Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: St. John Chrysostom on Salvation by Faith Alone?

Expand Messages
  • solascriptura1971
    Randy, The trick for me is trusting in the church who s teaching, at least on the surface, contradicts Scripture. However, I m willing to concede that if
    Message 1 of 68 , Nov 24, 2008
    • 0 Attachment

      The trick for me is trusting in "the church" who's teaching, at
      least on the surface, contradicts Scripture. However, I'm willing to
      concede that if it's possible that your church, the Orthodox Church,
      is the true church of the New Testament, then I should at least
      prayerfully struggle over these issues while bearing in mind that my
      perception of what Scripture teaches could, in fact, be in error
      (after all, I'm human with a fallen will as well!). But yes, I can
      see how your quote can bring peace of mind to those pondering
      difficult issues.

      Thanks for your help, and prayers.

      Now I'm off to start reading all of the stuff on free-will
      Christopher sent me earlier when we should have been working!

      Sincerely in Christ,

      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, randall hay
      <stortford@...> wrote:
      > Bobby, your question seems to have got people really interested!
      > I looked back through my notes, and I'll just share this little
      bit I found years ago, not long after I converted from
      Lutheranism....it's from Staretz Silhouan, by Archimandrite Sophrony
      (p. 190). While it's good to try to seriously look into dogma, our
      reason is fallen, and sometimes what Scripture or the fathers say
      doesn't somehow strike a chord, and we have to be patient for a
      while and let God reveal it inwardly:
      > "Scholars, for instance, have wrestled down the centuries with
      trying to related grace and the freedom of man. They forget, as it
      were, there is another solution of these problems: the way of
      existential knowledge of the reciprocity of Divine grace and human
      freedom. ..
      > "It is the Church's route in general. The Church is strong
      and rich...but...in her actual possession of the gifts of grace.
      The Church lives by the Holy Spirit, breathes through Him, and
      through the very fact of this communion with Him knows how He
      operates, know, too, how and within what limits human freedom
      > At any rate, you'll be in my prayers---
      > In Christ,
      > Randy
      > ________________________________
      > From: solascriptura1971 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
      > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 6:39:47 AM
      > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: St. John Chrysostom on
      Salvation by Faith Alone?
      > Randy,
      > I'm still struggling with the whole free-will issue. You quoted
      > John Chrysostom writing the following:
      > > "Whence then are some vessels of wrath, and some of mercy?
      > their own free choice...(p. 469)."
      > It seems if this is the case than the saved would have room to
      > Not that they would of course, but, technically, there is "room"
      > do so, which doesn't seem to square with Eph. 2:8-9:
      > "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this
      > from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no
      > can boast." (NIV)
      > St. John is stating that we are saved, ultimately, by our free-
      > If that were true, than we "can" boast, which St. Paul says we
      > can't. Paul writes that our salvation is "not from yourselves,"
      > which would seem to contradict our being saved by our free-will.
      > I have a lot of respect for St. John Chrysostom, which is making
      > this frustrating for me. I can't seem to get my head to agree with
      > him. At any rate, I'll keep pondering this issue. I appreciate the
      > assistance you've provided me.
      > In Christ,
      > Bobby
      > --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, randall hay
      > <stortford@ ..> wrote:
      > >
      > > Bobby, I checked back and the particular passage about crowns
      > not specify that....I'd skimmed through a bunch of stuff and
      > conflated that passage and another.
      > >
      > > But this idea is found in the passage I sent from Homily 16 on
      > Romans, where he points out that God gives the same mercy and
      > kindness to everyone:
      > >
      > > "Whence then are some vessels of wrath, and some of mercy?
      > their own free choice. God, however, being very good, shows the
      > kindness to both. For it was not those in a state of salvation
      > to whom He showed mercy, but also Pharaoh, as far as His part went
      > (p. 469)."
      > >
      > > God offers His mercy---which includes every good thing----
      > universally. He offers everyone a wedding garment (Mt 22), a
      > crown. We can take it off or refuse to put it on, in which case
      > will be found naked and un-crowned after we leave this world.
      > >
      > > As St John mentions in the Romans stuff, we don't know who is
      > saved and who is damned....but we do know what God wants us to do!
      > That's the hard part...
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > R.
      > >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • randall hay
      Bobby, I recalled a couple of questions you d had, then looked back and found them in this e-mail. Orthodox believe that the sacraments and the gospel are
      Message 68 of 68 , Nov 29, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Bobby, I recalled a couple of questions you'd had, then looked back and found them in this e-mail.

        Orthodox believe that the sacraments and the gospel are generally necessary for salvation.

        We see grace as God coming to us Himself, not something created He gives us (as Catholics believe; you hear them speak of "getting graces"). We see that outpouring of Himself as union with Him, the greatest goal and joy of His creatures. It is His good pleasure to give us that blessing.

        Of course, if you are not able to receive the sacraments (perhaps you die before you are able), or if you are not able to intellectually receive the gospel (for example, babies, retarded people or demented elderly) that is an exception. God doesn't hold it against you if are unable.

