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Author Topic: Salvation for non-Christians in OOxy  (Read 3494 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2011, 10:55:53 AM »

There is a simple way to find out which meaning is meant in a given context: if the power of prayer is able to change what happens in "hell", then the first meaning is meant. (Whether OO would agree with this, I don't know.)
Yes we do agree to that distinction between Hades and the lake of fire, as I said I misunderstood you, sorry. I know St. Athanasius said praying for those in hell relieves them of some pain.
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« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2011, 11:01:37 AM »

Fr. Ambrose, is it true that the Church of Russia was influenced by Latin theology and then returned to Orthodox dogma by reading patristics? I heard the Church of Greece was influenced by the Latin belief of purgatory and then later returned to the Orthodox concept of the afterlife. I think my Church will make a comeback, the Church of Alexandria has unfortunately been somewhat influenced by Latins and Protestants, but, she is returning to the patristic tradition through the writings of Sts. Cyril, Severus, Athanasius, etc. My Priest is very knowledgeable of these things so I'll ask him and tell you what I heard.

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« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2011, 11:10:54 AM »

I know this thread doesn't have a lot to do with apocatastasis, but, for the record, here's a letter from Saint Severus of Antioch where he refutes apocatastasis using patristics and scripture. Being that we're talking about the afterlife I think it is at least somewhat relevant. Ignore the triple & quadruple digit numbers, they're citations.
Quote
XCVIII. ---- OF MAR SEVERUS FROM THE 5th LETTER OF THE 4th BOOK OF THOSE AFTER EXILE, WHICH WAS ADDRESSED TO CAESARIA THE HYPATISSA, WHICH BEGINS, «When I read the letter of your magnificence's love of God, not once nor twice».

[519-38.] But to the question which your excellency's magnificence has asked me by letter I return an easy answer, that for my part I have never accepted or expressed agreement with those who speak of an apokatastasis, and an end to the judgment involved in the torments that are threatened us in the future world, and the man who says that he has a letter of mine which proclaims this opinion manifestly lies. Therefore I praised your God-loving magnificence for asking for such a letter to be shown to you; a letter which the man who concocted it necessarily set himself falsely to show to be my composition. Those who hold such an opinion, wishing to accomplish their desires, as if forsooth on the basis of plausible suppositions, make use of arguments that are gratifying to the hearers, saying that it is unbecomingto or unworthy |371 of God, and far removed from his mercifulness, that the man who has sinned for 50 or 100 years in this world should endure torments for unending ages, forgetting this, that God's laws and those which, prevail among men think fit to requite sins according to the intention of the sinner, and one may hear even wise men outside saying of certain persons who have done foul deeds and acts that are not permitted, «This man deserves to die not once but many times»975. But, when a man hears as we do that God who became incarnate and was humanized without variation for our salvation, and who for this reason came down from heaven and conversed with us plainly threatens 976 fire that is not quenched and an undying worm 977, and 978 makes light of it, how does he not deserve, if it is possible to say so, to be condemned |372 twice over to 979 endless torment? If a man live 100 years or more in this present world and spend such a period in vanity, it is certain that this man, if he were allowed to live this same temporal life 980 without end 981, would not cease from his eternal 980 greed and wantonness 982. How therefore will this man in accordance with his disposition not justly 980 be tormented without end? Even the very men who introduce an apokatastasis 983 say of sinners that they will be tormented for many 984 and long periods so to speak 985, and then afterwards will be purified and admitted to clemency and attain to the promised blessedness. But they 986 forget that their human reasonings |373 themselves show God to be unrighteous in his judgments 987. If a man lives 988 in sin 50 or 80 years, but 989 endures torments many long generations, it is again apparent on their principle that this is not worthy of God's mercifulness 990, to extend the period of torment beyond the time of the life in sins, If God agreed with the reasonings of those who think thus 991, the man who sins for 50 years should endure torment for 50 years, and it 992 should not be thus long extended over many generations, as they say 993. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ also, in the holy words of his preaching, when |374 separating the righteous from the sinners, said, «These shall go to eternal torment, and the righteous to eternal life» 994, and with regard to both the classes 995, that of the former and that of the latter, he spoke in exactly the same fashion of an equality without distinction, applying the word ' eternal' to both without distinction. Basil the great among teachers of the truth shows this clearly in the teaching composed by him in the form of question and answer addressed to the brethren of the convents; and it is the 219th question, which is expressed as follows:

«The brethren say 996.

