My point is this: We *can* *know* that one who believes and is baptized will be (is) saved...., because Scripture says so. We *can* *know* that one who has received grace through faith is saved...., because Scripture says so.
Can, do, will the Orthodox say "We don't know" if such a one whose salvation is in question is not Orthodox?
If the answer to this question, Anastasia, as you have suggested is, "No, the Orthodox would not say this," then the whole debate about whether Lutherans (or other Christians) will join the Orthodox in heaven must be answered entirely, including Orthodox believers, "We don't know" or "Yes, of course they will be".
It seems that this discussion, however, is really about who is the *True Church*. Of course, every denomination claims to be the *True Church*.
Does not Scripture teach that Christ alone is the Truth and the Glory of God of which all men (and all communions) fall short? One communion may indeed be *closer* to the Truth than another, but to claim "We are the True Church, and you're not" is off the mark, misinformed, and uncharitable. Love, sacrifice, selflessness, charity, mercy, forgiveness, ...., are not these the fruits of those who truly follow He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?
As a side note: It is not my intention to offend anyone of the Orthodox faith on this list. However, I don't believe that I should have to pander to anyone by formulating what I *believe* as a question -- such would be to weaken my position and give the impression that I am doubtful or something less than convicted. I *am* here to glean and to learn what the Orthodox and Lutherans share in common and what it is that attracts a seemingly growing number of Lutherans to Orthodoxy -- but, at least at present, I am firmly convicted in my Lutheran confession. If I am in breach of the rules of this list, I apologize and ask the forgiveness of the moderator and any and all that I have sinned against. I will humbly acknowledge the rightness of my removal and/or will remove myself upon the moderator's request.
"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
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