OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 30, 2014, 10:32:03 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: sinless Mary?  (Read 1219 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
nrse
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Russian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 72


Act justly. Love tenderly. Walk humbly with God.


« on: July 09, 2010, 08:22:14 AM »

this is a real struggle for me...and i recognize that even within orthodoxy there are different understandings...if the bible says we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, that does include Mary as well doesnt it? i am getting confused re this....she is ever Virgin- yes....but what about sin? did she never commit a sin in her life? i thought only Jesus was sinless.

thanks, lynn
Logged
AWR
Greetings from the Southern Jersey Shore.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 240


Expelled from Paradise


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 08:43:00 AM »

This is true, there are different understandings, but I think all Orthodox Christians believe that she died sinless. 

If we are to judge others, as to the amount of their sins, Mary is not one that I would judge. Compared to me, she is sinless.  If we define sin as separation from God, I believe she never fell away from her son. 
Logged
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,789



« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 10:37:09 AM »

In Eastern Orthodox Churches, we find a difference between the Roman Catholic ideal that Mary was immaculatly concieved (i.e. without sin) as Orthodox Christians reject the western doctrine of original sin, preferring instead to speak of a tendency towards sin. Orthodox Christians believe Mary was born without sin, but so is everyone else. Generally Orthodox Christians believe that due to her faith and action, and the the grace of God, she did not commit an actual sin during her lifetime. She is held as the ideal that mankind can choose not to send and make the right decisions unlike Eve (and ourseleves) who made many wrong decisions and commit sins.

Here are some quotes from the early Church Fathers who attest to this teaching:

"This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one." Origen,Homily 1(A.D. 244),in ULL,94

Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin." Saint Ambrose,Sermon 22:30(A.D. 388),in JUR,II:166

"We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." St. Augustine,Nature and Grace,42[36](A.D.415),in NPNF1,V:135

"A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns." Holy Martyr Theodotus of Ancrya,Homily VI:11(ante A.D. 446),in THEO,339


“Today humanity, in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty.  The shame of sin had darkened the splendor and attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born, this nature again regains in her person its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God…. The reform of our nature begins today, and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation.” – Andrew of Crete (733)

"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew." St John of Damascus,Homily I in Nativ.(ante A.D. 749),in THEO,200

Archpriest Thomas Hopko in his OCA  Catechism from the Rainbow Series The Faith notes that:

"We believe that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. Through her He Who was God before the ages took on our human nature without relinquishing His divine nature or confusing or "meshing" it with the human nature in any way. The Mother of God is often referred to as the "New Eve," for she said "yes" to God whereas the first Eve said "no." We believe that the Mother of God was sinless of her own free will, that she remains ever-virgin, and that she is the "living tabernacle" of God inasmuch as her womb, as one hymn states, becomes "more spacious than the heavens" by carrying within it the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ."

Bishop KALLISTOS (Ware) in his book The Orthodox Church wites:
"Most orthodox theologians reject the idea of ‘original guilt,’ put forward by Augustine and still accepted (albeit in a mitigated form) by the Roman Catholic Church. Men (Orthodox usually teach) automatically inherit Adam’s corruption and mortality, but not his guilt: they are only guilty in so far as by their own free choice they imitate Adam."

In summary Most Orthodox Christians believe that that due to her faith and action, and the the grace of God, Mary as the Theotokos did not commit an actual sin during her lifetime and was sinless.

Thomas

« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 10:38:09 AM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,208


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 11:13:23 AM »

I made these comments on another thread as well:

I think Mary was personally sinless, but she was nevertheless susceptible to the evils - not personal sins - of a fallen world; i.e. sickness, death, natural disasters and catastrophes, etc. Thus, when she calls Christ her "Saviour" [St. Luke 1:47], she demonstrates her humility and acknowledges her connectedness to a world and a human race that needs redemption.

It is a great mystery: she who is holy, pure, and without sin, more glorious than the Cherubim and Seraphim, greater than the heavens and higher than the earth, nevertheless worships and prostrates herself before God Whom she carried in her womb and nurtured as her Child. 



O Our Lady
The Virgin St. Mariyam:
In St. Gabriel's greetings,
"Peace be unto you."
Holy and pure
O Mother of the Almighty God:
"Peace be unto you."
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Hail Mary, full of grace:
Pray for us before Our Lord Jesus Christ
That He may forgive us for our sins.
Besime Ab, WeWolde, WeMenfesQidus, Ahadu Amlak
-amen-

Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 06:30:38 PM »

this is a real struggle for me...and i recognize that even within orthodoxy there are different understandings...if the bible says we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, that does include Mary as well doesnt it? i am getting confused re this....she is ever Virgin- yes....but what about sin? did she never commit a sin in her life? i thought only Jesus was sinless.

thanks, lynn

Even if Mary never committed a personal sin, she none the less inherited the state of ancestral sin at her conception just like everybody else, and thus, to a certain extent, she was a sinful being, meaning that her existential condition "missed the mark".
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 06:31:44 PM »

If we are to judge others, as to the amount of their sins, Mary is not one that I would judge. Compared to me, she is sinless.  If we define sin as separation from God, I believe she never fell away from her son. 

