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What things in general have been brought with time into the Eastern Orthodox Church that the mainstream protestant Christianity considers as not being able to be traced back to the times of the church of the first century?

To clarify, my question is about what kind of things the mainstream Protestantism sees as new in the today's Eastern Orthodox Church. We know, for example, that the "Sola Scriptura" principle that was put forth by the Protestants has been deemed as something new by both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches (meaning that originally there was no such thing as "Sola Scriptura" in the early Church of the time of the 12 apostles). So, my question is about some such "new" things (as Protestant would deem them) in the Eastern Orthodox Church today.

share|improve this question… This is too broad. What is the definition of 'mainstream' Protestantism? – Josiah Oct 25 at 20:31
@Josiah - "What is the definition of 'mainstream' Protestantism?" - By "mainstream Protestants" in this question I mean all Christians who pray to Jesus and don't belong to the Oriental Orthodoxy, the Eastern Orthodoxy and the Catholicism. – brilliant Oct 26 at 2:03
So you mean, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Anglicans, Evangelicals, Calvanists, Baptists, 7th Day Adventists, Mormons, etc. This is why the question is too broad. Each of these groups would respond differently to this question. – Josiah Oct 26 at 2:52
Mormons are not in because they don't pray to Jesus. "Each of these groups would respond differently to this question" - Which is just fine because, as I have told you before in my comments that you refused to read, my question is a multiple beliefs overview question (…) – brilliant Oct 26 at 5:13
No I read it, but stated that multiple beliefs overview questions are off topic because they are too broad and end up with answers that are either too long or too broad. So it turns out that your meta post that you linked to has taught me something. Thanks. – Josiah Oct 26 at 18:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In Eastern Orthodox Christianity certain paintings of Jesus or one of the saints are called Icons. Depending on the church these are venerated to a lesser or greater degree, and such veneration is rejected by Protestants. In and of themselves the paintings are not sinful, but if they are venerated that is considered sinful, just as veneration of relics in the Roman Catholic Church is considered sinful by protestants. Additionally there are associated beliefs which would be rejected by Protestants, like that some of the icons weren't painted by humans but instead appeared miraculously.

It's not certain when icons were first used by Christians, but Irenaeus (c. 130-202) argues against Gnostic use of them. In the Spanish Synod of Elvira (c. 305) the bishops concluded that "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration."

Icons were used before the Great Schism and so could be argued not to be strictly an Orthodox innovation, but today they are very characteristic of the Orthodox church as the other branches of Christianity don't use them.

(Sourced largely from the Wikipedia page on Icons)

share|improve this answer
If you downvoted my answer I would appreciate an explanation why so that I can improve it. – curiousdannii Jun 2 '14 at 5:42
what is Irenaeus (c. 130-202) ? – Малъ Скрылевъ Jul 21 at 14:20
this sentence ` In the Spanish Synod of Elvira (c. 305) ` is also under argue. – Малъ Скрылевъ Jul 21 at 14:21
@M that's a person's name. "C. year" means he lived approximately those dates. – curiousdannii Jul 21 at 14:22
did you mean the Irenaeus the bishop of Lion? – Малъ Скрылевъ Jul 21 at 14:34

Separation of layperson from clergy would be a big one in my book as well as glorification (formal recognition of sainthood). To many protestants, if you're not a saint you're not a christian, because all christians have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus. The two states are inseparable. Additionally, most protestants also reject the veneration of Mary.

share|improve this answer
"protestants also reject the divinity of Mary" - Do the Orthodox recognize the divinity of Mary? – brilliant Mar 19 '12 at 17:17
What is the "formal recognition of sainthood" in your answer? Can you, please, elaborate? – brilliant Mar 19 '12 at 17:20
Orthodox believe that Mary, as a human being, could have sinned but chose not to. In Roman Catholic understanding, Mary is exempted from the guilt of original sin (Orthodox do not accept that humans share the guilt of the first sin but, rather, only the consequences) before all eternity, and thus could not have sinned. Jesus Christ is Mary's Savior, as well as ours, as testified in her own statement in Luke (the Magnificat). If Mary had been "sin-proof" from all eternity, Orthodox would argue as to why she would need a Savior. Mary is the new Eve who said yes to God where the first Eve said no – Dan Mar 21 '12 at 10:12
Also, while this is a little late, how does this even answer the question? Both practices mentioned by @JoelCoehoorn predate Protestantism, which means it doesn't answer the question. I thought this was looking for practices that have become novel within Orthodoxy since the inception of Protestantism.... – Dan Jul 15 '13 at 4:54
@Daи the question as written asks what aspects of Orthodoxy do Protestants consider to be untraceable back to the first century. Clergy is debatable (many Protestants have it!) but the non-sainthood of all believers is definitely a valid answer. – curiousdannii Mar 16 '14 at 0:51

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