When a man begins repentance, his heart is tender, contrite, and humble. He is ready to follow God’s commandments, obey Church teachings, and begin a new life in Christ. The problem is he is not yet fully healed, and still has elevated pride that is automatic for those who grew up in the West. Very soon, he may begin to make exemptions for himself concerning various sins or practices that he rationalizes as “small,” “temporary,” or serving the “greater good.” Satan’s foot is back in the door and will use his desire for exemptions to launch a strong attack that steals away the seed of new faith.

In Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the character Raskolnikov believes he is superior to his fellow man—so superior that he should have the right to kill someone if that person poses an obstacle to him.

“I simply hinted that an extraordinary man has the right… that is not an official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience to overstep… certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit to the whole of humanity).”

[…]

There is, if you recollect, a suggestion that there are certain persons who can… that is, not precisely are able to, but have a perfect right to commit breaches of morality and crimes, and that the law is not for them.

Raskolnikov goes on to murder someone he thought was a detriment to mankind, and in the process of that murder he ended up killing a second person who happened upon the scene. By usurping the mantle of God, Raskolnikov thought that his intellectual powers gave him the ability to dispense with a perceived miscreant and scourge to society, but very soon he is overcome by a crushing guilt that he cannot silence.

Before my repentance, when I was living in Catholic Poland, I adhered to the concept of “cultural Christianity,” meaning that I saw the overall good that Christianity was doing to those who practiced the faith, but believed it was an “opiate for the masses,” a tool for merely average men and women who needed external rules to have peace in life instead of ravenously following their worldly desires and carnal passions. Since I thought I was an exalted man, bestowed with innumerable gifts, including intellectual, I was not required to follow Christian morality and could instead live without any limits to my behavior or actions. My feelings and will were supreme, just like Raskolnikov, and I created wholesale exemptions for myself to God’s law even though I saw moral benefit in it for mankind. I did not murder anyone physically, but by teaching sin so vigorously through my books and videos, I was an attempted murderer of the souls of men who used them to fornicate, and I aided in the corruption of women who had relations with me and the men who followed me. What peace did I have in this time? What calm entered my soul? I was a dopamine junkie, a slave to bodily pleasure, prone to anger, unstable in emotion, reeking of disgusting pride, and deluded into thinking that I could operate my mind and body in a way that was not intended by God. It took a family death to wake me up from my demonic delusion.

It’s common to meet unmarried Christian men who are in sexual relationships with women. They justify it by saying that they are “monogamous” and “will get married eventually,” but will such self-justification suffice upon Judgment Day? God’s law is clearly against fornication, adultery, and harlotry. No man is given a divine imperative to exempt himself. Do you really believe that God is pleased that you’re fornicating with “only” one woman at a time? From what I learned in the Orthodox Church, such a man must stop fornicating until he gets married within the Church.

Even after I was received into the Church, I still made an exemption for myself that I can be the star of a popular live stream, one that spiked my adrenaline and led to numerous sins stemming from pride. It took me months to follow the basic Church teaching of halting that which causes you to sin.

True repentance is a change of the heart, and the change of evil ways into good ways. True repentance invariably creates shame and regret in the heart of the penitent, that he had acted so shamelessly and insubordinately toward God. There can be no true repentance when a man does not want to cease from sins and show obedience toward God. There is a delusional and false repentance, and therefore it is of no benefit to the penitent. For repentance and willful sinning are contrary things, and cannot exist together. —Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk in On True Christianity Vol. 1

God did not exempt me. I’m not exalted above others. I’m not a special boy. Without God, my natural gifts are more likely to be harnessed for evil than good. The morality we get from God is objective, clear, and for our eternal benefit; it’s our fallen weakness to shade it gray and think that God really wants us to transgress His law because we are somehow above it. Believing you can commit any type of sin to do a “favor” for God is delusion, and unfortunately, I am infected with it. What the Church teaches, I must abide, and if I ever get the notion that I don’t have to abide, I must conclude that a demon is whispering in my ear, and a damaging spiritual fall is near.

Read Next: The Salvation Of Your Soul Is Not A Game

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Very good article. We all can use the reminder on pride.

