Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Explaining Orthodoxy

What do you say to people when they ask about the Church? I find myself tongue tied when people ask. It's such a big question. It's tempting to respond with, "Do you REALLY want to know, or are you just making polite conversation?" How do you explain it concisely and do it justice?

I found this little quote somewhere:

"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."

I have no idea who wrote it but I like it. Not sure if I would go around quoting it when some one asks me about my faith, but thought I'd share nonetheless.

So, really, what do you say?


Blogger Thomas Ham said...

I believe in one God the 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 worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God: Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven: And was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate: He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the Prophets: And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the resurrection from the dead: And the life of the world to come. Amen.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Michelle Melania said...


I've found that very hard as well. Especially explaining my conversion to my friends who are still evangelicals. I find myself telling them that the Orthodox church is the original church and that things haven't changed in hundreds and hundreds of years. That is what originally attracted me to the church. I am still learning a concise answer.... it is hard.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Xenia Kathryn said...

I'm still trying to figure this out... it seems that I'm getting even worse with explanations now that the initial "fresh off the catechumen grill" zeal has waned a bit.

Lord have mercy.

Let me know if you figure anything out!

4:55 PM  
Blogger jenny baker said...

man, this quote says it better than i ever could. it's so hard to put into words isn't it? especially when someone catches me off guard. i usually forget everything and utter "uh, we're kinda like catholics, but without the whole pope thing..." yes, i am a genius...

2:04 PM  
Blogger Munkee said...

I've become very cautious, as I have a tendency to talk the person to death with all of my opinions and shallow targeted statements. I'm far better off with the Church's words, "Come and see."

Obviously, you have to take each situation in context of existing relationships etc, but my point that I need to take to heart is really "less talk, more walk".

8:05 PM  

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