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Author Topic: How do I explain hell?  (Read 4092 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 04, 2009, 05:07:39 PM »

I've been following a discussion online with a former high school classmate (we both went to a Christian school, but he is now an atheist). The topic was hell. The question was "Why would a supposedly loving God create hell and condemn people to hell (for eternity!) simply for not believing in Him?"

I don't have a convincing answer; I find it safer (and more honest) to say "I don't know if so and so and such and such will go to Hell." Though I do think that those who call themselves Christians and lead sinful, hypocritical lives are hellbound and will richly get what they deserve.
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 05:57:51 PM »

Dear SAB,

Read this - maybe a controversial author and a questionable POV, but I like it immensely:

http://www.stnectariospress.com/parish/river_of_fire.htm
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 06:03:39 PM »

St. Isaac the Syrian writes:

"Sin, Gehenna, and Death do not exist at all with God, for they are effects, not substances. Sin is the fruit of free will. There was a time when sin did not exist, and there will be a time when it will not exist. Gehenna is the fruit of sin... (Ascetical Homilies 27, Page 133)"

"I also maintain that those who are punished in Gehenna, are scourged by the scourge of love. Nay, what is so bitter and vehement as the torment of love? ...It would be improper for a man to think that sinners in Gehenna are deprived of the love of God... The power of love works in two ways: it torments sinners... Thus I say that this is the torment of Gehenna: bitter regret. But love inebriates the souls of the sons of Heaven by its delectability. (Ascetical Homilies 28, Page 141)"

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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 06:04:07 PM »

I've been following a discussion online with a former high school classmate (we both went to a Christian school, but he is now an atheist). The topic was hell. The question was "Why would a supposedly loving God create hell and condemn people to hell (for eternity!) simply for not believing in Him?"
God is loving by providing us the medicine. It is up to us to take it, if not, we die by our free will, God can't force it on us.

We send ourselves there, not Him. BTW, we actually do not deserve a chance at salvation, yet it is because God loved us so much that ... well you know.
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2009, 07:32:41 PM »

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=interview&div=62

The Russian Orthodox Church’s representative to the European International Institutions Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, on Interfax-Religion’s request, commented on the recent suggestion of Danish Lutheran theologians to consider the hell and the devil a metaphor and to accept only existence of the paradise.


- This theology should be considered in general context of liberalized Christian dogmatic and moral teaching developed in depth of many Protestant communities in several recent decades. Everything that makes Christianity is “inconvenient”, “uncomfortable” is being omitted, “the dark Middle Ages” heritage is cleared up. Christianity in light version is under construction and the hell and devil don’t match it.

A tragedy of Protestantism has originally been the following. Seeking to get rid of medieval stratification of Catholicism, Protestants didn’t properly study the heritage of the Eastern fathers. And today when arguing with the Middle Age hell and devil, liberal Protestants don’t trouble themselves with reviewing the Holy Fathers and their conception of afterlife retaliation.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Christian tradition has never considered the hell as created by God to punish sinners. God didn’t create the hell, free will of people has created it. It exists not because God wants it, but because people keep it existing. They first create the hell on Earth and then carry it on to the afterworld.

-What do you mean by the hell on Earth?

- When a man using his power over others makes Earth the hell for them. Didn’t Hitler turn Earth to hell for millions of people tried and tortured in concentration camps, perished in gas cameras and battlefields? Didn’t Lenin and Stalin make hell for thousands and millions of people who died in camps or were shot on false denunciations or sentenced by Stalin’s “troika”? Don’t today’s terrorists, who kill peaceful citizens, take them hostage and cut off their heads, turn Earth to the hell?

And is it believable that malefactors and monsters, who kill other people and revolt against God and all-hallows will share the paradise with righteous and saints? Is it believable that the paradise will welcome both John the Baptist and Herod, St. Veniamin of Petrograd and Lenin, thousands of the murdered new Russia’s martyrs and confessors and their torturers? It removes division between the good and the evil. Then there’s no difference if you are a saint or a villain, if you do the good or the evil, if you save people from death or kill them.

-So sins will be inevitably recompensed?

-Any person bears moral responsibility for his actions. And he will answer for the sins of his earthly life in the eternity. St. Isaac the Syrian writes that sinners in the hell are not deprived of God’s love. On the contrary, love is given equally to everyone: to the righteous in the Heavenly Kingdom and to the sinners in Gehenna. But for the righteous it becomes the source of joy and bliss while for sinners it is the source of torture.

