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      • Orthodoxy believes that the Christian Faith and the Church are inseparable. It is impossible to know Christ, to share in the life of the Holy Trinity, or to be considered a Christian apart from the Church. It is in the Church that the Christian Faith is proclaimed and maintained. It is through the Church that an individual is nurtured in the Faith.
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    What are the basic beliefs of the Orthodox Church?

    What does it mean to be an Orthodox Christian?

    What are the foundational beliefs of Christianity?

    What are the chief characteristics of Orthodox Christianity?

  2. Currently there are about 6 million Orthodox Christians in this country and 250 million worldwide. It is the second-largest body in all of Christendom. Eastern and Western Christianity. The Orthodox Church embodies and expresses the rich spiritual treasures of Eastern Christianity.

  3. With the current speculation in some corners of Christendom surrounding the Second Coming of Christ and how it may come to pass, it is comforting to know the beliefs of the Orthodox Church are basic. Orthodox Christians confess with conviction that Jesus Christ “will come again to judge the living and the dead,” and that “His Kingdom will ...

  4. 155 NE Greenwood Ave. Bend, OR 97701 We warmly welcome you to join us in worship of the Holy Trinity. Whether you are an Orthodox Christian, or if this will be your first visit to an Orthodox Church that preserves Ancient Christianity as handed down from the Apostles, we are pleased to have you with us.

    • Introduction to Orthodox Christianity
    • God
    • Jesus Christ
    • Mankind
    • Salvation
    • The Church
    • Holy Tradition and The Scriptures
    • Spirituality
    • Worship
    • Sacraments

    Orthodox Christianity is not familiar to most Americans, even though the community of the Orthodox has existed for some 2,000 years even though there have been Orthodox Christians in America since its founding as a nation. So, what is Orthodox Christianity? It is the life in faith of the Orthodox Church, inseparable from that concrete, historic community and constituting its whole way of life. The Orthodox Christian faith is that faith “handed once to the saints” (Jude 3), passed on to the apostles by Jesus Christ, and then handed down from one generation to the next within the Church, without adding anything or taking anything away. The purpose of Orthodox Christianity is the salvation of every human person, uniting us to Christ in the Church, transforming us in holiness, and giving us eternal life. This is the Gospel, the good news, that Jesus is the Messiah, that He rose from the dead, and that we can be saved as a result. Historically, the Orthodox Church is the oldest of all Ch...

    Who is God? Orthodox Christians worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the Holy Trinity, the one God (Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; I Peter 1:1-2; Rom. 14:17-18, 15:16, etc.). Following the Holy Scriptures as interpreted by the Holy Fathers of our faith, the Church believes that the Trinity is three divine persons of one essence. There never was a time when any of the persons of the Trinity did not exist. God is beyond and before time and yet acts within time, moving and speaking within history. God is not an impersonal essence or merely a “higher power,” but rather the divine Persons of the Trinity relate to mankind personally. Neither is the word Godmerely a name for three gods—we’re not polytheists. Rather, the Orthodox faith is monotheist and yet Trinitarian. The God of the Orthodox Christian Church is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the I AM who revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2-14). The Church primarily draws near to God and communes with Him in divin...

    Jesus Christ is God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is the I AM revealed to Moses (Ex. 3:2-14). He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He is the God before the ages who came to Earth as a little child. He and the Father are one (John 10:30), because He is of one essence with the Father. During His suffering and death on the cross, one of the Trinity suffered in the flesh. As described in the Gospels, Jesus Christ was born of a woman—the Virgin Mary—as a real human child. He grew into a full-grown man. He preached, healed, taught His disciples, died in physical reality on the cross, and then rose bodily from the dead on the third day. He then ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9) and sat down at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). Of all mankind, He alone is without sin. Jesus is the Theanthropos, the God-man. He is not half God and half man, nor is He a hybrid of the two. Rather, He is fully God and fully man, perfect in His divinity and perfect in His humani...

