Metropolitan Athanasius Fahd from Syria talks about the modern sin of attacking the Church on Social Media. “Do I ask myself this question? Whenever I comment about anything: ‘How many souls I have damaged and how many I have built and lead to heaven? Have I caused anyone to stumble?'”
English translation by Waad Rabahie
Video source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Lattakia and Dependencies, August 2nd, 2020
Metropolitan Athanasius of Lattakia and Dependencies:
We notice these days on Facebook many behaviors, they immediately attack the Church and the clergy and the men of Church…
Saint Paul is saying to us, asking us… he says: “I beseech you by the name of Christ that there be no divisions among you.” [1 Corinthians 1:10]
We notice nowadays – my beloved ones – many are making sides and how easy it is to side against the Church as if I’m on one side and the Church is another side.
Are you serious? Are you in your right mind considering yourself against the church? Be joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment, the mind of Christ, the mind of the Gospel.
I ask and I wonder… those who attack, as we have noticed recently, do they ask themselves: “have I asked the other party?” The question is “are you sure of the topic you are talking and commenting about?” Why do you place yourself in unjust position before asking the other person?
With my bitter tongue and unpleasant words I attack the body of Christ which is the Church thinking that I’m just expressing my opinion.
First of all I’m committing many sins.
First is the sin of lying… because when I talk about something that I don’t know well, then I’m lying.
Second is the sin of injustice… I’m being unjust to the one I’m attacking without hearing from him first
Third is the sin of slander… I’m contributing in defamation of other persons.
Fourth is the sin of division, which is a great sin… Without knowing the truth I’m making sides against each other.
And the dangerous question… asked by our Lord Christ… He didn’t say woe to those who sin, but to those who cause others to stumble.
With your words and comments… Did you ask yourself the question that Jesus will ask you? “How many souls you have damaged?” And how many souls you have caused to doubt and drift away from faith? How many souls you have thrown in hell? Do you ask yourself this question? Do I ask myself this question whenever I comment about anything: How many souls I have damaged and how many I have built and lead to heaven?
The problem is when someone commits all these sins not knowing.
Even if there is indeed wrong doing (error). Apostle Paul says: those who live by the Spirit should restore that person [Galatians 6:1].
Restoring can’t be through splitting from the body of our Lord Christ. Because when we go out from the Church, we lose our salvation…
Salvation is within the Church. Each one of us before commenting or posting anything, let’s ask ourselves the first question which will be asked by Christ on the day of Judgment: “Have you caused anyone to stumble?” “Woe to those who cause others to stumble!” There are already many things that shake our faith and a million thoughts cause us to doubt, the devil is active around us then why I – a church goer or a priest or a metropolitan or an instructor or in any leading position – talk in irresponsible way? Do I know what have I done? How many I have thrown in hell, at least the hell of thoughts and fire. If the family loses its trust between parents and children, the family falls apart and the devil is always trying to make the disciples depart, he makes us doubt and divide, which is the greatest sin!
So – my beloved ones – let’s keep the voice of the Lord in our ears and the saying of the Lord in our mouth.
Christ has united himself with His Church… so attacking the Church – which is us – is attacking Christ Himself and refusing the Church is refusing Christ Himself!