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athgarvan

Let there be One

I am always confused by the multiplicity of "Christian Churches". They all claim to be the original One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!  But they don't see eye to eye on many matters.

The Orthodox Church, the second largest Christian church in the world with an estimated 300 million adherents,  is the religious denomination of the majority of the populations of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Cyprus. It teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ and his apostles. All of these local 'branches' are distinct but theologically unified under what is called a Holy Synod. Orthodox Christians see themselves as the 'original' Christians and say other Churches broke away from them. These others would include Catholics, Anglicans, Assyrians, Oriental Orthodox Christians, and are seen as schismatic and, in some cases, heretical.

The Oriental Orthodox Church comprises the Copts, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Syriacs, and Armenians. These churches, while being in communion with one another, are hierarchically independent.

Most of the disputes between these various Christian groups concerned different definitions in theology, e.g. was Christ Son of Man or Son of God, or both?  Some of the earliest Councils were those at: Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon.

Then, of course you have the Roman Catholic Church. The split between the Roman Church and the Orthodox Church came about at what is called the Great Schism of 1054 AD. The dispute involved (1) the primacy of the Roman Pontiff as head of the Universal Church, (2) the 'filioque' clause in the Creed, (3) clerical celibacy, and other matters.

Comments

And then there's all the Protestant churches as well...
Indeed, but at least Anglicans and Non-Conformists don't claim to be the One True Original. They know that they are splinter groups. :)
These things always fascinate me, married as I am to a Romanian Orthodox. None of us pretends to possess the "only religion" but the discussions are interesting, sometimes.

One of the things which capture my interest is the fact that Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians can take communion in each other´s churches and intermarry without any complication, while this is not possible for Anglicans in RC Churches, and for me the differences between Ortodox rites/beliefs and Roman Catholic ones is quit enormously bigger than that between Anglicans/Episcopalians and RC.
Yeah, my Roman Catholic mom married an Eastern Orthodox man, and the ceremony was very different. Lots of wearing of crowns and processing around the altar.
I'm a Quaker as you know- which allows me the luxury of being unitarian and pretty much an aryan heretic (at least according to some) as the sect is refreshingly dogma free! :o)

Friends may have some of the answers to the nature of life but as to the nature of G*d, no- no human can claim that.
G*d

Is it normal for Quakers not to spell out Divine names like that? (I'm afraid I don't know much about Quaker theology or practice.) You're the first non-Jew I've come across to do so.
My undergraduate degree is in Religion & Society, which is the study of religion and how it interacts with its cultural, political, and economic surroundings. Fascinating stuff. There is no "One True Religion" any more than there is "One True Species". Religions evolve in very much the same way as anything else on earth, and the same rules apply. They may TELL you that they are the Only One, but that is marketing, pure and simple. There are economics involved, and they are all in competition.
Thanks for your contributions. I am still confused - and will probably have to possess myself in patience and muddle on in my confusion.