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Author Topic: Homosexuality -a perverted manifestation of sexuality  (Read 12512 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tzimis
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« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2007, 05:40:05 PM »

Cleveland makes an exellent point.  Again, the key is tendency for falls or slippage and open sinning.  I don't know many conservative Priests that would commune people who OPENLY live together before marriage, or who OPENLY live in adultery any more than they would commune an OPEN homosexual.  In reality, a person who struggles with his / her sin is different than a person who refuses to recognize his / her sinful action as sin.  I don't see a person who has homosexual tendencies but keeps them in check any different than I see a married heterosexual person who fights the tendency to lust after other women.  One may be more "natural" based on the majority of the population, but both are equal struggles.

You bring up a very good point. The problem with a homosexual relationships is that there is no alternative other than abstinence. The pre-maritial fornacator can always get married and has a better chance at doing what is right. They have an outlet to release there passions. That is why homosexuals have to do battle till death. It's much more difficult to remain abstinent. It helps to know that one isn't born gay. It isn't as hopeless as that.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2007, 05:53:41 PM »


Can you rationally expain how Christ was raised from the dead.  Wouldn't you say than, that rationalization has it's limits no matter what century we live in.

The theory behind a miracle is that it is miraculous precisely because we live in a rational world. If people were known to rise from the dead at random now and again, the resurrection of Christ would have hardly been notable. If it was common place to be able to walk on water, no one would take note when you did. Likewise, homosexuality is fairly common place in society, certainly in the minority because it is discouraged evolutionarily but still quite common. If something is common and not miraculous we must conclude that there a rational explanation, otherwise the very concept of the miraculous is negated. And if the common can be reduced to the supernatural and is subsequently explained by science, the supernatural is reduced to absurdity.
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« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2007, 07:11:15 PM »

The theory behind a miracle is that it is miraculous precisely because we live in a rational world. If people were known to rise from the dead at random now and again, the resurrection of Christ would have hardly been notable. If it was common place to be able to walk on water, no one would take note when you did. Likewise, homosexuality is fairly common place in society, certainly in the minority because it is discouraged evolutionarily but still quite common. If something is common and not miraculous we must conclude that there a rational explanation, otherwise the very concept of the miraculous is negated. And if the common can be reduced to the supernatural and is subsequently explained by science, the supernatural is reduced to absurdity.

   Now that you have admitted that all can not be explained by a rational explaination. Why do you dismiss the possiblity of the soul becoming diseased . Unless offcourse you don't believe that the soul exists. But if you do believe that the soul exists, than why couldn't you believe that it can become diseased just like our physical being through enviromental and demonic infuences.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2007, 07:27:20 PM »

Now that you have admitted that all can not be explained by a rational explaination. Why do you dismiss the possiblity of the soul becoming diseased . Unless offcourse you don't believe that the soul exists. But if you do believe that the soul exists, than why couldn't you believe that it can become diseased just like our physical being through enviromental and demonic infuences.

Because with actions that manifest themselves in the natural world we should always seek natural explanations. You seem to be suggesting that no such connection exists, yet the fields of biology and genetics, to say nothing of psychology, are making substantial advancements for our knowledge and understanding of this (and several other behavioural) phenomena, the evidence suggests that there are physical, not metaphysical, explanations for this and most other behaviours. So all things being equal, let's go with the explanation that is consistant with actual observation and requires the minimum number of axioms.
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« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2007, 07:52:22 PM »

Demetrios G., I agree, you are right, and Cleveland is right (I was not ironic when I wrote Amen" to his post). But there is a certain bias when we, on forums like this one, specifically "target" gays. --G.
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« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2007, 10:14:06 PM »

 I commend Provoslavije-gal for pointing out the Church's teaching on homosexuality because it is a message that needs to be heard. And I disagree with those that are saying that she's condemning or targeting people who practice homosexuality. Please read her comments more carefully; she, along with the Holy Orthodox Church, condemns sexual relations between two people of the same sex AND, if everyone will recall, these comments grew out of the thread about the lesbian's lawsuit claiming 'marriage' is a hate word. When those with a homosexual inclination make outrageous and frivolous lawsuits such as these, we cannot sit idly by *hoping* those in our courts will choose wisely.
 
 The homosexual agenda is gaining ground because, as one of their founders once said, "We will continue to have the word "homosexual" talked about so much that people will become indifferent to it". Years later, those words were prophetic. It seems that the lie of homosexual is believed by more and more people. The DSM-IV, because of the homosexual agenda, has removed 'homosexuality' from it psychologically wrong category. Now, instead of positive shows like "The Cosby Show" we have "Will and Grace". "Queer Eye..." actually teaches men how to look more like a homosexual Huh . I live in a very conservative town, the *buckle* of the Bible belt you might say, and yet more and more children here are experimenting with this *lifestyle*.

 As for the stone casting argument, if person X JUDGES person Y for a particular sin THEN the stone casting argument is rightfully brought up. But, if person X merely is explaining the views of the Holy Orthodox Church in a non-judgemental manner, this is completely within their responsibility. Loving someone does not mean 'live and let live'. It means showing them the truth of Christianity. We're not here to offend others, but we must recognize that others will be offended because the dark hates the light, yet, we must soldier on.
   
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« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2007, 10:23:55 PM »

Now, instead of positive shows like "The Cosby Show" we have "Will and Grace". "Queer Eye..." actually teaches men how to look more like a homosexual Huh .

Wow, now we are proclaiming the Faith of the fathers, the Victory of Christ, the Might of the Church, the Truth of the Ages...we'll teach those fashion shows a lesson!

(As a less sarcastic aside, do you really think you could do better with fashion and interior design? My straight posterior sure the heck couldn't (that didn't come out as well as I was hoping, did it, maybe there is something to be said for the virtues of vulgarity).)

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I live in a very conservative town, the *buckle* of the Bible belt you might say, and yet more and more children here are experimenting with this *lifestyle*.

