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Author Topic: Why and How is the Orthodox Church the True Church  (Read 1408 times) Average Rating: 0
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What is the Light
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« on: February 12, 2012, 07:52:05 PM »

Why and how is the Orthodox Church the True Church? Could anyone point me to any sources to read up on this? I know it has been answered many times but I need some help here, the internet searches have not been fruitful.

Note: I am not trolling.
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 11:09:13 AM »

this is, obviously, a very broad topic.

We believe that the Church is the Church for a number of reasons: historical, theological, biblical, mystical, etc. All are valid and proper ways of approaching how we understand the Church.

Is there a specific approach you're looking for in answering this question? You say your searches haven't been fruitful...in what way has what you found not helped you? If we know what kind of answer you're seeking, perhaps we can narrow down the topic and speak specifically, since there is so much to understanding the Church as the Church I doubt anyone could ever offer a truly exhaustive response.
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 11:26:45 AM »

Simply, its the Church that all the other churches branched off of. 

But lets try to narrow down this topic as Benjamin said.
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 12:15:10 PM »

Simply, its the Church that all the other churches branched off of. 

You would have to provide something else for the OP other than that. Evidence is always good when we aren't the only church suggesting this.
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 12:35:37 PM »

Simply, its the Church that all the other churches branched off of.

You would have to provide something else for the OP other than that. Evidence is always good when we aren't the only church suggesting this.


Absolutely.  Thats why I suggested and was waiting for us to narrow this down a little bit.  There have been many books/articles/essays on the broad question the OP presented.

Not that I am really qualified to answer these questions anyways, but it wasnt long ago that I was asking the same thing.  Maybe I could help a little.
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 01:34:38 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox Christian Church is the church established by the Apostles following the command of Jesus Christ on the day of His Ascention into Heaven. 

Read "The Orthodox Church," by Timothy Ware, later Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Great Britain.
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 02:35:45 PM »

Why and how is the Orthodox Church the True Church? Could anyone point me to any sources to read up on this? I know it has been answered many times but I need some help here, the internet searches have not been fruitful.

Note: I am not trolling.

The only true church is one who worships in spirit and in truth.
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 03:11:52 PM »

The only Church is the Church of the Apostles and the Holy Fathers, the Orthodox Church. The others are from groups that broke away over disagreements in Councils, papalism, or they are 600 years old or newer and come out of a reaction to Papalism or themselves with varying degrees of watered down dogma, neo-heresies, or a combination of the two. They cannot trace their succession to anything other than certain people holding similar beliefs to themselves about invisible worship that re-emerged during the 16th century when the printing press and other more modern advancements made the belief in "Sola-scriptura" a more plausible tradition.
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 03:26:07 PM »

What is the Light, this is a good 3 part video to watch on why the Orthodox Church is the true Church founded by Christ. It is a general overview, but hopefully it will help you.

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJueCXNUahw&feature=related

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70ICV23M1mY&feature=related

Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAJYdUW8DzY
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 03:46:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Such is simply a matter of faith, as it always has been.  Saint Augustine doubted the authenticity of the Church for many years before he became a revered Doctor therein.  The catch with faith is it is subject of revelation and Epiphanies, and to receive revelations and Epiphanies folks must be willing without preconception or pretense to accept what is learned through experience, not as a matter of logic, but one of faith.

Yes, we can open up history books and document this continuous history of the Church, but as we know with history, it is a contentuous subject very much open for discussion, very much accepted in all honesty as matters of faith.

So the catch then, is to keep an ever open mind and an even more open heart and let God take us where He will.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 04:39:33 PM »

I'm thinking about how like kings how they would trace their lineage back to see who is closest related to the original king. I'm thinking has the Orthodox Church's doctrines remained pure to the early church? Is she (the Orthodox Church) the closest in the world to the early church? I'm thinking that the only real other contender would be the Catholic Church; seeing as all the Protestant churches were founded in the 1500's. I know that liturgy was used in the early church and is still used.

Would a good way to do this be to read the book of Acts? And the other books in the Bible that are about the early church?

I hope that is clearer.
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 05:07:48 PM »

You can begin here. http://www.patriarchate.org/patriarchate/patriarchs
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 05:09:02 PM »

The winning argument for me was quite simple; Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail against His true Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church is the oldest Church in the world that He sent His apostles out to establish. Therefore, Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail against the Eastern Orthodox Church so if I had faith in Jesus, then I would accept His promise and become a part of His Church, which, I did. Orthodox history is a very powerful tool and many a soul has been won over to Orthodoxy because of our history.

