edited September 2013 in Coptic Orthodox Church


  • These are all people who have totally different ideas about christianity than we do. They have all persecuted us at some point.

    Please point me to a resource on the persecution of Egyptian Christians by the British, the Germans, and any West Europeans in the first millenium, and even up to the reformation. It would be truly fascinating to see evidence of this event, which it seems, has been completely obliterated from recorded history.

    Was there a secret war waged when the Alexandrian and Roman rites were considered as one rite, since the Romans imported the rite of the land of Egypt, and was the church most closely related to us of all the Churches in Orthodoxy, until, tragically, centuries later their play for power lead them out of Orthodoxy? Were the irish conspiring to commit genocide against the Copts when they received a group of Coptic monks and exchanged ideas and monastic influence with them? Have the Swiss been planing to wipe you out while they venerated the Theban legion, and built Churches in their names?

    Western Theology went far astray from Orthodox because of the influence of people like Aquinas, Anselm, and Augustine. Prior to that Rome was just one of the Orthodox Churches. The Churches in France and England were not caught up initially in the politics of it, and did not have their historic Orthodox roots replaced with what became Roman Catholic theology and practise until later.

    Certainly any hymns from this period of Orthodox belong not only to the West, but to the history of the whole, undivided Orthodox Church.

    Furthermore, during the reformation, the Roman Catholic innovations were rejected by the reformers. Luther came quite close to Orthodoxy before others like Calvin rejected what was good along with what was bad, and started down the path to modern day Protestantism. But you would be shocked what *some* of the early Protestants were like. Many of them had icons, venerated the Vrigin, etc. Yes, they all had errors. None of them achieved their objective of throwing off Roman innovation and returning to the worship of the original Church. But at this early stage, there were hymns composed with a simple Christian faith with very little objectionable. Treated with discernment, by our holy fathers, not any layman, some of them can be sanitized profitably.

    You cannot reject the whole of western culture because the modern-day westerners have rejected their own cultural roots for happy clappy crap.

    Even if they had persecuted you. So what? 1500 years ago, the Copts took from the pharaonic culture, and adapted it to meet their Liturgical need, for example taking the burial hymn for a pharaoh, and adapting the words to speak about Christ's death in golgotha. If we apply your arguments, they should have said "these people are pagans, not Christians, they have persecuted us, and they do not know Christ, we cannot give them any opening to influence us.". If that had happened, the Coptic Church would still be worshipping in the Greek culture it received, and probably only a few elite would follow it, worshipping in Greek, it would never have become the Church of the land. Of course, 500 years earlier than that, if the Jews who were scattered by the persecution in Jerusalem had refused to mingle with the cultures of other lands, there would be no gentile Church, and Christianity would have remained a Jewish sect. St. Paul would not have praised the zeal of those who worshipped an unknown God, but would have said "no way, we don't want to give these people any window to influence us". The Liturgy would have stayed in Hebrew, there would be no Greek theology, with terms like osia taken from Greek philosophy, and we'd all be damned.

    You may want to keep the Church Coptic in North America. But you can't. If you do, it's not the Church, it's not sharing the Gospel, it's inward looking. The Polish probably expected their kids would still be worshipping in their Polish tradition centuries after coming here. Now all the Polish Catholic Churches have closed down in this diocese, except for 1, with 2 priests in their 90's. The people are now part of the North American culture, not the Polish culture their forefathers expected them to remain in when coming here. It's just the way it goes. Adapt, speak to the culture, or die as a Church.
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