Posted by zafiris on September 21, 2001 at 11:25:39:
In Reply to: Inter-cultural relationship dilemma posted by Susanna on September 20, 2001 at 13:10:29:
You do not need to marry to have the daughter baptized. According to the rules of the church, any person can be baptized, regardless of his/her parents religion or affiliation. It only makes sense. Therefore, your baby can be baptized and you go on with no changes. The requirement is that the godfather is Orthodox and if married, married according to the Orthodox rites. That's it. If the priest at the church of your mother in law does not want to baptize the baby for whatever reason, show him this note and/or find someone else who will.
By the way, consider the viewpoint of the other side (mother in law, etc.). According to the Orthodox Christian beliefs, if someone is not baptized, he has no chance to go to heaven in the "next life" (babies have special treatment but not all fathers of the church agree in the details). The baptism washes away the "original sin", something that we can not repent and cleanse ourselves from since we were "conceived and born with this sin", in plain words, we inherited it. The original sin is the act of disobedience to God's command by Adam and Eve when they tasted the forbidden fruit. It does not make much sense nowadays, but this is the belief of the church. The problem arises that if you are not baptized, you will not give your family a chance to unite in heaven, not to mention the "corruption effect" you may have by having a child who's mother is not Orthodox. So, consider that in your decisions. I do not want to write more because it may take pages and pages.
The Orthodox Christian church will not recognize your baptism as "Canonical" (valid), not just because you have lost your certificate but because the clergy of your church does not have a direct succession of ordination that goes back to the Apostles. This means that the bishops and priests in the Orthodox and Catholic Christian faith have been ordained by bishops who have been ordained and so on by one of the original Apostles. When the Lutheran and other churches split from the Catholic church, there were some arbitrary ordinations (according to church historians of that time) and the Apostolic succession was lost.
For more info talk to a theologian. Try to find an educated one. My point is that you have to make your decision from your heart and with conscience. According to the church again, it is blasphemy to receive a sacrament without believing in it. I think that at least that last part is right.
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