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coptic orthodox boy
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« on: August 30, 2005, 11:29:11 PM »

IC XC NIKA
To All (espically non-Copt OO Christians):
The Lord give you His peace.
I've lately been frustrated with some of the views, clearly supported by culture and NOT Tradition, I've seen within the Coptic family.

This question is, as I said, to all OO Christians: Is dancing (that is, all dancing (even something like an Irish jig, or something as innocent as The Waltz)) "condemned" by your bishops and patriarchs?ÂÂ  I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but the way some bishops from the Coptic church try to condemn all dancing, is weak and at times really quite pathetic (with all respect) in my eyes.

As I've said, I've grown more and more impatient with Copts in general, who see Pope Shenouda and his opinion above all other patriarchs and bishops (and even above the Fathers at times).

in XC,
shawn
« Last Edit: August 30, 2005, 11:30:23 PM by coptic orthodox boy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2005, 12:24:34 AM »

Coptic Orthodox Boy,

I hear your pain. I too had to deal with this issue in the Coptic Orthodox Church when it came to my wedding. Like you, I too do not agree (with certain Coptic hierarchs) that certain social dancing is abominable. In my case I saw no problem with having dancing at my wedding even though I invited the Coptic Orthodox bishop of my diocese and four priests to officiate at my wedding as well as attend the reception that followed. My Coptic Priest urged me not to use dancing as the main entertainment at my wedding reception.

I decided to have dancing at my wedding by justifying the following:

The people who are attending my wedding are all relatives, close family or church friends, so the people who would be dancing would be husbands and wives, engaged couples and friends innocently dancing with each other. No one is attending that reception to pick up chicks or to gyrate erotically. Besides, certain social (and celebratory joyous) dancing is mentioned in the Bible, as in the wedding in Canna in Galilee, without implying that the participants were immoral.

However, what I urge you to do is not hold this opinion against the Coptic Orthodox hierarchy. You must understand where they are coming from. The Egyptians don’t have the equivalent of the notional Irish festive dances that are innocent. Instead, when they speak of ethnic Arabic dancing, this means belly dancing which is very common in the Arabic world and is intended to be erotic by the movements of the dancer. Also, the other type of dancing that Egypt (and the Copts) were exposed to from the west is what we would call disco dancing introduced into “Disco techs” (or dance clubs) in Egypt in the early 70’s. Young people who frequented these clubs were looking to hook up with the other sex and this type of dancing was and is seen as unacceptable by the Coptic Orthodox hierarchy — and rightly so. That is why the Copts are not familiar with “acceptable” forms of dancing from there perspective. But I can tell you for a fact that they have no problems with other forms of social / national dances that are found in other Arab countries like Dabke or the traditional dances of the Greeks because nothing sexual is found in them.

Please don’t let your frustration on this issue cause you to waiver from your faith. Your not going to hell if you perform “The Lord of the Dance”. The fact the Pope Shenouda is overly conservative on this issue shouldn’t cause you heart burn. He is “erring” on the side of caution on this issue to protect the youth of his church from the temptation of the West as he sees it.

I admire the Copts for sticking with the traditions and morals while living here in the West just as their ancestors did for centuries back in Egypt. I cannot say the same of the Antiochians or Greeks (of whom I am originally from).

The point is, don’t let this minor point of view obscure your path of faith. Copts have preserved the faith as they have received from the time of Sts. Athanasius and Cyril. You’re not going to hell if you eat your breakfast at 10:00 AM when the Church is fasting until 12:00 PM or if you dance with you friend / fiancée or wife at a wedding. For proof of this read the life of St. Moses the Black as recorded in the Paradise of the Fathers.

Hope this gives you some consolation.
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2005, 02:24:07 AM »

I have never heard of dancing being an issue among the Armenians.  At least not where I live. 

Of course, the traditional dancing, still done at many weddings (at least in my family) is pretty innocent.  It is done in a line or a semi-circle, with people linking their pinkies.  I think the Lebanese do something similar, but they hold hands.

There is, however, also a more modern, popular form of dancing, similar to what Dimitrius described.  It is similar to disco and the music is an unholy mix of traditional Armenian music and French pop.  I wish someone would ban it, not so much because the dancing can be erotic, but because the music is so tasteless.
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2005, 02:45:48 AM »

It is done in a line or a semi-circle, with people linking their pinkies.ÂÂ

OH NO!!! the pinky dance! goose bumps/flashbacks/ revisitting childhood nightmares/ high pitched folk flute music/ AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh! (run away dashing and leaving a big hole in the wall next to the door)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2005, 02:49:39 AM by djrak » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2005, 11:46:11 AM »

I once went to a Coptic Vespers service and the priest delivered the homily in english. Anyways the main point of the homily (besides how proud one should be if they had the opportunity and blessing to be Coptic because it was the only other country to be visited by Christ and since He blessed it in the OT too...) was that dancing is what they would call "haram" or a "no-no" I guess.

