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Author Topic: Homosexulaity and the Church--was part of Re: Interesting development in the OCA  (Read 20278 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthonorm
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« Reply #135 on: August 10, 2011, 04:10:48 AM »

And as for our (us being those of us on the board who have yet to attain the level of enlightenment, coolness, detachment, tolerance, and outright mojo that has been attained by orthonorm and augustin) alleged fixation on homosexuality above all other sins, check the prayer forum. Pretty sure a lot of other sins that a lot of folks are struggling with get brought up, owned up to, and identified as sinful.

I actually agree that we shouldn't look like we are primed to break the legs of the gay man, but I think that opposing promotion of homosexuality within the church is far from that.

And FYI, I grew up in the not rich part, with the not rich parent, not the rich one. Me and him sussed it out once I'd already left the BK for my current combo of StPB and the upstate NY woods. thanks.

Always about you. //:=) You must learn not to play to the piper's tune.

I've even told you to stop.

Oh well. My advice, if you are going to talk a lot about yourself, be bold and make a whole thread about yourself, or two, or three, like I did.

Nice with the insults BTW.

I have yet to insult you. And you keep complaining that I do, when I just mention things you have.

And yet you keep insulting us.

But that is OK, because it means I am doing good somewhere in the Bible. //:=)

Hard to argue with my post ain't it. Couldn't even amplify on it. Just pile on some insults with a slight nod.

End thread with you.

If others want to take up the treating sin as something to treat like a person, I wouldn't mind.

Love the person, but hate the sin? How do you do that?


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« Reply #136 on: August 10, 2011, 04:13:20 AM »

How does one oppose an ontological state?

Only Christ can do that.  Wink

"The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it is in harmony with the Tao."

-Tao Te Ching

In seriousness, that is the point. So the point becomes how does that play out in the public discourse within the Church in a society . . .

where

homosexuals are still treated rather poorly, at least IME. Now in NY, er NYC, er Brooklyn (the rich part) and Manhattan, and of course other places things are not so ugly.

Once that hatred for those people has gotten mixed one way or another with "Christianity", how do you handle that specific situation as a Christian:

Love.

Feed them. Clothe them. Live with them. Listen to them.

If persons of note enter into that debate within the Church as perhaps misguided in their attempts at love, we should understand the difficulties and appalling ways homosexuals have been treated at the hands of Christians.

And love them.

You want the sinners to come to the supposed hospital for them, you better not look like you are going to break their legs when they arrive for help.


Dude, please! Give me a break! My ancestors were treated far worse than any homosexual in this country could ever dream of! Don't give me that discrimination crap!

Why aren't you concerned about the discrimination christians will face in states and countries in where same sex marriage is legal? Why aren't you crying about that? Where is your tears for that? Why aren't you spamming this thread with sympathetic posts for that?

Is talking against same sexual behavior a hate crime to you? Is that considered discrimination to you? Dude get real!

Most homosexuals can hide their sexual preference. I can't hide my skin color! So don't give me that bull-crap!

Wow. Jim, see your company?

I am sorry for your pain. Obviously, you believe some people are more deserving of love than others. And some "sinners" worse than others.

Truly sorry.

I am finished with this with you, as once hystericals get this high there ain't no more talking.

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« Reply #137 on: August 10, 2011, 04:17:31 AM »

And as for our (us being those of us on the board who have yet to attain the level of enlightenment, coolness, detachment, tolerance, and outright mojo that has been attained by orthonorm and augustin) alleged fixation on homosexuality above all other sins, check the prayer forum. Pretty sure a lot of other sins that a lot of folks are struggling with get brought up, owned up to, and identified as sinful.

I actually agree that we shouldn't look like we are primed to break the legs of the gay man, but I think that opposing promotion of homosexuality within the church is far from that.

And FYI, I grew up in the not rich part, with the not rich parent, not the rich one. Me and him sussed it out once I'd already left the BK for my current combo of StPB and the upstate NY woods. thanks.

Always about you. //:=) You must learn not to play to the piper's tune.

I've even told you to stop.

Oh well. My advice, if you are going to talk a lot about yourself, be bold and make a whole thread about yourself, or two, or three, like I did.

Nice with the insults BTW.

I have yet to insult you. And you keep complaining that I do, when I just mention things you have.

And yet you keep insulting us.

But that is OK, because it means I am doing good somewhere in the Bible. //:=)

Hard to argue with my post ain't it. Couldn't even amplify on it. Just pile on some insults with a slight nod.

End thread with you.

If others want to take up the treating sin as something to treat like a person, I wouldn't mind.

Love the person, but hate the sin? How do you do that?



I'd like to know where I insulted you here? I've talked a lot about myself only in defense of things you've said about me. That's it.

I don't think it comes down to treating sin like a person. It's a thing. Call it an ontological state, an action, a pattern, call it whatever you want. One can view that thing/state negatively. Love the sinner, hate the sin? John 8:11, for one..
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orthonorm
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« Reply #138 on: August 10, 2011, 04:17:59 AM »

How does one oppose an ontological state?

Only Christ can do that.  Wink

"The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it is in harmony with the Tao."

-Tao Te Ching

I was trying to open up a non-Jim discourse with Jim. Is that Taoist as well?

That'll never work. It is by not trying that you will accomplish your goal. Become one with the Jimness. Don't force it.

If try not, then how will I accomplish non-trying?

I suppose you could try to not try but cultivating humility, silence, non-acquisitiveness, meekness, gentleness, and so forth. I know some of these aren't favorite virtues of yours though. You'd make a terrible Taoist. Tongue

Wait a second . . .

You just don't mean Taoist, do you!

If only everyone would learn the little it requires to put me in my place . . .

It doesn't require an autobiographically apologetics or insults based on nothing but mere projection (See most of above), just the truth. And Humor helps a lot as well.

And with that dear *. I take your point and retire.

I wasn't even supposed to be here tonight. I agree with the guys above: darn gays!

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orthonorm
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« Reply #139 on: August 10, 2011, 04:18:15 AM »

And as for our (us being those of us on the board who have yet to attain the level of enlightenment, coolness, detachment, tolerance, and outright mojo that has been attained by orthonorm and augustin) alleged fixation on homosexuality above all other sins, check the prayer forum. Pretty sure a lot of other sins that a lot of folks are struggling with get brought up, owned up to, and identified as sinful.

I actually agree that we shouldn't look like we are primed to break the legs of the gay man, but I think that opposing promotion of homosexuality within the church is far from that.

And FYI, I grew up in the not rich part, with the not rich parent, not the rich one. Me and him sussed it out once I'd already left the BK for my current combo of StPB and the upstate NY woods. thanks.

Always about you. //:=) You must learn not to play to the piper's tune.

I've even told you to stop.

Oh well. My advice, if you are going to talk a lot about yourself, be bold and make a whole thread about yourself, or two, or three, like I did.

Nice with the insults BTW.

I have yet to insult you. And you keep complaining that I do, when I just mention things you have.

And yet you keep insulting us.

But that is OK, because it means I am doing good somewhere in the Bible. //:=)

Hard to argue with my post ain't it. Couldn't even amplify on it. Just pile on some insults with a slight nod.

End thread with you.

If others want to take up the treating sin as something to treat like a person, I wouldn't mind.

Love the person, but hate the sin? How do you do that?



I'd like to know where I insulted you here? I've talked a lot about myself only in defense of things you've said about me. That's it.

I don't think it comes down to treating sin like a person. It's a thing. Call it an ontological state, an action, a pattern, call it whatever you want. One can view that thing/state negatively. Love the sinner, hate the sin? John 8:11, for one..

An ontological state ain't a thing.

But here we get into water too deep. Since you are not elaborating anything, but putting a verse out there.

We don't call it whatever we want.

It is an ontological state, not an action, not a pattern.

Those actions and patterns flow from that falleness of our being. Or so say a buncha Orthodox people.

Good night too all. Nap ruined sleep for work.



« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 04:25:01 AM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #140 on: August 10, 2011, 04:22:45 AM »

And as for our (us being those of us on the board who have yet to attain the level of enlightenment, coolness, detachment, tolerance, and outright mojo that has been attained by orthonorm and augustin) alleged fixation on homosexuality above all other sins, check the prayer forum. Pretty sure a lot of other sins that a lot of folks are struggling with get brought up, owned up to, and identified as sinful.

I actually agree that we shouldn't look like we are primed to break the legs of the gay man, but I think that opposing promotion of homosexuality within the church is far from that.

And FYI, I grew up in the not rich part, with the not rich parent, not the rich one. Me and him sussed it out once I'd already left the BK for my current combo of StPB and the upstate NY woods. thanks.
Who's trying to change Tradition. No one is saying gay sex is not a sin (except maybe augustin, I can't tell) they're just opposing the attitude that seems to single it out as the worst evil imaginable and strings up gays in the public square while ignoring things like the Church's dismal track record on divorce. I think you and norm and seeing a liberal conspiracy where it isn't.

I hope that Mark Sokoe receives and responds to proper pastoral care if he's actually gay.

And if anyone wants to know my demons:

Pride
Sloth and despondency
Lust and porn
Hatred, rage, and unforgiveness
Fatalism and despair
Cowardice
Idolatrous worldly attachment to my possessions and interests
Disbelief that God actually loves me (or anyone, really)

Very rarely do I lift a finger to fight these.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 04:25:33 AM by Volnutt » Logged
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« Reply #141 on: August 10, 2011, 04:25:38 AM »

So there is no grounds for sympathy for one particular sin. So why the sympathy?

How do you sympathize with an ontological state?

You don't! There are people born with a strong tendency to be serial killers. Some people with that strong tendency actually become serial killers while others do not.

There are people born with a strong tendency to be more addicted to certain drugs. The Debarge family is an example of this.

There are people born with a strong tendency to cheat on their spouse.

There are people probably born with a craving to cross dress. To smell feet, to who knows what else.

There are people born with a strong tendency to gain weight faster than others.


We all are born with deficiencies. Non of us our born perfect! But the standard shouldn't change. The tradition shouldn't change to conform with our tendencies toward sin.

Will you have pity for the more outlandish behaviors that our society still rejects? (some of them may be accepted 10 to 20 years from now)

Will you have the same sympathy for them? No, you will not.....at least not until they gain in number and social popularity. Then you will have sympathy for them.

But guess what, there are people that go to church with all the tendencies  mentioned above. There are people that go to church that even commit the more outlandish behaviors that our society still rejects and treats harshly.

And such people went to church for 2,000 years. And so we don't sympathize with it! We live with it and with them. We suffer, and we struggle!

Then we die!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 04:35:19 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #142 on: August 10, 2011, 04:27:40 AM »

And if anyone wants to know my demons:

Pride
Sloth and despondency
Lust and porn
Hatred, rage, and unforgiveness
Fatalism and despair
Cowardice
Idolatrous worldly attachment to my possessions and interests
Disbelief that God actually loves me (or anyone, really)

Very rarely do I lift a finger to fight these.

OK, one more, because it deserves to lauded . . .

Diogenes would be proud!

Good for you.
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« Reply #143 on: August 10, 2011, 04:44:01 AM »

And as for our (us being those of us on the board who have yet to attain the level of enlightenment, coolness, detachment, tolerance, and outright mojo that has been attained by orthonorm and augustin) alleged fixation on homosexuality above all other sins, check the prayer forum. Pretty sure a lot of other sins that a lot of folks are struggling with get brought up, owned up to, and identified as sinful.

I actually agree that we shouldn't look like we are primed to break the legs of the gay man, but I think that opposing promotion of homosexuality within the church is far from that.

And FYI, I grew up in the not rich part, with the not rich parent, not the rich one. Me and him sussed it out once I'd already left the BK for my current combo of StPB and the upstate NY woods. thanks.

Always about you. //:=) You must learn not to play to the piper's tune.

I've even told you to stop.

Oh well. My advice, if you are going to talk a lot about yourself, be bold and make a whole thread about yourself, or two, or three, like I did.

Nice with the insults BTW.

I have yet to insult you. And you keep complaining that I do, when I just mention things you have.

And yet you keep insulting us.

But that is OK, because it means I am doing good somewhere in the Bible. //:=)

Hard to argue with my post ain't it. Couldn't even amplify on it. Just pile on some insults with a slight nod.

End thread with you.

If others want to take up the treating sin as something to treat like a person, I wouldn't mind.

Love the person, but hate the sin? How do you do that?



I'd like to know where I insulted you here? I've talked a lot about myself only in defense of things you've said about me. That's it.

I don't think it comes down to treating sin like a person. It's a thing. Call it an ontological state, an action, a pattern, call it whatever you want. One can view that thing/state negatively. Love the sinner, hate the sin? John 8:11, for one..

Any opposition is seen as an insult. To be honest I really don't understand it. When I was little I had to suffer. I got spanked. I felt pain, I felt lose. I experienced failure.....all that. It seems like the next generation is completely spoiled! They don't understand lose, failure, real pain and suffering.....etc.

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« Reply #144 on: August 10, 2011, 05:15:14 AM »

And if anyone wants to know my demons:

Pride
Sloth and despondency
Lust and porn
Hatred, rage, and unforgiveness
Fatalism and despair
Cowardice
Idolatrous worldly attachment to my possessions and interests
Disbelief that God actually loves me (or anyone, really)

Very rarely do I lift a finger to fight these.

OK, one more, because it deserves to lauded . . .

Diogenes would be proud!

Good for you.
Undecided Thanks, but you might not like me in this thread because I do agree that an unrepentant homosexual (or liar, glutton...) should not be in any kind of Church position ("a bishop must be blameless," etc). I just see the same myopic focus on this particular sin to the detriment of others which I've noticed in American Evangelicalism.
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« Reply #145 on: August 10, 2011, 05:26:41 AM »

And if anyone wants to know my demons:

Pride
Sloth and despondency
Lust and porn
Hatred, rage, and unforgiveness
Fatalism and despair
Cowardice
Idolatrous worldly attachment to my possessions and interests
Disbelief that God actually loves me (or anyone, really)

Very rarely do I lift a finger to fight these.

OK, one more, because it deserves to lauded . . .

Diogenes would be proud!

Good for you.
Undecided Thanks, but you might not like me in this thread because I do agree that an unrepentant homosexual (or liar, glutton...) should not be in any kind of Church position ("a bishop must be blameless," etc). I just see the same myopic focus on this particular sin to the detriment of others which I've noticed in American Evangelicalism.

We are in agreement, although, I would qualify your statement with openly, chronically, unrepentant. I was arguing one point others another.

I support the letter and the action taken.

I never said otherwise.

Folks started to generalize and attack and insult a poster.

It was fun. Hope no hard feelings. Especially, since I shouldn't be that important to anyone.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 05:27:12 AM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #146 on: August 10, 2011, 05:32:59 AM »

And if anyone wants to know my demons:

Pride
Sloth and despondency
Lust and porn
Hatred, rage, and unforgiveness
Fatalism and despair
Cowardice
Idolatrous worldly attachment to my possessions and interests
Disbelief that God actually loves me (or anyone, really)

Very rarely do I lift a finger to fight these.

OK, one more, because it deserves to lauded . . .

Diogenes would be proud!

Good for you.
Undecided Thanks, but you might not like me in this thread because I do agree that an unrepentant homosexual (or liar, glutton...) should not be in any kind of Church position ("a bishop must be blameless," etc). I just see the same myopic focus on this particular sin to the detriment of others which I've noticed in American Evangelicalism.

We are in agreement, although, I would qualify your statement with openly, chronically, unrepentant. I was arguing one point others another.

I support the letter and the action taken.

I never said otherwise.

Folks started to generalize and attack and insult a poster.

It was fun. Hope no hard feelings. Especially, since I shouldn't be that important to anyone.



Yes, there is definitely a difference between someone with a struggle they keep failing at and someone who makes it clear they have no intention to try. This is a very important point.

