“Responding to the embittered man, the angry man, or the stupid man, while hoping to win him over, does nothing for him, and eventually gives power to the demon who would devour the man’s soul, and consume your own. Thinking you have to prove the correctness of your point of view does nothing for truth, but only gives power to the demons of pride, anger, and stupidity. The power and influence of good deeds always wins out in the end.” –Abbot Tryphon
This short reflection is more geared towards the Orthodox readers who follow along. Abbot’s words are welcomed for us Westerners who tend to think only upon rational arguments or rational evangelical tools to convince others of the Truth of Orrthodoxy. While there is room for such arguments, like when, asked about the Faith by other Christians or non-Christians, I believe there is a better way. The way of good deeds. Jesus himself says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
The thing about light is that it shines. Yes, yes, rational discourse and reason most certainly play a part in the Faith. Some most certainly can be won to the Faith by them. Orthodoxy theology certainly won me over, but it’s Orthodox spirituality that keeps me coming. Good deeds are undoubtedly a part of it for they are born out a heart whose existence revolves around the Mystical Axis of the Universe, Christ the Pantocrator.
So remember, have a defense for our beliefs and be prepared to give sound reasons because fideism has no place in Orthodoxy. However, the best way to show converts the Faith that established the universe and to shine our lights is by good deeds and holy living among our friends, families, neighbors, and colleagues.
May God have mercy on our souls and grant is peace within.
“Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved.” St. Seraphim of Sarov