Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
News Flash: This Just In
Civil War over.. stop
Now one country..stop
State rights issue decided..stop
700,000 dead... stop
All stop..message end
Ahem.. I would love for those 150 year old issues to have been long resolved, but America demonstrates every day that it is simply not the case, and the issues from the Civil War continue to haunt and divide Americans, even some folks on this forum have espoused silly ideas which I thought were resolved by that War but again, the issues are not exactly resolved at all!
We have dogmatic principles that guide our decision making, but the ugly truth is that s**t happens. So how do we deal with it when blanket statements just won't do?
I would argue that we only have this crap happens kind of situation precisely because of bad legislation which has legally allowed a bad practice. We fully understand that Orthodox absolutely rejects Euthanasia in any circumstances. However, if in time Euthanasia becomes some kind of normal medical treatment like abortion has become, then perhaps folks with a straight face might propose apologetics for such actions. It is only because abortion is a legal and recognized medical procedure that we are even having the discussion about its Orthodoxy. We know that Fathers reject abortion as they do suicide, however we also know the Fathers emphasize repentance, reconciliation, and forgiveness. In fact, we should HIGHLIGHT RIGHT HERE, THAT WHEN THE CHURCH REJECTS ABORTION IS ONLY FOR THE DEFINITION OF SIN AND CONFESSION. We are not necessarily condemning anyone who has an abortion under any circumstances to eternal death and Hell, rather we are pointing out the definitions of which sins are appropriate and necessary for Confession, and which things are not. Our Fathers help us to understand what is important to recognize and confess, and which things are merely our own over reactions to guilt and fear. Not every thing is an offense necessary for Confession, and our Fathers help us with this process of understanding our sins and their effects and consequences. So the Church is defining abortion as an absolute sin so that folks who have committed this Sin can and should know that they must take this sin to God in prayer and confession towards repentance. They must REPENT of these sins and find God's Grace and Forgiveness.
If abortion were simply not a medical option as it is today, this issue would effectively be silenced. It is a MYTH and a FALLACY of the pro-abortion movements that "back-ally" abortions would rise and womens' health would be risked by outlawing abortion. Abortion is not a necessary evil in our society, and to remove the option and close Pandora's box would stop all this debate and discussion in one sentence. No, it would not resolve the issues of abortion to save a mother from a medical condition, but again, that is why we in the Church have the Unction of the Sick, precisely because from our weak and limited human perspective we can not fully understand the function and purpose of human illness and disease. What separates a terminal pregnancy from any other terminal disease, risk, or condition? The only difference in this discussion is that we in this time have abortion as a quick fix, however if it were MY WIFE and MY CHILD, I simply wouldn't even want the option. To have to make that decision is Solomon's wager, and killing the child to save the wife is splitting the baby in half with the sword. True, you save the wife, but really, at what cost spiritually? Yes God can forgive ALL SINS, but that doesn't change the human experience of regret, of guilt, of fear..
"Sickness in particular accentuates the fact THAT WE DO NOT CONTROL OUR OWN LIVES. If when we get sick, we respond by trying to grab even more rigid control of our lives, we are bound to fail.. We are potentially able to deepen our awareness of God, our dependence on Him, and our desire to seek His will.. In sickness we learn to depend upon others, even though we would prefer to be independent. The fact that we learn to be dependent at all (something we usually shrug off as childlike, if not childish) HELPS US DEVELOP OR RELEARN A SENSE OF DEPENDENCE ON GOD.. The sick person, from a place of powerlessness, still has to learn to trust and to allow himself or herself to receive the available healing, no matter what happens.. Asking for a healing, we surrender to God. In the Mystery of the Anointing of the Sick, there is a strong awareness on behalf of the Church that the sick person is in the hands of God, and that God will provide the healing."
Father Meletios Webber Bread and Water, Wine and Oil.
Abortion puts couples in a terrible situation, it gives an unnatural option that God didn't necessarily intend us to have to grapple with. God alone has the Divine wisdom to create, sustain, and control the flow of life on earth, we as humans are too limited to have this responsibility. When we give ourselves this kind of escape hatch, we are in a sense adding complications to our mission of living here on Earth. There are no escape hatches from life, only prayer and turning to God. Abortion is an unfortunate reality, but one which we do not have to accept. Yes we live in the real world, and things beyond our comprehension happen all the time, however this is why we have God in our lives in the first place, because since Adam and Eve's first mistake we have effectively demonstrated across all generations of humanity that we are simply not any good at being responsible for ourselves..