Today, one is tempted to ask, “Is it really possible that Christ’s Church has become so small, in that there are just a few true Confessing bishops left in the world, so few in fact that you may count them with using your ten fingers?” This would certainly be a rational question under the circumstances because there are so many bishops out there today, who all appear to be Orthodox and rightful pastors of the Church. Sadly enough, however, this is not the case. The answer to the question above is, yes. Unfortunately, Christ’s True Church has become so small in numbers, that the number of true Confessing bishops has been reduced to a very small number indeed. To those who are more secular-minded, this certainly would be a stumbling block; however, to spiritual people who read the Holy Scriptures, who live a spiritual life and are filled with wisdom and understanding, this is perfectly understandable, because Biblical history is full of such examples, and moreover, Biblical prophecies as well as prophecies from various Holy Fathers pre-warn us of such times where the Church will be deprived of genuine pastors.
If we take a look at the Church’s history, we will see that there were points in time where Christ’s Church underwent immense persecutions and trials which resulted in a depopulation of not only true worshipers but also true confessing bishops. It is not just in our times that the Church’s clergy and laity have become a small minority in comparison with those who innovate, modify, or compromise their Faith. Throughout the various persecutions and struggles of the Church, there have always been those true Confessing bishops who remained steadfast in the Faith; bishops, many of whom we honour as saints today, who were ridiculed and mocked and who were considered to be extremists and fanatics—which, may I add, sounds very much like the days in which we live in, because the true bishops of the Church are indeed ridiculed and mocked and labelled as extremists and fanatics and even worse. Why? Simply because they refuse to succumb to the Ecumenical Movement of the WCC (World Council of Churches), which is the organization which has united all the “Christian” denominations/groups, all in the name of “love”.
Unfortunately, a much more deceptive form of this type of Ecumenism exists also among those “traditionalists” who follow the Julian “old” calendar, and unfortunately, this form of ecclesiological heresy represents an evil which is far less obvious and hence, is probably an evil worse than the first since those who have sought to escape the more obvious error have been caught in it unaware. The evil I am referring to is “Old Calendar Ecumenism”. Unfortunately, the so-called, “Old Calendarist” groups who all claim to be zealots and Confessors of True Orthodoxy, as well as opponents of Ecumenism, are themselves Ecumenists. Why? Because, even though they are not praying or concelebrating with Protestants and Roman Catholics, they are still promoting the notion that Christ’s Church can be divided, and that the oneness of the Creed that cannot be denied is reduced to a spiritual invisible kind, rather than forever united to visible oneness. Both officially and unofficially depending on the group, among themselves there exists a recognition of Sanctity of each other’s “Sacraments”, even though they are not actually in communion with one another, and this, essentially, is the heresy and core belief of the World Council of Churches. Such beliefs suggest that the Church, which we believe to be the Body of Christ, can be, and is, visibly divided but invisibly united. God Forbid!
True Confessing bishops will only ever confess and acknowledge ONE TRUE CHURCH which is UNDIVIDED and that ONLY within the ONE TRUE CHURCH can there ever be present the Grace of the All-Holy Spirit which sanctifies all the Holy Sacraments.
As far as the True Church being a minority is concerned, well, this has nothing to do with being right or wrong, and in no way does it imply that the minority of people are always right or that the majority is always wrong—no, this is not the case at all. It is a fact of history that throughout the ages people have always been intimidated and frightened by the consequences of being part of the belittled minority. People naturally always tend to go along with whatever the majority of people do in all circumstances, even if that means going against their beliefs, morals or nature, or even against the truth itself. Realistically speaking, by uncritically following the majority simply because it is easy and painless, well, is this not choosing to live in ignorance?
When reading the Holy Scriptures, something really interesting can be observed concerning majorities and minorities. Contrary to today’s thinking, it seems that throughout the entirety of the Holy Scriptures, the people who were part of the majority were among those who did not follow the One True God. As we said earlier, this is not because it is a rule that the majority is always wrong, not at all. Rather, one can fairly say that the majority of people usually choose to follow their own path and make their own version of Faith, catering to their own weaknesses, passions, and agendas. Remember, was Christ Himself not branded a traitor, a deceiver, and a fanatic? How many people followed Christ? Those who followed Christ were a very small minority, and of course, were scornfully regarded as an illegitimate sect.
The fact that the fullness of the Church has been reduced to the communion of only a few bishops should neither surprise nor deter you because numbers do not matter to God. Just as Jonathan of old time in the company of but his armour-bearer charged into battle alone against an entire armed garrison of the Philistine army and overcame them *, so also we ought not to allow our courage to falter in the face of such a vast number of naysayers who desire the respect and approval of the heterodox world. The Almighty looks for quality and not simply quantity. Therefore, as long as you are in the True Church, which is the Ark of Salvation, this is what is important; not how many are with you—that is of no importance because, in the end, every one of us will be judged personally before the Lord our God.
* “And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armor, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”
—1st Samuel 14:6, KJV