Originally posted by serigado
1) If redemption can happen in Hell, then whatever we do here in Earth doesn't really matter, because soul's life is just going to continue after the official death, and death is only a bureaucratic protocol.
Let me make my point.
Someone who does not acknowledge God, is going to Hell (some even say if he's not baptized).
Now we have 2 hypothesis: either redemption can happen in Hell, and the soul can go to Heaven, or... it can't.
1) If redemption can happen in Hell, then whatever we do here in Earth doesn't really matter, because soul's life is just going to , I don't know, but almost positively it's not the one described in your Holy Bible.
I don’t think this part is entirely correct. Some in Eastern Orthodox Christianity hold that redemption can occur after death, but that hell symbolizes something akin to having to undergo painful—or at least unpleasant—treatment for cancer because one failed to take care of themselves in this life. Therefore, what one does in this life does matter, under that scenario. Hell, in this case, is a bit more like the Roman Catholic notion of purgatory.
This is not a doctrine of the Orthodox Church, but is an acceptable belief. The main stream of soteriology among the Orthodox is a soteriology of healing, based on the meaning of the Greek soterias
(generally translated as “salvation” ): to make whole or make well. The early church father Irenaeus (circa 130-208), for example, understood soterias
Some examples of this Orthodox perspective—
“Christ is the first-born of God, his Logos, in whom all people share. That is what we have learned and what we bear witness to ... All who have lived in accordance with the Logos are Christians, even if they have been reckoned atheists, as among the Greeks Socrates, Heraclitus and the like.” (Justin; d. 165 C.E.)
Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement’s commentary: “For the early church salvation is not at all reserved to the baptized ... The Word [logos] has never ceased and never will cease to be present to humanity in all cultures, all religions, and all irreligions. The incarnation and resurrection are not exclusive but inclusive of the manifold forms of his presence.”*
And: “For the highest spirituality (and theology) of the first centuries, God will be ‘all in all.’ Certain fathers granted that God would turn away from those who turned away from him.** This is what Western Scholasticism was to term poena damni
, the penalty of damnation. Such a fundamentalist [sic] reading of the Gospels (which leads to speculation on the nature of the ‘worm’ and the ‘fire’ that will torment the damned) was denounced not only as external but as ‘absurd’ by the greatest representatives of early Christianity, for example by St Ambrose of Milan and John Cassian in the West, and in the East, quite apart from strict Origenism, by Gregory of Nyssa, John Climacus, Maximus the Confessor, and Isaac of Nineveh.
“For this last author, whose development of the doctrine of hell is undoubtedly the most important contribution to this subject in the whole of Christian theology, it is unthinkable and contrary to the very spirit of the Christian revelation that God should abandon anyone.”
And: “As a copious spring could not be stopped up with a handful of dust, so the Creator’s compassion cannot be conquered by the wickedness of creatures.” (Isaac of Nineveh; 7th century)
And: “But it is not impossible that all should be saved and reconciled to God.” (John Climacus, 7th century)
And: Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement and Gregory of Nyssa—
“We must pray, however, that the fire of judgment—which is the fire of God’s love—will not consume the wicked, but only that part in each one which is evil. The division into ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’ of which the Last Judgment scene speaks would thus be made, not between two crowds of human beings, but between two kinds of character within each individual. In practice, other parables of a similar kind like that of the ‘good seed’ and the ‘tares’ cannot be interpreted in any other way. Jesus explains that the ‘good seed means the sons of the Kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one’, and that at the end these latter will be cast into the blazing furnace (Matthew 13:36). Only Gnostics and Manicheans can hold that it is a question here of people. All human beings are creatures of God. What is ‘sown by the devil’ is destructive suggestions, the seeds of idolatry and folly. Good seeds and tares are human dispositions. To destroy the thoughts sown by the evil one is not to destroy the person but to cauterize him. What Gregory of Nyssa suggests is precisely this divine surgery.
“‘The body is subject to various forms of illness. Some are easy to treat, others are not, and for the latter recourse is had to incisions, cauterizations, bitter medicine... We are told something of the same sort about the judgment in the next world, the healing of the soul’s infirmities. If we are superficial people, that amounts to a threat and a process of severe correction... But the faith of deeper minds regards it as a process of healing and therapy applied by God in such a way as to bring back the being he created to its original grace.’ (Gregory of Nyssa, Great Catechetical Oration, Clement, The Roots of Christian Mysticism)”
St. Gregory of Nyssa (4th century) referred to the apokatastasis, the return of all things to God as “the final restoration which is expected to take place later in the kingdom of heaven of those who have suffered condemnation in Gehenna.” (The Life of Moses, II-82-4.)
Western, and especially Protestant, theology tends to reject all this because of upholding the juridical, rather than the “medical”, model of salvation. The Orthodox do not follow "scripture alone," but also the early oral tradition of Christianity; and the early post-apostolic fathers (say, from 100 to 600-800 C.E.) were not particularly Biblical literalists, but read much of it allegorically.
* This and other quotes from Clement’s The Roots of Christian Mysticism
** And this stream of Orthodoxy does not limit the possibilities to this existence.