Anonymous: Do You Describe the Savior as One Who Compels or Persuades?

Feast of St Salome the Holy Myrhbearer

Saints_Square_3.jpegIT IS NO earthly discovery that was committed to the Christians, nor some mortal idea that they consider to be worth guarding so carefully, nor have they been entrusted with the administration of merely human mysteries. On the contrary, the omnipotent Creator of all, the invisible God Himself, established among humans the truth and the holy, incomprehensible word from heaven and fixed it firmly in their hearts, not, as one might imagine, by sending them some subordinate, or angel or ruler or one of those who manage earthly matters, or one of those entrusted with the administration of things in heaven, but the Designer and Creator of the universe Himself, by Whom He created the heavens, by Whom He enclosed the sea within its proper bounds, Whose mysteries  all the elements faithfully observe, from Whom the sun has received the measure of the daily courses to keep, Whom the moon obeys as He commands it to shine by night, Whom the stars obey as they follow the course of the moon, by Whom all things have been ordered and determined and placed in subjection, including the heavens, the earth, and the things in the earth, the sea and the things in the sea, fire, air, abyss, the things in the heights, the things in the depths, the things in between – this One He sent to them! But perhaps He sent Him, as one might suppose, to rule by tyranny, fear, and terror? Certainly not! On the contrary, He sent Him in gentleness and meekness, as a king might send his son who is a king; He sent Him as God; He sent Him as a human to humans. When He sent Him, He did so as One who saves by persuasion, not compulsion, for compulsion is no attribute of God. When He sent Him, He did so as One calling, not pursuing; when He sent Him, He did so as One loving, not judging. For He will send Him as judge, and who will endure His coming? Do you not see how Christians are thrown to wild beasts to make them deny the Lord, and yet they are not conquered? Do you not see that as more of them are punished, the more others increase? These things do not look like human works; they are the power of God, they are proofs of His presence.

~Anonymous, Epistle to Diognetus


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