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Offline ChristusDominus

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What happens after death?
« on: June 10, 2009, 03:51:37 AM »
Hello,

I would like to hear an Orthodox perspective on what happens at the moment of death. What happens to the soul, according to Orthodox Tradition? My intention is not to debate responses; I simply want to gain insight, if you will.

Thank you for your attention.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 08:02:33 AM »
Dear ChristusDominus,

I am not providing any links, but you can easily find them if you Google up "Orthodox Church Catechism" - there are several available online. The answer there is, essentially, that the human soul does not die with the physical death of the body, but remains alive, conscious, and undergoing a "particular judgment." It means that very soon after an individual's physical death, and way before the general resurrection of the dead, the soul, sort of, is told in some way, whether it will be later judged mercifully or adversely. So, the soul gets a "foretaste" of either the heavenly bliss, or the torment in hell. Because repentance is no longer possible (the Orthodox, AFAIK, believe that in order to repent, a human being must have a body), there is absolutely nothing the soul can do to change its future destiny. However, the "particular judgment" is NOT final; prayers of the Church, and especially intercession of the saints and of the Most Holy Theotokos may alleviate the suffering of the soul caused by some unrepented sin.

When Christ comes again "in glory to judge the living and the dead," all souls of the departed people will be joined with their unique resurrected bodies, and we, each of us, body and soul, will stand in front of the "awesome Judgment Seat of Christ." That will be the "general judgment," which will be final. After this judgment, the time as we know it will disappear, and the resurrected human beings will find themselves either in the undescribable mercy of God ("at the banquet table of the Holy Trinity"), or "outside," in the "outer darkness."

The Church has condemned the Neoplatonist theory of "anakatastasis ton panton" ("restoration of everything"), according to which the pure, ethereal, immaterial resurrected humans and angels and even demons will at some point be "absorbed" into the Divine, so that there will be no distinction between good and bad, Creator and creature, Heaven and hell. However, AFAIK, there are different points of view among the Orthodox theologians about the eventual destiny of "hell" - while some think that it will remain forever, other believe that God might destroy hell one day if He so chooses, and release those who are in it.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 08:03:59 AM by Heorhij »
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 10:10:23 AM »
The Church Fathers have been reticent to go in to too much detail on this topic, although individual writers did at times offer up views based on lives of Saints, etc.

The most comprehensive book on the topic in English is The Mystery of Death by Vassiliades which you can get from Light and Life Publishing or from interlibrary loan.

Another good book on the topic is Life After Death by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos.

You will note that sometimes the terms are not used consistently: Bosom of Abraham, Tartarus, Hades, Hell.  But you will get a basic understanding of the topic from these books, where the authors are careful not to go beyond the consensus of the Fathers.

We had an interesting debate about some of these topics a few weeks ago, and you can search my posts to find the thread in question, or someone else can point it out.
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Offline Michael L

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2009, 11:24:22 AM »
Hello,

I would like to hear an Orthodox perspective on what happens at the moment of death. What happens to the soul, according to Orthodox Tradition? My intention is not to debate responses; I simply want to gain insight, if you will.

Thank you for your attention.

According to Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#DEATH_AND_RESURRECTION

Quote
DEATH AND RESURRECTION

‘Death is a great mystery’, says St Ignaty Brianchaninov. ‘It is the birth of the human person from transient life into eternity’. Christianity does not consider death as an end: on the contrary, death is the beginning of a new life, to which earthly life is but a preparation. The human person was created for eternity; in Paradise he was fed from the ‘tree of life’ and was immortal. After the fall, however, the way to the ‘tree of life’ was blocked, and he became mortal and temporal. According to some church writers, humanity was sentenced to death because God’s commandment was broken. Other authors hold the opinion that death was imposed in order to liberate humans from sin and through death open the way to immortality.

What happens to souls after death? According to the traditional teaching of the Orthodox Church, souls do not leave the earth immediately after their departure from the body. For three days they remain close to the earth and visit the places with which they were associated. Meanwhile, the living show particular consideration to the souls of the deceased by offering memorial prayers and funeral services. During these three days, the personal task of the living is to be reconciled with the departed, to forgive them and to ask their forgiveness.

With the passing of three days the souls of the departed ascend to the Judge in order to undergo their personal trial. Righteous souls are then taken by the angels and brought to the threshold of Paradise, which is called ‘Abraham’s bosom’: there they remain waiting for the Last Judgment. Sinners, on the other hand, find themselves ‘in Hell’, ‘in torments’ (cf. Luke 16:22-23). But the final division into the saved and the condemned will actually take place at the universal Last Judgment, when ‘many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt’ (Dan.12:2). Before the Last Judgment, the righteous souls anticipate the joy of Paradise, while the souls of sinners anticipate the torments of Gehenna.

