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Forgiven and yet punished?

Irened

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Is it possible that a person can have repented and been forgiven yet still punished by God for his sins? Is this referring to the present life or if one dies without repentance of the sins referenced in the below passage?

From Luke 12:

"42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
 

Bizzlebin

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It depends on what you mean by "punish". If we're talking about punishment as some mere matter of tit-for-tat revenge, God does not do that, period. If you mean punishment as something to correct the person, then punishment related to the repentance would be redundant, so no punishment there, either. Of course, "bad" things will still happen to us regardless, even if we have not committed any sin—look what they did to Jesus Christ! But I don't think "punish" is the best word there, given the connotations.

The passage in question regards a person who sins somewhat unwittingly, but has *yet to repent*. Obviously, we want him to repent—God wants him to repent even more! There has to be some catalyst for repentance, hence the "few blows" given. But it is interesting that there are few: they're probably quite light blows—they are symbolic and informational, not vengeful. So even in that case, God is not "lashing out" at some person, but providing as gentle as possible a path towards freedom—which, given the pain and destruction of something as small as unwitting sin, is likely to involve at least some small measure of temporary discomfort (eg, ripping off a bandage).
 

Irened

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@Bizzlebin What about the one who willingly sinned and was beaten by many blows/cut to many pieces?
 

hurrrah

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From Luke 12:
It speaks of people who died in sin, without repentance.
Punishments, or various sorrows, are not only possible, but also inevitable in the lives of people who please God. It is usually not only pointless to talk about specific reasons, but also harmful, since these are the depths of God's Providence.
 

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@Bizzlebin What about the one who willingly sinned and was beaten by many blows/cut to many pieces?
Let me "paint" a scenario. Suppose a man walks into a rose garden, full of anger. The roses are pleasing to the eye, full of fragrance, and all arranged in a very elegant manner. Yet the man does not see any of that beauty, consumed in his own rage. So he instead attacks a rose bush. What happens then? The thorns from the rose bush deeply cut his hand, and he begins to bleed. This bleeding makes him angrier, then he attacks another bush, and thus the cycle continues.

The rose bushes aren't angry at the man, they are just rose bushes. But they provide an example of "many blows". Sometimes it's really that simple: the blows come as much from our own action as anyone else's. The man might keep attacking, bleeding, and attacking more fiercely until he passes out. In that case, the roses will have beaten him greatly, though without any passion on their own part.

But what if someone tried to stop him? Maybe someone could catch him, and say something to calm him down. But the words, however soothing, would sting his passionate soul, and the reality of his own wretchedness would sting further—either way, that's more "blows". Maybe they could physically restrain him until he calmed down. Likewise, that counts as more blows—not to hurt him (anymore than the rose bushes wanted to hurt him), but because his own sinfulness creates the situation.

In no case does the willing sinner get away without "many blows". But in no case does God merely "wail on him" or attack him out of spite. Everything is a natural consequence, and God is working for his good the entire time.
 

Ainnir

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I’ll also add that even when we’re forgiven, God does not magically erase the effects of our sin, only their spiritual consequences. So if our sin hurt ourselves or others, we still have to deal with that. We can also innocently end up in the line of fire of someone else's sin. That’s not punishment either.
 

Irened

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Let me "paint" a scenario. Suppose a man walks into a rose garden, full of anger. The roses are pleasing to the eye, full of fragrance, and all arranged in a very elegant manner. Yet the man does not see any of that beauty, consumed in his own rage. So he instead attacks a rose bush. What happens then? The thorns from the rose bush deeply cut his hand, and he begins to bleed. This bleeding makes him angrier, then he attacks another bush, and thus the cycle continues.

The rose bushes aren't angry at the man, they are just rose bushes. But they provide an example of "many blows". Sometimes it's really that simple: the blows come as much from our own action as anyone else's. The man might keep attacking, bleeding, and attacking more fiercely until he passes out. In that case, the roses will have beaten him greatly, though without any passion on their own part.

But what if someone tried to stop him? Maybe someone could catch him, and say something to calm him down. But the words, however soothing, would sting his passionate soul, and the reality of his own wretchedness would sting further—either way, that's more "blows". Maybe they could physically restrain him until he calmed down. Likewise, that counts as more blows—not to hurt him (anymore than the rose bushes wanted to hurt him), but because his own sinfulness creates the situation.

