Source: Remembering Sion. Reprinted with permission.
By Hieromonk Gabriel
I wrote several days ago that lawlessness is the defining characteristic of both Antichristianity and the modern world. The Antichrist is described by St. Paul as “that lawless one,” and without any doubt at the heart of the modern era is revolution: the unprecedented systematic overthrow of all traditional political, moral, and spiritual authority.
Yet it is clear that the “mystery of lawlessness” means far more than mere anarchy. Although raw and unbridled human desire is without doubt an extremely powerful force, there is nevertheless nothing particularly mysterious about it. Indeed, quite the contrary: there is almost nothing more prosaic and uninteresting, when it comes right down to it, than mere untrammeled lust. And though such lust is certainly more than capable of enslaving man, it is not at all capable of slaking his spiritual thirst. But this is precisely what the Antichrist will seek to do: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
What, then, is the “mystery of lawlessness”? What lies hidden beneath the sweetness of indulgence in forbidden desire? What spiritual hook will catch us after we have swallowed the bait?
As it turns out, the devil did not need to bother thinking up some new lie to deceive the human race. The first lie worked in Eden, and the first lie will work again now in these last days: “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
This indeed is the “mystery of lawlessness” laid bare. We ourselves — and we alone — are the lawgivers now. We will each decide for ourselves what is good and what is evil. And here we see the “new gods” of the new paganism revealed: we need only look in the mirror to find the idols before which we all must bow down.
And here also is explained the mystery of the intense hatred and animosity towards Christianity which is so often displayed by those same people who profess to believe only in tolerance and love. Insofar as we are Christians, we have committed the only sin and the only heresy which this new religion forbids: we have denied the godhood of the individual.
This is why we must be forced to bake cakes to celebrate gay weddings, and this is why we must be forced to use the preferred pronouns of those who have exercised their divine right to determine their own gender: because if we refuse to do so, we are denying those persons’ divinity. We are, like the Christians of ancient Rome, again being accused of atheism, and it is precisely for this reason that they persecute us. The religious zealotry of the secular radicals no longer seems so out of place.
Note the very specific accusation which was made during the latest battle of the transgender war (a battle which the transgender activists had already won, by the way):
Everybody advocating in support for Kluge [the teacher who lost his job for declining to use transgendered pronouns] needs to think about what it is like to be a transgender person and what it is like to live your life knowing that there are people that would say that you are not an actual human being (emphasis added).
This is an absolutely shocking statement. Or rather, it is shocking to those of us who still have yet to realize the staggering nature of the claim to divinity being made by modern man. A student made the above accusation; children now believe that to decline to state that a man is a woman is the same thing as to deny that the man is a human being at all.
The right to define reality itself is now considered absolutely fundamental to our humanity. Other than from the mouth of the devil himself, where could we possibly have gotten such an idea?
Well, according to our Supreme Court, it’s the law of the land:
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. —Justice Anthony Kennedy in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).
It is absolutely no coincidence that such an opinion was issued from the bench in a ruling which upheld the “right” of human beings to kill their own children.
Think about that for a moment: it is the law of the land in America that, because we have “the right to define our own concept of existence,” we are perfectly justified in murdering babies so that we can have more sex.
If you still think that this isn’t the religion of the Antichrist, then I am really not sure what to say.
But the saddest part of this tragedy, of the whole tragedy of human history, is precisely this: that God intended for us to become gods all along — but gods by grace, not by right. As it is written in the Psalms, and as Christ Himself quoted to the Pharisees: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”
That was how the devil’s arrow found its mark in Eden, and that is how that same arrow finds it mark now in the modern age: the human heart was created by God with a profound and irrepressible longing for deification, for union with God.
That is why when we deny the false divinity claimed for mankind by Antichristianity, we must also offer the true deification which is claimed for mankind by Christ our True God. That is why we must first reclaim for ourselves the true riches of the Holy Orthodox Faith.
It is not enough to only denounce the sins and errors of modern men — to do so would be to stifle the very cry of the human heart for God. We must reject their errors, but we must also show them the truth and the beauty which can only be found in Christ, and for which every human heart truly yearns.