the refutation of the false church of Eastern Orthodoxy.
the refutation of the false church of Eastern Orthodoxy.
the refutation of the false church of Eastern Orthodoxy.
VOCABULARY 1: a - h
a gold mine of information about Eastern Orthodoxy.
ORIGINAL SIN and ANCESTRAL SIN.
ANCESTRAL SIN versus ORIGINAL SIN - THE ORTHODOX VIEW:
Like just about all Evangelical Christians and Protestants I believe unsaved mankind has a nature tending toward evil, and that this nature is a consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden. That unsaved man has such a nature is borne out by the records of his deeds in history. I do not however believe man is "guilty of the sin of Adam" that is an entirely different concept.
Please notice that the Oxford English Dictionary definition is as follows:
noun [ mass noun ] Christian Theology
the tendency to evil supposedly innate in all human beings, held to be inherited from Adam in consequence of the Fall. The concept of original sin was established by the writings of St Augustine.
Notice this definition does not include "man is guilty of Adam's sin". However I feel OED has misrepresented where the doctrine was established, and that is in scripture, rather Augustine (who was no saint) was one of the first to try to expound the subject outside of scripture.
Some people think the idea man can have a corrupted nature is unfair and therefore untrue, but I believe that is easily refuted. Is it not also possible to argue "it is unfair" for children to be brought up and reared by atheists, and people drunk on religion or in cults, or who are just plain immoral? Yet we know it is part of God's will for a free will world that this occurs as, well.... it is part of reality. It happens. It is here.
When the tribes of Judah and Benjamin sinned against God, and went into the Babylonian Captivity, and Israel sinned and went into the Assyrian Captivity, did their offspring not have to bear terrible consequences for hundreds of years? The same with Cain, after he murdered his brother Abel he was forced to wander the earth, again affecting the lives of his children, indeed after Assyria Israel wandered the earth for centuries. The entire way children are brought up is forced upon them by their parents in the formative years. That mankind bore a consequence from the sin of Adam in Eden is therefore not a surprise or any more unfair. The temptations to sin in Assyrian and Babylonian Captivity were greater. If a woman had an illegitimate child in the old testament her seed was banned from entering the house of God for an entire 10 generations!
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me," Deuteronomy 5:9.
The doctrine of original sin nature is supported also by the entire concept of the new covenant in Jer 31: 31-33 where there is a need to replace the "stony heart" of the unsaved by the soft heart of the new birth.
Orthodox deny the whole concept of original sin for anyone (that is being born with a tendency toward doing evil as a consequence of the fall, not being BLAMED for the sin of Adam) they have a doctrine called "ancestral sin" that is variously argued as Pelagian or Semi Pelagian, I think they are probably Semi Pelagian, yet they oxymoronically say not only Mary had "ancestral sin" (a weakening of the will" BUT Christ himself was born with this and had to overcome it as we do, therefore it cannot be the equivalent of original sin.) Protestants probably usually say Jesus was born "fully man and fully God" but as the 2nd Adam had Adam's unfallen nature when born in his manhood. We have no statistics on the percentage ratio of Protestants and Evangelicals who believe Jesus was born with the first human nature of unfallen Adam, versus any other idea, and young Christians are likely to change their mind anyway as they develop in relationship and understanding of The Word.
Ancestral sin: The entire phrase is a misnomer, and I honestly believe it is a diversion tactic from discussing the core issue of what they really mean by "corruption". The concept differs from original sin firstly in that it emphasises 3 consequences of the Fall of Adam upon humanity not one:
1) Thereinafter was death
2) Thereinafter was passibility
3) Thereinafter mankind's will was weakened.
The word passible means
capable of feeling or suffering; susceptible to sensation or emotion:
If Adams very nature was corrupted (as Evangelicals say) he would be more susceptible to sin if emotional. The Orthodox often explain this as "a weakened will" but do not explain it as "a nature tending toward evil". But I do not think this is saying the same thing in pedantically different terms and rhetoric. They think man is essentially good. That could be inaccurately thought of as Pelagianism, but the Orthodox are actually Semi-Pelagian in doctrine, so it shows they believe the Fall produced, to use their term, "a weakening of our nature".
