I'm a Coptic atheist. I wrote a long post before describing why I left.

I realise this topic may be frowned upon over here, but I have to get it out because I don't like being one-sided, I like hearing both sides of a discussion, so here goes:

I was an Orthodox Christian from Egypt and now in Australia, but ever since a young age I learned to silently observe and judge everything and everyone around me. To a Christian it may not be a human's place to judge, but by judging I've saved myself from being in many bad situations so I am unrepentant.

Anyway, what I've seen of the religion (and the many abhorrent things it encourages such as circumcision and marriage between cousins in Arab countries) and the Copts in general were not things I would like to be associated with, and I'm gonna link the whole reddit post below so you can read at your leisure.

Despite what I've seen, the final straw was how religion manipulates its followers into it since a young age, it indoctrinates them into being mindless drones and the Coptic church encourages that and is VERY proud of it. I have a brain and can think on my own; I refuse to be a mindless sheep.

I'm not here to deconvert anyone, just articulating my experiences and I don't mind giving the opposite view in some other posts so as to not be in an echo chamber as long as I am not banned.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, here's the link, I'd like to hear your views on this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/exchristian/comments/65azyn/i_am_leaving_the_eastern_orthodox_church_good/?utm_content=title&utm_medium=user&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=frontpage
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Comments

  • edited April 25
    I have read all your reddit post and replies

    It is true we are imperfect people trying to be better. We have not however claimed we have found the truth outside of God. We do not claim that we are morally superior to God but His laws are righteous for all the world. For instance just because God has said homosexuality is wrong not according to His will He has said it is wrong to stone them
    and some of us uninformed are still as Christians trying to show as our duty is why homosexuality if not repented deserves God disapproval. If people really were born homosexual it wouldn't be a sin to have relations with other people in your gender. If they existed the bible would have written something for them.

    But it could be because of original sin which makes us all bent towards sin and those who don't have the Holy Spirit may find it natural to have disordered desires. Therefore they should try to be healed by accepting the Holy Spirit. If they are not healed soon I can see why some can say they are born gay. But you can not fool God He knows those who are attracted to opposite sex and they are trying to deny it. They never have had a same gender only attraction. Also I think original sin only makes us bent more to certain sins but can not take ones natural attraction to opposite sex also. Homosexuality carries the penalty of sexual diseases like AIDS which is meant to deter people who want to pretend to be gay to get attention

    There are very few maybe 1 in a million are maybe born with both a penis and vagina and they have to choose which one they want to be male or female. My dad told me this

    There are certain servants who do not encourage critical thinking but not all do.
  • edited April 25
    Thanks for your response. I really don't know how to quote over here so this in response to mikeforjesus.

    Notice how I mentioned xenophobia, child abuse, indoctrination and other stuff but I went nowhere near homophobia. Truth is, I am shamelessly guilty of it too. The thought of homosexuality disgusts me, but unlike the church, I will not meddle into someone else's affairs and try to manipulate, guilt and shame them for their choices. I would observe, judge and keep my thoughts to myself (or post them anonymously on the internet :) ).

    Many servants, priests, bishops and church heads feel the need to express their authority and dictate what you should and shouldn't do.

    "There are certain servants who do not encourage critical thinking but not all do."

    My opinion is anyone who lacks the capacity to question them on that lacks the capacity for critical thinking in the first place. The ability to think on your own and come to your own conclusions makes the difference between being a brainwashed drone in a cult or being an intellectual human.

    If it's not too much to ask, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the other issues I mentioned and thanks for your response.
  • edited April 25
    My opinion of indoctrination is the church must not be weary of people who ask questions and respect their freedom to disagree and they should not hate them and never wish to see them again until they accept but allow them to continue to discuss without fear. It is only fair that as much time is given to teach and defend the truth and if there is too much wrong thoughts in the world more time should be given in the church for the truth

    Xenophobia is a problem when we hate other races and people of other religions we should be a light to all the world for Jesus. We shouldn't rejoice in others destruction as some do or appear to. Unfortunately I am probably guilty of being a stumbling block. Not making them aware that we care about them more than being right. Showing we have been faithful to them by showing the riches of the gospel. We are the salt of the earth if we lost our saltiness we deserve to be trampled underfoot by men by rebuking us for being wrong but not killing us especially people who have done no wrong because we make some people think God has ruined their relationships and life because they don't even believe they need the gospel.
    Because the bible says not to stir up or awaken love until it pleases.
    We should be able to help people see God is good and so the gospel is good news to all people. God would not judge anyone who does not deserve it

    We do however need to be discerning and have wisdom towards those outside like not letting people in a country in the wrong time or providing other wise solutions lest as Jesus says giving our pearls to them they destroy us.

    Child abuse is not much of a problem in our church as far as I thought and if it was done by a priest he would not be a priest anymore

    Those in the Catholic Church who abuse children should be punished because those priests may be Tares trying to hurt people from entering the church

    As for child abuse because of circumcision people should not do that even if it helps us be less tempted with sins unless it really helps us from getting serious health problems. It should be a persons choice

    I am going to sleep now but hope I can be of any help tommorow or another day
  • Hi CopticAppstate,

    I pray the risen Christ of glory be forever by your side to guide you through His will and providence.

    If you have any questions about faith or practice, we are more than happy to help you with that.

    Mina
  • I'm only going to comment on birth and baptism. Your issue on male circumcision, to be discrete, isn't scientifically proven. I think you're confusing the issue of male circumcision with females, which based on my experience, the Church is against due to more educated members of the clergy.

    Regarding baptism, I also think you're conflating the issue of child sexual abuse and naked infants in the baptismal. Granted, I believe there are some priests and bishops (well one bishop I know) who shouldn't be allowed to baptize infants, not because of sexual abuse, but because of immersing the child in a dangerous position for the child. In other words, I'm not against baptism or taking photos of baptism ceremoniously, and certainly I don't see anything "sexual" about a naked infant (if you know anyone who does, that's a psychiatric problem, not a common one), I'm only against those who are not baptizing the infants PROPERLY to avoid undue injury to the baby.

    With that in mind, these are the small things I see that is problematic in your experience.

    God bless!
  • edited April 25
    CopticApostate, Mina and Mike are being nice to you. I am not going to do that. Count yourself lucky. They are smarter than I and they can easily demolish your claims. But they are nicer than I am. So I'll demolish your claims for them. 

    Every thing you wrote in your reddit article is filled with wrong conclusions, errors, non-substantiated opinions and outright childish behavior. I won't waste anyone's time going through point by point on how you are wrong. 

    I will simply point this out:
    You claim that Coptic Church is a cult because it "indoctrinates people into mindless drones." (Your own words) Then you claimed "but unlike the church, I will not meddle into someone else's affairs and try to manipulate, guilt and shame them for their choices." (Again your own words)

    Well if the Coptic Church is a cult and it meddles in other people's affairs, why are you here on a Coptic site? If you judged the Coptic Church as a cult that you had to leave, why are you back here? While denying you are not like this cult that meddles, you are here meddling with Copts. Now tell me, who is the one without critical thinking? 

