Metropolitan Anthony (Packanich) answers.
- Master, we ask you to answer the question that most believers probably have: will all the gentiles not be saved? Because Orthodox churches are not everywhere. The vast majority of churches in Europe are Catholic and Protestant.
– What do the holy fathers say about this? They often refer to the words of St. Theophan the Recluse about the gentiles: "I don't know if they will be saved, but I will not be saved without Orthodoxy."
This statement does not mean that the Saint doubts something or was not sure, as some present it. Theophan the Recluse takes note that he is responsible only for himself, his actions, his belief and words, therefore he does not want to judge anyone, leaving the judgement to God. He follows Christ, responding to His call: follow Me. But this does not mean that he is not able to protect the Church.
There are also other statements of St. Theophan on the same topic, and they are definite and concise: "Catholics have clouded the apostolic Tradition. The Protestants undertook to improve the situation and made it even worse. The Catholics have one Pope, and the Protestants — whatever who the Protestant is, he’s the pope"; " The Divine Teaching must always remain one and unchangeable, just as God is unchangeable and eternal."
Theophan the Recluse writes: "But there are people who say: believe as you want, but live well and do not be afraid of anything – as if it is possible to live well without having moderate understanding about the things communicated by true faith. Don’t kid yourselves, brothers! True life includes not only behavior, but also a moderate way of thinking."
There are societies that try to live according to moral laws, and this is fine, but the spiritual life leading to salvation is completely different. Morality and spirituality are different things.
The Saints said that many people can live according to their conscience, but only those who will come to the Orthodox faith and be Baptized, who will begin to live according to the Gospel commandments, will be able to be saved. "There is no salvation outside the Church," said the defender of the Church and the purity of the faith, the Holy Martyr Cyprian of Carthage.
He taught: "It is impossible to remain a Christian and be outside the Church… Those who can no longer have God as a father, does not have the Church as a mother."
The Holy Martyr Hilarion Troitsky was sure: "We must admit the truth: Christianity is completely inseparable from the Church, and Christianity is impossible without the Church."
The Lord wants everyone to be saved: "... This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3-4). All the chosen ones are with God, the Lord wants salvation for all, leads everyone to this, but not everybody agree to accept His will and ... they die.
The Lord has determined the way to salvation for us — Jesus Christ. He left us His Church. Those who dwell in It will be saved. "For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus," (1 Timothy 2: 5). There’s One God and one Holy Church.
Interviewed by Natalia Goroshkova
Опубликовано: Thu, 02/09/2021 - 11:11