No hard feelings on my part  Smiley
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« Reply #147 on: August 10, 2011, 06:43:37 AM »

And if anyone wants to know my demons:

Pride
Sloth and despondency
Lust and porn
Hatred, rage, and unforgiveness
Fatalism and despair
Cowardice
Idolatrous worldly attachment to my possessions and interests
Disbelief that God actually loves me (or anyone, really)

Very rarely do I lift a finger to fight these.

This would make for a good thread, if folks were honest: no shame and not overly pious.
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« Reply #148 on: August 10, 2011, 07:39:46 AM »

Yah...how about a letter about the poor,the sick and the helpless...climate change...we have all heard that before..I was brought up Orthodox and the letter is nothing new
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« Reply #149 on: August 10, 2011, 07:55:41 AM »

I can't believe that you guys stayed up all night on this topic! I certainly didn't take time to read everything thoroughly. And I'm glad I got a good night's sleep.

Did anybody really learn anything?
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« Reply #150 on: August 10, 2011, 08:08:23 AM »

He also shared a cell, apparently, with Gleb Podmoshenski. The irony...
But yeah, I can see how formerly conservative Protestants get all excited over this stuff. It's actually what made them come into the OC. Who cares.

Agreed. The content of Bishop Matthias' letter is hardly new stuff to those of us brought up in the faith. Nor should it be surprising to any convert with a proper understanding of Orthodoxy and our moral teachings.

This is what he was taught by his parents at an early age, at his home parish of Christ the Savior in Parma,Ohio and as a Seminarian at Christ the Savior Seminary in Johnstown, PA. These words are what has been written in numerous pastoral letters over the past forty years of his priesthood by his Bishops in ACROD now of thrice blessed memory - Bishop John (Martin) and Metropolitan Nicholas (Smisko) and said teachings have been available online for years: http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/ethics. GOARCH links to the same teaching materials.

What is the big deal and why the rejoicing? It would be a big deal if he and Bishop Michael had said something different. There are plenty of other issues that are important to the Church as well, let's hear from our Bishops on them as well. I suspect that some of our conservative friends would not be as excited about those teachings as they are about the ones related to sex.

Why do homosexual threads and threads dealing with sex in general get so much play around here?

American Puritanism.

But hey, don't worry about the poor. We'll always have them, so we can get to them later.
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« Reply #151 on: August 10, 2011, 09:13:38 AM »

He also shared a cell, apparently, with Gleb Podmoshenski. The irony...
But yeah, I can see how formerly conservative Protestants get all excited over this stuff. It's actually what made them come into the OC. Who cares.

Agreed. The content of Bishop Matthias' letter is hardly new stuff to those of us brought up in the faith. Nor should it be surprising to any convert with a proper understanding of Orthodoxy and our moral teachings.

This is what he was taught by his parents at an early age, at his home parish of Christ the Savior in Parma,Ohio and as a Seminarian at Christ the Savior Seminary in Johnstown, PA. These words are what has been written in numerous pastoral letters over the past forty years of his priesthood by his Bishops in ACROD now of thrice blessed memory - Bishop John (Martin) and Metropolitan Nicholas (Smisko) and said teachings have been available online for years: http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/ethics. GOARCH links to the same teaching materials.

What is the big deal and why the rejoicing? It would be a big deal if he and Bishop Michael had said something different. There are plenty of other issues that are important to the Church as well, let's hear from our Bishops on them as well. I suspect that some of our conservative friends would not be as excited about those teachings as they are about the ones related to sex.

Why do homosexual threads and threads dealing with sex in general get so much play around here?

American Puritanism.

But hey, don't worry about the poor. We'll always have them, so we can get to them later.

I don't think you understand. The reason they get so much "play", is because there are many homosexuals who are trying to change society, and not just that, they are trying to change our very churches. They want equal rights with heterosexual couples, and in fact, want people to accept homosexuality as something completely natural, and completely okay.

They want our schools to teach acceptance of homosexuality, they want our churches to accept homosexuality as just another valid form of love, equal to heterosexuality.

So no, it is not American Puritanism. You act like it's a non-issue, when it is, in fact, one of the biggest issues we face today. It's like abortion... I could start a discussion on abortion, and it could immediately turn into a thread like this. Why? Not because of "American Puritanism", but because abortion is trying to be pushed upon us by "progressives" who treat abortion like its just another normal choice. They want abortion to be accepted as some respectable form of birth control and as a good choice for women who don't want children.

It has absolutely nothing to do with any sense of American Puritanism. It has to do with being Orthodox Christians, and standing up for what is right, and what is good. Homosexuality is wrong, no matter what anyone says. Our standing up for it, is in response to those homosexuals who are trying to change things. You ever hear of "Axios" before? There are progressives who are trying to change the church itself. (though they will bash their heads against the solid walls of the church to no avail)

So when our hierarchs release statements against homosexuality and against abortion, it is to show Orthodox Christians that we absolutely must take a stand on these issues. We, as Orthodox Christians, are called by God to let our faith and our Church permeate and effect every single aspect of our lives, this includes our political viewpoints, and even when we are standing in the voting booth. Our faith always, always comes first, and Orthodox Christians all need to know about what is the true Orthodox stance, and what is a distortion created by Satan himself.

Why was I asking you to take a stance on the issue of homosexuality? Because, Orthodox Christians should make it absolutely clear where they stand on an issue. Every single one of us has to recognize homosexuality as a sin, and not as something equivalent to a married, heterosexual relationship. To be an Orthodox Christian, means one is submitting themselves to the Church. Being Orthodox doesn't just mean you were baptized once in an Orthodox Church. It means that you are agreeing to submit to the exact same faith the Apostles held, and to the same values, morals, and faith as all other Orthodox Christians around the world.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 09:16:05 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #152 on: August 10, 2011, 09:42:56 AM »

Quote
homosexuals must live completely chaste lifestyles, if one has a "partner", then one is clearly actively rejecting the teachings of the church.
Do you yourself as a heterosexual live a "completely chaste life"?

Christ did, and expects us to, whatever our inclinations.

But bogdan, why do we throw sooooo much of Christ's teaching out the window or minimize it, except when it comes to the bedroom.

You give the last person who asked you for something, three times as much?

But that was prophetic hyperbole . . .

I don't think that's hyperbole, that is a very high ideal that we should work towards. St John of Shanghai repeatedly gave his shoes and all his money to the poor of Shanghai. So these kinds of commandments are not impossible. But they are a high watermark that we CAN reach if we want it bad enough. And so is celibacy.

As was being an adulterer for having lust in one's heart, but we can't be perfect. As long as we remain pious and say we are trying to do to better . . .

Only God can be the judge of that. But at least this hypothetical adulterer admits they are sinning, which is better than saying "Well, I can't help it, so screw the Church."

It seems the problem folks have here is a problem with homosexuality and the honesty.

Without sin and stones and all that.

How many people in your parish have given all to Christ? And how many times do we even hear Priests say: that is the "ideal", but . . .

Just admit you're selfish and don't put God first and don't see yourself changing in the future and then you will be just as honest at least as a guy who says he is gay and ain't looking to stop.

You are creating a false dichotomy in this whole post:

1. Be a saint, perfect and holy
2. Just do whatever you want, because at least it's honest

This is silly. You cannot flip a switch and go from a pagan to a saint. This entire life is about that struggle. Every honest Christian on this earth holds ideals that they do not meet. BUT THEY ARE TRYING TO.

The hypocrisy is just epic in times like this.

I would rather be among hypocrites who are working on it than among people who flip the Church the bird.

I know homosexual Orthodox Christians who are celibate and are struggling against this passion, and it does not serve them to have their ostensible brothers throwing stumbling blocks in their path by saying they are puritanical.
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« Reply #153 on: August 10, 2011, 09:48:44 AM »

I don't need to take any stance on what homosexuals do or are allowed in secular society.

No one is forcing churches to "accept" them.

I am all for homosexual couples have the same civil observed right to divorce just like Orthodox Christians.