I agree. On the other hand, she was conceived separated from God just like the rest of us because of the ancestral sin.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,208


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 06:47:29 PM »

I made these comments on another thread as well:

I think Mary was personally sinless, but she was nevertheless susceptible to the evils - not personal sins...

I want to corrrect my remarks here. I believe Mary was susceptible to personal sin - i.e. she was "peccable," meaning that she could have sinned had she chosen - but that she chose not to sin and did not sin at any point in her life.


Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 07:05:02 PM »

Personal sin is not the only form of sin. The condition we are born with is called ancestral sin in Eastern Christendom. It is called "sin", because it results in loss of communion with God, sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a myriad of other corruptions, and thus result in our being "missing the mark". Mary can very well then be conceived of as being originally a truly sinful being while also recognizing that she never committed a personal sin.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,208


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 07:49:49 PM »

Personal sin is not the only form of sin. The condition we are born with is called ancestral sin in Eastern Christendom. It is called "sin", because it results in loss of communion with God, sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a myriad of other corruptions, and thus result in our being "missing the mark". Mary can very well then be conceived of as being originally a truly sinful being while also recognizing that she never committed a personal sin.

I would say that Mary was born into a fallen world, the result of original sin. But Orthodoxy - as I understand - does not teach the doctrine of an inherent sin nature which we all inherited from Adam. Rather, by the exercise of our free will we choose to sin. We are not "totally depraved" as Calvin asserted. (Of course I realize you already know this.)

Our Lady called God her "Saviour," [St. Luke 1:47] not because she needed redemption from her own personal sins, but because she needed redemption from a fallen world in which even the righteous are effected by sin (the sins of others), disease, and death.

I think we are both saying essentially the same thing though.


Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 08:11:53 PM »

Personal sin is not the only form of sin. The condition we are born with is called ancestral sin in Eastern Christendom. It is called "sin", because it results in loss of communion with God, sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a myriad of other corruptions, and thus result in our being "missing the mark". Mary can very well then be conceived of as being originally a truly sinful being while also recognizing that she never committed a personal sin.

I would say that Mary was born into a fallen world, the result of original sin. But Orthodoxy - as I understand - does not teach the doctrine of an inherent sin nature which we all inherited from Adam. Rather, by the exercise of our free will we choose to sin. We are not "totally depraved" as Calvin asserted. (Of course I realize you already know this.)

Our Lady called God her "Saviour," [St. Luke 1:47] not because she needed redemption from her own personal sins, but because she needed redemption from a fallen world in which even the righteous are effected by sin (the sins of others), disease, and death.

I think we are both saying essentially the same thing though.


Selam

It is possible, but I doubt it. It seems as if you are boiling down the fallen nature simply to its physical consequences and an inclination to commit personal sin. But that's not at all what I said. For instance, I said that Man was created with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, lost it at the Fall, and regained it only on the Day of Pentecost. Do you agree with that?
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,208


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 09:05:09 PM »

Personal sin is not the only form of sin. The condition we are born with is called ancestral sin in Eastern Christendom. It is called "sin", because it results in loss of communion with God, sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a myriad of other corruptions, and thus result in our being "missing the mark". Mary can very well then be conceived of as being originally a truly sinful being while also recognizing that she never committed a personal sin.

I would say that Mary was born into a fallen world, the result of original sin. But Orthodoxy - as I understand - does not teach the doctrine of an inherent sin nature which we all inherited from Adam. Rather, by the exercise of our free will we choose to sin. We are not "totally depraved" as Calvin asserted. (Of course I realize you already know this.)

Our Lady called God her "Saviour," [St. Luke 1:47] not because she needed redemption from her own personal sins, but because she needed redemption from a fallen world in which even the righteous are effected by sin (the sins of others), disease, and death.

I think we are both saying essentially the same thing though.


Selam

It is possible, but I doubt it. It seems as if you are boiling down the fallen nature simply to its physical consequences and an inclination to commit personal sin. But that's not at all what I said. For instance, I said that Man was created with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, lost it at the Fall, and regained it only on the Day of Pentecost. Do you agree with that?


All people are subject to the temporal consequences of sin and the effects of a fallen world. But all people are able to choose not to sin. After the Fall, man is born neither with a sin nature nor with an inherent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But apart from the regenerative waters of baptism and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through Chrismation, the influences of a fallen world make it nearly impossible for man not to sin.

As a Protestant, I was taught: "Prior to the Fall it was possible for man not to sin. After the Fall it was impossible for man not to sin. Through Christ it is once again possible not to sin."

Now I disagree with that. It is possible for man not to sin, even without the regenerative waters of baptism. But it is very unlikely, and it is never possible apart from the grace of God.

I think that "missing the mark" - i.e. "amartia" (I think that's the Greek word) - indicates personal sin, not merely our existence amidst the circumstances of corruption. If that were the case, then we would have to conclude that Christ was a "truly sinful bieng," since He too dwelt amidst corruption. The difference is that Christ was born holy, whereas Mary was not. Sinlessness and holiness are two different things. Holiness involves sinlessness, but sinlessness does not necessarily mean holiness. Our Lady was born sinless - as we all are - and she remained sinless through her own volition assisted by the grace of God. And as she remained sinless through her righteous choices, she grew into holiness and epitomized the theosis that we all strive to attain.



Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Tags: theotokos sinless 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.064 seconds with 39 queries.