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Offline Christos3

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At Death...
« on: July 30, 2014, 04:44:49 PM »
Does it matter which house of Christ we worshiped?

I live in the southern USA and most of the people in my town are Baptists. In fact, my neighbor works at the Baptist church. He is a good man, husband and father. It's hard to imagine that his soul or anyone else's from his family be allowed to enter Heaven because they did not attend and Orthodox Christian Church.

I am off base for posing this question? What am I missing? Thanks.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 10:35:52 PM »
Does it matter which house of Christ we worshiped?

I live in the southern USA and most of the people in my town are Baptists. In fact, my neighbor works at the Baptist church. He is a good man, husband and father. It's hard to imagine that his soul or anyone else's from his family be allowed to enter Heaven because they did not attend and Orthodox Christian Church.

I am off base for posing this question? What am I missing? Thanks.

There are at least two distinct issues here.  One is the fate of the non-Orthodox who die as non-Orthodox.  The other is the necessity of the Orthodox faith.  There is some overlap, obviously, but they are two separate issues. 

Online WPM

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 11:06:14 PM »
Experienced answers about the Church and the Afterlife. (Places we go after we die) ...
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 11:07:56 PM by WPM »
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Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 11:16:51 PM »
Does it matter which house of Christ we worshiped?

I live in the southern USA and most of the people in my town are Baptists. In fact, my neighbor works at the Baptist church. He is a good man, husband and father. It's hard to imagine that his soul or anyone else's from his family be allowed to enter Heaven because they did not attend and Orthodox Christian Church.

I am off base for posing this question? What am I missing? Thanks.

There are at least two distinct issues here.  One is the fate of the non-Orthodox who die as non-Orthodox.  The other is the necessity of the Orthodox faith.  There is some overlap, obviously, but they are two separate issues. 

Thanks for bringing up this up Christos3, 'cause this is something I've been wondering myself. Mor, can you elaborate further on what the Orthodox Church teaches about the fate of non-Orthodox when they die?

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 11:44:18 PM »
Mor, can you elaborate further on what the Orthodox Church teaches about the fate of non-Orthodox when they die?

We pray for them and God will take care of them as he sees fit.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.  Do you have anything in particular you're curious about?

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 12:02:11 AM »
Orthodox Christians do not know what lies ahead in the afterlife except what Christ has taught.

We know from the Bible (Tobias) that we are to pray for  the dead. Beyond that, it is a Mystery.

Roman Catholics have attempted to explain the afterlife in their teachings on Purgatory and Limbo, but even their teaching on Limbo is not "infallibly" defined, but remains only the opinions of their theologians, nothing more.

So, let us pray for all the departed. However, in this life, if we can do good, let us not miss that opportunity.

For example, working in a soup kitchen, distributing food, drinks, and clothing to the needy, visiting the sick and imprisoned, providing religious instruction to children and/or adults, and praying might help lead others to salvation.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 12:17:17 AM »
Mor, can you elaborate further on what the Orthodox Church teaches about the fate of non-Orthodox when they die?

We pray for them and God will take care of them as he sees fit.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.  Do you have anything in particular you're curious about?

I ask as someone on the journey toward Orthodoxy . . . I have prayed to God on occasion for my mom who passed 4 years ago (who was a "Born Again Christian") that He take care of her and that she be at peace, 'cause she had a very hard life and a lot of struggles.  The rest I leave up to the Lord.  Is this what you mean?

Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 01:11:14 AM »
I have pondered this for a long time yet I see new issues pop up. Jesus taught one sin which probably would never be forgiven in the age to come which is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit but it was hard for me to define it. I have heard it is the purposeful rejection of what one knows is true. So does that mean if protestants are not sure orthodoxy is essential to salvation they will be forgiven in the age to come (assuming that means there is another place/chance for some people in an ge if they have met some criteria)? what if one is not willing to convert because someone he loves died without becoming orthodox ? That does not seem justified for one should not pity that person if he loves God because one should hope that person died in ignorance of not knowing one must become orthodox to be saved. But should there then be no motivation to convert to orthodoxy if one can claim ignorance since he thinks he will go to heaven through purgatory? no because God might have revealed more to that person his need to be orthodox to be saved. We don't know what issues people have with converting and if they can be resolved. We don't know if God made it essential to be orthodox to be saved unless we have received it from God

This makes sense to me now but then I think again and new issues arise and I get confused again

My question is why God would put a hinderance to people being saved who want to be saved ? why did He desire to establish the sacraments? there may be a good reason. When people realise they can not follow the christian life without the sacraments that might be God's calling to them to be orthodox as they examine and conclude they fall short of repentance