Thus, God didn’t create the hell for sinners, they did it themselves. God doesn’t send sinners to the hell, but people who oppose God’s will and revolt against God choose the hell themselves. And this choice is made in their earthly life rather than in some distant eschatological prospect. It is right here on Earth that infernal tortures and “the Kingdom of God come with power” begin.

- However, even the Orthodox divine service says that the hell is “abolished” by Christ after His Resurrection from the dead?

- The reality of the hell, its existence for sinners and even the possibility of its eternal existence don’t contradict the news of its abolition by Christ resurrected. The hell is really “abolished” in the resurrection of Christ, as it is not inevitable for people anymore and doesn’t have power over them. But those, who consciously oppose God’s will and commit crime and sin, restore destroyed and abolished hell as they don’t want to reconcile with God’s love.

I’d like to stress it again: God didn’t create the hell, people created it for themselves, God destroyed and abolished the hell, but people restore it again and again. The hell is re-created every time when the sin is consciously committed and isn’t repented.
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 09:26:44 PM »

Dear SAB,

Read this - maybe a controversial author and a questionable POV, but I like it immensely:

http://www.stnectariospress.com/parish/river_of_fire.htm

As I was once told, ROF should accompany ROF-revisited Wink

http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/207/%E2%80%9C-river-fire%E2%80%9D-revisited/

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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 09:33:40 PM »

Dear SAB,

Read this - maybe a controversial author and a questionable POV, but I like it immensely:

http://www.stnectariospress.com/parish/river_of_fire.htm

As I was once told, ROF should accompany ROF-revisited Wink

http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/207/%E2%80%9C-river-fire%E2%80%9D-revisited/



Thank you for this, but I am afraid the author of this refutation misses the point. What Kalomiros really tried to say, AFAIK, is that no "ananki," no "Neccessity" rules over God. The idea that He "must" punish the "wicked" by putting them in "hell" presupposes just this "ananki," just this superior force governing God and His love.
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 09:40:53 PM »

Oh yes, I'm not asserting Vladimir Moss is entirely correct in his interpretation, but I do think he makes some valid points, and perhaps may help the OP to find a certain "balance" between the viewpoints.
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 10:41:01 PM »

I'd check out Dr. Clark Carlton's Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.  Great stuff, imo.  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2009, 11:49:55 PM »

I've been following a discussion online with a former high school classmate (we both went to a Christian school, but he is now an atheist). The topic was hell. The question was "Why would a supposedly loving God create hell and condemn people to hell (for eternity!) simply for not believing in Him?"

I don't have a convincing answer; I find it safer (and more honest) to say "I don't know if so and so and such and such will go to Hell." Though I do think that those who call themselves Christians and lead sinful, hypocritical lives are hellbound and will richly get what they deserve.

Well, I think your friend might be missing the point.  The point is that the lack of Orthodox belief in God has resulted in far more bloodshed and mayhem than  any other influence on humanity.  Atheism breeds violence, since it removes accountability.  The atheism of the Nazis, the Soviets and the Japanese (the latter practice a combination of Buddhism and Shinto, both of which are atheistic from an Orthodox perspective) led to the slaughter of millions without an afterthought other than how to make it all more efficient.

Atheism leads to injustice for all humanity.  This is what is meant by 'atheism' in the Scriptures.  Look at how the Scriptures describe those who don't believe.

But, I don't think anyone who was paying attention to all that 'Christian education' could ever come away with an attitude that merely invoking the name of Christ is enough to wipe away the natural consequences of unrepented sins.  He ought to sue your former high school for malpractice... Wink


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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 07:01:04 AM »

My advice? Here.
Read this - maybe a controversial author and a questionable POV, but I like it immensely:

http://www.stnectariospress.com/parish/river_of_fire.htm
Wink

Yes, you may also check the criticism, in order to have a more balanced view, but the ROF helps you actually understand why and how God cares.
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 10:05:15 AM »

