"so that the man of God may be perfect". [2 Timothy 3:16]
When Papism severed itself from the Church of the Lord, a significant portion of Christians became isolated from the therapeutic tradition of the Church. As a result, the West alienated itself from the fount of Life and forgot not only the way, but also the event itself and the significance of Spiritual Rebirth. The Christian Way was demoted by them, to a system of philosophy and a world view; to a package of theories and dogmas and a religious system of vapid formalities.
When in the 16th century the Protestant religious reform overthrew the authority of the Papists in the West, Protestantism inherited the ignorance of Holy-Spiritual life from its Papist mother-"church". This made all the rubrics and symbols that existed in Roman-Catholicism entirely lacking in essence, given that they had ceased to be part of the Christian therapeutic treatment. Thus, Protestantism injudiciously rejected the divinely-inspired Sacred Tradition of the Church almost entirely, keeping (in its majority) only a small part of it and only the 66 books of the Holy Bible. Nowadays, these are being interpreted arbitrarily by every Protestant group; they are completely isolated from the remaining, divinely-inspired tradition of the Church and in fact from the very purpose of all the divinely-inspired texts, ie:
At the beginning of our century however, a new Protestant trend came to stir the stagnant waters of Protestantism: the so-called "Pentecostals". They selected certain passages in the Holy Bible that referred to the spiritual experiences of Christians and comprehended to a limited degree what the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" was. In juxtaposition, their maternal Protestant religions had demoted the Christian rebirth to a mere change in behaviour or to an emotional expression - the reason being the lack of Holy-Spiritual experiences in their groups.
In the manner that the Sacred Tradition of the Church of the Lord is a description of the experiences of the Saints, so do the Protestant traditions and dogmas spring from the personal experiences of the Protestants.
However, the Protestant "varieties" - even the "Pentecostal" groups - have contradistinguished their experiences to the Papism that was severed from the Church. They did not compare them against the Sacred Tradition of the Orthodox Church of the Lord and so did not perceive that all the elements that provided the true and natural interpretation of the Spiritual passages of the Holy Bible already existed, in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
As a result, they unwittingly placed the Orthodox Church of the Lord in the same category as the Latin "church", and the fragmentary view of the Holy Bible has led them to a misinterpretation of their experiences and a distortion of the Gospel. An immediate victim of this phenomenon was the important matter of Christian Rebirth.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that Charismatic Saints - like those who had shaken the world with signs that the Lord had given them through the ages - have never been absent from the Church.
This book constitutes an attempt:
1. to explain to those people the true and Orthodox view of those passages of the Holy Bible that relate to Spiritual Rebirth, so that they can worship the Lord God "in the Spirit and the Truth" and
2. to prove that the Holy Bible is in absolute harmony with the entire remaining Sacred Tradition of the Church, as made evident by the "in-Spirit" experience of the Saints of the Church for thousands of years.
Nicholas A. Mavromagoulos
Article published in English on: 18-3-2010.
Last update: 18-3-2010.