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Why is Orthodoxy a declining denomination?

andrewlya

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Not to be unkind, but I thought you said you read the Bible since you left the Orthodox Church? How does one read the Book of John, Peter's epistles, Paul's epistles, and not come to the conclusion that it professes Christ's divinity? Do Messianic Jews not accept the New Testament as part of Holy Scripture?
Of course we do, we read and study both New and Old Testaments. I love Father, for He is my God and I love Jesus for he is the Messiah and the Son of God. But let's not diagress otherwise this thread will be locked 🔒
 

andrewlya

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Not to be unkind, but I thought you said you read the Bible since you left the Orthodox Church? How does one read the Book of John, Peter's epistles, Paul's epistles, and not come to the conclusion that it professes Christ's divinity? Do Messianic Jews not accept the New Testament as part of Holy Scripture?
 

biro

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“Go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

(Some read the end of the verse as ‘Ghost’)

Now, why would God tell us to baptize in something that is not Him?

Oh, and we changed the day of worship because on Sunday, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

That’s why we’re not Jewish anymore.

We’re not waiting for the Messiah anymore. Jewish people are still waiting. I love my Jewish friends, but there is no more reason for me to wait.
 

andrewlya

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“Go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

(Some read the end of the verse as ‘Ghost’)

Now, why would God tell us to baptize in something that is not Him?

Oh, and we changed the day of worship because on Sunday, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

That’s why we’re not Jewish anymore.

We’re not waiting for the Messiah anymore. Jewish people are still waiting. I love my Jewish friends, but there is no more reason for me to wait.
"Oh, and we changed the day of worship because on Sunday, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD."- that's the issue."WE changed the day of worship"-who are you to change what God has commanded and sanctified as His Day of Worship? People can't change the Word of God. In fact we are to worship God every day, but keep the 7th Day (Saturday) Holy.Do you believe in 10 Commandments? I am sure you do- this is taken from Orthodox web site: Commandment number 4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days thou shalt labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh thy God.-https://www.pravmir.com/the-ten-commandments/
 

andrewlya

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We are digressing... please let's stay on topic, thank you.
 

DeniseDenise

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Is one defined as a Christian if he believes in Jesus being God? Where did it get it from, I don't think Bible gives such a criteria. About being a Judaiser... I think all of the apostles were then, including Paul since they kept Shabbat and Biblical feasts and ate clean food...

uh...... Jesus himself had some things to say about food.

Mark 7:

Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

as did Paul...in Romans

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.



So yea... nowhere does it say to keep the food laws of the OT.



(trust me...I have family who do,..... but it is no -actual- requirement of our Lord)
 

andrewlya

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uh...... Jesus himself had some things to say about food.

Mark 7:

Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

as did Paul...in Romans

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.



So yea... nowhere does it say to keep the food laws of the OT.



(trust me...I have family who do,..... but it is no -actual- requirement of our Lord)
Thanks for that, if you read the context of when Jesus said it's not what goes into a man it's what goes out, was not about eating unclean food, it was regarding eating food with unwashed hands. Please re-read this passage. I'm sure Jesus didn't break his Father's Torah law by promoting pork eating, let's be fair on this point. Anyway, please let's not digress. They will lock this threat if we carry on, and it would be a shame.
 

Tzimis

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Thanks for that, if you read the context of when Jesus said it's not what goes into a man it's what goes out, was not about eating unclean food, it was regarding eating food with unwashed hands. Please re-read this passage. I'm sure Jesus didn't break his Father's Torah law by promoting pork eating, let's be fair on this point. Anyway, please let's not digress. They will lock this threat if we carry on, and it would be a shame.
He did. Pork was liberated in the new testament.
 

andrewlya

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He did. Pork was liberated in the new testament.
Oh dear....and who ate it in the Bible?You believe Jesus broke and went against the commandment of his Father?
 

andrewlya

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He fulfilled every commandment perfectly and so He broke the power of the law by His death. For the letter killeth but the Spirit gives life.
Ok, so when Jesus said it's not what goes into a man but what goes out he said before his resurrection so how clean food law was abolished at that point?
 

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Ok, "I'm not a scholar" disclaimer....
When I was reading some books coming into Orthodoxy, the history kind of jumped out at me in the way that the Church suffered under severe persecution in countries like Turkey and Russia. The believers were not allowed to evangelize and grew by having large families.
 

andrewlya

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Ok, "I'm not a scholar" disclaimer....
When I was reading some books coming into Orthodoxy, the history kind of jumped out at me in the way that the Church suffered under severe persecution in countries like Turkey and Russia. The believers were not allowed to evangelize and grew by having large families.
Thanks for staying on topic :)
 

Tzimis

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Your not Greek if you haven't eaten a Souvlaki.
 

andrewlya

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The church has the power to include what ever it wants.
I don't know if the strippers and hookers are allowed yet.
Wishful thinking! Lol
Jk
So, does Orthodoxy teach you are not under obligation to follow any of the Old Testament commandments?
 

andrewlya

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Here is yet another topic where Andrew decides what the topic is.
It's not that, you know that if we digress this thread will be locked.
 

Tzimis

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So, does Orthodoxy teach you are not under obligation to follow any of the Old Testament commandments?
The law was made to be broken.
Its not about following a set of rules, its about balancing between the lines.
When you're there, get back to me.
 