'If 997 one shall be beaten with many stripes and another with few, how |375 say some that there is no end to the sentence of those who are tormented?'

Basil 998 says.

Points which are matters of dispute and seen to be obscurely expressed m various places of the Holy Scriptures are elucidated by clear statements in other places. Since therefore our Lord says at one time, 'These shall go into eternal torment 999', and at another dismisses some to 'the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels', and at another mentions 'the gehenna of fire', uttering further the words,1000 'Where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched', and again said before through the prophet about certain |376 men, 1001 'Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched'; while these and similar expressions, are often 1002 used in the divine Scriptures, this also was brought about by the machination of the devil, in order that men, forgetting these and similar decrees of our Lord, might presume to sin without restraint, persuading themselves that there is an end to judgment. For, if it is possible for there to be 1003 an end to eternal judgment, there will assuredly also be an end to eternal life. But, if we do not consent to think this with regard to 1004 life, what plausibility is there in our assigning 1005 an end to eternal judgment? For the addition of the word 'eternal' is made equally in both cases. 'These shall go into eternal |377 judgment, and the righteous into eternal life'. These things therefore being thus admitted, we must know that the words 'He shall be beaten with many stripes' and 'shall be beaten with few' are not an end, but signify a difference of torment. For, if God is an upright judge, not only to the good but also to the evil 1006, and requites each according to his deeds, it is possible for one to be in the fire that is not quenched 1007, burning either less or more than the other, and another in the worm that dies not, both one that hurts little and one that hurts much 1008, each as he deserves, and another in gehenna that has a variety of torments, and another in outer darkness, and that there |378 is a place where a man is found amidst weeping only, and there is a place where he is amidst gnashing of teeth also from the severity of the pains 1009. But the outer darkness signifies that there is in truth an inner darkness also.1010 And the words used in the Proverbs 1011 'at the bottom of Sheol 1012' signify that there are persons in Sheol and not at the bottom of it, because their torment is smaller 1013. And this is depicted now also in bodily afflictions. For there is aman who is in a fever together with other pains, and another |379 who is in a fever only, and the latter is not like the former, and another has no fever, but is troubled by pain in some limb 1014, and one again either less or more than another. But this expression 'much' or 'little' is employed by our Lord in accordance with customary usage, as are also many other similar phrases. For we know that this form of speech is frequently adopted even with regard to those who are suffering from one disease 1015. For example, in the case of a man who has a fever only, or has pain in the eye only 1016 we 1017 say in astonishment ' How much he has suffered! ' or ' What anguish he has endured!' Accordingly the expression 'shall be beaten with many' |380 and 'with few', I say again, stands not in the extent of the time and the shortness1018, but in the difference of the torment» 1019. These things this great ruler and shepherd of rational souls Basil taught and stated with great completeness.1020 And Gregory, who became bishop of Nazianzus, himself in the homily of defence thinks that the future torment is endless, teaching thus: «But for us, the salvation of whose blessed and immortal soul is in danger, which will be undyingly tormented or glorified1021 by reason of wickedness or of virtue, how great do you think should the contest be1022?»1023 And John in the 66th homily1024 of the commentary on the Gospel of Matthew |381 states things consonant with these as follows: «For all these reasons accordingly let us first pay the taxes; for it is indeed very easy, and the reward is greater, and there is great abundance of profit, and worse is the torture if we do not understand, and a torture that has no end»4. And the same again in the 79th exposition when speaking of the Passion referred to the kingdom, and to the endless torment. And in the 82nd about the man who approaches the communion of the holy mysteries in a careless mood and without caution he gives teaching in the following words: «He who approaches after he has sinned is worse than a demoniac; for the: latter because they have a demon do not receive punishment, but the |382 former, because they approach unworthily, are delivered to undying torment 1025» 1026. And at the end of the commentary on the epistle to the Ephesians he 1027 expressed himself thus: «For a man to be burnt 1028 and not consumed, and to be perpetually gnawed by a 1029 worm is indestructible 1030 destruction, as happened to the blessed Job, who was in process of destruction and did not perish for a considerable time, but was constantly suffering and wasting away, while he scraped off putrid matter from his body 1031 for a long time. Something similar will happen to the soul at that time, when the 1032 worms surround and gnaw it, not for two years 1033 nor for ten nor for a hundred nor |383 for myriads 1034, but for years without end; for 'their worm', he says, 'shall not die'» 1035. The wise Cyril 1036 also in the 1st book of the commentary on the Gospel of John said: "We ought not to be ungrateful to God but on the contrary 1037 to thank him because by means of the Resurrection from the dead he has appointed for us torment that does not pass away 1038»1039.[/size]
[/size]
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 11:17:48 AM by Severian » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: July 11, 2011, 11:17:37 AM »

