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Author Topic: Does God damn non-Orthodox Christians?  (Read 5768 times) Average Rating: 0
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TristanCross
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« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2011, 12:32:20 AM »

I am seriously doubting Orthodoxy due such comments:

Quote
Yes, of course a person may be saved after death, even if they have died in very serious sin.  Only Roman Catholics and Protestants deny it.  This is an entirely scripturally based teaching.  Please read the second book of Maccabees 12: 39-46.

I would think a person would be in heresy to deny this; it is both the teaching of Scripture and of the Church.

Quote
To say that someone after death cannot be saved is heresy. The dogma of the Church is that, through prayers and alms given for the dead, even those who were hardened sinners can receive help. This is a mystery. Until Christ returns, the state of the dead is changeable--not that the dead can help themselves, but that they can be helped by the living beseeching Christ and doing good in their names.

Quote
Those who are not Christians are judged according to their consciences. Christ is in the business of saving people, not damning them.

Well, you reject the latter because it is untrue.  Christ himself let us know he is in the business of saving and damning.  If you doubt Orthodoxy because of posts on the internet, it may be good for you to take a step back in your catecumenate as you may have a bit of growing to do first. 

Well, apparently to say that people can't be saved after death is a heresy...
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« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2011, 12:32:20 AM »

There is a hope, Father, one more in less of the nature which Catholics have when their Catechism speaks of the hope of salvation for the unbaptized children.

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



That may be a statement you heard is seminary, but it is not something that St. Maximus the Confessor said, but a pseudo-quote. 

Apocryphal or not the quote is nonetheless true since we dare not presume to say that any man is in Hell (apart from Arius since our sacred liturgical texts place him there.)   We dare not say that Nero, Hitler, Stalin or Polpot are in Hell and we dare not refuse to pray for their salvation.   This is the hope of Apokatastasis which is intrinsic to Christianity.

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2011, 01:40:48 AM »

Don't we damn ourselves by rejecting Christ? He already did everything He could to save us by dying on the cross, breaking the bonds of hades, trampling and destroying death, and emptying Hades of all its inhabitants.
We choose hell ourselves. And won't hell be standing in front of Christ and not being able to stand the fire of His love because we are sinful? Those who are holy will be warmed by His presence and those who are not will suffer from pain because His love is a consuming fire.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 01:51:50 AM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2011, 02:45:05 AM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?
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« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2011, 02:48:26 AM »

Father,

You might want to revisit that parable of the Last Judgement and take a look at the measure by which Christ judges.

Don't look nothing like you are talking about.

Again, I think there are going to be a lot of surprises. In fact, Christ says so.
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« Reply #50 on: July 23, 2011, 02:56:48 AM »

Father,

You might want to revisit that parable of the Last Judgement and take a look at the measure by which Christ judges.

Don't look nothing like you are talking about.

Again, I think there are going to be a lot of surprises. In fact, Christ says so.

I am well aware that Matthew 25 virtually makes your salvation  dependent on your social works.

That is one aspect of salvation

I am asking if the statements by the Lord that you will be damned if you have not

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

..... must be taken literally, to the damnation of the overwhelming population of the world.  These requisites for salvation -belief, baptism, chrismation, communion- are also part of the Saviour's teaching.
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« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2011, 02:58:36 AM »

TristanCross,

The thing about it is, the passages in the Bible that have to do with salvation are trying to describe a mystery. They are meant to be understood together, through the interpretation given to the Church, and not as stand alone statements for each of us to interpret individually. We can't really fully understand salvation (because in the end God makes the decisions), but if we even want to get a handle on it, we have to look at the issue from a lot of different perspectives. That's why the Bible, and the Church Fathers, don't just talk about salvation in one way, but talk about salvation in many (sometimes seemingly contradictory) ways.

If we took everything literally and as stand alone statements, the Bible would contradict itself constantly. Is baptism necessary? Are we judged by deeds or faith? Etc.   Take Rom. 10:9 as an example: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". Does this mean that people who are mentally handicapped and not able to "confess with their mouth" are condemned? Or how about we be even more literal: are mutes condemned? Does not the letter of Scripture say, right here in black and white, that your have to confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord to be saved?  But obviously the passage is just trying to make a point, and it has to be taken within the context of the rest of Scripture.

Don't throw away the passages you brought up. Don't even try to harmonize them, if by that word we mean getting everything in a nice little box so there doesn't seem to be contradictions. Just let the Bible speak, and take notice of what the Church through the centuries has said. And if you think some guys on a forum got it wrong, that's fine. But don't turn away from a faith (any faith) because of what someone on a message board said.

Man, this sounds like a lecture. Sorry!  Cheesy
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« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2011, 03:08:44 AM »

This is very sad.  So many people believe in this prelest.  "not till after death"?  It's too late then.  If they never accept Christ's Church in life, they will have to face their decision.   The story in the Bible of the poor man and the rich man (I forget his name), explains it.  The rich man didn't get salvation even though he saw the poor man in Heaven and asked God to send him to his brother.  The rich man knew the truth, after death, but he wasn't absolved of his faithlessness.  He was in hell.

I am a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is a self-governing Church under the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Question.....

1.  Am I a member Christ's Church and able to be saved?

2.  Not a member of Christ's Church and damned?

What does that have to do with Kallistos' explanation? 

Am I in a state of prelest because I believe I am in Christ's Church?  And that I am a priest?  What is the teaching of your bishop?

What does this have to do with Kallistos' teaching that a person, after death, can still be saved.  That's the point I was looking at. 

Yes, of course a person may be saved after death, even if they have died in very serious sin.  Only Roman Catholics and Protestants deny it.  This is an entirely scripturally based teaching.  Please read the second book of Maccabees 12: 39-46.

I would think a person would be in heresy to deny this; it is both the teaching of Scripture and of the Church.



In all fairness it should be pointed out that this is a developing theological issue amongst we RC's.  No one can know whats in the mind of God or if/how it's possible to be saved at the last minute.  My mother is a big fan of the Divine Mercy devotion which teaches that a dying sinner can be saved if someone prays the chaplet for them, even if they have rejected Christ all their lives and do not want to be saved.  This is true, a pious belief, but the RCC is very big on the Divine Mercy devotion now and great comfort is given by it (As well as the theological virtue of hope).
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« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2011, 03:32:25 AM »


What does this have to do with Metropolitan Kallistos' teaching that a person, after death, can still be saved.  That's the point I was looking at.


What is the problem?  The Metropolitan is 100% in line with sacred Scripture.

 Please read the second book of Maccabees 12: 39-46 and maybe consult your priest/bishop.
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« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2011, 03:38:17 AM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Sad, but true.

Also, many who have never heard of Christ may be saved as well, as well as those who are Christians but are not of our Church (though, they certainly will be fully of the Church after the final judgment). That make the number saved about 2 billion, but then we would have to exclude those who are Christian by name and not by practice. Either way, numbers do not matter. God isn't playing a numbers game with Satan. In fact, if only one person in all of history was saved by Christ, His work would not have been in vain.

Romans 11:5
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
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« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2011, 04:32:19 AM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Sad, but true.

I believe that the Holy Fathers see "the narrow gate which leads to life" as belief in Jesus Christ.  Is that what you are saying here?

How then do we understand the possibility of salvation for the Jews of Israel, the Mormons of Utah, the Jehovah's Witnesses of New York, the Buddhists of Tibet and the Hindus of India?  Can they be saved or are they damned?  Is there a possibility that at death they encounter Christ and the truth and He holds out His hands to them?
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« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2011, 04:59:35 AM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?

Well, you're supposing that the numbers will be the same when the end comes. Mayhap when Christ returns the stats will have swung the other way a bit?

I don't believe the (true) Gospel has been preached through the world yet. I just heard about it 3 years ago or so. It may be quite some time before Christ returns yet! When is the "fullness of the nations" going to come in?

We should be working on the 6,930,000,000 in the meantime.
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« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2011, 05:39:17 AM »

There is a hope, Father, one more in less of the nature which Catholics have when their Catechism speaks of the hope of salvation for the unbaptized children.

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



That may be a statement you heard is seminary, but it is not something that St. Maximus the Confessor said, but a pseudo-quote. 

Well, we may have breakthrough about the source thanks to the kind person who wrote and said the words are in Saint Maximus the Confessor's "Expositions on Psalm 59" in Migne's Patrologia Graeca.

My problem is that I do not have access to the Patrologia Graeca, and even if I did I cannot read Greek.

Very grateful to any Greek speaker who can check this.
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« Reply #58 on: July 23, 2011, 02:02:58 PM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Sad, but true.

I believe that the Holy Fathers see "the narrow gate which leads to life" as belief in Jesus Christ.  Is that what you are saying here?

