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Author Topic: Protestants Unveiled at the Conference of Middle East Churches  (Read 4042 times) Average Rating: 0
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Stavro
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« on: November 12, 2005, 07:35:52 PM »

The council of the churches of the Middle East, which includes many Protestant congregations and Catholic groups in addition to OO and EO held a conference in a place called "Gudaedah" in Egypt. While previous meetings were wrapped in diplomacy and rarely touched on any subject of difference between the churches, and the Protestant were nice and smiling expressing their usual "appreciation" to the orthodox church and others, this time it was different. They were suddenly real, put away the smiling face and showed their sharp teeth.
They drafted a resolution that was opposed by the Orthodox representatives. According to Anba Rafael, Anba Bachomios and Anba Bishoy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, it included the following points:

- Luther's services to Christianity are by far better and more helpful than the services of Mark (St.Mark the Apostle).
- The Evangelical Church is the Mother Church of Egypt and the Coptic Church is just another denomination
- We have snatched, we will snatch and are snatching Orthodox to bring them to light.
- The Coptic Orthodox Church is forgotten and left without grace.

As stupid as it seems, and without really knowing knowing what prompted this unprecedented foolishness, and why Protestants exposed themselves early, there was a blessing in all that. All of a sudden, the Bishops began talking openly about Protestantism, attacking it in many meetings, organize conference for Orthodox to expose the heresies of Protestants, and finally judged their teachings to be heretical and that Protestant are not part of the New Covenant.

Did we really need insult to wake us up ? Did we suddenly discover that Protestants are heretics ? What was the purpose of our involvement in this council to begin with , if the Orthodox played by the rules of "no snatching" against an opponent that has a Machiavellian approach. The photos of our hierarchs with the Protestant leaders did not help, and sending servants and teacher to conferences dominated by Protestants sent the wrong message to Orthodox and introduced such teachings on the laymen level in the Church. When will the Orthodox Church understand that we are in a war ?

One of the meetings of the youth of this council was held in early summer of 2005, which I had the bad luck of attending by chance, was in the monastery of St.Simon the Tenner in Egypt in the church that takes 20,000. It was led by Pentecostal, and the songs and sermons were nothing but insulting to any Orthodox. After the meeting was over, and the bishops heard about what happened, they condemned. It seems that we are like frogs carrying scorpions on our back and expecting it to change its nature and be peaceful.   

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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2005, 08:20:48 PM »

Stavro,
Incredible!

Perhaps these Protestants should be saving sheep in the mosques and leave the Orthodox alone. But they won't do that, of course.

Glad they've "outted" themselves.
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2005, 12:50:38 AM »

If this is true, then praise the Lord that the Coptic Church has left the MECC.  I pray they do the same with the fruitless WCC.

Any links to this?

God bless.
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2005, 11:23:21 PM »

I also think it is good that they've "outed" themselves. 

This will prevent them from using the "we're all the same--we're all just Christians" approach to either get Orthodox people into their churches or to convice the Orthodox to let them do work in Orthodox parishes.  It's a "wolf in sheep's clothing" approach which they use to make converts.  They've used this approach extensively among the Armenians and it has done a lot of damage.  I've addressed in other threads how some Evangelicals got involved in our Sunday School and then used their positions to teach their beliefs to our kids and attack our Church's beliefs.  These people have been kicked out now, but a lot of damage has been done.

What happened in Egypt is therefore a good thing, in as much as it will open people's eyes to the fact that we are not "all the same" and that many Protestants do not have good intentions with regard to the Orthodox Church.  I also agree that our Church leaders need to stop having "photo ops" with Protestant clergy, as it just gives them the false legitimacy they need to get more of our people into their churches.

Let's just hope that more "outings" like this will occur in other places also.
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2005, 12:14:03 AM »

- Luther's services to Christianity are by far better and more helpful than the services of Mark (St.Mark the Apostle).
- The Evangelical Church is the Mother Church of Egypt and the Coptic Church is just another denomination


These two points especially would be laughable if it wasn't just so sad they they believed them.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2005, 09:20:27 AM »

Quote
- Luther's services to Christianity are by far better and more helpful than the services of Mark (St.Mark the Apostle).
- The Evangelical Church is the Mother Church of Egypt and the Coptic Church is just another denomination
- We have snatched, we will snatch and are snatching Orthodox to bring them to light.
- The Coptic Orthodox Church is forgotten and left without grace.

