It so happened that Fernandez was tired that evening but un-inclined to go to bed went to the nearby place where there was a new preacher of the Bible, who had set up a small hut, where he was congregating the fisher folks and teaching them The Bible.
He called himself Apostle Zorba. It was rather strange that the so called “Apostle”, did not bear a regular Christian name. It was also difficult for the local Tamil population to get the pronunciation right and he was called ‘apposthalar soba’. Fernandez, upon entry into the hut heard Zorba read out a passage from the old Testament from the book of Exodus which ran as follows:-
Since it was in the middle of a bible study, Fernandez had missed out the earlier part of the sermon. There were hardly ten persons who were attending the Bible study.
Fernandez heard Zorba say : It is time a Christian realized that this verse is as much a commandment from God, as the one that says, “Go & baptize ye the people in the Name of the Father, son and the Holy Ghost.” But you have seen preachers wanting to replace the existing gods with Jesus. Hence they revile the other gods.
Jesus is NOT a replacement, HE is the GOD. That is the Christian Faith and Creed. There is no need to talk of the other gods. In fact if one reads Exodus 23:13 it is written :And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
Further if one reads the book of JUDE in the New Testament, it is written (by the way there is only one chapter in the book of JUDE):
8: Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9: Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10: But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
In effect, the Bible says do not say anything against other gods and also do not talk of things that man cannot understand. Therefore I tell everyone here that they have neither the knowledge nor the authority to talk of other gods.”
Fernandez was flabbergasted, it was more so because Apostle Zorba was citing the scripture and cogently building up his case. He did not listen to the rest of the sermon, his mind was going round and round the statement of Apostle Zorba : Jesus is NOT a replacement, HE is the GOD.
Fernandez found for the first time a preacher expounding the Bible in a non-traditional way. In any case he wanted to meet Diaz and discuss the sermon the next morning.
The next afternoon Fernandez met Diaz and spoke of the sermon. Diaz was amused and told Fernandez, “It is easier to believe in any god, but it is impossible to comparatively assess various religious systems and arrive at the best religion. It is the STRENGTH of BELIEF in any system that creates UNITY of the SELF and REDEEMS man. Therefore it is essential to AFFIRM without options and reservations. Hence Christianity requires one to believe in the DIVINITY of Jesus and be focussed on that belief and ONLY on that belief. ”
Diaz said, ” Get on with your WORK of finding the GREAT PEARL, a busy bee has no time to worry or seek the Truths pertaining to religion.”
Fernandez felt a load off his back, he dived into the warm sea water……….