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Author Topic: We are all (the Theotokos included) born in need of redemption?  (Read 2867 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 01, 2012, 06:47:51 PM »

CONTEXT NOTE - This thread started here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,43286.msg716954.html#msg716954

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Dogmatically, I think what makes the RC understanding of Mary problematic is the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, which itself is hinged upon the doctrine of Original Guilt. The Theotokos must be spared original guilt so that she can give birth to Christ (who must be sinless, and therefore cannot be guilty of Adam's sin). Orthodoxy rejects the notion of original guilt outright. We are not personally guilty of the sin of Adam.

Further, removing the Theotokos from our fallen nature also removed Christ from our fallen nature. That is, they have a different nature, an unfallen human nature. However, as the Fathers teach us, "That which is not assumed is not saved." How can Christ redeem our fallen nature if he does not assume it?

This means that, in Orthodoxy, the Theotokos is human just like we are human. She is the great example, not the great exception. There is nothing special about her. She's just as human (and only as human) as anyone else. We can all attain to similar glory, having the same starting point as her ourselves.

However, the idea that the Theotokos is a mediatrix or even a co-redemptrix, I think, does exist in Orthodoxy. However, this does not imply some active participation in the Passion of Christ. No, this ultimate and salvific act belongs to Christ alone. However, the Theotokos brings Christ into the world, and so it is through her that He accomplishes His work. As we sing at Sunday Matins,

"since Thou hast given birth to Christ, thou hast delivered Adam from his sin, thou has given joy to Eve instead of sadness through the God-Man who was borne of thee..."

It is through the Theotokos that Christ accomplishes these things, and we honor her for that participation. However, nothing in this implies that she participates especially in Christ's saving passion. Further, since she inherits the same fallen human nature as the rest of us, she is also in need of redemption through her Son, just as we are.
Quick question for clarification. Is it the Eastern Orthodox position that we are all born in need of redemption?
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 08:47:16 PM »

Dogmatically, I think what makes the RC understanding of Mary problematic is the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, which itself is hinged upon the doctrine of Original Guilt. The Theotokos must be spared original guilt so that she can give birth to Christ (who must be sinless, and therefore cannot be guilty of Adam's sin). Orthodoxy rejects the notion of original guilt outright. We are not personally guilty of the sin of Adam.

Further, removing the Theotokos from our fallen nature also removed Christ from our fallen nature. That is, they have a different nature, an unfallen human nature. However, as the Fathers teach us, "That which is not assumed is not saved." How can Christ redeem our fallen nature if he does not assume it?

This means that, in Orthodoxy, the Theotokos is human just like we are human. She is the great example, not the great exception. There is nothing special about her. She's just as human (and only as human) as anyone else. We can all attain to similar glory, having the same starting point as her ourselves.

However, the idea that the Theotokos is a mediatrix or even a co-redemptrix, I think, does exist in Orthodoxy. However, this does not imply some active participation in the Passion of Christ. No, this ultimate and salvific act belongs to Christ alone. However, the Theotokos brings Christ into the world, and so it is through her that He accomplishes His work. As we sing at Sunday Matins,

"since Thou hast given birth to Christ, thou hast delivered Adam from his sin, thou has given joy to Eve instead of sadness through the God-Man who was borne of thee..."

It is through the Theotokos that Christ accomplishes these things, and we honor her for that participation. However, nothing in this implies that she participates especially in Christ's saving passion. Further, since she inherits the same fallen human nature as the rest of us, she is also in need of redemption through her Son, just as we are.
Quick question for clarification. Is it the Eastern Orthodox position that we are all born in need of redemption?

as far as i know, yes
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 08:50:52 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 09:50:32 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Where does that come from?
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 10:00:16 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Where does that come from?

A response to this:
Dogmatically, I think what makes the RC understanding of Mary problematic is the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, which itself is hinged upon the doctrine of Original Guilt. The Theotokos must be spared original guilt so that she can give birth to Christ (who must be sinless, and therefore cannot be guilty of Adam's sin). Orthodoxy rejects the notion of original guilt outright. We are not personally guilty of the sin of Adam.

Further, removing the Theotokos from our fallen nature also removed Christ from our fallen nature. That is, they have a different nature, an unfallen human nature. However, as the Fathers teach us, "That which is not assumed is not saved." How can Christ redeem our fallen nature if he does not assume it?