    Orthodox Christian doctrine about human nature—which we call anthropology—teaches that man was created by God to worship Him in communion with Him, made according to His image to attain to His likeness (Gen. 1:26). Each human being is of infinite value, because we bear the indelible stamp of our Creator. All human beings are composed of both a soul and body, which are permanently part of human nature. Man was created sinless, but not perfected, and so although Adam, the first man, was pure when he was created, he was created for dynamic progress, capable of growing more and more like God. At the fall of mankind, when Adam and Eve sinned for the first time, they not only sinned in violation of God’s commandments, but their whole way of being changed. Their nature was not changed in itself, but the image of God in them became obscured by sin. And sin is a separation from God in our very being. So even though we’re fallen, we’re not totally depraved, but we suffer from the disease of s...

    In the Orthodox Church, salvation is primarily understood as theosis. Theosis is the infinite process of becoming more and more like God. Theosis can be translated as deification or divinization, and its meaning is that the Christian can become more and more soaked with the divine life, becoming by grace what Christ is by nature. As St. Athanasius the Great (4th century) put, “God became man so that man might become divine.” By participation in the Incarnation, we can become like Christ. Becoming like Christ is much bigger than just where we go when we die. For the Orthodox, salvation is a process that encompasses not only the whole earthly life of the Christian, but also the eternal life of the age to come. It is often described in terms of three stages—purification (katharsis), illumination (theoria) and divinization (theosis). Salvation is therefore not only becoming sinless (purification), but it is also progress in being filled with the divine light (illumination). And it is be...

    The Church is the Body of Christ, a divine and human communion of Jesus Christ with His people. The only head of the Church is Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:22, 5:23; Col. 1:18). Our Creed describes the Church as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. This means that the Church is one—undivided and not many; it’s holy—sanctified and set apart for the work of God; it’s catholic—whole and characterized by fullness and universality; and it’s apostolic, going out into all the world to preach the Gospel and baptize the nations, as well as being rooted and founded in the work of the Apostles. And the word Church itself in its Greek form of ekklesiameans “those who are called out.” The Church is called out from the world by God. The Church is the Bride of Christ (John 3:29), united to the Son of God in faith and love. And He gave himself up on the cross for the Church (Eph. 5:23). The intimacy of a husband and wife is an earthly image of the intimacy that Christ has with His Church, and the...

    Holy Tradition is the deposit of faith given by Jesus Christ to the Apostles and passed on in the Church from one generation to the next without addition, alteration or subtraction. That means nothing gets added, nothing gets changed, and nothing gets removed. Holy Tradition is transmitted to the Christian from the Apostles of Jesus Christ both by word of mouth and in writing (II Thess. 2:15, 3:6). The Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky famously described Tradition as “the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church.” It is dynamic in its application, but unchanging in its doctrine. It is growing in expression, yet always the same in its essential meaning. Unlike some ideas about tradition, the Orthodox Church does not see Holy Tradition as something that grows and expands over time, forming a collection of practices and doctrines which accumulate, gradually becoming something more developed and eventually unrecognizable to the first Christians. Rather, Holy Tradition is that same faith...

    The word spiritualitycan be kind of hard to define, so let’s say for now that it means “the daily life of the Orthodox Christian.” Orthodox Christians seek to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17), and so for nearly every moment in life, every task, every occasion, there is prayer. It might be a written prayer. It might be a meditative prayer. It might be off the top of our heads. Extemporaneous prayer has a place in the life of the Orthodox Christian, but in general, the Orthodox draw more on the experience of the saints rather than own private opinions, which are less trustworthy. The spiritual life of an Orthodox Christian is liturgical, sacramental, and mystical. Spiritual intensity is not something reserved for super Christians or monks or nuns. It’s for everyone. This life means prayer and frequent participation in liturgical services in church. It’s also a whole ascetical way of life, which means fasting and other ascetical disciplines, such as non-possessiveness, so that the...

