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Author Topic: Homosexulaity and the Church--was part of Re: Interesting development in the OCA  (Read 20259 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #225 on: August 12, 2011, 01:50:09 PM »

Was homosexu-laity pun intended? Sorry if this was already addressed.

Helluva a catch!

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« Reply #226 on: August 12, 2011, 01:58:06 PM »

Was homosexu-laity pun intended? Sorry if this was already addressed.

Helluva a catch!

Will you be my copy editor?

Sure.  Smiley
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« Reply #227 on: August 12, 2011, 02:10:06 PM »

Was homosexu-laity pun intended? Sorry if this was already addressed.

Nope; just a typo that happened in the middle of the night. OTH, when I saw what I had done, I decided to let it be and see who caught it. You, sir, are the winner!
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« Reply #228 on: August 12, 2011, 02:16:22 PM »

Was homosexu-laity pun intended? Sorry if this was already addressed.

Nope; just a typo that happened in the middle of the night. OTH, when I saw what I had done, I decided to let it be and see who caught it. You, sir, are the winner!
I caught the typo (not the pun) a long time ago. I just didn't bring it up.
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« Reply #229 on: August 12, 2011, 02:39:14 PM »

Was homosexu-laity pun intended? Sorry if this was already addressed.

Nope; just a typo that happened in the middle of the night. OTH, when I saw what I had done, I decided to let it be and see who caught it. You, sir, are the winner!
I caught the typo (not the pun) a long time ago. I just didn't bring it up.

You, sir, are also a winner!
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« Reply #230 on: August 12, 2011, 02:55:46 PM »

"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:24

Do the current attitudes of many in the Church line up with this passage when it comes to homosexuality? Yes, homosexual actions are a sin (I fail to see how being disposed to liking the same gender is a sin), but don't many of us attempt to normalize and rationalize our own sins?

Two men engage in actions between each other that dishonors their bodies and their image. Yet, the only "victims" in such a scenario are the two consenting adults. Meanwhile, we in the West go on to accumulate wealth and spend more money on our cable and televisions than we do on helping the poor within our borders or those outside of our borders. Our apathy creates victims. Maybe there is a homosexual agenda (though I've yet to see them attend meetings lining out a "Fabulous Manifesto"), but shouldn't we fear our own sinful agendas more?

Homosexuality isn't something I've ever struggled with, but I have struggled with arrogance, looking down on other people, with helping the poor, and many other things. All of my sins have created victims, people I must seek forgiveness from in one way or the other. People who engage in homosexual activities, however, must only seek forgiveness from God, for He is the only one they've acted against.

Yes, homosexual actions deviate from our intended purposes, but so do all sins; otherwise it wouldn't be sin.
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« Reply #231 on: August 12, 2011, 03:09:33 PM »

but don't many of us attempt to normalize and rationalize our own sins?
This. Please call me when you experience the same degree of hatred and prejudice because of your other sins. Luckily most of us convince ourselves that lying, being angry, refusing to forgive, and hardening our hearts are better than being homosexual.
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« Reply #232 on: August 12, 2011, 03:15:43 PM »

"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:24

Do the current attitudes of many in the Church line up with this passage when it comes to homosexuality? Yes, homosexual actions are a sin (I fail to see how being disposed to liking the same gender is a sin), but don't many of us attempt to normalize and rationalize our own sins?

Two men engage in actions between each other that dishonors their bodies and their image. Yet, the only "victims" in such a scenario are the two consenting adults.

Homosexuality is a disorder, not "being disposed to liking the same gender." In itself, the disorder is the result of fallen nature. Actual sin and guilt comes from acting on temptations.

Sin does not affect only the sinner. My sin affects the whole world negatively. By my sins, I contributed to the spread of iniquity, and cause others to stumble. There's also the issue of "two consenting adults," but I'll leave that alone.

I don't see how those who oppose "normalizing" homosexuality are being unkind. And, yes, that is the agenda--for society to embrace deviant behavior as normal and good and just "part of the rich tapestry of life." The Church has opposed this and other sins since the beginning since it is impossible to separate Orthodox dogma from Orthodox moral teaching.

There is definitely a lot that can and is being  done to minister to homosexuals in an Orthodox manner, dealing with their sins in the same way as the Church deals with all other sins. In the holy canons, the penances for homosexual activity are not the heaviest of penances, and are actually lighter than those for married couples engaging in deviant activities. The Church heals this sin the same as all others--prayer, fasting, the holy sacraments, and the action of Christ.  

