Author Topic: Is it necessary upon reception into the Orthodox Church to renounce the errors of Rome?  (Read 16238 times)

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Offline biro

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Quote from: akimori makoto
When my mother was received into the Church by chrismation, she was not required to make any renunciation but to recite the creed without the filioque.

I've been in church for two people's chrismations. They happened as you have described.
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Offline stanley123

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Quote from: akimori makoto
When my mother was received into the Church by chrismation, she was not required to make any renunciation but to recite the creed without the filioque.

I've been in church for two people's chrismations. They happened as you have described.

So some priests require renunciations, while others don't.

Offline akimori makoto

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Quote from: akimori makoto
When my mother was received into the Church by chrismation, she was not required to make any renunciation but to recite the creed without the filioque.

I've been in church for two people's chrismations. They happened as you have described.

So some priests require renunciations, while others don't.

Seems so, and there are probably good pastoral reasons for insisting or not insisting on the renunciation in particular cases.

In my mum's case, she had been baptised Roman Catholic at the insistence of her nominally Roman Catholic father but raised in the Orthodox faith by her pious Orthodox mother. In such a case, I don't see that insisting that the person renounce doctrines never before affirmed would be meaningful in any way. It would probably be a good idea to have someone previously on fire for Roman Catholicism to renounce the Roman Church's doctrines, however.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Quote from: akimori makoto
When my mother was received into the Church by chrismation, she was not required to make any renunciation but to recite the creed without the filioque.

I've been in church for two people's chrismations. They happened as you have described.

So some priests require renunciations, while others don't.

These standards are set by the bishop.  Often at the annual priests' seminars such things will be discussed by the clergy and the bishop will tell his clergy what he prefers.

Offline Volnutt

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But if you die unbaptized (as an adult) you're going to Hell even if all you had were minor sins, correct?
Says who?
The RCC, I thought.
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Offline Peter J

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But if you die unbaptized (as an adult) you're going to Hell even if all you had were minor sins, correct?
Says who?
The RCC, I thought.

That's not an official Catholic teaching. At the very least, baptism of desire needs to be taken into consideration.
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Offline bogdan

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Even if a bishop doesn't require the liturgical renunciation, if it really troubles you, you can still confess your erroneous beliefs as sins in your first confession. That's what I did. It accomplishes the same thing. (And converting itself is an implicit renunciation of former beliefs; though I think it helps the convert to be specific about it.)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 08:57:49 AM by bogdan »

Offline Volnutt

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That's not an official Catholic teaching. At the very least, baptism of desire needs to be taken into consideration.
Oh, ok.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline stanley123

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That's not an official Catholic teaching. At the very least, baptism of desire needs to be taken into consideration.
Oh, ok.
You might want to check on the RCC teaching of "Baptism of desire".

Offline Volnutt

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I know what it is I was just thinking it only applied to Muslims and Christians who practiced baptism, for some reason.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Peter J

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Volnutt, I noticed that in your earlier post

But if you die unbaptized (as an adult) you're going to Hell even if all you had were minor sins, correct?

you added the qualifier "(as an adult)", so I take it you're familiar with the theory (not official teaching) of "Limbo of Children". The basic theory was that babies are incapable of Baptism of Desire, so if they die unbaptized, they go to Limbo.

Even so, I wouldn't really worry about this theory, as it's not official teaching.
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Offline Volnutt

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Volnutt, I noticed that in your earlier post

But if you die unbaptized (as an adult) you're going to Hell even if all you had were minor sins, correct?

you added the qualifier "(as an adult)", so I take it you're familiar with the theory (not official teaching) of "Limbo of Children". The basic theory was that babies are incapable of Baptism of Desire, so if they die unbaptized, they go to Limbo.

Even so, I wouldn't really worry about this theory, as it's not official teaching.
Actually, I just added that to avoid a rabbit trail on the fate of babies. I know Limbo is only a theory.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 08:53:04 PM by Volnutt »
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Father H

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Huh?  Fr. Ambrose does not even agree with me on this point.  He is confused altogether on the topic.

