Archbishop of Laodicea Responds to "Gossip"
Archbishop of Laodicea
Church of Laodicea
22nd September, 63
Thank you very much for your kind letter to the Church of Laodicea which you sub-titled, 'Revelation'. I do hope this letter finds you well.
I am sorry it has taken so long to reply. How is the weather there in Patmos? No hailstorms involving hailstones that weigh a talent each, I trust! I do hope your exile comes to an end soon.
Well, here in Laodicea things are going well on the whole. We have some issues with a small community of LGBT people who are using the Church to advance an agenda which is completely contrary to the Gospel. I let them use the local hall and a small church in the spirit of tolerance. Is this perhaps one of the seven spirits you mention before the throne of God? I think this must surely be the case.
Naturally, there have been people writing and complaining about such things but I told them: "Hold your tongues!" Things were getting quite out of hand, so, anyway, I simply moved the problem to another Church in a different area of Laodicea. Hopefully those gossipers will pipe down now.
There are also some other gossipers and grumblers voicing concern over false prophets and teachers teaching false doctrines in the spirit of the Antichrist in some of our educational establishments and trusts here in Laodicea. I said to them: "Stop complaining!" I know from one of your other letters, John, that such grumbling, gossiping and complaining destroys Christian charity. I'm currently concerned about the nuncio Peter sent to our region and I and some brother Bishops in Asia Minor are hoping Peter may send us someone a bit more adaptable to our circle. He's a bit too 'traditional' and takes some of those complaining a bit too seriously.
You say the Lord has a special message for me. You say Jesus says, 'I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot.' Well, John, I'd just like to say it is wonderful that the Lord is asking. Please be reassured that the weather here is simply great. This summer, alone, temperatures soared to 40 degrees and while Autumn is now well underway, it is still warm enough in the evening to wander around Laodicea wearing something really quite light.
Thanks for filling me in also on what is going on in Philadelphia. Sounds interesting, John. Some harsh language about those who 'say they are Jews, but are not Jews'. Who is this 'synagogue of Satan' operating there? You might want to tone that kind of language down a bit. We're working on some inter-faith dialogue at the moment, so I'm glad that letter wasn't sent to us. What ever could it be about? Very mysterious!
Our collections are doing well and a lot of money has been coming in. We are rich, we have made a fortune and we have everything we want to start some interesting projects. I'll fill you in on them at a later date. Please reassure the Lord that none of us are poor, blind or naked, though there are many such poor folk in the region who fit that description, but these don't bring us in much money, so we tend to ignore them.
I know, John, that you are a great mystic and your love for God is great, and, really, thanks for your concern about how things are going here in Laodicea, but really there is nothing to worry about. Don't listen to gossip and any old story you hear, John! After all, isn't that what Peter said recently in a homily? That's what my friend said anyway. I must locate a copy of that whole speech at some point.
Anyway, thanks again for the letter. Hope you are doing well. Do give my kind regards to the other Churches in Asia Minor and keep well. We'd send you over some money but - you know how it is - you can't trust the post man nowadays.
John, I know that there is talk of persecution in some areas of Asia Minor, but I don't listen to such gossip. Things here are going well and as to the future that you see, which you have written in your book, well, who knows what's down the road?
Archbishop of Laodicia