Church thinks in a different way: there is an exit. If we trust God, keep the commandments, shrive sincerely, take communion worthily, we will inherit eternal life, places of Paradise. There is a mortal life as well as a celestial one. God has prepared Heavens for us. By our free will we can refuse from Heavens and choose hell, but refusing from afterlife isn’t in our power.
The author of this book – archimandrite Ambrose (Yurasov) tells about the failure of atheistic judgments, about the purpose and meaning of life, about God and soul, about the ways of salvation, about things we should do in order to meet Christ and become real God’s son.
FOR GOD IS WITH US
(Based on the book of V. Melnikov “Where the faith in God came from”)
On Christmas I went to my relatives to the villagePokrovskoye(named in honour of a religious fest - the Mantle of our Lady) and there happened an event which inspired me to write this book.
Before the holidays there were put the announcements all around the village telling about a lecture “How did faith in God appear?” that was going to take place in the Culture Centre. It was also mentioned that after the presentationof a speaker from the society “Knowledge” – comrade Matyukhin I. P. there would be a dispute.
Pokrovkahas always been known in the region as Orthodox Vatican. Almost in every house there was religious literature. From the early childhood kids were brought up in an Orthodox manner: learnt the prayers, went with the elders to the church. And then at school this religious “fog” was drubbed out of them by all means. That’s why the choice of a lecturer for Pokrovka was of great importance.
A lot of people turned up: doctors, teachers led by the headmaster, pupils. Old and elderly, believers and atheists filled the hall of the Culture Centre. The word “dispute” attracted people in a magical way. In order to put up a good show, the head of the Culture Centre had paid special attention to the decorations. There were posters like “Religion is opium of the masses”, “Religion is a drug” and “No one getting behind in the way”.
Such kind of events were organized in Pokrovskoye rarely that’s why the lecturer was introduced personally by the head of the Culture Center – Altshuler.
As opposed to Altshuler, plum with cold, with proud look and yapping voice, the lecturer Matyukhin looked nice and communicative, his kind eyes and welcoming smile worked the room. He seemed to be in his fifties.
Altshuler introduced Matyukhin and reminded that after the lecture there would be a dispute where all could take part in.
Taking the stand, the lecturer transformed: the smile left his lips, there was no kindness in his eyes anymore, his face became self-confident and decisive.
- As you know, - he started firmly, - atheistic world view is the most progressive world view in the world…
Altshuler casted a look at the audience, as if he was saying: it’s not like with me, now Ivan Petrovich will show you what is what, with all your prayers, bah!
- Religious beliefs were formed in the atmosphere of ignorance, fear, human powerlessness against nature – continued to convince the lecturer. – The Sun, the Moon, the planets, the stars seemed to people powerful Gods, people addressed them with prayers, gave gifts.
A stream of numbers, quotations, sayings of scientists and writers, rejecting religion, fell on the audience. Matyukhin made references to the beliefs of peoples and tribes from Australia, Africa, Asia, South America, etc. Well-worn facts coming from his mouth got special meaning. Everything was directed at tearingreligion, faith in God to bits.
- In the face of modern science, hopeless obsolescence of religious beliefs is evidently seen, - continued Matyukhin. – We are living in the age when human mind is shown in its power and strength: outer space today is turned into a giant laboratory, test area; thousands of sputniks of the Earth have been launched, interplanetary space crafts have been to the Moon, Venice, Mars. People’s flights to space have become usual, a man has already set foot on the Moon surface.
He made a pause, looked at the audience, made a helpless gesture and noticed mockingly:
- And imagine, nobody has seen God in the sky! All these and many other things disprove religious dogma, helps religious relict to die out. I don’t want to believe that in our century when human mind has reached its peak, religion, faith in mystical, supernatural can save its power over the heads and hearts of people!
Matyukhin gave a glance around the people, satisfied Altshuler, feeling he had fulfilled his task, and finished convincingly:
- Religion is an old tree. However, we have cut its roots and we are sure that there will come the time when religion can be given to museums as a spinning wheel.
Altshuler left the table and started clapping joyfully. People, captured by atheism, also applauded in unison. Yes, there “above” they knew who to send to Pokrovka!
Believers felt grievous both after the lecture itself and because of the fact that their home-folks managed to catch the atheistic spirit.
After the report there was a break. Many people came to Demyan Luckich who was a beekeeper.
He was an old man in his sixties, with small ginger beard and clear quiet eyes. He had a reputation of a knowledgeable man among the folks: he was really curious, read a lot, followed the world events. And moreover, he loved nature, admired it childishly, venerated every single creature made by God, either a plant (grass, flower) or an animal, bird, insect. He saw the wisdom of the Creator in everything.
Villagers had respect for Luckich, called him wise and often asked for his advice and help. He addressed everyone on a first-name basis but did it gently, tenderly and nobody got offended. Most of all Demyan Luckich liked to talk about Divine. He told simply, understandably and what’s more important convincingly.
Demyan Luckich came to the lecture with his grandson, ten-year-old Trophimushka.
- This lecturer spoke very tricky, - noticed one of the villagers.
- There are many different peoples in the world and all of them have their own faith! Just crazy! What can we say?
- Well, how are you feeling, Demyan Luckich? – asked the other person. – Will there be anything to talk over with him?
- As God will teach, - he replied humbly.
- Luckich, maybe, it’s better for us to go home, - offered his close friend. – What for to waste time dealing with these godless people, they’ll only sneer us down.
- - I think in the following way: it’s necessary to defend faith not for these atheists but to warn believers against temptation. You see some started to doubt… Let’s sit for a bit, listen what they’ll say.
And Demyan Luckich returned to his place.
He was sitting and thinking: “People are lacking faith nowadays! Even close fellows are ready to run away, being afraid of mockeries… Earlier Christians went for Christ to tortures, death as on holiday. Is it possible to doubt in God?”
Demyan Luckichcouldn’t imagine that a rational person was able to live without God. He considered all godless people to be liars: they were only pretending they didn’t believe in God but they still had faith in their souls…
Didn’t they address God in their thoughts and even ran to the church when they had problems! And this lecturer? He said a lot of stuff but didn’t prove anything. I wonder how he answers some of the questions…
1. THE BEGINNING OF THE DISPUTE
The break was over and everybody took their places. The head of the Culture Center Altshuler invited all to give a talk but nobody replied. He repeated his invitation and then in the first row, without any hurry at all, stood up Demyan Luckich. Altshuler gazed at him.
- Do you want to speak? You are welcome.
Demyan Luckich cleared his voice.
- You, good joe, have told us a lot, - he addressed the lecturer. You have even compared religion to a spinning wheel – like, it will also be given to museum… Can it really happen? Religion is not a subject you can take and throw away. It is the life of people and you, my dear, must refer to serious things seriously. And speaking about the fact that cavemen made up God from fear, I will say that it is also not true! Cavemen made up not God but gods because, as you’ve told yourself, they deified nature, worshipped the Sun, trees and different stones. These were pagan gods and we don’t believe in them. We believe in one God, Creator of the sky and earth. And we don’t need to make Him up because He has been and will always exist.
Demyan Luckich made a short pause.
- You say: “There is no God”. We have heard such things! There was one presenter from former priests, who disowned God. “I, - he said, - was lying to you earlier, saying that God exists but in reality He does not”. Of course, I couldn’t keep calm, stood up and told him: “If you have been lying us before, who will believe you now?” Well, and you, my dear, can you prove there’s no God?
- What to prove? I have already told you that the greatest scientific discoveries prove it. The XXth century is the century of science and technology, the era of space flights but not religion, it has already had its days, - repeated Matyukhin confidently.