They are citizens of my country and it the citizens of my country deem it OK to allow them to enter into civil contracts formerly allowed to one man and one woman, I really don't care. If fact, more power to them.

How do schools teach homosexuality, besides the RC ones that is?

What that homosexuality occurs throughout the animal kingdom and human being animals also engage in homosexual behavior? Sounds like reality to me.

Oh and teaching them not to tease and bully and physically abuse kids who think they are homosexual, sounds good to me as well.

I told you my stance on homosexuality in nearly my first or second or third post. I was kidding around in the first couple, till the comments ugly. I like to joke around. Your read comprehension and Jim's is not my problem.

Guess what? Homosexuality IS natural. It happens, it is natural, unless you want to bend that word to mean something it absolutely doesn't. It ain't supernatural. Again. Once the ontological nature of sin was brought up *crickets*. The only point made by either of you was to conflate it with "action" and "patterns".

Your and Jim's understanding of sin, whether regarding homosexuality or otherwise, has been shown to be quite thread bare.

Your understanding of what marriage means in the secular world and within the Church also shows a rather large disconnect.

The Church will survive. It has gone through worse. Are the homosexuals in America who are Orthodox (120 maybe) gonna do what Communism couldn't?

And take your attempt to conflate it with abortion elsewhere.
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« Reply #154 on: August 10, 2011, 09:57:51 AM »

How does one oppose an ontological state?

Only Christ can do that.  Wink

"The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it is in harmony with the Tao."

-Tao Te Ching

In seriousness, that is the point. So the point becomes how does that play out in the public discourse within the Church in a society . . .

where

homosexuals are still treated rather poorly, at least IME. Now in NY, er NYC, er Brooklyn (the rich part) and Manhattan, and of course other places things are not so ugly.

Once that hatred for those people has gotten mixed one way or another with "Christianity", how do you handle that specific situation as a Christian:

Love.

Feed them. Clothe them. Live with them. Listen to them.

If persons of note enter into that debate within the Church as perhaps misguided in their attempts at love, we should understand the difficulties and appalling ways homosexuals have been treated at the hands of Christians.

And love them.

You want the sinners to come to the supposed hospital for them, you better not look like you are going to break their legs when they arrive for help.

Funny, I have done at least several of these things. I have certainly listened to them and befriended them. And the ones I know who are following the Orthodox Church's teachings on the matter prove that all this heart-bleeding is bull because it's perfectly possible.

The more entitled people feel to express their sexuality, the more upset they get when you tell them they can't express it. But as soon as people give up this feeling of entitlement, it becomes much easier. But of course, in today's world everybody feels entitled to do whatever the hell (indeed) they want.

One of these such friends, who I will only identify as N., has addressed this "love" business in my conversations with him. It's not loving to let people stay the way they are. It's not loving to make homosexual Orthodox feel like puritans because they are actually taking up their cross to follow Christ.
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« Reply #155 on: August 10, 2011, 10:03:55 AM »

What that homosexuality occurs throughout the animal kingdom and human being animals also engage in homosexual behavior? Sounds like reality to me.

The Fall divided all of creation from God. We don't appeal to animals for our morals. Certainly not fallen animals.

Oh and teaching them not to tease and bully and physically abuse kids who think they are homosexual, sounds good to me as well.

Of course. Agree 100%.

Guess what? Homosexuality IS natural. It happens, it is natural, unless you want to bend that word to mean something it absolutely doesn't. It ain't supernatural. Again. Once the ontological nature of sin was brought up *crickets*. The only point made by either of you was to conflate it with "action" and "patterns".

How can you say something is natural when we have never observed sexuality in an unfallen world?

It's like dropping a cat into a bucket of green paint, and then saying it's natural for cats to be green.
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« Reply #156 on: August 10, 2011, 10:08:17 AM »

Quote
homosexuals must live completely chaste lifestyles, if one has a "partner", then one is clearly actively rejecting the teachings of the church.
Do you yourself as a heterosexual live a "completely chaste life"?

Christ did, and expects us to, whatever our inclinations.

But bogdan, why do we throw sooooo much of Christ's teaching out the window or minimize it, except when it comes to the bedroom.

You give the last person who asked you for something, three times as much?

But that was prophetic hyperbole . . .

I don't think that's hyperbole, that is a very high ideal that we should work towards. St John of Shanghai repeatedly gave his shoes and all his money to the poor of Shanghai. So these kinds of commandments are not impossible. But they are a high watermark that we CAN reach if we want it bad enough. And so is celibacy.

As was being an adulterer for having lust in one's heart, but we can't be perfect. As long as we remain pious and say we are trying to do to better . . .

Only God can be the judge of that. But at least this hypothetical adulterer admits they are sinning, which is better than saying "Well, I can't help it, so screw the Church."

It seems the problem folks have here is a problem with homosexuality and the honesty.

Without sin and stones and all that.

How many people in your parish have given all to Christ? And how many times do we even hear Priests say: that is the "ideal", but . . .

Just admit you're selfish and don't put God first and don't see yourself changing in the future and then you will be just as honest at least as a guy who says he is gay and ain't looking to stop.

You are creating a false dichotomy in this whole post:

1. Be a saint, perfect and holy
2. Just do whatever you want, because at least it's honest

This is silly. You cannot flip a switch and go from a pagan to a saint. This entire life is about that struggle. Every honest Christian on this earth holds ideals that they do not meet. BUT THEY ARE TRYING TO.

The hypocrisy is just epic in times like this.

I would rather be among hypocrites who are working on it than among people who flip the Church the bird.

I know homosexual Orthodox Christians who are celibate and are struggling against this passion, and it does not serve them to have their ostensible brothers throwing stumbling blocks in their path by saying they are puritanical.

Too busy to break up the quotes. So I'll deal with your points in order.

The comment that it is hyperbole wasn't putting words into your mouth, but rather asking if that is in fact what you are doing and giving the typical apologetic one might hear. I don't know your reasons. We are all called to do it and to be Saints. Sainthood shouldn't be the exception. It should be the rule. If we ain't doing the above along with the direct Commandments from the Sermon on the Mount and some are more "psychological" but many things are just gross motor movements.

If we ain't controlling our gross motor movements in those manners, when we must admit we just don't care to do what is taught and are habitually sinning with little effort to change it in the future.

What folks are judging homosexuals for doing.

------------------------------

No it ain't a false dichotomy. Either you are truly struggling and it would look obvious, "folly" I believe to most of the world, or you are in the same boat like the rest of us, including homosexuals. Who indeed struggle. To what degree? How can you or I know? Most of us are phoning it in, if we are honest. Or let me be the second honest person in this thread, I am. Volnutt was the first.

Jim is golden evidently.

We barely know our own heart and yet we are going to judging how others are working out their salvation? Sounds like some bad news to me.

Again we all are called to be Saints. Giving away most of your income. Feeding people. Letting the homeless stay with you ain't complicated. It is pretty simple. Just rather crazy.
 
But forget that, let's zero in on homosexuals.

----------------------------------------

How the Church decides to handle its people is one thing, it is quite another when folks sitting at computers (which were made by basically slave labor and the money spent could have gone to the poor) make blanket statements about humans they don't even know.

Especially disparaging ones.

----------------------------------------

And if anyone goes the absurd route: I will maintain my point with any "sin" you can name. Child molesters are sent to jail in our society. We should feed them. Spend time with them. Clothe them. Attempt to protect them from State Execution or de facto execution in prisons by other inmates.

We don't know their hearts. Maybe that guy who molested one child in his fought a greater struggle than any of us have ever known not to have done to dozens.

All gets back to love.

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« Reply #157 on: August 10, 2011, 10:10:46 AM »

bogdan,

Now we are getting somewhere in your last post. Rather than the shrillness that came before throughout the thread.

I am getting somewhere else now as well, out of the pointless conference at work.

Till later.

