The Orthodox Church was founded around 33 AD by Jesus Christ and has been in continuous existence since then. There are some local churches established during the time of the Apostles which are still active today.
     The word "orthodoxy" literally means "right glory." It conveys the meaning of "right belief" and/or "right worship." These two concepts, belief and worship, are closely linked. One cannot have right worship without right belief and vice versa. There is an old Latin phrase that sums up this concept: "Lex orandi est lex credendi" (the law of prayer is the law of belief).
     Orthodoxy is more of a way of life and not only a set of doctrines to which one agrees. The Psalmist said: "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." (Psalm 34:8 {33:8 LXX}). A famous Orthodox saint once said: "He who prays is a truly a theologian, and a theologian is one who truly prays." However, there are some characteristics which distinguish the Orthodox Church:

  •   The Orthodox Church is Trinitarian. We believe that God is one in essence and three in Persons - The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Christocentric. We confess that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Person of the All Holy Trinity, became man by being born of the Ever Virgin Mary. He lived a holy and righteous life without any sin and died on the Cross to save all mankind. He gloriously rose again on the third day and ascended into Heaven. He did this because He loves us and wishes us to be united to Him.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Scriptural. God inspired the writers of the Old and New Testaments and these writings are central to our spiritual lives. The Orthodox Church's worship services are full of direct and indirect Biblical references.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Sacramental. We understand that God uses matter to help us to get closer to Him. Christ became a real man and shed real blood for our salvation. Bread and Wine really become His body and blood in the Eucharist for our sanctification. The waters of Baptism are used by the Holy Spirit to wash away our sins and give us a new birth. Holy Oil is applied to our bodies in order to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Icons are really windows to heaven and worthy of veneration.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Apostolic. We confess that the Apostles faithfully passed on to the Bishops and early Churches the teachings of Jesus Christ who in turn passed on what they received to us - bishop to bishop, church to church, down to the present day.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Episcopal. We confess that God established the Bishops as the successors to the Apostles and as St. Ignatius said (circa 100 AD) "Where the Bishop is, there is Jesus Christ."
  •   The Orthodox Church is Liturgical. We confess that from Old Testament times God regulated and established norms for worship. These norms were established by the Apostles and enriched by their successors. The liturgy teaches us the truth about God and His Son and through His Body and Blood we are nourished and strengthened to live the life of holiness. Wrong worship can lead to wrong faith.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Mystical. We confess that what is real is not only what is seen. God is above and beyond all we can think or say. The only true response to His Majesty is to worship Him.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Ascetical. We confess that fasting and self-denial are part of a healthy Christian life. The Church has fasting seasons as well as feasts. These are all part of God's plan for our union with Him.
  •   The Orthodox Church is Eschatological. We hold firm to the conviction that Jesus Christ will come again and raise the dead to life ushering in our eternal life with Him
  •   To learn more about the Orthodox Church, please read the book entitled "The Orthodox Church" by KALLISTOS (Timothy) Ware. It is available at Amazon.com.
  • May God richly bless you as you seek Him who loves you beyond all understanding.