Protestant & Orthodoxy doctrine

Can anyone explains what is the main difference between Orthodox & Protestant? now a days it is confusing.
Who is Jesus in Orthodox?
What is Saint Virgin Mary's role in our church?
Also I can't tell the difference between interceding & meditating, can anyone give details on this? Many thanks!!


  • Hi Melos,

    At the very basic the difference between Protestantism and Orthodoxy is the Sacraments. Protestantism stemmed out of Christianity when Martin Luther "protested" against the Church. There were certain changes he wanted in the Church but the Church was not going to accomodate such changes. So he started his own church. Now there are hundreds or thousands of denominations within Protestantism.

    Jesus in Orthodoxy is the Jesus of the Bible - the One prophesied about in the Old Testament. The One who created the world with God the Father and the One God the Father mentions in Genesis. The One who came and taught the Way and gave Himself up to death for our sins. The One who told us that He's coming again. The One who instituted for us the sacraments - baptism, holy chrism, Eucharist, confession, matrimony, priesthood and anointing of the sick. The One who did many miracles. The One who said "do this in remembrance of me" while giving the Eucharist. The One who said "go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

    It is very important to note that the sacraments are instituted by Christ, commanded by Christ, and offered by Christ as the means of salvation and remission of sins.

    This does not mean that our Protestant brothers will perish for lack of sacraments - we know God is merciful.

    For example:
    Heaven is a big house. The safest way to get into the house is through the front door. You could try to go in through a window, or go in through the roof or the balcony, but these are all risky. You could fall or get hurt or cut yourself. The front door is the sacraments - the sure way of entering, as declared by Christ. Any other way is a window, roof or balcony. God's mercy is great - you MIGHT get in. But it's not a guarantee like the sacraments.


    St. Mary's role is simple. She is the Mother of God. She was chosen by God, who found favor in her, to give birth to His Only-Begotten Son. And after she gave birth to Him, her virginity remained sealed. When she reposed, as any other human, her body was taken up to heaven carried by angels, and seen by St. Thomas the apostle.

    We ask for her intercessions, as well as the intercessions and prayers of all the saints. She is our mother, our intercessor.

    Imagine a child goes to his dad and asks for a new video game. The dad might say yes or he might say no. Imagine, instead, the child goes to his mom and says "mom I'm gonna ask dad for the new game. Can you ask him too? Can you ask him on my behalf?" When mom goes to dad and tells him about the video game, it's much more likely that dad will buy it. So mom interceded for the child before dad for the video game.

    In the same way, St. Mary intercedes for us before the Lord for forgiveness of our sins. Intercession is a strengthening of our prayers by the saints and martyrs.

    Meditation, on the other hand, is more of quiet time for personal contemplation. Mesmerizing yourself with the glories of God. It is something you do personally.

    Hope this helps
  • I think he meant "mediating" not "meditating".
  • Hello Tenoosht,
    Thank you very much that was helpful, still my question was, as qwae said it was a spelling error what I meant to say is, not "Meditating" but "Mediating", so, is Jesus intercessor? I was googling to Coptic teaching and what I found is he Mediates, and that confused me a bit, in our church (Ethiopian Orthodox) Jesus doesn't intercede nor mediates can you explain what it is? if we say Jesus is the God for what and for whom do we need the intercession? I have some protestant friends who always tries to change attitude regarding on this also in the Holy Bible there are lots of verses which shows how Jesus intercede Romans 8:34 " Who is he that condemneth, it is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." also look verse Hebrew 7:25, 2Cor 10:7...... what are these verses pointing? 
    Thank you very much!!!
  • I see this post is old but the discussion is heated in the media as Ethiopean Orthodox church is not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ intercession and Mediation. The Coptic Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox Churches except Ethiopea believes as follows. 
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ is God the almighty Who does not have just one role in our lives. He functions on our behalf and on God's behalf. Our Lord Jesus Christ is our Mediator Who made it possible for us to be reconciled with God through His death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sin. He is now sitting at the right hand of His Father interceding for us. Through His intercession, He is able to save all who come to God through Him "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Heb 7:25). However, on Judgment Day when the time comes to give an account of our stewardship, when it is past the intercession time, it is our Lord Jesus Christ Who will judge us.h0127-212697
  • this has not been my experience of talking with ethiopian and eritrean orthodox Christians and priests.
    could you tell us a little bit more about what you found confusing and who said it?
    i found the ethiopian and coptic orthodox beliefs to be the same.
  • The Ethiopian Church's teaching on Intercession is Lord Jesus Christ, our savior , did the work of intercession when he lived on earth. But when we say intercession, it is not the kind of intercession of the saints. He himself became a loved sacrifice, he himself became a high priest, he himself became the recipient of the sacrifice with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And when we say that Christ does not as an intercessor, we are saying that he does not pray to God like the saints today.

    St. Paul says in Romans 8:34 that St. John intercedes for us, and he says, "We have an advocate from the Father." What does it mean...? Our Savior Christ's work of redemption or salvation, which he did once in the months of his flesh, will live forever when he reconciles mankind with God.
    For example, Christ was baptized by the hand of John once, but that baptism is the one that gives humanity the sonship of God forever. He shed his blood on the cross only once, but that once-shed blood lives forever when he reconciles the human being with God and provides forgiveness of sins.
  • thanks - although this is the same belief that the ethiopian church has as the other orthodox churches.
    so i don't think there is a difference there.

    i think edena thought there was a difference, but i didn't see a difference.

    thank God for the pure and powerful mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and thank the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the prayers of the saints who also encourage us and help us.
  • I wrote a slew of books addressing this very issue. You can get them all very cheap on under the pen name John Apocalypse.
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