This jibes with some Protestants's evolutionary view of Christianity, that it is a religion that evolved.  What applies in the first century no longer applies as God has "moved on" As if God is bound by time.

I am glad they are out and I agree, let them go evangelize in front of a mosque.
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2005, 09:38:14 AM »

This jibes with some Protestants's evolutionary view of Christianity, that it is a religion that evolved.ÂÂ  What applies in the first century no longer applies as God has "moved on" As if God is bound by time.

Actually...I concur with the notion that the Church evolves and develops.  But this presupposes an organic and fluid chronology.  Rending apart the Church because you're whimpering about what "evil, Whore" Rome did to your poor little Teutonic nation is not an example of this.  Pansies.

I am glad they are out and I agree, let them go evangelize in front of a mosque.

So you want them to go from hell-bound to.....hell-bound?
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2005, 10:32:46 AM »


- Luther's services to Christianity are by far better and more helpful than the services of Mark (St.Mark the Apostle).

Wu ha ha ha ha ha ha HA HA HAH!!!!   Cheesy

- The Evangelical Church is the Mother Church of Egypt and the Coptic Church is just another denomination

(slaps knees)  tee hee hee hee hee!!!!  oh ho ho ho ho ho!!

- We have snatched, we will snatch and are snatching Orthodox to bring them to light.

TAA HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!!!.....OHHH!!!....OHHH!!!!..I don't think I can contain myself!!  Ohh, God!!!

- The Coptic Orthodox Church is forgotten and left without grace.
  And yet grace will suddenly appear out of the sky on Halloween, 1517 in the middle of Dufusland???  OH mY!!  Brilliant, man!  Brilliant!  ....rolling on the floor laughing!

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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2005, 10:36:55 AM »

Is there a link where one may read this writing in full;  A primary source with names and dates and all ?

Ebor
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2005, 02:11:30 PM »

Is there a link where one may read this writing in full;ÂÂ  A primary source with names and dates and all ?

Ebor

Yeah. I would be interested in that link also.
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2005, 03:49:39 PM »

Quote
Actually...I concur with the notion that the Church evolves and develops.  But this presupposes an organic and fluid chronology.  Rending apart the Church because you're whimpering about what "evil, Whore" Rome did to your poor little Teutonic nation is not an example of this.  Pansies.

Thank you for the clarification Beavis.
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2005, 03:56:35 AM »

The source for the above mentioned incidents is the proceedings of the "Conference to confirm Faith" that was held by the Coptic Orthodox Church in Deer El-Azab, Fayoum, Egypt under the leadership of Bishop Abram, Bishop of the diocese. Two sermons from the proceedings are on a CD that contains the recordings of the sermons given by Bishop Bachomius and Metropolitan Bishoy, both prominent Coptic members of the Holy Synod. They give a summary of the dispute in the meeting of the MECC and the Protestant insults followed by a defense of the orthodox dogma.

Another source is a sermon by a representative of the Coptic Church in the MECC, Priest Petros Petros Bestaworo, who gives the details of the incidents that happened with names of the Protestant leaders attending. This sermon was given at Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt, in an effort to fight a Protestant mission that landed there.

The CD that contains the three above mentioned sermons is published by Daar Antoon (an egyptian coptic recording company and publisher) and titled " The Orthodox dogma and the danger of non-denominational teachings". The sermons are in arabic, unfortunately, as all the sermons took place in front of an egyptian audience. After securing a permission to attach the above mentioned three sermons on the site, although the arabic language is not really understood much on the forum, I encountered some technical problems. The format is MP3, and I could not upload it. If any moderator can help, I would appreciate it.

