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Old 07-02-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Wichita,Kansas
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Im interested in the Orthodox Churches.
Can someone tell me how they differ from other churches and..
What to expect?
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I'm an atheist here so I'm probably not the best person to give you a response however, part of my job involves going to a Greek Orthodox Church and I've asked the Father some questions so I can give you a little bit of information.

The Orthodox religion started with a dissent of the Catholic religion. while the Catholics believed that only 1 man ruled the church (The Pope), The Orthodox believed in a "pillar of rulers" (7 to be exact). The 7 rulers were based in Greece, Russia, Armenia and 4 other places which is why now you hear about the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox etc. They are actually all the same but came over here from the country in which you hear.

I have never been to a service but I imagine it is similar to a Catholic Service (which I've never been to either) but I do know that they stand throughout most of the service and if you ever go into an Orthodox sanctuary there are very few benches/pews available as they are mostly meant for the elderly/disabled.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,739 posts, read 7,850,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averagejoe76 View Post
Im interested in the Orthodox Churches.
Can someone tell me how they differ from other churches and..
What to expect?
Hi Joe
I believe there is more than one Orthodox church. I personally believe these all started about the same time as the RCC, in several different places, by more than one apostle, and not all built upon just the work of the Apostle Peter alone. (as claimed by the RCC) (that's just IMO...I don't feel inclined to debate that view, as that generally does no good anyway)
Reading these links will give one a fairly good idea:

OCA - World Orthodox Churches

OCA - About Orthodox Christianity

Orthodox Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Orthodox Church

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

The Orthodox C h u r c h

Encyclopedia Coptica: The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church Of Egypt

greekorthodoxchurch.org Greek Orthodox Church Main Page

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:13 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,961,646 times
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From what I know the sacraments, etc are like Catholicism but generally there are differences. This is going by what I read and some Orthodox I've talked to.

*The Orthodox do not have a singular leader and no leader is deemed infallible in any sense.

*Infallibility rests more in the Bible, church tradition, and the Councils. Liturgy and Ritual is very important.

*Orthodox theology does not emphasize scholasticism the way Catholicism does, but instead it more emphasizes the theologians mystical experience of God.

*Eastern Orthodoxy does not usually emphasize the crucifixion, at least not in the same way as Catholics. So Orthodox art depicts the crucifixion less.

*Married men are usually the ones to become priests, but bishops are usually celibate just as Catholic bishops are celibate. (Although I think this is more because Orthodox bishops are chosen from the monks rather than the priests)

Then there are differences between Orthodox denominations and the links from above likely do better than what I've said.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Somewhere Out West
2,260 posts, read 2,139,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudinAk View Post
I believe there is more than one Orthodox church.
There is also more than one catholic church, the one people most frequently refer to is the Roman Catholic (or Roman Church), while many others exist.

That being said, if you try and point this out to folks on here, you get attacked. Well at least I get attacked when I point it out.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:15 PM
juj
 
Location: Too far from MSG
1,657 posts, read 2,333,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revrandy View Post
There is also more than one catholic church, the one people most frequently refer to is the Roman Catholic (or Roman Church), while many others exist.

That being said, if you try and point this out to folks on here, you get attacked. Well at least I get attacked when I point it out.
A-t-t-a-c-k, attack, attack, attack. (Sorry, my daughter used to be a cheerleader.)

To learn more about how the Catholic Church got her name:
How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name?

Last edited by juj; 07-02-2010 at 10:26 PM..
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:27 PM
 
1,883 posts, read 2,557,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averagejoe76 View Post
Im interested in the Orthodox Churches.
Can someone tell me how they differ from other churches and..
What to expect?
The Orthodox Church is the most beautiful form of worship service I have ever been in.It is also the original Christian Church.The RCC broke away from the Orthodox Church,not vice versa,no matter what the Catholics try to tell you.They worship using what they call the Divine Liturgy.

There are simply too many aspects of it to try and give a good overview in one post.While I never joined,I went to an Orthodox Church for about a year and a half and can probably answer most questions.The three most prominent in the US are Greek Orthodox,OCA,and Antiochian.The OCA is out of the Russian Orthodox Church,and the Antiochian is the Arab version of Orthodoxy.But the OCA and Antiochian are more accepting of converts and try not to be too ethnic,while the Greeks,at least where I went,where much more an ethnic church,to the point of even having part of the Liturgy said in Greek.

If you have specific questions ask away.I will try to answer.Most of all,just attend a DL and enjoy.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:07 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I know the Orthodox insist we broke off, but from a historical non-Catholic perspective it was more like a divorce so Catholics and Orthodox both descend from the original Christians. The Catholics descend from Christianity in the Western Roman Empire and the Orthodox from the Eastern. Then there are also Armenians and Assyrians, who descend from Christians outside the Empire.

