Tag Archives: eastern orthodoxy

Why do the Orthodox Need the Gospel… #7

(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?

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Prayer Letter – March 2013

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Why do the Orthodox Need the Gospel… #6

(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.)

Yes, everyone in Romania has heard about Jesus.  Yes, nearly 98% of the people in Bucureşti say they are Orthodox believers.  So, do they really need missionaries here sharing the gospel?  Yes!  Here’s reason number six…

Reason #6 – Church?  Why Would I Go There?

Most of the Orthodox people I’ve met in Bucureşti have said they rarely go to church.  Although church attendance is not a prerequisite for salvation, we in the body of Christ need each other.  “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).  How will Romania ever achieve its God-given purpose and fulfill its destiny as long as those who call themselves believers do not meet together to encourage one another towards righteousness and to worship the One who is worthy?  Yes, 98% call themselves Christians, but most have abandoned their calling.

Prayer Letter – February 2013

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Why do the Orthodox Need the Gospel… #5

(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.)

Of all the places I’ve lived, Bucuresti is by far the most religious.  Orthodox churches are on almost every block, it’s common to see priests on the streets, and most people believe God exists.  So, in such a religious place, why am I here sharing the Gospel?  Here is reason number five…

Reason #5 – I’ve Already Been Baptized…

Despite the religious observance, the vast majority of those with whom we’ve spoken have had little to no inward religious life.  We have met many who told us flatly, “I have been baptized; I gave an offering,” as if Christianity was simply a matter of doing a few religious things.  But Jesus wants to be first in our hearts.  In fact, he strongly rebuked those who had the right works but the wrong heart:  “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me” (Mark 7:6).  People need to know that Jesus came for their heart, not just for an occasional glance in his direction.

Prayer Letter – January 2013

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Why do the Orthodox Need the Gospel… #4

(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 was speaking with someone about Jesus when he bluntly ended our conversation with, “Romania is an Orthodox country.”  It’s true many have heard about Jesus and even believe in God, but there is much work yet to do here.  So, why do we still need to preach the Gospel in Romania?

Reason #4 – Saved by Faith Works…

Orthodox theology says men are saved by grace from God, but people are taught grace is given only after work is done.  The church, for example, teaches that after a man dies, he will not enter heaven until a relative gives an offering.  (What if he has no relatives?)  Also, if a man realizes he is in sin, he is told to give a donation to a priest in order to release forgiveness.  (Didn’t Jesus require simply repenting?)  Romanians, even faithful Orthodox believers, need to know that forgiveness is not given based on religious observance but the kindness of Jesus.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).