On the Battle for Sound Faith

 

St. Basil the Great ca. 330-379

We stand in the arena to fight for our common heritage, for the treasure of the sound faith, derived from our Fathers. Grieve with us, all you who love the brethren, at the shutting of the mouths of our men of true faith, and at the opening of the bold and blasphemous lips of all who utter unrighteousness against God. The pillars and foundation of the truth are scattered abroad. We, whose insignificance has allowed of our being overlooked, are deprived of our right and free speech. Enter into the struggle for the people’s sake. Do not think only of your being yourselves moored in a safe haven, where the grace of God gives you shelter from the tempest of the winds of wickedness. Reach out a helping hand to the churches that are being buffeted by the storm, lest if they are abandoned, they suffer complete shipwreck of the faith. Lament for us, in that the Only-Begotten is being blasphemed, and there is none to offer contradiction… Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, (Jer. 9:1) and I will weep many days for the people who are being driven to destruction by these vile doctrines. The ears of the simple are being led astray, and have now gotten used to heretical impiety. The nurslings of the Church are being brought up in the doctrines of iniquity. What are they to do? Our opponents have the command of baptisms; they speed the dying on their way; they visit the sick; they console the sorrowful; they aid the distressed; they give succour of various kinds; they communicate the mysteries. All these things, as long as the performance of them is in their hands, are so many ties to bind the people to their views. The result will be that in a little time, even if some liberty be conceded to us, there is small hope that they who have been long under the influence of error will be recalled to recognition of the truth. (Letter 243.4 to the Bishops of Italy and Gaul)

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