This means that, in Orthodoxy, the Theotokos is human just like we are human. She is the great example, not the great exception. There is nothing special about her. She's just as human (and only as human) as anyone else. We can all attain to similar glory, having the same starting point as her ourselves.
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 10:01:33 PM »

Dogmatically, I think what makes the RC understanding of Mary problematic is the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, which itself is hinged upon the doctrine of Original Guilt. The Theotokos must be spared original guilt so that she can give birth to Christ (who must be sinless, and therefore cannot be guilty of Adam's sin). Orthodoxy rejects the notion of original guilt outright. We are not personally guilty of the sin of Adam.

Further, removing the Theotokos from our fallen nature also removed Christ from our fallen nature. That is, they have a different nature, an unfallen human nature. However, as the Fathers teach us, "That which is not assumed is not saved." How can Christ redeem our fallen nature if he does not assume it?

This means that, in Orthodoxy, the Theotokos is human just like we are human. She is the great example, not the great exception. There is nothing special about her. She's just as human (and only as human) as anyone else. We can all attain to similar glory, having the same starting point as her ourselves.

However, the idea that the Theotokos is a mediatrix or even a co-redemptrix, I think, does exist in Orthodoxy. However, this does not imply some active participation in the Passion of Christ. No, this ultimate and salvific act belongs to Christ alone. However, the Theotokos brings Christ into the world, and so it is through her that He accomplishes His work. As we sing at Sunday Matins,

"since Thou hast given birth to Christ, thou hast delivered Adam from his sin, thou has given joy to Eve instead of sadness through the God-Man who was borne of thee..."

It is through the Theotokos that Christ accomplishes these things, and we honor her for that participation. However, nothing in this implies that she participates especially in Christ's saving passion. Further, since she inherits the same fallen human nature as the rest of us, she is also in need of redemption through her Son, just as we are.
Quick question for clarification. Is it the Eastern Orthodox position that we are all born in need of redemption?

as far as i know, yes

This is also my understanding. However, we are not born guilty. The teaching of St. Augustine that all unbaptized infants are cast into hell would be rejected.

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 10:04:47 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.

So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 10:24:57 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.
Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.
So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?

Are you saying that people born bearing the consequences of the fall are altogether incapable of cooperating at all with God's grace before they are baptized?
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 10:32:17 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.
Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.
So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?

Are you saying that people born bearing the consequences of the fall are altogether incapable of cooperating at all with God's grace before they are baptized?

No. Are you saying that people bearing the consequences of the fall are capable of cooperating fully with God's Grace before they are baptized?
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 10:33:42 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.

So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?

That's Pelagianism, which is a condemned heresy.

You seem to be missing the point. Mary was preserved by God's grace as sinless and bore Christ in her womb. She is a woman who united herself to God, and yet she does not attain salvation through her own sinlessness, because she is a still a fallen human being. In the end, the the Blessed Virgin dies, her body given over to the earth. It is only through the power and grace of her Son that she is raised from her dormition and assumed into heaven.

If we learn anything from the tradition of the Theotokos' sinlessness, I think it should be that our own works profit us nothing if we have not united ourselves to Christ.
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 10:38:13 PM »

That's Pelagianism, which is a condemned heresy.

Precisely.

Mary was preserved by God's grace as sinless and bore Christ in her womb.

Preserved when?

She is a woman who united herself to God,

Was she worthy before the angel spoke to her?

and yet she does not attain salvation through her own sinlessness,

Irrelevant. Salvation isn't a matter of sinfulness, in an of itself.

because she is a still a fallen human being. In the end, the the Blessed Virgin dies, her body given over to the earth. It is only through the power and grace of her Son that she is raised from her dormition and assumed into heaven.

True.

If we learn anything from the tradition of the Theotokos' sinlessness, I think it should be that our own works profit us nothing if we have not united ourselves to Christ.

How was she sinless?
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 10:47:36 PM »

Okay, let's go point-by-point.

That's Pelagianism, which is a condemned heresy.

Precisely.

Good, we agree.

Mary was preserved by God's grace as sinless and bore Christ in her womb.

Preserved when?

Preserved...permanently? Sin is an ever-present possibility. By uniting her own will to that of God's, the Theotokos does not willfully sin.

She is a woman who united herself to God,

Was she worthy before the angel spoke to her?

I don't believe that's my determination to make, sir. Regardless, she was worthy (hindsight being 20/20 and all).

and yet she does not attain salvation through her own sinlessness,

Irrelevant. Salvation isn't a matter of sinfulness, in an of itself.

But it's definitely related. Salvation is the unity of the human being to God (theosis), but sin prevents that unity. Regardless, the Blessed Virgin is born into a fallen state like the rest of humanity.

because she is a still a fallen human being. In the end, the the Blessed Virgin dies, her body given over to the earth. It is only through the power and grace of her Son that she is raised from her dormition and assumed into heaven.

