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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||



Truth is fact:


The first concept of Truth is the true fact.


The Lord Christ often started His talk with the words,

"Assuredly, I say to you," "Most assuredly I say to you."

(Matt. 8:10), (John 5:19,24,25), (John 8:34,51,58).

In law courts a witness swears, saying, 'I'll say the truth,
all the truth, and nothing but the truth'.   There is also an
important principle which states, half facts are not facts.


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

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

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


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.  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.


People's rights:


Another meaning for truth is related to people's

It is therefore said: Give everyone his right.   And hence
came the expression "human rights".    Previously the
Ministry of Justice was called "The Ministry of Lawful
Rights" and the Faculty of Law in Arabic is called,
'Faculty of Rights' as the law relates to people's rights and

The opposite to the word "right" here is iniquity by which rights are lost.


It refers to what is due and what is not.

It refers to what one has the right to do and not to do,
just as the thief on the right hand of the Lord on the cross
said to the other thief, "And we indeed justly, for we
receive the due reward of our deeds" (Luke 23:41).

Hence also came the word "worthy to partake of the holy
sacraments", or "eats in an unworthy manner" (1Cor.
11:27), that is, no one has the right to partake of the holy
sacraments if they are not repentant and do not have
purity of heart.

Perhaps this was what the lost son meant when he said to
his father,
"I.. am no longer worthy to be called your son" (Luke 15:21), and also, "a worker is worthy of his food" (Matt. 10:10), (Luke 10:7).


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
(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
(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.   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.

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

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


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
"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

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.


Truth lost:


Truth is opposed to hypocrisy.


Hypocrisy is against reality because it involves falsehood
and the interior is different from the exterior.   Therefore
the Lord Christ reprimanded the scribes and Pharisees as
hypocrites because they were like whitewashed tombs
which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are
full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Matt.



The hypocrite shows himself to be something different from what he really is.



Flattery also is against truth:


Flattery is praising another person insincerely to please him or to defend him whereas the fact is different and what the flatterer thinks or feels in his heart is the opposite of what he says.


The truth is also lost under the pretext of courtesy or

Or rather under the name of false love, as when a person pretends that he is a friend to someone and leads him to ruin or encourages him to do something wrong.   His insincere encouragement may cause his friend to continue doing wrong.  Under the pretense of love - which is false love - he ruins his friend completely.

There is also a mother who - thinking that she loves her son - spoils him.  Her love is not true love.


Also a youth may pretend that he loves a girl while his
relation with her is mere lust without love.   Under the
pretext of love he may spoil her reputation and ruin her
life.   This is not love in its true meaning since it has no


Here we mention also those who falsely defend people
who do wrong.  They forget the words of the Scriptures:

"He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the
just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord"

(Prov. 17:15).


The reason is that both of these work against the truth. Some may not like the expression "condemns the just" and think it unfair.   But in fact people often disregard one's faults and consider him innocent, feeling some sort of compassion and mercy, even though they work against truth. If this person's compassion was sincere, it would have lead the sinner to repentance.

On the other hand justifying the wicked will not make him realize his fault, and therefore he will continue in his way  without  repentance  and  hence  the  person  who justified him would have done him harm.


However, someone may justify a wicked person out of ignorance.

Yet he is also an abomination to the Lord.  My advice to
such a person is: Defend the truth instead of defending

If you defend someone, you may be deviating from the


In order to defend the truth, you ought to know it. Many people do not have such knowledge and may follow rumours or take knowledge from people who do not have the true knowledge.

Some  may  claim  that  they  are  defending  the  truth whereas they are in fact far from it.



Another person may defend the truth - or what he
thinks is the truth - in a way so far from the truth.

He may go beyond what he is allowed to say or defame someone, condemn him, cause harm and hurt the feelings of others, or spread false information.   In this case he would have done so much wrong against others and committed sin that God will condemn him.

He may argue that he is defending the truth even though it is in an illegitimate way!

Therefore, if you want to hold on to the truth, ignore rumours and do not trust every statement you hear. Remember also that who is against the truth is against God Himself, and the reason is that :


God is Truth, absolute Truth.


Truth is God:

The Lord Christ - glory be to him - said, "And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (John 8:32); and also, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). So whoever keeps away from truth, keeps far away from God, and here lies the danger.

A truthful person is a person who lives according to
values and principles.  A truthful person has God's Spirit
in him because God's Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" (John
14:17; 15,26).   Whoever keeps away from truth keeps away from God's Spirit, and whoever separates himself from the truth separates himself from God.

A truthful person does not measure with two elements; one for his beloved and the other for others, or else he will have separated himself from the truth.


The devil separated himself from God's communion, so
the Lord
said "he is a liar and the father of it" (John
8:44), "He was a murderer from the beginning, and does
not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him"

(John 8:44).


See also how Ananias and Sapphira were punished for their lie. St. Peter said to Ananias, "You have not lied to men but to God" (Acts 5:4).

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