A Real “Bible Church”

Ah, the common attack on Orthodoxy from so called "Bible believers" - they propogate the lie that the Orthodox Church does not believe in Holy Scripture.  Nothing of course could be further from the truth.  Not only did we canonize the Scripture (you're welcome), but an Orthodox service contains more Scripture than most evangelical Churches will read in a month.  Apart from the readings of the Epistle and Gospel lectionary passages (widely ignored in evangelical worship), the Divine Liturgy ties to scripture in almost ever word that is spoken.  Our hymns are Psalms.  Our prayers are based on scripture.  At the end of this post, I am including an image file that references the Divine Liturgy and Holy Scripture.

But before we do that, let's digress a little into the problem of the "bible believing" sects.  First, it's a nonsensical name.  You believe in the Bible?  Good for you.  I don't think there is any real controversy over whether or not the Bible exists though.  Belief in the Bible doesn't require much faith.  It's a material object that can be easily verified to exist.  Yet, most of these Churches seem to place belief in the Bible over belief in God.  Do I exaggerate?  Look at their own self-descriptions.

These are taken from three local evangelical community websites.  The third one is actually a link to the official statement of the Assemblies of God link on the local congregation's website.  Each of them highlight their beliefs about the Bible before the correct object of our worship, God.   Compare this to what you will find on most any Orthodox parish website:

 

Our faith, our beliefs, our worship centers on one thing and one thing only, the triune Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It is truly ironic that so many of these evangelical groups delight in accusing the Orthodox of worshiping icons or Mary (which is completely false), but yet in every way they show themselves to put the Bible before God in their faith practices.  This is idolatry of another sort.  They may be well-intentioned, perhaps, but they still fundamentally misunderstand that it is God which must be front and center in the faith, not an afterthought that comes only after you express your faith in Scripture.

Now, as promised, let's dispel forever the idea that Orthodox do not have an appreciation for Holy Scripture.

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