True.

Agreement again.

If we learn anything from the tradition of the Theotokos' sinlessness, I think it should be that our own works profit us nothing if we have not united ourselves to Christ.

How was she sinless?

The tradition I'm defending, as I understand it, holds the the Theotokos was free from voluntary (i.e., willful) sin. However, it is possible or even likely she committed involuntary sin.
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 10:50:16 PM »

No. Are you saying that people bearing the consequences of the fall are capable of cooperating fully with God's Grace before they are baptized?

Baptism isn't about being able to cooperate with grace, it's about being united to Christ through His death and resurrection.
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2012, 11:12:38 PM »

No. Are you saying that people bearing the consequences of the fall are capable of cooperating fully with God's Grace before they are baptized?

Baptism isn't about being able to cooperate with grace, it's about being united to Christ through His death and resurrection.

Those are pretty words to avoid the fundamental nature of what Baptism does.
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 12:09:52 AM »

No. Are you saying that people bearing the consequences of the fall are capable of cooperating fully with God's Grace before they are baptized?

Baptism isn't about being able to cooperate with grace, it's about being united to Christ through His death and resurrection.

Those are pretty words to avoid the fundamental nature of what Baptism does.

And what is it that baptism does? Does it prevent us from sinning? Does it enable the acquisition of grace?
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 08:52:01 AM »

John 3:
Quote
5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

and in parallel, later in John 6:
Quote
53 Then Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen, I say unto you: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

And then in the 419 Council of Carthage canons that were made ecumenical at the Quinisext Council:
Quote
Canon CX.  (Greek cxii. bis)
That infants are baptized for the remission of sins.

Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.
For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin is come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned,” than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it.  For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.

Canon CXI.  (Greek cxiij.)
That the grace of God not only gives remission of sins, but also affords aid that we sin no more.

Likewise it seemed good, that whoever should say that the grace of God, by which a man is justified through Jesus Christ our Lord, avails only for the remission of past sins, and not for assistance against committing sins in the future, let him be anathema.

Canon CXII.  (Greek cxiij. continued.)
That the grace of Christ gives not only the knowledge of our duty, but also inspires us with a desire that we may be able to accomplish what we know.

Also, whoever shall say that the same grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord helps us only in not sinning by revealing to us and opening to our understanding the commandments, so that we may know what to seek, what we ought to avoid, and also that we should love to do so, but that through it we are not helped so that we are able to do what we know we should do, let him be anathema.  For when the Apostle says:  “Wisdom puffeth up, but charity edifieth” it were truly infamous were we to believe that we have the grace of Christ for that which puffeth us up, but have it not for that which edifieth, since in each case it is the gift of God, both to know what we ought to do, and to love to do it; so that wisdom cannot puff us up while charity is edifying us.  For as of God it is written, “Who teacheth man knowledge,” so also it is written, “Love is of God.”

Canon CXIII.  (Greek cxiiii.)
That without the grace of God we can do no good thing.

It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification was given to us only that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were ordered to do through our free will; as if though grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema.  For the Lord spake concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said:  “Without me ye can do nothing,” and not “Without me ye could do it but with difficulty.”
starting on http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.iv.cxi.html

The last one directly answers this discussion.

Baptism fills us with Grace in a special and unique way. Baptism not only remits sins, but also regenerates us. What is regeneration? It removes Original Sin (NOT ABOUT GUILT!) so that we may be reunited with God in His Grace (in this unique way), cleanse the darkening of our minds and concupiscence (which Mary had) that we could not otherwise resist.
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 12:54:33 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 04:51:00 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.

So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2012, 06:35:03 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.

So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

I think she was very holy before the annunciation...as much as a person can be before the incarnation.
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2012, 06:40:54 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.
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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2012, 08:52:53 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.

Not 'exempt', despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant. Enoch would certainly need to be preserved at some point in his life, if we are to understand the OT scriptures to mean something similar to that of Mary's gift. However, John the Baptist also received the Holy Spirit early (the womb), so the argument that she is singularly gifted by God through blessing is also incorrect. Before the RC dogma, some theologumena in the Latin west held her special Grace to have been bestowed in the womb at a similar time as St. John. This opinion was most notably held by St. Thomas Aquinas.
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2012, 08:53:02 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.

So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

I think she was very holy before the annunciation...as much as a person can be before the incarnation.

So, no.
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2012, 04:17:15 AM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.

So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

I think she was very holy before the annunciation...as much as a person can be before the incarnation.

So, no.

eh? I don't see why what I said exludes the possibility of being sinless...
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2012, 08:41:29 AM »

despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant.

