Author Topic: Orthodox Christianity  (Read 3754 times)

Offline milos

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Orthodox Christianity
« on: January 27, 2018, 06:25:38 AM »
I thought this could be a neat and useful topic. I like to write about and discuss religion in order to understand it better myself and to learn more. And also, if you are looking for the most conservative Church, the Orthodox Church is surely the one. So, why not to merge conservative politics with conservative Christianity. :smile:

The name Orthodox Church, or also Eastern Orthodox or Greek Orthodox, has come only for historical reasons. I myself was shocked to find out, after decades of being an Orthodox Christian, that my Church is Catholic. :scared: Until I learned what meant to be a Catholic, and that both Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim to be Orthodox - meaning of true glory/faith, and Catholic - meaning universal. So, my Orthodox Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

But still, there are so many Orthodox Christians believing being Catholic is evil, and not being aware they are also Catholics. This confusion has also come for historical reasons, because no separate Orthodox or Catholic Churches have ever been founded. Before the Great Schism, the Church was territorially organized into five Patriarchates: of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome, and Constantinople. And in the beginning, the Patriarch of Alexandria was considered the Pope. When the cities of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria fell into Muslim hands, the only free Patriarchates that remained were the one of Rome and the one of Constantinople. The Patriarch of Rome wanted to be the Pope, but the Patriarch of Constantinople refused to recognize him that title, and so there was the Great Schism of 1054. The Patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria supported the Patriarch of Constantinople, and so they were called the Eastern Orthodox by the Church in Rome, while the Church in Rome was called the Roman Catholic by these four Churches in the east. And later, Martin Luther protested against the Pope in Rome, and so the Protestant Church emerged.

The Orthodox Church is the only one that kept the original beliefs of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, and so it is the oldest and the most conservative Church, and therefore the original Church of Jesus Christ. The central part of the Orthodox Christian faith is the Holy Communion - Eucharist. Everything we do - reading the Bible, praying, fasting, repenting and confessing our sins, forgiving others their sins, attending the Divine Liturgy - has one goal - to prepare ourselves to take the Holy Communion - the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. And only Orthodox Christians are allowed to take the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church, because one must be fully prepared to taste Jesus. With tasting Jesus, we are becoming the body and the blood of Christ ourselves, restoring the connection with our Creator that Adam has lost by his original sin.

Here are few videos about Confession and Eucharist in the Orthodox Church.





A tour of an Orthodox church.



Orthodox Great Litany (from the Divine Liturgy). The priests are singing while saying prayers, because the angels are also constantly singing prayers to the Lord in the Heavens.



Nicene Creed (Orthodox Chant) - our Symbol of Faith.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 07:02:27 AM by milos »
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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 12:52:02 AM »
What Is the Orthodox Church? – Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick



5 Differences Between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church



5 Differences Between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism



5 Misconceptions About the Orthodox Church

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Offline Dave

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 07:49:05 AM »
I thought this could be a neat and useful topic. I like to write about and discuss religion in order to understand it better myself and to learn more. And also, if you are looking for the most conservative Church, the Orthodox Church is surely the one. So, why not to merge conservative politics with conservative Christianity. :smile:

The name Orthodox Church, or also Eastern Orthodox or Greek Orthodox, has come only for historical reasons. I myself was shocked to find out, after decades of being an Orthodox Christian, that my Church is Catholic. :scared: Until I learned what meant to be a Catholic, and that both Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim to be Orthodox - meaning of true glory/faith, and Catholic - meaning universal. So, my Orthodox Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

But still, there are so many Orthodox Christians believing being Catholic is evil, and not being aware they are also Catholics. This confusion has also come for historical reasons, because no separate Orthodox or Catholic Churches have ever been founded. Before the Great Schism, the Church was territorially organized into five Patriarchates: of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome, and Constantinople. And in the beginning, the Patriarch of Alexandria was considered the Pope. When the cities of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria fell into Muslim hands, the only free Patriarchates that remained were the one of Rome and the one of Constantinople. The Patriarch of Rome wanted to be the Pope, but the Patriarch of Constantinople refused to recognize him that title, and so there was the Great Schism of 1054. The Patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria supported the Patriarch of Constantinople, and so they were called the Eastern Orthodox by the Church in Rome, while the Church in Rome was called the Roman Catholic by these four Churches in the east. And later, Martin Luther protested against the Pope in Rome, and so the Protestant Church emerged.

