Orthodox Salvation



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38 Replies to “Orthodox Salvation”

    1. The part that gets me is that they have to leave their salvation, regardless of anything done on this side of the grave, still in the hands of God.

      1. Yeah. Theologically, I agree with you that they’re wrong for that. Philosophically, however, I respect the abject humility of it. Ah, for balance. (sigh)

        1. I do prefer the translation which reads ‘being saved’ which I think does have that balance of ‘not saved yet, but getting there.’

          1. Now I’m confused again. Better forget it. To me, putting it into words at all loses the balance.

            Once saved, always saved? Probably. But should I focus on that?
            Lose my salvation? Maybe not. But again, should I focus on that?

            “Working out my salvation” is vague enough. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Not fear of damnation, though. Fear of Him.

  1. I dont remember where, but I was reading some orthodox (by people who were not native English speakers, so there may have been confusion in translation) explanation of salvation somewhere, and got the distinct impression they were saying everyone would be saved. That just didn’t make sense. When I sent them an email, it was ignored.

    Does anyone have more info on the position of the Orthodox church regarding how one is saved and whether one can lose salvation and whether everyone will be saved?

  2. Salvation for the Orthodox, is like Rome’s based first on the Incarnation, from here flows out the whole truth and reality of our redemption, it is both Incarnational: Christ, and Trinitarian…One God, Three Persons. Faith is always seen in the sacramental acts and reality (as they see and believe). Thus the Church itself is always a continuing member or player. And salvation must be kept and regarded, renewed, and simply lived. Therefore grace can be lost. Some of the East have been in favor of Universalism, but it is a hope, rather than a dogma.

      1. It comes from their attachment to the Alexandrine school – Origen, the Eusebian Party, who were all universalists. Of course, a portion of early thought can be said to be somewhat universal in regards to salvation at some point.

        Of course, when I said ‘hope’ instead of dogma, that point never got accepted.

  3. I think this video expresses well what I believe. However, It may be hard for you to understand through the filter of your language (terminology) or beliefs.

    The Orthodox Church definitively teaches and believes that a person is saved entirely by the grace of God. But at the same time, this movement of God towards us does not overwhelm or abolish the human will, as Bishop Kallistos (Ware) notes: “We should consider that the work of our salvation is totally and entirely an act of divine grace, and yet in that act of divine grace we humans remain totally and entirely free.” Or, as the second century Epistle to Diognetes puts it: “God sent his Son to save us – to persuade us but not to compel: for force is alien to God.” While Calvin said that the capacity of humans to choose good was destroyed after the Fall, Orthodoxy would say that the will has become distorted and sickly, but not altogether dead. On the Orthodox understanding of the fall and its consequence, humans – retaining as they do the divine image – retain also the freedom to choose between right and wrong” [94].

    For the complete article see:

    Hope this helps… If you have specific questions, let me know and I will get an authoritative answer for you.

    1. Kurt, thanks for the reply.

      I believe that I am not in error to say that Calvinism (and Augustine) is foreign to Cassian’s East.

      But, do you know of any current groups within Orthodoxy which ‘hope’ for universalism, at least to some extent?

      1. Polucarp,

        You got me on that one… Making me study! I don’t know who Cassian is.

        This article is a response to a reformed church document. About the first half is dedicated to Theosis and the misunderstandings the West has of it. Mostly due to “History” with Rome and meaning of terms/words used but not meaning the same. Since it is a comparitive document, that is where the comparison to Calvinism comes in . You’d have to read the whole artice for context. Augustine is one of those East then West personalities. More known for his being the founder of Latin/Western theology. The second half addresses the subject at hand.. Salvation.

        Please define universalism as what it means to you. I am not sure what you mean. And hope is in quotes. Please be clear and I will run it up the flag pole and see what we can do…


        1. Kurt, thanks again for providing an Orthodox voice on this issue.

          I would say that universalism according to early Tradition would be those who reject Christ will be punished for an age and then be restored. I have to emphasize hope, which I do with ‘hope’, because I don’t want anyone thinking that I am advocating universalism as doctrine or dogma.

          John Cassian, a St in the East I believe, was Augustine opponant whom he labeled semi-pelagian. Cassian would defend against that label, but when labels are applied, they are often kept regardless of their historicity

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