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#389699 01/08/13 05:11 PM
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I have a question.

Adam and Eve, with their free will, but without concupiscience, committed the first sin. I presume that saints in heaven will likewise be free of concupiscience and that our (I say "our" as an expression of hope) free will shall be intact in the next life.

What is to prevent sin from happening again in Heaven? I assume the Beatific Vision is the answer but I wondered what the position of the Fathers and the Church is on this matter. Anyone?

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Don't put the cart before the horse. Once you get there, you can worry about that problem.

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AthanasiusTheLesser
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In an eschatology course I took, the professor dealt with the question of how it could be that, in the eschaton, we have free will, but are capable of sin. He suggested that we undergo a "characteriological" transformation such that we freely choose for to align our wills with the will of God to such an extent that we forego the possibility of sin.

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For the West the motto is Fides quaerens intellectum; for the East Fides adorans mysterium. East is East and West is West and NEVER the twain shall meet. Thank God and vive la difference!

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Roman,

I think the answer to your question has been answered with the fall of Lucifer.

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In the Orthodox tradition many of the Ancient Fathers of our Church would not want the focus of Christians to be on Eternal Bliss ...

Rather - since God is With US now - and the eartly world is a continuum of our never ending search for God (after death more and more will be revealed to us - to eternity - and we will still be ignorant of the essence of the infinite God - still learning and absorbing )

On earth we can only know a very little and only about the energies of God.

Therefore a better way to spend your time is to help others to obtain heaven - putting yourself last - to focus on loving others as a servant to them - to NOT DESIRE ETERNAL BLISS for yourself! Another wonderful dichotomy of Eastern Theological thought.

John

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I love Anthanasius ( the online one) discussion of will

As we contemplate the Eikon of Our God - and we live our lives to be more and more like Him - then we lose ourselves in Him - we lose our attachment to the world and to the desires of Bliss even

We align our will with the Will of God!

We become deified (after Theoria and Theosis occur - but correct me if I an wrong - the process is to see the Eikon and then try to become the Eikon as much as a human without a divine nature can do)

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Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
In an eschatology course I took, the professor dealt with the question of how it could be that, in the eschaton, we have free will, but are capable of sin. He suggested that we undergo a "characteriological" transformation such that we freely choose for to align our wills with the will of God to such an extent that we forego the possibility of sin.
Do you mean, "free will, but are INcapable of sin"?

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Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
In an eschatology course I took, the professor dealt with the question of how it could be that, in the eschaton, we have free will, but are capable of sin. He suggested that we undergo a "characteriological" transformation such that we freely choose for to align our wills with the will of God to such an extent that we forego the possibility of sin.
Do you mean, "free will, but are INcapable of sin"?

Yes. Thank you for pointing out the typo.

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Originally Posted by Paul B
Roman,

I think the answer to your question has been answered with the fall of Lucifer.

I'm not quite sure I follow.

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Originally Posted by haydukovich
In the Orthodox tradition many of the Ancient Fathers of our Church would not want the focus of Christians to be on Eternal Bliss ...

...Therefore a better way to spend your time is to help others to obtain heaven - putting yourself last - to focus on loving others as a servant to them - to NOT DESIRE ETERNAL BLISS for yourself! Another wonderful dichotomy of Eastern Theological thought.

John


Fine, scratch "bliss" and substitute "salvation". I assume everlasting salvation is a legitimate aspiration. My question, then, is how are we assured of it for as long as free will is a factor (which it always will be)?

Be assured this is not an anxiety. I'm merely posing a question and wondering how Christianity resolves it. Thanks to Athanasius.

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The answer may lie in contemplation of the cause of the Fall. Adam and Eve were tempted and gave in to temptation. I think we can not sin because there will no longer be any possibility of temptation - i.e., no outside forces tempting us to disobey God.

Blessings

Originally Posted by Roman Interloper
I have a question.

Adam and Eve, with their free will, but without concupiscience, committed the first sin. I presume that saints in heaven will likewise be free of concupiscience and that our (I say "our" as an expression of hope) free will shall be intact in the next life.

What is to prevent sin from happening again in Heaven? I assume the Beatific Vision is the answer but I wondered what the position of the Fathers and the Church is on this matter. Anyone?

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�Concepts create idols; only wonder understands anything.�

St. Gregory of Nyssa

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Originally Posted by Roman Interloper
Originally Posted by Paul B
Roman,

I think the answer to your question has been answered with the fall of Lucifer.

I'm not quite sure I follow.

I'm not qualified to expand further, but I think Lucifer's (Satan's) fall from Heaven answers your question "Can one sin in Heaven?"

God's own messenger, an angel, is commonly believed to have fallen to the temptation of Pride; he objected to God's plan with the knowledge that God would take on the nature of a lowly man and that Lucifer would have to pay Him homage.

I've never seen any legitimate Church teaching which didn't conform to this thought.

So the human thought process would presume that if an angel could sin in Heaven, why can't a man? The only aruegment against this thought would be...... that it was in God's plan, just as was the betrayal of Jesus by Judas.

Does anyone know of an accepted Church teaching which addresses this subject?

I'm a deacon, in God's service, not a theologian.

Fr Deacon Paul

.

Last edited by Paul B; 01/10/13 06:04 PM. Reason: grammar correction
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Originally Posted by Paul B
I'm not qualified to expand further, but I think Lucifer's (Satan's) fall from Heaven answers your question "Can one sin in Heaven?"

God's own messenger, an angel, is commonly believed to have fallen to the temptation of Pride; he objected to God's plan with the knowledge that God would take on the nature of a lowly man and that Lucifer would have to pay Him homage.

I've never seen any legitimate Church teaching which didn't conform to this thought.

But if we have a promise of "everlasting life" or "eternal salvation" once this earthly journey is completed in God's grace, how could we possibly sin, again, in Heaven, and thereby be lose our salvation and Heaven? It would be rather gutting and horrifying to imagine the prospect of an eternity of walking along the edge of the precipice. It seems to me that the understanding is once you're in, you're in. Without that assurance, I wouldn't know what to make of any of it, on the one hand.

On the other hand, free will would seem to make sin a possibility in Heaven, even for a soul who has been saved. There has to be a reason why, even though it could happen, it never will, guaranteed. Otherwise, the whole thing's a cruel farce, isn't it?

I can't speak to why Lucifer was able to fall, not having been around to see that, of course. It seems to me, however, that one remember's being told it was because God had not fully revealed himself to the angels at that point, in the same way that he has not revealed himself fully to earthly sojourners. But now the faithful angels, along with the saints, "see" God "face to face" as it were, and that unfiltered experience of God eradicates their desire to sin, completely, although their free will remains intact.


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