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Trying to understand the Orthodox Church position regarding salvation

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Dietrich Johnson, Mar 13, 2022.

  1. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    In my studies on the Orthodox Church, on multiple occasions I have come across the idea that "One cannot be saved if not part of the Orthodox Church", and "Those not part of the Orthodox Church are not Christians". Is this an accurate representation of the Orthodox Church position regarding salvation?
     
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  2. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    Roman Catholics and most Protestants are Christians and we do not lord over them re salvation. We do not pursue reckless, world ecumenism either.


    Will the Heterodox Be Saved?

    St. Rafael (Hawaweeny) of the Antiochian Orthodox Church is a good example of noting problems in faith matters in the Episcopal Church in contrast to Orthodoxy. He had to be firm in the situation he was in ( early 20th c.) but never questioned that they were Christians and loved them.

    Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny on the Anglicans and Orthodox Baptism


    More info on St. Rafael:

    Raphael of Brooklyn - OrthodoxWiki
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2022
  3. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    OK, I don't want to muddy the thread with two separate questions, so I will drop the one question (about whether Protestants/Catholics are Christians)... and instead what I am most interested in is the following:

    Is it an accurate representation of the Orthodox Church's position regarding salvation to say that "One cannot be saved if not part of the Orthodox Church" ?
     
  4. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    I’ve added more stuff to my other post seconds after your. reply. In the original link, I believe the quote from St. Theophan says the Lord will guide those He knows to Him on the light they are given. We have to keep our faith, do not assume our salvation over our neighbor, and know the Lord will bring many others to Him. For ex. I believe C.S. Lewis and Mother Theresa will be light years ahead of me in the heavenly kingdom (in my hope to be there with them) but I should not recklessly rationalize ( or judge) whatever non Orthodox aspects were in their Christian theologies. Hope this makes sense

    On a personal level, I realize that it was the Christian faith of my grandmothers ( one Orthodox, one Methodist) that kept faith in the Lord alive in our family.

    Also, I realized above I accidentally copied the same link twice and missed the article re St Rafael and the Episcopalians ( corrected). I also need to clarify re Mother Theresa & C.S.Lewis, I hope to be able to be where they will be to be light years behind them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2022
  5. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yes. however, folks not Orthodox in this life could find out they were, bad many Orthodox in this life really hate Christ. until Judgment Day, there is hope for pretty much everyone.
     
  6. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    But how could someone "find out they were" Orthodox if (for example) during their life they choose to be Protestant and go to a Protestant Church and think that is correct (in comparison to Orthodoxy)?
     
  7. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    The thing is many of the “mainliners” are ceasing to be Christian and trying to rationalize sin as their “gospel”. So we must not be yoked to them as St. Paul testifies in 2 Corinthians 6 and stridently in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.

    What is a 21st century example of what I am referring to? For some reason I still get some mail from the congregation I was raised in my youth ( which was not what it must becoming). I still gave to their food pantry so maybe that is why.
    Anyway, a current letter reads:


    “Church of Christ Uniting, a merged congregation of the United Methodist and Presbyterian USA denominations, is committed to being the hands, feet, voice, and heart of Jesus in our community. We value all individuals created by God and welcome them into the life of this congregation. To further advance our mission, a group of COCU members have been prayerfully considering becoming a Reconciling Congregation. To be reconciling means that our church would support proactively, the inclusion of everyone in our fellowship, including individuals of all genders, races, and sexual orientations.”

    The letter goes on to rationalize that they can basically redefine anything the United Methodist Church law ( this “church” was originally Methodist) says:

    “Will we be breaking UMC church law if we become a reconciling congregation? Are we in violation of the book of discipline? No, there is no disciplinary restriction on becoming a reconciling congregation. One of the methods of changing unjust laws is to actively resist them. Jesus did it all the time.”

    “What about the Bible?! How we read: Most people know that there are a few isolated passages of scripture that speak of people ‘lying with same gender partners.’ These are dynamics of power and submission, elders with youngsters, and orgies, temple prostitutes in the context of the Roman Empire. Nowhere does the Bible address loving, same gender, committed relationships.”

    Funny when I read Leviticus 18, Leviticus 19, Leviticus 20 which precede the Jews history with Rome by centuries, adultery is condemned in detail. When I read Romans 1, the same moral law is preached by St. Paul and also what he was dealing with in the church at Corinth. When we read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Matthew 6, Matthew 7 we see it is repentance ( Matthew 4:17) is the remedy for transgressing the law and not stoning as outlined in the old covenant. Is there a difference between the commandments the Lord says in Matthew 19:16-19 to what St.Paul says in Romans 13:8-10?

    I wonder what St. Rafael or St. Theophan would think of what there is today vs what they knew in their lifetimes?
     
  8. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    they’d find out at death, when they encounter Christ face to face.
     
  9. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    Sorry, I mean HOW is it POSSIBLE for someone who during their lifetime chose to be Protestant and went to a Protestant Church and believed it to be correct (in contrast to Orthodoxy) to find out they were actually part of the "Orthodox Church"? Not when/where, but HOW is that possible?
     
  10. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    because they loved truth and were just looking for it in the wrong place. so when they die and Christ as He is confronts them, they realize that they had always wanted to be Orthodox.
     
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  11. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    OK. So it's really a question of the sincerity one's heart, that determines whether someone is saved according to the Orthodox Church?
     
  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yes, but at the same time we must hold that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, and to be saved people must join her.
     
  13. Dietrich Johnson

    Dietrich Johnson Member

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    That could be perceived as in-congruent. I see it as nuanced.
     
  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    Orthodoxy is paradoxy
     
  15. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    I think the sense of nuance we are discussing is often evident in the Lord’s preaching. An example, I think, of this is in John 3:16-21 in which the Lord says those who do not believe are condemned and then says those who do truth will come to the light. I think this is a big part of what the Lord says re the final judgment in John 5:24-30 ( which is read at the funeral for the departed).
     
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