So maybe there's hope after all, while I'd ultimately prefer to see them neither, it's better they grow up active homosexuals than active evangelical protestants: consider it the lesser of two evils.
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« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2007, 10:32:44 PM »

It helps to know that one isn't born gay. It isn't as hopeless as that.
Great point, Demetrios. And for any who are genuinely struggling with this particular passion, great words of encouragement.
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« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2007, 10:45:05 PM »

...maybe there is something to be said for the virtues of vulgarity).
GiC praising the *virtues* of vulgarity? Naw, I musta misread that.  Wink

 
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« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2007, 10:54:58 PM »

GiC praising the *virtues* of vulgarity? Naw, I musta misread that.  Wink

ME??? Never. Grin
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« Reply #55 on: June 23, 2007, 03:37:25 AM »

None of you even knows what you are talking about. Probably none of you have any right to speak on the issue as you are not gay and have no real experience with gays, and this entire thread is just judgmental and stupid.

Saying that I am not born gay is not in any way encouraging.

The original post is very judgmental and hurtful, as are several others in this thread.

How can the original post be considered loving?? To whom is it directed? Last time I checked, love is personal, it is between PEOPLE.  This is just a blanket, judgmental statement on homosexuals written by a heterosexual and that will be read mainly by heterosexuals.  There is no love there, or if there is, it certainly doesn't come off as being loving at all. 
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« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2007, 03:41:22 AM »

None of you even knows what you are talking about. Probably none of you have any right to speak on the issue as you are not gay and have no real experience with gays, and this entire thread is just judgmental and stupid.
Does one's lack of direct experience automatically deny one the right to speak on an issue?  Maybe some of us here actually are speaking from experience--I know I am--so I ask you to be careful with such sweeping generalizations.

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Saying that I am not born gay is not in any way encouraging.

The original post is very judgmental and hurtful, as are several others in this thread.

How can the original post be considered loving?? To whom is it directed? Last time I checked, love is personal, it is between PEOPLE.  This is just a blanket, judgmental statement on homosexuals written by a heterosexual and that will be read mainly by heterosexuals.  There is no love there, or if there is, it certainly doesn't come off as being loving at all. 
Are you sure this is not just your perception?  Maybe your perception is accurate, maybe it's not.  But how do you know?  Could you be unduly influenced by your own emotional reaction to the OP?  No intent to put down your pov, so if I come across that way, please forgive me.  I just understand from experience that things are often not as they appear.
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« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2007, 04:31:07 AM »

The facts are tthat Gods church condemns the act of homosexuality due t the fact that this type of behaviour prevents people from reaching the kingdom of heaven.

The church is the truth,the way and the life.

It cannot change its teachings from truth to a lie.

The church is out to help people to become one with god.

I ask you this.

Who helps you: someone who fails to tell you the truth or someone who does tell you the truth? The former may make you feel better; they may soothe and flatter, but the truth is more loving. It will help you live a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life.

Defenders and promoters of homosexuality try to cover up the scientifically documented serious promiscuity, inability to maintain sexual fidelity, partner abuse and psychological and medical illnesses associated with the lifestyle. Also, they tell persons with same-sex attractions  that "It's genetic," "You were born that way,".

The church canot promote a lie,because it is the church of TRUTH.

It can and does however give people hope and strength to overcome homosexuality and other sins.
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« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2007, 08:24:30 AM »

Zebu, I am afraid you are incorrect. To some extent, we all, hetero- and homosexuals alike, do know "what we are talking about." I do not have homosexual urges at the moment, I am very happily married to a woman, but I do know very well what it is to struggle with my own so-called "natural" sexuality. All adults know that. Of course, people who have very strong homosexual predilections, to the point that sex with a representative of the opposite sex is repulsive to them, are in a very difficult position; but many heterosexuals who become Christians do have, essentially, the same job cut out for them, that is, to break one's own wanton spirit, to throw away that "old person," etc. I know this absolutely, first-hand.

By the way, dear members, what do you know about former gays who enter heterosexual marriages? Is it possible? I know many Evangelical Protestants say yes, and quote some anecdotal evidence supporting this. What say you, do you think it's true, or chastity, monasticism is the only way to go for converting sexual perverts?
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« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2007, 09:57:09 AM »

None of you even knows what you are talking about. Probably none of you have any right to speak on the issue as you are not gay and have no real experience with gays, and this entire thread is just judgmental and stupid.

That's just a stupid argument.  I haven't killed anybody, but I do know that murder is a sin.

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Saying that I am not born gay is not in any way encouraging.

The original post is very judgmental and hurtful, as are several others in this thread.

It's a bitter pill.  Take it or leave it.
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« Reply #60 on: June 23, 2007, 10:48:49 AM »

Because with actions that manifest themselves in the natural world we should always seek natural explanations. You seem to be suggesting that no such connection exists, yet the fields of biology and genetics, to say nothing of psychology, are making substantial advancements for our knowledge and understanding of this (and several other behavioural) phenomena, the evidence suggests that there are physical, not metaphysical, explanations for this and most other behaviours. So all things being equal, let's go with the explanation that is consistant with actual observation and requires the minimum number of axioms.

To some degree I agree with you. I have always argued with many people that the soul and body are one and interlinked together. What we disagree about is that science has the ability of reaching the point of explaining it. They haven't and chances are they never will. The reason it can't be explained easily is because it's not consistant. The nonconsistance is somehow linked to free will. Free will is a choice to do what goes against physical nature. When a person decides to marter themselves for god they have made a leap of faith. They are going against thier physical self perservation witch is built into them. This decision can not be chemically understandable. It goes beyond physics. It's a choice to allow the holy spirit to take over. It falls into the realm of the uncreated. What the body can't do faith can. It has chosen to brake out of it's bondage. The bondage is our body of death.
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« Reply #61 on: June 23, 2007, 12:09:33 PM »

I am trying, for the third time on this thread, to get to the underlying issue of this debate.  I'm not gay, and I'm not yearning to open the Orthodox Church to acceptance of homosexual conduct.  Instead, I'm very interested in the underlying issue here (that homosexuality, in my opinion, is just an example of):

What is the basis for moral law in the Orthodox Church and changes in its moral law?

