Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Why do youth group teachers tell us to uncross our legs when reading the Bible? Why we can not cross our legs in church? 

As Christians, we ought to be reverent and modest in appearance and in demeanor. When praying, reading the Holy Scripture, or engaging in any spiritual context, our awareness of this privilege must be raised so that we may consciously display befitting gestures of respect due to the important context and to our beloved God. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He instructed him to remove his sandals for the ground on which he stood was considered holy due to the presence of God. 


Many times, the Holy Scriptures mentions that when angels appeared to men, the men prostrated and fell before them in awe and reverence. Prayer and any form of worship, whether it is reading or being in the company of spiritual individuals, such as the clergy, one must be cognizant of his/her overall disposition, body language, and attitude. Do not be dismayed by this protocol, for even in the business world, there are behaviors and etiquette that are considered appropriate and others that are deemed disrespectful.


Below is an article of basic business etiquette. Bear in mind, we should not reduce our standards when it pertains to our Christian conduct and demeanor:   

The Lord Jesus Christ taught us basic church appropriate courtesies as He, Himself, applied them. Notice in the passage below, how He went to the place of worship as He was accustomed, stood up to read, waited to be handed the book, read accordingly, closed the book after completing His reading, returned it to the attendant, and then sat down. He is God and could have done as He pleased. See below His precise respectful demeanor expressed in every move:

"So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 'The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.' Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him" (Luke 4:16-20).

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