The Orthodox Church
“He can no longer have God for a Father,
who has not the Church for a Mother."
One of the early Christian martyrs, Saint Cyprian of Carthage, spoke these words. They may seem strange to people of our generation, who have been schooled to believe that each person can relate to God in his own way. Yet Saint Cyprian adds that if any man who was not in Noah's ark were able to survive during the Flood, then people would be able to be saved outside the Church.
Our Mother - The Ark of Salvation
For our spiritual wellbeing and for our eternal salvation it is then necessary for us to be members of the Church of Christ. But where is this Church?
The observer, looking at the Christian world today, sees not the Church, but a multiplicity of denominations and sects. Jesus Christ founded His Church and assured us that the gates of Hades would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). If Christ is true, as Christians believe He is, then somewhere among all the sects and denominations, there must be the one true Church. The Orthodox Church sincerely and humbly believes herself to be that one true Church, the Ark of Salvation.
As Noah's Ark brought those in it through the Flood to safety, so the Church brings her members through the storms and waves of this world to salvation. Fully aware that man is a union of body and soul, she uses all the beauty of creation to move her faithful children to prayer and worship: icons (holy pictures), beautiful chanting, sweet-smelling incense and majestic ceremonies which tell forth the Gospel message.
She invites to herself all those who desire to hear this message, and who wish to begin to struggle for their salvation.