- You are wrong, my dear! – Demyan Luckich objected. Science isn’t looking for God, it has another tasks. Science studies nature, its laws, explore them and you know, many famous scientists were believers. Lomonosov, for example, Pirogov, Pavlov, Filatov, Tziolkovskiy… Faith in God hasn’t prevented them from making discoveries, vice versa, it helps: God enlighten them, they see in nature God’s wisdom and glorify the Creator. Faith in God has always been and will exist. Why? Because human soul presses for the sky, misses it – it has been created like this by God. Even our writers admit it. Recently I’ve read a book of Vladimir Soloukhin, maybe, you know him, he has a very interesting comparison. There lived crucian carps in a pond. So they were living and suddenly one, he was like a carp cosmonaut, decided to jump out and look what kind of life there was above them. So, he jumped out, suffocated and rushed to the bottom. “Well, what’s there?”, - asked his fellows. “Nothing. There’s nothing there!” The same with the people: they flew to space, jumped one inch from the ground and cry: “We have been to the space but haven’t seen God! There’s no God!” Can you really see God from the rocket? He lives in an inaccessible Light… How can we learn about Him? Through His creatures. Just look around – you’ll see His marks everywhere…
The people were listening intensively.
- I have bees on my apiary, - Demyan Luckich continued. – As long as I’ve been watching them I can’t stop wondering: how wisely they work! How awesomely they build honeycombs – they create such correct and beautiful cells, we can’t make such for no reason. And how they collect and put honey! I’ve read in your books that even scientists are surprised by bees’ wisdom. And I want to ask you: where is this wisdom from? Who taught them?
- Nobody has taught them, - the lecturer replied quickly, - and this, as you call it, wisdom
is nothing else but an instinct or intuition. Instinct is common for people too and also for animals, insects – shortly speaking, for all human beings. It always works unconsciously but effectually, i.e. it achieves the goal. Have you understood now?
- Of course, I have but I’m asking you about a different thing. I’ve asked where is this wisdom or instinct from?
- Where from? – Matyukhin asked again. – From the habit. A habit is also a feature of a human and animals. For instance, we got used to walking on two feet, got used to writing and do it subconsciously, like mechanically. Animals have the same habits. They are not acquired immediately but are formed during hundred and even thousand years…
- Lo, - surprised Demyan Luckich, - it turned out that thousandsof years ago bees were cleverer than modern architects?
- How come? – Matyukhin rejected.
- Easily. If long ago they got used to doing such a smart job that scientists can’t manage with even nowadays! Scientists can’t gather honey from flowers for the world but bees deal with it quickly and easily. And what’s more, I’ve read that people add to honey 25% of water and some other anthelminthic element to save honey from fermentation. Who has taught them? We, people, can’t learn how to write, read and we are even taught to walk. And here we have bees, insects – have they learnt it on their own?
Matyukhin hasn’t replied immediately: it was clear that he was a little bit confused. Altshuler tried to help him.
Speak according to the report! – he said. – “How did the faith appear?” – this is the topic of the report. Stick to the point!
- He sticks to the point! – cried somebody from the audience.
- He talks sense.
- Don’t shirk. Answer!
- There is a special theory in science – Darwinism, - the lecturer started to speak again. – As you know, it is called after the English scholar Darwin. This man proved that everything in the world develops and masters gradually. There is the so-called evolution that happens in nature, i.e. gradual development. Millions of years ago animal and plant world was not the same as it is now. There is a struggle for existence in nature, in the process of which all that is weak and unspecialized die but the healthy, strong survive, getting stronger and developing. Science calls this process natural selection. Besides, there is also an artificial selection, done with the help of a human. So, cattle-farmers interbreed different animals, improve them, the same is done by the gardeners with plants via injections. New, acquired qualities are hereditary, they become stable with further generations and as a result, there happens the improvement of separate species.
- OK, -Demyan Luckich agreed, - even if there is this evolution, that we can admit, but it is only a consequence! And I’m asking you about the reason, the beginning of the beginning, i.e. about God from Who is both evolution and intuition and so on.
Matyukhin kept silence again and Altshuler used this pause.
- The question is settled, - he said.
But Demyan Luckich wasn’t going to climb down.
- How can you say that the question is settled, -he noticed meekly. – My dear, my questions have only started… I also want to say about a gardener – I have one acquaintance in the city. You must see his flowers – they are a real miracle! Once I asked him: “Can you plant a flower, let’s say, from nettle?” – “Of course, I can’t”, - he answered surprisingly. “And can you make a metal bench from a tree?” – “This is a real nonsense!” Why? Because there are the laws in nature and you can’t overstep them. Try to vaccinate something to a wizened tree – you can gather all the gardeners but nothing will come out of it because it has no life inside… And everything is not that simple with bees. It wasn’t a gardener or a cattle farmer and even not a beekeeper, who taught them to build cells and pick up honey. They were not either interbred or vaccinated. Where do they learn such wise things? I can’t get the answer to this question from you! So, honorable man, don’t hide this, be a teacher, tell us, who has taught bees this wisdom?
Matyukhin continued keeping silence. Demyan Luckich wanted to get a concrete answer: Has God taught a bee or was it nature?And in order to get an answer, he gave an example.
- Let’s take a plane or a bird, - he started, - they are alike in the process of flying and its building because a plane was made on the model of a bird. But it’s so interesting: you can kill a bird and take it to bones and a plane can be taken to parts. And what is it easier to recompose – a plane or a bird? It’s clear that you can recompose a plane and nobody can do the same with a bird because it’s alive. Now answer me: who has created a plane?
- Of course, it’s a man. A constructor.
- And what about a bird? Who has created it?
Matyukhin kept silence and Altshuler replied:
- Of course, it was nature!
4. ABOUT NATURE
- It means that both a bees’ teacher and a constructor of a bird is nature, have I understood you correctly? – Luckich asked.
- And who else? Only nature and nobody else, - Matyukhin said. – It is a great teacher and a constructor. It produces, makes a selection and it has created a bird. Everything is done by it.
- How interesting, -Demyan Luckich said surprisingly. – Then answer me: what is nature?
- Nature is everything around us, - Matyukhin started to explain. – All that we see and all that exists: the sky and the stars, seas and the Earth, as well as plants and wildlife, all these is nature.
- It seems as if, - Demyan Luckich started his thinking, - nature consists of animate creatures and inanimate substances. Is it so? Let’s look at animate things: a man, animals, birds – and now let’s mentally take them out of nature, then ask: “Will the earth, air, water and other objects be animate, if we have taken all alive things?” We’ll be answered: “No, it’s an inanimate substance.” Does it have sense?
- No, inanimate substance can’t think.
- From this, we can see that nature can be both animate and inanimate, thinking and non-thinking, - Demyan Luckich made a conclusion. – OK, we have separated animate nature from inanimate and now let’s think: who has created a bird? A man? No. Animals? No. A bird can’tbe created on its own. Or has the earth created it? Or was it water, air? Maybe, they sat together at the table and thought everythingover with joint efforts? Of course, not! But why? Because if even a rational man can’t create a living being what can be said about inanimate nature! Inanimate nature will never create an animate object, likean apple tree can’t bear a sea-hedgehog instead of an apple. Can a rationally organized world and a sensible man appear from dead substance without any sense? Or I can say in other words, can a dead woman having a child en ventre bear an alive baby? What do you think?
- Of course, she can’t!
- Then explain it to me, -Luckich asked, - who from nature, either animate or inanimate, has created a bird and taught bees such great wisdom? It’s well-known that one hundred fools can’t make even one man clever but one clever person can enlighten and teach one hundred. So, what creature has made a bird and taught bees some good sense?