I think hell has it`s origins and consequences into the fall of Lucifer, as being a place different from the state of God`s grace and presence.Hell was created disirebly or indesirebly through Satan(or by satan itself) , through his conscience by the birth of inquity.So by the birth of Satan`s states of soul and the darkening of his soul this place was born as a place different from the presence of God and the grace of God, as a place without light and water, without life.So the place of hell has its originins in inquity, and in the desire to reject light , in the absence of good.Through Lucifers transformation and the angels who fallowed him, the creation transform itself, by the entering of evil and inquity into the world and a place like this was established.Cause God has created everything good, and God is goodness and light, but evil is the absence of good , and darkness the absence of light.And so through the absence of good from Lucifer and the angels who followed him, this place took birth.Lucifer transforming from angel of light into Devil , becoming Satan.Satan created this place as a place of his own changed state,and his corruption of the soul, as a place different from God, dirrectly or indirrectly.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 11:17:43 AM »

http://aggreen.net/beliefs/heaven_hell.html

Check this out, for a different pov, and a good overview of the ideas and terms used for hell in the NT.
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2009, 11:19:36 AM »

If we are speaking of eternal hell (Gehenna) here, then hell is not created.   It is, rather the eternal energy of God as experienced by one who cannot commune with it.  
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2009, 12:01:26 PM »

I'm reading a bunch of materials at once. One of the more interesting ones is Bp. Hilarion's book on St. Isaac the Syrian. God didn't create hell, man's free will (which tended towards sin) did, and it was sin that created the barrier between us and God.

It was always meant to be a temporary place, until the final judgment. Isaac was of the hopeful belief that Gehenna's torments would be temporary, and that at the time of the abolishment of Gehenna, those in there would eventually be reconciled to God. I'm very sure this is not official Orthodox teaching, but rather a hopeful belief of what will take place.
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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2009, 06:18:58 PM »

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I now have a better understanding of "working out salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). These past 24 hours have also given me a humble and prayerful heart towards those who do not love Him.
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2009, 09:19:39 PM »

http://aggreen.net/beliefs/heaven_hell.html

Check this out, for a different pov, and a good overview of the ideas and terms used for hell in the NT.

I thought the "In Conclusion" section of this article worth posting....

There is no "place" of torment, or even a "place" apart from God, because there is no "place" at all; you are outside of time and space. The "place" is actually a condition of either punishment ("hell") or paradise ("heaven") depending on how you experience the presence of God and His Uncreated Engergies.

Consider a person who hates God, and anything to do with religion, and has done nothing but pursued his own self-centered desires all his life. It would be far more terrifying, and painful, to spend eternity in the fiery embrace of God's almighty and divine love with no escape, than to be far from Him.

Experiencing God's presence and His in-filling transforming Energies in glory or in torment, as Paradise or as Punishment, is the heaven and hell of the Bible. Not something God did to us, but rather something we did to ourselves. God unconditionally pours out His love on all, WHETHER WE WANT IT OR NOT, whether we are ready for it or not, when we enter the afterlife. This is why the Gospel or "good news" of Jesus Christ should be shared with all people, of all nations, in all tongues. For there is nothing to fear from God's perfect love, since love casts out all fear.

However, it is not totally wrong to understand the after life as "type" of Heaven and Hell. Because from each individual's perspective, it will not be perceived as the same "place", but rather as either torment and darkness you can not escape, or as the paradise you have always longed for. For those judged, they will experience God's presence as eternal darkness and torment. Though it is very important to keep in mind what is the cause of either of these conditions, or one could reach very wrong conclusions about the nature of God, as they have in western theologies. To misrepresent the nature of a loving God would cause one to conclude that it was God's intention to punish his creation. Indeed, one blasphemes the reputation of the God of the Bible when you make him into an angry vengeful god that punishes His creation. The cause of the torment is the poor choices that we make, not God. If one thinks of these two different "places" as conditions that we choose to be in, rather than "compartments" God puts us in, it would be more accurate.

And it will certainly be "paradise" to finally experience His Divine Love up close and in person for those who seek it. It is all in the perception.

Such is the nature of a loving God. For God is God.

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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2009, 10:19:45 PM »

I've been following a discussion online with a former high school classmate (we both went to a Christian school, but he is now an atheist). The topic was hell. The question was "Why would a supposedly loving God create hell and condemn people to hell (for eternity!) simply for not believing in Him?"

I don't have a convincing answer; I find it safer (and more honest) to say "I don't know if so and so and such and such will go to Hell." Though I do think that those who call themselves Christians and lead sinful, hypocritical lives are hellbound and will richly get what they deserve.