The Orthodox Church is the only one that kept the original beliefs of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, and so it is the oldest and the most conservative Church, and therefore the original Church of Jesus Christ. The central part of the Orthodox Christian faith is the Holy Communion - Eucharist. Everything we do - reading the Bible, praying, fasting, repenting and confessing our sins, forgiving others their sins, attending the Divine Liturgy - has one goal - to prepare ourselves to take the Holy Communion - the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. And only Orthodox Christians are allowed to take the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church, because one must be fully prepared to taste Jesus. With tasting Jesus, we are becoming the body and the blood of Christ ourselves, restoring the connection with our Creator that Adam has lost by his original sin.

Here are few videos about Confession and Eucharist in the Orthodox Church.





A tour of an Orthodox church.



Orthodox Great Litany (from the Divine Liturgy). The priests are singing while saying prayers, because the angels are also constantly singing prayers to the Lord in the Heavens.



Nicene Creed (Orthodox Chant) - our Symbol of Faith.




Also being Orthodox, I would like to interject two corrections to your statement above.
1. the Eastern Orthodox is not Catholic, universal. 
St Ignatius was the first to use the word and it meant "whole" or "complete"  It has the meaning that each congregation, headed by a bishop was  the whole complete Body of Christ.  It has a Trinitarian meaning of many are one.  The universal understanding was made by the Roman Catholic Church and in the west it became the first meaning of the word.  The fact is that the RCC is neither roman or catholic. By the time of the break, the western part of the empire had been lost to the Huns for several hundred of years and had not been part of the Roman Empire.  Also, since the Roman Pope made himself the sole, absolute, authority and each congregation became a part of the whole, rather than a whole, it was no longer catholic either.  All bishops are no longer collegiate or equal in  the RCC.

The other is the break came historically in 1054,  It was not that the East opposed the Pope of Rome as a Patriarch but that they did not consider him as having absolute jurisdiction instead of primacy where all the Bishops are equals, including the Patriarchs but one has the representative headship.

Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 01:26:14 AM »
Also being Orthodox, I would like to interject two corrections to your statement above.
1. the Eastern Orthodox is not Catholic, universal. 
St Ignatius was the first to use the word and it meant "whole" or "complete"  It has the meaning that each congregation, headed by a bishop was  the whole complete Body of Christ.  It has a Trinitarian meaning of many are one.  The universal understanding was made by the Roman Catholic Church and in the west it became the first meaning of the word.  The fact is that the RCC is neither roman or catholic. By the time of the break, the western part of the empire had been lost to the Huns for several hundred of years and had not been part of the Roman Empire.  Also, since the Roman Pope made himself the sole, absolute, authority and each congregation became a part of the whole, rather than a whole, it was no longer catholic either.  All bishops are no longer collegiate or equal in  the RCC.

Hi, thank you for your comment and corrections. In the English translation, the Symbol of Faith says: "One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.", so it is Catholic, and I can't say it isn't, because the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed says it is. You are true in your explanation, and I assume that the word "Catholic" in this case means both - "whole" and "complete", that each congregation, headed by a bishop, is the whole and complete Body of Christ - and also "universal", that the Orthodox Church is general, all-inclusive, cosmic, truly representing the Christian universe. I was just playing with the fact that the Orthodox Church is also Catholic, at least in English language, and that many Orthodox Christians are not aware of it, and some also believing their Orthodox Church is nationally exclusive, which it's not.

It would be a good moment to post here a brief explanation of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/the-symbol-of-faith/nicene-creed

The other is the break came historically in 1054,  It was not that the East opposed the Pope of Rome as a Patriarch but that they did not consider him as having absolute jurisdiction instead of primacy where all the Bishops are equals, including the Patriarchs but one has the representative headship.