For example:  Christ clearly banned divorce except for sexual immorality.  Yet, the Orthodox Church allows divorce.  On what basis did that change in the moral law take place?

For another example:  To the best of my limited knowledge, the Fathers of the Orthodox Church were almost universally against artificial birth contol: even though they distinguished between contraception and abortificients.  Now, however, the Orthodox Church allows artificial birth control (but not abortificients).  On what basis did that change in in the moral law take place?

For a third example:  Homosexual conduct has been condemned in the Orthodox Church forever.  However, some people are calling for it to be accepted.  Why doesn't the Orthodox Church allow it to be accepted?

Again, I'm not pushing for the Orthodox Church to accept the gay lifestyle.  Again, instead, I am trying to understand the basis of Orthodoxy's moral law and changes in its moral law. 

In sum: What is the basis for Orthodoxy's moral law and changes in its moral law?

Thank you in advance for any responses.
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« Reply #62 on: June 23, 2007, 12:12:34 PM »

That's just a stupid argument.  I haven't killed anybody, but I do know that murder is a sin.

Have you ever had cause to take arms against another person such as being a police officer or in the military or someone was threatening you or a loved one with harm or death?  Or been in an accident where another human was killed?  Not all death-causing is "murder".  There are complex situations in human life.


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It's a bitter pill.  Take it or leave it.

And this 'bitter pill' that you so bluntly tell another person. Who are you to prescribe it and expect that a 'patient' would accept it?  Many bitter things are poisonous, and such statements can scar people.
  
How well would you take someone you don't know making such a bald statement about something that is part of you, that you may struggle with, that is deeply personal, one wonders.

With repect,

Ebor
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« Reply #63 on: June 23, 2007, 12:16:06 PM »

let me ask you a question now Jonas Suender. Was the law written for men or were men written for the law?
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« Reply #64 on: June 23, 2007, 12:50:05 PM »

Jonas, as far as I understand, the basis for moral law in the Church is Scripture. What we should and should not do is pretty much outlined in the Ten Commandments, and explained in the Sermon on the Mount.

We cannot commit adultery. As Christ explained in His Sermon on the Mount, having lustful thoughts is also adultery. So we have to calm and quench this sexual lust in us, acquire self-control, become masters of our passions instead of allowing our passions to become our masters. The only situation when our sexuality can be exercised is marital relationships. (In the Old Testament, it was also concubinate, but Christ totally ruled out any polygamy in the NT.) Marriage in Scripture is understood only as a union between one man and one woman. The idea of marriage between two men or two women cannot be found anywhere in Scripture.

The Church allows divorce and re-marriage because it understands that humans are fallen creatures and they do, every now and then, fall into serious sin, including marital infidelity, which - in its various forms, not necessarily open adultery, - destroys marriages. Christ allowed divorce for reasons of marital infidelity. The Orthodox tradition views re-marriage as a penance, an extra chance for sinners to amend their ways of life.
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« Reply #65 on: June 23, 2007, 12:54:43 PM »

In sum: What is the basis for Orthodoxy's moral law and changes in its moral law?

Asked and answered.
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« Reply #66 on: June 23, 2007, 01:03:42 PM »

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Actually, most research I've seen suggest it is phenotypical; neither developed from genetics nor from early childhood interactions. Though there is some evidence to suggest that certain women are more genetically predisposed to have homosexual children (but it's not genetic, because the father would not have an influence). The best and most accepted theories are that sexual orientation is developed during the fetus' gestation period.

Now this is interesting as I have seen evidence that transsexualism is influenced by the mother's hormone state during pregnancy, but not homosexuality; although, there is a slight connection between the two disorders.  Do you know any researchers off hand who have published the former theory with homosexual children as I would be interested in comparing it to what I have encountered.
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« Reply #67 on: June 23, 2007, 02:35:28 PM »

I am trying, for the third time on this thread, to get to the underlying issue of this debate.  I'm not gay, and I'm not yearning to open the Orthodox Church to acceptance of homosexual conduct.  Instead, I'm very interested in the underlying issue here (that homosexuality, in my opinion, is just an example of):
Jonas,

Thank you for asking such penetrating questions.  I think some here have tried to answer your questions, but you don't think the answers totally relevant to what you want to know.  That's fine.  Maybe we're having difficulty understanding what you really want to know.

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What is the basis for moral law in the Orthodox Church and changes in its moral law?
The basis of our moral law, as of everything else, is the Scriptures and Holy Tradition (e.g., Scripture, Church councils and canons, the Holy Fathers, the universal consciousness of the faithful, etc.).  I personally don't see that the Church has really changed its moral law as regards the specific points you bring up, but I do see how one can interpret some of the Church's actions this way.

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For example:  Christ clearly banned divorce except for sexual immorality.  Yet, the Orthodox Church allows divorce.  On what basis did that change in the moral law take place?
One thing for which we need to account is that just because the Church allows such a practice as divorce doesn't mean we turn a blind eye to its evils.  For one, I don't believe the Church allows for divorce and remarriage in ALL circumstances; she is, to my knowledge, quite strict regarding those situations where she will grant a divorce.  Another thing to consider is that the service of second marriage (assuming BOTH spouses are being married in the Church for a second or third time) is much more penitential a service than the first marriage.  We recognize the fundamental inviolability of the sacrament of marriage, such that the dissolution of such marriage for any reason is indeed quite sinful, but the Church also recognizes in Christ's tender mercy that sometimes concession to human weakness (one form of economia) may prevent even more grievous immorality.

