What is Orthodoxy?
The word derives from two Greek words: Orthos meaning 'Right' and Doxa meaning 'Belief' or 'Worship'. Thus Orthodoxy refers to the practice of the right belief and worship. The Orthodox Church of today claims to be identical with the undivided church of the past.
The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman.
It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and
died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.
"Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ on earth. The Church of Christ is not an institution; it is a new life with Christ and in Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit. Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, was made man, uniting His divine life with that of humanity. This divine-human life He gives to His brethren, who believe on His name. Although He died and rose again and ascended into heaven, He was not separated from His humanity, but remains in it. The light of the resurrection of Christ lights the Church, and the joy of resurrection, of the triumph over death, fills it. The risen Lord lives with us and our life in the Church is a mysterious life in Christ."
Sergius Bulgakov, The Orthodox Church
When a man leaves on a journey, it is a good idea to know where he is going. With literally hundreds of choices to choose from, how does one decide where and how to worship the Lord Jesus Christ? For many, the answer is simple: "I was raised in the [fill in the name of the denomination] church, it's where my parents went to church, it's really all I've ever known, and besides, I rather like it here!" But for some, that question begins to nag at them at some point in their life, as they notice the following:
the Bible speaks (Eph. 4:5) of "one Lord, one faith, one baptism", yet denominations abound, with profound differences
the Bible warns (Mat. 7:21) "Not everyone that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven"
their own church seems to view Jesus more as their personal valet, their helper, rather than as holy Lord and Master
As a result, such a person may begin to take a look at "what else is out there" in terms of church life. One such person is Peter Gillquist, who in the 1960's was the Big Ten regional director of Campus Crusade for Christ. He and many of his fellow leaders in Campus Crusade set out to find the "New Testament Church". Writing in Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith:
...we had agreed on the front end to do and be whatever we found that the New Testament Church did and was,
and we followed her through history. If we found we were wrong, we would change. We were committed to
believe her doctrine, to enter into her worship, and to reflect her government as best we could discern it.
Or to put it another way, if we found that all Christians everywhere believed a certain truth or held to a
certain practice, if it was done by all and it squared with the Holy Scriptures, we would alter our course
accordingly and follow the faith of our fathers.
Peter Gillquist became a priest in the Orthodox Church. You may see a talk he gave explaining his journey in the "About Orthodoxy-Video" section of this website.
The Orthodox Church claims to be the true Church. Yet while probably most Christians have no difficulty believing Christianity is the one, true religion, many Christians may have quite a bit of difficulty believing that there is one true expression of Christianity. However, as one former Baptist in the South recently described what he and his sister felt:
We had wondered why the Church of the Apostles would abruptly cease,
to be revived some fifteen hundred years later in northern Europe.
That man became a bishop in the Orthodox Church.
But what is the Orthodox Church? Some have likened it to an onion - having peeled back one layer, you then see there is yet another layer beneath that, and then another layer after that, and so on. In fact, Orthodoxy is more than can be described on a website. So rather than attempt to describe it further to you, we invite you to "come and see!"