Tags: Rapture | Eastern Orthodox | Christian | Origins | Denomination

Eastern Orthodox Origins: 6 Things That Led to Development of Christian Denomination

By    |   Friday, 06 February 2015 03:07 PM

The origins of the Eastern Orthodox Church began with the Apostles and Jesus Christ in the eastern, Greek-speaking branch of the Roman Empire. On the first Pentecost in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and it was after this event that they began their mission to preach the Gospel to the world.

Today the Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian church in the world with approximately 300 million members and it regards itself as the original church founded by Jesus Christ and the apostles.

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Here are six things that led to the development of the Eastern Orthodox denomination:

1. During the Apostolic Era, which began with the resurrection of Jesus Christ in 35 AD, and ended with the death of the last apostle in approximately 90 AD, Christians were persecuted by the Roman government. However, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great looked favorably upon Christianity and, in what is sometimes called the Triumph of the Church, in 313 AD issued the Edict of Milan, which decriminalized Christian worship.

2. Emperor Constantine the Great made the decision in 330 AD to move the imperial residence, which was the center of the Roman government, to Constantinople, which was located in the old Greek city of Byzantium.

3. Roman Emperor Theodosius I ruled from 379 to 395 AD and while in his early reign he was tolerant of paganism, he later persecuted the pagans and had their temples destroyed. In 380 AD, he declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire via the Edict of Thessalonica. However, according to Christianity.com, Theodosius specified Catholic Christianity in which one "held that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one Godhead and equal in majesty," according to the Nicene Creed.

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4. The administration of the Roman Empire was impacted by the linguistic differences between the Latin-speaking Western half and the Greek-speaking Eastern half. Each half became dependent on the theological works written in their own language. "Leo IX, bishop of Rome, suppressed Greek in the West while Patriarch Michael Cerularius suppressed Latin in the East. Bilingual theologians became increasingly rare."

5. In 1054, Rome and Constantinople had become politically, linguistically, geographically and in some ways ecclesiastically divided. Rome and the papacy held the power over the West and Constantinople in the East did not want to play second fiddle. Theological divisions in relation to worship and practices further separated the East and West. In what is known as The Great Schism, Pope Leo IX issued a Bull of Excommunication against the Patriarch Michael Cerularius of Constantinople. A few days later, Cerularius responded by excommunicating Leo.

6. According to Great Schism.org, it was the Roman Crusades that made the divide between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church definitive. "During the First Crusade (1098–1099) the Latins captured Antioch and Jerusalem and set up Latin patriarchates, which caused friction with the Oriental patriarchates. In 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, the Latins sacked Constantinople. Their swords finally cut Christendom into two distinct Roman and Orthodox parts."

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The origins of the Eastern Orthodox Church began with the Apostles and Jesus Christ in the eastern, Greek-speaking branch of the Roman Empire.
Eastern Orthodox, Christian, Origins, Denomination
Friday, 06 February 2015 03:07 PM
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