According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on. Immediately after the common resurrection, will be the Last Judgment at which the final decision is taken as to who is worthy of the Kingdom of heaven and who should be sentenced to the torments of Hell. Before this event, however, there exists the possibility for the person in Hell to gain release; after the Last Judgment this possibility no longer remains.

Offline Douglas

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2009, 01:20:22 PM »
Great post, Heorhij. Very enlightening. Thanks. :)
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Offline ChristusDominus

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2009, 11:17:28 PM »
We had an interesting debate about some of these topics a few weeks ago, and you can search my posts to find the thread in question, or someone else can point it out.
That didn't cross my mind; I'll take a look at past threads.

Thank you
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 11:18:37 PM by ChristusDominus »
There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Offline ChristusDominus

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 11:20:19 PM »
Heorhij,

Thank you for your post. Very interesting
There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Offline ChristusDominus

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 11:29:51 PM »
Sinner Servant,

Thanks for the site. Is that a ROCOR?
There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 12:15:43 AM »

the soul, sort of, is told in some way, whether it will be later judged mercifully or adversely. So, the soul gets a "foretaste" of either the heavenly bliss, or the torment in hell. Because repentance is no longer possible (the Orthodox, AFAIK, believe that in order to repent, a human being must have a body), there is absolutely nothing the soul can do to change its future destiny. However, the "particular judgment" is NOT final; prayers of the Church, and especially intercession of the saints and of the Most Holy Theotokos may alleviate the suffering of the soul caused by some unrepented sin.

That the particular judgment will necessarily be the same decision as that at the Final Judgment is not certain and is not inherently taught by the Church. That through the prayers of the Church a wicked soul may be brought to righteousness is a possibility. Further, some have taught that the soul of John the Baptist preaches the Gospel in Hades and that souls are still capable of conversion.


or "outside," in the "outer darkness."

It must be remembered that this is outside in so far as spiritual estrangement from God and neighbor, not that it is locationally distinct from Paradise.


The Church has condemned the Neoplatonist theory of "anakatastasis ton panton" ("restoration of everything"), according to which the pure, ethereal, immaterial resurrected humans and angels and even demons will at some point be "absorbed" into the Divine, so that there will be no distinction between good and bad, Creator and creature, Heaven and hell.

While the Platonist conception of this doctrine has been condemned, the core possibility of all being saved/restored was not explicitly condemned.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 12:20:22 AM »

According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on. Immediately after the common resurrection, will be the Last Judgment at which the final decision is taken as to who is worthy of the Kingdom of heaven and who should be sentenced to the torments of Hell. Before this event, however, there exists the possibility for the person in Hell to gain release; after the Last Judgment this possibility no longer remains.

This sounds borderline heretical. The new body will be incorruptible yes, but not immaterial or non-physical. That is an officially condemned heresy. For him to point to the rich man and Lazarus as evidence of this is silly, because this scene obviously took place before the general resurrection when the two did not even have bodies. 

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2009, 12:25:25 AM »

The Church has condemned the Neoplatonist theory of "anakatastasis ton panton" ("restoration of everything")....

Shouldn't that be "apokatastasis"? I'm not up on my Greek, so it's possible that "anakatastasis" might be synonymous.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 12:27:28 AM by Jetavan »
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Offline Michael L

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2009, 12:26:19 AM »
Sinner Servant,

Thanks for the site. Is that a ROCOR?

Dear ChristusDominus

Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk is a hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate.  He is a rather dynamic person and author of several monographs on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history, numerous articles in various languages, musical compositions.

Offline Michael L

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2009, 12:28:25 AM »

According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on. Immediately after the common resurrection, will be the Last Judgment at which the final decision is taken as to who is worthy of the Kingdom of heaven and who should be sentenced to the torments of Hell. Before this event, however, there exists the possibility for the person in Hell to gain release; after the Last Judgment this possibility no longer remains.

This sounds borderline heretical. The new body will be incorruptible yes, but not immaterial or non-physical. That is an officially condemned heresy. For him to point to the rich man and Lazarus as evidence of this is silly, because this scene obviously took place before the general resurrection when the two did not even have bodies. 

Archbishop Hilarion mentions that this is taught by many Church Fathers, so I wonder if they were borderline heretics as well.  I am not all that knowledgeable about this and I guess ultimately no one really knows until we get there ourselves. However, I am inclined to believe this teaching unless you know better than the Archbishop?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 12:42:41 AM by Sinner Servant »

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2009, 12:54:48 AM »

According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on. Immediately after the common resurrection, will be the Last Judgment at which the final decision is taken as to who is worthy of the Kingdom of heaven and who should be sentenced to the torments of Hell. Before this event, however, there exists the possibility for the person in Hell to gain release; after the Last Judgment this possibility no longer remains.

