Why do we see a growing number of evangelicals in the West converting to Eastern Orthodoxy (Francis Schaeffer’s son, for example)? Why do we see a mirror image overseas in predominantly Eastern Orthodox countries, where more and more convert to evangelical Christianity? Today I am interviewing a former Southern Baptist who has converted to Orthodoxy. Tomorrow I will be interviewing a former Eastern Orthodox believer who has become Baptist. On Friday, we will look at the parallels between the two accounts and hopefully better understand these two traditions, and why people are converting from one to the other.

Theron’s Story: Why I Left Evangelicalism for Eastern Orthodoxy

Theron Mathis is an unassuming, soft-spoken man in his thirties with a winsome manner and a pleasant smile. His story begins in the buckle of the Bible belt. Both he and his wife grew up in a conservative Baptist churches, his wife’s being Landmarkist in theology (meaning it holds the belief that the Baptist Church is the only true church.) He attended college at Liberty University, a hub for Christianity that leans right both theologically and politically. He attended two Southern Baptist seminaries (Southeastern and Southern) in the late 1990′s, and at one point, felt called to be a Baptist preacher.

“What was the first thing that triggered your attraction to Orthodoxy?” I asked. Theron looks puzzled, as if he’s trying to recall what initially made him curious. After a few moments of silence, he answers: “Church history. Studying the patristics.” Frustrated by constant debates over the meaning of Scripture, Theron decided to look back into church history to see what the church looked like in the early centuries. As he read the church fathers, he realized, “the church back then looked different than the Baptist church I grew up in.” From there, Theron began wondering if that early church he saw in the fathers’ writings still existed anywhere.

Eventually, one central issue brought him to the doorstep of the Eastern Orthodox church. “The issue of authority,” he explains. “I felt I was flying by the seat of my pants as a Christian. I would read Scripture and come to conclusions myself. At some point, I felt I had to submit myself to some authority outside of myself.”

The issue of authority led Theron to question the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura. “I felt like with sola scriptura, I was the authority.” Shortly thereafter, Theron came to see sola scriptura as deficient. “Once I reached that point, it was a fast track. That’s the house of cards. At that point, I had to find another authority.”

“Why Eastern Orthodoxy and not Catholicism?” I ask, wondering why he would choose the Orthodox church as his authority and not the Roman Catholic church. Theron tells me he couldn’t swallow the whole “pope thing,” especially papal infallibility. Nor could he stomach the arrogance of the Roman Catholic church in adjusting the Nicene Creed without the consent of the Eastern church. “The typical Orthodox apologetics,” he grins.

With the Eastern Orthodox Church as his new authority, Theron began accepting doctrines foreign to his Baptist background. “How hard was it to accept these doctrines?” I ask, beginning to read a list.

Praying to saints? Easier than expected, once he understood the Orthodox view of the saints interceding for us much like our friends on earth lift us up in prayer.

Mary? “A little tougher, because the phraseology in the liturgy sometimes made me think they were seeing her as something more than a simple intercessor. But I’ve been able reconcile that over time.”

Icons? Not tough at all. They are aids to worship, not items to be worshipped, yet Theron admits that there may possibly be misconceptions among Orthodox laypeople, especially outside the U.S.

The Eucharist becoming the actual body and blood of Christ? “That was pretty easy. Even apart from the Church, you could come to that conclusion from Scripture.”

Infant baptism was the biggest hurdle for Theron, due to his Baptist background and family traditions. In the end, he sees the Orthodox view as not too far from the covenantal view of some Reformed traditions. “The child is becoming a part of the church.”

But what about the most important doctrine – justification by faith? “If you ask an Orthodox person, everyone will say we are saved by grace,” he says categorically.

“But by grace alone?” I probe deeper.

“Yes, by grace alone. But we wouldn’t say through faith alone if we are defining faith as mere belief.” Theron recoils from the easy-believism of his early Baptist experience. “You prayed a prayer. Just the assent to belief gave you your ticket.” Theron compares his Orthodox doctrine with the evangelical belief of “lordship salvation.” He admits that the categories are different. The Orthodox do not see salvation in forensic, legal categories, but in medical terms.