- But I have already explained that bees do everything not by sense but by instinct, - Matyukhin replied with some annoyance. – They don’t have consciousness and will.
- This is even more marvelous, - Demyan Luckich noticed. – It’s easy to teach a human having sense and tongue but try to teach a cow or a horse to write! It will be a miracle! And even a more miracle is to teach tiny bees do great things that can’t be done by the most talented scientists. Tell me, finally, who has created this miracle? Who?!
Silence. It was quiet in the hall. The dispute thrilled all.
- In ancient times, as I read, - Demyan Luckich continued, - many pagan peoples, like Egyptians, Phoeniciansand Greeks saw the origin of the world in the following way: earlier there was an everlasting chaos, a primeval ocean and from this dark senseless accumulation of elements appeared our sensibly organized world. Modern atheists revived this ancient pagan doctrine. They also announced that the universe has been created from meaningless senseless substance and they use science in their interests, accepting facts that suit them and throwing away those that don’t…
- I prohibit the discussion of irrelevant questions!
- We must think seriously and decide, - paying no attention to this remark, Demyan Luckich continued his speech, - check if this doctrine is right.And as an example, let’s take a book “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. Let’s read it, cut into separate pieces and throw on the ground. Will we have a book “War and Peace” out of it? No, we’ll have a chaos. And what do we need to make a book from this chaos?
- It’s clear, - Altshulersmirked. – We need a head.
- Er, my dear, a monkey also has a head but it won’t make you a book even of read words. What do we need in this head? Sense. Whose? Of the writer Tolstoy. Am I right?
Matyukhin nodded unwillingly.
- And what do we need to make our sensible wonderful world out of primeval ocean and chaos? – Luckich didn’t back off.
- We need sense, - Matyukhin replied.
- Whose? Human?
- Then whose?
- Probably, supreme intelligence.
- Yes! Andthis supreme intelligence is God.
Demyan Luckich pronounced the last words joyfully and loudly. There was a glorious appeal of the Psalmist: “Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners will be converted unto Thee”.
Matyukhin, in his turn, was feeling awful, like being back against the wall: “How to answer this old man? It’s ridiculous to say that the sun or stars, plants or animals have created birds and taught bees. All of them have no sense. And… is it possible that the whole sensible world has been created on its own from dead unorganized substance?... How has the world appeared? This is the question! Occasionally? From the set of consequences? But then there would be disorder and chaos all around… Where is such harmony in the nature, accuracy in everything, such a deep sense from?”
Matyukhin broke out in a cold sweat and he was swilling water. Altshuler again stepped into the breach: recessed a meeting.
5. A BREAK
You must be either crazy or a bigot to believe that this sensible wonderful world has appeared from senseless inanimate substance!
A real pundit of Russian soul F.M. Dostoevsky wrote about the faith of atheists in the following way: “It’s easier for a Russian person to become an atheist than to other nations living in the whole world! And Russians don’t just become atheists, they believe in a new faith, without noticing that they have believed in zero…”
People were buzzing, arguing loudly. Many of them were thrilled by the question about faith in God. Demyan Luckich was surrounded by a dense crowd, people were thanking him, bombarded him with questions. Because many of them, especially young people had atheism that was half-baked and incrustatedlike dust form clothes that was easy to blow off. Till now they haven’t thought seriously whether God exists or not. They just repeated what was said everywhere. And it was said and written that there’s no God, that He was made up by illiterate dark people and naive youth took it for granted. But now Demyan Luckich has rattled them up, made them think. Some started to say that Matyukhin has failed in spite of his scholarism and that an ordinary village man proved him, as simple as ABC that God exists.
Meanwhile, Matyukhin and Altshuler were sitting in a room behind the stage. Matyukhin was looking through his notes absentmindedly.
- I didn’t expect that this old man would take a word! – Altshuler said sulkily. – I thought there would be someone from intelligentsia who would ask a few questions and that would be all. You must understand that no dispute has been planned, we have announced it just for advertisement, to gather more people…
- Anyway, what can I say him? – Matyukhin asked anxiously.
Altshuler shrugged his shoulders.
- Just assure him that nature has created bees, equivocate or do something of the kind. You must know what to do, you’ve been taught such kind of things.
- He is very savvy and besides, he is persistent and follows his own way. I tell him about instinct and he continues: who has given it? I tell him about evolution, and he asks again: who has created it? I tell him about nature but he continues: who exactly from nature has taught bees? So I must be on the dodge. He hold his own and that’s all. I can’t equivocate him.
… The time of the break finished long ago. Matyukhin was sitting, falling to thinking. People were buzzing impatiently.
- Let’s go, we are quite late, - Altshuler said.
They entered the hall. As soon as the lecturer has appeared on the tribune, it got quiet.
6. AN INCONCEIVABLE POWER
- Demyan Luckich in his speech, - he started, - told us about the fact that bees have special qualities which they have got as if from God. I have already answered that it’s not God but nature that has given them wisdom. This answer hasn’t’ satisfied my interlocutor just because he, apparently, has a wrong understanding about the essence of nature. Science admits that nature consists of not only visual substance but also of many other subjects being in the substance of powers. Look at the sky: there is the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars. What are they held on? It turns out to be that in nature there’sa force of gravity. Scientists discovered that every planet has such a force and pulls other planets. We can’t either see or touch this force but it does exist.
- In the universe there are many mysterious inconceivable invisible forces. They show themselves in the so-called dead substance but there are more mysteries and riddles in animated nature. Let’s take this very instinct, for instance. Some mysterious inconceivable power is in this instinct. We can’t see it or experience till the end. But it exists without any doubt. So, this very power is the teacher that you are asking about, - he addressed Demyan Luckich- and finished his speech.
7. THE BOOK OF NATURE… WHO IS ITS AUTHOR?
This explanation struck Demyan Luckich’s fancy. It seemed as if he was asking all his questions in order to sneak the speaker up on this answer.
- God save you for such explanations! It’s absolutely clear that you are a rational and sensible man, - he praised Matyukhin. – You know, once two fellows came to me and started arguing. They harped on one string: there’s nothing in the world except for nature, no mysteries or inconceivable powers. They say there’s only one substance and nothing else. They even drove me beyond endurance and I stopped this talk. A fool can’t be convinced in anything, it’s just a waste of time… And you are another kettle of fish, it’s a pleasure to talk to you, my honorable. Just explain it to me about the bees’ teacher: what inconceivable and mysterious power has taught them?
- It’s unknown, - Matyukhin replied unwillingly. – I have just said that science doesn’t know this force, it is still a riddle.
- But anyway, is this power rational? Sighted or blind? Sensible? What do you, honorable, think?
- Nothing is known in this sphere, - Matyukhin repeated discontentedly. – Nothing can be said about it decisively!
But Demyan Luckich hasn’t stopped. The question aboutthe mysterious power that has taught bees their wisdom was, as it seemed, really easy and understandable even for a not very sensible public. And only Matyukhin didn’t want to admit this. Demyan Luckich started his speech again:
- You don’t understand it? Well, let’s take another example. Here is a book. First, you must make it up, is it so, my dear? And when a man has written it, we can say that it is a fruit of his mind. We open this book, read, get acquainted with its author, learn whether he is talented or not, - we can learn everything about the writer from the book.Makariy the Great said, and scientists prove it, that nature is also a Book, an opened Book, its covers are the sky and the earth. Read it attentively, everything is written in it.That’s why the scientists read it and learn how much wisdom there is in this Book. And the main thing is that they don’t set the laws in nature but only discover! But if we admit the laws in nature, then we must admit their Legislator too, am I right?Human mind can’t contain all that is hidden in nature but it can see, can make sure that everything written here is beautiful, wise, sensible, as you say, reasonable and what does it mean? It means that everything is created by Sense! Which one? Our final sense isn’t able to attain endless Sense that God has.
