Catacomb Churches in America?

Michael Snyder recently posted an article on his “End of the American Dream” website titled “Have You Noticed How Much Delight They Are Taking In Shutting Down Churches All Over The United States?” in which he noted:

“Did you think that you would ever see the day when police in America would be patrolling church parking lots on Sunday morning in order to keep people away? And did you think that you would ever see the day when Christians would be threatened with having their license plates recorded if they did attend church?…But in recent days it has become clear that in many areas of the country churches and other Christian gatherings are specifically being singled out, and in some cases authorities have seemed to take quite a bit of glee in cracking down on Christians. This sort of tyranny was never part of the bargain, and believers all over America are rightly pushing back against it.”

On April 16th, 2020, The Gateway Pundit featured this story, “Dozens of Cops in Tactical Gear ‘Aggressively’ Show Up At California Church on Easter, Pastor Now Facing Fine or Up To Six Months in Jail.

The Merced County Sheriff claims that they were tipped off about dozens of worshippers violating the state’s stay-at-home order and attending Easter services at Iglesia De Jesus Cristo Palabra Miel on Weaver Avenue. The Hope of Glory: Ref... Meacham, Jon Best Price: $15.22 Buy New $14.30 (as of 02:43 EDT - Details)

During services, law enforcement said that congregants parked out of view and the doors to the church were locked. Pastor Fernando Aguas claims that they had simply parked in the back to avoid problems.

“We weren’t hiding,” Pastor Aguas said. “There were kids running around everywhere. We just had people park in back because we didn’t want problems.”

Though people in the church were social distancing and keeping space between them, Pastor Aguas admits that some were not wearing masks.

Pastor Aguas said that the sheriff’s deputies were “aggressive” in handling the situation and believes that their freedom to assemble has been violated. The pastor said that he believed the social distancing order to be a recommendation, not a requirement.

While the COVID-19 shutdown may end up being a temporary affair, I suspect that the oligarchs are engaging in an experiment and will seek more and more control, now that precedent has been set; certainly the have open hostility to traditional Christians, who are most likely to resist their efforts of control and recognize—implicitly—a higher power. Yet I am troubled that so many churches accepted the government fiats, for surely they could have done some research and concluded, as many have, that if there was to have been a quarantine or “medical martial law” to control the “pandemic,” than the ones who should have been quarantined should have been the most vulnerable, with support given to them. Unfortunately, the lockdown has affected most of the population of America and the churches didn’t fight the edicts. Easter services this past Sunday were mostly via streaming; this will be true this weekend of Orthodox services as well. As in this article on the arrest of Serbian Bishop Naum, the church hierarchy “meekly submitted” to the worldly authorities:

Unlike the official church hierarchy, which meekly submitted to the regime’s demand that worship activities be conducted at home on an individual basis (the Soviet refrain that “religion is a private affair,” to be hidden from public view, is readily recalled), Bishop Naum – who is in communion with Bishop Artemije who was removed from his see in Kosovo in 2010 at the insistence of NATO embassies in Belgrade – refused to limit collective liturgical celebrations and to impiously adapt traditional communion practice to conform to regime demands. Battlefield America: T... Whitehead, John W. Best Price: null Buy New $9.99 (as of 12:10 EST - Details)

These events remind me that it is possible that those of faith will in due time experience something like the Russian faithful did under Soviet rule: having to worship in secret, away from the eyes of the hostile state. As from this article, “Notes on the Catacomb Church in the USSR” by Ivan Andreev:

As far back as 1928 separate, secret services began to be held in houses throughout Petrograd. After 1930, the number of these secret services significantly rose. And from 1937 onward, we can consider the Catacomb Church to have been fully formed. In the rest of Russia (especially in Siberia), catacomb churches had been formed somewhat earlier. There were not enough catacomb services in Moscow, and many Muscovites sought nourishment in Petrograd. The catacomb churches did not have an administrative centre or clear hierarchy. Metropolitans Kirill and Joseph were seen as the church’s spiritual leaders. Piotr Krutitsky was recognised as the rightful locum tenens of the patriarchy, and this title switched to metropolitan Joseph after the former’s death. From 1929 to 1930 secret consecrations were held in the Solovetsky concentration camp, where several “Josephite” bishops were held (Maksim of Serpukhov, Viktor vicar of Vyatka, Hilarion vicar of Smolensk, and Nectarius of Trezvinsk) [3]. Secret bishops and an immense number of hidden priests appeared. I personally know only of the Petrograd region and secret catacomb services that were held in it between 1937 and 1941. Later, between 1942 to 1945 I was to meet participants of catacomb services (from different places in Russia): I have no information after 1945.

My plea is that Americans do not become complacent in these times; in the future, as the oppressive power of the state grows (and paradoxically pushes the “Empire” to collapse), traditional worship will be attacked. But as those devout Christians not so long ago showed us, if our faith is strong, we can continue to meet, most likely in secret, but not without risk to our lives. It is only that those who follow Christ realize lives are secondary to our faith and obligation to God.

From The Remnant, CORONAMANIA: False Science v. True Faith, the author reaches out to Catholics but also makes the point that true understanding of the nature of the world and our place in it comes from Jesus Christ, and I think this is truly what the elder faiths believe: War, Christianity, and... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $8.95 Buy New $9.95 (as of 09:10 EST - Details)

Coronamania has swept over the land like some mysterious zephyr subtly and noiselessly permeating every nook and cranny of human thought—a concocted highly-imaginative fantasy absorbing both waking and non-waking hours, rendering  contemplation, reflection and any other higher order cognitive activity helplessly vapid and bereft of any hoped-for, tension-relieving conclusionary cessation.

Like some type of creeping mentally-acidic fluid, the CV phenomenon is slowly eroding every semblance of coherent cognition, leading politicos—governmental, entrepreneurial, and ecclesiastical—to equally outrageous and preposterous courses of action, which, taken individually and in isolation, seemingly border on the most despicable varieties of insidious autocratic and despotic imperatives.

All of this is for the sake of false “scientistic” faith.  How come the “gods of science” have not produced that instantaneous “miraculous cure” which everyone seems to be waiting for?  Where is that longed for panacean vaccine for this dreaded malady?  Why are there continual reassessments—a year, six months or perhaps less?  Why has there never been in the long history of almighty biological science a cure for that other coronal virus, the common cold?

Yes, friends, this is a “crisis of faith “for those rabid purveyors of false scientistic faith and their unrelenting mantra that science will find a “cure for anything and everything.”  Are these purveyors perhaps simply being confronted with the dire and ominous prospect that there, just possibly, might be, in the long run of human biological science history, a limit to human biological science knowledge acquisition, that we cannot simply “know it all”—at least not at the double click of a mouse button or the swipe of a smart phone?

Of course, America is truly “post-Christian” and true followers of the faith appear to me to be a minority of the population; people are more concerned with their economic well-being, since none of the protests revealed any push-back against church closures, yet it’s better than nothing, because under totalitarian police states spiritual death is likely—Judge Napolitano has written eloquently on the implications regarding the Constitution. Yet with stories like this, Is Bill Gates the Dark Lord? and Bill Gates Calls for a “Digital Certificate” to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine” it is apparent that times are very dark indeed. But it has always been so, as these quotations from scripture reveal: The Global War on Chri... Allen Jr., John L. Best Price: $7.03 Buy New $10.62 (as of 04:57 EDT - Details)

John 15:19 “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.”

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be his very own and to proclaim the wonderful deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

James 4:4 “You adulterers! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility with God? So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.”

John 15: 18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.”

Romans 1:29-30 “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.”

John 15:21 “They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”

John 15:25 “This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: They hated me without cause.”

John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Matthew 5:14-15 “You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Will Catacomb churches come into being in America? I suspect it’s only a matter of time…

To the Orthodox Christian readers of LewRockwell.com, some of whom have been heroic in their response to the attacks on living their faith and obedience to Jesus Christ, I want to wish them a blessed Pascha.

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