Author Topic: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)  (Read 12734 times)

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #315 on: July 19, 2017, 04:58:18 PM »
And yet her son is still gay

Oh? Who made the diagnosis?

Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

and the nun's personal opinion is still that.
and now it has been publicly and officially rebuked.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #316 on: July 19, 2017, 05:01:19 PM »
Glory to God!  I very much approve of this response, especially the correctives applied to Sr. Vassa's language concerning what homosexuality is and the clarification concerning the misapplication of the story of St. Mary of Egypt to this problem.

Highlights for me included:

Quote
It should be clear to men and women of faith that mere verbal acknowledgement, with regards to homosexuality, that “actively living it out is a sin,” is not sufficient to establish a text’s keeping with Orthodox teaching in the light of the Gospel, when the same text nevertheless equates homosexuality in numerous places to a “God-given gift, and cross,” or “one’s gift-and-cross of (homo)sexuality” — suggesting, in utter departure from all Christian teaching, that this or any means of behaviour which God identifies as sinful may be His deliberate bestowal upon some (thereby falling into the social trap of suggesting that “God made me that way”); further, that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”; and moreover, rather than encouraging that a parent of a child identifying as homosexual should help him, with the Church’s loving care, to repent and seek healing unto redemption of soul and body and the fulness of life, instead suggest either that the child be encouraged to remain in his sin as a “humble presence in [his] parish,” falsely equating a consequent withdrawal of approach to the Holy Mysteries to the example St. Mary of Egypt, whose long struggle without Holy Communion was not due to her steadfastness in sin but to the extreme conviction of her utter repentance; or yet worse, that the parents of a child should seek out a parish that deliberately and knowingly “is acceptive of your son’s particular gift-and-cross,” once more ascribing homosexuality as a bestowal of God, encouraging at the same time the departure from ascetic transformation and the seeking out of a community that might wilfully abandon the Gospel teaching towards repentance, knowingly permitting the faithful to languish in their sin rather than be healed.

And yet her son is still gay

And now she knows that the advice she received from Sr. Vassa concerning him was flawed at best, dangerous at worst, and in contradiction to the Faith of the Orthodox Church as a whole and Sr. Vassa's jurisdiction in particular as articulated by her Synod.

and the nun's personal opinion is still that.

And she is wrong, per her Synod.

1) I don't know that the lady asking the question feels any different now regarding the helpfulness and veracity of Sr's advice. That is an assumption on your part.
2) I don't think a synod gets to determine if someone's personal opinion is wrong.
1. If you don't know, why do you opine?
Feelings crash on facts.
2. You think wrong.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #317 on: July 19, 2017, 05:04:00 PM »
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Same sex "marriage" cannot by nature make a family-that's a non-starter, not an insult. (except that thinking otherwise hurls insults at nature and nature's God)
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #318 on: July 19, 2017, 05:09:09 PM »
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Sisters is common, both in North America and the Middle East.

A minor issue is not minor if it leads to something great, as St. John of Damascus warns. Within our lifetime we have seen that at work in this agenda in particular. What claims the status of "common knowledge" now was denounced commonly as insanity as little as 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #319 on: July 19, 2017, 05:12:10 PM »
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #320 on: July 19, 2017, 05:23:01 PM »
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Sisters is common, both in North America and the Middle East.

Interesting. Because of local tradition or because of RC influence?
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline ICXCNIKA

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #321 on: July 19, 2017, 05:23:32 PM »
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Same sex "marriage" cannot by nature make a family-that's a non-starter, not an insult. (except that thinking otherwise hurls insults at nature and nature's God)

I would just point out there are plenty of gay households that have children from previous marriages, donors, or adoption.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #322 on: July 19, 2017, 05:23:40 PM »
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak
💩
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #323 on: July 19, 2017, 05:25:44 PM »
And yet her son is still gay ...

Probably not, since he's just a 14-year-old kid. But maybe. But the good news here, which Sr. Vassa overlooked, is that he's still a human being and can be saved. Glory to God.