We are not supposed to be agnostic about the existence of evil. Nor does it really help anything, when speaking of one evil to say, "Well, look at those evils over there." The issue of homosexuality is drawing attention because of the contention over it, not because there is an excess of gay-haters in Orthodoxy with too much time on their hands.

The Church has something to say about all sins. And, yes, some are worse than others for various reasons. This one is a focus of attention because of what is going on in the larger society and the several Orthodox Christians who, in advocating immorality, have become enemies of the Cross of Christ. They say the love homosexuals and want them to get married, but by this they show their hatred for them, for they push them into sin, rather than encouraging them to struggle against sin.
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« Reply #233 on: August 12, 2011, 03:24:01 PM »

Hatred and prejudice?  Roll Eyes
You can take a firm and vocal stance against the movement of homosexuality without diminishing your own sins. To say something is wrong isn't to say I do nothing wrong. I guarantee every single poster here who has stood up for a traditional definition of marriage would have no problem admitting to you the seriousness and gravity of their sins. Maybe because they see how badly sin affects their own person, they don't want another sin paraded around as justifiable. I can say that homosexual marriage shouldn't be legal and still agree that my own struggle with pride, lying, and gluttony is just as indefensible. Love isn't about doing away with confrontation. It's about being able to confront falsehood with the truth in a way that is kind, gentle, and patient. I most definitely fall short of that charge but that doesn't change its merit.  
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« Reply #234 on: August 12, 2011, 03:40:56 PM »

Hatred and prejudice?  Roll Eyes
I'm not naming specific names, but if you don't think that people simply hate people because they are homosexual, and that people guilty of other sins are swept under the rug as "human," then I really don't know what to say.

And no, I don't think that believing that homosexuality is a sin means that you hate homosexuals. But let's be honest and admit that many of us take that several steps further. Just read some of the responses in this thread.
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« Reply #235 on: August 12, 2011, 03:52:52 PM »

but don't many of us attempt to normalize and rationalize our own sins?
This. Please call me when you experience the same degree of hatred and prejudice because of your other sins. Luckily most of us convince ourselves that lying, being angry, refusing to forgive, and hardening our hearts are better than being homosexual.
Especially when in our anger, we harden our hearts and refuse to forgive the homosexual.
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« Reply #236 on: August 12, 2011, 04:02:02 PM »

refuse to forgive the homosexual.
...what did the homosexual do to you?
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« Reply #237 on: August 12, 2011, 04:27:06 PM »

Hatred and prejudice?  Roll Eyes
I'm not naming specific names, but if you don't think that people simply hate people because they are homosexual, and that people guilty of other sins are swept under the rug as "human," then I really don't know what to say.

And no, I don't think that believing that homosexuality is a sin means that you hate homosexuals. But let's be honest and admit that many of us take that several steps further. Just read some of the responses in this thread.

Should we not differentiate between an aversion or hate toward homosexuality and how we treat homosexuals? May be the saying "hate the sin but love the sinner" is right? Of course, it does look strange when some people only hate one particular sin.
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« Reply #238 on: August 12, 2011, 04:28:48 PM »

I did say that in that reply, didn't I?  Huh I am of that belief myself, but I don't shun my friends for being sinners, even though they try to justify their actions every day. (I myself am included in this.)
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« Reply #239 on: August 12, 2011, 04:35:36 PM »

but don't many of us attempt to normalize and rationalize our own sins?
This. Please call me when you experience the same degree of hatred and prejudice because of your other sins. Luckily most of us convince ourselves that lying, being angry, refusing to forgive, and hardening our hearts are better than being homosexual.

As far as I can tell the reason homosexuality gets so much attention is because it is one of the very few sins that is now being promoted as healthy normal behavior. I don't see any liberals arguing for the legalization of theft and murder. If they were, I bet you mean old conservatives would be up in arms about that, too.

Correction: abortion is a kind of murder and is certainly being promoted. But my point still stands. The redefinition of morality along basically utilitarian principles has resulted in some evils being redefined as goods, while other evils remain evils because they still contradict someone's principles. They're just not Christian principles.
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« Reply #240 on: August 12, 2011, 04:36:17 PM »

Hatred and prejudice?  Roll Eyes
I'm not naming specific names, but if you don't think that people simply hate people because they are homosexual, and that people guilty of other sins are swept under the rug as "human," then I really don't know what to say.

