În vara anului 1982 i-am trimis o scrisoare lui Francis A Schaeffer, un om ale cărui cărţi mi-au influenţat în mare măsură în primii ani ai umblării mele cu Cristos.
Din păcate, n-am păstrat o copie a acestei scrisori şi ea nu se află nici în dosarul meu de la Securitate, deoarece ea a fost scoasă din ţară în ascuns de un prieten elveţian, Albert Dufour, care călătorea anual în România împreună cu soţia lui, aducând pe ascuns Biblii şi literatură creştină.
În vara lui 1983, adică aproape un an mai târziu (distanţă în timp aproape de neînchipuit astăzi, în epoca comunicaţiilor electronice, dar foarte obişnuită atunci, în comunicarea cu străinătatea) am primit răspunsul lui Schaeffer pe care îl transcriu mai jos.
Scrisoarea a fost strecurată în ţară la fundul unui tub de medicamente. Formula iniţială de adresare a fost eliminată de mesager, pentru a evita să mă pună în pericol, în cazul interceptării scrisorii de către securitate, la intrarea în ţară. De aceea nu am data exactă când a fost concepută scrisoarea. Anul este însă, în mod sigur, 1983.
Am fost foarte impresionat de tonul foarte cald şi personal al scrosorii. La invitaţia lui Schaeffer, am încercat, absolut inutil, să obţin permisiunea autorităţilor pentru a petrece o lună la L’Abri, comunitatea creştină creată de Schaeffer în Alpii elveţieni. Evident că n-am primit nicidecum această aprobare
Din păcate, aşa cum se vede din a doua scrisoare primită de la L’Abri,datată ianuarie 1984, pe care o voi afişa mâine pe blog, Schaeffer s-a îmbolnăvit, a fost internat în America, unde şi-a şi dat obştescul sfârşit. Aşa încât a trebuit să las nădejdea întâlnirii cu el pentru veşnicie.
Abia în 1991, am reuşit s-o cunosc personal pe soţia lui, Edith Schaeffer, la o întîlnire pe tema “Evanghelia şi cultura”, organizată de mai mulţi discipoli ai lui Schaeffer în Slovacia.
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Your letter which was delivered to me gave me much pleasure. I pray much for my brothers and sisters in your part of the world and I am glad that my books have found their way there and have been helpful. For this I am truly thankful.
It was good meeting you through your letter and now that I know you this way do know that I will have a continued interest in contact with you, will pray for you and your family and do hope that some day we can meet.
Unfortunately at the present time I could not come as I have engagements in Germany and the United States.
It would be impossible to tell you how thankful I am that The God Who Is There was such a help to you. I must say that Edith and I feel overwhelmed at the way the Lord has used the books, films, tapes, radio broadcasts and the work of L’Abri to reach such a wide spectrum of people geographically and types of people as well. It truly causes us to worship the Lord.
Unhappily it is true that very often the true Christians have a very narrow view of the richness of Christianity and the “good news” and a poor view of what spirituality is. Quite often their view of spirituality is more platonic than it is biblical.
Their concept is that there are a few things which are spiritual and all the rest of life is worldly. This is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible makes plain that the Lord has given us as absolutes certain things that are sinful. These we should not do (though unhappily none of us keep these perfectly), but then the total rest of life should be under the Lordship of Christ. When Christ returns all will be made perfect but until He comes back again it is our task in our private and public lives to as far as possible bring all the areas of life under the Lordship of Christ. Thus, true spirituality includes all of life except those things that are sinful. Therefore, art, music, literature and our civic life is to be lived under the Lordship of Christ and our activities in these areas are indeed spiritual.
With the biblical view of spirituality in contrast to the platonic one life becomes rich, but also it means that we have something to say to the broken world around us in all of these areas. This is a part of proclaiming the good news and of true spirituality.
Of course, you know how strongly I feel about all this from reading How Should We Then Live?. I do feel that the Christians in most of the world have been greatly remiss in not understanding what true spirituality is and in not doing the hard work that is necessary to understand our surrounding culture so that we can speak into it with compassion. That is true where you live and it is equally true in the section of the world where I live.
I have just finished a new book called A Christian Manifesto which deals with these things even further. This will be out, the Lord willing, in November.
I was very deeply touched as you spoke of the Lord’s dealing with you personally when you were about 18 years old. 1 became a Christian at the end of my 17th year or the beginning of my 18th year. Prior to that 1 had gone to a church where liberal theology was preached and then from my reading of philosophy saw they had no answers for anything and thus for a period became an agnostic. I began to read the Bible only out of curiosity and saw to my wonder that if you read the Bible the way it is written rather than the way the liberal theologians teach it, it does answer the questions for which philosophy has no answer. It was at that point that I became a Christian at about the same age you did. My book He Is There And He Is Not Silent deals with the Christian answers to the philosophic-questions in the areas of metaphysics, morals and epistemology.
I was most interested too in your analysis of the young people there. It sounds so very much like the people in my area of the world.
I will be so very glad when some of my books can be translated into Rumanian.
I do wish you could come and study a while at L’Abri. I think you would find it very helpful. We would be glad to give you a scholarship for your expenses of room, board and tuition while you were here, if you can come, and if you can arrange to pay for your transportation. We of L’Abri are extremely interested in trying to help those from your part of the world and 1 am only sorry that at the present time I cannot see the way that I could be with you but we will have to see as time goes on. I wish I could follow your directions from the railroad station to your home tomorrow.
I trust this reaches you safely, and do pray for us. We also need your prayer. With warm personal greetings,
In the Lamb,
Francis A. Schaeffer
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