    For the Orthodox Christian, worship is the highest calling of mankind, to fall down at the feet of the Almighty God, the Holy Trinity, and to give ourselves totally to God, becoming united mystically with Him in the holy mysteries (the “sacraments”). To worship God is to fulfil the purpose for which we were created. Orthodox worship is liturgical. That means that it follows specific ritual patterns and cycles, with music and prayer and symbolic actions. Liturgical worship is conducted in reverent dignity and embraces the whole of the human person—all five senses! Worship has to be done with reverence and awe, because we are entering into the very throne room of the Creator. But does liturgicalmean repetitive and boring? Anything can get boring if done wrongly, but the rich tradition of Orthodox worship is a whole world to explore, one that cannot be exhausted even over a lifetime. Orthodox worship is transformative, bringing us more deeply into communion with God and through coopera...

    In a sense, the Church’s whole life is sacrament. The more traditional term for the sacraments in the Orthodox Church is the holy mysteries. In the mysteries, the Christian is united with God, becoming a partaker of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). With all the sacraments, God is present for us in His divine energies, using physical means to convey Himself to his people. The word mystery means both something beyond our understanding but also the mystical, which is that which unites the divine with the human. Historically, the word mysteryrefers not so much to a “thing” as to an “action,” God acting upon us. There are seven generally recognized sacraments, though we’ve never made that number official. Two are sacraments of initiation into the Church, baptism (Rom. 6:4; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12; I Peter 3:21) and chrismation(also called confirmation; Acts 8:14-17, 19:6). Another one completes the initiation and then nourishes the whole life of the Christian, the Eucharist, which is regard...

    • Eastern Orthodox Beliefs vs. Roman Catholic
    • Eastern Orthodoxy vs. Protestantism
    • Eastern Orthodox Beliefs vs. Western Christianity
    • Eastern Orthodox Church Beliefs
    • Sources

    The primary dispute that led to the split between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicismcentered around Rome's deviation from the original conclusions of the seven ecumenical councils, such as the claim to a universal papal supremacy. Another particular conflict is known as the Filioque Controversy. The Latin word filioque means "and from the Son." It had been inserted into the Nicene Creed during the 6th century, thus changing the phrase pertaining to the origin of the Holy Spiritfrom "who proceeds from the Father" to "who proceeds from the Father and the Son." It had been added to emphasize Christ's divinity, but Eastern Christians not only objected to the altering of anything produced by the first ecumenical councils, but they also disagreed with its new meaning. Eastern Christians believe both the Spirit and the Son have their origin in the Father.

    A clear distinction between Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism is the concept of "Sola Scriptura." This "Scripture alone" doctrine held by Protestant faiths asserts that the Word of God can be clearly understood and interpreted by the individual believer and is sufficient on its own to be the final authority in Christian doctrine. Orthodoxy argues that the Holy Scriptures (as interpreted and defined by church teachings in the first seven ecumenical councils) along with Holy Tradition are of equal value and importance.

    A less apparent distinction between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Christianity is their differing theological approaches, which is, perhaps, merely the result of cultural influences. The Eastern mindset is inclined toward philosophy, mysticism, and ideology, whereas the Western outlook is guided more by a practical and legal mentality. This can be seen in the subtly different ways that Eastern and Western Christians approach spiritual truth. Orthodox Christians believe that truth must be personally experienced and, as a result, they place less emphasis on its precise definition. Worship is the center of church life in Eastern Orthodoxy. It is highly liturgical, embracing seven sacraments and characterized by a priestly and mystical nature. Veneration of icons and a mystical form of meditative prayer are commonly incorporated into religious rituals.

    Authority of Scripture: The Holy Scriptures (as interpreted and defined by church teaching in the first seven ecumenical councils) along with Holy Tradition are of equal value and importance.
    Baptism: Baptismis the initiator of the salvation experience. Eastern Orthodox practice baptism by full immersion.
    Eucharist: The Eucharist is the center of worship. Eastern Orthodoxbelieve that during the Eucharist adherents partake mystically of Christ's body and blood and through it receive his life and stre...
    Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Trinity, who proceeds from the Father and is one in essence with the Father. The Holy Spirit is given by Christ as a gift to the church, to...
    The Orthodox Page in America
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
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