What about other Christians ...?


You talk as if only the Orthodox who believe these things can be saved. What about other Christians and all other men in the world?


In the first place it must be made clear that it is not enough for anyone merely to believe these things, or merely to be a formal member of the Church. In order to be saved one must live by the truth and love of God.

It is the common teaching of the Orthodox Christian tradition that the Church has no monopoly on grace and truth and love. The Church teaches on the contrary that God is the Sovereign Lord who saves those whom He wills.

The Church believes as well that salvation depends upon the actual life of the person, and God alone is capable of judging since He alone knows the secrets of each mind and heart. Only God is capable of judging how well a man lives according to the measure of grace, faith, understanding, and strength given to him.

The Orthodox would insist, nevertheless, that an honest seeker of truth and love will see these things perfectly realized and expressed in Jesus Christ and will recognize God, the end of their seeking, in Him.

We all know, however, that our image of Christ is deformed both by the lives and the doctrines of those who claim him, and thus His truth and love and His very person remain obscure and hidden to those who might follow Him if they could see Him clearly.

But once again, let it be clear that every man is judged by God alone according to the actual truth and love in his life. This goes for Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. And although the Orthodox confess that the fulness of truth and love is found in the life of the church, nominal church membership or formal assent to some doctrines does not at all guarantee salvation.