What do we tell people when they question or attack our beliefs?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Hi im a fellow copt and i have another important question that i think can relate to all teenager copts who have to deal with different people and their beliefs whether its at school or work. I always have people asking me different questions about my religion and sometimes when they dont agree with what i am saying try to question or even attack my beliefs.. my inner instinct wants to quickly try to argue and make them understand that what we believe is right.. but they sometimes.. they ask my questions that i cant answer.. like someone asked me why God lets people suffer and things like that.. i usually answer that there is a reason for everything God does and they are things we do not understand.. but i know that this answer seems insufficient to the person.. what do we do in these situations and how do we learn not to get angry ... ?


    there are several types of questions regarding our belifes.
    1) Those who ask with no real intention of beleiving, they have aan laready prepared idea that u r WRONG and they just want to argue maybe they would convience u. they r probably not christians and they r usually phoenatics.
    These are better avoided, and don't attempt to explain anything to them as they have their minds and hearts closed. All u can do is to pray for them that may God shine his light into their dark hearts oneday.
    2) Those who like to argue for arguing and for proofing that their knowledge is higher than anyone. these r easily recognized. they talk too much, on any topic and they mostly disagree with any openion. u can just shake your head to those and smile, they will stop if they don't find aomeone to defy them.
    3) Those who really want to know, learn and understand. they r the only people that u can really talk to. they usually ask polietly, and u will find that u r not the first one they asked. it is not that they found someone to talk to they decided to ask. they probably have read several books and talked to several people but have not found the answer yet. if u r prepared with good knowledge about the bible and about coptic church u can answer otherwise u should direct them where to find real christian answers to their questions.
  • The reason for the attack is that we are misunderstood as "monophysites"...people who belive that Christ had only the Divine nature. This is wrong. We never believed this. However, the other churches thought that that's what we believed. Most followers of other churches still think so now, but not the church hierarchies (the actual doctrinal dispute has been resolved between us and the Catholics in the 1970s, and between us and the Eastern Orthodox in the 1990s).

    We belive in "The one nature of God the Incarnate Logos", as St. Cyril said. We believe that Christ was both fully human and fully divine, and (as the priest declares in the Confession at the end of the liturgy) that His Divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment nor the twinkling of an eye.

    The attacks occur because of misinformation.
  • when people question our faith they are just provoking the unknown. all generations have done it. ??? ??? ??? ???. MAN is scared of the unknown, but that has never stoped us from provoking it. to make it plain and simple they are scared because they do not have a christian faith behind them. they do not understand their own religon, so they provoke ours. or it cuould be the fact that they THINK they understand theirs while they probably don't know much. when they do so yuo walk away, with the mentality that "I HOPE THEY CHANGE BECAUSE IF THEY DON'T THEY DON't KNOW WHAT THEYR"E IN FOR"
  • fellowcopt,
    I asked my abouna about this and he said that we can't do much for people who question faith in anything and who look for arguments with people of varying religions. All we can do is to pray for them that God can show them the true path. God will choose him/her if He so befits it, if it is to benefit the Christian faith. Like theophilos said, most people question religion because they are malinformed. They do not know what is really out there waiting for them. May our prayers be with all those men and women.
  • Proverbs 4:15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
    ÇãËÇá 4:15 ÊäßÈ Úäå.áÇ ÊãÑ Èå.ÍÏ Úäå æÇÚÈÑ.

    Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    ÑæãíÉ 16:17 æÇØáÈ Çáíßã ÇíåÇ ÇáÇÎæÉ Çä ÊáÇÍÙæÇ ÇáÐíä íÕäÚæä ÇáÔÞÇÞÇÊ æÇáÚËÑÇÊ ÎáÇÝÇ ááÊÚáíã ÇáÐí ÊÚáãÊãæå æÇÚÑÖæÇ Úäåã.

    1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
    1 ßæÑäËæÓ 7:2 æáßä áÓÈÈ ÇáÒäì áíßä áßá æÇÍÏ ÇãÑÃÊå æáíßä áßá æÇÍÏÉ ÑÌáåÇ.