For instance, current RC practice is that anyone who remarries after a civil divorce is automatically excommunicated for adultery until either the second marriage is dissolved or the first spouse dies.  How many of our faithful can really stand to live without Holy Communion for what could be decades?  Assuming that the reason for the first divorce was legit in the eyes of the Church, will the divorcée remain faithful to Christ for the rest of his life without the assistance of a spouse?  Let's assume that one of the divorcées has custody of children from the first marriage.  Recognizing how important it is for the children to have two parents, must we deny these children what is so necessary for their development simply to maintain strict observance of our moral law against divorce and remarriage?  These are some of the things we need to consider when it comes to determining whether strict enforcement or lenient concession is necessary, but the moral law against divorce and remarriage does not change.

Quote
For another example:  To the best of my limited knowledge, the Fathers of the Orthodox Church were almost universally against artificial birth contol: even though they distinguished between contraception and abortificients.  Now, however, the Orthodox Church allows artificial birth control (but not abortificients).  On what basis did that change in in the moral law take place?
Again, the Church still maintains the patristic opposition to artificial contraceptives, so no real change in our moral law has taken place, as far as I can see.  Our bishops recognize, however, that the world around us has changed.  Just look at the situation within the RC church, especially in liberal North America, where it appears that a great majority of her faithful think the RC church should change her traditional stand on birth control and allow for the practice--many even leave the RC church for her strictness in this matter.  How many of our faithful will leave what we Orthodox call the True Ark of Salvation if we were to apply our opposition to artificial contraceptives with the same strictness?  The moral law does not change, but we have to maintain a balance between strict enforcement of the law and leniency.

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For a third example:  Homosexual conduct has been condemned in the Orthodox Church forever.  However, some people are calling for it to be accepted.  Why doesn't the Orthodox Church allow it to be accepted?
In light of what I've said above, the area of what counts as sexual immorality is one area where the Church has decided that strict enforcement of moral law is still necessary.  I think many of our bishops and priests have done a wonderful job of accepting the psychological understanding that some are more inclined than others to be sexually attracted to members of the same gender, but our call is still the same: keep yourselves sexually pure.  If your sexual attractions are "straight", abstain from all sexual relations until you are married, and then enjoy them only with your spouse.  If your attractions are "gay", the hetero- marriage bed is still the only sanctioned place for sexual relations.  If you cannot marry, then abstain from sex altogether, "gay" or "straight".

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Again, I'm not pushing for the Orthodox Church to accept the gay lifestyle.  Again, instead, I am trying to understand the basis of Orthodoxy's moral law and changes in its moral law. 

In sum: What is the basis for Orthodoxy's moral law and changes in its moral law?
To summarize my response to your questions:  In the specific examples you described above, I don't see the Church having changed her moral law.  What I see is the Church striving to maintain a proper balance between strict enforcement of her moral law and lenient concession to human weakness.  The goal of both is still the same: the healing of the illness of sin and our theosis in Christ Jesus.

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Thank you in advance for any responses.
I hope this helps clarify what I think many of us have been trying to say.  If I have failed, please accept my apology and forgive me.

Your servant in Christ,
- Peter
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« Reply #68 on: June 23, 2007, 03:52:02 PM »

The facts are tthat Gods church condemns the act of homosexuality due t the fact that this type of behaviour prevents people from reaching the kingdom of heaven.

The church is the truth,the way and the life.

It cannot change its teachings from truth to a lie.

The church is out to help people to become one with god.

I ask you this.

Who helps you: someone who fails to tell you the truth or someone who does tell you the truth? The former may make you feel better; they may soothe and flatter, but the truth is more loving. It will help you live a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life.

Defenders and promoters of homosexuality try to cover up the scientifically documented serious promiscuity, inability to maintain sexual fidelity, partner abuse and psychological and medical illnesses associated with the lifestyle. Also, they tell persons with same-sex attractions  that "It's genetic," "You were born that way,".

The church canot promote a lie,because it is the church of TRUTH.

It can and does however give people hope and strength to overcome homosexuality and other sins.

I don't disagree with Church teaching on homosexuals, nor is ANYONE in this thread! The Church is the Truth, and the Church is love. In our actions, we need to find a way to always synthesize the two. Just as it is not loving to distort the Truth, it is not really conveying the Truth if you do it in an unloving manner, which is all this entire thread is.  This is because the Truth is not an abstract idea, it is not something we hold propositionally.  The Truth is a PERSON, Jesus Christ, and He LOVES.  A Muslim or a Jew or a Hindu could come on this board and condmen homosexuality just as much as you have, but that would not bring that person any closer to Christ, just by believing homosexuality or whatever sin is wrong.  There are many people of other religions who believe their homosexuality is wrong, and they are still damned because they do not have Christ in their hearts.  My point is that just keeping the law, just proclaiming it, does NOTHING if it does not have Christ, and anything lacking love is devoid of Him.  We do not believe the law saves us. Christ saves us, and we live our lives in whatever way Christ requires us, but the thing is, Christ comes FIRST in this salvific equation.

You are not bringing anyone to repentance with what you have done.  Your post is an IMPEDIMENT to repentance to any active homosexual who might read it. 

The way to speak the truth in love to homosexuals is basically what we do for anyone else: to show love to them, and by our love they will see the Truth in us. I have seen it happen to others and it happened to me.  As with most any sin, it is the priest who should tell the homosexual when they are in error and what they need to do to correct their lives.  Laymen generally have no place making these blanket statements condemning others. 

Zebu, I am afraid you are incorrect. To some extent, we all, hetero- and homosexuals alike, do know "what we are talking about." I do not have homosexual urges at the moment, I am very happily married to a woman, but I do know very well what it is to struggle with my own so-called "natural" sexuality. All adults know that. Of course, people who have very strong homosexual predilections, to the point that sex with a representative of the opposite sex is repulsive to them, are in a very difficult position; but many heterosexuals who become Christians do have, essentially, the same job cut out for them, that is, to break one's own wanton spirit, to throw away that "old person," etc. I know this absolutely, first-hand.

By the way, dear members, what do you know about former gays who enter heterosexual marriages? Is it possible? I know many Evangelical Protestants say yes, and quote some anecdotal evidence supporting this. What say you, do you think it's true, or chastity, monasticism is the only way to go for converting sexual perverts?
Oh, so you know my struggles better than me?? GREAT! I'll be PMing you later with all my problems so you can tell me how to fix every last one of them!! 

If you don't want to help people overcome their most deep issues, then please don't condemn them or pretend that you know what you are talking about when you don't.  Your words on this thread show that you really have no clue.  I am sure you have good intentions, but you really don't know.  Homosexual sins are often not motivated by the same things as heterosexual sins, they just aren't.  It has lust involved, yes, but there are many other issues at play here, similar to how rape is not about sex but about power, it's not what it seems.  It's a very complicated issue that those who are inexperienced should not discuss, or else you may scandalize others and take them away from Christ. You don't want to do that, do you?

I personally know an Orthodox lesbian who is in a heterosexual marriage, and she does not advise it.  The Orthodox Church does not advise homosexuals to enter into heterosexual marriages. No priest has ever suggested such a thing to me. The Orthodox Church does not try to make homosexuals into heterosexuals either, but rather just to make us chaste.  Normative sexuality for Orthodox is CHASTITY, not heterosexuality. 


It's a bitter pill.  Take it or leave it.

I have repented of my sins. Have you?




 
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« Reply #69 on: June 23, 2007, 04:11:35 PM »

Zebu,

You seem rather charged up about this issue to see in the OP something many of us do not see.  Maybe you have some personal experiences that shape how you receive the OP.  Would you care to share these with us?  (I don't mean to pry into your private life on an internet forum, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your experiences with us, feel free to not do so.)
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« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2007, 04:34:54 PM »

I don't think it is the content of the original post, but rather the tone which offends Zebu and some others who have responded to it.  The tone is rather judgemental, although the basic message--that homosexual conduct is a sin in the Orthodox Church--is not really controversial.  Perhaps we need to learn to make our points in a manner that is less judgemental and more loving.
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« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2007, 04:46:20 PM »

Zebu, my dear brother, please forgive me if I offended you with my judgmental tone or with anything. I really, truly did not mean it.

Please PM me with anything and I will do my best to try to help you. I am 49, a "seasoned" guy who has been through quite a lot.

Again, I am really, really, truly sorry if I hurt you.
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« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2007, 04:58:40 PM »

I don't think it is the content of the original post, but rather the tone which offends Zebu and some others who have responded to it.  The tone is rather judgemental, although the basic message--that homosexual conduct is a sin in the Orthodox Church--is not really controversial.  Perhaps we need to learn to make our points in a manner that is less judgemental and more loving.
I agree with your take on this.  ISTM that some of the judgmental tone Zebu and others see is also the fault of the internet medium within which this discussion was initiated.  We don't have the benefit of hearing tone of voice or seeing nonverbal body and facial language, cues that in face-to-face communication can communicate much more of the message than content alone can.  Maybe P-gal did not intend to express a judgmental attitude, but in the cold world of text-only communication she found it difficult to state her message in a way that would not come across as self-righteous and judgmental.
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« Reply #73 on: June 23, 2007, 06:02:04 PM »

Great point, Demetrios. And for any who are genuinely struggling with this particular passion, great words of encouragement.

Indeed. And there are people on this forum who struggle with it daily.
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« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2007, 06:47:54 PM »

I really fail to see why this is a complicated matter, or that some with an obvious agenda, want to make it into a complicated matter.  Acts chapter 15 contains the stance of the Church from the first days regarding sexual morality.  Christians are required, whether Jew or Gentile, to follow the law of Moses vis a vis sexuality.  In fact with the rejection of polygamy and Christ's restrictions on divorce Christian sexual morality is actually more strict.
There is no evidence, and it's certainly not for a lack of looking, that homosexuality is anything but a fetish.  Many other people with disordered sexual desires claim to have a similar "inborn" attraction to their perversion.  Yet I doubt there exists a gene causing someone to don an leather suit and ball gag.  I don't see what good indulging the lie that homosexuality is genetic does.  If homosexuality were the result of bad genes or had a biological cause then it is clear that like any other disease these people need treatment, not special rights.
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« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2007, 07:44:28 PM »

Yet I doubt there exists a gene causing someone to don an leather suit and ball gag. 

O.K. I have no idea what that is, and I get the feeling I really shouldn't know what that is.  However, I do get the feeling this doesn't help us discuss the topic in a less judgemental and more loving manner.  Let's try harder.
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« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2007, 08:30:35 PM »

O.K. I have no idea what that is, and I get the feeling I really shouldn't know what that is.  However, I do get the feeling this doesn't help us discuss the topic in a less judgemental and more loving manner.  Let's try harder.

That's true---a bit of an extreme example. Heterosexuals have their own fetishes. I remember years ago turning HBO on in the middle of the night (word of advice: don't do it) and seing a program about heterosexual couples that liked to "spice" their sex lives up by having the woman put on a strap-on and do. . .you know what. . . to the man.

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« Reply #77 on: June 23, 2007, 09:18:38 PM »

That's true---a bit of an extreme example. Heterosexuals have their own fetishes. I remember years ago turning HBO on in the middle of the night (word of advice: don't do it) and seing a program about heterosexual couples that liked to "spice" their sex lives up by having the woman put on a strap-on and do. . .you know what. . . to the man.

