After a 6+ month and emotional inquiry to Roman Catholicism, I have just reached a point to where I am almost sure that the Pope is not who he says he is. It was Eastern Orthodoxy that brought me into Apostolic Christianity from Protestantism, and now it seems Roman Catholicism is bringing me back to Eastern Orthodoxy.
Here's a few conversion issues that I face the moment I begin to contemplate this
1. Why not join the Oriental Orthodox church or the Assyrian church of the east instead of Eastern Orthodoxy? At first glance, they seem to have the same credentials as you guys.
The ACoE is Nestorian. They reject Orthodox Christology by dividing our Lord into two "persons". This one is pretty cut and dry. As for the OO, it comes down to Christology, as well, though the situation surrounding the 4th EC is much hairier than that surrounding the 3rd (which dealt with the Nestorians). I'm of the opinion that the OO hold fast to the Cyrillian christological formula and are therefore Orthodox. While we are not in communion with them at this point and are resolving 1,500 years worth of schism, I believe that both the EO and the OO profess the Faith. While my home is the Byzantine church, I would not begrudge you to go OO.
2. From my understanding, you guys don't have ecumenical councils anymore, why is that?
"Ecumenical Councils" belong to the age of the Ecumene, the Empire, which hasn't been around for some time. However, we still hold councils. Ever heard of St. Gregory Palamas? The definitions of the Palamite councils are universal in Orthodoxy, just as important as Ecumenical Councils, but aren't numbered among the seven.
3. I hear that some Orthodox churches aren't in communion with each other. Like church A might be in communion with church B and C, but church B isn't in communion with church C. Is this true?
No. this does not happen in the EO. Occasionally certain local churches will not concelebrate together, which is a sign of tension between them, however it is not a declaration of heresy nor schism, and they both consider the other Orthodox in their Faith and both remain in communion with all the other churches. There are schismatic groups (The Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyivan Patriarchate, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Russian Old Believers, Greek Old Calendarists, etc.) but they remain unrecognized and are not in communion with any canonical Orthodox Church.
Also, I really don't see this as a problem, but I attended my first divine liturgy (Easter service) and it felt more like a liturgical relay race then a service. The readings were SO fast. Is that normal?
Do you mean the readings of the Epistle and Gospel, or the hymns? the Paschal hymns tend to be sung high, loud and fast. We're HAPPY! the Paschal Vigil is NOT an ordinary service, and really a terrible first experience in my opinion because you don't have any liturgical context for the celebration.
Most importantly, please pray for me as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling,
Thanks for your time if you guys make it to this thread ,
May the Lord bless and guide your paths!