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prayingserb
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« on: March 20, 2007, 06:43:08 AM »

There is soemthing that has been bothering me for a while, and i think it is time that I ask the people who will be able to give me the right answer, or at last point me to the right direction.

I have been told by a few people that the church has recently accepted homosexuality, specifically gay marriages. After hearing this, I was quite suprised, as personally I believe this is the worst thing a church can accept. To make it brief, I would like to know where the orthodox church stands with this and if there has been any changes with homosexuality and marriage to the church.


though this is off topic, I attended a Greek church today with my girlfriend, though I am Serbian and obviously didn't understand the service, it was very, very beautiful! - The (Orthodox) church really is beauitful, and my heart desires for baptism in the Orthodox church, soon!

Thank you and God bless you all!
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 07:05:41 AM »

I'm going to make a wild guess here and say that the Orthodox church does not accept those practices. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 07:28:55 AM »

Officially, no changes.

Unofficially, in some places people will look the other way.
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 07:38:29 AM »

prayingserb, if it is alright to ask mate, if you're Serbian then which religion did you previously follow?

I have heard that in Russia there was an incident where two sodomites plotted to convince a priest that one of them was a woman and then the priest agreed to marry them. At the end of the service they revealed the truth and this false wedding was declared to be unholy. (I think they may have both been excommunicated but I'm not sure about this.) The priest was defrocked. The Church in which this took place was bulldozed. The Bishop of the area came out to resanctify the land and then the Church was rebuilt from the ground up.

As this is given for one of the reasons why the Orthodox can never reunite with the Anglicans it would be very surprising if any Orthodox accepted such practices anywhere. However, I am aware of some heretics in the US who are calling themselves Orthodox (although they are not) who do accept such practices.
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 09:03:29 AM »

Just a quick clarification for Welkodox's thread. Unofficially, no marriage or blessing ceremony occurs. The individuals in question are, for the most part closeted, although they fit the "stereotype" and the church jsut looks the other way. Kinda like "Don't ask, don't tell."
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 09:21:53 AM »

In this instance I was thinking of the first Orthodox parish I ever visited back in the early 90's.  It was an open secret that there were people who did not fit the norm the church lays out for monogamous relationships.  It was very much like the don't ask, don't tell policy of the U.S. military.  Since then I have seen and heard of similar circumstances.  There are of course various rumors about this issue in the clergy as well.  I'm also not passing judgment here, as I am certainly a sinner of the highest order.

The story from Russia to me is as much about blatant prejudice as it is about maintaining the order of the church.

 
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 09:50:03 AM »

Sorry to be ignorant but how is the story from Russia about prejudice? I can see how someone unaware of how important it is to ensure correct practice in the Church might think that but one who understands this should see that such actions as these are taken to show the ordinary people how great a sin has taken place. Is it not a matter of great importance that the people understand what is and is not sin? The Church has always condemned sodomy and the Holy Bible teaches that no (unrepentant) sodomite will enter heaven. I have even seen entertaining homosexual thoughts listed on a sample list of confessible sins.

If I may ask, is anyone aware of any Oriental Orthodox Churches where such practices take place? I would imagine that Islam should help in keeping order in this regard in many of their native countries.
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 10:33:21 AM »

I'm not comfortable with who is or isn't going to heaven talk.

There's no shortage of unrepentant sinners in the church, and plenty of churches have probably had various kinds of sacrilege's take place in them.   I can certainly think of one off-hand.  To be consistent I guess we should be bulldozing churches right and left, otherwise in this case I will have to assume what is at work is not only a concern with sin, but a good deal of cultural prejudice.  I think that explains why certain attitudes carried over in to the Soviet period.

Love the sinner, hate the sin.  I see hate the sinner, hate the sin here.
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chrisb
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 11:38:23 AM »

I notice that this kind of thing is encountered more often in bodies like Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodoxy and Catholics. I think that when one equates 'being' Christian with membership in a particular 'body' of practice and not with an particular 'body' of character one ends up with members with diverse moral views which can manifest in direct contradiction to the Biblical norms. In the Episcopal (Anglican), Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches which I have visited I have witnessed this first-hand. I think this kind of moral division is coming to a head as is seen in the Episcopal Church in the USA. We see this in the Evangelical with the liberal and conservative split of Christian Theology but most of us don't recognize liberal theology as 'valid' theology. I recognize that there are going to be dissenters in any church but I find the most overt examples within bodies which identify their membership outside biblical moral norms. I think this is a real problem that is coming to a head and no faith community is safe but an obedient one.

