What Is Orthodox Christianity?

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Not sure how to interpret this comment; are you saying you DO believe in Original sin?
Of course I do, it’s confirmed by an Orthodox Council and described in the Scriptures and Saints. No Council ever overturned the Council(s) of Orange, hence why you were unable to answer my question.

The idea that “Roman Catholics believe in original sin, but Eastern Orthodox believe in ancestral sin instead” is - according to everything I’ve seen on the topic - a relatively recent innovation, largely propagated by a specific priest (Fr. John Romanides), who I’m told also taught the bizarre and alien doctrine that the nous is located in the spinal fluid. Personally I have no interest in what’s taught by any specific individual unless it can be backed up with Scripture, Saints, and Councils.

To my knowledge the distinction between original and ancestral sin is neither dogma nor doctrine and is not held by the Orthodox Church as a whole; for example, here is a ROCOR website talking about our belief in original sin:
 
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Uniate Crusher

 
Banned
Orthodox
Of course I do, it’s confirmed by an Orthodox Council and described in the Scriptures and Saints. No Council ever overturned the Council(s) of Orange, hence why you were unable to answer my question.

The idea that “Roman Catholics believe in original sin, but Eastern Orthodox believe in ancestral sin instead” is - according to everything I’ve seen on the topic - a relatively recent innovation, largely propagated by a specific priest (Fr. John Romanides), who I’m told also taught the bizarre and alien doctrine that the nous is located in the spinal fluid. Personally I have no interest in what’s taught by any specific individual unless it can be backed up with Scripture, Saints, and Councils.

To my knowledge the distinction between original and ancestral sin is neither dogma nor doctrine and is not held by the Orthodox Church as a whole; for example, here is a ROCOR website talking about our belief in original sin:
But how is your view on original sin any different from Roman Catholicism’s?

Quotes like this:
And such [among the faithful] as though involved in mortal sins, who have not departed in despair, but have, while still living in the body, repented, though without bringing forth any fruits of repentance—i.e. by pouring forth tears, by kneeling while watching in prayers, by afflicting themselves, by relieving the poor, and in fine by showing forth by their works their love towards God and their neighbor, and which the catholic Church has from the beginning rightly called satisfaction—of these and such like depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from there, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, though the prayers of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do from their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice availing in the highest degree; which each offers particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the catholic and apostolic Church offers daily for all alike. For course, it is understood that we know not the time of their release. For that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment we know and believe; but when we know not
This sounds almost verbatim like something out of an old pre Vatican 2 Roman Catholic catechism! Literally the only difference is the actual word purgatory was substituted with hades. And sure enough, I looked it up and St Peter Mogila based his catechism on the Scholastic Jesuit “St” Peter Canisius’s Catechism. But everything else is the same. Terms/concepts like mortal sins, satisfaction, merit, “Supreme Goodness”, “kneeling in prayers”, the concept of offering “the Unbloody Sacrifice [of the Mass]” for “the faithful Departed” etc are all straight out of Post-schism Roman Catholicism and Heterodox Scholastic frameworks. Shouldn’t be at least wary for that reason?
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
Of course I do, it’s confirmed by an Orthodox Council and described in the Scriptures and Saints. No Council ever overturned the Council(s) of Orange, hence why you were unable to answer my question.

The idea that “Roman Catholics believe in original sin, but Eastern Orthodox believe in ancestral sin instead” is - according to everything I’ve seen on the topic - a relatively recent innovation, largely propagated by a specific priest (Fr. John Romanides), who I’m told also taught the bizarre and alien doctrine that the nous is located in the spinal fluid. Personally I have no interest in what’s taught by any specific individual unless it can be backed up with Scripture, Saints, and Councils.

To my knowledge the distinction between original and ancestral sin is neither dogma nor doctrine and is not held by the Orthodox Church as a whole; for example, here is a ROCOR website talking about our belief in original sin:

The relevant canons of that Council are here:


I think we can fall into semantic squabbles on the question of Original Sin. Today’s Roman Catholic doctrine on Original Sin suggests that babies inherit the sin of their parents.

Surely you’re not saying that? The canons suggest that we inherit the spiritual and material consequences of sin, but if a newborn baby dies, for example, that doesn’t mean that he dies in a state of irredeemable sin and won’t go to Paradise. Indeed the link you cite states that the Catholic understanding of this is overly legalistic when it comes to questions like these.
 