I am hoping that by 14 you knew your own sexuality. Many kids are sexually active in that ballpark. Are you suggesting that gays can't be saved?

How would you handle your kid being gay and getting married to a person of the same sex and starting a family? Will you hurl insults at them or cut them out of your life?
Same sex "marriage" cannot by nature make a family-that's a non-starter, not an insult. (except that thinking otherwise hurls insults at nature and nature's God)

I would just point out there are plenty of gay households that have children from previous marriages, donors, or adoption.
sooooo you can't start a family, so you rip off one already started.

A test tube is not a family member.

And the kids won't have to be told that they are adopted...
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #324 on: July 19, 2017, 05:26:54 PM »
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.


Not sure why you find my making sure that Porter did not call a nun 'Ms. ' is being silly.

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #325 on: July 19, 2017, 05:27:14 PM »
So what exactly did Mothet Vassa say wrong? She wrote basically that dating and having sex with people of same sex is a sin and that there are problems with heterosexuality too. This is so scandalous that ROCOR bishops had to make public statement?

The Synod's statement made it clear exactly which element's of her public statement were off base.

I did read the statement and still don't understand. I personally disagree with Mother Vassa's* opinion that homosexuality is pre-determined by biology but IMO it's a bit overkill to a synod to handle a minor issue like this. Otherwise I don't see what would be anyhow controversial with her text.

*Why does everyone keeps addressing her as sister? AFAIK at least in Finland nuns are addressed as mothers.
Sisters is common, both in North America and the Middle East.

Interesting. Because of local tradition or because of RC influence?
Local. We don't have so many RC in the Middle East. "My sister" is what the Copts call the priest's wife, btw.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #326 on: July 19, 2017, 05:36:22 PM »
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.


Not sure why you find my making sure that Porter did not call a nun 'Ms. ' is being silly.

Do you want me to use "Mx."?
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #327 on: July 19, 2017, 06:03:47 PM »
Homosexual desire is not on any level a gift from God.

And I agree with that and didn't say anything contrary. And I don't think Mr. Vassa did either.

The Synod disagrees with your reading of her missive.  So do I.

I keep reading that as "Mister Vassa" and laughing.

+1

Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

There seem to be elements of Sr. Vassa's original statement - and of some of the defenses offered for it here and elsewhere - that attempt to deny this truth, or to claim that making such a statement is not the loving thing to do.  I strongly disagree.  I think it is the most loving and helpful thing to do if it is done and offered in the proper spirit.

In general, I agree with you.  And there are, to be sure, some elements of Sr Vassa's original statement which give me pause or with which I simply disagree.  But I think other elements are being distorted, in some cases probably unintentionally (it's not the clearest piece of writing) and in other cases probably intentionally (people love to grind their axes when they can).

That may be true.  My chief concern is that the authentic teaching of the Church on human sexuality in general be upheld and not distorted.

+1

My own view is that the authentic teaching on and practice of sexuality has (for lack of a better word) "dogmatic", and not merely "moral" or "ethical", importance, and so it's necessary to get it right.

Very much agreed.  I think that in their own way, the Synod is touching on this reality in their abbreviated missive.
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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #328 on: July 19, 2017, 06:46:01 PM »
I'm guessing, since she doesn't belong to a monastery, her only superior would be a bishop.

How can this be? This is not the Orthodox tradition.

There are lots of monks that don't belong to monasteries. Including the bishops.

Not talking about the Bishops and their apparatus. That's a whole other rabbit trail, but at least it has accrued an unambiguous Tradition. Not talking about sketes either. I understand Denise to be saying Ms. Vassa is a lone monk.


Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin,  if you please.....just because you don't like her, doesn't mean you get to modernize her out of her Sister.

I think we may have a case of It isn't what she said rather It's how dare a (knowledgable) woman speak

Oops, I missed you two making yourselves silly up here. The thread's moving to rapidly to respond to everybody.


Not sure why you find my making sure that Porter did not call a nun 'Ms. ' is being silly.

Do you want me to use "Mx."?