I wish you all the best as this enters into your community.
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 02:06:02 PM »

I know that active homosexuallity is not accepted in the MP Russian Orthodox Church or in the ROCOR.  Both Churches have also openly declared such a lifestyle as sin.  On the other hand, if a person is seeking to repent, what better place than in the Church?  I don't know if the issue is as much "don't ask / don't tell" as it is an issue of "let the Priest handle this, I have my own sins to worry about".
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2007, 02:22:04 PM »

I know that active homosexuallity is not accepted in the MP Russian Orthodox Church or in the ROCOR.  Both Churches have also openly declared such a lifestyle as sin.  On the other hand, if a person is seeking to repent, what better place than in the Church?  I don't know if the issue is as much "don't ask / don't tell" as it is an issue of "let the Priest handle this, I have my own sins to worry about".

Whatever happened to:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Does your silence condemn you in their sin as well? Isn't that a Church teaching in Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2007, 02:32:16 PM »

That's funny.
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2007, 02:38:16 PM »

Whatever happened to:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Does your silence condemn you in their sin as well? Isn't that a Church teaching in Orthodoxy?

chrisb,
This is what is called "proof texting".  Anyone can play this game all day.  Here, I'll play too.  What about casting out the plank in your own eye instead of pointing out the speck in your brother's?  Sorry if
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chrisb
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2007, 02:40:59 PM »

That's funny.

Is 'By Silence' one of the nine ways of participating in anothers' sin?  Huh
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2007, 02:46:29 PM »

chrisb,
This is what is called "proof texting".  Anyone can play this game all day.  Here, I'll play too.  What about casting out the plank in your own eye instead of pointing out the speck in your brother's?  Sorry if

I believe you have misunderstood this passage. The Apostle Paul clearly recognizes that we are to exercise 'judgment' in matters, both earthly and heavenly...

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? - 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

As does the Apostle John...

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. - John 7:24
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2007, 02:47:51 PM »

Is 'By Silence' one of the nine ways of participating in anothers' sin?  Huh

I'm glad you always speak up whenever you see a sin, and that you never let one pass without saying anything and that you never let anything slide for any reason; and by extension that whatever your church is that there is no way ever I could find that they haven't let slip by (much less openly condoned) something that somewhere in the Bible there isn't an injunction against.  Again for any reason, good or bad.



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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2007, 02:48:42 PM »

Whatever happened to:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Does your silence condemn you in their sin as well? Isn't that a Church teaching in Orthodoxy?

Chris,

Two men who were living together attended our parish many years ago. Although they never made a point of their relationship with one another in our communit, were both drawn to Orthodoxy for various reasons. The priest, patiently allowed this couple to learn about the faith for a period of a year. I think he was hoping they would be willing to give up their lifestyle in order to join the Orthodox church. They did want to become Orthodox but not enough to give up their relationship to one another so the priest at that point, made it clear they could not be chrismated and they would have to leave the parish community. I think we should give all sinners a chance. If we immediately chase away people who live in in sin (promiscuity or homosexulity) away from our communities how will they ever have a chance to be healed? I know that I fall again and again in sin. By choosing sin I excommunicate myself from the church but through the mystery of Holy Confession I am welcomed back in like the prodigal son. I recently read this story about Russian Orthodox priest on another site that explains how Orthodoxy handles sinners.

The Miraculous Power of True Humility
A few days ago I received a letter from a Latvian prison. Aivar Yanovich Tselms writes:

"I am the warden of a community of Christians in the Veltersk prison here in Latvia. Our souls were for a long time in darkness until we came to know and accepted into our hearts our Saviour Jesus Christ."

This letter, about the spiritual rebirth of lost souls who, by God's mercy, had come to repentance and a new Christian life, reminded me of a story a priest once told me from his pastoral experience.

