Originally posted on RooshV.com
I don’t usually do a review of tracts, but I so enjoyed Christianity Or The Church?
by Archbishop Ilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church that I wanted to share my favorite passages. While it discusses many topics, the main one is why participation in the Church and its sacraments are absolutely necessary for salvation.
All legal societies perish
The necessity of the Church
I’ve tried to imagine how my Christian life would be without the Church, without receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, without having my falsehoods and errors checked with priestly guidance, and without praying in one voice with other Christians. Without all that, my faith would boil down to a narcissistic and prideful activity like bodybuilding, of working on my soul completely alone like I would my body in isolation, constantly checking myself in the mirror to see how holy I am compared to others who are so “weak” and “misguided” to need to experience the sacraments within God’s temple with other sinful human beings, and very soon my faith would not even consist of prayer but a collection of vague intellectual beliefs about God’s plan for salvation and totally delusional ideas about how close I am to God.
The Body of Christ
Importance of baptism in the Church
Upon being received into the Orthodox Church through baptism
, many people asked why I was “re-baptized” since I was also baptized in the Armenian Church as a child, and to that I must state that I’ve only been baptized once in my life. It is impossible for anyone to be baptized twice, for either the first baptism was valid, and the second baptism was done in vain, or the first was not valid, and the second was the true baptism. I am currently with the Church that I believe offers true baptism to all.
Protestantism tried to correct Catholicism but made something worse. It won’t be long until many of its denominations descend into something like a religious atheism.
“Influences” on Christianity
It’s blasphemy to say that Christianity took from other sources, as if Christ learned from human minds. Before Christ, there were some philosophies that were closer to the truth than others, and since all truth comes from God, some of their teachings would be similar to what Christ taught. The Stoics, for example, had a philosophy of worldly detachment, which is indeed God’s will for us, but Christ did not get his teaching on worldly detachment from the Stoics; the Stoics got it from the fountainhead of truth, either from stumbling upon it through trial and error, or because they were enlightened and given a proto-grace by God.
Absurd notion of “revival”
A relatively quick read, this article is a great summary of basic Orthodox precepts that also disputes common claims of those who falsely teach of Christ. Click here to read it
Read Next: What Is Orthodox Christianity?