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cradleOrthodoxmom
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« on: July 11, 2010, 10:04:28 PM »

I'm considering going back to the Orthodox faith(cradleOrthodox) and have had some lenghtly conversations with the priest.  He recommended the book called The Law of God.  In it it says this:



"As the vanquisher of death, Who arose on the third day, He saved us also from eternal death. He will resurrect all of us, all the dead, when the last day of the world comes; He will resurrect us for joyful, eternal life with God"

Does that mean we are basically asleep in the ground until Christ comes?  What about our family?  Will we not see those that die until last day of the world? 
I'll be honest, this scares me...
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 10:18:08 PM »

Does that mean we are basically asleep in the ground until Christ comes?  What about our family?  Will we not see those that die until last day of the world? 
I'll be honest, this scares me...

I'm pretty sure that "soul sleep" is a heresy. The Church teaches that we will receive a foretaste of what's to come, either in the glory of the heavens or the dark abyss of Hades (NOT "Hell" in the way its understood in the current popular sense).
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 10:23:00 PM »

I'm considering going back to the Orthodox faith(cradleOrthodox) and have had some lenghtly conversations with the priest.  He recommended the book called The Law of God.  In it it says this:



"As the vanquisher of death, Who arose on the third day, He saved us also from eternal death. He will resurrect all of us, all the dead, when the last day of the world comes; He will resurrect us for joyful, eternal life with God"

Does that mean we are basically asleep in the ground until Christ comes?
Is that what "dead" means to you?  I ask since nowhere in the hymnographic excerpt you just posted is anything similar to the language "asleep in the ground" used.

What about our family?  Will we not see those that die until last day of the world?
Are you thinking of some doctrine of "soul sleep" as this is preached by such quasi-Christian sects as the Seventh Day Adventists?  For your benefit, our veneration of the saints and continued conversations with them as if they are still with us should indicate that we don't believe in any such vile doctrine as "soul sleep".

I'll be honest, this scares me...
Did not Jesus identify Himself as "Lord of the living, not of the dead"?
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cradleOrthodoxmom
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 10:40:07 PM »

Because it says he will ressurect all of us, all the dead...what does that mean?

Admittedly, I didn't learn much about Orthodoxy as a young girl, so I'm really coming at this from a convert's perspective because my parents never taught me about the faith, just to be quiet in church, go to confession, and take communion...
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 10:42:14 PM »

I'm considering going back to the Orthodox faith(cradleOrthodox) and have had some lenghtly conversations with the priest.  He recommended the book called The Law of God.  In it it says this:



"As the vanquisher of death, Who arose on the third day, He saved us also from eternal death. He will resurrect all of us, all the dead, when the last day of the world comes; He will resurrect us for joyful, eternal life with God"

Does that mean we are basically asleep in the ground until Christ comes?  What about our family?  Will we not see those that die until last day of the world?  
I'll be honest, this scares me...


It's okay, that isn't what it means. When we repose, our souls separate from our bodies and ascend to heaven. Before Christ's descent to hades and his resurrection, the souls of the dead would go to "hades" (different than hell) and were there awaiting Christ to come free them. Now the souls proceed immediately to a "foretaste" of what we will/might experience at the Final Judgement.

It is largely unknown exactly what happens, but I will give you feed back on what I've been taught. (this may not be EXACTLY what happens, keep that in mind)
Essentially this is what happens (or so I've been told)...

Our soul departs from our body, at this time, the soul is "uncomfortable" (for lack of a better word) and must learn to exist without the body for a time. The soul has no more restrictions on it and we suddenly find ourselves naked, all our deeds and the depths of our soul are visible for all to see.  We immediately proceed to a "foretaste" of what we might experience in the end. This foretaste, however, is not final.