Something tells me this is not what most people will expect to find when they Google "Orthodox Christianity." Tongue
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« Reply #78 on: June 24, 2007, 01:09:27 AM »

I don't disagree with Church teaching on homosexuals, nor is ANYONE in this thread! The Church is the Truth, and the Church is love. In our actions, we need to find a way to always synthesize the two. Just as it is not loving to distort the Truth, it is not really conveying the Truth if you do it in an unloving manner, which is all this entire thread is.  This is because the Truth is not an abstract idea, it is not something we hold propositionally.  The Truth is a PERSON, Jesus Christ, and He LOVES.  A Muslim or a Jew or a Hindu could come on this board and condmen homosexuality just as much as you have, but that would not bring that person any closer to Christ, just by believing homosexuality or whatever sin is wrong.  There are many people of other religions who believe their homosexuality is wrong, and they are still damned because they do not have Christ in their hearts.  My point is that just keeping the law, just proclaiming it, does NOTHING if it does not have Christ, and anything lacking love is devoid of Him.  We do not believe the law saves us. Christ saves us, and we live our lives in whatever way Christ requires us, but the thing is, Christ comes FIRST in this salvific equation.

You are not bringing anyone to repentance with what you have done.  Your post is an IMPEDIMENT to repentance to any active homosexual who might read it. 

The way to speak the truth in love to homosexuals is basically what we do for anyone else: to show love to them, and by our love they will see the Truth in us. I have seen it happen to others and it happened to me.  As with most any sin, it is the priest who should tell the homosexual when they are in error and what they need to do to correct their lives.  Laymen generally have no place making these blanket statements condemning others. 
Oh, so you know my struggles better than me?? GREAT! I'll be PMing you later with all my problems so you can tell me how to fix every last one of them!! 


Zebu,

I won't pretend to know what you feel. I once dated a Greek Orthodox man who admitted to me after we had stopped dating that he was gay. He shared with me his desire to have children. In a bittersweet way he jokingly asked me if I would have his baby. It was obvious to me how torn he was inside. He had been raised in a traditional Greek home by immigrant parents and he desired to have the normal family life that he had been given. He wanted to be a dad but he couldn't love a woman. I cried for him and worried about his salvation when he decided to live with another man. He had given up the struggle and his faith. He had hemophilia and was living in New York City in the 80s during the rise of AIDS.
I fear he may no longer be alive.

May God always bless you and give you the strength you need.

love in Christ, Tamara
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« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2007, 03:00:06 AM »

That's true---a bit of an extreme example. Heterosexuals have their own fetishes. I remember years ago turning HBO on in the middle of the night (word of advice: don't do it) and seing a program about heterosexual couples that liked to "spice" their sex lives up by having the woman put on a strap-on and do. . .you know what. . . to the man.

Years ago eh? Wink

Anyway, no, I don't know...can you go into more graphic detail?

Something tells me this is not what most people will expect to find when they Google "Orthodox Christianity." Tongue

Well, quite frankly, this is no less modest than the Canons of St. John the Faster. He really knew his thing when it came to sexual perversion. He talks about masturbation, double masturbation (I call two guys masturbating together gay sex, but I guess St. John wanted to make a distinction...hmmm), date rape, fornication, adultery, incest, gay sex, and various other transgressions that one would think it improper for a priest to write about (of course, he also has a lot of other types of nonsense in there as well...it really is a good read and a good laugh, but certainly not for children).

So I'm sure that if St. John had known about whips and dildos and leather he would have done...errr, wrote about...it.
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« Reply #80 on: June 24, 2007, 03:46:16 AM »

I know this subject itself is a bit risqué for some, but we don't need to add to that with graphic descriptions of various sexual practices.  Please keep the discussion modest in this regard.
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« Reply #81 on: June 24, 2007, 04:30:05 AM »

Zebu,

You seem rather charged up about this issue to see in the OP something many of us do not see.  Maybe you have some personal experiences that shape how you receive the OP.  Would you care to share these with us?  (I don't mean to pry into your private life on an internet forum, so if you don't feel comfortable sharing your experiences with us, feel free to not do so.)
Yes, I certainly do have many personal experiences that shape how I view the OP, and that is true of most if not all gays, which is why it is VERY important to be careful in how things are said when talking about issues like this. Most gays have very dark pasts that involve lots of sexual and physical abuse as children, family issues, issues relating to peers, drug abuse, and general marginalization that make us feel that the world is against us(on a personal level, not because we are gay, though we often try to turn it into that).  This colors how we see the world, and makes us project things into what people say that may or may not be there. In any case, there are certainly a lot of people in the world who really do hate gays, or who have prejudices about them.

I'm just a bit tired of people pretending that they understand the struggle of a homosexual to be chaste, and belittling it or even making fun of us or even worse, wanting us out of the Church.  Not that any one is really doing all that here necessarily, I am just sharing part of why I have been responding this way.  People have told me all sorts of really stupid things in real life, like that I shouldn't be around children because my "gay energies" will influence them to be gay, or that I should just get a dog for a companion and deal with it(in response to the loneliness that gays experience because of not being able to marry), or being told that the Orthodox Church doesn't have any gay people in it(told to me by someone who didn't know that I was gay).  I think most people in the Church are loving and do care, but just don't know anything about the homosexual struggle specifically.  What is most troubling to me, then, is when people say things out of ignorance that are very hurtful nevertheless, and so people need to be educated on homosexuality so that they come across as the loving people that they are. 

A gay person inquiring into Orthodoxy would be very troubled by this thread, and would not feel love.  There is so much hatred in the world towards gays that that hatred would be projected onto this thread, whether or not there is any hatred actually here(and I don't really think there is).  People must be very very careful about what they say, I cannot stress this enough.  Satan can easily twist what people say to hurt others and keep them from repentance, and I would say that this thread gives Satan quite a lot of material to work with.  I have myself been thrown into total chaos spiritually and fallen into great sin because of what others have said out of ignorance, and so I don't want that to happen to someone else. 
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« Reply #82 on: June 24, 2007, 04:42:19 AM »

Thank you zebu.
You have more faith in the posters here than I do.
Lets see who can say the worst thing next.... Wink
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« Reply #83 on: June 24, 2007, 04:45:34 AM »

Quote
Yes, I certainly do have many personal experiences that shape how I view the OP, and that is true of most if not all gays, which is why it is VERY important to be careful in how things are said when talking about issues like this. Most gays have very dark pasts that involve lots of sexual and physical abuse as children, family issues, issues relating to peers, drug abuse, and general marginalization that make us feel that the world is against us(on a personal level, not because we are gay, though we often try to turn it into that).  This colors how we see the world, and makes us project things into what people say that may or may not be there. In any case, there are certainly a lot of people in the world who really do hate gays, or who have prejudices about them.

