Author Topic: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...  (Read 5315 times)

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 8065
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #90 on: December 10, 2012, 05:31:49 PM »
Here is a thought not original with me...I forget where I picked it up.  Disclaimer:  it is not something I would dogmatically teach, and especially would not use at funerals or with the bereaved.  However, I find it personally comforting in thinking of the deaths of those close to me.  With all that we do not know regarding death and those who have died, the following is not a firm belief on my part, but does solve (at least for me) some of the dilemmas of considering where departed souls are and what they are doing.

Premise:  we are part of creation.  When we die we are taken out of creation.  We are also taken out of time (a part of creation).  Therefore, there is no elapsed time between death and the final day for the one who had died (it is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment).  In other words, we die, and in the blink of an eye we stand with all who have ever died at Judgment Day.

The only way for it to be so that "when we die we are taken out of creation" is if our created soul dies.  That's the biggest issue that jumps out at me at first blush -- the soul is created too (as are the angels and heavenly host).  Only God is uncreated.

EDIT: to ask a clarification -- are you perhaps making a distinction between chronos and kairos here?  Meaning, are you saying that we are taken out of chronological time and into "God's time" at death?  If that's the case, I wouldn't necessarily have this same objection, though I haven't considered it enough to determine whether I might have others.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 05:34:07 PM by David Garner »
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

swbohler

  • Guest
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #91 on: December 10, 2012, 05:33:27 PM »
Rev. Precup,

How is one "taken out of creation"?  Aren't there only two categories: God and creation?  Or are the deceased non-existent and then re-created?

pearson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2224
    • View Profile
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #92 on: December 10, 2012, 05:39:16 PM »

Since (at least so it appears to me) we have no ability to think of a person apart from a body, Luther is just continuing speaking the way Scripture speaks in this regard. One thinks of the souls under the altar "crying out" "How long, O Lord?" How can they cry without mouths? Voice boxes? Breathing? I think it's just accommodation to our inability to conceptualize what we have no experience of (I wonder if the nearest we have of it is dreams?).


Right -- this is what makes the best sense to me.  Thanks for this, Will.

And the scriptural passage that makes the best sense to me on this matter is Romans 14:8 -- "If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord; so whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's."  Therein lies the promise, the only thing I can hang on to.  All the rest is just guesswork.

Tom Pearson

J.L. Precup

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1124
    • View Profile
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #93 on: December 10, 2012, 05:44:39 PM »
Here is a thought not original with me...I forget where I picked it up.  Disclaimer:  it is not something I would dogmatically teach, and especially would not use at funerals or with the bereaved.  However, I find it personally comforting in thinking of the deaths of those close to me.  With all that we do not know regarding death and those who have died, the following is not a firm belief on my part, but does solve (at least for me) some of the dilemmas of considering where departed souls are and what they are doing.

Premise:  we are part of creation.  When we die we are taken out of creation.  We are also taken out of time (a part of creation).  Therefore, there is no elapsed time between death and the final day for the one who had died (it is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment).  In other words, we die, and in the blink of an eye we stand with all who have ever died at Judgment Day.

The only way for it to be so that "when we die we are taken out of creation" is if our created soul dies.  That's the biggest issue that jumps out at me at first blush -- the soul is created too (as are the angels and heavenly host).  Only God is uncreated.

EDIT: to ask a clarification -- are you perhaps making a distinction between chronos and kairos here?  Meaning, are you saying that we are taken out of chronological time and into "God's time" at death?  If that's the case, I wouldn't necessarily have this same objection, though I haven't considered it enough to determine whether I might have others.

Yes, Dave, you have it.  We are taken out of of chronos, chronological time.  The soul does not die, but is with God.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 8065
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #94 on: December 10, 2012, 05:47:27 PM »
Yes, Dave, you have it.  We are taken out of of chronos, chronological time.  The soul does not die, but is with God.

