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Author Topic: 'Baptism of desire' / or perhaps something called 'baptism of the spirit'?  (Read 2395 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 26, 2009, 06:34:02 PM »

 Is there an Eastern 'baptism of desire' doctrine?
Do the Eastern Catholics / Eastern Orthodox have the doctrine of 'baptism of desire'?

I must have spent too much time on CAF, but...

I was debating with an Eastern Orthodox a few days ago about salvation and he assured me that only those baptised in the church could be saved, and those martyred for Christ ('baptism of blood'), but when I mentioned 'baptism of desire', he said it was a Western concept, developed much later.

Is it just Western? Do the Eastern folks believe that those who were not baptised cannot be saved, even catechumens dying of natural causes while awaiting baptism?

What is the earliest mention of 'baptism of desire' and is it Western? Are there any Church Fathers before the Schism that would mention something like this as possible?

Links, please!

Am I a heretic for believing that sometimes, while God usually points you towards The Path where you will be rescued, He will sometimes arrange a helicopter rescure for you if there's no time to get to The Path? What about the murderer on the cross?

I'd have problems with God that didn't - aborted babies? dying Eskimos/Chimamen/Inuit etc. who have Understood somehow, by virtue of all of us being created through Him, that Christ is God - my main reason for rebelling while I was a teen were thoughts like these.

Also, the Holy Spirit only coming round after baptism - what about OT prophets? the people present at Pentecost? The Holy Spirit wasn't just twiddling His thumbs before the Incarnation, was He?

Anyway, I think I'm with the Catholics on this one if it's against Eastern theology, I must confess!  Undecided

Thank you so much!
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 06:51:33 PM »

Here is the teaching of the saintly Metropolitan Philaret, the third First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.  He definitely contradicts what this person is saying.

"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way."

N.B.  The Lord... undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

Source  :: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 08:46:40 PM »

A good friend put it to me like this once, " We are all responsible for the information we have been given." Meaning that for those who grow up in different faiths and never come to know Orthodox Christianity, as it has been set forth by Christ and His Apostles, handed down in unbroken Apostolic Succession to us through the Sacraments and Traditions of the Church; God is working in their lives and wants to show them the Way to Him as well (we are all His children). Just as us converts know exactly that God was ever leading us to them, even through the seemingly deceptive paths we took to get to Him.
I'm sure there are some Hardliners out there that will balk me on this. I have even read church fathers who say that only those who are baptized in the faith will be saved.
In my Opinion...These things are not for us to judge but to shout out to ourselves, "old man! Look at your own fornications!" Then pick up our cross and follow Him.
Orthodoxy provides the fullness of faith. For other religions, they have enough truth to decieve others and yet also enough truth in them to leave someone wanting more...if they are sincere in their search.
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 02:23:43 AM »

I tend toward the view that all are judged by the light they are given. It is then the Lord who judges their response to that light.

Jesus seemed to base his evangelism on this - look at his conversation with the woman at the well. He assessed what she knew about God and true worship, affirmed where she was correct, corrected where she was wrong and then revealed Himslef as the fulfillment of all religion.

Then there is the account in Acts regarding those who knew only John's baptism. Again, the light they had already received was affirmed and more light was given. Same with St. Paul's speech to the Athenians regarding their shrine to the unknown god.

New Testatment evangelism could be called the "Paul Harvey" method of evangelism: you know this much, or already beleive this -that's great. If you have received it gladly and accepted that light, here is "the rest of the story. "  You will love it!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 02:24:57 AM by BrotherAidan » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 02:44:15 AM »

I tend toward the view that all are judged by the light they are given. It is then the Lord who judges their response to that light.

I agree with simplygermain and  BrotherAidan and since they agree with the teaching of Saint Paul,
we are on solid ground.
 Smiley

The theory of "Baptism of Desire" seems superfluous.

Saint Paul has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and
without any need to construct a theory of "Baptism of Desire."

Romans 2 - the salvation of non-believers:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
 
~ Romans 2:14-16
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 02:47:17 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 02:46:29 AM »

AGREED! angel
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 Witega: "Bishops and Metropolitans and even Patriarchs have been removed under decidedly questionable circumstances before but the Church moves on."
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