What is it that I am confused about?

Well, I was referring to the following thread, but is one in which the torn fabric was resewn:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,33295.msg527816.html#msg527816

Sorry I brought it up again.  I "took the bait" on this one. 

Offline Irish Hermit

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Huh?  Fr. Ambrose does not even agree with me on this point.  He is confused altogether on the topic.

What is it that I am confused about?

Well, I was referring to the following thread, but is one in which the torn fabric was resewn:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,33295.msg527816.html#msg527816

Sorry I brought it up again.  I "took the bait" on this one. 

Dear Father, I was not @baiting@ you but I was understandably interested in what it was that you considered me altogether confused about.

Thank you for the link.  If you look at message 22 you will note that the Holy Fathers were themselves not agreed but it is maybe inappropriate to say they were 'confused.'

THe confusion is not in me but in the number of conflicting schemata which contempory Orthodox Christians have constructed for the manifold states of the afterlife, with their confused terminology, etc.

Offline Father H

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Huh?  Fr. Ambrose does not even agree with me on this point.  He is confused altogether on the topic.

What is it that I am confused about?

Well, I was referring to the following thread, but is one in which the torn fabric was resewn:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,33295.msg527816.html#msg527816

Sorry I brought it up again.  I "took the bait" on this one. 

Dear Father, I was not @baiting@ you but I was understandably interested in what it was that you considered me altogether confused about.

Thank you for the link.  If you look at message 22 you will note that the Holy Fathers were themselves not agreed but it is maybe inappropriate to say they were 'confused.'

THe confusion is not in me but in the number of conflicting schemata which contempory Orthodox Christians have constructed for the manifold states of the afterlife, with their confused terminology, etc.

???  I was not saying that you were baiting me.  The bait was in the post I was responding to.   There are some points in which there is patristic variance, but certainly on the main points, solidarity.   

Offline Volnutt

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It doesn't sound anything like RC Purgatory though, just sounds like gradations of punishment in eternal Hell.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Father H

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just sounds like gradations of punishment in eternal Hell.

Hades is a place-state of souls prior to the resurrection.  Eternal hell (Gehenna) is a state of body and soul after the resurrection. 

If “gradations” is what it sounds like to you, you are not reading close enough.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”

In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.

Offline Volnutt

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just sounds like gradations of punishment in eternal Hell.

Hades is a place-state of souls prior to the resurrection.  Eternal hell (Gehenna) is a state of body and soul after the resurrection. 

If “gradations” is what it sounds like to you, you are not reading close enough.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”

In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.
So will they absolutely be saved at the end or is it only a hope they will? Purgatory as I understand it is for the righteous to be purified of their remaining venial sins before entering Heaven.

This just sounds like an end-of-time "second chance" for someone who wasn't quite as bad as Hitler.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Irish Hermit

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”


I see that this contains the teaching that sins may be forgiven after death.  But does it go far enough?.  As Metropolitan Hilarion points out the patristic teaching (at least as he understands it) is that souls may be delivered from hell itself.  We recall how dismayed he was when he discovered that the Copts, a few years back, removed from the Third Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost, the petition that souls be released from hell. The Copts decided that release from hell is an erroneous teaching.   

It appears to me that we have, on this matter, a division among the faithful. some believing in salvation from hell, some denying it.  So when we speak of confusion we see that it extends even to today's quite competent theologian-bishops such as Metropolitan Hilarion although perhaps we ought not to view it as confusion but as an allowable diversity in an area where we really know very little.  I have not read the Metropolitan's book on this topic and would be very interested what patristic teachings he adduces to substantiate the belief in release from hell.

Offline Irish Hermit

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In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.



So after death there is only suffering, until the time when the Saviour returns?