And no, I don't think that believing that homosexuality is a sin means that you hate homosexuals. But let's be honest and admit that many of us take that several steps further. Just read some of the responses in this thread.

I haven't read every word of every post but I don't see those two things in this thread. Impassioned speech? Yes. Hatred/prejudice? No. Surely I'm not suggesting there are no haters of homosexuals in the world I just don't see it here.
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« Reply #241 on: August 12, 2011, 04:55:14 PM »

I have to agree with a few other posters on here that the reason homosexuality gets so much attention is that it calls for attention.  It is all over the news, there are parades about it, there are movies and shows about it.  And the media and the elite are always trying to push it down our throats that it is moral.  If we didn't have to hear about it all the time then I think less people would think about it.

(And so I don't get accused of homophobia, I have been around many many gay people.  Not that many Lesbians, not due to choice, just haven't had much contact with them.  And these have been some of the more colourful and vibrant people out there.  I find them a pleasure to be around.  Then again, most of the homosexuals I know keep their bedroom lives private...if I had to hear about round the clock sodomy I might be a bit less charitable.  But generally it is the extremists on the far right and the far left (politicians and media) that subject me to long diatribes about buggery.)
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« Reply #242 on: August 12, 2011, 05:01:11 PM »

I find them a pleasure to be around. 

Totally agree. I worked at a bank for 5 years and my best friend/confidant the whole time was gay. We knew where each other were on the spectrum but that had no weight on our friendship. He would often confide in me about his escapades and vice versa. But the more I got to know him the less I thought he was made a certain way and the more I thought he just chose a path like everyone else does.
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« Reply #243 on: August 12, 2011, 05:15:10 PM »

I know that the idea of homosexuality being genetic is difficult for Orthodox Christians to accept, since it would imply that God made some people to sin while leaving others off the hook. But then it occurs to me that this is true for many other, less controversially deviant personalities. There is growing evidence for a significant genetic predisposition to pedophilia and sociopathy, for example. Does this mean people in those two categories are free from moral responsibility? I would say not, though I would say that it means that overcoming those tendencies is of greater spiritual worth for them than for us. After all, it's no real virtue for me not to sleep with a child, if I have no desire to do so.

I am also reminded of certain prophecies concerning Antichrist, how he will be created by deviant forms of insemination, from wicked and depraved parents, and more or less bound to great sin from his youth. These struck me as odd, since I would have thought even Antichrist, being a creature endowed with free will, should have as much chance of repentance as any one of us. But then I remember that the Antichrist's struggle is not my struggle. I certainly know that I am predisposed to certain vices and not to others. Whether these predispositions are genetic, the result of childhood experiences, or of recently cultivated habits, I can't say for certain, but ultimately it doesn't matter, because I happen to know what's right and wrong and have the ability to do the one and not the other. We should all remember that our nature is corrupted, so it is not in fact natural for us to be perfect. Perfection is a supernatural characteristic, and only comes to us when we accept supernatural aid.
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« Reply #244 on: August 12, 2011, 05:27:30 PM »

I hate to keep harping on this, but I think it's easily overlooked: What about homosexual Orthodox Christians who do submit to the Church's teachings? Based on conversations I've had (two members of my parish are gay), they don't all like the "kid gloves" approach to the issue that some take, which is on display in some posts here. I think in our effort to be compassionate, sometimes we go too far and alienate those who are struggling by sort of dismissing it.

That may sound insecure, but that's not without reason. Many homosexual people, especially Christians, are insecure. It must be confusing to have many of their fellow homosexuals being tramps on the one hand, and some Orthodox telling them their passions aren't sinful, and the Church telling them they are.

When the Church minces words and fails to speak to our own fellow-members with one voice, we only cause confusion and hurt.

To those homosexuals who agree with the Church, that they struggle against fundamental distortions of their personhood, it does not help to wave our hands dismissively at their struggles. Indeed, I would argue that is a greater sin than coming across as unkind to secular homosexuals, who don't care what the Church says in any case.

