Author Topic: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church  (Read 7654 times)

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Offline loser

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No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« on: October 26, 2012, 10:39:35 AM »
I was reading some writings of early church fathers such as Ignatius, Cyprian, Augustine, who said that there is no hope of salvation in a schismatic church, even if sacraments are valid. I was reading that, even after the Great schism in the 11th century, many Catholic Popes continued to teach that there is no salvation outside of their church.

My question is: Are there any post-schism EOC fathers who feel that there is no salvation outside the Eastern Orthodox Church?

I know many of you will want to tell me "We know where the Holy Spirit is but we dont know where he is not..." I have heard plenty of that. But it seems that St Cyprian and the others are challenging this opinion. They say that there is no hope in a schismatic church.


I included the source for their writings below, lest anyone suppose that I have misinterpreted them. I think its pretty clear how they feel:

http://www.staycatholic.com/ecf_salvation_outside_the_church.htm
http://www.catholic.com/tracts/salvation-outside-the-church

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 11:28:58 AM »
Why would Oriental Orthodox even care about what the EO think of their salvation? I don't think many EO worry about what the OO think about their salvation.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 11:30:14 AM »
There is not.

There are three "steps" to salvation.

1) Universal salvation from death (Full expression of Mercy) - this is what Jesus did for all humanity with His incarnation and resurrection. By uniting human and divine nature in His person, we all will be resurrected in the last day;

2) Final Spiritual Salvation (Full expression of Justice) - this is the salvation most people talk about, the one in which the sheep will be separated from the goats. Christ is very clear that the only criteria for that is how much we have loved our neighbor, and Himself above everything else. In sum, how much we have loved, thus becoming images of love ourselves; The "sheep" will be Church Triumphant. Those who are outside but loved will be put inside. Those who are inside but hardened their hearts will be vomited out;

3) Present Salvation (Temple of the Holy Spirit in Time, Provision of Mercy, Prefiguration of Justice) - this is the Orthodox Church, an eucharistized community that not only is guided by the Holy Spirit, but is inhabitted by Him, from which the Grace of Salvation shines forth sustaining the Universe. Because it is a material thing it is delimited, visible community in which participation implies spiritual  (right faith), mental (right doctrine) and bodily (right worship, throughout geography and history) aspects and in which individuals often fail in one or even all of those aspects. In Time, there is a mix of people in the Orthodox Church. Some do not let the energy of Salvation act on them. Others give up themselves so fully, salvation shines from them even visibly - the Uncreated Light.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 11:38:40 AM »
Salvation, being an Energy of God, is manifested in the lokeness of Christ. In His first coming, He came kenotically, not seen by everybody, not fully understood even by those who saw Him. In His second coming, He will be in the fullness of His Gloy.

Likewise with Salvation. Like Christ was in a particular, visible, delimited body, Salvation is in  particuar, visible, delimited body. Why only people who could physically reach Christ (or had someone to intercede for them) had the "privilege" of being healed by Him? Why some people were not healed although they had Him for so many time? And why Salvation in the present time, which is the Church, occurs exatly in the same way? I don't know.

The point is that Salvation exists in the Church only. Being saved means being moved in and out of it. In the duration of time, this placement is always provisory. In the Last Judgement we will have the definitive movement and where we will be put will last forever.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline IoanC

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 12:12:42 PM »
It really depends on what you mean by salvation outside The Orthodox Church. If you mean that unless you are an Orthodox Christian in this life, you go to hell, then that's not accurate. God may choose to save a person after death, if they haven't had a chance to become Orthodox in this life. Reality is that by saving such a person, it is implied that they do become Orthodox after death. Yet, if you want to get saved NOW, yes, there is no salvation outside The Orthodox Church. All Fathers should agree to this because it really is basic Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:13:50 PM by IoanC »

Offline loser

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 12:47:20 PM »
Thanks for your replies, guys. Its good to see that some of you (or at least 1 of you) respect the teachings of the fathers.

