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The Image of God in Sinners

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Light of the East, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    Just wondering what the Orthodox view (ORTHODOX ANSWERS ONLY, PLEASE!!) would be on this: I listened to an old TV sermon by Bishop Fulton Sheen in which he said that at the Judgment, Christ will look at sinners and those Catholics in "mortal sin" (a concept I believe the Orthodox reject, right?) and say "I do not see my image in you. Be gone."

    What is the Orthodox thought on whether or not the image of God remains in all men no matter what state of grace or sin they are in? I thought that the image of God is never completely lost, no matter how dreadfully sinful a man or woman becomes.

    This sounds like Augustine's "total depravity" thinking.

    What is the Orthodox understanding?
     
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  2. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if you are likely to find a direct answer to your question. I don't know if Bishop Sheen was quoting from their catechism when he said that or if it was just his way of explaining it, which would make it his commentary on it. It reminds me of Cardinal Ratzinger's commentary on purgatory:

    "“There will be few people whose lives are pure and fulfilled in all respects…In any case, we need a final cleansing, a cleaning by fire, to be exact, in which the gaze of Christ, so to say, burns us free from everything, and only under this purifying gaze are we, as it were, fit to be with God and able, then, to make our home with him”"

    Notice he adds "so to say" and "as it were" to convey that he is speaking an analogy. Did Bishop Sheen mean it by way of analogy or was it literal? I don't know.
     
  3. Not David

    Not David Someday an Orthodox

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    Did St. Augustine even believed in total depravity? I also not sure if it was the likeness or the image but I read that one of them can be lost
     
  4. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    I could be wrong, but I think I remember reading an Orthodox blog site that said pretty much that. Whatever it was, he had a dim anthropology, which I can't help but believe was formed by his previous life, deeply stained by sin. It would be nice to think that baptism creates clarity of thought, cleansing of conscience, and a clear world view, but that isn't so. We are beings who are deeply influenced by our psychological make up, including everything good and bad that we poured into it. I have to think that Augustine looked at his own wretched behavior and made the leap to transferring it to all of humanity, calling it the famous "massa damnata" which Calvinists so love to quote.
     
  5. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yes, the image of God remains in man no matter what.

    but Bishop Sheen doesn't say the image is annihilated, only unseen. and my guess would be in the same poetic apocalyptic style as Christ saying, "Depart from Me, I know you not."
     
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  6. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    Okay, getting nit-picky here. How does the all-seeing God not see His image in even the worst of sinnners?
     
  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    same way an all knowing God can say, "Adam, where are you?"
     
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