This took place nearly fifty years ago, in Germany, in the city of Ravensburg. After the end of the Second World War, many of our Russian Orthodox countrymen, especially youth, were literally on the streets, without a roof, without work, without any defense. These were those whom the Germans had brought during the war to work in Germany; they were called Osterbeiter.

Tormented by hunger and their desperate circumstances, some of these youths resorted to stealing food from stores and homes. Those that were caught were sent to jail.

I was informed that a whole group of these fellows were in jail. After inquiring what days and times visitors were permitted, I went straightway to the jail.

In the large reception room of the prison, there were already Roman Catholic priests, Protestant pastors, and representatives of other faiths talking to groups of prisoners. At my request the Orthodox youths were brought in; it was a fairly sizeable group. Their faces were sullen and mistrustful.

I put on my vestments. After saying a few words to the youth, I read the preparatory rule for Holy Communion. Then I began to confess them.

All of them, without exception, approached for confession. Many of them were still sobbing and shedding tears of repentance as they stepped aside for the next prisoner.

We began the service. Among the prisoners were a few that were familiar with the prayers and chants. The jail room was transformed into a temple of God!

We prayed fervently, as members of other faiths looked on attentively and with interest at what was going on in our corner of the room. All of our youth partook of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, many with tears.

After the service, the youths surrounded me and one after the other began telling me the story of his life, or asked for advice how to resolve his particular difficulty. Our meeting was brought to a halt by the prison police; visiting hours were over. Reluctant to part, the youths embraced me on leaving; in their eyes one could already see joy and hope. They waved their hands and wiped away tears with their fists.

(Their hope was justified; not long afterwards they were all released.) I began to take off my vestments.

Some Roman Catholic monks approached me, pastors, priests. "We all witnessed your ministry to these prisoners, and we are all amazed," they said. "We come here regularly. We bring Bibles, books, money and gifts to the prisoners. We conduct long discussions with them, but their hearts and souls remain closed to us. They are cold and indifferent to all that we do and say to them. We see you here for the first time. Tell us, how is it that all your prisoners so readily and eagerly, even tearfully, agreed to have confession and participate in a church service and to receive the Holy Mysteries? What did you tell your prisoners, when they were brought to you? After all, you had never met them before."

Fr. Andrei was silent. . .

Come, Batiushka. What did you say to the youth? I asked. What did I say? I told them the honest truth: Brothers, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, our Lord who rose from the dead, sent me here to you, to this prison. I am an ordained servant of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which our Lord Jesus Christ established on earth through His grievous sufferings and the shedding of His innocent blood for the sake of us sinners. Brothers, know this, by all rights it is not you that should be prisoners here but I, for all my many sins. Let us pray.. Let us repent together.

When Fr. Andrew finished his story, tears streamed down his cheeks.

May every true Orthodox Christian raise his hand in the sign of the Cross in eternal memory of mitred-archpriest Andrei Nakonechny, who, through his humility of wisdom, brought to repentance many lost rational sheep and returned them to the fold of their Holy Mother Church. Fr. Andrei reposed September, 1983, in Seattle where he was rector of St. Nicholas Church.

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chrisb
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2007, 03:03:15 PM »

I'm glad you always speak up whenever you see a sin, and that you never let one pass without saying anything and that you never let anything slide for any reason; and by extension that whatever your church is that there is no way ever I could find that they haven't let slip by (much less openly condoned) something that somewhere in the Bible there isn't an injunction against.  Again for any reason, good or bad.

Okay so by this am I to understand that we as Christians convicted by the Holy Ghost should not recognize nor condemn what the Apostle Paul recognized and condemned because we are, as you say, not perfect?

Was the Apostle Paul perfect? Did he still recognize and condemn sin?

BTW do you mind answering my question?
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2007, 03:09:34 PM »

I'm saying we should:

Be consistent
Be on guard not to be hypocrites, because you lose credibility that way
Judge ourselves first
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2007, 03:16:02 PM »

Chris,

Two men who were living together attended our parish many years ago. Although they never made a point of their relationship with one another in our communit, were both drawn to Orthodoxy for various reasons. The priest, patiently allowed this couple to learn about the faith for a period of a year. I think he was hoping they would be willing to give up their lifestyle in order to join the Orthodox church. They did want to become Orthodox but not enough to give up their relationship to one another so the priest at that point, made it clear they could not be chrismated and they would have to leave the parish community. I think we should give all sinners a chance. If we immediately chase away people who live in in sin (promiscuity or homosexulity) away from our communities how will they ever have a chance to be healed? I know that I fall again and again in sin. By choosing sin I excommunicate myself from the church but through the mystery of Holy Confession I am welcomed back in like the prodigal son. I recently read this story about Russian Orthodox priest on another site that explains how Orthodoxy handles sinners.

