Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The impossibility of half truths in Christian soteriology

The question of wether protestantism is Christian or not should really be a simple answer and generally a non-issue. However, there are those who have been infected with this idea that truth is not so absolute and that we must bend the rules for those who are unwilling to bend their will towards God. Since becoming Orthodox I have been speaking out against this growing encroachment of protestantism into our church and I have been met with stiff resistance. I have been told on more than one occasion that while not Orthodox protestantism is Christian but has a partial truth. What this all amounts to is partial salvation. If being partially true equates protestantism to being Christian, like Orthodoxy, then logically they will also be partially saved. This reply was baffling to me, to say the least, and I will attempt to answer this and hopefully put this terrible idea to rest.

The impossibility of partial salvation
If protestantism has a half truth and is considered to be Christian by our clergy, this would logically mean that they will someone attain partial salvation. This is a theological, and logical, impossibility. Orthodoxy teaches that outside of the church, there is no salvation. Of course there are cases in which this may not apply which St. Paul discusses in Romans 2. But for those who actively operate outside the Orthodox Church which Christ founded, there is no salvation. No belief apart from Orthodoxy can be considered Christian, or even partially true. Especially for a religion that is against church authority and the sacraments that we deem necessary for salvation. To assert that protestantism is a partial truth is a logical fallacy and a theological impossibility as partial truths do not save. The book of life is filled with the names of those who are saved, not those who are saved and those who are partially saved. 

The logical conclusion to introducing protestantism
What will result from our introducing protestantism into our church? Nothing good. There is no good that can possibly come from introducing any aspect of protestantism into Orthodoxy. If we start with protestant songs what we will eventually see is that our youth will begin logically connecting the dots leading to them, or the next generation, to falling away from the church. If we begin introducing these songs our youth and possibly some who are not well versed in the faith will think that protestantism must be considered Christian if we are allowing it in our church. Then at some point they will logically conclude that since protestantism is just as Christian as Orthodoxy, why not do less to achieve the same end result? Why struggle the Orthodox spiritual life and fast 210 days when we can simply have faith and essentially get the same thing? This is basic logic, and this has already been demonstrated within protestantism itself. It has shown us in its short 500 year history that it reduces itself to its most simplest form. Built upon schism after schism protestantism has ended up in some quite silly and amazingly simple forms. History clearly demonstrates my point that everything tends towards chaos and if we allow this into our church, we will only begin to initiate this very cycle within our beloved church. 
Is there a need to introduce protestantism into our church? Absolutely not. Some well intentioned, but very misguided, people believe that this is a way to keep the youth interested and possibly even attract more converts. This may actually be true, but at what price? Is this worth risking the salvation of our people? Saying we need this for our youth is like saying we need the television for entertainment, its a simple excuse for a people who are clearly struggling to come up with a solution, or lack the time to meditate on one. We have 2,000 years of history with which to draw upon, this cannot be the only solution as it is the most dangerous one, to keeping our youth involved and appealing to converts. We have a wealth of knowledge that we can use to our advantage and yet we are surprisingly using little or none of it at all. 

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