Eastern Orthodox/Greek Orthodox & Protestant wedding
Genevieve wrote at 2010-08-10 20:09:07
As a former protestant, very close to Methodist in upbringing, I will perhaps try to put this in perspective.
First of all, the Orthodox Church isn't just some ethnic church or religion, it is the oldest Church in Christianity, the churches you read about in the New Testament, and they do everything to protect the gospel message as handed down from the 12 chosen Apostles.
The Gospel Message is not just information to be studied, but the actual, miracle-working, energy/power of God (Holy Spirit, Grace, & Glory) poured out at Pentecost. We do not put limits on God's salvation, BUT...we protect what was entrusted to us, knowing from experience that those who follow the faith radiate this divine glow & power with spiritual gifts, and become very Christ-like. Not to say that we are not sinners, but we struggle through it with God's help.
In the Orthodox Church, a wedding is seen as a sacrament, a participation in this divine energy. This means that it is not an exchange of promises to each other. It is asking God to bless the couple and bestow upon them His divine energy to help the couple. To walk away from this Divine energy, this absolute Divine Peace which comes from the sacraments...is cause for excommunication. Like Adam & Eve: exchanging the truth for a lie.
Also, knowing this divine energy has been experienced by the Orthodox Christian, to raise a child outside of the Church would be considered endangering them and potentially spiritual murder.
Marriage in the Orthodox Church is not a statement of "love", it is a mystery of becoming "one flesh" and devoting one's life in martyrdom (Christ's love) to the other person...which is easiest when one lives an Orthodox lifestyle of fasting, prayer, and participating in the sacraments...not in a works mentality, but a grateful, lover of God, thank you for everything you have done, so I would do anything in return...mentality. Acts of loving God and loving neighbor as the bible describes love. We fall, we come to God to help us get back up...that is our relationship with God.
And it's in this loving relationship with Christ and God, that and Orthodox couple strives for in the marriage, by God's Grace.
It is night and day different than American Christianity, specifically Methodist teachings which are only a few hundred years old. Americans have taken their Freedom of Choice from the world, and have placed it on Faith, based on some of the greatest worldly philosophers of the last 500 years. (Descartes - separating thought from action, Kant - subjective truth, the romantics, Zelwigi (eucharist as symbol) etc.) God doesn't change, why should His Church, but most people don't like meeting God on His terms, they would rather try to create god on their terms.
Michelle165 wrote at 2011-03-18 01:58:42
I agree (now entering my fifth decade of life lol).
One thing that I would like to point out to Abby is this: She cannot claim to be totally dedicated to her religion - her beliefs about God - and think there will be no conflict between her and her future husband. Abby, if you are so "open minded" and accepting of this other religion and even raise your children in this other religion, then what aspects of your faith are you willing to sacrifice? If your God says do not worship other Gods and his religion does...how can that NOT affect you, your relationship with God or how you raise your children?
Your first problem with the whole difference in religion starts with the marriage ceremony itself...which of you are going to denounce their religion to get married? He cannot even get married in a park without being excommunicated, and it appears by your original question that he is not willing to do that.
Just in case you're wondering, I am a Bible believing Christian who follows no specific "religion". I follow the Word of God.
Enavigo wrote at 2011-09-15 17:14:36
Though your question was posted almost two years ago, i hope you will get this message. I have a similar situation as you had.. I'm Russian Orthodox and he is Baptist. Would you be so kind as to contact me via e-mail... i would like to ask a couple of questions in private about the details of the wedding ceremony: enavigo.nastia21@gmail(dot)com
Hope you are happy in your marriage right now!
All the best!
na1108 wrote at 2012-01-03 22:41:14
Well, I was raised in a christian home and I met him and he is greek Orthodox although, he is not a followerbut keeps his faith. We had two babies and not yet married! But we usually try to work it out! and we have really tried to keep it smooth for the sake of the whole family now! But I still follow my roots and I'm taking the kids to (christian)church with me! Although we are only planning to marry on court and not really in church. Which I would of had my wedding in christian church!
Matt wrote at 2012-04-02 18:16:11
This is to the gentleman who replied to the post. Your response to her that you will pray but you doubt it will work is not very clear of heart on your side. How can you pray and then doubt God? You are almost wishful thinking that it won't work out for her and her fiance. You are arrogant and that is why I left the Greek Orthodox faith. There are so many rigid rules, "Man made" rules and you have no basis for knowing they are correct either. Sir you need to repent and check your heart. If not that makes you a hypocrite and not a Christian. I say this because I'm human too and need to check my heart only wish the best for others no matter where they come from. Only God in his Utterly perfect plan, that we will never understand,knows what is path for us.
rick wrote at 2013-02-11 10:33:09
Id like to point out that John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) was an Anglican priest. At the time he lived the Anglican church was recognized by the Orthodox Church. Additionally, after Wesley left the Anglican church, he was befriended by a Greek bishop named Erasmus. Erasmus was so moved by Wesleys devotion to his faith that he offered to consecrate Wesley as a bishop so that Wesley would have authority to consecrate valid Elders (priests). To get to the point...the United Methodist Church traces a line of apostollic succession through the Greek Church.
Now, that being said... Because the Methodist church ordains women...they would not be recognized as 'valid' any longer. And yes, it is not canonical for a greek priest to con-celebrate the eucharist with non-orthodox clergy. However, a marriage between an orthodox christian and a protestant is acceptable and valid. However, there cannot be Communion, and there needs to be an agreement on the part of both the Greek priest as well as the Methodist pastor. There needs to be an understanding on the part of all parties. The greek priest will have the primary role in the marriage, the Methodist pastor could assist...in a sense the same way a deacon would. However, he would have to abide by all the traditions and regulations of the Orthodox church and solely at the discretion of the priest. As far as children are concerned...there would need to be a consenses that the children would be baptized & chrismated in the Orthodox Church. I hope this answer helps somewhat.