Theron’s conversion to Orthodoxy was a struggle. His parents and in-laws were grieved by the family’s decision. He lost friends from seminary. But for Theron and his wife, there was no turning back. “I had embraced Orthodoxy,” he said.

“How do you view Baptists now?” I ask. “Are Baptists saved?”

Ironically, though Theron thought the Landmarkist position of his Baptist church laughable, he answers with a similar view regarding Orthodoxy. “We definitely consider ourselves the True church. We believe in apostolic succession.” He clarifies, “We believe there is salvation outside of the Eastern Orthodox church, but we have the fullness of the revelation.”

“How sure are you that you’ve made the right decision?” I ask.

Theron reponds quickly, “I would never turn back. I’m 100% sure, and the longer I’m Orthodox, the more certain I am about it.”

“But what about those who convert the other way?” I reply. “Orthodox becoming Baptists?”

Theron shrugs and looks surprised, “I think they didn’t have a good understanding of Orthodoxy.”

I begin sharing stories of Orthodox priests I knew in Romania who would threaten the children attending evangelical AWANA clubs, even vowing to “cut off their fingers.” When I ask his opinion regarding this persecution of Baptists, he looks surprised and calls the priests’ actions “exaggerated.” He refuses to condone such behavior, but at the same time, he sympathizes with their need to “defend” the faith. “They probably view Baptists like you and I would view Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. These are people coming to their country and ‘destroying the faith,’ so they will do anything possible to defend it. I can see where that mindset comes from.”

Though Theron is a convinced Orthodox believer, he does not try to convert his Baptist friends. He presents Eastern Orthodoxy and leaves it at that. But he does seek to convert nominal Christians or those who are not Christian at all.

“Though your liturgy is beautiful, isn’t it pretty much inaccessible to non-Christians?” I ask, wondering what it would be like for an unchurched person to enter an Eastern Orthodox church for the first time. Definitely not seeker sensitive. Theron questions my presupposition. “Who says the worship of the church is to be evangelistic?” He then points to early church history. “They wouldn’t let unbelievers in the worship service, or if they did, they asked them to leave mid-way through (before the Eucharist).”

Theron admits that the Orthodox church doesn’t reach as many unchurched people as they should, but then adds, ” I don’t know if any church in America does a great job reaching totally unchurched people.”

Why would an evangelical convert to Eastern Orthodoxy? Theron has two answers. The first is stability. “Within the evangelical world, you’re always looking for the new thing, you’re always reinventing the wheel. A lot of people are ready to get off that. So stability is a huge attraction for evangelicals who convert.”

The second reason is spirituality. “That’s what keeps me there. The church life throughout the year,” he says.

Our time is coming to an end. The biggest difference between Southern Baptists and Eastern Orthodox is the view of salvation. Theron admits that many laypeople in the Orthodox church believe that salvation is by good works. So, I press him again.

“Is salvation based on Christ’s work alone?”

Theron answers, “Oh yes! Without Christ, it’s impossible. He’s the one who opened the door!”

“But is there any other ground? Can I be accepted by God because of Christ and something I did?” I press further.

“Works are an expression of faith,” replies Theron. “The act of works is the act of putting on Christ. They’re opening yourself up so that God’s grace can transform you more into Christlikeness.”

Sensing we’re talking past one another, I put it another way, “When it comes down to it… when you’re looking to your justification before God and your acceptance before Him, does it eventually boil down to this: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!’?”

“Yes,” says Theron. “Absolutely.”

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42 thoughts on “Theron's Story: Why I Left Evangelicalism for Eastern Orthodoxy”

  1. James says:

    Trevin,

    This is a great interview that is enlightening in a lot of ways. I’d always thought that the evangelicals that were becoming Orthodox were some of the Emerging Church folks that really liked all the incense, candles, icons, and liturgy. It’s interesting to see someone converting who is knowledgable about both evangelicalism and Orthodoxy.

    James G.

  2. Trevin was a gracious interviewer. He did a good job trying to summarize an hours conversation.

    If you are interested in researching more “convert” stories here are a couple books that do a pretty good job.

    Becoming Orthodox by Peter Gillquist

    Coming Home by Peter Gillquist

    Facing East by Frederica Matthewes-Green

    The Way by Clark Carlton (Clark was a student at SEBTS).

