OK...now to launch out...
There can be the same doctrine, same soteriology, same basic "liturgy" and same stance on modernistic innovations and you have the Presbterian Church in America (PCA), the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC), the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America (RPCNA) and possibly the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Each has it's own "hierarchy," its own institutions, it's own departments of missions and evangelism, its own publications, etc.
How is that so different from Orthodox jurisdictionalism (aka denominationalism)?
Well, for starters, I think it'd be useful to back up a bit. You're fond of saying (rightly) that the tendency to talk about "Protestants" or even the more specific group "Evangelicals" as if they were one, monolithic group is sad. What's worse is misapplying the label to groups that don't technically belong to the group in question. Be that as it may, what you've done here in the part I've quoted is comparing apples to apples -- Presbyterian groups to Orthodox groups -- whereas what usually gets done is the comparison -- and it is one that needs to be pointed out as often as it is, which is a good thing -- between Protestant groups as a whole and the Orthodox Church. I would actually be comfortable with calling the abovementioned Presbyterian groups as "jurisdictions" of the same group -- differing primarily in ethnicity or region while maintaining sacramental and doctrinal (though not administrative) unity. Not a small thing, and it's good that they're standing together against the more modernist, liberal innovators in the mainstream (if I remember correctly) sects of Presbyterianism.
But...while buzuxi did make some points which I think were rightly taken to task by PeterTheAleut, one major point that he made which I want to highlight was the following:
Why [are] there jurisdictions you ask? Because the churches here were established by greeks and slavs and arabs, and these jurisdictions still use these languages in their worship, its not because we broke away from each other.
You make very good points as to how ethnicity and differing emphasis in praxis led to various Presbyterian groups' existence here in the US. As I've said, this, indeed, looks much like what we have here. But the fact that the Presbyterian groups' reaction to what was going on in Scotland was to break off and form their own, semi-separate groups would place them in a different category than the Orthodox that came over here -- all still in communion with their respective mother churches in the old countries, churches which in turn were in communion with one another -- and existed side-by-side as Orthodox believers, among whom the primary differences were language and country of origin. The ethos was very familiar -- and very important! -- to these immigrant communities, so the presence of "St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church" and "St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church" within a block of each other has a much different meaning than the three Presbyterian denominations' churches who could, as you said, inform an inquirer as to exactly why they were the theologically correct parish and the other two weren't. In the case of the Greeks/Russians/Arabs/Serbians/Whoevers, well, they may have had words to say about how odd the music was or how lax such-and-such a nationality was in reigning in their kids during liturgy, but certainly no issues of theology would ever come into play.
"But how does it appear to outsiders?" folks have asked. It's been said that folks nowadays don't have the time nor the patience to ask or digest the differences (which are very real ones) between Orthodox jurisdictions that don't differ doctrinally and Protestant (not just Presbyterian, now!) denominations that do. They can't be bothered with the task of comparing groups such as the following:
- regional or national churches that set up shop here out of necessity due to world events, all the while maintaining doctrinal and sacramental unity with the world-wide Church (Orthodox)
- groups that, upon immigrating here, broke union with the mother church and splintered into groups that had not existed before said immigration (Presbyterian)
- groups that originated here or in Europe for the sake of purely doctrinal reasons yet still maintain some kind of odd unity in spite of the fact that most things about Christianity have to be called "non-essentials" for these folks to be "one" (Anabaptist, Methodist, Nazerene, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Church of Christ, etc).
Really, if they're not all that serious about seeing the motives behind the groups they're joining, then I think we can only blame ourselves to a point.
And NOT all protestants create new denominations because some pastor came up with a new idea and started a new church, which is how many Orthodox caricature protestant denominationalism. Orthodox ignorance of mainline protestantism is both alaming and shameful (but that is another subject)...these denominations were formed over issues of theological integrity and conscience. Whether we agree with their reasons as Orthodox it must be acknowledged that these weren't frivolous moves because some individual pastor got a "word form the Lord."
I know it's not always as easy as saying "God told me," but really...good Lord. The Baptists have a problem with Calvinist predestination (though not the perseverance) and with Lutheran sprinkling; the Calvinists have a problem with Methodist arminianism (and vice versa); the Church of Christ has a problem with infant baptism (as do the Baptists again); the Baptists and the TULIP Calvinists disagree with Church of Christ/Lutherans regarding "once saved, always saved"...and on and on and on. These are not flippant reasons to form new and separate groups, you are correct. But they ARE reasons that do not in the least apply to why we have Greek, Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Antiochian, ROCOR, or OCA parishes in any one, particular city. The cause of our initial segregation is very, very different. That it continues to this day is scandalous, but it is not to be confused with the difference of belief present within denominations.
Yes, there's a lack of cooperation and a lot of unnecessary duplication amongst (for example) SCOBA jurisdictions, but at the end of the day we don't have to deal with theological differences that are even in the NEIGHBORHOOD of what either the Presbyterian denominations or Protestants in general have to deal with in dealing with each other.
What this means is that we look
and even (to our shame) at times operate
like groups who have separated because of very real and very significant differences in doctrine, ecclesiology, soteriology, etc. But looks may be deceiving; while we may have some of the outward symptoms of denominationalism, it seems to me that the underlying cause of denominationalism in the first place -- namely, deliberate schism over dogma -- is conspicuously absent from all of the Orthodox jurisdictions
we have here in the West.