In “The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis, Aslan in his great love put a feast in front of the dwarves, but they could not perceive it, let alone enjoy it, for the wickedness of their hearts darkened their eyes. In “The Princess and the Goblin” by George MacDonald, the stubborn and thick-headed goblins, made delusional by their own knowledge, despised the light of the world above them as they mocked all the “sun dwellers.” The dwarves and the goblins both represent the experience of hell: to be tormented by the presence of God (2 Th 1:9), because they are unable to perceive the feast. To call good evil, and evil good (Isa 5:20).
Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen wrote two articles recently about Hank Hanegaaffs entrance into Orthodoxy, but the second one was both telling and very sad. I thought as I read through it: “This is a dwarf that just cannot see the feast in front of him.” He is like a contentious goblin deep within the dark caves of the internet, searching for people to attack. He is blinded and deceived.
Orthodox Christians should respond not with anger (as difficult as that may be), but with “great and rich mercy,” as the liturgy calls us to imitate. We should simply add Jeff in that category of “those who hate us; those who persecute us.” Lashing out at Jeff for his excessive ignorance will not accomplish much. However, if we pray for him, perhaps the scales will fall from his eyes and he will see the feast.