Christians who live a moral life serve as examples (salt and light) not just in our gathering together on Sundays but also in our daily lives. We live, work and play among 'many' who are 'not' Christians. They will know us by our 'fruit' not by our 'acceptence' of their 'sin'. If they want to visit our Church they are welcome but their going to hear the truth and we're not going to hide it from them. We don't have to be rude about it but we do have to be honest about what the Bible teaches and the sooner they hear it and turn from their old lives and accept Christ as Lord and Saviour the sooner they're be happier. We shouldn't be ashamed of the gospel, Christ came to bring life and it more abundantly.

PS: Nice emotional appeal but I'm not buying what you're selling....
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2007, 03:18:17 PM »

I'm saying we should:

Be consistent
Be on guard not to be hypocrites, because you lose credibility that way
Judge ourselves first

That sounds great but don't get stuck there is all I'm saying.
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2007, 03:31:21 PM »

That sounds great but don't get stuck there is all I'm saying.

I know very few people who are beyond these steps.  There aren't that many Apostle Paul's around.

I now know next to nothing about you or your church (assuming you belong to something beyond the First Church of chrisb).  I can say with 100% confidence though you in your personal or work life, and the people in your church have let things slip or go by.  Whether it's divorce, lying, stealing, or something else; you and the people in your church (for whatever reason) have and will let things go by without openly condemning them.  That's life in a sinful world.  Otherwise, you would probably be living alone on an island or simply an extremely unpopular person.

The difference is, which I tried to point out before, that what we should (and do) condemn is the sin.  We don't openly condemn the sinners, and the church is full of sinners, every single one of us.  That is where the consistency enters in; if we're going to deal with one group of sinners in one way, we should treat every one that way.

Each priest deals with each situation as they think they need to, taking in to account the individual and the community.  We have to trust them to do what's right.

I dislike intensly the holier than thou routine, and hearing people who are just brimming with enthusiasm to roundly condemn sinners (while they themselves are more than likely mired in sin of one kind or another).
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2007, 03:37:07 PM »

Chris,

It wasn't an emotional appeal. And the Orthodox church does not accept any type of sexual deviancy. If you want to save a soul you must give them a chance to hear the message first without condemning them. The Holy Spirit will then have the opportunity to convict them of their sin. But the healing process takes a whole lifetime for all of us. By the way, did you say everyone in your community is sinless? Have you, yourself reached perfection yet? If you are without sin go ahead and cast the first stone.
In Orthodoxy we recognize the church is full of sinners and we come to Church to be healed. The Church is the hospital for the sick.

Those who we live and work with will know us by our love for one another and for them. They will then see how we TRY to live our lives uprightly.
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2007, 03:58:15 PM »

I know very few people who are beyond these steps.  There aren't that many Apostle Paul's around.

See I believe that there are a lot of Apostle Paul's around. Who of us can't agree with his statement:

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. - Romans 7:15

A simpler translation...

For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. - Romans 7:15

But that didn't afford him the rationale to not condemn sin or even to soft-pedal the struggles of the flesh. It is not about us achieving some 'state' in which we can judge because we'll never be in a state to judge but we are convicted by the Spirit as to what is right and wrong and we should preach the Gospel, the 'whole' Gospel and be salt and light for the world.

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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2007, 04:08:52 PM »

The church lays out what's right and wrong, how that is dealt with individually is all that's in question.  We don't kick sinners out, or openly condemn them, because they are sinners.

I guarantee you that you have remained silent in the face of sin, and that you or the people around you have silently accepted it in various ways.

Please get off your high horse.

There are very few Apostle Paul's.
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« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2007, 04:26:59 PM »

See I believe that there are a lot of Apostle Paul's around.

Sure.  There are countless people who have been knocked dead in their tracks by the Risen Christ Himself, blinded, then told to go humble themselves before the heirarchy of the Church, then given the authority to preach the Word.