This old village man was intellectualizing about such complicated items so accurately and convincingly! It’s really so, if you take two books: the Book of nature and the one, written by a man and compare them – what conclusion can you come to? The book written by a man is the fruit of his mind and the Book of nature is the fruit of creative Sense – God. Human book has weight, volume, i.e. material shape but what is initial in it: material shape of the idea put into it? Any rational person will say: to write a book you, firstly, need to make it up in your consciousness. It means, that an idea is initial.
Lets’ take the Book of nature. What is initial: this visible substance or an idea put into it? Of course, it’s an idea. Substance is not initial but it’s consciousness, i.e. God is initial like eternity, substance is derivative, it is only God’s idea realized in visual shapes.
When we read a book, we don’t see its author but we know he exists. The same is with the Creator of the world, God, who we don’t see. But as a book can’t appear without a writer, so the universe couldn’t have been created without God –Creator. He is hidden from us but we see what He has created.
God’s Book of nature impresses us with its immense grandeur, absolute harmony, order and mysterious inconceivability. Our limited mind isn’t able either to attain or seize it. Where has this countless number of stars, suns, comets, planets, constellations, star nebulosity, and always shining luminaries come from? Who has given them motion? It’s evident that substance can’t give itself motion, much less, rational and ordered. Whose will and power led the worlds into movement? Honest scientists must confess that science cannot explain it but it is only based on guesses and suggestions.
Matyukhin was keeping silent and Demyan Luckich was trying to take him out of nebulosities of science into God’s light.
- There are people who explain everything in a very strange way. You ask them: “Who has created the universe – space, planets, stars, the earth?” And they answer using one word: “Nature”. “Well, and who has created nature?” – “It hasn’t created itself”. “But if it hasn’t created itself, it means, that there was time when it didn’t exist? And if it’s so, then how could it have been created on its own? If it has existed, then why should it have been created?” No, my dear, nature is God’s creation and through it we learn the Creator. Apostle Paul says in “Epistle to the Romans”, in the 1st chapter that invisible for your fleshy eyes Creator of the universe gets visible through looking at His creations, that’s why God offers people: “Lift up your eyes on high, and see! Whohathcreatedthesethings” (Isaiah 40:26).
Demyan Luckich kept pause, looked at the audience. Everyone had serious wistful faces. Matyukhin was staying on the tribune, tilting his head.
- For your better understanding I’ll give one more comparison, - Demyan Luckich started his speech again. – Imagine you and me have come to the city. Andwe have seen a high building. Come to it, see how grand it is, get surprised by its beauty. And we’ll praise his architect for sure: he is a talented man, as we can see, ha has made such a building. And if anyone tells us that this building has appeared on its own without any architect, like, somewhere from the mountains the stoneswere flying, then they put themselves one onto another and the roof has been blown by wind – won’t we laugh at this man and decide that he is crazy? But if a building must have an architect for sure, do you really think that this huge universe where we live with all conveniences that we have, like water, sun, air baths and fragrant air and different earth fruits could appear without an Architect?
No, my dear, here you must believe there is the Creator of the world, that the Architect of the universe is God and we believe in it, believe sacredly. And you don’t believe, you are unbelievers and harp: nature has created everything. Is it so? Well, why are you keeping silent?
8. THE WAY TO GOD
Matyukhin was staying on the tribune sad and unhappy, as if a picked cockerel. Where has his former confidence come? As if it was blown away by the wind… Now he, like an obedient horse on a string, was following Demyan Luckich’s steps and he was leading him further and further from miscreance, closer and closer to God.
- At all the times, - Demyan Luckich said, - a man has been interested where he is from. Why does he live? Where does he go away? It means that everyone wants to lift the veil of unknown mysterious world, learn who has created everything surrounding us in such a wise way… The same is with a bee, a small creature, it tells us that it was created and taught not by a blind person, not a silly one, but by Sage and Teacher. Just think what wise things a bee knows! It finds a material, which protects honey from spoiling. How does it know this? You say bees do everything subconsciously, in an enervate way. It means not with its will, with its consciousness. It means, Someone thinks for them. Someone rules them. And thinks so wisely! You must not only find this material somewhere in the forest or in the field – you must also know its qualities. Doctors study all their life how to treat diseases but couldn’t find such a remedy, a bee hasn’t studied anywhere but finds it easily and quickly. Who has shown it the way? That Who knows the qualities of all things! Who can make a small insect, an insignificant bogey, make so wisely that all scientists are stuck by its deals. That Who all nature obeys, Who has given it laws, Who rules all the world.
- Who is it? – Matyukhin responded distractedly.
- Almighty God, - Demyan Luckich pronounced it solemnly, with devotional piety. He “all wisdom hath created”.
- Everyone has a right to think in his way, - Matyukhin shrugged his shoulders.
- Then tell me, my dear, how do you think: who has taught bees such wise things?
- Enough, the question is settled! Do you want to say anything on the report?- Altshuler interfered again, addressing Demyan Luckich but he didn’t reply this time too and continued trying to find out the answer from Matyukhin.
- You, my dear, agree that by looking a book we learn that it has been written by a writer, by a car that it has been invented by some engineer. And a bee, we can see it, is much wiser than books and any cars. It means it has been created by Creature higher than all writers and engineers from all over the world. Think, isn’t it so?
Matyukhin hasn’t replied. He was thinking about something and was doing it so gravely and deeply that he had unlikely noticed that Demyan Luckich had addressed him. He even left the tribune and sat near, by a table.
- You must keep to the point! – Altshuler couldn’t keep calm. We have explained it to you that faith in God appeared because of human ignorance. We must speak about it and you mustn’t muzzle us.
People started to make noise.
- Answer! – a young guy cried.
- Why are you keeping silent? Who has created bees? – an old woman sitting in the first row required a reply.
- Just one bee, - Demyan Luckich started his speech, - and the noise stopped, - speaks about wise God’s power so clearly and understandably! What can you say? These were not people who made up God. Faith in Him has been from the beginning of the world and will always be in a human soul. It is as if everything can be found in the seed of a tree: a trunk, a root, branches, fruits, the same is in the human soul: there from the very beginning have been put by God both feelings and faith. But a tree can grow curve, ill, empty, depending on a climate and care. The same is with a human: he can grow ugly with sick soul if he doesn’t admit God and lives in wickedness and this depends on his upbringing and mainly on his will because God has given a human sense and free will and he can choose what he wants: either good or bad.
Why are there people on the earth who don’t recognize God, the Creator of the world? There are many reasons and, evidently, it happens because not all people have an opportunity to learn the truth about religion. Some brushes off important issues because of spiritual laziness, instead of thinking over these serious questions. Sometimes grievance against believers stops their turn to God: you know, many can’t divide between personal insults, calculations and truth. There are also some who were told in their childhood that all believers are dark people and after growing up, they don’t want to check whether it’s true or not. But the feeling of awe of something higher is put into any human. That’s why unbelievers usually put something or somebody instead of God: science, art, the future of a mankind or a human and they worship it as an idol. However, deep in their soul they are missing God. We must comfort such people…
Matyukhin was thinking. He remembered his childhood in a village, Easter, bell ringing. His grandmother took him to the church and he liked to stay near her and look at the burning candles, old women, who were making signs of a cross and bowing; he also enjoyed the smell of frankincense and dark serious holy faces on the icons and a priest in a shiningchasuble, who was stroking his head when he came to the cross…And then he grew up, left to the city, became a student. Everything seemed to be forgotten but no – something stayed in his soul and now has cropped up and stricken a chord…
As a student, he had to read a lot about scientists who firmly believed that God has created the worldand acknowledged the Creator. He remembered how an English scientist Fleming, who discovered penicillin, being at the official meeting, where many panegyrics spoke about him, declared: “You say that I have invented something, it’s wrong. In fact, I have just seen. I have seen what has been created by God for a human and what has been opened to me. Honor and glory are for God and not me”.