Am I understanding rightly?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:43:47 AM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Volnutt

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In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.



So after death there is only suffering, until the time when the Saviour returns?

Am I understanding rightly?
Sounds like he's saying suffering for everyone but the Saints.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Volnutt

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”


I see that this contains the teaching that sins may be forgiven after death.  But does it go far enough?.  As Metropolitan Hilarion points out the patristic teaching (at least as he understands it) is that souls may be delivered from hell itself.  We recall how dismayed he was when he discovered that the Copts, a few years back, removed from the Third Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost, the petition that souls be released from hell. The Copts decided that release from hell is an erroneous teaching.   

It appears to me that we have, on this matter, a division among the faithful. some believing in salvation from hell, some denying it.  So when we speak of confusion we see that it extends even to today's quite competent theologian-bishops such as Metropolitan Hilarion although perhaps we ought not to view it as confusion but as an allowable diversity in an area where we really know very little.  I have not read the Metropolitan's book on this topic and would be very interested what patristic teachings he adduces to substantiate the belief in release from hell.
I know my opinion means bupkiss, but I say if you're going to play around with universalism, you should just go all out. Bragging about how loving your God is for possibly, maybe, once-in-a-blue-moon letting someone out of Hell in contrast to the "bloodthirsty God of Protestantism;" and then turning around and saying that some people happen to also be so evil that they'd never accept God no matter how many chances and suffering they're given, smacks of inconsistency and perhaps even hypocrisy to me. I think I'm going to have to side with the Copts on this one.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline podkarpatska

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”


I see that this contains the teaching that sins may be forgiven after death.  But does it go far enough?.  As Metropolitan Hilarion points out the patristic teaching (at least as he understands it) is that souls may be delivered from hell itself.  We recall how dismayed he was when he discovered that the Copts, a few years back, removed from the Third Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost, the petition that souls be released from hell. The Copts decided that release from hell is an erroneous teaching.   

It appears to me that we have, on this matter, a division among the faithful. some believing in salvation from hell, some denying it.  So when we speak of confusion we see that it extends even to today's quite competent theologian-bishops such as Metropolitan Hilarion although perhaps we ought not to view it as confusion but as an allowable diversity in an area where we really know very little.  I have not read the Metropolitan's book on this topic and would be very interested what patristic teachings he adduces to substantiate the belief in release from hell.
I know my opinion means bupkiss, but I say if you're going to play around with universalism, you should just go all out. Bragging about how loving your God is for possibly, maybe, once-in-a-blue-moon letting someone out of Hell in contrast to the "bloodthirsty God of Protestantism;" and then turning around and saying that some people happen to also be so evil that they'd never accept God no matter how many chances and suffering they're given, smacks of inconsistency and perhaps even hypocrisy to me. I think I'm going to have to side with the Copts on this one.

??? I don't think anyone was bragging or denigrating anyone else's belief here. Why the anger?

Offline Irish Hermit

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In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.



So after death there is only suffering, until the time when the Saviour returns?

Am I understanding rightly?
Sounds like he's saying suffering for everyone but the Saints.

Where are the Saints residing?

Offline Volnutt

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In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.



So after death there is only suffering, until the time when the Saviour returns?

Am I understanding rightly?
Sounds like he's saying suffering for everyone but the Saints.

Where are the Saints residing?
Whatever the intermediate state version of Heaven is called.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Irish Hermit

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”


I see that this contains the teaching that sins may be forgiven after death.  But does it go far enough?.  As Metropolitan Hilarion points out the patristic teaching (at least as he understands it) is that souls may be delivered from hell itself.  We recall how dismayed he was when he discovered that the Copts, a few years back, removed from the Third Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost, the petition that souls be released from hell. The Copts decided that release from hell is an erroneous teaching.   