Lots of people think they've had the first thing happen to them and go do the fourth.  Almost no one has the second done to them and not many people do the third.

I agree with welkodox...and you're prooftexting again.  When people start throwing chapter and verse around, I immediately think of the old adage that the Devil himself can quote Scripture to suit his needs.

My ears close and I turn to the Church for guidance.
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« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2007, 04:41:04 PM »

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. - Proverbs 3:7
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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2007, 04:43:00 PM »

I go out for the afternoon and you all get into a big row!

We are all sinners. All of us. Many here have confessed to that.

Tamara, I loved your story.

I am still looking for the perfect church like Diogenes. But, I think I will never find it until I get to the other side.
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2007, 04:51:18 PM »

The church lays out what's right and wrong, how that is dealt with individually is all that's in question.  We don't kick sinners out, or openly condemn them, because they are sinners.

I guarantee you that you have remained silent in the face of sin, and that you or the people around you have silently accepted it in various ways.

Please get off your high horse.

There are very few Apostle Paul's.

BAM! Git'em Weldox.

-Lover the sinner, hate the sin
-be compassionate and love one another, forgive --- Jesus said that ALOT.
-be there to help the brethren when their sin requires them to be bold enough to seek out help
-any act of relations outside of marriage is a sin.
-living together outside of marriage is a sin
-The Orthodox church DOES NOT marry non-hetero couples
-we can not judge people the only one that can judge is God
-we can't say who is going to paradise or hades, that is God's job
-we must live in peace, love one another and forgive and be compassionate
---therefore we can not hate people, which usually stems from judging and shows a lack of respect, love, compassion and forgiveness, these are core principles of Christianity remember that
-hate the sin, not the sinner

One of the core things Jesus also taught was that everyone counts.  While society at His time often cast aside anyone that wasn't considered socially acceptable, Jesus said take care of everyone.  This means we can not sit back and say, "we can't be compassionate and nice to that person because he's this or that."
I remember in high school in religion class the franciscan friar said many of his brethren ran a hospital that did terminal/hospice care for aids patients.
People said to Father, "but they're all druggies etc.."  Father said as Christians we  are called to help everyone and love everyone and that what they did to get aids is between them and God and living the Gospels and taking care of these people was what Christ taught.
See, hate the sin not the sinner.
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2007, 05:44:10 PM »

See I believe that there are a lot of Apostle Paul's around. Who of us can't agree with his statement:

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. - Romans 7:15

A simpler translation...

For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. - Romans 7:15

But that didn't afford him the rationale to not condemn sin or even to soft-pedal the struggles of the flesh. It is not about us achieving some 'state' in which we can judge because we'll never be in a state to judge but we are convicted by the Spirit as to what is right and wrong and we should preach the Gospel, the 'whole' Gospel and be salt and light for the world.


My dear brother in Christ. Of course we must come to a time when we see evil and rebuke that evil. However, when dealing with other people we must remember that we are dealing with people and not machines. I like the story of the priest that allowed the homosexual couple time to study the faith and gave them time to repent. This priest understood that we are ALL fallen human beings and that we are all in the process of being cured of the disease of sin. Every Christian MUST remember this lesson. Every Christian must realize that all people are poor beggers and that Christians are simply those who have happened to find out where the bread of life is being freely distributed. With this lesson in mind, we might all understand that being patient with sinners and imperfect Churches is the best policy for any of us who are sinners in need of God's mercy.
If you look back at the story, the priest in the end did ask the homosexual couple to leave the parish after giving them plenty of time and patience. I believe this is a reasonable response. He offered them mercy, they rejected it and in the end they recieved justice. Just as God offers us the time of mercy for "today is the day of salvation". I urge you to remember that if Christ offers us the time of mercy, so we should offer that to others and not be quick to condem or judge.
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2007, 06:25:26 PM »

Whatever happened to:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Does your silence condemn you in their sin as well? Isn't that a Church teaching in Orthodoxy?