And recently he has seen a book printed in the West: “We believe”. 53 modern scientists, a lot of them are Nobel Prize laureates, speak about their faith in God and say that faith has helped them make their greatest scientific discoveries. He didn’t pay attention to it, he firmly believed in Darwinism. But if to think it over…
“Really, - Matyukhin was thinking at the moment, - how can we explain bees’ abilities and work with Darwinism? There is a specialization of labor between them: some of bees build cells, others pick up nectar, the third defend beehives, the fourth take the rubbish away, mother bee only puts eggs, male bees just eat honey. How do they get these abilities?
It’s clear and understandable that a wolf cub comes from a wolf with all wolf’s features and a lamb comes from a sheep with its character. It’s natural that from a birch seed there comes a birch and from a pea seed we have a pea. A wolf and a sheep give their descendants all that they have in their nature, the same is with the plants that give only those sprouts and fruit common to their nature or vaccinated to them artificially. But if a wolf cub was born and started to fly as an eagle and sing as a nightingale, that would be the greatest wonder. Or if from a birch seed there came roses or chrysanthemums… And would these wonders fully destroy the theory of Darwinism? And the bees show these very magic abilities that can’t be explained by any natural theories and they get these abilities in such a mysterious way that you can’t but see there some supernatural power.
Yes, this power exists and it, undoubtedly, is so sensible that even a sense itself can’t get it. And we have millions of such wonders in our universe. In comparison to them, the bees with all their wisdom are just a drop of a great ocean…”
Matyukhin heard the argument between Demyan Luckich and the headmaster who was a Biology teacher.
- Everything is sensible in nature, isn’t it? – Demyan Luckich asked the headmaster. You know there are people who have some doubt, as if something hasn’t been foreseen and they even accuse God in it. But it’s not God who is guilty but our unreason. – Demyan Luckich has remembered something and smiled: - One of such men once came into a garden and saw that pumpkins were growing there. He was looking at them and looking, thinking: “How stupidly everything is organized! A pumpkin is so big but its stem is so thin. Nonsense and only…” Then he went to the forest, stopped near an oak, looked at it and started criticizing again: “Just look, the tree is huge, the trunk is thick but its acorns are tiny. What a rubbish…” So he laid under the tree and fell asleep. He was sleeping and sleeping and suddenly an acorn fell from a branch and hurt his nose, and almost made it bleeding. He sprung to his feet: “Thanks God it wasn’t a pumpkin, otherwise it would kill me!”
People started laughing.
- It means everything is organized wisely… And now can you explain it to me, - Demyan Luckich asked the headmaster, - who has taught birds to fly away from our cold countries to the warm ones, they fly thousand of miles through the fields, forests, mountains and seas without losing the way and in summer they get back and find their nests. Who shows them the way?
- They do it thanks to their habit, - the headmaster replied. – You have already been told by Ivan Petrovich that habits are inherited. During thousands ofyears birds got used to flying by a known route and this habit became an instinct that is run in the family.
- Well, my dear, you are saying strange things, - Demyan Luckichobjected . – I’ve been walking for more than sixty years and hope to be able to do it till my death, my father walked too and my great-grandfather till Adam himself, who the humanity comes from; however, if I had a son or a daughter, I would need a year or even two to teach them this. So the habit hasn’t been given to them by birth, you have to teach every child to walk and a chicken, as soon as it pips, starts running and a duckling even starts swimming and nobody teachesit. Being sensitive, we can’t give our habit to our children, so that they could start running right after birth like chickens… Our ancestors had been walking for so many years! Jared, for example, lived up to 962 years old and Methushaeltill 969. If hens could live for so many years, their eggs would be able to run!
People started laughing again. Even the headmaster smiled.
- Why are you laughing, my dear? – Demyan Luckich reproached him. – It must happen like this by your doctrine… Explain it to me: why can’t a person be born with a ready habit to walk, in spite of the fact that his ancestors have been walking for many centuries and the birds just get back once from the warm countries into the cold ones and their children know the way and fly in front of them without any instructions, without any training and manage to return?
- It’s their nature, - that was the only thing that the headmaster could say.
- And who has given them such mental nature that even a human hasn’t got? You are a scientist, yes, p’rabs will get lost in an unknown village without a guide. Or if we put you into a plane, where can you go without a map? And a bird hasn’t reached the age of 1 year, it’s head is the size of a thimble and it flies and knows where to go; flies thousands of miles through the forests and desserts, through the mountains and seas and doesn’t lose the way and what’s more amazing, it finds its nest. Who has taught it? Tell me this, for God’s sake! You are a teacher and you must know this.
Demyan Luckich kept silent for a while. – I remember once we went with my fellow to the forest and heard the birds got startled. What’s the matter? It turned out that there was a big snake slithering along the tree. And at the top, in the nest, there were nestlings. How can the birds protect their children? And then one bird flew away, returned, holding some scape in its nib. It threw it into the nest and the snake, having reached the nest, just wanted to put its head inside but suddenly whopped, opened its chop, hissed and started to shake. And disappeared immediately. Then we learnt the bird brought a poisonous plant. And now tell me what sciences did this bird study? What university did it finish? How did it know this plant is poisonous for a snake – a real death?
- I have already told you that nature has given it such abilities, - the headmaster replied anxiously.
- Nature and nature, - Demyan Luckich shook his head reproachfully. – Your only answers are nature and habit. If this nature is such a clever substance, even eternal, as your scientists say, then why do you call it nature? Call it God then! Yes, for you it is your God and my Trophimushkais brought up in a different way, - he nodded in the direction of his grandson, sitting not far from him. When he was little, I invited him to the garden and said: “Here is, Trophimushka, your seed-bed and you can plant here whatever you want. And I, myself, put in it fast-growing grass to make with its help his name. And the boy runs to me and says: “Granpa, let’s go, I’ll show you something!” and he takes me to the garden. “Look, at this, the seed-bed grew my name! Who has done it?” - he was pulling me. “Maybe, it’s nature”. - “How come that it’s nature?” “Look, the seed-bed itself wrote it.” – “Nooo, it’s not true! How can the seed-bed know my name? It must be you who did it.” – “Yes, it was me, - I had to admit it. – And remember: nothing can appear in this world on its own. I have cropped this because I had seeds. And who has sawn the earth with herbs and flowers? Who has put forests and boskets, who has filled the rivers and erased mountains?” – “Why are you asking who? It’s God!” – “You see, - Demyan Luckich addressed the headmaster, - even a child understands this and according to your doctrine, nature is the wisest of all wise creatures and has learnt birds and bees such a wisdom that even scientists don’t have!
The headmaster gave up this discussion (it looked like: what can I talk to you about?) and took his place. Altshuler decided to interfere again,
- Why are you fidgeting with your bees and birds all the evening? – he cried angrily. – Stick to the point, otherwise I would stop the dispute!
Everyone was indignantat this statement. People started making noise, got tormenting as the sea during bad weather.
- Answer! Answer the question! – there were persistent cries.
Matyukhin, who was brought out of his daze by these cries, went to the tribune.