    2 Timothy 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
    2 ÊíãæËÇæÓ 2:23 æÇáãÈÇÍËÇÊ ÇáÛÈíÉ æÇáÓÎíÝÉ ÇÌÊäÈåÇ ÚÇáãÇ ÇäåÇ ÊæáøÏ ÎÕæãÇÊ.

    Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

  • Keyhf Halek! Hope you are having a great Fast in this time of Great Lent. I can understand your frustrations at times when people give you questions that may be hard to answer and their objections may even seem to make sense. However, if your faith in Jesus Christ and the Faith He has given us is not based on a strong foundation the evil one can use these "seeds" to bring despair into fruition. Remember we live in a society thats the oposite of Egypt where there's a dominant religion (islam) . here indifference or unversalism ( all religions are right) are the dominant views.

    Many call this mentality a "liberated" outlook or a "modern" or "alternative" way of thinking/living. Ultimately in this great nation of progress,technology and affluence the fruits of this ideology is self evident: fragmentation of the family, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, teen pregnancy, violence, high divorce statistics etc....

    Compare this with stability, peace and courage as well as holiness that the Faith has contributed to individuals,families and societies at large. Read the many emails in this website demonstrating these truths. I dont mean to condemn society because God so loved the world right (John 3:16)...but I suggest for you to keep your focus on Jesus Christ and grow in the Faith of the Fathers. God Bless You.
  • Hey, that was a really good question, and I think the answer differs upon the situation. I see that many people have said that you should avoid answering those people, and I dont fully agree.

    I think instead, these questions, to which you do not yet have answers should spur you on to search and seek for the answers. Everyone who truly searches for the truth will find it, and if you seek answers you will find them. You see, everything that comes your way is sent by God (in very vague terms) and if someone asks you a question to which you do not know the answer, maybe it is something that God wants you to find out about. Go and look, and ask people, and read. The answer will come. Then maybe next time God sends someone your way, you will have an adequate answer.

    You see, for instance your question about pain and suffering is one that runs deep through the history of humanity. And maybe you dont have the answer now, but you search and find it, and later, not that someone else will ask you to question your beliefs, but maybe someone will be hurting, and you may be able to comfort them, or maybe someone will be doubting their own beliefs and you will be able to help them out. But dont run away or avoid the issue.

    Yes some ppl ask just for the sake of arguing. I say give them a short response. Do not get into an argument, or long conversation, because it will neither edify you or them, but be confident, answering their questions being short and concise, and you never know what kind of seed your answer may plant, God raises the fruit.

    Others are seriously questioning, and especially questions about pain and suffering. Answers to that question alone can make or break people's faith.

    In regards to that question, there are actually a few very good answers, and some very good books. I am still coming to conclusions myself about that question. The answer depends on the type of hurt or suffering the person has experienced. One good book that answers that question is called "Where is God when it Hurts" by Philip Yancey.

    Another set of great books that answer many questions very well, I'm sure many of you have heard of them, are "The Case for Christ" and "The Case for Faith". Both books are by Lee Strobel, who is a journalist, and describes how during his search and quest to disprove Christianity, he found greater and greater proof for it, and he asks a lot of the hard questions.

    And the next time someone asks you a question, be honest, and say "hey you know, i havent come to a conclusion about that yet, so i cant speak to it, but i am looking, or still learning, still refining my beliefs, and I will find out."

    God Bless...and keep seeking and refining your knowledge of the truth. It will always be handy, and set you apart.

