Muslim looking into the Coptic Orthodox Religion

Hello fellow brothers and sisters,

I am a young Egyptian/Syrian Muslim female living in the US. I was born into a Muslim family, however my family and myself never really practiced it. So growing up, I did believe in God, the right and the wrong, but I didn't have much faith. 

I ended up losing my virginity and I felt disgusted and ashamed of myself. I cried many nights and prayed that God would forgive me. I told myself that if I had a stronger faith this wouldn't have happened. I started to read the Quran and just got confused. I saw a lot of very hypocritical verses, which I wont get into too much detail. And I also started thinking to myself how can Islam be a religion of peace if even our own prophet used violence and aggression to spread Islam. He also married numerous women and some even claimed he raped. He condoned everything I had believed Islam was not.I started reading into more things and just got confused even more

Anyway, one of my fellow Coptic friend, sent me a link to watch a video by Abouna Boulos George and I loved what he saying, using the Christian values and teachings. I felt at peace a little. I started reading the Bible and things make sense to me. 

But I am scared, I know I still have a long spiritual journey ahead, but I feel guilty for doubting my own religion and finding answers in a different one. I'm scared of how my family and friends would view me if I convert into the religion. And just thinking ahead into the future, I am worried that no one would wanna marry an ex-muslim who isn't a virgin.

Also, I am very confused about the idea of the Holy Trinity. None of my friends have been able to explain to me well. I understand that by saying Jesus is the Son of God, it is supposed to be a representation symbolically, but why is he still refered to as God & Son of God. I can't seem to grasp this. 

If someone could help, i would really appreciate it!

Thank you and bless you all
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Comments

  • These are all good questions and they are all easily explained on orthodox websites.
    You should do ur research. Also, there are TONS of sermons about all these topics ....for English, I recommend u listen to Abouna anthony messeh.

  • edited June 4
    Hi Halsawaf,

    I think you have decided on Christianity already, but are concerned about how a coptic man would/could accept you for not being a virgin.

    is that right?

    Well, even if you were Coptic Orthodox, when looking for a partner, one must find a good Christian partner. That has to be seen in a life of repentance. 

    I do believe Fr Peter Farrington explained this, but it is honestly common sense. Everyone has sinned. Any person looking for a good Christian husband or wife in the Church most likely has to know whether that person has a repentant heart or not and a life of repentance.

    These are the questions one must be asking.

    Secondly, your past is no one's business. All that should concern your future husband is that the Lord has absolved you, and you are a virgin in God's eyes. 


  • Hello atadros,

    Thank you for your response.

    I am doing research and will further continue to do so. I will explore the orthodox websites a bit more. And thank you for recommending Abounda Anthony Messeh. I will watch his sermons.

    Also, I am interested in reading other books, besides the Bible. What other books do you guys have and recommend? I am sorry if this is makes me seem ignorant. The Orthodox religion is made up of many components, in which I am not very familiar with yet. 

    Than you again
  • Hi Zoxasi,

    I wasn't really wondering if a man would accept me or not, it was primarily a concern I have. I really do appreciate your response, I understand now. 

    I have been repenting and asking for forgiveness and I am working on bettering myself as a person in all aspects, including spiritually. 

    As for accepting the religion of Christianity, I am not quite there yet, I still have many questions that are unanswered, but my heart is going in that direction.

    Bless you. 
  • Fr Michael Sorial makes great easy to understand videos!
  • I'm really impressed
  • Hello @halsawaf,
    I definitely recommend Pope Shenouda books and you may find whole books as answers to some questions you may have. This is a link for some of the books as PDFs, if you need more, let me know. https://www.stgr.org/books-by-his-holiness-pope-shenouda-iii-in-english/
    God bless you.
  • a simple explanation of the trinity is the anthanasian argument stated during the nicea council.
    the sun is shone by its light and radiated by its heat. You cant have a sun without any of those. God is the same, the father is shone by the sun and radiated by the spirit.

  • Saint Athanasius once said at the council of Nicaea “The Father is the source of the Son, as the sun is of light. But one eternal attribute of the Father is that He begets the Son (also that the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him), just as there is no point having the sun without light or heat. That is, the Father has always existed, and He has always ‘shone’ with the light of Jesus and radiated the ‘heat’ of the Spirit.”
  • Can you provide links to this??
  • There may be a better source for that metaphor, but this gets very close.
  • Hi:

    > I have been repenting and asking for forgiveness and I am working on bettering myself as a person in all aspects, including spiritually. < 

    You have a beautiful spirit. 

