The Official Orthodox Christian Position on Marriage Equality

The following statement was released by the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) on August 13, 2003. For the sake of anyone unaware of the official, Orthodox stance on same-sex “marriage,” this news release describes the clear and unchanging position. SCOBA Statement on Moral Crisis in Our Nation Wednesday, August 13, 2003 As members of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), representing…

The Divine Liturgy and the Great Thanksgiving

Some of the most profound words of the Divine Liturgy are never heard. Standing at the south corner of the altar, the deacon quietly utters to the presiding priest: It is time for the Lord to act. This phrase sets the tone for everything in our worship. We are not offering magical incantations that assuage a deity in our favor, but are rather joining in with the liturgy of eternity. The liturgy of God’s own actions in…

How the Israelite Exodus Foreshadows Baptism

About eighty years after the baptism of Moses, the time had come for all Israel to be delivered from Egypt. God remembered the covenant which He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He listened to the prayers of their descendants. God gave Moses a new revelation of His Name. Then He sent Moses on a mission to lead all the Israelites out of Egypt, so they could be free from slavery and worship…

How Baby Moses Foreshadows Baptism

Nearly a thousand years had passed since Noah’s flood, and the world had again descended into widespread sin. The Egyptian Pharaoh was cruel to God’s chosen people, and the peoples in the land of Canaan had fallen into such sin that the time of God’s judgment was drawing near.  God remembered the covenant He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He proceeded to bring about the salvation of Israel (and the destruction…

How Noah’s Flood Foreshadows Baptism

When the apostle Peter writes about Noah’s flood, he specifically informs us that New Testament baptism “corresponds to this”: God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection…

How Creation Foreshadows Baptism

In the beginning, when darkness and light are first mentioned, the Holy Spirit and water are introduced between them: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. —Gen. 1:1–3 In…

Accusation and Confession

Accusations are powerful. In the Garden of Eden, the dragon accuses Eve of naivety for following God’s commandments: You certainly will not die; for God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be as gods who know good and evil. —Gen. 3:4–5 In John’s apocalypse, this dragon is called “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10). One of the devil’s most useful tools…

Orthodox Mysteries in the Old Testament

The Orthodox conversion rites—Chrismation, Baptism, and the holy Eucharist—are a fulfillment of priestly types or shadows in the Old Testament. Just as Israel was a nation of priests (Ex. 19:6), so too is the new covenant Church (1 Pet. 2:9). A description of priestly consecration can be read in Leviticus, mirroring the conversion rites for Orthodox Christians. First, there is washing with water, along with a vesting of priestly garments: And Moses…