No...I wish that you had enough respect to actually call her Sr.   and failing that....(since you seem to think you are the judge of monastic vows these days) at least call her Dr. since she has a Doctorate..

but clearly your 'decency' and 'tradition' only apply to those you approve of
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #329 on: July 19, 2017, 07:06:03 PM »
Well this is certainly a big hullabaloo!
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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #330 on: July 19, 2017, 07:25:15 PM »
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.
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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #331 on: July 19, 2017, 07:33:44 PM »
Antonious, I don't disagree generally, but I think you go one step too far in making your point.  To wit:

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman in an inherently good thing that expresses its goodness either when (a) exercised within the context of marriage, or (b) its energy is transformed into a passionate love for Christ and His people (as attempted by monastics).  Stating only (a) without (b) denies one of the central struggles of the monastic life: transforming the love that we would use in a limited way in the world (familial love, friendship, passionate love, merciful love) into purer love for God and all persons.

In that context, the sexual desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) can have its fulfillment in (b) - redirecting the eros toward God while disconnecting it from the physical drives.
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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #332 on: July 19, 2017, 07:50:17 PM »
Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.
I thought the Orthodox position was that the mere arising of same-sex desire/thought/feeling/logismoi was not inherently sinful; rather, the holding onto such logismoi was sinfu.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #333 on: July 19, 2017, 08:52:46 PM »
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.

Give me a break.  Which Cure song was playing as you cranked out this little gem?  If the Synod's statement sounded like a sermon to a conservative, self-righteous choir, created expressly to fill the collection plate, this little screed sounds like the smug, shallow rant of a cynical, angst-ridden teen who's convinced himself that life is pointless because he's discovered Hero Dad's secret porn stash and he's been reading Camus in 5th period philosophy.  All that's missing is the "Whatever!" and the eye roll at the end.  We get it.  The Church is outmoded, inward-looking, and out of touch with society and reality.  So Bronze Age.  Much Medieval.  But what do you expect from a cloistered collective of bearded weirdos who still pray to their imaginary friend in the sky, right?  The "culturally Orthodox" atheist has a much better handle on how the Church should engage with those afflicted with homosexual desires.  There are "other ways of looking at the situation" he says.  Well, enlighten us, Augustin.  We're all ears.  Unless all you've got to offer is malaise.

Antonious, I don't disagree generally, but I think you go one step too far in making your point.  To wit:

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman in an inherently good thing that expresses its goodness either when (a) exercised within the context of marriage, or (b) its energy is transformed into a passionate love for Christ and His people (as attempted by monastics).  Stating only (a) without (b) denies one of the central struggles of the monastic life: transforming the love that we would use in a limited way in the world (familial love, friendship, passionate love, merciful love) into purer love for God and all persons.

In that context, the sexual desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) can have its fulfillment in (b) - redirecting the eros toward God while disconnecting it from the physical drives.

I don't know that I agree, Father, for a number of reasons.  First of all, I've had some close friends who have become monks, and I can't say that any of them were channeling desire for a woman or women into their calling.  Two of them in particular had an absolute peace about leaving the world for their cells that their parents and siblings (and their friends, for that matter) could not comprehend, and sexual desire for another human being had nothing to do with it.  It was simply an overwhelming love for God.  I realize that not every monk's path is the same, but I don't agree with your assessment of what the "central struggle of the monastic life" is, since not every prospective monastic approaches the calling in that way.  Not all, perhaps not even most, are redirecting sexual desire for another towards God.

Secondly, and more importantly, denial of a thing, and redirecting one's passion for a thing towards God, doesn't necessarily mean that the thing one had a passion for out the outset was a good thing to begin with.  It only means that God has turned evil into good in one's life through His grace and through the person synergistically cooperating with that grace of their own volition.

Thirdly, I believe that it is disingenuous to compare normal, heterosexual desire with homosexual desire as if both are inherently good things, as Sr. Vassa implies, made a part of us by God.

Finally, it seems to me that your thesis leads us to conclude that all people afflicted with homosexual desires are called to be monastics.  I don't know that this is the case.