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« Reply #158 on: August 10, 2011, 10:22:59 AM »

Quote
homosexuals must live completely chaste lifestyles, if one has a "partner", then one is clearly actively rejecting the teachings of the church.
Do you yourself as a heterosexual live a "completely chaste life"?
Yes, but that doesn't mean I'm completely holy and spotless. That just means I'm within Orthodoxy, I might struggle with things like all people do, but living chaste lives is what we are all called to do until marriage.

augustin, you clearly seem to have a hatred for converts.
Only if they try to run parishes in a cult-like manner. But that's not a phenomenon unique to converts.

Hmm... so i guess it is cult-like to go to confession every 2-4 weeks, while also sitting down to talk to your Priest about your life and how things are going, and then also receiving communion every Liturgy, as long as you have been faithfully attending confession...

The thing about the Church, is that it is entirely voluntary. However, if you choose not to participate in its mysteries, or hold the same faith, then you're choosing not to be a part of the Church. It's not the Church that kicks you out, it's yourself. Like in the Garden, when Adam & Eve disobeyed God, it wasn't God that punished them, it was their own act that doomed them.
Where I come from church is not a voluntary phenomenon. It's accidental. Happily so.
Ah, another appellation to your list: The Accidental Orthodox, who was The Nominal Orthodox, who was the only true (Romanian) Orthodox. Seriously though, Augustin, are you really Orthodox? It is OK if you are not but why not be honest about it so that folks who respond to your postings can have an accurate context.
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« Reply #159 on: August 10, 2011, 10:42:14 AM »

Are you two trying to say, after four pages of argument, that some people may have jumped the gun? Frankly, I don't see how that's possible.  angel
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« Reply #160 on: August 10, 2011, 10:46:08 AM »

Are you two trying to say, after four pages of argument, that some people may have jumped the gun? Frankly, I don't see how that's possible.  angel
Yes, that's what I'm saying. That's the way gossip usually works. Jump to a premature conclusion based on half-baked assumptions and half-a**ed inquiries, and run with it. police
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« Reply #161 on: August 10, 2011, 10:49:01 AM »

I haven't read through the whole thread so forgive me if I'm just repeating points that were already made. The way I see it, there are two separate attitudes to homosexuality which are being conflated.

1. The Christian view that homosexual activity is sinful (like greed, wrath, hatred, much heterosexual lust, etc.)

2. The social convention of singling out homosexuality as something especially abhorrent, and not to be tolerated, and which finds its extreme expression in ostracism and violence. In my opinion this has little/ nothing to do with Christianity. Such attitudes can be found across religious cultures.

I think some people are acting/ thinking more according to the second view, and singling out Christians who happen to be gay in a way they would not single out Christians who are known to be greedy, lazy, violent, gluttonous, etc.

This is why I think much of the "culture war" discourse is basically a defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.

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« Reply #162 on: August 10, 2011, 10:53:00 AM »

Quote
homosexuals must live completely chaste lifestyles, if one has a "partner", then one is clearly actively rejecting the teachings of the church.
Do you yourself as a heterosexual live a "completely chaste life"?
Yes, but that doesn't mean I'm completely holy and spotless. That just means I'm within Orthodoxy, I might struggle with things like all people do, but living chaste lives is what we are all called to do until marriage.

augustin, you clearly seem to have a hatred for converts.
Only if they try to run parishes in a cult-like manner. But that's not a phenomenon unique to converts.

Hmm... so i guess it is cult-like to go to confession every 2-4 weeks, while also sitting down to talk to your Priest about your life and how things are going, and then also receiving communion every Liturgy, as long as you have been faithfully attending confession...

The thing about the Church, is that it is entirely voluntary. However, if you choose not to participate in its mysteries, or hold the same faith, then you're choosing not to be a part of the Church. It's not the Church that kicks you out, it's yourself. Like in the Garden, when Adam & Eve disobeyed God, it wasn't God that punished them, it was their own act that doomed them.
Where I come from church is not a voluntary phenomenon. It's accidental. Happily so.
Ah, another appellation to your list: The Accidental Orthodox, who was The Nominal Orthodox, who was the only true (Romanian) Orthodox. Seriously though, Augustin, are you really Orthodox? It is OK if you are not but why not be honest about it so that folks who respond to your postings can have an accurate context.
What do you need? A baptism certificate? I am of course, just  not all over himself with the pious talk and sanctimonious attitude that pass for being Orthodox, especially online.
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« Reply #163 on: August 10, 2011, 11:09:29 AM »

His Grace's actions (including the Holy Communion prohibition), which may not be so popular in the politically correct culture of today's America, yet hopefully, are popular among the Orthodox  faithful,  demonstrate a boldness for executing the responsibilities of the office of an Eastern Orthodox bishop, and are an example that the OCA's Diocese of the Midwest is once again blessed with a most honorable Chief Sheppard.  I think today is Bishop Matthias of Chicago's name day; "Our Master, and our Archierarch, Lord protect him, for Many Years."   Not-with-standing our opinions about Mr. Stokoe's life style, he has a good deal of support within the administrative circles in the OCA and the Midwest Diocese, and he operates a news site that enjoys a high readership.  It took a strong sense of the responsibilities of his episcopal office, to take this action against Mr. Stokoe.  Too many hierarchs today would have either ignored the problem, or resorted to Byzantine intrigue and privately passed word to one in the situation such as Mr. Stokoe, that his resignation for whatever reason he would want to publicize, would be welcomed.  But, no, His Grace took a clear and public stand consistent with the teachings of our Faith; "...This is the Faith of the Orthodox; This is the Faith that established the Universe."  These actions bode well for the success and progress of his episcopal tenure.
But why for this and not for the fact that his whole position has been one big conflict of interest? That's what I don't like about this. I hate to speak ill of Bishop Matthias, but it just seems fishy- especially if it's true that there are other OCA officials who are openly gay or in some other unrepentant sin but haven't been disciplined.

Are we certain that the reason for Mark Stokoe's removal is his alleged lifestyle and not the ethics complaint brought against him concerning his publishing of allegedly stolen e-mails, which the OCA Ethics Committee said was a matter for Bp. Matthias to deal with?
Thank you for bringing this up. This actually makes more sense to me.

Of course it does. It has been in the background the whole time. I thought this was mentioned earlier, if not, seems reasonable to me and obvious.

But once the Rubicon was crossed into damning homosexuals . . . Strange, threads surrounding sex get so much play, whether masturbation, homosexuality, birth control, while there have been three interesting threads lately with little input:

The icon thread
The Lord's prayer thread from a month come the recent prayer thread.
The silent illness disease and what exactly an illness is

And numerous other which go basically ignore. But put sex or the filioque or the Vatican in the title, especially if you can combine the three and boom!

This one is taking an interesting turn since some of my favorite people are joining in and I can perhaps discuss the understanding of sin in Orthodoxy and how that should inform of civic and daily domestic actions.
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« Reply #164 on: August 10, 2011, 11:10:06 AM »

Are you two trying to say, after four pages of argument, that some people may have jumped the gun? Frankly, I don't see how that's possible.  angel

Glad I wasn't one of them.
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« Reply #165 on: August 10, 2011, 11:16:03 AM »

I haven't read through the whole thread so forgive me if I'm just repeating points that were already made. The way I see it, there are two separate attitudes to homosexuality which are being conflated.

1. The Christian view that homosexual activity is sinful (like greed, wrath, hatred, much heterosexual lust, etc.)

2. The social convention of singling out homosexuality as something especially abhorrent, and not to be tolerated, and which finds its extreme expression in ostracism and violence. In my opinion this has little/ nothing to do with Christianity. Such attitudes can be found across religious cultures.

I think some people are acting/ thinking more according to the second view, and singling out Christians who happen to be gay in a way they would not single out Christians who are known to be greedy, lazy, violent, gluttonous, etc.

This is why I think much of the "culture war" discourse is basically a defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.



Maybe exhaustion is setting in, but I am not sure I am following. I think we tend to be on the page on these issues, but I am little confused.

Could perhaps give a just three sentence expansion on this though? Who for example or just an example of the defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.

