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Author Topic: Is it Fair?  (Read 943 times) Average Rating: 0
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bishoy
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« on: September 27, 2011, 03:05:46 AM »

How is it fair that some of us are born into Orthodoxy, and others not? How is it fair that some of us are predisposed to be Orthodox because of our childhood habituation, while others are foreign to Orthodoxy and could hardly ever convert because of the way they were raised? How is it fair that some people can honestly and truly dedicate their whole lives to God, but yet still not even come close to the truth of Orthodoxy?

I mean, let's be honest: there are Protestants, Catholics, and all sorts of Christians out there who honestly seek the truth, but never it. Heck, even non-Christians are honest in their approach and do not find it. How is that fair?

Please excuse my questioning and accusatory language. There is an underlying anger in these questions, and I can't seem to get over it.

Pray for me.

In Christ,
Bishoy
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 03:07:23 AM by bishoy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 03:22:38 AM »

How is it fair that some of us are born into Orthodoxy, and others not? How is it fair that some of us are predisposed to be Orthodox because of our childhood habituation, while others are foreign to Orthodoxy and could hardly ever convert because of the way they were raised? How is it fair that some people can honestly and truly dedicate their whole lives to God, but yet still not even come close to the truth of Orthodoxy?

I mean, let's be honest: there are Protestants, Catholics, and all sorts of Christians out there who honestly seek the truth, but never it. Heck, even non-Christians are honest in their approach and do not find it. How is that fair?

Please excuse my questioning and accusatory language. There is an underlying anger in these questions, and I can't seem to get over it.

Pray for me.

In Christ,
Bishoy

In what way is it not fair?

Most peoples belief system comes from where they was born, IE: Germans - protestants British - Anglicans etc.

It is only those that question the teachings of the church that they was brought into by the parents that find the real truth.

God reads our hearts, he is the one that calls us, to teach us, to nurture us.

I don't see anything unfair about this.

This like saying I wish I was born white and not Black ! but Black is beautiful in the eyes of God, after all, Papa Jesus was not white.

I really do not see a problem.

Peace in Christ

JR
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 03:27:07 AM »

How is it fair that some of us are born into Orthodoxy, and others not? How is it fair that some of us are predisposed to be Orthodox because of our childhood habituation, while others are foreign to Orthodoxy and could hardly ever convert because of the way they were raised? How is it fair that some people can honestly and truly dedicate their whole lives to God, but yet still not even come close to the truth of Orthodoxy?

I mean, let's be honest: there are Protestants, Catholics, and all sorts of Christians out there who honestly seek the truth, but never it. Heck, even non-Christians are honest in their approach and do not find it. How is that fair?

Please excuse my questioning and accusatory language. There is an underlying anger in these questions, and I can't seem to get over it.

Pray for me.

In Christ,
Bishoy

In what way is it not fair?

Most peoples belief system comes from where they was born, IE: Germans - protestants British - Anglicans etc.

It is only those that question the teachings of the church that they was brought into by the parents that find the real truth.

God reads our hearts, he is the one that calls us, to teach us, to nurture us.

I don't see anything unfair about this.

This like saying I wish I was born white and not Black ! but Black is beautiful in the eyes of God, after all, Papa Jesus was not white.

I really do not see a problem.

Peace in Christ

JR

That is exactly it. Most people adopt the beliefs of the place in which they were born. Thus, whether they find the truth is hardly a matter of choice; rather, it is controlled by something altogether uncontrollable, which is where you are born. The problem with your analogy is that not both 'White' and 'Black' are equal in this case. If we say, for example, that White is the truth as passed down in One Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, and Black is...for example, Islam. Clearly, one is preferred to the other.

Edit: To be clear, I'm just addressing the analogy. I do not believe white to be superior to black. Let's not let that get in the way of this discussion.


« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 03:30:20 AM by bishoy » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 03:30:15 AM »

Speaking from my own experience. If a person truly seeks the truth they will find Orthodoxy. I ain't getting into a debate over what "truth" is.

Some are more advantaged than others, I would say those who are Orthodox most of their lives might be judged more strictly than those that are not or who never engaged in the Orthodox Church.

Up to God at the end of day/times.
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 03:35:01 AM »

Speaking from my own experience. If a person truly seeks the truth they will find Orthodoxy. I ain't getting into a debate over what "truth" is.

Some are more advantaged than others, I would say those who are Orthodox most of their lives might be judged more strictly than those that are not or who never engaged in the Orthodox Church.

Up to God at the end of day/times.

This has not been my experience. I have found that some people, because of the situation that they were raised in, are simply unable to recognize this. If it were, though, as you say, that God will excuse them because of this, than why even spread the truth of Orthodoxy? If their ignorance is a means of excusing them, why not leave them in ignorance?
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 03:37:08 AM »

Speaking from my own experience. If a person truly seeks the truth they will find Orthodoxy. I ain't getting into a debate over what "truth" is.

Some are more advantaged than others, I would say those who are Orthodox most of their lives might be judged more strictly than those that are not or who never engaged in the Orthodox Church.

Up to God at the end of day/times.

This has not been my experience. I have found that some people, because of the situation that they were raised in, are simply unable to recognize this. If it were, though, as you say, that God will excuse them because of this, than why even spread the truth of Orthodoxy? If their ignorance is a means of excusing them, why not leave them in ignorance?

I asked the same question to a priest on here and I got a response that was, and I'm completely butchering it, is it better to have half the Gospel or the full Gospel?

Unable to recognize truth in their situation? Like what?
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 03:40:24 AM »

Quote
God reads our hearts, he is the one that calls us, to teach us, to nurture us.
It is up to God to move us, to research, to study.

The Orthodox faith has had many converts from all different Christian denominations and some from the Muslim world.

It is only the will of God that can do this ! It is only God that can lead us, and if Orthodoxy starts to evangelise then more people will begin to hear about it, so it is up to you Orthodox to start preaching, talk to us none Orthodox about your faith.

Up until recently Orthodoxy was relatively unknown, and Where I originally came from it was never heard off.

It is up to you and God !

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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 03:45:25 AM »

Speaking from my own experience. If a person truly seeks the truth they will find Orthodoxy. I ain't getting into a debate over what "truth" is.

Some are more advantaged than others, I would say those who are Orthodox most of their lives might be judged more strictly than those that are not or who never engaged in the Orthodox Church.

Up to God at the end of day/times.

This has not been my experience. I have found that some people, because of the situation that they were raised in, are simply unable to recognize this. If it were, though, as you say, that God will excuse them because of this, than why even spread the truth of Orthodoxy? If their ignorance is a means of excusing them, why not leave them in ignorance?

I asked the same question to a priest on here and I got a response that was, and I'm completely butchering it, is it better to have half the Gospel or the full Gospel?

Unable to recognize truth in their situation? Like what?

I've heard something along those lines before, too. It's not that convincing.

Without describing a person's entire life story, imagine a person whose born to a single mother whose in and out of jail because of drug abuse. This person, as a result, would be in and out of orphanages. Personally, it is not a stretch to say that this person's life experiences would give them a radically altered worldview which would make perceiving something such as Orthodoxy a difficult thing. And, unfortunately, this is hardly an appeal to an extreme example, but rather something like it is quite normal.
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 03:55:06 AM »

Speaking from my own experience. If a person truly seeks the truth they will find Orthodoxy. I ain't getting into a debate over what "truth" is.

Some are more advantaged than others, I would say those who are Orthodox most of their lives might be judged more strictly than those that are not or who never engaged in the Orthodox Church.

Up to God at the end of day/times.

This has not been my experience. I have found that some people, because of the situation that they were raised in, are simply unable to recognize this. If it were, though, as you say, that God will excuse them because of this, than why even spread the truth of Orthodoxy? If their ignorance is a means of excusing them, why not leave them in ignorance?

I asked the same question to a priest on here and I got a response that was, and I'm completely butchering it, is it better to have half the Gospel or the full Gospel?

Unable to recognize truth in their situation? Like what?

I've heard something along those lines before, too. It's not that convincing.

Without describing a person's entire life story, imagine a person whose born to a single mother whose in and out of jail because of drug abuse. This person, as a result, would be in and out of orphanages. Personally, it is not a stretch to say that this person's life experiences would give them a radically altered worldview which would make perceiving something such as Orthodoxy a difficult thing. And, unfortunately, this is hardly an appeal to an extreme example, but rather something like it is quite normal.

You seem to be taking God out of the equation !

Look at Saint Paul, who would of thought that somebody like Saint Paul would of become a Christian, never mind somebody that became one of the main reasons that the Christian church now exists.

How did that happen?

He was called by God.

People are called by God everyday, sometimes god needs your help in preaching.

Ask yourself do I want to sit around and wait for someone else To do what God has called me to do myself ?
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 04:04:21 AM »

Speaking from my own experience. If a person truly seeks the truth they will find Orthodoxy. I ain't getting into a debate over what "truth" is.

Some are more advantaged than others, I would say those who are Orthodox most of their lives might be judged more strictly than those that are not or who never engaged in the Orthodox Church.

Up to God at the end of day/times.