Furthermore, wouldn't Orthodox Christians achieve a higher level of theosis/unity with God than the heathens?
How can we know these things when even the greatest Saints never dared to speculate on them?
I suppose you're right. No one knows for sure. But don't you think that an Orthodox monk who lived a holy and righteous life is going to have a far better chance at theosis then, say, a pagan? We can't put ourselves in the place of God, but, doesn't Orthodoxy teach that the spiritual state of those outside of her are unknown and that salvation comes through partaking of the uncreated graces of God, and that those graces are most intimately experienced by participating in the sacramental life of the Church? St Seraphim of Sarov said "God will listen to a Christian monk just as much as a laymen provided both are Orthodox" (a bit of a paraphrase from memory). Once again I am not trying to object to what you are saying. I am genuinely trying to learn and create further discussion as I have clearly demonstrated my ignorance on this subject in the past.
It is my opinion that as soon as we begin to speculate on the salvation or theosis of others, we slip further backwards in our own journey to theosis. I hold that this thought should always be in my mind: that everyone except for me will be saved.
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« Reply #49 on: July 11, 2011, 11:20:06 AM »

It is my opinion that as soon as we begin to speculate on the salvation or theosis of others, we slip further backwards in our own journey to theosis. I hold that this thought should always be in my mind: that everyone except for me will be saved.
That is true, we should never think we have a hand on the salvation of others. A proverb from Mt. Athos says "keep your mind in hell..." I was merely speaking hypothetically.
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« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2011, 12:49:49 PM »

Father Ambrose and deusveritasest have pointed out in another thread that Mar Bishoy of the Coptic Orthodox Church has said that Protestants and Catholics are all going to Hell. And if they're going to Hell, I imagine that non-Christians are as well.
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« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2011, 01:04:13 PM »

That may or not be Metropolitan Bishoys opinion. It is not the opinion of the Church.

Quite often Metropolitan Bishoys statements find themselves taken out of context, and misused by others.
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« Reply #52 on: July 11, 2011, 07:14:22 PM »

That may or not be Metropolitan Bishoys opinion. It is not the opinion of the Church.

Quite often Metropolitan Bishoys statements find themselves taken out of context, and misused by others.
Father, do you know if the OOC believes in the salvation of non-Christians?
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« Reply #53 on: July 11, 2011, 07:29:20 PM »

That may or not be Metropolitan Bishoys opinion. It is not the opinion of the Church.

Quite often Metropolitan Bishoys statements find themselves taken out of context, and misused by others.