How then do we understand the possibility of salvation for the Jews of Israel, the Mormons of Utah, the Jehovah's Witnesses of New York, the Buddhists of Tibet and the Hindus of India?  Can they be saved or are they damned?  Is there a possibility that at death they encounter Christ and the truth and He holds out His hands to them?

That's completely unscriptural and foreign to Christianity. The belief that "oh you can go to heaven even if you don't believe in Jesus" is a modernist scam. If it is true, then our preaching is done and vain and amounts to nothing. There is one way to the Father, not many. The reason Christ is the only way is because Christ is the only one who solved the problem.
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« Reply #59 on: July 23, 2011, 02:02:59 PM »

"But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:33
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« Reply #60 on: July 23, 2011, 03:27:46 PM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Sad, but true.

I believe that the Holy Fathers see "the narrow gate which leads to life" as belief in Jesus Christ.  Is that what you are saying here?

How then do we understand the possibility of salvation for the Jews of Israel, the Mormons of Utah, the Jehovah's Witnesses of New York, the Buddhists of Tibet and the Hindus of India?  Can they be saved or are they damned?  Is there a possibility that at death they encounter Christ and the truth and He holds out His hands to them?

That's completely unscriptural and foreign to Christianity. The belief that "oh you can go to heaven even if you don't believe in Jesus" is a modernist scam. If it is true, then our preaching is done and vain and amounts to nothing. There is one way to the Father, not many. The reason Christ is the only way is because Christ is the only one who solved the problem.



How then do we understand the possibility of salvation for the Jews of Israel, the Mormons of Utah, the Jehovah's Witnesses of New York, the Buddhists of Tibet and the Hindus of India?  Can they be saved or are they damned?  Is there a possibility that at death they encounter Christ and the truth and He holds out His hands to them?

That's completely unscriptural and foreign to Christianity. The belief that "oh you can go to heaven even if you don't believe in Jesus" is a modernist scam. If it is true, then our preaching is done and vain and amounts to nothing. There is one way to the Father, not many. The reason Christ is the only way is because Christ is the only one who solved the problem.

Oops!   If you are not prepared to admit the possibility for the salvation of Jews, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists and Hindus, then you may need to spend some time of your catechumenate studying these issues under the guidamce of your parish priest.   What I have said is quite scriptural and not at all foreign to Christianity.

The Orthodox will continue to state they are the Church until the Day of Judgement.  They will go on saying it plainly so that the world knows where truth is to be found.  But the Orthodox will NOT say that men and women outside the Church cannot be saved.

If we look at the sacred Scriptures we see that Saint Paul has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and told us how it occurs that non-Christians may be saved before the Judgement Seat of Christ.. 

Romans 2 - the salvation of non-believers:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
 
~ Romans 2:14-16

So we have, from the words of Christ Himself:

No faith = no salvation
No Baptism = no salvation
No Communion = no salvation

and yet.....

Salvation *is* possible without Baptism and Communion according to the inspired Scriptures in the words of the Apostle Paul.

The Church has never resolved this paradox. I am sure it never will.  We are able to live with it and trust in the mercy of God who "wills all men to be saved."

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« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2011, 03:36:45 PM »


That's completely unscriptural and foreign to Christianity. The belief that "oh you can go to heaven even if you don't believe in Jesus" is a modernist scam. If it is true, then our preaching is done and vain and amounts to nothing. There is one way to the Father, not many. The reason Christ is the only way is because Christ is the only one who solved the problem.

Tristan,  what is your position?  Scripture tells us that for salvation we must have faith in Jesus Christ, we must be baptized, we must eat and drink His Body and Blood.  These things are possible only within the Orthodox Church.  Are you saying that only the Orthodox can be saved?
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« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2011, 05:47:05 PM »

I am seriously doubting Orthodoxy due such comments:

Quote
Yes, of course a person may be saved after death, even if they have died in very serious sin.  Only Roman Catholics and Protestants deny it.  This is an entirely scripturally based teaching.  Please read the second book of Maccabees 12: 39-46.

I would think a person would be in heresy to deny this; it is both the teaching of Scripture and of the Church.

Quote
To say that someone after death cannot be saved is heresy. The dogma of the Church is that, through prayers and alms given for the dead, even those who were hardened sinners can receive help. This is a mystery. Until Christ returns, the state of the dead is changeable--not that the dead can help themselves, but that they can be helped by the living beseeching Christ and doing good in their names.

Quote
Those who are not Christians are judged according to their consciences. Christ is in the business of saving people, not damning them.

Well, you reject the latter because it is untrue.  Christ himself let us know he is in the business of saving and damning.  If you doubt Orthodoxy because of posts on the internet, it may be good for you to take a step back in your catecumenate as you may have a bit of growing to do first. 

Well, apparently to say that people can't be saved after death is a heresy...

Ah.  To say that people cannot be saved after death is different than saying that the will not be saved after death.  We know that many who can will not. 
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« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2011, 05:48:53 PM »

There is a hope, Father, one more in less of the nature which Catholics have when their Catechism speaks of the hope of salvation for the unbaptized children.

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



That may be a statement you heard is seminary, but it is not something that St. Maximus the Confessor said, but a pseudo-quote. 

Apocryphal or not the quote is nonetheless true since we dare not presume to say that any man is in Hell (apart from Arius since our sacred liturgical texts place him there.)   We dare not say that Nero, Hitler, Stalin or Polpot are in Hell and we dare not refuse to pray for their salvation.   This is the hope of Apokatastasis which is intrinsic to Christianity.


So "universalism minus Arius" is your position?   The devil can be saved but Arius will not?
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« Reply #64 on: July 23, 2011, 06:27:46 PM »

Tristan, we also need to remember that any one who did not believe in this life and would be saved afterward will only be saved in the name of Jesus, by a grafting into and acceptance of His Lordship.
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« Reply #65 on: July 23, 2011, 06:44:15 PM »

  Scripture tells us that for salvation we must have faith in Jesus Christ, we must be baptized, we must eat and drink His Body and Blood.  These things are possible only within the Orthodox Church. 
Let's see. There are 20,000 Orthodox Christians in the People's Republic of China, which has a population of 1.33 billion. So does the white man say then that God will condemn to eternal damnation 1.3 billion Chinese? I don't think so.
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« Reply #66 on: July 23, 2011, 10:00:54 PM »

I thought that being in the Church, one could experience God's grace, and thereby have the potential to attain salvation. Outside of the Church, one may be outside of God's grace, but you are not, I should think, outside of God's mercy- He is not obligated to save you, but He may if He wishes. Otherwise, everybody who didn't have the good luck to be born to Orthodox parents, all but 300 million people in the world, might as well put a gun to their heads right now.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #67 on: July 23, 2011, 10:33:07 PM »

I thought that being in the Church, one could experience God's grace, and thereby have the potential to attain salvation. Outside of the Church, one may be outside of God's grace, but you are not, I should think, outside of God's mercy- He is not obligated to save you, but He may if He wishes. Otherwise, everybody who didn't have the good luck to be born to Orthodox parents, all but 300 million people in the world, might as well put a gun to their heads right now.  Embarrassed

Don't mean to derail but weren't you Orthodox at one time?  If I am wrong forgive the failures of my memory. 
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« Reply #68 on: July 23, 2011, 10:35:16 PM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."
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« Reply #69 on: July 23, 2011, 10:36:28 PM »

I was, yes. I'm still going to the same parish. I put my old church in my description because I have yet to be chrismated, so I can't say I'm Orthodox yet.
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« Reply #70 on: July 23, 2011, 10:51:44 PM »

I thought that being in the Church, one could experience God's grace, and thereby have the potential to attain salvation. Outside of the Church, one may be outside of God's grace, but you are not, I should think, outside of God's mercy- He is not obligated to save you, but He may if He wishes. Otherwise, everybody who didn't have the good luck to be born to Orthodox parents, all but 300 million people in the world, might as well put a gun to their heads right now.  Embarrassed
I don't think it's as bad as all that. As the world gets smaller, those who truly hunger and thirst after righteousness have even more chances to research Orthodoxy.

Also, I think to be under God's mercy is ipso facto to receive Grace.
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« Reply #71 on: July 23, 2011, 10:56:38 PM »

There is a hope, Father, one more in less of the nature which Catholics have when their Catechism speaks of the hope of salvation for the unbaptized children.

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



That may be a statement you heard is seminary, but it is not something that St. Maximus the Confessor said, but a pseudo-quote. 

Apocryphal or not the quote is nonetheless true since we dare not presume to say that any man is in Hell (apart from Arius since our sacred liturgical texts place him there.)   We dare not say that Nero, Hitler, Stalin or Polpot are in Hell and we dare not refuse to pray for their salvation.   This is the hope of Apokatastasis which is intrinsic to Christianity.


