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3 years ago  ::  May 07, 2012 - 12:27PM #1
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,921

What's the Eastern Orthodox take on justification by faith and/or works, heaven, hell and gifts of the Spirit?


Kind regards,


LilWabbit    

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2012 - 9:44PM #2
truthseeker630
Posts: 67

May 7, 2012 -- 12:27PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


What's the Eastern Orthodox take on justification by faith and/or works, heaven, hell and gifts of the Spirit?


Kind regards,


LilWabbit    





Hello LilWabbit, sorry for the late reply.  The forums around here aren't visited too much.   Eastern Orthodox are in agreement with Roman Catholics that "Faith Alone" will not lead one unto salvation.  You have free will, and you must use your will to cooperate with God's Will.  This is what has been called synergy.   Heaven and Hell are not separate places, for the Light of Christ can be experienced as bliss or torment.  This is how "Heaven" and "Hell" are understood. 

As to the "gifts of the Spirit", I'm not sure that we talk about that much.  We have a lot of saints, who possessed many gifts including bordering on the miraculous.  As always, we should simply remember that we are sinners -- and that it is God who accomplishes everything.  If there's anything else I haven't answered, please reply back and let us know. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 14, 2013 - 6:23PM #3
Basil1951
Posts: 204

Lilwabbit,


Your question is almost unanswerable from an Orthodox perspective because it reflects a completely different understanding of Christianity than the Orthodox understanding.


Imagine yourself looking through a pair of binoculars with your eyes looking from the objective lens through the eyepieces and then at your subject.  Now imagine yourself turning the binoculars around and looking at the subject with your eyes looking through the eyepieces and then the objective lens.


This difference in perspective is what separates Eastern Orthodoxy from western Christianity, both Roman Catholic and Protestant.  In my opinion the first method of using the binoculars represents western Christianity and the second, Orthodoxy. 


The basis of understanding is completely different between Orthodoxy and western Christianity.  This difference starts from the understanding of Original Sin, about which Roman Catholics and Protestants both agree -- believe it or not.


Eastern Orthodoxy is not so much concerned about the means of "justification" as it is about each believer turning their heart toward God through a spiritual journey and discipline of humility, repentance, and forgiveness.


An Orthodox saint once wrote that everyone in the next life will experience the uncreated light of God; the condition of your heart will determine whether you experience it as light or as heat.  And, the before the final judgment, the soul of each person in the next life will experience a foretaste of their eternal condition.


Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to those who are prepared and capable and found worthy of using them for God's greater glorification and for the benefit of other persons around those to whom they are given, not to those who will use them of unworthy purposes.


Basil

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1 year ago  ::  Jun 15, 2013 - 6:19AM #4
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,921

Thanks Basil for your thoughtful and profound response.


May 14, 2013 -- 6:23PM, Basil1951 wrote:


The basis of understanding is completely different between Orthodoxy and western Christianity.  This difference starts from the understanding of Original Sin, about which Roman Catholics and Protestants both agree -- believe it or not.



I do and since I'm a aware of the fact, I wished to become better acquainted with the Orthodox take on the matter. You've resolved some of my perplexities adeptly.


May 14, 2013 -- 6:23PM, Basil1951 wrote:

Eastern Orthodoxy is not so much concerned about the means of "justification" as it is about each believer turning their heart toward God through a spiritual journey and discipline of humility, repentance, and forgiveness.



A profound answer that resonates closely with my tradition as well.


May 14, 2013 -- 6:23PM, Basil1951 wrote:

An Orthodox saint once wrote that everyone in the next life will experience the uncreated light of God; the condition of your heart will determine whether you experience it as light or as heat.



Indeed, a pure mirror will be able to reflect the light of the Sun whilst a mirror whose back is turned against the Sun experiences the heat and the darkness. No separate "Place" required.


Kind regards,


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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