Would that what I am doing here?
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« Reply #166 on: August 10, 2011, 11:17:52 AM »

I haven't read through the whole thread so forgive me if I'm just repeating points that were already made. The way I see it, there are two separate attitudes to homosexuality which are being conflated.

1. The Christian view that homosexual activity is sinful (like greed, wrath, hatred, much heterosexual lust, etc.)

2. The social convention of singling out homosexuality as something especially abhorrent, and not to be tolerated, and which finds its extreme expression in ostracism and violence. In my opinion this has little/ nothing to do with Christianity. Such attitudes can be found across religious cultures.

I think some people are acting/ thinking more according to the second view, and singling out Christians who happen to be gay in a way they would not single out Christians who are known to be greedy, lazy, violent, gluttonous, etc.

This is why I think much of the "culture war" discourse is basically a defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.



Maybe exhaustion is setting in, but I am not sure I am following. I think we tend to be on the page on these issues, but I am little confused.

Could perhaps give a just three sentence expansion on this though? Who for example or just an example of the defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.

Would that what I am doing here?

No, I am thinking about the right-wing "culture war" and its accompanying fear mongering about the "gay agenda". I don't know if anyone has actually displayed such an attitude on this thread.
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« Reply #167 on: August 10, 2011, 11:23:55 AM »

Ah, another appellation to your list: The Accidental Orthodox, who was The Nominal Orthodox, who was the only true (Romanian) Orthodox. Seriously though, Augustin, are you really Orthodox? It is OK if you are not but why not be honest about it so that folks who respond to your postings can have an accurate context.
What do you need? A baptism certificate? I am of course, just  not all over himself with the pious talk and sanctimonious attitude that pass for being Orthodox, especially online.

I don't get the big rub about his statements with people. Most are obviously somewhat ironic. He rarely gets into protracted, purposeless debate, perhaps before my day. He certainly represents a particular Orthodox POV even if it is writ large and conflated with own for humor's sake.

Granted I like humor for humor's sake, but he does undercut some of the incredibly winded and winding threads around. As I have said before, sometimes I realize I am taking things way too seriously.

He makes a point here about the situation in the parish about how someone was treated via information on their facebook page.

I noticed no one picked up that.

Not fork another road, but do you think that is kosher? I guess we can quote the Bible on approaching people, then in groups, then in front of the elders, but we have Desert Father shielding murders from the law, sometimes murderers who killed their own family member (My Priest recently spoke on that story, I don't recall which Desert Father it comes from).
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« Reply #168 on: August 10, 2011, 11:24:41 AM »

I haven't read through the whole thread so forgive me if I'm just repeating points that were already made. The way I see it, there are two separate attitudes to homosexuality which are being conflated.

1. The Christian view that homosexual activity is sinful (like greed, wrath, hatred, much heterosexual lust, etc.)

2. The social convention of singling out homosexuality as something especially abhorrent, and not to be tolerated, and which finds its extreme expression in ostracism and violence. In my opinion this has little/ nothing to do with Christianity. Such attitudes can be found across religious cultures.

I think some people are acting/ thinking more according to the second view, and singling out Christians who happen to be gay in a way they would not single out Christians who are known to be greedy, lazy, violent, gluttonous, etc.

This is why I think much of the "culture war" discourse is basically a defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.



Thank you for stating what seems obvious. Personally, I think a homosexual relationship based on love may be less sinful than a heterosexual relationship based on mutual hate where unspeakable events occur behind closed bedroom doors. I suspect the latter is more prevalent than the former.
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« Reply #169 on: August 10, 2011, 11:27:51 AM »

No, I am thinking about the right-wing "culture war" and its accompanying fear mongering about the "gay agenda". I don't know if anyone has actually displayed such an attitude on this thread.

I never know what "culture war" means anymore. People on both sides wield the word. And usually it is conflated with Christianity. And of course this was what recently gave a little pause in our patch of the Orthodox world.

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« Reply #170 on: August 10, 2011, 11:29:29 AM »

I haven't read through the whole thread so forgive me if I'm just repeating points that were already made. The way I see it, there are two separate attitudes to homosexuality which are being conflated.

1. The Christian view that homosexual activity is sinful (like greed, wrath, hatred, much heterosexual lust, etc.)

2. The social convention of singling out homosexuality as something especially abhorrent, and not to be tolerated, and which finds its extreme expression in ostracism and violence. In my opinion this has little/ nothing to do with Christianity. Such attitudes can be found across religious cultures.

I think some people are acting/ thinking more according to the second view, and singling out Christians who happen to be gay in a way they would not single out Christians who are known to be greedy, lazy, violent, gluttonous, etc.

This is why I think much of the "culture war" discourse is basically a defense of a secular attitude which unjustly appropriates Christian language.



Thank you for stating what seems obvious. Personally, I think a homosexual relationship based on love may be less sinful than a heterosexual relationship based on mutual hate where unspeakable events occur behind closed bedroom doors. I suspect the latter is more prevalent than the former.


Where you lying in wait for such a subject for your 69th post? //:=)

Again, I bow to your brilliance.
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« Reply #171 on: August 10, 2011, 11:50:27 AM »

Quote
homosexuals must live completely chaste lifestyles, if one has a "partner", then one is clearly actively rejecting the teachings of the church.
Do you yourself as a heterosexual live a "completely chaste life"?
Yes, but that doesn't mean I'm completely holy and spotless. That just means I'm within Orthodoxy, I might struggle with things like all people do, but living chaste lives is what we are all called to do until marriage.

augustin, you clearly seem to have a hatred for converts.
Only if they try to run parishes in a cult-like manner. But that's not a phenomenon unique to converts.

Hmm... so i guess it is cult-like to go to confession every 2-4 weeks, while also sitting down to talk to your Priest about your life and how things are going, and then also receiving communion every Liturgy, as long as you have been faithfully attending confession...

The thing about the Church, is that it is entirely voluntary. However, if you choose not to participate in its mysteries, or hold the same faith, then you're choosing not to be a part of the Church. It's not the Church that kicks you out, it's yourself. Like in the Garden, when Adam & Eve disobeyed God, it wasn't God that punished them, it was their own act that doomed them.
Where I come from church is not a voluntary phenomenon. It's accidental. Happily so.
Ah, another appellation to your list: The Accidental Orthodox, who was The Nominal Orthodox, who was the only true (Romanian) Orthodox. Seriously though, Augustin, are you really Orthodox? It is OK if you are not but why not be honest about it so that folks who respond to your postings can have an accurate context.
What do you need? A baptism certificate? I am of course, just  not all over himself with the pious talk and sanctimonious attitude that pass for being Orthodox, especially online.

Lol... What is it with this forum?I think the problem here is many are converts and they just don`t know what Orthodoxy really is... and them being the ones 'unorthodox' ...
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« Reply #172 on: August 10, 2011, 12:02:00 PM »

What do you need? A baptism certificate? I am of course, just  not all over himself with the pious talk and sanctimonious attitude that pass for being Orthodox, especially online.

There are many ways to verify your Orthodoxy. Here are some examples, with the more tests passed the more certain we can be that you're truly Orthodox:

1) When you are checking labels in the grocery store during fasting periods, at the bare minimum you must check the ingredients down to the 2% part

2) Any time a controversial subject comes up you must defend the faith of the Fathers; you realise that if you didn't do this, all of Orthodoxy would collapse around you and Satan would be victorious

3) You have more icons in your home than anyone else you know, your bishop and priest included

4) You have spent at least $1000 on books related to Orthodoxy; or, alternatively, you have spent far more money on books than you have given in alms

And so on...
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« Reply #173 on: August 10, 2011, 12:14:03 PM »

Ah, another appellation to your list: The Accidental Orthodox, who was The Nominal Orthodox, who was the only true (Romanian) Orthodox. Seriously though, Augustin, are you really Orthodox? It is OK if you are not but why not be honest about it so that folks who respond to your postings can have an accurate context.
What do you need? A baptism certificate? I am of course, just  not all over himself with the pious talk and sanctimonious attitude that pass for being Orthodox, especially online.