        I might add that the piety associated with the sacraments is quite high. For example, all ORthodox are encouraged to say a set of prayers that takes at least an hour before receiving Communion, and must fast from midnight (except for medical reasons) and have confessed "recently."

        If any of His blood is spilled on the floor during liturgy, it is burned. If it spills on a rug the rug is burned; if it spills on tile, you pour a bit of alcohol on and burn it, saying prayers. (Normally you don't give Communion over a carpet for obvious reasons!) No one but a priest, deacon or bishop may touch the altar at any time. We subdeacons are rarely able to touch an object that is sitting on the altar. If you have any sins against anyone on your conscience, you must apologize to the person before receiving Eucharist.

        In baptism you are exorcised, the water is exorcised, and you literally (not figuratively) spit on the devil. You wear a baptismal garment at services then for 40 days, at least in Slavic tradition.

        There are frequent references in Scripture to the "energies" of God. (The Greek term is "energeia.") Comes up something like 40 times in the New Testament, as I recall. This is GOd present in dealing with His creation. It is not His essence, which is incomprehensible, but His actions toward us; how He reveals Himself to His creatures.

        We humans have energies, too. Our body/soul/spirit is our essence; how we move and think and interact with people and things, what we do, is our "energies."

        Roman Catholics hold that God's energies, like His graces, are created things. We ORthodox believe that He Himself is wholly present in His energies; He deals with His creation very directly and personally.

        "As Thou, Father, art in me," Jesus says, "and I in Thee," He prays "that they also may be in us." John 17:20

        It's a bit difficult for us to grasp....however, the Greek term "energeia" predated the New Testament for centuries, and back then the people understood basically what it signified.

        St Gregory Palamas is the saint most associated with the theology of the energies of God.

        Anyhow, hope this helps a bit---


        From: solascriptura1971 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, November 28, 2008 2:48:20 AM
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Relationship of Free-will, Energies, and the Means of Grace

        Randy et al,

        Thanks, yep, I'm lacking in biblical Greek. That is interesting
        about the word occuring in the New Testament.

        I was just reading an article
        (http://www.orthodox info.com/ inquirers/ non-orthodox_ ch2.pdf) where
        it discusses this in more detail. In it he has a quote from (yes,
        you guessed it) St. John Chrysostom:

        "If He "lighteth every man that cometh into the world," how is it
        that so many continue
        unenlightened? For not all have known the majesty of Christ. How
        then doth He "light
        every man"? He lighteth all as far as in Him lies. But if some,
        willfully closing the eyes
        of their mind, would not receive the rays of that Light, their
        darkness arises not from the
        nature of the Light, but from their own wickedness, who willfully
        deprive themselves of
        the gift. For the grace is shed forth upon all, turning itself back
        neither from Jew, nor Greek,
        nor Barbarian, nor Scythian, nor free, nor bond, nor male, nor
        female, nor old, nor
        young, but admitting all alike, and inviting with an equal regard.
        And those who are
        not willing to enjoy this gift, ought in justice to impute their
        blindness to themselves; for
        if when the gate is opened to all, and there is none to hinder, any
        being willfully evil
        remain without, they perish through none other, but only through
        their own

        Someone mentioned to me earlier on this board that the problem I'm
        having may be that I don't understand the difference between East
        and West with respect to the Uncreated Energy (grace) of God acting
        everywhere. Anyways, this article reminded me of that. I guess I
        need to bear that in mind.

        Also, another side issue popped up reading that quote from St. John
        above. He makes it sound as if the means of grace, the Word and
        Sacraments, are not necessary in order for one to come to salvation.
        Is this true? If so, how does this relate to Romans 10 where St.
        Paul appears to state that it is necessary for one to encounter/hear
        the Gospel message in order to be saved?

        Thanks a lot for your help.

        We had a good Thanksgiving and hope you and your family did as well.

        In Christ,

        --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, randall hay
        <stortford@. ..> wrote:
        > Bobby, I feel constrained to point out that "synergy" is commanded
        by the apostles. I don't know what your knowledge is of biblical
        Greek, but "syn" means 'with' and "ergon" means 'work.' I Cor
        3:9: "we are God's synergists." 2 Cor 6:1: "synergizing with Him,
        we beseech you not to accept the grace of God in vain." St Paul
        lauds Timothy, in fact, as "synergist of God" in I Thes 3:2.
        > If we are saved without any movement of the will toward God, it
        means He damns many people by not saving them. This is not the God
        of love!
        > And if our wills are completely helpless, then we're not really at
        fault for sinning because we couldn't help it. This is not the God
        of justice!
        > And if we are helpless in the face of sin, we aren't really in His
        image....everything created by Him is not good (which doesn't jibe
        with I Tim 4:4). This is not the good Creator!
        > In the Parable of the Sower, we see that humans reject the Gospel
        because "seeing they don't see." They are at fault. God gave us
        eyes; the problem is that we don't see with them.
        > At any rate, His blessings upon you, and I hope you have a
        wonderful Thanksgiving- ---
        > In Christ,
        > Randy

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.