The justification of desire

As today is one of the feasts of the New-Martyr St. Hilarion receive a word from him:

…there is nothing easier than to re-interpret Christ’s teaching according to one’s personal taste and to invent ‘Christianity,’ passing off, under this name, the dreams of one’s heart and the images of one’s own idle fantasy. The sacred books of the New Testament were written by practical, unscholarly apostles. Throughout the centuries there have been ‘correctors of the Apostles,’ as Saint Irenaeus of Lyons calls them, ones who considered themselves higher than the Apostles, those ‘Galilean fishermen.’ Does it become a highly educated European [or American] of the twentieth century [or 21st] to accept on faith all that is said by some ‘fishermen’? So many free themselves from the authority of the Apostles and desire to interpret Christ’s teaching while being guided only by their personal whims. Leo Tolstoy, for example, bluntly declared that the Apostle Paul did not properly understand Christ’s teaching; it follows that Tolstoy considered himself to be higher than the Apostle Paul. One can marvel greatly at how far people go in their ‘interpretation’ of Christianity. Whatever they might desire, they immediately find in the Gospel. It would appear that it is possible to cover one’s every idle dream and even ill-intentioned thought by means of the Gospel’s authority.
St. Hilarion (Troitsky)

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