    If atheism is right, you have nothing to worry about and you have no reason to be here except to prostelytize Copts into your thinking (ie meddling). If atheism is wrong, you're on own in the hands of a fearful God. If the Coptic Church is as evil as you make it, leave and good bye. If the Coptic Church is the True Church of Christ, then you will face God at judgment and that will be your problem. It is clearly evident from your article that many servants, priests and even your parents tried to help you but you adjudicated that they are all guilty of one sin after another. They have all done their part. You're on own.

    On the other hand, if you really want to critically think - and I guarantee that you will see the Orthodox Church is right if you have an open heart - then you will inevitably repent. If you think this is another example of the Coptic Church trying to make you a sheep - well you would be wrong since I already said, go on your own and don't come back. Either way, it's up to you what you want to do. Just don't pretend you figured everything without actually giving any evidence to substantiate your claims, turn around and do the things that you complained about against the Coptic Church, and conclude 2000 years of Coptic Christianity means nothing. That is the perfect example of non-critical thinking. 
  • I read your post. Couldn't help but realize that you and most of those replying (well, all of them, actually) brought no philosophy/doctrine/dogma/hard evidence to the table, yet everyone seems extremely content with a pat on the shoulder saying "been there, man. Been there." So really, theres nothing to refute except that you've internalized faults of everyone outside you, and imagined yourself blameless; the same can be said for all your buddies. 

    Mindless drones is an interesting claim to make; because (and if were being absolutely honest), reading your post made me think of the kombucha mushroom people (thats for all you System of a Down fans out there). Herd mentality. No points. No arguments. 

    Yes, you have a brain. Yes, you can think on your own. Your reddit post does not, however, indicate that you have been doing that. 

    RO
  • Hello CopticApostate,
    I'm sorry that you feel the way you do about the Coptic Church. The church in general holds to it's tradition, which is a straight path without many deviations (well not many I pray).
    But reading your reddit and the opinion you formed after watching the matrix movie, says to me there maybe a problem with authority and that the movie has polarized your thoughts and the authority now seems controlling.
    There are times in life where we rebel against authority because we have thoughts that are independent (especially concerning the values of this world as opposed to the needs of the church), but the church seeks salvation even for those who oppose her.
    You may find CopticApostate, that the freedom you now have in your independence is not real freedom and that your identity is more governed by the world in its increasingly fallen state (pardon the pun). Your own wisdom will get you by for a while but it will not be sufficient enough for your lifes needs because you can't control situations but at best manipulate.
    Our fight is against sin and we achieve this by participating in God's divinity (which is perfect and pure).
    2 Peter 1: 3-4.
    His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own Glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
    If I was to choose between this salvation and the wisdom of this increasingle corrupted world even if this church has faults, I know which to follow and for me it has gone way pass the starting point of choice but that it is the true life and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is many things to us but one of the most important is He is a teacher. Someone whom we learn from and the learning is what we participate in the gospel. Do we stop our learning upon athiests advice?
    The hardest emotion to control is fear. When you read or listen to someone sometime, you can see where their fears are, and they have to do with sin. Even self-pity, because it's about pride. That is what people do when they feel threatened ( they defend their dignity) and that dignity is full of sin ( pride, jealousy etc). Our dignity is deceptive because it hides all the flaws we have. But in our Lord Jesus we become honest like there is nothing to hide and transparent ( like the Holy Spirit).
    In regards to indoctrination, we might seem like it is a process but the processes are for perfection (unlike the demands of the ego), in which we are nurtured by God by participating in part of His divinity.

    I am truely sorry for the the reasons you have put forward CopticApostate but I also pray for your wellbeing that your hopefull return to that which may seems lost at the moment.
  • Dear CopticApostate,

    It's about transfiguration dear friend. Transfiguration. Transfigure yourself with the aid of God who is working in us. It cannot happen without violence to oneself. "the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" Matthew 11 
    Once you figure this out you'll be a lot more at peace with yourself and those around you. Self pity won't get you anywhere and is one of the greatest deception we fall into.
  • edited April 26


    We should be able to help people see God is good and so the gospel is good news to all people. God would not judge anyone who does not deserve it

    They deserve punishment who knowing the truth and what is required of them and do not do it according to Matthew 24:42-44 and God will have patience on all who deserve it .Or does that refer to dying in unbelief unready ? Because if a person is ever truly sorry of his sins however late and is commited to following Jesus and dies that way maybe he will be saved
    but we do not know when we will die. Those who delay repentance in unbelief deserve judgement at any time because they also make others stumble and willful sin is unbelief also. But perhaps we all have to fear we need to be more holy thinking ourselves maybe not holy like the wise virgins or maybe not exactly because then what hope is there for sinners? unless we are just as great sinners but not obviously


    Matthew 24:42-44
    42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your
    thoughts and I am sorry for the negative experiences you had in the Coptic
    Church. I would like to point out that a lot of the things you describe relate
    to Egyptian culture/traditions and NOT Christianity. Unfortunately these less
    than positive experiences often leave us questioning our religion and how we fit
    in something that sometimes resembles a cult and goes against everything we
    believe to be right, I know because I was in that same situation. Please realize that there are a
    lot of things that are culturally acceptable that have no place in the life of a Coptic Christian as they clearly go against the teachings of the bible. 
    Thank fully in my experience God reached out to me in my
    despair and confusion to show me what Christianity truly is about and I hope He
    does the same for you. There is nothing more beautiful than having a personal relationship with God and knowing how loving, merciful, kind, gracious and
    forgiving He is. I hope you will not let your past experiences prevent you from
    seeking God and living the fulfilling life He has designed for
    you. 


  • So many responses. Sorry I couldn't respond in a timely manner taking account the different timezone between OZ and the US (which I assume most of you are in), so here goes:

    • minasoliman
    "I think you're confusing the issue of male circumcision with females, which based on my experience, the Church is against due to more educated members of the clergy."

    No, I meant male circumcision. It's an equally horrible thing to do to both males and females. The "more educated members" should tell the parents to wait until their children grow up and can consent to it. You wouldn't have newborns getting piercings or tattoos so why damage an area rich with nerves that wouldn't grow back. This also hints at God's imperfection, if the foreskin or the area in general is going to be a cause of illness why would God put it there in the first place. Here are some studies done on it if you want to read about it. The way I see it, the church benefits in that males would have a reduced sexual sensitivity keeping them in line with the church's teachings. I wouldn't have a problem with that if it were consensual but in most cases it is not.

    Sexual abuse

    You do know that in many cases, sexual abuse goes unreported right? Particularly among males as it is pride damaging and in Arab countries because of the stigma. It doesn't take any credential training to be a priest (such as a "working with children" certificate here in OZ). All it takes is a recommendation from the people of the community to the local bishop. What makes you so certain that a pedo can't just act normal in front of people and abuse the system if he knows his victims can't speak out?