It appears to me that we have, on this matter, a division among the faithful. some believing in salvation from hell, some denying it.  So when we speak of confusion we see that it extends even to today's quite competent theologian-bishops such as Metropolitan Hilarion although perhaps we ought not to view it as confusion but as an allowable diversity in an area where we really know very little.  I have not read the Metropolitan's book on this topic and would be very interested what patristic teachings he adduces to substantiate the belief in release from hell.
I know my opinion means bupkiss, but I say if you're going to play around with universalism, you should just go all out. Bragging about how loving your God is for possibly, maybe, once-in-a-blue-moon letting someone out of Hell in contrast to the "bloodthirsty God of Protestantism;" and then turning around and saying that some people happen to also be so evil that they'd never accept God no matter how many chances and suffering they're given, smacks of inconsistency and perhaps even hypocrisy to me. I think I'm going to have to side with the Copts on this one.

I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.

~St Maximus the Confessor


Offline Volnutt

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??? I don't think anyone was bragging or denigrating anyone else's belief here. Why the anger?
I was talking about the apologetics in general I've seen from the Orthodox. Sorry, I shouldn't have been projecting.

All this River of Fire and Christus Victor stuff just really tares me in two. On the one hand, it's refreshing and on the other I feel like I'm betraying the holiness of God. *sigh*
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Volnutt

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I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.

~St Maximus the Confessor


But if God's love truly outweighs His justice, what's stopping Apokatastasis from being true that it might be preached as doctrine? Are some people so wicked as to defeat His love?
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline elijahmaria

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I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.

~St Maximus the Confessor


But if God's love truly outweighs His justice, what's stopping Apokatastasis from being true that it might be preached as doctrine? Are some people so wicked as to defeat His love?

Yes.  Or there'd be NO evil in the world in the FIRST place...

Offline Volnutt

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If eons in Gehenna can convince anyone to love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind and their neighbor as themselves (which I doubt) I can't imagine why it wouldn't convince everyone given enough time; especially if Gehenna is nothing but the sweet mercies of God.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Father H

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I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.

~St Maximus the Confessor


But if God's love truly outweighs His justice, what's stopping Apokatastasis from being true that it might be preached as doctrine? Are some people so wicked as to defeat His love?

It is not about punishment.  It is about the state of one's heart.   Example:  The older I get, the more I hate driving.   An eternity of that will have me hate it even more.   I remember the couple who divorced following their 50th wedding anniversary in the news some years ago.  They decided to keep giving it another decade at 40.  However, at the end, they realized that they just hated each other and as the years piled on it got worse.  Familiarity bred contempt.  
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 05:54:25 PM by FatherHLL »

Offline Father H

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”


I see that this contains the teaching that sins may be forgiven after death.  But does it go far enough?.  As Metropolitan Hilarion points out the patristic teaching (at least as he understands it) is that souls may be delivered from hell itself.  We recall how dismayed he was when he discovered that the Copts, a few years back, removed from the Third Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost, the petition that souls be released from hell. The Copts decided that release from hell is an erroneous teaching.   

It appears to me that we have, on this matter, a division among the faithful. some believing in salvation from hell, some denying it.  So when we speak of confusion we see that it extends even to today's quite competent theologian-bishops such as Metropolitan Hilarion although perhaps we ought not to view it as confusion but as an allowable diversity in an area where we really know very little.  I have not read the Metropolitan's book on this topic and would be very interested what patristic teachings he adduces to substantiate the belief in release from hell.
I know my opinion means bupkiss, but I say if you're going to play around with universalism, you should just go all out. Bragging about how loving your God is for possibly, maybe, once-in-a-blue-moon letting someone out of Hell in contrast to the "bloodthirsty God of Protestantism;" and then turning around and saying that some people happen to also be so evil that they'd never accept God no matter how many chances and suffering they're given, smacks of inconsistency and perhaps even hypocrisy to me. I think I'm going to have to side with the Copts on this one.

I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.
~St Maximus the Confessor

Is this an actual quote from St. Maximus or one of those "wonderful" internet catch-phrases ascribed to him? 