I believe their doctrine is wrong as
1) Holy scripture says we are born with sin nature
2) The whole history of the human race refutes the idea mankind is essentially good.
They often say " the 3 consequences of the fall are death, passibility, and corruption" but their theology on the meaning of corruption is second rate in its clarity.
One of the most significant comments the Eastern Orthodox will make is "We deny the default setting for humanity is damnation". However without grace, just being mortal sets you outside of the "right" to enter Paradise for everlasting time with God himself. The fact is if you use the word "corruption" that is the end of the matter, corruption is corruption.
ancestral sin differs from Calvinist ideas by (quite rightly) saying that the doctrine that mankind became "totally depraved" in nature is too extreme, but they believe also the Arminian definition of man being "depraved" but not "totally" goes too far too, and that man is essentially good in nature, the closest idea in western theology being the term Semi-Pelagianism, in that where Arminians say man cannot make the first steps toward goodness without God, the Eastern Orthodox believe man, and fallen Adam, only had a weakened will after the Fall, and is essentially still good (most all agree Adam had a nature tending toward Good before the Fall)
This is made complex as the division with Catholic theology on it becomes embarrassing to both sides, considering there were supposed to be one church once. Subsequently there will always be a culture of denials about any division on it.
Semi-Pelagianism. perhaps the best western theological term that expresses the Eastern Orthodox Churches view on the nature of human free will, as they rejected Pelagianism in the 430 council of Ephesus.
in combination with "ancestral sin", versus the human nature of free will in combination with "original sin" as expressed in the most common Evangelical and Protestant belief called Arminianism.
There are 3 views of mans corrupt state:
1) Calvinism = man is totally depraved (heresy)
2) Evangelical & Protestant Arminianism = man is depraved, but not totally, he can accept the gospel by free will, BUT he cannpt take the first steps toward God himself, and only under God's drawing power can he be saved. (true = moderate)
3) Eastern Orthodox = ancestral sin has a less corrupted concept of mans nature than Arminianism (based on original sin instead). Thus quote
denoting the doctrine that the first steps towards good can be taken by the human will, though supervening divine grace is needed for salvation. It was (questionably) attributed to John Cassian (d.435),
SUBJECT - ARE WE GUILTY OF ADAM'S SIN?
The answer to this is definitely No!!!
The Eastern Orthodox want to continually imply Evangelicals, Protestants and Catholics all say we are guilty of the actual sin of Adam, They do this simply to deceive, as if they stay on topic their house of cards collapses. Catholics can go and make their own defence. If they do say we are guilty of the actual sin of Adam, it is wrong of them. Sometimes the Eastern Orthodox make a really good case to prove Catholics do believe the error we are guilty of the actual sin of Adam.
But the fact is most Evangelical and Protestant theology does NOT say we are held as guilty of Adam's actual sin by God. We are not. It is simply that the three consequences as we see them of the Fall are
2) Toil and sorrow
3) To be born with a corrupted nature that specifically tends toward doing evil.
We avoid altogether grouping all three under a silly inappropriate misnomer such as "ancestral sin", a phrase loaded with nothing but confusion.
Roman Catholics, as far as I understand, believe an extra thing happened after Adam fell - grace was removed from him, and, they say, only in baptism from a priest is that grace given back.
EVANGELICALS AND PROTESTANTS:
The vast majority of Evangelicals I think would tend to believe that babies are born with God's "covering grace" (and that is a precise theology term they use) in this sense - if they die as babies, or as children before the age God holds them responsible (that is when they grow up) they are covered by the grace they will not be damned.
I agree with this "covering grace doctrine" myself, but I think that the most likely outworking of what this means is that these babies and children who die will go into the Millennium Kingdom where their free will will also be tested as ours is. That is definitely not the persuasion of most Evangelicals and Protestants however, who might tend to just say "all such babies and children are saved" by which they mean will go into the Paradise of God untested as we are. Frankly I think the Millennium has been missed by almost all theologists in all denominations as the most likely answer to this. Sorry if saying that makes you think I am heretical simply because I have this non stereotypical persuasion.