The reason is this: During life, because we are sinful, we build up "barriers" towards God and towards other people. All of these "barriers" (what we call sin) prevent God's grace from entering in (whether its from God or others). Our goal in life is to cure ourselves from sin and it's spiritual effects. Essentially, we are to work in this life to break those barriers down and return our soul to it's rightful place (that is, in control of the body, not the other way around). We are to become "Christ-like" and "God-like", we can never be equal to God, but this process is also called "deification". We were all created to be like God (though never equal to him) and because of our fall, we have tainted this image. Our goal is to break down the barriers, resist sin, receive and give grace, retain control of our bodies etc... (seems like a tall order huh?)

However, if in life, we do not accomplish this on our own, we are not finished when we die. When our soul separates from our body, it's work continues and it learns to live without the body (so that it can be in control of it eventually), during this time, we can do nothing on our own to improve our state. However, through prayers/intercessions of the Saints and of those still alive, our state can be improved and our barriers can be broken down further. (this doesn't guarantee salvation though)

Eventually, when the Last Day comes, the Lord will resurrect EVERYONE, their bodies will be resurrected and restored, and their souls will be reunited with their bodies. The judgement will occur, and this is when God reveals his entire grace. Those who refuse to accept it and who have become hardened against God will be consumed (burn) by God's grace, but those who fully accept it and who have worked hard and kept the faith, they will be illumined by his grace.

Now I would like to talk about "universal salvation". This is the belief that ALL will eventually be saved. This was condemned as heresy. We can certainly hope and pray that everyone might be saved, but we cannot say that everyone will be saved. We even might pray for Satan and his salvation, but this isn't commonplace. Because our prayers do indeed help others, even those who are dead, it would be right and necessary for us to pray for even the humans that caused the most harm to others like Hitler and Stalin. These two men still have a chance, but it is up to us and the Saints to pray for them. (but in the end, it is still up to them and the state of their soul)

Lastly as a disclaimer, this exact belief may not be completely universal, and may just be theologoumena (like a personal opinion, not dogma). Also, this may not be understood completely literally, we shouldn't think of this as a play-by-play of what happens, we don't know what happens nor what will happen, but we have a vague idea.

What we are required to believe though, is this:
"... from thence he (Christ) shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end. ... we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen." - From the Nicene Creed

To answer your question in short, the resurrection of the dead is resurrection of the body, our souls don't sleep until the end, our souls are active in heaven (or "hell", if you want to call it that) until the final day of judgement when they are reunited with the body and then judged.
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cradleOrthodoxmom
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 10:48:40 PM »

So, if we screw up on Earth and don't repent of ALL our sins and we die, we are doomed unless someone on Earth or a Saint is praying for us?
What is the point of *hanging out* (my dumb term so excuse) after we die if we essentially could possibly go to hell anyway?
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 10:57:03 PM »

So, if we screw up on Earth and don't repent of ALL our sins and we die,
What do you mean by "repent of ALL our sins"?
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cradleOrthodoxmom
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2010, 11:05:51 PM »

Confess and repent of my sins...
I don't understand what you mean when you ask what I mean Wink
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 11:06:15 PM »

Remember; time is an early innovation. There is no "time" in the afterlife. There are no periods of seconds, minutes, days, months, years etc. So it may sound like protracted waiting after death, but in reality it is not.
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 11:16:06 PM »

I'm considering going back to the Orthodox faith(cradleOrthodox) and have had some lenghtly conversations with the priest.  He recommended the book called The Law of God.  In it it says this:



"As the vanquisher of death, Who arose on the third day, He saved us also from eternal death. He will resurrect all of us, all the dead, when the last day of the world comes; He will resurrect us for joyful, eternal life with God"

Does that mean we are basically asleep in the ground until Christ comes?  What about our family?  Will we not see those that die until last day of the world?  
I'll be honest, this scares me...


The intermediate state of the dead. At least that is what the classical christian view is called in some academic circles.






