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Author Topic: Semipelagianism, Original Sin and Ancestral Sin  (Read 21965 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: June 13, 2009, 10:16:42 PM »

Marduk,

You keep saying that the position of St. John Cassian was condemned by an Ecumenical Council. This is simply not the case. And the fact that you think canon 111-113 of the canons of Carthage apply show the degree to which you do not understand the teaching of St. John or the Eastern idea of synergy.

Yes. St. John, and the Orthodox Fathers in general, accept that as man has free will, man has the ability to turn towards God without a specific act of Grace on God's part. What Orthodoxy does not teach (and what is condemned in those canons) is that man, having turned his will towards God, can accomplish anything at all without the extension of Grace by the Godhead--of course that Grace is always extended and so as soon as man desires God, God is there to fulfill that desire.

Or, to put it another way, Orthodoxy recognizes that the God has given the Grace of salvation to *all* men already. Therefore, the argument of Augustine and Pelagius was slightly beside the point (not that Pelagius wasn't a heretic, but St. Augustine got it wrong by allowing Pelagius to define the terms of the argument). God has made salvation available to all. His Grace (which is His Divine Energies) fills all the earth. All it waits on is for the motion of the human will to submit to it. All achievement that comes thereafter, is done by the Grace of God--as the canons say--but it remains the part of the human will to submit. One can put it that the submission itself is possible through Grace--but only if one recognizes that that Grace is available to *everyone*, both those who avail themselves of it, and those who do not. Or on can say that the submission occurs 'freely', in the sense that since Grace is available to all, one cannot say that 'he received Grace, and therefore was save' and 'he did not receive Grace, and therefore was damned'. Rather, they both received Grace, and 'he chose to submit, and he chose not to, and each reaped the consequences of their choic'.
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« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2009, 10:25:41 PM »

Marduk,

You keep saying that the position of St. John Cassian was condemned by an Ecumenical Council. This is simply not the case. And the fact that you think canon 111-113 of the canons of Carthage apply show the degree to which you do not understand the teaching of St. John or the Eastern idea of synergy.

Yes. St. John, and the Orthodox Fathers in general, accept that as man has free will, man has the ability to turn towards God without a specific act of Grace on God's part.

I don't think that is quite correct, as nothing exists without the logoi within in them, which exist by the energies of God, i.e. Grace Himself.

Quote
What Orthodoxy does not teach (and what is condemned in those canons) is that man, having turned his will towards God, can accomplish anything at all without the extension of Grace by the Godhead--of course that Grace is always extended and so as soon as man desires God, God is there to fulfill that desire.

Or, to put it another way, Orthodoxy recognizes that the God has given the Grace of salvation to *all* men already. Therefore, the argument of Augustine and Pelagius was slightly beside the point (not that Pelagius wasn't a heretic, but St. Augustine got it wrong by allowing Pelagius to define the terms of the argument). God has made salvation available to all. His Grace (which is His Divine Energies) fills all the earth.

Now you're talking!

Quote
All it waits on is for the motion of the human will to submit to it. All achievement that comes thereafter, is done by the Grace of God--as the canons say--but it remains the part of the human will to submit. One can put it that the submission itself is possible through Grace--but only if one recognizes that that Grace is available to *everyone*, both those who avail themselves of it, and those who do not. Or on can say that the submission occurs 'freely', in the sense that since Grace is available to all, one cannot say that 'he received Grace, and therefore was save' and 'he did not receive Grace, and therefore was damned'. Rather, they both received Grace, and 'he chose to submit, and he chose not to, and each reaped the consequences of their choic'.
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« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2009, 10:29:56 PM »

Sorry but you insist in accusing st John Cassian of heresy.
Synergy is not heresy, according to you... then why don't you RCs adopt it as official dogma? until you don't, EO won't never accept your position on original sin.
Secondly, I thank Irish hermit for his support. He is indeed one of the most positive contributors on this site to the Orthodox cause.
Thirdly, why dont' RCs explicitly condemn the wrong and pessimistic words of Augustine concerning depravity as what they are - i.e. heresy?

Especially since St. Augustine himself said "You have created us restless, O Lord, and we are restless until we rest in You."  If we can only find rest in Him, we can't be totally depraved.
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« Reply #93 on: June 13, 2009, 11:06:42 PM »

You keep saying that the position of St. John Cassian was condemned by an Ecumenical Council. This is simply not the case. And the fact that you think canon 111-113 of the canons of Carthage apply show the degree to which you do not understand the teaching of St. John or the Eastern idea of synergy.
Where did I say that St. Cassian was condemned by an Ecumenical Council?  Please point it out.  What I stated was that Semi-Pelagianism was condemned by an Ecumenical Council, as reflected by Canon 113. 

