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Orthodox by faith, heretical behaviorist

A few years ago an inspector came to school once and said:

- Let the students (senior classes) write the task from the memory of "Our Father". Not for testing and not for evaluation, but just to see how they write it. And let them translate into modern Greek.

I thought I would check these works quickly, but it took me a long time. I corrected mistakes with a red pen, and the children's sheets gradually became covered with corrections: there were many errors in writing, and in translation, there were a lot of mistakes. And I said to myself: "Well, the inspector gave me an opportunity to see what our children know at school."

Well, what can I say? We all believe in something, we offer our prayers, belong to the Orthodox Church, but ask someone: "What does it mean that you are Orthodox? What do the words that you say in the Creed? "- He believes in something, reads something, and does not understand it himself, does not know it himself. And do not think that you are better. Someone can know the Ancient Greek, others have thoroughly studied their faith, read the patristic texts, the third knows certain dogmatic truths, but how many are they? Do most people know what they believe in? They generally know that we are Orthodox, and what does this mean that we are Orthodox? And are we Orthodox at all? And what does it mean that I'm Orthodox?

One day a man said to me:

"No matter what I was, but since I was born in Greece, they took me, baptized me, and I became Orthodox.

Is this enough? No, not enough. It's not enough to say: "I'm Orthodox, because I was born in Greece," because it was not you who chose it. This is the first movement God has made in your direction and has benefited you, when you did not expect it, it did not deserve it when you did not understand much what was going on. The Church makes you Orthodox, baptizes in infancy, and then you become Orthodox, leading your personal struggle, and you begin to make Orthodoxy your own - as a personal experience, as an experience.

Baptism is a gift, God gives it to you without you looking for it, without you deserving it, without you properly understanding what it is in general - what He gives you. And then he says that you have 90 years (or how much you are given to live) in order to achieve an experienced comprehension of Orthodoxy and to gain, as the saints say, not just say: "I know dogmas," but to acquire dogmatic consciousness, personal understanding what you believe. That it was not easy: "I believe in the One God the Father ..." - and make mistakes, because you can not really repeat this, and translate too. That is, if you try to translate the Creed into modern language, you will again make a lot of mistakes. Not to mention that you have learned by your personal experience what you say.

When the holy fathers were, for example, the Creed, they did not write it in any office: "And let's think: what would we say about God? Let's say this, this and this, "- and recorded. - No, they lived it. "Believe" for them meant: "I live by this. I feel God. God is this: He is God the Father, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. He created everything. " That is, they felt God, they saw God, they really saw Him and felt that He is the Father, He is the Son, He is the Holy Spirit. He was for them not a theory, but a vision, they saw God and then recorded the experience, and so it came down to us. This is what dogmatic consciousness means.

And when they spoke of Christ: "I believe in the One and Only Lord Jesus Christ," they felt that Christ is the Lord, He is their God, their Deliverer. That He is He who came to earth, crucified, saved the human race and rose again. These were experienced experiences. And we do not experience this experimentally, we say it formally, as if we live in a museum, and we were taught that in this museum the system should work like this: you will say this, do it, and repeat the third, and that's all, you Orthodox. But am I Orthodox in that case?

I do not know where I heard that one foreigner-foreigner came to the monastery, I think - on the Holy Mountain of Athos, and when the all-night vigil was over, someone asked him:

"How did you like it here?"

He replied:

- I realized that there is a lot of true here that these people keep the truth.

We pronounce terrible, terrifying truths, but we do not experience them

But he did not see her on their faces. That is, their faces did not reflect the power of what they uttered. In other words, when you say such a strong prayer, when you read a psalm: I will love Tha, Lord, my fortress; The Lord is my affirmation, and my refuge, and my Redemption, which we read at the All-night Vigil (Psalm 17, 2-3), when David wrote this prophet, it filled his heart. He believed in it, lived it and then wrote everything down. And the Church takes it, gives it to us, and we read it, but we do not live it. We pronounce terrible words, terrible sayings, terrible, terrifying truths, but we do not experience them.