I don't believe that I understand what you are getting at.  I know of no active, flamer homosexuals in my Church.  I also know that my Priest would not commune anyone that was (we have discussed the matter).  I have known people that were predisposed to homosexuality (or tempted, or whatever you want to call it), recognized that it was wrong and sinful, and came to the Church to find healing from this demon and forgivness for their sin.  If you think that I should avoid such a person, I pitty you.  If someone comes to me and says "hey, do you know that so and so is a queer?", I will ask them if they have discussed this with the Priest.  I don't think highly of people who spread gossip and rumours, less actually than I do of repenting queens.  However, I have enough logs in my own eye to remove before I worry about the splinter in someone else's.  On the other hand, if I attended a parish where openly gay people flaunted their sin and the Priest did nothing, I would (a) not remain silent, and (b) not be there long.  I cannot imagine that a parish that would allow active homosexuality would be Christian.

Perhaps you misunderstood my previous post.
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2007, 07:28:31 PM »

IS, I was raised in the Orthodox church but slowly stopped going and I guess you could say it was protestantism for a few years?

Thank you to all your replies. I really wasn't expecting this many!

So from what I gathered, the church does not at all accept gay marriages (the story from Russia makes it quite clear, i think) but the homosexual himself can be given a chance to attend the church and repent from the sin?
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2007, 09:15:14 PM »

Correct. Though he may still have thoughts about it, so long as he does not act upon it through a sinful relationship, he may repent through confession.
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2007, 09:35:42 PM »

I have come to realize that western Christianity only sees sin in the one dimension. They don't realize that sin is contagious and affects the judge/victim just as badly as the sinner. This is one of the reasons we believe that other confessions only hold part of the truth.
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2007, 09:47:03 PM »

Quote
I have come to realize that western Christianity only sees sin in the one dimension.

I think that's a one dimensional portrayal of Western Christendom (and remember, there are Western Orthodox).  Many liberal Protestant groups have decided Homosexuality is okay, and they no long see it as a sin at all.  The Anglicans are deeply divided on the issue.  AFAIK many conservative Protestants take a very legalistic view of the issue, but I don't have a lot of knowledge about exactly what they think or do.

In my experience in and around Roman Catholicism, they have the same outlook as us and I have seen similar things that I have in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2007, 11:31:08 PM »

flamer

Quote
queer

Quote
queens

Wow.  If such talk is the fruit of your "church", perhaps it should be bulldozed, but not because of "openly gay people flaunting their sin".  :'(
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2007, 11:34:11 PM »

Wow.  If such talk is the fruit of your "church", perhaps it should be bulldozed, but not because of "openly gay people flaunting their sin".  :'(
I think he was using the terms tongue in cheek.
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2007, 10:25:13 AM »

I think he was using the terms tongue in cheek.

So was Ann Coulter when she referred to a Democratic presidential candidate as a faggot in front of hundreds of people.

But I guess pointing this out to someone with the username "Papist" might not have the same resonance.
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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2007, 10:30:49 AM »

So was Ann Coulter when she referred to a Democratic presidential candidate as a faggot in front of hundreds of people.

But I guess pointing this out to someone with the username "Papist" might not have the same resonance.

Folks---

Be careful with what you type...several of you are close to saying something unpleasant or making an ad hominem. Lent is hard enough; let's resist the Purple Demons and not be baited into a needless confrontation.

+Fr Chris
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2007, 10:55:28 AM »

In my experience in and around Roman Catholicism, they have the same outlook as us and I have seen similar things that I have in Orthodoxy.

Quite correct. Homosexuality is seen by Catholicism as "intrinsically disordered" but not necessarily sinful in itself, unless indulged or acted upon. It's an illness of sorts, deserving of much compassion. But it also goes without saying that homosexual activity is a mortal sin, one of the "sins crying to heaven for vengeance," necessitating sacramental confession before Communion (and priests I know recommend weekly confession for those struggling with homosexual behavior, masturbation, pornography, or other sexual sins). There is an apostolate called Courage for those with same-sex desires, and the focus isn't on "re-orientation therapy" or "conversion" to heterosexuality like you see in Protestant/Evangelical groups, but on simple chastity.
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« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2007, 11:10:49 AM »

