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Author Topic: universal salvation condemned?  (Read 661 times) Average Rating: 0
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deusveritasest
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« on: August 10, 2010, 07:34:53 PM »

Granted, I could see how someone could make the argument that what is anathematized in the statement above is not the claim that "universal salvation will be a reality", but rather the more limited claim that "souls pre-existed as spirits in communion with God before their earthly lives AND thus they will all eventually return (the "monstrous restoration" to their original condition) as spirits in communion with God".

Precisely what I would say. We must remember that those anathemas were against Origen and we must interpret their meaning in light of Origen's teachings. Teaching that everyone will retain their bodies and will all eventually through an act of their free will choose to accept the Kingdom of God isn't what Origen taught and thus likely not at all what was addressed at Constantinople II, especially given that the council did not endeavor to condemn Fathers who had held to non-Origentistic forms of universalism.

though Church tradition would do so, distinguishing "universal salvation" from "the hope for universal salvation".

But do you even have a concrete instance of a condemnation that leads you to believe this? Or are you just guessing?
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Irish Hermit
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 09:45:39 PM »


Granted, I could see how someone could make the argument that what is anathematized in the statement above


Jetavan,  What is it that is anathematized in whatever statement?
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deusveritasest
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 11:30:14 PM »

Ah, sorry for the confusion.

This is from the thread "Orthodox Without Knowing It".

I'll quote the relevant post:

What is condemned is to state definitively that universal salvation will be undoubted fate of all.

Where was that condemned?
Fifth Ecumenical Council, AD 553:

IF anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema.

Granted, I could see how someone could make the argument that what is anathematized in the statement above is not the claim that "universal salvation will be a reality", but rather the more limited claim that "souls pre-existed as spirits in communion with God before their earthly lives AND thus they will all eventually return (the "monstrous restoration" to their original condition) as spirits in communion with God".

If that is the case, then mere "universal salvation" (free of any notion of soul pre-existence, return to original condition, and so forth) is not condemned. For instance, the claim that "God creates souls at the moment of conception, and all such souls -- along with their bodies -- will experience universal salvation" is not explicitly condemned. Such a universal salvation would not be a "restoration" (or "apokatastasis"), either, because the soul's original state was non-existence, and to be restored to such a state would mean the soul's going back to non-existence.

In any case, it is true that nowhere does a council simply and unequivocally condemn mere "universal salvation", though Church tradition would do so, distinguishing "universal salvation" from "the hope for universal salvation".
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 09:32:18 AM »

But do you even have a concrete instance of a condemnation that leads you to believe this? Or are you just guessing?
In Seeds of the Word, John Garvey states -- if I remember correctly -- that though universal salvation is not a guaranteed result, Orthodox may certainly hope and pray for such an ultimate outcome. I'll re-confirm this (I hope) when I get my hand on my copy of the book.

In any event, this prayer nicely sums up the Orthodox perspective, as I understand it:

Our Heavenly Father and Creator of all, we marvel at Your grandeur, infinite love and wisdom. Before You we kneel and express our gratitude for all Your good things. We know Your teaching, the truth as Christ, Your only begotten Son, has revealed it to us. We have no excuse for our sinful life. We alone are responsible for our plight. We think of the just judgement and tremble, but we also do not use our brains. We know what is good for us but we do not look after it. Thoughtlessly, we continue on the path of sin. We do not want it, but that is where we end up. Before You call us through our death, call us near You with true repentance. Do not, Lord, allow us to inherit eternal damnation. Do not allow anyone to end up in that excommunicated state. Find in Your kingdom the space for everyone. Lord, we thank You.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 10:01:19 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 10:16:55 AM »

John Garvey talks about how Buddhist, Hindus, and other non-Orthodox may in fact be saved, but if they are, then they are saved by means of what Christ did. This doesn't directly address the universalism issue, but it is consistent to the rightness of hoping for the salvation of all.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 10:19:19 AM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:43 PM »

Jetavan, I know it is certainly proper to hope for the redemption of all men. That is not an issue. I am mostly concerned with the statement that it is wrong to expect it, or perhaps to even consider it as the most likely outcome.
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