Showing Kindness and Caring when Needed

It's been awhile since I have been active on Tasbeha.org but after reading some of the comments, maybe it's best I sign off for good.  But, before I do that, I wish to share something with everyone.

I see that @minatasgeel, who is the administrator, has closed down many discussions since they deal with what he feels are controversial subjects for the church.  I was taught that the church is a place for sick souls like me and you.  Being a member of the body of Christ, it is our responsibly to help those who reach out for us.  It doesn't mean we will have the correct answer but let's not brush it aside beside we don't want to "upset" the church or our own narrow minded thinking.  People are out there hurting.  Their pain can be added to by those pious minded people who don't want to go "there".  Come on guys, where is your compassion?  Where is your kindness towards your fellow brother?  

I'm 65 years old and have been blessed to be a Christian all my life.  God is number one in my life.  There's no way I want to be like the Pharisees in Matthew 23:24 . . .you strain out a knat but swallow a camel.  If the church is really there for everyone, then we need to help those who are suffering from broken relationships, divorce, domestic violence, porn addiction and anything else that needs our help.  (Yes people, these issues are very much at work within the Coptic community!  We can't shut these people off because they are not fitting the description of the perfect Coptic parishioner.  Our Lord sought out those who needed help and he gave them help.

If someone posts a issue that you are not comfortable with, then I would private message them and give them some insight as to how to deal with this problem.  Don't shut them down because you feel uncomfortable.  Maybe we in the Coptic church need to take a 101 course in psychology?  Otherwise, what is the church and the body of Christ for?  At this age in my life, I want to be known for kindness and helping those who are in need of something.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner!  

Comments

  • edited August 20
    Hello @Martha,

    Thank's for starting this discussion. It is beneficial to clarify why i close specific posts:

    - No one knows anyone here. You are saying that your name is Martha and you are a 65 yr old woman--great--but, no one can verify that on our forum...and that is fine. We are ok with this on the forum. As an admin, I see your email and we ask that everyone has a legit email (and not just a temporary one) to make sure you are just not another pot or spammer out there. But, that's it. That's all the security that we have on the forum, the site, and we are OK with it. 

    - We didn't say that we will close discussions for all the reasons you mentioned. The premise we generally follow is, if the specific topic being discussed won't be beneficial to people, we generally will close it and sometimes delete it. Now, I do confess, that is very subjective. But let's consider some points:

    1- You say "it is our responsibly to help those who reach out for us." You are so right. I would even go as far as saying it may be held against you as a sin if you don't help...but how are we supposed to help if we don't know the whole story about those individuals asking for help. Let's consider a couple of scenarios (real living stories i know happened with priests and bishops):

    - Someone who is need of money. He goes to one church in a specific diocese asks that abouna for money. Abouna gives him the money. That same person does that to another priest in another church in the same diocese and asks for money. That abouna gives him money too, while other people in the area also give that guy in need money. Now, in a clergy meeting (all the priests of the diocese are present) that person comes and asks a specific for money. Other priests see this and they realize that this person who is asking for money is nothing but a greedy guy who doesn't deserve the money because in a way he is taking money from other people in the church that are truly in need of funds. 
    Now, NO PRIEST will say this story out in public because then some will try to find out who that person is. But you can see that this whole idea of "helping  those who reach out for us" doesn't solve anything except making the giver feel better...but doing so screws up everything for other people and the system that has been put in place for the EDIFICATION of the person and everyone, not just ONE person (either the giver or the receiver). 

    The Church is definitely the hospital for the believers...but it is so for EVERYONE...not just those who ask or those who give.

    More to come...
  • I was going to mention more scenarios, but that would be too much to type...so i'll respond directly to points:

    "we need to help those who are suffering from broken relationships, divorce, domestic violence, porn addiction and anything else that needs our help."

    1- For you to couple all those problems together or say "anything else that needs our help" shows lack of knowledge about all those problem and what really happens in real life. Not only that, but we didn't even say we will close discussions that has all those issues. Everyone still posts about broken relationships, porn addiction and "a lot of other stuff that they need help with."

    As for "divorce and domestic violence"--I recently got married and we were blessed to have HEM Paula of Tanta attend and in the process he has spoken to many friends about these problems. He clearly stated that any involvement of outside parties interfering with any of these cases that are presented to the Church to resolve, delays and complicates getting to a resolution. Almost all the time, no one person knows the entire story...so how in the world are they supposed to judge who is at fault and who is the real victim here?! who is the person that really needs help and who doesn't?! The answer is, no one. That's why each Clerical Council (Church entity that is responsible to deal with these issues) has a bishop, multiple priests, female member and another male one, and a lawyer. ALL have all the information for all parties involved and they make a decision based on that. Now, a couple of things:
    1- All information about each case are confidential and will never be released
    2- "Helping someone" when that person is actually perpetrator will simply cause problems because they'll always think that they were wronged
    3- Supporting someone who is at fault ill simply result in that person never repenting and returning from his or her error...and that is a problem since the whole reason behind helping a person should be making them a better person, bringing them closer to God.

