(Note: Before reading, please understand that I am not attacking the Orthodox Church. In general, they have an amazing understanding of the majesty of God, a deep appreciation for artwork and beauty in worship, a respect for tradition, a love of history, and many more admirable qualities. However, many who call themselves “Orthodox” are desperately in the dark.)
I sometimes get frustrated here because so many people consider themselves to be Christians (almost 97%) and yet most know little about Jesus. Here is reason number seven for why we need the gospel here.
Reason #7 – Jesus Who?
I’m sure there are many wonderful believers in the Romanian Orthodox church, but I don’t think that applies to the youth. Many young people with whom I’ve spoken have told me they were never able to understand Orthodox services. Many had questions about God but found no help by going to church, even though scripture is a central part of worship in the Orthodox faith.
So, why did these young people have such difficulty?
Well, one answer lies in Orthodox theology. Orthodoxy, concentrating on the majesty and greatness of God, teaches that God is unknowable. Try as hard as you want, you’ll never be able to know him.
Part of this is obviously true, but Jesus said in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal life is found in knowing Jesus, and knowing Jesus is what eternal life is all about. This is the heart of the gospel. There are many Orthodox believers in Romania who need to know this simple truth.