Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I believe that Satan’s primary purpose is to try to get each of us to separate from each other, basically getting us to stop uniting. With over 41,000 different Christian denominations, I’d say he’s doing a good job. Suppose a person from a different denomination comes to our church to receive communion, and that person believes in all 7 sacraments, in which we also believe. What is the true meaning of a sacrament since not all of them are required? Let’s look at this topic. Although he believes that St. Mary was a virgin before she had Christ, he also believes that she later lost her virginity. I know why we believe that this couldn’t be true based on how we interpret the Bible—door stayed shut—she took a vow to remain a virgin and Joseph never married her etc. Aside from this, from my understanding the Church would not give him communion until he was baptized in our faith, which says, “she remained a virgin.” For this example, I believe (I’m probably wrong) that Satan takes little differences such as these and creates separation. When I say “little,” I mean things not pertaining to salvation. In other words, had the prophecy not been interpreted that she had to remain a virgin, either case doesn’t change the fact that Jesus died for our sins. Why would we need to separate from different churches in this case?

Again, I believe in our church. I also believe there is a good reason. We can look at extremes; such as maybe we can allow women to be priests. But extremes work both ways. Should a church split if they allow a priest to trim his beard and others don’t? I’d rather just stay focused on the main question and basically figure out when does our church decide, no your baptism isn’t good enough and when do they decide, you believe what we believe, you can take communion?

The Coptic Orthodox Church has remained faithful to the Christian dogma as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ, undisputedly for more than 2000 years. If people choose to worship in a manner that stems from an erroneous doctrine, then it is clear that our Church cannot condone that. Thus, we can learn a great deal from St. Paul who addressed the issue of discrepancies in worship. Indeed, we are called to one Lord, one faith, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5), so we cannot let go simply on the basis that there are many differences amongst many denominations. Our Church has supplied many of the deepest spiritual texts in the history of Christianity. There is no reason for us to change any of our creed or manner of worship. Rather, our Church actually raises the believers up to a higher spiritual level.

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1:Timothy 4-15).
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