Lemko Rusyn, in defence of Punch, may I please say that he seems to have simply been using the common vernacular (perhaps of his area in particular if you are not familiar with certain usages). Simply using a word which some people may see as offensive does not mean it was intended in that way. For example, back in January I listened as an elderly man talked about his father who had a friend who was a Negro (as he worded himself). Just because he used a word by which I was initially somewhat shocked to hear does not mean that he intended to offend. It was simply the case that this is the only word he had used all his life and I quickly realised that he was simply using the word he was familiar with. Hope this makes sense.

prayingserb, thank you for replying. You said it was Protestantism for a few years, does this mean that you have returned to Orthodoxy completely now? It appears as though your understanding of the topical issue is correct.
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« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2007, 11:26:45 AM »

Quite correct. Homosexuality is seen by Catholicism as "intrinsically disordered" but not necessarily sinful in itself, unless indulged or acted upon. It's an illness of sorts, deserving of much compassion. But it also goes without saying that homosexual activity is a mortal sin, one of the "sins crying to heaven for vengeance," necessitating sacramental confession before Communion (and priests I know recommend weekly confession for those struggling with homosexual behavior, masturbation, pornography, or other sexual sins). There is an apostolate called Courage for those with same-sex desires, and the focus isn't on "re-orientation therapy" or "conversion" to heterosexuality like you see in Protestant/Evangelical groups, but on simple chastity.

While I was still Roman Catholic I knew of several 'openly gay' members who worked in RCIA at my Parish and took Communion every Sunday. Complete acceptance of 'active gay members' was very much an accurate descriptor for the way my parish dealt with this in complete dissent of Catholic teaching. I have little reason to believe anything has changed since. Culture is a very powerful player in individuals 'sense of wrongdoing' regardless what the traditional teaching is. I have little doubt that as our culture integrates the homosexual Lifestyle as part of our accepted norms we will find holding homosexuals culpable more and more difficult. Even among Orthodox 'here' we appear to establish a 'dualism' to shelter the actor from any culpability for participation in the act. We don't find this with sins like murder or rape. This is telling for me. We are witnessing the erosion of our 'sense of sin' with this act and the culpability of those who are practicing it as a lifestyle. Most grievous.
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« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2007, 11:52:42 AM »

How often have clergy and laity turned a blind eye to spousal or child abuse?  We know it when we see it, but how many people chase the abuser out of the church?  Is not the abuser not only hurting his or her victim(s), but also causing scandal in the parish? 

How many times do we chastise people who won't even acknowledge the presence of a homeless begger, let alone give them alms, as we are commanded to do so by none other than Christ Himself?  I think I'm not crossing a line in saying that none of us do so. 

Sin just isn't about transgression, it's also about not doing what we're supposed to do. 

I think everyone, especially those who are not in a teaching authority position, should read St. John of Kronstadt's Preparation for Confession before speaking or writing anything about individuals.  The use of language is important.  It's one thing to preach that homosexuality is not conducive to spiritual living.  It's entirely another to talk about homosexuals, especially individuals in particular.  One is preaching, the other is judging.  As welkodox said earlier, there aren't many St. Pauls around, and, again, I think I can safely write that none of us here are. 

What disturbs me the most is the obsession with homosexuality when countless other sins that cause scandal are safely closeted away when we're all aware of their existence.  I can't recall ever seeing a thread on here about how dangerous non-sexual spousal abuse is to our parishes or how the wealthy have an obligation to help the poor.  The unhealthy obsession with sexuality that permeates the secular world is most definitely alive and well within the Church.
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« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2007, 12:04:16 PM »

Here Here Schultz!

And I doubt a thread will pop up about spousal or child abuse. When I was a practicing Evangelical I never heard a sermon on this topic and doubt I'll hear or read about it in the Orthodox church anytime soon.  But I heard many a sermon on sexual sin and some, at least in Evangelical circles, are obsessed with this topic.

I have a theory, although unfounded by research, that those individuals obsessed with discussing or preaching about a certain sin - - suffer from the sins themselves. It is a way of mollifying their guilt. They have not accepted that fact that they sin, nor confessed and received Christ's love.

Lord Have Mercy
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« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2007, 12:24:06 PM »

aserb, whilst my memory may be faulty, I believe a man named Froyd has already thought of your theory.

I must admit that I heard a sermon against sodomy at a Baptist meeting shortly after the nearby Anglicans suffered an exodus due to this issue.
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