Leading others to Orthodoxy
The story of George
The Lord, from the moment we entered His church began to use us in a wondrous way. I will bring up an incident. We had attended with my wife a lecture at the church of Saint Paraskeui, given by Antonios Alevizopoulos who was the head of the anti-heretical struggle at the time.
During the program, he asked if we had any questions. My wife raised her hand to ask something.
“Put your hand down! I will give you the answer at home,” I told her, because I thought the question was very simple. She insisted however and she asked the question on her mind at the end of the program two women came towards us (mother and daughter).
They expressed their desire to meet us and they told us the following: they were both former ‘Pentecostals’. At the congregation they were attending however, while the spirit which was speaking to the rest of the ‘Pentecostals’ was telling them various things. The Holy Spirit was speaking to these two women telling them that His Church was not there. He told them that He would lead them to His Church. Therefore, the day they came to participate in the program of Fr. Anotonios, the moment my wife raised her hand, the Lord told these women: “become close to the woman who is raising her hand,” meaning my wife, the moment she wanted to ask her question. Therefore, at the end of the program they came to meet us. From that same day we began to share with them, everything we had derives from our own search. Other former ‘Pentecostals’ were attracted to this catechism, and in a short period of time they all returned to the Orthodox Church of the Lord.
Simultaneously we organized one more study at Salamina for a group of former ‘witnesses’ including my friend Nikos, his mother and grandmother. They had just departed from the congregation they created. Up to that point, the results of their studies were progressively leading them toward the Orthodox faith and doctrine. Thus, it was not difficult for them to be convinced about some final concerns and remaining topics. Nikos was a steady critic. He would accept anything unless he first saw proof. After his trust was shattered in the organization he was born in, he no longer trusted anyone. Thus, I needed to spend very much time and meetings especially for him.
From the moment we became Orthodox, we realized that the road of the true faith is not covered with rose petals. The attacks of the devil were continuous and inexorable, such as family tempests, unemployment, financial problems, illness and constant mania to break down my motorcycle, every time I went to Nikos for a study. He began to question that perhaps I was lying to him! My mother, whom I had led to the organization, refused to discuss religious subjects with me any longer. This is something that causes guilt pangs for me to this day.
The great mistake of all those, who by some heresy, is that judging by their own ignorance, they think that Orthodox has nothing to teach them. They feel justified, claiming that they do not understand anything of what the priest says in the diving liturgy. Then, why don’t they buy a small liturgy service book, which explains all these in detail?
If they knew the lofty theology behind these ‘incomprehensible’ Petitions of the priest, they would rush and search all these liturgical texts. Besides, they should have known that we go to liturgies and generally to church services not to be taught but to praise and worship God. Catechetical sessions are held in most parishes for teaching us. However, when someone goes to church s few times a year and has not showed any interest for catechism, it is natural to be lead astray by some heresy. Especially now that the church even established radio stations, anyone who claims that the Church failed to teach him is unjustified. Most likely, he did not care to be taught!