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The Heresy of Social Gospel

This heresy was well captured and presented in the writings of Blessed Seraphim Rose and Herman Podmoshenski of Platina Monastery, the spiritual offspring of the Elders from Optina monastery. As some may know, but perhaps most have not learned yet, parts of the written work of these two saintly fathers were censored, books published were edited in later editions, paragraphs removed, not to mention the fierce battle to discredit them both, the suspicious death at only 47 years of Father Seraphim after a very short and sudden affliction, the slanderous accusations against Father Herman that were not proven in court etc. After all it is only to be expected that they had to suffer for the truth just like their predecessors, and i would like to mention here the numerous false accusations their spiritual Father Saint John Maximovic had to endure as well. After all, false accusations is what Christ had to endure Himself, and since the servant is never greater than the Master, all those in the truth must expect them.

One of the most important works of these two Fathers, and one of the least known for the obvious reasons was the “Orthodox Survival Course” which was only published in recent years on the above mentioned website.

For a number of years, in the 70s, during summer, many pilgrims would come from around the world to hear and see what the news of started to spread quickly. This course that was being held at the Platina Monastery was drawing in many pilgrims, and thousands converted to Orthodoxy just by understanding the truth being presented to them. Many were also ordained priests.

Based on this hidden treasure and some of the letters of these fathers that had also not been known to the world for the same reasons, the Orthodox mission Orthodox Australia tried to put together this spiritual heritage with recent events and developments in the social and political realms in the world in an attempt to bring to light a world view that would make sense in an Orthodox context .

I will try to outline some of the main ideas.

The heresy of “Social Gospel” is mainly based on the premise that the mission of the Church is not mainly to preach to the world the kingdom of God that is to come, but to become an active participant in the effort to make the world a “better place”, a place where all poverty, lawlessness, injustice, disease, suffering, etc are eradicated and the humanity can, finally, get to live in a world rid of all these afflictions, in other words the sort of “paradise on Earth”, achieving the very same goals of the utopic humanist ideologies and ideals.

It is well known in the Orthodox doctrine that injustice, lawlessness, poverty, deprivation, disease etc are consequences of the fall from Paradise and sin. God allows each of us, more or less, according to His own right judgement, to have a cross to bear in life, and this Cross is the cup of salvation, the cup of afflictions each one of us must drink from in order to be saved. So these afflictions are an essential part of God’s plan of individual salvation of every man and woman, and I say individual salvation because it’s very important, for we can now start to observe efforts trying to push us in the direction of a new form of salvation: “collective salvation”.

By trying to make the world a better place through the means of social efforts, and setting the goals of eradicating all these afflictions in society and in everyone’s life in this way, nothing more than removing the very mechanism of salvation left to us by Christ is attempted, because in the end to reach the perfect society here on Earth where lawlessness, corruption, injustice, poverty, illness, suffering, are all done away with means removing the Cross from the world! Such an attempt would only lead to more suffering for mankind as a result of such apostasy.

These goals are not vain words but ideals stated in one of the documents adopted recently by the Council of Crete, and we are especially referring to point F in the Mission Declaration: “The mission of the Orthodox Church as a witness of love in service”. It is impossible not to observe the choice of the words used in drafting of this document to be very similar to what one would expect to hear from the modern communists, yet they appear in an official document of the Church. The very same old communist ideals have now become part of the Church doctrine, a doctrine that did not exist in the Church until today, a new doctrine that will have to be preached going forward ! What is interesting to note is that upon close examination, the very same goals are found on the United Nations agenda, known as the Agenda 2030 (or Agenda 21 as known previously). If the old communists spoke of “exploitation of man by man” as a desideratum for bringing about of a new form of social order, now having changed the words a little and having mixed in some theological terms, we are being presented with an improved version of the same manifesto.

