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#422073 03/20/22 02:40 PM
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Erick 6 Offline OP
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I was listening to an Eastern Orthodox podcast called, "Glory to God" by Father Freeman, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America. In one episode, Father Freeman said that God is not in the business of making bad men good but in making dead men live. Is there a difference? I don't understand.

Thank you in advance!

Erick 6 #422074 03/20/22 07:00 PM
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When we are baptized, we are washed clean of all our sins and recreated as new spiritual beings. That doesn't change who we are, however.

We still sin, and still need mercy or there would be no need for Confession.

Salvation isn't predicated on being Saints.

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Erick 6 Offline OP
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Thank you, Veronica. I appreciate it!

Erick 6 #423404 03/08/23 04:34 PM
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HI Veronica,
If I may offer up what I see in Fr. Freeman's quote. To me, he is merely stating the Orthodox view of the atonement. The Christian West attaches a juridical meaning to the "disobedience" of Eve. With this in mind, a person must always be aware of not stepping across some line in order to be pleasing to God. The desire to be pleasing to God is a wonderful thing, but not at the cost of scrupulosity or even of neurosis. The Christian East. sees that the sickness of man made its appearance in the Garden of Eden. Man is sick, not guilty. God is not interested in making bad people good, as much as He is making sick people well. As a former Roman Catholic (now having been received into the Greek Orthodox Church last September), I must say that the Christian East, with it's emphasis on healing, has helped a sicko like me be healed. I continue to seek the healing from God. We are all sick, the writer of this reply more than anyone. As I seek Jesus from the East, as the Sun that rises from the East ( see Mal 4:2) I continue down the road of healing. May Jesus, bless all who are sick, like me. God bless and pray for me.

your friend and brother,
Son of the Desert

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
HI Veronica,
If I may offer up what I see in Fr. Freeman's quote. To me, he is merely stating the Orthodox view of the atonement. The Christian West attaches a juridical meaning to the "disobedience" of Eve. With this in mind, a person must always be aware of not stepping across some line in order to be pleasing to God. The desire to be pleasing to God is a wonderful thing, but not at the cost of scrupulosity or even of neurosis. The Christian East. sees that the sickness of man made its appearance in the Garden of Eden. Man is sick, not guilty. God is not interested in making bad people good, as much as He is making sick people well. As a former Roman Catholic (now having been received into the Greek Orthodox Church last September), I must say that the Christian East, with it's emphasis on healing, has helped a sicko like me be healed. I continue to seek the healing from God. We are all sick, the writer of this reply more than anyone. As I seek Jesus from the East, as the Sun that rises from the East ( see Mal 4:2) I continue down the road of healing. May Jesus, bless all who are sick, like me. God bless and pray for me.

your friend and brother,
Son of the Desert
I agree.

I always liked the way that St. Irenaeus expressed it: "The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God."

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
...Orthodox view of the atonement. The Christian West attaches a juridical meaning to the "disobedience" of Eve ...The Christian East. sees that the sickness of man made its appearance in the Garden of Eden... As I seek Jesus from the East, as the Sun that rises from the East ( see Mal 4:2) ...
The thread's title, East vs West?, is a legitimate place to start but from my Eastern Catholic perspective it ends in East & West. It should be noted that the dictum Ex oriente lux, ex occidente lex is, after all, in Latin, and should be understood in terms of complementarity, a distinction without division. Again in Latin, lex orandi, lex credendi, and looking at the Parastás, for example:

Blessed are they whose life is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
...
The law of Your mouth, O Lord, is more precious to me than thousands in gold and silver.
...
Had not Your law been my delight, O Lord, I should have perished in my affliction.
...
Your word, O Lord, is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.
...
Let my soul live to praise You, O Lord, and may your precepts help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant because I do not forget Your commandments, O Lord.


In the context of "atonement" there is no "Christian West" that is not either just a caricature or stereotype. Against a forensic atonement arising from "justification by faith alone," the Catholic west countered in the “Decree Concerning Justification” of the sixth session of Trent, “celebrated on the thirteenth day of January, 1547,” Chapter 4 :

In which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as
being a translation from that state in which man [homo] is born a son [filius] of
the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons [filiorum] of
God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior. This translation
however cannot, since the promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except
through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written: Unless a man be
born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God.
[John 3:5]


Not juridical and forensic but ontological and sacramental. Among "dogmas of the Fathers," can it be said any better than that?

Erick 6 #423484 03/28/23 12:53 PM
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Hi AJK,

Thank you friend for demonstrating my point so articulately. What you shared, regardless of the sound theological and propositional content (especially in the Psalm you quoted), demonstrates exactly what you seem to be against. The life of repentance is NOT found in the life of intelligence and speculative theology, but rather, the way of the heart; repentance.. While I respect your apparent erudition on the subject, in my opinion, it is purely based on a learned theological and philosophical level that does not reach the heart, only the head. Thank you, but I respectfully disagree with your answer, however scriptural and theologically correct it is. To me, this whole shooting match is about repentance, not being correct. If something does not to help me toward repentance, I have nothing to do with it, as I feel that it reduces the Life of God into scriptural and philosophical propositions. by locking it into the intellect rather than the heart. I am not the brightest bulb in the box, however, I do know that a guy like me can understand that repentance is the straightest road to the Heart of God. That is really the goal no? May Jesus, grant us all the gift of repentance, the need of which the East has preserved.

your friend and brother
s.o.d

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
... what you seem to be against.
What do I seem to be against?

Originally Posted by son of the desert
I respectfully disagree with your answer, however scriptural and theologically correct it is.
If not those -- scripture and theology -- what else?


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