Efmevi Tag-line Changes
June 10, 2008
After receiving counsel from trusted advisors, Efmevi has decided to remove the term theosis from its tag line and use the closest English translation, perfection, instead.
The current theological climate of the Coptic Orthodox Church is tense and uneasy. Over the past years, there has been much uproar and unrest from the Patriarchate over the writings of Fr. Matthew the Poor [Fr. Matta el-Meskeen] and George Habib Bebawy.
The controversy has centered around the Orthodox concept of deification or theosis. Although this is well supported by Scripture and the patristic witness, the term theosis has been codified and expounded on by the fathers of the Eastern Orthodox church communion. Before the 2 writers mentioned brought this term to Coptic Orthodox reader, the term did not exist in our vocabulary and theological discourse.
Efmevi stands for and prays for the theological and ecclesiological unity amongst the Orthodox communions. But its first allegiance is to the Coptic Orthodox Church. As much as this term equates to nothing less than our personal goal and the goal of the church, it has not appeared in the fathers of the Oriental Orthodox communion. This is according to the knowledge of Efmevi at present.
The tag-line change does not mean that Efmevi agrees at all with the Patriarchate on its current stance on the term theosis. It frowns upon and condemns the Patriarchate's treatment of the 2 writers. The term theosis has unfortunately attracted too much negative attention, although unfounded, in the Coptic Church. This change has been implemented in the best interests of the work of Efmevi.
The vision, mission, character, and goals remain the same.
The passion for perfection in God for all people, especially the shut out and the hurting, remains.
The drive to reach out to all remains.
The hunger for growing in the way of Christ remains.
Efmevi is committed to contributing to the positive development of Coptic Orthodox theology to find our own understanding and terminology for theosis.
And we pray for the current climate to change into one of intellectual diversity and theological excellence within the freedom of the Orthodox faith and the Coptic liturgical tradition.