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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Lutherans and Orthodox in Heaven?

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  • Travis (Constantine) Stolz
    Dear Rev. Ellingworth, Please pardon my sloth in responding. A number of people have already replied but I do want to make a couple of points. 1. Yes, every
    Message 1 of 53 , Jan 18, 2008
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      Dear Rev. Ellingworth,

      Please pardon my sloth in responding. A number of people have already replied but I do want to make a couple of points.

      1. Yes, every denomination claims to be "the true Church" but not every denomination can be correct in that claim. It's not at all the case to say, as you do, that stating where the Church is (as well as where she is not, or at least to claim one does not know where the Church is not) is "off the mark, misinformed, and uncharitable." If every denomination, communion, etc., is somehow close to the Truth, then no one communion can claim to be the true communion. We could never know the Truth, then, much less be set free.

      2. Yes, Christ is alone the Truth. He is also the Head of one Body, namely, the Church herself which is alone the place of salvation. This is a truth that is not only textual ("Scripture says so") or intellectual (e.g., a correct formulation of doctrine), it is one that is also metaphysical or spiritual (but nonetheless *real* in that one can point to a communion and say "*That's* the Church, *that's* where one can be saved"). Remember, unity is not our will but rather that of the Father (John 17). Having correct teaching on some point or other is not enough to include one in the Church. There is much in Lutheranism, for example, with which I continue to agree. But I can only conclude that the truths in Lutheranism are truths held in unrighteousness (Rom 1) since the Lutheran communion is a heterodox one.

      Again, I am not suggesting that Lutherans cannot be saved. As I have said, this is not my call to make and I simply trust in God's mercy and kindness. But I am saying that the issue of salvation is deeper than what you are suggesting. Soteriology and ecclesiology are inseperable--salvation and the place of salvation go hand in glove. The reasons why Orthodox say "we don't know" when it comes to the non-Orthodox or heterodox is for this reason: if one has rejected the place of salvation, then one is at a loss to know what to say beyond the agnostic answer previously discussed. For myself, I simply leave it with God, whose will is that all may be saved.

      I hope this is helpful and hasn't further muddied the waters, etc.

      Yours,
      Travis (Constantine)

      "Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth" <didache@...> wrote:
      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.

      JME

      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

      "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
      Office 845.855.3169
      Home 845.855.2616
      E-Mail didache@...
      E-Mail pawlinglutheran@...
      Web http://www.pawlinglutheran.org
      Blog http://www.lesteverymanbeblind.blogspot.com

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      _______________________
      Travis (Constantine) Stolz
      travis.stolz@...


      ---------------------------------
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    • Brian Fink
      You mean Pastor isnt their first name after all? Brian ... From: tharman32 To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, January
      Message 53 of 53 , Jan 23, 2008
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        You mean Pastor isnt their first name after all?

        Brian


        ----- Original Message ----
        From: tharman32 <tharman32@...>
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 7:21:54 PM
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Lutherans and Orthodox in Heaven?

        --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, "Rev. Jon M.
        Ellingworth" <didache@... > wrote:
        >
        Pastor (sorry, the Marine in me prevents me from using your first
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