  3. trevinwax says:

    Thanks, Theron, for agreeing to do this interview. I forgot to mention two other books that provide great reading on the subject of Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism in general are:

    Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism (one of the Counterpoints series by Zondervan)

    Evangelicalism and the Orthodox Church (put out by the Evangelical Alliance UK)

  4. Dave P says:

    I’d be curious to know if Theron considered Lutheranisn-especially LC-MS (no praying to saints or Mary, no icons), or even Anglicanism (but NOT the Episcopal Church). Seems like either would be more appealing to an Evangelical than the Orthodox Church.

  5. Lutheranism was never an option for me, because I could not separate their approach to Christianity from any other Protestant group. At least in terms of their view of Sola Scriptura.

    As for Anglicanism, I did not consider it because they can claim some Apostolic continuity although it is a bit sketchy. Orthodoxy’s apostolic claims were much stronger.

  6. Surfeast says:

    Having served with Theron as a lay youth leader i can attest to his sincerity in faith . I was raised Catholic and “got saved” over 20 yrs ago and now find my self leaning towards a more apostolic view of faith perhaps due to my roots as a Catholic . Consider me tired of the “next big thing” aka Ted Haggard etc….

  7. Liz says:

    well i can tell you exactly why Americans go EO and in more primitive countries leave the EO. In America, we pick everything apart and don’t just focus on Jesus. Jesus is the rock. Most Christians (including the EO) have lost sight of this and made other things their idols. Overseas, its life and death. People are thirsty for Jesus. There is no jesus in the OC. Here, most are thirsty for image, having their ears tickled. I never hear anyone say they went to the OC because they were thirsting for God. What I DO hear is that they were tired of “simplistic thinking”. TO those who do not know God, the gospel seems stupid, simple, not much to it. I have never met anyone solidly grounded in GOD who became EO. What I have seen is people who were very involved in protestant RELIGION and niggling about fine points of theology rather than falling in love with Jesus and resting totally in His arms. They probably do find deeper things to wrap their minds about in the OC but they are still just doing religion.

    1. I became Orthodox because I was thirsting to be near Christ. So here’s at least one…

  8. Dale says:

    Wow! to Liz although you will likely never see this… way to generalize a negative impression onto people you do not know. Personally all the converts to the Orthodox Church found themselves drawn there specifically because of a desire to grow closer to God that was evident in orthodoxy and extremely difficult in protestantism. people who are simply religious can be found anywhere it is true but do not judge a church by its least sincere members. there would be no beauty left anywhere. Look at the doctrine and the truly devoted to Christ and see where that leads you. Empty rhetoric may be convincing to people who are not willing to actually think for themselves but for those truly seeking truth how about discussing doctrine or real life examples. Just try telling me the martyrs and saints of the Orthodox Church did not know Christ is a way that vastly exceeds my present state. (And for the record I yet remain a protestant although it is becoming vastly more difficult to remain so as I learn more about the Orthodox Church teachings.)

  9. Dale says:

    meant to say “all the orthodox converts I know…” and not all the orthodox converts.

  10. Mike says:

    As a convert to Orthodox Christianity from Roman Catholicism, I have found that converts to Orthodox Christianity from other denominations tend to be very well versed in scripture and church history. In my particular Orthodox parish about half the parish are converts from other denominations and many of those converts were ministers and leaders in their former denominations.There is a reason for this.

    Anyone studying the early Christian Church usually realizes that Christ’s original Church is alive, well and growing in the United States. I am saddened when people look upon things like icons, reverence for the Theotokus (Virgin Mary), the Eucharist, etc. as something other than what they truly are.

    The challenge I offer most of these nay-sayers is to read John Chapter 6 and ask yourself why Christ allowed many of his followers to walk away rather than explain “these hard things.” Or to ask why people disrepsect the Theotokus by not honoring her as it is written in Luke and as Christ commandered on the cross? Also — how can one believe the Holy Bible is the sole authority when the Holy Bible itself states that it is not? Peter admonishes us to hold fast to the “traditoins” taught by the apostles whether by “word or epistle.”

    For many centuries the Orthodox Church did not exist on this American continent. It is a relative newcomer, but it is gently, quietly and lovingly beginning to make its presence known and felt. Anyone seeking the true Church, the original and first Christian Church is only kidding themselves by discounting the Orthodox Church.

