"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Question & Answer
What are your views over the nature of Christ?
The Lord Jesus Christ is One of two natures after Incarnation. He is God (the Divine Nature) and He is human (took flesh from St. Mary and became Man). After the Divine Incarnation He is ONE Nature of two natures mentioned above. This unity between Divinity & Humanity is without mingling, confusion, change or alteration.
II. Would you say that you follow tradition primarily and the bible or secondary the bible primary and tradition secondary? Would you give at least one example?
We follow the Bible primarily and holy Tradition second to the decrees of the Ecumenical Council Fathers. All the services in the Coptic Orthodox Church are based on readings and texts from the Holy Bible. In the Liturgy we pray and read every Sunday 5 readings from the Bible; from St. Paul's Epistles, from the Universal-catholic Epistles, The Book of Acts, a Psalm and the Gospel reading of the day. Also two Gospels in Vespers and Matins services.
Tradition is used to explain and elaborate.
During the creation of the 'man', the Bible refers to the Creator as plural, is He three or one being. (Gen. 1 :26)?
The plural refers to The Holy Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then the Book says in Genesis 1 :27 "And created man on His image .. " that is the unity of The Trinity. God uses singularity to show oneness of thought and economy for His Divine work. And uses plurality also to show agreement among all the Three lconums (Persons) of the Holy Trinity.
Do you believe that Christ came to this earth and was fully man and fully divine? If so, where is He now?
And is He in the human form (being at one place at the same time or in the form of His pre-incarnation (omnipresence?)
The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth and was fully Man (took flesh from Virgin Mary and became man), and He is fully Divine for His Divinity parted not from His Humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye.
After His glorious Resurrection, 40 days later, He Ascended into the Heavens with His glorious resurrected body. He is Omnipresent yet allowed His glorious body to enter into the Heavens and be confirmed in the might of the Father-The Godhead which is of one essence with the Logos (The Word & Mind of God).
Is the Holy Spirit a separate identity or a "spirit" of the Father (one and the same?)
The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (John 15:26), sent by the Son (John 15:26; 16:7) to remain in the Church and with the church till He comes back in His Second Coming to Judge the world in righteousness and give each one according to his/her deeds, whether good or bad.
The Father is the essence of the Godhead, the Son is the Logos-word & mind of God and God is alive by His Holy Spirit. The Book says, "and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters .. " (Gn.1 :2), so God is a living Being by His divine Spirit, which we call 'Holy Spirit.'
So, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are ONE; God and His Mind/Word and His Spirit are ONE.
In the Orthodox belief, how is one saved?
We are saved by several steps. First we are preached, then we believe that Christ is the Savior, then we confirm our faith in Christ by the Holy Baptism. (Mark 16:16)
The Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross to redeem man from perdition and the debt he-man owed to the Divine Justice was paid in full on the Cross, that is why the Lord Jesus said the sixth word on the Cross "It is finished.'' (John 19:30)
By this divine act, we were saved from the bondage of the enemy-Satan.
Does it matter the religion you are in to be saved, and enter heaven?
The Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus in chapter 3 in the Gospel of St. John, "unless one is born again (baptized), he cannot see/ enter the Kingdom of God.'' (John 3:3) And "He who believes and is baptized will be saved.'' (Mark 16:16)
What is the traditional way to be baptized?
First to believe that Jesus is Savior, then confirm the faith in the Lord Jesus and then be immersed in water three times (Matt. 28: 19; Col. 2: 12); resembling the burial of Jesus in the tomb for three days, then we rise from the water of the Baptismal font "putting on Christ'' (Eph. 4:24) a "new creature" (2Cor. 5:17).
Do you believe in justification and sanctification? If you do, what do they mean? And how do you obtain them? By works or faith?
JUSTIFICATION: we find that in Romans 4:25; 5:18 it means God's act of declaring us 'not guilty' for our sins, where He paid our debt/dues to the Divine Justice on the Cross claiming "It is finished".
SANCTIFICATION: we also find this in Romans 5:2; 15:16 it means that Christians should become more and more like Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit in them and their deeds to show true Christian life.
How important is the Bible?
The Bible is the word of God to each and every-one of us. It is the breath of God to us to sanctify us. The Lord Jesus said to His Disciples, "Now you are clean because of the word which I have spoken to you" (John 15:3).
Do you confess out our sins? If so, unto who?
What is Hell? Does it actually exist?
Hell is the eternal place and condition for Satan and his soldiers. (Matt. 11:23; Luke 10:15)
Do you believe that there are cults? How do you distinguish them?
How satisfied are you with your church?
It is my life for ii has and teaches the Apostolic faith from Jesus' time till Kingdom come.
Would you change anything? Why, or why not?
Definitely not, no changes are required for the church has all the truth and teaches nothing but the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is it important to convert others to your specific religion?
Only if they are called by God's Spirit, yes, convinced by the salvation message of the Lord Jesus Christ, and accept Him as Redeemer and Savior.
Why should I be a Coptic Orthodox? How would it affect me in a positive manner?
Coptic stands for ‘Egyptian’; 'Orthodox' means straight praise/teachings.
The First Ecumenical Council
The Second Ecumenical Council
The Third Ecumenical Council
The First Ecumenical Council explains the deity of Christ.
The Second Ecumenical Council proclaims the Lordship of the Holy Spirit.
The Third Ecumenical Council addresses Saint Mary as the Mother of God Incarnate.
In addition to Pre-Marital Counseling, Father Markos has authored books about Coptic Christianity. These Items are available at his Online store.
Father Markos Hanna was ordained presbyter by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III on Friday, February 19, 1988 in St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt. He served at St. Mark’s in Los Angeles from 1988-2002 and is currently serving at Archangel Michael in Simi Valley. He has written and translated many church books from Arabic to English. Amazon published one of his books; MORAL ISSUES in 2012.
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