Interview with V. (Moscow)

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Key information

Title: Interview with V. (Moscow)
Date: 01/04/2012
Interviewer: Miriam Dobson (MD)
Interviewee: Interviewee, V. (V)
Duration: 1 hour(s) 09 minutes and 47 seconds
Location: Moscow


V Yes, from 1968 I would rush off every Sunday to worship.
MD Were you aware that there had been such a schism between the Council of Churches and …?
V That didn’t concern us. We were so young, we were… We were surprised to learn in the 1990s there were three churches on Vuzovskii: Adventists, Pentecostals and Baptists. This was a discovery for us, we didn’t know that they were saying from the pulpit, all three confessions were speaking from one pulpit and all under one roof. I was horrified to learn of one thing, there were 700 young people, where did they go to? Only a tiny group remained, probably about 50 people, so where were the 700? It turned out there was a certain Sergei Rakhovskii among us, Sergei Vasilevich, a Pentecostal, and he bit by bit recruited the young people to receive the tongues.
MD Was it particularly the young people who went over to the Pentecostals?
V He worked with young people. So he took them, aged 14-15, kids who all confused the words ‘commixture’, ‘baptism’ and simply ‘receiving’, and many of them still don’t know what ‘receiving the Holy Spirit’ is, what it is and how we receive it and when. So when a newly converted 14-year-old boy is brought before serious Pentecostals, they pray in other tongues and these children begin to pray in other tongues, the Pentecostals say to them ‘Oh, you have received the Holy Spirit, you are now saved, but you are sinners and you are not saved’. They took 700 people there and they are all still there.
MD Yes, that’s a lot.
V I arrive there and see my friends, I say ‘Ah! So this is where you are!’ This was such a discovery for me when I saw them.
MD Didn’t you want to join the Pentecostals yourself?
V I realized this when our group of 20 were brought to Podolsk. We held such a religious service at the dacha on Sunday. We arrived. ‘Shall we go and barbecue some meat? Let’s go! We’ll play some games. In short, it was socializing.’ Of course, who doesn’t want to join a barbecue? With our brothers and sisters we gathered together and set off. When we got there our company was visited by Vanya Fedotov. He had just been released from prison where he had served his time, and for the sake of Our Lord he was simply ready to go to the ends of the earth. He was so passionate, he wouldn’t have spared us, either, yes, he was zealous. When he joined us we immediately got confused and startled. This strapping bloke comes in and starts to shout and preach ‘I’ll tell you now that you are all sinners!’ We all felt ourselves to be sinners there and then, weak and helpless, and that there was no salvation for us, all we could do was receive the tongues. He spoke for about forty minutes and says ‘So, who wants to receive? Any questions?’ I stood up. I was 16 years old then, I stood up and said ‘What is your name?’ He says ‘Vanya’. ‘Surname?’ ‘Fedotov’. I say, ‘Vanya, in the Holy Scripture there is a place where you have to enter through the door and not the side window, the robber enters through the side window and normal people enter through the door. He says, ‘What’s this all about?’ I say, ‘You set us questions of theology which we can’t answer. Who is right, you or us?’ We have brethren, presbyters, why don’t you go to them and preach to them? Convince our Alexander Vasilevich Karev, Mikhail Yakovlevich Zhidkov and other brothers, Ivan Mikhailovich Korablev, go and convince them that they should pray in other tongues and we will gladly support you. But when you say this to children without their parents present, without any elders, I think that is disgraceful.’
MD You were so bold to say that?
V Yes.
MD And how did he reply?
V ‘You don’t have the right. And nobody will go now. I forbid you to lay hands on us, we won’t pray because this is something we don’t understand. We do not judge you, pray if you want to. But pray in the way that is written there. If you pray there should be someone who should translate that language, I should be able to understand what you are praying about. I don’t think it’s right for you to pray and not be able to translate it. God always speaks in a language that man can understand and preaches to everyone in a language man can understand. He can speak in English with everyone and Christ could, although for some reason Christ spoke in Hebrew, even though he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb, John the Baptist was also filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb, but when he spoke people themselves repented. You didn’t tell us about God’s love, you tell us about some tongue which we have no idea of. And why do we need it, you didn’t tell us that, either. So. And if you have so much love then why do you not share it with those who go to church and those who don’t, both people and sinners, go and get on your feet on the square, preach a sermon so that thousands of people confess their sins after your sermon if you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter preached and people confessed their sins. How much time did you spend in prison, how many people confessed their sins there? Tell us how people confessed their sins in prison after your sermons. How long did you spent in prison for the sake of our Lord? Who confessed their sins? Probably only your wife because you weren’t there and you were so stubborn!’ He got so upset he slammed the door. ‘Who let this nasty piece of work in? He’s ruined everything for me! He’s spoiled my gathering!’ He wasn’t happy at all.