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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 11:34:32 PM »

So, if we screw up on Earth
Don't worry, if you're anything like all us other Christians, Priests included, you WILL screw up.  Smiley

and don't repent of ALL our sins and we die, we are doomed unless someone on Earth or a Saint is praying for us?
Though it's very important to confess everything, if you sincerely forget, Our Father Who loves and cares for you will overlook it.  But the emphasis must be on sincerely forgetting.  Two other things I would add.  First, try not to look at this pharisaically; that is, don't look at it like rules and obligations that must be rigidly followed.  These Myysteries (or, Sacraments) are there for our benefit to help us on our journey to Theosis.  Second, I would like to encourage you to bring this question to your Priest as well.
 
...we are doomed unless someone on Earth or a Saint is praying for us?

 In Orthodox Christianity, unlike some Protestant sects, you will not be asked, "Are you saved?"  The reason is because this sets ourselves up as God.  Our salvation hinges upon more than just accepting Christ as our King and our God.  And it is more than simply confessing our sins.  You asked about the prayers of the Church Militant (those Christians who are still on earth) and the Church Triumphant (those Christians who have been canonized).  Here you have touched upon something really important and valuable in Holy Orthodoxy.  The word "Liturgy" put simply, means "work of the people".  We are all working for our salvation, but we are also working for the salvation of our brothers and sisters by our prayers.  We are not saved alone.  I hope this helps a little.  Question me further if I confuse the issue and I will try to help.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2010, 11:38:50 PM »

Dear CradleOrthodoxMom,

Please don't be carried away with all this. It's all speculation.

What we really know is this: at some point, we will stand in front of the awesome judgment seat of Christ. Then, if we have love in our hearts, His love will embrace us and we will feel a bliss, and this bliss will last forever. On the other hand, if what is in our hearts is bitterness, hatred, jealousy, desire to vindicate ourselves - then we will feel a torment.

May you be saved by Christ,

G.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2010, 11:53:20 PM »

I'm considering going back to the Orthodox faith(cradleOrthodox) and have had some lenghtly conversations with the priest.  He recommended the book called The Law of God.  In it it says this:



"As the vanquisher of death, Who arose on the third day, He saved us also from eternal death. He will resurrect all of us, all the dead, when the last day of the world comes; He will resurrect us for joyful, eternal life with God"

Does that mean we are basically asleep in the ground until Christ comes?  What about our family?  Will we not see those that die until last day of the world? 
I'll be honest, this scares me...


I do not see any indication in that quote of the idea that our disembodied souls will be unconscious.
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2010, 11:56:27 PM »

Because it says he will ressurect all of us, all the dead...what does that mean?

It means that our souls will be reunited to our bodies, our bodies will be revived, they will be healed of the corruptions of the Fall, and will be conformed to the glorious nature of the Lord Christ's risen body.

It doesn't seem to indicate anything about what will happen to our souls between death and that point.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2010, 11:59:50 PM »

This was condemned as heresy.

Where? Please don't bother citing that one anathema from Constantinople II, because that was simply a condemnation of Origenistic apocatastasis, not even all forms of apocatastasis, let alone universalism which only inherently speculates about humankind's restoration unlike apocatastasis.
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 12:01:29 AM »

There is no "time" in the afterlife. There are no periods of seconds, minutes, days, months, years etc.

Where do you get this idea?
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 12:03:55 AM »

Our salvation hinges upon more than just accepting Christ as our King and our God.

Odd that you say that because that actually sounds somewhat Protestant to me. I would say that salvation in the Eastern Christian perspective is about being conformed to the fulfillment of humanity in Christ; an actual change of our state.
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2010, 12:29:06 AM »

There is no "time" in the afterlife. There are no periods of seconds, minutes, days, months, years etc.

Where do you get this idea?

It is from my catechism on "earthly time" and the afterlife. I will need to find my notes to give you references. What makes you think that there is "time" in the afterlife? Do we need watches/clocks/calendars?
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 12:29:22 AM »

There is no "time" in the afterlife. There are no periods of seconds, minutes, days, months, years etc.