This has not been my experience. I have found that some people, because of the situation that they were raised in, are simply unable to recognize this. If it were, though, as you say, that God will excuse them because of this, than why even spread the truth of Orthodoxy? If their ignorance is a means of excusing them, why not leave them in ignorance?

I asked the same question to a priest on here and I got a response that was, and I'm completely butchering it, is it better to have half the Gospel or the full Gospel?

Unable to recognize truth in their situation? Like what?

I've heard something along those lines before, too. It's not that convincing.

Without describing a person's entire life story, imagine a person whose born to a single mother whose in and out of jail because of drug abuse. This person, as a result, would be in and out of orphanages. Personally, it is not a stretch to say that this person's life experiences would give them a radically altered worldview which would make perceiving something such as Orthodoxy a difficult thing. And, unfortunately, this is hardly an appeal to an extreme example, but rather something like it is quite normal.

You seem to be taking God out of the equation !

Look at Saint Paul, who would of thought that somebody like Saint Paul would of become a Christian, never mind somebody that became one of the main reasons that the Christian church now exists.

How did that happen?

He was called by God.

People are called by God everyday, sometimes god needs your help in preaching.

Ask yourself do I want to sit around and wait for someone else To do what God has called me to do myself ?

That is a good point regarding Saint Paul. But, unfortunately, these instances seem so few in comparison to the many who are without God.
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 04:14:27 AM »

How is it fair that some of us are born into Orthodoxy, and others not? How is it fair that some of us are predisposed to be Orthodox because of our childhood habituation, while others are foreign to Orthodoxy and could hardly ever convert because of the way they were raised?

Hello—this is my first post. Figured I may as well jump in. No, it isn't fair. Nothing is. If things were fair in this world, that would be a sign that we are all much further along with God's plans for humanity, I think.

Though having sad all that, cradle Orthodoxy doesn't necessarily inspire faith in all who were "born" into the religion. Plenty of people are only nominally Orthodox, or leave the church for some other church or belief system, or just see the church as a cultural index.
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 04:47:59 AM »

Surely we are not called to Orthodoxy, but to Christ?

I don't mean that the Orthodox Church is not the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but God is in the business of calling and uniting people to Himself and this begins apart from the visible Church in the heart of a person, and continues with a synergy with the Holy Spirit, and God willing ends in union with Christ in His Body, but might not always as God wills and in the state of the world.

I know of many Muslims personally who have been granted some direct vision or intimation of Christ and have become Christians as far as they are able in their circumstances, which may include situations where there are no Christians at all, or where a vocal and indiscrete confession of faith will, and has, led to immediate death. I do not believe that God calls those who cannot respond in the way that we might expect and require in a different situation of relative religious freedom and leaves them unable to fulfill their desire for God.

This is not to say that it is not always best to be found in the visible communion of the Church and receiving the sacraments regularly. But there are a great many people in the world who are responding to the call of God with faith and even with courage and who will not be baptised into any formal and canonical Orthodox community.

We can say several things, it seems to me.

i. From a human point of view we say, 'Sorry you have failed. You do not meet the requirements and so you are doomed, whatever the measure of faith you have in God'.

ii. Or we say, 'God has not left Himself without a witness even among those born into error, or even the worship of demons, and where we have not shared the Gospel, and will not share the Gospel, He himself is speaking to men's hearts and uniting them with himself'.

The second point of view does not negate the normal means which have been revealed to us in the Tradition. But God is not bound by anything. If we will not worship Him then even the stones will. If we cannot, or will not, share the Gospel, then He will do so Himself and will demand no more of those to whom He speaks directly than He chooses.

The doom is surely upon us if we say that we have the truth and know the truth and are the true and only Church and yet do so very little to reach those who are not united with us in a visible and manifest manner.

If we are in a the lifeboat it is indeed the case that it is best to be in the lifeboat with us. It is sturdy and seaworthy. It has capacity to rescue all those who cry out for help. But if a man has been thrown a plank of wood and is clinging onto it, and the lifeboat never approaches him, then he also has some hope for salvation. To say so does not mean that anyone should climb our of the lifeboat and grasp a broken piece of wood. But if a man clings on to the wood as long as he can and as tightly as he can then he might also be saved, either by the lifeboat if it comes over towards him, or by some other agency we cannot imagine. We could not and should not shout out to him, let go of the wood, it will do you no good, unless we are very close in the lifeboat and are able to pluck him from the waters.

Father Peter
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 05:03:00 AM »

Surely we are not called to Orthodoxy, but to Christ?

I don't mean that the Orthodox Church is not the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but God is in the business of calling and uniting people to Himself and this begins apart from the visible Church in the heart of a person, and continues with a synergy with the Holy Spirit, and God willing ends in union with Christ in His Body, but might not always as God wills and in the state of the world.