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Matthew 22: 36-40

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
 

andrewlya

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We are bound to follow the Law of Christ, which the OT commandments point to.
But didn't Christ answer when asked how one can be saved, he said you know the Commandments...if you say you are not under the Old Testament laws, then what are you now allowed to kill, cheat, lie, disrespect your parents, commit adultery etc Torah also teaches that a believer is to believe in One God and pray to God, it teaches not to be revengeful, help the poor and needy etc. These are all Torah laws, why would you not be under those laws? I'm not saying we earn our salvation as it's a free gift, but ain't we supposed to live by God's biblical guidances if we are truly saved and have faith? Like Apostles James said that one will show his faith by his works.
 

andrewlya

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Matthew 22: 36-40

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Agree, but you only see a small picture. If you love Yahweh with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and your love your neighbour you would follow the laws of God. As a good child of God, ain't you supposed to show your obedience like you would to your earthly parents? How much more it is important to show obedience to God?
 
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Agree, but you only see a small picture. If you love Yahweh with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and your love your neighbour you would follow the laws of God. As a good child of God, ain't you supposed to show your obedience like you would to your earthly parents? How much more it is important to show obedience to God?
We are supposed to obey God. As I said, we obey the law of Christ and not the law of Moses. Acts chapter 15. The believers have a dispute about whether following the Mosaic law is an obligation. St. Peter objects and says that to make the Gentiles follow the law is testing God.
The bold is mine for emphasis.

Acts 15
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
 

andrewlya

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We are supposed to obey God. As I said, we obey the law of Christ and not the law of Moses. Acts chapter 15. The believers have a dispute about whether following the Mosaic law is an obligation. St. Peter objects and says that to make the Gentiles follow the law is testing God.
The bold is mine for emphasis.

Acts 15
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
I agree, but now we are saved we don't just stop following the Old Testament laws? Have you stopped following Torah laws: worshipping one God, not cheating, not committing adultery, treat everyone fairly, not to avenge, not to lie, help the poor etc these are Old Testament Torah laws- are you not under the obligation of these now? Christ did not die so that you have become lawless...' And then I will declare unto them, 'I never knew you; depart you from Me, those working lawlessness.' - Matthew 7:23, 'Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law'-. Romans 3:31, 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[c] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.-Romans 2:25-27, Keeping God's commandments is what matters.- 1 Corinthians 7:19 , 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.- James 1:23-25 & For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished-Jesus the Messiah in Matthew 5:18 -The heaven and earth are still here...
 
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I agree, but now we are saved we don't just stop following the Old Testament laws? Have you stopped following Torah laws: worshipping one God, not cheating, not committing adultery, treat everyone fairly, not to avenge, not to lie, help the poor etc these are Old Testament Torah laws- are you not under the obligation of these now? Christ did not die so that you have become lawless...' And then I will declare unto them, 'I never knew you; depart you from Me, those working lawlessness.' - Matthew 7:23 & 'Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law'-. Romans 3:31 & 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[c] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.-Romans 2:25-27.
We uphold the law of Christ i.e love.
1st Corinthians 9:21
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

Do you see how St. Paul is saying those without the law (of Moses) are under the law of Christ?
 

andrewlya

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I understand your points, thanks but let's stick to the main topic
 

andrewlya

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We uphold the law of Christ i.e love.
1st Corinthians 9:21
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

Do you see how St. Paul is saying those without the law (of Moses) are under the law of Christ?
The law of love- 'In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, '- 1 John 5:3
 

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19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
 
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The law of love- 'In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, '- 1 John 5:3
Ok. My church grows by about 10% a year. There is never a time we haven't had at least 2 catechumens as well as several inquirers.
 

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melkite, calling andrewlya a heretic and apostate is an ad hominem attack and not permitted on the public fora. You are receiving 100 points for 2 weeks. Please appeal via PM, if you wish. Thanks. --Ainnir
Is one defined as a Christian if he believes in Jesus being God? Where did it get it from, I don't think Bible gives such a criteria. About being a Judaiser... I think all of the apostles were then, including Paul since they kept Shabbat and Biblical feasts and ate clean food...
Yes, one is defined as a Christian by believing Jesus is God, and by believing in the Holy Trinity.
The law of love- 'In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, '- 1 John 5:3
Circumcision is quite burdensome. If Christ still requires circumcision, then I will renounce him for as long as I exist.

Thankfully, you're just a heretic and apostate who read the Bible privately, misinterpreting all along the way to your own folly.
 

copticorthodoxboy

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How many churches have they planted? I go to Holy Tranfiguration in McLean, and we occasionally have visitors from St. Mark's. When I first started attending, St. Mark's was, I think, the only Coptic church in Northern Virginia. Now, there are six or seven. Do you know if they are all missions of St. Mark's?
Melkite,

I'm not sure as I haven't attended liturgy since 2005 (and the last few liturgies I attended were at Holy Nativity in Manassas https://www.nativityorthodoxchurch.com). However, driving past St. Mark's it looks like they've purchased the property next door (housing a small Baptist church), expanded the church building (looks like its doubled in size), and renovated the inside (so much so that the interior is nothing like what I remember it being over 15 years ago).

Fr. Anthony Messeh started a mission in Arlington (https://www.stsa.church); there may be additional mission parishes around the DMV area but St. Mark's looks to be the main location Copts (and other OO) in the area flock to on Sunday mornings. If the Coptic synod ever sets up a bishop in the DMV area, I assume St. Mark's will be his cathedral church due to its size and importance in the area.
 

TheTrisagion

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I still can't wrap my head around the assertion that the Bible never says Jesus is God. What do you do with passages like 2 Peter 1:1 or the first chapter of John?
 
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