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Coptic Orthodox Church
Reading the Holy Bible
edited December 1969
I need help guys...my brother thinks that he doesn't need t to read the Holy Bible to grow in faith...how do i respond?
get a nice plant.
pull it up out of the soil and leave it on the table.
see if it grows.
thats a really good analogy....he also says he doesnt need to read the Holy Bible to know God.
OH and he also said he doesnt need a church to know God
Christ says that we need His Word to live. If we are living without His Word, then we are not living.
I must admit, I can totally understand how someone can come to this conclusion being Orthodox.
The reason is as follows:
If you have passed 1 year in the Coptic Church, you'd have already read the Bible without literally reading it just from singing the Tasbeha (praises), hearing or reading stories of Saints (Synaxar), attending mass and listening to the Gospel, or even spiritual booster events such as Passion Week.
But, ultimately, we need God's word to grow. There is no substitute for growing in faith without God's word. You will end up growing in heresy, pride and being self centered than growing in faith.
Which part of God's word does your brother find is irrelevant for his spiritual life? This is remarkable.
However, to be 110% honest with everyone - I'll tell you the truth. I prefer reading the Bible through patristics. Through the contemplations of our Church fathers. Not directly. As you can see, from my threads, I read a piece from the Bible and was not even sure if I had correctly interpreted it, and asked Fr. Peter's confirmation that the correct meaning was being absorbed.
As Orthodox Christian, we should really celebrate and profit abundantly from the fact that it was the Catholic Apostolic Church, the One Holy Universal Church of God that our Church is, was the very same Church that decided WHAT/WHICH books will go to make up the Bible.
So, if protestants complain about us, the Bibles in their hand, the Bibles they use to come up with their own understandings was compiled by the Orthodox Church fathers.
So, when reading the Bible, I tend to make use of the Apostolic Teachings that we have in understanding God's word... and this TAKES TIME. Its quite long. But it doesnt mean that I depend on my own inherent goodness to grow spiritually. St Paul makes it abundantly clear that there are teachings OUTSIDE of His own scriptures that we should HOLD ON FIRMLY TO (that we have received by letter, or word of mouth).
Christ Himself made it very clear that even to pray, we should pray from what He has given us to say "Our Father in Heaven, etc..".
Because we are rich in our Ecclesiastical history, we will be judged on this.
"To whom much was given, the same will be asked".
Why not download iCoptic? Its great. It will give you the passages you need day by day. It is a good app.
good points, zoxsasi
i believe, which 'god' is it your brother wants to know without going to church and reading the Bible?
there are many 'gods', either made up by humans or spirits that confuse people with all the different religions.
if he wants to follow God without the Bible or church, he can get very confused and damaged. u c, there is evil out there as well as good. trying to follow God without the Bible is like climbing a large mountain full of snakes in the dark without a torch. u will never know if u have got to the top or if you've started coming down again, and u will get bitten on the way.
is there something he doesn't like about church, eg has he been hurt by hypocritical people? maybe he has a serious problem u can help him with. or maybe he just thinks he knows best, in which case read him the Bible passage where some guys randomly start trying to cast out demons without knowing what they are doing. they get beaten and stripped naked! i think is a good warning. (acts 19 11-20)
This sounds like the SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious) mentality that's running around among many Westerners (especially people in their teens,20's and 30's). This concept says an individual can take little of this and a little of that from each religion or any religions of their choosing and create their own belief system. They say they're 'spiritual' without being religious. Makes them sound as if they're 'mystical', 'tolerant', 'open-minded'. They believe all religions say the same thing thus are all the same (Universalism). They may seem more 'humane', more ethical than the churchgoer.
In reality this 'Burger King' mentality (u can have it ur way) is a result of a very immature and egotistical spirituality. It's all about 'what I think is right' and 'my truth is not ur truth' which then creates this non-judgemental trap to the Christian because orthodox teachings may seem old fashioned, archaic, and intolerant in a 'politically correct world'. This SBNR outlook is like a young adult who dates alot but never has a steady girlfriend to marry. At this age hormones are running amok and every man or women looks attractive! But when maturity sets in stability and responsibility becomes more and more attractive thus we marry.
Plus, to say all religions are the same is to minimize the sacrifices of martyrs, saints and ordinary people and that's not rational nor appreciative to every particular religion. This was similiar to ancient Rome and it's various cults and mystery religions. The pluralistic belief, along with the Pax Romana, led to decadence and an errosion of Roman values which made the empire great! This created a spiritual void that only Christ was able to fill! Our Lord says if we love Him FOLLOW His Commandments. To have this "Have it your way" mentality only shows a great need for stability, maturity and Truth. The Truth is not a philosophy nor a politically correct agenda but a Person who is THE Truth, THE Way, and THE Life!