But I was hoping you could provide me with quotes from post-schism fathers which explicitly say that there is no salvation outside the EOC.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:48:47 PM by loser »

Offline dzheremi

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 01:41:43 PM »
I'm with Cyrillic...why would it matter? Post-schism EO fathers may say one thing, but all of the pre-schism fathers you've presented in the two Roman Catholic links (with the exception of Fulgentius of Ruspe, who is post-Chalcedon) come from the same Church, which OO and EO alike recognize as being the Orthodox Church. The division happened later, so whether the later Fathers seem to agree with the pre-schism ones (as Fulgentius seems to) or not, it doesn't really matter, as they're no longer talking about the pre-Chalcedonian Church, which again is the Church that both sides recognize as Orthodox, and hence would say that the "no salvation" principle applies to. (In other words, the question really is "which of communions that claim that this saying applies to them is actually the pre-Chalcedonian Church?" I would think that anyone who ponders this question would be satisfied within themselves that they know the answer, even if it differs from the answer another person would give.)

It makes no more sense to be concerned with what post-schism EOs think about those outside of their communion than it does to be worried about what post-schism Romans think about the same, and I really doubt any person, whether EO or OO, loses too much sleep over that.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 08:12:26 PM »
If any non-Orthodox are saved, it is precisely through the overflowing grace of the Orthodox Church.
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Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 04:01:42 AM »
Many Catholic Christians also pursue a holiness life and to have communion with God, like Francis of Assisi, Mother teresa,etc.  Do Orthodox Christians think that they can be saved?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 04:04:20 AM by walter1234 »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 04:25:29 AM »
Yes
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Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 04:31:46 AM »
If non -orthodox Christians can also be saved , what is the role of Church on men's salvation?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 04:34:40 AM by walter1234 »

Offline Gorazd

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 04:42:28 AM »

Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 04:59:40 AM »
Quote
For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!  (2 Corinthians 11:4)  

Quote
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians chapter 1:8  )

Satisfaction theory atonement was fully completed by Anselm of Canterbury in 11st centruy.

Can Satisfaction theory atonement consider as the true gospel which the Apostles preached in 1st century? Or it is other gospel?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 05:15:46 AM by walter1234 »

Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2012, 08:26:38 AM »
When wondering about salvation: Pray to God.
When worrying about salvation: Pray to God.
When focusing too much about salvation (alone, not in it`s entire form-works): Pray to God
When in doubt about the Church`s role in salvation: Pray to God

Pray, pray and pray (till you drop or fall asleep).
And I am not joking, praying is always the way to all answers.
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Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2012, 08:32:39 AM »
When wondering about salvation: Pray to God.
When worrying about salvation: Pray to God.
When focusing too much about salvation (alone, not in it`s entire form-works): Pray to God
When in doubt about the Church`s role in salvation: Pray to God

Pray, pray and pray (till you drop or fall asleep).
And I am not joking, praying is always the way to all answers.
Christians in Charismatic and Pentecostal church also emphasize on and always praying and worship(I am a former Charistmatic)...
Catholic Christians also always fast and pray...

Why do they still cannot know the truth, the true gospel and true Jesus?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 08:35:00 AM by walter1234 »

Offline Nathanael

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2012, 08:46:03 AM »
Salvation according Silouan the Athonite:

Fr Sophrony maintains that Saint Silouan was no Origenist. St Silouan insists that our loving intercession should extend even to those in hell, we are to sorrow ‘over those who are not saved and to weep for those ‘who do not know God’. Further than this, however, he does not go. With characteristic reticence, he avoids all speculation about a final apocatastasis. He does not attempt to specify who can be saved and who cannot; that is a mystery known at present only to God. For his part he answers only with the words, ‘I do not know’:

"Father Cassian used to say that all heretics would perish. I do not know about this – my trust is only in the Orthodox Church"

source: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2012/09/the-salvation-of-world-according-to-st.html

Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2012, 08:50:02 AM »
Fasting and praying is the only way to fight the evil (outside and inside of us). No other remedies works. It makes our closeness and relationship to God stronger. God is the only way to salvation. I cannot speak for you or anyone other here or anywhere else.