 But isn't haram a distinctively Islamic concept? Neways most of the people there were teens and it was around June so he also felt the need to pound in the information that going to the prom is a sin and that any type of dancing is a sin at all which frankly is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard in my life....unless you are a monastic of course.

Coptic Orthodox boy, your message should probably only be adressed to non-Egyptian Copts because the syrians and the armenians (OO) allow (cultural) dancing like the EO.

At my greek parish we have a dance troupe where we practise in the church hall. We mostly do tradtional Greek, Asia Minor, Cypriot dances but we also do modern. And one of the dances was "tsifteteli" (belly dance) which the girls did. I wonder what a Coptic priest would do if he saw that going on in the hall. Then again they weren't half naked...
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2005, 12:02:34 PM »

Quote
But isn't haram a distinctively Islamic concept?

Nope -- it's just the Arabic word for something forbidden. The same root is found in the word "harem", i.e. women who are forbidden to anybody but the ruler.
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2005, 03:08:08 PM »

Coptic Orthodox Boy,

I hear your pain. I too had to deal with this issue in the Coptic Orthodox Church when it came to my wedding. Like you, I too do not agree (with certain Coptic hierarchs) that certain social dancing is abominable. In my case I saw no problem with having dancing at my wedding even though I invited the Coptic Orthodox bishop of my diocese and four priests to officiate at my wedding as well as attend the reception that followed. My Coptic Priest urged me not to use dancing as the main entertainment at my wedding reception.

I decided to have dancing at my wedding by justifying the following:

The people who are attending my wedding are all relatives, close family or church friends, so the people who would be dancing would be husbands and wives, engaged couples and friends innocently dancing with each other. No one is attending that reception to pick up chicks or to gyrate erotically. Besides, certain social (and celebratory joyous) dancing is mentioned in the Bible, as in the wedding in Canna in Galilee, without implying that the participants were immoral.

However, what I urge you to do is not hold this opinion against the Coptic Orthodox hierarchy. You must understand where they are coming from. The Egyptians don’t have the equivalent of the notional Irish festive dances that are innocent. Instead, when they speak of ethnic Arabic dancing, this means belly dancing which is very common in the Arabic world and is intended to be erotic by the movements of the dancer. Also, the other type of dancing that Egypt (and the Copts) were exposed to from the west is what we would call disco dancing introduced into “Disco techs” (or dance clubs) in Egypt in the early 70’s. Young people who frequented these clubs were looking to hook up with the other sex and this type of dancing was and is seen as unacceptable by the Coptic Orthodox hierarchy — and rightly so. That is why the Copts are not familiar with “acceptable” forms of dancing from there perspective. But I can tell you for a fact that they have no problems with other forms of social / national dances that are found in other Arab countries like Dabke or the traditional dances of the Greeks because nothing sexual is found in them.

Please don’t let your frustration on this issue cause you to waiver from your faith. Your not going to hell if you perform “The Lord of the Dance”. The fact the Pope Shenouda is overly conservative on this issue shouldn’t cause you heart burn. He is “erring” on the side of caution on this issue to protect the youth of his church from the temptation of the West as he sees it.

I admire the Copts for sticking with the traditions and morals while living here in the West just as their ancestors did for centuries back in Egypt. I cannot say the same of the Antiochians or Greeks (of whom I am originally from).

The point is, don’t let this minor point of view obscure your path of faith. Copts have preserved the faith as they have received from the time of Sts. Athanasius and Cyril. You’re not going to hell if you eat your breakfast at 10:00 AM when the Church is fasting until 12:00 PM or if you dance with you friend / fiancée or wife at a wedding. For proof of this read the life of St. Moses the Black as recorded in the Paradise of the Fathers.

Hope this gives you some consolation.


Dear Dimitrius,

Long time no see! Hope all is well with you and the family...hope to see you at St. Demiana's soon.

BTW - for those who don't know, Dimitrius is an excellent preacher of the word of God!

In Christ,
Raouf
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coptic orthodox boy
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2005, 04:14:55 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Dimitrius,
The Lord give you His peace.

Yes, I stated this many times on CH.net.  Still, even many learned Copts, suggested that ALL dancing is wrong. 

I'm so frustrated at this time, I really have nothing more to say.  It has less to do with dancing, and more with obedience and the "semi-idol" worship Copts "ethnic Copts" have towards the pope.  Honestly, I'm on the final thread of leaving my Coptic parish, and attending an Ethiopian or Armenian church instead. 

I know no body (as in church body) is perfect, and my consideration of leaving as stated has little to do with dancing, and more to do with "copticism."  Lord knows I need His strength. 

in XC,
shawn

p.s.  Timos, as to all that dancing, I doubt my personal FOC would say it was "a sin" (thanks be to God my FOC is an Egyptian by blood alone); but I definitly believe most Coptic (and not all other OO clergymen) WOULD say it is a sin.

 
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2005, 10:39:20 PM »

djrak,

Please don't tell me you are into that french pop/disco inspired music that so many Armenians listen to and dance to now.  I much prefer the old fashioned stuff.  I'd listen to a kanoon or an oud over that awful noise anytime.  I guess I'm just getting old...   Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2005, 01:57:35 AM »

djrak,

Please don't tell me you are into that french pop/disco inspired music that so many Armenians listen to and dance to now.  I much prefer the old fashioned stuff.  I'd listen to a kanoon or an oud over that awful noise anytime.  I guess I'm just getting old...  ÃƒÆ’‚ Smiley
oh no, HAHAHA, the french disco inspired armenian music!HAHAHA!(did you come up with that discription?) that's even worse! My favorite music at the moment are sharagans, i also like jazz and funk, and all types of GOOD music are ok with me but i guess you'll never hear any of that in weddings or armenian social gatherings.  Sad 
 Grin
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2005, 02:16:41 AM »

djrak,

I'm glad you have good taste.  You're right about not finding good music at most Armenian weddings or social gatherings.  It can get pretty awful sometimes.  Perhaps we need to warn Coptic Orthodox Boy about that before he decides to switch to the Armenian Church.  No music can be better than bad music.   Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2005, 02:19:18 AM »

No music can be better than bad music.
Amen!
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2005, 02:11:24 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong; but didn't Jesus love weddings that had wine and dancing plus to see all the guests "merry and dancing...."

As long as no stripers or "unsuitable" by means of nudity or sexual behaviour well, I think God allows us to dance and God might likely join in  Wink

Any inputs on this?

In Christ,
Hadel
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2005, 02:27:02 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Hadel,
The Lord give you His peace.

That's why I wrote it is sometimes "pathetic" how Coptic bishops try to condemn all dancing (or, all dancing outside of religious dancing).

It's even more annoying, trying to explain to Copts (though not all Copts; the ones on this board are much more "open" if you will), that other OO patriarchs and bishops DON'T condemn all dancing, only wanton dancing (and of course, "wanton" is different for each and every person.  Tango may be fine for one person, but "tempting" for another).  On top of that, we are ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTILIC CHURCH, meaning we are all of the same Church (just different ethnicity, traditions, etc.), so the other OO patriarchs and bishops voice is just as valid as Coptic bishops.

I should state, my personal parish is more  "liberal" in a "good way", allowing for some "flexibility" on things you might not find generally in other Coptic parishes (such as, a woman may stand with her husband during the Liturgy; though it isn't the norm.  Or, my FOC, Abouna Anthony playing basketball with us (haha, it's really funny, seeing him in his robe with Jordans on); etc.).  I believe this is due, being we are a "city" parish, we have Ethiopians, Indians, and now a few white people (including me, who is "the american boy"; I guess all Americans have the sterotype of being "white" in Egypt.  Oh, and I'm almost 20 for crying out loud, lol), so the "ethnic" idenity isn't fading a lot (to make ethnic Copts "scared"), but enough to allow people from different ethnic backgrounds to join.

I'm not saying there is sexual dances out there, but to condemn all dancing (or, all non-religious dancing) is very frustrating. 

But, as I stated, this has more to do with the misunderstanding of obedience by many Copts.  Perhaps, the best thing to do is keep a low profile, and allow for understanding of there being "non-sexual, non-religious" dancing to come to knowledge for many Copts.  Hmm, perhaps I should add this to my daily prayers (though, once more, not so much the dancing; but for the true understanding of obedience which isn't a dictatorship).

in XC,
shawn   
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2005, 08:22:15 PM »

Coptic Orthodox Boy,

I CERTAINLY know exactly what you are talking about.  I am Copt born and raised in South Florida.  My parish is probably one of the most conservative you would ever know.  I want to tell you, I had my own unpleasant experience with dancing, and it had to do with a wedding reception, live music, confession with my priest, and a few people who saw me dancing.  I sincerely have a problem with this false sense of conservatism in our church that concern things in which there is little need for concern.  Dancing is one of those things in which one's personal conscience comes into play, and I believe that is where the metaphorical buck stops.  I also believe that a lot of this sense of "false conservatism" has to do with the unfortunate Arabic cultural influence that has since plagued the Egyptian church since the mid 7th century AD.  As you know, our Coptic Orthodox Church loves to stress the virtue of humility, and what can we say?  This is a dying quality these days, and the practice takes a toll on one's patience.  The Pope of Alexandria has always been dear to the hearts of the Copts, and for obvious reason.  Would you expect any less?  Cheesy  At any rate, I feel your pain, but  at the same time, I've realized that the young children present at the wedding reception needed a good example to follow, and the Egyptian bishops realize that 'a church with no youth is no church' (something along those lines). 

I've heard it said, on a lighter note, that dancing with one's spouse, in the privacy of their own home, is actually okay. Smiley

WOO!
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2005, 12:41:56 AM »

Before I give my response, I’d just like to say - with all due respect — that I believe there are more important things to worry about in one’s spiritual and Church life, than whether or not one is allowed to dance at a wedding; if you are willing to leave the Coptic Orthodox Church over an issue as silly as that, then there is honestly something wrong with your being a Copt in the first place, and I strongly recommend that you reconsider your reasons for being a member of the COC, if they are so weak to the extent that they are being challenged by an issue as trivial as the one being discussed.