As was noted earlier by someone, this population of homosexual Orthodox is surely very small, to the tune of a few hundred in the US. But I think we should consider the spiritual and cultural tug-of-war they are in, the likes of which many of us will never experience.
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« Reply #245 on: August 12, 2011, 07:00:16 PM »

The church has changed its stance on a large number of things so far, in its long history. They'll probably get around this too, in due time. Ignorance is bliss and "the church that never changes" is a myth that sells ok to disaffected Protestants. If we were to try to sell them the Church's historical stance on usury et alia, I bet not many would wanna join us.
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« Reply #246 on: August 12, 2011, 07:18:39 PM »

I have to agree with a few other posters on here that the reason homosexuality gets so much attention is that it calls for attention.  It is all over the news, there are parades about it, there are movies and shows about it.  And the media and the elite are always trying to push it down our throats that it is moral.  If we didn't have to hear about it all the time then I think less people would think about it.

(And so I don't get accused of homophobia, I have been around many many gay people.  Not that many Lesbians, not due to choice, just haven't had much contact with them.  And these have been some of the more colourful and vibrant people out there.  I find them a pleasure to be around.  Then again, most of the homosexuals I know keep their bedroom lives private...if I had to hear about round the clock sodomy I might be a bit less charitable.  But generally it is the extremists on the far right and the far left (politicians and media) that subject me to long diatribes about buggery.)
Seasame Street came out and said Bert and Ernie would not be getting married, to which the Washington Post said "a real human same sex couple should be on. preschoolers get it."

Get what?

At most, only 1 out of 10 people would be in a gay marriage, if you when by the highly inflated numbers. But the reality is that homosexuals make up only about 3% of the population, and a large number of them are not gay marriage material (though many tough it out in a heterosexual marriage.  We had a doctor who did that because he wanted the whole traditional family set up, and that was the only way to get it).
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« Reply #247 on: August 12, 2011, 07:22:27 PM »

The church has changed its stance on a large number of things so far, in its long history. They'll probably get around this too, in due time. Ignorance is bliss and "the church that never changes" is a myth that sells ok to disaffected Protestants. If we were to try to sell them the Church's historical stance on usury et alia, I bet not many would wanna join us.
In the days of the Apostles there was plenty of this activity going on. If the Church "didn't get around to it then," it won't.

The "Church that never changes" is the same account I got in the Mother Churches.  In Egypt, where the Church has been around from the Apostles, that's the only Church we know.  Very few Protestants, disaffected or otherwise.
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« Reply #248 on: August 12, 2011, 07:44:06 PM »

I did say that in that reply, didn't I?  Huh I am of that belief myself, but I don't shun my friends for being sinners, even though they try to justify their actions every day. (I myself am included in this.)

Yes, we are all the same in that regard. The current problem with some homosexuals is that they want to say that homosexual conduct is not a sin. That is why I signed the Manhattan Declaration: calling same sex couples married implies societal agreement with that position. It is simply wrong. I have no right to judge the sins of others but I sure have the right to judge when a conduct is a sin or if that conduct is also a crime, even if my reasoning is based on my religion. (It amazes me that supposedly rational people think that a personal judgment on these matters is fine as long as it is not based on religious beliefs).

This does not mean that I am opposed to laws that convey benefits and rights to same sex couples as if they are married, but this is an entirely different issue. I think the main problem is a post-modernistic impulse to treat all opinions as equal. I cannot figure out how any Christian can say with a straight face that there is nothing wrong with homosexual conduct or abortion for that matter. It is not also good citizenship to ignore our Constitution and legal/ethical/moral precedence just because one can do so in a democratic society.
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« Reply #249 on: August 12, 2011, 10:38:20 PM »

I did say that in that reply, didn't I?  Huh I am of that belief myself, but I don't shun my friends for being sinners, even though they try to justify their actions every day. (I myself am included in this.)

I certainly don't advocate shunning anyone as a "sinner," for goodness sake. I am more of a sinner than any of them. I don't think anyone here is advocating shunning or harming anyone. If we cannot treat them with love and mercy, we should not expect to be treated with such outhink rselves.

I think there is some misunderstanding on this thread and people may be arguing with folks who aren't on this thread.
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« Reply #250 on: August 13, 2011, 04:39:34 AM »

The church has changed its stance on a large number of things so far, in its long history. They'll probably get around this too, in due time. Ignorance is bliss and "the church that never changes" is a myth that sells ok to disaffected Protestants. If we were to try to sell them the Church's historical stance on usury et alia, I bet not many would wanna join us.

