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Author Topic: `Salvation is only found in the Orthodox Church`: what does this mean?  (Read 2395 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pravoslavbob
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« on: April 29, 2011, 09:49:13 AM »

I was pleased to see that there are two Orthodox icons in Westminster. Apparently these have been there for a while and were painted by Sergei Fyodorov.

I read that Prince Philip still makes the Orthodox sign of the cross, and so I'll be interested to see if he does here. I wonder if he actually really embraced the Anglican faith, or simply did because he had to marry the Queen. (I hope his heart is still with Orthodoxy)
as if it actually made one damned difference...

There's also similar icons in St. Paul's Cathedral, but with entrance fees to both St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey at around £15 per person (which I think is something like $25 USD), I won't be making repeat visits.  Can't say much about Prince Philip, though I've heard, like genesisone pointed out, that he communes in Anglicanism, meaning that I would tend to agree with augustin717

The point being? Just because he communes as an Anglican doesn't mean that Orthodoxy still isn't in his heart. Of course he isn't Orthodox and of course he can't commune in an Orthodox Church.
As Orthodox we don't believe that salvation can only be found in our Church. The people that treat it as such are teaching something that is heterodox; and no, I don't care if there are some saints that teach it, God forgive me, but they are wrong... salvation is up to God, not to man and not to membership in a specific Church. We know salvation is in our Church, we cannot ever say that salvation cannot be outside the Church.

The simple fact remains is that even if he left Orthodoxy, I have no doubt that it still effects his life and that the Holy Spirit still works in/with him.

My parents aren't members of the Orthodox Church, but I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit has been working in them. My father often prays the Jesus Prayer...
For Prince Philip, and indeed Prince Charles, though they aren't Orthodox, they still visit Mount Athos, and both have shown high regard for the Orthodox faith and Orthodox Christian countries. Prince Charles also has an icon corner in his residence. I have no doubt that Orthodoxy effects them.

Actually, I think it`s very clear according to Orthodox teaching and ecclesiology that salvation can only be found in the Orthodox Church.  It`s not just `some saints`who teach this.  The debate nowadays is about what this really means.  There is a moderate party in the Church that believes that God can and does make it possible for those outside the visible boundaries of Orthodoxy to be saved, even made holy.  And then there is a stricter group that affirms that one must be an actual visible member of the Church in order to achieve salvation.   Also, as you know, amongst those who grant a certain legitimacy to other ecclesial bodies, there is much debate about how much connection to Orthodoxy these bodies have.

Personally, I am firmly in the moderate camp, but I do not dismiss out of hand what some members of the stricter party have to say.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 09:59:56 AM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 10:09:22 AM »


...but I do not dismiss out of hand what some members of the stricter party have to say.


Christ  is  Risen!

Some people may say they are heretics becasue they are denying the teaching of the holy Apostle Paul in Romans 2.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 10:30:35 AM »

Some may find it interesting or distressing that a contemporary priest of the Church of Constantinople teaches the damnation of all unbaptized infants and in fact, as he has told me personally, the damnation of all humans who have not had a Baptism in the Orthodox Church.

Next month this priest moves to the UK and will be within the Greek Archdiocese of Metropolitan Gregorios.

Does anyone know if the teaching of the damnation of all those without an Orthodox baptism is something which Greeks priests are permitted by their hierarchs to hold and to preach to the laity?

"Necessity of Baptism"

http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/necessity-of-baptism/
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 10:47:08 AM »

Isn't there a quote by a saint, please forgive me for forgetting who, that leaves the possibility of salvation open to anyone in the human race, but affirms condemnation for those who knowingly and willingly reject the truth of Orthodoxy after having embraced it?
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 10:59:34 AM »

It's pretty clear in Orthodox teaching that we know salvation can be found in the Church, but it is completely Un-Orthodox to suggest that there is no salvation outside the Orthodox Church. Anyone that teaches such a belief is a radical and is teaching something that is heterodox and foreign to our faith.
Whether you are a radical or an extreme liberal, both sides are dangerously hanging off the ladder and both are very close to teaching heterodoxy. A moderate position is the Orthodox faith. To suggest that there is no salvation outside our Church is both wrong and heterodox.

It is true that there is One, Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church, but there are multiple ways of being related to that Church, and there are many who are invisibly members of it, who may not ever be received into it on Earth.

Not only that, but there are some who have fallen asleep who still may attain salvation in the end, even though they can't be officially received into the Church anymore.

If someone is radical and tries to teach "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" to you, realize that it is radical and not Orthodox.

We must also keep in mind that one can certainly be a member of Christ's heavenly Church, even if they aren't a member of his earthly Church.