If you happen to reject the COC copticorthodoxboy over an issue like this, then that would indeed be a loss, and I would be very sad for one, however, as His Holiness Pope Shenouda III says, “upon the son of obedience, blessings will abide”; if having a good time precedes your faithfulness to the decisions of the Bishops of your jurisdiction, then there is a problem, and I recommend you at least discuss that problem with your own spiritual adviser before taking any action.

NB: The "loss" I refer to above, concerns the loss of your service to the Coptic Church in particular; losing you to other OO communions such as that of the Armenian Orthodox Church, is certainly not a loss for Orthodoxy in general ofcourse.

Now on to my 2 cents worth:

Quote
Dancing is one of those things in which one's personal conscience comes into play

I agree that with respect to dancing, it should be a matter of personal conscious (submitted to the discernment of one’s spiritual adviser ofcourse —ÂÂ  for our conscious is not necessarily always in the right), however I commend those Bishops of the Coptic Church who have made this general prohibition, for there are other factors which Bishops, like His Grace BishopYoussef for instance, point out that call for valid concern and really have nothing to do with one’s personal conscious — for example, the influence it may have on your dancing partner or others watching. If you lead one into sin, then you are not exempt from responsibility.

Surely, there may be rare exceptions where one can dance in a safe atmosphere such that neither he/she nor others are lead into temptation or sin (and I’m sure the Coptic Bishops in question are quite aware of this), however in siding with general caution the Bishops have obviously decided that the spiritual safety of their youth (especially in the diaspora, where certain "types" and "contexts" of dancing are socially acceptable, which certainly would not be healthy for ones' spirituality however) is more important than their “having a good time” i.e. it is better to make a general prohibition that prevents many from falling into sin and temptation, even if it may deprive a few youth of having a safe and innocent dance, than it is to not make one at all and hence implicitly allow a particular youth to get into a situation where he/she or others are lead into temptation or sin, even if some certain individuals are capable of dancing in an appropriate context.

Quote
'a church with no youth is no church' (something along those lines).


“A Church with no youth is a Church with no future” — His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

Peace.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2005, 12:53:52 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2005, 12:15:14 PM »

IC XC NIKA

EA,

The Lord give you His peace.

Perhaps it's best to say, I'm not Coptic.  Though my name says so (it was something I wrote nearly 3 years ago, which I regret I stayed with), I once more don't consider myself Coptic.  True, I am Oriental Orthodox; and only Oriental Orthodox.  We can go round and round about what obedience means.  I talked with my FOC about this.  As stated, I thank God he is Egyptian by race alone (thus being able to overcome cultural norms).

I say this with all respect EA.  Don't push your culture on me Wink.  I became Orthodox because of ORTHODOXY, not to join a organization that can't let go of cultural norms (not even let go, but allow for other cultural experiences to be expressed).  Why do I go to a Coptic parish?  It's only 3 miles from my house (if I had the choice, however, I'd attend a BOC parish). 

It was funny, while waiting for confession a few Sundays ago I was studying my Mandarin.  A fellow came up to me and said, "Oh man, perhaps you should be a missionary in China."  I said no.  Why?  Quite simply, as Mina Damian stated on the yahoo group: "To be a Coptic Orthodox missionary in a foreign land leaves you with 2 options:  You let go of the cultural norms, and allow for Orthodoxy to reign (thus being a "bad" Copt).  Or, you hold all cultural norms as Orthodox, and you will see your mission crumble."

EA, you know you'll destroy me in a conversation.  Your vocabulary crushes mine.  I know I'm not even close to you knowledge.  So, to avoid an on going argument, I'll say this: My FOC and I discussed this, my heart is at peace.  Orthodoxy reigns alone in my heart.  If YOU want to follow your cultural norms and follow everything that comes out of the popes mouth, great, God rewards simplicity.  However, and perhaps it's non-Egyptian Oriental Orthodox Christians (which I am) that attend Coptic parishes notice, is that Copts take a very VERY risky view of obedience to the pope; which can cause much spiritual damage, if not heresy.

With that, if you wish to discuss this anymore, I would enjoy we start a thread on the yahoo group.

in XC, your pupil
shawn
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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2005, 09:45:59 PM »

Quote
Don't push your culture on me


How am I pushing my “culture” on you? The rulings of the Bishops in question regarding the issue of dancing has nothing to do with culture; it is motivated by their moral concerns. So honestly, where is all this cultural crap coming from? Are you even listening to yourself? Did you even read my post? Wake up.

Quote
Perhaps it's best to say, I'm not Coptic.

There’s no need to play semantics here; if you were baptised into the Coptic Orthodox Church, then you are under the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate — you are a Copt — and hence (as it is supposed to be) in voluntary submission to her authorities. Again there is nothing cultural about the fact one should obey the Bishop of their jurisdiction, this is just a basic ecclesiastical principle. If you don't like it, go join Protestantism and you can dance whenever you want, wherever you want, however you want, and no one will say anything to stop you; have a ball my friend.