I don't think it's so much that the Church has changed its stance, but that in some cases we need to adjust how we relate to society based on society's changing mores. So on the one hand it remains a sin to charge interest on a loan you make personally to someone else. On the other hand, charging interest is now the norm for all sorts of institutions. If we were to boycott every institution that charged interest, we would have to resort to bartering for all of our goods, since even the money we use is tainted with "usury". I think the reasoning is that we accept the way society has changed and abandoned the old rules and we try to function in it as best we can, but we should still try to observe the rules in our personal lives and relationships with others.

So with homosexuality, we need to accept the fact that it is now legal and it is illegal to discriminate against homosexuals e.g. in business or government. We try to avoid such sins in our personal lives, but we shouldn't deliberately shun homosexuals we know in our personal or professional lives, as might have been done in more traditional Christian societies. If we don't try to shove our lifestyles down other people's throats, they're less likely to try to shove their lifestyles down our throats.
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« Reply #251 on: August 13, 2011, 08:00:50 AM »

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I am also reminded of certain prophecies concerning Antichrist, how he will be created by deviant forms of insemination, from wicked and depraved parents, and more or less bound to great sin from his youth. These struck me as odd, since I would have thought even Antichrist, being a creature endowed with free will, should have as much chance of repentance as any one of us. But then I remember that the Antichrist's struggle is not my struggle. I certainly know that I am predisposed to certain vices and not to others. Whether these predispositions are genetic, the result of childhood experiences, or of recently cultivated habits, I can't say for certain, but ultimately it doesn't matter, because I happen to know what's right and wrong and have the ability to do the one and not the other. We should all remember that our nature is corrupted, so it is not in fact natural for us to be perfect. Perfection is a supernatural characteristic, and only comes to us when we accept supernatural aid

I have never heard of any of these prophecies. I would hesitate to say that the Antichrist is "more or less bound for great sin", because that seems to have problems with scripture:

Sirach 15:11 Don't blame the Lord for your sin; the Lord does not cause what he hates. (12) Don't claim that he has misled you; he doesn't need the help of sinners to accomplish his purposes.... (14) When, in the beginning, the Lord created human beings, he left them free to do as they wished. (15) If you want to, you can keep the Lord's commands. You can decide whether you will be loyal to him or not.

Also keep in mind that the Roman Catholic saints have end-day prophecies as well, some of which contradict the Orthodox Prophecies. If even the Apostles got it wrong on numerous occasions, I would take caution with trying to predict the future from prophecies.
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« Reply #252 on: August 13, 2011, 08:13:05 AM »

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I am also reminded of certain prophecies concerning Antichrist, how he will be created by deviant forms of insemination, from wicked and depraved parents, and more or less bound to great sin from his youth. These struck me as odd, since I would have thought even Antichrist, being a creature endowed with free will, should have as much chance of repentance as any one of us. But then I remember that the Antichrist's struggle is not my struggle. I certainly know that I am predisposed to certain vices and not to others. Whether these predispositions are genetic, the result of childhood experiences, or of recently cultivated habits, I can't say for certain, but ultimately it doesn't matter, because I happen to know what's right and wrong and have the ability to do the one and not the other. We should all remember that our nature is corrupted, so it is not in fact natural for us to be perfect. Perfection is a supernatural characteristic, and only comes to us when we accept supernatural aid

I have never heard of any of these prophecies. I would hesitate to say that the Antichrist is "more or less bound for great sin", because that seems to have problems with scripture:

Sirach 15:11 Don't blame the Lord for your sin; the Lord does not cause what he hates. (12) Don't claim that he has misled you; he doesn't need the help of sinners to accomplish his purposes.... (14) When, in the beginning, the Lord created human beings, he left them free to do as they wished. (15) If you want to, you can keep the Lord's commands. You can decide whether you will be loyal to him or not.

Also keep in mind that the Roman Catholic saints have end-day prophecies as well, some of which contradict the Orthodox Prophecies. If even the Apostles got it wrong on numerous occasions, I would take caution with trying to predict the future from prophecies.