So "universalism minus Arius" is your position?   The devil can be saved but Arius will not?

No, FatherHLL, that has not been said by me.  I hope also that the will of our God "who willeth that all men should be saved" (1Tim 2:4) may come to pass but that also is not a proclamation of Universalism but an alignment of my will with God's.
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« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2011, 01:02:05 AM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."

I'm not calling you a liar, but I personally find that story rather far fetched and hard to believe.  The Society of Jesus never taught that salvation was impossible for non Catholics who were sincere to the best of their abilities.  This sounds like an anti Catholic polemic for sure.
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« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2011, 03:02:35 AM »

  Scripture tells us that for salvation we must have faith in Jesus Christ, we must be baptized, we must eat and drink His Body and Blood.  These things are possible only within the Orthodox Church. 
Let's see. There are 20,000 Orthodox Christians in the People's Republic of China, which has a population of 1.33 billion. So does the white man say then that God will condemn to eternal damnation 1.3 billion Chinese? I don't think so.

I really hope you weren't referring to me as "the white man".
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« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2011, 10:59:51 AM »

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Proposition: Scripture teaches that only the Christians who have

1. believed in Christ. 

2. been baptized

3. received the Holy Spirit

4, fed on the Body and Blood of Christ

...... can be saved.

At this time that gives the possibility of salvation to only 300,000, 000 Orthodox Christians.

The population of the world today is around 6,930,000,000.

Therefore 6,630,000,000 people living today are damned..

In all justice it does appear quite wicked that God has called 6 billion souls into existence, knowing that their destiny is the eternal fires and torment of hell.  Really, would it be better if He had never created them?

In other words, those who will be standing on Christ's left hand and hear "Depart from me, ye cursed..." will be virtually innumerable in comparison to the few who will be saved standing on His right.

Do we have to look for another understanding of the quoted verses?

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Sad, but true.

I believe that the Holy Fathers see "the narrow gate which leads to life" as belief in Jesus Christ.  Is that what you are saying here?

How then do we understand the possibility of salvation for the Jews of Israel, the Mormons of Utah, the Jehovah's Witnesses of New York, the Buddhists of Tibet and the Hindus of India?  Can they be saved or are they damned?  Is there a possibility that at death they encounter Christ and the truth and He holds out His hands to them?

That's completely unscriptural and foreign to Christianity. The belief that "oh you can go to heaven even if you don't believe in Jesus" is a modernist scam. If it is true, then our preaching is done and vain and amounts to nothing. There is one way to the Father, not many. The reason Christ is the only way is because Christ is the only one who solved the problem.



How then do we understand the possibility of salvation for the Jews of Israel, the Mormons of Utah, the Jehovah's Witnesses of New York, the Buddhists of Tibet and the Hindus of India?  Can they be saved or are they damned?  Is there a possibility that at death they encounter Christ and the truth and He holds out His hands to them?

That's completely unscriptural and foreign to Christianity. The belief that "oh you can go to heaven even if you don't believe in Jesus" is a modernist scam. If it is true, then our preaching is done and vain and amounts to nothing. There is one way to the Father, not many. The reason Christ is the only way is because Christ is the only one who solved the problem.

Oops!   If you are not prepared to admit the possibility for the salvation of Jews, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists and Hindus, then you may need to spend some time of your catechumenate studying these issues under the guidamce of your parish priest.   What I have said is quite scriptural and not at all foreign to Christianity.

The Orthodox will continue to state they are the Church until the Day of Judgement.  They will go on saying it plainly so that the world knows where truth is to be found.  But the Orthodox will NOT say that men and women outside the Church cannot be saved.

If we look at the sacred Scriptures we see that Saint Paul has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and told us how it occurs that non-Christians may be saved before the Judgement Seat of Christ.. 

Romans 2 - the salvation of non-believers:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
 
~ Romans 2:14-16

So we have, from the words of Christ Himself:

No faith = no salvation
No Baptism = no salvation
No Communion = no salvation

and yet.....

Salvation *is* possible without Baptism and Communion according to the inspired Scriptures in the words of the Apostle Paul.

The Church has never resolved this paradox. I am sure it never will.  We are able to live with it and trust in the mercy of God who "wills all men to be saved."



