Author Topic: Are we "born without grace"?  (Read 1757 times)

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Offline chaldobyzantine

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Are we "born without grace"?
« on: December 10, 2011, 02:57:13 AM »
This is an issue that confuses me deeply. I understand the Roman Catholic viewpoint that we are all "born without grace" as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, that the Theotokos had this grace from God since her conception, hence the term Immaculate Conception. This grace is given to all of us when we are baptized, or improperly termed as "the washing away of Original Sin". I think this theology is all attributed to St. Augustine's theology concerning Original Sin. However I am not Roman Catholic.

I need to know what the Orthodox Church views on this issue. Are we all "born without grace"? Was the Theotokos the only one born with that Grace which we have all lacked after Adam and Eve. Does baptism give us this grace, or is that the Catholic terminology for what the Bible says "being born of water and being born of the Holy Spirit?"

Please cite bible verses, Saints, authors, and the websites you contribute your answers to.

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Offline Knee V

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 03:04:02 AM »
"In Him we live and move and have our being." We don't exist without grace.

Offline Timon

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 12:05:08 PM »
Youre right that it does come back to the different teachings on original sin.  It is my understanding in the Orthodox Church (and if I am wrong, someone please correct me!) that anything you can say about Mary regarding grace/original sin/etc., can also be said about us.  The RC church teaches that we are guilty of original sin where the Orthodox teach that we arent guilty but we do suffer the consequences. (The consequences would be pain, suffering, death, etc. I personally dont think I can be guilty of something that happened so many milleniums before i was born...)

Now, if you say that we are all guilty of original sin, that would include the Theotokos.  That is where the dogma of the immaculate conception (in the RC church) comes in to play.  The Orthodox dont teach the immaculate conception (although some Orthodox may believe it) because its not necessary since they dont teach that we are guilty of original/ancestral sin.  The Orthodox do say that Mary did not sin, but it wasnt because of some special conception.  She was perfectly capable of sinning, but she simply did not do it.

Id wait for more responses because I very well could be wrong... This certainly can be a confusing issue.




Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

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Offline Alpo

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 12:58:26 PM »
Btw, what does the various High Church Anglicans and Episcolians believe on this? Do they believe in immaculate conception?
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Timon

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 01:29:02 PM »
Btw, what does the various High Church Anglicans and Episcolians believe on this? Do they believe in immaculate conception?

I think it depends. The Anglican church I attend pretty much believe the same thing the Orthodox do.  In fact, I wouldnt be surprised if one day they became an Orthodox parish!  Just like most protestant churches, their teachings on this probably vary somewhat from parish to parish.
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 04:22:09 PM »
we were all made in the image of God, is this not some form of grace?

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 04:59:34 PM »
This is an issue that confuses me deeply. I understand the Roman Catholic viewpoint that we are all "born without grace" as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, that the Theotokos had this grace from God since her conception, hence the term Immaculate Conception. This grace is given to all of us when we are baptized, or improperly termed as "the washing away of Original Sin". I think this theology is all attributed to St. Augustine's theology concerning Original Sin. However I am not Roman Catholic.


If you would permit me to try to track this a little better:  In the west it is not taught that we are born without grace at all.  In fact the very breath of life is grace.

What we lack is the ability to respond directly to God's saving grace: we are conceived in spiritual darkness:  Another way of saying that is to say that we are conceived, actually, as persons without benefit of God's original justice:  And that practically means that we are conceived as persons with an intellect or nous that is darkened, and a will that is weak in its ability to move toward the good.

If you miss this then it becomes very difficult to compare with any accuracy.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 05:19:59 PM »
This is an issue that confuses me deeply. I understand the Roman Catholic viewpoint that we are all "born without grace" as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, that the Theotokos had this grace from God since her conception, hence the term Immaculate Conception. This grace is given to all of us when we are baptized, or improperly termed as "the washing away of Original Sin". I think this theology is all attributed to St. Augustine's theology concerning Original Sin. However I am not Roman Catholic.


If you would permit me to try to track this a little better:  In the west it is not taught that we are born without grace at all.  In fact the very breath of life is grace.

What we lack is the ability to respond directly to God's saving grace: we are conceived in spiritual darkness:  Another way of saying that is to say that we are conceived, actually, as persons without benefit of God's original justice:  And that practically means that we are conceived as persons with an intellect or nous that is darkened, and a will that is weak in its ability to move toward the good.

If you miss this then it becomes very difficult to compare with any accuracy.

what is this original justice? i've never heard of that before...

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 06:31:55 PM »
This is an issue that confuses me deeply. I understand the Roman Catholic viewpoint that we are all "born without grace" as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, that the Theotokos had this grace from God since her conception, hence the term Immaculate Conception. This grace is given to all of us when we are baptized, or improperly termed as "the washing away of Original Sin". I think this theology is all attributed to St. Augustine's theology concerning Original Sin. However I am not Roman Catholic.


If you would permit me to try to track this a little better:  In the west it is not taught that we are born without grace at all.  In fact the very breath of life is grace.

What we lack is the ability to respond directly to God's saving grace: we are conceived in spiritual darkness:  Another way of saying that is to say that we are conceived, actually, as persons without benefit of God's original justice:  And that practically means that we are conceived as persons with an intellect or nous that is darkened, and a will that is weak in its ability to move toward the good.

If you miss this then it becomes very difficult to compare with any accuracy.

what is this original justice? i've never heard of that before...

Original justice is the "good" of God's human creation: God's justice is the right ordering of creation before the fall.  Adam and Eve were brought into being with the ability to communicate with God and be illuminated by grace, and their will was not weakened by the knowledge of evil, so that concupiscence did not weaken the will.   Humankind lost that original good order through the ancestral sin.

Offline chaldobyzantine

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011, 12:25:46 AM »
Thank you all for your responses. I am most familiar with the response that Timon gave, but what elijahmaria responded is new to me.

Can you elaborate if the concept of "original justice" is accepted by the Orthodox Church, who originated this theology, and where I can read more about it?

I encourage as many responses as possible from everyone so we all come to a consensus.  ;)

Thank you.  :)
Proclaim the wonder, O Joseph, to David, the ancestor of God:
you saw a Virgin great with Child, you gave glory with the shepherds,
you worshipped with the Magi, you received the news from the angel.
Pray to Christ God to save our souls!

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Are we "born without grace"?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2011, 12:47:50 AM »
"In Him we live and move and have our being." We don't exist without grace.

We and nothing else. Probably enough to ponder for a life time.

But we will dice this up finely as has been since, well forever.