    The suggestions others made are great. I'd just like to add a couple of points:

    1) God is One. Christians pray to Him as the Father and encounter Him as Christ the Son or the Holy Spirit. But God is not a committee.

    2) If you need additional resources, you can visit a Christian Bookstore or visit a local church and ask questions. Chances are you will be able to get many questions addressed.

    God bless you,

    Andrew
  • Jojo_Hanna,

    Thank you for the suggestion. I will look into it!

    Bless you
  • Msmekhael,
     
    Interestingly, someone else had suggested Pope Shenouda's books as well. I started reading them and will continue to do so! Thank you for your help.

    May God bless you
  • Marwan,

    I am trying to understand but I still can't grasp the idea. I get the analogy but I guess what I am really having issues with is why did the concept of the trinity arise 300 years after Jesus? From my readings and understandings, the people were presented with the idea of the trinity and many refused to accept it for centuries. To someone who is trying to seek answers, such as myself, is making me wonder why was it not accepted.Below are from a website I was reading about the origins of the Trinity.

    "Arius, a priest from Alexandria, Egypt, taught that Christ, because He was the Son of God, must have had a beginning and therefore was a special creation of God. Further, if Jesus was the Son, the Father of necessity must be older."

    "Opposing the teachings of Arius was Athanasius, a deacon also from Alexandria. His view was an early form of Trinitarianism wherein the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were one but at the same time distinct from each other."

    Reading these tells me that so many people were having issues with figuring out what Jesus was and people started making their own interpretations about it. To me, if Jesus really wanted this, people wouldnt have to make their guesses.

    Explain please, I am very confused.

    Bless you
  • Thutmose,

    Thank you for your kind words and suggestions, I appreciate it. Blessings to you.

  • Hi:


    The trinity is simple: God, His Word, and His Spirit. He is One, cannot be separated, but He has a Spirit and a Word, that’s how He is. And that’s how He revealed Himself. A god without a word and without a spirit is a dead god.


    God bless you,



  • the trinity is much earlier than that, try the book of matthew (in the Bible), chapter 28, verse 19.
    there are lots and lots of early documents (before our patriarch athanasius) confirming that.

    please keep looking, and keep visiting church and asking questions, as God loves you and will help you to understand more - keep asking Him to show you.
  • @Halsawaf, I been following your post for days now waiting for a ONE single decent answer and explanation. Instead all you/I got was a reference to a 200 page book, long, even more confusing articles and answers like "The trinity is simple: God, His Word, and His Spirit. He is One, cannot be separated, but He has a Spirit and a Word, that’s how He is. "  - umm not the best answer.

    OR  like "please keep looking, and keep visiting church and asking questions" or like "please go to bookstore".

    No one actually gave a sound answer that actually makes sense. 

    For example: " God is One. Christians pray to Him as the Father and encounter Him as Christ the Son or the Holy Spirit. But God is not a committee." What? Why is that so paradoxical? How does three (plural) identities make ONE God?

    Conclusion:  To believe the idea of the Trinity you have to be born into it and you have to blindly believe it. Otherwise you can not, "grasp the idea" like you already said. By no means I am invalidating the idea of the Trinity, I am just saying it's a "faith" based doctrine. You either believe it or not, but you can't grasp it. Sadly many answers here already prove my point.

    Peace and blessing of God be with you.
  • The two analogies for the Trinity I know are:

    1- Just as I would say my fingers are distinct, with their own function and identity, but still all my hand, so is God: 3 Persons, unique, but all still God.

    2 (this one is really difficult even for me, sorry)- Just as the sun is heat and light, so is God. If the sun did not have heat, is it still the sun? No, it is just a bright thing in the sky, and we are all popsicles. No light, it is an unknown heat source, and nothing more. But are heat and light the same? No.
    In the same way, God is incomplete without either the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.

    The Trinity is a fundamental idea of Christianity but it is by no means simple or easy to understand or explain! It is a “mystery”- something we know is true, but whose inner workings are beyond humans. Our minds are small and weak compared to God’s infinity, and lots or heresies arise by trying to make God follow our small, weak minds’ ruleset. This is the case with Arius.

    He tried to take our mortal sense of time and impose it on God: sonship means younger.
    However, the Trinity is beyond human minds- nothing you can think of can describe the Trinity perfectly in all its nuance. Sonship, for us, means younger, but God does not follow our rules. God does not even follow time’s rules! We are all temporal- subject to time- while God is time’s master. “After” or “younger” are all words that depend on TIME, and as I just said, God is outside of time.

