Besides the clear oxymoron of this statement, the lack of historicity it presents is mind blowing.
Courtney and I were talking while on our date last night about folks who say such things about Orthodox Christians. Courtney had a great metaphor for such folks:
Saying that Eastern Orthodoxy is not Christianity is like a baby growing up and questioning it’s mother’s humanity despite it is the mother and her humanity that gave this child life.
To say Orthodox Christianity is not Christianity is to deny the Church who gave the Christian faith the Scriptures. To say Orthodox Christianity is no Christianity is to deny the Church that set in place the orthodoxy concerning Christ’s humanity, divinity, and incarnation!
To say Orthodox Christianity is not Christianity is to deny the Christians who gave us the Creeds, of which many Protestants, dare I say even Reformed folks, accept.
This is the thing about certain aspect of Protestants that get into this “let’s decide who is and is not Christian” game when it comes to those who accept and affirm historic, apostolic Christianity whether in its fullness, Orthodoxy, or in the other half full cases (which are found in Catholicism and Protestantism); it is a game of judgment really.
There is not a single canon or belief in Orthodoxy that states that Catholics or Protestants are not Christians. Granted, we do have our raging Fundamentalist, but they do not reflect what Orthodoxy believes and are not a full representation.
Orthodoxy fully recognizes that there are other Christians. We do not deny there faith, just its fullness. We do not deny that they believe in Jesus. We do not deny their faith or belief at all. We simply deny their ecclesiology and the false unity of Ecumenism that is found there. We do not deny that they are Christians or make judgments that they are not since in most cases they recognize, accept, and affirm much of orthodox belief such as the fact that Christ is the Son of God, fully man, fully human, and died on the Cross and resurrected. We acknowledge in most cases that they are baptized and have faith.
This notion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity not being Christianity is completely bogus. And anyone who has had a basic introduction to Church History knows that this assertion could not be more historically ignorant.
That is one thing that I find great about Orthodoxy. Of course Rome, Churches of Christ, and many Protestant groups claim they are the one, true, apostolic, and Catholic Church. Of course history has shown me and COUNTLESS others that Orthodoxy is the only one with the claim that is true.
But while some other groups claiming that will tell you that you are going to hell and have no salvation for not being part of the Church, Orthodoxy does not.
We have never made such pronouncements on other Christians nor will we ever. We cannot say where the Church is not, only where it is. The Church will be determined at the Dread Judgment of Christ.
This sort of silliness found in some folks (and not all Protestants are like this, so please do not see me as lumping them all together) is just completely unfounded.
I do not think this helps either side, Orthodox or Evangelicalism (Protestantism), in any way. I do not believe it is okay to say of those who profess the apostolic, basic beliefs of Christianity that they are not Christians. Now, clearly there are some folks who call themselves Christians, but they really lack any connection or similarity with ancient, apostolic Christianity. I am not talking about cults like Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses.
I know that not all Protestants believe this, but I wanted to address this idea nonetheless.
It is extremely inaccurate historically to say of Eastern Orthodox Christianity that it is not Christianity.