We are Orthodox, but we do not enjoy the power of these words. From what it is visible? This can be seen from the anxiety that we continue to carry in ourselves, by the way we leave the temple, and the heart inside us has not abated to such an extent that we flew, rejoiced, and we were no longer occupied by anything that worried before. This is evident from the murmur and mourning that we continue to express: we complain about our life, our wife, our children, our neighbors. And immediately we see that we still do not understand how to do all this.

Orthodoxy is something that we are called upon to experience in order to enter the Church. Yes, we are already in it, but not experience. According to the documents we are Orthodox, and many people say this, but it is not enough to be Orthodox formally, Orthodoxy needs to live.

Just think how many times I said it at the Holy Liturgy, and you heard it: "We will betray to ourselves and each other's belly and our whole belly to Christ God," - that we must entrust ourselves and others to God. When St. John Chrysostom wrote this, it came from his heart, he lived among his loneliness, among the persecutions and torments, and said: "Christ, I entrust you everything: myself, my problems, I commit everything to Christ the God" . He said it and found peace, said - and believed in it. And I say this - and soon I am again covered with excitement, anxiety, despair because of my problems, but at the same time I say: "I am Orthodox." I also say that I served a marvelous Orthodox Holy Liturgy. And whether I had on it orthodox experiences? Did I touch what I said at the Holy Liturgy? Did this help you with your experience? Do you understand?

Sometimes I wonder: but how much I do Orthodox? I'm Orthodox, yes. Baptized in Orthodoxy, although I was baptized by a priest from Africa, a missionary, I was baptized in a foreign country, in Germany. Once we reviewed photos of my baptism: the black hands of a priest, and I'm a little white baby in Germany, and the priest is an Orthodox African. Yes, this is Orthodox, canonical Baptism. I am Orthodox. But am I Orthodoxy?

It's a great thing to say that you are Orthodox. And the question is not to boast, saying: "Now, I'm Orthodox, and all the rest ..." - but to say that you are truly an Orthodox Christian. This is a tremendous responsibility, this is the greatest humility, this is a great response to the love of God.

Orthodoxy is the person's response to God's invitation

What is Orthodoxy? This is the person's response to the call of God. God comes to the earth, he gives us His truth, reveals Himself, reveals Himself to us, shines before us with the light of truth, knowledge of God, and people, the Church, answer it to Him with Orthodoxy ... Orthodoxy is the person's response to God's invitation. The person responds like that with the right faith, and we answered it to God.

I'm Orthodox, yes, I believe in Orthodox dogmas, but do I live by them? Do I enjoy them? Do I understand them? Do I know them? And now I will tell you this is simpler, since I still spoke theoretically.

Let's ask you something. For example, you will meet a Jehovah's Witness, a Protestant, or you will sit in a taxi, and there is a driver - a Protestant, a Pentecostal, an Adventist. Or you walk around the city and see suddenly a Mormon, or a Roman Catholic, or one of the practitioners of yoga, Hinduism, and he says to you:

"Do you want to talk?"

And you say:

- No, I do not want to, because I'm Orthodox. Leave me! I do not talk to people of other faiths!

Well, well, you do not talk, but now we live in an era when you have to talk to them. Maybe in the office where you work with someone, and here he comes, he will talk to you politely and ask:

- And why are you Orthodox?

You'll say:

- And who are you?

He says:

- I'm a Jehovah's Witness.

- And why are you Jehovah's Witness?

And he will start to spread to you the arguments: "I believe in this, I believe that the Church commits such a mistake, absolutes people, deifies them, whereas they are people, icons are idols, God is not Trinity, and the Blessed Virgin is not the Mother of God" , - etc. And you hear it, you who call yourself Orthodox, you're Orthodox, are not you? - and your head starts to go around.

Or say to him:

"I beg you, I do not want to talk to you, you're a heretic, get out of here!"

And this decision, naturally, is not the best. Or you'll start making some nonsense and you'll look ridiculous, and he'll tell you:

- No, it's not! Let's better explain it to you!

Or will you listen to him with your mouth open and say:

"Well, what can I tell you?" When you say so, you seem to be right.

