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Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese



Introduction

The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese believes the Lord has established this church which they identify as one Body of the one Christ. It is part of the Eucharistic community.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese is an Eastern Orthodox Church in the Republic of Macedonia and is considered to be governed by its own elected Bishop. Its autocephalous ( being independent of external patriarchal authority) is not officially recognized by other Orthodox churches. They separated from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967.

The American Diocese is headed by His Beatitude Archbishop Stephen of Ohrid and Macedonia. He is the head over the Holy Synod of Hierarchs of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

The church continues the traditions of St. Clement’s Archbishopric of Ohrid. It is controlled by the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia and a Holy Synod of Bishops that consist of six bishops.

History

The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese considers itself to be the original church that was started by Jesus Christ and His apostles.

The People’s Republic of Macedonia was created as one of the Republics of the socialist Federal Republic of Macedonia in March 1945. It was governed by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. There was an attempt to create the Macedonian Orthodox church in 1919 which was submitted to the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Orthodox Church had the title of a Se e but held no real power to exercise the resolution to create the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The attempt to make a resolution was rejected until 1958. The establishment of the Ohrid Archdiocese of Saint Clement as a Macedonian Orthodox Church was accepted on June 17, 1959.

There has been a conflict between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church since the breakup of Yugoslavia and the end of the Communist repression. The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the other autocephalous churches do not recognize the governing of the elected patriarch of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church have been negotiating for years to come to a compromising agreement dealing with the autocephalous recognition.

Belief

The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese believes the Bible is a collection of texts that came out of tradition and oral teachings. They believe the Bible is a very important part of their tradition. They believe it is also tradition that has given them their creeds.

They believe in consensus. A consensus is a general agreement among all the members and the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the church. They believe the Holy Spirit guides the life of the church. They believe all theological concepts must agree with the consensus. They believe they do not have to agree with the Fathers but they must believe in the consensus.

They believe in one single God who is in three essence; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They believe the Holy Trinity is three distinct divine persons and these three share one divine essence that is eternal. They believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and is the Lord and Savior of the world.

They believe man was created for communion with God. They believe man acted contrary to his own nature and stopped that communion. They believe sickness of sin and corruption is the consequence of death. They believe Jesus Christ came into the world being Perfect Man and Perfect God as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. They believe because Jesus assumed the human nature that he made the existence of humans to become restored.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese believes salvation is a process of being saved from death and the fate of hell. They do not believe one has to be Orthodox to receive salvation. They believe God is merciful to everyone. They believe there is nothing that a person can do to earn salvation. They believe it is a gift from God. They believe man is free to reject the gift of salvation from God.

They believe sin is a name for any behavior that fails to be like God. They believe sin is a failure to meet a goal and prevents a person from becoming more than what they are. They therefore treat sin on an individual basis assigning a spiritual guide to the individual who is sinning for them to confess to. They believe the spiritual guide will know how to deal appropriately.

They believe Mary was consecrated at the age of three and served in the temple as a temple virgin under Zachariah, who was the High Priest. They believe Mary was carried into the Holy of Holies as a sign of her consecration. They believe Mary was the ark in which God would take form. They believe when Mary was twelve she was required to give up her position in the temple and marry. The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese does not believe as the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. They believe Mary remained stainless and pure. They believe in theory Christ at the very moment of conception was fully God and fully man. They believe Mary is the Theotokos, the birth-giver of God and is the greatest of all humans ever to have lived, except for her son Jesus Christ.

They believe the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the main theme of their liturgical year. They believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that He was crucified and died, that he descended into Hades, that he rescued all the souls held there through original sin, and He rose from the dead and saved all mankind. They believe Jesus Christ released mankind from the bonds of Hades and then came back to the living as man and God. They believe mankind can partake of this immortality because of the promise held out by God in His New Covenant with mankind.

They believe it is through baptism into Christ that they enter into the newness of life and are made one with the people of God. The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese believes newly baptized Christians should be given names of saints so those saints can pray for that person’s salvation.

They believe communion of the Holy Spirit joins them together in discipleship and in the obedience to Jesus Christ. They believe the Holy Eucharist represents the whole Body of Christ.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese believes Heaven is a static and stationary state. They believe man will be restored to a perfect state and will retain his individuality and his own personality, but will be devoid of all the adverse traits that limit him from reaching God. They believe Heaven is the unending sea of the love of God. They believe anyone who rejects the mercy and love of God will also be thrown into the endless sea of the love of God. They believe for these people, heavenly bliss will seem like and unquenchable and eternal fire.

They believe in the doctrine of amillenaialist which teaches the Kingdom of God will not be a physical one established here on earth. They believe Christ is reigning from Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God. They also believe Christ will remain with the Christian Church until the end of the world which he promised this at His Ascension. They believe the millennium began at Pentecost and that the Christian Church must spread the good news of Christ.

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne. "Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese." Becker Bible Studies Library Jan 2006.   <http://guidedbiblestudies.com/library/macedonian_orthodox_church.htm>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne. (2006, January) "Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese." Becker Bible Studies Library Retrieved   from http://guidedbiblestudies.com/library/macedonian_orthodox_church.htm

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne. (2006) "Macedonian Orthodox Church: American Diocese." Becker Bible Studies Library (January), http://guidedbiblestudies.com/library/macedonian_orthodox_church.htm (accessed )


About the Author

Joanne B. Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies teacher and author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Christian Counseling with honors from Liberty University. She is well-known as a counsleor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on the history of development of the Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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