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"Is math an sgathan suil caraide." ("A friend's eye is a good looking-glass."-Old Gaelic Saying)
"In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love."
The Icon of Christ Pantokrator (seen both above and to the right) is one of the most widely used religious images of Orthodox Christianity. Generally speaking, in Byzantine church art and architecture, an icon of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church, or simply on the ceiling, over the nave.*
"Repentance is the essence of this whole venture; of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. I'm talking about each and every person... We are all converts. Christianity only exists as a Church of converts. Being born into it can be very wonderful... But, you still have to accept it. You still have to make a conscious choice. You still have to enter into that process of inner conversion. Because the word repentance also means conversion."
-His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Leader of the OCA (Orthodox Church in America); from his 2009 Speech in Miami Lakes, Florida, "Preparing for Great Lent". _____________________________________________________________
There are about 300,000,000 Orthodox Christians in the world. _____________________________________________________________
Evangelical Protestants share much Christian heritage with Orthodox believers. Both accept the basic Biblical teachings set forth in the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed is the only creed accepted by all three major branches of Christendom: Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic (see: What All Christians Believe in Common: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, & Protestant).
With so much in common, how do Evangelicals generally differ from Orthodox?
Exception: Orthodox believers who hold these views are Orthodox Evangelicals. _____________________________________________________________
"The true aim of prayer is to enter into conversation with God. It is not restricted to certain hours of the day. A Christian has to feel himself personally in the presence of God. The goal of prayer is precisely to be with God always."
-Fr. Georges Florovsky
Note: It should be pointed out that there is currently also a small, slowly growing "Charismatic" movement in the Orthodox Church, particularly in Greece, going as far back as the early 1970's. The Orthodox priest Fr. Eusebius Stephanou (in the U.S.A.) stated that "this outpouring of the Holy Spirit is transcending denominational lines... The Spirit of God is moving... both inside and outside the Orthodox Church" ("Logos", Jan., 1972, p. 12).
Copyright © 2009 S.G.P. All rights reserved. (Except Wikipedia Text).
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." _________
Interesting Fact: the measurements of the facial features on this Icon correspond exactly to those on the Shroud of Turin.
In the half-length Icon (shown directly above), Christ holds the New Testament in his left hand and blesses with his right.
The Icon was painted, or in Orthodox terminology, "written", in encaustic (a melted wax method) on panel in the sixth or seventh century.
It survived the period of destruction of images during the Iconoclastic disputes that racked the Eastern church, from 726 to 780 A.D., and from 813 to 843 A.D., by being preserved in the remote desert of the Sinai, in Saint Catherine's Monastery.
Christ, Ruler of All
The iconic image of Christ Pantocrator ("Christ, Ruler of All") was one of the first images of Christ developed in the Early Christian Church and remains a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, the word Pantokrator was used to replace the Hebrew title El Shaddai.
Early Christians ascribed this title to Jesus of Nazareth. The closest English equivalent for "Pantokrator" may be "Omnipotent".
In quoting the Septuagint, St. Paul uses the word Pantokrator once (II Corinthians 6:18).
Aside from that one occurrence, the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation is the only New Testament author to use the word Pantokrator.
The word Pantokrator is used in the Book of Revelation 9 times (Revelation 1:8, 4:8, 11:17, 15:3, 16:7, 16:14, 19:6, 19:15, and 21:22).* _______________
*Sources: Wikipedia: "Christ Pantocrator", "Christ Pantokrator". _______________