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  1. Eastern Orthodox Church Beliefs and Practices › eastern-orthodox-church

    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 councils) along with Holy Tradition are of equal value and importance. Baptism: Baptism is the initiator of the salvation experience. Eastern Orthodox practice baptism by full immersion.

  2. How Is Eastern Orthodoxy Different? | Answers in Genesis › world-religions › eastern
    • Authority
    • Creation
    • Christ
    • Salvation and The Sacraments
    • Salvation and Deification
    • Salvation and The Atonement
    • Worship
    • Worship and Icons in Orthodoxy
    • The Importance of Icons in Orthodox Worship
    • The Pattern of Orthodox Worship

    The Orthodox, like Protestants and Catholics, regard the Bible as the inspired Word of God. But like the Catholics, the Orthodox Bible contains a few books not found in the Hebrew Scriptures (that is, books called the Apocrypha [Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, etc.] and written between the close of the Old Testament and the writing of the New Testament). The inclusion in the canon of Scripture of some books not regarded as canonical by Jesus and the Apostles (based on their lack of reference to them) is not an unimportant matter.3However, even more important and resulting in more serious consequences is the place of tradition in connection with the Scriptures. The Orthodox view of tradition is more complex than the Roman Catholic view. In the Catholic view, Scripture and tradition are both authorities. In other words, tradition exists alongside of Scripture as another authority. In the Orthodox view, the Scriptures are a part of tradition. According to their theologians, it is a mistake t...

    Due to their high regard for tradition and belief that what the church fathers taught was permanently valid, the Orthodox Church has not been significantly involved in the debates of the last two centuries over creation and evolution. This is beginning to change as secular and rationalist thinking has come to dominate the sciences in the West. Andrew Louth is a theologian and professor emeritus from Durham University in England. He is at the same time a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church and serves the parish in Durham. Louth reveals the kind of approach likely to be taken with increasing frequency. He asks: Louth goes on to discuss the many characteristics that we humans share with animals. Thus a common origin is seen as quite reasonable. He does, of course, affirm that man possesses reason and is a higher being and in the image of God. Even so, this identity need not be tied to a historical Adam and Eve, according to Louth. But what about the Fall? For Louth, the fallen state...

    Eastern Orthodoxy has historically maintained and defended a high view of the deity of Christ. The Orthodox make a great deal out of being “the Church of the seven councils” (that is, the seven ecumenical councils of the early Church). The first five of these councils dealt with challenges to the full deity or full humanity of Christ. The first of these councils was held in Nicea and the fourth was held in Chalcedon. These two councils affirmed the biblical doctrine of Christ as being one person with two natures, thus fully divine and fully human. From the side of His divinity, He is the second person of the Trinity and is as fully God as are the Father and the Holy Spirit. From the side of His humanity, He is the virgin-born son of Mary and the heir of David. All these things the Orthodox Church faithfully teach and affirm. Thus, there is no debate between evangelical Protestants and the Orthodox on the deity of Christ or His incarnation. Difficulties emerge, however, when the mean...

    “What must I do to be saved?” This was the question the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas in Acts 16:30. It remains the critical question for all of mankind. Indeed, if we are given the wrong answers to this question, a catastrophic loss is the prospect we face. Strangely, in contrast to both Protestants and Catholics, the Orthodox do not seem to focus very much on this question. There are, of course, reasons for this. Like Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy places great emphasis on the “sacraments.” Like Catholicism, Orthodoxy sees baptism as bringing about the regeneration of the person receiving the sacrament. The Orthodox typically baptize infants, but, of course, adult converts to Orthodoxy are baptized as well. In contrast to Roman Catholics, the Orthodox baptize by immersion. Immersion is carried out three times in succession, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Unique to the Orthodox is a second sacrament applied immediately following baptism, c...

    One of the great points of confusion among outsiders trying to understand Orthodoxy is the concept of “deification” or “theosis.” Translated, the thought is “becoming god.” To most Westerners this concept is totally alien. Paul does, of course, speak of being “conformed to the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29). Is that all the Orthodox mean by theosis? No, it is not. In fact, the Orthodox have a major and complex theology built around the idea of deification. Most frequently quoted by the Orthodox is a statement by Athanasius: “God became man that we might become gods.”14 Athanasius was by no means the only church father to speak of deification in similar terms.15 Outsiders might be tempted to think that the Orthodox have similar views to the Mormons, believing that humans can become divine, “gods” in an ontological sense. This would be quite mistaken. The Orthodox are quite clear in their Trinitarian belief that the divine essence resides only in the triune God. Man cannot by any mean...

