Browse By Person
It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Coptic Orthodox Church
1 CORINTHIANS 5:11.... VERY IMPORTANT
edited September 2008
I think it best to delete this post
MAYBE READ THIS FIRST BEFORE ANSWERING ME (BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO)..
The Life of Repentance
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
The separation between light and darkness.*
If you have repented and the light of God has entered
your heart: Then to preserve your repentance, separate
yourself from every work of darkness. It is a principle that
God set for us from the beginning, which the book of Genesis
narrates by saying: "And God saw the light, that it was good;
and God divided the light from the darkness" (Gen 1: 4). The
principle continued in the New Testament where it says: "What
communion has light with darkness?" (2 Cor 6:14). It is not
possible for a spiritual person to combine between the two in his
life. That is why everyone who walks in the path of God:
It is inevitable that he separates himself from all
causes of sin and stumbling.
This is what God wanted from the beginning of creation.
However, the principle was broken and caused sin. The first
breaking of this principle was when Eve sat with the serpent
(Gen 3), and we saw how darkness suppressed the light. The
Bible talks to us about another dangerous break of this
principle, where it narrates preceding the flood that: "the sons
of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and
they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose" (Gen 6:
2). The result was that man's evil increased and God was
obliged to purify the earth from corruption by the flood. So,
darkness for a second time suppressed the light.
* From a lecture that I gave at the great Cathedral on Friday 31/1/1976.
God returned and separated between light and
darkness by means of the ark.
He chose a holy group which was Noah and his family, and he
separated them from the evil world, so that He would have a
righteous group remaining, not being affected by the corruption
of the world. By time, as corruption entered into Noah's
children, God chose Abram and separated him from the evil
world and said to him: "Get out of your country, from your
kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show
you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you ... and you
shall be a blessing" (Gen 12:1-2). As if God says to Abram
`Leave the place of sin, to preserve the purity of your
heart, far away from evil.
The light which is in you must be separated from the darkness
that is in them'. In the same way, the Lord ordered His people
not to make a covenant with the people of the earth, and not to
be married to them (Ex 34:15-16). He also prohibited them
from the strange foreign women (Prov 2: 16). God wants His
children to keep away from every evil company (Ps 1).
The apostle ordered them not to eat or keep
company with sinners (1 Cor 5:11). Also to put away from
themselves that wicked person. In the same way Saint John the
beloved said: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this
doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for
he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (2 John 10-11).
Separation must be from sin and sinners, both in
conduct and knowledge.
If external influences made Samson, David and Solomon fall,
then the weak should be more cautious and keep away for this
is better for them. Similarly, the church in the apostolic era, and
in the first four centuries of Christianity in particular, cast out
sinners from the church, and all the believers remained as a holy
group, separated from evil and the ungodly. As happened in the
story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), and with the sinner of
Corinth (1 Cor 5: 5).
The first isolation in which man is isolated from
evil, is in baptism.
Where he finds himself isolated from the devil with all his
wicked works and repulsive evils, and from all his soldiers,
tricks and authority. As he is isolated from the devil, he is also
isolated from the old man who is buried in baptism, so that a
new man is born in the image of God. He places in front of him,
all of his life, to live separate from sin and sinners. In case a
person asks: How can we do this?
If you cannot be separated from sinners by
location, then be separated from them practically. Be
separated from them by thought, conduct and by way of
You are not capable of keeping away from the company of all
sinners in the world, or else you would have to go out of the
world as Saint Paul the apostle said (1 Cor 5:10). Let your
dealings with them be within the limits of necessity only. Let
your thoughts be separated from their thoughts, your conduct
different from their conducts, your life different from their lives.
Your expressions also different from their expressions, as the
Bible says: "your speech betrays you" (Matt 26: 73).
That is why Saint John the apostle says: "The
children of God . . . are manifest" (1 John 3:10).
If they sit with the people of the world, the separation entirely
appears: the separation is not by location, but in the type of life,
in conduct, even in their appearance, features, looks and
actions. Their spirit distinguishes them. Here you see practically
how God has separated between light and darkness.
I wish that this separation is without pride.
We do not want the man of God who lives the life of
repentance, separated from sinners, to be separated because of
arrogance, loftiness and pride, as if he is better than them. Just
like the Pharisees and Scribes used to do, blaming Christ for
sitting with tax collectors and sinners.
We mean, there should be no communion with them
in any sinful work.
There should be no conformity to sinners, or copying of habits,
or civility on account of truth. The apostle says: "do not be
conformed to this world" (Rom 12:2). That is, do not look like
them. The repentant does not follow sinners in their sins. At the
same time he does not judge them, but has compassion upon
them, and prays for the sake of their salvation. He says because
of his lack of mixing with them:
`For the sake of my weakness, I cannot overcome
I keep away, because I am easily influenced and attracted. The
external factors can overcome my will. That is why keeping
away for me is safer, and escaping is more suitable. The matter
is not to do with loftiness, because I will not forget my recent
In this way he differs from the position of the
pastors, who visit sinners and check up on them.
