I have seen an erroneous sentiment regarding the Ecumenical Councils expressed among a small number of Orthodox Christians. It goes something like this, “What was proclaimed in the Councils is dogma of the Church; all other ideas fall into the category of theologoumenon (non-doctrinal theological opinion).” In other words, nearly anything in the writings of the Fathers of the Church is merely opinion unless it has been confirmed by one of the seven Ecumenical Councils.
I believe this falls into the trap of “Orthodox Fundamentalism” or “Mere Orthodoxy.” Here is what I mean by that: Continue reading Orthodox Fundamentalism
This is meant to be a fun and informative followup post to What Orthodoxy Is. It seemed appropriate to also do an “isn’t” post.
Roman Catholic – For about a thousand years, the RCC and the Eastern Orthodox were one Church; however, they split in the year 1054. Entire books have been written on the differences between Eastern and Western theology. Some of it is a matter of differing customs; in other areas there are radically different beliefs and interpretations of Apostolic Tradition. Some differences include a unilateral change in the creed that Rome previously agreed not to change, Papal infallibility, the universal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), the immaculate conception, the essence and energies of God (see St. Gregory Palamas vs. Barlaam), a celibate priesthood in the RCC, purgatory, indulgences, crusaders, a legal understanding of salvation in the West vs. a relational understanding in the East, etc. For more information on why a union between East and West is not likely, see this video by Fr. Thomas Hopko:
Click here if the above video player isn’t working: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_Y-e3RyF9s
Continue reading What Orthodoxy Isn’t
If there is only one thing that most of us can’t tolerate, it is a big change in our style of worship. Think about it, a pastor can change, the style of the building can change, the leadership/elder board can change, but don’t you dare touch that style of doing church! One example of that is seen when a traditional church decides to begin catering to the modern crowd. Many angry old folks end up leaving with their hymn books in hand. Continue reading My First Liturgy Experience