The Gatekeepers Let in What They Are

So, what is the Porter Principle?

Jesus put it this way: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out” (John 10: 3).

As it turns out, God created Man to live, function, and thrive within families, tribes, churches, and even nations: groupings on different levels. Unlike the angels, Man is a race—from a single father—as opposed to a company—all created separately as the angels. With this, the hierarchy among men has a dimension not seen among the angels; that of fatherhood.

At the core of this understanding is the Orthodox teaching on Ancestral Sin—that Adam’s sin affects us all.[1] As it turns out, the same principle—the porter or gatekeeper—did not stop with Adam, who first opened the door for sin and Satan. The porter principle comes to every father (to a lesser degree to mothers) in whatever sheepfold he oversees whether the home, a business, a parish, a diocese, even a state or nation. Each of these is a “sheepfold” that lives out a spiritual dynamic that is reflective of the “porter” or gatekeeper. In our case as Orthodox, ours is the bishop.

All of the ancients understood this principle and it is why we still hear every liturgy, “the doors, the doors.” (Eastern Rite/Byzantine). In the ancient Byzantine churches (as well as the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon) a group of men did nothing but mind the doors, letting in the right people and keeping the “profane”[2] out. The very same act happens at the chalice. The priest “porters” the chalice. Well, he is supposed to anyway. This administrative model reflects a very deep and powerful spiritual principle that is foundational to the Economy of Salvation. God set all this up.

In the Porter Principle, there are several rules or laws that manifest. The one we wish to discuss can be stated like this: if you are a porter (gatekeeper) you let into the sheepfold what you, yourself are. All portering (gatekeeping) is done from the inside, not the outside, spiritually speaking.

How does this apply? One way it manifests is this: if a father is chronically viewing porn—even if infrequently—he is opening the door for his daughters to be promiscuous, his sons to become despots, and his wife to flirt with other men. He lets in a spiritual dynamic that reflects his own sin.  While some children may escape the generational curse their father is bringing on them, it’s usually because there is a devout, praying mother.

Of course, this same dynamic works in the positive as well. We hail the saints, pray with the saints, and pray to the saints, because of the blessed spiritual dynamic they bequeathed to the Church.

Inherently, the spiritual strengths or weakness—and most certainly the sin—of any father figure creates a spiritual dynamic in his jurisdiction; for good or for bad.

Here are some examples of this dynamic as I have seen it play out in my own life.

Example #1 – A Pastor’s Secret Life of Sin

In 1987, I brought my young family to Colorado Springs. In 1988, we started attending what would become the most renowned megachurch in our city. When we started, it ran about 300 to 400 on a typical Sunday; but in the 12+ years we were there it grew to a claimed size of 5,000 (realistically consistently 3,500 to 4k max). For years the church thrived, growing, sending out missionaries, planting other churches in the area. Every other (non- Orthodox) church in town modified its praxis to imitate what was “successful.”

Early in the new millennium, I became very uncomfortable with the pastor (a world traveling church celeb) and left to further our journey that eventually brought us to Orthodoxy.

Not long after our exit, I began hearing troubling news. Having many friends still in that church, some of whom were my insurance clients, we were kept apprised of what was happening. A divorce epidemic ripped through that church with a vengeance. Some of our close friends, who had assisted us in refurbishing our first home, divorced. Like us, they had even been Elder Board members (24 couples chosen to help pastor the flock). There were other couples we also never thought would break up, but did.

One of the most horrifying and bizarre episodes during this time was when a faithful church member, a woman who had spent countless hours working in the Sunday School program and other kids programs, shot her young children. She then took her own life. We later saw the father/husband in a home fellowship at a friend’s house. He was absolutely crushed.

The church’s main staff counselor (a registered nurse and close friend) for child abuse victims came to work one day at the church with clothes on backwards and unable to recall what she was doing there. She was quickly diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away shortly thereafter.

In all of the previous years attending this church, we never saw such bizarre things happening to what we thought were solid Christians.

In hindsight, it was obvious this church was under some demonic spell. These happenings were just too bizarre. What could possibly have let all this evil into this church?