Quote
Yes. St. John, and the Orthodox Fathers in general, accept that as man has free will, man has the ability to turn towards God without a specific act of Grace on God's part.
If that is what Eastern Orthodoxy teaches, then it was SPECIFICALLY condemned by Canon 113 (114 in Greek).  And please be careful about your use of the word "Orthodox." On this website which caters to both EO and OO, it would be incorrect to imply that the OO would ever participate in this belief.  Feel free to ask our OO brethren in the OO Section.

Quote
What Orthodoxy does not teach (and what is condemned in those canons) is that man, having turned his will towards God, can accomplish anything at all without the extension of Grace by the Godhead--of course that Grace is always extended and so as soon as man desires God, God is there to fulfill that desire.
On this point we agree, but not on your prior statement.

Quote
Or, to put it another way, Orthodoxy recognizes that the God has given the Grace of salvation to *all* men already.
Again, careful with your use of the word "Orthodoxy."  OO would never make this claim. The Grace of salvation is given only to those who accept it.

Quote
God has made salvation available to all.
Agreed.  But this is wholly different from your prior statement that "the Grace of salvation was given to all men ALREADY."

Quote
His Grace (which is His Divine Energies) fills all the earth.
Agreed

Quote
All it waits on is for the motion of the human will to submit to it.
Agreed.  The difference is that I believe that not only does God make the Grace of salvation available to all men, but also that if a man accepts that Grace, he was moved by Grace to do so.  That movement itself is a different Grace from the Grace of salvation, but it is Grace nevertheless.  Men have the power to respond to or otherwise reject this Grace of movement, whereby the Grace of Salvation becomes effective.  But, as stated, if he DOES respond positively, that positive response itself was AIDED by Grace.  That is the Catholic and patristic teaching.  It is the OO teaching, and I suspect it is also the EO teaching.  But there seems to be a segment of EO'xy which teaches otherwise.

Quote
All achievement that comes thereafter, is done by the Grace of God--as the canons say--but it remains the part of the human will to submit. One can put it that the submission itself is possible through Grace--but only if one recognizes that that Grace is available to *everyone*, both those who avail themselves of it, and those who do not. Or on can say that the submission occurs 'freely', in the sense that since Grace is available to all, one cannot say that 'he received Grace, and therefore was save' and 'he did not receive Grace, and therefore was damned'. Rather, they both received Grace, and 'he chose to submit, and he chose not to, and each reaped the consequences of their choic'.
The rest of this is fine.

Blessings
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« Reply #94 on: June 13, 2009, 11:08:51 PM »

Sorry but you insist in accusing st John Cassian of heresy.
Synergy is not heresy, according to you... then why don't you RCs adopt it as official dogma? until you don't, EO won't never accept your position on original sin.
Secondly, I thank Irish hermit for his support. He is indeed one of the most positive contributors on this site to the Orthodox cause.
Thirdly, why dont' RCs explicitly condemn the wrong and pessimistic words of Augustine concerning depravity as what they are - i.e. heresy?

Especially since St. Augustine himself said "You have created us restless, O Lord, and we are restless until we rest in You."  If we can only find rest in Him, we can't be totally depraved.
Good point.  The Catholic Church rejects the heresy of total depravity, which is a Protestant invention.

Blessings
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« Reply #95 on: June 15, 2009, 09:55:48 AM »

Men have the power to respond to or otherwise reject this Grace of movement, whereby the Grace of Salvation becomes effective. 

This "grace of movement" of which you speak---I am unable to find the RC definition?
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« Reply #96 on: June 15, 2009, 03:08:16 PM »

A man by himself working and toiling at freedom from sinful desires achieves nothing. But if he plainly shows himself to be very eager and earnest about this, he attains it by the addition of the power of God. God works together with willing souls. But if the person abandons his eagerness, the spirit from God is also restrained. To save the unwilling is the act of one using compulsion; but to save the willing, that of one showing grace. 190 AD St. Clement of Alexandria
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« Reply #97 on: June 15, 2009, 03:40:32 PM »

In my research for Orthodox sources on Ancestral vs Original Sin, I found this interesting essay by Rev. Anthony Hughes

http://www.antiochian.org/assets/asset_manager/da42e6049df1d08bff1865c1ac19e759.pdf

I especially loved this words from the essay:

Quote
Ancestral sin has a specific meaning. The Greek word for sin in this case,
amartema, refers to an individual act indicating that the Eastern Fathers assigned full
responsibility for the sin in the Garden to Adam and Eve alone. The word amartia, the
more familiar term for sin which literally means “missing the mark”, is used to refer to
the condition common to all humanity (Romanides, 2002). The Eastern Church, unlike its
Western counterpart, never speaks of guilt being passed from Adam and Eve to their
progeny, as did Augustine. Instead, it is posited that each person bears the guilt of his or
her own sin. The question becomes, “What then is the inheritance of humanity from
Adam and Eve if it is not guilt?” The Orthodox Fathers answer as one: death. (I
Corinthians 15:21) “Man is born with the parasitic power of death within him,” writes Fr.
Romanides (2002, p. 161). Our nature, teaches Cyril of Alexandria, became
“diseased…through the sin of one” (Migne, 1857-1866a). It is not guilt that is passed on,
for the Orthodox fathers; it is a condition, a disease.

In a side note he also adds this definition of Pelagianism and Semi-pelagianism from an EO perspective:
Quote
Pelagius is regarded as a heretic in the East (as is the case in the West). He elevated the human will and
the expense of divine grace. In fairness, however, the Orthodox position is expressed best by John
Cassian—who is often regarded as “semi-Pelagian” in the West. The problem—to the Orthodox
perspective—is that both Pelagius and Augustine set the categories in the extreme—freedom of the will
with nothing left for God versus complete sovereignty of God, with nothing left to human will. The
Fathers argued instead for “synergy,” a mystery of God’s grace being given with the cooperation of the
human heart.

I also loved this study on the word "justice" (diakosuni) in the New Testament:
Quote
The Greek word diakosuni ‘justice’, is a translation of the Hebrew word
tsedaka. The word means ‘the divine energy which accomplishes man’s
salvation.’ It is parallel and almost synonymous with the word hesed
which means ‘mercy’, ‘compassion’, ‘love’, and to the word emeth
which means ‘fidelity’, ‘truth’. This is entirely different from the juridical
understanding of ‘justice’.

What do you think, Marduk? Still thinking Semipelagianism is an heresy to the EO? I don't think so; admitting that st. John Cassian's words were condemned at the 2nd Council of Orange would be to admit that a local council with no ecumenical value is binding for the entire church only because of its approvation by an "infallible" (my teeth tremble in horror) pope of Rome? Also, it seems all the greatest theologians of our time are persuaded that st. John Cassian's affirmations are perfectly in line with the Orthodox understanding of ancestral sin...

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #98 on: June 16, 2009, 03:30:06 AM »

If we don`t inherit anything , any guilt from Adam and Eve , then why is the sacramental of baptism necessary ?
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« Reply #99 on: June 16, 2009, 07:04:10 AM »

Baptism is given so that we might be free from the burden of death and given new life in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
Cfr Romans 6:4
I also imagine ancestral sin more or less as an exile. Adam and Eve were guilty and were exiled from the Garden of Eden. We are just the descendants born in exile of Adam and Eve. At birth we have no guilt; yet we are still in exile like our parents. God wants us to get back home in Paradise, and offers us the instrument (grace) so that we might be able to merit this occasion to have that primordial life in Heaven we have lost because of our ancestors. Of course, everytime we sin we sign for our exclusion from the Garden, but God still works for our salvation. He even sent his own Son in exile among us, so that he might have opened the gates of Paradise once again...

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #100 on: June 17, 2009, 02:05:57 AM »

Baptism is given so that we might be free from the burden of death and given new life in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour.

Well, we are certainly not in an Indiana Jones movie---it doesn't free us from physical death.

So we must conclude that is frees us from spiritual death.

We have a word for spiritual death. It is called sin.
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« Reply #101 on: June 17, 2009, 08:36:44 AM »

Well, we are certainly not in an Indiana Jones movie---it doesn't free us from physical death.

1 Cor 15:21-22

For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead.  And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
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« Reply #102 on: June 17, 2009, 09:22:46 AM »

Well, we are certainly not in an Indiana Jones movie---it doesn't free us from physical death.

1 Cor 15:21-22

For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead.  And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.

After our physical death, of course.
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« Reply #103 on: June 17, 2009, 11:28:22 AM »

After our physical death, of course.
Pysical death and ancestral sin no longer has power over us when we put on Christ.
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« Reply #104 on: June 17, 2009, 11:53:30 AM »

After our physical death, of course.
Pysical death and ancestral sin no longer has power over us when we put on Christ.

You're totally missing my point.
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« Reply #105 on: June 17, 2009, 12:01:54 PM »

You're totally missing my point.
Then perhaps you should try to explain further.
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« Reply #106 on: June 17, 2009, 12:13:44 PM »

You're totally missing my point.
Then perhaps you should try to explain further.

Sin is the death of the soul. Baptism, as Alexander says, saves us from death of the soul. Baptism, then, saves us from sin.

I would hope this is not something I would need to debate on an Orthodox Christian forum. That baptism is for the forgiveness of sins comes from the Creed.

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« Reply #107 on: June 17, 2009, 12:32:01 PM »

Sin is the death of the soul. Baptism, as Alexander says, saves us from death of the soul. Baptism, then, saves us from sin.

The soul lives on after physical death. When we put on Christ we are saved from the consequences of ancestral sin---death---and we have the power to wage spiritual warfare against the passions. 

After physical death, we can have eternal life in the heavenly realm.

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« Reply #108 on: June 17, 2009, 02:12:14 PM »

Dear lubeltri,
every Sunday the church sings thus:
"I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins"
In the original Greek this sentence reads "Ὁμολογῶ ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν."
In that sentence, 'ἁμαρτιῶν' is a form of 'ἁμαρτια' which, as I have already reported in my previous post, means in Greek "missing the mark" and is thus understood as "personal sin". If baptism were for the remission of Adam and Eve's sin, which according to you we are responsible for since conception, then why didn't the inspired Church Fathers in the Council of Constantinople adopt the more precise word 'ἁμαρτεμα', which the Church Fathers adopted exclusively for the guilt of Adam and Eve?
Baptism for infants is given in anticipation for the future sins we're all going to contract in life because of ancestral sin. That's why we still need the Sacrament of Confession, which is nothing but a restoration, time after time, of the perfect spiritual condition we inherit at baptism.
Death is of course BOTH physical and spiritual. We don't split (as you do) the human being in two substances. Soul, spirit and body equally share in the same curse of death - a curse Adam and Eve willingly introduced in the world, and of which we unfortunately and unwillingly experience the consequences...

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #109 on: June 17, 2009, 03:07:36 PM »

Am I the only one who fail to see the difference between the different parties of this discussion? Both Catholic and Orthodox participants agree that we are not personally guilty to the sin of Adam and Eve and both Catholic and Orthodox participants agree that even the infants are in need of salvation and that's why they are baptised. The Orthodox seem to be chronically allergic to talk of sin but still they agree that something went wrong in the Fall and that baptism is part of the repairment process of the Fall. What's the difference?
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« Reply #110 on: June 17, 2009, 03:34:21 PM »

Since Marduk has written this:
Quote
It may not use the word "guilt" explicitly anymore, but the meaning of it has been retained - a moral obligation that satisfies divine Justice.  It is what they have always taught and is consistent with the unanimous teaching of the Fathers on the matter, and of the Eastern Church herself, at least as far as St. Gregory Palamas (and beyond, perhaps).
...many of us are trying to counter-attack this idea. Yes, definitely he believes that guilt is implied... so we don't agree on that point. I can't se any "moral obligation to satisfy divine Justice" in new-born children.

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #111 on: June 17, 2009, 04:01:49 PM »

The Orthodox seem to be chronically allergic to talk of sin

Huh?
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« Reply #112 on: June 17, 2009, 04:53:40 PM »

I would also clarify that we don't refuse to talk of sin (this thread, and those on purgatory and the immaculate conception respond exhaustively to that topic) but we prefer not to mention it with RCs is maybe because the Orthodox don't agree with the meaning of 'sin' as used by RCs. As we see 'sin' as an illness, we have a therapeutic idea of sin which is entirely different from the idea that sin is an offence to God. Technically, the only offence taken by God for our sins is that we refuse continuously to be cured by His grace... Fortunately, God always offers his medicine to whoever wants it anytime during our life, so...
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« Reply #113 on: June 17, 2009, 05:26:53 PM »

The Orthodox seem to be chronically allergic to talk of sin

Huh?
That basically meant that I've had an impression that talk of sin of infants and that baptism washes away the sin of infants arouses an uncomfortable feeling in the EO.
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« Reply #114 on: June 17, 2009, 06:10:05 PM »

The fact that baptism washes away "somebody else's sin" is a little bit at odds with at least "my" mindset. And it seems I'm not alone. On the contrary, it seems strange that you're Finnish Orthodox but talk of your brothers in faith as a different group of people... But maybe I'm wrong...
Anyway, it's midnight here in Italy and I'm leaving the conversation for now.
Blessings,

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #115 on: June 18, 2009, 07:07:51 AM »

On the contrary, it seems strange that you're Finnish Orthodox but talk of your brothers in faith as a different group of people...
That is due to the fact I'm still only a Catechumen. And secondly, talk of sin of infants etc doesn't make feeling uncomfortable.

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« Reply #116 on: June 18, 2009, 07:22:04 AM »

I'm not unconfortable with this argument, as I opened this thread myself. I just don't think that newborn child could be called "guilty of sin". Otherwise, why should we call the babies killed by Herod "Innocents"? Because babies are victims of a sin they are not responsible for.
I didn't notice you were a catechumen, anyway catecumens are to be felt as members of the Church in many cases... Maybe you should consider yourself a member of Orthodoxy as I am trying to do. Just a suggestion of course...

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #117 on: June 18, 2009, 07:54:27 AM »

I just don't think that newborn child could be called "guilty of sin"
I'm not saying that either. I'm saying basically the same thing in reply #99. We inherit the exile from Adam and Eve, which means something more than only a physical mortality, and God repairs that through baptism. And if someone wants to call that the sin of infants, that's fine by me.
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« Reply #118 on: June 18, 2009, 08:59:50 AM »

I'm glad you hold our position. I'm only insisting, in fact, on two ideas: that of guilt (sin is one thing, guilt is another) and that of synergy. Since these points or not entirely common between RCism and Oxy we need to clear out all doubts on the matter.

In Christ, your unworthy brother Alex
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« Reply #119 on: June 18, 2009, 04:59:32 PM »

I'm not unconfortable with this argument, as I opened this thread myself. I just don't think that newborn child could be called "guilty of sin".

Babies born from AIDS-infected mothers are not immune from contracting HIV, through no fault of their own.

The effects of the contraction may not be visible for an extended period of time, but they will eventually show themselves.
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« Reply #120 on: June 18, 2009, 08:38:47 PM »

When you say "Original sin" in this quote.....do you mean, "original separation"? I am asking because you keep talking about Baptism and why babies are Baptized....eventhough they didn't commit any personal sins.
Yes, that is exactly how the Catholic Church defines Original Sin.  It is the state of "separation from God" or "death of the soul." (note here that the "death of the soul" is not the "annihilation of the soul," but rather "separation from God."  Here is a quote from the Council of Trent:
"If anyone asserts that Adam's sin was injurious only to Adam and not to his descendants, and that it was for himself along that he lost the holiness and justice which he had received from God, and not for us also; or that after his defilement by the sin of disobedience, he transmitted to the whole human race only death and punishmet of the body but not sin itself which is the death of the soul: Let him be anathema.

Quote
I could be wrong, and everyone can correct me if I am, but I thought EO believes that babies are Baptized to be united to the body Christ. So Baptism is for both the expiation of personal sins as well as to unite us with Christ.
I can't speak for the EO, but the Catholic Church believes that being united to the body of Christ is ONE of the benefits of Baptism that babies receive.  Babies and adults both receive the SAME benefits of baptism, except that infants don't have ACTUAL sin.

Quote
We are not Baptized for some "original guilt".......nor are Babies baptized for some "original guilt".
There is no such thing as "original guilt," if by that you mean "Adam's guilt passed down to us."  The things that Adam passed down are 1) Death and corruptibility of the body (which is simply part of our nature, anyway);  Death of the soul (i.e., separation from God due to a loss of Original Holiness and Justice; this is the "Sin" part of the term "Original Sin" according to the Catholic teaching); concupisence.  Adam did not pass down his guilt.  Our guilt comes NOT from Adam, but from our own PERSONAL moral responsibility to satisfy Divine Justice due to (1) our natural separation from God (original sin) and (2) actual sin.  Both sins (remember the definition of "sin" above) are PERSONAL, and both, as the Church has CONSTANTLY taught and believed, are expiated by Baptism.

Blessings,
Marduk


If you are not an advocate of "original guilt" then why are we arguing? It's already too late to tell me that "original guilt" doesn't exist as a teaching in the western world. As a former protestant that argues alot.........I already know that alot of different protestant groups still teach it........as well as Roman catholic individuals I either saw on EWTN or met online.

So the teaching does exist.......it is tought by alot of different groups. But if you are not defending this idea then why are we arguing?

We shouldn't be arguing for there is no need if you don't believe in original guilt.






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« Reply #121 on: June 18, 2009, 08:58:33 PM »

When you say "Original sin" in this quote.....do you mean, "original separation"? I am asking because you keep talking about Baptism and why babies are Baptized....eventhough they didn't commit any personal sins.
Yes, that is exactly how the Catholic Church defines Original Sin.  It is the state of "separation from God" or "death of the soul." (note here that the "death of the soul" is not the "annihilation of the soul," but rather "separation from God."  Here is a quote from the Council of Trent:
"If anyone asserts that Adam's sin was injurious only to Adam and not to his descendants, and that it was for himself along that he lost the holiness and justice which he had received from God, and not for us also; or that after his defilement by the sin of disobedience, he transmitted to the whole human race only death and punishmet of the body but not sin itself which is the death of the soul: Let him be anathema.

Quote
I could be wrong, and everyone can correct me if I am, but I thought EO believes that babies are Baptized to be united to the body Christ. So Baptism is for both the expiation of personal sins as well as to unite us with Christ.
I can't speak for the EO, but the Catholic Church believes that being united to the body of Christ is ONE of the benefits of Baptism that babies receive.  Babies and adults both receive the SAME benefits of baptism, except that infants don't have ACTUAL sin.

Quote
We are not Baptized for some "original guilt".......nor are Babies baptized for some "original guilt".
There is no such thing as "original guilt," if by that you mean "Adam's guilt passed down to us."  The things that Adam passed down are 1) Death and corruptibility of the body (which is simply part of our nature, anyway);  Death of the soul (i.e., separation from God due to a loss of Original Holiness and Justice; this is the "Sin" part of the term "Original Sin" according to the Catholic teaching); concupisence.  Adam did not pass down his guilt.  Our guilt comes NOT from Adam, but from our own PERSONAL moral responsibility to satisfy Divine Justice due to (1) our natural separation from God (original sin) and (2) actual sin.  Both sins (remember the definition of "sin" above) are PERSONAL, and both, as the Church has CONSTANTLY taught and believed, are expiated by Baptism.

Blessings,
Marduk


If you are not an advocate of "original guilt" then why are we arguing? It's already too late to tell me that "original guilt" doesn't exist as a teaching in the western world. As a former protestant that argues alot.........I already know that alot of different protestant groups still teach it........as well as Roman catholic individuals I either saw on EWTN or met online.

So the teaching does exist.......it is tought by alot of different groups. But if you are not defending this idea then why are we arguing?

We shouldn't be arguing for there is no need if you don't believe in original guilt.






Jnorm888

On EWTN I remember a brother speaking about Churching woman, and it explicitely said, right up front and first, that the reason was for mourning that sinfulness had been increased, because another sinner was brought into the world through sin,....

(to be fair to the Vatican, years later I saw him speaking to Scott Hahn or some such person, and he mentioned in passing that the Vatican didn't elect to publish his dissertation (on what it was I don't recall)).
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« Reply #122 on: June 18, 2009, 09:03:38 PM »

Dear brother Jnorm,

Saint John Cassian was a great man of the Faith. He made a small mistake in 1 or 2 places in his work called the Conferences where he spoke about the possibility of the free will of "some" people being able to preceed the grace of God. He mostly tought in most places that the grace of God preceeds the will of man.
Yes, that is exactly what I stated earlier.  The problem is that some don't want to acknowledge his mistakes, and thereby mistakenly claim that the EOC is "semi-Pelagian."

Quote
I get upset with Both Roman Catholics and certain Reformed protestants for seeing Saint Augustine as some great hero with no flaws in his writings, but demonize Saint John Cassian for 1 or 2 flaws.

Most of what Saint John Cassian wrote is Orthodox and sound doctrine. And if you can overlook the many theological flaws of Saint Augustine then why not overlook a few minor flaws of Saint John Cassian?
Whoa!  John Cassian is a Saint in the Catholic Church.  Where do you get the idea that we demonize him? Huh  Huh  Huh  And where do you get the idea that we "overlook" the theological flaws of Augustine?  Every teaching of St. Augustine that can be condemned was condemned by the Council of Trent.  Likewise, the part of St. Cassian's writings that can be condemned was condemned at the Council of Orange.  I can't see the distinction you are making between the Catholic Church honoring St. Augustine, and your Church honoring St. Cassian.  I am not aware of ANY Catholic who dishonors St. Cassian by not calling him a Saint.  However, there are certainly many EO who do not call St. Augustine a saint.  So if you want to talk about demonizing someone, I think the EO have a lot more on their plate than the Catholics do.

Blessings

In the western world semi-pelagianism is seen to have come from Saint John Cassian, Saint Vincent, and another in whom I forgot the name, but his(the guy I can't name....I wanna say Robert, rob.....but I need to be sure) nonstop arguments is what prompted the advocates of Saint Augustine to convene 2nd Orange. And eventhough 2nd Orange advocated a moderate form of Augustinianism, it was still anti-John Cassian in many ways.

And in the western World the word "semi-pelagian" is a bad word. The Dominicans(it could of been them or another order....I forgot) used it against the Molinists(Jesuits), and in the protestant world the Calvinists used that term against the Arminians.

And even today.......it is a bad word in the western world.......but the term "semi-Augustinian"(In America) is not a bad word.


Also, I could be wrong, but I thought that only France saw John Cassian as a saint. Most roman catholics in America (that I know) don't call him a saint. He is a Saint in Eastern Orthodoxy. And that's why I called him a Saint.

I can't speak for other countries, but in America, Saint Augustine is held up pretty high........especially if you are a Reformed Protestant......and alot of american english speaking Roman Catholics do as well.