Quote
Copts take a very VERY risky view of obedience to the pope; which can cause much spiritual damage, if not heresy.

Obedience is a heresy now? LOL Give me a break. If it is one of the Ten Commandments that one obey their father and mother, how much more so that one obey their greatest spiritual father here on earth — the patriarch? There is no heresy here my friend, there is only transgression on your behalf. May the obedient always be blessed.

Quote
EA, you know you'll destroy me in a conversation.ÂÂ  Your vocabulary crushes mine.


I did not "destroy" or "crush" anything...this whole thread is one big joke; I can't even believe I bothered responding to it in the first place; all this because you couldn’t dance at a wedding? Lord have mercy! What has this world come to?

Wake up, and get your priorities straight. Stop undermining those in authority, who are much wiser and spiritually enlightened than yourself; they know what they're talking about. You sound like a 12 year old complaining against his dad because he didn't let him stay up after 10 or something.

Peace.
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« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2005, 12:04:26 AM »

IC XC NIKA

EA,

The Lord give you His peace.

First off, if I consider myself not to be Coptic, it is my own business.ÂÂ  I attend a Coptic parish, and am Oriental Orthodox alone.ÂÂ  I know many who were accepted into the COC, and don't consider themselves Coptic Orthodox (Grigorii, Sarah, etc.) to say a few.

Secondly, it is like drinking amoung Copts.ÂÂ  So many Copts (even clergy) condemn it.ÂÂ  If it were truly a sin to drink, then why do other Orthodox Churches allow the consumption of alchohol (and it's not just Eastern Orthodox Churches; many Oriental Orthodox Churches do as well)?ÂÂ  Once more, it is the Synod allowing THEIR cultural norms to be the only Orthodox understanding.ÂÂ  It would be like the BOC condemning smoking the hooka.ÂÂ  I know if they condemned it, many Copts would just say, "Oh, it's a cultural thing."

I thank you for saying wake up.ÂÂ  It's quite funny how you'll get on me about my understanding, since you know you'll destroy me in an argument.ÂÂ  However, I don't see you so bold amoung Sarah and Peter Farrington when they state the exact same thing as me.ÂÂ  Oh well...

I never once denied that one shouldn't be obedient.ÂÂ  What I'm stating is that obedience isn't blind.ÂÂ  In other words, you ARE allowed to use your conscience within obedience.ÂÂ  Let me ask you something.ÂÂ  You are a self-proclaimed "hater" if you will, of orthodoxmisinfo.com (espically when it comes to articles on Chalcedon 451).ÂÂ  Now, let's say the fellow that writes these articles does so under obedience to a spiritual director.ÂÂ  Would your preception change?ÂÂ  Would he be doing the will of God, and would your perception of a "hidden agenda" still stand?

I never proclaimed obedience was heresy.ÂÂ  What I DO believe is that blind obedience can lead to heresys.ÂÂ  Look what Peter wrote about his ROCOR priest friend about war.  Pretty much my perception of your attitude is this: "The Pope or bishop said it; since he said it, I believe it."  But wait, weren't you also stating some concern over some of Pope Shenouda's books?ÂÂ  Ahh, so YOU YOURSELF aren't blindly obedient to the popes or any bishops words.ÂÂ  

ÂÂ It is true that it is important to obey your parents.ÂÂ  However, doesn't is say "Children."ÂÂ  Once the child has grown and become an adult, the verse changes from "obey" to "honor."ÂÂ  I mean, EA, if you mum told you marry the girl SHE thought right over the girl YOU KNEW WAS RIGHT, you would obey? If you say yes, then my friend, you don't understand obedience.

Look at St. Paul our dear teacher.  While some in charge were teaching many that one had to become a Jew first to become a true Christian, St. Paul stood against the tide.  In fact, he was even a bit harsh with those Christians WHO DID FOLLOW BLINDLY.

Finally, does the Synod know what they are talking about?  I agree that most bishops have a better understanding of God than me, but for you to state such a thing is pathetic.  You don't know my heart, and you don't know how God see's me.  Sure I can't write a great article on a theological matter, but I am beginning to REALLY FEEL AND KNOW GOD IN MY LIFE.  So, fine go ahead and say that I'm an ignorant layman, who needs to be a brown-noser to the Coptic Synod, I honestly don't care.  It is often those that we believe to be the farthest from the heart of our Lord, who sometimes turn out to be the closest.    However, as to following the Coptic snyod blindly, this isn't self taught.  A friend of mine (a convert to  Orthodoxy who attends my parish, who probably has a better grasp of Orthodox Theology than anyone I've ever met; and no it isn't Grigorii) taught me this way of thinking (and I thank God for him).ÂÂ  Hmm, it also appears that many WITHIN THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX COMMUNITY have easily pointed out mistakes from HH as well as many Coptic bishops (I mean read anything from Sarah, Grigorii, Mankarious Mourad, Mina Demian, and Peter Farrington to see some Western influences on the Coptic Synod).ÂÂ  You may say I'm a bit childish; I'll just say the same thing about you and your love for Coptic culture.ÂÂ  I wonder, dear EA, if a non-Egyptian took up the thrown and said no more Coptic influence, I wonder dear brother if you would be obedient.ÂÂ  Probably not, due to your comments on the yahoo group.ÂÂ  Anyways, when I wrote this thread, I was a bit heated after a long discussion on coptichymns.net.ÂÂ  I'm sad I've had to be dragged back into this discussion.