As a Catholic I suppose I'd be required to believe Orthodoxy broke off.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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Which church broke away from the other is an ages-old debate which has never been resolved, so it's probably best to leave it out of the discussion because it's irrelevant anyway. It has nothing to do with the differences between the two churches. I once read that given the fact the Orthodox and Catholics themselves have not been able to resolve their differences in the past 1000 years, what makes the inquirer feel he/she is better able to discern which is the original church?

Both churches claim to have apostolic succession, and thus the bishops and priests are validly ordained in both. But there are differences in what both churches believe about some things. This is an interesting link, although it comes from an Orthodox POV. But it may help explain those differences: ORTHODOXY AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM

It should be noted that steps have been taken in recent years to reconcile the two churches - to reunify them, so to speak. Bear in mind I'm neither Catholic nor Orthodox, but I'm not entirely sure I understand how that can happen. Regarding the Filioque, Immaculate Conception, and Papacy, wouldn't any reconciliation between the two churches require that one, or both, concede it was wrong on one or more of those issues? Are the Orthodox going to concede they were wrong about the Filioque? Are the Catholics going to abandon their belief in the Immaculate Conception? Will the Orthodox recognize the authority of the pope? I mean, as I understand it, those are some pretty major issues to deal with. It seems to me there would be some trouble requiring the parishioners of either particular church to embrace something they once didn't accept, or to abandon a belief they were once told they had to accept as true. Wouldn't either situation mean that one or the other...perhaps BOTH...churches would have to admit they were wrong about something?
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:16 AM
 
1,883 posts, read 2,557,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyspider View Post
Which church broke away from the other is an ages-old debate which has never been resolved, so it's probably best to leave it out of the discussion because it's irrelevant anyway. It has nothing to do with the differences between the two churches. I once read that given the fact the Orthodox and Catholics themselves have not been able to resolve their differences in the past 1000 years, what makes the inquirer feel he/she is better able to discern which is the original church?

Both churches claim to have apostolic succession, and thus the bishops and priests are validly ordained in both. But there are differences in what both churches believe about some things. This is an interesting link, although it comes from an Orthodox POV. But it may help explain those differences: ORTHODOXY AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM

It should be noted that steps have been taken in recent years to reconcile the two churches - to reunify them, so to speak. Bear in mind I'm neither Catholic nor Orthodox, but I'm not entirely sure I understand how that can happen. Regarding the Filioque, Immaculate Conception, and Papacy, wouldn't any reconciliation between the two churches require that one, or both, concede it was wrong on one or more of those issues? Are the Orthodox going to concede they were wrong about the Filioque? Are the Catholics going to abandon their belief in the Immaculate Conception? Will the Orthodox recognize the authority of the pope? I mean, as I understand it, those are some pretty major issues to deal with. It seems to me there would be some trouble requiring the parishioners of either particular church to embrace something they once didn't accept, or to abandon a belief they were once told they had to accept as true. Wouldn't either situation mean that one or the other...perhaps BOTH...churches would have to admit they were wrong about something?

Reconciliation is unlikely to happen.Some differences are too deep.Take the Immaculate Conception.The RCC developed this idea to deal with the Catholic concept of original sin in Mary,known as the Theotokos(Mother of God) in Eastern Orthodoxy.Eastern Orthodoxy does not have the Catholic concept of original sin,and so does not need the Immaculate Conception to do away with the sin.The papacy is another idea that the EO will never accept,as it does away with the fundamental concept of a living group of churches working in concert to establish God's will.

Even the role of Christ is somewhat different in the two.The RCC (and therefore all the Protestant churches that came out of the RCC) developed the idea of Christ appeasing an angry God through blood sacrifice on the Cross.As strange as it may sound to western Christian ears,that was not the teaching of the original churches,but is a concept developed independently by the Catholics around 1000 AD.What the EO teaches the role of Christ was was to reestablish the divine link between man and God that Adam broke when he sinned.Christ made it possible for man to become divine once again, by grace,not as substitutionary atonement to an angry God.The EO do not get the Mel Gibson film on Christ,for example.That is not their belief.A common statement from the EO on the role of Christ is that "Christ became a man so that man could become a god".Not a god in the New Age silliness style,but rather what Adam supposedly was originally,an immortal being designed to live forever in immediate fellowship with God.Catholics,on the other hand,are big on the punishment and suffering bit.This is obviously a fundamentally different way of looking at Christ.


On the other hand,the Filoque and monophysite controversies show that the EO will argue about minutiae over any dogma,as if man had any way of knowing about these things.(The Filoque contributed to the separation with the Catholics.The monophysite one separated the Oriental Orthodox from the Eastern Orthodox)
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