Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Protestantism


US Protestants Are Converting to Orthodoxy in Large Numbers

Source:  https://russian-faith.com/news/


Another movement that the media fails to bring to your attention: the massive conversions of Protestants to Eastern Orthodoxy, the original form of Christianity. 

More than 79% of clergy in Orthodox Churches were previously pastors of various denominations. There have been cases of entire parishes converting to Orthodoxy. 

As some pastors-turned-priests explain, the switch is the 'natural' result of spiritual barrenness and dissatisfaction, as Protestant denominations adopt liberal stances and values, for example, legitimizing homosexuality.

These departures from normal Christian morals disappoint people and they start looking for the True Church.

The turning point was 1987 when 2,000 evangelicals from the Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas converted to Christianity.

A Russian bishop, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeev, interviewed towards the end of the video, explains: 

"Now in Protestant Churches and the Church of England, processes are taking place which bring believers to the question: Does it even make sense to remain in such a church?   I must say straight out that  we do not consider the Protestant Church and the Church of England to be "Churches' in the true sense of the word. Because they don't have, probably the most essential characteristics of the Christian Church. They don't have the true comprehension of the sacraments, they've lost the Apostolic succession of hierarchy. And for the past 10 years, they have undergone such a horrifying process of liberalization that traditional Christian morality is not preached any longer in their churches."

Video:  https://youtu.be/UP4pQXGIeYs

5 Major Differences Between Orthodoxy and Protestantism

A popular American priest explains how the original Christian church, which is called Orthodoxy, differs from modern Protestant teachings.

Video:  https://youtu.be/3MzWnO1VfvY

In this video, he explains 5 major differences between Evangelism and Orthodox Christianity. While he speaks about Evangelicals, in particular, most of the points he makes apply to Protestant doctrine overall.

His main points:

    • In Orthodox Services
      • The sermon is not a feature of every single Orthodox Service and is considered to be a lesser part of the service
      • Much more Scriptural readings used as prayer
      • There are rituals
      • Prayers are sung
    • Evangelical worship
      • Sometimes has contemporary music
      • Tends to be focused on a sermon
  • Holiness and the World
    • Orthodox believe that holiness can reside in physical objects and places (like relics)
    • Most Evangelicals would probably not affirm that idea
  • Interpretation of the Bible
    • For Orthodox Christians, Bible reading often happens during church services. While the question “what does this mean to me?” is important, one’s own opinion and sense of what the Bible means is not the most important thing for Orthodox Christians. For the Orthodox, the Bible is always contextualized within what the Church believes and what saints have said about it. Orthodox reading of the Bible is informed by:
      • Holy Tradition (the wisdom passed on by the members of the Church from one generation to the next), 
      • How Saints interpret the Bible
      • What the Church Fathers have said
      • The Ecumenical Councils
      • Church services
      • History
    • For Evangelicals, the interpretation of the Bible can take multiple forms, but largely speaking, the way an average Evangelical interprets the Bible is by simply reading it and asking himself the question “What does this mean to me?
  • Views on the Church
    • Orthodox believe there is only one Church
      • That church is governed by bishops, whom the Orthodox believe are direct successors of the Apostles. In other words, there is a historical genealogy: the Apostles passed down the Grace of the Holy Spirit down to the contemporary Orthodox bishops
      • They don’t believe that multiple denominations are ‘truly Christian’ in the fullest sense. For them, there’s only one true Church, and that’s the Orthodox Church
    • Evangelical Churches usually governed by a congregation, even if they do belong to a part of a denomination, so the local congregation tends to have the highest say in most matters
  • What is Salvation?
    • For the average Evangelical, salvation
      • is a single event ‘ like I was saved on this day” or “that day” and therefore I’m going to Heaven
      • means “what happens to you when you die”: that you go to Heaven and not to hell
    • For Orthodox Christians, salvation
      • is a process that begins with the work of God in the person. It begins with Baptism and is continued as he continues receiving the Grace of God through Sacraments. God gives all the tools that one needs to engage in the long-term process of salvation, but it is not automatic. Ultimately, salvation is a work of God, but it is done only with the person’s active cooperation. The more one cooperates with Him, the more like Him he becomes.
      • Salvation is a long-term engagement with God that lasts into eternity. So even after (God willing), Orthodox Christians do go to Heaven, after the Resurrection, and so forth, they believe they become more and more godlike throughout the ages. This is often referred to with the technical term “theosis.”



Article published in English on: 20-3-2020.

Last update: 20-3-2020.