    I really hope this helped, as the Trinity is one of the hardest to explain and understand mysteries of the Church.
  • edited June 28
    Hi:

    To believe the idea of the Trinity you have to be born into it and you have to blindly believe it. Otherwise you can not, "grasp the idea" <

    If God wanted all people to believe in a certain way, He would have made them. But there is a multitude of beliefs, religions, and anti-religions.

    God gave people free will because what He wants is to have a free relationship with them. The Lord Jesus said, "LoveA)" data-cr="#cen-CSB-24697A" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px; font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> the Lord your GodB)" data-cr="#cen-CSB-24697B" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px; font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,C)" data-cr="#cen-CSB-24697C" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px; font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> and with all your strength."

    Obviously, love cannot be imposed on a person with free will and not everyone will follow the Lord's will.

    Grace,


  • edited June 28

    Hi:


    To believe the idea of the Trinity you have to be born into it and you have to blindly believe it. Otherwise you can not, "grasp the idea" <


    If God wanted all people to believe in a certain way, He would have made them to. But there is a multitude of beliefs, religions, and anti-religious philosophies around us. Of this menu, people are free to choose.


    God gave people free will because what He wants is to have a free relationship with them. The Lord Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." And, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know my Father." 


    Obviously, love cannot be imposed on a person with free will and not everyone will follow the Lord.


    Grace,

  • Thank you all for the assistance in helping me to understand this
  • Why would you provide a Muslim website to explain the CORE of CHRISTIANITY?
  • i assume that question is to thutmose.

    halsawaf, i have a bit more time now, so can post you some more information about the Holy Trinity in the Bible.
    i'll put it in 3 messages as it is a bit long.

    it is written by a monk for a class i studied about explaining the orthodox Christian faith. 

    Although the term “Holy Trinity” is not used in the Bible,
    there are several passages that mention the Holy Trinity:  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One
    God.

    From the very beginning of the Holy Scriptures, the first
    verses in the book of Genesis say: “In the beginning God created the heavens
    and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the
    face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the
    waters. Then God said…” (Gen. 1:1-3). 

    So here we see God the Father, the Holy Spirit (who
    was hovering over the face of the waters) and the Son, the Word of God, who speaks.
    In Hebrew, God is written as Elohim, or the plural of God, referring in the
    same context, to the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.
    And it is clear that this God that Moses wrote about at the time of creation is
    the same God spoken of when he wrote in Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The
    Lord our God, the Lord is one!” So there is One God who is the Father, the
    Word, and the Holy Spirit. 

  • more:

    There are multiple other verses in the Holy Bible that speak
    about the One God. There are a few verses in the Holy Scriptures where God, or
    the Lord, is used in the plural but still referring to the One God.  For example, when God created man and woman,
    He is referred to in both the singular and the plural at the same time:  “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our
    image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the
    sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and
    over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His
    own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”
    (Gen. 1:26-27).  After the fall, it is
    further written: “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one
    of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also
    of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent
    him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He
    drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the East of the garden of Eden,
    and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of
    life” (Gen. 3:22-24). 

    The same occurs in the story of the tower of Babel: “And the
    Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this
    is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld
    from them.  Come, let Us go down and
    there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s
    speech’” (Gen. 11:6-7).  

  • and finally:

    There are also several other references to the Holy Trinity
    in the Holy Bible.  Isaiah refers to this
    mystery in his book when he writes concerning the sending of the Messiah, the
    Son of God, by God the Father and the Holy Spirit:  “Come near to Me, hear this: I have not
    spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there.
    And now the Lord God and His Spirit Have sent Me” (Is. 48:16; see also Is.
    61:1). 

    There is also an explicit reference in the Gospel according
    to St. Matthew speaking of the faith and formula by which one is baptized:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the
    nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
    Holy Spirit…” (Matt. 28:19).  We also
    have the Divine Manifestation (Theophany) at the time of the baptism of our
    Lord Jesus Christ where the Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove and
    the voice of the Father was heard from heaven (Matt. 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11;
    Luke 3:21-22).

    St. Paul also gives us this apostolic blessing: “The grace
    of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy
    Spirit be with you all. Amen” (2Cor. 13:14) amongst other verses where he
    mentions the Holy Trinity (Rom. 8:1-4; 1Cor. 12:3-7; Gal. 4:4-6; Eph. 1:3-14;
    2:18; 4:4-6; 2Thess. 2:13-14; Tit. 3:4-6; Heb. 9:14).

    St. Peter in his first epistle also mentions the
    Holy Trinity: “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in
    sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of
    Jesus Christ” (1Pet. 1:2).

    i hope this helps.
  • edited July 18

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