Where do you get this idea?

From the hymnography of the Orthodox Church, for starters. There are frequent references to "the (heavenly) Day that has no evening", and similar expressions.
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 12:41:39 AM »

Our salvation hinges upon more than just accepting Christ as our King and our God.

Odd that you say that because that actually sounds somewhat Protestant to me. I would say that salvation in the Eastern Christian perspective is about being conformed to the fulfillment of humanity in Christ; an actual change of our state.

I think you are reading too much into this statement. The statement you question is fully Orthodox in thought.

Me-thinks you need to take a deep breath and reset your ortho-meter. You seem to be having it go off on even the most Orthodox of statements. A better reaction would be to ask someone to rephrase things if you don't understand them before you start labeling it "Protestant."
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2010, 12:46:28 AM »

Confess and repent of my sins...
I don't understand what you mean when you ask what I mean Wink
I find your words often somewhat vague and difficult to understand, so I'm asking questions with the idea of encouraging you to rephrase your thoughts so that I can understand you better and hopefully offer better answers to your questions. Wink
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2010, 09:07:21 AM »

Dear CradleOrthodoxMom,

Please don't be carried away with all this. It's all speculation.

What we really know is this: at some point, we will stand in front of the awesome judgment seat of Christ. Then, if we have love in our hearts, His love will embrace us and we will feel a bliss, and this bliss will last forever. On the other hand, if what is in our hearts is bitterness, hatred, jealousy, desire to vindicate ourselves - then we will feel a torment.

May you be saved by Christ,

G.

Thank you some of you really helped me..GabrieltheCelt and this quote above really helped. 

I do feel weary from all of this though...I've been reading contantly, praying and thinking and it just keeps me running in circles.  In Protesant churches, the Bible is where they derive everything.  It's hard to comprehend all of this when I haven't personally seen it in the Bible(not that it's not thereI just haven't seeni t. 
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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2010, 09:11:08 AM »

Also, when I think all that is *required* on an Orthodox Christian..it seems almost *unfair* (Please don't bash me for this statement I'm just being honest with myself and with you trying to get answers).  It's alot harder as far as discipline wise to be an Orthodox than say a Baptist...  I certainly have no right or anything to judge someones position on whether God will allow them into heaven, but I would *think* that non-Orthodox would be able to go to heaven as well.  So, if that's the case, why be Orthodox?

(Please don't be mean in your response-I'm asking out of sincere desire to find out where I need to go...)
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« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2010, 10:10:34 AM »

Also, when I think all that is *required* on an Orthodox Christian..it seems almost *unfair* (Please don't bash me for this statement I'm just being honest with myself and with you trying to get answers).  It's alot harder as far as discipline wise to be an Orthodox than say a Baptist...  I certainly have no right or anything to judge someones position on whether God will allow them into heaven, but I would *think* that non-Orthodox would be able to go to heaven as well.  So, if that's the case, why be Orthodox?

(Please don't be mean in your response-I'm asking out of sincere desire to find out where I need to go...)
I think Heorij stated it best. All along the basic faith as stated in the creed to be known & understood in conformity with the commands of Christ to love God & neighbor, live by the basic 10 commandments, personally confess to God, confess also in the sacrament to the priest (per John 20:21-23), take the Eucharist ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-34, John 6:50-71), prayer, fasting, & alms giving (Matthew 6:1-18). This the Orthodox faith & it is incomplete, distorted, or partially discarded outside the church. If I live my faith according to the Gospel I will realize that I am in the ark of salvation but to not consider myself anymore favored by God than anyone else & that God will save those who live by His will even if not by the precise theology.
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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2010, 10:25:37 AM »

Also, when I think all that is *required* on an Orthodox Christian..it seems almost *unfair* (Please don't bash me for this statement I'm just being honest with myself and with you trying to get answers).  It's alot harder as far as discipline wise to be an Orthodox than say a Baptist...  I certainly have no right or anything to judge someones position on whether God will allow them into heaven, but I would *think* that non-Orthodox would be able to go to heaven as well.  So, if that's the case, why be Orthodox?