  11. anon says:

    I assume that Liz’s comment is meant to be a joke: in fact, one convert’s written testimony (Matthew Gallatin) is titled “Thirsting for God…”.

    I was raised Protestant and am not Orthodox (yet), but I am deeply immersing myself in church history and the writings of the apostolic era. What I can say is that protestantism bears no resemblance to what was taught and practiced by the Apostolic Fathers.

  12. Daedelus76 says:

    I’m interested in exploring Orthodoxy but there aren’t alot of churches in my area. I have looked into Roman Catholicism but I’m not sure I like the “magisterium” idea. I’ve visited an Anglo-Catholic Anglican church a few times. I really think Orthodox theology makes more sense, it’s generous in some ways, and yet it is also maximalist.

    I’ve interested in comparative religions for a few years, actually, after being irreligious since the second year of college and being burned out by lukewarm Methodism. I practiced Buddhism for a year, and I still am not sure Buddhism is the wrong religion, a great deal of it seems true. I’m actually very good at meditation and I also got into the religious side of Buddhism too- it is more of a private religion in some ways.

  13. Genevieve says:

    To Daedelus76, Please do not give up your exploration of Orthodoxy. It is a treasure worth searching for! After 20 years as a Protestants, my husband and I unexpectedly “discovered” the Orthodox faith. My soul feels truly nourished for the first time ever. I do not wish to disparage the Protestant church at all, but if you feel the call to experience more, I encourage you to continue on this journey. Find an OCA (Orthodox Church in America) parish near by (or far, if you must!) You will be so thankful that you did! God bless you on this exciting journey!

  14. Dcn. David says:

    Based on Liz’s comment from last April, I can only presume she has never attended an Orthodox worship service (or, for that matter, read very deeply about Orthodoxy). Jesus is the central point of Orthodoxy and it is patently evident in her worship. Conforming people into the image of Christ is the purpose of the Church.

  15. Darlene says:

    What a interesting interview. I, too, am an Evangelical Protestant seriously considering converting to the Orthodox faith. One of the main reasons is that I long to be more intimate with Jesus Christ, both personally and in corporate worship. While evangelicals speak quite a bit about a personal relationship with Christ, I’m coming to realize that if one learns and embraces true Orthodox Christianity, a personal relationship with Christ is living and vibrant, and truly very “personal.”

  16. cynthia says:

    I have a couple of interesting questions. The orthodox church broke away from his oriential branch in the time of the emperor Justinian. Now, the oriential churches consider Empress Theodora a saint. And the Eastern Church usually considers Justinian a saint and Theodora. However, Justinian had the Patriarch Eutychius exile and he too is considered a saint. According the the historian Evagrius, Justinian in his old age accepted the view of aphthartodocetism and this is the reason for Eutychius exile. How is it that the Eastern Orthodox church considers both Justinian and Eutychius saints when Justinian exile him. Granted, not all orthodox do. Also, the oriental churches of orthodoxy that have a different view of Christ’s nature love Theodora since she sheltered them in the palace of Hormsidas and protect them from being sent into exile by her husband Justinian. But the Eastern Orthodox claim that Theodora eventually accepted Chalcedon but there is no information in the anicent sources for this. And Rome has always seen her as an enemy since she help the non-chalcedons and also was involved with Pope Silevinus being depose by Vigilius. Most Orthodoxs to Eastern Orthodoxy don’t have this information since they don’t have usually that much education on the Byzantine Empire.

  17. Elijah says:

    read the joint statement by the Orthodox and the Lutheran (the first reformational church) on salvation: ” Lutherans and Orthodox both understand good works as the fruits and manifestations of the believer’s faith and not as a means of salvation.” (thats a quote john)

    The entire statement is long and worth reading is here (as well as all agreed on statements by that thrid branch of Christianity called Orthodoxy and the Lutheran church):

    http://www.helsinki.fi/~risaarin/lutortjointtext.html#salv

  18. Daedelus76 says:

    Just thought I’d update this… I have still been attending conservative Episcopalian (yes, there are still some that are relatively conservative) and more high-church Continuing Anglican churches. I haven’t found a “home” parish yet. While I respect Orthodoxy alot, I am a Western Christian and simply don’t see how Orthodoxy is the only “True Church”. It would take more of a pull to become Orthodox. Traditional Anglicanism has plenty of mystery and ritual. I have a friend now, a good friend online, who is an Orthodox, and in terms of piety and theology we share alot in common (we only disagree about the Filioque and Purgatory :) )

  19. Charlie says:

    If you want Apostolic teaching, read the New Testament.
    It’s simple.
    READ YOUR BIBLE!!!

