On Spreading the Orthodox Faith

St. Tikhon of Moscow 1865-1925

Orthodox people must care for the dissemination of the Orthodox faith among the heterodox. Christ the Savior said that men lighting a lamp do not put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house (Mat. 5:15). The light of Orthodoxy also is not lit for a small circle of people. No, the Orthodox faith is catholic; it remembers the commandment of its Founder: ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. Make disciples of all nations’ (Mk. 16:15, Mat. 28:19). It is our obligation to share our spiritual treasures, our truth, our light and our joy with those who do not have these gifts. And this duty lies not only on pastors and missionaries, but also on lay people, for the Church of Christ, in wise comparison of St. Paul, is a body, and in the life of the body every member takes part.

For each of us the dissemination of the Christian faith must be a favorite task, close to our hearts and precious to us; in this task each member of the Church must take an active part — some by personal missionary effort, some by monetary support and service to the ‘needs of the saints’, and some by prayer to the Lord that He might ‘establish and increase His Church’ and that He might ‘teach the word of truth’ to those who do not know Christ, might ‘reveal to them the Gospel of righteousness, unite them to His Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. (Sunday March 17, 1907 Farewell Sermon)