"My daughter just had a child. Holding him, I thought, "It is so difficult to believe that an infant's heart is sinful." Many teach this, but not Orthodoxy. We do not believe that we are totally depraved, as many Protestants do. Nor do we believe we are born with the guilt of sin, as the Romans teach. Instead, we are born in innocence and our heart is pure. To be sure, we all sin. Yet some, as did our Lady the Birthgiver-of-God, continue in purity of heart the rest of their lives, as blameless. Mary was as human as we are, yet morally pure throughout her life. We are all born in the same condition and we have the choice to keep our hearts pure and directed towards God, or to sin and rebel against the purity of a loving heart. Our lives become a continual struggle to conform our hearts to purity and holiness. Recognize this, and we are on our way to becoming Orthodox."
A friend recently pointed out these shocking words. They come from here:
And are on page 16. Yes, the Ukrainian Orthodox are canonical. And they tolerate, if not actually teach, that "we are born in innocence and our heart is pure." One of my parishioners attended a Baptism in an Orthodox Church (OCA) where the priest hammered home the same point: we are not baptizing this baby because it is a sinner!
Striking the difference between this blatant Pelagianism and the piece I've been working through by St. Augustine called *On Merit and the Forgiveness of Sins.* Striking too how anyone who was once Lutheran can embrace this, let alone pray Psalm 51 anymore.