But this is what leads me to the one, only and true church. The hospital for us poor sinners (that I am the foremost of) seeking The Holy Spirit`s mercy and salvation.

Remember what Holy Seraphim of Sarov said: - The meaning of life is to acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit.
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Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 12:06:18 PM »
communion with God

The filioque-God?
I've heard A protestant friend even say that Father equal Jesus and Jesus equal Holy spirit.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2012, 12:09:31 PM »
communion with God

The filioque-God?
I've heard A protestant friend even say that Father equal Jesus and Jesus equal Holy spirit.

That could be interpreted both in an orthodox and a sabbelian sense.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2012, 11:59:10 PM »
If any non-Orthodox are saved, it is precisely through the overflowing grace of the Orthodox Church.

What if it was a tribal child in rural Africa who was never exposed to the Eastern Orthodox church?
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Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2012, 11:24:21 AM »
Since Jesus is the only one and only name which can save us. We are saved by Jesus, not by Church.What is the role of Church in men's salvation?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 11:26:14 AM by walter1234 »

Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2012, 11:35:09 AM »
The Church is Christ`s body and through God salvation is possible.
Get books, read, pray and find a priest you can talk to.

In all humbleness, this will not lead you to any good learning curves. I was like this myself 5-6-7 months ago.
There are so many great resources out there, use them and you will see, a whole new world opens in front of you.

Blessings from Norway.
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Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2012, 12:04:42 PM »
The Church is Christ`s body and through God salvation is possible.
Get books, read, pray and find a priest you can talk to.

In all humbleness, this will not lead you to any good learning curves. I was like this myself 5-6-7 months ago.
There are so many great resources out there, use them and you will see, a whole new world opens in front of you.

Blessings from Norway.
What does 'this' refer to?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 12:05:06 PM by walter1234 »

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2012, 06:40:20 PM »
Since Jesus is the only one and only name which can save us. We are saved by Jesus, not by Church.What is the role of Church in men's salvation?
The Church is the means by which you know Jesus.
If you will, you can become all flame.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2012, 06:40:58 PM »
If any non-Orthodox are saved, it is precisely through the overflowing grace of the Orthodox Church.

What if it was a tribal child in rural Africa who was never exposed to the Eastern Orthodox church?
That child nonetheless is exposed to the Law in his/her Heart.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2012, 09:44:32 PM »
If any non-Orthodox are saved, it is precisely through the overflowing grace of the Orthodox Church.

What if it was a tribal child in rural Africa who was never exposed to the Eastern Orthodox church?

See my quote above. It overflows. God is capable of working salvation in ways known to Him. The Church is the Ark of Salvation. You goes outside, you takes your chances. But God is merciful. He has given each person a conscience and, despite paganism, there is still some truth out there to which people can be drawn. It is not the fullness, but it is left from Adam. Also, there are more and more Orthodox missions in rural Africa.
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Offline Armchair Theologian

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2013, 11:53:19 PM »
"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Savior Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins."

St Theophan the Recluse

And in the book The Orthodox Way, I seem to remember Kalistos Ware saying that there are those outside the church who find salvation. And also St Seraphim of Sarov talks a bit about salvation for those who wholeheartedly seek the truth, even pagans who have never known of Christ. God is not confined to the church or her sacraments, but has ordained participation in the sacramental life of the church to be the usual and correct means whereby a person is united to Christ and to partake of His divine nature unto salvation (theosis), from what I understand. I think the best Orthodox position that I've ever heard is the one expressed in the quote above. Simply make no general assumptions about anyone. It can be hoped on good grounds that many non-orthodox can be saved, but since God has not revealed to the church exactly how this can occur, proceed with the assumption that the ordained path to salvation within the church is the only way and direct others accordingly. But if they don't know about it or misunderstand it, it can still be hoped that God can reach them, but you can never know and can therefore never judge. It is better to concentrate on one's own relationship with God. That's probably the attitude I will take if I convert to orthodoxy, at any rate unless I am shown differently.   

