in a deformed way.
The Holy OrthodoxChurch possesses the knowledge about the spiritual world, this knowledge was given to it by Godís Revelation, through the experience of holy men of faith. This saving knowledge is enough so that every member of the Church could find his way in the spiritual world and differentiate between good and evil.
This question was thoroughly studied by Russian men of faith:Bishops Ignaty Bryanchaninov and Theophan the Recluse, Father John of Kronstadt. We will touch on this question only in connection with the problems which concern us.
Modern science is searching forrational beings in distant galaxies, while a different world is much closer to a person.
The spiritual world exists in parallel with the physical world and contains not only our spiritual life: love, hatred, thoughts, passions. This is also a world of spiritual nonmaterial beings, who possess independent will,intellect and abilities, which are incomparable with the abilities of a human being.
Unlike the physical world,the spiritual world is not neutral morally. If the physical fire can be used both for good and evil, the beings of the spiritual world have either only good or only evil will. The Church calls the first of them Angels and the second ó demons, evil spirit. Usually nobody asks why the Angels are good ó this is natural. They ask why the demons are evil. So, they are evil because they have perverted their natural nature, just like a sadist has perverted his natural human nature and enjoys torturing and killing living beings. Both Angels and demons may influence thoughts of a person and inspire him to do things. We will talk about this later.
The phenomenon of the spiritual beings in our material world has been known for a long time already. The Scriptures say a lot about it. Not having a physical shape the spiritual beings may assume any look, but always that look which people are ready to accept due to their state of development. Thus, in the 40s of our century when the humanity was psychologically ready for space flights and meeting "martians" the first UFOs appeared. No matter how breathtaking the stories about their appearance and how stunning the perspectives of "contacts" with them are, but these UFOs and their "pilots" are the same old evil beings who fooled our ancestors appearing as freaks with horns and hoofs, and now they appear to their educated descendants equipped in accordance with the "latest achievements of interplanetary space engineering." Many Western scientists long ago abandoned hypotheses about extraterrestrial nature of UFOs. They decided to study not the constantly disappearing objects, but the consequences of the influence of their contacts with a person. Gradually from them the works on space engineering they approached the works of the holy fathers of the Orthodox Church about the spiritual world, about phenomena which happen on the edge of the spiritual and physical world, about the mutual penetration of these two worlds.
Another kind of mystical phenomenon and demonstration is "poltergeist" (movement of objects without visual physical cause), when before the eyes of militia, scientists and society the demons demonstrate such hooliganism that it is a shame for the confused "researches" with high scientific degrees, who still cannot understand that they are just being taunted!
Theblessed appearances and actions of Angels are a separate topic, and we will not touch upon it here.
As for the "healings," the physicians are still to research the influence of the hypnotists, occult healers and psychics on the organism of a person. As it has always been in history, time will show where is pure charlatanism, where is sad misunderstanding of people who blindly interfere into the spiritual world and souls of their patients, where is a service to evil and use of evil forces of the spiritual world for the purposes far from morals and love for people. In any case, besides only spiritual consequences, which we will touch upon later, such healings are always ephemeral and unstable, while the damage they do a person for his whole life is incomparable with the momentary physical relief.
Psychics affirm that theirinfluence on a person is within limits of the natural processes, that they only help to activate hidden abilities of a personís organism, though they do it by means of physical influence. Even the ancients spoke of the great healing influence of the word. Healing, the real healing by word, coming from either a doctor, or a priest or a close person of a patient, has always been and is and will always be. But it cannot be the same for everyone, but only face to face, heart to heart. In case such influences on the person are connected with this or that kind of secret instilling or secret (i.e. occult) knowledge, they are definitely connected with the rational beings of the spiritual world, who are called demons by both Orthodox believers and the followers of other Christian confessions, and the experiments done with their help are mediumistic or occult.
The fact that millions of ourcountrymen discover for themselves an absolutely unknown influence and that they have not a slightest idea of their origin and consequences arouses very serious concern. People expose themselves to the most refined and far going psychological and occult experiments and the influence of the most dangerous forces of spiritual, mental world.
