What We Believe

About the Orthodox faith

Icon of Christ from the Catacomb of Commodilla

The Orthodox Church continues to live the faith of the early Church, which our ancestors in the faith have died and lived to maintain. The two millennia since Christ sent the Holy Spirit on the Church at Pentecost have given us a deep treasury of wisdom from across the world. And our fathers and mothers in the faith have provided us their personal examples of lives lived with Paradise in their hearts.(Luke 17:21)

To be be "Orthodox" refers to "rightly believing in" or "rightly praising" God, and those actions are inseparable. The Orthodox Church maintains that our rich Tradition, with its theology, art, and worship, guides us on the path of these past Christians, and that is its great purpose; God wants each person to become His child, His friend, His coworker in making a good world, and on that path toward becoming like Christ, the Son of God, our steps are guided over and around pitfalls and hazards by the heritage of the Church's teachings----its memory.

It might seem to some that our Church is "stuck in its ways." We bow, we fast, and our priests wear cassocks and, often, large crosses. It is unusual, granted, but at its healthiest, it stands out in a similar way to how a green mountain stands out in a land where the sand shifts with the wind. Rootedness is a value----not just roots in anything, but particularly roots in the soil that grew the saints that have preceded us. Our Tradition, in all its aspects, grows slowly, losing nothing from the past but bringing all that is good of the centuries and all peoples to the Kingdom, which is the ground from which all good things come and to which they return. (James 1:17, Rev. 21:24)

Below is the most essential creed of our Church, the Nicene Creed, which was expressed by the leaders of the Christians who had finally gained legal status in the Roman empire. Many of the delegates to the council of Nicaea had suffered torture to protect this faith, and met securely for the first time, in 325, to write this in defense of the deity of Christ. For more details of Orthodox Christian belief, see our Links, Videos, and other Resources.

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