John C. Pontrello
Letter from Silhouan
December 27, 2020
Because of this Website I've met some fine people through the years. Some of these people, even after a rocky start, have become true friends. The following email letter is from one of them, Silhouan. Like me, Silhouan is a former Sedevacantist activist who found his way to Holy Orthodoxy and was received into the Church via triple immersion Baptism. During his time as a Sedevacantist, Silouan successfully recruited many souls into the Sede sect. When he discovered Orthodoxy and began the journey he stunned the people in his network which included members of his own family. Over the past couple of years we shared our joys, frustrations, and prayers. Recently Silhouan wrote to share some of his own similar struggles and to offer a little encouragement. I want to share it with you. While conversion to Orthodoxy is indeed the path of truth and salvation, it is not without disappointments and hardships. It’s good to know at such times that we have one another. ~ jp
Blessed Christmas to you and yours Paul/John,
I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a rough go of it but glad to be of some small relief. I have good days and bad days myself of course and struggle with these things as well. One thing that has helped to ground me throughout all this nonsense is reading St. Nikoli’s Prologue of Orhid for each day of the week. The lives of the Martyrs are inspiring but hard to internalize. It takes a daily dose to drill into my thick skull the spirit of martyrdom and if I miss a dose I can easily slip back into heathen style “violence fixes everything” mode.
The lack of catechism in the Church is shocking, demoralizing and FRUSTRATING… worse yet is this reliance on globalist, neo-protestant, godless universities to “educate” our priests and hierarchs. Why this is tolerated is beyond me and I think it is a MAJOR source of heresy, secularism and godlessness in the Church today. Masons, Jesuits, CIA, KGB oh my! Spooks, kooks and weirdo’s all over again! I keep “bumping into” intelligence types, what a coincidence. Whatever, they were here before me and they will probably be here after me. The good news is that occasionally the spooks are miraculously converted and become great Orthodox Christians. If you have not read “Fr. Arseny, Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Fr.” I highly recommend you drop everything and read this short book. Its one of the first books I read coming into Orthodoxy from Sede madness and it completely changed my world view. How do saint’s operate in the modern world under TOTAL persecution and subjugation??? this is how.
The “two lungs” nonsense is pretty frustrating, but ecumenism is entrenched more insidiously in other ways as well. I’ve been coming head to head with Origin revival, which is maddening. This guy’s (Origin’s) garbage is essentially neo-platanist, Pagan philosophy forced into Christian sounding “theology” and has been condemned at EVERY council in one expression or another, from Arianism to Eunomianism and even Iconoclasm and Barlaam. 1-7, then 8 & 9. Yet the modernist, academic degenerates have been working hard to resurrect him as a “misunderstood saint” to push ecumenism, evolution and to erode Tradition. He’s the perfect catalyst for any non-Orthodox ruse.
Something about being a former Sede and having been forced into knowing a little more than the average soul about how the degenerate world works via narrative control, “education” and political intrigue makes us a LOT harder to fool with fake news. I spotted the ruse right away too and it made me enemies fast. Even friends who knew and respected me… some came around and saw the light but others are still… lets just say some relationships seem to be permanently damaged. Another former sede temptation we face is over externalization. We are very focused on political manifestations and solutions, about what we confess and believe while the Orthodox has a tendency to forget the importance of these things, and rely on internal issues (except maybe the Russians). There is a balance somewhere and it is difficult to find or to maintain once you do and I'm not saying I have found it... just an observation.
I suspect that many hierarchs are being slow to react to this global meltdown in an attempt at damage control, others are in total ignorance of what’s really going on, being normies when it comes to the secular and believing the news narrative, others have sold out long ago and are simply manifesting where their true allegiance lies.
(I know you know this, but sometimes its good to hear what we already know.) As far as getting involved with organized religion… its not a matter of getting involved with one group or another… it’s a matter of TRUTH. The Orthodox Church is the One and Only Church, with all its cancerous and degenerate members and all those who broke away. If this is hard, and it is… we can be reassured by looking at the books Kings, Judges, Chronicles, Judith, Maccabees, Esther, Daniel, etc. Over and over the people of God betray righteousness and turn to idol worship, sexual degeneracy and human sacrifice. Is it any wonder that the Church has the same problems today? Of course it does. Even in the time of the Apostles, St. Paul was warning and writing against the FAKE gnostic “Apostles” that were steering people wrong already!
I pray your letter is well received. The Antiochians appear to be a mixed bag. I’ve seen priests with the spirit of St. John Chrysostom hot in their breasts and I’ve seen ecumenist degenerates. I’ve also seen beautiful people with hearts of gold that are everywhere in between. I’ve also seen a lot of ignorance and naivety but that can go for just about any jurisdiction. LOL, a mask burning event would be a blast, but until people can shake off their “faith” in the authorities and “the experts” and media degenerates it would simply scare a lot of simple people if it were done here.
I don’t have a political solution. I’m NOTHING like the saints and I struggle with all the same frustrations and annoyances with the addition of an occasional close call to violence. God help us. But remember brother He is with us. We suffer like the Maccabees and Judith who said, “we suffer because of our sins and the sins of our people…” (paraphrased) but God is providentially guiding us and He won't abandon us if we don't abandon Him. We will suffer, but if we continue to turn to Him in faith, repentance, trust and hope, we will be consoled with His All Holy and Life Giving Spirit. May His Name be blessed now and forever amen.
As always, our prayers are with you,
P.S. St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 5 fits right in here about suffering, the Love of God, the Holy Spirit and grace abounding when sin is swallowing everything. Here it is… may it brighten your heart a bit.
Faith Triumphs in Trouble
5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [b]perseverance; 4 and perseverance, [c]character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Christ in Our Place
6 For when we were still without strength, [d]in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Death in Adam, Life in Christ (Romans 5) St. Paul (Bible Hub NKJV)
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the [e]offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many [f]offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s [g]offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through [h]one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one[i] Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.