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Re: A Baptist with questions

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June 21, 2005 10:03PM
Good Day to All,
Thanks James for these good words from the Orthodox study bible. I have one and use it daily for morning prayers and study. I have read the note you are quoting.

It Looks like I started a good debate here. I started this by asking a few simple questions. They were answered in a very thoughtful way thanks by James. Al, while visiting this sight brought up the issue of, what must one do to be saved. His answer I believe was “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”. This of course is scripture but belief implies obedience to God’s other commands as well. I don’t know why Al is visiting an Orthodox sight unless He is looking for some answers for Himself. Well I have no idea of person’s motives but all that seek truth need the prayers of true Christians to guide them in their quest.

I am not sure this is the best forum for this discussion since it is for Catechumens. I should have asked my questions elsewhere on the sight since I am not a Catechumen but I may be someday soon. Since the issues are being discussed here I want to bring up some more questions that James or others may be able to help answer. I do think Al is bringing up some valid points of soteriology but is not presenting them well. I will probably not present my thinking very well either. I am still not sure where I stand on all these issues. I have to believe there may be exceptions to God’s revealed plan for salvation. The thief on the cross is surely one but is easily answered. There are surely other circumstances however where people are genuine seekers who have not received the full knowledge of God’s plan such the necessity for baptism and the Eucharist. Just which is the one true church out of the thousands that claim to be? If we do not find the Orthodox Church is there hope of salvation? I know some think not but it seems that there is some room for exceptions in the Orthodox doctrine of salvation.

This being said however, the possible exceptions would not be the norm for finding God. When God’s truth has been clearly revealed persons must act upon the truth in obedience. Obedience to God’s revealed will is the working out of ones faith and proves a person has a real faith rather than a said faith. We should not look for possible exceptions to God’s plan but rather desire to be completely obedient to the plan God has revealed to us in Holy Scripture. This is what true faith is all about. "Faith without works is useless says James 2:20."
T
he idea that all one must do to be saved is to call upon the Lord is a very reductionist attitude that is prevalent in many protestant and the free churches in particular. Many take baptism lightly and hardly if ever take the Eucharist. This is not the people’s fault for communion is hardly ever served in most protestant churches. Baptism is often a choice and not a command. We have always looked for the easiest path in order to attract more people. Just say a prayer and ask God to save you and you will go to heaven when you die! I know I am being simplistic and I don’t mean to make light of these well-meaning people. I have been one of them and still in a church that teaches this simple message. I have led people in the sinner’s prayer and have yet to see any follow God into the church and be baptized. There is something wrong it seems to me in this message. First it expects nothing of these new converts to the faith. We always hope they will go on in the faith and some do but many I believe have a false hope in a prayer that has been repeated after someone on the TV or in church. This is not enough to receive eternal life. Faith if genuine will result in a life of decipleship, good works and the sacraments!

Where did we go so wrong? I am sure one of the reasons many are leaving the protestant and free churches are for this reason. They intuitively know there is more to Christianity than this and are finding it in a more structured and disciplined church.

Bry
Subject Author Posted

A Baptist with questions

Bry McClellan May 10, 2005 11:43PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

James May 24, 2005 08:14PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

al June 19, 2005 11:57PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

James June 20, 2005 01:52AM

Re: A Baptist with questions

Bry McClellan June 20, 2005 05:41AM

Re: A Baptist with questions

James June 20, 2005 04:37PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

al June 20, 2005 09:33PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

James June 21, 2005 06:23AM

Re: A Baptist with questions

James June 21, 2005 05:32PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

Bry McClellan June 21, 2005 10:03PM

Re: A Baptist with questions

James June 21, 2005 10:45PM