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About Orthodoxy

We are not Jewish, but we are Orthodox.
When we say “We’re not Jewish, but we are Orthodox,” we mean that we hold to the Christian faith “once for all delivered to the saints” handed down and preserved for us by our spiritual fathers in the Church, who struggled for the truth of Christ even unto death. This faith, referred to in Church History as the “Orthodox Faith” is the faith of the apostles, the faith of the fathers, the faith which has established the universe.

Many when they hear the word "Orthodox" in a religious context immediately think of Judaism. However, the word “Orthodox” is properly used as a descriptive adjective for the Christian Faith, for Christians who adhere to this faith, and for Bishops who rightly divide the word of truth.

We are not Roman, but we are Catholic.

When we say “We’re not Roman, but we are Catholic” we mean four things:
1. That we are united to the whole Church
2. That we believe in (cling to, rely on) the Church, and
3. That we hold to the universal Christian Faith that has been believed everywhere, always and by all, embracing St. Vincent of Lerins’ ancient hermeneutic of universality, antiquity and consensus.
4. That we do not relate to the Pope of Rome as the Bishop of bishops and Vicar of Christ.

Christians throughout the world, who are united under the Pope of Rome, commonly refer to themselves and are referred to by others as “Catholics” or “Roman Catholics”. But the word “catholic” is one of four descriptive adjectives of the Church, the other three being “one,” “holy” and “apostolic.” The word “Catholic” is more properly used as an adjective of the Church, rather than that of Christians.

When we substitute nationalistic adjectives to describe the Church in which we express belief, (e.g.. Roman, Greek, Russian, Coptic, American) we dilute the ability of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church to transform the world.

 

Visit our Seeker's Guide to Orthodox Websites to find additional material about the Ancient Church.

We are not Protestant, but the Bible came from us.
When we say that “We’re not Protestants, but the Bible came from us,” we mean that the late 4th C. and early 5th C. Ecumenical Councils of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church to which we are united, provide the authoritative voice as to which of the ancient writings of the Apostles are to be regarded as authentic and included in the Canon of the Scriptures.

In our day and age, when the enemies of authentic Christianity are enamored with legend, intrigue, and false (Gnostic) gospel accounts from the early centuries, “Bible only” Christians should be reminded to show gratitude and deference to the history and tradition within the Church which discerned and gave us the reliable list of Apostolic writings. Furthermore this same Church has preserved the manuscripts against written error from those who would add to or subtract from the list (canon) or from the specific contents of each of the books which came to be known as the Old and New Testaments.

To their credit, many God-fearing Protestant and especially Evangelical Christians in modern times have inspired and challenged all Christians to increase our knowledge and love for the Holy Scriptures.

We are not Denominational, we are Pre-Denominational.
When we say “We are not Denominational, we’re Pre-Denominational” we mean that the only way to truly escape the attitude of denominationalism is to return to our Christian heritage in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church by embracing that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. i.e. to embrace the hermeneutical principles of universality, antiquity and consensus as opposed to the hermeneutical principle of cultural relevance.

Generally speaking, the post World War II “Baby Boomer” generation has simply replaced “denominationalism” with “generationalism”. Baby Boomers call their generational Churches “non-denominational”, but have in fact introduced a whole plethora of names which distinguish (or denominate) themselves from others.

These autonomous “non-denominational” Churches dotting the American Christian landscape today have established a precedent for future generations of Christians to simply build Churches after their own image and likeness.


For Visitors to Orthodox Worship Services

Visiting an Orthodox Church, for many people, is a new and exciting experience. For those who are unfamiliar with the Orthodox Christian faith it may sometimes be difficult to understand what is happening, and we are sensitive to that. Here are a few questions you may have if you are unfamiliar with our faith. If you have additional questions during your visit, please speak to the priest after the service.

New visitors will find there are many new things to experience in a Holy Orthodox Church service! Feel free to go at your own pace, ask any questions you want, and know you are most welcome to “come and see”!

Here is an article written by an Orthodox Priest who converted in 1998 about the reasons why he converted and remains Orthodox.


Are you Protestant trying to understand various aspects of Orthodox Christianity? Read our page dedicated to your questions entitled
Six Protestant Questions Concerning Orthodox Christianity


 

The Ancient Church

Have you ever wondered "What ever happened to the original church of the Last Supper?" The Ancient Church looks at the historical events that led to the Great Schism, the Protestant Reformation, and the survival of the Orthodox Church over the past two thousand years.



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