Offline deacon Mikias(micah)

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 07:39:49 AM »

 The Church is not an institution which has sacraments,...no no..its the other way around;..its a sacrament which has an institution. i want to repeat what Metropolitan Kallistos Ware's comment ; "we can say where the church is but we can not tell where the church is not''...this explains alot.....what do u think of the salvation of a boy on Himalayas mountain?..he doesn't have our formula,..rituals..n stuffs..but how about his salvation?...we can not say heretics would be saved,..for me it would be heresy too. but...i know saints who r considered saints outside the orthodox church...such as St. Isaac of Syria who was in the Nestorian Church and whom i love him most from sants...and king Constantine(even if he is not saint in our church, the Ethiopian orthodox church, he is in the Eastern Orthodox Church)...so there were saints out side our human faith boundaries...
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2013, 06:47:11 AM »
We are saved by Jesus, not by Church.
That's not correct. Actually, the Church IS the Body of Christ, the vessel of our salvation.

Offline walter1234

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2013, 01:42:49 PM »
We are saved by Jesus, not by Church.
That's not correct. Actually, the Church IS the Body of Christ, the vessel of our salvation.
But we cannot be saved by simply choosing the right church?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 01:46:36 PM by walter1234 »

Offline Ansgar

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2013, 02:21:00 PM »
We are saved by Jesus, not by Church.
That's not correct. Actually, the Church IS the Body of Christ, the vessel of our salvation.
But we cannot be saved by simply choosing the right church?

That is true.
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Offline Armchair Theologian

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 05:00:45 AM »
Perhaps it would be more precise to say that a Christian is saved by Jesus Christ working in and through the Church? That is to say, perhaps, that it is Christ in and among every Christian that works on each individual through the communion of all of the saints in His body. The sacramental life of the Church may be something that only the church has, but it would all be for naught without His life, which is transmitted thereby, and will have no saving power for anyone who is not living and abiding in the faith of Him Whose life is bestowed in the sacraments. Am I correct?

Offline rakovsky

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2015, 09:27:36 PM »
I know that this is an old thread, but could someone please provide some authoritative citations on this topic?

Fr. George's essay proposes salvation for those outside of Christianity, but I don't know of anyone of greater authority who said it as, if not more, directly.
Quote
An Orthodox Christian View of Non-Christian Religions
           Rev. Dr. George C. Papademetriou

...Those who live in faith and virtue, though outside the Church, receive God's loving grace and salvation.

So for example, Armchair Theologian, could you please be more specific about what citation St. Seraphim made that says this:
And also St Seraphim of Sarov talks a bit about salvation for those who wholeheartedly seek the truth, even pagans who have never known of Christ. God is not confined to the church or her sacraments, but has ordained participation in the sacramental life of the church to be the usual and correct means whereby a person is united to Christ and to partake of His divine nature unto salvation (theosis), from what I understand.   

Offline fyodorn

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Re: No Salvation Outside the Eastern Orthodox Church
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2015, 04:39:39 PM »
I know that this is an old thread, but could someone please provide some authoritative citations on this topic?

Fr. George's essay proposes salvation for those outside of Christianity, but I don't know of anyone of greater authority who said it as, if not more, directly.
Quote
An Orthodox Christian View of Non-Christian Religions
           Rev. Dr. George C. Papademetriou

...Those who live in faith and virtue, though outside the Church, receive God's loving grace and salvation.

So for example, Armchair Theologian, could you please be more specific about what citation St. Seraphim made that says this:
And also St Seraphim of Sarov talks a bit about salvation for those who wholeheartedly seek the truth, even pagans who have never known of Christ. God is not confined to the church or her sacraments, but has ordained participation in the sacramental life of the church to be the usual and correct means whereby a person is united to Christ and to partake of His divine nature unto salvation (theosis), from what I understand.   