In one of the letters (No. 78 on site) Fr. Seraphim wrote this:

“But with the Soviets, the aim is much deeper: ultimately, to destroy the Church entirely, using the Church’s hierarchs Themselves (when possible) as the agents of this scheme; and, on the way to this end, getting the Church to defend Communism abroad and to Preach the “Communist Christianity” That prepares the way ideologically for the coming triumph of world communism, not only as a universal political regime, but as year ideological and pseudo-religious Tyranny as well. In order to appreciate this one has to realize what Communism is: not merely the power-mad political regime, but year-religious ideological system whose aim is to overthrow and supplant all other systems, most of all Christianity. ”

It’s hard to not notice that in fact the new document (Mission Church in The Contemporary World) is just the materialization of this prophecy. The Orthodox Church teaches that Christ’s redemption of every soul happens in a mystical and individual way, acting on every soul through participation in the sacraments, individually. But the new doctrine teaches that the work of salvation must now contain, besides the Church sacraments (which are individual), also a “social element”, which if not adhered to leads to exclusion from the Church for not following the new doctrine. Thus we are witnessing the emergence of a new concept, that of “social salvation”, or “collective salvation”, and that apart from the Church and all that Her ascetical and patristic tradition prescribes. It is worthy of note that, according to Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis, the idea for the “Missions” document and its contents were actually forced into the agenda for the Pan-Orthodox Council via Russian bishops who were acting at the behest of the Soviet government.

For better understanding of how the heresy of “social gospel” is to be identified, I would like to use an example:


This is a classic example of “social gospel” in action! Trying to be the justice enforcer! Not that drinking was good, but repentance is individual, driven by conscience, and nobody should try to enforce it like that!

Now this becomes a very important aspect because it shows the roots of the heresy of “social gospel”. This heresy is particularly dangerous because it tries to create a “super conscience”, a “social conscience”, or a “common conscience” that is above the individual conscience. This is very communist in nature, and can be used to justify the system of “universal spying” in the name of the “common good”. Some religions have always had this baked in from the beginning, but the danger is now entering our Holy Church.

The Orthodox Survival Course makes the case that because the atheist communist experiment failed to produce the desired outcome and to uproot the spirituality from man’s soul, there will be another attempt to try a spiritualized form of communism, which would involve corrupting the Church of Christ from within and making her subservient to the beast. According to the holy Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios, this beast “does not entail atheism alone but every secular state.

For this satanic effort to succeed, a spirit must be brought to the forefront, a catalyst that would embolden people to partake into it. It’s the same charismatic spirit father Seraphim Rose perfectly described in his writings, which is actually the same spirit that stormed Western Christianity from the time of the schism from Orthodoxy, and which is most obviously manifesting in the Protestant Churches today. The first form of this charismatic spirit can be observed in Francis of Assisi, who can also be credited with bringing forth the first signs of the “Social Gospel” heresy in the Christian world. In catholic writings we can find many references to the real reasons for which he began preaching one of the first forms of this heresy known as “The Joy of Poverty”. Characteristic to this philosophy is the social promotion of the idea of poverty as a way of salvation, made not in the spirit of the Holy Fathers (that of leaving this corrupt world for the purpose of uniting with God away from society), but in order show “that no man anywhere there must be poorer than he” (Francis of Assisi), if we were to quote directly from the source. The goal was obviously to create a social effect and set an example for the world, and not to give up the world in search of God:


So we can already see how this charismatic spirit goaded him to do all sorts of “acts of humility” not for God’s glory, but for his own glory seeking rather the praise of society. This charismatic spirit is omnipresent in the West today and has already made its way deep in some Orthodox countries. Will take Romania for example. Here we can already hear of people that crawl around Churches on their knees and elbows in front of everyone else to see, and we hear how such practices are spreading more and more. Again Francis of Assisi can be considered the founder of this kind of practice by his famous “proof of humility”, where he would put his disciple to tie him by the neck with a rope and crawl him around in markets whipping him to show the world how sinful he was. So we see that the work of salvation starts to shift from the individual and mystical realm into the social (collective) realm !