Salpy,
I remember our discussion about the Protestant infiltration into churches. There are aspects that are beyond our control, and can be faced only by prayers, like the political situation that introduced the Protestants in Egypt to begin with in the 19th century. In the 20th century, Saddat,who hated the Copts and christians more than anything, gave the JW and Adventists and many Protestant denominations the support they needed in order to destroy the Church from within. Such situation can be only faced by prayers and it always works.

Yet to let down and not do our job is an invitation for disaster. I do not question the intentions behind participating in the ecumenical councils with Protestants, yet there has to be an evaluation of the fruits of our involvement in such councils. Much time has elapsed to be able to judge such attempts objectively. Were we able to change the attitude of Protestants ? Did we influence their thought, or was our presence useless as they continued to develop their own liberal theologies and foreign teachings ? Were we hurt in the process ? While there is a strong reason to talk to the EO, for there are strong basis for unity and the goal is clear regardless of the difficult path, and even talk to Catholics for they at least have a central leadership to certain extent, one must question the goals of talking to Protestants. Even the bishops know and have declared many times that Protestants will come to the Orthodox faith only individually, not even as congregations, for there is no comon leadership you can talk to. Instead of focusing on individuals, we target the leaders whose positions depend on being Protestant and actually follow a certain agenda, motivated by money and politics more than the search for true faith.

If such meetings were coupled with an outright condemnation of all Protestant teachings and leaders, the old fashion way by a series of anathema that covers all their teachings and can be a reference for the ages to come, it would be fine. We can take it as a chance for evangelism while protecting the Orthodox faith. Yet, there has been a hesitation to do so. There has been a hesitation to enforce the canon of the Apostolic laws that forbids prayers and worship with heretics (unpopular word these days).

You are right to note that the image usually portrayed by the outcome of meetings of the MECC is the " all-cool christianity" that has no basis in theology or sacramental life and that such image gets promoted in our churches. This is suicidal. The Protestant benefit a lot from such meetings, as they are able to change their image as "wolves" in the minds of the orthodox and can play the role of the sheep more successfully.

Αριστοκλής ,
it is a matter of number of converts, regardless from which background they come from. As such, christians are easier to convince as Protestant do not have to struggle with them about Trinity and Incarnation and other aspects that are beyond comprehension for muslims. In addition, many Copts believe that there is a conspiracy between the government and the Protestant denominations as a result of pressure by foreign interests that own the government in Egypt. One can assume with much confidence that the agreement cannot contain conversion of muslims, even if the Protestant were interested in doing so. 

Mina,
I believe you are right about the WCC. The disastrous WCC meeting at Canberra in the early 90's could have served as a strong reason to revise the ecumenical policies. 

 
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2005, 10:28:16 AM »

I'm sorry, but the sermons are not a *Primary Source* of what any "Protestants" or other people said regarding the points in the beginning post.  They are what the preachers *say* the "Protestants" said. i.e. a  secondary source.

 I mean no disrespect here with my asking for a primary source.  Perhaps there are translation problems.  Perhaps misunderstandings between various groups.  If I were to post as fact that someone had said that an EO or OO group had made some outrageous statements without any supporting evidence, I strongly suspect that  it would be demanded (and justifiably so) that I provide some.

If the non-Coptic group did make these statements it is reprehensible.  If they did not, to claim that they did is not Truth.

Repectfully,

Ebor
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2005, 02:22:31 PM »

So you want them to go from hell-bound to.....hell-bound?

Personally? Yes.
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2005, 02:26:54 PM »

Quote
I'm sorry, but the sermons are not a *Primary Source* of what any "Protestants" or other people said regarding the points in the beginning post.


Since when did eye-witness accounts not constitute *primary sources*? Stavro's sources are most certainly valid primary sources, until discounted by valid evidence capable of undermining the credibility of such sources beyond reasonable doubt - that onus is on you.

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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2005, 03:51:22 PM »

Thank you EA. Always appreciate your support.

