Orthodoxy also accepts the fact that God spoke to non-Israelites/non-Jews as
well. St. Justin Martyr and some of the other ante-Nicene Fathers dealing
with explaining Christianity (and its relation to Judaism) spoke of the
foreshadowings of Christ found in the pagan Greek philosophers, for
instance. Some held this to be from the philosophers exposure to the books
of Moses and then related to the Greeks in an impure, misunderstood manner,
others held that God took account of the weakness of the pagans and worked
through their pagan faiths ("All things work together for the good of them
that love God...") to turn the falsity of their fallen faith toward their
salvation. This was all a kind of preparation for them to accept the Gospel
in its fullness when it arrived in the fullness of time.
Orthodoxy teaches that prior to the Resurrection, ALL souls - righteous and
unrighteous, Jew and Gentile, went to the same place: Sheol. St. John the
Baptist continued his Forerunner preaching in Sheol when he arrived so that
the souls of the departed would be prepared for the breaking of the brass
gates of Hades by Christ on Holy Saturday (the Great and Holy Sabbath, the
fulfillment of the prophetic 7th day) and led into the Kingdom of Heaven.
In more modern times, the Aleuts of Alaska had many foreshadowings of the
true faith in their pagan religion. This is why the shamans so readily
renounced their faith (and livlihood) and accepted the God they had been
expecting. There is more on this in Fr. Michael Oleska's "Orthodox Alaska".
On 10/3/07, Anastasia Theodoridis <anastasiatheo01@...> wrote:
> I personally would NOT address this, because this kind of sloppy
> thinking shows the author has an agenda of his own, and THAT is what really
> would need to be addressed. He is a former Catholic monk, he says. Okay, his
> agenda is almost certainly to justify the "former" by debunking Rome,
> probably for purposes having to do with sexuality. There are countless
> ex-Catholics trying to do the same.
> But of course what he wrote is not so much nonsense as simply irrelevant
> to us. So what if pagan religions also had death and resurrection stories?
> Pagan religions all encapsulate at least some portion of the deepest hopes
> and dreams of mankind. Only Christianity *fulfills* them.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]