Yes, absolutely.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 01:32:49 AM by milos »
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Offline Dave

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 10:27:09 AM »
Hi, thank you for your comment and corrections. In the English translation, the Symbol of Faith says: "One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.", so it is Catholic, and I can't say it isn't, because the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed says it is. You are true in your explanation, and I assume that the word "Catholic" in this case means both - "whole" and "complete", that each congregation, headed by a bishop, is the whole and complete Body of Christ - and also "universal", that the Orthodox Church is general, all-inclusive, cosmic, truly representing the Christian universe. I was just playing with the fact that the Orthodox Church is also Catholic, at least in English language, and that many Orthodox Christians are not aware of it, and some also believing their Orthodox Church is nationally exclusive, which it's not.

It would be a good moment to post here a brief explanation of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/the-symbol-of-faith/nicene-creed

Yes, absolutely.
When one uses the word "Catholic" in a name or to emphasize words as in the Nicene Creed, then it is capitalized.  But it is the lower case use that gives its meaning.

Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 12:01:49 AM »
A video from a cute redheaded believer about the fasting in the Orthodox Church.



And one describing the sacrament of Confession in the Orthodox Church.

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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 12:33:13 AM »
The Sign of the Cross, Icons, and Tradition in the Orthodox Church



Frederica Mathewes-Green on the Jesus Prayer

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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2018, 12:10:41 AM »
"Understanding the Orthodox Faith" is an introductory guide to learning the basics about the Orthodox faith. Ellinas Multimedia has combined interviews with Orthodox Priests along with beautiful photography inside Orthodox churches to teach you about the following:

When did the Orthodox faith begin?
Who was the founder of the Orthodox faith?
What is meant by Apostolic Succession?
What does Holy Tradition mean?
Why are there icons in Orthodox churches?
Are Orthodox Christians "saved?"
How does the Orthodox faith view the Virgin Mary?
Are Orthodox Christians "born again?"
Why is the Orthodox faith considered "the best kept secret?"

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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 02:09:54 AM »
This guy is absolutely right on the heresy of phyletism. The Orthodox Church is organized on territorial principle, there is a Bishop appointed for the territory of each diocese. There are many autocephalous Orthodox Christian Churches, with an Archbishop or a Patriarch who is equal to other Bishops and has the representative headship, but each one of them is whole and complete Church, and all of them altogether are also one whole and complete Church. It is like the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and they altogether are also one God.



But in practice, some of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches have become like they are ethnic or national, and there are several reasons why is it so: political, linguistic, cultural, historical.

During the Middle Ages, your king or czar and country could have been fully sovereign and independent only if they had their autocephalous Church, so that their own Archbishop or Patriarch could have crowned them, and they didn't need to ask or beg for example the Patriarch in Constantinople or the Pope in Rome to approve them and send them their crown. So, your national sovereignty and independence was based on your autocephalous Church. The state and the Church were connected, and the Church was involved in politics and diplomacy.

Here is a World map of all Orthodox Churches, and you may notice that they still mostly follow the national borders.

https://commons.orthodoxwiki.org/images/d/d7/World_canonical_territories.png

Once you have your own autocephalous Church, then you also have the Divine Liturgy and Sacraments and prayers in your own language. That way, you and your fellow compatriots can follow and understand the words used in the Church services, but members of other nationalities who speak a different language can't. Everyone feels more comfortable when attending the Church service in the language they understand, and one language usually reffers to one ethnic group, and therefore comes the feeling of your Church being ethnic.

When an autocephalous Church is canonically recognized, it exists on one territory which bears genuine culture. Although the Tradition of the Church is completely the same in every canonical Orthodox Church, there are local traditions and customs which differ from one Church to another, and that is absolutely normal, because peoples and nations are diffrent and genuine. So there are some local saints, local prayers and melodies for singing them, local church architecture, local variants of the uniform of the clergy, etc.