  20. Oksana says:

    I am an Evangelical who has grown weary of some of the things that I perceive as heresies in Protestant theology. I have flirted with Lutheranism, Catholicism, and Anglicanism. But the main church I am interested in is Orthodox church. I have entertained ideas of converting to Eastern Orthodoxy but worry that it may be a recipe for disaster. If the Orthodox church does not stress a personal relationship with Christ, how can I expect to find true spiritual fulfillment there? And is it true that the liturgy is entirely in Greek? I don’t speak a word of Greek. Most Orthodox Christians seem to be obsessed with the idea of their church being the “one true church” which is just as strange an idea as papal infallibility in my opinion. I have expressed my interest in Orthodoxy to a few of my Evangelical friends, and the ones who are familiar with it have warned against my converting. They say it is riddled in paganism (icononography) and they think the Orthodox Christians do not have passion for Christ. Can someone please help with this issue? I don’t feel satisfied with staying in Evangelicalism and would like to join a church more rich in tradition and offers more spiritually.

    1. Isaac says:

      By the end of the year, the Lord willing, I’ll be a member of an English Antiochian Orthodox Church.Oksana – if you wanted to be a Lutheran would you ask a Catholic to explain Lutheranism to you? Let the Orthodox speak about the Ancient Faith and answer your questions directly. Find an English speaking Orthodox Church and take your time. It took me 31 years of Protestant wanderings to find the Ancient Faith – Ancient Faith radio was instrumental in this – I fell in love with the music and through that Orthodoxy.

      Trevin ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!’ – that’s called the Jesus Prayer – it is one of the earliest prayers in Christendom and comes under what the Orthodox call ‘a prayer rule.’ Insofar as you agree with this prayer you agree with the Orthodox faith.

      God be with you

    2. JS says:

      Anyone who thinks that converting to Orthodoxy will solve their problems is mistaken. There are as many problems in “Orthodoxy” as in any other Christian church.

      Seriously, there are big problems. Do not be misled by rhetoric. Much has changed. Much is different than it was. There have been many innovations.

      Much of the theology is sound, yet there are very large grey areas. One must be honest about this. Do not get “convertitis.”

      There is nothing wrong with being or becoming Orthodox; just do not think that it is something it is not. It will not solve your problems. It might even make them worse, especially if you think it or its people are more spiritual. They aren’t.

      Many have no knowledge of God, just like many other churches. Many have no interest in the Bible, just like many other churches. Most are just Sunday Christians, like most other churches. Do not be under any delusions.

      I plead with you. There is really just so much rhetoric going around; much of it convincing.

      There are as many or more peripheral concerns in the EO, much subjectivism, much arcane theology based on Greek philosophical paradigms.

      You still have to go home and pray, love your neighbor, read your bible, etc. By all means, convert to Orthodoxy, but please do not think becoming Orthodox will fix anything.