Uniate Crusher

 
Banned
Orthodox
That article is just incoherent, convoluted gibberish. :poo:


Inherited sin does not contradict either psychological or physiological laws, but, on the contrary, finds confirmation in those and other laws. The transmission of certain psychical and moral attributes, certain depraved inclinations and also physiological defects (for example, predisposition to certain diseases) from parents to children and later generations is a completely ordinary phenomenon. From a purely psychological point of view, it would have been unnatural if the damage to the moral nature of the progenitors of the human race through sin had remained only with them and had passed away without leaving a trace on their posterity, without touching it.
From a purely physiological view inherited sin psychological psychological something something this but is not phenomena that of psychedelically blah blah blah don’t care.

How about a THEOLOGICAL view…?
"Original sin is the damage to human nature [caused] by sin, which makes it incapable of fulfilling God's plan, God's design for man as the crown of the creation of the whole visible world", writes Archbishop Nathaniel ("Discussions on Sacred Scripture and on Faith", Volume 1, page 96 [in Russian]).
OK…Meaning what…?
 
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GreatIrishElk

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
That article is just incoherent, convoluted gibberish. :poo:

From a purely physiological view inherited sin psychological psychological something something this but is not phenomena that of psychedelically blah blah blah don’t care.

How about a THEOLOGICAL view…?

OK…Meaning what…?
Hi! I see you are new so allow me to say that if your intentions are pure then you will be welcomed here :)

I am an inquirer and I come here to learn, and for me the linked article increased my understanding of original sin from an Orthodox perspective.

The part of your post in italics seems quite immature to me, it’s not so much of a refutation as a dismissal. Your tag says Orthodox, so I’m wondering if you have any better material with a more clear teaching of the Orthodox views on Original Sin?
 

GreatIrishElk

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
True, my discernment for online trolls is infantile. In my naivety I wanted to test without insulting him
It could be a thread of its own couldn’t it.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
The relevant canons of that Council are here:


I think we can fall into semantic squabbles on the question of Original Sin. Today’s Roman Catholic doctrine on Original Sin suggests that babies inherit the sin of their parents.

Surely you’re not saying that? The canons suggest that we inherit the spiritual and material consequences of sin, but if a newborn baby dies, for example, that doesn’t mean that he dies in a state of irredeemable sin and won’t go to Paradise. Indeed the link you cite states that the Catholic understanding of this is overly legalistic when it comes to questions like these.
As I understand it, Adam and Eve’s sin separated their souls from God (spiritual death), which leads to the separation of the soul from the body (physical death). As the Bible states, “The wages of sin is death.” Everyone born of a father and mother since the Fall is born into a fallen state in which their bodies decay over time and eventually die. Ergo, the sin of Adam and Eve still infects each of us at the root - otherwise we would not be mortal.

This chain of events has nothing to do with personal guilt for Adam and Eve’s sin, which isn’t relevant to the fact that we inherit that sinful and fallen state regardless of whether we personally have done anything wrong. We say constantly, with King St. David in Psalm 51, “For I was conceived in iniquities, and in sin did my mother bear me.”

I don’t believe, and the Orthodox in general don’t believe, that the above verse means that sex or procreation are sinful if done properly within the confines of marriage. But it does mean that the sinful state caused by Adam and Eve is passed on through generation, ie, procreation.

As far as unbaptized babies go, they are not born guilty so I trust in God’s mercy if they die before Baptism. Hope that makes sense, and as always I am open to correction if something I’ve said is wrong.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
But how is your view on original sin any different from Roman Catholicism’s?

Quotes like this:

This sounds almost verbatim like something out of an old pre Vatican 2 Roman Catholic catechism! Literally the only difference is the actual word purgatory was substituted with hades. And sure enough, I looked it up and St Peter Mogila based his catechism on the Scholastic Jesuit “St” Peter Canisius’s Catechism. But everything else is the same. Terms/concepts like mortal sins, satisfaction, merit, “Supreme Goodness”, “kneeling in prayers”, the concept of offering “the Unbloody Sacrifice [of the Mass]” for “the faithful Departed” etc are all straight out of Post-schism Roman Catholicism and Heterodox Scholastic frameworks. Shouldn’t be at least wary for that reason?
The banned poster is an even better example of my original post than I realized. “Supreme Goodness” is in the Cappadocians and, especially, St. Dionysius the Areopagite. “Unbloody sacrifice” is the same sentiment our priests say quietly during Liturgy (“bloodless sacrifice” as they say). “Mortal sins” is in the Bible and pre-schism Western Fathers. There is a great danger to this emotional, reactive rejection of everything that sounds “too Western.” Investigate, learn, grow.
 

