Why American ‘Orthodox’ Missionaries Are Unsuccessful

For many years we in England have been subject to the aggressive missionaries of two Non-Christian American sects, the Jehovahs’ Witnesses (Russellites) and the Mormons. They have yet to understand that we are not interested. We have our own history and traditions which predate 19th century New World sects. The only ones they can recruit are the disinherited (immigrants and socially abandoned), the uneducated in history, or the pathologically unstable and insecure. Even among them the turnover is huge. Sadly, in recent years, we have also been subject to the missionary activities of pathological neophytes who claim to belong not to Non-Christian sects, but to fringe parts of the Orthodox Church.

In fact, although nominally members of the Orthodox Church, these neophytes share in exactly the same Calvinistic/Lutheran mentality as the others. First of all, they share in the sectarian American culture of exclusivism: ‘only we are right, all others are beyond salvation, join us or be damned, either you are with us or else you are against us’. Secondly, in their arrogance they impose their language and culture on all others, who are rooted in the local culture. They meddle in and lack all respect for the local language, local culture and local traditions, which are all far older than they are. Thirdly, they express the same very proud, Calvinistic mentality of punishment, cursing with hellfire all those who do not share in their deviations and perversions.

I remember how in the 1970s three American men, claiming to be ‘novices’, all dressed up as Orthodox monastics and in long beards were sent over from California (from where else? – as East Coast Americans know) to Oxford Street in London. The ‘mission’ of these who had been ‘saved’ – to convert shoppers to Orthodoxy. Apparently, it had never occurred to them that there were already plenty of Orthodox churches for local people in London, where those who wished to go could go and that shoppers might be intent on shopping, not on a bunch of black-robed Hari Krishna-type weirdos.  Naturally, the shoppers either ignored or rejected the fruitcakes of the latest US sect, who were preventing people from shopping.

Naturally, the three ‘novices’ totally failed in their ‘mission’, and returned to California, condemning people in Oxford Street to hell, as not one of them had been converted to their pharisaic pride. Thank God for that. If you want to convert people, first live among them, help them and show that you are a kind person. Set an example. Instead, the ‘novices’ could not even provide a church or any infrastructure, where those interested could have gone. And do not think that you have the right to interfere in their lives, just because you imagine that you are superior to them, especially when you are novices. Sort out your own house first and see what you are made of before you speak to others. Stop being meddling Methodists.

The American pseudo-religious mentality is only a reflection of the American secular mentality. They are the same because they are both born of the same arrogance and pride. We have seen it in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine. First, they eliminate the local individuals, presidents, kings, dictators, or even priests, who understand and so are in control of the situation. Then, having lost the controllers who understand and created destruction and chaos, they appoint their own puppets and control-freaks, but are surprised that the local people do not like them and reject them. When they discover that, they proceed to condemn to hellfire all who resist their overweening pride and then run away, as in Saigon, Kabul and soon in Kiev.

To see genuine Orthodox missionary work, read the lives of saints, such as St Herman of Alaska and St Nicholas of Japan. The results of their work is long-lasting, enduring, they do not condemn, nor do they run away. Those who come here, pretending to have a native accent and pretending to be Orthodox but in fact know very little and do not consort with lifelong Orthodox, are fakes. We saw through them almost immediately. They will not last, they never do – we have seen it all before. Here today, gone tomorrow. Their coming departure, after their proclamation that they will never be nice and that those who resist them are evil, will be no loss. The Church ignores them and goes on without them. We do not need fakes.