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Is this an actual quote from St. Maximus or one of those "wonderful" internet catch-phrases ascribed to him? 

Don't you know Father, if it's on the internet, it HAS to be true!  :laugh:  ;D
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline Irish Hermit

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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

“those of the sinners go to hades, of whom the profane and those who have sinned unforgivably are punished forever, and those who have offended forgivably and moderately hope to gain freedom through the unspeakable mercy of God”


I see that this contains the teaching that sins may be forgiven after death.  But does it go far enough?.  As Metropolitan Hilarion points out the patristic teaching (at least as he understands it) is that souls may be delivered from hell itself.  We recall how dismayed he was when he discovered that the Copts, a few years back, removed from the Third Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost, the petition that souls be released from hell. The Copts decided that release from hell is an erroneous teaching.   

It appears to me that we have, on this matter, a division among the faithful. some believing in salvation from hell, some denying it.  So when we speak of confusion we see that it extends even to today's quite competent theologian-bishops such as Metropolitan Hilarion although perhaps we ought not to view it as confusion but as an allowable diversity in an area where we really know very little.  I have not read the Metropolitan's book on this topic and would be very interested what patristic teachings he adduces to substantiate the belief in release from hell.
I know my opinion means bupkiss, but I say if you're going to play around with universalism, you should just go all out. Bragging about how loving your God is for possibly, maybe, once-in-a-blue-moon letting someone out of Hell in contrast to the "bloodthirsty God of Protestantism;" and then turning around and saying that some people happen to also be so evil that they'd never accept God no matter how many chances and suffering they're given, smacks of inconsistency and perhaps even hypocrisy to me. I think I'm going to have to side with the Copts on this one.

I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.
~St Maximus the Confessor

Is this an actual quote from St. Maximus or one of those "wonderful" internet catch-phrases ascribed to him? 

It was what I was taught as a student.  It stuck firmly in my heart forever.  And for me, since it came from my spiritual father in the monastery, it became part of the tradition I received and carries the integrity of his spiritual authority.  But I don't have a textual reference.  Would love to have one though. Can anyone give a reference?

Offline Volnutt

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I am going to side with Saint Maximus.....


One should pray that Apokatastasis [universal salvation] is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine.

~St Maximus the Confessor


But if God's love truly outweighs His justice, what's stopping Apokatastasis from being true that it might be preached as doctrine? Are some people so wicked as to defeat His love?

It is not about punishment.  It is about the state of one's heart.   Example:  The older I get, the more I hate driving.   An eternity of that will have me hate it even more.   I remember the couple who divorced following their 50th wedding anniversary in the news some years ago.  They decided to keep giving it another decade at 40.  However, at the end, they realized that they just hated each other and as the years piled on it got worse.  Familiarity bred contempt.  
But why? Why should some be clay to be hardened and some wax to be melted? At least Calvinism has an answer (God made them that way). Is the human soul just completely random??

But, since I've come to realize this is really just a problem I have with free will itself, no point in me continuing to single out Orthodoxy, so thanks for helping me realize that, Father.
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I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Irish Hermit

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ut why? Why should some be clay to be hardened and some wax to be melted?


Apokatastasis still exercises its fascination on Eastern Christians, although it is not an approved belief.   In the first centuries it seems to have been widespread among Christians.  Saint Augustine tells us that it was a widely held early Christian belief.

"Some, nay, very many" (nonnulli, quam plurimi), pity with human feeling, the everlasting punishment of the damned, and do not believe that it is so."

~St Augustine. Enchiridion, chapter 112.

A Catholic site I referenced in an earlier thread has a list of about 12-15 Church Fathers who supported universal salvation.

And an interesting quote from Saint Martin of Tours which backs up Saint Augustine's statement that in the early Church there was a belief in the possibility of universal salvation, even including for the devil.

