Why we don't affirm an "either/or" Salvation

I thought I might add this little footnote to what I wrote in the previous post.

I can recall from a long time ago, being trained as an "evangelism counselor" for a christian rock concert down in Southern California and I can also remember the young kid (probably a little younger than me at the time) who responded to the altar (stage) call. I tutored him on the basics of protestant faith including the cool affirming scripture verses which all apparently pointed to the need for this young man to pray the "sinner's prayer" with me. He did and as we finished I made the proclamation: "If you really meant what you prayed, then you are now saved!" And then I told him what he needed to do: get plugged into a "bible believing church", and start developing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ by reading the Bible and praying.

With this in mind, it seems the standard Protestant paradigm is that we enter into a contractual agreement with Jesus Christ (praying the sinner's prayer) by which we are then "saved" and then we build a relationship with him after being saved.

Well in Orthodoxy it doesn't work this way at all...in fact we see it altogether differently. Salvation is union with Christ and so the relationship with Him is not an added benefit to the "salvation contract", rather the relationship IS salvation itself. And so the process of salvation (since salvation is a relationship) is very much like the process of developing a relationship (big suprise, huh?). But to try and label or characterize any relationship with legal terms and definitions is to negate its true worth. Don't believe me? Try it sometime with your spouse.


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