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walter1234
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« on: December 08, 2012, 02:37:46 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 06:23:49 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?

It is more accurate to call hell the consequence of a person who hates and opposes God. Hell is not God's deliberate punishment of those who hate Him because God does not wish anybody to suffer. God only wishes to separate those who love Him from those who hate Him, but He does not wish to cause suffering to those who hate Him, even though they do experience self-inflicted suffering in hell.

Even though God loves sinners, His love is not accepted by them, so the love becomes inefficient for them. God does not offer His energies to those who reject Him because that would be against their will to reject Him and would torture them. It is true that those in Hell experience God's Presence (wouldn't say Energies), but in a very different way than those in Heaven. Those in Hell experience God's Presence, but with their backs turned to Him (they know He is present, but they can't really see Him; they live in spiritual darkness). Those in Heaven are in actual Communion with God and experience His Energies.
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 08:16:06 AM »

That means in the eternality, the righteous men will be in  the communion with God and His love forever , while the sinners will experience His wrath forever (Although the wrath of God is the manifestation of His love, but this is still the true wrath)

Am I correct?
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 08:59:01 AM »

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'Heaven and hell are also the great love of God which sinners and righteous men experience differently .

Why so many Orthodox Christians oppose this understanding of heaven and hell?
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 09:48:32 AM »

That means in the eternality, the righteous men will be in  the communion with God and His love forever , while the sinners will experience His wrath forever (Although the wrath of God is the manifestation of His love, but this is still the true wrath)

Am I correct?

No, that's definitely not what I was trying to say. There's no wrath whatsoever on the part of God. If anything, those who hate God are full of wrath. The pain that they experience is of a spiritual kind and self-inflicted (they do it to themselves). You have to understand that those who hate God are very horrific individuals, and when they can't fulfill their evil desires (passions) anymore, they become tormented. Also, God's love torments them. What sort of individual would be tormented by love? Obviously, a very evil person.

The reasons why Orthodox Christians have different views are many. What I am saying, is the view of The Church to the best of my ability and knowledge. Unfortunately, I cannot "prove" it to you. You have to search yourself and convince yourself. In a way, you have to decide what sort of God you believe in. A God who is Love, or a God who is partially love, or not at all. I mean, logically, it's simple. Just attribute to God the best qualities that you can ever imagine. Can anybody honestly envision a God who is not Love?  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 11:59:33 AM »

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John3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.


In John 3:36, Jesus said that God' wrath will abide on the evil man in eternity . How do you understand of this verse?
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 12:09:38 PM »

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John3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.


In John 3:36, Jesus said that God' wrath will abide on the evil man in eternity . How do you understand of this verse?

Those who are evil are deprived of God's protection. They can only collect evil, if they spread evil. This does not really have to do with God's love for them, but with the fact that His love becomes inefficient for those who hate Him. (like I've said before) If you refuse God's love, then you will find yourself under wrath, but not that God is wrathful by nature.
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 03:43:44 PM »

That means in the eternality, the righteous men will be in  the communion with God and His love forever , while the sinners will experience His wrath forever (Although the wrath of God is the manifestation of His love, but this is still the true wrath)

Am I correct?

No, that's definitely not what I was trying to say. There's no wrath whatsoever on the part of God. If anything, those who hate God are full of wrath. The pain that they experience is of a spiritual kind and self-inflicted (they do it to themselves). You have to understand that those who hate God are very horrific individuals, and when they can't fulfill their evil desires (passions) anymore, they become tormented. Also, God's love torments them. What sort of individual would be tormented by love? Obviously, a very evil person.

The reasons why Orthodox Christians have different views are many. What I am saying, is the view of The Church to the best of my ability and knowledge. Unfortunately, I cannot "prove" it to you. You have to search yourself and convince yourself. In a way, you have to decide what sort of God you believe in. A God who is Love, or a God who is partially love, or not at all. I mean, logically, it's simple. Just attribute to God the best qualities that you can ever imagine. Can anybody honestly envision a God who is not Love?  Smiley

http://www.thegracetabernacle.org/quotes/God-Wrath.htm
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5J4y8S54qoQ

Protestant does not think that God is all love . Some pastors even openly teach that hate the sinners


It is really not difficult for a person who come from Protestant to imagine a God that is full of hate, always angry and like to take revenge.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 03:47:37 PM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 05:03:43 PM »

That means in the eternality, the righteous men will be in  the communion with God and His love forever , while the sinners will experience His wrath forever (Although the wrath of God is the manifestation of His love, but this is still the true wrath)

Am I correct?