There is the belief that the nations will be saved the same way as the individuals will be saved, based on the fact that Jesus Christ sent his Apostles to preach and evangelize all the peoples and the nations of the World. Also, during the slavery under Ottoman Turks, keeping your Orthodox faith meant keeping your nationality, because converts to Islam were usually also changing their nationality into Turkish. Similar situation was with converts to Roman Catholicism, who were also changing their nationality into Hungarian or Croatian.

There is also one small and totally formal, but very important issue, and that is that you need to fill your nationality into your Certificate of Baptism, which is seen as more important determination of your nationality than your citizenship is. I must tell one rather funny real life anecdote. A woman was telling me how she was a godmother to another woman who came to Belgrade from Macedonia and decided to be Baptized and Chrismated here. In the end, the priest asked her for her nationality to fill into her Certificate of Baptism, and she said: "Macedonian." The Church is very serious organization, and because some people like to mock the census by declaring themselves "Indian" or "Martian", in front of the Church you can't just declare yourself whatever nationality you want. And so the priest told her that she couldn't declare herself Macedonian because there is no such a nation, and opted her to declare either Serbian or Bulgarian. The woman replied: "Ok, I am Bulgarian then." And her godmother looked at her with horror, and started shouting: "What is the matter with you, are you nuts, how can you declare yourself Bulgarian?!" And the woman agreed: "Ok, ok, I am Serbian." This true story can give you some clues.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 02:14:06 AM by milos »
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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2018, 05:27:32 AM »
A small correction, I remembered now that the woman from the previous short story was actually opted to choose between declaring Serbian or Greek, but nevermind, the meaning is the same. The Church is still not officially ethnic nor national, but somehow ethnicity or nationality does matter, and very often it could be defined or changed by religion.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 05:33:27 AM by milos »
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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2018, 01:48:45 AM »
Orthodox Christian pilgrims from the United States chant the hymn to the Mother of God at Dečani Monastery, Kosovo, 27th June 2016. They are so cute I can't stop replaying this. And spot the acoustics in that church, it feels like the walls are singing the backing vocals for them.

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Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2018, 10:50:03 AM »
When the Holy Spirit wants to show us his sense for humor and cheer us up a bit. :wink:

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Offline Sick Of Silence

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2018, 06:21:04 PM »
When the Holy Spirit wants to show us his sense for humor and cheer us up a bit. :wink:

Here is your first lesson about Free Speech...

...shut up about it!

Offline milos

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2018, 02:21:39 AM »


Good sense for humor is needed to prevent us from being pharisaic.
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Offline valley ranch

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Re: Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2018, 05:58:47 PM »
Greetings Milos ~ I am also Orthodox Christian ( Armenian )  ```

Just read you posts ~ some of it anyway ~ I think ~ I know what you were saying ~ but ~ at times ~ you ~ well ~ were not saying it ```

Orthodox Christianity ~ is part of the "Universal Chruch " The word Catholic = Universal ```

The Roman Church ~ took on the name Catholic ~ implying they were the Universal Church ~ not a part or member of the Universal Church ```

And as you said ~ deciding that the Roman Pope was the head of the Universal Church ~ Meant that the bishop of Rome was ~ well ~ chief bishop of all bishops ```

I went to Catholic school ~ in the U.S. ~  What the Roman church uses as verification is : Mathue 16: 18


ով ես ասում ես, ես եմ    Դուք Քրիստոսն եք   
Դու քարը ես, բայց այդ ժայռի վրա ես կկառուցեմ իմ եկեղեցին
ով ես ասում ես, ես եմ ~

Christ asks Peter : Who do you say I AM ~ Peter answers: "You are the Christ "~ Jesus says: You are a stone ~ using : (Cepha in Aramaic and Petros in Greek, meaning “Rocky”), promising to build his church on this “rock” (also cepha in Aramaic and petra in Greek).

Petro meaning stone ~ Petra meaning great mass of stone like a mountain or ledge of rock ~ ( That I AM THE CHRIST)

On the Fact that I AM the Christ ~ I will build My Church ```

--------------------------------------------------

Milos ~ did I over or under state this ~ please let me know ```

I am happy to have met you here  ~ thank you for opening this thread ```



 

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