Becoming A Legionnaire: Temperance


The journey of the Orthodox believer begins when you make a profession of Faith to follow Christ and His Church. This however does not end your struggle, as many “once saved always saved” low Church Protestants would like you to believe. The remainder of your life must be spent going through a process of theosis: becoming one with God through prayer, fasting, doing good works, increasing your Faith and mortifying your worldly and flesh related desires. One of the most important steps in your journey up the ladder of salvation is taking the call to temperance in one’s life.

When many hear the word temperance, they think that it just means not drinking alcohol, but what it really means is having the virtue of self restraint. Throughout our lives we will be plagued by fleshly desires and demonic influences that will attempt to tear us off the ladder of salvation and into the very pits of Hell, but through the power of God and a steadfast desire to renounce the ways of the materialist world, we can shake off these urges and temptations and become closer to our Creator.

"Sinners that repent are still saved; both publicans and fornicators cleansed by repentance enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The compassionate God still calls to Himself all that have turned away, and He awaits them and promises them mercy. The loving Father still receives His prodigal sons come back from a far country and He opens the doors of His house and clothes them in the best robe, and gives them each a ring on their hand and shoes on their feet and commands all the saints to rejoice in them." + St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Sinners that repent are still saved; both publicans and fornicators cleansed by repentance enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The compassionate God still calls to Himself all that have turned away, and He awaits them and promises them mercy.
The loving Father still receives His prodigal sons come back from a far country and He opens the doors of His house and clothes them in the best robe, and gives them each a ring on their hand and shoes on their feet and commands all the saints to rejoice in them.” + St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

Saint Theophan the Recluse said,

The demons lodging in a person, do not always reveal their presence, but lurk there, stealthily teaching their host every evil and turning him away from every good thing; so this person is certain that he is doing everything on his own, but meanwhile he is only fulfilling the will of his enemy.

Just commence prayer and fasting and the enemy will immediately depart, then wait on the side for an opportunity to somehow return again. And he truly will return, as soon as prayer and fasting are abandoned.”

The demons that can dwell inside us can show themselves in a variety of different ways. They can reveal themselves when you get overly angry at a person or situation and have a meltdown, hurting yourself or those around you through harsh words or actions that are not Christlike. Other ways they can reveal themselves is through not having moderation in your life that throws your life out of an organic and wholesome balance. This can range from a Facebook or Internet addiction to drinking too much alcohol.

Before I go off on telling my readers how to live, I must have a Matthew 7:3 moment and discuss my own failings and to ask your prayers for my soul. Matthew 7:3 tells us “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” I will be the first to admit that I am a fallen sinner, the chief among sinners and that every day of my life I fall in my race to live a pious, temperate and fully Orthodox life. I never once want anyone to think that I believe myself to be a paragon of virtue, while I struggle against sin and temptation every second of every day I still fall dramatically short of the goodness and grace of our Creator.

Each article that I write about becoming a Legionnaire is not an instruction manual. They are each pieces of my own personal walk with Christ as they happen and my fight to become the best Orthodox Christian and steward of my extended family I can be.

It is said that one of the best ways to teach and to lead is through one’s own example so to that I think a personal story might be helpful in explaining temperance. One of my biggest vices in my adult life has been drinking too much too often. I have never been an alcoholic or anything of that nature, but while drinking I have said things and acted in ways that is unbecoming of a Christian husband, father and fried and of course a political activist.

One doesn’t have to be drinking while driving or getting into fights for alcohol to negatively impact them or their loved ones. For that my brothers and sisters I ask your sincerest apology from anyone I have hurt, offended or impacted through my behavior. In our political struggle we are on the knife’s edge of actually pushing these ideas forward enough that we can really begin to make gains politically and socially and I cannot ever allow my behavior to jeopardize that.

“My brethren, do all that is in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall, but, if you do fall, get up again at once, and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times, because of the withdrawal of God’s grace, rise up again at each time, and keep on doing so until the day of your death. For it is written: ‘If a righteous man falls seven times,’ that is, repeatedly throughout his life, ‘seven times shall he rise again’ [Proverbs 24:16].” + Saint John of Karpathos

“My brethren, do all that is in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall, but, if you do fall, get up again at once, and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times, because of the withdrawal of God’s grace, rise up again at each time, and keep on doing so until the day of your death. For it is written: ‘If a righteous man falls seven times,’ that is, repeatedly throughout his life, ‘seven times shall he rise again’ [Proverbs 24:16].” + Saint John of Karpathos

On that note, however, after my reading of the writings of several Saints on this subject of temperance, I decided that for my spiritual life and for the sake of being the best patriarch to my family and steward of my people I needed to give up alcohol in my life. The most hard-hitting quote was from Saint Isaac the Syrian who said,

Whoever does not voluntarily withdraw himself from the causes of the passions is involuntarily drawn away by sin. These are the causes of sin: wine, women, riches, and robust health of body. Not that by their nature these things are sins, but that nature readily inclines towards the sinful passions on their account., and for this reason man must guard himself against them with great care.”