I am sure that whoever the Antichrist is or will be, he will have free will and be responsible for his actions. What I was pointing to was the idea that in some sense his evil is the product of especially evil desires inherited from his parents and cultivated by his life experiences. I.e. that belief in free will does not require us to believe that everyone is born as a blank slate on a level moral playing field. God recognizes the different situations of different individuals and judges accordingly.
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« Reply #253 on: August 13, 2011, 09:33:54 AM »

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I am also reminded of certain prophecies concerning Antichrist, how he will be created by deviant forms of insemination, from wicked and depraved parents, and more or less bound to great sin from his youth. These struck me as odd, since I would have thought even Antichrist, being a creature endowed with free will, should have as much chance of repentance as any one of us. But then I remember that the Antichrist's struggle is not my struggle. I certainly know that I am predisposed to certain vices and not to others. Whether these predispositions are genetic, the result of childhood experiences, or of recently cultivated habits, I can't say for certain, but ultimately it doesn't matter, because I happen to know what's right and wrong and have the ability to do the one and not the other. We should all remember that our nature is corrupted, so it is not in fact natural for us to be perfect. Perfection is a supernatural characteristic, and only comes to us when we accept supernatural aid

I have never heard of any of these prophecies. I would hesitate to say that the Antichrist is "more or less bound for great sin", because that seems to have problems with scripture:

Sirach 15:11 Don't blame the Lord for your sin; the Lord does not cause what he hates. (12) Don't claim that he has misled you; he doesn't need the help of sinners to accomplish his purposes.... (14) When, in the beginning, the Lord created human beings, he left them free to do as they wished. (15) If you want to, you can keep the Lord's commands. You can decide whether you will be loyal to him or not.

Also keep in mind that the Roman Catholic saints have end-day prophecies as well, some of which contradict the Orthodox Prophecies. If even the Apostles got it wrong on numerous occasions, I would take caution with trying to predict the future from prophecies.

I am sure that whoever the Antichrist is or will be, he will have free will and be responsible for his actions. What I was pointing to was the idea that in some sense his evil is the product of especially evil desires inherited from his parents and cultivated by his life experiences. I.e. that belief in free will does not require us to believe that everyone is born as a blank slate on a level moral playing field. God recognizes the different situations of different individuals and judges accordingly.

I understand your point, but the last sentence could be viewed by some as a 'license' to justify aberrant behavior. If you are predisposed genetically to be a sociopath for example, are the 'standards' different? Perhaps this is a can of worms if not viewed in context?
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« Reply #254 on: August 13, 2011, 10:52:39 AM »

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I am also reminded of certain prophecies concerning Antichrist, how he will be created by deviant forms of insemination, from wicked and depraved parents, and more or less bound to great sin from his youth. These struck me as odd, since I would have thought even Antichrist, being a creature endowed with free will, should have as much chance of repentance as any one of us. But then I remember that the Antichrist's struggle is not my struggle. I certainly know that I am predisposed to certain vices and not to others. Whether these predispositions are genetic, the result of childhood experiences, or of recently cultivated habits, I can't say for certain, but ultimately it doesn't matter, because I happen to know what's right and wrong and have the ability to do the one and not the other. We should all remember that our nature is corrupted, so it is not in fact natural for us to be perfect. Perfection is a supernatural characteristic, and only comes to us when we accept supernatural aid

I have never heard of any of these prophecies. I would hesitate to say that the Antichrist is "more or less bound for great sin", because that seems to have problems with scripture:

Sirach 15:11 Don't blame the Lord for your sin; the Lord does not cause what he hates. (12) Don't claim that he has misled you; he doesn't need the help of sinners to accomplish his purposes.... (14) When, in the beginning, the Lord created human beings, he left them free to do as they wished. (15) If you want to, you can keep the Lord's commands. You can decide whether you will be loyal to him or not.

Also keep in mind that the Roman Catholic saints have end-day prophecies as well, some of which contradict the Orthodox Prophecies. If even the Apostles got it wrong on numerous occasions, I would take caution with trying to predict the future from prophecies.

I am sure that whoever the Antichrist is or will be, he will have free will and be responsible for his actions. What I was pointing to was the idea that in some sense his evil is the product of especially evil desires inherited from his parents and cultivated by his life experiences. I.e. that belief in free will does not require us to believe that everyone is born as a blank slate on a level moral playing field. God recognizes the different situations of different individuals and judges accordingly.

I understand your point, but the last sentence could be viewed by some as a 'license' to justify aberrant behavior. If you are predisposed genetically to be a sociopath for example, are the 'standards' different? Perhaps this is a can of worms if not viewed in context?