Quote
"Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church" (G. Florovsky, "Sobornost: the Catholicity of the Church", in The Church of God, p. 53). Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved. As Augustine wisely remarked: "How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!" (Homilies on John, 45, 12) While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say.
—Kallistos Ware

So when I say that there is salvation outside the Church, I'm talking about the visible, earthly Church. I'm not talking about the heavenly Church. (which are certainly united, but there are some in the heavenly Church which are unknown to us)

As I said, I would affirm the truth that there is no salvation apart from Christ & his Church. However... I don't believe one has to necessarily be a member of his Church on earth in order to attain salvation. If someone tries to say that no one can be saved without being in the earthly church, they are teaching something un-Orthodox, and they are judging the souls of other human beings. Let God be the judge...
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 11:05:12 AM »

Isn't there a quote by a saint, please forgive me for forgetting who, that leaves the possibility of salvation open to anyone in the human race, but affirms condemnation for those who knowingly and willingly reject the truth of Orthodoxy after having embraced it?


I think you are referring to the quote below from St. Theophan, but keep in mind it was directed towards an Orthodox person posing the question, and St. Theophan's main point seemed to be that we in the Orthodox Church should focus on our own salvation and not *worry* so much about the salvation of others.  Had he been asked the same question by a non-Orthodox person, his response likely would have been different.   

Quote
St. Theophan the Recluse

"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever."

But then there are many writings to non-Orthodox such as the following quote, which comes from a letter to a Byzantine Catholic priest from St. Paisius (Velichkovsky):

Quote
St. Paisius Velichkovsky, in Blesed Paisius Velichkovsky: The Man behind the Philokalia

. . .All the holy ecumenical teachers who have interpreted the Scriptures as if with one mouth say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, and nowhere have they written that He proceeds from the Son also. Thus, if the Uniates think exactly like the Romans in such a serious heresy, what hope do they have for salvation, unless they openly renounce this Spirit-fighting heresy and become united again with the Holy Orthodox Eastern Church?

Spare neither property nor relatives if they do not wish to listen to you, but by all means save your own soul from perdition; because there is nothing more needful for you than the soul for which Christ died…. Depart and flee from the Unia as speedily as possible lest death overtake you in it and you be numbered among the heretics and not among the Christians. And not only go away yourself, but advise others to go away also, if in your conscience you know that they will hear you. And if they will not hear you, then at least depart yourself from the nets of the enemy and be united in soul and heart with the Holy Orthodox Church, and thus, together with all [the faithful] holding the inviolate faith and fulfilling the commandments of Christ, you will be able to be saved.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 11:15:26 AM by jah777 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 11:15:02 AM »

I think salvation is one of the most important subjects especially nowadays. We are Orthodox Christian and we rally believe that we can achieve salvation in Orthodox faith because of It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago.
Nevertheless we can`t strictly assert that other believers couldn’t be saved. Man proposes, but God disposes who will be saved.
Because of that we don`t have to change our point of view regarding Orthodox Christian Faith and find other denomination furthermore we have to assert ourselves and others in our Faith.
More than usual we have to care and love every man and NOT to judge others for their denominations.

Don`t see on human sinful world
And sin already in a law
Don`t cry for better life in world
Improve your sharpened saw
Develop yourself in all categories
Excluding idleness away
Escape futility, vain glories
And find purpose for better way
Try to simple live in life
Almsgiving give to neighbor
Not to use your false right
But hardly work as tailor.
Our world continuing live in sins
It will destroy by fire
It`s not a time for sin
Implant in heart repentance in desire.
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 11:21:28 AM »

Christ is risen!

I have never questioned the concept that salvation is only found through Jesus Christ, since He is, quite literally, what salvation IS.  We are to exist with Him and in Him and through Him all eternity.  There is in 'salvific paradise' apart from Christ.  Only pagans and Mohammedans believe in an 'eternal paradise' where one is not united with God. 

I also confess that the rejection of Christ means one rejects God and thus one accepts eternal damnation.  therefore, to reject Baptism is to reject Christ and all that goes along with Him.

Now, the matter at hand: at what point can one accept Christ's love?  Does the Body of Christ end at death?  If we believe that the Body of Christ endures through human death and transcends the barrier between the material and the spiritual, then it is very easy to assume that those who die outside the Church before physical death may still be united with Christ at death... even without Baptism.

We must not forget that such saints as St. Demetrios never underwent formal Baptism.

The key to understanding Baptism is the submission of the will.  If a human will submits to God's love and care, then God does the rest.  For those who are able, we are to be Baptised.  For those who are not able for a whole host of reasons, we still trust in God's mercy.  He will unite Himself to us when we cannot be united to the Church in the physical sense.

So, yes, we must be Baptised, but no one would say that a Baptism 'saves' someone who has not truly submitted his will to God.  It certainly has no effect on someone who merely wants 'paradise' without Christ.

I believe that Christ accepts this submission from us even at death and afterwards.
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 11:28:39 AM »


If the Orthodox were to teach that only those are saved whom the Divine Will has brought to baptism in the Orthodox Church, then hasn't Orthodoxy adopted the major Calvinist tenet of double predestination?
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011, 11:33:46 AM »

In the great compassion of God of which we understand not even a small fraction nobody is doomed except those who doom themselves.

Our Saviour tells us that we cannot be saved without faith in Him.