In regards to that quote from Romans, context indicates that he is speaking of how things were before the Gospel was introduced. The point he was making was that the Jews were wrong in boasting about having the Law, and that the Gentiles who did not have the Law, and yet obeyed it naturally, had a much better gift (for the Gentiles obeyed what they knew in their hearts without being given the Law, while the Jews did not even have basic morality, even though God entrusted them with the Law). That may be true today, as well, but only for those who know nothing of Christ. But, as Christ said, those who do hear of Him and have heard the Gospel, but reject it, will not be saved and are "condemned already".
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« Reply #75 on: July 24, 2011, 09:32:14 PM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."

I'm not calling you a liar, but I personally find that story rather far fetched and hard to believe.  The Society of Jesus never taught that salvation was impossible for non Catholics who were sincere to the best of their abilities.  This sounds like an anti Catholic polemic for sure.

Wow..Chill

No, I am not lying that I heard that story. I really heard it... No lie. Whether or not it's true is really not very important now is it? Stories sometimes illustrate a point.. They are not always literal..

Okay.. I'm exhausted now.
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« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2011, 10:00:24 PM »

St. Cyril of Alexandria has a significant passage:

"For if there is one over all, and there is no other besides Him, He would
be master of all, because He was Maker of all. For He is also the God of
the gentiles, and has fully satisfied by laws implanted in their hearts,
which the Maker has engraved in the hearts of all. For when the gentiles,
(Paul) says, not having the law, do by nature the things of the law, they
show the work of the law written on their hearts. But since He is not only
the Maker and God of the Jews, but also of the gentiles . . . He sees fit
by His providence to care not only for those who are of the blood of
Israel, but also for all those upon the earth."

Interpretation of the Epistle to the Romans

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« Reply #77 on: July 24, 2011, 10:11:14 PM »

"But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:33

Dear Tristan,

Who would argue with those words of our Lord?  Surely nobody.

But what is confusing me is that you seem to be saying that those outside the Church are damned.

Is this what the OCA is teaching its catechumens these days?   Shocked

Or are you just bouncing off your former Protestant ideas to get some Orthodox responses on the forum?
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« Reply #78 on: July 24, 2011, 10:23:58 PM »

He's saying not becoming Orthodox is the same as denying Christ.
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« Reply #79 on: July 24, 2011, 10:47:08 PM »

Eternally damned? Really no one is yet eternally damned and we have no idea who will be in the end, if anyone.

Very, very true.
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« Reply #80 on: July 24, 2011, 10:57:26 PM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."

I'm not calling you a liar, but I personally find that story rather far fetched and hard to believe.  The Society of Jesus never taught that salvation was impossible for non Catholics who were sincere to the best of their abilities.  This sounds like an anti Catholic polemic for sure.
That is my impression also. This is more anti-Catholic propaganda.
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« Reply #81 on: July 24, 2011, 11:43:53 PM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."

I'm not calling you a liar, but I personally find that story rather far fetched and hard to believe.  The Society of Jesus never taught that salvation was impossible for non Catholics who were sincere to the best of their abilities.  This sounds like an anti Catholic polemic for sure.
That is my impression also. This is more anti-Catholic propaganda.

I think it is too. It's one way the Japanese defended themselves against the Roman Catholics before they tossed them out of the country. Point well made though.
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« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2011, 02:28:41 AM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."

I'm not calling you a liar, but I personally find that story rather far fetched and hard to believe.  The Society of Jesus never taught that salvation was impossible for non Catholics who were sincere to the best of their abilities.  This sounds like an anti Catholic polemic for sure.
That is my impression also. This is more anti-Catholic propaganda.

I think it is too. It's one way the Japanese defended themselves against the Roman Catholics before they tossed them out of the country. Point well made though.

Well, the Japanese defended themselves alright.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_Japan

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« Reply #83 on: July 25, 2011, 09:47:20 AM »

He's saying not becoming Orthodox is the same as denying Christ.

That's an extreme position. The Orthodox have the fullness of Christ, but Christ cannot be contained in a box. He is actively seeking souls outside the Church to save them. And, if there is no Orthodox church around, or if the person has no means of becoming Orthodox, Christ Himself will supply what is necessary for His salvation. He is in the business of saving people. No one will be left with an excuse with which to accuse Christ of injustice on the day of judgment. No one will be damned by circumstances beyond their control. If our Christ makes note of sins (who could stand it?), how much more does He make note of how His light shines in the lives of those who fear Him, even of those who fear Him without completely knowing Him.
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« Reply #84 on: July 25, 2011, 10:14:40 AM »

I agree.
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« Reply #85 on: July 25, 2011, 10:20:04 AM »

Here is a story I heard once:

Many years ago there was a Japanese Samurai who was about to convert to Christianity. But he had one last question for the Priest  (who was a Jesuit). He said to the Priest; " My Parents are both dead and never were Baptized. Are they in Hell?"