Dear Father,

Here is a small article on Metropolitan Bishoy and his controversial statement that Catholics and Protestants cannot be saved.   If you know Arabic, it provides an audio clip of his words on the topic.  Arabic speakers may verify for themselves.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Bishoy_(Nicola)_of_Damietta
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« Reply #54 on: July 11, 2011, 07:47:59 PM »

Fr James, a Coptic Orthodox priest, confirms that Metropolitan Bishoy is accurately expressing the teaching of the Coptic Church.

See message 29
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22304.msg340274.html#msg340274
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« Reply #55 on: July 11, 2011, 07:52:30 PM »

That may or not be Metropolitan Bishoys opinion. It is not the opinion of the Church.

Quite often Metropolitan Bishoys statements find themselves taken out of context, and misused by others.

Dear Father,

Here is a small article on Metropolitan Bishoy and his controversial statement that Catholics and Protestants cannot be saved.   If you know Arabic, it provides an audio clip of his words on the topic.  Arabic speakers may verify for themselves.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Bishoy_(Nicola)_of_Damietta
I speak Arabic, I'll look into this.

EDIT: The audio clip is of terrible sound quality. I'll just read the article.
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« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2011, 08:13:10 PM »

I'm just going to translate the third paragraph of the 1st newspaper article
Quote
.وقال بيشوي: إن الكاثوليك والبروتستانت لن يدخلوا ملكوت السماء، ونفي أن يكون بذلك قد أخذ حق الله في الحكم وتقرير المصير، لأنه لم يحدد اسم شخص بالتحديد، وذلك لأمور لا يعلمها إلا الله.
Which loosely translates: "And Bishoy said that Catholics and Protestants cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, and [he] denied that [saying so] had taken away the right of God to judge and determine [the state of people's souls], because he did not specify the names [of those who wouldn't be saved], because only God knows that."
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« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2011, 04:07:55 AM »

I don't see that Father James, or Metropolitan Bishoy have said anything controversial.

Protestantism and Catholicism are not Orthodoxy. They are deficient, and defective as means of salvation.

There is no salvation apart from the Orthodox Church of Christ. This does not mean that a Protestant, and a Catholic may not be united to the Orthodox Church as God wills and as God knows.

But formal Protestantism and the fullness of formal Catholicism are not Orthodox. This is why even in the case of Catholicism there are still many discussions which must take place.

This does not mean that Catholics should not be considered Christians, nor even many Protestants, and it is an error for Father Ambrose to keep posting this clip about Metropolitan Bishoy, as he appears to have done about 10 times in the past few days.

We know that His Holiness and our Coptic Orthodox Church considers the Catholic Church to be Christian. THIS is the position of our Church, confirmed by conciliar decisions. Father James is criticising the view that it does not matter what people believe. On the contrary I am firmly and absolutely of the opinion that protestant influences must be resisted and rejectec wherever they appear. I am firmly of the opinion that an Orthodox person who becomes a protestant is in danger of losing their salvation. This is nothing different to the view of Father James.

But many protestants are on their way towards Orthodoxy. I was. Therefore as Metropolitan Bishoy properly says, Protestantism does not have the power to save, nor even does it provide the sacrament of baptism. But God alone knows whether this or that Protestant is growing in Grace as God wills.
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« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2011, 04:44:36 AM »



 Therefore as Metropolitan Bishoy properly says, Protestantism does not have the power to save,

Father Peter has not understood what Metropolotan Bishoy has said.  I do not fail to see why he would not like to face it square on.  The statement is a little upsetting for those of us raised in a liberal Western religious atmosphere.

There are two statements here:

1.  Protestantism, as a religious sysyem and a religious belief, does not have the power to save

2.  "Catholics and Protestants cannot enter the kingdom of heaven"

This two statements are not at all the same.  The second is Metropolitan Bishoy's position.