Do you understand this? "You seem to be right." Often an impression is created that the Jehovah's Witness, the Pentecostal, the Protestant are people who are much more prepared in questions about what they believe in what they know. Maybe they are in heresy, in delights, in delusion, they are mired in something occult and demonic, but what they believe in is they studied, learn, know, get to know, prepare, hold talks, seminars, read magazines , books, subscribe to something and deepen their knowledge.

Truth only shines, opens, shines, and nothing more

And we do not know what we believe in, we can not answer anyone, nobody can be persuaded - politely, without shouting. Do not shout: the truth does not cry, the truth does not scold, the truth does not hurt, but what does it do? What does the Lord say? So let your light shine before people so that they will see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven (Matthew 5, 16). Truth only shines, it opens, it shines, and nothing more. And the person sees you and makes sure that you are right, begins to believe in the truth and follows you, or thinks, if he did not follow you. And do not scream. Can you do this? Can you do without screaming?

I know one person who walked through the bazaars to drive out the Jehovah's Witnesses from there. He is Orthodox, and this is an Orthodox tactic - he says so. But only this is not an argument - to shout at a person, drive him with a stick and push:

"Get out of here!"

Well, you say: "The market is cleansed of heretics! Now they do not mislead people, they do not give out brochures! "But the question is that you should be ready to apologize, that is, to explain what you believe in politely, humbly, to someone who wants to hear something from you, and talk with him.

You know, after all, we will increasingly find ourselves in such situations with Jehovah's Witnesses, Protestants, all sorts of theories: transmeditation, Scientology, - now there are all kinds of heresies and religions. Once we said that Greece is an Orthodox country and here there are only Orthodox Christians, and such a country is Protestant, the third is Catholic, the fourth is Muslim, in the fifth there live only Hindus, and in the sixth Buddhists. And then someone leaves to study in France, England, Germany, sees at the university students who adhere to a variety of religions, beliefs, faiths, and says:

"What am I supposed to do here?" They ask me, they start to talk to me and are interested in: "Tell me, what do you believe in?"

And while they are benevolent, not everyone after all asks then to convince you. Some just want to know what Orthodoxy is. "Why," someone asks, "I should not be a Catholic, but an Orthodox?" You say that Orthodoxy is best, that it is truth. Okay, but how do I know it's true? You know it? Can you help me understand this? "Kindly.

Do you see how much ignorance is in us? How much do we lack, how much knowledge? We did not read about all this, did not live by this, we still have such a long way to go.

Remember how I started this conversation today? That children do not even know how to write down what they believe. Neither write, nor retell, nor translate this you do not know how. But there are those who say:

- Yes, it's okay if you do not know all this! It is enough just to live it.

But what will you live? How do you feel this? Mixed with my ignorance? That is, ignorance is something mysterious, excellent, beautiful? And when I start talking to someone, what will I tell him? "You know, I'm happy with my ignorance and thanks to him I can convince you"?

Unless, of course, you are a holy man, like other elders in the Holy Mount Athos, who can not read books, they did not read them, but they continually create a prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!" Day and night. They felt and saw Christ, and you go and say to them:

"Father, tell me ..."

And he responded to you:

"Listen, I tell you, I do not know that, but only I know that Christ is here, He is He.


"He's here," and he reaches out his hand.

And you feel: "Oh, Christ seemed to touch me!"

He gives you grace, holiness, convinces without dogmatism, without arguments, without higher theology, without books, advice, without anything - He lives in Christ. And he talks about it. And we and Christ do not live, and are not trained, not taught.

Well, is not this a long way to go yet? And is it not better to go deep into what we believe in, enjoy it, know it and get more complete knowledge of it? Or do you want to become an Orthodox formalist? And then the children come to school, their mind wakes up, and they say:

"Ah, I was baptized a little, I did not know what I was doing. And now why should I be an Orthodox Christian? Nobody asked me if I wanted to be Orthodox.

You are not just nobody asked if you want to become one, but then you did not say why you became one. You have not been explained: "Orthodoxy means this, and Roman Catholicism is something, and the difference between them is this. And Protestantism means so-and-so. " Do you know these differences? What is the main difference between our religion and the other? In the other they say the filioque. And what does the Filioque mean? And how does this relate to the ethos [1] of our lives? How are dogmas and ethos related? What is the effect that someone believes in a filioque or that Christ is a creature? And when they say that Christ is a creature, what kind of religion is this? Roman Catholics. No, it's a mistake, they do not say it, but Jehovah's Witnesses. Because He is the Son of God.