Thanks.  I'll hang up and listen.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Voelker

  • Guest
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #95 on: December 10, 2012, 06:14:38 PM »
So much of what we want to say, and often is said on these matters is speculation, extrapolation, and speaking to expectations. I would think that places in the Scriptures such as Colossians 3 (especially vv 3-4, your life is hidden with Christ in God ESV), the promise to the thief on the cross, and Philippians 1.23 (My desire is to depart and be with Christ ESV) would give us (at minimum) the tools that we need to speak to people about this in a reasonable manner. Those who die in Christ are safe in Him; those who have died are with Christ, whatever that means (and we know that whatever it is, it is good). Why go much further into it than that, when that is more than good (news) enough already? (It is agreed in the discussion so far, it seems, that there is little data to work with in Scripture on the "intermediate state" or whatever you want to call it.) I think this is Dr Gibbs' central point: say what Scripture says, and don't stop short when you do it — but don't go long, either. This discussion seems to have touched some nerves: what exercises people so about this question?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 06:22:18 PM by WJV »

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19541
    • View Profile
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #96 on: December 10, 2012, 10:34:10 PM »
Here is a thought not original with me...I forget where I picked it up.  Disclaimer:  it is not something I would dogmatically teach, and especially would not use at funerals or with the bereaved.  However, I find it personally comforting in thinking of the deaths of those close to me.  With all that we do not know regarding death and those who have died, the following is not a firm belief on my part, but does solve (at least for me) some of the dilemmas of considering where departed souls are and what they are doing.

Premise:  we are part of creation.  When we die we are taken out of creation.  We are also taken out of time (a part of creation).  Therefore, there is no elapsed time between death and the final day for the one who had died (it is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment).  In other words, we die, and in the blink of an eye we stand with all who have ever died at Judgment Day.

The only way for it to be so that "when we die we are taken out of creation" is if our created soul dies.  That's the biggest issue that jumps out at me at first blush -- the soul is created too (as are the angels and heavenly host).  Only God is uncreated.

EDIT: to ask a clarification -- are you perhaps making a distinction between chronos and kairos here?  Meaning, are you saying that we are taken out of chronological time and into "God's time" at death?  If that's the case, I wouldn't necessarily have this same objection, though I haven't considered it enough to determine whether I might have others.

Yes, Dave, you have it.  We are taken out of of chronos, chronological time.  The soul does not die, but is with God.
We had a discussion of this a few years ago in our circuit. The aforementioned pastor who got in hot water for teaching the confirmands that their grandparents were not in heaven was an associate, and in trying to sort it all out the senior pastor wanted our opinion on his own private view that from the wordly perspective there is a gap of waiting between death and resurrection during which the state of the soul is something we must come to grips with, but from the divine perspective death is simply a skipping forward to judgment day. So the dead are raised on last day but it seems to them as though they just died a moment before. The only problem I had with it was the souls crying out "how long?" which obviously wouldn't happen if from their perspective no time were elapsing.

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 8065
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: Using the term "sainted" for a soul asleep in Jesus...
« Reply #97 on: December 11, 2012, 07:34:07 AM »
We had a discussion of this a few years ago in our circuit. The aforementioned pastor who got in hot water for teaching the confirmands that their grandparents were not in heaven was an associate, and in trying to sort it all out the senior pastor wanted our opinion on his own private view that from the wordly perspective there is a gap of waiting between death and resurrection during which the state of the soul is something we must come to grips with, but from the divine perspective death is simply a skipping forward to judgment day. So the dead are raised on last day but it seems to them as though they just died a moment before. The only problem I had with it was the souls crying out "how long?" which obviously wouldn't happen if from their perspective no time were elapsing.

I think the concept of kairos I mentioned earlier might help with that.  I know there is some sense of this in Western theology, but I don't know how developed it is.  I know the pastors here will be familiar with the word just from New Testament usage.  It's a difficult concept as we discuss it in the East, but it roughly boils down to eschatological time, or "time apart from time."  Rather than chronological time, we look at events like the Fall, the cross, the resurrection, etc. as more cosmic events than local events, even though all of them were local events as well. 

In that sense, the soul could theoretically be removed from "the timeline" of chronos and still have awareness of what is going on in the chronos while existing in the kairos.  I haven't considered it enough to have any firm opinions pro or con, but Pastor Precup's remarks are, I think, interesting in their implications. 

I might be concerned philosophically whether this is even possible for creatures, but we confess in the East that the Liturgy occurs in the kairos, and we use the concept to explain things like the Eucharist (and the real presence), etc.  We also contend that we will exist in kairos after Judgment Day.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).