He tells us that we cannot be saved unless we have been baptized and received the Spirit.

Our Saviour also tells us that we cannot be saved unless we "eat His flesh and drink His blood."  This would damn Anglicans and all other Christians and indeed almost all the human race.

And yet Saint Paul, inspired by God, tell us in Romans 2 how people will be saved, without Baptism and without Holy Communion.

So we have, from the words of Christ Himself:

1.  No faith = no salvation
2.  No Baptism = no salvation
3.  No Communion = no salvation

and yet

Salvation *is* possible without Baptism and Communion according to the inspired Scriptures.

The Church has never resolved this paradox. We are able to live with it and trust in the mercy of God who "wills all men to be saved."

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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2011, 10:04:22 PM »

I would have to think that, by continuing to repeat this line about salvation only being in the Church, we are hinting at some deeper truth. What is that truth? Simply that Orthodoxy is the best place to work out your salvation? That Orthodoxy is the place that God wants people to do so? Something else?
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2011, 10:58:53 PM »

It goes something like this:

- Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

- No one comes to the Father but through Him.

- The Church is the Body of Christ.

- To be one with Him one is united to the Church, which is His Body.

- Therefore, there is no salvation outside the Church because there is no salvation apart from union with Christ's Body, the Church.

At what stage this union takes place is of issue, since the Church allows for post-mortem repentance.



I would have to think that, by continuing to repeat this line about salvation only being in the Church, we are hinting at some deeper truth. What is that truth? Simply that Orthodoxy is the best place to work out your salvation? That Orthodoxy is the place that God wants people to do so? Something else?
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 12:23:29 AM »

We can discuss what religion is true...but to tell who will have the salvation...
wow........ somebody can take such responsibility and to answer that THIS catholic ot THAT protestant wont have salvation???
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 07:30:09 AM »

Maybe it's residue from my Protestant background, but I sometimes am bothered by what I see as no difference between Baptists and Buddhists according to Orthodox apologists/doctrine. Doesn't someone who has a earnest love for Christ, in spite of whatever dogmatic mistake they've made, have a better chance of being saved then someone who denies Christ outright?
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2011, 10:22:23 AM »

It goes something like this:

- Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

- No one comes to the Father but through Him.

- The Church is the Body of Christ.

- To be one with Him one is united to the Church, which is His Body.

- Therefore, there is no salvation outside the Church because there is no salvation apart from union with Christ's Body, the Church.

At what stage this union takes place is of issue, since the Church allows for post-mortem repentance.


But Paul doesn't say that those not exposed to the Gospel/Church will be given a chance in the afterlife, he says that they'll be judged according to how they responded to the law of God in their heart...
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2011, 11:02:47 AM »

Yes, but do you think St. Paul was teaching that those people would not naturally desire to be united to Jesus Christ?

Those not given the opportunity to be received into the Church during this life will have such an opportunity because their actions revealed their good intentions and thus a natural affinity for Christ.  St. Paul uses morality and immorality as indicators of one's disposition towards God, and thus a naturally good person would want to experience the fullness of good through union with Christ.

I don't think St. Paul views eternal life apart from Christ, as if a special 'not united' compartment will be eternally provided for by God where such people will live all eternity without experiencing God's presence.


It goes something like this:

- Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

- No one comes to the Father but through Him.

- The Church is the Body of Christ.

- To be one with Him one is united to the Church, which is His Body.

- Therefore, there is no salvation outside the Church because there is no salvation apart from union with Christ's Body, the Church.

At what stage this union takes place is of issue, since the Church allows for post-mortem repentance.


But Paul doesn't say that those not exposed to the Gospel/Church will be given a chance in the afterlife, he says that they'll be judged according to how they responded to the law of God in their heart...
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2011, 11:25:01 AM »

It's pretty clear in Orthodox teaching that we know salvation can be found in the Church, but it is completely Un-Orthodox to suggest that there is no salvation outside the Orthodox Church. Anyone that teaches such a belief is a radical and is teaching something that is heterodox and foreign to our faith.

There is no salvation outside the Orthodox Church.

But we won't know who is inside or outside the Church until Judgment Day. I knew an old, saintly Calvinist couple growing up who I have no doubt are part of the Orthodox Church today.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2011, 11:35:48 AM »

Maybe it's residue from my Protestant background, but I sometimes am bothered by what I see as no difference between Baptists and Buddhists according to Orthodox apologists/doctrine. Doesn't someone who has a earnest love for Christ, in spite of whatever dogmatic mistake they've made, have a better chance of being saved then someone who denies Christ outright?

If a Baptist truly loves God with all their heart, and they die and come face-to-face with God, God might not be exactly what the Baptist expected but he may have an easier time coming to the Orthodox Church than a non-Christian would.
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2011, 01:58:28 PM »

The only Church and Body of Christ is the Eastern Orthodox Church. This I have been taught, this is the faith of the Saints, this I believe. That doesn't necessarily mean that all who are not Eastern Orthodox will be damned. Just like every rule, there are exceptions. This describes everything to me.
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