Metropolitan Anthony explained why it is so important to move away from disputes now.

One of the main actions of the spirit of malice in this world is the division of people. And today there are a lot of these divisions.

Alas, many Christians are also subject to the spirit of division. This is especially evident in the last two years in connection with the well-known pandemic and the quarantine measures caused by it. Of course, we will not talk about either the first or the second, since this has already been discussed and will be discussed very, very much. And I would like to talk about us, Christians, and the attitude to each other in this context.

It is known that society is divided into those who unconditionally accept any quarantine measures introduced at the moment, and those who completely deny them. After all, it is the right of a free person to make a choice. But it is sad that people, once they have accepted a certain position, turn into its ardent adherents, declaring all those who disagree as enemies. And this, unfortunately, also affected Christians.

Now it is not enough to declare a person who thinks differently, simply wrong and deluded. It comes to the point that any person who does not share, unlike an adept of one or another extreme, his point of view, becomes almost a violator of the Divine law. And after all, activists, as a rule, do not even doubt their own rightness and that they are doing God's will.

I would like to remind such self-confident doers of God's will” that the true fulfillment of the will of the Lord is love for one's neighbor. And love is often condescension. Even to someone who is mistaken and deluded.

Let us remember the words of Christ: "By this it will be clear to all men that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." (John 13: 35). Let us ask ourselves: how much are we really disciples of Christ?

This is especially important for us — the children of the persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church. After all, love, forgiveness and condescension to one's neighbor are not just what we should strive for. To a certain extent, this is a marker that shows the truth of our Church more clearly than any theological arguments.

And now, on the eve of the celebration of the commemoration of the Baptism of Russia, when we will prayerfully appeal to God together, testifying to our faith, steadfastness and unity, I ask you once again, brothers and sisters: let us be more tolerant, kinder and more forgiving to each other.

Let the malicious disputes and polemical fervor be expelled from our midst. If it seems to us that communication with a particular person causes only bitterness and resentment, if it seems to us that this person is mistaken — it is better to temporarily step aside and sincerely pray for him. This is the little thing, the first step that will allow us to fulfill the true law of Christ. And the Lord, in His perfect wisdom, will manage everything.

Recorded by Natalia Goroshkova

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