    • Remnkemi 
    Well if the Coptic Church is a cult and it meddles in other people's affairs, why are you here on a Coptic site? If you judged the Coptic Church as a cult that you had to leave, why are you back here? While denying you are not like this cult that meddles, you are here meddling with Copts

    I literally answered that on the first sentence of this post. I want to hear other people's views on the matter and hopefully have some form of discussion as I don't like having a one-sided black-and-white mentality similar to Christianity. The Coptic community is very small and has very little presence online. There is literally no place for people like me to speak about this in the real world without alienating 98% of my contacts, because almost every Copt I know is a religious nut. I guess you could say one of my other reasons why I wrote this is to get the feel of what it would be like when I come out and honestly, I was expecting more hostile comments, which I'm used to getting whenever I challenge the status quo, but so far I was proven wrong by the tolerance of everyone here.

    Now tell me, who is the one without critical thinking? 

    Let's see...
    1. Didn't even read the post to get a more detailed view on the thoughts of a "lost sheep".
    2. Didn't read the first paragraph as assumed by your question on why I'm here.
    3. I know that tone of voice doesn't carry over text so I could be wrong here but you went straight into an anger frenzy (nothing is wrong with anger, but it makes you more susceptible to lack of thinking).
    4. Using the fear tactic of God, hell and judgement which many religious people fall back on in the face of controversial views (which never works on people who have no fear to begin with, rather it has the opposite effect of deterring people from a trigger-happy God throwing all non-believers to hell regardless).
    I think the answer to your question is a simple "you".

    you have no reason to be here except to prostelytize Copts into your thinking

    Again, you probably didn't read what I had to say other than my main point. Let me directly quote myself I'm not here to deconvert anyone, just articulating my experiences and I don't mind giving the opposite view in some other posts so as to not be in an echo chamber as long as I am not banned."

    If people don't want me in this forum, then I have no issue leaving or being kicked out. Again, I'm here to get a little taste of what will happen when I come out. Honestly, I don't think anything I ever said is enough to deter anyone from any religion and it was never my intention, it's just how I saw it. 

    I also never said that people with critical thinking can't come to a conclusion opposite to my own. It's just what I came up with.

    1. Just don't pretend you figured everything without actually giving any evidence to substantiate your claims, 
    2. turn around and do the things that you complained about against the Coptic Church, 
    3. and conclude 2000 years of Coptic Christianity means nothing.

    1. All the evidences are in the long post and I give stories and reasons behind my judgements. I don't pass them off blindly. They may seem petty, childish or whatever derogatory term you come up with, but in my mind, that's enough to come to that conclusion. 

    2. I also don't take children and teach them it's either God or hell; it's a very old tape but if you can find it listen to the tape "Baben Etnen" by Nasef Sobhi (search in Arabic), this is what I was talking about in the reddit post. I grew up with and it's lyrics will never get out of my mind no matter how old I grow. Many of the taraneem in it are about fear-mongering and they have the gall to sing it in a happy-go-lucky children's tune. I don't see myself doing that anytime soon. Basically, I adopt a "live and let live" mentality which I don't see Copts or the church doing based on my posts and stories.

    3. Do the Roman empire army, the crusaders or the British colonial army mean anything nowadays? All cultures are made to include a subgroup of people into one. that doesn't mean they won't change with time, for better of for worse or even refuse to adapt to the times. Coptic Christianity sure doesn't mean nothing, it's very fundamental and superficial in my view.

    • ReturnOrthodoxy
    Couldn't help but realize that you and most of those replying (well, all of them, actually) brought no philosophy/doctrine/dogma/hard evidence to the table

    Well, our numbers are small to begin with and I hardly know any deconverted Copts. There is literally no place for ex-christian Copts to put their thoughts on the table but I put mine. Most people over their are ex-protestants and ex-catholics, hardly any Copts to even know what goes on in our churches. You may want to go over to the atheism sub-reddit if you want a more detailed analysis. I won't link it here. You may want to get an OK from your priest to go there.

    you've internalized faults of everyone outside you, and imagined yourself blameless

    I never said I was blameless. I've admitted that I am not a fun person to be around because I see people and things for what they are and it's hard to keep up a charade when you've found faults in them. I lost many friends and acquaintances and even some family because of the toxicity I saw in them and called them out for. I also said I'm a homophobe and unrepentantly admitted to being judgemental. That's hardly blameless. What I am blameless of though, is almost everything in my verdict (save for greed, suffice to say I am not selfless and I will value myself over others if the situation called for it, doesn't prevent me from doing good or provoke me into thievery) and I stand by everything I say.

    Herd mentality. No points. No arguments. 

    Same can be said to anyone following organised religion.

    Yes, you have a brain. Yes, you can think on your own. Your reddit post does not, however, indicate that you have been doing that. 

    Out of the 4000 religions, following any 1 of them because you were bought up in it and never had to brainstorm anything or allowed to criticise also indicates you haven't been doing that.

    • Joshuaa
    I'm sorry that you feel the way you do about the Coptic Church. The church in general holds to it's tradition, which is a straight path without many deviations

    Yeah, it's xenophobic and refuses to adapt to the times and cultures it is in.

    the authority now seems controlling.

    I'll give the same example I gave on reddit about sex/masturbation. You're not allowed sex outside of marriage, understandable as there were no methods of protection and contraception during that time. You're a vile person now and very far away from God if you have extramarital sex, no ifs, ands or buts, also understandable because of the church's fundamentalism. You are not allowed to masturbate ever, despite the psychological implications of abstinence on teens and despite it being very safe and beneficial (at least for keeping sanity in check), yeah, I have a problem with that and bible verses that only tell you not to do it because of morality or because of the risk of hell without providing any logic for its order is not gonna cut it. Based on what the priest said in a youth meeting before, if you have wet dreams (which is totally under your control btw /sarcasm) you are supposed to pray for forgiveness because you just "had sex with the devil's daughter" (his own words). Umm... Wot?

    For the record, I don't condone mindless promiscuity and I'm not against having rules for sex (i.e. safe, consensual, taking responsibility, etc), but outright banning it cannot be seen as anything other than controlling. What ever happened to "everything in moderation?" This is also one of the ways how the church refuses to "adapt to the times". Back in the past, people got married in their teens, could afford having many children and the standards for the qualities in a partner weren't as high, so it would make sense to wait for marriage. Nowadays, you have to be financially stable, have a steady job, can't really have more than 2 kids (unless you can afford them) and can't really get married that early. What goes on is that the hormones go out of whack and the church only adds coal to the fire by applying guilt pushing more cortisol in in a youth already stressed from abstinence. 

    the freedom you now have in your independence is not real freedom

    This is a statement that can be bounced back to-and-fro. In your views I'm bound to the chains of the world and in my views you are bound to the chains of Christianity.

    Do we stop our learning upon athiests advice?

    This atheist advises you to keep on learning, but don't be afraid to find objection or to look at both sides of the coin.

