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How the Heretics Were Scandalized

by New Hieromartyr Arcadius, Bishop of Lubny

An Evangelical [Protestant] preacher arrived at the Karavaevskaya village. The heretics had been informing their own people about the expected arrival of their important guest for two days before he came. The Sunday house, where the debates were taking place, was completely packed. There were also many Orthodox. A clean-shaven, suit-wearing German went up to the pulpit. He spoke for a long time, mixing with his Russian speech some words that were incomprehensible, probably German. Many times, according to custom, he cursed the Orthodox priests and he ended his speech by calling all to listen to him alone, the self-called one.

“Brethren! Do not listen,” cried out the heretic to the entire house, “do not listen to Orthodox pastors! They are hiding from you the true teaching of Christ. They thought up for themselves some kind of tradition and muddle the minds of the ignorant masses! But for the true Christians there is no need of any kind of tradition. This is what is necessary – the Bible alone! In it is everything that the Savior taught; in it is written all the commandments of Christ and His apostles, and everything else is not necessary!”

Seeing that his words made an impression, the heretic gave a triumphant glance across the entire crowd and then with a more placid voice asked: “Maybe some one of you has something to ask me?”

A minute of silence, then suddenly from the back parts of the room the voice of Andrew Shkolki perked up, a zealous Orthodox Christian.

“You, mister preacher, have said that in the Gospel everything is written about what Christ and His apostles taught. Would you be so kind as to show us in the Gospel the teaching of the Apostle Andrew. I myself carry the name of that apostle, and for that reason would really like to know what he taught.”

The Protestant, somewhat embarrassed, said: “Apostle Andrew taught the same as what the other apostles taught, and for that reason his teaching is not recorded.”

“Ah, but show us where in the Gospel it is written,” said Andrew without missing a beat, “that the Apostle Andrew taught exactly what the other apostles taught and for that reason his words are not written.”

The heretic, now all scarlet, looked around the room, as if looking for something to hold on to, but then, from another corner of the room a voice was heard from the most fearsome opponent of the heretics, Thomas Kovalchuk.

“Mister preacher, would you happen to know what the Apostle Thomas taught? Or maybe you are familiar with the teachings of the Apostles Phillip, Bartholomew, Simon the Canaanite.... The Savior also had seventy other apostles. Where are their writings? Do you have them?”

Caught and exposed in his lies, the heretic, like a wild animal in a cage, kept turning himself around from one side to another, feverishly looking around with his eyes.

“Well, there’s no reason to run around now with your eyes,” Thomas cried to him, now with indignation. “You know how to speak lies and nonsense; now find a way out of your contradiction. Tell us, where are the written teachings of the Apostles Thomas, Andrew, Phillip, and the other disciples of Christ? … Where, in which books are written the teachings of the seventy apostles? Do you have them with you? Well, speak! Admit it, you lied when you said that in the Bible everything is written!”

The Evangelical started to say something, but his words failed in his throat.

“Let’s get out of here,” said the crowd, “he already taught us enough. We thought that God’s message had arrived from somewhere, that he would tell us something genuinely important from his educated head, but he just gave up before a couple of our very own peasants.”

“Not before some peasants,” someone corrected him, “but before the truth.”

The defeat of the heretics was definitive. The Orthodox left for their homes with joyous faces.

Archbishop Gregory
Dormition Skete
P.O. Box 3177
Buena Vista, CO 81211-3177
Contact: Archbishop Gregory
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