Different forms of mediumism are known:from "calling of spirits" and rotating tables to poltergeist, "miraculous healing," materialization of spiritual beings and more dangerous occult tricks. Well known are their consequences for a person who became "mystically addicted": mental and emotional disorder, severe depression and finally suicide and crime, committed under the influence of the demonic forces. But the greatest danger is the eternal death of the soul if the person does not stop dealing with the evil spirit and repent. That is why the Scriptures strictly forbids contacts with the occult world: "Let no one be found among you Ö who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
In the wonderful work of the American hieromonkSeraphim Rose "Christianity and Religion of the Future" about the modern occult phenomena we read: "Medium is a person who possesses certain mental sensitivity which allows him to be a tool or means for display of the invisible forces or beingsÖ almost all non-Christian religions widely use mediumistic gifts as clairvoyance, hypnotism, "miraculous" healing, appearance and disappearance of objects and their movement from place to place."
Notwithstanding the variety of forms all mediumistic sessions have something in common:passivity of the medium in order to give himself entirely to the influence of the external directing force, no matter what name it has: natural ability, influence of the "space factor," aliens, coming of the "spirits of the dead" or even of Angels ("Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light" 2Corinthians 11:14).
Passivity of the audience is also desirable, that is why at the occult sessions requests to give oneself to the flow of thoughts and catch all appearing feelings are quite usual. But for a "developed" medium, passivity of the audience is not a necessary condition. By means of training and personal total subordination to the directing spirit a medium may achieve successful results even if the session is attended by many skeptics.
The necessary spiritualistic atmosphere is usually created by artificial methods, as for example, singing of the hymns, listening of the quiet music and even mutual prayer.
All those present take each others hands, thus forming a so called spiritualistic or magic circle. With the help of such a closed circle every participant supplies with energy a certain force which collectively transfers to the medium. But only not very developed mediums need this magic circle (father Seraphim Rose).
Today we may personally be convinced that the magic circle can be successfully formed with the help of TV, for example as it happened in the early 70s in the USA with a popular (not long though) TV-healer Oral Roberts. (in the sphere of bad mystics our newly appeared "stars" are only out-of-date western fashion!) This Oral Roberts made "miraculous healing" on TV with the only difference from our local "nontraditional doctors" that finally he began calling occult things by their real names. Soon he stopped his experiments because the usual consequences of occultism were not slow to affect many patients.
How does this strange energetic chain develop? You may notice, that it seems that TV magicians do not need anything from us: we may be not listening to them, even not understanding them (we know about cases of the influence on babies who do not understand language and when TV sound is off), we may be not trusting the "healer" and we may even openly criticize him, but if we do not turn off TV we give away right what is needed ó our attention! And the rest will be taken without our will!
According to the unanimous opinion of the holy fathers what the demons try to seize is a personís attention: this is the only door through which they may enter the soul. Fathers advise us not to listen to any instilling of the evil spirits or those through whom they act, not to build for them a spiritual bridge which connects a person with the external world ó that is, his attention.
By giving his attention a person invisibly joins the multimillion spiritualistic chain and becomes perhaps not an active member of it but a conductor and a participant. And this is enough to influence the soul and for some people the body, after which may appear "elevated, optimistic mood" and "miraculous healing," which often happens with the help of redistribution of the energy either inside the person (one organ is healed at the cost of another), or among the people who participate in the spiritualistic chain. And after this the person firmly believes in the medium and decides to follow him in everything, and sometimes he becomes really "obsessed" about him.
The system of mass instilling is not new. We know it well in the form of ideological instilling. Flavoredwith promises of all possible and impossible benefits such instillings caused the well-known tragedies in the history of our country. Consequences of being obsessed with false thoughts and false spirit are witnessed by ourselves. Now we speak about new system of psychologically occult instillings.
It is especially dangerous that the system of such influences tries to penetrate into the holy of holies of the human soul ó the spirit. Only Christians can understand how scary this may be. Because of such creation of God, the human soul and his will are impenetrable for the influence of the will of another person. Only spiritual beings (Angels or demons) may suggest thoughts to the soul, but the person is powerful to accept them or deny them. This is a great gift of God, a gift of free Godlike will. But if a person willingly gives way to the strong psychological influence of a "specialist," who has an experience in instilling or occult knowledge, then gradually this, figuratively saying, spiritual barrier, which protects the soul from direct influence of anotherís will, is destroyed and the person becomes accessible to the psychological volitional influence of another person. Such an influence, about which a person may not even suspect! Even " innocent" hypnosis may destroy these protective spheres of the spiritual structure of a person, not saying about stronger and more mysterious influences.
