View Single Post
Old 07-14-2016, 08:37 PM   #100
InChristAlone
Member
 
InChristAlone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 366
Default Re: InChristAlone's Blog

I want to share an interesting article about the difference between Eastern Christian (Orthodox) and Western Christian (Roman Catholic and Protestant) theology and their views on God.

The River of Fire – by a Greek Orthodox theologian Dr. Alexander Kalomiros

Here is an excerpt:

"What is the Western dogma of salvation? Did not God kill God in order to satisfy His pride, which the Westerners euphemistically call justice? And is it not by this infinite satisfaction that He deigns to accept the salvation of some of us?

What is salvation for Western theology? Is it not salvation from the wrath of God?

Do you see, then, that Western theology teaches that our real danger and our real enemy is our Creator and God? Salvation, for Westerners, is to be saved from the hands of God!

How can one love such a God? How can we have faith in someone we detest? Faith in its deeper essence is a product of love, therefore, it would be our desire that one who threatens us not even exist, especially when this threat is eternal...

This paganistic conception of God’s justice which demands infinite sacrifices in order to be appeased clearly makes God our real enemy and the cause of all our misfortunes. Moreover, it is a justice which is not at all just since it punishes and demands satisfaction from persons which were not at all responsible for the sin of their forefathers. In other words, what Westerners call justice ought rather to be called resentment and vengeance of the worst kind. Even Christ’s love and sacrifice loses its significance and logic in this schizoid notion of a God who kills God in order to satisfy the so-called justice of God.

Does this conception of justice have anything to do with the justice that God revealed to us? Does the phrase “justice of God” have this meaning in the Old and New Testaments?

The word DIKAIWSUNH,“justice”, is a translation of the Hebraic word tsedaka. This word means “the divine energy which accomplishes man’s salvation”. It is parallel and almost synonymous to the other Hebraic word, hesed which means “mercy”, “compassion”, “love”, and to the word, emeth which means “fidelity”, “truth”. This, as you see, gives a completely other dimension to what we usually conceive as justice. This is how the Church understood God’s justice. This is what the Fathers of the Church taught of it. “How can you call God just”, writes Saint Isaac the Syrian, “when you read the passage on the wage given to the workers? ‘Friend, I do thee no wrong; I will give unto this last even as unto thee who worked for me from the first hour. Is thine eye evil, because I am good?'” “How can a man call God just”, continues Saint Isaac, “when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son, who wasted his wealth in riotous living, and yet only for the contrition which he showed, the father ran and fell upon his neck, and gave him authority over all his wealth? None other but His very Son said these things concerning Him lest we doubt it, and thus He bare witness concerning Him. Where, then, is God’s justice, for whilst we were sinners, Christ died for us!”

So we see that God is not just, with the human meaning of this word, but we see that His justice means His goodness and love, which are given in an unjust manner, that is, God always gives without taking anything in return, and He gives to persons like us who are not worthy of receiving. That is why Saint Isaac teaches us: “Do not call God just, for His justice is not manifest in the things concerning you. And if David calls Him just and upright, His Son revealed to us that He is good and kind. ‘He is good,’ He says, ‘to the evil and impious'”.

God is good, loving, and kind toward those who disregard, disobey, and ignore Him. He never returns evil for evil, He never takes vengeance. His punishments are loving means of correction, as long as anything can be corrected and healed in this life. They never extend to eternity. He created everything good.

“God did not create death”, continues Saint Basil, “but we brought it upon ourselves”. “Not at all, however, did He hinder the dissolution… so that He would not make the infirmity immortal in us”. As Saint Irenaeus puts it: “Separation from God is death, separation from light is darkness… and it is not the light which brings upon them the punishment of blindness”.

So in the language of the Holy Scriptures, “just” means good and loving. We speak of the just men of the Old Testament. That does not mean that they were good judges but that they were kind and God-loving people. When we say that God is just, we do not mean that He is a good judge Who knows how to punish men equitably according to the gravity of their crimes, but on the contrary, we mean that He is kind and loving, forgiving all transgressions and disobediences, and that He wants to save us by all means, and never requites evil for evil."

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory...ire-kalomiros/

PS Orthodox view of Salvation - Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WosgwLekgn8

PPS St John Maximovich: “The more consciously and persistently a man strives toward God in his life, the greater will be his joy when he hears: ‘Come unto Me, ye blessed.’ And conversely: the same words will call the fire of horror and torture on those who did not desire Him, who fled and fought or blasphemed Him during their lifetime!"
__________________
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
InChristAlone is offline   Reply With Quote