Home Questions and Answers (Orthodox Christian) What Makes Christianity Different from Other Religions? | Orthodox Teaching of the...

What Makes Christianity Different from Other Religions? | Orthodox Teaching of the Elders

In this recording, Archimandrite Athanasios Mytilinaios (1927-2006), answers the question: “What is the main difference between Christianity and other religions?” These religions are ‘endocosmic’, of the world… These are made up… Thus, these religions ‘start’ from man and ‘end’ to man. A cycle ‘from man to man’. What is Christianity? Christianity is a revelation. When something is revealed, it means that it is not made up. Furthermore, it is facts, it is history.”

Audio source: “Answers to Sunday school questions”, no. 1000, February 2, 1997 (in Greek)

Archimandrite Athanasios:

Time for our questions, children. A first question asks: “Could you please tell us concisely the differences between Christianity and the most well-known religions and heresies?” I would leave outside the issue of heresies, since heresies are a deviation from the truth of Christianity. Once again, heresy is the logical interpretation of [Christian] dogma. When I attempt to understand a mystery, a revelation, in a logical way, I fall into heresy. For example, I am trying to realize how God is three persons, but still one. There is no chemical, mechanic, logical or any other analogue/comparison to realize this. I simply accept it. In case, however, I say: “There can’t be three persons, so I reject the two and keep one [of them], because I am finding [it] difficult to understand it… This is called heresy. Thus, heresy is an endochristian/from inside Christianity (“ενδοχριστιανικές») phenomenon. When we deal with other religions, it’s a whole different thing. 

I could answer [to the question] as follows. [Concerning] all existing religions, again, aside from the Christian heresies, [such] as Buddhism, for example. I’ll tell you two words and remember them. These religions are “endocosmic”, “of the world/ from inside the world” [«ενδοκοσμικές»]. Endocosmic religions. They were born «κατ’επίνοια», «κατ’ επίνοια» means I make up something with my mind. Apostle Peter talks about the “invented myths” [«σεσοφισμένοι μύθοι», «επινενοημένοι μύθοι»]. That is when I try to organize and systematize a religion. “Man is like this and that, soul is this and that, what salvation stands for, etc.” These are made up, pay attention to this. Thus, these religions “start” from man and “end” to man. A cycle “from man to man.” They have nothing to offer. Salvation, though they [these invented religions] do not talk about salvation, but even if they did it would be nothing other than the well-known saying: “when I want to raise myself by pulling my head…” It’s impossible to raise myself. If I weigh 100kg, I can lift a sack with wheat. However, I cannot lift myself when I weigh 100 kg. Why is that? Who knows why, physics gives us the answer: “The forces are a closed system.” That’s what we say in physics, and it is impossible to lift myself. The powers have come from outside. Thus, I cannot save myself, regardless of how much I want it, [using] what I come up with, whatever construct I build. It’s not possible because all these things are endocosmic. Thus, a force from the outside has to come. What is this force? For all other religions, this outside force does not exist. What is Christianity? Christianity is a revelation. When [something] is revealed, it means that it is not made up. What does revelation mean? [When] something that is hidden, I remove what conceals it and I reveal it. Christianity exists and the salvation of man is revealed! Thus, what is Christianity? A revelation! Furthermore, it is facts, it is history. Do you know how fundamental it is what I say [right now]? That Christianity is facts and history. Christ indeed became a man, indeed died, indeed was resurrected, indeed ascended. These are facts! Indeed He will return. As Pascal says, if 10 prophecies were said and nine of them have been realized, it remains for the tenth to be realized. All these happened in the face of Christ as facts, as history. What remains now? The Second Coming. In conclusion, this is the difference, a terrifying one we might say, with the invented religions—that Christianity is a revelation, history, facts. Our salvation is a fact and is born out of facts.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here