  • I only have one thing to say: IF YOU HAVE STRONG FAITH AND A STRONG BELIEF IN CHRIST AND IN THE ORTHODOX RELIGION, YOU WOULDN'T BE ASKING US WHAT TO TELL THE OTHERS WHO BOTHER YOU ABOUT YOUR FAITH. YOU WOULD KNOW HOW TO DEFEND YOUR BELIEFS PROPERLY. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to bite your head off, but come on! I am so sick of hearing all these people talk about how they don't know what to say when others attach their religion. Tell me why the Muslims and Jews and every other faith can defend their beliefs except us? Why? It's because you are afraid to step up and take a stand against all the crap you go through every day. Sure, the path isn't easy for any of us, but what a small price to pay compared to the one Christ paid for us on the cross. Think about that next time someone approaches you. Also, ask your father of confession for advice on this issue. As for my tone of voice, I'm not angry at anyone here, just that these days it seems that everyone voices their opinion about their beliefs, and when it comes time for us to take a stand, we become mice. BE ASSERTIVE! God be with ya'll. Yalla, beace.
  • I some what agree with u marmoora-barboora. However, the reasons that other religions could defend themselves better than us is because they either study it in great dept or are required to study their religion. Jesus and our Church give us free will. We should be strong in our faith. We should prove to people what Christianity is all about. That would take great study and lots of hard work. And I don’t think we don’t respond because we don’t want to take a stand for our religion.
    I myself go through that at high school. “why are u always fasting, why…, why…, what about this…” Thank God for his guidance and help I am usually able to answer them and get my point across. I try to avoid these discussions for I am still in training, I am 15, and not fully educated about religion yet. but we should all try to learn as much as possible. Pope Shenouda says that reading will benefit us greatly in situations like these.
  • ok, i'm sorry, but how are you "still in training?" that makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever. why do u need training to answer people who attack ur religion? girl i'm sorry but u need a heads up, so it might as well be from me. admins, u better NOT take this posting off the site!!! well, i gotsta bounce. Yalla, beace!!!
  • my friend, i cant remember where this is from, maybe some1 can help me, but the bible says in the new testament, that if you follow Jesus, you will be "persecuted".
    this is a type of persecution, for people to attack your faith.
    i've been in this sittuation a countless times, now i know the feeling, the anger, but u must remember, anger is a sin; everytime we sin we're hammering another nail into Jesus.
    we must treat these people with love.
    always think b4 u act, what would Jesus do.
    jesus would do the most important thing, like he said, "PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU"
    we must remain calm, treat them with love, then leave them, dont argue, even change the topic, but as soon as they leave you sa a little prayer for them, and when you get home, remember them in your prayers, pray that God touch their hearts, and that they might taste his sweetness, and turn to him...
    also lead by example at all times and people wont attack your beliefs.
  • Hi all i am new here,

    Well I cant remmember the refrence to the text from the bible but, this verse goes like this "Be ready to answer those who ask you about your hope" I think this veerse says it all. You have to defend your belife in Christ

    ;) cheerz
  • why we suffer..etc, God never said our lives will be easy, in fact He said " in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world" John 16:33, along with christianity there comes a cross, a cross that we must carry with patience, out of love, "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Mt 10:38.
    Marmoora-Barboora, none of us will ever be "complete or perfect" in our faith, we are all trying to grow more spritually, but we will never really reach perfection.
    Yes, we should all be prepared to defend our faith, but if we cant always answer with words, its not the end of the world!..sometimes all what people around you need is to see your religion through your actions and behavior, all they need is an example, they want to understand (some of them),and they wont ever understand you if your just preach words, show Christ in you, remember that you are a fragrance of Christ, reflect Christ's image in you wherever you go, wherever you are. Be a candle in the darkness, let your light so shine before men, so that they may glorify God.
    If someone truly wants to know about God and our religion more try to answer them if you can, if not pray for them, and try to tell them to talk to someone that can answer them. For the people that just tend to argue or prove they are right, no need to get angry or mad at anyone, but just pray for them and be an example for them, these people usually as said before..have their hearts hardened...and wont open the doors of their hearts to see the true light
    remember that God's spirit, the holy spirit, dwells in you, and that even if sometimes we cant answer, God speaks His word on our tongues "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.: Matthew 10:19,20 ;)
  • Hi, this type of delima is experienced by all people of all ages. In order to answer any type of critism by others, we must learn the values of the Fathers of the Church. Also, reading the Acts and the Proverbs, as well as the Parables of Christ, will assist you in making your desision on how to defend your faith. It is not about memorizing or anything like that. In order to defend your faith, you must first understand and live it.
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