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question 2: patrick barne's "the Non-Orthodox"

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  • nrinne
    From the first assumptions I discussed (see question 1), here are what I see as beliefs proceding from those assumptions: L1: Those who are baptized into
    Message 1 of 3 , May 7, 2009
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      From the first assumptions I discussed (see question 1), here are what I see as beliefs proceding from those assumptions:


      L1: Those who are baptized into Christ (see above), know Him by faith, and endure in this faith, are now or at least will be a part of the true Church, despite "felicitous inconsistencies".
      EO1: It is possible that those heterodox who obviously love Christ may attain salvation by their practice of Christianity. The question of their eternal destiny should be left open as the God of Love may place them in His Heavenly Kingdom (but see p. 55: "God will have mercy on them" – I think we need to have a clear answer about God's mercy regarding those "Christians" [or even pagans?] who don't have a chance to realize the truth of EO: "may" or "will"?)

      Again, I want to make sure I am understanding EO teaching clearly (see my last paragraph of the "question 1" posting).

      Thank you,
      Nathan
    • Christopher Orr
      ... We will be judged according to what we have been given. Christ is the measure of all things as He is the Word (logos) at the center of all things. All we
      Message 2 of 3 , May 11, 2009
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        >
        > On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 8:28 AM, nrinne <Nrinne@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > From the first assumptions I discussed (see question 1), here are what I
        > see as beliefs proceding from those assumptions:
        > >
        > > L1: Those who are baptized into Christ (see above), know Him by faith,
        > and endure in this faith, are now or at least will be a part of the true
        > Church, despite "felicitous inconsistencies".
        > > EO1: It is possible that those heterodox who obviously love Christ may
        > attain salvation by their practice of Christianity. The question of their
        > eternal destiny should be left open as the God of Love may place them in His
        > Heavenly Kingdom (but see p. 55: "God will have mercy on them" � I think we
        > need to have a clear answer about God's mercy regarding those "Christians"
        > [or even pagans?] who don't have a chance to realize the truth of EO: "may"
        > or "will"?)
        >
        >


        We will be judged according to what we have been given. Christ is the
        measure of all things as He is the Word (logos) at the center of all
        things. All we can do is Hope that all will be saved based on what we know
        of God - he is longsuffering, patient, loving, forgiving, etc. If he will
        have me and I am the worst of sinners, then why would he not welcome those
        less sinful than me. We have certainty in God's mercy and love. This is a
        different thing in being certain that I will be saved. Fr. John Fenton had
        a good post on this topic. So, pagans and non-Orthodox and Orthodox may be
        saved, but God is always good and loving and wishes for all to be saved.

        Saved is also a concept more broad than simply 'not going to Hell' or 'being
        let into Heaven'. More perfectly, being saved is being returned not only to
        the edenic state of Adam and Eve, but to attaining to union with the Word,
        which we were created for. The Incarnation would have happened without the
        Fall. We will be saved from our nature to be 'changed' into something
        beyond nature in union with the God-man, engulfed in the divine energies of
        the Godhead Himself.

        Heaven and Hell are really just anthropomorphic ways of describing how
        saints and sinners experience one and the same reality of God. In eternity,
        in our resurrected bodies, seeing God as He Is, we experience him as a
        consuming fire or as the fire of the furnace in Daniel or of the bush on
        Sinai. We experience coals as burning and searing us, or as the coal in the
        vision of Isaiah. They are different places and states, and they are real,
        not just spiritual or symbolic. We are either fire-bearing or burnt by
        fire; we are the unburnt bush or grass burnt up in the fire forever. Such
        is the danger in coming face to face with the Living God. God does not
        change, our ability to stand Him is different though. This life, the time
        we are given, is for the transformation of ourselves into instruments
        capable of carrying such fire without being destroyed - the Church build us
        fromoffering bare hands to paper cups to brass braziers to hold and carry
        the coal of Isaiah's vision. Salvation is this kind of re-creation,
        re-forming of our very nature in the Body of Christ Himself - communion of
        His Body and Blood effect this change, as well as all of the disciplines and
        tools and gifts of the Church.

        Whether God will have mercy is then more a matter of whether He will be able
        to shield Himself enough so an not to burn those unprepared for the fire.
        Fire is still fire whether match or furnace, and tinder will always burn.
        God help us all.

        This is a very different paradigm than whether you will be saved for
        believeing aright, for being counted just, etc.

        Christopher


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      • Christopher Orr
        ... The Epistle reading for Monday was the Acts 10 account of Cornelius the Centurion. What struck me was that he was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but St.
        Message 3 of 3 , May 12, 2009
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          >
          > > EO1: It is possible that those heterodox who obviously love Christ may
          > attain salvation by their practice of Christianity. The question of their
          > eternal destiny should be left open as the God of Love may place them in His
          > Heavenly Kingdom (but see p. 55: "God will have mercy on them" � I think we
          > need to have a clear answer about God's mercy regarding those "Christians"
          > [or even pagans?] who don't have a chance to realize the truth of EO: "may"
          > or "will"?)
          > >


          The Epistle reading for Monday was the Acts 10 account of Cornelius the
          Centurion. What struck me was that he was neither a Jew nor a Christian,
          but St. Luke could write that he was "a devout man, and one that feared God
          with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God
          alway." The angel that came to him also "said unto him, Thy prayers and
          thine alms are come up for a memorial before God."

          So, while he was outside of both the Old and the New Israel (the Church), he
          was praying to the one, true God and his prayers were heard! This is a
          clear example in Scripture that those outside of the Church worship the true
          God. He wasn't heard simply because he later converted, but he was heard
          while he was yet apart from both Israel and the Church. It reminded me
          quite a lot of Melchizedek being a priest of the true God apart from any
          connection to Abraham.

          We are all saved through Christ, and this is the normal way, and yet
          Scripture itself provides us with examples of true believers apart from the
          known bounds of the Church. In fact, even they are saved through Christ as
          all things are in and through Christ, he makes sure all things work together
          for the good of those that love God (as did this non-Jew, non-Christian
          centurion), it is through his union with human nature, his life, death and
          resurrection that the fulness of the energies of God are available to us, it
          was His sending of the Holy Spirit to fill all things, especially the
          Apostles, the Theotokos and those present with them on Pentecost. We are
          saved through and because of Him, just sometimes outside of what we know to
          be the bounds of the Church.

          Christopher


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