And the Orthodox would now hear this and say:

- But, of course, if Christ is the Son of God, then He is also God.

But we ourselves sometimes do not know what Christ is and what "consubstantial" means, that Christ is one-consummated to the Father. And then someone comes and says that Christ is pandered to the Father.

"And what," he says, "is not this the same thing:" consubstantial "and" subordinate ", eh? Answer me: what is the difference between consubstantial and similar? Do not they sound the same? [2]

No, it is not the same, and the difference here is enormous: it is one thing when Christ has the same essence as God the Father, ie. He is consubstantial, and the other is if He is subjugated; has a similar, but not the same, essence. Then Christ automatically ceases to be God, if He is subjugated.

And what does it mean that the Most-Holy Mother of God is the Mother of God, and not the Christ-Bearer? She after all gave birth to Christ. Who did the Most Holy Theotokos give birth to - the Human or the God-Man? How many Hypostasis of Christ - one or two? How many things does He have - one or two? Which terminology is correct: "The God-Man-Nature of Christ" or "God's and Human Nature in Christ"? "God-Man Person of Christ" or "God-Man-Nature of Christ"?

Well, you already have a head around? I did not say this in order to hamper your head, but to show how far away we are from the knowledge of Christ, accepted from infancy in Baptism, but did not try to understand and understand in Whom we believe. That's why we leave so easily, because we do not know in which Christ was believed. We did not become closer to Him, did not know Him, did not understand Him, and did not love. And therefore we do not understand what we are alive, so we are not happy with Orthodoxy, that's why it's so easy and we leave Orthodoxy.

And who is leaving? No one ever left Orthodoxy if he experienced a true Christ, if he lived through Orthodoxy and was pleased with it. I saw people from the Orthodox who became Jehovah's Witnesses, Protestants, paralyzed in some other heresy, and they say:

- We, too, once were Christians, but abandoned Orthodoxy.

I said to some of them:

"Shall I tell you something?" You have never been an Orthodox Christian, because the Orthodox never leave. You speak as if the one who is in the light go into darkness and declare: "I have found the light!" Is it possible?

I just said to him: "You've never been Orthodox."

"Do not you remember that I, too, was once like you?"

- Yes, I was, but formally. I did not see you go to church, confess, commune, pray, read, live Christ, explore the Holy Scripture, patristic texts, participate in some parish meeting, talk, I've never seen you there. And now you are doing all this. Now you have this hot jealousy, when you became a heretic, now, when you disowned your Baptism, you suddenly went to meetings twice a week ... Well, you see that you were never a real Orthodox, and only formal? So you left.

And do you know why you left? It is not because I found the truth there, but I just found in this heresy some people who have become entrenched in your confidence. How? A good attitude, good words, deeded, and sometimes sincere warning - they found you in your misery and exploited it. This is the philosophy of all heretics today: they approach people with problems, with pain. Pain - this is such an opportunity to approach a person, show him what you believe in, and entice. Simplicity and love - or cunning.

Of course, it happens, for example, that someone dies a child, and the neighbors - Orthodox - do not console him, do not pay him any attention, they are not interested in how to talk to him, how to become friends. And here the heretic goes to his house and converges with him, talks, comforts, makes him company, etc. and little by little captivates him. And the person says:

- I did not find any warmth in the Church, no one even greeted me.

You see? By and large, Orthodoxy means believing, and living, and loving, and helping, and hugging your brother to have this unity. Heretics do this: these people who are deluded are interconnected, they know each other, constantly see, talk, support each other. And we do not have this in the Church.

Do you notice how I turn to ethos from the dogma? That is, to the fact that we do not have either an Orthodox ethos or an Orthodox faith, as if it was cleaned inside of us. Ethos means a way of life: we are sometimes un-Orthodox in our behavior. We are not always Orthodox in it, so I asked myself then: "Am I Orthodox?" This is a huge topic, and there is much to be said here. What to say first of all?