Is there a difference, though, between a solitary hermit and a solitary monastic living in the world?

Yes, and the latter are also not unheard of in the tradition.

Of course.  I never implied otherwise.  Just pressing for clarification.

I don't want to conflate the two issues here.  I'm not bothered if Sister Vassa has a radio program or is part of the Academy.  I am bothered if Orthodox public figures are contending that homosexual desire is "a gift and a cross" or in some way equivalent to normal, heterosexual desire.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.
I thought the Orthodox position was that the mere arising of same-sex desire/thought/feeling/logismoi was not inherently sinful; rather, the holding onto such logismoi was sinfu.

I never contended that the mere arising of same-sex desire was a sin in and of itself, but I would contend that it is a tragic result of the fall and not something God ordained for us, as the desire of a wife and husband for one another is.  The desire of a man and a woman for one another has a proper, blessed, and holy place in the life of a Christian.  The desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) never can.  As Isa has already pointed out, such a couple can cohabitate, but can never participate in the Holy Mystery of marriage and can never form a true family blessed and recognized by the Church.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 08:58:34 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #334 on: July 19, 2017, 09:44:20 PM »
Popularity of cenobitic monasticism =/= movement away from other forms

Popular it may be, but also mandated by several Saints with unique authority in the matter.

Which saints?  When/where did they mandate this?

Quote
The model of the hermit gave way to sketes and monasteries early on in EO tradition largely due, again, not to popularity but Church mandate. I don't know the case in OO.

EO, like OO, still have hermits, and they're everywhere from Athos to South Canaan.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Saxon

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #335 on: July 19, 2017, 09:45:03 PM »
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.

No, an axiomatic response is exactly what is needed. These types of sentiments should be stamped out lest we go the same way as the West and have churches infested with this kind of sentiment in the name of "modernity".

There is a ROCOR parish nearby with a gay music director; this individual regularly posts atheistic and blasphemous statements on social media, and is very "in your face" about his sexuality. He seems to only attend church for the Russian cultural life. Church officials are aware of this individual and have turned a blind eye to it. It is causing divisions that, it multiplied, could threaten the Church much as the issue has fractured Catholicism and Protestantism.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #336 on: July 19, 2017, 09:47:46 PM »
I'm going to post, with his permission, a private correspondence between FinnJames and myself regarding this subject in the hopes that it will contribute to the discussion, especially since it addresses an aspect of the discussion recently brought to the fore by Jetevan.

Hello,

When I went to the thread on Sr Vassa this morning it was locked. So I'll use this pm to thank you for your post #182, which I found quite well reasoned.

I did want to make a comment on a few lines, though, for you to think about. You wrote: "Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)"

It seems to me that you're in danger of making homosexual attraction the sin (something the Church does not teach, though correct me if I'm wrong about OO here) rather than sodomy (which the Church does condemn as sinful). I think this is an understandable error on your part, though, since Christ did after all say that looking on a woman with lust was committing adultery. Whether or not we should take that as legally binding or only a metaphor the Church must have decided, though I don't know what decision was reached (and would appreciate finding out, if you know).

As for what constitutes sex, I think you're right on to see this as an open question. Can we at least agree that if it's physical contact you would be comfortable with with your grand-daughter, daughter, mother or grandmother, it's (hopefully) not sex.

Hi FinnJames,

You wrote: "Respectfully, I don't agree.  This answer assumes that the only thing wrong with a homosexual union is the actual sex.  It doesn't view homosexual attraction as a lamentable result of the fall, but as something pure and beautiful that is acceptable and even laudatory so long as the line of actual sex is not crossed.  (And who knows exactly what that means?  Where would one draw the line between signs of physical affection, making out, and actual sex?  Would things in either or both of the former categories be allowed so long as they didn't veer into the latter?  Should the homosexual couple be viewed simply as friends. or is there something more there?)"

It seems to me that you're in danger of making homosexual attraction the sin (something the Church does not teach, though correct me if I'm wrong about OO here) rather than sodomy (which the Church does condemn as sinful). I think this is an understandable error on your part, though, since Christ did after all say that looking on a woman with lust was committing adultery. Whether or not we should take that as legally binding or only a metaphor the Church must have decided, though I don't know what decision was reached (and would appreciate finding out, if you know).