I know of many Muslims personally who have been granted some direct vision or intimation of Christ and have become Christians as far as they are able in their circumstances, which may include situations where there are no Christians at all, or where a vocal and indiscrete confession of faith will, and has, led to immediate death. I do not believe that God calls those who cannot respond in the way that we might expect and require in a different situation of relative religious freedom and leaves them unable to fulfill their desire for God.

This is not to say that it is not always best to be found in the visible communion of the Church and receiving the sacraments regularly. But there are a great many people in the world who are responding to the call of God with faith and even with courage and who will not be baptised into any formal and canonical Orthodox community.

We can say several things, it seems to me.

i. From a human point of view we say, 'Sorry you have failed. You do not meet the requirements and so you are doomed, whatever the measure of faith you have in God'.

ii. Or we say, 'God has not left Himself without a witness even among those born into error, or even the worship of demons, and where we have not shared the Gospel, and will not share the Gospel, He himself is speaking to men's hearts and uniting them with himself'.

The second point of view does not negate the normal means which have been revealed to us in the Tradition. But God is not bound by anything. If we will not worship Him then even the stones will. If we cannot, or will not, share the Gospel, then He will do so Himself and will demand no more of those to whom He speaks directly than He chooses.

The doom is surely upon us if we say that we have the truth and know the truth and are the true and only Church and yet do so very little to reach those who are not united with us in a visible and manifest manner.

If we are in a the lifeboat it is indeed the case that it is best to be in the lifeboat with us. It is sturdy and seaworthy. It has capacity to rescue all those who cry out for help. But if a man has been thrown a plank of wood and is clinging onto it, and the lifeboat never approaches him, then he also has some hope for salvation. To say so does not mean that anyone should climb our of the lifeboat and grasp a broken piece of wood. But if a man clings on to the wood as long as he can and as tightly as he can then he might also be saved, either by the lifeboat if it comes over towards him, or by some other agency we cannot imagine. We could not and should not shout out to him, let go of the wood, it will do you no good, unless we are very close in the lifeboat and are able to pluck him from the waters.

Father Peter

Father Peter,

I truly appreciate your response, it has helped me in many ways. You have given me hope in this matter, whereas previously I had very little. I will dwell on what you have written, as well as on what everybody else has posted.

On a quick aside, Father Peter, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all of your contributions on this forum. As a college student attempting to understand and grow in my faith, your posts have been so helpful in many, many ways. Having been born and raised in the United States, my Arabic is not very strong, and as a result, I have often had difficulty understanding the finer points of my faith from my Priest. Your posts have been so helpful in this regard. Thank you so much.

Please pray for me.

In Christ,
Bishoy
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 05:10:20 AM »

For everybody who was responded thus far, I really do appreciate your posts. I'm internalizing and dwelling on everything that everybody has said. Thank you.
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2011, 05:18:03 AM »

For everybody who was responded thus far, I really do appreciate your posts. I'm internalizing and dwelling on everything that everybody has said. Thank you.

You are most welcome...!

Absolute and all knowing God,
Nothing is hidden from Your sight.
In the prescience since the beginning,
All knowledge existed within You.
Kindly share Your knowledge with me,
Making me aware of what is meant to be,
Permitting my soul to understand it,
And wisdom to agree with its outcome.
Provide me with the gift of discretion,
To prudently apply received knowledge,
To ensure the fulfillment of Your Will.
Your knowledge shines forth forever!
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2011, 06:07:44 PM »

Selam to all
Dear bishoy,Selam, I too had these thoughts my dear brother at one point in my personal journey in the faith. So here is what I think about regarding those questions you raised, even though most people already have answered you very well.I will refrain from saying this religion or that when it comes to those that do not confess the Orthodox Faith but will speak in general terms.

Unlike the philosophers of the world that emphasized the knowledge of truth / wisdom is in of itself the highest achievement by which the worth of man is measured, the Lord said those that know and do not do the will of the master will be punished because of that very knowledge they possess, more than those who did not know and yet did something that deserve punishment, so those that know are not superior just because of their knowledge in the eyes of the Lord. In fact  everyone to whom much is given much is expected, The lord says on Luke 12:47-48
“That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

 The apostle James also reminds us of this truth James 4:17

“anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.’
so the expectation and the judgement is not the same. When one hears of this and the seriousness of living out the truth we know, some might say its better then not to know, indeed, terrified of the faith that awaits those that knowingly reject the Truth, in comparison to those that did not know the way of righteousness the Apostle Peter also says 2 Peter 2:21 “ it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed to them’’  the Lord also says to the Pharisees  John 9:41 “If you were blind, you would be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remain”, therefore   the Holy Spirit through the prophet Ezekiel also warns us again and again the futility of keeping the saving truth from others and not living in the truth that we know ourselves because they are tied together, Ezekiel 3:17-21, 17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

