In this video interview, Fr. Nikon of Mount Athos talks about the most powerful witnessing for a Christian: his or her life.
If a brother or sister watching this video says, “Am I not a Christian?” “I am baptized, I am chrismated, I go to church on Christmas and Easter…” “What do you say?” “Am I not a Christian?”
The answer was given by the mouth of God Himself: “Show me your faith from your works!” [James 2:18]
Father, what are the works he or she has to do to be considered a Christian?
Even Jehovah’s Witnesses say they are Christians! Protestants say they are Christians, they all say they are Christians! Are not they Christians? Even the Arians said they were Christians! Everyone sees himself or herself as being Christian, by his or her mind and madness!
Does he or she live the Sacraments of the Church Live? Does he confess his sins? Does he partake communion? Does he pray? Does he care that his mind is clean? If so, then he is a Christian! These signs will become visible without his will. By the way he lives. By the way he talks! By the way he behaves! This will become visible even without his will! Scripture says that those who are on the top of a mountain cannot hide [Matt. 5:14].
It does not make sense to shout loudly that we are Christians!
Let us prove that we are Christians!
I was terribly impressed by Mother Gavrilia, who, while still a nurse, not even a nun, she applied her physiotherapy skills on Indira Gandhi. One day a Maharajah’s wife visited the Prime Minister, and Mother Gavrilia had never spoken to Indira Gandhi before.
And the Maharajah’s wife asks Gandhi: “What is she?”
And Gandhi says: “She is Christian!”
“But she is not like the others, like Protestants or Catholics.”
How did she know that?
By her life! Exactly! This is how we will witness Christ! Someone from Africa moved to Xanthi and came to my cell and said,
“We did not see a priest there, only very rarely, twice a year he came to the depths of Africa, we were alone. Before I left, 400 African families were baptized. They wanted to become Orthodox Christians.”
And I asked him, “What have you done?”
“We baptized them when the priest came.”
“Well, but did you catechize them? Who catechized them?”
“Who told them about Orthodoxy in order to understand what was going on?”
“Yes,” he says, “that’s what we asked them too: Why do you want to become Orthodox?”
And what did the Africans say?
“For many years, we have been observing the Protestants, the Catholics, and you also.
And we decided we want to be like you!”
This is the witnessing! Here is how one proves he is a Christian! Here is how you shout that you’re a Christian: with your mouth closed!
When your life is in contradiction with your words, your words are empty. That’s why the Fathers of the Church say: “Words without life are silent! Life without words is loud!” Your life, even without words, shouts and shows who you are! But because we are lazy, because we do not want to get tired, we prefer to convince people of Christianity through arguments, words, sermons and shouts.
“I am a Christian, and you shouldn’t tell me what to do”, and we mask our selfishness with the coat of Christianity. And we ask for things that a Christian would never ask for!
First of all you should struggle to become a Christian, and then you will do anything else! By this struggle you will save yourself, and those around you will also be saved!
There is no private salvation in Christianity!
As a result of your personal struggle, millions will be saved around you.
And you don’t need to know how. God has His plan!