In no case does the willing sinner get away without "many blows". But in no case does God merely "wail on him" or attack him out of spite. Everything is a natural consequence, and God is working for his good the entire time.
Tonight while listening to the Paraklesis service, this verse jumped out (I'm paraphrasing) "...and deliver us from His righteous chastisement and stored up wrath against us." If "punishment" or whatever word is proper to use is something beneficial for us why then do we plead that the Theotokos delivers us from this?
 

Shanghaiski

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Is it possible that a person can have repented and been forgiven yet still punished by God for his sins? Is this referring to the present life or if one dies without repentance of the sins referenced in the below passage?

From Luke 12:

"42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
This refers to the one who is ignorant of God's law, hence "does not know". It is contrasted with us Orthodox Christians who do know, or should know, and still act contrary to the will of God. This passage does not deal with repentance and forgiveness. True repentance covers both those sins done in ignorance and those sins done in knowledge.
 

Shanghaiski

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Tonight while listening to the Paraklesis service, this verse jumped out (I'm paraphrasing) "...and deliver us from His righteous chastisement and stored up wrath against us." If "punishment" or whatever word is proper to use is something beneficial for us why then do we plead that the Theotokos delivers us from this?
In this life, punishment/chastisement/divine wrath are meant to correct us. But who wants to receive such correction, especially as it is painful? Our Panagia delivers us from wrath - though we do not deserve such deliverance - in that she can bring us back to our senses, cause us to remember the commandments of her Son and his goodness, give us sorrow for our sins, and help us to hate our passions and evil desires. When with her help we make a change, when by her intercessions she pleads for us that we be granted time and grace, we are then delivered from God's righteous chastisement.

We have applied ourselves to correction through our reverence to the Most Holy Theotokos, seeking her help in our weakness, and so, through this "soft" correction we avoid the corrections that are harder to bear - and even avoid the ultimate "correction" of death (which corrects in that we are made to stop sinning).
 

Shanghaiski

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I’ll also add that even when we’re forgiven, God does not magically erase the effects of our sin, only their spiritual consequences. So if our sin hurt ourselves or others, we still have to deal with that. We can also innocently end up in the line of fire of someone else's sin. That’s not punishment either.
There may still be spiritual consequences in this life and the next, but repentance moves us back to the will of God and salvation.
 

Shanghaiski

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@Bizzlebin What about the one who willingly sinned and was beaten by many blows/cut to many pieces?
That is a warning to those who know God, his commandments, his goodness - and lived in a manner antithetical to them. That is, it is a warning to Orthodox Christians, that they should repent and pay attention to their spiritual lives.
 

LizaSymonenko

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The Lord forgives the one who genuinely repents. He also instructs us to once forgiven, "sin no more".

While the sin is forgiven... the earthly effects of that sin remain. The drunkard, still retains his damaged liver, the gambler is still broke, etc.

Sometimes, even the forgiven one is sent hardships (not punishments) in order to keep them on track, to humble them, and create in them a lowly spirit... in an effort to keep them from repeating whatever sins they are drawn to.

All that happens, is permitted by God... even our disasters and hardships. It does not mean He has abandoned us... He is still right next to us and helping us get through it... but, our behavior and reaction to everything is on us....
 

Irened

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In this life, punishment/chastisement/divine wrath are meant to correct us. But who wants to receive such correction, especially as it is painful? Our Panagia delivers us from wrath - though we do not deserve such deliverance - in that she can bring us back to our senses, cause us to remember the commandments of her Son and his goodness, give us sorrow for our sins, and help us to hate our passions and evil desires. When with her help we make a change, when by her intercessions she pleads for us that we be granted time and grace, we are then delivered from God's righteous chastisement.

We have applied ourselves to correction through our reverence to the Most Holy Theotokos, seeking her help in our weakness, and so, through this "soft" correction we avoid the corrections that are harder to bear - and even avoid the ultimate "correction" of death (which corrects in that we are made to stop sinning).
I've heard of this back when I was seeking Roman Catholicism. They say, especially in some of their Virgin Mary apparitions, that she is holding back the punishing hand of God and wrath that we are due. I thought Orthodoxy does NOT have this view of God though. And why would the hand of God who is the source of mercy need anyone to soften anything or convince Him? Can someone explain? I keep hearing that the Orthodox and Catholic views of God, His wrath/punishment are NOT the same but it seems that is not the case.
 

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Tonight while listening to the Paraklesis service, this verse jumped out (I'm paraphrasing) "...and deliver us from His righteous chastisement and stored up wrath against us." If "punishment" or whatever word is proper to use is something beneficial for us why then do we plead that the Theotokos delivers us from this?
That was from a litany. @Shanghaiski covered some goods points. Unless you have another specific question, I'll only add that the difference between the RC and EO on the subject of wrath and justice can sometimes be overblown for polemical reasons.
 