As it turned out, the pastor was living a life of secret sin. Eventually, it all came out that the pastor (Ted Haggard) was having a homosexual affair. When I heard the allegations, stunned in disbelief, my first reaction was to ask for more proof. The outside overseer board and the trustees had to throw him out, even though he denied the allegations. Of course, the homosexual affair was true, but like so many such situations, that was just tip of the iceberg.

What exposed the whole scandal was when he preached a sermon against homosexuality. The homosexual prostitute he had employed (a masseuse in Denver) heard about the sermon via some media source. Upset that his client was such a hypocrite, he went public. Their paid trysts had included drug use as well.

A year or so after the revelation of the pastor’s hidden life, I had a conversation with a close confidant and handler of the now disgraced, but still world-famous pastor. What this brother told me was heart-wrenching. As he told it, Pastor Ted was sexually abused as a child by a visiting farm hand. After this abuse, Ted was hooked and struggled with powerful homosexual impulses. Coming to Christ, he found freedom and he pursued a life of ministry. He remained free for many years, but worldly success had made him complacent. Haggard had eventually fallen to the temptations he had overcome as a youthful Christian. Unable to face the truth, he had denied the accusations when they surfaced.

Ironically, one of Pastor Ted’s favorite sayings was: “Sin will take you further than you want to go, make you pay more than you want to pay, and keep you longer than you wanted to stay.”  This is a fact, and he proved it true. And not just for him, but also for his flock that paid a high price for the evil he had loosened into their lives.

Even after Haggard was gone, the demonic oppression continued. Early into the new pastor’s tenure, a deranged young man came one Sunday shooting and killing several young women after church. On that very day, my family had gone back to New Life to check out the new pastor. Lucky for us, we went to the early service and the shooter came to the later service.

Reading the Bible, we often find the sin of leaders causing the innocent to suffer. And of course, the Orthodox teaching on ancestral sin, demonstrates this concept of the “Porter Principle.” What a gatekeeper is, he lets in, and all benefit or suffer.

Example #2 – Lust for Power

Before moving to Colorado Springs, we attended a “faith” oriented church in Aurora, CO. While the pastor demonstrated some phenomenal spiritual gifts (from our Protestant perspective at the time), the more successful he got, the prouder he became. While I am in no way defending (or disparaging) the “faith movement”, this situation demonstrated what we are talking about in regards to the Porter Principle; you let in what you are.

While this was an “Independent” church, it was under what we would call a bishop. The “overseer” was the famous Buddy Harrison, son-in-law to Kenneth Hagin (the sort of “godfather” of the “faith movement”). As pride goes before a fall, this shooting star eventually landed with a big thud.

My best friend there was the church treasurer, from whom I got the full story after we had left. Approaching the overseer, Pastor Syd asked to be elevated to oversee all churches in Colorado. The overseer responded, so-in-so is already doing a fine job, forget it. Then he asked to become overseer of all the churches in Denver. Again, the overseer said the man on that job was doing fine, then he added this quip, “and with your attitude [for power], I would not give it to you anyway.”

Being flustered by not getting a promotion, our pastor pulled our church—where we had lots of friends—out of that denomination to create another denomination. What was originally Faith Christian Fellowship, became Faith Way Fellowship, the flagship of a new denomination with a catchy name.

What is astonishing about this event, as soon as this pastor made his break from his overseer, all the pregnant women in the church miscarried (including my wife). About a half-dozen in all, within a few weeks of each other.

Soon after that, we moved to Colorado Springs but continued to get information from my friend, the church treasurer. In the end, the church split and the pastor was thrown out. Soon after he divorced and then died within a few short years.

Even in the angelic realm, this holds true; Lucifer took a third—those under him—in the celestial rebellion.

These examples show that an overseer’s sins, faults, as well has his virtues create a spiritual dynamic reflective of their walk with God or life of sin.

Does that mean if your overseer is a despot, you are doomed? Of course not; but it will require a greater awareness to see the error in your midst.

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Orthodoxy and the Porter Principle; The Worst is Yet to Come

No doubt, some of my readers will say my aforementioned stories were inherent flaws in those brands of Protestantism. Do not be deceived. If the porter principle defined reality over there, it will even more so define reality in Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is legitimate and true to the created order where God places His beloved Man in families, churches, and communities to thrive under a “father” figure or gatekeeper. How can it be otherwise? When St David sinned, innocent people died!

