An American Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church: Part 3

by James Kushiner Councils, Tradition & Mary There were also several other features of the New Testament and early Church that to varying degrees are reflected in some non-Orthodox churches, but are worth mentioning here. 1. The leading of the church by council. In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, we find the Church gathered to answer the difficult and divisive question of how Gentiles (non-Jews) are to be received into the Church. Must they be circumcised first? No, the apostles decided, after deliberating in council together. Paul and Barnabas came from their missionary work abroad to participate in this council, … [Read more...]

An American Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church: Part 2

by James Kushiner Marks of the Biblical Church In our study of the Bible, we saw that there are certain features of the New Testament Christian life that generally are not practiced in most of the Protestant churches from which we had come. It would be helpful to give a list of things that we saw in Holy Scripture, and found in the early Church, but are not found consistently at all among the Protestant and Evangelical communities. 1. The Doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in Communion. Many denominations downplay this biblical truth or deny it outright, saying that the Bread and Wine are merely symbols that simply help us remember … [Read more...]

My Search for the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

by Matthew Douglas The story of my conversion to Holy Orthodoxy is very long, and the process consisted in so many steps, trials, and phases of contemplation that it is difficult to find a good starting point. Honestly, I believe that a whole book could one day be written about God’s divine guidance of me into the Orthodox Church. To begin, I was raised in a non-denominational Evangelical household, and I was blessed with godly parents who raised me up in Christianity and encouraged me to read my Bible daily. As a young child, I was always thankful for their love and guidance; however, I began to rebel and drift away as a teenager. I slowly … [Read more...]

My Journey to the Orthodox Christian Church: Part Two

by Adam Lindahl But I will never forget that moment that I stepped over the threshold. I was immediately struck with a sense of awe and reverence. Before me stood a dark room with only candlelight illuminating select portions of the space. The smell of previously used incense lingered in the air. The image of Christ was before me with only a small flickering candle casting light on His face. Everyone was silently awaiting the beginning of the service. A few people hurriedly, but carefully prepared for the service by lighting remaining candles and preparing sheet music in a small corner of the room. Icons of saints lined the church and people … [Read more...]