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« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2011, 04:51:53 AM »

Someone pointed out that the only way around the statement of Metropolitan Bishoy (and Pope Shenouda about Protestants and non-Christians) is something tantamount to Universal Salvation - that at the moment of death every soul, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, is enlightened with the knowledge of the truth and has the opportunity to embrace it.     Since, in such a state of spiritual clarity, it is highly unlikely that a soul would reject the reality of truth, this amounts to virtual Universal Salvation.....An interesting thought!  A not unattractive thought!
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« Reply #60 on: July 12, 2011, 05:02:42 AM »

...Father Ambrose to keep posting this clip about Metropolitan Bishoy, as he appears to have done about 10 times in the past few days.

Excuse me, Father Peter, slow down there and let's keep a hold on the truth.

I posted a reference to it yesterday on "Patristic Consensus on Salvation for Heterodox"  (message 16) and today in this thread (message 53.)

That is not TEN times in the past few days as you claim.
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« Reply #61 on: July 12, 2011, 05:04:34 AM »

But for some reason

This sort of perversion of traditional theology has occurred all over the map among the OO and in a significantly more extensive way than it has been within your own church.
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« Reply #62 on: July 12, 2011, 05:18:06 AM »

But for some reason

This sort of perversion of traditional theology has occurred all over the map among the OO and in a significantly more extensive way than it has been within your own church.


While this innovation is a significant theological error and an assault upon the ancient traditions and piety of Orthodoxy, Eastern and Oriental, by the Pope and the Synod of Coptic bishops,  it probably will be ignored by the Coptic faithful who will continue to pray as they have since the year dot.

I would also think that there is every hope that in the future a new generation of Coptic bishops will return to the faith of their fathers in this matter.
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« Reply #63 on: July 12, 2011, 05:21:38 AM »

Someone pointed out that the only way around the statement of Metropolitan Bishoy (and Pope Shenouda about Protestants and non-Christians) is something tantamount to Universal Salvation - that at the moment of death every soul, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, is enlightened with the knowledge of the truth and has the opportunity to embrace it.     Since, in such a state of spiritual clarity, it is highly unlikely that a soul would reject the reality of truth, this amounts to virtual Universal Salvation.....An interesting thought!  A not unattractive thought!


 Grin

It might not be true though.
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« Reply #64 on: July 12, 2011, 05:22:23 AM »



 Therefore as Metropolitan Bishoy properly says, Protestantism does not have the power to save,

Father Peter has not understood what Metropolotan Bishoy has said.  I do not fail to see why he would not like to face it square on.  The statement is a little upsetting for those of us raised in a liberal Western religious atmosphere.

There are two statements here:

1.  Protestantism, as a religious sysyem and a religious belief, does not have the power to save

2.  "Catholics and Protestants cannot enter the kingdom of heaven"

This two statements are not at all the same.  The second is Metropolitan Bishoy's position.




Don't expect too much from him. He does this all the time.
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« Reply #65 on: July 12, 2011, 10:45:18 AM »

Knock off the ad hominems, DVE.
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« Reply #66 on: July 12, 2011, 10:49:17 AM »



 Therefore as Metropolitan Bishoy properly says, Protestantism does not have the power to save,

Father Peter has not understood what Metropolotan Bishoy has said.  I do not fail to see why he would not like to face it square on.  The statement is a little upsetting for those of us raised in a liberal Western religious atmosphere.

There are two statements here:

1.  Protestantism, as a religious sysyem and a religious belief, does not have the power to save

2.  "Catholics and Protestants cannot enter the kingdom of heaven"

This two statements are not at all the same.  The second is Metropolitan Bishoy's position.




Metropolitan Bishoy's statement mostly consisted of the following:

"and [he] denied that [saying so] had taken away the right of God to judge and determine [the state of people's souls], because he did not specify the names [of those who wouldn't be saved], because only God knows that."

The way I read it, he is leaving open the possibility of God's mercy allowing even those who can't be saved to be saved. 
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