“If thou, thyself, wretched being, wouldst but desist from attacking mankind, and even, at this period, when the day of judgment is at hand, wouldst only repent of your deeds, I, with a true confidence in the Lord, would promise you the mercy of Christ.

Chapter XXII.

Martin preaches Repentance even to the Devil.

Now, the devil, while he tried to impose upon the holy man by a thousand injurious arts, often thrust himself upon him in a visible form, but in very various shapes. For sometimes he presented himself to his view changed into the person of Jupiter, often into that of Mercury and Minerva. Often, too, were heard words of reproach, in which the crowd of demons assailed Martin with scurrilous expressions. But knowing that all were false and groundless, he was not affected by the charges brought against him. Moreover, some of the brethren bore witness that they had heard a demon reproaching Martin in abusive terms, and asking why he had taken back, on their subsequent repentance, certain of the brethren who had, some time previously, lost their baptism by falling into various errors. The demon set forth the crimes of each of them; but they added that Martin, resisting the devil firmly, answered him, that by-past sins are cleansed away by the leading of a better life, and that through the mercy of God, those are to be absolved from their sins who have given up their evil ways. The devil saying in opposition to this that such guilty men as those referred to did not come within the pale of pardon, and that no mercy was extended by the Lord to those who had once fallen away, Martin is said to have cried out in words to the following effect: “If thou, thyself, wretched being, wouldst but desist from attacking mankind, and even, at this period, when the day of judgment is at hand, wouldst only repent of your deeds, I, with a true confidence in the Lord, would promise you the mercy of Christ.” O what a holy boldness with respect to the loving-kindness of the Lord, in which, although he could not assert authority, he nevertheless showed the feelings dwelling within him! And since our discourse has here sprung up concerning the devil and his devices, it does not seem away from the point, although the matter does not bear immediately upon Martin, to relate what took place; both because the virtues of Martin do, to some extent, appear in the transaction, and the incident, which was worthy of a miracle, will properly be put on record, with the view of furnishing a caution, should anything of a similar character subsequently occur.

Source :: Sulpitius Severus "On the Life of St. Martin" Chapter XXI

Offline Irish Hermit

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I think that one of the 'marks' of an Orthodox Christian psyche is an attraction to the temptation to believe in universal salvation (apokatastasis.)  While the West tends towards restrictive salvation which reaches its culmination in the horrific teaching of Calvin's double predestination,  the East has been tempted in the other direction - towards universal salvation.

The Orthodox have always been attracted to the idea of "universal salvation", that all will finally be recapitulated in Christ, both the earth-born and (possibly) the demons.  You will find this in the Early Church.  We know from Saint Augustine that it was a widely held teaching of what he calls the "fathers of the Church."  As you may imagine Saint Augustine was inclined to the opposite belief.   

It resurfaces in the writings of the 20th century Parisian school of Russian theology.  Russia's young theologian-bishop Hilarion Alfeyev is very sympathetic to the teaching and has delivered lectures on it and written on it, drawing on Saint Isaac the Syrian.


Offline Irish Hermit

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Dear Father,

Would you have a look at message 64.  I confess that I find your after-life cosmography confusing.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 09:11:29 PM by Irish Hermit »

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In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.



So after death there is only suffering, until the time when the Saviour returns?

Am I understanding rightly?

I don't know if you are understanding rightly.  God can release them whenever He wants, but they shall attain to eternal life only at the General Resurrection.   My guess is that part of what troubles you is that you have adopted the modernistic outlook on the meaning of the word "suffering."  It is really not such a bad thing.   Can even be redemptive. 

Offline Irish Hermit

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In other words, at the great Judgment, those who have sinned unforgivably will suffer eternal Gehenna in the body.  Those who have sinned forgivably, after suffering in the soul in Hades, hope to gain FREEDOM, that is, that they shall be released and attain to eternal life at the General Resurrection.  They suffer in Hades in the soul prior to the Great Judgment, when restored as a whole person body and soul, shall, having been cleansed by God’s purifying presence (not by created fires), shall obtain the life of the resurrectional age to come.



