Let me introduce myself. I'm an Orthodox Christian and currently attend an OCA parish (although I was chrismated into an Antiochian parish about 14 years ago). I have been reading messages on orthodoxchristianity.net, and although I generally don't like debates since they're usually frustrating, I tend to learn a lot from them.
Anyway, I'm introducing myself on the NC page mainly b/c I have a fondness for the Coptic church. I'm a grad student now, but last year when I was an undergrad, I was involved with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) at my last school, and occasionally a coptic would come. I am generally quite impressed by the character of the Coptics. I also post here b/c I've been thinkling/reading some about RCC and EO dialogues, along with some about the persecution of Christians in the middle east. My heart aches for them! What also hurts is when many terrible mistakes are made (e.g. Byzantine persecution of Coptics), which just opens the way for a greater evil (persecution by the muslims). I remember my priest one time commenting about how in many ways, the Coptics weren't so resistant towards the muslims b/c at that time the Byzantine yoke was worse! Don't quote me on that, though.
My other thought is about the RCC and EO possible "union." After reading several commentaries on different message boards, along with googling about the whole thing, it seems like any kind of reunion will basically involve the large RCC absorbing the EO, just as one of many different "rites" with their own customs. umm...what makes us Orthodox is our theology and our approach to life and theology, right? I mean, we DO have rites modeled after western services. I wonder if the Coptics feel the same way about the EO and union between the EO and coptics (i.e. big guy absorbing smaller guy)? Then again, there seem to be vastly fewer theological barriers in that case (e.g. no pope authority issues, nor differing creeds, nor dogma differences). Plus, don't the EO and Coptics have overall a similar "feel" to them, regarding theology (e.g. vs. the judicial/legalistic feel typically seen in the "west")? maybe I'm crazy, but I feel that the world is getting pretty crazy so we gotta quickly 1) iron out our differences, 2) be excellent Christian witnesses for our Lord, 3) take advantage of the relative freedom we have to do evangelism to the non-Christians, and 4) brace ourselves for when things crumble around us (while continuing to do 1-3). Sigh......
Anyway, that's just an overly long way of saying "hi!"
I may post when I can, but I'm more interested in discussion than debate.