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Author Topic: A Coptic Orthodox Christian turned Protestant  (Read 2867 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ian Lazarus
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« on: July 05, 2005, 11:11:10 PM »

Brethren (both EO and OO):

If you've read my posts on my conversion, you know that even to this day my parents oppose it with all their hearts, thinking I am hellbound, not looking the right way, ect., ect, ad infinitum.  Recently,  a new peson joined their discussions and is thinking of joining thier church.  He is a (or was, I suppose) a Coptic Orthodox Christian directly from Egypt.  He has basically told my fathers sunday school class (which he runs) that Orthodoxy is no better than Catholicism, and that the only difference is non allegience to the Roman Pope.  Thay are taking his words as gospel truth, and speaking to my parents is becoming unbareable.  I have prayed and will continue to pray that this badgering cease, but I am also worried about the man saying these things.  He seems to not know his faith, and he is an older man, of some 30 or so years.  I know not wether he was a full practicioneer of his faith or even a moderate one.  From what they have told me about him, he seems CEO in his devotion (christmas, easter, and other special occasions).  I am wordless at this though.  Any thought to this or of what to say?


Thanks

Ian Lazarus


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minasoliman
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2005, 11:34:30 PM »

Unfortunately, I hear of Egyptians suffering from the Protestant deceiving evangelization.ÂÂ  They see us like Catholics, and due to their Romaphobia, they start stubbornly insulting our practices and make it look like they get in touch with Christ closer.

What makes them interestingly successful is that the ones they convert are usually suffering some sort of problem, whether it be family or church problems, which is obviously not indicative of Coptic Christianity, but Protestants take advantage of them.

The true Orthodox in heart can never be susceptible to any of the vain arguments against Protestants, even if one is uneducated.  (For example, people like my grandmother who say that Muslims are better than Protestants for their veneration of the Virgin Theotokos...showing the importance of the intercessions of the saints in Orthodox Christians' lives)

I'm guessing:

1.ÂÂ  This man needs love from Orthodox much more than Protestants who give him love.
2.ÂÂ  This man needs some education without looking like you're refuting Protestants, but rather make it of a personal belief on why you don't like these Protestant beliefs, and why Orthodoxy contains the fullness of truth.ÂÂ  Show him that the Apostles have always believed in Holy tradition, sacramental Church, liturgical prayers, etc.ÂÂ  A good book is "Becoming Orthodox" by Fr. Peter Gillquist.
3.ÂÂ  This should be the first and last step:ÂÂ  Pray for him.

God bless you.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2005, 11:37:04 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2005, 01:10:02 AM »

Also there are great books by H.H Pope Shenouda III on this topic of Protestant thought infiltrating Egypt.

The three I can remember that he responds to protestant claims are:

1- Against the Heresy of Salvation in a moment.

2- Comparative Theology

3- Salvation - An Orthodox Concept

Most of these books can be found here:

http://www.agape-bookstore.com/default.php?cPath=15&sort=3a&page=1

Also, a general note to tell your parents and the Protestant Egyptian is that you have studied the history of your Christian faith and you wish to practice it as the first few generations of Christians did; that was Orthodoxy. If Protestantism is correct, then God allowed his Church to be deceived for 1500 years until Martin Luther came along, denying the promise of the Lord:

Mat 16:18 "And I tell you that you are Peter, [ the rock.] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."

Remind them that you are following the Church of Christ as handed down through His apostles, not the church of some reformer who came 1500 years later. Besides, you have Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and many other reformers, no two agreed with each other, so which of them is one supposed to follow? Johnny come latelys to Christianity to not have Apostolic Authenticity. These reformers only give their personal interpretation.

Just my 2 cents worth.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2005, 09:41:16 AM by Dimitrius » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2005, 01:51:13 AM »

There are a couple of short booklets contrasting the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.  They are written by EO authors, but could be used to underscore differences between Catholicism and Oriental Orthodoxy.

One booklet is Orthodoxy and Catholicism, by Father Theodore Pulcini.  It is published by Conciliar Press.

Another is How the Orthodox Church Differs from Roman Catholicism, by Rev. Archimandrite Eusebius Stephanou, Th.D. It is published by St. Symeon the New Theologian Orthodox Renewal Center, in Florida.  Light and Life carries it.

Giving your parents books about people converting away from Protestantism to Orthodoxy may help.  They will see you are not the only one.  Also, these books generally give good explanations about how historical and biblical Orthodoxy is, compared to Protestantism.  Becoming Orthodox, mentioned above, is good. It is by Peter Gillquist and published by Conciliar Press.  Two other very good ones, published by Light and Life, are Journeys to Orthodoxy, by Thomas Doulis and Discovering the Rich Heritage of Orthodoxy, by Charles Bell.



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sin_vladimirov
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2005, 02:57:21 AM »

It is a hard ball brother. Satan, the evil one is running around like an hungry little worm looking who he can devour.

He is hitting you where it hurts. Think only that nothing is given that we can not deal with. If we hold onto the hand of God the Father and  hand of our mother who is the Church of whom the Head is Christ and Paraclete Holy Spirit. The fullness of armoury is there for us.

Pray and fast and use this as God will want you to use it. It can be on your big benefit. You can use it to learn the faith even better and more than ever. Also you can bring the parents and that person back where they all belong. And as St. Iakovos says in his Epistle, chapter V:
19: My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back,
20: let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

So, pray and hope and never let go. Learn and teach and never stop.

God bless you and us all.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2005, 02:58:24 AM by sin_vladimirov » Logged

Lord have mercy.
Tags: Coptic Orthodox Church Protestant Christianity 
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