So after death there is only suffering, until the time when the Saviour returns?

Am I understanding rightly?

I don't know if you are understanding rightly.  God can release them whenever He wants, but they shall attain to eternal life only at the General Resurrection.   My guess is that part of what troubles you is that you have adopted the modernistic outlook on the meaning of the word "suffering."  It is really not such a bad thing.   Can even be redemptive. 


Are all the dead undergoing this suffering, understood of course other than through a modernist lens of "suffering"?  When you say that this post-mortem suffering can be redemptive do you mean it can redeem a soul form hell?

Are the Saints undergoing suffering?   Given the confusion that has enveloped the anglophone Orthodox world since Fr Seraphim Rose's writings most convert Orthodox can't or won't answer that.  They are reluctant to say that the Saints are in a separate place apart from the rest of the dead awaiting the Resurrection.

Offline Father H

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Irish Hermit said:  I confess that I find your after-life cosmography confusing.

You may find me confusing but I find you easily confused.  

Quote
Are all the dead undergoing this suffering

What a silly question.  I think the answer to this question is in my original post on the subject.  By the way, it is not “my” cosmography but rather that of the Council of 1772, and that of the holy fathers:  

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg588443.html#msg588443

Quote
When you say that this post-mortem suffering can be redemptive do you mean it can redeem a soul form hell?

All synergiea is redemptive, Father, and is only experienced as “suffering” when the soul is not in a full state of receptivity.  

Quote
Given the confusion that has enveloped the anglophone Orthodox world since Fr Seraphim Rose's writings most convert Orthodox can't or won't answer that. They are reluctant to say that the Saints are in a separate place apart from the rest of the dead awaiting the Resurrection.

I don’t know anyone who is reluctant to say that the Saints do not have “suffering.”  As for those who are reluctant to say that the Saints are in a separate place apart from the rest of the dead awaiting the Resurrection, Fr. Seraphim, of whom you are apparently not a big fan, is not the originator of this idea.   But there is no need for such an idea.  As St. John of Damascus clearly teaches us, our soul, as with our body, is always in a “place,” as it is also “corporeal” relative to God’s incorporeality which supercedes “place,” yet “incorporeal” only in reference to the course corporeality of our bodies.  Therefore, to say “state” is fine just so long as it is understood that it is also in a place (although, in the age to come, this has a distinct meaning from what we understand it to mean now).   We do not need to know where this place is, as God is present everywhere.  
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:12:46 PM by FatherHLL »

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All synergiea is redemptive, Father, and is only experienced as “suffering” when the soul is not in a full state of receptivity.  

Just one point here:  Consider the soul fully open and longing for God, yet still here in this life under His providence.  Many of the saints and holy fathers refer to this state of the spiritual life as a special kind of "suffering"...

M.

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Irish Hermit said:  I confess that I find your after-life cosmography confusing.

You may find me confusing but I find you easily confused.  


I am not confused, FatherHLL. I refuse tro be drawn in to the confusion. Confusion prevails more and more as people in the last few decades proffer their personal beliefs and preferences about the afterlife as fact.

There is, my dear brother,  no agreed teaching in Orthodoxy about the details of the afterlife. Beyond a very broad outline we are "looking through a glass darkly." For example, Saint John Maximovitch says that the damned go to Gehenna. Other modern teachers see Gehenna as the Lake of Fire and not yet in existence.  It is the Lake of Fire which will be created in the future on Judgement Day. And again, other people will tell you it is already in existence but uninhabited.   So that raises a question or two.

In the 1970s when Fr Seraphim and The Orthodox Word had made sure that we all had the schema of the afterlife firmly fixed in our brains, at least according to Fr Seraphim's ideas, I could have rattled off the difference between hell and hades and gehenna, sheol and tartarus in 10 seconds.  

