John R. Houk
© October 15, 2011
If you are a news watcher you are aware that Muslims in Egypt are assaulting, vandalizing and killing Christians. You probably are giving the conflict only a second glance because after all it is religious strife in the far off corner of the world.
The reality is the Christians in Egypt represent some of the most stalwart faithful Believers still left residing in a Muslim nation. When the Muslims conquered Egypt the land spoke Egyptian and was a Christian population. The Egyptians were not Arabic nor did they speak Arabic. Muslim apologists love to tell you that the conquering Muslim armies were liberating Egyptians from the oppression of the Byzantine (Eastern Orthodox) Empire. Muslim apologists base this claim on the fact that Egyptian Christians were Monophysite Christians disagreeing with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic that believe Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine. Monophysites believe that Jesus Christ is one nature of the Divine submerging the human nature. Present day Coptics (or Copts) have a problem as being pegged as Monophysites as defined by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. Here is the Coptic Church view of the nature of Christ:
However, it should be pointed out that, officially, the Coptic Church has never believed in monophysitism the way it was portrayed in the Council of Chalcedon. According to a statement by the Coptic Church:
"Copts believe that the Lord is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria. Copts, thus, believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration" (from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy).
These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" (also from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy)."
This split in the church ended up taking the form of persecution against the Coptic Christians of Egypt. After having survived the persecution of the Roman Pagans, they were once again besieged, now by other Christians. Hence, when the Arabs invaded Egypt in the mid-seventh century AD, they met little resistance form (sic) the native Christian population. (AN OVERVIEW OF THE COPTIC CHRISTIANS OF EGYPT; BY LARA ISKANDER AND JIMMY DUNN; TourEgypt.net)
Notice the last part of the above quote asserts the Coptic Christians of Egypt offered little resistance to invading Muslims. There is truth in this because the Byzantine Empire under the auspices of the Council of Chalcedon treated the Monophysite Christians as heretics; however the fact often forgotten by Muslim apologists is that the Coptics soon discovered the Eastern Orthodox persecution of Monophysite Christians was a picnic compared to the Islamic persecution that followed conquest. The Arabic-Muslims went on a transformation binge of Arabizing the Christian-Egyptian population with the typical convert, experience the humiliation of a second class dhimmi or die. Indeed the Coptic-Christian Egyptians rebelled a few times against their conquerors only to be put down in the severest of manners.
Now Muslim apologists are attempting to revise history by claiming the Christian Copts of Egypt were not ever Christians because they were rejected by the Eastern Orthodox Church of the Byzantine Empire. These various history revisionist Muslim apologists are calling the Monophysites prototypical Muslims and calling the Monophysites by the name of Arian Christians.
Muslim apologists are doing some big stretching because the Arian theological nature of Christ is vastly different than the predominating Monophysite-Coptic theological nature of Christ. Monophysites placed Jesus as one nature with the emphasis that was born a human but at the Resurrection Jesus assumed full Divinity absorbing His human nature; hence the human nature disappeared. Arians believed that Christ was born a human and thus was not an uncreated Divine being. For Arians the Lord Jesus Christ is a separate created entity from the uncreated Father God; thus Christ is created and the Father is uncreated (There is a lot of similarities to the present day Mormons).
Muslim apologists like to claim the ancient Egyptian Christians conquered by Islam circa 640s AD were Arians because a Jesus created by God is akin to Islamic theology of Jesus is a created human being that was a great prophet; hence the appellation of prototypical Muslims. The problem for these Muslim apologists is that the Christians of Egypt that were conquered were of the Jesus is one Divine nature of God. Oops, Muslim apologist revised history simply does not work and is yet another example of present day Islam deceiving Westerners about the reality of Islam.
Diana West takes into account the history of Islam pressing Coptic Christians into a persecuted group of people by the so-called religion of peace – Islam – that is something that has occurred ever since Egyptian Christians were conquered by Islam. The Muslim-Egyptian persecution and killing of Egyptian Christians is merely a continuation of the Islamic rules of conquest in which Islamic Supremacism overrules all other religions. In the case of Egypt that means Christians must know their place or be open to violence and murders.