Author Topic: Original sin and Salvation  (Read 2751 times)

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Offline Ben

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Original sin and Salvation
« on: May 28, 2004, 07:41:21 PM »
If we are not born with Original sin, then is there a need for a savior?

It seems that without Original Sin, as St. Augustine defined it, there is no need for any idea of a great event to remove this burden from human beings, such as God becoming man and dieing on the Cross.

If we are not born with Original Sin, then why can't we simply be forgiven of our sins through repentence?
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Linus7

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2004, 09:13:37 PM »
If we are not born with Original sin, then is there a need for a savior?

It seems that without Original Sin, as St. Augustine defined it, there is no need for any idea of a great event to remove this burden from human beings, such as God becoming man and dieing on the Cross.

If we are not born with Original Sin, then why can't we simply be forgiven of our sins through repentence?

We are born with Original Sin. We just do not inherit the guilt for what Adam and Eve did.

Let me describe a scenario for you and see what you think of it.

You are at home one evening watching television. Suddenly, your front door bursts open, and in rush agents of the FBI. They grab you, throw you to the floor, and handcuff you.

"You're under arrest for bank robbery!" a burly agent announces.

"What!" you shout incredulously. "I've never robbed a bank in my life!"

"Yeah, we know that." the burly agent replies. "But your great grandfather did, back in 1920!"

"Book him, Dan-O!"


Sound fair to you?

Me neither.

We inherit a sin nature from our first parents and our ancestors, sin that must be washed away in baptism, but we are not guilty for what Adam and Eve did.

I don't have the section numbers because I don't have one with me, but if you check the CCC I think you will find it says pretty much the same thing.

The EOC and the RCC are not as far apart on this issue as some people think, it seems to me; but I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.  ;)

« Last Edit: May 28, 2004, 09:15:58 PM by Linus7 »
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Offline Ben

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2004, 12:26:25 AM »
So wait, if we are born with Original sin, then what about those babies who were never baptized? Those aborted, or just children who died at a young age without baptism?
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2004, 06:20:32 AM »
So wait, if we are born with Original sin, then what about those babies who were never baptized? Those aborted, or just children who died at a young age without baptism?
This demonstrates where Augustinian definitions break down, Ben.

The Orthodox Church holds "Original Sin" to be our inherited mortal capacity to sin, to be prone to temptation, to be succeptible to the machinations of the Evil One. We are born in a state of being able TO sin and not with A sin.
A newborn, or stillborn, or (sigh) aborted person has passed on SINLESS - never having willfully committed any sin irrespective of having been baptised or not.

Demetri
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Offline Ben

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2004, 06:51:29 PM »

Quote
The Orthodox Church holds "Original Sin" to be our inherited mortal capacity to sin, to be prone to temptation, to be succeptible to the machinations of the Evil One. We are born in a state of being able TO sin and not with A sin.

Ok I get it, it is much like the Islamic teaching on this issue.

We are not born with a sin, we are born sinless, but we are born with the capacity to sin. So really in Orthodox teaching, we aren't born with Original sin, we are just born with the effects of the original sin...right?


"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Fr. David

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2004, 10:04:05 PM »
Sounds good to me...anyone else?
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

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Offline prodromos

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2004, 08:32:50 AM »
Ok I get it, it is much like the Islamic teaching on this issue.

Darn plagiarists >:(

Quote
We are not born with a sin, we are born sinless, but we are born with the capacity to sin.

I wouldn't word it like that. After all, Adam and Eve must have had the capacity to sin else they wouldn't have been able to disobey God. I think the word "tendancy" might better describe our condition.

John.

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2004, 08:35:12 AM »
I wouldnt say it is an Islamic idea, by the way, although they may have glommed that aspect of their belief from Eastern Christian thought on the issue at the time, and that would not be surprising.

I think this is where the Augustinian definitions, if you hold firmly to them, leave you with the nagging need for a place like limbo for unbaptized persons who die without having committed actual sin (ie infants, small children) ... because they are *stained* by Original Sin and therefore cannot enter into full communion with God.  I think that you can get away from this, even with the Western perspective, by believing in some kind of extraordinary mercy for persons in this situation, such that they are in effect baptized by God's mercy, but I don't think that this idea has ever been formally taught by the Roman Catholics.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 08:35:56 AM by Brendan03 »
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2004, 08:45:21 AM »
I wouldn't word it like that. After all, Adam and Eve must have had the capacity to sin else they wouldn't have been able to disobey God. I think the word "tendancy" might better describe our condition.