This sounds borderline heretical. The new body will be incorruptible yes, but not immaterial or non-physical. That is an officially condemned heresy. For him to point to the rich man and Lazarus as evidence of this is silly, because this scene obviously took place before the general resurrection when the two did not even have bodies. 

Archbishop Hilarion mentions that this is taught by many Church Fathers, so I wonder if they were borderline heretics as well.  I am not all that knowledgeable about this and I guess ultimately no one really knows until we get there ourselves. However, I am inclined to believe this teaching unless you know better than the Archbishop?

Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople was condemned by Gregory the Great for heresy for teaching that the resurrection body was intangible.

Offline Michael L

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2009, 11:27:08 AM »
Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople was condemned by Gregory the Great for heresy for teaching that the resurrection body was intangible.

Archbishop Hilarion writes:
Quote
According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection.

How I understand this teaching is that the resurrected body will be immaterial in as much as Christ's body was able to pass through solids (the tomb and closed doors, etc.).  John 20:19/26. His body was such that He was able to make Himself appear and disappear. Luke 24:31.


Quote
However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life.

The risen Christ had a real human body that was recognizable as such. Luke 24:39.
His body could be handled and touched, therefore it had to have substance. Matt 28:9; John 20:27

Offline Heorhij

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2009, 11:31:32 AM »

The Church has condemned the Neoplatonist theory of "anakatastasis ton panton" ("restoration of everything")....

Shouldn't that be "apokatastasis"? I'm not up on my Greek, so it's possible that "anakatastasis" might be synonymous.

Oh yes, sorry, my bad. Of course "apokatastasis."
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2009, 11:38:37 AM »

According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on. Immediately after the common resurrection, will be the Last Judgment at which the final decision is taken as to who is worthy of the Kingdom of heaven and who should be sentenced to the torments of Hell. Before this event, however, there exists the possibility for the person in Hell to gain release; after the Last Judgment this possibility no longer remains.

This sounds borderline heretical. The new body will be incorruptible yes, but not immaterial or non-physical. That is an officially condemned heresy.

I thought so, too. However, it certainly does look like many Fathers, especially in the 3rd and 4th century, did write about the riddance of the "crude matter" from the resurrected bodies. Some thought that the "animal skins" in Genesis 3:21 are an allegory indicating that before the Fall, the bodies of Adam and Eve were light, fire-like, not having all this crude animal-like (or "cattle-like") flesh, but AFTER the Fall their bodies grew flesh, meat, fat, etc. After resurrection, these "animal skins" will not bother us anymore.

On the other hand, later Fathers, particularly St. John of Damascus, wrote in his "Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that humans were created, meant, to have physical, tangible, material bodies. Even Christ after His ascension to heaven does, according to St. John of Damascus, have His real, material, human, physical body as well as His reasonable human soul. We do not see this transfigued but still material body of our Lord not because it is immaterial and invisible, but because we, burdened by our sins, have limitations in our vision.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2009, 02:02:33 PM »
Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople was condemned by Gregory the Great for heresy for teaching that the resurrection body was intangible.

Archbishop Hilarion writes:
Quote
According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection.

How I understand this teaching is that the resurrected body will be immaterial in as much as Christ's body was able to pass through solids (the tomb and closed doors, etc.).  John 20:19/26. His body was such that He was able to make Himself appear and disappear. Luke 24:31.


Quote
However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life.

The risen Christ had a real human body that was recognizable as such. Luke 24:39.
His body could be handled and touched, therefore it had to have substance. Matt 28:9; John 20:27

Well what you are suggesting is certainly orthodox. I just don't see how the word "immaterial" really fits.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2009, 02:04:37 PM »

According to many church Fathers, the new body will be immaterial and incorruptible, like the body of Christ after His resurrection. However, as St Gregory of Nyssa points out, there will still be an affinity between a person’s new immaterial body and the one he had possessed in his earthly life. Gregory sees the proof of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus: the former would not have recognized the latter in Hell if no physical characteristics remained that allowed people to identify each other. There is what Gregory calls the ‘seal’ of the former body imprinted on every soul. The appearance of one’s new incorruptible body will in a fashion resemble the old material body. It is also maintained by St Gregory that the incorruptible body after the resurrection will bear none of the marks of corruption that characterized the material body, such as mutilation, aging, and so on. Immediately after the common resurrection, will be the Last Judgment at which the final decision is taken as to who is worthy of the Kingdom of heaven and who should be sentenced to the torments of Hell. Before this event, however, there exists the possibility for the person in Hell to gain release; after the Last Judgment this possibility no longer remains.

This sounds borderline heretical. The new body will be incorruptible yes, but not immaterial or non-physical. That is an officially condemned heresy.

