By dogcatcher on February 25th, 2012
It is not easy to exactly define the term Ephraimite. One can say it is an affliction of varying degrees. Some readily acknowledge the title while others who are so influenced are not even aware of the word Ephraimite. It is curious that some hard-core Ephraimites still believe they follow the accepted theology of the Greek Orthodox faith. The Ephraimites believe in one or more of the following propositions or have adopted one or more the listed practices: 1. The Elder Ephraim is a “living saint”; 2. The monasteries founded by him are the only place to experience “True Orthodoxy” in North America; 3. The churches, most priests and Hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church in North America have become either corrupted, non-spiritual, practice water-downed theology, or use Protestant practices. 4. Greek Orthodox Christians will not go to heaven unless they have given confession to a monk or nun at a monastery; 5. Emphasize an absolute necessity of a rigid understanding of full immersion baptism; 6. The Elder or a representative thereof must be consulted for all of life’s important decisions such as a marriage partner. Some severely afflicted Ephraimites also seek consultation on minor decisions; 7. There exists a doctrine known as “Ariel Tollhouses” which states that only the prayers of monks or nuns will be required for each individual to pass through demon infested debriefing centers where one is questioned about various sins or practices in order to determine whether they should be granted a pass to the next tollhouse or whisked to hell. (Click the following link for a more thorough explanation on this theory.); http://constans_wright.tripod.com/notolls.html and http://www.new-ostrog.org/return_tollhouses.html. 8. One must only have positive thoughts and never question the Elder or the actions of the Elder. For many of them, the term Elder includes Orthodox Parish priests or any clergyman in a role of spiritual father. (This is a key component to mind control used by different cults aimed at the suspension of reality based thinking); 9. Does not follow the words or advice of anyone unless they are identified as “spiritual”. This term “spiritual” identifies those who follow Elder Ephraim, his monks or nuns and those priests who are the “spiritual children” of the aforementioned Elders, monks, and nuns; 10. They find the monasteries founded by Elder Ephraim as more spiritual, holy, pure, and true or any other adjective they use to diminish the parish life experience of other Orthodox Christians. 11. A loss of flexibility in their thinking about or the ability to question anything related to their religious experience; 12. They are anti-ecumenical and generally start believing in an “Us vs. Them” mentality. This “bunker mentality” also spills over to their parish life and eventually destroys relationships while their Ephraimite spiritual fathers inflame the situation in order to gain control and power over the followers; 13. Women who dress conservatively often adopting an appearance that includes long skirts, long sleeve shirt, a maternal hair style and a head scarf in church; 14. Women relegated to the status of “second class” citizens as they are willing to accept lesser or limited roles in the church; 15. Those who keep pictures of Elder Ephraim in their home, businesses or even as a screen saver on their computer. They take the laity focus away from Christ and make Elder Ephraim the center of their spiritual world; 16. The disregard for the rich and varied history of our faith. They reject any adaptations to the American reality. This includes referring to choirs and Sunday school classes of local parishes as a new protestant practice additions to parish life in America. They no longer believe in or have accepted false teachings on many practices of our faith. A simple historical fact like the existence of mixed gender choirs in Agia Sophia before the fall of Constantinople in 1453 are erased from their teachings or ignored or worse yet, purposefully recast as false legend; 17. Some married men and women who follow the Elder live separately in the same home as brother and sister; 18. Believe that the Patriarch is controlled by the devil; 19. Believe the Patriarch is suppressing and destroying the Monasteries in Mount Athos; 20. Blindly attend certain parishes that have “spiritual priests” while marginalizing non-Ephraimite priests and their parishes; 21. Donate money to the Monasteries of Elder Ephraim. These same persons seldom financially support their current or former parishes; 22. Attribute certain recoveries from illnesses as the work of “their spiritual father”. They avoid attributing modern medical treatment, procedures or prescription medications as the source of their recovery; 23. Foolishly believe that they need to cut off relationships with all those who are not Ephraimites dividing families, long-term relationships and friendships; 24. Believe the source of our faith does not come from the Bible and all the traditions and practices almost all of the early church fathers agreed upon. Instead, they emphasize the extreme. They believe in the writings of certain saints that almost all faith abiding theologians believe are either extreme, incorrect, dispute the authenticity of authorship, or are flat out wrong and not divinely inspired teachings by the saint. They believe and follow elements of Gnostic theories and pawn them off as legitimate orthodox theology; 25. Believe that Seraphim Rose and Elder Ephraim should be canonized as saints of orthodoxy; 26. Cite obscure saints, canons or extremist theologians that are no longer followed as relevant accepted dogma; 27. Sell their homes and move closer to the monasteries of Ephraim; 28. Believe without question every statement made by an Ephraimite priest or elder. While no single Ephraimite may follow or agree with each and every one of these practices or beliefs, blindly adopting even one of these can put you in their camp. After reading this list, ask yourself whether you, a relative, friend or clergymen are Ephraimites?