Ebor,
you do not have to believe anything, but the above mentioned clergy from Bishops and priests are very much valid references for Copts and OO and the recordings are in their voices. The topic is about the Protestant infiltration and techniques in our countries and among our congregations, and you will find this topic not challenged by any OO. We have dealt with Protestants in our countries too much to be surprised with any action by them. I assure you there is no translation problem, arabic is my native language and I understand the sermons perfectly, I have given you the way to track these sermons to their origin. Participants at the meeting from both sides speak arabic and were egyptians, so there was no misunderstanding.

I understand that to go as far as making such stupid statements about St.Mark and the mother church in Egypt is surprising for outsiders and is not in harmony with the Protestant missionary policy of pretending other than their really believe, but praise the Lord they finally did. Maybe they feel the support they get from their origin churches in the West and the political influence they can now exercise and there is no reason to hide anymore.

Respectfully,
Stavro



   
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2005, 10:15:38 PM »

If the protestant churches are willing to regard the Orthodox in Russia and Greece as pagan (as I've heard it stated before), then it shouldn't be surprising.
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2005, 10:42:54 AM »

I just heard of a situation here in Australia where certain Egyptian Protestants attempted to infiltrate the Coptic Church in Melbourne from within. They initially pretended to be Orthodox — confessing Orthodox dogmatic principles regarding the sacraments, Tradition, etc., and then managed to acquire positions as Sunday school servants and youth leaders. Cunningly and connivingly they sought to deceive the youth by allowing their corruptions to creep through their teachings. Once caught and exposed, these servants of the anti-Christ came out in the open, united together, broke off a faction of the Melbourne church, and established their own little sect which is now known as “Gospel Beacon”. This sect has been anathematised by the Holy Synod, who have also harshly ruled ex-communication upon any Orthodox who involves himself or herself with this group.

It seems that the next worse thing to a Protestant, is an Arab/Middle-Eastern Protestant.

Stavro, I’m not sure if you will get this joke, because I certainly didn’t, but I remember a while ago that my uncle told me that the difference between a Protestant and a Jehovah’s witness, is the difference between one who is “ghetet” and one who is “gheles”, though I can’t remember which is which.

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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2005, 11:31:44 AM »

I wonder if the Protestants are trying to infiltrate the other Orthodox churches as aggressively as ours.  These wicked serpents must be stopped.  I say this in memory of the blessed father of fathers Pope St. Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria, who fought Arius and his heresy.
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2005, 01:28:19 PM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=6127.0

I hope I pasted that correctly.  It's a thread from last spring entitled "non-Orthodox infiltrating a church."  As most of you probably remember, I described in that thread what happened at my church when some Evangelicals began teaching in our Sunday School. 

Just as an update, the couple who were doing the most damage were, in my opinion, very politely removed from our Sunday School staff over the summer.  They felt insulted, however, sent an e-mail around  telling everyone that the rest of us were lost, and they now attend an Evangelical church.  I have no doubt that they are now giving testimonials about how they tried to save some Orthodox, but we were just too caught up in "non-Biblical tradition" to truly accept Christ and be "saved."  The Evangelical church they now attend has ministries in the former Soviet Union.

Our priest is really trying to save our Sunday School.  It is hard, though, primarily due to the lack of volunteers who really know our Church's teachings. 

Another problem, in my opinion, is that the present generation of kids have been brought up expecting to be entertained.  This is a generation of kids who have been raised on hyper-kenetic cartoons and video games.   Even teachers in public schools are expected to make their lessons fun and entertaining, or the kids won't learn.  When you take kids like this and try to immerse them in the liturgy, which is what my priest is trying to do now, they just say that they are "bored."  They don't get the concept of applying themselves to worship.  This is especially true after they have been exposed to Evangelicalism, which is far more entertaining and oriented toward the people, rather than God.  How do you explain to kids that the purpose of going to church is not to be entertained, but to fall down before God and to give yourself to Him?

As I stated in the other thread, a lot of damage has been done to our Sunday School.  Please pray for my priest as he tries to repair the damage.
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2005, 03:22:35 PM »

Well sadly it is beginning to happen in India too,  there are people who are for all practical purposes, are practising  Evangelicals, but insist on calling themselves orthodox; very subtly during house visits or get togethers they start speaking out the usual stuff.

