Traditional Orthodox Bishop Explains How to Distinguish the True from the False Pastor

Originally appeared at: Union of Orthodox Journalists

Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol explained on his Telegram channel how to distinguish a true pastor from a false teacher, even though outwardly they have no differences. 

"From the angel of God comes the warm light of peace and tranquility, from the angel of Satan – cold light and fear. The false apostles lead their flock into hell, bind their minds to the world, sow discord and division. Christ's servants lead their flock to God, teaching them love and repentance. We should judge them not by their words, because both say seemingly right things, but by the fruit, which these words bring in the hearts of listeners," the bishop said. 

Also, the hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate urged the faithful to develop a subtle spiritual taste, which, according to him, is developed in the same way as a taste for music, painting and poetry. 

"A person who feels the beauty of classical music will not listen to blatant songs. He who understands the beauty of syllables will not sing vulgar ditties. The same is true in spiritual life – he who has felt the spirit of the Holy Fathers (not only what is written in their books but also what is between the lines), will never fall for the words of false teachers, no matter how beautiful and convincing they may seem. It is those "whose senses have been accustomed by skill to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14)," noted the Metropolitan of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol. 

The bishop added that today, the devil wants "to deceive, if possible, even the chosen ones" (Matthew 24:24), so Orthodox Christians should be especially careful and sensitive to their spiritual life. 

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