To my dear George,
This is heresy!! Orthodox theologians teach that everyone is born spiritually depraved. Why do you think we baptize and chrismate babies? Whats the point if they already have the Holy Spirit? The true doctrine of Original Sin says that man is born in a state of spiritual death. Scripture calls this sin. [Harmartia= miss the mark, fall short of the glory.] Because of this sin God does not usually admit them into his kingdom until they are baptized. This is what the Orthodox church has always taught.
I am not a cleric/theologian, so I can be mistaken, but, again, there is no notion of being born in the state of spiritual death in Orthodoxy. Instead, there is a notion of being naturally born into the world that lies in sin. We baptize and chrismate babies (or, rather, we witness God's work of baptizing and chrismating babies) so that these babies are admitted into God's new world, new humankind, or the Church.
And how do you think that atheists are *only* intrinsically good? Talk about onesided!
THat's besides the point People are never born atheists. We were talking about a total absence of anything good in a naturally born man. That is a Heterodox teaching.
Then you add the Pelagian heresy that sinners are "absolutely capable of doing and choosing good", and "can by their own effort serve God and glorify him," and "very often do so." Anathema, anathema, one thousand anathemas! All the saints teach that grace is absolutely necessary for man to cooperate in salvation. Its impossible for man to please God merely by his own effort.
Again, correct me if I am wrong, but the Pelagian heresy is, "possere non peccare." I never said that I believe that, or that the Orthodox Church teaches that. It is impossible for a human being (or, rather, for a "human becoming," because Christ is the only real, complete, accomplished human "being") to live all life and not to sin. And yes, I agree with you that God's grace is absolutely necessary. What I disagree with is that this Grace falls on a completely dead human being and acts, works in this human being, making this human being acceptable to God. That is the Augustinian soteriology, which is the foundation of both "branches" of modern Protestant theology, Calvinist and Arminian. On the other hand, the Orthodox soteriology is that a man, being intrinsically good, is born into an ill world; he lives in this world and becomes ill, but there is still a lot of good in him, and this good cooperates with God's grace, so the man begins his "theosis," or path of salvation.
Well George, I really dont know what to say to you. I hope that you and all my detractors come to your senses.
Thank you for caring. I'll gladly accept corrections of all knowledgeable people.