I think it is best expressed in 4 points:
1) Adam and Eve: let children and babies down by disobeying and bringing sin nature, increased suffering, and death into the world.
2) The vast majority of parents let children and babies down by being determined to bring them up in false religion, atheism etc.
3) God gives all babies and children "covering grace" meaning he will definitely not damn them if they die (and most likely this means they will go into the Millennium kingdom, as will all babies and children still alive when Christ returns). The thing is I believe it is for God to say at what age a person is held responsible, I very much doubt indeed God has some fixed universal age in mind.
4) The second Adam, Jesus, did not let them down, unlike the first Adam he was a total success in all he did, and offers all children and babies "the free gift of eternal life in the gospel" when they grow-up, indeed we know some children accept Christ as Saviour in their youth, and would then simply be in a state of salvation. Children tricked into believing the false gospel of Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism (tri-synergism) would still be under "covering grace" as they are not at a responsible age.
The Calvinist views on this subject are diabolically corrupt and evil. But I think there are interesting things to be discussed in their theology in the terms used by the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian church, that is Sublapsarian Calvinism and Supralapsarian Calvinism.
The difference between the western held doctrine of "original sin" and the different Orthodox definition of "ancestral sin" is tricky to define precisely, but is very important to understand, as it has great relevance to how we perceive many other subjects such as
1) The nature of Adam, before and after the Fall.
2) The nature of babies and children.
3) The nature of man, before and after salvation,
4) The definition of being born again,
5) The nature of Mary, the mother of Jesus (and her mother).
6) The human nature of Christ himself.
Finding a concise definition is difficult. The great western theological tomes that seek to give concise definitions, such as The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, are almost void of the jargon and rhetoric and theology terms used by Eastern Orthodoxy.
My own thoughts about why this is so are controversial. I believe it is because Catholicism has largely been influenced through Italy, into which the Book of Revelation says the spirits of Babylon (once in Iraq) have now transmigrated across the Earth into Rome, Italy, and Catholic countries. This drunken stupor of religion makes them very bold to make concise theological statements, without a care that the statements do not hold up to logical examination, as to them credulity is not recognisably different from Faith. The Orthodox however, are rooted more in Greece than Italy, a country known for its logic. This produces a paradoxical reaction, the Eastern Orthodox avoid giving concise definitions of their beliefs, as they see by doing so they can be logically be taken apart step-by-step. And thus a country like Greece, known for its logic, is now known for being slippery, and their avoidance of clarity. So we do not see the precision in theology from Greece and Russia as we see in Italy. They are however just as likely to use Greek sophistry in the Orthodox defence of their Faith, sophistry often based on oxymorons such as "and thus we see the Orthodox are saved by grace and works" an impossibility according to Romans 11:6, a scripture that so powerfully refutes their religion the Roman Catholics decided to chop half of the verse out of the bible.
My first impression on Eastern Orthodox "ancestral sin"
My first impression on Eastern Orthodox "ancestral sin", is that they think mankind is born with the same nature as unfallen Adam, that is tending toward goodness, but that, as Adam chose to sin, mankind has a percentage tendency (rather than a predisposition) to chose to sin by freewill, just as their first ancestor, and subsequent ancestors did.
The history of the human race however is so evil, it calls into question the idea that unsaved mankind has a nature tending toward good, so the Eastern Orthodox, in order to maintain credibility, frame Catholics and Protestants by saying "original sin doctrine means you are guilty of Adams actual sin", which is not true.
I will see if my first impression of their doctrine is wrong as I research it.
I deny altogether that St Augustine is the originator of the doctrine..... its discussed in the new and old testament, for goodness sake, and so, personally, I could not give a hoot for what so called "saint" Augustine said. It is more relevant to discuss what Evangelical, Orthodox and Catholic doctrine is on it.
Being born with "a nature that tends toward evil not good" does not inherently mean you are being found guilty of Adam's actual sin, its not a permanent or essential characteristic of the situation, it is however a consequence of Adam's sin, or Fall. This may seem to some people as if God is being unfair allowing this, however, when you think about it, a parents decisions always affect the life of babies and children. Just the very country they live in can affect their children. If a parent gambles away all the family money, and they live in poverty, that could lead to more temptation for everyone as they begin to starve. etc etc etc. I do not wish to argue with the Almighty God. What I want to believe is what the bible teaches, and on this occasion I want to clearly describe Orthodox teaching.
though it is most certainly true of many Protestant and Evangelical churches that the guilt of Adam's actual sin is not "transmitted" to us all at birth (or even in the womb) is it really true of Catholics, or are modern Catholics once again masquerading as Evangelicals in theology, as their own theology falls apart?
