Eastern Orthodox Church

The same day I was asked about the Roman Catholic Church, I got an email about the Eastern Orthodox Church as well.

This was my response to the Orthodox person.

Note: The Eastern Orthodox Church, described too simply, is the Roman Catholic Church of the Eastern world.

Eastern Orthodoxy

At the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 (yes, 1700 years ago), 3 "patriarchs" were set up with authority over whole nations: in Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome. Constantinople was added within a century.

When the western Roman empire fell, the Roman patriarch was the only one in barbarian Europe, and he ended up declaring himself the sole authority over Christianity on earth.

The other 3—with the excommunicated Alexandrian patriarch replaced by a Russian one—lead the Eastern Orthodox Church to this day.

The Eastern Orthodox Church and Historic Christianity

Thank you for writing me.

I have considered the Eastern Orthodox church. In fact, I was asked to leave a small church of which I was an elder for opposing their joining the Russian Orthodox Church. I have also attended (just once) an Assyrian Orthodox Church and spent several hours talking with its priest.

The funny part of that is we still make jokes (friendly, pleasant ones) about that day because he had 3 very large turtles in his back yard and he was a trekkie (as in Star Trek trekkie).

The primary reason I can’t go Orthodox–or any other denomination–is complicated.

The simple version of it is that I don’t believe in a church other than the local church.

The saints, those who are sold out to Christ, are supposed to be family to each other in their local area. Yes, the local churches should be in fellowship with one another and correcting one another, but there’s nothing apostolic about regional or national church leaders.

There are secondary reasons, the biggest one being that I believe the veneration of icons to be idolatry, but the primary one is the one I just gave.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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