Orthodox Attack COGwriter!

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople


Today, I received some emails from Greek/Eastern Orthodox supporters who were attacking me on three main points.  Various un-Christian personal insults and derogatory comments were included in a couple of the emails, which I will not quote today, as my focus is on why their attacks are unfounded.

First, they do not believe that their church wants unity with Rome. My response to many of them included the following:

Almost none of the American Eastern Orthodox I have spoken with want unity with Rome, yet many of its top leaders outside the USA do. The point of my article on that is to warn the Orthodox why they should not ultimately unite, though, sadly many around the world will.

Notice something in the news a few weeks ago from a Romanian Orthodox archpriest wanted who Protestants, and apparently also Rome, to understand that the Orthodox churches are committed to ecumenism:

Orthodox churches remain “fully committed” to ecumenical cooperation, despite recent disagreements with Protestants, according to a senior Orthodox theologian…

“…The Orthodox churches are more fully committed than ever to CEC and will be working to strengthen the Orthodox presence,” said Viorel Ionita, interim general secretary of the Conference of European Churches (CEC). The 65-year-old Romanian theologian was speaking after chairing a Budapest consultation of CEC’s Churches in Dialogue Commission…http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/digest/index.cfm/2011/6/27/Orthodox-churches-still-support-ecumenism-theologian-says

Also, notice what Pope Benedict XVI said about a meeting with representatives of Eastern Orthodox patriarch, Bartholomew of Constantinople last year (which I reported in the article Pope and Patriarch Meet: Unity at “Crucial Stage”):

Pope Praises Orthodox Commitment to Unity

Says Dialogue Is at “Crucial Point”
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox is at a “crucial point” and invited heartfelt prayer to the Holy Spirit for progress to continue.

The Pope said this today when he addressed members of a delegation from Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I…

The fact is that many of the Eastern Orthodox leaders outside the USA are working to promote unity with Rome (see also Encyclical of Bartholomew I Patriarch of Constantinople Opposes Those Who Warn Against Catholic Unity).  The fact that many of the Eastern Orthodox seem to not want to see this is sad.

The second attack I received was that nearly all the emails included a previous email to me from another Orthodox supporter who quoted the version of the “Nicene Creed” that the Orthodox use (without labeling it as the Nicene Creed), and then after quoting that creed to me, stated:

Is that original enough ?

And, of course, no it is not original enough.  Something finally adopted over 300 years after Jesus and Paul were killed does not qualify as original.

Sadly, most of the Orthodox have overlooked many aspects of original Christianity.  And the “creed” that was sent to me by many of them is not original.  Notice what an Orthodox priest wrote about that creed:

The Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the Councils of Nicaea in 325 and of Constantinople in 381, has been recognized since then as the authoritative expression of the fundamental beliefs of the Orthodox Church. The Creed is often referred to as the “Symbol of Faith.” (Fitzgerald T.  Teachings of the Orthodox Church.  Copyright @2006 Saint Mary Romanian Orthodox Church)

It is sad that many of the Orthodox believe that they have not changed doctrine and that their 4th century creed was original.  I have studied into this “creed” matter and will state that I believe that the closest to the original one I have found (which long preceded Nicea) would be acceptable to those of us in the Living Church of God, and it differs greatly from the “Nicene Creed” I was sent numerous times by Orthodox supporters.

The third attack (and there have been variations of this) is as follows:

The original faith of the Bible has been and always will be with the Orthodox Church.

You seem to know little of what the Orthodox believe, and even less about Orthodox history

Now, the above is from the original person who sent me the “creed” and asked if it was “original enough?”  And of course, even according to Orthodox sources, what was sent to me by the Orthodox was not used that way by original Christians.  It is sad that many of the Orthodox do not understand even their own history.  And while I do not claim to know everything about them, in addition to studying the Bible and early Christianity, I have read some of their literature, visited some of their churches, been to their main headquarters in Constantinople, consulted with some of their scholars, and had one Orthodox priest review two of my books (one published, the other, longer one, still being worked on) that also discussed Orthodox doctrine (and some of their history).

Yet, it is many of the Orthodox that do not know their doctrinal history.

Most Orthodox do not realize, for example, that they originally WERE NOT TRINITARIAN.  And that many of their patriarchs in the fourth century were documented to be semi-Arian (binitarian).  Many also seem to forget that the Orthodox observed Passover on the 14th in Asia Minor until they compromised.  Orthodox scholars will admit that the use of icons in Orthodoxy was not an original apostolic practice.  The Orthodox endorsement of military service is contrary to the practices of the original Christians (including people that the Orthodox consider to have been saints who opposed it in writing).  Many early Orthodox saints endorsed the millennium, but officially, the Orthodox no longer believe in it.


Now, it is not that ALL of the Orthodox teachings are in error.  My article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God documents quite a few published similarities between the groups.  But it also documents many innovations/changes that the Orthodox have accepted (note: if you are Orthodox and you believe any of my documented statements are in error, please provide verifiable references as I am desirous of being as accurate as I can be).

Both the Living Church of God and the Eastern Orthodox claim to have the faith of the original church that Jesus founded through His apostles. Yet, while the Orthodox changed on many original doctrines, this has not been the case for the Church of God, specifically (for details, please see Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God). The Living Church of God has held fast to many original doctrines that the Orthodox still have, as well as many that the Orthodox ended up changing.  I believe that the Living Church of God better represents what many of the Orthodox claim their church represents.

The documented fact is that many in the leadership of the Orthodox (especially outside the USA) are interested in unity with Rome, the creed that the Orthodox now use is not original (as it is a modified 4th century document), and the Orthodox have changed too many doctrines to truthfully claim that they have the “original faith of the Bible”.

Now, as a rule, I have found that I can have civil discussions with the Orthodox, but many (though not all) of the emails lately have been less than civil.  Some seem to be at least somewhat interested in the truth, and others are not.

I pray that any Orthodox who wish to have the “original faith of the Bible” will prayerfully study my articles and compare them to the Bible so that they can repent and come to the true original faith of the Bible (cf. 2 Timothy 2:25).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics The talks for unification involve compromise and the apparent rising up of a changed religion that no one should accept.
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Was the original church binitarian or trinitarian?  What were some of the beliefs of many Orthodox patriarchs on the Godhead in the 4th century?
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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