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I thank you for your reply. I quoted the Eastern Orthodox source because the basis of the understanding of the "corrupt nature," that which you refer to as "original sin," is essentially identical between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church. I find it interesting that you sympathize more with Catholicism than you do with the Eastern Orthodox Church while still claiming to not have lost your Oriental Orthodox heritage. It is almost as though you choose what you personally agree with from each of the Churches and have formulated your own concept. I ask for your sincere forgiveness if this is not the case. I only wish to understand where you are coming from so that our dialogue may be more beneficial, as I trust that we all wish to benefit and not simply to discuss things idly.
Allow me to quote from St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation of the Word:Does St. Cyril of Alexandria not say "He took what is ours and gave us what is His?" Allow me to post his own words here...Can we agree, then, that the words of St. Athanasius the Great and St. Cyril of Alexandria oppose the ideology of "original sin" as is conceived by the Catholic Church?
If the Holy Virgin Mary was conceived immaculately, and she had no "original sin," and Christ had taken flesh from her, then He necessarily took a body that did not have the "original sin." This is the logical result, is it not? And if this is the case, then the Incarnation has no effect on my salvation; this also implies that what the Fathers say is untrue. But, since we know that our greatly revered Fathers were guided by the Holy Spirit, and you yourself recognize this, then you yourself recognize the incongruence. As is stated in the quote above, "He who was above all creation in our human condition." This human condition is in agreement with the assumption of our corrupt nature.
As should always be the case when we are learning about the faith and attempting to grow with the aid of the Holy Spirit, I ask that we all pray before, during, and after reading the Fathers of the Church, in trying to understand what it is that they have enlightened for us. Let us put aside our own personal thoughts and share in the wisdom of the Fathers.
Again, the Orthodox Church, including the COC, believe in the immaculate conception as having only one possible meaning: that is the unique miraculous conception of Christ by the Virgin Saint Mary the Theotokos through the Divine Action of the Holy Spirit.
Adding a side (but true) story, I told once a Coptic Catholic person what if he is called orthodox and he took it very badly, he was convinced I was insulting him. In another occasion another Coptic Catholic person felt humiliated when I reminded him he was also Coptic.
BTW original sin means both a spiritual and a physical death.
A human is body and spirit and because of sin both became corrupt.
If we assume "original sin" to be true in its existence as is conceptualized in the Catholic mindset, then Christ certainly did not take what is ours, except that we can say that He took some sort of body that was separate from our own, in that it was not afflicted with anything.
This is not what Fathers teach, though, as it is not the sin of my father which I inherit, nor the guilt, but rather, the consequences of the sin, indeed, the corrupt nature, as was previously cited in my last post.
If He, then, did not have "original sin" as the coin was not deposited as per our analogy, then the depositor must also not have had a coin, which necessitates the idea of the Immaculate Conception.
This has its own problem in that it removes the willing role of the Holy Virgin Mary; it is as though God made a robot that would obey His commands perfectly, in preparation of having His Son becoming incarnated from her.
If we are to consider this to be true, then her own mother also did not have a coin to deposit, as she necessarily could not endow a perfect body if she herself was imperfect. This is then to imply that the Holy Virgin's father is not truly her father, as he necessarily had original sin. This also implies that the Holy Virgin's mother did not have original sin, and so on, until we arrive to Adam and Eve, which Catholics certainly state as having had original sin.
The removal of free will, then, would not be a loving act, as we are all made out of God's love, as God is Love, and He cannot cease from being Love; the gift of free will is just that, a gift, and this was imparted on all of mankind without discrimination.
The beauty and honor of the Holy Virgin is that she indeed did have free will; that she was created like the rest of us, with the corruption just as the rest of us, and is due the veneration given to her because she, of her own free will, was so much of a servant of God, indeed, a handmaiden of the Lord, that she, of her own volition, stated "Let it be unto me according to your word." She willingly accepted this; it was not forced upon her. If she, then, willingly accepted this, then she has free will, which means that she was not created apart from any other individual, but that it was her own choice and the volition of her will, indeed, the tendency within her towards God, that then makes her the Holy Virgin, from whom Christ took His flesh (sarx) along with the Holy Spirit. The sarx, namely the flesh, is the corrupted flesh, with which Adam was clothed with, that skin which is spoken of in Genesis. Not corrupted with sin, as Christ is without sin, but corrupted by sin, as all of flesh is subject to the corrupt nature of the flesh, not the sin nor the guilt of the sin.
I do not know where you have gathered the idea that Orthodox theology supports only the idea of a physical death, which certainly is one of the consequences of death. The Orthodox Church has been guided by the great Fathers of the Church over the years, and they do not allude to this.
I think it is also important that we recognize that Augustine based his theology on a mistranslation of a verse, from which this discussion then finds its basis, and that he, in this regard, does not share in the unity of thought of the rest of the Orthodox fathers concerning the matter.
You also stated that we will become immortal/incorruptible by nature; this is not found in Orthodox teaching. All of this is effected by the grace of the Holy Spirit and the work of God. What He is by nature, I become by grace. There are volumes of writings that support this from the Fathers.
Pray for me and my weaknesses, and pray that we all grow together in faith, recognizing the Truth,
However, in my heart and conscience, I did believe the Catholic Church to be orthodox. So if I did not follow my conscience, I would be in sin.
I still have a serious question. Can you state in detail how and when were the Romans of Rome preached the Gospel, and more importantly who spent enough time there preaching to them the Christian faith?
But St. Paul admits in the book of Romans that someone else had laid the foundation of the Church in Rome. Some Catholic apologists believe this was St. Peter.