It's not that I'm making homosexual attraction the sin so much as I view it as an unfortunate consequence of the fall of man which might easily lead us into sin.  I don't believe that it should be equated with heterosexual attraction, which was ordained by God when He said, "It is not good for the man to be alone" and made a female companion for him, and ordered them to be fruitful and multiply.  I realize this might be a hurtful thing to say to a person involved in a celibate homosexual relationship, and I do apologize for any offense, hurt feelings, or anger this might engender in advance, but it is what I believe.  It is not that the desire itself is the sin, even as a married man finding himself attracted to a woman who is not his wife is not sinning simply by noticing her or thinking in his heart a ménage a trois might be nice, or a single man noticing a beautiful woman is not sinning simply by noticing her beauty, but if either of these heterosexual men is acting upon their respective desires in any way - whether by dwelling on them, masturbating to them, or putting himself in situations where he can enjoy some arousal from them without going all the way - then I believe that he is sinning by indulging in his lusts which separate him from God.

Similarly, if a homosexual person is setting himself up to live with someone he is undoubtedly attracted to and indulging in his fantasies in any of the above ways, he is also sinning.  As rakovsky has pointed out, the basis of the coupling is an attraction that in the eyes of the Church - at least in my understanding - is not natural and is sadly a result of the fall, similar to the way that most straight men would be desirous of having a small harem because, as they often argue, "men are not monogamous by nature".  Do you see what I mean?

As for what constitutes sex, I think you're right on to see this as an open question. Can we at least agree that if it's physical contact you would be comfortable with with your grand-daughter, daughter, mother or grandmother, it's (hopefully) not sex.

We can agree that it is technically not sex, but I don't know if we can agree that there it is entirely innocent either.  If I gently stroke the face or hold the hand of a woman who is not my wife, as I might my grandmother, etc., but the intent behind that stroke or touch is not something I would be comfortable telling my wife about, was that touch, while ostensibly okay, and not technically different from the way I might touch a female relative, altogether innocent?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 09:50:04 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #337 on: July 19, 2017, 10:45:46 PM »
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir.  But who knows it may make some sense economically to keep the choir happy as they might be the more likely to pay the bills and such.
I know the choir is utterly convinced of its courageous,  moral grandstanding but there are other ways at looking at the situation. Like the church becoming even more niche than the LGBT community.

No, an axiomatic response is exactly what is needed. These types of sentiments should be stamped out lest we go the same way as the West and have churches infested with this kind of sentiment in the name of "modernity".

There is a ROCOR parish nearby with a gay music director; this individual regularly posts atheistic and blasphemous statements on social media, and is very "in your face" about his sexuality. He seems to only attend church for the Russian cultural life. Church officials are aware of this individual and have turned a blind eye to it. It is causing divisions that, it multiplied, could threaten the Church much as the issue has fractured Catholicism and Protestantism.
That is very sad.  :'(
God bless!

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #338 on: July 19, 2017, 11:44:15 PM »
Sr.  Vassa's comments are at least,  a sincere attempt to engage real people with real problems; the synod 's communique on the other hand, sounds like a seton to the very conservative choir. 

While I think you are unfair toward the bishops, I do sympathise with your point.  We are often more comfortable dealing with general principles than we are with specific people.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #339 on: July 19, 2017, 11:57:22 PM »
Antonious, I don't disagree generally, but I think you go one step too far in making your point.  To wit:

The sexual desire of a man for a woman is an inherently good thing that can become twisted and sinful if it occurs outside of its proper and God-ordained context: the Holy Mystery of Marriage.

The sexual desire of a man for a man is an inherently bad and sinful thing that has no proper context in which it is good and blessed and holy.