Worse than them are the liberal humanists, I guess parishes and priests will have to be very careful with Sunday School instruction too. Another problem in India, is the huge proliferation of Evangelical programmes on TV.  They are huge.

I guess it is the same everywhere, but the Orthodox will pull through won't we .

i guess we just have to tap into our inherent strengths.

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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2005, 06:32:02 PM »

I guess it is the same everywhere, but the Orthodox will pull through won't we .

And it is the same at every time, too. We often forget that these things have been going on for 2000 years, and are not new. In a novel package, yes, but not new. The Church will continue to thrive, and God can even benefit us by this. 1 John 2:19

"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2005, 12:49:59 PM »

Actually...I concur with the notion that the Church evolves and develops.ÂÂ  

ditto without it you would not have theological developement within Orthodoxy as well.   As far as Ecumenical counsels, the writing of the Church Fathers etc.
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2005, 12:56:07 PM »

- Luther's services to Christianity are by far better and more helpful than the services of Mark (St.Mark the Apostle).
- The Evangelical Church is the Mother Church of Egypt and the Coptic Church is just another denomination
- We have snatched, we will snatch and are snatching Orthodox to bring them to light.
- The Coptic Orthodox Church is forgotten and left without grace.
 


You know the Coptic church makes use of just about every Eastern Orthodox writing (just as long as it doesn't deal heavily on Chalcedon).    We use EO Bibles, Bible study, and theology papers all the time in our sunday school classes, own church position papers, sermons etc.    What I want to know is why don't we talk more about Patriarch Jeremiah II and the Lutherans?    The Byzantines have already done the work for us we just need to implement it.


The Three Answers of Patriarch Jeremiah II
A Commentary on Modern Ecumenical Dialogue With the Heterodox

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/jeremiah.aspx
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2005, 03:57:11 AM »

Quote
EA: Stavro, I'm not sure if you will get this joke, because I certainly didn't, but I remember a while ago that my uncle told me that the difference between a Protestant and a Jehovaha's witness, is the difference between one who is ghetet and one who is gheles though I can't remember which is which.
Smiley . Maybe both words are best translated as "annoying" or "irritating", to various degrees.

Salpy,
I remember the discussion from the thread you revived, thanks for bringing it up again. I am happy the Reformed couple were "relieved" from their Sunday School duties, but there is a chance the situation will be repeated again. The underlying problem is one of relativism and fake tolerance. I can relate to that from my own experience in the mid-90's in Egypt. 

The problem is not so much with the Protestant missionary techniques, for if they find a solid rock of Orthodoxy as their working field they will never bring any fruit and the seeds of destruction they sow will rotten. We should make all effort to oppose and expose such techniques, I am all for that and I opened this thread for this purpose, but I am equally concerned with the inside situation of the OO churches, especially in the West. It is the level of conspiracy of some members, few as they are, within the churches that is alarming, the level of complacence of few others that is surprising and the level of ignorance by many that is frightening. A friend commented on the display of the above by fellow church members on a coptic site and in servant meetings with the following statement. It is not eloquent, but it was from the heart:

"This is a trying time that we live in, and those who raise their voices against the overwhelming tide of "everyone must love everyone, and love means accepting everyone" is currently sweeping over our friends and family in the church. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER has loving someone meant that you must accept and tolerate everything that person believes in. Christ loves us unconditionally, but that in no way means that he enjoys or agrees when I sin. Our champions of faith, these are our teachers who offered their lives as an example for their children who would follow them. They teach us that while their may be 99 around us who would rather not cause a "fuss", there will always be 1 who does not see "fuss" as fuss, but as stating and declaring the time proven , historically backed, defended with blood and tears proclamation of our pure Orthodox faith."

The faith has always been passed down from one generation to the next, led by the Church but with magnificent contributions from the orthodox families that make up the congregations. Even in the darkest hours, when the hierarchs were banished and the churches closed, the faith continued from one generation to another. The situation is now different, especially in the churches in Europe and North America. One does not have to be a theologian to be Orthodox nor trained as one, but the simple practices such as bringing the child to church to make him get used to the hymns, praying in front of the icons, smelling the incense definitely makes the child get attached to the Church. Many parents do not make such effort for many reasons, and the children grow as strangers to the Church. 