Strengthening and acceptance of occult trendshave always accompanied degradation and weakening of the society. Present "new wave" in our country is becoming stronger, but it has not yet acquired those forms which occultism usually has, when it gathers the necessary number of followers. These forms are ó new religious mentality and antichristian activity.
Modern TV magicians do not say anything about moving to the level of any religious systems.But the same happens in many mystical sects and eastern religions. For example, those who start yoga lessons are not told anything about the supernatural side of it but only about health, physical and moral perfection. More than that all mystical and occult is being rejected. And only some time later they tell their "advanced" perspective and reliable pupils the secret teaching. The majority remains ignoramuses, who are quite happy with the exotic exercises, Hinduism slang and understanding of their importance in the "cosmos." This is where the real hidden purpose of the initial ordination is. Understanding of self importance is instilled together with indispensable and quivering care of health as well as "love for people" and all the set of humanitarian curtseys in favor of the abstract "good and moral." The inspirers of the eastern and occult teaching know well that pride, satanic pride, which they call "understanding of self importance," turns any good thing into nothing.
Almost every day we here from the screen mystical terminology:cosmism, exits into astral, traveling in the galaxies, contacts with aliens, microcosms, etc. we can already hear about synthesis of every spirituality, and a fashionable word "pluralism" is used in connection with the word "spiritual." They try to attract Orthodoxy to pluralistic spirituality, where the place of Christ the Savior will be near TV magicians, eastern guru and humanoid from a flying object.
"Healings" are definitely only a beginning! It always begins with the coarsest, material, but effective. The continuation of the program the spectators will see next time. But the foundation is being formed today. Now we may say without any doubt: during spiritualistic TV sessions people involuntarily receive ordination into the occult world, receive occult abilities.
Little is required for ordination (initiation). In different times and in different nations it could be accompanied by worshiping of mystical objects, by "laying hands of the medium," participation in the "magic circle" and even by reading occult literature and watching occult experiments. An example of such ordination against the will of a person was shown on TV not long ago. A girl from Leningrad demonstrated her ability to attract metal objects, she got this ability after she had seen the same experiment on a Moscow TV program. At the first glance such kind of abilities seems to be senseless, but the aim is the same to attract out attention to such "miracles."
Though, people used to seemuch more alerting cases on TV. Not long ago one psychic started his "course of healing" with the request for the audience to get up and face Ö the West. After this he raised his hands and bows three times with a force, as though forcing the audience in front of him to do the same. For every Orthodox Christian who knows about the ordinance of Baptism it is clear that what is happening is something straight opposite the denial of satan when the person who is being baptized faces the West, which from the ancient times symbolizes evil and satan, and he denies the enemy of all people. And then he turns to the East, which symbolizes Godís presence in the world, and bows to God. Of course the psychic himself may explain this differently, as usual he will refer our suspicion to "clerical obscurantism," but we understand what this may mean.
"We are steadily approaching the time when a wide field for numerous false miracles will be revealed in order to destroy those poor offsprings of carnal sophistication, who will be tempted and seduced by these miracles," ó wrote our great Bishop Ignatius Bryanchaninov. There is only one single aim of these false miracles ó it is to take a person from Christ, the Only and True Savior, and bring him to whatever: "spirituality," aliens, himself, guru, demonÖ
True healing by faith inour Lord Jesus Christ in His Orthodox Church is first of all connected with confession and healing of the soul. By its blessed change the true healing spreads not only over the temporal life, but what is most important over the Eternal Life.
The firstsign of a true man of faith on whom God put a heavy cross of healing and working miracles is the greatest humbleness. On the contrary, the makers of false miracles are haughty, ambitious, suspicious to people, cruel, though they may speak about love for humanity.
In this world there is sometimes hidden and sometimes openretreat from Christ. As time goes on, the adherents of secret teachings become more active, because they see that it is becoming easier for them to catch in their nets people who have lost faith in Jesus Christ. But at the same time they realize that their man-hating power will be shamed and destroyed by Godís power. It is not without a reason that when one of the most famous TV magicians was asked a question if he wanted to be baptized answered negatively and explained that after baptism he may lose his "healing power."
