More seriously, though, lately it seems that my struggles are actually with many of the dogmas of the Church, and so if it seems I am overly antagonistic on here lately, please know that it isn't personal.
I know. Frustration manifests itself in all sorts of ways, but I appreciate your making sure I understand.
As much as I love The Church and had yearned for Her for years before my Baptism, I think I just need to be honest with myself. My beliefs regarding homosexuality are just the tip of the iceberg.
This is only one topic, but understand none of us completely agree with EVERYTHING the Church teaches. We are flawed and easily tempted/swayed. The Church is steadfast, which is why we must give it the first option of explanation, and also the last. I have personal feelings about certain things which are different ( or at least were different) from the Church, but I had to learn to give in to a Church created by Jesus, built by the Apostles and unwavering since its inception over my own limited understanding.
You're right that the Church is unwavering in many of its views. If one fundamentally disagrees with the Church on too many things, something has to give eventually.
I submit the thing which gives is the individual. One of the problems I saw in Protestantism is the hundreds of denominations created based off of one’s personal feelings of how something should
be rather than what it really was.
Believe it or not, I trust that it is my conscience I am listening to regarding the acceptance of homosexuals.
You wouldn’t be the first. In most cases, this is not usually a bad thing.
I believe in a love that is unconditional; people - homosexuals included - cannot love others if they can't love and accept themselves.
This is where I believe most of the confusion is created. Because we disagree with homosexuality in no way means we do not love the homosexual. This is no different than a drug addict, drunk, or any other person dealing with sin which holds a powerful grip on their life. The difference is, no one is attempting to say drug addiction is ok (except for the MJ legalization people), or being a drunkard is ok, or any other sin is ok. Imagine your spouse has an affair. Most people immediately say they would divorce, but in reality, they would still love this person and most people actually would not divorce. You would NEVER attempt to reconcile their affair with normal and accepted behavior, you would absolutely explain how wrong they were and do whatever you could to help this person get their life on the right path…if they accepted your help. That is, to say, your spouse agrees their action was sinful and wrong, was sincerely apologetic to you and God, and wanted to live as they should. It is an entirely different story if your spouse told you to pound sand, he or she was not going to change, it is who they were born to be and you either accept it or not, it was your problem. This is basically what homsosexuals are telling the world.
Loving and accepting who you are has nothing to do with rationalizing sin away. It is accepting your weaknesses, embracing your strengths and becoming a better person.
Religious condemnation of homosexuality does far more harm than good, in my opinion
What good does it serve to pave the path of someone directly to eternal damnation?
The idea that God would roast in hell a kind and generous homosexual because he accepted himself and didn't war against himself for his entire earthly life seems cruel and backwards to my sensibilities.
The first thing I want you to realize is we ALL war against our human nature our entire lives. This suffering isn’t reserved for homosexuals.
As I have said before, being a nice person never got anyone into heaven, regardless of who they were. Remember the rich young ruler? He did everything the law required, but he didn’t give up himself (riches) to follow Christ. This was more important to him than Jesus. If being a homosexual is more important that being a Christian, that is the choice a person must live with, but it won’t turn out in the way they expect.
Perhaps I cannot fit the Orthodox mold after all.
Do any of us really “fit”, or do we accept what the Church teaches and live the best we can according to the Church’s teachings? It takes a lifetime to be truly Orthodox.