Non will escape the Presence of the Great Holy and Awsome Eternal Flame! The wicked will hate it while the righteous will enjoy it like meshach shadrach and abednego.


We all will get hit with Holy Flame......for the Presence of the Flame will be Universal.

For our God is a consuming Fire and His Presence is everywhere!

Hebrews 12:28-29
"28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our "God is a consuming fire."


So all will get hit with Fire! The wicked will hate it, while the righteous will love it.


Thus, the whole Kosmos will be like the Burning Bush.


I would try to get His attention away from the "eternal" aspect, and instead try and get him to focus on the fact that we all will get hit with Flame. Also try and get him to appreciate the reality of "mystery", for we don't know everything. And last but not least, pray for him.......both before, during, and after talking to him.







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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2009, 09:06:46 AM »

Since "nobody" can see God and live, that because of the barier men has set with God , the same will happen with those in hell, they will be tormented by God , cause God is Holy , and no one can approach to the holyness of God , who defiled himself.So the all-holyness that will be in that time in heaven will be in hell also.But those unholly will be burned by the holyness of God.As the Holy Water burns the demons.It`s just a theory.I dare to say that heaven is a place indeed and hell also a place at this moment, but then when death will be swallowed by victory, then it will no longer be a place, but all "places" heaven , earth and hell will be one realm.This is what I understand by the words that hell will be trown into the "lake of fire".I believe now, God is aware of what is happening in hell, and perceives everything in there.He has the keys of death and Hell and can release anyone from hell by his big mercy.What remains to perceive is this: Who are the "tormentors" from hell now?
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2009, 07:50:31 PM »

Hell is a ko-an. You don't explain it. You meditate on it.
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2009, 04:39:24 PM »

The permanent containment of evil.
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2009, 04:44:14 PM »

The permanent containment of evil.
But is evil a thing that can be contained?
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2009, 04:54:36 PM »

perhaps I should have said, "all things evil". That is, satan and his followers.
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2009, 04:47:55 PM »

perhaps I should have said, "all things evil". That is, satan and his followers.
Didn't a saint say that heaven and hell are within the heart?
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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2009, 04:48:54 PM »

perhaps I should have said, "all things evil". That is, satan and his followers.
Didn't a saint say that heaven and hell are within the heart?

Yes. Both heaven and hell are within us.
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« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2009, 04:45:04 AM »

perhaps I should have said, "all things evil". That is, satan and his followers.
Didn't a saint say that heaven and hell are within the heart?

Yes. Both heaven and hell are within us.

Isn't this placing a bit too much emphasis on the cerebral aspect of the afterlife? I believe that Church teaching is clear in saying that both heaven and hell are to be experienced corporeally as well as incorporeally, is it not ( i.e. it is not solely a state of conciousness)?
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« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2009, 12:40:30 PM »

Quote
How do I explain hell

Here's a description for you.
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« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2009, 01:58:09 PM »

Isn't this placing a bit too much emphasis on the cerebral aspect of the afterlife?

Mystical aspects maybe....this isn't really cerebral.

Quote
I believe that Church teaching is clear in saying that both heaven and hell are to be experienced corporeally as well as incorporeally, is it not ( i.e. it is not solely a state of conciousness)?

In the Age to come I'm sure that Heaven and Hell will be experienced in a very tangible and corporeal way. But Heaven and Hell are not places separate from one another. In fact, in the Scriptures what has been translated into English as "Hell" in reality referred to different things.

http://aggreen.net/beliefs/heaven_hell.html

The bottom line is that Heaven and Hell are not places that God sends us to but states of being. Someone who is "in Hell" is in the presence of Our Lord, just as much as someone who is "in Heaven" experiences the Lord. The difference being that the person in Hell is unrepentant, and experiences the Eternal Love of Our Lord as a torment, that lays bare their transgressions. The repentant sinner receives His Love as a joy, essentially as Paradise.

Hell is not a punishment from God. It is the creation of unrepentant sinners. The gates of Hell are locked from the inside.