No, that's definitely not what I was trying to say. There's no wrath whatsoever on the part of God. If anything, those who hate God are full of wrath. The pain that they experience is of a spiritual kind and self-inflicted (they do it to themselves). You have to understand that those who hate God are very horrific individuals, and when they can't fulfill their evil desires (passions) anymore, they become tormented. Also, God's love torments them. What sort of individual would be tormented by love? Obviously, a very evil person.

The reasons why Orthodox Christians have different views are many. What I am saying, is the view of The Church to the best of my ability and knowledge. Unfortunately, I cannot "prove" it to you. You have to search yourself and convince yourself. In a way, you have to decide what sort of God you believe in. A God who is Love, or a God who is partially love, or not at all. I mean, logically, it's simple. Just attribute to God the best qualities that you can ever imagine. Can anybody honestly envision a God who is not Love?  Smiley

http://www.thegracetabernacle.org/quotes/God-Wrath.htm
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5J4y8S54qoQ

Protestant does not think that God is all love . Some pastors even openly teach that hate the sinners


It is really not difficult for a person who come from Protestant to imagine a God that is full of hate, always angry and like to take revenge.


that's ridiculous. their trying to make God appear to be the bad Guy is a blasphemy.
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 02:04:06 AM »

That means in the eternality, the righteous men will be in  the communion with God and His love forever , while the sinners will experience His wrath forever (Although the wrath of God is the manifestation of His love, but this is still the true wrath)

Am I correct?

No, that's definitely not what I was trying to say. There's no wrath whatsoever on the part of God. If anything, those who hate God are full of wrath. The pain that they experience is of a spiritual kind and self-inflicted (they do it to themselves). You have to understand that those who hate God are very horrific individuals, and when they can't fulfill their evil desires (passions) anymore, they become tormented. Also, God's love torments them. What sort of individual would be tormented by love? Obviously, a very evil person.

The reasons why Orthodox Christians have different views are many. What I am saying, is the view of The Church to the best of my ability and knowledge. Unfortunately, I cannot "prove" it to you. You have to search yourself and convince yourself. In a way, you have to decide what sort of God you believe in. A God who is Love, or a God who is partially love, or not at all. I mean, logically, it's simple. Just attribute to God the best qualities that you can ever imagine. Can anybody honestly envision a God who is not Love?  Smiley

http://www.thegracetabernacle.org/quotes/God-Wrath.htm
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5J4y8S54qoQ

Protestant does not think that God is all love . Some pastors even openly teach that hate the sinners


It is really not difficult for a person who come from Protestant to imagine a God that is full of hate, always angry and like to take revenge.


that's ridiculous. their trying to make God appear to be the bad Guy is a blasphemy.

http://www.jonathan-edwards.org/Sinners.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2xG2K3FZBI

It is common in the history of Protestant. Johnathan Edward is one of the famous preachers who teach that 'God hate sinners'. 'Sinners in the hand of angry God' is one of his well -known preach in Protestant.
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 03:33:11 AM »

That means in the eternality, the righteous men will be in  the communion with God and His love forever , while the sinners will experience His wrath forever (Although the wrath of God is the manifestation of His love, but this is still the true wrath)

Am I correct?

No, that's definitely not what I was trying to say. There's no wrath whatsoever on the part of God. If anything, those who hate God are full of wrath. The pain that they experience is of a spiritual kind and self-inflicted (they do it to themselves). You have to understand that those who hate God are very horrific individuals, and when they can't fulfill their evil desires (passions) anymore, they become tormented. Also, God's love torments them. What sort of individual would be tormented by love? Obviously, a very evil person.