But I will agree with you that there are Orthodox that don't see Augustin as a Saint. ....but like I said before......Saint Augustine had alot of errors while Saint John Cassain had very few.





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« Reply #123 on: June 18, 2009, 09:07:35 PM »

When you say "Original sin" in this quote.....do you mean, "original separation"? I am asking because you keep talking about Baptism and why babies are Baptized....eventhough they didn't commit any personal sins.
Yes, that is exactly how the Catholic Church defines Original Sin.  It is the state of "separation from God" or "death of the soul." (note here that the "death of the soul" is not the "annihilation of the soul," but rather "separation from God."  Here is a quote from the Council of Trent:
"If anyone asserts that Adam's sin was injurious only to Adam and not to his descendants, and that it was for himself along that he lost the holiness and justice which he had received from God, and not for us also; or that after his defilement by the sin of disobedience, he transmitted to the whole human race only death and punishmet of the body but not sin itself which is the death of the soul: Let him be anathema.

Quote
I could be wrong, and everyone can correct me if I am, but I thought EO believes that babies are Baptized to be united to the body Christ. So Baptism is for both the expiation of personal sins as well as to unite us with Christ.
I can't speak for the EO, but the Catholic Church believes that being united to the body of Christ is ONE of the benefits of Baptism that babies receive.  Babies and adults both receive the SAME benefits of baptism, except that infants don't have ACTUAL sin.

Quote
We are not Baptized for some "original guilt".......nor are Babies baptized for some "original guilt".
There is no such thing as "original guilt," if by that you mean "Adam's guilt passed down to us."  The things that Adam passed down are 1) Death and corruptibility of the body (which is simply part of our nature, anyway);  Death of the soul (i.e., separation from God due to a loss of Original Holiness and Justice; this is the "Sin" part of the term "Original Sin" according to the Catholic teaching); concupisence.  Adam did not pass down his guilt.  Our guilt comes NOT from Adam, but from our own PERSONAL moral responsibility to satisfy Divine Justice due to (1) our natural separation from God (original sin) and (2) actual sin.  Both sins (remember the definition of "sin" above) are PERSONAL, and both, as the Church has CONSTANTLY taught and believed, are expiated by Baptism.

Blessings,
Marduk


If you are not an advocate of "original guilt" then why are we arguing? It's already too late to tell me that "original guilt" doesn't exist as a teaching in the western world. As a former protestant that argues alot.........I already know that alot of different protestant groups still teach it........as well as Roman catholic individuals I either saw on EWTN or met online.

So the teaching does exist.......it is tought by alot of different groups. But if you are not defending this idea then why are we arguing?

We shouldn't be arguing for there is no need if you don't believe in original guilt.






Jnorm888

On EWTN I remember a brother speaking about Churching woman, and it explicitely said, right up front and first, that the reason was for mourning that sinfulness had been increased, because another sinner was brought into the world through sin,....

(to be fair to the Vatican, years later I saw him speaking to Scott Hahn or some such person, and he mentioned in passing that the Vatican didn't elect to publish his dissertation (on what it was I don't recall)).

interesting, I wonder what his dissertation was about?



Jnorm888
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« Reply #124 on: June 18, 2009, 09:40:10 PM »

I'm not unconfortable with this argument, as I opened this thread myself. I just don't think that newborn child could be called "guilty of sin".

Babies born from AIDS-infected mothers are not immune from contracting HIV, through no fault of their own.

The effects of the contraction may not be visible for an extended period of time, but they will eventually show themselves.

We believe death, decay, and the tendency to sin all was passed on to us when Adam and Eve sinned, but their guilt stayed with them. We will be judged for our own guilt.






Jnorm888
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« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2009, 09:46:30 PM »

Mardukm,


The grace of God is freely givin to all.....to say it's not is to deny the universal presence of the Divine Energia of God.

And this is where synergy comes to play. Do you also deny "synergy"?






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« Reply #126 on: June 21, 2009, 04:36:10 AM »

Marduk,
I suppose you can't answer jnorm888's question and you couldn't find any prooftext from the Church Fathers on "guilt" at conception/birth as a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin...
I think this makes my Orthodox faith even stronger then before!

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #127 on: June 21, 2009, 08:37:38 PM »

Marduk,
I suppose you can't answer jnorm888's question and you couldn't find any prooftext from the Church Fathers on "guilt" at conception/birth as a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin...
I think this makes my Orthodox faith even stronger then before!

Personally, I think arguments and "prooftexts" have very little to do with faith, which is a supernatural gift.

So I'm not quite sure what you mean by that.