Irened

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That was from a litany. @Shanghaiski covered some goods points. Unless you have another specific question, I'll only add that the difference between the RC and EO on the subject of wrath and justice can sometimes be overblown for polemical reasons.
Let me understand this, so you're saying that on the subject/theology of "God's wrath and judgement" the RCC and the EO are in agreement?
 

J Michael

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Let me understand this, so you're saying that on the subject/theology of "God's wrath and judgement" the RCC and the EO are in agreement?
Maybe a topic for a different thread, but does God emote? We read and hear in the liturgies, the psalter, prayer books, etc., etc. of God's "wrath", "anger", and so on, but is this to be understood, if indeed it can be understood at all, as God experiencing emotions like we mortals do? Or is there a lot of anthropomorphizing going on? Or is it something altogether different? (I have the seed of a thought about it but no words right now to express it.)
 

Irened

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@J Michael If you got to the "In love with a Saint" thread, I link to a 2 part blog post which answers your question above.
 

Irened

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I remember the thread but can't seem to find it. Could you post the link again, please?
Sorry, it wasn't that thread, it was this one:


The links are in post #15
 

J Michael

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In general, it is unhelpful and confusing to learn what Orthodoxy is in comparison to heterodoxy. One must learn Orthodoxy on its own to avoid confusion.
True enough. But we also don't learn in a vacuum. I think it's probably a natural part of the learning process to compare and contrast, at least to some degree, that which we know with that which we are learning.
 

biro

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Is this one of those “only the RCC have ever dove evil” nonsense arguments?

That’s one of the reasons I had to leave.
 

Irened

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Is this one of those “only the RCC have ever dove evil” nonsense arguments?

That’s one of the reasons I had to leave.
I don't know who you're specifically referring to but in this thread I'm personally trying to understand more the true theology of God (Eastern Orthodox) vs. a false theology of who He is and how He acts found outside of the church.
 
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biro

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Pardon my error.
 

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Let me understand this, so you're saying that on the subject/theology of "God's wrath and judgement" the RCC and the EO are in agreement?
I'm saying that there is 1000 years of shared history, so many of our saints and teachings are theirs. I've talked to Roman Catholics in person who have a "God is love, and justice is love burning" sort of view, and plenty of EO here on the forum have a very harsh view of God. So not only can an RC and EO believe the same thing here, there is a lot of variance within both groups (not to say that is a good thing, only that it is what it is).
 

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In general, it is unhelpful and confusing to learn what Orthodoxy is in comparison to heterodoxy. One must learn Orthodoxy on its own to avoid confusion.
Very much this! Orthodoxy is *not* a denomination. Too often, it is sold as a series of bullet points, a "special" group of bishops (who, despite frequently excommunicating each other, remain the "special" bishops), and all sorts of other really wild tales. But orthodox Christianity is not only deeper than that, but infinitely wider. It proclaims Jesus Christ to the very ends of the universe, whereas plenty of "Orthodox" groups seem to be stuck on proclaiming themselves.
 

rakovsky

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Is it possible that a person can have repented and been forgiven yet still punished by God for his sins? Is this referring to the present life or if one dies without repentance of the sins referenced in the below passage?

From Luke 12:

"42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
The passages in the OP are not getting into the issue of repentance and how it plays into the issue of punishment.
In the first case, the servant knows what his master wants, and then does the opposite, expecting that the master will take a long time.
In the second case, the servant doesn't know what his master wants, and does the opposite of what his master wants. In that second case, the servant doesn't get punished as much because he can rightly claim ignorance as a mitigating factor in the punishment.
Neither case involves one where the servant did the wrong thing and then repented of it.
 

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1 Corinthians 3:14-16
King James Version

“14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

I don’t know if this fire refers to a cleansing on this earth in His love for us or if it’s in the world to come.
I’m ashamed to say I don’t have abiding work and I suffer loss as a consequence of my own choices over and over again-as the sparks fly upwards. Sometimes the loss burns.
Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
 

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You are not alone in that. Me too, Stinky, me too.

Matushka Olga said, "God can bring great beauty out complete desolation."

Are you familiar with her story and miracles?

 

Stinky

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You are not alone in that. Me too, Stinky, me too.

Matushka Olga said, "God can bring great beauty out complete desolation."

Are you familiar with her story and miracles?

Beauty for ashes! This is beautiful!
 
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