Having just recently watched your Babylon Road video series, there is something there that just isn't conveyed in text (and vice versa of course). While I understand your decision on live streaming, something keeps telling me that pre-recorded videos - perhaps companions to your articles - would help reinforce the message while broadening the reach of your message. I think from there it's all in how you approach things - Father Spyridon's approach seems like a good template. I think it can be done without causing a problem with pride, but as I said at the time you stopped Roosh Hour, it's obviously all up to you.

God bless.

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I still need to read that book! I will probably listen to the Russian audio, the translations offered cannot express the beauty of the original language, I love Russian so much.

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Excellent article roosh. I find self sometimes excusing sin like pornography. By justifying that I am not as bad as some people. Or that God will understand because I don’t have a partner right now. But I have to purify myself to be right in God eye.

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I definitely do exempt myself. I need practical applications for mitigating the issues I have.

Like, where are the boundaries of honor for ones parents? I'm sure neither of my spouses felt like I honored them by divorcing them. Is it really a lie if I fix my hair, put on a smile and a clean dress, and tell everyone everything is fine when they come to visit? I have all manner of what my church growing up called idols in my house. Truly. Mary, Jesus, and Donald Duck. Covetousness? I would LOVE TO LEAVE ALL MY RESPONSIBILITIES AND GO LIVE ON AN ISLAND OR FIX HAIR ALL DAY AND I AM SO JEALOUS OF MY COUSINS AND FRIENDS AND THEIR HAPPY MARRIAGES! I haven't ever killed anyone, but I still keep up with my friends who took morning after pills and rely deeply on an uncle who served 25 years for murder.

I think means of mitigating the reality of a fallen world are needed.

lol word vomit I had a bad bay

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Do I exempt myself from God's law?

I don't think I do. I could be wrong. I think mainly that I lack impulse control, and I get caught up in the moment when I should be obeying the Holy Spirit, and instead I give into the flesh.

Then seconds later, I convict myself of disobeying God's law. Oof. This behavior doesn't make me in any way better than those who exempt themselves.

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If you're not doing any of "the bad things" but are also not actively doing the good things, do you consider that exempting yourself? Treating others as you would have them treat you, and loving your neighbor as yourself are both calls on your part to act. If you're not using your talents, but burying them, do you please God? I think about this kind of thing often. What am I being called to do? Surely it is not what I am doing right now. That seems clear.

The opposite of exemption is liability... In other words responsibility. You must own up to God's plan and take active responsibility for listening to his message for you and acting upon it. And it may require asking God for guidance, to show the path, to direct the course. This is where I am in my journey of faith... building up "acts" in the service of the Lord, hoping that through works of mercy to others, the path I am supposed to be on, my liability, will be revealed. My talents must have a use that is more meaningful to God than I've made of them.

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Do I exempt myself from God's law?

I don't think I do. I could be wrong. I think mainly that I lack impulse control, and I get caught up in the moment when I should be obeying the Holy Spirit, and instead I give into the flesh.

Then seconds later, I convict myself of disobeying God's law. Oof. This behavior doesn't make me in any way better than those who exempt themselves.

Well, maybe a blessing that you have so many tests of your faith!

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Adam was the first to say "It was the woman you put here with me", His son asked "Am I my brother's keeper?" Nowadays, I tend to say, "It's not my problem" and chastize others for not acting as they should.

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Do I exempt myself from God's laws? Probably I have at some time in my life, but if I am truly sorry, He knows it, and His mercy heals me.

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Well, maybe a blessing that you have so many tests of your faith!

Thank you for replying. It really helped me today.

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If you're not doing any of "the bad things" but are also not actively doing the good things, do you consider that exempting yourself? Treating others as you would have them treat you, and loving your neighbor as yourself are both calls on your part to act. If you're not using your talents, but burying them, do you please God? I think about this kind of thing often. What am I being called to do? Surely it is not what I am doing right now. That seems clear.

The opposite of exemption is liability... In other words responsibility. You must own up to God's plan and take active responsibility for listening to his message for you and acting upon it. And it may require asking God for guidance, to show the path, to direct the course. This is where I am in my journey of faith... building up "acts" in the service of the Lord, hoping that through works of mercy to others, the path I am supposed to be on, my liability, will be revealed. My talents must have a use that is more meaningful to God than I've made of them.

I feel this, thanks to God's help I have improved a lot at avoiding overtly sinful actions, but I feel that I still consistently fail to take the proactively positive/loving/sacrificial actions we are directed to. I think that will be harder for me as even before accepting Christ I knew my sins were bad, but I spent years self-justifying why I didn't need to sacrifice on behalf of others.