The sexual desire of a man for a woman in an inherently good thing that expresses its goodness either when (a) exercised within the context of marriage, or (b) its energy is transformed into a passionate love for Christ and His people (as attempted by monastics).  Stating only (a) without (b) denies one of the central struggles of the monastic life: transforming the love that we would use in a limited way in the world (familial love, friendship, passionate love, merciful love) into purer love for God and all persons.

In that context, the sexual desire of a man for a man (or a woman for a woman) can have its fulfillment in (b) - redirecting the eros toward God while disconnecting it from the physical drives.

I don't know that I agree, Father, for a number of reasons.  First of all, I've had some close friends who have become monks, and I can't say that any of them were channeling desire for a woman or women into their calling.  Two of them in particular had an absolute peace about leaving the world for their cells that their parents and siblings (and their friends, for that matter) could not comprehend, and sexual desire for another human being had nothing to do with it.  It was simply an overwhelming love for God.  I realize that not every monk's path is the same, but I don't agree with your assessment of what the "central struggle of the monastic life" is, since not every prospective monastic approaches the calling in that way.  Not all, perhaps not even most, are redirecting sexual desire for another towards God.

While I can't speak for Fr George, I will say I've come across the point he was making in monastic/spiritual literature before.  I am not well-read enough to say what, if anything, these writers recommend in terms of how to redirect eros toward God, nor has anyone ever explained it to me out of their own experience (like you, I haven't known any monks who were intentionally going about this).  But the idea that eros has to be redirected and transformed is neither new nor unique, and if some/many monks are not consciously doing this, I don't think it follows that they're not doing it at all.  The monks you describe, who left the world out of "an overwhelming love for God", perhaps experienced this transformation without describing it in such terms. 

Quote
Secondly, and more importantly, denial of a thing, and redirecting one's passion for a thing towards God, doesn't necessarily mean that the thing one had a passion for out the outset was a good thing to begin with.  It only means that God has turned evil into good in one's life through His grace and through the person synergistically cooperating with that grace of their own volition.

I'm not sure Fr George said otherwise? 

Quote
Thirdly, I believe that it is disingenuous to compare normal, heterosexual desire with homosexual desire as if both are inherently good things, as Sr. Vassa implies, made a part of us by God.

See above.

Quote
Finally, it seems to me that your thesis leads us to conclude that all people afflicted with homosexual desires are called to be monastics.  I don't know that this is the case.

What are they called to be? 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #340 on: July 20, 2017, 12:37:26 AM »
What are they called to be?

Thumbs-up to this question.

It's one thing to affirm like the Synod that the homosexual person can be saved -- it takes faith, but it's easy. It's another thing to shepherd the soul to such a salvation -- and I mean really to do it, not to implement some formula and express regret when it fails.

So, yes, every human being is meant to live a fulfilled life and the homosexual person deserves to know what that could be. On the other hand, let's bear in mind two things: first, which shouldn't have to be said, that a human being is not solely sexual in purpose -- far from it; and, second, that even the best-situated person must still fall short of a fulfilling life again and again in this fallen world.
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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #341 on: July 20, 2017, 01:35:22 AM »
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
I agree.

As for ROCOR, does ROCOR really has nothing better to do, I can imagine this trickling up the echelons of netodox "power" until it got to the synod.

I know they have better things they need to be doing atm so they should do those things.
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...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #342 on: July 20, 2017, 01:39:55 AM »
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
I agree.

As for ROCOR, does ROCOR really has nothing better to do, I can imagine this trickling up the echelons of netodox "power" until it got to the synod.

I know they have better things they need to be doing atm so they should do those things.

Wow. You present a much different picture of the "Orthodox internet" than I had.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 01:40:27 AM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline FinnJames

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #343 on: July 20, 2017, 04:32:50 AM »
It's not a very coherent or convincing piece of writing, for sure. It's a mess. I don't know if it helped the mom in question, but I'm still scratching my head as to why she thought this was something suitable for publication.
I agree.

As for ROCOR, does ROCOR really has nothing better to do, I can imagine this trickling up the echelons of netodox "power" until it got to the synod.

I know they have better things they need to be doing atm so they should do those things.

