Please understand it is not out of conflict or challenge, but pure curiosity, which I ask if you would still consider me Gnostic?
I have to say yes.
I'm not denying that there appears to be a good amount of truth to much of your post. But where you start to veer off is at the moment of truth. That is the Eucharist. To us the body and blood are a real reality and intertwined into our salvation and deification. We believe salvation is reached on earth here and now. We don't project it to the time of judgment. We don't believe the body of Christ is an event yet to be for-filled. We also believe the body of Christ is and are those who through a relationship with Christ have become sanctified in life and exist now along with those working towards salvation. Your thoughts are that people outside of the institutionalized confides of a church are sanctified through social events leading up to the life changing event. Your clergy are powerless so to speak and the sacraments are void of any life giving powers. You are projecting the church to be visible after the judgment. While we have a visible church now.
While I would never confine gods moving grace to just the walls of Orthodoxy. I hope you can see that our vision of church is what separates us. That is why I have chosen to use the words gnosis for your belief system.
First off let me thank you for your honest and polite reply. I remind myself I am not the most prolific writer and often misstate my thoughts. This appears to perhaps be one of those occasions. It is also imperative to me to reiterate that the very best I can do is state what I believe and to a lesser extent what is taught and believed at the Church I pray following Wesleyan doctrine. As mentioned by myself and others it is not possible to lump the beliefs and views of all Protestants together or get a generalization from one denomination that represents all. What you are claiming might very well apply to many.
I agree with what I put in bold of your first paragraph. When I say ‘cooperate’ with Grace and ‘prepare ones heart’ I very much mean with the presence of our Living God in the here and now. Grace to my understanding is His actual Living Presence in our lives. Whatever the afterlife shall bring, and whatever disagreement we may have of Hell or Hades, Heaven or Paradise, I fully accept that it is not solely a place or some future event, but a state of ones soul that begins here on earth. Here, and in the present, we may first come in touch with the Divine. Christ has risen, is very much alive, and very much in our lives. As far as the way you view the Eucharist pertaining to salvation; as mentioned I have not learned enough yet to truly understand. By comparison could there be a lack of ‘fullness’ in the way a Wesleyan Protestant approaches this? Yes, I’m beginning to realize that may be the case. I would hardly think that makes me Gnostic but as mentioned we may have different definitions of what Gnosticism is.
Your second paragraph I will assume is a misunderstanding, or misstatement on my end, or a generalization of Protestants that I simply deny for myself. With that said there is some truth in the fact that we probably see our clergy in a different light. I respect that you may then see our view of sacraments as void. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I am still on this earth and as a repenting sinner proof to myself they are not void.
With regards to your third paragraph I will comment that yes, I am beginning to see the Orthodox ‘vision’ of Church as something ‘separate’ from the views I have been exposed to. Just for the record I have a reverence and respect for what I am learning there of. I wouldn’t be here otherwise! We do agree at least in not confining God’s grace.
We have several significant differences that I am not trying to down play, yet, still fail to see how that makes me Gnostic to my understanding of the term. What is important, perhaps all that is truly important, is that you perceive to have found Truth and Understanding in Orthodoxy and I would agree you have, by the grace of God. One should never turn from such Truth. I am thankful that by God’s Grace I am being led from darkness to His light on a path that I believe has Truth and Understanding as well. It is best I not turn from such a path as I believe God has led me, while leaving my heart open to take any redirection He gives as I seek to die to self and live in Him.
To the OP that I have veered from I fear, I repeat that yes, some Protestants at least clearly believe Christ was both fully man and fully God. My understanding of both Wesleyan and Orthodox theology could not work in any other way.
Peace be with you!