    A final point on the Orthodox teaching on salvation should be added before leaving this topic. There is comparatively little focus in Orthodoxy on the atonement or the Cross but a significantly greater focus on the doctrine of the Incarnation and the Resurrection. Protestants and Catholics are accustomed to thinking of the Incarnation as part of the process ending in the death of Christ on the Cross for our sins. Of course, the doctrine of Incarnation is a rich vein that bears many treasures for Christian theology, not the least of which is an affirmation by God of the inherent goodness of the material creation.21 But in Scripture, the Incarnation of Jesus is seen first and foremost as a revelation of God to man of His goodness and character (Hebrews 1:1–3) to redeem man by means of the atonement. This is seen with great clarity in Jesus’ own statement of the purpose of His coming: “to give His life a ransom for many” (e.g., Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). It comes as a surprise, then,...

    Christians from the West tend to be confused or even shocked when they first attend an Orthodox service. In Eastern Europe and Russia, Orthodox Churches generally do not have seating. (However, Greek Orthodox Churches in America do tend to have pews.) The inside of an Orthodox Church is typically richly adorned with icons. The word “icon” is simply the Greek word for “image.” At the front of the sanctuary is a wall of icons with a door (or doors) in it. This wall is called an “iconostasis” (“icon stand”). It plays an important part in Orthodox worship. The icons on the iconostasis only display the most important icons adorning a particular church. There are often many, many more icons distributed throughout the church. Westerners from the Catholic tradition, or who are familiar with Catholic Churches, are accustomed to religious art being featured prominently in the church. However, in an Orthodox Church, one is immediately struck with the number of pictures and the obvious importan...

    The place of icons in Orthodox worship is the result of a centuries-long development and some bloody battles. In the year 726, the Byzantine Emperor Leo III decreed that icons should notbe used in Orthodox worship. This was immediately resisted, indeed violently resisted, and the famous “iconoclastic controversy” was underway. During the next 117 years, the Byzantine Orthodox Church and society were torn by this controversy. By and large, it was the state, the emperors, their families, the patriarchs, and the bishops who attempted to remove icons from the churches and to ban them from use during church services. The monks and many of the laity were vehemently opposed to the attempts of the iconoclasts to suppress the use of icons in the church. Finally, in 753, Emperor Constantine V called a council of the church in Constantinople, which issued a condemnation of using icons in the church’s worship. This did not stop the controversy, however. There continued to be strong resistance t...

    Perhaps one of the most unfortunate consequences of the tragic iconoclastic controversy was that it actually ended up elevating icons in importance. Before it began, it was entirely possible to be an Orthodox believer and participate in Orthodox worship without venerating icons. Icon veneration, or worship in many cases, was widespread, but it was not a dogmatically defined practice and was not integrated into Orthodox liturgy. After the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787, veneration of icons was made an integral part of Orthodox worship and the meaning of icons was dogmatically defined by the council’s decrees. This results in a role for icons within the Orthodox Church that is clearly far beyond anything that can be justified by Scripture. Though linking the making of icons with an affirmation of the Incarnation makes sense to many, just as many see the argument as far from compelling. And, if that argument is not compelling and not based on any explicit Scripture, why should icon...

    A brief word about the conduct of Orthodox services should be added to this topic. The priest(s) perform the rituals of the Eucharistic service behind the iconostasis, out of sight of the worshipers. The liturgy is sung or chanted and is quite consistent. In other words, the worshipers who attend regularly know the liturgy and know how to enter into the process. The participation of the worshipers is seen in their responding at appropriate points in the liturgy and in much bowing, kneeling, and kissing of the icons. Some worshipers will stay through an entire service, but many will come in at some later point and many will leave before the service is over. In fact, there are at least two services that take place each Sunday, the first being “Matins,” which lasts about an hour. The Eucharistic service lasts another hour and a half. Thus, many come and partake of whatever portion of the service they wish to be present for and participate in. As strange as it seems to Westerners, it is...

    • Dr. D. Trent Hyatt
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  4. An Orthodox Christian View of Non-Christian Religions ... › - › an-orthodox-christian-view-of
    • Guidance Provided by Patriarch Bartholomew
    • Revelation Through God's Glory, Even Though The Mystery Is "Beyond"
    • The Human Person: in The Image and Likeness of God
    • Three Views of Non-Christian Religions
    • Scriptural Affirmation of The Centrality of Christ
    • Dialogue with Non-Christian Religions
    • The Study of World Religions
    • Truth and Tolerance
    • Conclusion

    Let us begin with certain remarks offered by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to the Conference on Interreligious Dialogue,Istanbul, March 7, 1998. The Patriarch began with the observation that this conference was convened to discuss important issues of religious truth - in peace. He pointed out that most participants unhesitatingly believe that the religion to which each subscribes is the bearer of God's truth. He noted that the study of world religions makes it clear that perceptions of God, world and man do not coincide; indeed they are often contradictory. And he asked: How can we hold discussions in good faith when each of us is firmly convinced of the truth in his own religion? The Patriarch proposed two important ways as guides. The first is a strong emphasis on means, which permit people of various faiths to coexist and interact in peace. The second is to seek mutual understanding - in depth - of the teachings of religions about which we engage in dialogue....