I seem to remember reading a passage of some desert father (maybe St Dorotheus) about how God would judge a promiscuous woman more harshly if she were brought up in a pious Christian family, than if she were brought up in an immoral environment.
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« Reply #255 on: August 13, 2011, 12:03:51 PM »

And there is another story in the Paterikon about a prostitute in Alexandria giving much of her income to the poor. When som over curious and zealous monks asked Avva Pimen (IIRC) what to make of that (quoting the OT where it was forbidden to receive a whore's gift/money), Pimen answered along these lines: She doesn't remain in debauchery/prostitution, for the fruits of righteousness are seen in her."
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« Reply #256 on: August 13, 2011, 12:14:20 PM »

I find them a pleasure to be around. 

Totally agree. I worked at a bank for 5 years and my best friend/confidant the whole time was gay. We knew where each other were on the spectrum but that had no weight on our friendship. He would often confide in me about his escapades and vice versa. But the more I got to know him the less I thought he was made a certain way and the more I thought he just chose a path like everyone else does.

I agree with a lot of this, but most gays I know didn't choose to be gay.  In fact, I just had one of them tell me a couple of weeks ago that he didn't choose to be gay and would never have chosen it.  Of course, his mother (who is Christian) treats him like garbage.  He gets a panic attack every time he has to go visit her.
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« Reply #257 on: August 13, 2011, 07:55:36 PM »

I find them a pleasure to be around. 

Totally agree. I worked at a bank for 5 years and my best friend/confidant the whole time was gay. We knew where each other were on the spectrum but that had no weight on our friendship. He would often confide in me about his escapades and vice versa. But the more I got to know him the less I thought he was made a certain way and the more I thought he just chose a path like everyone else does.

I agree with a lot of this, but most gays I know didn't choose to be gay.  In fact, I just had one of them tell me a couple of weeks ago that he didn't choose to be gay and would never have chosen it.  Of course, his mother (who is Christian) treats him like garbage.  He gets a panic attack every time he has to go visit her.

It's attitudes like his mother's that I simply don't understand. For the sake of argument, if we assume that one chooses to have same-sex attraction and then engage in it, why should we treat that one like garbage? Don't some choose greed just as much?

It seems that we teach homosexuality as equal to other sexual sins, but in practice we treat it like it's the worst thing in the world.
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« Reply #258 on: August 13, 2011, 07:58:23 PM »

Agreed.
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« Reply #259 on: August 13, 2011, 09:14:19 PM »

I find them a pleasure to be around. 

Totally agree. I worked at a bank for 5 years and my best friend/confidant the whole time was gay. We knew where each other were on the spectrum but that had no weight on our friendship. He would often confide in me about his escapades and vice versa. But the more I got to know him the less I thought he was made a certain way and the more I thought he just chose a path like everyone else does.

I agree with a lot of this, but most gays I know didn't choose to be gay.  In fact, I just had one of them tell me a couple of weeks ago that he didn't choose to be gay and would never have chosen it.  Of course, his mother (who is Christian) treats him like garbage.  He gets a panic attack every time he has to go visit her.

It's attitudes like his mother's that I simply don't understand. For the sake of argument, if we assume that one chooses to have same-sex attraction and then engage in it, why should we treat that one like garbage? Don't some choose greed just as much?

It seems that we teach homosexuality as equal to other sexual sins, but in practice we treat it like it's the worst thing in the world.

My understanding of the traditional restrictions was that it was entirely focused on the actions themselves, and not on nebulous abstractions like "same-sex attraction". If you were tempted to commit sodomy, that was simply a thought to be resisted, lest it turn into action. I suppose you don't hear much discussion in the fathers about how certain men are clearly much more tempted in that direction than others, but then the fact that they discussed these temptations at all means that it wasn't the kind of unspeakable, unthinkable sin that certain evangelical fundamentalists seem to treat it as.

That being said, the canons do penance sodomy very severely, and it is the gravity of these sins that can be hard for modern people to accept. It's one thing to say it's sinful, but to consider it as something approaching murder in its seriousness makes no sense to a lot of our contemporaries. It comes down to the fact that modern morality has no concept of human nature as something precious in itself and which needs to be honored and protected for its own sake. To the modern mind, something is a moral evil if it inhibits the ability of another to derive happiness from life. The result of this shift in moral thinking means that sexual sins especially are open to reinterpretation, since anything done with consent of another can be considered to contribute to, or at least not detract from, the happiness of that other person.
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« Reply #260 on: August 13, 2011, 09:49:11 PM »

