Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by kestrel, Nov 25, 2012.
If I might ask you a personal question, what made you go from Southern Baptist to Orthodox?
Primarily the issue of the atonement. I never accepted the idea that God sent His son to be killed to pay a debt that man owed to God. Both Anselm's Satisfaction Theory, and the later Penal-Substitution Theory seemed flawed to me. The idea that God couldn't forgive man unless someone was killed to pay for sin didn't fit in with the fact that God always forgave those in the Bible who repented and asked forgiveness. (the story of the Prodigal Son is used as an example in my Church). Until I started reading Orthodox works I had no idea these concepts were later developments and were not held by all Christians in the world.
I also was always drawn to the beauty of liturgical worship, which is why I visited Episcopal and RC churches prior to finding Orthodoxy. Preaching is important, but I never thought that worship should consist primarily of sitting and listening to a sermon for half an hour plus on Sunday. If the pastor was a great public speaker it wasn't that bad, but a poor speaker, no matter how devout a pastor, puts people to sleep.
Basically, many of the difficulties I had with Baptist theology were resolved when I studied the teachings of the Orthodox Church. I was taught in the SBC about "once saved-always saved" (nothing you did could lose you your salvation), and I didn't believe that at all. I recently asked my mother, who is still SBC, "if you are certain of your salvation, then why the need for a last judgment?" her first reply was that at the last judgment, the saved receive their rewards, then she stated that the saved won't be judged at all.
That's not what the story of the Sheep and Goats says in the scriptures. Everyone will be judged on the last day, and only then will we know who is cast out, and who enters Heaven. I like what Bishop Kallistos says, that we are not saved, but in the process of being saved. No Orthodox Christian would be presumptuous enough to say that he or she is saved and going to Heaven. God will decide that at the last judgement. In the meantime we have to run the race as St. Paul says.
I also prefer the Orthodox view of atonement.
With regard to SAS Baptists and non-denominational folks (and some others), there are 2 different judgements, one for Non-Christians and one for Christians.
Thank you for sharing this link. This sounds like what my mother was referring to. Certainly not a view held by the universal Church in the past as far as I can determine. As an aside, the Orthodox, while not dogmatic on the subject, are generally amillennialist. The way I was raised I assumed everyone taught the rapture. I learned that isn't the case. My mom loves those "left behind" books she buys at the evangelical bookstore.
That's amazing because everything you wrote, I could have also written. In fact, I do not agree with any of the Western views on the atonement; my view is Christus Victor, and on that I would fit in with the EOC. Most of my beliefs about God, man, sin, and salvation are Eastern.
However, I could not go as far as you did and become Orthodox because I don't agree with their views on the ministry, baptism, some of their regulations about marriage, and their views of Mary -- although I realize with the latter they are not as extreme as the RCC.
Also, my views are quite varied, and I have realized for a long time that I don't quite fit in any one denomination. I knew that I needed a denomination that accepted widely diverse beliefs. That, coupled with my desire not to exclude those who differed from me, led me to Anglicanism.
Thank you for sharing; I enjoyed learning the "why's" of your journey!
Thank you Celtic1. Sorry for the late response, I just returned from a book club meeting at the church. We are studying "Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World."