Orthodox Christianity

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For some people out there, you may find it hard to know the differences and similarities of the Orthodox Christianity to Christianity. However it is not as difficult to understand as you think.

Let’s first define orthodox; it means to show or express the beliefs that have an unbroken link or connection to the ancient Christian church in terms of liturgical practice, faith and doctrine. Orthodox Christianity is a collaborative term for the oriental orthodoxy and eastern orthodox. The words such as oriental and eastern are used by some (particularly the people who do not belong to the religion) to differentiate the two groups. The individual who follow or patronize each religion calls their own group as Orthodox Christians.

These two groups were divided through their disagreements since the council of Chalcedon and they do not mutually notice their sharing of the essential doctrines. However they maintain many the same doctrines, identical church structures and same worship rituals or practices. Council of Chalcedon was a church council that’s built on October 8 to November 1, AD 451. It’s located in Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia within Asia Minor. It was convened by Emperor Marcian that was being disapproved by Pope Leo the Great. It (Council of Chalcedon) issued the meaning of the Chalcedonia which states that Christ has a single nature and has two natures in hypostasis and one person. It also states the fullness or completeness of Christ such as manhood and godhead. It also gives 27 disciplinary rules and regulations that was about the authority and administration.

It was considered as the fourth ecumenical council by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Old Catholics and other Western Christian groups. In addition, it is being identified as infallible (which means incapable of error or inability to err) by the Roman Catholic.

The Oriental Orthodoxy and the Eastern Orthodox Church use the creed of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan. This is being modified by the First Council of the Constantinople in 381. Contrary to that, the Latin branch of the Protestant churches of western Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church add the phrases such as and the son and God from God. The addition of the former became one of the reasons for the East-West Schism. This was formalized in 1054 of Anathema, the Pope of the West and the Patriarch (leadership of the Eastern Orthodox Church) in the East.

The two (Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy) consider the Ecumenical councils as the highest authority regarding the matters of church organization, faith and worship. Each is organized along similar paths. No bishop holds any more spiritual authority, they are considered sacramentally equal.

A bishop does not have the authority to go beyond of his / her diocese.  When the bishops gathered together in a very big area in a holy synod, there should be a head bishop who will act as a chairman. His/her authority varies depending upon the place. In several cases, the place under the Holy Synod corresponds to the territory of a nation state; however, this is seldom the issue. The major Holy Synod is relying on others and does answer to them when there is heresy. Therefore, both are being organized through a federal structure. It does not have a single bishop who will have the authority of all the churches like in the Roman Catholicism. This serves as one of the characteristics of Orthodox Christianity.

The place of origin of the Orthodox Christianity is in the Armenia, Palestine and Rome unlike in Christianity it is started from Judea (Roman province).

The place of reverence or worship of the former is being done in the cathedral, chapel, church, parish and shrine while the latter is in the basilica, cathedral, chapel, church, home bible study, and personal dwellings.

The goal of orthodox Christianity is to attain or achieve eternal salvation and Christianity is to love God. To obey his commandments and to spread the gospel.

The first one practice baptism, and Holy Communion. The second one practice the acts of charity, communion, prayer, reading of the bible and the sacraments in other branches.

The founder of Orthodox Christianity is Jesus Christ and His Apostles, while Christianity is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The sacred book of the people who belong to the former religion is the holy bible. It is divided into two parts, the first part is the Old Testament and the second one is the New Testament. In protestant and catholic, they have a little number of scriptures of the Old Testament unlike in this religion they have more books. In Christianity they make use of the holy bible.

The orthodox Christianity has only one religious ceremony or rite which is the sacraments, the mysteries. In Christianity, they have several solemn ceremonies such as the seven sacraments (anointing of the sick, baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, holy orders, matrimony and penance).

The faith or belief in God of the Orthodoxians is that they believe in God, as being revealed in the Nicene Creed.

The Christians believe in one God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

The Orthodox Christianity adhere to Jesus Christ’s teachings and His Church while Christianity generally consists of people who have beliefs in deity or God, Jesus Christ. These individuals are called Christians. They believe that Jesus is the Son of the holy trinity and He serves as the incarnate form of the Father (God).

The role of God in salvation in Orthodox Christianity is that, it is a gift from Him with grace and partakes in the mysteries. In Christianity, people do not have the capacity to save themselves because they are not free on committing sins. Only God has the ability to save them and He is good.

As stated in the beginning, there are Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxies which are considered as the 2 major branches of the Orthodox Christianity while Christianity has 3 branches such as the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant.

There are still many significant data regarding Orthodox Christianity but these information can be a great help to the readers. As you notice it is being compared to Christianity in order for you to know other religions aside from it.

If you have different beliefs among the people around you, you do not need to be culture shocked. Every individual needs to show respect to one another and that is one of the virtues that God wants us to possess.