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Author Topic: Gays and the Orthodox Church  (Read 2246 times) Average Rating: 0
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David
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« on: September 30, 2003, 02:03:47 AM »

This is probably the best response on this topic I have ever read.  From beliefnet.com

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Q. I am powerfully drawn to the Orthodox Church, but I'm gay. Can I be chrismated anyway? How will the other members of the church treat me?  



A: The church as a loving community, following the example of Christ, welcomes to its life of faith all sincere seekers with their gifts, their individual personalities, their peculiarities, and even sins. Just as Christ embraced humanity to heal and liberate people according to his image and likeness, so also the church opens its arms to all in order to share the fullness of grace and truth, evangelizing, baptizing, and teaching all that Christ has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

As you consider the welcome prospect of membership in the Orthodox Church, the critical question is whether you are willing to take the church on its own terms, in light of its own mission, or only on your own terms. Think about why you are "powerfully drawn" to the Orthodox Church. Is it perhaps its antiquity, colorful worship, or historical character? Are you, as well, willing to be challenged by its witness in its entirety, including its doctrine, ethical teaching, and spirituality? You mention that you are gay, suggesting that you wonder if being gay may bar you from membership. Perhaps you know that, according to traditional Orthodox teaching, homosexual activity is a sin like adultery, fornication, and other acts of sexual impurity. While we can't choose our temptations, we can choose our response to temptation. Confession and forgiveness is available to those who struggle to resist sin, but the intention to continue the practice of homosexuality would indeed impede membership in the Orthodox Church. Furthermore, advocacy of it as an acceptable lifestyle within the church would be damaging to the community, which values the historic moral practice we have inherited.

A repentant, struggling homosexual who refrains from homosexual acts can be received into the church after the usual course of instruction, but he or she would do best to keep this matter in the confessional, just as is common with every other sin.

Since you have singled out this issue, let me add a few explanatory remarks. It's not just homosexuality; the Orthodox Church opposes today's cultural permissiveness in the area of sexuality generally, especially with regard to cohabitation, promiscuity, and various forms of eroticism. It has always maintained a strong position on the holiness of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and on the sanctity of marriage, where the gift of sexuality finds genuine fulfillment. Homosexuality is regarded as contrary to God's revealed purpose in his creation of gender and marriage (Genesis 1-2), a position clearly affirmed by Christ (Mark 10:6-9). Nevertheless, homosexuality is not to be isolated as the only sin. It should be seen in the larger context of human sinfulness, which includes sins like fornication, idolatry, adultery, thievery, greed, and drunkenness, all of which according to St. Paul are obstacles to entering God's kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

To be sure, the church itself is a historical community of saints and sinners. Its members experience various evil inclinations, temptations, and falls. The church must be full of compassion and forgiveness toward all kinds of sinners within and without its communion. Yet its public witness and word, to be authentic, must be consistent with the church's God-given nature and mission, even at the risk of appearing harsh and cruel to a permissive culture. To be itself and serve effectively, the church must seek to incarnate the very vision to which it invites the whole world to share--to be "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2003, 02:04:39 AM »

Also, the responses to the article(click on the above link) are interesting from a sociological point of view but very sad otherwise.
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2003, 07:49:42 AM »

Fr. Ted Stylianopoulos  did give a very good response to the question.  I am also sad to see some of the responses to it in the link.  It is clear that segments of society want to interpret the words of Jesus Christ and the Bible in such a way as to condone their own sins.
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2003, 08:08:50 AM »

That is a good article, and I agree that many of the responses are indeed sad.  Society is certainly awash in secularism and subjectivism.
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2003, 10:14:41 AM »

The response you posted was excellent, David.

Some of the other replies at beliefnet were sad and silly, however.

I suspect the original question came from an unrepentant gay, but I could be wrong.

How come no one ever asks questions like, "I am attracted to the Orthodox Church but I am a fornicator. Will I be accepted?" ?

They don't ask that question because they know the answer: repent.

Why then do they think we will negotiate on an abomination like homosexual conduct?
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2003, 10:41:59 AM »

Well, I'm sure I have committed abominations that are just as bad at times, perhaps the most grievous of which putting myself in the place of God.  We fall down and we get up, but if we are steadfast in viewing that which is evil as good we keep ourselves in seclusion from the Church.  How can we be helped by the hospital if we refuse to believe that we are sick?
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 08:19:31 PM »

Well, I'm sure I have committed abominations that are just as bad at times, perhaps the most grievous of which putting myself in the place of God.

I fall for that trap quite a lot? When I do, it gives me joy. After a while however, I see how stupid it is. Because I mess up with the almighty, and I don't like that.
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 08:26:11 PM »

The response you posted was excellent, David.

How come no one ever asks questions like, "I am attracted to the Orthodox Church but I am a fornicator. Will I be accepted?" ?


I would not be that cynical about anything. Simply because that would begin a war. Anyway, what I don't understand is why do we judge homosexuality more harshly then when a straight man, cheats on his wife. Why is adultery tolerate more? why is the straight immoral superior to any other immoral?
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 01:07:21 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 01:14:12 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?

Umm, the Orthodox baptismal rite has three components: triple immersion, chrismation, and Communion. Somehow I don't think deliberately forgoing the last of these would be seen in a good light by anyone, especially the baptizing priest.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 01:18:15 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?

Everyone is called to repent. The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. The Church, through the grace of God, is in the business of sanctification since Christ died to justify the ungodly.
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 01:20:06 AM »

The response you posted was excellent, David.

How come no one ever asks questions like, "I am attracted to the Orthodox Church but I am a fornicator. Will I be accepted?" ?


I would not be that cynical about anything. Simply because that would begin a war. Anyway, what I don't understand is why do we judge homosexuality more harshly then when a straight man, cheats on his wife. Why is adultery tolerate more? why is the straight immoral superior to any other immoral?

Not sure what you mean by "we." In the canons dealing witih penance, immorality among married people is actually penanced more harshly than among unmarried or homosexuals. So, as far as the Chruch is concerned, adultery is worse.
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 01:21:49 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?

Umm, the Orthodox baptismal rite has three components: triple immersion, chrismation, and Communion. Somehow I don't think deliberately forgoing the last of these would be seen in a good light by anyone, especially the baptizing priest.
Someone who has just been baptized isn't going to have had time to fornicate between the pool, the chrism and the chalice. I don't know what the impediment for a newly baptized person would be.
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 01:23:34 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?

Umm, the Orthodox baptismal rite has three components: triple immersion, chrismation, and Communion. Somehow I don't think deliberately forgoing the last of these would be seen in a good light by anyone, especially the baptizing priest.
Someone who has just been baptized isn't going to have had time to fornicate between the pool, the chrism and the chalice.

The question was asked about "never approaching the chalice". I would expect "never" to include the first communion.  police
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 01:31:16 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?

Umm, the Orthodox baptismal rite has three components: triple immersion, chrismation, and Communion. Somehow I don't think deliberately forgoing the last of these would be seen in a good light by anyone, especially the baptizing priest.
Someone who has just been baptized isn't going to have had time to fornicate between the pool, the chrism and the chalice.

The question was asked about "never approaching the chalice". I would expect "never" to include the first communion.  police
Gotcha.

I suspect a priest be pretty hesitant about baptizing someone who planned to refuse the mysteries anyway.
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2012, 01:38:42 AM »

Why would someone become Orthodox NEVER WANTING TO COMMUNE?

Why would someone become Orthodox AND CHOOSE TO CONTINUE LIVING THE SAME LIFE THEY HAD BEFORE?

I realize it happens, but it's really REALLY bizarre that this could EVER be the case.

There. Thread resurrection has finally caused me to use all caps. I'll do penance later. But I hope the perps are sorry.
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2012, 01:39:18 AM »

Is it OK for a fornicator or a homosexual to convert to orthodoxy if he chooses never to approach the chalice?

Umm, the Orthodox baptismal rite has three components: triple immersion, chrismation, and Communion. Somehow I don't think deliberately forgoing the last of these would be seen in a good light by anyone, especially the baptizing priest.
Someone who has just been baptized isn't going to have had time to fornicate between the pool, the chrism and the chalice.

The question was asked about "never approaching the chalice". I would expect "never" to include the first communion.  police
Gotcha.

I suspect a priest be pretty hesitant about baptizing someone who planned to refuse the mysteries anyway.

Bingo.  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2012, 01:52:44 AM »

Well, I'm sure I have committed abominations that are just as bad at times, perhaps the most grievous of which putting myself in the place of God.

I fall for that trap quite a lot? I resurrect old, dead threads. When I do, it gives me joy. After a while however, I see how stupid it is. Because I mess up with the almighty, and I don't like that.

Maybe you should quit resurrecting old threads and stay on good terms with the Almighty.   police
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2012, 10:13:17 AM »

Well, I'm sure I have committed abominations that are just as bad at times, perhaps the most grievous of which putting myself in the place of God.

I fall for that trap quite a lot? I resurrect old, dead threads. When I do, it gives me joy. After a while however, I see how stupid it is. Because I mess up with the almighty, and I don't like that.

Maybe you should quit resurrecting old threads and stay on good terms with the Almighty.   police
You have won the internet.
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2012, 12:54:29 PM »

The response you posted was excellent, David.

How come no one ever asks questions like, "I am attracted to the Orthodox Church but I am a fornicator. Will I be accepted?" ?


I would not be that cynical about anything. Simply because that would begin a war. Anyway, what I don't understand is why do we judge homosexuality more harshly then when a straight man, cheats on his wife. Why is adultery tolerate more? why is the straight immoral superior to any other immoral?

Not sure what you mean by "we." In the canons dealing witih penance, immorality among married people is actually penanced more harshly than among unmarried or homosexuals. So, as far as the Chruch is concerned, adultery is worse.


If adultery is worse. How come society judges more  homosexuals than others.?
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2012, 12:56:38 PM »

The response you posted was excellent, David.

How come no one ever asks questions like, "I am attracted to the Orthodox Church but I am a fornicator. Will I be accepted?" ?


I would not be that cynical about anything. Simply because that would begin a war. Anyway, what I don't understand is why do we judge homosexuality more harshly then when a straight man, cheats on his wife. Why is adultery tolerate more? why is the straight immoral superior to any other immoral?

Not sure what you mean by "we." In the canons dealing witih penance, immorality among married people is actually penanced more harshly than among unmarried or homosexuals. So, as far as the Chruch is concerned, adultery is worse.


If adultery is worse. How come society judges more  homosexuals than others.?

Is your society Orthodox? I'd argue not even in Orthodox countries is that the case.

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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2012, 01:50:51 PM »

Didn't the Law of Moses ban necromancy?
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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2012, 03:05:42 PM »

If adultery is worse. How come society judges more  homosexuals than others.?

Civil society norms of conduct have always been different from religious norms of conduct.

For a long time in Western society, it was acceptable for a man to engage into premarital sex, whereas women were expected to be virgins before marriage.
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« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2012, 12:44:21 AM »

The response you posted was excellent, David.

How come no one ever asks questions like, "I am attracted to the Orthodox Church but I am a fornicator. Will I be accepted?" ?


I would not be that cynical about anything. Simply because that would begin a war. Anyway, what I don't understand is why do we judge homosexuality more harshly then when a straight man, cheats on his wife. Why is adultery tolerate more? why is the straight immoral superior to any other immoral?

Not sure what you mean by "we." In the canons dealing witih penance, immorality among married people is actually penanced more harshly than among unmarried or homosexuals. So, as far as the Chruch is concerned, adultery is worse.


If adultery is worse. How come society judges more  homosexuals than others.?

What is "society?" And why does it matter? Also, how the heck is one supposed to change it? Society can go to hell, and probably will.
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« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 12:45:16 AM »

Didn't the Law of Moses ban necromancy?

It was punished by death, wasn't it? Alas, for the good old days.
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