"If anyone asserts that this sin of Adam, which in its origin is one, and by propagation, not by imitation, transfused into all, which is in each one as something that is his own... If anyone denies that by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted... let him be anathema."
This sounds like a corruption of St Augustine.
its complex as Mary doctrine, her mother, and Jesus doctrines make it VERY different, but Protestant doctrine usually denies we are guilty of the sin of Adam, just inherit the consequence of a nature tending toward evil. Difficult as Protestant and Evangelical churches are so diverse we cannot quantify it as a % easily.
Whereas the Eastern Orthodox are prone to making blanket statements such as
"the harmful effects of Adam and Eve's sin affects us all" well..... obviously, but it does not address the issue of whether a baby that is born (or even in the womb) has a nature tending toward good, evil, or is somehow neutral.
Funerals of children :
The Prayer of Absolution is not read in the Funeral for a Child (a special funeral used for children under the age of seven), since such young children are not generally held to be morally responsible for their sins, but is replaced by the following prayer:
O Lord, Who guardest little children in this present life, and hast prepared for them in the life which is to come a spacious place, even Abraham's bosom, and angelic abodes brightly radiant which befit their purity, wherein the souls of the righteous dwell: Do Thou, the same Lord Christ, receive the soul of Thy servant, the child, N., with peace. For thou hast said: Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. For unto Thee are due all glory, honour and worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.:433–4
one of the most interesting subjects concerning the issue of Adam's sin is the topc, "Did death itself come into the world because of the sin of Adam?" That is, would men and women have never died, and even animals, if Adam and Eve had resisted Satan's temptation in Eden? If so..... human history would therein after have been very very very very different!!!
ORTHODOX: I simply want to point out to Orthodox readers that the position which the West calls "semi-Pelagianism" is the position of the Orthodox Church. It is the doctrine which we call synergy.
Saint John Cassian, Saint Hilary of Arles and Saint Vincent of Lerins joined in the rebuttal of Saint Augustine.
semi-Pelagian |ˌsɛmɪpɪˈleɪdʒɪən| Christian Theology
denoting the doctrine that the first steps towards good can be taken by the human will, though supervening divine grace is needed for salvation. It was (questionably) attributed to John Cassian (d.435), and was generally held to be heretical. See also Pelagius.
We are tempted by sin and we become guilty of it through committing our own personal sins. We therefore suffer and we die. This is the orthodox understanding of original sin. It is not something that we are guilty of personally, but an action whose consequences have affected our lives as humans. As humans we sin, and our own guilt is because of our own personal sin.
Mankind is born with a nature that tends toward evil, but NOT totally depraved, capable of accepting the good news under Gods drawing power. It is one of the "new and better promises" of the new covenant that we are born again spiritually (by accepting Christ, not by baptism in water) giving us a new nature tending toward good
I never said "plants belief in him" that is the stench of Calvinism. I said God "draws him". Man must believe by Faith. He must respond. So it seems you are saying mankind can find God without God spiritually drawing him, on his own, if so then semi-Pelagianism, and Orthodoxy, differ from standard Evangelical and I think also Protestant
It appears there are 3 positions:
1) Made man totally depraved in nature from birth (bunk = Calvinism, too corrupt)
2) Mankind has a nature tending toward evil, but can only be saved after God "draws him" (Arminanism - I think moderate and true)
3) Orthodoxy (and you say semi-Pelagianism) The fall corrupted man only a bit, he is essentially good, thus can find God and Faith all on his own, just for instance by hearing or reading scripture (too proud given mankind's history, I believe false)
also I would utterly tremble to utter a doctrine saying Jesus was born with the fallen nature and overcame it, to me it sounds like simply blasphemy to say he had the fallen nature. and it seems to clearly contradict 1 Cor 15 about the 1st and 2nd Adam.