pathos

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
For those who want to explore this topic. Truglia wrote a treatise on the issue of original sin from an Orthodox perspective which I think is worth reading:


There's also a discussion on this topic here:


And one with Fr. John Whiteford:


As for Catholicism, here is the Council of Trent (cited in Denzinger's "Sources of Catholic Dogma") on original sin:


New Advent's entry on original sin can be found here. The section on the "nature of original sin" would be the most relevant.
 

Alan Roebuck

Chicken
Protestant
You say "The Church cannot fall into error." I would like to know what you mean by this. Obviously, individual Christians and Church leaders and councils are capable of error. I presume that you do not see this doctrine as a sort of "blank check," so how are Christian pronouncements judged to be truthful or erroneous? How does this doctrine work in the real world?
 

OrthoMexicano

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
You say "The Church cannot fall into error." I would like to know what you mean by this. Obviously, individual Christians and Church leaders and councils are capable of error. I presume that you do not see this doctrine as a sort of "blank check," so how are Christian pronouncements judged to be truthful or erroneous? How does this doctrine work in the real world?

Will try answer with humble feeble mind...church as whole is guided by Holy Spirit, so because of this guide as whole over time trusting holy spirit, apostles, saints, those guided it can not fall into error. But that not mean that individuals never wrong.
 

UtrechtFRE

Chicken
Orthodox Inquirer
I have not read the one by St. Peter Mogila, but the one by St. Philaret unfortunately is an example of Western Captivity.
You should also read Fr Seraphim Rose, and make sure you even understand what that phrase means. This phrase gets thrown out a lot, mostly in the 'apologetic sphere' who also ignore the Saints when making apologetics, or examining scripture, or discussing spiritual struggle, and lift themselves up as egoists instead of reading what the Saints taught - if we don't link ourselves to our modern Saints, we will be lost.

When a Saint makes an error, we ignore it - we don't toss them out as if we are holier then the Saints directly before us.


When "Orthodox" scholars pick up the teaching of these pseudo-patristic scholars or make their own researches in the same rationalistic spirit, the outcome can be tragic; for such scholars are taken by many to be "spokesmen for Orthodoxy," and their rationalistic pronouncements to be part of an "authentically patristic" outlook, thus deceiving many Orthodox Christians. Father Alexander Schmemann, for example, while pretending to set himself free from the "Western captivity" which, in his ignorance of the true Patristic tradition of recent centuries (which is to be found more in the monasteries than in the academies), he fancies to have completely dominated Orthodox theology in modern times, has himself become the captive of Protestant rationalistic ideas concerning liturgical theology, as has been well pointed out by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, a genuine Patristic theologian of today.

Fr Seraphims letters:
The over-emphasis on the “Western captivity” of Orthodox theology in recent centuries is a symptom of the same mentality. Orthodox tradition was transmitted in those centuries, despite certain outward Westernisms, but our new “zealots” literally wish to throw out or at least regard with utmost disdain virtually all the great Fathers of those centuries—Metr. Philaret of Moscow, St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, Bp. Theophanes the Recluse, and others. (They haven’t attacked Bp. Ignatius Brianchaninov yet, but only because they can’t read Russian; but St. Macarius of Corinth will obviously have to go with St. Nikodemus, especially if—as I strongly suspect—his book on “Continual Communion” comes from Latin sources. A well-balanced Orthodoxy can easily take any foreign influences that come and straighten them out, make them Orthodox; but a one-sided “party-line” cuts itself off from the real mainstream of Orthodoxy.)

St John Maximovitch:
He showed equal respect for Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky with his “anti-Western” emphasis, and for Metropolitan Peter Mogila with his supposedly excessive “Western influence.” When the defects of one or the other of these great hierarchs and defenders of Orthodoxy would be presented to him, he would make a deprecating gesture with his hand and say, “unimportant”-because he always had in view first of all the great Patristic tradition which these theologians were successfully handing down in spite of their faults. In this respect he has much to teach the younger theologians of our own day, who approach Orthodox theology in a spirit that is often both too theoretical and too polemical and partisan.
 
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