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Ten Concepts, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

42- Knowledge of sin

 

This means that a person is aware of the things which harm him spiritually.

Thus knowledge which defiles his thoughts is introduced into his mind.

This knowledge may arouse lusts within and make him fall into sin. Perhaps this was in the mind of Solomon the Wise when he said, "For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow" (Eccl. 1:18).

St-Takla.org Image: Friday Ambition, by Diong. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: طموح يوم الجمعة، الفنان ديونج.

St-Takla.org Image: Friday Ambition, by Diong.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: طموح يوم الجمعة، الفنان ديونج.

Eve fell through the knowledge that came to her which was false; for the devil lied when he said to her, "your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God... " (Gen. 3:5). However these words changed Eve's sight, thought

and emotion: "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate..." (Gen. 3:6).

So a person who encourages a friend with harmful information, is offending him.

Such is the case, for example, of a person who gives his friend information falsely about another person, condemning him, or introduces some ideas that may corrupt him morally, or suspicions which may shake his faith. The friend after such meeting will say, 'Oh I wish I had not met him or heard what he had to say!'

Another example is the evil environment and the thoughts introduced in it.

About this the Apostle said, "Evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Cor. 15:33).

Thus, with the offense on one side and the bad example on the other side, a person becomes aware of deceit, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. For example, the pupil who learns to miss school or to cheat in exams, or children and youth who become involved in gangs for the purpose of learning how to pick pockets, or some youth who gather together and teach a new friend drug addiction or gambling, all these are stumbling blocks, and the Psalmist said concerning this : "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful" (Ps. 1:1).

A stumbling block also is the person who introduces to you to a wrong thought without refuting it.

He may introduce to you all evidences of the wrong thought and stop at this point without commenting on it or giving refutations destroying that thought. And when he is attacked for what he said, he replies. 'I did not say that these are my views, but I just mentioned them for information!'

Such people may have followers, disciples and lovers who repeat and teach the same ideas and they become stumbling blocks.

Evading such a person is chastity not contention

Evading them is avoidance of causes of offenses and avoidance of knowledge of offense; for a person who causes offense leads his friend to lose the simplicity and innocence he had before. It seems as if he is saying to his friend the same words which the devil said to Eve, "your eyes will be opened". The eyes become open to know sin.


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