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The teachings and the practices of the Orthodox Church are to be found in the Scriptures and Sacred Apostolic Tradition, which have been handed down to the Church of Christ in the Revelation of God. These sacred Sources are essential not only for correct teaching and worship, but especially as Sources of the promises and covenants of God fulfilled in the Person of Christ.
Jan 14, 2019 · Eastern Orthodox Church Beliefs Authority of Scripture: The Holy Scriptures (as interpreted and defined by church teaching in the first seven ecumenical... Baptism: Baptism is the initiator of the salvation experience. Eastern Orthodox practice baptism by full immersion. Eucharist: The Eucharist is ...
- Importance of Knowledge of Sources
- Accurate Sources of The Orthodox Church
- Contemporary Importance of Primary & Secondary Sources
The Orthodox Christian should know the content of his religion as taught by the Church. He should be guided in studying what the Church has in its written (Bible) and unwritten (Sacred Tradition) teaching. The Orthodox Church is the only Church which has maintained from the beginning a coherent interpretation of its teaching. The Church approves of each member reading alone and in general talking about his religion. But it discourages conclusions based on the individual's personal interpretation. "So Philip ran to him (the Ethiopian), and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' And he said, 'How can I unless some one guides me?'", Acts 8:28f. This "guide" is the Church itself, and not the individual on his own, with limited ability and lack of the full knowledge of the sources of the teachings of the Church. There are and have been many personalities in the Church who have devoted their lives to studying the Bible and keeping and pr...
What are the sources of the One Undivided Church, the Orthodox Church, from which emerge its teachings? Why is it imperative for the members of the Church to know these sources? The main sources of Orthodox teaching are the Bible and Sacred Tradition. The third source is the writings of the so called Apostolic Fathers and the Apologists. The fourth source is decisions of the canonical synods, local and ecumenical, and their utterances of faith, especially the Symbol of Faith (Nicene Creed) and some of their canons pertaining to faith. The fifth source is the discourses written at the time of disputes and schisms, especially the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western parts of the Undivided Church (1054). The sixth source is a variety of discourses written after the Protestant Reformation; these documents critique the various errors of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. The Holy Bible was not written as a systematic book containing the expressions of faith in symbols or confes...
The Symbol of Nicaea-Constantinopolitan (Nicene Creed) and the dogmatical utterances of the Ecumenical Synods are the primary and distinctive sources of the faith of the Orthodox Church. They have been ratified by the Synods and are unchangeable in form and substance. The other sources, which are the decisions of synods which took place after the eighth century, are of secondary significance, but very important for the historical evolution of the teaching of the Orthodox Church, especially the teaching against the innovations of the Catholic Church, which was separated in 1054 from the Orthodox Church, and with reference to Protestant Churches dating from the 16th century. These are secondary sources, pending ratification by an Ecumenical Synod, and may be accepted, corrected or not accepted. The utterances (primary sources) of the Orthodox Church are mainly part of the Sacred Tradition of the Church, which is of the same validity as Scripture. The decisions of the Seven Ecumenical...
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods.
The Eastern Orthodox Church “Sanctify them by your truth; Your Word is truth.” John 17:17 A Review of the Foundational Teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church From Biblical and Historical Perspectives Pastor Ivica Stamenkovic Belgrade, Serbia 2012
- 1054 and All That
- Attempts at Reconciliation
- Eastern Fragmentation
- The Filioque Problem
- The Councils
- The Pope’s Authority
- Ecumenical Prospects
The Norman conquest of southern Italy helped touch off the Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christendom. When the Catholic Normans took over the Byzantine-Rite Greek colonies in southern Italy, they compelled the Greek communities there to adopt the Latin-Rite custom of using unleavened bread for the Eucharist. This caused great aggravation among the Greek Catholics because it went against their ancient custom of using leavened bread. In response, Patriarch Cerularius ordered all of the Latin-Rite communities in Constantinople to conform to the Eastern practice of using leavened bread. The Latins refused, so the patriarch closed their churches and sent a hostile letter to Pope Leo IX. What followed next was a tragedy of errors. In an attempt to quell the disturbance, the pope sent a three-man delegation, led by Cardinal Humbert, to visit Patriarch Cerularius, but matters worsened. The legates presented the patriarch with the pope’s reply to his charges. Both sides managed to...