The culture does not promote Orthodoxy. True religious fundamentalism has a bad reputation in many circles in Northern America and Europe, and its image is further tarnished by the fake fundamentalists who do not present the right approach to faith. Because Orthodoxy is a practice that goes back to the fundamentals, without the theological development BS nowadays propagated among some suspicious circles, it does not resonate with the public who are raised up on relativism. Little is said in the church and in Sunday schools about the approach to faith and how it can only pass through Orthodoxy. 

On the other hand, not every parish has capable teachers who stress on the importance of going back to the fundamentals and build your way up from there. You rarely find a sermon in the liturgy, when most of the congregation is present, which deals with a theological or soteriological aspect of the faith. Morals and good Christian behavior are the subjects of many sermons but the foundation is not solid enough to bring such fruits. Talking about morals is not lacking in the Protestant and Catholic churches or teachings, and they are only part of salvation that does not suffice alone. A balance is required between both. 

This ecumenical movement has hurt the Church badly. Protestants, when they established the World council and the other regional councils, had a certain task in their mind and it was to unit all sects under one umbrella. This is a very feasible and reasonable goal for the Protestants, for they have no absolute standard of faith to begin with and everything is open to negotiation and to manipulation. One has to admit that they have achieved some good compromises, like any flexible and intelligent political leaders would be able to achieve. The case is different for Orthodox. We do not have the liberty of evolving theology. The Coptic Church has sent its best youth out to the youth conferences, dominated by number and by teachings by the Protestants, and has thrown them into the fire to “communicate” our beliefs to the Protestants. These servants were being prepared to be leaders in their age, and they became such. Oh, I forgot to mention that they brought back all the “tolerance” they learnt from such conferences with them. Now they are youth leaders themselves, promoted from within the Church. I am concerned with the mind set they bring to the Church, one of relativism. They do not present the faith as the truth, but as an ideology. Once this has been established, all kind of heresies will follow. 

Then comes the problem with the library and books, and the lack of control over it. The purchase of books by the library and its promotion is not always the fruit of a policy to raise the awareness level of the congregation and identify the areas they need to get more educated on. It is sometimes a very random process and depends on the personal views. I was surprised to find a Coptic orthodox book site featuring two famous protestant books that contain many errors, starting with the translation of verses. These books are about service and the purpose of life, as if the Orthodox fathers and orthodox contemporary writers of the Church have not written enough about these topics. If we might excuse the bookstore keeper based on ignorance, how would we excuse a priest who endorses such books?

If anybody wants to present anything else other than the Orthodox Faith, let them do that freely, but OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. There cannot be any tolerance with such practices inside the Church. In the end, the question concerning Protestants has to be sealed once and for all. Are they saved or not? The worst answer is: We do not know. There is no basis for fighting heresy if this "common" answer  Angry is tolerated and propagated more than it has been among our congregations. It is a deviation from Tradition and biblical command not to test the spirit and judge the faith of others.

By the way, heresy is not a politically correct word in many circles. Let us refer to it as the "theologically inadequate", or "the H-word" .   
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2005, 06:36:02 PM »

By the way, heresy is not a politically correct word in many circles. Let us refer to it as the "theologically inadequate", or "the H-word" .

Hehe, good one  Cheesy
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2005, 07:04:37 PM »

In the end, the question concerning Protestants has to be sealed once and for all. Are they saved or not? The worst answer is: We do not know.

But that is correct - no one does but God.

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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2005, 09:42:10 PM »

Stavro,

I really liked your post and the points you made are very applicable to my church.  The biggest problem is ignorance.  So many people just don't know the differences between us and other churches.  They know there is a difference, but not the details of what separates us.  Consequently, you get this tolerant attitude, where people say, "Well, we're all Christians.  There's no reason we can't use Protestant materials, teachers, etc. in our Sunday School." 