    In regards to indoctrination, we might seem like it is a process but the processes are for perfection (unlike the demands of the ego), in which we are nurtured by God by participating in part of His divinity. 

    Ever heard of Stockholm's syndrome? This is how I see anyone knowing they are being indoctrinated but still exalting the perpetrator. It's like being with a very controlling and abusive partner but you can see no fault in them. 

    I'm at the word limit, let me continue.




  • Continued...

    • Joshuaa
    I am truely sorry for the the reasons you have put forward CopticApostate but I also pray for your wellbeing that your hopefull return to that which may seems lost at the moment.

    I'll take that as a gesture of kindness, thank you.
    • Tobit
    Self pity won't get you anywhere

    I never looked at it that way. I am disappointed with my circumcision, many years of torturous fasting and all the wasted time and if I could go back I would change all that. However, I am not looking for a pity party. I'm just glad I was enlightened enough to see through everything and everyone for what they were and I would never change that ability with anything ever.

    • Grace08
    I would like to point out that a lot of the things you describe relate
    to Egyptian culture/traditions and NOT Christianity

    Wrong. Many of the things I wrote relate to Christianity, but Copts have their culture deeply entwined with their religion that you can't really talk about one without talking about the other. 

    Unfortunately these less
    than positive experiences often leave us questioning our religion and how we fit
    in something that sometimes resembles a cult and goes against everything we
    believe to be right
    Christians operate on faith rather than facts, because that is what "faith" is defined as: strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof."

    Again, I will say; if any modern person claimed a spiritual doctrine based on sayings of their elders with no proof other than writings and wanted to form a group based on it, they would be ostracised and outed as a cult by Christians first and furthermost without any sense of irony. You'd find it all over the Coptic newspapers, because that's all it ever does; encourages seclusion from westerners and badmouthing anything that goes against the Coptic culture (I once read a short article on it of one person outraged that LGBT people are getting basic human rights...)

    ---

    Thank you all for responding and keeping it civil. I was expecting more of an outrage as that is all I saw from my Coptic community on controversial topics and my fingers are cracking from all the typing so I'll see you guys tomorrow.

    Have a good one folks.
  • edited April 26
    Hello All,

    I have been following all comments and read everything that was said. 

    First, CopticApostate, welcome to the forum. It's good to see you "surprised" by our responses here on the forum--believe it or not, I am not surprised by any of the responses. each of the users that responded do so in different ways and all, in my humble opinion, are needed for the edification of the discussion.

    Second, here is my quick response. I think in essence, you are just like any atheist out there, specifically towards Christianity, because you don't only mention Coptic Orthodox beliefs, but basic Christian ones...that are actually easy to argue about if we do become objective in our comments. I also think the reason it's harder for you to be a "coptic atheist" and not just an atheist, is because you are affected by our church much more than other western atheists. In orthodoxy, Christianity is LIVED and practiced rather than just talked about and accepted. I donno...i might be wrong....you're not the only judgmental person on this forum :-)

    I don't wanna get into responding to every single point you mentioned, except circumcision. Only because I take offence for you to not recognize that we are smart enough to do the research and to conclude that currently, in our current society, there are enough research for and against the practice. I also take it that you are smart enough to realize that this practice is NOT a religious one. Many other civilizations, ones that were separate from Israel, have been practicing circumcision. So it's kind of unintelligent for you to throw the blame on us, Copts, for the practice, or Christianity (even though it's clear that the practice is not needed for salvation), or even Muslims or Jewish people that actually require the practice. 


    I think it's time to choose specific topics that are on your mind and we can discuss each objectively. I think we are all smart enough here to have a fruitful discussion. 
  • edited April 26
    My dear friend,

    No intelligent atheist will quote from a useless source you quoted that only gives a biased and ranting account against the practice. I can equally give you another source to refute that stupid website you used:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201510/does-circumcision-reduce-men-s-sexual-sensitivity

    And one more evidence that circumcision is not harmful...You didn't lose any sexual urges. You said so yourself in your "testimony" (and you're thankful you didn't get anyone pregnant since you said that is a strong urge you have).

    If you were really "critical" and objective, you would have noticed it in yourself.

    As for diseases, there are diseases CORRELATED with circumcised and CORRELATED with uncircumcised, but the evidence is MERE CORRELATION, not CAUSATION. For someone who claims to be critical, learn some basic science to know the difference, because there are CONFOUNDING factors to each part, which means the cause could be something else, like hygiene.

    Second, I'm not saying paedophilia doesn't occur. I'm saying that your associating it with infant baptism is irrational and nonsense, and is not backed by any scientific data. I'm not talking about the weak science you experienced in the Arab world. I'm talking about actual good science conducted in Europe, US, Japan, etc none of which confirms your sophomoric reasons for leaving the Church.

    I know many atheists who have much better reasons for leaving the Church, who give more sophisticated and mature challenges. Your problem, and I speak this out of experience and love, is that you have not truly psychologically matured. Part of it could be the abuse you experienced in your teenage and young adult years with family and community in Egypt. And perhaps you need the time away from Church and experience life a little to do so. I pray you are safe during that time.

    Mina
  • edited April 26

    Dear @CopticApostate,

    I applaud your courage and zeal for your ambitions. You clearly are an honest man, wanting to share your honest thoughts and want them to be as honest as possible by making sure to see as many sides of the story as possible. I envy this honesty.

    After reading your post on reddit, one word stuck out to me. Brainwashed. My father often told me the same thing. And honestly, to some extent I agree. I was brainwashed, I am brainwashed - but I believe in it. I believe in its purpose but I first and foremost believe in God’s existence. I cannot, will not, accept a thought that this purely magnificently designed world, just appeared out of thin air. This is regardless of brainwashing. This is due to the (non-religious) educative school system we are all brought in. We are taught to examine, question and analyse all that surrounds us. Sure, some renowned scientist like Stephen Hawkins wouldn't agree, but others like Michio Kaku agree. Regardless, all this to say, that the first item necessary for discussion is the existence of God.



    Unfortunately, many Christians aren't Christian. They are simply brainwashed as you say, just like a Muslim or Buddhist or Atheist or any other type of 'faith/belief' is brainwashed. A true Christian is the one who searches without stopping. "Seek and you will find". Unfortunately, for many, religion, faith, life, just becomes a habitual way of being. This, to me, is saddening. Regardless, there can only be one truth. Either, God exists, or He doesn't. That is for us to find. Once, we agree He exists, then we could argue what specifically this existing God would desire the world to be like. So, though this discussion seems solely directed at the Christian church and more specifically the Coptic Church, there a much more important question that would need to be argued.

    In any case, I will attempt to answer some of your minor questions regarding the Coptic church and some of its customs.

    1- Circumcision.