I saw different people in my life: a Protestant pastor who became Orthodox also saw a Roman Catholic who became Orthodox, and these were people who knew their former faith deeply. A former pastor came from another country, did not know a word of Greek, knew nothing about Orthodoxy, but what did he have in his heart when he was a Protestant? He felt emptiness in his soul, yearned for the true God and did not find Him, he hungered and was not saturated, although he so wanted and really tried to do everything for God. However, this belief, which he had with him, did not give him a sense of completeness, and he began to read books. It's not that knowledge leads to the knowledge of God - when you read books, it does not mean that you know God, no, but he still read the church history, he sought the true faith, and so, seeking, reading and praying to the true God, left his native land, left everything and began to seek the true God. And that's the pastor! You understand?

It is a great thing to long for the Truth, to seek God. He came to Orthodoxy without propaganda, without brainwashing, without all these techniques, for his heart was thirsting and flaming like a volcano in the desire to find the Truth, and such a person can not be hampered by the head. And from the pastor he became an ordinary Orthodox Christian, was baptized, became a monk and learned Greek, and now 20 years as he lives in Greece. He did not know anyone in the monastery and was completely alone among the Greeks. But he said: "It does not matter! I found Christ, I found Orthodoxy, I found the Truth. " Who brought you to Truth, man? God Himself!

That is, I did not see anyone discovering the true Orthodox faith, saw the real Orthodox Christians - and passed them. No, he stops at Orthodoxy. And if someone throws Orthodoxy, it means that he did not know it: it is impossible that you should know Christ, the true God who appeared on the earth, and cast him and left.

When Christ said to the disciples:

"Maybe you want to leave, too?" - the holy apostle Peter said to Him in the name of all:

"Lord, where shall we go?" Is it possible to leave You? You have after all the verbs of eternal life! (compare In. 6, 67-68). Your words are great, they flow from eternal life, and I can not leave you.

Orthodoxy is a great thing. The great thing is to be Orthodox, but only you are not Orthodox to swing a sword or a club, to beat and shout, but to say in your heart: "My Christ! I pray that Orthodoxy, which I hold in my hands, I did not drop! "Because, according to the Holy Fathers, Orthodoxy is like walking on a tight rope, so that the Orthodox can easily become a heretic. Where? In my life. If I now become proud that I am Orthodox, then I am no longer Orthodox, because the Orthodox is humble.

Maybe I'm Orthodoxy in dogmas, I believe in the One God of the Father, I know the Trinity dogma, Christology, triadology, etc., but if I suffer with selfishness and say: "I'm Orthodox, I have the Truth! I will destroy you all, go away! Everything around is worthless, I'm the only one right! "- then this selfishness makes us heretics by nature and spirit.

Orthodoxy means walking on a tightrope, it is attention to yourself and in relation to the Orthodox dogma, and in Orthodox ethos and behavior. The great thing is to be Orthodox. We should cry before God from gratitude, from the feeling of our unworthiness to be Orthodox, and to beg Him to make us real Orthodox. And to say: "Yes, Lord, I was baptized and received the grace of the Holy Spirit, baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, but, Lord, I am Orthodox now, am I yours, whether I am a Christian because of this alone? Or was some kind of act formally done, that's all? "

Here is the father of the family, he is Orthodoxy, but how does he talk with his wife? He goes to church, reads books, serious patristic books, and considers himself strictly Orthodox. But the house is extremely despotic, cruel, wants to have only how he will say that only he says, that his opinion is equivalent to the law, and does not count with anyone. This man, you know what he's doing? His wife will say it one day, and the child too:

"Sorry, but who are you?" The Pope?

He strains:

- What you said? Called me the pope? Me? Take your words back, otherwise you'll get your teeth! Do you still insist on your own?

Orthodoxy is the one who lives correctly in everyday life

That is, they say: are not you mistaken? Do you have the infallibility of the pope? Do you see how this turned into our mentality? You can claim that you are Orthodox, but Orthodoxy is one who not only says, "I correctly believe in God," but also lives right in everyday life. And if you are despotic and behave like a Roman pope, infallible in your opinion, look, thinking ...

You say:

- The main thing is to be Orthodox! The main thing to say is that ...

