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Are you sure it was called the Church of Ethiopia when St Frementius came? I guess we need to position our arguments in a specific location of time and space. While the Church of Ethiopia, just like the Church of Pentapolis, are one and the same church, my understanding is that ecclesiastically it became the Church of Alexandria under Canon 6 of Nicaea. (Luckily Canon 6 actually mentions Pentapolis)
"Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail."
The canon clearly states that the custom predates the Nicene council. Alexandria has jurisdiction over Pentapolis and Ethiopia (and essentially the whole African continent and now suffragan dioceses through out the world).
Each city has the Church and should be called the Church of that city or in that city. However, the ancient "Churches retain their privilege." I guess that would include the privilege to be recognized in the title of suffragan diocese. So the Church of Boston should also be understood as the Church of Alexandria in Boston. This distinction is sometimes necessary because all "ancient Churches" have now included suffragan dioceses throughout the world and many in one city. The only thing that differentiates these suffragan dioceses is ecumenical councils and culture. (I'm not going to waste anyone's time arguing for Protestant Churches. By Churches, I mean Orthodox Churches). So the Church of Boston, practically can mean (1) the Orthodox Church in Boston that follow Non-Chalcedonian theology devoid of a particular culture, (2) the Orthodox Church in Boston that follows Chalcedonian theology devoid of a particular culture, (3) the Orthodox Church in Boston that follows Non-Chalcedonian theology and historically and culturally follows and is under the authority of the Church of Alexandria. (4) the Orthodox Church in Boston that follow Chalcedonian theology and historically and culturally follows and is under the authority of the Church of Greece. (5-?) Now include the 5 other Non-Chalcedonian families and the 14? other Chalcedonian families. All of these suffragan diocese are found in Boston and their distinction helps us understand that theological and cultural differences exist.
Even if the faith is identical (i.e., we remove the distinction of Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian), we still have to accept the cultural impact of each "church". Theologically, this should not be the case. We are all part of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church. But we cannot ignore the cultural identity of each church. If we did, then like I said in a previous post, we have to essentially remove everything we know, like language, music, customs, food, etc. This is not what anyone is advocating. We are advocating how much culture should we accept (which I will respond to your other post)
We also have to retain the "privilege of each ancient church" as predicated by Nicaea Canon 6. So saying the Church of Alexandria in Ethiopia or the Church of Alexandria in Pentapolis seems to be what Nicaea Canon 6 implied. While I prefer to be called the Church in Boston, it doesn't identify and position my church in time and space in the ecclesiastical mixture we now live in.
Most of what you wrote is agreeable to both of us. Let us discuss some points.
"So I'm not saying to change into the culture, but to change into the language of the group. And I only advocate 50% of another language if that roughly corresponds to what the demographic language is. I can safely assume less than 5% of Copts (probably way less) speak Coptic (so that should never be 50%). "
First let me clarify that I am not saying we should force anything on any body, especially a foreign language. If this is not agreed on, then everything coming is pointless.
I don't agree that the usage of a liturgical language is dependent on the demographics or on linguistic competency. By your logic, If 100% of Copts speak bad Coptenglish (like "and with your ESPIRIT", a second or third grade vocabulary proficiency, verbs before nouns, etc), then we should abandon proper English and abandon the liturgical translation we have now and use 100% Coptenglish for all services.
In addition if one person in the entire church knows 100% Coptic and 100% Coptic services is the means for establishing a relationship with God, you are basically telling him "Tough luck buddy. You get only 5% because that is the demographics of the area and if you can't establish that relationship with God through English proper then go somewhere else. You're a lost cause." Yet, Matthew 18 and Luke 15 tells us that even if one person is lost (and I would say that "different than the majority" is included in the meaning of "lost"), the only logical thing is to do whatever it takes to get that one lost person, even if you abandon the ninety-nine. If that means the ninety-nine don't get the preferential amount of English so that the one may get 100% Coptic, then it is still an act of love.
What I have been advocating is that we should have services in proper English, in Coptenglish, in Coptic proper, in whatever language is used, in long hymns, in short hymns, in whatever it takes so that 100% of the people come to God even if it is not something I personally prefer.
You also wrote:
"IF a Copt knows Chinese and wants to do a mission in Chinatown, or knows Spanish and wants to do a mission in Cuban Miami, okay fine. I don't know why it's so difficult to understand."
You're missing the point of what I was saying. It is not only about doing mission work in a foreign country. If a Coptic convert from China comes to your church and his primary language is not English and he sits next to you and wants to share in prayer, what do you do? You figure out a way to communicate in Chinese. I'm not saying we must require all Copts to learn Chinese and all 5000+ current living languages. I am saying that the vernacular is not appropriate 100% of the time - which is what people who advocate removing Coptic or Arabic argue. What does the "mind of Christ" say in Philippians 2? It doesn't say "Tough luck buddy. No Chinese here, ever." Neither does it say "Tough luck, fanatic Copt. No more Coptic here in America."
The remaining part of your post reiterates your preferences of allowable Coptic. It makes complete sense to you but it would be considered blasphemy to someone else. I know in your list, you include simple Coptic that is easily understandable. Others will argue that they are perfectly fine saying more complex Coptic while not understanding Coptic because they are comfortable with the translation. Others will argue that not even Kyrie eleson is appropriate. I'm not going to argue one list of allowable Coptic vs another. All I am trying to say is that if your list allows any Coptic and you (or anyone in church) still does not understand what they're saying then why are we even arguing competency or understandability at all? The only reason I see is to politicize one's own preference.
“I am dumbfounded by some of the statements above.”
Thank you for proving my point: One person’s acceptable level of Egyptian cultural influence is another person’s abomination of desolation.
“Persistence in using the Coptic dialect is unrational ( in my opinion).”
And that it is…just your opinion. You have created a cause and effect relationship that doesn’t exist. Just because one insists (not persists) to use Coptic, it does not mean such insistence is irrational. (And thank you for proving my point on Coptenglish - unrational is not an English word). If you can show that insistence on using Coptic causes youth to leave the Church, then you might have a point. But Coptic does not cause the youth to leave the Church. People cause the youth to leave the church.
“Is it fair for the youth to attend a liturgy and ask them to follow along some projector/screen or liturgical book if they want to understand what we are praising.”
Yes it is. Asking someone to follow along on a screen or a book is very fair. Every church in the world gives books to the congregation to follow along. What I assume you’re asking is “Is it fair to have some one follow on a screen or a book in a different language.” And my answer again is yes. Read 1 Cor 14. Did St Paul tell the Corinthians to ban the foreign language/tongue or prophecy? No. Did St Paul say no interpretation/translation allowed. All prophecy and instruction must be in the vernacular. No.
Now is it fair for you to decide that youth who must attend a liturgy with only English is more important than anyone else who wants Arabic or Coptic or any other language? Is it fair for you to decide that those who want another language are causing the youth to perish, but it is perfectly ok to dismiss all those people who want Arabic or Coptic? Are the youth who want English more important than the youth and the non-youth who want Coptic and English?
“Is that how we reveal who Christ is.....is He that impersonable and unapproachable and tough to taste!!!”
Your questions (if we can really call them questions) have more implications than you perceive. If you ware talking about Christ as the Logos, then yes He is unapproachable, infinite, ineffable and everything we are not (unless you want to disagree with St Gregory and his liturgy). Now if by impersonable, (which again is not an English word), you meant impersonal, than no because Christ emptied Himself for us to touch and taste. How this relates to language is beyond me.
“Why these stumbling blocks we place before the youth and even the adults.”
The stumbling block is not Coptic or any language. It is this attitude and this sense of entitlement that argues liturgical service must conform to my preference that stumbles the youth and adults.
“Coptic language at the expense of understanding/preaching/ and even reconciling the youth with Christ is ludicrous.”
Provide any evidence that Coptic language is an enmity between the youth and Christ. Provide any reference where anyone said the Coptic language must come at the expense of understanding or preaching or reconciliation with Christ. What does “reconciling the youth with Christ even mean”? Is Coptic preventing Christ from being God who is capable to reconcile with anyone? Did I also not say “I am not saying we should force anything on any body, especially a foreign language”? No one is arguing that Coptic is God. But condemning people who do not agree with your preference of English makes you a judge in place of God.
“As a high school servant, I assure you that some if not many Youth in our church do not have a relationship with the Church or even the Lord Himself.”
And Coptic is the cause of this sin? Maybe these many youth have no relationship with the Church or even the Lord Himself because they chose to abandon God and the Church without any influence of Coptic.
“Forgive me, but wake up, many youth are leaving the church and we need to address it.”
And did using English or Arabic prevent the youth from leaving the church? I doubt it has. If you want to address the problem, identify the real cause; whatever it may be. Don’t make Coptic the scapegoat.
“The least we can do is speak their language.”
Isn’t that what I have been saying all along? My question to you is, would feel this same way if “their language” was not English?
“Do you guys even comprehend the intricacies of your praises. You cannot contend that you know the meaning praise i f you did not read the Spirituality of Rights of the Midnight Praises (by Bishop Mettaious) (note this is not his book of the Liturgy, but tasbeha).”
And this phrase is why I am not responding in a more compassionate language. You want to fix a perceived problem of language by judging and condemning me on how incompetent I understand the intricacies of Coptic praises. Is that in Bishop Mattaos’ book? I am incompetent in understanding Coptic praises but that does not mean it gives a justifiable reason to abandon Coptic praise or the Coptic language.
“I am sorry but please help us serve the youth and reveal Christ to them.”
Have you ever stopped to think that the youth may see Christ revealed through Coptic and Coptic praise? Have you ever stopped to think that Coptic hymns reveal Christ in a most sublime and profound way that has nothing to do with language?
“I believe it is time we stop electing priests/church board members from the deaconate and start choosing them from highschool youth servants or leaders.”
Who says priest and church board members are chosen from the diaconate? (It is diaconate, not deacon ate.) Did you hear it from any bishop? Why do you insist on judging and condemning the actions of everyone because it does not conform to your perceived analysis of the youth?
“Forgive me for being blunt i am amazed at what is being said.”
Being blunt is not a sin. Judging is. Try discussing what is being said without judging.