Recently, much has been said and written on the subject of obedience to an elder. This is all the “fashion,” but does it really express our faith? Or perhaps it is associated with occultism? And if so, how is it related?
Here are some excerpts from a non-published para-religious pamphlet on the subject of obedience to a Geronda:1
“The monk under obedience is a blank sheet of paper. There is nothing there for the devil to interrogate him about. The obedient disciple has no temptations because the Elder takes them on. The value of the Elder cannot be matched by the value of the whole world or even of the entire Holy Mountain.” (P. 6)
“Question: How does the subordinate who does obedience feel the union he must have with his elder? Perhaps with the peace and serenity that is within him?
Answer: How can I say it? How can I express this? It is this, of course, but he mainly sees his Geronda, and advances; he neither fears God nor hell! Nothing scares him! My Geronda told me that. I’ve tried it; I fear neither hell nor God! Nothing! My Elder said that!
Question: And if the Geronda gives you a command that is wrong?
Answer: It never comes to evil, because it is obedience in the middle.” (P. 10)
“Question: At one point, some stumble in relation to obedience. I.e., lest they make a kind of circumvention of the sanity which God gave them; namely the logic God has given them. This is white, this is black; that one green; the other blue. Now if he tells you to call the white black, perhaps you abuse sanity, so to speak?
“Answer: This is obedience my Father; this is obedience. Be convinced that it is black, and it’s not the white you see! You see it white; the Geronda sees it black. The Geronda sees it correctly, properly! This is obedience!! To convince yourself that it is black and not white as you see it!! This is obedience. Do not believe even in your eyes.” (P. 11)2
“Do you do obedience? Then God’s commandments, so to speak, don’t concern you! You are somewhat indifferent; they don’t concern you and God does not frighten you! You do obedience; that which God commanded you. The Geronda is the visible God. By doing obedience to the Geronda, which God ordered, you are not interested at all, nor care, nor are concerned at all, about what God wants! The mouth of the Geronda is the mouth of God! God, the Elder, ordered the subordinates. And don’t do prayer and don’t do anything, you’re for Paradise. While on the contrary, if you do them when you don’t obey, you are for hell.” (Pp. 13-14)
“The Geronda holds the position of the visible God! When God says the word, does he recall it again? Certainly not! The Geronda spoke, that’s final. The only man that I loved in my life was the Geronda. And the only man whom I feared was the Geronda. Fear in conjunction with love.” (P. 16)
However, should we see the white as black and the black as white?
The answer is found in the Holy Scriptures:
“Woe [to them] that call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness light, and light darkness; who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
When we say things like the aforementioned, then what else is this but Papacy? (Note that the Latin Church is one thing and Papism as a mentality and behavior is another.) The question is whether we call this person “Pope” or if we call him “Geronda” or whatever? Actually, here we see a whole other religion, where God has absolutely no position; essentially atheism and idolatry. The word “antichrist”, lexically, means ‘one who replaces Christ.’ In the Christian faith, man doesn’t replaces God, just as God does not replace man ….
1) These exact quotes appear in the biographies of Elder Ephraim of Katounakia, Obedience Is Life and Elder Ephraim of Katounakia. The latter book is read frequently in Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries (both in the trapeze, and recommended personal reading for the monastics).
2) This echoes the Jesuit Ignatius Loyola’s teachings in his Spiritual Exercises, “What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines.” (See: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Vintage Books edition, Rules, 352-362, 365, pp. 124-124 to read more about the Jesuit concept of blind obedience to the Pope).
3) Note, though the Gerondas do not claim infallibility, they teach the patristic doctrines that the first word out of their mouth is God’s will for you. If you rebut, the next words are his own, but not God’s will for you. Elder Ephraim of Katounakia also teaches, “The Elder speaks, God speaks. The mouth of the Elder is the mouth of Christ…He who does obedience to his Elder imitates Christ, Who did Obedience to His Father…The Elder is the source of peace, the source of grace, the source of salvation, the source of Paradise…It is easy for someone to leave the world. It is very difficult for one to find a guide! It is difficult!”