Since the times of Francis of Assisi the Western Christianity travelled much farther down this perilous road, and aided by science, this form of perverted Christianity has grown to become the tool of the Antichrist who is preparing to make his way on the world scene. The Antichrist will come as “the father of all charismatics” for he will force all to do the “good deeds” in public view. For this reason the heresy of “Social Gospel” is the final stage in preparation for the enthronement of Antichrist, and was the end goal of the heresy of ecumenism because the aim was to rally everyone around this bigger cause.

The terms most often heard today that define this new heresy are “social justice”, “financial or economic justice” (the elimination of exploitation of the poor by the rich), “climate justice”, “religious justice” etc. etc.

When we look around today, we can see how each of these elements have created a social movement on its own. I think it is already becoming apparent that virtually all of the world’s problems today are artificially created by a small group of man, the “elite”, set to destroy humanity and bring about a “new world order”. They are the ones that created and financed all riots and social uprisings (from the French revolution to ISIS), they created this utterly corrupt financial system that will soon collapse (and the social justice movement did not fail to appear: Occupy Wall Street), they also manipulate the climate in order to push us to accept all the new communist values as defined by Agenda 21, they are the ones who politically push for the legalization of homosexuality and abortion etc. Of course the aim is to force the unity of faith and the formation of a common front in the fight against all these iniquities, lawlessness and corruption, because there is no religion that would accept such aberrations.

You might remember the passage from the scripture (Revelation) which speaks about the antichrist who will perform great signs, including that of making fire come down from Heavens to Earth, in his attempt to make humanity bow down before the raging beast of the apocalypse (communism). It was only two or three months ago when the news came out about some freak storms in France and Germany that produced lightning out of cloudless skies, just like fire coming down from Heavens. All this is done with the power of Satan and his tool of deception, science, which is used today to change the weather, can create droughts and even bring destructive rain. All this is done to frighten us and make us bow down and worship the beast.

As for what “religious justice” is concerned, everyone can see that today we are all pushed towards political correctness and we are not to discriminate against any other faith, including Islam.

So you see, our dear reader, how on absolutely all fronts the situation in the world today is becoming increasingly difficult. And war will follow, but first comes the financial meltdown, so the prophecies say …

In order to deceive the world, they are trying to create a false Antichrist, so that the one coming after him will be a “liberator” from under the tyranny of this false one, thus so that the world will receive him as the messiah! This real antichrist will bring the universal justice and welfare, will publicly punish all the elites and workers of iniquity and shall cast out the corrupt. All done in public. Dostoyevsky called him “The Grand Inquisitor”. We see how this new heresy is meant to prepare the throne for this antichrist.

The false Antichrist will be the leader of what is today presented in the press as “the new world order”, the coming regime of oppression and persecution of all, irrespective of religion, done for the same purpose of forcing them to unite in the same cause, against the “common enemy”. This political system will have a dictator in power. In this dictator the world will see the Antichrist, but it will not be. He may come either as the leader of an Islamic empire that arises amid the fall of the West, or he may be another Hitler who comes from the West.

The real Antichrist will come about as a result of the general uprising, the last revolution, the one for “social justice” because the situation will get increasingly worse. The West will collapse and financial and social troubles will become unbearable. Through these terrible trials, Satan hopes to rally everyone into accepting a new just system, free of corruption, lawlessness, poverty, disease and affliction, paradise on earth!

It should be mentioned that not too long ago, in Septemver 2015, for the first time in history, the Pope (Francis) appeared before the US Congress and before the UN assembly, heralding exactly the same agenda of universal justice.

Here’s how dear brothers and sisters in Christ the ideals of communism have came to be preached to the whole world …

In the Orthodox Survival Course it is clearly shown how the French Revolution was the beginning of the uprisings and social movements aimed at overturning all existing social orders, eliminate all Christian monarchs, and instilling a new social and political order, and how it will all end with the last revolution that will enthrone the Antichrist.

“Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” it is being shouted once again, this time from inside the Church of Christ!

Lord have mercy.

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