The Jesuit replied "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused for a moment or two and said: "Then I can not be Baptized. My duty is to be with my Parents after I die."

I'm not calling you a liar, but I personally find that story rather far fetched and hard to believe.  The Society of Jesus never taught that salvation was impossible for non Catholics who were sincere to the best of their abilities.  This sounds like an anti Catholic polemic for sure.
That is my impression also. This is more anti-Catholic propaganda.

I think it is too. It's one way the Japanese defended themselves against the Roman Catholics before they tossed them out of the country. Point well made though.

Well, the Japanese defended themselves alright.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_Japan



It's very hard to find who the good guys are in Japanese history. The problem with RCC missionaries is that they often tried to destroy the local culture, which met with Resistance and rightly so. On the other hand the Japanese were brutal beyond all reason or purpose. IMHO
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« Reply #86 on: July 25, 2011, 10:30:29 AM »

An interpretation that I find convincing is that all those who die outside the Church go to Hades, which would be consistent with what we otherwise know is necessary for salvation: the true faith (Orthodoxy), repentance, and the sacraments (particularly Baptism and the Eucharist). However, we cannot extrapolate from this that all those who go to Hades will be cast into Gehenna after the Last Judgment, since we know that while the Last Judgment is irrevocable, it is possible for God to rescue souls from Hades. Therefore, claims that the Fathers taught that all those who died outside the Church will be burned for eternity are confusing Hades and Gehenna.
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« Reply #87 on: July 25, 2011, 10:46:45 AM »

An interpretation that I find convincing is that all those who die outside the Church go to Hades, which would be consistent with what we otherwise know is necessary for salvation: the true faith (Orthodoxy), repentance, and the sacraments (particularly Baptism and the Eucharist). However, we cannot extrapolate from this that all those who go to Hades will be cast into Gehenna after the Last Judgment, since we know that while the Last Judgment is irrevocable, it is possible for God to rescue souls from Hades. Therefore, claims that the Fathers taught that all those who died outside the Church will be burned for eternity are confusing Hades and Gehenna.

Indeed.

To die separated from the Orthodox Church is a very grave thing, which is why prayers for departed non-Orthodox such as the Canon to St. Warus speak much about their souls being in darkness and necessity. However, this is not to say they are damned, since the last judgment has not yet occurred. Also, the mystery of death and the particular judgment is to be respected. While nothing is impossible for God, He has not revealed to us that those who are separated from the Church and sacraments go to paradise and experience refreshment after their repose. We have more information to the contrary from the teachings of the fathers and the liturgical services, as well as some anecdotal evidence from visions, etc. From this, however, I do not think we can allow ourselves to assume anything more about the non-Orthodox reposed than we can about the Orthodox reposed (with the exception of those whose sanctity has been revealed), that they are in need of prayers and alms done in their names. Nothing, really, is to be gained by speculating about the fate of the non-Orthodox since this is beyond us, and could lead us to put off our necessary work of prayer and almsgiving for the reposed, whoever they may be.
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Romans 10:9-10


« Reply #88 on: July 25, 2011, 03:29:58 PM »

He's saying not becoming Orthodox is the same as denying Christ.

No, I was saying that if we deny Christ Himself, not just Orthodoxy, then you are condemned already. I believe in the salvation of Protestants as they are justified by faith in Christ (not faith alone, though).
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« Reply #89 on: July 25, 2011, 03:29:58 PM »

"But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 10:33

Dear Tristan,

Who would argue with those words of our Lord?  Surely nobody.

But what is confusing me is that you seem to be saying that those outside the Church are damned.

Is this what the OCA is teaching its catechumens these days?   Shocked

Or are you just bouncing off your former Protestant ideas to get some Orthodox responses on the forum?

I'm simply testing the belief that virtually anyone can be saved based on what I've known and believed as a Lutheran for years. I can not accept it until I can find my arguments refuted by Scripture and/or the Fathers. My conscience is captive to Christ, the Logos, and, thus, I can not throw His words away when He claims to be the only way to salvation, and that to deny Him is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit and causes a man to be condemned.
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"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom
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