I do not believe that the meaning of Romans 8:3 "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" is that Jesus inherited the fallen nature of Adam, more that he bore away our sins in his body on the cross
Were we born with grace?
no I am actually trying to establish that the “guilt” of Adam includes the loss of grace, which is necessary to be saved, which we receive in baptism. I think the orthodox would agree with this, but I am trying to verify that.
I have a persuasion, not yet a doctrine, that all babies are born with the "grace" that if they die before the age of responsibility, they will most likely go into the Millennium Kingdom to grow up and be tested. The idea a Roman Catholic priest is used as a vehicle, or alternatively is given power, to impart grace by baptism, is priestcraft salvation, called sacerdotalism, reducing Jesus to a semi Saviour.
interesting division in Orthodox doctrine. if you really tell the truth (I somehow doubt it) Give me an Orthodox quote on their official church stance that there a two types of priest, royal and ministerial. I take it you mean "offering up the physical body of Christ" . Are women royal priests in Orthodoxy, babies and children?
"For I fancy this fall that we are to take heed against is a fall of the soul, not of the body. If, then, rising again belongs to things that fall, and souls fall, it must be owned that souls also rise again. To the words, “In them the second death hath no power,” are added the words, “but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years;” ***and this refers not to the bishops alone, and presbyters, who are now specially called priests in the Church; but as we call all believers Christians on account of the mystical chrism, so we call all priests because they are members of the one Priest***. Of them the Apostle Peter says, “A holy people, a royal priesthood.”
You'll notice St. Augustine here clearly delineates between the forms of the priesthood.
give also Catholic CHURCH and Orthodox CHURCH official quotes. with the literally THOUSANDS of flaky saints, pillarists, hermits etc in Orthodoxy I dare say they mentioned just about everything
From what I understand the Eastern position is that we live with the consequences of Adam's sin but not the guilt for Adam's sin.
So for example, anyone living at Chernobyl bears the consequences of the meltdown but they did not cause the meltdown.
well the consequences are 1) death 2) increased sorrow and pain 3) a nature tending toward evil.
Apparently you believe the 3rd item is just less will power, but essentially man is so good he can find God without being "drawn" by God.
You see, one minute you say "The concept of ancestral sin has nothing to do with actual sin on our part" then you say stuff like "It would be blasphemous to say Jesus nature had ancestral sin" when its supposed to have nothing to do with sin. THEN you say Jesus suffered (ancestral sin definition includes increased suffering) and Jesus died (ancestral sin includes the consequence we die). You seem contradictory.
Longer Catechism of the Orthodox Church by St. Philaret of Moscow
164. What came of Adam's sin?
The curse, and death.
165. What is the curse?
The condemnation of sin by God's just judgment, and the evil which from sin came upon the earth for the punishment of men. God said to Adam, Cursed is the ground for thy sake. Gen. iii. 17.
166. What is the death which came from the sin of Adam?
It is twofold: bodily, when the body loses the soul which quickened it; and spiritual, when the soul loses the grace of God, which quickened it with the higher and spiritual life.
167. Can the soul, then, die as well as the body?
It can die, but not so as the body. The body, when it dies, loses sense, and is dissolved; the soul, when it dies by sin, loses spiritual light, joy, and happiness, but is not dissolved nor annihilated, but remains in a state of darkness, anguish, and suffering.
168. Why did not the first man only die, and not all, as now?
Because all have come of Adam since his infection by sin, and all sin themselves. As from an infected source there naturally flows an infected stream, so from a father infected with sin, and consequently mortal, there naturally proceeds a posterity infected like him with sin, and like him mortal.
169. How is this spoken of in holy Scripture?
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom. v. 12.
483. May not a man, on the other hand, be saved by love and good works, without faith?
It is impossible that a man who has not faith in God should really love him; besides, man, being ruined by sin, can not do really good works, unless he receive through faith in Jesus Christ spiritual strength, or grace from God.
For comparison, here is part of the teaching from the Catholic Catechism...
