The Church

BriefHistory

The Church

The Church had a steady impact on Anglo Saxon society after its introduction by St. Augustine from 597. The church’s structure was not dissimilar to the society it was now living in, there was the Archbishop of Canterbury later the Archbishop of York (King), then the Bishops overseeing a Diocese (Ealdorman), the priests/fathers oversaw an area (Thane) and then Monks who worked like the headman of the village.

 

The Orthodox Faith
The word Orthodox means the correct belief or right thinking. It takes the meaning from the Greek vocabulary. Orthos means ‘right’, and the word doxa means ‘belief’. The Orthodox Church shares much of other Christian churches believe in God revealed by Christ and the belief in the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection. The Orthodox Church differs substantially in the way of life and worship, life doctrine and worship.

Orthodox Worship

Orthodox Christianity stresses a way of life and belief of maintaining the correct form of worshipping God, passed on from the very beginning of Christianity. Orthodoxy believe they are the right way to confess the true doctrines of God.

The Orthodox Bible
The Orthodox Bible is the same as that of most western Churches, except the Orthodox Bible is based on the ancient Jewish translation into Greek called the Septuagint not from the Hebrew.

The wisdom of the Father of the Church is central to the orthodox way of life as today’s inheritors of the true faith and church passed on its purest form. By maintaining the purity of the inherited teaching of the Apostles, believers are made more aware of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit being present both in history and today.

What do Orthodox Christians believe in?

ONE GOD, FATHER ALMIGHTY
Maker of heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible.

ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light from Light; true God from true God; Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, through whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven. Who was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. Who rose on the third day according to the Scriptures. Who ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. Who is coming again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom shall have no end.

THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Lord, the giver of life. Who proceeds from the Father. Who with the Father and the Son is equally worshipped and glorified. Who spoke by the Prophets. One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church. One baptism for the remission of sins, the resurrection of the Dead, the life of the Age to come.

 

Orthodox Christian Doctrine

During the first thousand years following the birth of Christ, numerous variant teachings arose attempting to replace Christianity with some religiosity of human invention and convenience. All these variant teachings (heresies) were answered by the Church with the Seven Great Ecumenical councils. At the first of these councils, in AD 325, at Nicaea, the assembled Fathers proclaimed the Creed (from credo, I believe) which summarises the True Christian Doctrine. This Nicene Creed as originally formulated is faithfully recited by the Orthodox at the Liturgy in all churches in all places of Orthodox worship.

 

The Symbol of Faith
I believe in God, Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible: and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light from light, True God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Essence with the Father, through whom all things were made; who for us men, and our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man: and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; and He rose on the third day according to the Scriptures: and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father: and He is coming again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; And His Kingdom will have no end: And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of the Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son is equally worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets: And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church, I confess one Baptism for the remission of the Dead; And the life of the Age to come. Amen.

One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

One/Unity
According to orthodox teaching, the unity of the church is man’s free unity in the truth and love of God. Such unity is not brought about or established by any human authority or juridical power, but are in the truth and love of God, they are members of his church.

Holy
The Church is Holy because God makes her members holy by union with God. God sanctifies the church by drawing her into divine life, supremely, through the union affected by the incarnation. The faith and life of the church participates in the Holiness of God by expressing the Divine life of the Doctrine, Sacraments, Services and Saints – men and women whose lives have been recognized for their holiness. Just as untruths separate from the unity of God, and ultimately separates from the unity of the church, immorality also separates one from God and the church.

 

Catholic
The Church is the fullness of Christ’s body on earth. As a term, catholicity means fullness or perfection, wholeness only God is perfect wholeness, the fullness of Being, God makes the church to be Catholic by its participation in his full, divine life. Fr Thomas Hapko, “The term ‘Catholic’ as originally used to define the church (as early as the first decades of the second century) was a definition of quality rather than quantity, calling the church catholic means to define how it is, namely, full and complete, all-embracing, and with nothing lacking. Even before the church was spread over the world, it was defined as catholic. The original Jerusalem church of the apostles, or the early city churches of Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, or Rome were catholic. These churches were catholic as is each and every Orthodox Church today because nothing essential was lacking for them to be the genuine church of Christ. God himself is fully revealed and present in each church through Christ and the Holy Spirit, acting in the local community of believers with its apostolic doctrine, ministry (hierarchy), and sacraments, thus requiring nothing to be added to it in order for it to participate fully in the Kingdom of God”.

 

Catholicity is sometimes confused with, universality – the idea that the Christian faith is for all men. However, the word was originally used to denote the true church among a growing horde of heretics who had removed elements from the faith which they disliked, refashionity Christian belief to their pleasure Catholicity is a qualitative mark: the quality of the whole faith handed down from the apostles.

 

Apostolicity (Apostolic)
The church has been sent into the world, to bring the world into communion with God. Just as the Son was sent by the Father, and the Spirit sent by the Holt Trinity into the world. Fr Thomas Hopko “As Christ was sent from God, so Christ Himself chose and sent His apostles. As the Father sent me, even so l send you… receive the Holy Spirit”, the risen Christ says to His disciples. Thus, the apostles go out to the world, becoming the first foundation of the Christian Church. In this sense, then, the church is called apostolic: first, as it is built upon Christ and the Holy Spirit sent from God and upon those apostles who were sent by Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit: and secondly, as the church in its earthly members is itself sent by God to bear witness to His Kingdom, to keep His word and to do His will and His works in this world”. This sending was first effected with the apostles, thus apostolicity is not only the divine mission; it is also unity of the church with the apostles who were sent out by Jesus Christ. Thus, there is an apostolic succession by which the pastors of the church are able to trace their orders back to the infant church founded by Jesus Christ in the first century.

 

Introduction of the Orthodox Western Rite
Before the year 1054 there would have been no difficulty in declaring that the Western Rite of the undivided church was simply the use of Latin speaking churches. The rite used by Christians in England, Ireland and Scotland, was as Orthodox as that used in Constantinople. In the first thousand years of Christendom all the far flung Churches were in communion with the five Patriarchates, (Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem and Rome) were Orthodox. After 1054 and more precisely the Norman conquest (1066) of the Englisc at Senlac (Battle), the churches of the west were drawn into the schism in most causes at the point of a sword by Norman Roman Catholic soldiers for the Roman Patriarchate, away from the unity of the Orthodox church. The Western Liturge came to reflect the Papal errors and even incorporated the filique in the Nicene creed with other aberrations.

 

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