We're gonna have to just disagree on this.
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2012, 09:22:46 AM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.

So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

I think she was very holy before the annunciation...as much as a person can be before the incarnation.

So, no.

eh? I don't see why what I said exludes the possibility of being sinless...

Because if she didn't receive Grace similar to Baptism until the Annunciation, then there were 15 previous years of unbaptized Mary running around. If we are incapable of resisting sin without the Grace of God through regeneration, then she would have sinned. Even 60 year old holy monks have trouble resisting our nature, and that's with ALL the sacraments.
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2012, 11:59:00 AM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.  We know that the Holy Spirit was upon her when she was in the Holy of Holies. If there was ever a "singular grace", I would say it was Our Lady's life in the Holy of Holies. 
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2012, 01:08:30 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.  We know that the Holy Spirit was upon her when she was in the Holy of Holies. If there was ever a "singular grace", I would say it was Our Lady's life in the Holy of Holies. 

That's a good point, but didn't she get offered by Anne and Joachim to to fulfill a promise to God to do so? And doesn't Tradition say she was recognized as already Holy by the priest Zacharias?

Hymns
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Entrance_of_the_Theotokos
Quote
Troparion (Tone 4) [1]
Today is the preview of the good will of God,
Of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
The Virgin appears in the temple of God,
In anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
Let us rejoice and sing to her: Rejoice,
0 Divine Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
The most pure Temple of the Savior;
The precious Chamber and Virgin;
The sacred Treasure of the glory of God,
Is presented today to the house of the Lord.
She brings with her the grace of the Spirit,
Therefore, the angels of God praise her:
"Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."


Forefeast hymn

Troparion (Tone 4)
Today Anna bequeaths joy to all instead of sorrow by bringing forth her fruit, the only ever-Virgin.
In fulfillment of her vow,
Today with joy she brings to the temple of the Lord
the true temple and pure Mother of God the Word.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
Today the universe is filled with joy
At the glorious feast of the Mother of God, and cries out:
"She is the heavenly tabernacle."
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2012, 01:08:56 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.  We know that the Holy Spirit was upon her when she was in the Holy of Holies. If there was ever a "singular grace", I would say it was Our Lady's life in the Holy of Holies. 

Are you trying to make this thread crazier than it has become?
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2012, 11:05:25 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2012, 11:14:42 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?

Whose form of original sin are you referring to, The Orthodox Christian or the later Roman Catholic definition.
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2012, 11:15:54 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.  We know that the Holy Spirit was upon her when she was in the Holy of Holies. If there was ever a "singular grace", I would say it was Our Lady's life in the Holy of Holies. 

That's a good point, but didn't she get offered by Anne and Joachim to to fulfill a promise to God to do so? And doesn't Tradition say she was recognized as already Holy by the priest Zacharias?

Hymns
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Entrance_of_the_Theotokos
Quote
Troparion (Tone 4) [1]
Today is the preview of the good will of God,
Of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
The Virgin appears in the temple of God,
In anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
Let us rejoice and sing to her: Rejoice,
0 Divine Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
The most pure Temple of the Savior;
The precious Chamber and Virgin;
The sacred Treasure of the glory of God,
Is presented today to the house of the Lord.
She brings with her the grace of the Spirit,
Therefore, the angels of God praise her:
"Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."


Forefeast hymn

Troparion (Tone 4)
Today Anna bequeaths joy to all instead of sorrow by bringing forth her fruit, the only ever-Virgin.
In fulfillment of her vow,
Today with joy she brings to the temple of the Lord
the true temple and pure Mother of God the Word.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
Today the universe is filled with joy
At the glorious feast of the Mother of God, and cries out:
"She is the heavenly tabernacle."

Orthodoxwiki aside, what book do they quote this from?
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2012, 11:18:06 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.

So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

I think she was very holy before the annunciation...as much as a person can be before the incarnation.

So, no.

eh? I don't see why what I said exludes the possibility of being sinless...

Because if she didn't receive Grace similar to Baptism until the Annunciation, then there were 15 previous years of unbaptized Mary running around. If we are incapable of resisting sin without the Grace of God through regeneration, then she would have sinned. Even 60 year old holy monks have trouble resisting our nature, and that's with ALL the sacraments.

all the sacraments?  Orthodox Christians do not define how many sacraments there are, as we call them mysteries.  It's a Roman Catholic thing to number the sacraments. 
I don't think you can compare a monk with the theotokos.
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2012, 11:19:02 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?

Whose form of original sin are you referring to, The Orthodox Christian or the later Roman Catholic definition.

