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Author Topic: What is the church's view on "salvation by association"?  (Read 2062 times) Average Rating: 0
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sodr2
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« on: July 14, 2009, 12:20:07 AM »

Forgive me if the phrase in the topic name seems a bit silly, maybe "household salvation" would be better.

I was reading Acts 16:31:

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

So I was just wondering, if one or more people in a family are believers, does that guarantee the salvation of other members?
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sodr2
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 11:46:50 PM »

For anyone interested in this topic (although the website is not from an Orthodox perspective):
http://www.gotquestions.org/household-salvation.html

I was confused when I came across this question at first, but then I realized we should look at what the Bible says as a whole. Of course salvation comes by believing in Jesus yourself.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 11:48:52 PM by sodr2 » Logged

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sodr2
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 12:30:00 AM »

I'd interpret Acts 16:31 as how your beliefs can influence others around you, like how St. George saved the woman who was tempting him in his cell and the queen or how the coptic saint (I think her name was St. Refka) who witnessed her five children to be killed in front of her to make sure they received the crown of martyrdom.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 12:35:44 AM »

sodr2,

Please do avoid considering such websites in your pursuit to understand Orthodox truth. If you were confused before considering any commentary to begin with, you have only confused yourself further by considering faulty commentary as is that which is made available by the website you link to.

As His Holiness Pope Shenouda explains, the faith of the jailer was a step in the salvation of his household in the sense that his individual reception of the faith and baptism would in turn initiate the baptism of his family, which would have included young children who are yet incapable of "believing in Jesus" in terms the website you link to would presume.

Of course, as we know, baptism does not guarantee anyone's salvation. It is of course possible to conceive (though may it be far from the truth), for example, of the Phillipian jailer's household being baptised and yet later apostasting from the faith, or even failing to repent of a sin that the indwelling Spirit was attempting to inspire them to turn from.

So in a sense, yes, individual faith (and we must remember that faith in the Orthodox concept may differ significantly from how such is conceived by non-Orthodox traditions) plays a significant role in one's salvation, but it was mainly with reference to the role of the Phillipian jailer's faith in initiating the baptism of his family that the verse in question connects his faith with the salvation of his household.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 12:38:02 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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sodr2
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 12:57:38 AM »

Alright, thanks for that.

BTW, I wouldn't consider that website to be completely false, I mean it does mention verses from the Bible so there has to be at least some truth in it, no?
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Salpy
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 02:18:37 AM »

I haven't really read the website you linked, but generally speaking it is best to seek Orthodox sources when trying to find answers to spiritual questions.  Even though the non-Orthodox use the Bible and even though they believe in Christ, they have a different approach and some of their beliefs differ from ours.  Therefore, when one goes to them for answers, it's possible to get information that conflicts with what our Church teaches.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 02:44:17 AM »

To add to what Salpy has said, I want you to consider the fact that the article you link to makes no mention of the salvific role of baptism which the mind of the Church, accurately expressed in the view of His Holiness on this matter to which I have appealed, deems central to understanding the verse in question.

The author of the article saw it fit to conveniently ignore the immediate context which His Holiness highlights; namely, the very next verse which specifies the manner in which the entire household could be understood as being on some level saved: "immediately he and all his family were baptised."

I do not think it a coincidence that the author who so ommitted to make mention of this qualifying verse and its implications is one who elsewhere on the website explicitly disavows the salvific efficacy of baptism, deeming it a mere "step of obedience," the efficacy of which is, according to our author, solely contingent on some vague notion of a public confession of faith. A further implication of this would be that he denies the efficacy of infant baptism in particular.

So, all in all, we can see how our author not only fails to capture the true Orthodox understanding of the verse question, but even worse essentially denies and opposes the very heart of it. So please be careful. His Holiness Pope Shenouda has written many very simple, terse and reliable contemplations and commentaries on the various Scriptural verses that people often question the true meaning and implications of; my suggestion is that you consistently refer to these. Such commentaries/contemplations are generally scattered throughout all his works. He has not, as far as I am aware, written whole commentaries on specific books of the Scriptures.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 02:47:53 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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sodr2
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 11:32:30 AM »

OK, I understand that sites like that can be dangerous.

But what about if we were talking about let's say a Catholic source? Would we condemn that?
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