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Originally posted on RooshV.com


When a man begins repentance, his heart is tender, contrite, and humble. He is ready to follow God’s commandments, obey Church teachings, and begin a new life in Christ. The problem is he is not yet fully healed, and still has elevated pride that is automatic for those who grew up in the West. Very soon, he may begin to make exemptions for himself concerning various sins or practices that he rationalizes as “small,” “temporary,” or serving the “greater good.” Satan’s foot is back in the door and will use his desire for exemptions to launch a strong attack that steals away the seed of new faith.

In Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the character Raskolnikov believes he is superior to his fellow man—so superior that he should have the right to kill someone if that person poses an obstacle to him.

Raskolnikov goes on to murder someone he thought was a detriment to mankind, and in the process of that murder he ended up killing a second person who happened upon the scene. By usurping the mantle of God, Raskolnikov thought that his intellectual powers gave him the ability to dispense with a perceived miscreant and scourge to society, but very soon he is overcome by a crushing guilt that he cannot silence.

Before my repentance, when I was living in Catholic Poland, I adhered to the concept of “cultural Christianity,” meaning that I saw the overall good that Christianity was doing to those who practiced the faith, but believed it was an “opiate for the masses,” a tool for merely average men and women who needed external rules to have peace in life instead of ravenously following their worldly desires and carnal passions. Since I thought I was an exalted man, bestowed with innumerable gifts, including intellectual, I was not required to follow Christian morality and could instead live without any limits to my behavior or actions. My feelings and will were supreme, just like Raskolnikov, and I created wholesale exemptions for myself to God’s law even though I saw moral benefit in it for mankind. I did not murder anyone physically, but by teaching sin so vigorously through my books and videos, I was an attempted murderer of the souls of men who used them to fornicate, and I aided in the corruption of women who had relations with me and the men who followed me. What peace did I have in this time? What calm entered my soul? I was a dopamine junkie, a slave to bodily pleasure, prone to anger, unstable in emotion, reeking of disgusting pride, and deluded into thinking that I could operate my mind and body in a way that was not intended by God. It took a family death to wake me up from my demonic delusion.

It’s common to meet unmarried Christian men who are in sexual relationships with women. They justify it by saying that they are “monogamous” and “will get married eventually,” but will such self-justification suffice upon Judgment Day? God’s law is clearly against fornication, adultery, and harlotry. No man is given a divine imperative to exempt himself. Do you really believe that God is pleased that you’re fornicating with “only” one woman at a time? From what I learned in the Orthodox Church, such a man must stop fornicating until he gets married within the Church.

Even after I was received into the Church, I still made an exemption for myself that I can be the star of a popular live stream, one that spiked my adrenaline and led to numerous sins stemming from pride. It took me months to follow the basic Church teaching of halting that which causes you to sin.

God did not exempt me. I’m not exalted above others. I’m not a special boy. Without God, my natural gifts are more likely to be harnessed for evil than good. The morality we get from God is objective, clear, and for our eternal benefit; it’s our fallen weakness to shade it gray and think that God really wants us to transgress His law because we are somehow above it. Believing you can commit any type of sin to do a “favor” for God is delusion, and unfortunately, I am infected with it. What the Church teaches, I must abide, and if I ever get the notion that I don’t have to abide, I must conclude that a demon is whispering in my ear, and a damaging spiritual fall is near.

Read Next: The Salvation Of Your Soul Is Not A Game
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Great read Roosh, thanks for sharing. I think St. Ignatius of Loyola's "Rules for the Discernment of Spirits" could be a great compannion to this article, let me post the 14 rules he developed after intense prayer:

The first Rule: In the persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy is commonly used to propose to them apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual delights and pleasures in order to hold them more and make them grow in their vices and sins. In these persons the good spirit uses the opposite method, pricking them and biting their consciences through the process of reason.

The second: In the persons who are going on intensely cleansing their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, it is the method contrary to that in the first Rule, for then it is the way of the evil spirit to bite, sadden and put obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, that one may not go on; and it is proper to the good to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing, and putting away all obstacles, that one may go on in well doing.

The third: Of Spiritual Consolation. I call it consolation when some interior movement in the soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord; and when it can in consequence love no created thing on the face of the earth in itself, but in the Creator of them all.

