From the sermons of Archbishop Averky of Syracuse and Trinity.
We are not powerful or strong enough to restrain apostasy, as holy Bishop Ignaty (Bryanchaninov) points out: Do not attempt to stop it with your frail hand”…
What should we do then?
“Stay away, guard your own self against it, and that will be enough for you. Get to know the spirit of the times, study it, in order to escape its influence as much as possible” - this is what the same holy Bishop Ignaty advises us to do.
And do not his words, written over a hundred years ago and so obviously referring to our times, breathe with a prophetic inspiration and an indubitable enlightenment from above: “Judging from the spirit of the times and from the wandering of minds, we must assume that the edifice of the Church, which has been shaking for quite a while, has now rocked quickly and violently. There is no one to stop it or oppose it. The measures of support which are undertaken are borrowed from the elements of a world that is hostile to the Church, and will more likely quicken its fall than prevent it. May the merciful Lord cover the remainder of His faithful. But the remainder is quite scarce and is becoming scarcer and scarcer.”
So it seems that we have now reached this “quick and violent rocking of the edifice of the Church”! The enemy of mankind uses all possible means and methods to overthrow this edifice, in his efforts enjoying the support of open and hidden renegades from the true faith and Church, including even reigning hierarchs of some of the churches.
We are truly living in terrible times; there have never been such times in the history of Christianity, in the history of mankind! A time of nearly universal vacillation!
And if we desire to stay true to Orthodoxy, this obligates us to much.
We must, as St. Ignaty instructs us, stay away and guard ourselves against the apostasy which is moving along in the world with gigantic steps; we must guard ourselves against the corrupt spirit of the times, in order to escape its influence.
And in order to achieve this we must, first of all, understand and firmly remember that nowadays not all is truly Orthodox which bears this most holy and most precious name, that nowadays there is false Orthodoxy, which we must fear like the plague;
That true Orthodoxy is only that which does not accept or allow anywhere - be it in teaching or in church practice - any modernism contrary to the word of God and the rules of the Ecumenical Councils;
That true Orthodoxy neither approves of, nor encourages contemporary mores - the customs and fashions of the modern debased world, which lies in greater iniquity than in the times of the apostles, a totally godless world;
That true Orthodoxy thinks only of pleasing God and saving souls, and not of temporal earthly well-being, careers, material goods or acquisitions;
That true Orthodoxy is spiritual, not earthly and not attached to this world - to worldly experiences and feelings.