And I thought we Catholics were supposed to be the legalistic ones.  Wink
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« Reply #128 on: June 22, 2009, 07:36:46 AM »

We are the non-legalistic, in fact.
We hold to the Tradition that was given to us once and for all... The consent of the Fathers and the doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils are the base for our understand of Christianity. We are the non-legalistic ones because we don't draw philosophical conclusions from premises (as on concepts such as "All are sinners by nature, Mary was all-holy, so Mary was sinless by nature" which is implied in the Immaculate conception theory). In fact, if personal guilt at conception for Adam and Eve's sin was directly stated by the consent of the Church Fathers, we wouldn't "draw conclusions" from that... we would only state it as a doctrine and witness the mystery of original sin... Since the premise (original guilt inherited by generation) is not stated or directly and inequivocally implied in the Scriptures, in the Ecumenical Councils and in the consent of the Fathers, then we can't affirm it. Now, when the church defines something (in the Ecumenical Councils, or in the local canons confirmed by the EC), then all doubts are cleared and certainty prevails. So, we have no doubt on the denial of the Filioque clause, for example, since we have the witness of the "our" Constantinople IV, whose canons and decisions (especially st. Photios' reinstatement as Patriarch) were approved even by your Patriarch of the West, and it had an imperial convocation. It's clear that the two churches have different sources of Faith, and so we come to be entirely different on issues such as this. Our principle is: If a doctrine can't be derived by Tradition, then it must be either unnecessary or false...
In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #129 on: June 22, 2009, 08:13:31 AM »

Whatever floats your boat, Alexander.

Odd as it seems, some of us have looked at the same things and have come to different conclusions than you.

If Catholic theology were as you characterize it, I would never be a Catholic.
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« Reply #130 on: June 22, 2009, 01:42:35 PM »

Nobody's asking you to become an Orthodox. I think we don't need latinizing Orthodox in our church...
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« Reply #131 on: June 23, 2009, 07:12:37 AM »

Dear brother Alex,

Marduk,
I suppose you can't answer jnorm888's question and you couldn't find any prooftext from the Church Fathers on "guilt" at conception/birth as a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin...
I think this makes my Orthodox faith even stronger then before!

In Christ,    Alex
Sorry I haven't been around.  My real-world responsibilities are taking longer than I thought.  And, TBH, I got stuck in a debate on two other forums. Currently, I am debating a papalist Latin Catholic in CAF who thinks the Pope has absolute power in the Church (a position which I, as an Oriental and a Catholic reject).  I'll be back as soon as I am able in this forum, and I'll offer a response for the Faith once for all delivered to the Saints.

For now, I will say that I am happy that you are strengthening your Orthodox faith.  My only purpose here is to prove that the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox understanding on this matter we are discussing in this thread are not opposed, as some try to falsely portray.  We need to be strengthened in Truth, not on divisive misinterpretations of each others' Faith, I hope you'll agree.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #132 on: June 23, 2009, 07:16:18 AM »

Men have the power to respond to or otherwise reject this Grace of movement, whereby the Grace of Salvation becomes effective. 

This "grace of movement" of which you speak---I am unable to find the RC definition?
The Catholic Church calls it, specifically, PREVENIENT GRACE.  You can look up the definitions you require under that title. It is a Grace given to ALL men, and it is different from the Grace of salvation.  As a former Catholic, I'm surprised you did not know that.  I assume there are a lot of other things you did not know about the Faith you say you left.

Blessings
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« Reply #133 on: June 23, 2009, 07:30:11 AM »

Hi Marduk,
I'm happy you give us some signals of presence! I clearly understand your difficulty... being an Eastern Catholic must be a hard thing, trying to confront with both Eastern Orthodox and Latin Catholics at the same time  Wink
Anyway, I agree that misinterpretations are a danger. I also believe, anyway, that RC and EO teachings on the inheritance of Adam and Eve's sin is a doctrine we have only partially in common. I don't accuse you of being heretic on this matter... I'm just not of the same opinion as yours (you=Catholic Magisterium) on the subject. Orthodoxy allows for this greater freedom. There are infact Byzantinizing apologists such as Dr Hughes (whose essay I partially quoted above) who affirm a position similar to st. John Cassian and deny the transmission of guilt; yet there are also some Orthodox catechisms sometimes allowing/alluding to an Augustinian (yet mitigated) interpretation of Original Sin. I have no problem with either; I just can't embrace the RC Original Sin doctrine because I feel I'm more comfortable with the EO interpretation of it.

I repeat st. Vincent of Lérins motto on the concept of Catholicity... I strongly believe it with all of my heart!
Quote
"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #134 on: June 23, 2009, 08:41:29 PM »

Well, Alexander, with that we are in agreement.  Smiley
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