The reasons why Orthodox Christians have different views are many. What I am saying, is the view of The Church to the best of my ability and knowledge. Unfortunately, I cannot "prove" it to you. You have to search yourself and convince yourself. In a way, you have to decide what sort of God you believe in. A God who is Love, or a God who is partially love, or not at all. I mean, logically, it's simple. Just attribute to God the best qualities that you can ever imagine. Can anybody honestly envision a God who is not Love?  Smiley

http://www.thegracetabernacle.org/quotes/God-Wrath.htm
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5J4y8S54qoQ

Protestant does not think that God is all love . Some pastors even openly teach that hate the sinners


It is really not difficult for a person who come from Protestant to imagine a God that is full of hate, always angry and like to take revenge.


that's ridiculous. their trying to make God appear to be the bad Guy is a blasphemy.

http://www.jonathan-edwards.org/Sinners.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2xG2K3FZBI

It is common in the history of Protestant. Johnathan Edward is one of the famous preachers who teach that 'God hate sinners'. 'Sinners in the hand of angry God' is one of his well -known preach in Protestant.

Even though God does not hate sinners, He does not approve of their behavior. God does not fool Himself and calls sinners good. No, sinners are awful, degraded people. This is The Truth. So, Orthodoxy does not think highly of sinners, but at the same time loves them, wishes them no harm. So, there is Justice involved. If you want to be evil, then you have to be treated as evil. If you reject God, then He will separate you from Him, but He will not cause you any harm.
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 06:12:29 PM »

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John3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.


In John 3:36, Jesus said that God' wrath will abide on the evil man in eternity . How do you understand of this verse?

The "wrath" is God's love. God's love will be on EVERYONE after the Resurrection of the world, and to those who love Him and obeyed Him, it will be a pleasurable experience, this is Heaven. But to those who hate Him, never listened to Him and indulged in wickedness, God's love to them will make them feel miserable because their soul is in such an unfit state to receive it due to their wickedness. God's love to them feels like His wratch because they never prepared to receive His love.
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 08:43:27 PM »

The wrath is proceeded from love .It is not difficult for me to understand.

In China, We have a common idiom, called 'to hate iron for not becoming steel'. This idom often describe the parents have a poor or evil son, they expect that he can turn back and become good one day.However, their own son fail to meet the expectations and have any improvement, so the father or mother feel restful.The parents feel angry not because they hate their own son, but because  they love him.

It's quite similar to God. God expect all men to be healed from sin and overcome the death. However, men  still fail to meet this expectation and have no improvement on their fallen condition in the end. Thus, God feel angry. It is not because God hate the fallen men, but because God love them.
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 07:20:05 AM »

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Mat7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  

Quote
Luke13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.


Quote
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Quote
Luke 19 26-27 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.27.But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

The above verse seems showing that God would actively punish the sinners  in hell and cast them to  outer darkness. It seems that God would actively kill(destroy)  His enemies in hell and expel them from His presence...

Since God is all love, how do you understand the above quoted bible verse about hell ?
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 08:18:10 AM »

Quote
Mat7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  

Quote
Luke13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.


Quote
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Quote
Luke 19 26-27 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.27.But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

The above verse seems showing that God would actively punish the sinners  in hell and cast them to  outer darkness. It seems that God would actively kill(destroy)  His enemies in hell and expel them from His presence...

Since God is all love, how do you understand the above quoted bible verse about hell ?

It's not at all active punishment. It is a description of what will happen at the end of the age with those who hate God and work iniquity. So, God will simply send away into darkness those who hate the light; they will not be able to enter the light anymore. It's a separation, not a punishment or sentence. Sure, it can be understood as a sentence or as justice, in figurative language only, but really God does not need anything from those who hate Him. He is not upset about their decision because God allows freedom. However, if you choose to oppose God forever, you simply have to go your own separate way. This mixture between light and darkness cannot continue forever; those who are evil have to decide if they want to live with God, or separately. God can only sustain a positive universe because He is only good in nature. And, Hell is not place where God does anything to anybody. It is a "place" of spiritual darkness, devoid of any of God's involvement; it's like a totally empty room, a void. No torture devices, of fire of any kind going on there, just emptiness/death. Those who hate God are ontologically dead, even though they continue to exist in their own aberrational ways. It is these ways that are the source of their torments, that turn their perception of God upside down, and instead of seeing God as the infinite source of goodness, they see Him as the infinite source of "evil". (love is evil to them)
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2012, 12:38:51 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?
'

You sem to have a lot of threads on hell. Perhaps a better preoccupation?
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 01:30:29 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?
'

You sem to have a lot of threads on hell. Perhaps a better preoccupation?