They do this in order to attract them to repentance, and
reconcile them with God. On the condition that the pastors at
such moments, are alert, not losing their spiritual reverence, and
not merging with the sinners in their amusements and
indulgence. But they are witnesses to the truth, ambassadors of
the Lord, and a good example in front of these people. The
Lord Jesus used to sit at the tables of tax collectors and enter
their homes, in order to attract them to repentance, and raise
their self esteem. So that they realise that they have a share in
Him, and that He is not only for the righteous.
The repentant says however: `I am not in the same
level as pastors, nor have the same power as Christ. I am
weaker than this company, so I will keep away from it.
I have not yet reached the level of those who guide another and
lead him to repentance, for I am still in need of someone to
guide me and confirm me in my repentance'. That is why he
isolates himself from sinners, preserving the contrition of his
heart. He does not despise any of them. He does not see within
himself that he is a light which separated from darkness. For this
mere distinction in his mind would not agree with the feelings of
In his heart he knows those of whom it was said
that they were light.
The righteous person, who is light, or amongst those of whom
the Lord said: "You are the light of the world" (Matt 5:14). If
this person is in any place, darkness disappears because of his
light. Just like if a lamp is placed in a dark place, its darkness is
dispersed and it becomes luminous. The same thing happens
with the presence of the righteous in any place they stay in, light
spreads in it and darkness disappears.
Similarly those saints, who because of their
spiritual reverence, darkness cannot find an opportunity
for itself in their presence.
Sinners are shy from them and from their dignity and holiness.
No one dares in their presence to act in a disgusting way, or say
a bad word. But he is ashamed of himself and from his conduct.
The people present feel that a spiritual atmosphere has prevailed
on the place, by the presence of one of these righteous people in
it. If there was sinful talk before their entrance, it stops and
everyone is quiet and darkness disappears when they enter. No
one can sin in their presence.
Are you the same? Have you become light after
Have you become even a small candle, giving dim light, but in
any case dispersing darkness? If you have not become such a
light, then be very cautious of darkness. Remember at all times
the saying of the Lord: "Let your waist be girded and your
lamps burning" (Luke 12:35).
Let your light firstly be for your sake.
For the sake of you seeing well, and having the spiritual insight
to distinguish God's path and will. Like one of the wise virgins
(Matt 25), who had oil in their lamps, so they were alight and
were worthy to enter with the bridegroom.
With these burning lamps, reveal the darkness and
keep away from it.
For the sake of preserving your meekness, take darkness in its
subjective meaning and not in its personal meaning. Take it in
the meaning of sin with all its images, and separate yourself
Separate yourself from every evil thought and desire.
In order to be able in your repentance to love the Lord your
God with all your heart and with all your thought according to
the commandment (Deut 6:5). How can love be with all the
heart, if the heart is not separated from every sinful feeling, and
if it mixes with worldly thoughts and desires? Every time you
are fought in your repentance by a thought from the matters of
the world and its love and pleasures, remember the saying of the
"Do not love the world or the things in the world"
(1 John 2:15). And his saying: "If anyone loves the world, the
love of the Father is not in him", and "the world is passing
away, and the lust of it" (1 John 2:15-17). In order to keep
away from the love of the world, keep away from thinking
about it and its desires. It is not possible for you presently to be
separated from it by location, or be separated from it by
thoughts and feelings. Say to the Lord as we say in the Fraction
prayer in the Divine Liturgy:
`Every thought that does not please Your goodness,
let it be taken away from us'.
Be very precise and quick in separating yourself from sinful
thoughts. For sin can enter into the heart of man, even from a
simple hole and keep widening a place inside until it destroys it.
Sit with yourself, examine it and ask. Is there still within me any
mixing with the causes of sin, and with its thoughts and
feelings? If you find any of these things in you, reject and
dismiss them and say to them: `God has separated between
light and darkness'.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
can i just say... we are all sinners... and if we had to keep away from sinners then who is left in this earth to be friends with...
i think the idea is to be wise... if u see someone that is easily lead astray from Our Lord Jesus Christ, then perhaps don't run to the first opportunity to be close to them... instead pray for them in silence.
if their sin effects you in any way then keep ur distance...
dont forget sometimes God puts u in ppls lives to set a good example for them. so if ur close frnds are watching inappropriate things... dont join them and make a strong stand against it.
if it happens more then once... then maybe God is telling u to keep ur distance a little... but always keep them in ur prayers.
Thanks for your reply
I still am not very sure of this verse..
It seems we really should not sit with unrepentant sinners in the church.. they hear many sermons no offense.. but they still act how they were as if they heard no sermon.. but with Gods grace maybe they will change.. I was once unrepentant too.. but maybe until then we should not even eat with them to make them ashamed or something..
BUT MAYBE THIS IS NOT WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES BUT IT SEEMS TO ME WHAT IS RIGHT.. MAYBE POPE SHENOUDA III WOULD AGREE I DO NOT KNOW..
But for those who keep falling into a certain sin out of weakness I think its okay to sit with them.. but some fall into a sin often because they do not care.. they want to sin and they may think its freedom
I WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE THIS POST SERIOUSLY..
THIS FORUM (?) HAS A HISTORY OF PEOPLE TAKING OTHER PEOPLES POSTS SERIOUSLY
LETS NOT CHANGE..