To guard ourselves we must remove ourselves from the things that lead us down the path of temptation which often leads to sin. We cannot keep the things that tempt us to sin lying around in our lives if we truly repent of our sin and look to move past them. Repentance in Greek means “to turn away from” and we must utterly and completely turn away from anything that is a hurdle in our spiritual pursuits.

Now most folks can drink moderately just fine. I am not one of them. Do not take this as a call to start pouring bottles of wine or beer down the drain if alcohol is not an issue for you, but for me it was and it had to be addressed. We as Christians cannot “opt out” of certain parts of the Christian walk just because we do not like them or they might be hard or have an impact on our social lives.

We are called to be members of the Church Militant, soldiers for Christ in every single of our waking moments and just like soldiers we cannot disobey the commands of our superior officers. Our commander however is no mere general, he is the Lord of all of Creation, the King of Kings and he has entrusted us with a responsibility to follow Him into battle against the forces of darkness.

St. Gennadius of Constantinople wrote,

Do not say: ‘I have sinned much, and therefore I am not bold enough to fall down before God.’ Do not despair. Simply do not increase your sins in despair and, with the help of the All-merciful One, you will not be put to shame. For He said, ‘he who comes to Me I will not cast out.’ (John. 6:37) And so, be bold and believe that He is pure and cleanses those who draw near to Him. If you want to accomplish true repentance, show it with your deeds. If you have fallen into pride, show humility; if into drunkenness, show sobriety; if into defilement, show purity of life. For it is said, ‘Turn away from evil and do good.’ (I Pet. 3:11)”

And with those words of the Holy Saints I am attempting to show true repentance for my shortcomings. I have now gone over a month without touching a drop of alcohol and I plan to go many more months in sobriety as I work to take care of my newborn child, care for my wife, grow in my Faith, and continue to advance my political mission. This, however, is just one of my faults and in my life as a Legionnaire I plan to dedicate myself to steadily eradicating the various lustful and prideful passions inside myself, as all Christians are called to do.

To be a true Legionnaire you must remember the words of our eternal Captain, Corneliu Codreanu, who wrote,

From this Legionary school a new man will have to emerge, a man with heroic qualities; a giant of our history to do battle and win over all the enemies of our Fatherland, his battle and victory having to extend even beyond the material world into the realm of invisible enemies, the powers of evil. Everything that our mind can imagine as more beautiful spiritually; everything the proudest that our race can produce, greater, more just, more powerful, wiser, purer, more diligent and more heroic, this is what the Legionary school must give us! A man in whom all the possibilities of human grandeur that are implanted by God in the blood of our people be developed to the maximum.”

We are called to be the tip of the spear religiously and politically to become the truest examples of Christian love, charity, and a healthy Christian patriotism. Our immediate families and our extended family need us to be soldiers for Christ, warriors for them, and devoted and pious Orthodox believers. Being a Legionnaire is not about having a patch, a t-shirt, a membership card or an affiliation with a crew, it is about deciding to kill the inner materialist inside of you and stand heroically for Faith, family in folk.

All of us should take time through prayer and meditation to look inward in ourselves to find the roadblocks in our lives that separate us from Christ and from our kinsmen. By identifying things that hurt us spiritually we can then begin to solve the problems. Our actions and what we put into our bodies should be considered because as 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us”Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” As a temple of the Holy Spirit we must work to purify our bodies, minds and souls through temperate living, love, and unyielding Faith. thomas-aquinas-theologian-temperance-is-simply-a-disposition-of-the

We also must treat our fellow Legionnaires as brothers, and like a family we must help each other in our struggles. Not every individual will have the same struggle. Some battle pride, others anger, still others battle lust or greed, all of these however can be overcome and crushed through the power of God and the support of our spiritual and ethnic family.

We must pray for each other and every Legionnaire should pray for every member of his nest both morning and night, to pray that God blesses every single Legionnaire with strength, with grace and with salvation. Our battle is against power and principalities both physical and spiritual and we must consider that in all that we do. Calling upon Christ, Mary the Queen of Heaven and the Blessed Saints should constantly be on our lips and in our hearts.

We must also physically help our Legionnaire brothers in their times of need. If they are hungry, feed them. If they are without shelter, give them a home. If they are depressed, be there for them and comfort them. If they cannot pay their bills, sacrifice financially for their sake. Mark 12:31 says  “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” This spirit of selfless sacrifice and love towards our brothers and sisters, our families and our communities, is one of the most important callings of our spiritual life. To be able to do this though we must wage the Inner Crusade against our passions.

This battle if we win or lose calls us to be valiant warriors for the Cross and for our folk. At the end of the world, Judgment will come and God will judge us based on our Faith and our actions, so let us hasten to live lives as sin-free and pious as we can for we do not know the hour when judgment or our own death will come.

Saint John Maximovitch said,

What is important is not victory or the position of a victor, but rather the labor of striving towards God and devotion to Him… The power of God is effective when a person asks for the help from God, acknowledging his own weakness and sinfulness. This is why humility and the striving towards God are the fundamental virtues of a Christian.”

Brothers and sisters, I call you all to think over the coming days and weeks about which vices and stumbling blocks you have in your life and to take a plan to overcome them. Throw out that vice and vow to spend more time in prayer, repentance and charity. We cannot wage a physical war against our foes if we do not first wage the spiritual war against Satan, his demons and our own sinful flesh. We must support each other in this spiritual and physical struggle and like one giant family may we help each other work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Christ calls us and our people need us to be the absolute best we can be, are you up to the challenge?


  • Not too shocking that nobody has commented on this yet. Despite the calls to “plea to the Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18), Heimbach is here calling you all to the most important task, the most important “activism” you can do (and the very thing our flesh hates). I am giving credit where it is due. This is of utter importance and we all need to take heed, and not forget, in a couple of days, what is written here. This is a daily thing folks; take up your cross DAILY and follow him. Deny yourself DAILY and die to self. Then the life of Christ will flow through us. May it be so, Amen.

    And good on you, Mr. Heimbach, for asking for prayer (I will certainly pray for you). I have gone through similar struggles in the past year or two, though not the exact same thing. Only through Christ can we overcome. I have also implemented some ultra strict measures on my own life and my family’s, knowing the type of sins that have been passed down generationally. Blessings and grace to you.

    Hans

  • Lynda

    I think the “kneading of dough for cakes to the queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18) is a reference to the Babylonian practice of devotion to Nanhirsag who was styled “queen of heaven” in the Babylonian cult which worshipped the fallen of the B’nei h’Elohim.

    This has nothing to do with the reality of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God as the Church has always understood the mystery of her person. Heimbach knows that without the power of the her intercession against the power of anti-Christ, there will be no victory.

    The throne of David was given to our Lord – an eternal throne set in Heaven where we have an altar (Heb 13:10), the earthly throne being a but a pre-figurement of this. The entire Book of Hebrews is devoted to this subject. We are come to Mount Sion, the heavenly Jerusalem where the eternal throne of David is established. (Heb 12: 22)

    From the earthly throne of David, being a pattern and a pre-figurement of the true, we know that one does sit at the right hand of the Davidic king, one who makes advocacy with him for the people. (1 Kings 2:10-20). And that person is the queen mother.

    A tender and lively devotion to the Virgin Mother of God is essential to any success in the great cause of our time.

    And on that subject: Russia is an elect nation – elect to that queen mother hailed by all Christendom. It was at great effort, sacrifice and expense in the Christian West that the holy icon of Our Lady of Kazan – looted by the Jews during the Bolshevik Revolution – was obtained and returned to Russia. For traditionally, it is the icon of Our Lady of Kazan that leads the armies of Russia to victory.

    The great cause of the hour is omnia instaurare in Christo – that Christ the King might reign over all nations by means of His Sacred Heart. That victory is to come through the one who is hailed in the East as Theotokos and Panagia; and in the West as Mary Immaculate, Queen of Peace.

    It pleases our Lord to give victories to his saints and the victory over the synagogue and the Crown of the Jews [ the present catastrophe ] is a victory that it pleases Him to give to the world through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Russia.

    • Lynda,

      I attempted, overall, to complement Heimbach, while at the same time, expressing that I do not agree with the idolatry displayed in “Orthodox” circles. The more I hear from Orthodox, and learn about them, the more I am convinced you are totally in idolatry. And please remember, the scriptures (which is what matters, not “tradition”) provide that no idolator has any part in the kingdom of God and of Christ, and they will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Ephesian 5:5, 1Corinthians 6:9).

      Your worship of Mary is actually the worship of a devil. You worship a false Jesus as well, I am convinced. Christ does not tolerate idolatry in his people. Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.

      “the Blessed Virgin Mother of God as the Church has always understood the mystery of her person. Heimbach knows that without the power of the her intercession against the power of anti-Christ, there will be no victory. ”

      I rest my case.

  • Nick G.

    Great and timely message, Matt. Thank you. Congrats on the month plus of being alcohol-free; stay strong.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

    Nick (soon to be moving to Wichita from CA).

  • Lynda

    Swiss Kinist, your case actually rests upon the idolatry of Biblical text.

    “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth (the oral tradition coming from the Apostles and their successors) or by letter” 2 Thess 2:15 Both traditions are conserved in the Church.

    The sacred texts were written within the Covenant (old and new), canonised, conserved, perpetuated, translated, given liturgical expression and published within the Covenant. Since the time of Christ, that Covenant is the Church – the Israel of God. It is from the Church that we have the living authority to interpret the sacred texts.

    The Church has invoked the Blessed Virgin and asked for her prayers and intercessions since the catacombs. The Ave Maria has been on the lips of the Christians since Apostolic times. From the time that the Christians came out of the catacombs they have dedicated churches to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God.

    The last Adam and the second man, the Lord from Heaven took upon Himself a human nature and was made man, being born of a human mother. This makes her the Mater Dei, the Mother of God in the flesh. In her own words, she proclaims: “all generations shall call me blessed”. Obviously you have a problem with this, Swiss Kinist.

    You could not find a better icon of the Church’s championship of family and kindred and nation (ethne) than the image of the Son of God in the arms of His Blessed Mother, because through the Incarnation of God the Son, His life, death and resurrection – entire nations (ethne) can now be adopted into the Holy Family. Nations can be (and have been) baptised and refounded as nations upon His Kingdom order for nations: the Church.

    • “In her own words, she proclaims: “all generations shall call me blessed”. Obviously you have a problem with this, Swiss Kinist.”

      Nope, no problem with the text of scripture, nor with what she said. What I have a problem with is worshiping her and praying to her, as if she were God. You are damned unless you repent.

    • an observer

      The earliest prayer to the Mother of God, with manuscript evidence, dates from around 250 AD. See here: http://trisagionfilms.com/2014/09/09/prayer-to-the-theotokos/

      Still being chanted today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNBqAENvxlI

      This obviously does not include the long unwritten tradition of venerating (not worshiping) her and asking for her prayers. The great love for her, and her special place in the Church, is attested to in the writings of Saint Dionysios the Areopagite, who was an eyewitness to her holy Dormition.

  • an observer
  • Lynda

    “I pray thee, gentle mortal sing again” ( Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 3, scene 1) – Swiss Kinist, you are confusing worship and prayer/petition request.

    In the English language, in its best expressions, the verb ‘to pray’ does not mean to worship.

    In our address to God, the Holy Trinity and to the Divine Persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (do you have issues with this also?) – worship, adoration, offering , prayer/petition all come togther in the holy liturgies and the Eucharist.

    Reverance, veneration, devotion, emulation of their example, and prayer/petition are given to the saints, to the holy angels and above all these to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God. To petition someone for their prayers, as in the English: “I pray thee” is not in any way idolatrous or wrong.

    In the nativity account of Luke, we have the Archangel Gabriel venerating the Blessed Virgin with the words: “hail thou full of grace”. There exist frescoes in the catacombs from the time of the first martyrs depicting the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christian martyrs petitioning her prayers.

    You might recall that the Church was martyred throughout the Roman empire for over 300 years. And the martyrs had great devotion to the Mother of God, whose title in the East is Theotokos: the God Bearer.

    The Christian East and the Christian West agree upon devotion, veneration and prayer/petition to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, Swiss Kinist. This has been in the tradition of the Church from the time of the Apostles.

    Bible libelers of the Christian faith as it has been lived and practiced since the time of the Apostles usually can’t stand the idea of the role given by God to the Blessed Virgin Mother in the economy [household] of salvation and you are true to form, Swiss Kinist.

    I have no idea how you are going to take any stand for family, faith and folk with heresies such as you feel free to deface this messageboard.

  • Hammerheart

    Alcohol is not & never has been an issue for me, but great article. This & the ‘Legionaire’ stuff generally is what for years I kept hoping to see on Death To The World.

  • Alfie

    Father Stephen Freeman : Why the Orthodox Honour Mary:
    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/81088.htm

  • Kimball

    The question is though how can the true Christianity (which I don’t believe is “orthodoxy”) work with other false religions without falling in to false ecumenism. Maybe a good topic for another article.

  • Novak

    Writing from Romania, you have my deep respect for carrying on the Legionary creed and ideas. Radu Gyr the famous legionary poet wrote “We shall return one day” while imprisoned, a prophecy that is being fulfilled in our day and age.

    Long live the Legion and the Captain!

“My brethren, do all that is in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall, but, if you do fall, get up again at once, and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times, because of the withdrawal of God’s grace, rise up again at each time, and keep on doing so until the day of your death. For it is written: ‘If a righteous man falls seven times,’ that is, repeatedly throughout his life, ‘seven times shall he rise again’ [Proverbs 24:16].” + Saint John of Karpathos

By: Matthew Heimbach



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