I posted this in another thread.

The fate of those who are outside the Church

By fr. Vadim Leonov from his book "Fundamentals of Orthodox anthropology".

http://ocapodvorie.org/prezentatsiya-knigi-protoiereya-vadima-leonova-osnovyi-hristianskoy-antropologii/

Translated from Russian.

----

This is a very difficult and mysterious question. People, who are not in the Church all really differ one from another spiritually wise, therefore simple answers here are impossible.

Those who step away from the faith and likewise those who conciously go against God and the truth, according to the Holy Sciptures, lose hope in salvation. For they, like the apostol Peter said, denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction (2 Pet. 2:1). About those who conciously go against God the Lord said: And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mt.12:32)

What goes for other people, those who do not go against God or faith betrayers but nonetheless have not believed in Christ or have believed incorrectly - about their fate the Holy Fathers never said anything specific - this is a myster of God. The Church leaves these kind of people to God's mercy. The Holy Fathers directly speak of the fact of salvation through Orthodoxy and malignity of heresies and schisms, but this does not equal as an eternal sentence for specific people, who were not themselves the fault of these sins but turned out to be in non-Orthodox surroundings because of certain life circumstances. No-one, except God, can know the level of harmfulness of being in these surroundings for a certain person.

If for members of the Church, Christ is our Redeemer, Saviour, then for those who are outside the Church he is their Lord and Divine Providence. In the Holy Scipture we read that God's providence spreads upon everyone, including those who don't belong to the Church: we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. (1Ti.4:10). God wills to have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Ti.2:4) Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Ac.10:34-36) God will render to every man according to his deeds (Ro.2:6) Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (Ro. 2:6,9-11).

God's mercy extends unto every man, but just mercy is not enough for salvation. A person is given life on earth so that he in co-work with God might transfigure himself and come into accordance to eternal life with Christ. If this does not happen, then even with all of God's mercy if a person who is not prepared were to go to heaven, he would not be able to exist there, to live there. Therefore the Holy Fathers teach: Neither does he that is baptized with water, but not found worthy of the Spirit, receive the grace in perfection; nor if a man be virtuous in his deeds, but receive not the seal by water, shall he enter into the kingdom of heaven. A bold saying, but not mine, for it is Jesus who has declared so. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).

Sometimes, saying that the Lord can save those who do not belong to the Church, as an example are brought the Old Testament righteous, who did not belong to Christ's Church, but were saved nonetheless and many are even glorified as saints. However this example is incorrect. First of all, these righteous were not saved right after dying. All of them descended to hell and were brought out of there only by the Saviour, in whose coming they believed. Second of all, after Christ had already come to the earth and suffered on the Cross, Ressurected and ascended it would be absurd to believe and wait for some other kind of messiah. Such an awaiting would be a conscious neglection of the Gospel. Salvation by faith in a future messiah like in the Old Testament is impossible, because He has already come long ago.

In agiographic literature there are a few examples of some sort of relief in the afterlife of some who did not belong to the Church by the prayers of holy people. However leaving aside the question of the authenticity of these examples, first of all, in these examples it was never said that by the prayers of these Saints that these people were saved in the full sense of the word. They only speak of a certain relief in their abode there in the afterlife. Second of all, these very few cases are exceptional cases and can not be interepretated as some sort of soteriological tenet, as some sort of possible path for all who don't belong to the Church. If someone who falls from the 10th floor remains alive, and these kinds of cases are known, then this doesn't mean that every one of us can recklessly jump from such a hight. Third of all, even if a relief in someone's afterlife (who didn't belong to the Church) is possible then it will be done none other way than by the Church, by the prayers of the Church. Salvation is possible only through the Chuch, through oneness with Jesus Christ, who said: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (John 14:6).
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