Armenian Bible Church            

Հայ Աստուածաշունչի Եկեղեցի

Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 40322  Pasadena, CA 91114 USA

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By Thomas Cosmades


Chapter 9 


             Haralambos didn’t relate much of what he was experiencing in Aintab to Aneta as he wanted to spare her undue anguish.  While encountering those ordeals in Aintab which catapulted him into ministry in Adana, he was unaware of what was happening in the Talas school.  As mentioned previously, the medical staff of the Board left the hospital and moved to Konya where they opened a new hospital in accordance with their own theological persuasion.  The atmosphere in the school had changed a great deal.  Aneta tried to ignore what was happening and concentrate on her teaching.  A great desire for spiritual depth had come upon the girls.  Early each morning and again every afternoon they spent time together in prayer.  But this did not last long.  The dean of students, a woman, abruptly put a halt to these private meetings. So the girls had only the Sunday services from where they could receive their spiritual encouragement.  At this point the Evangelical Church in Talas separated itself from the missionaries.  The decision of the church was interpreted by the missionaries as a lack of perception of the issues.

            Not long after Haralambos became director of the Zion Orphanage in Zinjidere near Talas, the stance of the Talas Academy faculty members became clear. They started following the teaching of higher criticism with its particular interpretation of the Scriptures. Haralambos, while not at that school, knew what was happening there and adamantly opposed this new theology. The teachers with whom Aneta rubbed shoulders daily were acting as if they had received a new revelation and were expected to subscribe to it wholeheartedly.

            One of them was assigned to hold a regular teaching session in which the position of modern theology was to be clarified to the teachers, doctors and nurses of the mission. The routine continued week after week. It was during these lectures that Aneta first heard that there was room for other interpretations of the Bible. She related, “I felt chills in my bones and coals of fire poured on my head. I couldn’t bear sitting through the lectures. My inner turmoil motivated me to approach two other friends of like mind and suggest that we stay away from these sessions from now on.” One of them said that that wasn’t a good idea.  She said, “Keep on going, but ignore everything you hear.” Easier said than done! At the end of each lecture there was a question and answer period. In one of these Aneta gathered her inner strength and challenged what had been said. She quoted Romans 11:33, “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!”  Her brave stance settled the problem of her attending the sessions, making de facto her withdrawal from the tedious ordeal. Later on her friends told her about a remark made by the instructor, that some are not ripe for this teaching. But he no longer pushed his point so determinedly. However, his position remained the same.          

           Three years later, the administration sent a cordial letter to Aneta.  In it they expressed satisfaction for her conscientious service and diligence to duty. They offered her a promotion both in position and financial benefit. There were certain strings attached, however. She was to soften her adamant stand about being so outspoken on theological issues. Their beliefs were as valid as hers and deserved to be studied and considered!

            The reply to this letter was not simple for Aneta.   She reassured the administration that her love toward them was sincere, teaching in the school was a joyous experience and that their thoughtfulness toward her was appreciated. But her prime love and commitment were to the Savior; so with deep regret she would have to turn down their kind offer. This terminated her affiliation with the school which had nourished her, graduated her and for three years employed her as a teacher. From this point on, her Heavenly Father had different plans for her.