It's hard to see what else ROCOR could have done (other than disciplining Sr. Vassa privately, which I assume they must already have done since she deleted the letter from her website). One of their monastics under an obligation to ROCOR discipline went public with statements that are clearly in violation of ROCOR teachings, and they are compelled to warn the faithful who may have seen the letter in question about this since it received such wide attention.

As for what motivated Sr. Vassa to write the letter and post it publicly, only she can say. Whether or not one feels Sr. Vassa acted wisely, it seems more likely that she was motivated by compassion than by a desire to send the Eastern Rite Catholic mother who asked the question, her son and the rest of us who read the posted letter down the path to hell (even if that's where one believes those who follow her advice are headed).

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #344 on: July 20, 2017, 08:05:45 AM »
Nicholas, it is prooven you have changed the author of the quotation. It is a clear manipulation. In many cases attributing words of one person to another one may lead to serious consequences (social, legal). It should be remembered always and in every place, but especially in a Christian forum. This time you will not be given a punitive warning, but if this happens again, it will be strongly punished.

This warning is not directed only toward Nicholas, but it applies to EVERY member of the oc.net.

I am unlocking the thread and merging it with the one called ROCOR Synod response to the Sister Vassa Emails from the Christian News section.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #345 on: July 20, 2017, 08:18:49 AM »
While I can't speak for Fr George

Are you setting him up to say, "You can speak for Fr. George" so you can sig it?  ;)

I will say I've come across the point he was making in monastic/spiritual literature before.  I am not well-read enough to say what, if anything, these writers recommend in terms of how to redirect eros toward God, nor has anyone ever explained it to me out of their own experience (like you, I haven't known any monks who were intentionally going about this).  But the idea that eros has to be redirected and transformed is neither new nor unique, and if some/many monks are not consciously doing this, I don't think it follows that they're not doing it at all. 

Perhaps.  I've read similar things myself.  None of these means that homosexual desire is blessed and holy in the way that the desire of a husband and a wife for one another is though, and that is my main point.  The desire of a man for a woman (and vice versa) is a good and natural thing.  God instituted it for a purpose.  I do not think we can say that the desire of a man for a man is a good and natural thing and that God instituted it for a purpose, which is to have it redirected towards himself via a monastic calling.  I'm not chucking Fr. George's thesis in its entirety.  There are simply elements of it I dispute, most especially those elements which might lead us to conclude that homosexual desire should be categorized along with heterosexual desire as something inherently good which might be perverted into something unnatural.  I believe, rather, that it is something unnatural in and of itself, a result of the fall, as articulated in the (now public) pm exchange with FinnJames.

The monks you describe, who left the world out of "an overwhelming love for God", perhaps experienced this transformation without describing it in such terms. 

Again, perhaps.

Quote
Secondly, and more importantly, denial of a thing, and redirecting one's passion for a thing towards God, doesn't necessarily mean that the thing one had a passion for out the outset was a good thing to begin with.  It only means that God has turned evil into good in one's life through His grace and through the person synergistically cooperating with that grace of their own volition.

I'm not sure Fr George said otherwise? 

Perhaps not.  I think, however, the language was perhaps unintentionally pregnant with the idea, which might also be the case with Sr. Vassa.  I think we need to be very precise with our language here so as not to endanger anyone's soul through good intentions though.  There's a difference between a theology and anthropology which leads Tim to say, "My desire for Bill was a bad and debased thing, but God used it for good to call me to monasticism and celibacy, and ultimately an unfathomable, never-ending love of Him" and a theology which leads Tim to say, "My desire for Bill wasn't such a bad thing after all.  In fact, it can be viewed as something every bit as good and pure as heterosexual desire, because in the end, God used it for good to call me to monasticism and celibacy, and ultimately an unfathomable, never-ending love of Him".

Quote
Thirdly, I believe that it is disingenuous to compare normal, heterosexual desire with homosexual desire as if both are inherently good things, as Sr. Vassa implies, made a part of us by God.

See above.

Indeed.  Please see my answer above as well.

