Lbst assignment 3

The Distinctions of Eastern Orthodox Christianity The Eastern Church and the Western church have had religious, cultural and political differences that were shown by their split in 1054AD after the patriarch of Constantinople was excommunicated from the church by Pope Leo IX (ReligionFacts, 2004)..
Differences between the Churches
The Eastern Church is divided in to several regional churches each governed by their own head bishops. The honor of primacy is accorded to the Patriarch of Constantinople who however does not have the same authority as the pope does. Unlike in Catholicism where the head authority is the pope and in the protestant faith the head authority is the individual, in orthodox Christianity this authority has been given to the seven ecumenical councils of their church. In other Christian groups, the scriptures are the main guidelines of faith but in the Eastern Church the writings of Greek fathers such as John Chrysostom, and St. Basil the Great are relied on heavily for teachings and some of their faith confessions of the 17th century are seen to have only historical significance (ReligionFacts, 2004).
The Eastern churches place their emphasis on an individual’s experience with the truth and was able to produce a lot of what would be considered significant theological and philosophical thought in the first millennium and this is in contrast with the Western churches. Sin is viewed as the cause of the blurring of the human state from being in the image of God to being less human and ends in death according to the Eastern Church. In their opinion, salvation was set to reestablish mans relationship with God and reunite humans with the divine and not as a legal pardon as is the belief with the Western churches. These maintain the belief that human beings had freedom which they abused in the form of sin and it was taken away accompanied by a punishment and this is where grace and the forgiveness of sin through the and salvation comes in.
The churches differ in their opinions of the trinity. The Eastern Church delves more into the preexistent and divine nature of Christ contrary to the Western Churches that delve more into the human nature of Christ. The difference in their views of the Holy Spirit led to the 11th century split due to the addition of the word filioque that was supposed to elaborate the divinity of the Son (ReligionFacts, 2004). The Eastern Church holds the belief that the spirit and the son have their origin from the father but the addition implies that the spirit proceeds from the father.
The churches do not disagree on all religious view points. Both churches agree that Christ has full humanity and divinity and he became human to reunite man with God and this was accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
Work Cited
ReligionFacts. (2004). Eastern Orthodoxy. ReligionFacts.
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