Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: What Is Your Church? Part 2
What would you like to know about the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith? Submit your question.
What is the Eastern Orthodox Church?
Read part one of this response here.
In the first 1,000 years, the Church was essentially one Church, the Orthodox Church; there was no Roman Catholic Church and no Protestant churches. It consisted of five major historical Patriarchal centers — four Eastern Sees Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and the See of Rome in the West.
In and around 1054 AD, the western part of the Orthodox Church, the See of Rome, broke away from then the larger main church body and became known as the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, the main body of the Orthodox Church, which was in the east, took on its present designation of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This eastern part of the Orthodox Church (EOC) continued in its adherence to not adding to, subtracting from, or altering any of the original faith and teachings.
The newly formed Roman Catholic Church was very much a part of the original ancient Church, and one could see why Rome’s claim that they, too, were part of the original ancient Church. However, the difference lies that Rome made many changes to the original faith causing an upheaval and protests in the west, which ultimately in the 16th century resulted in the Protestant Reformation.
What Eastern Orthodox believe
The true aim of every Orthodox Christian is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, one participates and experiences in the sacramental life of the Holy Spirit. Through a process known to Orthodox as theosis, one struggles and pursues a journey of transformation to the fullness of what God intended us to become. Becoming more like Christ by His grace and mercy enables us to receive all that He wants to give us eternally, to once again walk in the garden with Him. We become “partakers of the divine nature” (2Peter 1:4) and experience the fullness of the fruit of the Holy Spirit as in love, joy, peace, etc.
The Nicene Creed is what the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church believes
You can read it here.
Our culture often tells us that we live in the world and go to Church for an hour or two on Sunday. For Orthodox, the experience and attitude are “we live in the Church” and go to the world every day.
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