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

62- Truth versus Falsehood

 

Another concept of truth is connected with its being opposite to falsity.

True gold is other than false gold, and a true marriage, that is, a lawful marriage is opposite to an unlawful marriage. And it is said of the Lord Christ that He is "the true Light" (John 1:9), and of John the Baptist that ,"He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light" (John 1:8).

The Lord Christ said about Himself, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness" (John 8:12). And He said to us, "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14). Even though He called us the light, He is the true Light because He is Himself light whereas we see light only through His light. The light of the sun is true light, whereas the light of the moon is not because it is mere reflection of the sun's light on it, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. Without the light of the sun, the moon becomes dark.

The meaning here is true and genuine and can be applied to many examples.

A person may say that he is the spiritual son of a certain priest, but in fact he is not because he does not obey or consult him.

Someone may say that he has repented whereas he is not repenting, because every time he repents, he returns again to sin.

Another person may say that he always prays, but in fact he does not pray, because he talks to God with his mouth only and his heart is far from him.

St-Takla.org Image: Balance, scale صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: ميزان الحق

St-Takla.org Image: Balance, scale

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: ميزان الحق

Or a person who says that he is fasting but in actual fact he is not; he is a vegetarian who cares to make his food delicious. Such a person has no self control during fasting and is not considered fasting according to the spiritual rules of fast.

With regard to God, He is the only true God (John 17:3).

Many were called gods, however, this was merely a title, for they were not truly gods. Take for example what is stated in the Psalms: "God stands in the congregation of the might; He judges among the gods" (Ps. 82:1). And, "I said, 'You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men..." (Ps. 82:6,7).

The Lord said also to Moses, "See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh" (Ex. 7:1). "As God" here means to be master, not to be Creator, Almighty or Omnipresent. And it is said also that "all the gods of the peoples are idols" (Ps. 96:5). This is the difference between truth and falsity.

The same distinction was made by St. Paul the Apostle concerning widows.

He said, "do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows" (1 Tim. 5:16).

The same can be said regarding a true believer and children of God.

Many are called God's children and pray, saying, "Our Father who are in heaven", yet they are not real children; for the words of St. John the Apostle do not apply to them: "Whoever has been born of God does not sin," "and the wicked one does not touch him," "and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God" (1 John 3:9; 5:18).

The words of the Apostle about the Lord do not apply to such people, "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him" (1 John 2:29).

St. James the Apostle says about the person who says that he is a believer but does not demonstrate his faith through works, "But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:20).

St. Paul the Apostle says very serious words, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. prove yourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5).

See also what hard words the Lord said to the angel of the Church in Sardis, "You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead" (Rev. 3:1).

The word "alive" here is not the true name which that angel deserved; for he was not really alive but spiritually dead.

The truth begins with the principles or values which a person observes in life.

Whatever conforms with sound spiritual values is truth, and whatever conforms with sound theological doctrines is right and the opposite is false and vain.


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