Friday, April 30, 2010

Can Jews Be Saved?


Q & A with Fr Job:
Question: Can Jews, who believe in God the Father, be saved?

Answer: Let us turn to the word of God: The one who believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but the one who believeth not shall be condemned (Mk 16:16). Faith in God the Father can be true and undistorted only when one believes in Jesus Christ as God, because the Son of God is the second Person of the Divine Trinity, and all three Hypostases (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) make up the One Godhead -- the Holy Trinity. All things were delivered to Me by My Father. And no one doth fully know the Son, except the Father; nor doth anyone fully know the Father, except the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son is willing to reveal Him (Mt. 11:27). Therefore the Savior said: The one that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life; and the one who is disobedient to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (Jn. 3:36).

19 comments:

David.R said...

The answer to this question is given in detail by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11. This is a pretty long chapter and I will not reproduce it here for space sake. But in summary I think I am safe to conclude that all are called to repentance, both Jew and Greek (or any other race)Both Jews and Greeks are under sin and must repent. Let us not boast against the Jews and with humility guard our own heart because if we do not, we will also be cut off. Jews can not be saved by Judaism but they can be saved by Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Church. Many believed and were saved, the Theotokos, the Apostles, St Paul and many others to our own day.

Athanasia said...

It is only through the Son that the Father can be seen. To say anything else is wrong.

protov said...

One cannot help thinking of Origen. He was a great believer to the point of martyrdom (almost), a great teacher, an immense scholar, an outstanding moral man, a spiritual. Why all these eminent qualities did not saved him from being declared a heretic?
Now for David R. Christians do not boast against Jews, but against the "Jews" who turned their back to Salvation. Against the ones who chose to drown refusing the extended hand of the Lord.

David.R said...

Protov:
I am not sure what you mean by boasting but if I look at Christ and see how he behaved towards His enemies, to those who persecute Christians and or reject Christ, I can only say, "Father, forgive them, they no not what they do".
St Silouan states that the criterion for the presence of the Holy Spirit is love for one's enemies. The holy fathers, our saints, holy monks and pious Orthodox Christians, do not rejoice over those who are lost but lament over them, and pray to God with tears for their salvation.

protov said...

David R.:

The "boasting" is from Romans 11.
I am not very sure for whom the Lord prayed on the Cross: "Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing". The context suggests (strongly) that it was for the Roman soldiers who nailed Him down, who "were obeying orders" (not applicable to German soldiers in WWII!). Not for those who knew what they were doing. As you say David R.: "Jews cannot be saved by Judaism".
What is a "Jew", by the way?

David.R said...

Protov:
You can not have it both ways, either the Jews are responsible for Jesus Christ's crucifixion or they are not. If as you say, the Romans did it, then what is your bone of contention against the Jews?
Are you Orthodox? You seem to be speaking from a totally alien mindset. "Christ only prayed for the Romans"? Absurd!
I know who I am as an ethnic Jew, but do you know who you are speaking against, when you 'boast' against the Jews? You! tell me, what you think a Jew is, and then I will know what you are speaking about.

Anonymous said...

This whole discussion seems off and wrong.

Ask who is responsible for the crucifixion and the answer is not the Jews or the Romans. It is you and I. We are Judas. We are Pilate. We are the mobs who shouted for Christ to be crucified. In fact, we do it every day, every moment we live in sin.

David.R said...

Anonymous:
By his incarnation,death and resurrection, Christ healed and restored humanity and opened the door for human beings to receive even a greater dignity, the privilege of deification.
It was my sin what crucified him, but He never stopped loving me, even for a second.St. Nicholas Cabasilas. Tr. Carmino J. deCatanzaro. The Life in Christ (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1974.) pp.162-4.says “Just as human affection, when it abounds, overpowers those who love and causes them to be beside themselves, so God's love for men emptied God (Phil 2:7).... He seeks love in return and does not withdraw when He is treated with disdain. He is not angry over ill treatment, but even when He has been repulsed He sits by the door (cf. Rev 3:20) and does everything to show us that He loves, even enduring suffering and death to prove it....It was necessary, then, that the greatness of His love should not remain hidden, but that He should give the proof of the greatest love and by loving display the utmost measure of love. So He devised this self-emptying and carried it out, and made the instrument [i.e., Christ's human nature] by which He might be able to endure terrible things and to suffer pain. When he had thus proved by the things which He endured that He indeed loves exceedingly, He turned man, who had fled from the Good One because he had believed himself to be the object of hate, towards Himself....What could be equal to that affection? What has a man ever loved so greatly? What mother ever loved so tenderly (Is. 49:15), what father so loved his children? Who has ever been seized by such a mania of love for anything beautiful whatever, so that because of it he not only willingly allows himself to be wounded by the object of his love without swerving from his affection towards the ungrateful one, but even prizes the very wounds above everything?”

Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

Traditionally, as in the Panarion of St Epiphanius and the On Heresies (the second part of The Fountain of Knowledge) of St John of Damascus, the Jews are included amongst heretics, as are the Muslims. That needs to be kept in mind. There are elements of Truth in both, but the fullness lies with the Church. All need to be incorporated into the Body of Christ, for only His Body has been (objectively) and is being (subjectively) saved!

David.R said...

Kevin:
We must have the right attitude; "O Christians, fear to offend the sacred, even though rejected, tribe... We are not empowered to judge them for their unbelief; the Lord and not we will judge." - St. Antony Khrapovitsky
(Thanks to John from MYSTAGOGY, for this quote)
As a general rule, we are to reject the sin but love the sinner.

protov said...

A Jew is one who professes Judaism, the Jewish Religion.
You have noticed David that I was speaking of the "Roman soldiers" not "the Romans". I did not say "Christ prayed only for the Romans". You should not use quotation marks as if I said it. As to who killed Jesus see Acts, 5, 30 and 7, 52.
See also Rev, 2,9 and 3,9.

David.R said...

Can Jews be saved?, Can Russians be saved?, Can Americans be saved?, Can Greeks be saved?, Can Gypsies be saved?, Can Serbians be saved?, Can Romanians be saved? Can Arabs be saved?, Can Spanish be saved?, Can Mexicans be saved?, Can Bulgarians be saved?, Can Italians be saved? etc.
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes! If they believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and repent, and are baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church, and devote themselves to a life of repentance and prayer, participation of the sacraments of the Church, and struggle in asceticism to cleanse their hearts! There will be hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Kingdom...learn now to love them and live with them in peace!

David.R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David.R said...

By the way, Fr Job was asked a question based on false presuppositions. Jews believe in one God, but not in God the Father as Christians understand it, because Jews do not believe in the dogma of the Trinity which is a revelation given to man at Christ's baptism. Besides all of the manifestations of God in the old testament are theophanies of the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son, the Word of God. It was He who walked with Adam in the garden, spoke to Moses in the mountain, spoke to the prophets etc, It was He who Isaiah saw high and lifted up on the throne. The heresy that God the Father was the God of the Old Testament, and the Son, the God of the New Testament, is a protestant heresy.
As St John writes in 1 John 2:22, 22 "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also."
And this applies to ANYONE who does not confess Christ as the Son of God,True God of True God, of one Essence with the Father.

protov said...

Absolutely true, David!

Kyralessa said...

protov,

I think there's a difference between declaring that someone has taught heresy, and calling that person a heretic.

Origen did teach some things that were later condemned as heresy, but he was hardly in the same category as Arius. Origen's errors were condemned in 553, nearly 300 years after his death? That didn't exactly give him the opportunity to be confronted and to repent.

It's probably better to say that some things Origen taught were later condemned as heresy, without using the word "heretic" of him as if to make a judgment about the state of his soul.

Given my past as a Protestant, I'm sure I've taught heresy at times in my life. I hope that doesn't make me an incorrigible heretic any more than my past misdeeds make me an unforgivable sinner.

Athair Ambrois said...

It was particularly characteristic of Staretz Silouan [Saint Silouan of Mount Athos] to pray for the dead suffering in the hell of separation from God... He could not bear to think that anyone would languish in "outer darkness." I remember a conversation between him and a certain hermit, who declared with evident satisfaction, "God will punish all atheists. They will burn in everlasting fire."

Obviously upset, the Staretz said, "Tell me, supposing you went to paradise, and there looked down and saw somebody burning in hell-fire -- would you feel happy?

"It can't be helped. It would be their own fault," said the hermit.

The Staretz answered him with a sorrowful countenance. "Love could not bear that," he said. "We must pray for all."

From "The Inner Kingdom", Volume 1 of the collected works of Bp Kallistos Ware

Athair Ambrois said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Athair Ambrois said...

The depiction of God the Father as the Ancient of Days, according to the teaching of the Seventh Ecumenical Council
http://tinyurl.com/2dg8ea3


Patristic references to the Ancient of Days
http://tinyurl.com/26yprra