Evangelism and Free Will
- This list was created with the idea that St. Peter's admonition to "be ready
always to give an answer to every man" assumes a question has been asked
about "the hope that is in you" (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). I'm glad to see my
understanding was not novel:
Elder Porphyrios [(Bairaktaris) the
would say: "I do not speak about Christ, unless others want to,
> unless they ask."This brings up an interesting question concerning free will (rather than its
> The Elder would say this not because of his ego, but because of his respect
> for the freedom of each individual.
> He would further explain: "I pray for those people, I will even work
> miracles for them, but I do not speak to them. I want their soul to open up
> and to ask me."
> People would say, especially the youth: "This is the first time we have
> seen a priest who says nothing to us about God."
> When a young girl confronted him on this, the Elder responded to her: "I
> beg you, my child Georgia, do not misunderstand me as to why I did not speak
> to you about Christ. I did not do it out of disrespect, but out of respect,
> because I do not speak with anyone about religious matters unless I am
> By asking to hear something, a person willingly listens. And to these
> beginners the Elder would give a very light spiritual rule to follow to make
> sure they execute it with joy.
> Source: here<http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/07/elder-porphyrios-on-speaking-to-others.html>and
bondage). Convert from Lutheranism, Fr. Oliver Herbel, provides a seminary
paper on the concept of free will in St. Maximus the Confessor (whose
dyotheletist christology is shared by Lutherans and Orthodox) here:
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