Yes, it is very important to be Orthodox, unshakable in your faith. But how is your life, does it matter in any way? That is, this egoism, which you show at home, does not God see it? What will You say to Him later? "I knew the Trinitarian dogma, I must go to heaven! Although I do not give my wife the floor to say "?

Another example. I will show you how we violate the Orthodox dogma and in fact refute them. You go into some house, and there the parents wish that it was always at their will that the children had the same taste as they did: in clothes, in behavior, in the films they would watch. Another line in the house they do not accept:

- We in our family are all like that. If you want - adapt! But do not want to - get up and go. In this house will be what your parents will tell you! That's it, we're done!

Do you know what the saints say about this? What do you mean by this that you abolish and break the Trinity dogma on the level of ethos. To believe that God is Trinitarian, do you know what it means? That you accept that God has one nature, but three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is the Father, He is not the Son, and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. They are different in that of Their Persons, and are the same in regard to Their nature. Unity and diversity: diversity in unity and unity in diversity.

Many theologians say this, they say (not everyone agrees fully with this), that it can function as a reflection of this reality in the family. How? When we say: "At home we are all one, like the Holy Trinity, but also different, how different are God, the Son and the Holy Spirit." Persons of the Holy Trinity love the same way, they think alike, but each Person has His own traits and properties. Therefore, at home, if I believe in the Holy Trinity, we must respect the opinion of another: that we share a common house, i.e. love, unity, warmth, kindness, faith in God. We are all connected in this house, like the fingers of one hand, clenched into a fist, but my child, his wife has his own personality, and they have the right to go their own way.

Some answer this:

"But, have mercy, do not I have my opinion?" Can not I have an opinion different from yours?

You see? Talking about the Holy Trinity is one thing, but it is also necessary to introduce the Holy Trinity into your home as a way of life, like ethos, as behavior. It's grandiose.

St. Sergius of Radonezh, who worked in Russia, said:

- The monastery that I build, I will dedicate the Holy Trinity. Do you know why I will do this? I want the fathers who will live here not just say that we are strictly Orthodox and believe in the Holy Trinity, but also carried out in life - to the extent that we can - this unity is in diversity. That we were united, as the Holy Trinity, as a single heart.

Then there were thousands of monks in Russian monasticism, there were a lot of them, and imagine that there should be unity in such a monastery so that there would not be quarrels between them, jealousy and misunderstandings, groupings, cliques, but sacred unity alone.

However, unity is not the whole leveling skating rink. St. Sergius says:

"I do not want to make you all the same." One will be a gardener, another a hymn, the third will love icon painting, the fourth will be solitude, the fifth will be to the liking of conversations with people.

These are the individual qualities of each person, his personal talents. This is also the case with the Holy Trinity: each Person has His own quality, but there is love and symphony between Them. You understand this, i.e. How can the Holy Trinity enter your home?

Then you agree that Christ has become a Man, accepted human nature, and on the other hand ... you see that your child wants to go for a walk, go somewhere - to the sea, to the mountains, to go with friends on an excursion. And you say to him:

"But, my child, can you really like this?" Spiritual is above all. Do not engage in these material matters, it's vanity. Can these worldly affairs, all worldly affairs, take over you?

There is nothing that would not be sanctified by Christ: both food, and family, and home, and the world

And this refutes what was said before that Christ became a Man. Because if you are correct, dogmatically believe that Christ has become a Man, then it means that He took in the human nature all its features and manifestations of this life and sanctified them. Hence, there is nothing that would not be sanctified by Christ: both the walk of your child, and the food, and the car, and the family he will create, and his children, and the house, and the environment, and the world. Because Christ took upon Himself everything, because He became a Man and took on human nature.

You perceive this as an abstract dogma. For example, the belief that Christ became a Man should make you look at God with understanding and love, with a grateful (Eucharistic) feeling and gratitude, and not separate the material from the spiritual, do not divide them into parts and say: "Here this is spiritual, and this is material. " Forgive me, but if you saw Christ, what would you say? That He is half human, and half God? No, the two natures in Him are unconnected, inseparably. What does it mean? That the earthly is exultant with the heavenly, that today everyone rejoices, everyone perceives the consequences of that dogma that God the Word has joined with human nature.