Well, "sodomy" when you read about it in the canons and confession manuals is much more than gay sex. A married heterosexual couple can also commit "sodomy". I wonder how many priests are aware of it and try to enforce it. Not that i really give a damn but just for the fun of it.
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« Reply #261 on: August 13, 2011, 09:52:46 PM »

Now, I'm sure that in the OC there are still, pockets where "sodomy" within a married heterosexual couple is still given some penance etc. I am pretty sure though, that within the freakangelical world, to which some would have as allied as closely as possible on "moral issues" this has never been a "moral issue". Oh well, but they are probably a bunch of repressed prudes anyways.
 The topic is homosexuality and the Orthodox Church. You veering off topic by including the heterodox. Second Chance
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« Reply #262 on: August 13, 2011, 09:56:26 PM »

Well, "sodomy" when you read about it in the canons and confession manuals is much more than gay sex. A married heterosexual couple can also commit "sodomy". I wonder how many priests are aware of it and try to enforce it. Not that i really give a damn but just for the fun of it.

This, of course, bolsters my point, that the Church has been more concerned with actions than with personalities. Or rather, personalities are not seen as fixed, but can be improved or damaged through the habitual exercise of free will.
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« Reply #263 on: August 13, 2011, 10:03:03 PM »

Now, I'm sure that in the OC there are still, pockets where "sodomy" within a married heterosexual couple is still given some penance etc. I am pretty sure though, that within the freakangelical world, to which some would have as allied as closely as possible on "moral issues" this has never been a "moral issue". Oh well, but they are probably a bunch of repressed prudes anyways.

Well in my church for one, sodomy, in the traditional sense of deviant sexual behavior, rather than homosexuality tout court, is discouraged and can incur strict penances, although the severity depends on the priest. In actual fact, I know some priests that are obsessively strict with applying the canons as they are written, which I happen to think is far too extreme for our days (another priest who came to us from ROCOR told me that Greeks have a habit of legalism). There needs to be some recognition that it's much harder to avoid these kinds of sins in our culture than it was even a century ago, although at the same time it's important to recognize that these sins remain very serious. In my copy of the Exomologetarion, there is a translator's note with an extensive quotation from Met Anthony Khrapovitsky, the first hierarch of ROCOR, giving advice on how the severity of the canons regarding fornication and sexual sins should be mitigated. And this was only in response to social changes in the 19th century!
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« Reply #264 on: August 13, 2011, 10:04:25 PM »

So basically:

A, B, and C are sins.

A and B are now frequently practiced and are no longer considered sinful by many people, or are otherwise not penalized.

Therefore C should not be considered sinful or be penalized.

This is obviously fallacious reasoning.
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« Reply #265 on: August 13, 2011, 10:07:43 PM »

Quote from: theo philosopher

It's attitudes like his mother's that I simply don't understand. For the sake of argument, if we assume that one chooses to have same-sex attraction and then engage in it, why should we treat that one like garbage? Don't some choose greed just as much?

It seems that we teach homosexuality as equal to other sexual sins, but in practice we treat it like it's the worst thing in the world.

True. After all, us straight folks are sinners too.  Undecided
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« Reply #266 on: August 13, 2011, 10:10:41 PM »

So basically:

A, B, and C are sins.

A and B are now frequently practiced and are no longer considered sinful by many people, or are otherwise not penalized.

Therefore C should not be considered sinful or be penalized.

This is obviously fallacious reasoning.
Well we live in the real world, not within some freakin' sophism.
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« Reply #267 on: August 13, 2011, 10:17:53 PM »

I am pretty sure though, that within the freakangelical world, to which some would have as allied as closely as possible on "moral issues" this has never been a "moral issue". Oh well, but they are probably a bunch of repressed prudes anyways.
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« Reply #268 on: August 13, 2011, 10:21:13 PM »

Well, "sodomy" when you read about it in the canons and confession manuals is much more than gay sex. A married heterosexual couple can also commit "sodomy". I wonder how many priests are aware of it and try to enforce it. Not that i really give a damn but just for the fun of it.

You seem to really care about appearing to not give a damn.
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« Reply #269 on: August 13, 2011, 10:40:52 PM »

So basically:

A, B, and C are sins.

A and B are now frequently practiced and are no longer considered sinful by many people, or are otherwise not penalized.

Therefore C should not be considered sinful or be penalized.

This is obviously fallacious reasoning.
Well we live in the real world, not within some freakin' sophism.

Frankly, there was nothing sophistical (nor un-real) about bogdan's comment.
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