“Even after 1054 friendly relations between East and West continued. The two parts of Christendom were not yet conscious of a great gulf of separation between them” (Ware, 67). This changed when the Byzantine Empire collapsed suddenly in 1453, after the Turks sacked Constantinople. With the Turks in control of the capital city, the rest of the empire crumbled quickly. Under pressure from Muslims, most of the Eastern churches repudiated their union with Rome, and this is the split that persists to this day.
Two subsequent events, one external, the other internal, reduced the patriarch of Constantinople’s status to nearly that of a figurehead. The sword of Islam gave military protection to the center of the Eastern Orthodox world, but at a high price. The Muslim sultan sold the office of patriarch to the highest bidder and changed the occupants often to keep the money rolling in. From 1453 to 1923, the Turkish sultans deposed 105 out of the 159 patriarchs. Another blow that weakened the patriarch’s authority came from Russia. Ivan the Great assumed the title of “Czar” (Russian for “Caesar”). Moscow was then called the “third Rome,” and the Czar tried to assume the role of protector for Eastern Christianity. With the collapse of the patriarchal system, the Eastern church lost its center and fragmented along national lines. Russia claimed independence from the patriarch of Constantinople in 1589, the first nation to do this. Other ethnic and regional splintering quickly followed, and toda...
One theological disagreement has to do with the Latin compound word filioque(“and the Son”) which was added to the Nicene Creed by Spanish Catholic bishops around the end of the sixth century. With this addition, the Creed says that the Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” Without the addition, it says the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Eastern Orthodox have traditionally challenged this, either saying that the doctrine is inaccurate or, for those who believe that it is accurate, that the pope had no authority to insert this word into the Creed (though it was later affirmed by an ecumenical council). Many today, both Orthodox and Catholics, believe this controversy was a tempest in a teapot. The doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as the Father is intimated in Scripture and present in the earliest Church Fathers. Controversy over it only arose again after the Eastern churches repudiated their union with Rome under pressure from the Muslims. Easter...
A more substantive disagreement between Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox concerns the role of the pope and the ecumenical councils in the Church. Both sides agree that ecumenical councils have the ability to infallibly define doctrines, but a question arises concerning which councils are ecumenical. The Eastern Orthodox communion bases its teachings on Scripture and “the seven ecumenical councils”—I Nicaea (325), I Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), II Constantinople (553), III Constantinople (680), and II Nicaea (787). Catholics recognize these as the first seven ecumenical councils, but not the onlyseven. While Catholics recognize an ensuing series of ecumenical councils, leading up to Vatican II, which closed in 1965, the Eastern Orthodox say there have been no ecumenical councils since 787, and no teaching after II Nicaea is accepted as of universal authority. One of the reasons the Eastern Orthodox do not claim to have had any ecumenical councils since II N...
Since the Eastern schism began, the Orthodox have generally claimed that the pope has only a primacy of honor among the bishops of the world, not a primacy of authority. But the concept of a primacy of honor without a corresponding authority cannot be derived from the Bible. At every juncture where Jesus speaks of Peter’s relation to the other apostles, he emphasizes Peter’s special mission to them and not simply his place of honor among them. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus gives Peter “the keys to the kingdom” and the power to bind and loose. While the latter is later given to the other apostles (Matt. 18:18), the former is not. In Luke 22:28–32, Jesus assures the apostles that they all have authority, but then he singles out Peter, conferring upon him a special pastoral authority over the other disciples which he is to exercise by strengthening their faith (22:31–32). In John 21:15–17, with only the other disciples present (cf. John 21:2), Jesus asks Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you lo...
While Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are separate for the moment, over the last several decades, there has been a marked lessening of tensions and overcoming of long-standing hostilities. In 1965, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople lifted mutual excommunications dating from the eleventh century, and in 1995, Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople concelebrated the Eucharist together. It is again becoming possible to envision a time when the two communions will be united and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, fulfill their duty in bringing about Christ’s solemn desire and command “that they may be one” (John 17:11). NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004 IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted. +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
Timothy (Kallistos) Ware..."In the Orthodox church today, as in the early church, all services are sung or chanted...singing is unaccompanied and instrumental music is not found, except among certain Orthodox in America...An Orthodox normally stands during church services...Canon 20 of the first ecumenical council forbids all kneeling on Sunday" (Clendenin, pp. 15,16).
The Eastern Orthodox Church claims to be the original church founded by Jesus. It is old, full of tradition, icons, and places a heavy emphasis on the church fathers. It has many interesting teachings but, unfortunately, is a mixture of faith and works for salvation.
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