I don't get the big rub about his statements with people. Most are obviously somewhat ironic. He rarely gets into protracted, purposeless debate, perhaps before my day. He certainly represents a particular Orthodox POV even if it is writ large and conflated with own for humor's sake.

Granted I like humor for humor's sake, but he does undercut some of the incredibly winded and winding threads around. As I have said before, sometimes I realize I am taking things way too seriously.

He makes a point here about the situation in the parish about how someone was treated via information on their facebook page.

I noticed no one picked up that.

Not fork another road, but do you think that is kosher? I guess we can quote the Bible on approaching people, then in groups, then in front of the elders, but we have Desert Father shielding murders from the law, sometimes murderers who killed their own family member (My Priest recently spoke on that story, I don't recall which Desert Father it comes from).

My point is that, while everybody has a right to express his/her opinion, one is not entitled to be immune to criticism. I include in this a certain expectation for a modicum of effort to be serious. Augiustin has been lackadaisical far too often, often teasing us with his well-worn routine of "that's the way we did it in my village in Romania (and that's the final word."

Augustin aside, shall we get to the point? It seems to me that you are largely correct but your focus seems to be too narrow. I am referring to the fact that our leaders are held to a higher standard.  Nonetheless, there was a time when Mark Stokoe was being attacked for being the messenger--that when his emphasis was the alleged misdeeds/missteps of Metropolitan Jonah. Supporters of Metropolitan Jonah, most notably the retired Bishop Tikhon of the West, attacked Mark in order to change the conversation. I fought against this brazen attempt on the basis that the issue then was not Mark Stokoe but the Metropolitan. In conjunction with the attacks on Mark for his lifestyle, there have also been charges against him for obtaining others' personal communications, if not illegally, at least in an underhanded, immoral way. I myself never spoke out against mark because it was not my place to do so; he has a priest and now a bishop in place to handle whatever issues there may be. ADDED: However, in the past month or so, Mark himself started to post reflections on the issue of homosexually, making the topic one that could no longer be ignored.

So, we should discuss this not at a personal but policy/principle level. I submit to you that the Orthodox Church is an Apostolic Church, that is our reference points are the Holy Scriptures and the Early Church Fathers. It is true that the Holy Spirit has guided the Church fathers in the centuries since, but I do believe that any changes/additions/variations that have been made were either elucidations?elaborations or fences to protect the Christology of the Apostolic Church.

If that is indeed true, then as Orthodox Christians we do need to take the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition seriously. To pick and choose either from the Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers, or, as in the case of Augustin, the practice of his Romanian village, is not that different from any Protestant who makes himself and his opinions more important than the Church. That is not to say that we do not have the right, indeed the responsibility, to learn, think and form a conclusion. We must do that in a responsible fashion, with due deference to the authorities given to us by God (in descending order): The Holy Scriptures, Holy Tradition (in the sense that I laid out above), our Holy Synod, our bishop, our priest, if married, our spouse, and finally ourselves.

Given the above approach, how then should we treat homosexuality? I take my lead from the thoroughly unremarkable and fully orthodox encyclicals of the OCA Holy Synod. Why is it fully orthodox? Because it is solidly backed by the Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the Apostolic Church. As for how we are to approach sins and imperfections in our leaders, I would refer one and all to the Holy Scriptures, which have the guidelines all laid out neatly and clearly.
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« Reply #174 on: August 10, 2011, 12:33:28 PM »

I went to sleep in the middle of this. These are my two cents:

Orthonorm, I think that your portrayal of my and others' understanding of sin is unfair. You said I was off-base for calling it a "thing". I'm not going to paste the dictionary definition of the word "thing", but I think we can agree that sin even if it is a fallen state, an ontological one, as you put it, is something. Unless you embrace the idea of many thinkers that have defined this state as nothing, but still, I think you see what I mean. Whether sin is a hunk of clay, or a state that leads us to other places, or a can of Bud Light with Clamato is immaterial. If it is a state, than what I am expressing opposition to is the embracing and celebration of that state of being. You know that, but you've played semantics to try to make us, or at least me, look dumb, and advance your argument.

I would also really like to know where I repeatedly insulted you. I realize, now awake, that my comment pertaining to Bill W. was uncharitable, and out of bounds. I apologize, truly, but I don't think I said anything directly to offend you other than that.

Also, I agree that a thread in the wake of Vollnut's first post would be, perhaps, more fulfilling than this one. I am by no means golden, I'm in a whirlpool of self-induce doo-doo, al the time, but I view myself as willing, at least at some point down the road, to change, out of love for God (kinda like those yets in step 7 in the 12x12, if I'm remembering this right. I haven't been active in that group for some time, though I do respect it) and I think that his honesty is a good example of a constructive move in that direction. Start the thread. I'm in.

My major points on this thread, regardless of any other tangents, were:
A) That it's unfair to paint the Protestant influence in American Orthodoxy as the catalyst for anti-homosexual ideas, based on the acceptance of such ideas in a number of western Protestant circles, and the intense lack thereof in most of the non-Protestant "old countries", save perhaps Greece. I basically wanted to step in the way of augustin taking shots at Protestant converts, again, which is sort of a futile exercise, and having never been a Protestant, I'm not sure why it troubles me so much.
B) I recognize entirely the assertions of many here that the gay issue gets an awful lot of play, and that others do not, but I think that that entire approach is dangerous and deflective. I have never said, nor have I heard anyone arguing on "my side" of this issue say, that any other issue threatening our Church or our society, is unimportant, or even less important, than this one. I certainly do not, and I am ready to discuss the myriad of other evils that confront us daily at any time, but I don;t understand the relevance of this. If I posted an article on here that implicated a Bishop in an embezzlement scheme, would people start lining up to tell me how there were plenty of other sins besides embezzlement, and that I shouldn't get hung up on it? My issue is the over-protectiveness with regard to homosexuality. It turns into validation, which I just don't believe we can get into as Christians. If it is sinful behavior, can we not agree that it is bad, and that, therefore, it is a positive thing when our authorities take steps against it, even if there are other things that need addressing, more urgently or not?

In Christ,
Jim
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« Reply #175 on: August 10, 2011, 12:44:01 PM »

I would also like to point out something I thought would be obvious to anybody with some experience in the Church: that you have to be willing to live with some sort of hypocrisy in the concrete life of a parish. I mean there will always be a discrepancy between what it's written and what it's done. If you cannot live with that then your place isn't in the Orthodox Church, as this is the gear it has been running into for ever. The danger is-and I have seen it happen in real life- that culture war refugee type of converts will actively hunt homosexuals in their parishes, since they have a still skewed idea of how an Orthodox parish is run.
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« Reply #176 on: August 10, 2011, 12:47:16 PM »

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« Reply #177 on: August 10, 2011, 12:47:46 PM »

orthonorm, you just still don't get it... No, homosexuality is not natural. Neither is death...

You cannot say that sinfulness is something that is "natural", it's simply not. It's a corruption.

You assume that I'm just some hatemonger that hates homosexuals and is trying to ostracize every single one of them so I can protect the Church. Well, guess what? One of my best friends is a homosexual, and I have several other friends who are also homosexuals. You could ask them, and they would all tell you that I've never, EVER said anything hateful, or harmful against them. My homosexual friends don't push themselves on me, and they know I disagree with their lifestyle, but they don't try to change my mind, and they aren't so out there that they are in everyone's face about it.

Someone who has been born homosexual has not received that state from God. Nor has it been a "curse" from God, or anyone else. It is a result of our fallen state. It is no different than being born with a a predisposition to alcohol or drug addiction. The person who has been "born" homosexual, is, like the rest of us, living in an unnatural state, they are broken. Does that mean they should just give up and accept they are a homosexual? No, certainly not. What it means is that they can come into the Church, and struggle to live chaste lives without a homosexual partner, and therefore struggle towards salvation.