Children for whom everything burns that can burn; houses with flying objects inside;people who suddenly begin to "heal"; aliens who like a delusion spread over Russia and excite minds and media ó are the signs of one and the same spirit, which disappears like a smoke after baptism and faith in Christ.
Why people do not consecratea house where frying pans are flying and gnomes appear? Such cases have been known for centuries, as well as the methods of the church on struggling with them. Why not at least try? They do not do it because they do not want to! "Men loved darkness instead of light" (John. 3:19), ó the word of God is coming true. It is interesting for them to be with the "gnomes," to make mediumistic experiments, it is interesting to invade the spiritual world as thieves through a back door and plunder there, feeling themselves mighty supermen. The occult way in life interests them, but not the way of the Cross of Christ. They enjoy being with the satan, rather than with God!
How far our consciousness is from the one of our ancestors,who understood the scary danger of such experiments for a person and considered them to be equal to killing and the most terrible evil deeds! Orthodox Christians who went to such "healers" were not allowed to have Communion for many years. Many will say it is obscurantism and denseness! We do not appeal for medieval executions of psychics and hypnotists of course. But do we only find confirmation of "denseness" of our ancestors in these facts of history and nothing will make us think about this danger?
Though itis so sad that, without thinking, nonbelievers give their soul and body to the will of the psychics and the spirits who direct them, it is much more bitter and frightening to hear that Orthodox Christians and even some priests are tempted with "healings"Ö
In any case no matter who invites us to use the service of occult "healers" the only attitude of an Orthodox Christian to this van be total and firm refusal from such "healings" and experiments. And how can Orthodox Christians search for help on the side? Do we not have God Who is the same yesterday and today (Hebrews 13:8), Who has healed and is healing those who come to Him with faith? Or do not we have the Intercessor, Quick Helper Who is Godís Mother? Are not there St. Seraphim of Sarov and many saints who are powerful to help us? Or do not we have Orthodox faith, if we prefer to have faith in psychics and every passerby who promise to free us from our suffering? We have to pay for everything. God paid with His Blood for our salvation and for uncountable Christian miracles. Both the magicians and their victims will pay for demonic "miracles," for this minute's deceit, they will pay depending on how far they have gone from Christ and seduced others to do so.
It is difficult to say now what will be the result of this new passion for Russia:in our quite poor spiritual condition we have to give the course of these things to Godís Judgment, Who will open the secret in the time He knows. We will only remember the covenant of Apostle Paul: "have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness!" (Ephesians 5:11).
Almost every priest has been asked lately by the believers to explain if it is permitted to receive treatment from the TV healers.
In order to find an answer to this important question letssimply refer to the book of Needs, which every priest has. In the chapter "Declaration of the most important rules of the Nomocanon" in the paragraph "About magi" we read: "Magi are those who call for beneficent demons, though they do some good things, they are all nasty killers and flatterers (all, even those who call demons for good deeds, are magicians, killers and deceivers)" And further: "Those who go to magicians and conjure or make horoscopes are not allowed to Communion of Christís Holy Sacraments for six years, and those who invite a healer into their house where there is an ill person or for another reason and casts spells are not allowed to Communion of Christís Holy Sacraments for five years, because this is done by the power of demons."
Looks like everything is clear. But we can hear those who doubt say: "Why rank the modern healers with magi, that is magicians?" Letís open "The Complete Church-Slavonic Dictionary" compiled by the Masters in Theology Father Grigory Dyachenko. "A magus is one who makes poisons, he is a magician, a wizard. A person who casts spells against illnesses, an exorcistÖ In the ancient times magi were considered wise people who possess the knowledge of secret powers of nature, celestial bodiesÖ" Does not this definition describe our "wonderworkers," who completely unmask themselves during numerous interviews?
Other patients are impressed that, afterthe healers do something magical, they make something looking like the sign of the cross. Letís see what one of the greatest teachers of the Church St. John Chrysostom says about it: "If during such actions they call even the name of the Holy Trinity or ask the saints for help, or if they make the sign of the cross, you must run away from them and avoid them in every way."
