What is the Orthodox Christian Church?

The Orthodox Christian Church is
the One and Unique Body of Christ

According to Saint Justin Popovich, the attributes of the Church are explained as follows:

 

The Unity and Uniqueness of the Church

Just as the Person of Christ, the God-man is one and unique, so is the Church founded by Him, in Him, and upon Him. The unity of the Church follows necessarily from the unity of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man.

 

The Holiness of the Church

The Church is the theanthropic* (divine-human) workshop of human sanctification and, through men, of the sanctification of the rest of creation. She is holy as the theanthropic Body of Christ, whose eternal Head is the Lord Christ Himself and Whose immortal soul is the Holy Spirit.

 

The Catholicity of the Church

The theanthropic* nature of the Church is inherently and all-encompassingly universal and catholic: it is theanthropically universal and theanthropically catholic. The Lord Christ, the God-man, has by Himself and in Himself most perfectly and integrally united God and Man and, through man, all the worlds and all created things to God.

 

The Apostolicity of the Church

The holy apostles were the first god-men by grace. Like the Apostle Paul, each of them, by his integral life, could have said of himself: “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” (The New Testament, Galatians 2:20). Each of them is a Christ repeated; or, to be more exact, a continuation of Christ. Everything in them is theanthropic because everything was received from the God-man.

 

*theanthropic: divine-human; having the qualities of both what is truly human and what is truly divine

 

The Orthodox Christian Church is the Body of the God-Man Jesus Christ, the divine and human communion of Jesus Christ with His people. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Orthodox Church, where His people are truly and tangibly united to Him in faith and love (The New Testament, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23; Colossians 1:18). 

 

The word Church itself in its Greek form of ekklesia means “those who are called out.” The Church is called out from this present world by God, into His Kingdom and rule.

 

The Church of Christ received its existence with the coming and incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and fulfilled in its wholeness and significance, with the fulness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, was the day of Pentecost, after the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. On this day, after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, about three thousand men in Jerusalem were baptised. After this, the Lord each day added those being saved to the Church. From this moment, the territory of the city of Jerusalem, then of Palestine, then of the whole Roman Empire, and even the lands beyond its boundaries, began to be covered with Christian communities or churches. The name “church” which belongs to every Christian community, even of a single house or family, indicates the unity of this part with the whole, with the body of the whole Church of Christ.

 

What does orthodox mean?

The word orthodox means right belief, from the Greek words ὀρθός (orthos, “right”, “true” or “straight”) and δόξα (doxa, “opinion” or “belief”).

 

What is the purpose of the Orthodox Church?

Many people interpret and impose on the Orthodox Church or Christianity in general as one of the numerous philosophies and religions known from antiquity. They employ a caricature that visualises God as a remote deity dwelling in heaven far away from humans but directing human history. He is portrayed as an exacting deity, whom man has to appease through religion and its associated religious rites.

 

True Christianity which is only found in the Orthodox Church is neither a philosophy nor a religion but it is a revelation of God. It is not a system of thought, nor a theory about the afterlife but a revelation by God Himself to man. It is impossible for human reason to discover the truth of Christianity. This is only possible through the person of Jesus Christ, the God-man who came to the world to reveal the truth.

 

Of course, over the centuries, there have been many people or groups of people who have attempted to reduce and distort the Orthodox Church and Her purpose into merely one of the natural religions of the world. However, the only purpose of the Orthodox Church is to bring Her members to the blessed state of union with Jesus Christ.

 

The Orthodox Church is a spiritual hospital where those who realise the sickness and depravity of the state of their souls come. The members of the Orthodox Church are those who are following this process of treatment or purification as directed by their spiritual father, the doctors of the Church. This process of purification is the narrow way that each member of the Orthodox Church has to pass through; for without this process, even formal membership in the Orthodox Church does not lead to the true purpose of the Orthodox Church, that is union with Jesus Christ.