Quote
Finally, it seems to me that your thesis leads us to conclude that all people afflicted with homosexual desires are called to be monastics.  I don't know that this is the case.

What are they called to be?

I don't think we should treat them as a "they" with a one size fits all answer.  We should treat each individual as a human being made in the image and likeness of God.  One person might be called to be a monastic.  Another might be called to be a celibate servant living in the world (that is an important distinction in the modern Coptic Church, at least).  As politically incorrect as this might be to say, a third person might actually be freed of those desires and enter into a heterosexual relationship.  I know a woman who did this.  She is married now with a child, and she didn't go through forced Protestant "conversion therapy" or anything either.  God delivered her.  (She is not Orthodox, by the way, but Roman Catholic.)  My issue with that aspect of Fr. George's answer was that it seemed to indicate that every single person afflicted with homosexual desire must become a monastic if they are to conquer, and I don't agree.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #346 on: July 20, 2017, 07:38:50 PM »
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #347 on: July 20, 2017, 08:40:27 PM »
Might be something ridiculous or crazy so need to tone it down.
Learn meditation.

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #348 on: July 26, 2017, 09:11:03 PM »
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

Or if anyone else knows of such studies and could point them out?

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #349 on: July 27, 2017, 05:24:33 PM »
It may very well be bad and incoherent advice, but giving bad, incoherent advice is not tantamount to heresy. I'm not sure why she published it though- even assuming it was applicable in the specific situation, it doesn't strike me as something to make a general principle of.

She herself describes it as in conflict with the Church.

Saying "Let him date, he was born that way so it's less of a sin, and he needs to work it out" -- how does this bring comfort to his parents? It brings self-satisfaction to those with a progressive worldview, but the parents must be more devastated than before. To see a dear child struggling in this evil world and being told he must just succumb and submit to it -- like quicksand -- his fate from birth -- gosh, it's too horrifying.

+1

The idea that the Church's stance on homosexuality is something rooted in another time and place - like the Jewish doctor thing - that can be adjusted via application of oikonomia, or even chucked entirely - is a very disturbing one.  It seems like some elements within the Church want to move beyond being compassionate to a sinner struggling with homosexual desires to a place where the Church can actually endorse homosexual relationships.

Indeed so, and that is what must be resisted.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #350 on: July 28, 2017, 10:45:35 AM »
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

Or if anyone else knows of such studies and could point them out?

Some studies, somewhere. It's science, man.
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Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #351 on: July 28, 2017, 10:47:03 AM »
Oc.net. Where everything's made up and the points don't matter.
God bless!

Offline Opus118

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #352 on: July 28, 2017, 10:58:59 AM »
Studies show that at any time there are more "formerly gay" than "presently gay"...

Which studies do you have in mind?

Or if anyone else knows of such studies and could point them out?

Some studies, somewhere. It's science, man.

I did not find anything in pubmed or google scholar, but it is keyword based and if former* previous* present* current* aren't used, it would not show up. I did find a study that aging gays tend to become bisexual to some extent. If this pathway exists: gays --> bisexual --> heterosexual, then perhaps there could be tax benefits for gays that become bisexual in order to reduce the gay population and thus gay parades that some consider a public nuisance.
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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #353 on: July 28, 2017, 06:55:52 PM »
Oc.net. Where everything's made up and the points don't matter.

You are my friend.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #354 on: August 01, 2017, 11:34:30 AM »
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Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #355 on: August 01, 2017, 11:57:04 AM »
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour.
I wonder if she chose "80" because of its biblical and numerological significance.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
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Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #356 on: August 01, 2017, 11:57:41 AM »
So, apparently you can pay $80 to talk to Sister Vassa for an hour.

Wow, I want to ask her what my gay child should do.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Coffee with (Removed - Ancient Faith Radio)
« Reply #359 on: August 01, 2017, 12:42:38 PM »
It's quite possible I'm being naïve here, but I don't think I've ever seen paid spiritual sessions with teacher x in Orthodoxy before. This is something I would associate with New Age gurus and mercenary Zen masters.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 12:42:49 PM by Iconodule »
Quote
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"