I'm just a bit tired of people pretending that they understand the struggle of a homosexual to be chaste, and belittling it or even making fun of us or even worse, wanting us out of the Church.  Not that any one is really doing all that here necessarily, I am just sharing part of why I have been responding this way.  People have told me all sorts of really stupid things in real life, like that I shouldn't be around children because my "gay energies" will influence them to be gay, or that I should just get a dog for a companion and deal with it(in response to the loneliness that gays experience because of not being able to marry), or being told that the Orthodox Church doesn't have any gay people in it(told to me by someone who didn't know that I was gay).  I think most people in the Church are loving and do care, but just don't know anything about the homosexual struggle specifically.  What is most troubling to me, then, is when people say things out of ignorance that are very hurtful nevertheless, and so people need to be educated on homosexuality so that they come across as the loving people that they are.

A gay person inquiring into Orthodoxy would be very troubled by this thread, and would not feel love.  There is so much hatred in the world towards gays that that hatred would be projected onto this thread, whether or not there is any hatred actually here(and I don't really think there is).  People must be very very careful about what they say, I cannot stress this enough.  Satan can easily twist what people say to hurt others and keep them from repentance, and I would say that this thread gives Satan quite a lot of material to work with.  I have myself been thrown into total chaos spiritually and fallen into great sin because of what others have said out of ignorance, and so I don't want that to happen to someone else.

Zebu,

I am a straight Orthodox hair dresser. Most of the guys I work with are gay.I am not the least bit homophobic, and I hate the way some Christians flippantly respond to gays with no compassion. I hope you stay strong in the faith brother!
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« Reply #84 on: June 24, 2007, 04:53:09 AM »

Yes, I certainly do have many personal experiences that shape how I view the OP, and that is true of most if not all gays, which is why it is VERY important to be careful in how things are said when talking about issues like this. Most gays have very dark pasts that involve lots of sexual and physical abuse as children, family issues, issues relating to peers, drug abuse, and general marginalization that make us feel that the world is against us(on a personal level, not because we are gay, though we often try to turn it into that).  This colors how we see the world, and makes us project things into what people say that may or may not be there. In any case, there are certainly a lot of people in the world who really do hate gays, or who have prejudices about them.

I'm just a bit tired of people pretending that they understand the struggle of a homosexual to be chaste, and belittling it or even making fun of us or even worse, wanting us out of the Church.  Not that any one is really doing all that here necessarily, I am just sharing part of why I have been responding this way.  People have told me all sorts of really stupid things in real life, like that I shouldn't be around children because my "gay energies" will influence them to be gay, or that I should just get a dog for a companion and deal with it(in response to the loneliness that gays experience because of not being able to marry), or being told that the Orthodox Church doesn't have any gay people in it(told to me by someone who didn't know that I was gay).  I think most people in the Church are loving and do care, but just don't know anything about the homosexual struggle specifically.  What is most troubling to me, then, is when people say things out of ignorance that are very hurtful nevertheless, and so people need to be educated on homosexuality so that they come across as the loving people that they are. 

A gay person inquiring into Orthodoxy would be very troubled by this thread, and would not feel love.  There is so much hatred in the world towards gays that that hatred would be projected onto this thread, whether or not there is any hatred actually here(and I don't really think there is).  People must be very very careful about what they say, I cannot stress this enough.  Satan can easily twist what people say to hurt others and keep them from repentance, and I would say that this thread gives Satan quite a lot of material to work with.  I have myself been thrown into total chaos spiritually and fallen into great sin because of what others have said out of ignorance, and so I don't want that to happen to someone else. 
Thanks, Zebu, for sharing this with us.  I've actually had to learn somewhat of your perspective from the other side.  I remember the time many years ago when my best friend revealed to me that he was gay.  I can't begin to tell you how devastated I was by this revelation, mainly because I just had no idea what turmoil my friend was dealing with--I thought I knew, but I really didn't.  Quite regrettably, I turned on my friend and disassociated from him completely.  Was this the right thing to do?  At the time, I thought it was, because I just had no idea in my own consternation what else I could do.  I also had a very strong Pharisaical streak in me that I needed to address separately with my confessor.

I have not changed in my own personal opposition to homosexual behavior, but I have since learned a bit of what it's like to struggle with gay desires and how these shape one's view of relationships and sense of personal identity.  My friend and I have since reconciled, partly because we now understand each other better, and partly because I recognize that it is not my place to judge him--this job belongs to God and God alone, for He alone knows all hearts perfectly.  I don't condone homosexual behavior, but I do support wholeheartedly anyone who has to struggle against gay desires in order to live according to the Church's call to sexual chastity.  I commend you for showing such grace in your own struggles.
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« Reply #85 on: June 24, 2007, 05:23:55 AM »

Dear Peter and Heorhij,

Thank you for you excellent, thoughtful replies to answer my questions.  May God bless you.

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« Reply #86 on: June 24, 2007, 06:08:35 AM »

Yes, I certainly do have many personal experiences that shape how I view the OP, and that is true of most if not all gays, which is why it is VERY important to be careful in how things are said when talking about issues like this. Most gays have very dark pasts that involve lots of sexual and physical abuse as children, family issues, issues relating to peers, drug abuse, and general marginalization that make us feel that the world is against us(on a personal level, not because we are gay, though we often try to turn it into that).  This colors how we see the world, and makes us project things into what people say that may or may not be there. In any case, there are certainly a lot of people in the world who really do hate gays, or who have prejudices about them.