    If we are on the same foot on the existence of God and we were examining the Christian faith, then the faith says that circumcision is a burden and not required for Christianity. (Acts 15)

    Circumcision, therefore, is a parents choice regardless of faith religion or belief. My opinion is your blame should be oriented to hospitals who allow babies to be circumcised at the parents will. Should this really be a serious factor then the circumcision should be banned till a specific age (my opinion). Many Christians do get circumcised (not all), and it is quite prevalent in our culture, but this would be more culture based than faith based. This is not enforced by the church, this, according to St. Peter and St. James, is a burden and not required for Christianity.

    2- Fasting

    Fasting has lost much of it's purpose. Too many fast without truly understanding what fasting is all about. As Isaiah says in chapter 58, "to loose the chains of injustice and unite the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. To share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe them and to not turn away from your own flesh and blood." Unfortunately, fasting is not often well guided. Many fast without truly understanding how to properly fast and thus is becomes a burden that can hinder a spiritual life rather than enrich it. With a proper guide (priest), this wouldn't be an issue as they would respect a persons desires and limits.

    3- Concept of Heaven and Hell

    The concept of teaching Heaven and Hell, was not as predominant in my childhood as it may have been to you. In my church, we typically focused on teachings virtuous acts/behaviours. Our relationship with God, should in no way be rooted in fear of hell. Unfortunately, many servants use this as a tactic to get the result they want but Christ himself says in JN 14: "There is no love in fear but perfect love casts out fear".

    We are called to love God, and in our love for God, there is no fear. So, ideally, the proper teaching would be to guide children to:

    a) come to choose in the existence of God.

    b) Learn to love Him.

    4- Sexual Behaviours

    Again, this discussion would be rather easier if we had come to the agreement that

    1- God exists,

    2- Christ is God.

    As Christ himself brought the level of sexual immorality to adultery upon any lustful look (Mattew 5:28). Forget the concept of heaven or hell. You know adultery is wrong. This is regardless of any faith. So Christ/God tells you adultery and lust, are one and the same.

    Now, since we are not starting on the same agreement, let's take a different approach.

    It is a natural thought, way of life, to assume that our lives tend to go towards a marriage between a man and a woman. The purpose of marriage, whether religious or not, is for 2 people to come together unite together, and live together in oneness. For a successful marriage, the husband and the wife have to be of one mind, communicating in unity and sacrificing all for each other. If you allow me to add a verse, St. James says in James 4 that all quarrels and fight comes for our inner desires. The more we live our life in marriage based solely on our desires, unity between the husband and the wife will surely be slowly ruptured. You can ask any psychologist on this matter, I'd be surprised to hear a different opinion.

    So, how does this relate to masturbation? The unfortunate reality is that through masturbation, we tend to get used to selfish thoughts, selfish desires. This sexual act itself is purely selfish. So I understand where the concept that masturbation can be thought of as sin comes from. There is no potential of unity in this act. It is purely selfish, training you to continuously be selfish, and training you to be so accustomed to this selfishness that will be brought into our marriages. This selfishness will never be satisfied unless it is fought. And if not fought, many (not all), will find themselves committing adultery against their spouse.

    In any case, I pray you find the answers you are looking for here and this discussion be more fruitful than harmful.

    God be with you.

  • The thing is its very rare that human mind live alone these days. Without guarding one's spirit and body by uniting thyself with the Lord's, one should be dadely sure that what perceives of his thoughts as his own may actually not be of himself. Probably he is only the hardware(the body) but the software is stollen or masked by the evil beings installed in his body. Its like installing windows or linux Operating Systems in HP laptop, the laptop seems working in all cases but the way the OS's function is different. To people you may appear as healthy and pure living normal life but inside you are corrupted and your identity hijacked. You practice yoga, or you meditate, or you practiced some form of 'relaxation' technique, or you did somekind of creative visualization or of subliminal hypnosis, or watched pornography or horror movies, or did mast*****ion, or get addicted of any thing, or frequently listened to rock or metal music, or addicted with rap, or you read new thought books with high impression, or even you are born with some kind of evil spirits passed from unclean family members.... you name it.... then you have opened up your self to the evil spirits or you are not fully yourself already.

    That is why we should not believe of what our consciouness tells us. Although very difficult to convince people who say that they have brain(or mind for that matter) so that they can think on their own and reject unseen things, I believe we should know our own self first before saying so.
  • edited April 26

    For
    CopticApostate – Part 1

    I literally answered that on the first sentence of this post. I
    want to hear other people's views on the matter and hopefully have some form of
    discussion as I don't like having a one-sided black-and-white mentality similar
    to Christianity.

    What you said on the first post and what you said in your reddit
    article are completely contradictory. Either we conclude that you changed your
    mind from the reddit post, or you have ulterior motives. Given that in this
    very first sentence you have accused all of Christianity of “one-sided
    black-and-white mentality”, as you did in your reddit article, you cannot come
    here and say “I want to have an open discussion.” You’ve already closed the
    discussion with your false accusations and covert methodology.

     

    The Coptic community is very small and has very little presence
    online. There is literally no place for people like me to speak about this in
    the real world without alienating 98% of my contacts,

    More erroneous information leading to more wrong conclusions that
    you have cemented in your mind. The Coptic Community is not very small. It is
    the largest Christian community in the Middle East. It is also the 4th
    or 5th largest Orthodox community in America. There is literally
    dozens and dozens of priests, servants, blogs, and other Coptic online groups
    or individuals all over the net. It is known the Coptic Community has embraced
    technology more than most other churches. You could have easily contacted any
    numerous priests and bishops who are online and have tailored their service for
    online inquirers but you chose to anonymously come here make more accusations
    in some sort of passive aggressive attempt to make “friends” with Copts.

     

    Additionally, I see no logical reason that you should care so much
    about alienating 98% of your contacts and care nothing about alienating God.
    Are we here to please men or God?  Of
    course, you don’t believe in God because you “were enlightened enough to see
    through everything and everyone” (again your own words). Just like every other
    atheist who has used this enlightenment claim, you think you are smarter than “everything
    and everyone” that ever existed or articulated a discovery (most scientists, if
    not all, are theists) or original thought.

     

    because almost every Copt I know is a religious nut.

    It is clear you don’t even know the difference between zealous,
    pious Coptic Christians who are called to correct, admonish and edify and
    fanatic cultic egotistical persons. Since you continue to equate “almost every
    Copt” to indoctrinated, brainwashed fanatics, your arguments have lost all
    credibility and you fail to actually bring any philosophy, evidence or argument
    to support your claims – other than more name calling and false conclusion.

     

    I guess you could say one of my other reasons why I wrote this
    is to get the feel of what it would be like when I come out

    By your own testimony in your reddit article, you already know and
    had a feel of what it would be like when you come out from priests, servants
    and family. You chose to ignore them. Why should we take you on your word that
    you are only here for information, when you already received plenty of
    information and yet choose to regurgitate your prejudiced attacks against the
    Coptic Church?


    and honestly, I was expecting more hostile comments, which I'm
    used to getting whenever I challenge the status quo, but so far I was proven
    wrong by the tolerance of everyone here.