"Thus, God didn’t create the hell for sinners, they did it themselves. God doesn’t send sinners to the hell, but people who oppose God’s will and revolt against God choose the hell themselves. And this choice is made in their earthly life rather than in some distant eschatological prospect. It is right here on Earth that infernal tortures and “the Kingdom of God come with power” begin." - Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev)
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« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2009, 04:19:22 PM »

I found this quote on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Judgment

The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that there are two judgments: the first, or "Particular" Judgment, is that experienced by each individual at the time of his or her death, at which time God will decide where[5] the soul is to spend the time until the Second Coming of Christ (see Hades in Christianity). This judgment is generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death. The second, "General" or "Final" Judgment will occur after the Second Coming. Although in modern times some have attempted to introduce the concept of Soul sleep into Orthodox thought about life after death, it has never been a part of traditional Orthodox teaching—in fact, it contradicts the Orthodox understanding of the intercession of the Saints.

Is there any truth at all in this passage? This seems way off base to me. Generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death? Where did that come from?
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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2009, 04:23:23 PM »

I found this quote on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Judgment

The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that there are two judgments: the first, or "Particular" Judgment, is that experienced by each individual at the time of his or her death, at which time God will decide where[5] the soul is to spend the time until the Second Coming of Christ (see Hades in Christianity). This judgment is generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death. The second, "General" or "Final" Judgment will occur after the Second Coming. Although in modern times some have attempted to introduce the concept of Soul sleep into Orthodox thought about life after death, it has never been a part of traditional Orthodox teaching—in fact, it contradicts the Orthodox understanding of the intercession of the Saints.

Is there any truth at all in this passage? This seems way off base to me. Generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death? Where did that come from?

I'm not sure exactly what if anything is the teaching. I do have some resources on the soul after death, I would have to dig them out. Keep in mind that this is quite simply not something on which we are to dwell. We know only what has been revealed to us, and dwelling too much on theological points of interest can distract us from what we should really be doing.
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2009, 04:28:47 PM »

Even this passage seems strange.  I certainly wasn't taught this in catechesis.  Perhaps someone should question the validity of this article?


The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that there are two judgments: the first, or "Particular" Judgment, is that experienced by each individual at the time of his or her death, at which time God will decide where[5] the soul is to spend the time until the Second Coming of Christ (see Hades in Christianity).
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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2009, 04:40:51 PM »

Even this passage seems strange.  I certainly wasn't taught this in catechesis.  Perhaps someone should question the validity of this article?


The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that there are two judgments: the first, or "Particular" Judgment, is that experienced by each individual at the time of his or her death, at which time God will decide where[5] the soul is to spend the time until the Second Coming of Christ (see Hades in Christianity).

It's Wikipedia. Not that I question what the article is saying, but you should take that into account.
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« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2009, 04:45:17 PM »

Yes, of course. I'm not a wikipedia expert, so I don't know how to change articles or anything, but I definitely think this part needs some cleaning up/editing.
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« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2009, 04:49:52 PM »

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/about-prayer-for-the-dead.html

"Some of the confusion might occur in that most Protestant confessions teach that the judgment after death determines the eternal state of the soul. Not so, according to the Tradition and teaching of the Orthodox Faith. The particular judgment immediately after death only determines the state and "residence" of the soul in the spiritual world and that judgment is based on who our spiritual "friends" are. Do we have more converse with angels or demons? Do we devote ourselves more to the saints or to sinners? Are we attached to the world or to the Kingdom of God? Do we act like Satan or Christ? Whatever we are like, there we are placed in the spiritual world. And the demons are diligent in attempting to demonstrate that we are tied to them and not to Christ and so any and every unconfessed sin, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant is brought out by them as accusations against us and the angels on the other hand counter this accusation by a description of our righteous deeds which indicate our change of heart and life. But do not confuse this particular judgment and temporary disposition with the eternal disposition of the soul to be determined at the Great Judgment. Then, the soul being reunited with the body thanks to the general resurrection, each person will be judged by God Who sees within either the spark of grace or none and those who have that spark will be brought into the Kingdom of God and those who do not will be cast into outer darkness - finally and eternally. So you see that when we pray for the departed, we do so knowing that the final judgment has not yet occurred and while we don't know what the exact needs of the departed are, we can simply lift them up to God calling out for His mercy."


I believe Wikipedia does, in this case, reflect accurately the Orthodox teaching.

Keep in mind that catechism has alot of ground to cover, you aren't necessarily going to hit each point with the attention to elucidate fully the teaching of the Church.
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« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2009, 04:55:35 PM »

Generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death? Where did that come from?