- I must say, - he claimed, - that nature as we know it,unlike human beings has no sense. We have consciousness: we understand our actions, think over, discourse, make and change our decisions. And this is not typical for nature. It doesn’t discourse or think something over, it doesn’t understand what it’s doing. Nature is senseless. Nature is blind.
- God save you for your answer, - Demyan Luckich replied. – Does it mean that a man is cleverer than nature?
- Of course! I have just said this. Not just cleverer but he masters it, makes it work on him. A man is a lord of nature!
- A lord? – Demyan Luckich smiled. But one wise man said: a man is like a bug. When it’s a warm day, the sun is playing, he flies, being proud of himself and buzzes: “All my forests, all my meadows!” And when the sun hides, it gets colder and the wind starts blowing – this bug forgets his daring, gets closer to a leaf, sits and shivers.
- It’s true, - someone from the audience sighed. This is what we are.
- And if a man is a lord, - Demyan Luckich addressed Matyukhin, then tell me the following: can he, being so clever and wise, make a car that can speak as we do?
- Not only can but has already made, - Matyukhin smiled. Don’t you know that speaking, singing and even walking machines have been existing for a long time – tape recorders, robots and so on?
- I’m not asking about such machines. They don’t speak themselves, it’s a man who speaks or sings through them. But I’m asking can a man can create a mental machine that can think itself? Come here, Trophimushka, - Luckich called his grandson. The boy came. – Do you see this boy? – Demyan Luckich stroked the boy’s head. – His father is deaf-mute but a son is frisky, talkative and smart. His father’s deafness didn’t come to him. Explain it to us, Trophimushka, how do you see God?
Trofimushka answered loudly and seriously:
- God is so great that the sky and the earth can’t hold Him, but at the same time He is so small (he showed at his chest) that He can be hold in my heart.
Everyonegasped. Such a clever boy this Trophimushka is! At school Trophimushka also defended faith in God. A teacher told children that faith had been created by illiterate dark people who could not explain different natural phenomena. Once she gave a command to repeat all together: “There’s no God! There’s no God!”
Then she took a small icon, threw it into the corner: “And now children, we’ll spit at it and say: “There’s no God!” All as parrots did it, only Trophimushka was sitting seriously and keeping silent. The teacher came to him: “Stand up! Doesn’t it refer to you? Why don’t you spit and say there’s no God?” The boy stood up, thought for a while and replied: “If you, Maria Ivanovna, says there’s no God, who should we spit at? And if He exists then we should refer to Him seriously with piety. We must love Him.”
- Do you believe in God? – Altshuler asked the boy.
- I believe, - Trophimushka replied bravely.
- How come? Haven’t you been told at school that there’s no God? Cosmonauts have been to space but haven’t seen God!
Trophimushka thought for a while and then answered seriously:
- They were flying low. – And added: “We mustn’t look at God with these eyes. He can be seen by people who have pure hearts…
- Good ofyou, Trophimushka, such a clever head, he is like his grandfather! – voices were raised. – The time will come and he will show himself!
- Better tell us, - Demyan Luckich addressed Matyukhin, - can a man make such a sensible machine like this boy? As you have explained, a man is wiser than nature.
Matyukhin hasn’t realized at once from which side there’ll be an attack.
- Science is developing successfully and makes a man more powerful with every discovery, - he answered. – Things that looked impossible not long ago have become an ordinary case now. If our ancestors rose, then our century would look magical for them: we speak and see each other for thousands of miles, swim under the water, fly to the Moon and farther, have different machines that are complex and dodgy. There will come time when science will create animate objects that will think and speak on their own.
- It’ll be nice: you go to the factory and order children, as many as you want! Will they produce bees? – Demyan Luckich asked ironically.
But Matyukhin answered in a stubborn way:
- It’s possible that there will be artificial bees.
- Why aren’t they producing them right now?
- A man hasn’t come to such perfection.
- And stupid nature has come, hasn’t it? – Demyan Luckich put a fatal question. Who is cleverer from two of them?
Finally, Matyukhin understood that he was in a blind alley. He was thinking over how to reply. It turned out that substance, nature is cleverer than a man. It has been producing things that a man has not reached by now, in spite of a grand development of scientific knowledge. A man cannot create even a pipsqueak, even a simple blade and nature makes people!
- You see where bees and birds lead to, - somebody noticed.
- It is clear, he torches them for a reason, - another person supported the discussion. Good of Luckich, such a headful man. – He leads them to the point. You cannot escape from him.
Matyukhin just had to agree that there is UniversalAll-pervading Sense, i.e. God over nature or he must admit nature itself bearing birds and bees and even a man as God. But Matyukhin has just said that nature is senseless and blind, it’s much lower than a sensible man. How can he change this mind now?
Being confused and deterred in his atheistic beliefs, Matyukhin gave a typical beslobberedanswer which he couldn’t believe himself.
- I have explained, - he said, - everything in nature is developing, mastering and getting used to the existing conditions. There is a constant fight for existence, as a result of which animals get new useful organs. The development of substance has taken place gradually – this process can be compared with the development of an embryo en ventre de sa mere. This is evolution.
- And what if there’s no embryo en ventre de sa mere, - Demyan Luckich interrupted him, - will there be your evolution?
- Of course, not.
- It means that everything should start from something, someone had to create the first cell! Even if we discourse in difficult terms, we must admit God, without Him no living being could appear. And a man too. You repeat all the time: labor, labor has created a man. And in fact we see the following: how many years a donkey has been working but hasn’t become smarter but it is still that stubborn!
9. PRACTICABILITY IN NATURE
The audience laughed approvingly. Altshuler got red, stood up, it was clear he wanted to say something but changed his mind.
- Just look how wisely everything is organized! – Demyan Luckich exclaimed. – I have read that a human cell en ventre de sa mere is the same as a point that was put on the paper with a sharp pencil. And the laws of nature are in this tiny cell. Which ones? The laws of life, nutrition, reproduction, heredity, character, death and so on. Besides this, there’s a head, small eyes, little hands and feet in this cell, everything that is necessary for a future person. But tell me, my dear, does a man need eyes, hands, feet when he is still en ventre de sa mere?
- Maybe, he needs them, - Matyukhin replied indistinctly in a low voice.
- Why does he need them there? Does he watch something inside or walk there?
- Well, let’s say he doesn’t need them, - Matyukhin corrected himself.
- And if he doesn’t need them, why are they there? What did they get used to there? Which power en ventre de sa mere has created them?
- He needs all these when he is born.
- It means, - Demyan Luckich announced triumphantly, - that the Architect and Master, Who has created this cell, has foreseen it ahead of time and He has known when a baby is born, he will need all these parts. Maybe, nature has foreseen this and has organized everything? But how can it know that a human needs eyes to look, ears to hear, legs to walk, lungs to breathe? How could it have created all these if it doesn’t have these parts itself and if it’s senseless?
Matyukhin hung his head silently and Demyan Luckich continued his speech.
- Let’s take eyes as an example. They are amazing but are made en ventre de sa mere without any fight or habit, without adaptation. It is a real miracle! It is the same as learning how to swim without water, how to breathe without air and think without brain. It is a real miracle!
People in the audience started to express their approval:
- Such a wise man!
- Well-done, Luckich! Attaboy! He has mauled these scientists!
But Demyan Luckich continued to quiz Matyukhin:
- Tell me, are the eyes logically organized?
It seemed to Matyukhin that Demyan Luckich was playing jokes over him.
- Well, of course, they are, - he replied edgy. – Who doesn’t know this! The rational organization of eyes strikes all the researchers.
- But why are they organized in this way?
This question seemed as a mockery for Matyukhin. He even could not answer in his usual polite way.