in XC,
shawn

« Last Edit: October 08, 2005, 12:38:31 AM by coptic orthodox boy » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2005, 12:13:18 AM »

IC XC NIKA

EA,

The Lord give you His peace.

Sorry if my last post sounds harsh.  Simply, if you reply, I won't reply back.  If you do reply, I will bring it up on the yahoo group. 

in XC,
shawn
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« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2005, 01:33:48 AM »

Quote
First off, if I consider myself not to be Coptic, it is my own business.ÂÂ  I attend a Coptic parish, and am Oriental Orthodox alone.ÂÂ  I know many who were accepted into the COC, and don't consider themselves Coptic Orthodox (Grigorii, Sarah, etc.) to say a few.

I don’t care about your or anyone else’s ridiculous semantics. If you are baptised into the Coptic Orthodox Church, you are subject to the Coptic Patriarchate — not the Armenian, not the Indian, not the Syrian; call yourself Coptic, or call yourself Slim Shady for all I care, the fact remains that the Bishops and Patriarch of the Coptic Church are your authorities; if you don’t like it, then leave the Coptic Church — no one forced you to be Coptic (and yes, I am disregarding your semantics) and no one is forcing you to stay; I hope you find a church that accommodates your dancing needs.

Quote
Secondly, it is like drinking amoung Copts.ÂÂ  So many Copts (even clergy) condemn it.ÂÂ  If it were truly a sin to drink, then why do other Orthodox Churches allow the consumption of alchohol (and it's not just Eastern Orthodox Churches; many Oriental Orthodox Churches do as well).ÂÂ  Once more, it is the Synod allowing THEIR cultural norms to be the only Orthodox understanding.


Please stop talking rubbish; the Holy Synod has never made a ruling against the consumption of alcohol per se.ÂÂ  Do you need to lie just to downgrade your own Church and her Holy Hierarchs?ÂÂ  

His Grace Bishop Youssef says in relation to alcohol:

Regarding the Church’s viewpoint in relation to alcohol drinking; the Church does not say drinking alcohol is sinful but the abuse of alcohol is sinful. Although this is the position of the church, it advocates complete abstinence from drinking because the possibility of abuse is usually very high.

Again, I commend the Holy Coptic Church for siding with caution and recommending that people practice complete abstinence, though not condemning alcohol per se.

Do you want to get drunk as well Shawn? Are you looking for a Church that will advocate a life of partying, dancing and drinking? The Coptic Church will not accommodate to such worldly desires — that is the job of….well, the world…

Quote
Once more, it is the Synod allowing THEIR cultural norms to be the only Orthodox understanding.


So in light of the facts, allow me to rephrase the above statement to: “Once more, it is the anti-Christ allowing HIS lies to be your only understanding of the Coptic Orthodox Church”

Quote
However, I don't see you so bold amoung Sarah and Peter Farrington when they state the exact same thing as me.

Firstly, there is no analogy between any of the discussions I’ve had with them, and discussion I’m having with you, and secondly this isn’t personal, so stop trying to make it personal.

Quote
I never proclaimed obedience was heresy.ÂÂ  What I DO believe is that blind obedience is.


That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Period. Do you even know what heresy is? Blind obedience may result in negative consequences, but we are not speaking about the issue of obedience in a vacuum here. There are specific issues raised here, and it is in that context that we speak of obedience, so enough of the games and deal with those issues.

Quote
Hmm, weren't you also stating some concern over some of Pope Shenouda's books?ÂÂ  Ahh, so YOU YOURSELF aren't blindly obedient to the popes or any bishops words.


My raising genuine concerns over certain issues relating to His Holiness does not parallel to your unwarranted slander and rebellion.

I’m not going to let you sidetrack this discussion, so allow me to recall for you the relevant issue of this discussion which you have deliberately evaded:

a)   Certain Bishops rulings on dancing are motivated by moral, not cultural, concerns.

And now the issues you have brought in your last post, which you will need to address:

b)   Certain Bishops rulings against drunkenness and their recommendations of complete abstinence are motivated by moral, not cultural, concerns.
c)   The Holy Synod did not rule anything in relation to alcohol.

Quote
mean, EA, if you mum told you marry the girl SHE thought right over the girl YOU KNEW WAS RIGHT, you would obey? If you say yes, then my friend, you don't understand obedience.

