Well, I'll open the can of worms.
Up until the 1600's the EO church widely used only two fingers to cross themselves.
There was a schism in the mid 1600's. This fully apostolic group crosses themselves with two fingers.
Nothing like the contribution of someone who isn't even Orthodox.
No, they aren't fully apostolic, and those groups which haven't reunited with the MP don't even have Priests or Bishops. They are schismatics.
Devin it does not matter if I'm a practicing Orthodox Christian at the moment. I am sorting things out. I've been Orthodox most of my life.
But you are not correct, as the Old believers have full apostolic succession thus making them an apostolic group.
Being member of "world Orthodoxy" is not what makes a church 'apostolic' unless you are prepared to speak against: HOTCA, HOCNA, Milans, etc.
Old believers have their full group of bishops, with full succession, that merely split.
From their viewpoint it is WORLD Orthodoxy that is not doing something right.
From HOTCA's viewpoint, WORLD Orthodoxy is not doing something right (full bishops as well)
It's not fair to call all of these groups non-apostolic, when their roots and fundamental beliefs are extremely close.
In my Orthodox Viewpoint, my beliefs are that of the Old Believers and very similar to HOTCA.
No, they have no apostolic succession. In Orthodox Christianity, you lose your apostolic succession once you begin teaching heresy and/or once you split from the church.
Therefore, All those groups you cite, according to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, do not have valid apostolic succession.
It doesn't matter if you've spent your life as Orthodox. You aren't one now and therefore cannot speak to what Orthodoxy is or isn't.
Devin, I know its an ah ha point you like to make that I am not a practicing Orthodox Christian.... I get it.
I spoke to a fact of what the Orthodox FAITH PRACTICED. It's a fact. Pre 1600 they used TWO fingers to cross themselves.
How long have you been a practicing Orthodox? I have about 32 years. I've been to Mt. Athos, attended St. Vlad's seminary in New York, my "father" (like as in my dad) was a priest in the OCA and ROCOR. I've seen tons of monasteries and believe I can speak to many of the things I've learned as an Orthodox Christian. My family frequented the supper table with Alexander Schmemann (Fr. Schmemann from the OCA) in the early 80's. I was baptized under Bishop Dmitri in the 70's.
If you believe "schismatic" groups who BREAK (not split) from the bishops for reasons of what they believe is heresy ruins their succession, there are ones who'd highly disagree with you. Even the administrator of this forum is in HOTCA, one such "break away" group. By the way, they didn't BREAK, they "continued" without heresies the other bishops practiced.
You need to look at the reasons for schism rather than just say "because several bishops left and joined together, they aren't succession any more".
Perhaps you should wonder why an Orthodox Patriarch practices liturgy with Roman Catholic clergy present and honored in their churches (fully vested). It may make your head spin, but some Eastern Orthodox bishops DO NOT approve of this and decide to continue without that Patriarch or the Bishops under that Patriarch.
We aren't talking about rogue priests here, we are talking about fully ordained bishops that together decide to not participate in communion with other bishops who are practicing something they disagree with.
Please don't be insulted though if I answer questions about Orthodoxy. I'm just trying to help others.
I don't know where I am in my faith, or if I will return to Orthodoxy. I don't know if you can imagine the hurt I've been through in the EO church. I invested my entire life and understanding into something, just to have it CRUSHED by the WCC and ecumenism... It hurts where it counts in the worst places.
Met a very wonderful, kind, and faith filled Mennonite woman, and I married her. They are strong people of faith. Incredibly similar to Orthodox in some ways, yet, not Orthodox. But their faith I would not question for a second. Perhaps they don't have so much mysticism in their church, but their beliefs are not hokey at all. They LIVE by their faith. Their lives embedded in it.
So I don't mind answering questions about Orthodoxy. I love the faith, and don't know if I'll make it back. That's why the Old believers are appealing. HOTCA is as well (for their old calendar & anti-ecumenism stance), but unfortunately, the drive to the Gilstrap family's home/church is extremely far for me. (They are wonderful people and I met them LONG ago...)
So please brother... I will have questions that will upset you. They bother me too. I do try to help others though. Somebody simply asked about 2 vs. 3 fingers, so I answered.