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

60- The seriousness of half facts

 

It is said that half facts do not fairly present facts.

A woman may complain that her husband has wronged her, however, she neglects to mention how she too has wronged him. Thus, she only considers the situation from one side.

Someone else may say that he was punished by the Church, or dismissed from work but does not mention the reason why.

Thus his words do not give a true presentation of the fact.

This is why investigations are made in lawsuits, for the purpose of ascertaining the true facts.

St-Takla.org Image: Half of the truth صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نصف الحقيقة، أنصاف الحقائق

St-Takla.org Image: Half of the truth

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نصف الحقيقة، أنصاف الحقائق

The fact is complete when the matter is researched from all aspects, opinions presented from both sides, the cause and the consequence examined and the action and the reaction known. When one side is heard, the fact is not clear. Therefore, the investigator needs to confront both parties.

When anyone tells you something, you ought to question the reason.

This reminds us of the true saying 'when the reason is known, there will be no wonder'. If someone says to you, for example, 'My father confessor prevented me from talking to so and so', do not be amazed thinking that the father confessor creates quarrels. Perhaps if you knew the reason, you would know that that person is a stumbling block to another and causes him to sin, causes him irritation, or encourages bad thoughts. In other words, having friendship with him comes within the scope of the verse, "Evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Cor. 15:33), or the verse, "Put away from yourselves that wicked person" (1 Cor. 5:13), or the words of the Psalmist : "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).

The principle: Half facts are not facts, apply to theological matters as well.

An example of this is the case of using one verse and ignoring other verses relating to the same subject by which full understanding of doctrine can be realized, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. For example a person may speak about faith alone saying it is written, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and our household" (Acts 16:31).

We answer such a person, saying, 'use this verse in conjunction with the words of the Lord, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16), and the words of St. Peter the Apostle to the Jews on the Day of Pentecost, "Repent, and let ever one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).'

So, when anyone says to you: 'It is written so and so...', answer him: 'It is also written so and so...'

This is the clear way of debating and refuting thoughts which the Lord Christ used in the temptation on the Mount. This is the way by which truth represents the whole fact, otherwise, if anything is concealed the fact will be misunderstood.


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