402 All men are implicated in Adam's sin, as St. Paul affirms: "By one man's disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners": "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned."289 The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men."290
403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul".291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.292
404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam "as one body of one man".293 By this "unity of the human race" all men are implicated in Adam's sin, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.294 It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.
405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.
(under construction - complex issues)
This subject is complex enough, without Orthodoxy complicating it further by the "ancestral sin" issue. The complexity
1) What is original sin?
2) Is it physically transmitted in the DNA code from the ovum or conception?
3) At what point is the fertilized ovum a unique person that will be resurrected come what may?
4) If you say the soul of the person enters the fetus at a later time, like for instance at the first heartbeat, is the child then already "infected" with original sin spiritually in the invisible realm, rather than the physical realm? That is quote "the tendency to evil supposedly innate in all human beings, held to be inherited from Adam in consequence of the Fall."
5) Are you mixing up "original sin" with some kind of guilt for Adams transgression.
6) Is Orthodoxy in effect saying we are all born with a neutral capacity to sin or obey? Modified later by personal use of free will?
7) As Evangelicals and Protestants are not universally identical, but usually always deny Mary was sinless in her actions, and sinless in the absence of "original sin", do they say her ovum was or was not used? If it was - was it somehow purged of original sin by the fact it was the Holy Ghost who made the miracle happen? Or was the conception entirely miraculous without the use of the ovum? In which case does that not sound as if it conspicuously contradicts the "thy seed" prophecy. And was the spirit/soul present of Jesus present at conception?
8) Are the Orthodox saying Jesus was born with the exact same nature as us, that is infected with a nature tending toward evil, but he over came that? If so that sounds somewhat blasphemous to Protestants, Evangelicals and Catholics.
9) This subject is so complex because a precise view of Mary is involved, a precise view of the incarnation (and the dual nature issue of human and divine), it involves Trinity, and then the consequences of the Fall, and if and how "original sin" is transmitted, and to who. A very precise method of laying it out must therefore be involved, requiring much editing. So..... expect this page to reshape a lot!
10) Was Mary born a "special human being" different from the rest of us? In Orthodox teaching - it is certainly so in Roman Catholic teaching.
this subject is one of the subjects Orthodoxy is not clear enough on, so it will take time
The subjects of "original sin nature" and Mary and the birth of Jesus are very strongly connected, and Catholic, Protestant/Evangeical, and Ortthodox all seem to be different. This will take some time to research !
THIS PAGE IS ONLY NOTES AND MUST BE COMPILED INTO A DISCUSSION BY ME:
the page is presently nothing but notes
(I have a feeling some of the below conversations were with Orthodox believers who never knew the doctrine of their own church)
1) They deny "original sin".
To complicate this issue the Eastern Orthodox Church often use instead the term "Ancestral Sin".
Further more Protestant doctrines on this can differ more than Catholic and Orthodox what is worse I do not myself think it is necessary to salvation to be really explicit in doctrine about this necessarily.
The Orthodox stance varies from Catholic or Evangelical views in this way:
QUOTE: "We are all born with the image of God. The fall did not destroy it. While we did not inherit the guilt of Adam, we did inherit the consequences of the fall. Death, disease and a predilection to sin. Christ, being perfect, did overcome the human predilection to sin. We believe Christ assumed human nature fully, including the effects of the fall. But by his perfect will did not sin, even when tempted. Adam was not created with a tendency to evil. But he was created with free will, and when he sinned the natural order of creation, which was full communion with God, was destroyed."
"The Incarnate Christ took His humanity from the Theotokos. Mary's ovum was no more "different" although it was unique as are all gametes from individuals since the beginning of time. All men and women are born in the image (icon) of the Creator God although the likeness (eidion), the glory or more technically uncreated energies of the Holy Spirit as God , which was lost in the fall and returned by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. which is not separated from water baptism in Orthodoxy. The Incarnate Christ being True God and rue man was not born the same as we all are bu was divinity incarnate as well as as human as Adam was. If Mary was not preserved at some level from the temptation to sin which was Eve's "flaw" which was also free will 9as is the Theotokos' fiat) in the ontological sense certainly her carrying God in her womb, sharing metabolisms, genetic substance, all the things we understand about the mother/child connection she would have not gone through that process unchanged."