You also made a good point about the sermons in our churches.  More theology needs to be taught on Sundays, as that is the only way people will really learn it.  Unfortunately, most Armenian priests tend to shy away from that.  My priest recently, however, has begun to address some of these issues in his sermons.  I think it is a result of what happened in our Sunday School.  A little while ago, for example, he preached a sermon on what to say when someone asks you, "Are you saved?"  He said we should think of ourselves as "being saved" and explained what all that means.   It is a step in the right direction.  I only hope more Armenian priests follow my priest's example in addressing these issues.
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« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2005, 01:12:23 AM »

Gee, I've only been the moderator for a few days and I am already moderating...

This post is addressed to Beavis and sdcheung:

Specifically, I've been asked to address a couple of posts in this thread which someone read and thought were inappropriate.  The posts in question were post #6 by Beavis and post #13 by sdcheung.  Beavis, it seems that your post was read as indicating you believe all Protestants are hell-bound.  Sdcheung, your post was read as indicating you want all Protestants to be hell-bound. 

When I first read the posts, I thought they were tongue-in-cheek.  Beavis, I didn't think you actually meant that all Protestants are hell-bound, because to say definitively that a whole category of people are going to hell is a prerogative of God.  It would therefore be blasphemous for an Orthodox faithful to seriously make such a statement and I know you take your Orthodoxy very seriously.  Likewise, sdcheung, I thought you were just kidding in your statement, because to want a whole category of people to go to hell would be uncharitable, and I know you are not an uncharitable person.

Regardless of what your intentions were, however, you need to realize that people get offended by statements such as these and we do not want to be a stumbling block to our brethren.  Please be a little more sensitive to this in the future.  Actually, I think all of us should take care in our posts to make our points without being potentially offensive.  When I re-read some of my own posts, I realize I sometimes come very close to being insulting.  It is easy (and sometimes fun) to bash a group of people when some of their members have caused us annoyance and grief.  We must remember, however, that not all members of the group are like that, and we must be careful as Christians not to be uncharitable.  Smiley

Thanks, guys.  Now back to our regular programming.

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« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2005, 03:34:57 AM »

But that is correct - no one does but God.

We would have to ask two questions to get a better answer:
- Are Protestants heretics ?
If yes, then:
- Can heretics be saved ?

In addition, we know that God has revealed the way for salvation to us in clear terms without any philosophical manipulations that are the fruit of philosophical advancements rather than any theological sound arguments. Protestants are excluded of the New Covenant as they  excluded themselves from the sacraments, having no atonement.

If we do not know how we are saved, then we are not sure about our own salvation. There is a big difference between judging actions  and between judging a certain faith. The latter is a biblical command and a solid Tradition in our history.
We do not judge Protestant intentions nor their actions and its relevance to their salvation, or whether they are sinners or not. Such is not our intention, and frankly, good works without Orthodoxy do not save.
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« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2006, 01:47:02 PM »

Dear

I guess it is very important to have the source of the information posted here (the original source, not quoting the words), because personally, I am a member in the MECC Youth Committee as a representative of my church (Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All East) and I heard nothing about this. Moreover, I was in the 9th Assembly of the WCC, and attended the regional meeting that was moderated by H.E. Bishop Bishoy, and all the protestant participants from Egypt were there (including Rev. Dr. Saftwat Bayadi who was sitting next to Bishop Bishoy) and nothing was mentioned regarding this, neither in the Plenaries, nor in the regional meeting, not even behind the scenes among the chit-chat among the participants.

I guess we should be more and more scientific and see the real source, not only rumors.

In Christ
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« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2006, 05:23:19 PM »

Quote
I guess it is very important to have the source of the information posted here (the original source, not quoting the words), because personally
You are totally right, and therefore, you might check the first posts. I gave you the audio CD information in which such information are available, and these are sermons by the reverend priests and bishops in the Coptic Church. The fact that you sat beside H.E. does not prove anything, if truly this happened.

Quote
I guess we should be more and more scientific and see the real source, not only rumors.
We should for sure, and I did not see you do anything like that. Did you check the information I gave in the first posts ? If not, keep your advice for yourself.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2006, 05:31:07 PM by Stavro » Logged

In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
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