- Why are you asking me such stupid things? Keep to the point! – And he thought that maybe, this old man was preparing traps. But he replied, anyway: - Everyone knows, even a child, that the eyes are created for watching.
- - You are right, - Demyan Luckich agreed approvingly as if he was a teacher complimenting a pupil for his exact answer. – Then tell us, has That, Who created eyes, known what the eyes are for?
- Probably, he knew… But… - Matyukhin has checked himself but it was late.
- It is true! – Demyan Luckich approved him again. – But is this creator of eyes a sensible being or a stupid one, the one who can see or not, conscious or nonconscious?
10. A RATIONAL BEING –THE CREATOR
Yes, Matyukhin was into the nets, which were difficult to get out of. After having said, even without his wish, that a Being which has created eyes knew what He is making them for, he couldn’t call this Being nonconscious nature. That, who knows what he’s doing and why he’s making this or that action, of course, has sense. It means that Being is sensible and conscious. More than that, he cannot say this Being is blind if he has an eye that can see. Demyan Luckich’s question was so evident and so clearly explained that he could only answer it with a showdown: a Being that has created eyes is Sensible, Conscious, All-Seeing. And Matyukhin just had to give this very answer:
- Yes, - he said, - the eyes are created by a sensible and conscious power.
- But can a man create an eye? Alive and able to see?
- Science has not reached this level yet, - Matyukhin replied, - but one day, for sure, it will make them. Because the eyes are like a photographic machine imprinting the world around us.
- And who is more sensible: science that can’t even create an eye and isn’t quite good at dealing with the ready things or That Being, Which has created this amazing eye? That, Who sees everything, gives everyone sight. That,Who hears everything, gives everyone hearing…
11. MATYUKHIN’S DOUBTS
Matyukhin clearly understood where Demyan Luckich’s clever and clear questions were leading. They were leading to the confession of God… Matyukhin felt there was a kind of a break in his soul. He started to think, then he felt confused and had doubts; then an idea of escaping from this meeting came to his head or he tried to find an answer that could reflect direct and instant questions of the communicator. Why not to say directly that God exists but He is inconceivable for us? Why to go against an evident truth? There even appeared a thought in his head: “Atheism is such a nonsense! It is against human’s nature, it is unnatural and terrifying. It is a kind of a dead dessert, a black abyss without any aim or foundation. It’s just horrifying killing emptiness and nothing else.” And he came into shudder from this insane emptiness.
He replied the last question of Demyan Luckich with a raylet of faith:
- Yes, this Being is rational.
- Who is it?
- Mysterious, extramental and … - he was silent for a while and then said decisively: - and supernatural power.
In fact, it was a confession of God.
12. ALTSHULER’S ESCAPE
The head of the Culture Centre was following the discussion very attentively and having understood what it was leading to, he decided it was time to put an end to it.
- I announce the dispute closed! – he announced.
But however, people were not thinking about leaving the hall. Matyukhin also did not move. Altshuler casted an angry look at him but he even didn’t turn.
- I claim to leave the place immediately! – Altshuler insisted. – Otherwise, we’ll have to use coercive measures.
Having shot out this threat, Altshuler got off the table, left the stage and having put on his fur coat and hat on foot, he left the hall in a hurry. People were following him with their eyes. And thenthey have instantly forgotten about him!
There are people in the world like Altshuler – nothing can convince them. Even if Christ came to them, showed His injuries and told them: “I have suffered for you, I shed my blood for saving you from eternal death”, even then they would not trust, would go to the doctor and tell him: “I have hallucinations.”
“Scientist”-atheist, denying God’s existence, is like an absolutely deaf man, deaf from his birth, who does his best to prove that music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart is nothing but dead black points and twirls put on the lined paper by an unknown person and nobody-knows-what-for. It is unlikely that a deaf person can conceive in it a man who has normal hearing and enjoys this wonderful music. Yes, we should just have pity for such “deaf” people…
People were waiting anxiously for the continuation and the end of the dispute.
Matyukhin has not left the tribune. He got seriously interested in the discussion himself. Till this very moment he just had to repeat atheistic “truths” from one lecture to another… Let’s be honest, he spoke from hearsay!
Ivan Petrovich was a man who sincerely believed in science that could explain and expound everything sooner or later. But during last years he had to listen and read about the so-called crises in science: the facts that were considered as true ten years ago, have been denied nowadays. It means we cannot fully trust it! This old man was right saying that scientists do not put the laws of nature, they just discover them…
Of course, it was much easier for Demyan Luckich, he had fully trusted God and was living by His will…
13. AN AMAZING COMPLEXITY OF AN ORGANISM
Demyan Luckich was looking at Matyukhin with a tender and understanding smile: “Look, he hasn’t left with this Altshuler! He must be a clever and kind man but his mind was just obnubilated. And his soul was looking for truth, feeling it, trying to get to the light… God, bring him to senses!”
- Tell us, my dear, - he asked Matyukhin, - how is a living organism organized?
Matyukhin cleared his voice, thought for a while and started:
- Science has discovered that every living being, either a plant, an animal or an insect consists of numerous cells. Just as a brick house can be taken to bricks so the scientists take every body to pieces. This work is called analysis. Let’s take a suit as an example. It can be taken to pieces or undone into parts, then you have separated flaps, sleeves, back, collar, pockets. They, in their turn, can be taken to threads and every thread can be taken to small fibers and then we can learn what material is used and how the suit is sewn. Something of the kind can be done with any subject or thing. Scientists used this way to explore nature and they came to a conclusion that plants and animals are formed of cells, they are so tiny that cannot be seen with an eye. They are looked at with a special equipment – a microscope. With its help, we can see embryo cells from which constantly grow living organisms. You have correctly noticed that every cell, as in a plan, has everything: the shape of an organism, its qualities and features.
People were following Matyukhin’sarguments attentively.
- Do you know how negligibly small an embryo cell of a human is? But it has already a man with all organs, feelings, abilities, talents, inhabited features of his tribe and race! An embryo cell consists of many connections – molecules and all of them take an exact place, all are important for the building of the human organism.
- And what material do cells consist of?
- Different: living cells of an organism include carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, ferrum, sugar, amylumand other elements. A cell is an extremely complicated union.
- Oh dear, how amazing everything is! – Demyan Luckich exclaimed. – It means that every cell is like a wonderful house built from different materials!
- Absolutely right! There’s only one difference: a cell is more complex, more complicated than the most magnificent palace.
- And who builds these wonderful little cells? Who is their Architect? Who puts life into them? – Demyan Luckich tried to elicit.
14. WHO HAS CREATED A CELL?
- Scientists work hard and successfully in this sphere, - Matyukhin replied with a typical phrase. – Biology has stepped far forward: they have discovered the building of an embryo cell, its components and the ways of division. It is a very complicated process.
- But you are talking about a ready cell, - Demyan Luckich interrupted him, - and I am asking you if a man can create a cell from scratch or not?
- The attempts in this sphere have not led to anything yet. One scientist has even said that to create a cell is as difficult as to create a living horse. However, the scientists managed to get protein artificially, it’s the main organic substance. It is a very important discovery.
- But I think this protein stands far away from a living cell, as the ground to the sky, - Demyan Luckich interrupted Matyukhin again. – I have read there is a laboratory where scientists work in order to create a cell out of chemical elements. If they manage to do it, it’ll be an event of a global scale. But you see – they can’t! It is easy to make porridge when you have cereal and water at hand but try to cook it when you have nothing. And here are all the products but they fail in making porridge.
- Anyway, science has reached a lot, - Matyukhin did not want to capitulate. – Now, for example, the whole institutes are working over the creation of artificialproducts. Maybe, you have heard about artificial black caviar?