However, what do many homosexuals in the United States do? They are pushing their "agenda" on us and our families. They want to convince everyone that their state is natural and completely okay and permissible. Does this mean that I think they ought to be forced out of their relationships? No, certainly not. They are outside of the Church, and it is their own business how they live. But if you want to be within the Church, you have to submit to Christ, and you have to be willing to be completely open with your Priest during confession, and you have to be willing to change, and to take the medicine prescribed to you by Christ himself (and distributed by the "Pharmacist", the Priest).

What I care about, is when I have kids, and if they will be taught in school that homosexuality is permissible and normal.  This isn't an unfounded fear either. It's already occurring in many universities (including my own). It is also happened already in other nations, specifically some in Western Europe.

As Orthodox, there is absolutely no separation between our private lives, church, and our public life. There cannot be. What we do and believe in terms of politics has to be influenced by our faith as much as our private lives are. This is unquestionable and is absolutely necessary. You can't pray for the end of abortion, and then vote for it at the booth.

Again, I'm not saying we need to ostracize gays, absolutely far from it. If someone is homosexual, you and I should not know it. It is something that is to remain between them, their Priest, and God. It is something that they need to work out with fear and trembling, something they have to struggle with. But at the same time, there are some homosexuals who want to be "out" and who want to be in your face about it. That is absolutely impermissible, and is a sign of pride and unwillingness to change. (though I don't believe homosexuals can become heterosexual, unless they've changed by choice)

For example, I entered the Church, and I hope and pray that I'm completely open with my Priest during both confession, and during our other various private talks. He gives me the medicine to heal that God has prescribed, and I will hopefully use that to heal myself. Yet, if I start sinning, and not only that, I start promoting it to my parishioners, and try to convince them that my sin is okay, then I've got a serious problem, and I've absolutely magnified my sin even more.

Sin isn't just some law that you break and "anger God". Sin is separation between you and God, it is anything that breaks and harms your soul. So yes, I do understand what sin is.

orthonorm, again, you just aren't understanding where I'm coming from, or you just choose not to listen.

As for augustin's being Orthodox or not... I will say that on a website like this, an Orthodox website. It must always be made absolutely clear who is Orthodox, and who isn't. If someone isn't actually Orthodox and doesn't agree with the fundamental teachings of our faith, then they simply need to make that clear, preferably using their "faith" tag. If someone is Orthodox, then they do need to also make that clear using the "faith" tag.
Why? Because, people come on here and read things, and if someone isn't Orthodox, or if someone doesn't agree with our teachings, it needs to be made clear that they aren't a part of the Church.
Now, augustin, I'm not saying you are or aren't Orthodox. That is entirely up to you. I am just saying why it is so important to know who is and who isn't Orthodox on this website. It isn't just private business when we are representing the Church on a public website.
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« Reply #178 on: August 10, 2011, 12:48:01 PM »

Ah, another appellation to your list: The Accidental Orthodox, who was The Nominal Orthodox, who was the only true (Romanian) Orthodox. Seriously though, Augustin, are you really Orthodox? It is OK if you are not but why not be honest about it so that folks who respond to your postings can have an accurate context.
What do you need? A baptism certificate? I am of course, just  not all over himself with the pious talk and sanctimonious attitude that pass for being Orthodox, especially online.

I don't get the big rub about his statements with people. Most are obviously somewhat ironic. He rarely gets into protracted, purposeless debate, perhaps before my day. He certainly represents a particular Orthodox POV even if it is writ large and conflated with own for humor's sake.

Granted I like humor for humor's sake, but he does undercut some of the incredibly winded and winding threads around. As I have said before, sometimes I realize I am taking things way too seriously.

He makes a point here about the situation in the parish about how someone was treated via information on their facebook page.

I noticed no one picked up that.

Not fork another road, but do you think that is kosher? I guess we can quote the Bible on approaching people, then in groups, then in front of the elders, but we have Desert Father shielding murders from the law, sometimes murderers who killed their own family member (My Priest recently spoke on that story, I don't recall which Desert Father it comes from).

My point is that, while everybody has a right to express his/her opinion, one is not entitled to be immune to criticism. I include in this a certain expectation for a modicum of effort to be serious. Augiustin has been lackadaisical far too often, often teasing us with his well-worn routine of "that's the way we did it in my village in Romania (and that's the final word."

Augustin aside, shall we get to the point? It seems to me that you are largely correct but your focus seems to be too narrow. I am referring to the fact that our leaders are held to a higher standard.  Nonetheless, there was a time when Mark Stokoe was being attacked for being the messenger--that when his emphasis was the alleged misdeeds/missteps of Metropolitan Jonah. Supporters of Metropolitan Jonah, most notably the retired Bishop Tikhon of the West, attacked Mark in order to change the conversation. I fought against this brazen attempt on the basis that the issue then was not Mark Stokoe but the Metropolitan. In conjunction with the attacks on Mark for his lifestyle, there have also been charges against him for obtaining others' personal communications, if not illegally, at least in an underhanded, immoral way. I myself never spoke out against mark because it was not my place to do so; he has a priest and now a bishop in place to handle whatever issues there may be. ADDED: However, in the past month or so, Mark himself started to post reflections on the issue of homosexually, making the topic one that could no longer be ignored.

So, we should discuss this not at a personal but policy/principle level. I submit to you that the Orthodox Church is an Apostolic Church, that is our reference points are the Holy Scriptures and the Early Church Fathers. It is true that the Holy Spirit has guided the Church fathers in the centuries since, but I do believe that any changes/additions/variations that have been made were either elucidations?elaborations or fences to protect the Christology of the Apostolic Church.

If that is indeed true, then as Orthodox Christians we do need to take the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition seriously. To pick and choose either from the Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers, or, as in the case of Augustin, the practice of his Romanian village, is not that different from any Protestant who makes himself and his opinions more important than the Church. That is not to say that we do not have the right, indeed the responsibility, to learn, think and form a conclusion. We must do that in a responsible fashion, with due deference to the authorities given to us by God (in descending order): The Holy Scriptures, Holy Tradition (in the sense that I laid out above), our Holy Synod, our bishop, our priest, if married, our spouse, and finally ourselves.

Given the above approach, how then should we treat homosexuality? I take my lead from the thoroughly unremarkable and fully orthodox encyclicals of the OCA Holy Synod. Why is it fully orthodox? Because it is solidly backed by the Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the Apostolic Church. As for how we are to approach sins and imperfections in our leaders, I would refer one and all to the Holy Scriptures, which have the guidelines all laid out neatly and clearly.

Not to parse your post. It seems people are getting wires crossed still: the discussion of the Church's role in discipline and treatment of homosexuality today within the Church among the laity and especially from without.

Now to the main point of my post:

I appreciate your frankness about the issue and your feelings and past actions as a matter of record.

There has been a lot of murmuring around the issue and people pussy-footing around.

I had to remain silent because I really had no idea what was going on, but some folks where conducting whisper campaigns on either side of the issue, now turn perhaps issues, including to my own disappointment someone I respected.

Since, I knew nil about it, I had nothing to say. I just piped into to this thread early on because I truly tire of the "pelvic positions" everyone seems to rally around to the absence of other issues, which we actually on a daily basis CAN DO something concretely about.

But they ain't "sexy", so to speak.  
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« Reply #179 on: August 10, 2011, 12:50:21 PM »

I would also like to point out something I thought would be obvious to anybody with some experience in the Church: that you have to be willing to live with some sort of hypocrisy in the concrete life of a parish. I mean there will always be a discrepancy between what it's written and what it's done. If you cannot live with that then your place isn't in the Orthodox Church, as this is the gear it has been running into for ever. The danger is-and I have seen it happen in real life- that culture war refugee type of converts will actively hunt homosexuals in their parishes, since they have a still skewed idea of how an Orthodox parish is run.
Having been in the church mostly in Russia, and in very, very small parishes, like 10 people strong, or less, in the US, I just haven't seen this kind of behavior, and I didn't come to the Church because of any culture war reasons, so there may be a lot of validity to what you're saying. I just haven't seen it, so it wouldn't occur to me.
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