On Being Orthodox but Not Christian

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose 1934-1982

Sometimes one’s zeal for “Orthodoxy” can be so excessive that it produces a situation similar to that which caused an old Russian woman to remark of an enthusiastic American convert “Well, he’s certainly Orthodox all right — but is he a Christian?”

To be “Orthodox but not Christian” is a state that has a particular name in Christian language: it means to be a pharisee, to be so bogged down in the letter of the Church’s laws that one loses the spirit that gives them life, the spirit of true Christianity. In saying this my aim is not to be critical or to point to anyone in particular — we all suffer from this — but only to point out a pitfall which can cause one to fail to take advantage of the riches which the Orthodox Church provides for our salvation, even in these evil times. (Orthodoxy in America )


  1. This most true, I think many of us who are converts can be easliy sucked into this state because of the fact that we are somewhat angry at our former church, for we feel that they have mislead us . So when we get a hold of orthodoxy we tend to forget the spiritual riches that orthodox provides and instead we say, ” hey you guys ain’t doing it right , we are right your dead wrong”. And this is the wrong approach.

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