Which is exactly what I stated in qualification when the entire sentence is read, John, yes?
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Offline prodromos

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2004, 08:57:32 AM »
Yes, but I was quoting Ben's paraphrase of your statement which was not so clear :)

Offline Ben

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2004, 04:28:13 PM »
I wouldn't word it like that. After all, Adam and Eve must have had the capacity to sin else they wouldn't have been able to disobey God. I think the word "tendancy" might better describe our condition.


Ah the same defense Catholics use for the Immaculate Conception.....Mary had the capacity to sin, just like Adam and even, but not the "tendancy." But that is a whole different issue.

Anyway this whole Original Sin issue seems to be an interesting difference between east and west. But I wonder, is the Augustinian teaching on Original Sin heretical? Some Orthodox have told me that such a teaching is 100% heretical and contrary to the teaching of the Orthodox Church. I have found that many of the old calendar groups seem to be more anti-Augustine and his teachings than I guess what you would call "World Orthodoxy".

I believe the ROAC monastery here in Colorado publishes a really good booklet about Augustine of Hippo and his teachings, and why they are totally heretical. But ROAC is a quite extreme and you never know if what they're saying is Orthodox or not.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2004, 05:36:28 PM »
I don't think that Orthodox Church believes that this teaching, in itself, is heretical.  Perhaps some Orthodox think that way, but it has not been publically said that Augustine's theology on Original Sin is heretical per se.  It is not consistent with Byzantine theology, of course, and taken to an extreme leads to Protestant theologies, so I think that many Orthodox are skeptical about it, but I have not seen a public statement by the Orthodox Church that this teaching, in itself, was heretical.  Later teachings that appear to have been based on this one have been critiqued as heretical however.
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Offline Ben

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2004, 05:41:14 PM »
So I wonder since it has not been officialy declared heresy by the Orthodox Church, if Orthodox Christians are at the liberty to believe in Augustinian Original Sin.

I mean Orthodox Christians can believe in "toll-houses" or totally reject them, Orthodox Christians can believe Mary was sinless or that she was like everyone else and sined, Orthodox Christians can believe in or reject the Assumption of Mary, so I am wondering if Orthodox Christians can accept Augustine's teaching on this issue and still be in good standing with the Church.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2004, 05:44:07 PM »
I guess so, but since it stands at odds with the Byzantine theology on these matters, it would lead, I would think, to a degree of theological dissonance that may not be comfortable.

If we can agree that it may be possible to have different, distinct theological systems in one church (as would seem to be required if there will ever be unity), if that is possible (which will be hard), it seems like the mix-n-match approach, which may not be heretical, may also be unadvisable because it results in an individual's dissonance within the main system to which the person belongs.
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Offline Elisha

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2004, 10:21:49 PM »
Ben,
Just read The Place of Blessed Augustine in The Orthodox Church by Fr. Seraphim Rose.  Augustine is much (and unfairly) maligned for the root of all that is wrong with the rest.  He didn't necessearily have bad theologies, just explanations that were at times lacking or overlyemphasized one view over the other.  Other theologians expanded upon some of his writings, which went astray.  Augustine was careful to reproach and correct himself as well (which he did later in life).

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2004, 07:56:06 AM »
Thanks Elisha, I was thinking of the same book and I couldn't remember that Fr. Seraphim was the author so I didn't cite it.  Sometimes Orthodox are overly critical of St. Augustine, and Fr. Serpahim's book is a great corrective to that mistake.
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Offline t0m_dR

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2004, 04:43:36 PM »
You can read this study, about Original Sin: http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.10.en.original_sin_according_to_st._paul.01.htm

ORIGINAL SIN ACCORDING TO ST. PAUL

Offline Elisha

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2004, 05:28:13 PM »
Thanks Elisha, I was thinking of the same book and I couldn't remember that Fr. Seraphim was the author so I didn't cite it.  Sometimes Orthodox are overly critical of St. Augustine, and Fr. Serpahim's book is a great corrective to that mistake.

Yeah, dude.  I've already brought the issue a dozen times or so here.  :)

Offline Ben

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Re:Original sin and Salvation
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2004, 07:49:28 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, I will try and get that book by Fr. Seraphim Rose.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint