Just know that when I started this thread, I am not seeking to go back and forth about this, since as long as we are approaching scripture with the foundation of differing mindsets, that will always bring us to differing conclusions. I simply wanted to share, for anyone desiring to read perhaps an understanding they might not have been familiar with, that they might be willing to consider, to understand how millions in the East have understood these things.
When I consider the various things shared, such as the familiar 'if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation', and 'if anyone does not have the spirit, he is none of his', and a host of other passages, yes, it is easy to get into doctrinal dogfight one way or another, for most here would interpret these things from one foundation, while I would from another, and come to two totally different understandings. Neither view has it totally all together, although we rightly share what we truly believe to be true, knowing we are brothers and sisters in our common faith and Master, and hopefully truly love one another (something seemingly difficult for doctrinal minded people to express).
If the entire Eastern church and Western church could not come to agreement on this, I know for sure that my little postings are not going to change anyone's mind. But, if even one person at least comes away saying that they can understand why the Eastern church sees a bigger picture, which includes the western understanding in some respects, just not using it as their foundation, then maybe this can help with other parodoxes that people get so hung up on, like free will vs. sovereignty, yeshua being god and man, etc.
As G. K. Chesterton put it: "Paradox is truth standing on its head to attract attention!"
I know that there are things here that are taboo to discuss, such as free will. As I do not know of anyone else sharing the understanding of the churches in the East, and since there are some hot topics in it, this being one of them, if this is something considered as too controversial then let me know and I will cease from it. Even though they do not doctrinally hold to a universalism which has everyone coming to faith in Christ (which I disagree with), I believe they have much to offer as regards what we here on this board hold to, although at first there naturally will be much friction over ways of understanding.
If it is permissible, then I will continue to share, not in a pushy way, but in questions and simply putting it out there for anyone who wishes to consider it, and if desired, to ask me questions about it. I am continuing to learn (and I truly mean that, not just as a cliche) and believe we all can be open to that as well as we pool the facets of Messiah we have and see just how much bigger he is than any of our perspectives of seeing him.
I am enjoying these discussions and I have not seen anything that I would want to prohibit in the discussion. Your sharing is always in a good spirit and you contribute many edifying things from your point of view.
As to free will, I am probably the most likely to stir up dissension when I share my view on that subject, so as always, as long as things can be "discussed" in fellowship and not debated in dissension, it's alrite(imo)- however for some reason it doesnt always work out that way