This all comes from someone who thought about it alot on my own on the plane flight before this post and couldnt reach a conclusion so it is probably incoherent and not making sense. I gave up this question and put it in the hands of God to reveal it to me in His time if I should know it otherwise I was going to be very depressed and not be able to move on with my life

I got confused because I thought the pharisees did not know Jesus was the Christ so how could they blaspheme the Holy Spirit according to definition I used above but then I remember Jesus said when I am lifted up from the earth then you will know that I am He so they would eventually be able to know He is the christ if they ask from God the truth so I suppose those who do not seek perish or rather does God work many miracles in people's life and it is up to them to believe in them or pay attention to them? if they ask God will God surely reveal the truth to them?
 that would make it harder for people to be saved if it is their choice to believe and God can not help but I think those who seek find. But one must pay attention to every thing and seek God early because he does not know the time of his death or does God give all people long life? is it a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit if one does not become orthodox because he is upset that someone he loves is probably not going to heaven? I think it is but Im not sure one can assume the state of any soul



« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 01:32:14 AM by mikeforjesus »

Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 02:47:48 AM »
I am confused again

Jesus told the pharisees if they do not believe in Him they would die in their sins just like some orthodox say non orthodox can not be saved without being baptised and receiving the body and blood the protestants have their own hope in being saved despite seeing the miracles in orthodoxy (by that I mean how the scripture confirms orthodoxy)  just like the Jews had their own belief that they were orthodox and hope in God by their own interpretations of scripture in both scernarios if one seeks God he can find the truth and see and believe physical miracles so does one need to be orthodox to be saved from eternal condemnation?

Offline LBK

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 02:54:41 AM »
Mike, these are all things you should discuss with your priest.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Father H

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 04:17:36 AM »
Mor, can you elaborate further on what the Orthodox Church teaches about the fate of non-Orthodox when they die?

We pray for them and God will take care of them as he sees fit.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.  Do you have anything in particular you're curious about?

I ask as someone on the journey toward Orthodoxy . . . I have prayed to God on occasion for my mom who passed 4 years ago (who was a "Born Again Christian") that He take care of her and that she be at peace, 'cause she had a very hard life and a lot of struggles.  The rest I leave up to the Lord.  Is this what you mean?

We even have a prayer for a departed pagan or atheist (prayer of St. Varos).  So certainly your praying for your mom who looked to Christ as Savior is perfectly acceptable from the Orthodox pov.  However, it is not acceptable from most protestant points of view since (from their pov) you are not supposed to pray for the departed.  We prefer that you pray for your mom, whether or not she had a lot of struggles!   If you provide her first name there will be a lot more people praying for her by name, but if you are uncomfortable because it is a public forum, we will pray for you and her just the same.   

Offline Father H

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 04:28:03 AM »
I am confused again

Jesus told the pharisees if they do not believe in Him they would die in their sins just like some orthodox say non orthodox can not be saved without being baptised and receiving the body and blood the protestants have their own hope in being saved despite seeing the miracles in orthodoxy (by that I mean how the scripture confirms orthodoxy)  just like the Jews had their own belief that they were orthodox and hope in God by their own interpretations of scripture in both scernarios if one seeks God he can find the truth and see and believe physical miracles so does one need to be orthodox to be saved from eternal condemnation?

Yes but none of us knows who will be orthodox in the end.  That is why we pray for a Christian ending to our life and a good defense before the Judgment seat.  Every one on earth already has a Savior.  In the Liturgy we pray "for the whole world."  We pray for them that we may be linked to them and they to us in the boundless mercy of our Lord.  God knows His sheep and the eternal pasture is their end.  We must follow the Way of Life while we trod the earth, and pray for others as long as we can draw breath to do so.  
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 04:31:24 AM by Father H »

Offline littlepilgrim64

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 12:55:50 PM »
Mor, can you elaborate further on what the Orthodox Church teaches about the fate of non-Orthodox when they die?

We pray for them and God will take care of them as he sees fit.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.  Do you have anything in particular you're curious about?

I ask as someone on the journey toward Orthodoxy . . . I have prayed to God on occasion for my mom who passed 4 years ago (who was a "Born Again Christian") that He take care of her and that she be at peace, 'cause she had a very hard life and a lot of struggles.  The rest I leave up to the Lord.  Is this what you mean?

We even have a prayer for a departed pagan or atheist (prayer of St. Varos).  So certainly your praying for your mom who looked to Christ as Savior is perfectly acceptable from the Orthodox pov.  However, it is not acceptable from most protestant points of view since (from their pov) you are not supposed to pray for the departed. 

We prefer that you pray for your mom, whether or not she had a lot of struggles!   If you provide her first name there will be a lot more people praying for her by name, but if you are uncomfortable because it is a public forum, we will pray for you and her just the same.   

