"Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." - Romans 15:7
With this message I would like to speak about our Orthodox faith and impart to you the true meaning of "Church" its authority and foundation on earth. Each Christian denomination shares in some basic truths, yet there are differences and these differences stem mostly (if not always) from segments of the church teaching a new doctrine causing a break off from the body of Christ "The Church".
For over one thousand years the Church has been one. A living and growing entity in the world struggling towards a likeness of God and therefore salvation of our souls. The Church itself is perfect and does not err, but the human factor does. That is why we struggle, because often we do not agree, and always the enemies of the church would try to confuse and confound the faithful. Hence if we do not stay together in one mind, one heart and one belief in Christ then we break away and either leave the faith or create another church.
Christ came into the world and established one Church, not two or more, and that Church was anointed with fire on the of Pentecost. Two pillars of the church had been established from the beginning and they are the Holy Gospels and Holy Tradition. The Orthodox Church has never strayed from this structure of "Church". Today unfortunately many of our Christian brothers and sisters have throughout the past 700 years wandered into error by either creating new and strange teachings without the wholeness of the church, or they have completely abandoned Holy Tradition altogether and stand on one foot, the Gospels. Orthodoxy holds steadfastly to the truth of faith and Church because it holds close and dear to its heartbeat the faith of the Apostles and those (The Church) who follow in their teachings. We should know these things not in pride, but humility. If we are the custodians of God's truth on earth then we bear the greater responsibility to the world and to the Church. We do not boast of these things nor put down the other, but rather live in Christ through His Church.
Yours faithfully in Christ,