I think he is quite serious about what he is inquiring. Walter, perhaps, you could give your posts different titles so it doesn't look like you are asking the same things about hell?
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 07:08:56 AM »

May be called it as ' God's role on the torments in hell'.
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2012, 07:16:23 AM »

May be called it as ' God's role on the torments in hell'.

Sure. But, it sounds funny, too! Smiley
Well, we can't change the name, now. When you make a new topic, don't name it the same as previous ones, and don't ask things that are too similar to previous things you've asked.
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2012, 12:20:28 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?
'

You sem to have a lot of threads on hell. Perhaps a better preoccupation?

I think he is quite serious about what he is inquiring. Walter, perhaps, you could give your posts different titles so it doesn't look like you are asking the same things about hell?

I don't doubt his seriousness. I just wonder of the reason of the preoccupation and whether it can have a salutary outcome.
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2013, 08:55:20 AM »

When the Devil and the Demons sinned why didn't God immediately throw them in Hell? What was his purpose in throwing them out of heaven onto this Earth ?. Was he giving them a second chance somehow ?.

Will God send the Devil and the Demons to Hell for eternity ?. Why would a loving God judge those that reject him humans and even the devil and the demons ?. I am just struggling to comprehend how a loving God can send he's creation to hell for not accepting him ?. This leaves me with the question What is Hell ? What nature is Hell ? Is it what is described in the NT burning with fire ?.

What is the Orthodox Theological view of Hell ?.
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2013, 09:06:02 AM »

Love is not incompatible with discipline. If you have children, you should know that; otherwise, think of your own parents when you were a child. The one who loves you is the one who recalls you to order when you go off the rails, not the one who lets you run amok with impunity.

Repentance and forgiveness are available even to the Devil and his angels. Hell, as I understand it, is not a place but a condition - the separation from God's love.
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2013, 09:54:45 AM »

Demons are actually in hell, even though some are allowed to tempt us on earth and some to be present when the soul leaves our body. The reason is because God allows creatures their freedom. Demons represent an alternative to God, so they have the "right" to tempt people in case people would prefer them instead of God.

Hell is not a place where God sends people out of anger because they reject Him. God is both loving and just, and this means that if you reject Him, He will not force you to love Him, nor punish you because you reject Him. Though, God will separate from Him those who hate Him simply because it is the consequence of their choice. In other words, they are the ones who made it impossible to be kept in Heaven.
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2013, 10:29:30 AM »

In Orthodoxy, what happens to a person that lives a good moral life but never had any knowledge of Christ? Do they get sent to Hell?

Also, what is the Orthodox opinion on the place for the devil and his angels that is a eternal fire, as Christ explains (Matthew 25:41) and also could there be a 2nd option of just eternal death/seperation from God and both are truly hell? One is punishment for wickedness the other a consequence of not having faith in the true God?

Hell is something I have a hard time grasping. Is it eternal seperation? Is it torture for the wicked? Is it both? Hopefully I never have to find out! Grin
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2013, 10:57:44 AM »

In Orthodoxy, what happens to a person that lives a good moral life but never had any knowledge of Christ? Do they get sent to Hell?

Also, what is the Orthodox opinion on the place for the devil and his angels that is a eternal fire, as Christ explains (Matthew 25:41) and also could there be a 2nd option of just eternal death/seperation from God and both are truly hell? One is punishment for wickedness the other a consequence of not having faith in the true God?

Hell is something I have a hard time grasping. Is it eternal seperation? Is it torture for the wicked? Is it both? Hopefully I never have to find out! Grin


It is eternal separation only because of those who reject and oppose God out of deliberate and permanent hatred towards Him. In a way, God is the victim, and they are the eternal perpetrators. People often accuse God of being unjust, but it's the other way around. Those who hate Him are the ones who are horrible and unchanging. You see, demons know God face to face. There is nothing that can interfere with their judgment and there is no other God that they could choose to love. Their decision is fully informed and deliberate. They are insane. They are purely evil. God on the other hand does not hate them because of it. He loves even those who hate Him. Operationally, He is forced to separate them from Him due to their constant state of opposition. So, if one chooses to fight God, then they have to also suffer the consequences. However, God does not actively punish the wicked. They are sent to hell, which is a spiritual reality that is disconnected from God's Presence and life-giving Energies. I couldn't tell you what exactly they experience there, but can certainly assure you that God is not actually doing anything to them. They are in a sort of a spiritual void; whatever that is since God never intended such a reality -- it is not His creation, but was "created" for those who hate Him.

No, people who did not know Christ in this life will not get sent to hell, but will be judged according to whatever they knew about the notion of good in this life. Same with aborted children and people who were severely disabled in this life; they fit in a different category. God's intention is to bring everybody to Himself because He is love. However, I couldn't tell you how He is going to do it for the categories mentioned above. Obviously, He will have to accomplish that after death. He also has to grant the free-will even to those people, as well. How exactly? I don't know. With God all things are possible.
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2013, 11:16:24 AM »

In Orthodoxy, what happens to a person that lives a good moral life but never had any knowledge of Christ? Do they get sent to Hell?

Also, what is the Orthodox opinion on the place for the devil and his angels that is a eternal fire, as Christ explains (Matthew 25:41) and also could there be a 2nd option of just eternal death/seperation from God and both are truly hell? One is punishment for wickedness the other a consequence of not having faith in the true God?

Hell is something I have a hard time grasping. Is it eternal seperation? Is it torture for the wicked? Is it both? Hopefully I never have to find out! Grin


God's love is unending and unchanging.God is omnipresent as well. So, hell is not absence of God and his love.

Hell is the inescapable of fullness of love of God.Those who insist on rejecting that God's love would be burned and tortured by that love forever.

All Men would stand before God in afterlife/in final judgment .They are all in the fullness of love and presence of God in afterlife/ in final judgment.Those who love God and accept His love, they will enjoy in and be embraced by that God's love and presnece. Those who insist on hating God and rejecting his love, they will be tortured by and suffered in the love and presence of God forever. It is not God's intention to hurt or torture His enemies.God is love, He has to love the enemies. That's his nature. They are in hell and in torment not because of God, but because of their sin.


Here is the understanding of hell from St. Isaac the Syrian:
''I also maintain that those who are punished in Gehenna are scourged by the scourge of love. Nay, what is so bitter and vehement as the torment of love? I mean that those who have become conscious that they have sinned against love suffer greater torment from this than from any fear of punishment. For the sorrow caused in the heart by sin against love is more poignant than any torment. It would be improper for a man to think that sinners in Gehenna are deprived of the love of God. Love is the offspring of knowledge of the truth which, as is commonly confessed, is given to all. The power of Love works in two ways: it torments sinners, even as happens here when a friend suffers from a friend; but it becomes a source of joy for those who have observed its duties. Thus I say that this is the torment of Gehenna: bitter regret. But love inebriates the souls of the sons of Heaven by its delectability.''

And here is a very good article about heaven and hell according to Orthodoxy:
http://aggreen.net/beliefs/heaven_hell.html
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 11:40:04 AM »

When the Devil and the Demons sinned why didn't God immediately throw them in Hell? What was his purpose in throwing them out of heaven onto this Earth ?. Was he giving them a second chance somehow ?.

Will God send the Devil and the Demons to Hell for eternity ?. Why would a loving God judge those that reject him humans and even the devil and the demons ?. I am just struggling to comprehend how a loving God can send he's creation to hell for not accepting him ?. This leaves me with the question What is Hell ? What nature is Hell ? Is it what is described in the NT burning with fire ?.

What is the Orthodox Theological view of Hell ?.
I've heard that Satan's and demons left heaven because they cannot endure the fullness of holiness love and presence of God .And here the physical world is the only place which they can escape from the light of God and the fullness of God's love and presence
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 11:42:43 AM »

When the Devil and the Demons sinned why didn't God immediately throw them in Hell? What was his purpose in throwing them out of heaven onto this Earth ?. Was he giving them a second chance somehow ?.

Will God send the Devil and the Demons to Hell for eternity ?. Why would a loving God judge those that reject him humans and even the devil and the demons ?. I am just struggling to comprehend how a loving God can send he's creation to hell for not accepting him ?. This leaves me with the question What is Hell ? What nature is Hell ? Is it what is described in the NT burning with fire ?.

What is the Orthodox Theological view of Hell ?.
I've heard that Satan's and demons left heaven because they cannot endure the fullness of holiness love and presence .And here the physical world is the only place which they can escape from the fullness of God's love and presence of God.

It is true. Demons are so evil that they can never accept to resemble a loving and holy God. They call light darkness, and darkness light.
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« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2013, 12:43:41 PM »

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No, people who did not know Christ in this life will not get sent to hell, but will be judged according to whatever they knew about the notion of good in this life.

Interesting and I hope you are correct! I believe this is the modern day Roman Catholic and Jewish opinion also.

However, saying that, doesn't that mean then that faith in Christ is not a requirement towards salvation? Also, the Orthodox Church is also not a requirement towards savation? Of course these can be very helpful don't get me wrong I'm not implying your saying that but you seem to be saying it really is only about your morality then?
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« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 01:49:47 PM »

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No, people who did not know Christ in this life will not get sent to hell, but will be judged according to whatever they knew about the notion of good in this life.

Interesting and I hope you are correct! I believe this is the modern day Roman Catholic and Jewish opinion also.

However, saying that, doesn't that mean then that faith in Christ is not a requirement towards salvation? Also, the Orthodox Church is also not a requirement towards savation? Of course these can be very helpful don't get me wrong I'm not implying your saying that but you seem to be saying it really is only about your morality then?

No, it means that if you honestly didn't know about Christ, not if you didn't want to know about Christ.  Smiley And, the same way, the problem escalates to the truth that you've been given, up to The Orthodox Christian Faith. There is no salvation outside The Orthodox Church, actually. This is the teaching of The Church. Even those who die without knowing about Christ, much less about The Orthodox Church, will have to be brought into The Church after death. However, we believe this in an existential way, not in a moral way. Orthodoxy is not moral, but goes beyond, into spirituality and life in God through The Grace of The Holy Spirit. In other words, Orthodoxy wants to re-establish the direct communion with God, whereas other religions follow God through morality and other man-made means. Not saying that morality is not good, but depends how you understand it. If by morality you mean virtue, then that's Orthodox. If by morality you mean following a set of rules in order to escape Hell and receive Heaven, then that's not Orthodox.
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« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2013, 01:59:59 PM »

no salvation outside The Orthodox Church, actually. This is the teaching of The Church. Even those who die without knowing about Christ, much less about The Orthodox Church, will have to be brought into The Church after death.

If by morality you mean virtue, then that's Orthodox. If by morality you mean following a set of rules in order to escape Hell and receive Heaven, then that's not Orthodox.

So what you're saying is that myself as a Lutheran, or a Bush man in Africa with no knowledge of Christ, if we lead a life of virtue we will become part of the Orthodox church after death when we learn the truth?  The church is essentially an extension of heaven on earth to lead people towards a truth they will learn about after death?
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« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2013, 02:18:32 PM »

no salvation outside The Orthodox Church, actually. This is the teaching of The Church. Even those who die without knowing about Christ, much less about The Orthodox Church, will have to be brought into The Church after death.

If by morality you mean virtue, then that's Orthodox. If by morality you mean following a set of rules in order to escape Hell and receive Heaven, then that's not Orthodox.

So what you're saying is that myself as a Lutheran, or a Bush man in Africa with no knowledge of Christ, if we lead a life of virtue we will become part of the Orthodox church after death when we learn the truth?  The church is essentially an extension of heaven on earth to lead people towards a truth they will learn about after death?

Not at all. The Church is The Truth. I am only saying if people don't learn about The Truth in this life, or are severely disabled, etc.
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« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2013, 02:36:39 PM »

no salvation outside The Orthodox Church, actually. This is the teaching of The Church. Even those who die without knowing about Christ, much less about The Orthodox Church, will have to be brought into The Church after death.

If by morality you mean virtue, then that's Orthodox. If by morality you mean following a set of rules in order to escape Hell and receive Heaven, then that's not Orthodox.

