Re: Why Syrian Orthodox?
- Dearest George,
It is important to be part of the SOC for several reasons:
1) It is the backbone of the "One Holy Catholic (Universal)
and Apostolic Church" that we mention in the Creed. It
is St. Paul himself, who in his Biblical Epistle to
St. Timothy says that the Church is the pillar and
bulwark of truth. (1 Timothy 3:15) The vast majority
of Protestant groups use the Scriptures as their foundation
for truth. Contrarily, we have the Church, who has
endured nearly 2000 years of trials and tribulations,
maintaining the same faith in the ancient days, as we
have today. We also have succession from the Apostles
to back this up.
2) As an elaboration of the above, the SOC is the
remnant of the Jerusalem community, who was scattered
after the sacking of the city by the Romans circa 73AD.
Likewise, our liturgy is the St. James liturgy - the
first of Christian liturgies. Further, we carry the
language of Christ with us. Even the Malayalam
language has many Aramaic cognates: Sleha, Derya,
3) Our Church was founded in 33AD in the Upper Room
and grew from the shores of the Mediterranean throughout
Asia. The two surviving elements of this once Great
expression of Christianity are in the Near East and
4) Where the Church is, we find the Holy Sacraments.
The Sacraments are the heart of Christian life.
Without them, we depart from the grace God freely
> With this being the case, how should we respond? Yes,I would first start with catechesis. If the youth
> to an extent, we can only do so much. It is ultimately
> their decision. For Jesus did not force his teaching
> on others. But, on the other hand, he did not ignore
> them either. What arguments can we give them? What
> can the church do? What changes (if any) should be
understands our theology, that person will have all
his/her questions answered. History should also be taught
along with theology, though I would suggest theology is
far more important.
A nice introduction can be found here:
If you have more specific questions, I encourage you
to bring them forward so we can compile a database of such.
Finally, along with theology and history, we must be
good examples of Christians. The love that emerges
because of our Christian faith will teach far more than
the "wisdom of men." We need to expose these youths
to living saints and encourage them take up saintly
lives themselves. Let us share the mystical teachings
of our holy ones - this will have great effect.
I am in the process of writing a short book on my
conversion account (I am a convert to Christianity
from Atheism). I am hoping it will be a benefiscial
resource for our Church, since my journey starts
with having to first believe in God, and eventually
being led to the Syriac Orthodox Christian faith.
Do pray for me that I finish soon, I've had many
projects distracting me.
St. Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral