(Note: Before reading, please understand that I am not attacking the Orthodox Church. In general, they have an amazing understanding of the majesty of God, a deep appreciation for artwork and beauty in worship, a respect for tradition, a love of history, and many more admirable qualities. However, many who call themselves “Orthodox” are desperately in the dark.)
Go to www.OperationWorld.org, then find the page about Romania. You’ll read there that 96.96% of the population is Christian. If almost everybody in Romania is “already a Christian,” why am I here? Continuing on in this series, here is reason #3 for why the gospel is needed in Bucureşti: many of the Orthodox believe that salvation is simply a matter of doing a few more good deeds.
Reason #3 – Damned If I Don’t…
Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that we are saved through grace, but grace released through works. To be forgiven is a matter of doing a bit more good to get more grace. However, Jesus calls his followers to be perfect (Mt. 5:48), so doing a bit more good is a band-aid for a cancer patient. No matter how many church services a Romanian attends or icons he kisses or money he gives, his failures remain as a debt to God. There is only One who can remove that debt, and his name is Jesus.
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).