So what you're saying is that myself as a Lutheran, or a Bush man in Africa with no knowledge of Christ, if we lead a life of virtue we will become part of the Orthodox church after death when we learn the truth?  The church is essentially an extension of heaven on earth to lead people towards a truth they will learn about after death?

I don't think that you or I could be in the same class as a bushman..... You and I know about the Orthodox church so our decision to remain in our respective communions is by choice not by ignorance. If the claims of the Orthodox are true I myself would not be surprised if I were held accountable for that choice.
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« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2013, 02:48:53 PM »

I don't think that you or I could be in the same class as a bushman..... You and I know about the Orthodox church so our decision to remain in our respective communions is by choice not by ignorance. If the claims of the Orthodox are true I myself would not be surprised if I were held accountable for that choice.

I don't buy this, it's the same conversation I have had with Roman Catholics. Basically the idea of those that understand the truth to be that we are justified by faith alone in Christ, who read the scriptures and live a good life of virtue and charity could be damned for not trusting the authority of a certain church who claims they are the only source of the truth, wheras a person with no knowledge could be better off not knowing anything about Christ in the first place.

It's an absurd notion that a Christian outside of the Orthodox church believes the Orthodox church to be the only source of truth and not be a part of it. Both the Bush Man and the Protestant are doing the best they can given what they understand. I simply can not believe the one that trusts God and believes in Christ is worse off.
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« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2013, 04:24:15 PM »

I don't think that you or I could be in the same class as a bushman..... You and I know about the Orthodox church so our decision to remain in our respective communions is by choice not by ignorance. If the claims of the Orthodox are true I myself would not be surprised if I were held accountable for that choice.

I don't buy this, it's the same conversation I have had with Roman Catholics. Basically the idea of those that understand the truth to be that we are justified by faith alone in Christ, who read the scriptures and live a good life of virtue and charity could be damned for not trusting the authority of a certain church who claims they are the only source of the truth, wheras a person with no knowledge could be better off not knowing anything about Christ in the first place.

It's an absurd notion that a Christian outside of the Orthodox church believes the Orthodox church to be the only source of truth and not be a part of it. Both the Bush Man and the Protestant are doing the best they can given what they understand. I simply can not believe the one that trusts God and believes in Christ is worse off.
To be honest, neither can I. The only people outside the Orthodox Church for whom I really fear for their salvation are those who, after immersing themselves in the fullness of the Orthodox faith, end up leaving the Church. Those who were never part of the Church do better to "eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table" than to eat nothing at all.
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« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2013, 06:35:10 PM »

I don't think that you or I could be in the same class as a bushman..... You and I know about the Orthodox church so our decision to remain in our respective communions is by choice not by ignorance. If the claims of the Orthodox are true I myself would not be surprised if I were held accountable for that choice.

I don't buy this, it's the same conversation I have had with Roman Catholics. Basically the idea of those that understand the truth to be that we are justified by faith alone in Christ, who read the scriptures and live a good life of virtue and charity could be damned for not trusting the authority of a certain church who claims they are the only source of the truth, wheras a person with no knowledge could be better off not knowing anything about Christ in the first place.

It's an absurd notion that a Christian outside of the Orthodox church believes the Orthodox church to be the only source of truth and not be a part of it. Both the Bush Man and the Protestant are doing the best they can given what they understand. I simply can not believe the one that trusts God and believes in Christ is worse off.
To be honest, neither can I. The only people outside the Orthodox Church for whom I really fear for their salvation are those who, after immersing themselves in the fullness of the Orthodox faith, end up leaving the Church. Those who were never part of the Church do better to "eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table" than to eat nothing at all.

So then a person as myself who has been exposed to the Othodox faith and makes a choice to say no, knowing full well the claims of the Church and has every oportunity to be recieved will not be accountable for that? You are ever so kind  laugh
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« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2013, 12:43:41 AM »

I don't think we do ourselves or anyone else favors when we speculate about this, especially when it involves possible salvation of living persons, as opposed to those who have departed. Being outside the Orthodox Church is like being on the ocean alone, and not in the boat. You takes your chances. God is merciful and desires that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Yet if you see the boat, and they throw out a life preserver and offer to pull you to safety and you say, "No thanks, I'm fine where I am," well, you may survive, you may not. Do you want to take that chance?

