Philemon began to read New Testament (NT) in the beginning of 90th, when Moscow was flooded by evangelists. At this time, the idea of the individual salvation really struck Russian citizens. However, it wasn't connected with NT. The idea was very simple: "Flee This Country!" Lately people realized that living abroad isn't always easy. Sometimes it is better to make money in Russia and transmit abroad.
By this, Philemon had already read the Sermon on the Mount and realized that the heart of man is located near the treasure of man. Philemon began to suspect, that only bodies and souls of the Russian public figures lived in Russia while their hearts lived in Swiss or USA banks. The confidence of their speech in TV shows was the proof that they had already completed act of the salvation. Though outwardly Russian public men were wasting away, yet inwardly they were being renewed day by day because of the interest on deposit abroad.
After some time Philemon recognized, that he was not smart enough to get salvation through the capital export. The only consolation was to confirm that God indeed chooses foolish things of the world, in this case Philemon. He began to find salvation in NT. But what is the NT way of salvation?
The concept of the redemption seemed to him rather strange. The streets were full of the redeemed Soviet slaves trying to find job, that is to find slave-trader who usually was more cruel, than the Soviet system. So what to do with the unexpected redemption and freedom?
The concept of the fear of death was obscure too. He could not say that people around him were afraid of death or hell. They were afraid of dismissal or criminals. People were trying to survive and didn't have time to think about the death.
What was the truth? The words became meaningless. Some bosses paid for the work, some deceived. However, at the beginning of the projects they said practically the same words. Money became the only thing to distinguish between the truth and the lie, the only sign of the truth. So Philemon began to find the NT truth near the NT money. That was the only honest way.
Reading apostle Paul's letters Philemon revealed suddenly that donations gathered in NT churches on Sundays were transmitted to Jerusalem by Paul and his disciples. This revelation really struck him. Wow! The final result of the Paul's gospel was the capital export from the Roman provinces to Jerusalem.
Firstly, he tried to share his revelation with pastors. However, the transfer of money to Jerusalem was out-of-date detail from their point of view. The important thing was to help poor that is to buy a new car for pastor working on charity assignments.
As Philemon was free of the confession agreements concerning the location of spiritual Jerusalem to get money, he didn't see reasons to abandon his revelation. The capital export to Jerusalem was understandable and unreachable NT way of salvation for Philemon living in Post-Soviet Russia like redemption for slaves living in Roman Empire.
How to transmit money to Jerusalem? According to NT he would set aside a sum of money on each Sunday and wait for apostle Paul's arrival. But how to get in contact with Paul? It seemed to be difficult, but it didn't seem more unbelievable than to buy real estate in London, because both ways were incomprehensible for him.
Philemon could not find the passage in NT about the death of apostle. According to the NT Paul was still alive and wandered about Europe. In the letter to Philemon Paul even ordered to prepare room for him.
Apostle wrote that God is not far from each of us. So the room for apostle Paul should already exist in Philemon's life. One day Philemon stood near the advertisement hoarding with Ernesto Che Guevara image and recalled about another Paul - Paul Korchagin. When Philemon was a boy living in the Soviet Union and Lenin acted as Jesus in the books and movies, Paul Korchagin acted as one of the communist apostles created for Soviet teens. The main features of brand "Paul Korchagin" - loss of sight, asceticism, struggle for the liberation of mankind coincided with apostle's ones. Paul Korchagin seemed to be Soviet re-branding of apostle. At this moment Philemon understood, that Korchagin already prepared the room for apostle in his heart many years ago, when Philemon's angel saw face of Father in Heaven.
The main heroic deed of Korchagin was the construction of narrow-gauge railway to supply fuel for poor revolutionary workers during severe winter. In spite of cold weather Paul Korchagin built railway without boots. Philemon could not remember what happened with Korchagin's boots, but he remembered that he had felt sorry concerning this fact in childhood.
Philemon began to visit railway station near his house. Every morning he took a sum of money increasing on Sundays and old boots.
Miracle happened loudly and in secret.
When apostle Paul called him and Philemon turned round, he noted that unfortunately there were no other witnesses of their meeting.
- Here are money and boots - Philemon gave the bag to apostle
- Boots are useless now - apostle answered.
- But what about Paul Korchagin? I want to help him.
- Korchagin was barefooted because the place where he stood was holy.
- So I carried boots in vain?
- No. You carried them in love to Paul. Each gift must be made in love.
Apostle counted money.
-You know, Paul, these money are like money for the world revolution. World revolution in Jerusalem. When I was young everybody cursed capitalism and money were dirty. But money for the world revolution were holy.
When apostle disappeared, Philemon recalled, that he forgot to ask when apostle would come next time...
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
AS A MEMBER OR
Read more articles by Onisim Filimonov or search for other articles by topic below.
This was a nice story but the grammer and spelling are so poor that it made it very hard to read.
Appears to have been typed into this site by someone who could not correctly translate the story into english.