- Yes, we’ve heard, - Demyan Luckich dismissed. – We can spread this caviar on breadsomehow or other but can we get a fish out of it?
- Of course, not, - Matyukhin smiled.
- You can make also artificial grain, grind flour but throw this grain into the ground – it will not grow because there is no life in it. Only God gives life to everything!
Matyukhin kept silent. Everyone understood that Demyan Luckich will win this dispute… And Matyukhin himself didn’t want to say that nature created a cell, he hasn’t believed in this theorymade out of thin air. But anyway, who has created a cell? Who has created this world? Matyukhin could name Sensible, Creating Power, as he had done before when Demyan Luckich made him do it with his questions about bees and eyes. At some moment this thought illuminated him as a lightning. But it was still difficult to him to rebuild and start thinking in a new way.
- You can make an artificial heart, - Demyan Luckich continued emotionally, - but no one can ever make love. Maybe, they will even create an artificial brain but it’ll never have sense. There will be only dead soulless substance. And it can become living and sensible only with the help of the power of God’s Spirit. – Demyan Luckich stopped for a while and then added quietly: - You, with your Chemistry, have made people synthetic. Dry as dried bread.
Matyukhin grinned. It was clear: controversial feelings were fighting in his soul.
“Yes, - he thought, - XXth century is the century of atom, radioelectronics, rocketry and biochemistry. But can science compete with That Who has created this world? Science has not made even an atom and He has made trillions of galaxies… Science is powerless in changing the rotation of the day and night, seasons, it can’t grow any plant without a seed and (this old man is right) it will never be able to create either a bee or a bird”.
- There we have it, - Demyan Luckich pronounced. – And now tell us because you haven’t answered yet: who has created the first cell?
- It is said that it has appeared on its own and it has built itself, - said Matyukhin unwillingly.
- How can it be? – Demyan Luckich was surprised. – How it could build itself when it didn’t exist! You are saying really strange things, my dear! It is the same as if I bore myself: put a heart, lungs, stomach, found somewhere blood and put it through veins, then I put a head, hands, legs and started walking. But who had I been when I didn’t have a heart, liver, lien, blood, head, brain, hands, legs, body? I haven’t been existing at all! Who has started to make me? Nothing can appear on its own! Do you know how thieves were punished? If they stole horses at peasants, they were caught and started to prove they hadn’t stolen anything, like, the horses ran behind their carriages on their own. “But what for, - peasants asked, - did you put them to the cart?” – “But they put to the cart on their own!”However, nobody believed them and the thieves were punished for stealing. Those who don’t want to admit truth and repeat only: the world has appeared on its own will be punished in the same way.
Demyan Luckich took a pause. – The same situation is with a cell. Who started to look for material for it? Who is this experienced and clever master? If you make us deal with such a building, nothing will be done even if we have piles of material. We know which material a house is built of, we know how many bricks, logs, planks, doors, sheds, nails and other materials we need. We will take all these things, bring to one place and will say: “Well, dear house, everything is ready for you, now get built on your own”. You will have to wait for a whole century but the house won’t be built without builders, the material will just get rotten. And as you’ve said, a living cell is much wiser than the most magnificent palace and the material for it hasn’t been brought by anyone… Or, for example, we need to write a picture, like the fire of Moscow. We take the paints, canvas and say: “Now, my lovely picture, we have everything for you, start painting and be careful, don’t make a mistake: you need to make the fire of Moscow, not a tail of a dog or an old broom of a dead yard keeper.” And what? Will you have a picture?
Demyan Luckich said all this so heartily and enthusiastically that even Matyukhin couldn’t stay serious but laughed. All people were laughing.
15. PLANS AND LAWS IN NATURE
- Now tell us, is the cell built according to a plan or chaotically? – Demyan Luckich asked.
- Of course, according to a plan, - Matyukhin replied seriously, - nothing could exist without a plan, in other case there would be chaos and disorder, some ridiculous heap without sense and aim. And as we can see there is an aim and intention in a cell, everything is circumspect and envisaged in advance. We know it for sure beforehand that there will come a man from a human cell, not a tree or a cow and from a cell of a rose there’ll grow a rose but not an apple tree. There are strict laws in nature, whichthe entire world with its phenomena lives according to.
Demyan Luckich had a sudden feeling that Matyukhin was dodging trying to trip him, an unbookish man, up. Meanwhile, at that moment Matyukhin was speaking without any trickery. He got more and more convinced that the universe was ruled by Almighty Sensible Power. The question what power it was sounded stronger and more persistent. And some inner joyful voice whispered him as a reply: “God exists, nothing can be without Him. He is the Beginning and Creator of life”.
- I am convinced, - Matyukhin added, - the plan of the world creation and its laws ruling the universe are sensible.
- Thanks God! – Demyan Luckich took a sigh of relief. He did not talk for a while and then added obstinately in order that it would come both to the brain and heart: - You, my dear, must remember one more thing: God can’t be found with only one science, you can’t cognize. Our church stands on faith and science is just a pair of crutches, support and nothing more… Once Philaret of Moscow a metropolitan (who lived in the last century) was askedabout the prophet Jonah: “It is written in the Bible that a whale has swallowed him, is it possible, as we know a whale has a narrow throat and it eats fish?” And you know what he said: “If it was written in the Bible that Jonah had swallowed a whale, I would believe it”. Because the Bible is God’s Word and it is indisputable. And one more thing. You have said in your presentation that religion must be put to museum, it has had known its better days. You have really taken from our churches icons, crosses and even holy relics into museums. But the spirit of the Orthodox Church cannot be put into museum or shown as a spinning wheel! You can’t destroy it. Even if one day there is no any Christian, the next day there will be much more. You know at the first centuries of Christianity there ruled Neuron, Diocletian, Julian who wanted to wipe out Christians. And what? Where are all these rulers? The memory about them died with noise but Christianity, Orthodox Church are living and will live. Is it clear to you?
Matyukhin nodded thoughtfully.
16. NEW OVER PERSUADED MATYUKHIN
Matyukhin started to change. He understood clearly and distinctly that the world that is beautiful, inconceivable and sensible was testifying Supreme Intelligence, God-Creator and nobody except for God could create this world. He is a Source and Superior of life. He is all and everything.
Yes. Matyukhin was becoming a new person. He felt the untruth of atheism desperately,he understood all its absurdity and madness. And he wondered how he could be an infidel. Atheism is blindness and he was blind and now he saw the light, his spiritual eyes opened. He used to live in darkness and now an invisible hand removed him from gloominess to lightness. This gratia of Holy Spirit, Spirit of Verity has touched his soul and having been dead, it started to return to life…
He replied Demyan Luckich’s question about the Creator of the world without any hesitation:
- The world is created by Great Almighty Sense. Sensible can come only from sensible. It is as evident as the fact that light comes from light and darkness comes from dark.
- Does it mean that God exists? – Demyan Luckich did not give up. All became unconcerned…
- Yes, He exists, - Matyukhin replied peacefully and with love.
The people sighed with relief.
Demyan Luckich was glorifying. Suddenly he made a sign of the cross and started singing the prayer “O heavenly King” loudly and solemnly. And Orthodox people replied. First, the prayer was sung in the first rows and then all were taken by a praying spirit. They were singing having left their seats: the prayer was flowing and flying to the sky.
So, Truth and Faith has triumphed. An ordinary village beekeeper, having a firm faith in God and knowing a little bit about modern science, could steer onto the right path and open the eyes of a lecturer who was an atheist, especially prepared and well-equipped with all the necessary arguments.