On Wednesday, November 9, they had an open worship service for the students and faculty of at the Chapel on campus. For the event, Bishop Thomas from Charleston came to worship with us and hold a question and answer session after the service. It was a very Interesting experience. I grew up going to a Methodist church so this was the first time I had ever been to such a traditional type of church.
I noticed a few lambastes and several differences between the two types of Christianity. Orthodox Is a very traditional type of Christianity that has been around for thousands of years. The service was mainly chanting and selling Psalms. During the quietest/answer session after the service Bishop Thomas told us that all Orthodox Christians worship the exact same way all over the world, and that they have worshipped this way for thousands of years. This is very different compared to my church because we have changed so much just over the last 10 years.
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The service I go to is very casual. We can wear jeans and a nice shirt now versus a nice dress or suit like we would have had to wear a decade ago. We have also incorporated a praise band (with guitars and drums) into our service versus a choir. I feel like change is a good thing. Our world is constantly changing. The way we live now is completely different to the way we lived a hundred years ago. I think it’s a good thing that most churches have changed to adapt to the lifestyle of their congregations. It helps the members to relate better.
One pretty big difference that stuck out to me between the Orthodox Christian religion and my religion is their views on sin. Bishop Thomas stated that they have a very low tolerance for sin. In my religion, we don’t necessarily accept it, but we are much more tolerant, I feel like. We believe that as human beings we are broken and imperfect. Our God knows this and accepts us anyway. He is a forgiving and merciful Lord. As I said before, going to the Orthodox Christian worship service was a very interesting experience and I’m glad I went. It’s neat to see other people’s culture and beliefs.