You just don’t get it, do you? Please stop trying to use analogies because every analogy you have thus far employed has no relevance at all to the issues in discussion, you consistently keep missing the point.

Your personal conscious is NOT the ultimate authority, unless of course you are a Protestant. You have no good reason to disobey your Bishops; they are not telling you to sin, they — with their God-given wisdom and according to their spiritual enlightenment — in siding with caution and in attempting to prevent their youth from falling into potential temptation or sin, have made a general prohibition motivated by their moral, NOT CULTURAL, concerns.

You do not know better than they, your conscious is NOT an authority over them with respect to moral issues or with respect to how to live a safe spiritual life.

Quote
You don't know my heart, and you don't know how God see's me.ÂÂ  Sure I can't write a great article on a theological matter, but I am beginning to REALLY FEEL AND KNOW GOD IN MY LIFE.


Trust me, the next Protestant feels exactly the same way. Alleluia, Praise God.

Quote
Hmm, it also appears that many WITHIN THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX COMMUNITY have easily pointed out mistakes from HH

The Pope is not infallible, Copts are not Roman Catholics. However, AGAIN, you are evdading the issues at hand, which have nothing to do with the Pope being infallible. We are not speaking generally or in a vacuum. There are specific issues at hand which you yourself have brought up and insist on not dealing with.

Allow me to repeat myself: The Bishops have made a valid moral decision in siding with caution, and for the sake of the spiritual protection of their youth; this decision has NOTHING to do with culture.

So give me one good reason, why you should disobey your Bishops, without resorting to a Protestant-type argument that holds your conscious as some sort of ultimate authority.

Quote
You may say I'm a bit childish; I'll just say the same thing about you and your love for Coptic culture.


Again I ask: WHAT HAS CULTURE GOT TO DO WITH THIS DISCUSSION?

I hope you actually read my post this time before responding with some ramble that totally sidetracks the relevant issues at hand; stop copping out and stop repeating the same old stupid claims that I have already addressed.

Peace.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2005, 03:33:30 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2005, 04:32:55 AM »

Shawn,

I understand where you are coming from.  Personally I am a convert to the Greek Orthodox Church and have similar cultural hangups.  I don't indentify myself as Greek Orthodox - simply Orthodox.  I'm an American and I love my homeland and country - I have no wish to be Greek.  Don't get discouraged but don't become bitter either.  There are a lot of things you simply have to pass over in silence and learn to live with - is it worth leaving the pearl of great price over such trivial things?

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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2005, 09:50:43 AM »

IC XC NIKA

Silouan

The Lord give you His peace.

Thank you for your words of encouragment.  I think it takes one from a different ethincity to understand where I am coming from.

EA,

Thank you for you knowledge where it wasn't asked for in the first place.  As stated, I posted this thread when I was a bit heated after a discussion on CH.net.  I'll pray to God that I may gain your knowledge, oh enlightened sage. 

As said, I've discussed it with my FOC.  I'm at peace.  I'll keep my peace, and not throw it to the dogs.

in XC,
shawn
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« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2005, 10:43:48 AM »

EA, I prithee keep thy peace, dear brother.  Let us not be as the Pharisees and hold fast to traditions while forgetting the principles behind them. 

With compassion and coolness.

I dare not cast any stones knowing that I am the chief sinner.
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« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2005, 12:22:12 PM »

Yes, sometimes it does feel like you do need someone from "outside" to understand.  I think that some that become deeply rooted in thier own culture (whether it be Coptic, Greek or whatever) can easily over look just how overwhelming it is to a convert to impose that one them.  Sometimes a little Mere Christianity goes a long way. 
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« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2005, 12:27:46 PM »

I posted this a long time ago on CH, but I thought it might be helpful here too to put things in perspective:

"[In the Book of the History of the Patrairchs] we find an amusing account about Severus of Ashmumin...of one of his disputations with the Muslim Chief Justice..., who asked Severus whether a passing dog was Muslim or Christian. To avoid an incriminating answer, Severus replied, "Ask him." The judge said, "The dog does not talk." It was Friday, a fast day for the Copts, so Severus said that fasting Copts on that day eat no meat, and break the fasting by sipping wine. He suggested offering the dog meat and wine, so that if he ate the meat, he was a Muslim, and if he drank the wine, he must be a Christian. In this manner he gave an answer that the Chief Justice could not refute.
Comment: This story shows that in the tenth century, Copts used to drink wine on Friday after fasting. This habit will disappear later under Islamic influence or pressure. The wine is used here as a criterion to know a Christian from a non-Christian."
Dr. Youhanna N. Youssef "Eating and Drinking as Identity in Egypt After the Arabic Conquest." St Shenouda Coptic Quarterly 1:1 (October 2004) 17.

As is amply clear, the prohibition against drinking is a later development due to societal presures. Now for those who are heirs to this society such a development may make sense, but to others of different societies this simply does not "jive" with their understanding of the world.

I fully understand HH for trying to keep Coptic young people from going to disco's and getting drunk there. But such a broad general condemnation does not assist someone like me, coming from an Irish background, who considers it a family duty to drink Guiness on March 17th and dance ceili's (by orders of no one less than St. Patrick himself, who ordered his disciples to not morn at his funeral like the pagans but to drink and be merry and rejoice that his death was simply a passing to glorification). To attempt to live by HH prohibitions aimed towards Egyptian attendence at disco's and thereby throwing out my own cultural obligations which have long been accepted by the church at large, is being untrue to myself. It does nothing but create a fence around the wall so big we don't even see what the fence is trying to put off limits.

On a side note, when I was in Armenia last summer I visited a disco in Karabagh. There was a large variety of "styles" of Armenian music played, but what I found most amazing was that everyone danced alone. There were no couples dancing, not even particular groups of people dancing together, simply everyone as a whole dancing to the music without touching eachother. It was one of the oddest things I have ever seen in my life. But it was really really cute too. So I, personally, would stay away from vilifying such places and the people who visit them on a whole. Rather, let's talk about the things which we find wrong in dancing and drinking, and then consider how we can help people refrain from engaging in such wrong activities. Then we can start running around accusing people of being disobedient.........
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« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2005, 11:06:46 PM »

Quote
I posted this a long time ago on CH, but I thought it might be helpful here too to put things in perspective:

Well it was absolutely irrelevant to the discussion at hand, so thanks for sharing it, but no thanks for any useful contribution to the discussion. No one has condemned alcohol per se, and the authority I quoted made it explicitly clear that nothing was sinful about alcohol per se; so evidence of Copts drinking a cup of wine after their Friday fasts, in a context where alcohol abuse may not have ever been a problem in the first place, proves what exactly (i.e. that is relevant) in the context of the discussion at hand? Nothing.

Quote
I fully understand HH for trying to keep Coptic young people from going to disco's and getting drunk there. But such a broad general condemnation does not assist someone like me, coming from an Irish background

The stupidity inherent in this comment can be seen on two levels; please, allow me:

1)   Generally speaking, that something is a cultural norm does not mean that it is morally justified — therefore your appeal to your cultural background is invalid (and if applied consistently to other issues pertaining to other cultures, can lead to absurd conclusions within an Orthodox Christian context). The Bishops rulings on dancing are motivated by MORAL, not CULTURAL concerns. The irony at this stage is nothing short of laughable considering that this whole argument started because of some absurd belief that the general prohibition against dancing was motivated by cultural values, for in falsely presuming this you nonetheless appealed to your own culture to justify dancing; in effect, your argument is: “my cultural values are better than yours.”
2)   That the promotion of a “general rule” is invalid, simply because there may, in certain circumstances and contexts, arise valid exceptions to that general rule, just sounds highly stupid to me, especially as a law student. As the judge of a High Court possess the discretion to acquit an accused on the basis of certain justifications, excuses, or defences raised by the defence, so to does one’s spiritual adviser possess the discretion (given to him, and guided by, none other than the Holy Spirit Himself) to allow for, or disallow exceptions to the general rule as he may see fit. The fact exceptions may arise, does not challenge the validity of a Bishops general prohibition anymore than it challenges the validity of a general prohibition imposed by the legislature.

Quote
Then we can start running around accusing people of being disobedient.........

The Bishops have made valid, and common sense general prohibitions which prima facie hold for any and every believer; if you believe there should be an exception to the general prohibition, then that's when you consult your spiritual adviser; he is your ultimate authority, and NOT your culture or your conscious, though such things may be submitted to HIS discretion. Anyone who chooses to make exceptions for themselves in careless disregard of their Bishops rulings, and in the absence of the awareness and approval of their spiritual advisers, is nothing less than disobedient.

Peace.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2005, 11:08:40 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2009, 11:10:22 PM »

I once saw a priest playing basketball in my convention way back when. laugh

I remember also hearing my priest say that they can swim. . . .

But dancing. . . .well the Bible says to be absent in the body is to be in the presence of the Lord or something like that, so I wouldn't expect a priest or bishop to be jiving in a club with loud music, I don't even think they would like it. Maybe in a wedding or a small party I guess it would be suitable to dance with his wife or something.

But then again the Bible says something about not getting drunk when the bridegroom (Jesus) is not with them.

"I hope you find a church that accommodates your dancing needs."

LOL!!
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« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2009, 06:46:55 PM »

hmm, at our annual festival, the priest of my church often starts the first traditional Greek dance of the night with his wife and kids and others. I remember telling a Coptic priest about our festivities and he was shocked that we allowed wine and dancing on church grounds!

Then again I've been to 1 or 2 coptic weddings where the dancing would go on all night long with bellydancing and dabke. I've heard a joke that they would wait until the priest excuses himself for the night and then the dancing begins. Being in a dance group when I was younger, I cannot imagine a festivity without it...
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« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2009, 02:27:07 PM »

"dancing" these days is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire.
So true. That is why I despised dances at school. And the teachers tolerated that kind of behaviour. Terrible.
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