      1. Alex says:

        You are totally correct!!! It will not fix anything. It may act like trying a new drug, but then the effect wears off, and you have lost all you had.
        I was born Orthodox, and I know this religion well enough to debate knowledgeable Greek “Orthodox” believers proving everything the say wrong, that is, using Scripture and history (“fathers of the church”). What many EO believers or evangellicals don’t know is:
        1) the great distortion of words and meanings of the early church “fathers”
        2) that EO believers are very picky when it comes to quoting a “fathers” words; when one agrees with EO religion, they call upon him, when he doesn’t, they make like the don’t see.
        3) translation of the works of the “fathers” cannot be trusted very much. E.g. usually the translate the word elder as priest, hence giving “special priesthood” existence early on!
        I wish everybody knew Greek. They could then read my debates with knowledgeable Greek “Orthodox” believers. Just in case some do, here is my website: http://www.ipertisalithias.gr
        I hope my post isn’t blocked, but you never know.
        Rarely evengellicals leave their churches and they do because they are fed up with much nonsense in their denomination(which I expose on my website in all fairness), but, by rule they are NOT well grounded in the Bible, nor do they know the 3 facts I previously mentioned. In that frame, they become EO or Catholic. Like it or not, only Protestant denominations (as foruners of the Lord before His coming like John the Baptist was/I hope I used the right word) are used by God to offer His Son as a foundation of faith (etc.). The problem from then on starts because they find men in the church who are Spirit filled yet are deacons and elders, hence elders that want to keep their denominational line, although it contradicts Scripture at some points.
        Having said that, I believe God’s Biblical truth is found scattered all over the Protestant Christian world, but they have made a mess of things, something that feeds the enemies of Scripture, of pure Biblical Christianity.
        I love, pray for, and evangelize EO people understanding what and why they believe what they believe, and I know how hard it is to leave a religion interweaved with the culture of the people, but The Lord Jesus Christ can do it.
        Most EO believers in my country are not practicing their religion but just hang on to their denomination’s sign: “Orthodox”; this off course is also used by theologians but mostly by the priesthood to make it look as if there are million of “Orthodox” believers, but that’s a dud claim. I know because I talk to people all the time. Enough said.
        May the Triune God have mercy and grace on us all. Amen.

        1. Alex says:

          Oh sorry, I just realized it. I left out the “not” in my sentence:
          “The problem from then on starts because they find men in the church who are NOT Spirit filled yet are deacons and elders,…”

        2. Aname says:

          One of the wisest insights shared on here. Thank you, Alex.

          To that I’d add that iIf you have a saving knowledge of Christ and as a result have an AUTHENTIC conversion experience and are regenerated with a new heart orientation toward living righteously in the sight of God, being used as an instrument of His will and for His glory, and being edified through His Word, that’s more than sufficient. This fleshly need for affiliation through an emphasis on ritual and declarations of “I belong to X temporal institution” is religion.

          It’s also interesting that at the same time some in the West convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, those who grew up in Eastern Orthodoxy are leaving it in droves because they aren’t being nourished spiritually. Many are becoming evangelicals.

          http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2006/11/09/johns-story-why-i-left-eastern-orthodoxy-for-evangelicalism/

          1. Alex says:

            Thank you sister “aname”. I of course agree with what you added! In almost every living protestant church I visit, I feel they are my family in Christ. I belong only to Him, but I attend an evangelical church. However due to not accepting everything they believe, I’m not an evangelical, just a Christian; more than enough for me and The Lord Who is Head of His Body everywhere.
            I will take a look at the link you provided. Thank you!

  21. Ashley says:

    Ecclesiastes 1:16-18
    16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
    18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

    Just like a person who goes through a series of sexual relationships and wounds their heart, I think that going from church to church in search of knowledge can cause much sorrow.

    It seems of no surprise to me that the jaded Protestant would seek Orthodoxy and the jaded Orthodox would seek Protestantism.

    To me it seems like it is the same need the woman at the well had…going through husband after husband yet not satisfied.

    In the person of Christ alone can the thirsty find relief. Traditions can have the appearance of wisdom and tempt men to self pride. Likewise freedom from church authority has the appearance of loosening legalism and being free like a calf out of its stall, but it can tempt men to self pride as well.

    1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
    I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
    2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

  22. Matt Pings says:

    It is funny that Trevin said this at the end,

    “when you’re looking to your justification before God and your acceptance before Him, does it eventually boil down to this: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!’?”

    …Because those are the exact words of the Jesus Prayer, which is an Orthodox prayer that is prayed on a prayer rope (similar to the Rosary, but a MUCH less complicated prayer).

  23. Holly says:

    The biggest thing I don’t get is this whole idea that Orthodoxy has an unbroken line to the church in Acts — really? Historically the first “churches” would have looked much more like Messianic believers than like Orthodoxy or Catholicism .. Jesus being Jewish and all … Early Christians were thought to be a renegade sect of Judaism at first. Also I know that my friend who is Orthodox believes you can lose your salvation (salvation by works). Are there true believers in every denomination that is actually Christian? Yes of course but I cannot say that any ONE denomination is the ONLY true one. How small does that make God?

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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