Eastern Orthodox/Accepting of others
Lately I have been finding it very hard to understand the concept of how we as Coptics are meant to accept others.
As coptics, are we not meant to accept people that want to come to the church regardless of their background?
If Jesus did not judge the adulterers and the tax collectors, was that not an example for us to learn from?
I have a friend who I've known for 2 years who is muslim and has been trying for about 6 months now to come to the coptic church as I would always talk about it and teach him things as his family never spoke to him about religion but is muslim by name only. He reads the Agbia now, the Bible and is learning this religion as he has been receiving many signs and feels like this is the true path to follow.
I have been to 2 priests (In Sydney)and both were very skeptical (which I understand as I am a female and he is male and the obvious assumption of the lack of genuinity with his "calling" is in question) and that is understandlable as much as I plead the case of his true genuine calling there will be skeptisism.
But then is he not aloud to have a chance? We welcome all kinds of demoniations/religions to the church but if it is a man that has been brought up in a non strict at all muslim home is he now doomed?
All I want to know is that how can we turn away someone from the church without knowing the person, without having a priest get to know him, mentor him and pray that God gives him wisdom to see this person's genuinity.
My Priest saw him twice and the second time he told him to forget about this and that "some things don't change" and he can not change his religion.
I pray everyday that someone reaches out to him to help him on his journey as I now do not know what to do.
If you can help somehow or have any advise please let me know.
thnx much for ur question.
faith is so precious. coming to Christ is a willingness to carry the cross and walk all the way with the Lord. it is a joy and a responsibility. a priest is not allowed to reject someone who wants to become Christian. also he cannot just accept anyone. part of being sure of your guy's love for the Lord maybe telling him to go away. if he really loves the Lord he WILL become Christian. it is not uncommon to test the faith and behavior in such ways. remember how St. Moses the Black was treated when he was to become a priest. he passed the test and became a good priest.
if he wants to be a Copt then he has to know Lord Jesus personally. he learns his words from the Bible and talks to him each and every moment of his life. Lord Jesus says in John 14:21 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me". he has to learn his commands and live according to them. the teachings of early fathers will tell him how to understand his commands and follow them.
most importantly he has to live a life of discipleship. he has to have a Godfather. i know he already went to 2 priests. he will have to win their trust. a God father will tell him how to live as a disciple to Lord Jesus. in John 13:34-35 Lord Jesus says:"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." this is what his Godfather should teach him.
when he truly understands the Coptic faith and shows his willingness to live according to it then he can be baptized. he just needs to love the Lord from all his heart.
i pray that the Lord himself be ur guide and ur salvation and that ur friend will be saved in the name of the Lord.
plz send any questions or follow ups that u have. u can send a private message with ur email if u like.
God be with u.
urs in Jesus Christ