The only Church is the Church of the Apostles and the Holy Fathers, the Orthodox Church. The others are from groups that broke away over disagreements in Councils, papalism, or they are 600 years old or newer and come out of a reaction to Papalism or themselves with varying degrees of watered down dogma, neo-heresies, or a combination of the two. They cannot trace their succession to anything other than certain people holding similar beliefs to themselves about invisible worship that re-emerged during the 16th century when the printing press and other more modern advancements made the belief in "Sola-scriptura" a more plausible tradition.
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 05:11:51 PM »

I'm thinking about how like kings how they would trace their lineage back to see who is closest related to the original king. I'm thinking has the Orthodox Church's doctrines remained pure to the early church? Is she (the Orthodox Church) the closest in the world to the early church? I'm thinking that the only real other contender would be the Catholic Church; seeing as all the Protestant churches were founded in the 1500's. I know that liturgy was used in the early church and is still used.

Would a good way to do this be to read the book of Acts? And the other books in the Bible that are about the early church?

I hope that is clearer.

It is. Thank you. Smiley

Firstly, though, I would make a note about the "Early Church." I hear this from people a lot, actually, both Orthodox and not. The Orthodox, who are usually converts (as I myself am) start talking about how we're the "early church" and likewise those who aren't Orthodox always talk about "getting back to" the early church. I think both of these are somewhat flawed. Orthodoxy is not the Early Church, nor is it "like" the Early Church. It is the exact SAME Church which is eternal. We have a living tradition that changes in expression, though never in doctrine. Going back to the "old" ways of doing things (i.e., anachronism) is not the way to find Truth. In the same way, the non-Orthodox who want to "get back" make the mistake of trying to take a snapshot of the Church, when it's really a video. If we believe the body of Christ is alive and active, snapshots will only capture parts of it (and even then, parts that have changed over time will be different or missing). The doctrine stays the same, the exteriors change with time.

That said, it seems you're looking for validation that all things which are taught by the Orthodox Church today were doctrines from the beginning. That can be reviewed and seen, it's an historical study of the Church. It's this approach that really appealed to me as a convert, and I found it by talking about the Scriptures with knowledgeable Orthodox Christians who could explain a passage properly and then point to centuries of Church Fathers who have said the same over and over again.

Eventually, I saw this Deposit of Faith transversing history from Christ until the present, and that it was that which is maintained in the Orthodox Church. I came to this by a lot of reading and talking with people over a decent period of time (about a year). I tackled different issues as I thought of them and heard what the Orthodox say, the Catholics say and then what various Protestants say and weighed it against what I found being said throughout history by Christians. Orthodoxy seemed to be the one that was always consistent on all points, and everyone else varied on some issue(s) when compared to the historical account of the Christian Faith as seen in the Fathers.

I know that doesn't really refer you to anything, just gives you a broad approach. It's time-consuming and sometimes down right annoying to track some of this stuff down. But, it was worth it to me. I learned a lot about the history of Christianity, and it reshaped my entire understanding of the Faith (I did become Orthodox, after all) and I'm still finding new things. I imagine that I always will be.
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 05:31:44 PM »

The only true church is one who worships in spirit and in truth.

This reminds me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago at coffee hour. My friend asked me what "worship in Spirit and in truth" is, I replied "what we just did", and he said "ok".

That was followed by discusion on the immediate context of that passage, the nature of worship in the temple, and how the Church conducts worship.
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 05:54:37 PM »

I'm thinking about how like kings how they would trace their lineage back to see who is closest related to the original king. I'm thinking has the Orthodox Church's doctrines remained pure to the early church? Is she (the Orthodox Church) the closest in the world to the early church? I'm thinking that the only real other contender would be the Catholic Church; seeing as all the Protestant churches were founded in the 1500's. I know that liturgy was used in the early church and is still used.

Would a good way to do this be to read the book of Acts? And the other books in the Bible that are about the early church?

I hope that is clearer.

History can tell us a lot. In terms of liturgy, the earliest that is still in use is that of St. James, from the first century AD church in Jerusalem. This is used on occasion by the EO, but is the principle liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church (one of the Oriental Orthodox churches). The liturgy most often used by the EO, that of St. John Chrysostom, dates to around the fifth century, and that of St. Basil (the most commonly celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox, who also celebrate the Cyrilian and the Gregorian) to the fourth. These were of course built upon earlier forms, and in turn are the basis of liturgies used in other churches (e.g., the liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox is ultimately descendent from the Church of Alexandria from whom the Ethiopians received their anaphoras; see Rev. Marcos Daoud "The Liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church", 1959).