Well, whenever come across a photo of my mom or something that reminds me of her and I get to missing her, that's when I would say a little prayer as I mentioned above.  (Regardless of the fact that I've been Presbyterian for the past 25+ years - - it might be the influence of my Roman Catholic upbringing).  How Orthodox pray for those who have departed I am still real fuzzy about, but that would be the topic of a new thread.

I would indeed appreciate if you all would pray for my mom, her name is Audry.  Thank you, Father.

Offline Maria

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 01:11:29 PM »
May her memory be eternal.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Online WPM

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 01:23:10 PM »
After death, you're traditionally buried in a casket (Funeral & Cemetery) .. after this initial phase, If you we're a faithful Christian in this life, You would be awaiting the Resurrection.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 01:24:42 PM by WPM »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2014, 02:13:43 PM »
Christos3, there is more to salvation than what will occur to us in the next life -- we have this life to live, too, you know. And in general, decisions based on "what we can get away with" can only deprive us of good. The Baptist organizations are simulacra of the true Church and are not without worth. But the true Church is tasked to do the most for our souls in this life and the next and is promised the wisdom and the Holy Spirit necessary to perform the task. -- Nor forget the majority of the Church in heaven, uniquely situated to give us aid. I'd urge studying the Orthodox ways and heritage more deeply before you make a choice.

May I ask if you can explain what's attracting you to "not having to be" Orthodox? I know it can be hard to explain things in a post on a forum.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2014, 02:26:05 PM »
Mor, can you elaborate further on what the Orthodox Church teaches about the fate of non-Orthodox when they die?

We pray for them and God will take care of them as he sees fit.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.  Do you have anything in particular you're curious about?

I ask as someone on the journey toward Orthodoxy . . . I have prayed to God on occasion for my mom who passed 4 years ago (who was a "Born Again Christian") that He take care of her and that she be at peace, 'cause she had a very hard life and a lot of struggles.  The rest I leave up to the Lord.  Is this what you mean?

Yes.  And what Fr H said.  :)

Offline Christos3

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2014, 11:10:00 AM »
Christos3, there is more to salvation than what will occur to us in the next life -- we have this life to live, too, you know. And in general, decisions based on "what we can get away with" can only deprive us of good. The Baptist organizations are simulacra of the true Church and are not without worth. But the true Church is tasked to do the most for our souls in this life and the next and is promised the wisdom and the Holy Spirit necessary to perform the task. -- Nor forget the majority of the Church in heaven, uniquely situated to give us aid. I'd urge studying the Orthodox ways and heritage more deeply before you make a choice.

May I ask if you can explain what's attracting you to "not having to be" Orthodox? I know it can be hard to explain things in a post on a forum.

I live in area with many Christian denominations (Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc) I live, work and do business with members of these churches. From what I can see these are good people. They go to worship, they donate their time. they educate their children on Christ and how to live a Christian life. I find it hard to believe these Christians will not be allowed into Heaven because they did not attend an Orthodox church. That was my query.

At times I find all churches very far removed from the original church of Jesus and the Apostles.

Offline Father H

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Re: At Death...
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2014, 12:54:39 AM »
Christos3, there is more to salvation than what will occur to us in the next life -- we have this life to live, too, you know. And in general, decisions based on "what we can get away with" can only deprive us of good. The Baptist organizations are simulacra of the true Church and are not without worth. But the true Church is tasked to do the most for our souls in this life and the next and is promised the wisdom and the Holy Spirit necessary to perform the task. -- Nor forget the majority of the Church in heaven, uniquely situated to give us aid. I'd urge studying the Orthodox ways and heritage more deeply before you make a choice.

May I ask if you can explain what's attracting you to "not having to be" Orthodox? I know it can be hard to explain things in a post on a forum.

I live in area with many Christian denominations (Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc) I live, work and do business with members of these churches. From what I can see these are good people. They go to worship, they donate their time. they educate their children on Christ and how to live a Christian life. I find it hard to believe these Christians will not be allowed into Heaven because they did not attend an Orthodox church. That was my query.

At times I find all churches very far removed from the original church of Jesus and the Apostles.

It is possible that everyone who in the sheepfold at this moment are not really a sheep, and that the sheep who are without will be within.  However, although this is possible, that is not what Christ tells us.  He tells us, and St. Paul tells us, that the wheat and tares will grow together, but also that wolves will enter in the sheepfold.  Thus, at any given time there are many wolves within and sheep outside (St. Augustine), and that there are many sheep at a given time who are not yet in the sheepfold (St. Gregory the Theologian).   

Do you really find that all churches are very far removed from the original church, or is this an emotion exaggeration?   Emotions are deceptive.