But some psychics state that they have wonderful relations with the Orthodox Church, that they have healed even priests! It is hard to believe this:none of the servants of Godís altar have confirmed this. But even if this happened, in the book of Needs (service book) we read: "Even if a priest does this dark craft it is necessary to exclude him from the Church and completely expel him in accordance with the canon 36 of the Laodicea Council" (year 364). Also see the canons of the Trullan Council 6; Ankir Council, 24; Saint Basil the Great 7, 65, 72, 81, 83; Gregory of Nyssa, 3).
Dear brothers and sisters! Every time we have a Liturgy in the church we sing the Creed,profess total unity and identity of ideas with our mother the Church, we believe in it ó the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. There is no other authority for an Orthodox Christian. So, the Holy Church through the words of the holy fathers of the Ecumenical and Local Councils forbid us to participate in sorcery, healing, it does not allow us to bring the magicians in our homes. But when we turn on the TV we commit an act against God.
Does not the Church have a sacrament of unction (anointment)? Does not the priest tell us that we accept Holy Gifts during communion "for healing of the soul and the body"? And if God does not wish to heal us right that minute, though He has the power to do it (it is enough to recall the Scriptures and the history of the Holy Church), do we need to go to other gods, other powers? Do we not believe the mightiness of God and His love for us, forgetting that He created us and shed His blood for us? And many are ready to run to His enemies for false healing. How easily some people become betrayers!
Does the purpose really justify the means? Is it necessary to kill the soul for the health of the body? "Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" ó So, health at any cost? If the soul is more valuable than all the visible world, then it is more valuable than the temporary health of the body!
At this time, even for graver crimes against the Law of God, the Church does not expel its stray children from its communion, hoping to wake in us reciprocal feeling by indulgence to our spiritual weakness and ignorance. But, showing ingratitude to God, and little faith, we ourselves expel God's grace from our soul and "our home is left empty."
We expel ourselves from the Body of Christ,from the Church, we become alien to God, extinguish the last light of faith in ourselves; because by believing in the "healers" we give themselves into their power without thinking about the nature of this power. It is said: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only" (Mathew 4:10). Except through Godís miraculous help, all healings always happen at the cost of the soulís health by damaging it.
Since ancient times the Church attached great importance to how the person believes and whom he believes. The Ecumenical Council or to Arius? Maxim the Righteous Confessor or his torturers? The wrong faith, faith not in the Truth unites the soul of the person with iniquity. Therefore the heresy (the deformed faith) was considered by the holy fathers as a sin worse than larceny and fornication (abba Agathon), because a heretic "leaves the living and true God and joins the devil and his angels" ("Otechnik" by Bishop Ignatius).
Brothers and sisters,Orthodox Christians, let us watch our soul as our Lord commanded us: "Watch out that no one deceives you" (Mat. 24:4), because "many false prophets will appear and deceive many people" (Mat. 24:11), "perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible" (Mat. 24:24). Of course the appearance of sorcery never seen before is only the first sign of the terrible events prophesied in Gospels.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
Arhpriest Dmitry Smirnov
The Holy Scriptures
about false miracles
"Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God Ö I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people" (Leviticus 19:31, Lev. 20:6).
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord , and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you" (Deuteronomy 18:10-13).
"When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn" (Isaiah 8:19-20).
"All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by" (Isaiah 47:13-14).
"So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, 'You will not serve the king of Babylon.' They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish" (Jeremiah 27:9-10).
"The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac" (Hosea 9:7).
"On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision. He will not put on a prophet's garment of hair in order to deceive" (Zechariah 13:4).
Lord Jesus Christ said about false prophets:
"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Ö Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matthew 7:20-23).
"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Matthew 12:30).
The prophecyof the Savior about the last times:
"For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. " (Matthew. 24:24-25).
Apostle John the Theologian:
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
"Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:22-24).
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
About the antichrist:
"And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10).
Prophecies of the Apostle John about the time of the antichrist:
"He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed" (Revelation. 13:12-15). "But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur" (Revelation. 19:20).
About the future capital of the world state (Babylon):
"The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride
Missionary Leaflet # E53
Copyright © 2002 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)