Jesus Christ the Light and Hope of the World -- by Protopresbyter George E. Metallinos

With the year 2000, Christianity completes two millennia of historical presence and witness. Christianity, however, means Jesus Christ, since the God-man is He who entered redemptively into the world at some historical moment, altering the process and meaning of History. The completion of the second Christian millennium calls not only for a celebration, but also for offering an account of the pilgrimage of the Christian world, and of the relation of contemporary Christians to the Founder of the Church.It is primarily, we Orthodox, the authentic-original Christians who, in spite of our sins, remain faithful to the tradition of our Saints, that are called to witness to the world what Christ means for us, and with what mindset we enter into the third Christian millennium. l reasons, reject the Godhead of Christ, but one may not reject the historicity of His Person.

The greater persecution, however, of Christ and the Faith in Christ is that which is derived from within, from the Christians themselves. These are the heretics of all the centuries who deny either the Godhead or the manhood of Christ, distort His word, falsify His Truth and “teach men so” (Matthew 5:19). All these are not able to stamp out Christ, but by weakening Him, they kill human beings because they offer them a counterfeit Christ who can not save. The shrinkage of Christ in some aspect of his identity, then (e.g., great teacher, miracle worker, social innovator, etc.), amounts to a quashing of Christ, and also to a clear denial of Him. Christ saves when He is accepted entirely, as He revealed Himself (i.e., as “the Son of the living God” – Matthew 16:17). This is how His Apostles and Saints accepted Him, and this is how He is received by all those who are saved throughout the ages. For this reason…
9. Orthodox Christology secures salvation.
Christ’s question to His disciples, “who do people say that I am” (Matthew 16:16), has exposed this very problem. If this question is not correctly answered, within the limits of an authentic Christology, there can be no possibility of salvation for any human being. Christ’s Person is often falsely presented. All the Christological heresies offer a non-existing Christ, perfectly unrelated to Him, who became incarnate for our salvation. From Docetism, Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monotheletism and Monoenergism to the current falsifications of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Scientologists, etc., all accept a hypothetical Christ who is not the Christ of history, but of metaphysics and deceit.
The falsification of the Faith in Christ in the sphere of dogma inevitably incurs the falsification of the word of Christ in the sphere of society. The Church as a communion of Saints, on the other hand, unceasingly hands over the One Christ, the true Christ, from generation to generation, over and against the various heretical falsifications of Him. This is achieved with the preaching and the pastoral care of the Holy Fathers, by means of the Ecumenical Synods, the liturgical practice and the spiritual life of the struggling believers.
Multifaceted heretical deceit gives rise to the formation of a Christianity without Christ. This is the result of the tragic confusion, which dominates our times. It is a confusion, which is aggravated by the entry of human society into the insanity of the so-called New Age and New World Order. This is the darkest and, therefore, the most dangerous period of human history, because it is already linked with new mythologies (e.g., the new millennium), apocryphal viewpoints (Aquarius – the Devil – takes the position of Pisces – Christ) and millenarian expectations (visions of universal prosperity), while in essence it is the old world that is being reproduced with all its pathology and pathogenic evolution. The much-advertised globalization of the supporters and propagandists of the new system, in spite of some of its positive aspects, leads to a deceitful society where cultural and ethnic peculiarities are razed to the ground, while this kind of society is shaped by a paideia (educational training) which is being conformed to uniformity, and by the mass media of communication. Development of things leading “towards a common flock,” which could be viewed as fulfillment of the word of Christ (John 10:16), is overshadowed by a spontaneous query: Yes, but under which shepherd? Would this shepherd be Christ himself, as He said, or the pseudo-Christ of the New Age?

Never before has the Person of Christ suffered such diminution, nor has Christianity met with such a threat, as in the context of a so-called universal religion which is being composed by the New Age. The convergence of the New Age movement with a universal religion (Assisi 1,2 and 3, 1986-1994 and 1998) does not leave any doubt, anymore. Through the participation of the representatives of the Christian world, a universal religion gets promoted. This is the religion where the All-holy Person of Christ is leveled to the ground and is literally revoked, as it is mixed in with all the fabricated divinities of a fallen world. Never before has the uniqueness and exclusivity of Christ as Savior of the world been questioned so directly and absolutely. For this reason alone, the New Age, historically speaking, is the greatest challenge to Orthodoxy. What the Devil failed to achieve with the persecutions and heresies is now pursued by the renewed ecumenism of the universal religion. Orthodoxy is called to save the truth about Christ, remaining faithful to the tradition of its saints, so that Christ may remain as the life and the hope of the world.

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