I'm just a bit tired of people pretending that they understand the struggle of a homosexual to be chaste, and belittling it or even making fun of us or even worse, wanting us out of the Church.  Not that any one is really doing all that here necessarily, I am just sharing part of why I have been responding this way.  People have told me all sorts of really stupid things in real life, like that I shouldn't be around children because my "gay energies" will influence them to be gay, or that I should just get a dog for a companion and deal with it(in response to the loneliness that gays experience because of not being able to marry), or being told that the Orthodox Church doesn't have any gay people in it(told to me by someone who didn't know that I was gay).  I think most people in the Church are loving and do care, but just don't know anything about the homosexual struggle specifically.  What is most troubling to me, then, is when people say things out of ignorance that are very hurtful nevertheless, and so people need to be educated on homosexuality so that they come across as the loving people that they are. 

A gay person inquiring into Orthodoxy would be very troubled by this thread, and would not feel love.  There is so much hatred in the world towards gays that that hatred would be projected onto this thread, whether or not there is any hatred actually here(and I don't really think there is).  People must be very very careful about what they say, I cannot stress this enough.  Satan can easily twist what people say to hurt others and keep them from repentance, and I would say that this thread gives Satan quite a lot of material to work with.  I have myself been thrown into total chaos spiritually and fallen into great sin because of what others have said out of ignorance, and so I don't want that to happen to someone else. 


Dear Zebu,

I am VERY impressed with your courage and candor.

From what I have seen and experienced, I can understand why many people (gay or straight) are attracted to traditional Christianity (including the Orthodox Church).  Traditional Christianity usually has beautiful worship, beautiful prayer, powerful spirituality, plenty of tradition, and, frankly, many good people.  Also, if people are born into a traditional church, it is their church; and people shouldn't have to leave their own church.

On the other hand, traditional Christianity (including the Orthodox Church) does not accept homosexuality.  Traditional Christianity usually regards homosexual attraction as either a defect (like a birth defect or a defect from events in life) or as a perversion.  Also, traditional Christianity usually condemns the homosexual lifestyle as sin.  Furthermore, many traditional Christians hate and despise homosexuals. 

Therefore, why would any gays (if they have the freedom to make the choice) stay with traditional Christianity?  If gays can still bring themselves to believe in Christ after experiencing the hatred of Christians, why not join a church where homosexuality is accepted?  (like the United Church of Christ or the liberal wing of the Episcopalians?) 

I am not trying to condemn you, and I'm not trying to force you to justify yourself.  But, I am curious.  With so much hate, why stay? 


(Feel free to PM me if you prefer.) 
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Jonas Suender
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« Reply #87 on: June 24, 2007, 06:45:20 AM »


let me ask you a question now Jonas Suender. Was the law written for men or were men written for the law?


I think the law is written by mankind, for mankind. 

That is why I find this issue to be compelling.  Behind all of the principles of law, there are real people.  They have real lives and real problems.  The law is supposed to address those problems, to bring justice and (hopefully) to diminish suffering.   However, many people have suffered because of the law.  That is especially true of homosexuals, who have often been persecuted because of the law. 

Today, we are living in an era when everything is changing.  That includes the law. 

Some of those changes are good.  In many areas of the law, the law has been made better.  It does a better job to correct injustice and to prevent injustice in the work-place and in public life, for women and for minorities, and sometimes even for the poor. 

Now, the law is beginning to change about homosexuals too.  But, it is very controversial.  That is because the debate over homosexuality is defining the fundamental principles of the moral law.

In other words, the debate over homosexuality is not just about homosexuals; it is about the fundamental principles of the moral law that affect everyone.  For example:  What is the source of authority of moral law?  What is the ideal or the goal of moral law?  What are the standards?  Who gets to decide?  Who gets to enforce it and how?  These issues get to the fundamental principles of the moral law and the ordering of society.  As these issues are decided about homosexuals, the answers will affect the moral law and the structure of the rest of society too.

These issues are not only debated in the halls of government.  Especially in a democratic society, they are debated everywhere and by everyone.  That includes the churches.  How the different churches decide is how different parts of the society decide.  And, in a democracy, that eventually gets translated into political debate and government policy. 

So, you see my interest. 

On the one hand, I am thinking about joining the Orthodox Church; and I want to understand it before I make my decision.  And one thing I must understand is how it --the Orthodox Church-- understands the fundamental issues of moral law.   To their credit (and my thanks) Heorhij and Peter did a very good job of explaining that in their posts on this thread. 

On the other hand, this small debate here is part of a much larger debate in the society.  Through it the society is being shaped for the future.  I need to understand that, too, to decide what kind of society I want to live in and leave for the future.
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Ebor
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« Reply #88 on: June 24, 2007, 09:17:04 AM »

I don't think it is the content of the original post, but rather the tone which offends Zebu and some others who have responded to it.  The tone is rather judgemental, although the basic message--that homosexual conduct is a sin in the Orthodox Church--is not really controversial.  Perhaps we need to learn to make our points in a manner that is less judgemental and more loving.

Looking at the past posts of the original poster, one will find that all but one blunt to be declarations on this subject with the first 2 posts she/he made being near carbon-copies.  This would seem to indicate a certain aura of "canned" responses that may border  on a rant or just writing such posts without actually dealing with other posters.   There is no addressing other Human Beings but blunt declarations. 

Messages may be lost in the delivery method, I would like to suggest.

Ebor


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« Reply #89 on: June 24, 2007, 11:28:45 AM »

I think we've had enough of the subject.  Ozgeorge listed many of the other threads in which we've discussed the subject matter - http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9360.msg162246.html#msg162246.  If you really have the urge to discuss the topic, I strongly suggest you go and read EACH AND EVERY ONE of the posts in his linked threads, and then think for a few weeks... I'm sure this subject will come around again here on OC.net, and I hope the next time we all exhibit either a more charitable tone, or at least more eloquent speech so that we may convey our feelings without being so blunt and caustic.
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"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
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Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
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