Travis (Constantine) Scholz wrote:
In a nutshell, Fr. Gregory's agnostic view is correct: One simply cannot say what the status is of the heterodox, Lutheran or otherwise. In other words, we don't know.
That we cannot *know* the status (in regard to salvation) of *anyone*, regardless of the communion to which they belong, is uncontested.
However, to hold this agnostic view *only* upon those outside of the Orthodox communion, simply because they are not Orthodox, is contrary to the central doctrine of Scripture. E.g. Mark 16:16, Acts 16:30-31, Ephesians 2:8-9, and many, many others.
If grace has been received as a free gift (baptism), along with faith in the Holy Trinity, then one can *know* that they are saved. Further, no one should judge them any differently than they would those within their own communion, Orthodox, Lutheran, or other. This is not about whose doctrine is closer to the *Truth*, but it is about what constitutes *salvation*. The Scriptures explain that clearly and simply.
Travis (Constantine) Scholz further wrote:
I think you will find that Orthodox don't often speak in static or absolute terms, such as whether someone is in or out. On the one hand, again, God is the Judge.
On the contrary, I think that is exactly what you *are* doing. To say that you *don't know* the status of a baptized believer of another communion, simply because they belong to another communion, while the Scriptures are quite clear of what constitutes salvation, is to deny, contradict, or ignore the clear, simple, plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures.
"He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother."
- St. Cyprian of Carthage
"O wondrous mystery! One is the Father of all, one also the Word of all,
and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere. And there is only one Virgin Mother;
I love to call her the Church." - St. Clement of Alexandria
Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth
The Lutheran Church of Christ the King
14 Pine Drive Pawling, NY 12564
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]