    So, all what we are saying based on information we have from those that are verified individuals (bishops, priests, servants...etc), is all these domestic relationship problems have no place on our from or ANYWHERE online since, they would simply be an interference with the Church's process dealing with this. 

    @Martha, please forgive us if we consider bishops and priests to be of higher authority in what they say than anyone here on the forum.
  • One more thing to say: Almost everyone takes psychology 101 in college, including me...it was an easy class. So please don't mock us and the Church for caring about everyone collectively rather than just "making people feel good about their problems"...just because that wouldn't resolve the problems and it for sure would save them and bring them to God, which is the job of the Church btw.

  • Thank you @minatasgeel for your comments.  I would be most happy to tell you who I am.  If you highlight my name, you will find I posted here before.  I'm not a bot or a scammer. I didn't realize that you need to verify everyone who posts on here.  I would be most happy to give you the contact for my priest so  you can verify that it's me.

    I was not implying that we on this forum should get privately involved with people's private issues but we should be sympathetic to them..  Sympathy "feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune".

     My comments were never intended to comprise or question the Church's teaching so you can relax on that point.  The Coptic Church has been in North America for many years now.  As long as my parish as "American" in it's title, then it's making an effort to open it's door to all people. We need to be welcoming to all individuals out there and that means non-Egyptians and converts. All should be treated with respect and shown kindness. That's what I'm speaking of. 

     


  • @minatasgeel Pardon me if I may add a little more.  Basically you're telling me to go away and not rock the boat.  Congratulations on your marriage and for having the honor of having the Bishop attend.  My marriage didn't have a bishop in attendance but it is going strong after 44+ years.  I've been blessed that I'm married to a caring individual.  Not all people are as lucky.   As I'm writing this my heart is racing and my hands are shaking.  I never in my life thought that Coptics can be so cold hearted.  It breaks my heart.
  • edited August 20
    Ya @Martha...I am not doubting your existence and I have nothing against you. Many individuals here, including myself, are known and can be found on other social media sites. The point I am making is that no one can be trusted here, either in those who are asking for advice, and those who are giving it.

    Also, acting on feelings does not help people in the future. And that's why interfering with some cases of "misfortune" like you call it may not be the best action to take to help that person. Instead, and as i said in the announcement post, those specific cases need to go straight to a priest and that specific priest will guide the person further. 

    This applies for Copts and curious non-copts too, almost all the time. You can provide all the information you have to someone who is interested in being orthodox, but sooner or later he or she must connect with a priest, go through catechesis to actually become a member of the Church. Again, the Church's job is not to make us feel good, but it job is to take us to heaven.

    Finally, I am sorry, but comments above didn't entail anything about "opening our arms to converts"....you were clearly challenging our decision in being selective with what to leave on the forum and what to remove.

    One more thing before I go...The Coptic Church in America has always opened its doors to everyone who's interested. I come from the first Coptic Church in North America, in which we serve all types of parishioners everyday, and I married someone from a Coptic Church in Wisconsin in which they have been doing tons of outreach services and events for the community for many many years, much before any of this "American Coptic Orthodox Church" or "mission church" approaches came to be, and for sure of much more degree of success. All ARE being treated with respect and ARE shown kindness. All are being welcomed and presented with orthodoxy either by action or by words. 
  • @minatasgeel although English if my first and only language, I think I somehow didn't get my message across.  It's Ok as I'm not here to antagonize you in any way.  I'm sorry if I caused you any discomfort.

    I hope someone out there can read this and see how hard it is to be "inside the circle".  I wish you well.
  • edited August 21
    @Martha This is an internet forum. When I converted in 2009 there was little in regards to technology or media in the church. I discovered this forum in 2013. I came on here to, "learn" about the church. I have learned little to nothing on this forum. I have used it as outreach to other converts like us to give advice, to give advice to others about issues they may not know where to turn to in person, and to vent as you and I did a few days ago about our common experiences. This is not intended to be a place to get a concrete and final answer to an issue.

    In reality, I have learned far more by actually attending Divine Liturgy, connecting with my Priest and his family, and meeting people at church. Coming here did not make me a Deacon or Sunday School teacher. I believe what Mina is saying is that you have to take it into context.

    This is not actually reality. We do know who the people are on here and we do not know them personally. Sometimes, discussions lead down a wormhole that diverts from the original intention of a person's question and can become harmful and unedifying. Mina has a tough rope to walk. It may seem like he's blocking things, but his intentions are good.

    I'm 37, so I am a little bit younger than you. Some folks who are 10 or 15 years younger than me may not understand how important interpersonal contact is to learning, and take incorrect information or comments as fact.

    This forum has been wonderful to me as a convert, but it's not where you go to grow spiritually, nor is that its intention. I've loved hearing about you and your story, but 90% of the posts on here are about hymns or personal issues. This is an online unlicensed therapist. You can vent and get some responses, but you cannot use it as a treatment or as a diagnosis. Sympathy does not come from the internet, no matter how good the intentions are. It's just words on a screen.
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