Reading the Book of Acts without historical background as to how the early church lived and worshiped would not do much good, I wouldn't think. After all, a great many of those same Protestants who you rightly reject look at the early church and convinced that they see proto-Baptists, or proto-Anglicans, or whatever their current denomination is and believes. It is best to stick with those that have early manuscript evidence, both in terms of liturgical structure and belief, and in terms of scope, i.e., the reverence showed to St. Basil and his liturgy is universal, as opposed to the attempts by the various heretics to draft liturgies in line with their heresies. As a point of comparison, how many churches followed the ACoE down the Nestorian rabbit hole into using the Qurbana of Addai and Mari (completed c. 7th century AD, way after their rejection of the Orthodox councils)? Pretty much only those who descend from the East Syrians (that is the say, the RC uniate Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Chaldeans).

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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2012, 05:02:13 PM »

Mistakessss
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2012, 05:42:21 PM »

The only true church is one who worships in spirit and in truth.

This reminds me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago at coffee hour. My friend asked me what "worship in Spirit and in truth" is, I replied "what we just did", and he said "ok".

Wrong.

It is what looks to be 3,729 podcast series by Fr. Thom.
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2012, 05:43:10 PM »

The only true church is one who worships in spirit and in truth.

This reminds me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago at coffee hour. My friend asked me what "worship in Spirit and in truth" is, I replied "what we just did", and he said "ok".

Wrong.

It is what looks to be 3,729 podcast series by Fr. Thom.
Which I listen to all the time. Fantastic series.

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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2012, 12:12:05 AM »

"Worship in Spirit and Truth"

Perhaps it should be recalled Christ gave this answer to a question of "where shall we worship? In this place or that place?"  In Spirit and Truth is "where" we should worship.  The "how" should we worship is revealed to us in both the OT and the NT, from what Moses was shown on Mt Sinai that he communicated to the High Priest Aaron, which was developed first for the tabernacle and later for the temple. We see it in the NT in Revelation.  And if that weren't enough we have the the Divine liturgy and it's roots back to St. James who was a priest of the temple, and we have the synagogue service which was derived from the temple, and from which the first part of Christian worship is derived (Liturgy of the Word). That aspect of the paradosis tells us how…the forms and structures of worship. The "where" is the object of the divine ascent during the liturgy, and it is the object of each heart present who has come to stand before God in the grace of His Spirit.

At least, that's how I see it, God helping me.
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2012, 05:16:48 AM »

The only true church is one who worships in spirit and in truth.

This reminds me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago at coffee hour. My friend asked me what "worship in Spirit and in truth" is, I replied "what we just did", and he said "ok".

Wrong.

It is what looks to be 3,729 podcast series by Fr. Thom.

WWFTD

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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2012, 06:01:06 AM »

Why and how is the Orthodox Church the True Church? Could anyone point me to any sources to read up on this? I know it has been answered many times but I need some help here, the internet searches have not been fruitful.

Note: I am not trolling.

Out of the thousands of different christian groups I would say:


1.) What do you believe about Liturgy? Why is it true or not true? If True then cross out all the groups who are not Liturgical. Now how many different groups out of the thousands are left?


2.) Out of all the groups who are Liturgical, how many of them are able to trace their leadership back to the first century? Cross out all the ones who are not able to do that! Now how many Liturgical groups do you have left?

3.) What are your thoughts about the Eucharist? Does a Christian need the Eucharist? How important is it to the christian? Is it the real Body and Blood of Christ? How important is it to the Christian? How many Liturgical groups who can trace their leadership back to the Apostles believe this? Cross out all the ones who don't!

4.) What are your thoughts about Water Baptism? How important is it? What does it do? What is it?


How many Liturgical groups who can trace their leadership back to the first century believe this?


Now your search begins between all the groups you have not crossed out yet. You will have to do the rest of the work on your own.


For me, the Doctrine of the Trinity, free will, synergy, grace, Predestination, Christus Victor / Ransom, and the Septuagint family of texts tilted me towards the East some years ago.

But this is me. You will have to get your own hands and knees dirty.
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2012, 07:57:15 AM »

I'm thinking about how like kings how they would trace their lineage back to see who is closest related to the original king. I'm thinking has the Orthodox Church's doctrines remained pure to the early church? Is she (the Orthodox Church) the closest in the world to the early church? I'm thinking that the only real other contender would be the Catholic Church; seeing as all the Protestant churches were founded in the 1500's. I know that liturgy was used in the early church and is still used.

Would a good way to do this be to read the book of Acts? And the other books in the Bible that are about the early church?

I hope that is clearer.

You may want to start by reading some Apostolic Fathers and then early church Fathers.  See what they taught and believed,  For instance.  Ignatius of Antioch in the Letter to the Ephesians he called the Eucharist the "medicine of immortality".   And, another time he told his flock to have nothing to do with those who denied Christ's presence in the Eucharist. 
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