    Shocking, you were proven wrong about one thing. I’m here to tell
    you, everything you claimed has been proven wrong. It is not a matter of
    tolerance. It is a matter of truth, which you chose to ignore. 

  • edited April 26
    Part 2

    Now tell me, who is
    the one without critical thinking? 

     

    Let's see...


    1. Didn't even read the post to get a more detailed
      view on the thoughts of a "lost sheep".

    More judging and wrong
    conclusions. I did read all your posts. Your thoughts of a lost sheep didn’t
    even merit a response, since you lacked critical thinking to begin with.


    1. Didn't read the first paragraph as assumed by your
      question on why I'm here.

    See #1 above. I did read
    your first paragraph and I didn’t assume anything. Your own testimony and
    subsequent claims condemned your first paragraph and your motives.


    1. I know that tone of voice doesn't carry over text
      so I could be wrong here but you went straight into an anger frenzy
      (nothing is wrong with anger, but it makes you more susceptible to lack of
      thinking).

    More judging but a
    little more passive. You’re right, text doesn’t carry over tone. But you are
    still wrong with more assumptions. I did not go into an anger frenzy. Surely
    there is must be other reasons for my response other than insinuating I am an
    unstable person who lacks thinking. I am not angry at all and therefore your
    claim that I am susceptible to lack of thinking falls on its face. But continue
    with ad hominem attacks. That surely doesn’t make you susceptible to a lack of
    critical thinking.


    1. Using the fear tactic of God, hell and judgement
      which many religious people fall back on in the face of controversial
      views (which never works on people who have no fear to begin with, rather
      it has the opposite effect of deterring people from a trigger-happy God
      throwing all non-believers to hell regardless).

    I am not using any fear
    tactic. Just another example of how you assume all Copts are ignorant. I am
    simply stating what the Gospels say, which is exactly what most other responses
    did. You just like to pick and choose which scripture you can tolerate and
    which scripture you are going to start name-calling.  And if you really had any critical thinking
    ability, you would at least know that the word “fear” doesn’t mean phobia as
    you suggest. Theologically, it means utmost respect. Thus if one doesn’t
    believe God is worthy of utmost respect, nothing any GOD-FEARING Christian says
    will stop such a person from leaving.  

     

    I think the answer to
    your question is a simple "you".

    Not even close. And not worth a more detailed explanation.

     

    you have no reason to
    be here except to prostelytize Copts into your thinking

     

    Again, you probably didn't read what I had to say other than my
    main point. Let me directly quote myself 
    I'm not here
    to deconvert anyone, just articulating my experiences and I don't mind giving
    the opposite view in some other posts so as to not be in an echo chamber as
    long as I am not banned.
    "

    So you admit you are not here for an open discussion. You are here
    “giving the opposite view in some other posts so as not to be an echo chamber”.
    You admit that you will simply give the opposite view. If everyone one says “left”
    with valid reasons, you’re here to respond “right” with no support or evidence
    because you simply don’t want to be an echo.

     

    By the way, prefacing your argument with a double negative only
    proves you have ulterior motive. It’s like saying “I’m not here to unstab
    anyone, just articulating my experiences”. Had you just stated, “these are my
    experiences and I would like to hear what you think”, you would have received a
    lot less “angry frenzy” from me. But you showed no remorse for your false
    accusations and faulty conclusions on your reddit article. You continue the
    same mode of thinking and operating, expecting “open discussion”.

     

    If people don't want me in this forum, then I have no issue
    leaving or being kicked out.

    Again, you show you don’t understand Coptic theology and Coptic
    pastoral theology. We follow everything God said in the scriptures. He said, He
    does not wish the death of a sinner so we do not wish any sinner should die or “be
    kicked out”. You kicked yourself out of the Coptic Church. You brought all of
    this on yourself and you’re on your own. But, as I said before which you
    conveniently ignored, if you want repentance you will never be kicked out. We
    are here in the Coptic Church waiting for you to come home. The same is true
    for this forum. But don’t expect us to ignore what you have done and said.
    Speaking out against your accusations and conclusions is not intolerance which
    you assume is the Coptic standard operating system. 

  • Part 3

    Again, I'm here to get a little taste of what will happen when I
    come out. Honestly, I don't think anything I ever said is enough to deter
    anyone from any religion and it was never my intention, it's just how I saw
    it. 

    More Just like most people who have no substance to their
    position, you keep repeating your arguments. And now I have to repeat myself
    since you didn’t get it. You already had a taste of what will happen. You don’t
    care to change your faulty thinking, claiming “it’s just how I saw it”. How many
    ways can we show you what you have concluded is wrong? You seem to expect Copts
    to change their position against atheism and homosexuality if you keep asking
    more Copts. It’s an old tactic that we already defeated before on this forum.

     

    I also never said that people with critical thinking can't come
    to a conclusion opposite to my own. It's just what I came up with.

    You didn’t conclude “The Coptic Church was a cult found to be
    guilty of child abuse…discrimination, manipulation, indoctrination, shaming,
    withholding knowledge, playing mind games, trickery, hypocrisy,
    greed/badmouthing, labelling people and self-righteousness.”? So now you’re
    saying someone who is indoctrinated, manipulated, had knowledge withheld can
    come up with the opposite conclusion through critical thinking?  

     

  • Part 4

    1. All the evidences are in the long post and I give stories and
    reasons behind my judgements. I don't pass them off blindly. They may seem
    petty, childish or whatever derogatory term you come up with, but in my mind,
    that's enough to come to that conclusion. 

    So you again admit you are not here for open discussion since you
    have cemented your conclusion. Whatever conclusion you come up with, through
    whatever experience you had, do not support your conclusions. Thus, you are
    still passing off judgment blindly.

     

    2. I also don't take children and teach them it's either God or
    hell; it's a very old tape but if you can find it listen to the tape
    "Baben Etnen" by Nasef Sobhi (search in Arabic), this is what I was
    talking about in the reddit post. I grew up with and it's lyrics will never get
    out of my mind no matter how old I grow. Many of the taraneem in it are about
    fear-mongering and they have the gall to sing it in a happy-go-lucky children's
    tune. I don't see myself doing that anytime soon. Basically, I adopt a
    "live and let live" mentality which I don't see Copts or the church
    doing based on my posts and stories.

    The Coptic Church doesn’t take children and teach them it’s either
    God or hell. It teaches children God is a Father. God is merciful. God is love.
    I could care less what taraneem you can reference. If you are using taraneem to
    validate your theology, you’re in serious trouble. Your lack of coherent
    theology is evident on your lack of understanding the concept of fearing God.



    You can adopt whatever mentality you want. Why do you think we in the Coptic
    Church would adopt a secular, atheistic mentality that contradicts the Gospels?

     

    3. Do the Roman empire army, the crusaders or the British
    colonial army mean anything nowadays? All cultures are made to include a
    subgroup of people into one. that doesn't mean they won't change with time, for
    better of for worse or even refuse to adapt to the times. Coptic Christianity
    sure doesn't mean nothing, it's very fundamental and superficial in my view.