"Ancestral Sin" in Orthodoxy is the mortal wound of the fall that results in death of our likeness, the eidion of the Creator,. It would be reasonable to suggest that our mortality is what makes us susceptible to sin and the domination of the prince of this world. As long as the powers and principalities rule our fallen world we are susceptible to temptation as Christ was but without Sin.
ANSWER FROM ME:
"So you say Jesus was born with a predilection toward sin? Taken from the ovum of Mary, that was a consequence of the Fall. But that should never be expressed as "sin nature" (or original sin) that is a theological misnomer to you, as the essence of humanity (eidion) was not despoiled by the fall (he was still part of a creation called good) which you think the expression "a nature tending toward evil" implies too strongly?"
the preparation of the Theotokos (Orthodoxy expresses an understanding starting with the Theotokos' birth to an old and infertile couple who dedicate their daughter to God and present her to the temple at a very young age.)
Orthodoxy teaches that the likeness was distorted in the fall. It is of the 'essence of humanity" that's why we maintain that mankind was essentially good in nature but death was not and entered the world with the ancestral sin and the likeness was lost but restored with the baptism by the Holy Spirit and water. The beginning of the way of Theosis.
ANOTHER DENIAL IS IN ANALOGIES
The mettaphor/analogy that predominates in Orthodoxy is a wound that requires healing not a debt to be paid, a sacrifice to be made, a curse to be overcome.
We say original sin is a corruption of our very nature. Catholics say Jesus was born with a GOOD nature, thats why they say Mary had an immaculate conception. You say Jesus was born with a predilection to sin (a scary thing to say) so feel forced to deny that predilection is a nature, fearing blasphemy allegations. So you redefined the expression as "ancestral sin". Ok...... so define it then
2) They believe the actual seed of Mary was used to create Jesus body in his conception, as to them Mary (or any other woman) was not born tainted by a nature that tends toward evil (theologically called "original sin nature"). Whereas Evangelical Christians in general believe the conception of Christ in the womb of Mary was wholly miraculous, not using her actual seed.
distinguish between the two different things "original sin" and the Catholic heresy of the "immaculate conception"
I did find it interesting researching the phrase "ancestral sin" that this is a Greek Concept going back many centuries in Greece before Christs incarnation.
1) Immaculate Conception
the doctrine that God preserved the Virgin Mary from the taint of original sin from the moment she was conceived; it was defined as a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church in 1854.
• the feast commemorating the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.
2) original sin
noun [ mass noun ] Christian Theology
the tendency to evil supposedly innate in all human beings, held to be inherited from Adam in consequence of the Fall.
I do not see original sin as best described as you and I being "guilty of Adam's sin". Orignal sin is not even defined by the OED in that way. The Orthodox teachers teach that Evangelicals and Protestants believe mankind is to blame for Adams sin (actually another topic from the CONSEQUENCE of it). One has to ask, if mankind is born with a nature that tends toward good, how do you explain human history? In the Old Covenant the seed of an illegitimate child could not enter into the house of the Lord for 10 generations, that is a consequence, but does that mean the descendants are actually to blame for the sin? After all, howcan you be "to blame" for something before you were even born?
SOURCES QUOTED AS USEFUL BY ORTHODOX BELIEVERS:
2) https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/.../athanasius/ (a concise view?)
The Theotokos lived in the Temple from age 3 to 13, where she was fed and ministered to by the angels, notably, Gabriel. At 13, Gabriel appeared to her again, and you know the story.
Per this interaction, the Theotokos' gnomic mode of willing *changed*, and she was exalted due to *her* own actions of her now 13 years. This is why we say she is "All Holy" and "Panagia" and "Sinless"
Though we do not say she is anamartitos (that we reserve for Christ alone)
Jonathan Hill Orthodoxy professes original sin (even if certain pockets of converts do not). This is highlighted most especially in Carthage 418, canon 121; A number of Fathers, such as Ss Cyril of Alexandria, Gregory Palamas, Diodochos, and Theophan the Recluse discuss baptism appropriately: that is, there is a cleansing of sin and the devil inside the recipient, there is an exorcism where Satan is expelled, and then an indwelling of Grace. "