I thought so, too. However, it certainly does look like many Fathers, especially in the 3rd and 4th century, did write about the riddance of the "crude matter" from the resurrected bodies. Some thought that the "animal skins" in Genesis 3:21 are an allegory indicating that before the Fall, the bodies of Adam and Eve were light, fire-like, not having all this crude animal-like (or "cattle-like") flesh, but AFTER the Fall their bodies grew flesh, meat, fat, etc. After resurrection, these "animal skins" will not bother us anymore.

On the other hand, later Fathers, particularly St. John of Damascus, wrote in his "Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that humans were created, meant, to have physical, tangible, material bodies. Even Christ after His ascension to heaven does, according to St. John of Damascus, have His real, material, human, physical body as well as His reasonable human soul. We do not see this transfigued but still material body of our Lord not because it is immaterial and invisible, but because we, burdened by our sins, have limitations in our vision.

I would not be surprised if John of Damascus was less influenced by sketchy Platonist anthropology than some of the earlier Fathers...

Offline jckstraw72

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2009, 06:10:02 PM »
man's body was always, will always be physical, but it was in some way more spiritual before the Fall, and will be again after the Resurrection, but yet, it remains physical.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2009, 06:13:26 PM »

man's body was always, will always be physical, but it was in some way more spiritual before the Fall, and will be again after the Resurrection, but yet, it remains physical.

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2009, 06:17:22 PM »
While the Platonist conception of this doctrine has been condemned, the core possibility of all being saved/restored was not explicitly condemned.

Saint Maximos the Confessor said, "One should pray that Apokatastasis (universal salvation) is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2009, 06:40:10 PM »
While the Platonist conception of this doctrine has been condemned, the core possibility of all being saved/restored was not explicitly condemned.

Saint Maximos the Confessor said, "One should pray that Apokatastasis (universal salvation) is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."

What should be taught as doctrine?
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Offline Douglas

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2009, 06:57:09 PM »
It is appointed unto man once to die... and after that, the Judgment. The rest is best left in His hands. He will do what is right in His eyes.
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Offline jckstraw72

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2009, 07:17:07 PM »
i dont understand the point of even hoping for universalism since Christ tells us that people will go into everlasting damnation.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2009, 07:25:18 PM »
While the Platonist conception of this doctrine has been condemned, the core possibility of all being saved/restored was not explicitly condemned.

Saint Maximos the Confessor said, "One should pray that Apokatastasis (universal salvation) is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."

Yes. However, one should not pray that Platonist/Origenist Apokatastasis is true.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2009, 07:26:17 PM »
While the Platonist conception of this doctrine has been condemned, the core possibility of all being saved/restored was not explicitly condemned.

Saint Maximos the Confessor said, "One should pray that Apokatastasis (universal salvation) is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."

What should be taught as doctrine?

On that matter? Probably nothing. Either the salvation of all or the damnation of some should both be left open as possibilities.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2009, 07:27:49 PM »

i dont understand the point of even hoping for universalism since Christ tells us that people will go into everlasting damnation.

If this is the case then why did the Church condemns apokatastasis in such a qualified manner rather than condemning it entirely? I think you're assuming that you have the proper interpretation of Scripture while the Church does not appear to have such a sure interpretation on this matter.

Offline Jetavan

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2009, 07:38:27 PM »
i dont understand the point of even hoping for universalism since Christ tells us that people will go into everlasting damnation.

Maybe Christ was speaking of the 'foretaste' of damnation that people might experience before the resurrection.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2009, 07:43:24 PM »
i dont understand the point of even hoping for universalism since Christ tells us that people will go into everlasting damnation.

Maybe Christ was speaking of the 'foretaste' of damnation that people might experience before the resurrection.

That's a great idea! That perhaps Christ was speaking of some being temporally damned but not necessarily eternally.

Offline Thomas

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2009, 05:00:08 PM »
Beloved in the Lord,just a reminder of the purpose of the Convert Issues Forum:

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

If the moderators find that the discusions become faith or jurisdiction debates, the topic will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate. As a poster,You may also ask that a topic be split so that a private discussion can be established to go into detail about the issues that you feel adamant about and wish to debate or discuss. The convert forum is not a place for combative debate or argument. 

As topics like this have been more intensely debated in the Faith Forum and other topics specific forums, please try to avoid debate and present simple responses with references that the convert and inquirer may go to themselves to determine the mind of the Church. You may also refer them to the other discussion forums to see debate if they wish to follow thru.

Thank you for your following these guidelines to the edification and spiritual growth of the forum inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 05:01:49 PM by Thomas »
Your brother in Christ ,
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Offline jckstraw72

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Re: What happens after death?
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2009, 05:16:19 PM »
i think itd be wonderful if everyone was saved, but i just cant make a reasonable argument in its favor.

does anyone know of a good interpretation for these passages:

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (New King James Version)

8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

Matthew 25: 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”