But when I learned through my spiritual father at the monastery in Serbia that this schema cannot be found in the Fathers, that they do not teach much about the afterlife very precisely, that they interchange terms constantly and that it is not possible to draw up any consistent schema based on the Fathers - well, what was the point of adopting any one schema and insisting that it was *the* one?    

So it is not a case of "simply not knowing".   It is more a case of refusing to be drawn into the confusion.  

It is a case of giving up and admitting with Saint Paul that at the very best we can only "see through a glass darkly" and all our speculative systems about the afterlife are pretty much based on the pride of the human mind which cannot bear to admit that it does not know something and so to fill the vacuum it spins theories of its own.

Again, I see the profound wisdom of the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad who warned people in their 1980 Resolution on the toll houses that there is great spiritual danger in creating conjectures about the afterlife.  After all, if even such a Saint as Saint John of San Francisco has his own theories, are we ourselves really qualified to pick and chose between dissonant theories?

But what do I know; I am young in the faith and poorly instructed.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:38:13 PM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Father H

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All synergiea is redemptive, Father, and is only experienced as “suffering” when the soul is not in a full state of receptivity.  

Just one point here:  Consider the soul fully open and longing for God, yet still here in this life under His providence.  Many of the saints and holy fathers refer to this state of the spiritual life as a special kind of "suffering"...

M.

Thank you Mary.  Yes, I am aware of this, which is why I put "suffering" in quotes, conforming to its usage for the sake of conversation as put forward in the conversation I was responding to.   

Offline ialmisry

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Irish Hermit said:  I confess that I find your after-life cosmography confusing.

You may find me confusing but I find you easily confused.  


I am not confused, FatherHLL. I refuse tro be drawn in to the confusion. Confusion prevails more and more as people in the last few decades proffer their personal beliefs and preferences about the afterlife as fact.

There is, my dear brother,  no agreed teaching in Orthodoxy about the details of the afterlife. Beyond a very broad outline we are "looking through a glass darkly." For example, Saint John Maximovitch says that the damned go to Gehenna. Other modern teachers see Gehenna as the Lake of Fire and not yet in existence.  It is the Lake of Fire which will be created in the future on Judgement Day. And again, other people will tell you it is already in existence but uninhabited.   So that raises a question or two.

In the 1970s when Fr Seraphim and The Orthodox Word had made sure that we all had the schema of the afterlife firmly fixed in our brains, at least according to Fr Seraphim's ideas, I could have rattled off the difference between hell and hades and gehenna, sheol and tartarus in 10 seconds.  

But when I learned through my spiritual father at the monastery in Serbia that this schema cannot be found in the Fathers, that they do not teach much about the afterlife very precisely, that they interchange terms constantly and that it is not possible to draw up any consistent schema based on the Fathers - well, what was the point of adopting any one schema and insisting that it was *the* one?    

So it is not a case of "simply not knowing".   It is more a case of refusing to be drawn into the confusion.  

It is a case of giving up and admitting with Saint Paul that at the very best we can only "see through a glass darkly" and all our speculative systems about the afterlife are pretty much based on the pride of the human mind which cannot bear to admit that it does not know something and so to fill the vacuum it spins theories of its own.

Again, I see the profound wisdom of the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad who warned people in their 1980 Resolution on the toll houses that there is great spiritual danger in creating conjectures about the afterlife.  After all, if even such a Saint as Saint John of San Francisco has his own theories, are we ourselves really qualified to pick and chose between dissonant theories?

But what do I know; I am young in the faith and poorly instructed.
To all these questions, Father, I have to say: what diference does it make?  What would we doing differently if any or all of it is true?  If Hell was the Lake of Fire in existence now into which all the damned suffer for all eternity, what would we do differently?

As you say, Father, profound wisdom on the spiritual danger of dissonent theories, that don't really matter on this side anyways.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth