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I Have Not Come To Bring Peace, But A Sword- Archbishop Averky of Jordanville

Archbishop Averky speaks to our times in the context of a frequently neglected saying of Christ. His peace is not the peace of the world, His truth both unites and divides. As he said to His disciples after his tough sayings led many to leave Him: “Do you also want to go away?” Let us respond like the Apostle Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Archbishop Averky: “All of these frequent, unnaturally flowery speeches, and until now, hysterical cries about peace for the world are for the most part from people who are either far from true Christianity or openly hostile towards the Church. These speeches come from people who themselves do not live in peace with God and their consciences. Their relations with their neighbors are filled with malice. Can we believe the sincerity of the words pronounced by people who reject faith in God and love for their neighbor, and do not recognize the voice of conscience? Can we believe that those who audaciously and arrogantly blaspheme, declaring war on God Himself and His Holy Church, are truly striving for peace? These are the same people who not long ago did not conceal the fact that their plan was "to kindle a worldwide fire" [Communism], and who openly preached "class hatred" as the basis for their ideology. They are not at all troubled over shedding rivers of blood and exterminating millions of people simply on the suspicion that they may not be in agreement with their ideology. Can we truly believe the sincerity of peace lovers who speak sweetly of "Christian love" and "universal forgiveness," yet at the same time sow conflict and dissension, spreading lies and slander which incite enmity and division, setting people against one another.”

“Surely one understands that when our Lord Jesus Christ said, Resist not evil (Matt. 5:39) he was only replacing the previous Old Testament law of personal revenge, forbidding us to take revenge on those Who personally offend us. There is no way that one should understand this saying to refer to no resistance to evil in general, as Leo Tolstoy and his followers understood it. On the contrary, our Lord taught very clearly that His true followers must be completely uncompromising towards evil, even in those most difficult circumstances which involve our conscience, in those circumstances where evil becomes incarnate in people close and dear to us. Let us recall for example the following words of our Savior which so disturb those who view Christian love as something sweet, sentimental, nice: If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:26).”

“St. Gregory the Theologian taught, "The greatest good is peace, it is beautiful in both word and deed. Peace is of God (Phil. 4:7), God is peace (II Cor. 13:11), and God is called peace (Eph. 2:14)" (Works of St. Gregory, Homily 23, Vol.Il, p. 186). He continues, "At the same time we must not value just any peace. For disagreement can appear pleasant, and some types of unity are very ruinous. One should love only a good peace which has a good goal and unites with God...when it is clear that what is at hand is impious or dishonest, then it is better to go into the fire, the sword, and not go along with the demands of the times and rulers, rather than become a participant in an evil leaven and part of an infection. There is nothing worse than to fear something more than God, and over this fear become instead of a servant of truth, a traitor to the teaching of truth and faith' (Works of St. Gregory, Sermon 6, Vol. I, p. 192).

Truly these are golden words. How many follow them in our times? These words of one of the greatest hierarchs of Christ's Church are a perfect, worthy answer to our contemporary propagandists of "an evil peace" and "ruinous unity," as well as their sowers of false teachings and proclaimers of peaceful coexistence with demonic evil. Are you familiar with these words, all of you, who for the sake of a career and money, will go along with the "demands of the times" and godless "leaders" in betraying the truth? Fear and tremble, for nothing is more horrible than this kind of betrayal! “And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep” (I Pet. 2,3).”

This text is from “The Modern World in the Light of the Word of God, vol. I, 1951-1960,” pp. 404-409.


The above has been provided by the Orthodox Wisdom YouTube channel, and the original post can be found in the video below.

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