Without causing a huge stir in the thread (hopefully):



http://www.amazon.com/Soul-After-Death-Contemporary-After-Death/dp/093863514X

The Soul After Death: Contemporary "After-Death" Experiences in the Light of the Orthodox Teaching on the Afterlife by Fr. Seraphim of Platina

An excellent exposition on the Orthodox teaching of the journey of the soul after death.
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« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2009, 05:09:22 PM »

Basically, what I was told in catechesis is that after death, one may approach a sort of "fork in the road" where at that point, based on their response to God's love, the person either goes down the unrighteous path and remains in a relatively "unchanged" state until the final judgment awaiting hell, or they go down the righteous path and continue on in their journey towards theosis. I was also told that there is no second chance or turning back for those who go down the path of rejection.
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« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2009, 05:16:59 PM »

A few videos regarding God's Judgment from Vladika Lazar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2k_LdP1wY4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj1pC6jGWgI
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« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2009, 05:36:11 PM »

I was also told that there is no second chance or turning back for those who go down the path of rejection.
...which is not to say that God may not be merciful.
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2009, 05:48:50 PM »

Quote
Without causing a huge stir in the thread (hopefully): The Soul After Death: Contemporary "After-Death" Experiences in the Light of the Orthodox Teaching on the Afterlife by Fr. Seraphim of Platina  An excellent exposition on the Orthodox teaching of the journey of the soul after death.

If by "excellent exposition" what you mean is "inaccurate fantasy," then sure, I'd agree with you. No need for a stir. Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2009, 06:13:37 PM »

The Soul After Death: Contemporary "After-Death" Experiences in the Light of the Orthodox Teaching on the Afterlife by Fr. Seraphim of Platina

An excellent exposition on the Orthodox teaching of the journey of the soul after death.
I've read the book.  It may be a good exposition of belief in the toll houses and of other aspects of 18th and 19th century Russian thought on life after death, but I would hardly call it representative of the whole of Orthodox teaching on the subject.
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« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2009, 12:19:31 AM »

If by "excellent exposition" what you mean is "inaccurate fantasy," then sure, I'd agree with you.

Well, considering you'd call the resurrection of the historical Jesus an inaccurate fantasy as well, it would likely behoove Ortho_cat to ignore any of your commentary on the subject.

It may be a good exposition of belief in the toll houses and of other aspects of 18th and 19th century Russian thought on life after death...

Don't forget the whole first millennium in Palestine and Egypt.
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« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2009, 12:57:08 AM »

My spiritual father knew Fr. Rose quite well.  He is not ashamed to admit however that he "just can't go there with him" regarding this teaching.
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« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2009, 11:49:17 AM »

If by "excellent exposition" what you mean is "inaccurate fantasy," then sure, I'd agree with you.

Well, considering you'd call the resurrection of the historical Jesus an inaccurate fantasy as well, it would likely behoove Ortho_cat to ignore any of your commentary on the subject.

It may be a good exposition of belief in the toll houses and of other aspects of 18th and 19th century Russian thought on life after death...

Don't forget the whole first millennium in Palestine and Egypt.

If someone wants to take Fr. Seraphim's word on this subject--and the same goes with pretty much all of his books except his one on St. Augustine--then they'll be getting what they deserve. If you want to ignore me for telling you that your house of cards is about to fall, that's not my problem. It's your house. Wink
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« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2009, 06:59:45 PM »

If by "excellent exposition" what you mean is "inaccurate fantasy," then sure, I'd agree with you.

Well, considering you'd call the resurrection of the historical Jesus an inaccurate fantasy as well, it would likely behoove Ortho_cat to ignore any of your commentary on the subject.

It may be a good exposition of belief in the toll houses and of other aspects of 18th and 19th century Russian thought on life after death...

Don't forget the whole first millennium in Palestine and Egypt.
But does the antiquity of a doctrine in and of itself stand as proof that the doctrine is THE definitive teaching of the Orthodox Church on the matter?
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« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2009, 07:25:17 PM »

Don't forget the whole first millennium in Palestine and Egypt.

The teaching that the soul encounters demons upon its initial separation from the body is something you'll find in numerous Fathers of the Church, including St. John Chrysostom. The idea that these demons judge you and can prevent you from attaining salvation is not.
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