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Murder mystery! Fear of the Truth


Alright this is a shameless plug, but I really wanted a discussion based on this, for those who are interested. I feel like it's something we often forget:

looking forward to responses!

pray for me,


  • Thank you Abouna!!!
  • edited June 2014
    One of the things that struck me with the post is how much people's lives were shattered when who is considered the foundation of people's beliefs is convicted of murder.

    It is important that when we be stewards, and I've experienced this to my worry, people look up to you. In my youth, I looked up to many people who later on revealed some sort of trouble in their lives that saddened me. That's why St. James makes this injunction, if you become teachers, you receive a stricter judgment. Every time I read this, I get worried. But it is the truth, and it is an expectation that people do in fact look up to you, that sometimes the smallest sins are inexcusable even when repented from since it can cause reverberations to those who do look up to you.

    One of the things I wish people to learn that it's perfectly ok to look up and even venerate people, but expect that even the wonder-worker can do mistakes and may not be perfect in all things. It may hurt to see a righteous man fall, but have your anchor first and foremost in Christ. Continue to be a disciple of a father, but be a critical thinker. I understand there's some dangers in this, as I don't want people to be full of themselves thinking they can criticize their elders. But in the end a good sincere prayer and sacramental life can help in engaging with some of the issues that happen around you, even when your own father may be erring along the way and shaking your core.

    So to add to the message to seek the Truth, I wish people to know the Truth ultimately is Christ. He is infallible and all of us, even His best saints are fallible. But by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we must have hope in the infallible Church, who makes the impossible possible. Centuries ago Christianity was shaken by heresies endorsed by archbishops, and I'm sure the people were confused left and right and lead away, but a good steward when he sees the broken glass caused by his fathers should learn not to despair even when shocked, but to pick up the nearest pieces around him and be involved in the repair of the shattered souls around him/her as best as possible, being a true Christ to those who lost their anchor in Him.
  • An Arabic proverb by Ali Ibn Abi Taleb: “Men are defined by the truth. The truth is not defined by Men”

    (Meaning: Men are judged by their adherence to the truth, but the truth is not defined by men’s actions or faith) ”

    Having said this, I want to point out the following:

    1) These stories, whether true or fictional, focus on moral issues.

    This sincerity of the servant’s service and character is doubted because he is a convicted murderer in this story, and in other stories adulterer, thief, etc.

    I still have to encounter a story that criticizes the heresies of many teachers, servants, clergy inside the Church, and considers the heresy an offence. Copts are offended by moral shortcomings of others. In this, they are not any different than Muslims, Jews or atheists. What makes us different is the dogma.  

    2) Does it always have to be a servant or Sunday school teacher?

    Let us say that the criminal in this story was not Hany Shenouda but Abona Bishoy X or Bishop Dawoud X (fictional characters). What would be the reaction of the forum members and moderators?

    The story is counterproductive.  

  • +

    I agree with you strongly. I was really excited reading the Synaxarium the other day about the Bishop of Jerusalem (I think it was James) who was initially nominated for his piety, but who ended up loving money. He buys a silver set that cost a fortune but was a jerk toward the poor. Another saint hears about it (actually, the abbot of his initial monastery), takes the silver, and the Synaxarium still narrates that the saint was angry! He repents etc… but what I'm getting at is how refreshing it is to see people presented as humans. We're all humans that get transformed.

    I'm also in strong agreement about our inability to see leaders err, as though in order to be leaders they must be infallible. My foc when I was in Canada often told me whenever I said something sentimental or coming off as overly attached to him, "Don't follow me, follow Christ." It was a valued message. He taught us from a young age that men in black both can and [often] do fall. Now, even wearing the black, I'm much more cognisant of this because of my own many [and continual] falls. 

    The point of my story was actually not the moral issue. I wanted to use something scandalous, but my main emphasis was actually more on the fact that what seemed "so obvious" was not really obvious at all. I wanted to point out different mindsets that we all have, and not to dismiss them, but to show that we all have a mindset coming from a particular experience, but that we cannot see ourselves as de facto correct all the time. The crime was not my focus as much as the analysis. If I were to give a dogma discussion it would have been harder since if it was a matter of discerning the right teaching, then they would immediately assume that all the clergy know everything. I'm not disagreeing with you that there's a problem, just saying it wasn't something I could actually tackle in there.

    So having said that, the story's productivity, to me, anyway, had little to do with analysis of a crime or how innocent or guilty Hany is. I wanted to bring people's minds to how we deal with debate and discussion. If someone says a teaching of the EO, should we immediately say "It's false because I've never heard this before", or should we see it and discuss it and try and find out if it's wrong. That's why there were so many characters in the story, because they each had a reaction, some more informed than others, but ALL the reactions were part of a general response that had to be understood.

    If science comes up with some conclusive idea that we never dreamed of, can we say, "It's false!" Just like that. no discussion? My answer is no, we cannot. We have to seek the truth. So I'm sorry if you found it counterproductive, but my point was not in any way about who made the error nor was it about any moral issue nor was it on the perpetrator of any particular crime. The point was more about are we HONESTLY seeking the truth. That's a question for us on every subject, and it's a question for all of humanity. That was the point of discussion for me in the article.

    pray for me,

  • I think it all comes back to the title of the story, "are you afraid of the truth". When someone like Hany is accused of an unthinkable crime, some people get scared and withdraw. They don't want to know what happened because they don't want to see Hany in any different image.

    I've been the Abanoub one too many times (disappointed by my role models). I think now, because of how many times I've been let down, if something like this were to happen, I wouldn't want to know the truth. I'm afraid of being disappointed because of a story going around. I would much rather give them excuses and push away discussions than to do the research and nailing the story. I'm afraid of the truth sometimes. I admit it.
  • +

    TITL -- thanks for your honesty. :) I think we all have been/were/are here and there. The question next is: why? Why is one afraid to know the truth?

    pray for me,
  • Afraid of disappointment I guess.
  • Do not be afraid.  There will be disappointing things happening around you, but Christ is never disappointing when you put your anchor in Him first and foremost.  He says "if you do not hate your mother or father or wife or even your self and not follow me, you have no life in me".  And the mothers and fathers are not just your biological ones.
  • edited June 2014
    Tamav irini left all for christ and she "hated" her brother but she wept later and asked about his fate and Jesus appeared to her and said he is with him in heaven
    It was her good example and prayers that led her brother to repent

  • edited June 2014

    TITL - I hear you. It's really hard to deal with things if someone turns out wrong or not the same person you thought, but this is why not judging for good or for bad is of utmost importance.  

    As Mina said above, some of the first heresies came from archbishops. I also strongly like his comment, "Continue to be a disciple of a father, but be a critical thinker." It's a good balance of the humility of discipleship (we have many people who think they know everything), but always seeking for what is "right".

    Thanks, guys.

    pray for me,
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