4 Questions About Eastern Orthodoxy
I have some questions...
1. When did this religion first begin?
2. Is there a power structure in this religion?
3. Are there rules that need to be followed? If so, why are they important?
1. The Eastern Orthodox church is Christianity. There are many styles of Christianity, but Eastern Orthodoxy is the oldest & most original. It was started by Jesus Christ about 2000 years ago and then 12 of His closest believers, the Apostles, went around the world and taught people about it. Many other people who worked with Jesus and the 12 Apostles were also important in teaching the world about what is now called Christianity.
2. I think I know what you mean by "power structure", but it should not be confused with the power structures of other types of Christianity, like the Catholics, the Methodists, the Baptists, etc. The 12 Apostles wrote some books explaining what Christianity is all about, and they established a certain power structure and a tradition surrounding it. Each church or group of churches should have a bishop, who is considered to be a very wise spiritual man, as well as a good leader. Then there are priests who are also allowed to be in charge of a church or work with the bishop. The priests are today the most visible leaders of each church, and one bishop is the leader of many priests below him. Then there are deacons and deaconesses under each priest who help the priest during church services and also help the people with any special needs. The apostles and the earliest Christians believed that order is the first law of Heaven, and so this power structure is very important for the best form of Christianity. However, no bishop or priest should abuse this power. If someone does so, then the people and other priests and bishops must correct or solve the problem. Since the early days of the Church, 5 of the most important bishops, from Constantinople, Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, became the Church's leaders, but there was never only one leader of all the Church. These 5 bishops together were the leaders of the Church, though in the most important decisions, church councils had the most power.
3. Every religion has rules to follow, and so does Eastern Orthodoxy. These rules are important because without rules then there is no acceptance of order and truth. Heaven itself is based on rules, and so is each family and each society. Without rules people would do and believe whatever they wanted. The world would be more destructive and heavenly teachings would be impossible to recognize.
---I hope that I've answered your questions. You may write back to me if you have more questions. -Gaius