    This is the first time you actually posited an argument instead of
    faulty prejudicial judgment. Good, but still filled with faulty conclusions.
    The Roman Empire, the Crusades, the British Colonial army histories and
    theories are still taught in every US school. They must mean something. If
    nothing else, they at least show us spiritually not to repeat our mistakes. Coptic
    Christianity means everything to some people, with valid reasons. Coming here
    and continuing your diatribe against the Coptic Church only proves you have no
    concept of valid reasoning resorting to ad hominem attacks and your individual,
    unsubstantiated view as superiorly more enlightened. All faulty conclusions
    which you refuse to acknowledge.

  • Sorry it's difficult to follow.  I don't know why it reformated my posts like this. 
  • Hi CopticApostate,
    Despite all your thoughts about the church or the people therein, weren't you to live your life in Christ? In doing so, then you can rightfully criticise the things you feel are done forcefully by the church. For Christ did not force us to do anything. Rather we where handed the tradition of the church that we may also live in Him. That's what tradition means to hand down or to deliver, like passing a message on.
    If you found anything that became a stumbling block in the church that wasn't in accordance with the merciful and the sacrifial love in Jesus Christ, then your criticism could of being towards those whom gave little mercy towards your weakness more righteous than to deny the loving Christ.
    Christ is strong and His criticisms were against the hard heart and the one that was ignorantly blind because of that hard heart. He supported the weak that they may share in Him and become strong. Which is stronger to judge out of love or hate? Love as it guides us in Him, but to judge in hate is to condemn without true understanding. It is because the sacrifial love is a deep and true unity, while hate is distant and not clear. So if you hate weakness and judge it according to your hate, then you made the choice of not participating in the love of Jesus Christ of whom we participate in God's energy.
    I think of Saint Paul whose energy went into the death of ChristIans but Christ revealed Himself in the sacrifial nature of love and unity and St Paul changed from ignorance to understanding.
    The faults that maybe in the church, do you think that is what Christ teaches or is it that we should overcome them because of Christ? There is all levels of spirituality by its congregation but there is not to be had a stumbling block to any through Christ. If there was, then it wasn't to deny Christ but to support Him.


  • Dear CopticApostate,

    You shouldn't believe in anything that doesn't make sense. Faith is not gullibility. I believe that Christianity offers way more than rules and doctrines!

    Since you are a critical thinker, I recommend that you read 2 books. Neither are by Coptic authors. Coptic Christianity is indeed intwined with culture as many Orthodox traditions but in essence shares all the major Christian doctrines and values. Here are the 2 books I recommend:

    1-Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
    2-The Case for God by Timothy Keller

    I wish you all the best. May the Lord have mercy on you and who you feel bitter from and on me (a sinner)!
  • The name for Timothy Keller book actually is "A reason for God". Apologies!
    • Minasoliman
    And one more evidence that circumcision is not harmful...You didn't lose any sexual urges. You said so yourself in your "testimony" (and you're thankful you didn't get anyone pregnant since you said that is a strong urge you have).

    That was because of a mixture of intelligence and fear. I knew my life would be over if I did and the fear of hell during that time. On a risk/benefit analysis, it was better to keep it to myself.

    I will concede that circumcision may or may not affect sexual sensitivity as there are contradictory studies and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference since I was circumcised shortly after birth, but, the church would give parents hell if they ever had their newborn get a piercing or tattoo, why would it keep silent about and condone body mutilation, especially in an area that can never regenerate?

    I know many atheists who have much better reasons for leaving the Church, who give more sophisticated and mature challenges.

    Forgive me for not noticing that this was a competition to see who had better reasons to leave the church... Your friends had their reasons, I have mine. I thank you all for the nice discussion, but if we're throwing about mockery then I can say it's equally childish to follow someone blindly based on "faith" (see definition above) and not allowed to criticise his ideology.

    • ShareTheLord

    You make some good points. Hospitals would not perform as much procedures if our Coptic culture and church rejected the thought, but they are both complacent. I see many people avoid patronising or being admitted to certain hospitals for any procedure because they perform circumcision. Just think if a priest or bishop ever made a sermon on it or told people to follow their example, I wonder what would happen?

    As for marriage, I've always believed it to be a bad deal. The divorce rates in the west are about a 40-50% range so you have half a chance to make it work. I used to think the Coptic church was an exception to that, in that we don't allow divorce except in cases of adultery, but my sister's divorce proved me wrong (ex-husband was also Coptic, no adultery from either side, just a petty feud between sis and her mother-in-law) and from talking to one priest and bishop about it, I was told 2 things that shattered my perception:
    1. It happens all the time for petty cases and the church would still give a divorce if one or both of the couple don't want each other.
    2. When it comes to divorce and who gets the right to marry again: "The church is unfair" (direct quote).
    So yeah, no thanks, I'm fine.

    The unfortunate reality is that through masturbation, we tend to get used to selfish thoughts

    This is what I mean by Christianity having a black-and-white mentality. It doesn't look at both sides of the situation, only the one it's prejudiced against. Think of it this way; It really helped keep my sanity and hormones in check during my teens and not go out looking for the "real thing", potentially ruining my life, someone else's life and possibly bringing an unwanted child to this world who will be looked upon with disdain from its conservative culture.

    On the topic of selfishness, I think it's needed to some extent. Some people get dangerous levels of self-denial to the point where they would hardly ever take care of themselves. My mother sleeps on the floor and barely ever eats because she thinks that's too much of a luxury. If that's how a true Christian should become then I'm sure you can see my aversion to that.

    • Simon
    then you have opened up your self to the evil spirits or you are not fully yourself already.

    Me: What do you mea-
    Me: (have a headache and start screaming)
    Asmodeus: Goddamit! He figured me out!

    See how preposterous that sounds? Let's try to keep the metaphysical stuff to ourselves, shall we?


    • Remnkemi
    Either we conclude that you changed your
    mind from the reddit post, or you have ulterior motives.
    In my reddit post I said I'll have this ready when I get out in the real world instead of wording it all out and always being cut off mid-sentence and forgetting what I was going to say (which happens far too frequently, which is why I avoid real life debates).

    Given that in this
    very first sentence you have accused all of Christianity of “one-sided
    black-and-white mentality”, as you did in your reddit article, you cannot come
    here and say “I want to have an open discussion.”

    Christianity does. Can you say otherwise with a straight face? Regardless, it doesn't mean its followers shouldn't get into discussions, argue some points and/or explain stuff which you don't seem to be a fan of doing, but that's your call.

    It is the largest Christian community in the Middle East.

    I can't find direct percentages but the majority of the middle east are Muslim. The rest is divided up between the other religions. In a sense, it is the largest Christian community in the middle east, but your point is meaningless if that very Christian community is the minority.

     It is also the 4th or 5th largest Orthodox community in America.

    My point above still stands if the Orthodox community as a whole is also a minority in America (below 1% according to wiki). Being the 4th/5th of 1% isn't very much.