Either one. Did she need to be baptised if she was spotless?
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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2012, 11:20:56 PM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.

So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?

So you are suggesting a created grace versus uncreated grace.  Orthodox Christians believe in uncreated grace not created grace.  Grace is always present, it isn't afforded to someone vis-a-vis a token act that grace is given as a reward.
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2012, 11:22:25 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?

Whose form of original sin are you referring to, The Orthodox Christian or the later Roman Catholic definition.

Either one. Did she need to be baptised if she was spotless?

Jews are baptized, I'm sure she was baptized.  Jesus was baptized.  Why wouldn't Mary not be baptized.  Food for thought, was Jesus baptized twice?  Once per Judaism and once per John the Baptizer?
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2012, 11:23:40 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?

Whose form of original sin are you referring to, The Orthodox Christian or the later Roman Catholic definition.

Either one. Did she need to be baptised if she was spotless?

But Orthodox don't see baptism as "washing away the original sin."  The original sin for us is that we are left with its mark, that we have the capability to sin. 
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« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2012, 12:58:57 AM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.

So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?
We're bound by baptism. God isn't.

On a related note, I think this thread needs to be burned as a spotless sacrifice.
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2012, 04:08:45 AM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.

Not 'exempt', despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant. Enoch would certainly need to be preserved at some point in his life, if we are to understand the OT scriptures to mean something similar to that of Mary's gift. However, John the Baptist also received the Holy Spirit early (the womb), so the argument that she is singularly gifted by God through blessing is also incorrect. Before the RC dogma, some theologumena in the Latin west held her special Grace to have been bestowed in the womb at a similar time as St. John. This opinion was most notably held by St. Thomas Aquinas.

And from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2012, 09:41:18 AM »

all the sacraments?  Orthodox Christians do not define how many sacraments there are, as we call them mysteries.  It's a Roman Catholic thing to number the sacraments. 

I knew someone would play the name game card, and try to pull this down in irrelevancies.

I like the name "sacrament". I'm not going to change that.

I don't think you can compare a monk with the theotokos.

You're right. A monk has 30 - 60 years of experience in life and Graces of the fulfilled Church. The Theotokos has 15 years before the Annunciation. She definitely had it harder.
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2012, 09:43:59 AM »

Orthodoxwiki aside, what book do they quote this from?
How about you prove they are incorrect. They mimic the Tradition of the presentation, earliest written form being the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James that was written in the second century.
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« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2012, 09:45:15 AM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.

So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?

So you are suggesting a created grace versus uncreated grace.  Orthodox Christians believe in uncreated grace not created grace.  Grace is always present, it isn't afforded to someone vis-a-vis a token act that grace is given as a reward.

You're trying too hard. Unless you really think Baptism is overrated.
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« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2012, 09:46:05 AM »

So, the fallen, unbaptized, woman remained sinless through her own effort and won the worth of bearing God.

Ummm...no. She remained sinless through the grace of God, though it was her own will that she had to submit to the will of God.

So, baptism is really overrated then? We could otherwise just pray really hard to gain that kind of Grace?
We're bound by baptism. God isn't.

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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2012, 09:47:06 AM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.

Not 'exempt', despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant. Enoch would certainly need to be preserved at some point in his life, if we are to understand the OT scriptures to mean something similar to that of Mary's gift. However, John the Baptist also received the Holy Spirit early (the womb), so the argument that she is singularly gifted by God through blessing is also incorrect. Before the RC dogma, some theologumena in the Latin west held her special Grace to have been bestowed in the womb at a similar time as St. John. This opinion was most notably held by St. Thomas Aquinas.

And from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

Agreed, but so what.
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« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2012, 10:46:49 AM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.

Not 'exempt', despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant. Enoch would certainly need to be preserved at some point in his life, if we are to understand the OT scriptures to mean something similar to that of Mary's gift. However, John the Baptist also received the Holy Spirit early (the womb), so the argument that she is singularly gifted by God through blessing is also incorrect. Before the RC dogma, some theologumena in the Latin west held her special Grace to have been bestowed in the womb at a similar time as St. John. This opinion was most notably held by St. Thomas Aquinas.

And from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

I think it really goes beyond the level of pious opinion to the level of heresy.  To argue for the immaculate conception is to argue for a host of positions which are heretical.
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« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2012, 09:41:38 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?

Whose form of original sin are you referring to, The Orthodox Christian or the later Roman Catholic definition.

Either one. Did she need to be baptised if she was spotless?

But Orthodox don't see baptism as "washing away the original sin."  The original sin for us is that we are left with its mark, that we have the capability to sin. 
Was Mary spotless before her baptism?
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