Knowing this to be true, and experiencing it over and again in other venues, when I see Orthodox father figures behaving badly, I go ballistic. I dread the sort of hell they are about to unleash on God’s people. Their sin plays out as if it were everybody’s sin (full stop!). And when they do stupid stuff, there will be literal hell to pay! I have seen this movie before, and this time will be no different.

Archbishop Elpidophoros with multiple communion spoons

Within Orthodoxy, there are priests with disordered personal lives. Bishops as well. Within Orthodoxy, there are priests and bishops with lust for power, no doubt. These sins, however, do not seem to be having the same impact as obedience to the COVID narrative and the endorsement of the “vaccines.” Why is such overt promotion of the COVID “vaccines” happening? Is it a desire to be accepted by the world as not being odd, or out of step with this generation? More than one motivation is probably at work. Lacking spiritual insight of their own into the COVID “crisis”, many bishops seemed content to uncritically follow the lead of certain high-profile hierarchs. While this has a degree of innocence attached to it, that does not necessarily dull the effect as to what evil now has access to God’s people.

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I planned to mind my own business. However, an email from our parish priest thrust me in another direction.  The topic of the email was “What the Church Thinks About Vaccines.” I read the material with alarm. The email included a response to a question asking if it was safe for a pregnant woman to get the vaccine. Of course, their answer was an affirmative “Yes!” Even at that early date, we knew that the “vaccines” were new technology with unknown long-term effects. The new “vaccines” had nothing in common with previous vaccines. Their entire goal was to have the body manufacture a deadly protein. Never has caution been more warranted when evaluating a new medical treatment than in this case.

My trust in our priest, and the bishop who was evidently of the same opinion, was deeply shaken. If clergy cannot be trusted with something as common sense as whether or not to risk a pregnant woman and her child with an experimental mRNA injection, how on God’s green Earth can they be trusted to guide the Church? What evil will they, in their desire for acceptance by society (and the state) unleash? And how long will we live with the consequences?

The whole system surrounding the jabs is full of lies, misinformation, and cooked up numbers. Spiritually adept men could see through what is, in fact, a very thin ruse. What does it tell us about so many of our clergy that they either cannot see through the deception, will not see through the deception, or knowingly cooperate with what they know is deception to gain the favor of this world?

The reputation of the Church as the PILLAR OF TRUTH has been destroyed by open advocacy for the mRNA jabs. No longer can we kid ourselves and think things will stay the same. They will not and many will leave because, the Church in many quarters is led by malefactors, collaborators, or buffoons.

In Orthodoxy, all things (even COVID “vaccines”) have a spiritual dimension. Our Orthodox “gatekeepers” not only opened the door to the possibility of taking the COVID jabs, but went further by recommending them and even mandating them. Some hierarchs have even gone so far as to forbid priests from helping Orthodox people with religious exemptions, despite the deep taint of abortion on these experimental treatments. Things have been set in motion we’ll one day deeply regret. It may take a century or more to cleanse the Church of these errors, and generations will suffer. In the meantime, far too much of the Church is rendered inept as a prophetic voice to a dying generation. Thankfully there are still faithful hierarchs and priests.

The Abortion Component

As for the abortion component in vaccines, what our hierarchs have failed to consider is the sacerdotal nature of creation (the covenant foundation of God’s “economy”): one single drop of Holy Water sanctifies an entire lake, any river that never ceases to flow, or the snow on the continental divide. Likewise any—no matter how remote—connection to any sacrifice of human life is existentially anti-sacred (the sacrament in reverse), and therefore a portal of evil established inside the walls of the Church.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Let us keep in mind the words of St John the Evangelist, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world (modern medicine, vaccines, 401ks, jobs, everything you think secure). If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Brace for Impact. The only undoing of this is to actively create sacred space, in your heart, your home, your city, and the Church.

Your servant in Christ,

John Lee – an Orthodox Christian

[1] Not the same as Original Sin which defines all personally guilty of Adam’s sin.

[2] Profane literally means out front of temple: pro—in front; fane—temple. Profane means those who not allowed.

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The Gatekeepers Let in What They Are