Scriptural View: 2/5
Missional View: 3/5
Site Usabilility: 3/5
Site Design: 3/5
Site Content: 2/5
Summary: St. Gregory of Nyssa is a recent Greek Orthodox church plant in the East County of San Diego. The Greek Orthodox tradition dates back over 2,000 years to the founding of the Christian church. In 1054, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church split into two over issues of Papal authority. Services have a ancient liturgical feel which connects people today to generations that have gone before us. The Orthodox have done a great thing in maintaining their identity and tradition over hundreds of years- they have not compromised- and that is admirable in many ways.
Many in the Greek Orthodox tradition feel their church is the best and closest representation to God’s church. From St. Gregory’s website:
Orthodoxy believes that she has preserved and taught the historic Christian Faith free from error and distortion, from the time of the Apostles. She also believes that there is nothing in the body of her teachings which is contrary to truth or which inhibits real union with God.
At the service, the Father Demetri Tsigas, spoke much about the Kingdom of God and the need for the church to be missional to the world. I was encouraged by his preaching and his message called people to live out what was preached. The preaching was more topical than exegetical though.
The Greek Orthodox communities are notorious for their family-atmosphere and at the service I attended several people invited me to events. I felt a real warmth at the church. There is much that this church is doing right and for that I commend them.
The point that we (as Protestants) differ is we hold to sola scriptura, that the Bible alone is God’s special revelation to mankind. The earth and all of creation are God’s general revelation but only through the Holy Spirit and Scripture are we to base our beliefs. This is where we differ from the Greek Orthodox church who holds that ” The Bible is viewed as only one expression of God’s revelation in the on-going life of His people. Scripture is part of the treasure of Faith which is known as Tradition.” Other minor points over praying to Saints, Mary being a perpetual virgin consubstantiation (that communion literally becomes Jesus body and blood) also differ from traditional Protestant positions.
Because of our difference of how we view Scripture as well as a few other differences we do not recommend this church to Protestants.