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?
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!
Thank you so much!