That's how dogmas are reflected in our daily life, and how we become heretics, believing that we are Orthodox. I say this mostly about myself. Maybe I'm wrong. And this is also a feature of Orthodoxy - that everyone recognizes that he does not have absolute truth: the truth is not in one person, but in the Church. Of course, it's not Orthodox that I, even though I'm a priest, say that my opinion is infallible. No. If I say this, then again I will become a heretic. It is unreasonable that what the whole Church says is what the Body of Christ believes, the Body of believing Christians who pray, receive communion and live by Christ and, like the Body, keep the truth.

There are many Orthodox who can not help anyone by their behavior and make someone Orthodox, because they always threaten with their fists, and people do not want to become Orthodox in this way. And what's terrible is that the swinging fists perfectly know the dogmas, and what he believes in is perfectly true, but only the spirit with which he acts is not righteous.

I do not know what here precedes? I think it is necessary and that and that: and correctly to believe in something, and it is correct to live it. To be Orthodox by faith, but also to behave orthodox. Because, I ask you: did you help someone to become Orthodox, to become closer to the Church in the manner in which you sometimes speak?

A friend of mine in a foreign country, in Edinburgh, once told me:

- A man came to me in the temple who worked for the BBC. Protestant, not Orthodox, he does not belong to the Church, but so worried, listening to the Holy Liturgy, worship (there serve in English).

And then he came to my friend at last and said:

"Father, I feel recently that Christ is calling me." But I do not know where to go. Which church should I go to? Maybe to you? To the Roman Catholics? Protestants? Where?

Another would say: "Oh, what an opportunity!" So to speak, "what an opportunity, that he will bite, and I will seize him!" Come on, take it, "someone would say. But this my priest friend, very erudite, catechizing and baptizing a multitude of heterodox, told him:

- Praise God for feeling that He is calling you! And pray that He will show you where to go.

A terrible answer, if you consider that this priest is Orthodox. He could have said to him: "Come to us, so that you will not be taken for a nose to someone who is not lazy! Here is the Truth! "But he did not say that. And this person will start going to him, to this temple, and will receive Baptism, and pass catechesis, and become Orthodox. Why? Because this famous priest is the bearer not only of Orthodox dogmas, but also of the Orthodox ethos, which we often do not have.

Let us create this orthodox atmosphere around ourselves, so that the other breathes it. And to love him, if he is different from us, and to say to him: "This is my faith, I have such a wide faith. This is my God, making me strict to myself, but comfortable for you. Do as you like, as you can - I do not pressure you. " So he will be pleased and get closer to you.

You can be Orthodox and at the same time a heretic

In the moleben to Saint Fanury we sing: "Holy Fanurie, lead me, Orthodox, wandering in heresy of all kinds of violations" [3]. I'm Orthodox, but I'm wandering in heresy. In what heresy? Heresy is any violation that I commit in life: every sin, every deviation in my behavior is a small heresy. You can be Orthodox and at the same time a heretic.

I live like this: Orthodox, but a heretic by behavior, deeds, ethos. I do not have an Orthodox ethos, I do not know the Orthodox dogmas properly. That's why he said at the beginning that we still have a long way to go, an immense field stretches before us, we still need to read, study, prepare.

But today, I think we have done something Orthodox - we talked, condemned nobody, cursed nobody, did not quarrel with anyone, and we love God, we worship the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to God, the Trinity, consubstantial and indivisible!

[1] Ethos - a set of ethical principles, the embodiment of religious beliefs in life.

[2] In Greek, these words differ only by one letter: "consubstantial" is ὁμοούσιος (omousios), and "obosuschny" is ομοιούσιος (omiusios).

[3] Holy Martyr The Fanus of Rhodes († III century, commemorated 27 August / 9 September) is glorified in the face of the saints by the Greek Church. In Russian, the Kherson eparchy of the UOC, the Akathist of St. Fanury: http://pravoslavie.ks.ua/rubric/svyashchennomuchenikam-i-muchenikam/article/akafist-svyatomu-mucheniku-fanuriyu.

A source: Pravoslavie.Ru

Author: Archimandrite Andrew (Conanos)

Tags: Religion, Christianity