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...]

An American Pilgrimage to the Orthodox Church: Part 1

by James Kushiner I don’t remember when I first became aware that there are other than Roman Catholic or Protestant Christians. There are so many Catholics and so many Protestants in the United States that the Orthodox virtually are an invisible minority to many. When I finally became aware of the Orthodox, I was not impressed. I heard about a local Greek Orthodox parish, where they mostly spoke Greek; I figured it was just an “immigrant” religion. The children and grandchildren of those Greeks, having been born and raised in America, would adopt American churchgoing habits, I thought, and become either Episcopalian or Presbyterian or … [Read more...]

Chinese Man Travels Thousands of Miles to be Baptized

Another adult Baptism recently took place on the banks of the Haliacmon River, the longest river contained entirely in Greece, flowing 185 miles through the Greek regions of West Macedonia and Central Macedonia, reports Romfea. This time the new convert traveled thousands of miles from far away China to be baptized at the humble Monastery of the Virgin Kallipetras, in Veria, in northern Greece. The monastery is a male coenobium, dating back to at least 1100 AD. The name of the monastery is connected with a huge rocky column nearby, known as “Kallipetra.” St. Gregory Palamas is among the many saints who have lived and struggled there. The … [Read more...]