    Our exploration of an Orthodox attitude toward non-Christian religions begins with the Christian understanding of God. Emphasis is on the mystery of divine reality - the essence of God - which exceeds human capabilities. It is a basic truth of Orthodox Christianity that God's essence is incomprehensible and inaccessible to the human person; it is "beyond" all creaturely approach. A prayer in the Divine Liturgy expresses it as follows: "... for you are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same ... "A minor change in the rendition emphasizes the fundamental truth. God's essence is totally "beyond" - "beyond verbalization, beyond comprehension, beyond vision, beyond understanding." Yet, while the essence of God is beyond communion, God reveals Himself through His Glory. The human person participates in God's energies manifested as theophanies "The glory of the Triune God embraces the universe (ta pania) and brings all thi...

    Our exploration continues with examination of man's relationship to God. The basic, all-encompassing Christian understanding is that all human persons are created in the image of God. This is linked to a related insight - how God relates to all human persons. In turn, this is linked to yet another insight - how all human persons relate to all other human persons. This has been expressed more concisely as "an orientation, a direction, a relationship of persons." The primary vector in this complex of relationships is vertical, that is, the relationship of man to God. Yetthis vertical relationship with God is incomplete without the secondary, horizontal vector - the relationship of each human person to all other human persons. The bonding agent in this relationship of persons - God and humanity - is mutual love. The ultimate example is provided by the Holy Trinity, where the bond among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is reciprocal love. Therefore, the bond among the persons who...

    An Orthodox scholar recently observed that there are basically three views that Christians have taken with regard to non-Christian religions. The first is that the non-Christian will be damned because there is no salvation outside the visible Body of Christ, the Church, The second is that the non-Christian may be saved in spite the religion he practices, but only through the mercy of God. The third is that the non-Christian may be saved by means of the very religion he practices, for nonChristian religions may also contain saving truths.These three views parallel the three approaches identified elsewhere as exclusivism. inclusivism and cultural pluralism. The claim of exclusivism has been rejected by many Orthodox scholars as untenable. This is not done in the interests of facilitating missionary endeavors or to foster world peace. Exclusiveness is rejected as a matter of Truth.The majority of Orthodox scholars would accept inclusivism. Some Orthodox scholars espouse the view charac...

    Let us note that theology is not speculation; it is experience in and of the Body of Christ. The study of theology proceeds in consonance with the Tradition of the Church: its liturgy, its "unwritten" experiences. Scripture, writings of the Fathers, doctrine and canons. The challenges and opportunities attendant to today's religious pluralism must be addressed with Christian conviction, and the dialogue which addresses our concerns for the present and future must harmonize with our roots in our past. The Christian message of the Good News of Salvation is central. Jesus Christ tells us, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Peter confesses at Phillipi, "You are the Christ" (Mark 8:29). Saint Paul declares, "He is the Image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation; for in Him all things are created" (Col. 1:15). The Scriptures abound with unequivocal affirmations of the Incarnation and the foundational beliefs th...

    The Orthodox view of dialogue with other religions is also rooted in the Church Fathers. Subsequent to the Apostolic age St. Justin Martyr, a second century apologist, makes the claim for Christianity that "Whatever things were rightly said among all men are the property of us Christians." Justin espouses the belief that both Gentiles and Jews will be saved on the basis of their piety and holiness. He states that "Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above all that He is the Word (Logos) of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived according to reason are Christian." All peoples are able to participate in the "spermatikos logos" or seed of reason: "For each man spoke well in proportion to the share he had of the spermatic word (reason disseminated among men), seeing what was related to it," because "the seed of reason (the Logos) implanted in every race of men" makes God's revelation accessible to all The pre-existence of the eternal Logos of God en...

    There have been significant twentieth century developments, firmly rooted in Scripture and the Church Fathers, in the Orthodox view of nonChristian religions, beginning with the work of Leonidas John Philippides in the 1930s. The study of world religions has become a major discipline in the curriculum of Orthodox Theological Schools, Academic chairs have been established in the Schools of Theology at both Athens and Thessalonike, where ongoing efforts in the history of world religions and in the study of comparative religion flourish. In addition to outstanding major studies and innumerable articles there are first-class textbooks supporting academic programs. These developments witness a powerful Orthodox theological concern with issues of religious Truth, and a willingness to pursue that Truth wherever it may lead. The prominent Orthodox Christian apologist, Gregorios Papamichael, University of Athens. espouses the view that humanity was gradually prepared for the revelation of th...

