Sam Wissa wrote at 2008-10-11 01:12:46
Christian Response: Their claim that Orthodox churches have the same faith and practices as the early church is negated by the fact that there is no unified faith and practice in Orthodox churches today.
There are significant differences between Orthodox churches. Churches differ in both their ecclesiastical customs and in theology. The parallel church hierarchy that often exists in the same city demonstrates these divisions between Orthodox groups. The nationalism found among Orthodox churches demonstrates their lack of unity and universality.
The above is actually very false. Orthodox churches understand the difference between traditions, and faith. English, Arabic, Greek, Coptic, Latin - languages. Doesn't matter.
Body of Christ as paper thin wafer or bread? Doesn't matter.
3 hour Liturgy of St. Cyril or a 1.5 hour Liturgy of Saint Basil? Does not matter.
We KNOW we are true to the early church and adhere to its beliefs and practices because we see it the precedence in the bible.
Also, Orthodoxy - the two bodies (Oriental and Eastern) differ only one ONE minor point.
This is extraordinary considering Orientals (Egyptians, Armenians, Syrians etc) and Easterners (Russians, Slavs, Greeks) have been Separated over 1500 years.
1500 - no communion between the two. Nearly identical faith except for the one minor - which is even only understood by less than 1% of the congregations.
The rest of the reasoning in this document also begs unbiased views and the author does not seem to have consulted with actual orthodox doctrine.
Randy wrote at 2009-10-01 21:40:21
The answer seems a little biased. While the author tried to refute Orthodox ideology (stating their claim to go back to the apostles was bogus) no such attempt was made to refute some baptist claims they go back to John the Baptist.
Cheryl wrote at 2010-03-23 23:54:39
In response to your Christian response on Orthodoxy's claim to the foundation of the Church. You are mistaken when you say that, "Their claim that Orthodox churches have the same faith and practices as the early church is negated by the fact that there is no unified faith and practice in Orthodox churches today.
There are significant differences between Orthodox churches. Churches differ in both their ecclesiastical customs and in theology. The parallel church hierarchy that often exists in the same city demonstrates these divisions between Orthodox groups. The nationalism found among Orthodox churches demonstrates their lack of unity and universality."
There is absolutely a unified faith within the Orthodox Church today. Perhaps you are misunderstanding that a national affiliation has absolutely nothing to do with the beliefs of the Orthodox church as a whole. Likewise, Orthodox Churches from different diocese or under the jurisdiction of different Patriarchs worship in the same fundamental manner. There is NO significant difference in the way any Orthodox churches worship or their practices, other than national customs. Orthodox churches do NOT differ in theology. Our beliefs, as founded by the original disciples of Christ, have been nurtured and protected since His time, and are not a recent development as many other faiths are. That is why an Orthodox Christian can receive communion in an American Orthodox Church, then fly to Greece and be accepted as a member of the one true faith. Parallel hierarchies, as you call them, do not represent division in the sense as you would understand it in Protestantism. It would not be uncommon to walk into two Baptist Churches and find completely different interpretations of faith. This is not the case with Orthodoxy. As I mentioned, I appreciate that your "response" stems from a misunderstanding or unfamiliarity with Orthodoxy, as is common with many who refute Orthodoxy.
LXX wrote at 2010-10-24 02:48:51
Close and half a cigar. The Orthodox faith practices apostolic succession and can trace its history back to the Apostles with a consistency in beliefs and doctrine for nearly 2000 years.
Without this consistency they would not be in communion with the other Orthodox faiths i.e. Russian, Antiochian, etc. Most if not all Orthodox churches use the Divine LIturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
Your answer while close is NOT accurate and is filled with skewed facts that elevate your Baptist religion over that of the church that decided what books would go in the Bible you reference.
On authority- look it up the scripture that the New Testament references is the Septuagint version of the OT including the Apocrypha. And no the Orthodox do not believe that the 'entire body of believers' can decide on the canon. It was done by councils led by Orthodox not by some democratic system amongst everyone.
Factually, the early church NEVER intended Sola Scriptura of which the Baptist faith bases its beliefs on. Your arguments in favor of the American Baptist movement over the oldest Christian faith that decided on the Biblical Canon would necessitate some form of Divine revelation to erode not only the Bible you and the orthodox hold dearly, but the apostles and their teaching. That my friend is in direct contradiction to the scripture that you quote and the theory of 'scripture alone' that you preach.
PS- nice that you drop the 30 million figure in the U.S. We should point out that there are 300 million Orthodox in the world who all practice the same faith and have done so since 33 ad.
PPS- by your sited rule in your other post “The evidence clearly indicates that a fully developed canon existed in the second century B.C. That this canon was accepted and approved by Christ and the apostles in the New Testament is clear from the New Testament statements. There should be no difference of opinion among those who honor Christ and the Gospel as to what books belong in the Old Testament. There remains, however, the interesting and important question as to the principles used in antiquity, for placing certain books in the canon and excluding others.” You are bound because history clearly shows that the apostles quoted from the septuagint which included the apocryphal books. If your quote holds true then you must accept the apocryphal books in the canon as the Orthodox do.
Matt wrote at 2011-02-12 09:36:43
"The Orthodox teach that the sacrament of baptism provides participants with new life. Faith in Christ and repentance from sin are not necessary for this new life. This is demonstrated by the fact that the
Orthodox baptize infants. The sacramentalism of the Orthodox competes for the need of a personal faith in Christ as the means of salvation."
You are slightly misguided by that quote. One must only do a little research about interior prayer and you will see just how important a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is. Hence the Jesus Prayer. They strongly follow Jesus' words when he says pray without ceasing. Acquiring Jesus in our hearts, as Jesus says " Abide in me and I in you" or " the kingdom of heaven is within us". Orthodox use the Jesus Prayer to bring the mind into the heart. They pray earnestly as instructed by Jesus " But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." They refer to that as shutting off all your senses and even thoughts to focus on the prayer. And within the prayer itself is constant repentance and the removal of pride(adam's downfall) and to acquire the humility that god requires of us. There is not competition with the sacrements and a personal relationship with Jesus. Orthodox believe that Jesus came and not only saved us but showed us the way of salvation. He states himself the importance of fast and prayer. That is way fasting is so important among orthodox. Not just physical fasting but spiritual fasting as well. It is not enough to just say you have faith and not demonstrate that faith. It would be equivalent to saying to your wife "I Love You" and yet not showing it with action. Faith without works is dead. Jesus says “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” That is way interior prayer and the commandmants are so important among orthodox. Especially the orthodox monks who leave all earthly things and rely on Christ heavily to overcome sin and to never forget the lord with unceasing prayer.
Sophia wrote at 2012-01-29 17:37:22
If you check your facts, and you will find that the Latin Church(Roman)took it upon it's self to appoint its self as head of the CHURCH by electing a pope, as head of the "Catholic Church" when the five Synods were and are equal and they must all agree before there are any changes in doctrine. So take heed, there is nothing wrong with the "Orthodox Catholic Church". Remember that lies are always hidden in truths. Well enough, do your own research in all things and you will find the truth.
Orthodox Christian wrote at 2014-01-05 23:17:12
Answers are on the Greek Orthodox of America Archdiocese site. www.goarch.org. Everything anyone wants to know about Greek Orthodox / Eastern Orthodox is available on this site. It is an award wining site and awesome.