5 Differences Between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism

Difference #1 – Orthodox Worship is Liturgical, Evangelical Worship Tends not to be
Difference #2 – Holiness and the World
Difference #3 – How we Interpret the Bible
Difference #4 – Views on the Church
Difference #5 – What is Salvation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MzWnO1VfvY&feature=emb_imp_woyt

Transcript:

Difference #1 – Orthodox Worship is Liturgical, Evangelical Worship Tends not to be

Orthodox worship is liturgical, but evangelical worship tends not to be. There are a handful of evangelical churches that are liturgical, like some Lutheran’s for instance, but most are not. Most are now doing worship with contemporary music. Largely speaking the services focused on the sermon, but in the Orthodox Church, most of our worship is liturgical. What that means is that our services are largely sung, and they are largely prayer, and there are ritual actions, and ritual words and lots and lots of Scripture reading, lots and lots of Scripture being used as prayer, and the sermon, which is not a feature of every single Orthodox service, is usually a much lesser part of the service.

Difference #2- Holiness and the World

We believe that holiness can reside in physical places and objects. Most evangelicals would probably not affirm that idea, although I think it’s probably not a teaching for most of them, that they would say the holiness doesn’t reside in physical stuff. For the Orthodox we have a sense that God’s presence exists in certain places and certain objects.

Difference #3 – How we Interpret the Bible

For evangelicals, interpretation the Bible, can can take multiple forms, but largely speaking, the way that your average evangelical interprets the Bible is by simply reading it and and asking himself the question, “What does this mean to me?” For an Orthodox Christian, Bible reading, Bible interpretation, are largely found primarily, in the midst of church services. For us that’s the normal context, and if you look at history, actually, especially long before people could own their own Bible, that’s the place where most people were able to contact scripture at all, to have any kind of connection with it, They heard it read out loud in church services, but the key thing is that for the Orthodox we have a sense of what the Bible means within the scope of our tradition, our history, our church services, the ecumenical councils, what the Church Fathers have said,those saints that interpret the Bible. The question of, “What does this mean to me?”, while it’s important, my own opinion, my own sense of what it means, is not the most important thing for me as an Orthodox Christian.

Difference #4 – Views on the Church

Unlike evangelicals, the Orthodox believe that there is actually just one church, and that church is governed through an Episcopacy,  that is Bishops, with apostolic succession. That is that the historical genealogy of sorts, from the Apostle down to our Bishops in our own day. The average evangelical, his church is governed congregationally, even if he does belong to a part of a denomination, and so the local congregation tends to have the highest say in most matters, but for the Orthodox Church our authority is based in in our Bishops, whom we believe have this succession from the Apostles. There there aren’t multiple denominations that all are truly Christian in the fullest sense. For us there’s there’s only one and that’s the Orthodox Church.

Difference #5 – What is Salvation?

For the average Evangelical, salvation means what happens to you when you die.That you go to heaven and and not to Hell. For the Orthodox Christian, salvation is about a lot more than that. Yes, we’re concerned about what happens to us after we die, but also for us, salvation is process, rather than a single event, like I was saved on this day or that day, and therefore I’m going to Heaven. That’s not how we see things. For us it’s a process that begins with the work of God in us and with baptism, with the sacraments, with the grace of God in us. We’re given all the tools that we need to engage in the long term process of salvation, which is ultimately a work of God, but is only done with with our cooperation. Other words God is not going to force us to be saved. The more that we cooperate with God, the more like  Him we become, and so for us, salvation is this this long-term engagement with God that lasts into eternity. Even after, God willing, we do go to heaven after the resurrection, and so forth, we can still become more and more like God throughout the ages. This is often referred to with the technical term, theosis. It means that we become more and more like God, although we don’t become God. We become more and more like God throughout the ages.