Don't get me wrong, the folks on the boat who don't follow orders have it worse.
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« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2013, 02:07:34 AM »

Initially, it was asked whether those who honestly didn't know about Christ will be "judged" for it. No, of course not; their spiritual progress (let's say) will not be measured according to that. Now, I feel that the discussion is drifting into an area that I don't believe is compatible with Orthodoxy -- that you have to fulfill a set of rules in order to escape Hell, and receive Heaven. If this is the understanding of Orthodox salvation that we are working with, I will not continue this discussion. I have expressed my views about this in a previous comment. Orthodoxy is not set of rules, but a way of life. And, nobody forces you to become Orthodox. It is your choice to do whatever you want. This is another reason why I am not going to address that "people have to eat left-over from Orthodox", since you don't really have to do anything and nobody forces you to do anything; you do what you think is a good thing to do. I mean even an Orthodox is not guaranteed to be any good because he calls himself Orthodox. That's not what "fixes the problem". Who you genuinely are and what you do as an Orthodox is what matters, no matter how many rules you keep. Rules do not guarantee your salvation if you do things only because you need to, or you were commanded to.
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« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2013, 02:53:07 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?

Do you believe in annihilationism or eternal torment of the unsaved?
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« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2013, 05:38:43 AM »

Is hell/eternal death/the death of men's soul a natural consequence of sin?or a punishment of God?

God's love tortures the sinners in hell.  God's intention is to love and embrace the sinners in hell( but the sinners cannot endure His energies)?or to punish the sinners in hell?

Do you believe in annihilationism or eternal torment of the unsaved?
Eternal torment.

Jesus is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (1Tim4:10). He has been saved everybody and ransom all men from death(1Tim2:6),  so nobody will totally die (e.g.totally disappear) . Due to the salvation of Christ, all men including righteouness and wickedness men will also be ressurected (John5:29) and be with Christ foreover. What we need to do now is to repent, defeat all our sin which alienate us from God, accept His love, Love Him and love others, so we will enjoy in His light, His truth a, His fullness of love and presence forever.  If we continue and insisit on  clinging to our sin , suppress the truth, like darkness, hating God, rejecting His love, we will be suffered  in  His truth , His light,His fullness of presence and  love forever .
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« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2013, 10:25:28 AM »

Being outside the Orthodox Church is like being on the ocean alone, and not in the boat.


I don't think so at all. There are experiences in my life that unfolded in a way that I don't think are possible without the grace of God and my genuine faith. I don't want to get into my personal story but my life would be empty, I wouldn't have the wife, the kids or the sobriety I have without my faith. I don't feel I'm on a boat alone at all, the Holy Spirit is the captain and I'm not going to deny my real life experiences because some old church tells me I should because I'm not officially, in their eyes, one of them.
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« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2013, 06:53:00 PM »

This is a brutaly honest statement!! Smiley and it brings up a wonder question for me.  How do we verify our experiances are the work of God is it purely subjective? Is there some other more objective way?
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« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2013, 07:20:51 PM »

This is a brutaly honest statement!! Smiley and it brings up a wonder question for me.  How do we verify our experiances are the work of God is it purely subjective? Is there some other more objective way?

I think this is a great subject, and one all it's own, so I made a new thread for it...  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2013, 07:24:37 PM »

This is a brutaly honest statement!! Smiley and it brings up a wonder question for me.  How do we verify our experiances are the work of God is it purely subjective? Is there some other more objective way?

Empirically you can't just as you can't prove his existence.

I would guess most people when they have their lives changed by putting their trust in God, reading the scriptures, attending church regularly. They start having peace with their conscience and with God. At this point they are not going to start giving anyone the credit other than God himself.
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« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2013, 08:29:16 PM »

This is a brutaly honest statement!! Smiley and it brings up a wonder question for me.  How do we verify our experiances are the work of God is it purely subjective? Is there some other more objective way?

Empirically you can't just as you can't prove his existence.

I would guess most people when they have their lives changed by putting their trust in God, reading the scriptures, attending church regularly. They start having peace with their conscience and with God. At this point they are not going to start giving anyone the credit other than God himself.

The peace not as the world gives then, understandable
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