Likewise, when it sheds tears that move to love of its Lord, whether out of sorrow for one’s sins, or for the Passion of Christ our Lord, or because of other things directly connected with His service and praise.

Finally, I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and charity, and all interior joy which calls and attracts to heavenly things and to the salvation of one’s soul, quieting it and giving it peace in its Creator and Lord.

The fourth: Of Spiritual Desolation. I call desolation all the contrary of the third rule, such as darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord. Because, as consolation is contrary to desolation, in the same way the thoughts which come from consolation are contrary to the thoughts which come from desolation.

The fifth: In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly.

The sixth: Although in desolation we ought not to change our first resolutions, it is very helpful intensely to change ourselves against the same desolation, as by insisting more on prayer, meditation, on much examination, and by giving ourselves more scope in some suitable way of doing penance.

The seventh: Let him who is in desolation consider how the Lord has left him in trial in his natural powers, in order to resist the different agitations and temptations of the enemy; since he can with the Divine help, which always remains to him, though he does not clearly perceive it: because the Lord has taken from him his great fervor, great love and intense grace, leaving him, however, grace enough for eternal salvation.

The eighth: Let him who is in desolation labor to be in patience, which is contrary to the vexations which come to him: and let him think that he will soon be consoled, employing against the desolation the devices, as is said in the sixth Rule.

The ninth: There are three principal reasons why we find ourselves desolate.

The first is, because of our being tepid, lazy or negligent in our spiritual exercises; and so through our faults, spiritual consolation withdraws from us.

The second, to try us and see how much we are and how much we let ourselves out in His service and praise without such great pay of consolation and great graces.

The third, to give us true acquaintance and knowledge, that we may interiorly feel that it is not ours to get or keep great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation, but that all is the gift and grace of God our Lord, and that we may not build a nest in a thing not ours, raising our intellect into some pride or vainglory, attributing to us devotion or the other things of the spiritual consolation.

The tenth: Let him who is in consolation think how he will be in the desolation which will come after, taking new strength for then.

The eleventh: Let him who is consoled see to humbling himself and lowering himself as much as he can, thinking how little he is able for in the time of desolation without such grace or consolation.

On the contrary, let him who is in desolation think that he can do much with the grace sufficient to resist all his enemies, taking strength in his Creator and Lord.

The twelfth: The enemy acts like a woman, in being weak against vigor and strong of will. Because, as it is the way of the woman when she is quarreling with some man to lose heart, taking flight when the man shows her much courage: and on the contrary, if the man, losing heart, begins to fly, the wrath, revenge, and ferocity of the woman is very great, and so without bounds; in the same manner, it is the way of the enemy to weaken and lose heart, his temptations taking flight, when the person who is exercising himself in spiritual things opposes a bold front against the temptations of the enemy, doing diametrically the opposite. And on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself commences to have fear and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so wild on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with so great malice.

The thirteenth: Likewise, he acts as a licentious lover in wanting to be secret and not revealed. For, as the licentious man who, speaking for an evil purpose, solicits a daughter of a good father or a wife of a good husband, wants his words and persuasions to be secret, and the contrary displeases him much, when the daughter reveals to her father or the wife to her husband his licentious words and depraved intention, because he easily gathers that he will not be able to succeed with the undertaking begun: in the same way, when the enemy of human nature brings his wiles and persuasions to the just soul, he wants and desires that they be received and kept in secret; but when one reveals them to his good Confessor or to another spiritual person that knows his deceits and evil ends, it is very grievous to him, because he gathers, from his manifest deceits being discovered, that he will not be able to succeed with his wickedness begun.

The fourteenth: Likewise, he behaves as a chief bent on conquering and robbing what he desires: for, as a captain and chief of the army, pitching his camp, and looking at the forces or defences of a stronghold, attacks it on the weakest side, in like manner the enemy of human nature, roaming about, looks in turn at all our virtues, theological, cardinal and moral; and where he finds us weakest and most in need for our eternal salvation, there he attacks us and aims at taking us.

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What's your opinion of Ukrainians in general?
Do you believe the Russian army is following "God's Law"?

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thanks for asking this question, the answer may be found in any one of the threads on this subject on this forum.

God's Law 'thou shalt not kill' is not brought up.

Every poster is pretending this Law doesn't exist.

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