ask an eastern orthodox Christian

Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: What is Your Church?

What would you like to know about the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith? Submit your question.

By Nicholas Damascus

What is the Eastern Orthodox Church?

Let me begin by taking a more direct approach in first telling you what the Eastern Orthodox Church is NOT, and at the same time, what it is.    

It is NOT Roman Catholic. However, it is catholic, that is, universal according to the whole. 

It is NOT Protestant; however, it is evangelical (proclaiming the Good News).  

It is NOT Jewish Orthodox; however, it is Orthodox (the correct Christian belief). 

It is NOT denominational; however, it is pre-denominational.  

It is NOT a religion; however, it is “the Way” and “the Life.” John 14:6, “I AM, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” 

It is NOT the Bible; however, the Bible is the primary language of the Church. 

It is NOT a museum of saints; however, it is a hospital where sinners can be made whole by Christ, the healing Physician. 

It is NOT a corporation of people, but a living breathing organism, a divine-human body with Christ as its Head. 

When Jesus Christ announced the existence of His Church, He also declared, “….the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18). The implication here is that His Church will spiritually and physically exist for all time. Orthodox believe and know that the Orthodox Church is that original One Holy and Apostolic Christian Church that Christ and the Apostles established. 

What distinguishes it from other Christian faiths is from the point of its inception; it makes the claim that it has not added, altered, or subtracted from any part of the original teachings of its founder Christ and the Apostles. For two millenniums, the Orthodox Church has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the original faith and teachings of Christ’s Church since the Day of Pentecost, existing today as the second-largest Christian Church with about 300 million strong. 

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