Seven Church Councils

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Church of the Seven Councils Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a very ancient and traditional religion; these Christians claim they worship and practice their rituals the same way the early Church did and nothing has changed since. That previous statement captures the nature of Eastern Orthodox, but it is not entirely true. Christianity as a whole took time to develop and slowly take shape. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did not personally hand his disciples the King James Bible with proper doctrine intact. It took several centuries for Christians to establish orthodox or correct doctrine and to determine which doctrines were heretical. Early Church leaders worked out the correct belief at councils and the seven ecumenical councils are the foundation for Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Tradition is the core of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and tradition can be both written and oral. For the Orthodox, written tradition is not only the written scripture, but also includes creeds and writings of church fathers and church councils. There have been more than seven church councils, but these crucial first seven, known as the Ecumenical Councils, were the most important in establishing official church doctrine. The seven councils span a time period over four hundred years, with the first council in 325 CE and the seventh in 787 CE. The goal of these councils was to create a unified religion, now that Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire. Hundreds of church fathers from all across the known world were invited to attend the first council. Topics of discussion included the nature of Jesus (was he fully divine or fully man or somewhere between?) and the doctrine of the Trinity. Official creeds were ratified to pronounce the official belief of each doctrine under question. The first council was the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. The

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