    There is literally
    dozens and dozens of priests, servants, blogs, and other Coptic online groups
    or individuals all over the net.

    And this is one of them, is it not? Frankly, most of them are in Arabic and I can barely form a coherent sentence in it, let alone an article with discussions. This was the first one in English that popped up so I thought "Meh, let's see how it goes."

    Additionally, I see no logical reason that you should care so much
    about alienating 98% of your contacts and care nothing about alienating God.

    I was going to let this go but this point really strikes a nerve. You're making a really unfair comparison here, those are physical entities with emotions, who have directly helped me in many ways throughout my life with no strings attached and they would likely be the first to receive scrutiny if I came out as I mentioned in my post.

    God to me is pretty much an alien himself, asks us to have "faith" in him, does nothing much to prove his existence, has no shape or form we can physically see (but we're told he's all around) and demands praise at all times otherwise tragedy will strike (look at the old testament), not to mention because of him I had too much anxiety, self-deception and self-loathing in my life.

    Yeah, I'd rather alienate an alien than the physical people who have been there for me all my life. I respect their choices but my life is still mine.

    By your own testimony in your reddit article, you already know and
    had a feel of what it would be like when you come out from priests, servants
    and family.

    You seem to have misread my reddit post. I never told anyone in the real world I had doubts as that never ends well. I just asked questions and recorded their answers in my head to form a verdict. I did hear of some bloke being banned from church for some reason I don't clearly remember but boy was he and his family the talk of all the old ladies after the Sunday mass. His full name was printed out on a paper and probably given to people, seeing as my family had one and we are in no way related. I didn't think much of it back then, but this is where I got the "feel" from.

    So now you’re
    saying someone who is indoctrinated, manipulated, had knowledge withheld can
    come up with the opposite conclusion through critical thinking?  

    If they criticised their faith and came to the conclusion that it's virtuous, then yes.

    I am not using any fear
    tactic. Just...

    This is the same double negative you spoke of. Let me quote you:

    If atheism is wrong, you're on own in the hands of a fearful God. If the Coptic Church is as evil as you make it, leave and good bye. If the Coptic Church is the True Church of Christ, then you will face God at judgment and that will be your problem."

    You are saying I'll be damned because I'm an atheist. This is just like me saying you are you ignorant because you're a christian, so really, how are you better than me in that regard?

     The Coptic Church doesn’t take children and teach them it’s either
    God or hell. It teaches children God is a Father. God is merciful. God is love.
    I could care less what taraneem you can reference. If you are using taraneem to
    validate your theology, you’re in serious trouble. Your lack of coherent
    theology is evident on your lack of understanding the concept of fearing God.

    I don't know if it does nowadays, but in my time I was told if I did that or that I would go to hell. Yes, it does teach God is love, mercy and all that but if you anger him you're damned. Couple that with stories from the old testament on what God would do to the jews when they strayed or their enemies when they prayed. Taraneem is a major factor since it is one of the first methods you utilise to brainwash kids and they are very drawn in to it, but it's far from the only thing and for you to just dismiss it is more troubling.

    So you admit you are not here for an open discussion. You are here
    “giving the opposite view in some other posts so as not to be an echo chamber”.
    You admit that you will simply give the opposite view. If everyone one says “left”
    with valid reasons, you’re here to respond “right” with no support or evidence
    because you simply don’t want to be an echo.

    I admit I was thinking maybe I could join other topics on this forum, but now I decided against this. If I did respond, it will only be to my topic.


  • edited April 29
    It's not a competition brother. It's a matter of maturity, which clearly you lack.

    It's not mockery. It's the truth. You project your own suffering into other practices that have nothing to do with your own experience. It's an immature psychological defense mechanism.

    And it actually has nothing do with whether you're a Christian or an atheist. There are some Christians who also need to grow up that I know.

    So calm down, take a break, don't assume practices the way you do, and experience life a little. You have a lot to learn.

    Also one last comment: baby girls, even in Western countries, do get their ears pierced
  • Hello CopticApostate,
    I would also like to comment, I try not to get less and less into complaints and criticisms because they are the start of power struggles (what is right and what is wrong) and more into taking on Christ in my life. This is what Christians are supposed to do. If you had done that, then you might of found He was against things like some culture as it cultivated pride. Even though I go to church I don't take on the things that lead to pride.
    The doctrines etc support a living life in Christ and the Trinity in its fullness and not the culture of its congregation.
    2 Thessalonians 3:6
    But we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.
    Which means if you happen to be against pride (putting oneself above others), then you you if igored the culture of pride and carried on doing what you are there for. Once you argue against it, then you are in the power struggle and can fall into it's shadow. Which means pride fighting pride. Also verse 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
    If we have mercy in our Lord Jesus Christ , we are able to forgive others and go our way
    If we seach for peace, we are able to reconcile whatever obstacles within ourselves and go our own way. Even when we are surrounded by adversary. Things we don't agree with, we cope not by our own wisdom but by the wisdom given us by Jesus Christ's word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which comes from the Christ.

    We try to rid ourselves of sin because it is full of war. Pride ( putting ourself above others) jealousy (competition, possessiveness) making winner/loser. Envy (wanting what others have).
    Instead, we try to live the sacrifial love as shown in Jesus on the cross.
    I went to visit a widow, name is Tharwat, as he hadn't been to church in awhile and he was so glad to see me. We talked for some time, but when I was going to leave he just broke down in tears and I kissed him on the cheeks and forehead, but I could feel the loneliness and now he is back at church. None of that would have happened if it wasn't for Jesus Christ.
    So our concentration needs to be on the goodness of life because the negativity has its own self fulfilling prophecy. Which brings me to hell. It is a consequence so is a warning given. If you are hard of heart you will receive it hard and according to your dignity which you will try to protect, you will deny it. When we feel threatened it is fight or flight and denying is flight. Not to face the consequence. Which brings me to lying, that is about not facing consequences.

    We live our life in Jesus Christ to overcome all that and go and follow Him as He asked us in the flesh He also asks us to follow in the spirit. This spirit is love and goodness.
  • edited May 2
    • minasoliman
    Sorry bro, that's where you got it wrong. That is not me being "childish", that is you avoiding a very uncomfortable and controversial topic and deflecting it by dismissing the opposition by calling it childish and immature over and over; considering you only responded to the circumcision part and left out the myriad of other points I talked about. The only one who's stuck in the psychological vortex you speak of is you. As such, you lost a little respect from me.

    "Also one last comment: baby girls, even in Western countries, do get their ears pierced"

    That's not very relevant to the topic, do baby boys get their ears pierced? Do the baby girls get their noses pierced, or their lips, tongues or midriff pierced? Do they also get tattoos? How would the Coptic church react if any of the other happened? A male relative of mine got his ears pierced at 16 and during that time, there was no end to the uproar from both inside and outside the family. I remember overhearing my Aunt tell her husband once that they shouldn't visit X and Y's house then because the boy's parents might be there.
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