 Ezekiel 33: 1-9, 1The word of the LORD came to me: 2“Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. 5Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. 6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’
7“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 9But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

The prophet speaks on the mercy and righteousness of the Lord’s judgment Ezekiel 33: 11-16 11Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’
12“Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, ‘The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.’ 13If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done. 14And if I say to the wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right— 15if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die. 16None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live.
  , he then speaks on the justice of the lord 33:17-20 17“Yet your countrymen say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just. 18If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. 19And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so. 20Yet, O house of Israel, you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to his own ways.”

What then of those that hear and reject the truth?  In addition to all the above mentioned points, we see how the lord compares the sin and judgment of that town with the sin and judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (remember what happened to them?) he said ‘I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” This shows certainly that not all are judged the same. Before the law was given to mosses men had the knowledge of good and evil, thus they were judged by that knowledge, and Sodom and Gomorrah chose evil and arrived to the futile destination of their path. But even they will not face the severity of the sin of rejection of the Truth that is reveled to us. Luke 10:8-16 8“When you enter a town and are welcomed eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths
16“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”


As to those that do not put an effort into knowing the truth they have heard of I specially think of those of us who are cradle orthodox but face certain difficulties to delve into the knowledge accessible to us if we were to put on a bit of an effort and commitment to help us live out the truth (be it language, human custom, politics etc.)as difficult as they may be are also addressed thus, “The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.” Matthew 12:42 so to me these words tell me that I need to put more effort to listening to the One who is Wisdom Himself. And stop treating Him and His church as if it is a worldly kingdom and source of cultural pride, for those are the very things that He warns us not to do. So today if we hear his voice let us not harden our hearts.


How about those that never get to know the truth we know out of no fault of their own, and yet they live a just life, as the heart of men know of good and evil, what of them? In this case I look at the story in the Genesis 18:16-32, in this story when Abraham was told of the eminent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as judgment for the evil they were committing, Abraham asks the Lord, “....would you destroy the righteous with the ungodly?.....far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked. That the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from you! shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’’ and indeed the Lord in His infinite wisdom did not find  10 righteous men to save those cities, but He saved those He found righteous from sharing the fate of the wicked. This gives me hope when I think of all those  whom the Lord knows  but that I do not know to be righteous and just in their given situation, He will judge and He will judge justly and in His infinite Mercy that manifests his justice. The Judge of all the earth will do right! , so trusting in this all the other detail of how He does what He does with them I will leave to Him, I know I must keep following Him,  even as to the fate of the beloved apostle , when St.Peter  asked “ Lord, What of this one ?” Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."   John 21: 21-22. So it is not my place to investigate what should be done to whom by God. He rules supreme, His kingdom is of mercy and justice, he knows every star every flower every hair on our head, not one moves without him knowing, and He feeds the blind sparrow. So let us trust that he will provide for those who hunger and thirst for the sake of righteousness. That he will be found for those who seek Him, how is known only to Him, our job is to follow Him as he has commanded and be faithful witnesses to the Truth that is reveled to us.

So as to you and me my dear brother, our task is to follow Him!

May the Peace of the Lord be with us all Amen.

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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2011, 01:28:53 AM »

as someone who grew up protestant, i certainly wish i was brought up Orthodox! however, if it werent for my protestant upbringing, i wouldnt be where i am today.  if it werent for me growing up protestant, i wouldnt have found Orthodoxy.

i wouldnt say it isnt fair.  but i personally believe that even protestants and catholics will still be saved.  i would argue that its better to hear the gospel in a protestant or catholic church than not at all. 

sure, these people may lack a certain "completeness" but if they still have faith in God and live like they have faith in God, then in the end i think they will share with the Orthodox in God's kingdom. 

maybe it wont be until Christ returns that the Church will reunite, but when that happens all the truths will be revealed.  but i dont think that Christians who believe a little different, just because thats how they were brought up and dont know any better, will be excluded from the Kingdom.

just a thought. certainly not to be taken too seriously.  thoughts???
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2011, 01:57:52 AM »

I often wonder if, had I been born Orthodox, I would today be converting to something else, instead of joining the Body of Christ.
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2011, 02:06:05 AM »

I often wonder if, had I been born Orthodox, I would today be converting to something else, instead of joining the Body of Christ.

I have seen it happen many times.
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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