For me, it's not just about "going to heaven when I die," it's about being healed and becoming the person God meant me to be. I am sick with sin and Christ wants me to be healed. The Sacraments, ascetic practices and discipline are the "medicine" - think of it as if I were diabetic and my doctor, in addition to prescribing medicine, recommended that I lose weight and exercise. If I follow his regimen, there's a good chance that I will be cured of diabetes.
In this way, Christ and the Church are my physicians.
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« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2010, 11:19:58 AM »

Also, when I think all that is *required* on an Orthodox Christian..it seems almost *unfair* (Please don't bash me for this statement I'm just being honest with myself and with you trying to get answers).  It's alot harder as far as discipline wise to be an Orthodox than say a Baptist... 

The word used for "sin" in the NT literally means to "miss the mark". I see the discipline of the Church as reminding us that we are to continually strive to grow in love towards God and neighbor while providing the best tools to help us in that struggle. God's standard is perfection and we are always falling short of that standard. This doesn't make it ok lower God's standard, it just means we have to continually find where we fall short, admit our sinfulness for what it is, and seek God to make us to become what we are intended to be by Him. Besides, Church discipline is not a "get into heaven checklist", it's simply a guide to how we as christians should live our lives and draw near to God.

I certainly have no right or anything to judge someones position on whether God will allow them into heaven, but I would *think* that non-Orthodox would be able to go to heaven as well.  So, if that's the case, why be Orthodox?

(Please don't be mean in your response-I'm asking out of sincere desire to find out where I need to go...)

It has to do woth loving God with everything you have (Mk 12:29) and acting according to what God has shown you (James 4:17).
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2010, 03:06:50 PM »

Also, when I think all that is *required* on an Orthodox Christian..it seems almost *unfair* (Please don't bash me for this statement I'm just being honest with myself and with you trying to get answers).  It's alot harder as far as discipline wise to be an Orthodox than say a Baptist...  I certainly have no right or anything to judge someones position on whether God will allow them into heaven, but I would *think* that non-Orthodox would be able to go to heaven as well.  So, if that's the case, why be Orthodox?

(Please don't be mean in your response-I'm asking out of sincere desire to find out where I need to go...)

That's a good point, CradleOrthodox Mom, that there is alot more self-discipline in Orthodoxy, like fasting. I can tell you that the Church encourages us to fast for our benefit, and that while many people don't meet the strict vegan fast (I often fail to), it encourages us to do the best we can. I think with the Catholic church, it's considered a sin to fail to make the fast, while the Baptists you mentioned would probably fast rarely if ever, and might look down on the practice.

Yet the Lord said that some things are only possible with prayer and fasting. It seems that for Jesus, fasting was powerful.
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2010, 03:09:30 PM »

For me, it's not just about "going to heaven when I die," it's about being healed and becoming the person God meant me to be. I am sick with sin and Christ wants me to be healed. The Sacraments, ascetic practices and discipline are the "medicine" - think of it as if I were diabetic and my doctor, in addition to prescribing medicine, recommended that I lose weight and exercise. If I follow his regimen, there's a good chance that I will be cured of diabetes.
In this way, Christ and the Church are my physicians.

Good point


The word used for "sin" in the NT literally means to "miss the mark". I see the discipline of the Church as reminding us that we are to continually strive to grow in love towards God and neighbor while providing the best tools to help us in that struggle. God's standard is perfection and we are always falling short of that standard. This doesn't make it ok lower God's standard, it just means we have to continually find where we fall short, admit our sinfulness for what it is, and seek God to make us to become what we are intended to be by Him. Besides, Church discipline is not a "get into heaven checklist", it's simply a guide to how we as christians should live our lives and draw near to God.
Good point.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 03:10:07 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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