    As has been emphasized, the issue of Christian Truth is of highest importance in the Orthodox view of other religions. Pontius Pilate asked "What is Truth?" (John 18:38). He posed this question to Jesus who standing before him, remained silent. Christians interpret this silence as His reply that the Truth was standing before him - Christ is the Truth. The Byzantine Empire identified itself as an Orthodox Christian state, however, it allowed for diversity of religious practices within its borders. "In Byzantium, the recognition of Christianity first as a privileged religion, and then as the official religion of the Empire, did not affect the basic principle of tolerance toward the members of other religions. But it restricted the rights they were permitted in public life. Christianity and, after the East-West schism (1054), Orthodoxy were closely linked to the identity of the Byzantine state and thus determined its religious policies." For Orthodoxy there is a fusion between the trut...

    Orthodox Christianity sees dialogue not only as proper, but also necessary, in the inevitable interactions with other religions, Interfaith dialogueis best cultivated in an atmosphere of peace and with preparations which emphasize mutual in-depth understanding as the desirable way. There are risks in dialogue, particularly if preparation is inadequate or if there is overemphasis on accommodation. However, the risks of no dialogue are greater. It is basic Christian doctrine that the Holy Spirit may act wherever and whenever. Presuming to constrain the activity of the Holy Spirit - to limit God Himself- is not the way. Orthodoxy recognizes and accepts the mandate to seek Truth and to follow the Holy Spirit wherever He leads, including in other religions or philosophies when his Truth is to be found there. The way of Orthodoxy is to converge on the golden mean, carefully avoiding extremes and the pitfalls that can lead to destruction. The Tradition of the Church fosters the understandi...

  5. The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions › inquirers › hierotheos_difference

    Again, if we compare Orthodox spirituality with other Christian traditions, the difference in approach and method of therapy is more evident. A fundamental teaching of the Holy Fathers is that the Church is a "Hospital" which cures the wounded man. In many passages of Holy Scripture such language is used.

  6. The Orthodox Church's Teachings on Angels » Saint John the ... › the-orthodox-churchs

    Jun 16, 2020 · Thirdly, the Orthodox Church teaches that the world of angels is immeasurably vast and that the angels are divided into nine different ranks. The Scripture supports both of these teachings. First, let’s take a look at the vastness of the angelic world.

  7. Compare Beliefs of 7 Major Christian Denominations › comparing-christian
    • Basis for Doctrine. Christian denominations differ in what they use for the basis of their doctrines and beliefs. The biggest split is between Catholicism and the denominations that have roots in the Protestant Reformation.
    • Creeds and Confessions. To understand what different Christian denominations believe, you can start with the ancient creeds and confessions, which spell out their major beliefs in a short summary.
    • Inerrancy and Inspiration of Scripture. Christian denominations differ in how they view the authority of Scripture. The Inspiration of Scripture identifies the belief that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, directed the writing of the Scriptures.
    • The Trinity. The mysterious doctrine of the Trinity created divisions in the earliest days of Christianity and those differences remain in Christian denominations until this day.
  8. 10 Religious Scriptures Explained - Listverse › 10-religious-scriptures-explained

    Sep 19, 2007 · In most of the religions, there is one main scripture book. Hinduism has Gita and 4 Vedas, Christians have the Bible, Muslims have Koran, Persians have Avesta, and Sikhs have Guru Granth Sahib, and Buddhists have 3 Pitikäs. Likewise, Jains also have their own scriptures called Ägams, also called the Jain Shrut.

  9. How to get to heaven - what are the ideas from the different ... › how-to-get-to-heaven

    Apr 26, 2021 · Eastern Orthodox: Orthodoxy is a Christian-Judeo derivative that reinterprets key Scripture verses in such a way that works become essential to reach heaven. Orthodoxy teaches that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation, but where Christianity teaches that becoming more Christlike is the result of Christ’s influence in a believer’s life ...

  10. What are the top ten religions and what is the holy book for ... › What-are-the-top-ten-religions-and

    Christianity (2.2 billion followers) - The Holy Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) Islam (1.6 billion followers) - The Quran Hinduism (1 billion followers) - The Vedas Buddhism (376 million followers) - Tripitaka (Pali Canon)

  11. World Religions Midterm Essay Questions Flashcards | Quizlet › 233420033 › world-religions-midterm

    Orthodox is the most true to the religion, in the way that as others adapt with society, those who are Orthodox do not believe they should alter the way the religion is taught any different than that which they are specifically told to teach and follow it by God.

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