Fr Josiah Trenham in Tbilisi: Homofascists not Welcome

ialmisry

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mike said:
ialmisry said:
they myth of progress and the promise of modernity went up in smoke in the chimneys of Auschwitz.
Well, Germans were burning gays in Auschwitz too. They liked them as much as some Orthodox do (and people of other religions).
Missing the point-or rather, looking away from it-won't help your case.
 

gavaisky

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Clemente said:
It's rather simple so let me spell it out again.

1. You have affirmed that Icondule is Orthodox in his understanding of homosexuality.
2. Iconodule believes homosexual relationships produce "good fruit".

Now unless you want to deny #1, or want Iconodule to deny #2, you should be able to answer the following question: what are the good fruits of homosexuality?

Take your time.
For #1, Mor Ephrem does not necessarily agree with Iconodule 100%.

As for #2, it would be nice if Iconodule explained himself.

Accusations of ad hominem are a waste of time. If there are ad hominem attacks, I wish you would simply ignore them instead of complaining about them. It makes it harder for us lurkers to see the thread of discussion amidst all these memes and accusations and counter-accusations. But I guess that's what makes this part of the forum a "free-for-all".
 

ialmisry

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Daedelus1138 said:
ialmisry said:
the myth of progress and the promise of modernity went up in smoke in the chimneys of Auschwitz.
So what's your solution?  An uncritical acceptance of premodern ways of thinking and being?  In western culture that would amount to contempt for all things western.  I don't see the love in that.
Who asks for sight from a blind man?

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance. Most Western culture-at least not yet-does not consist of that cesspool where everything vile and foul collects and becomes fashionable.

I know what problem Fr. Trenham is trying to solve. What "problem" are you claiming is in need of solution?
 

Daedelus1138

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ialmisry said:
Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.
Western culture is capable of being self-critical, and often is.  The problem is not that westerners are not critical (if anything, perhaps we are too critical), it's that Orthodox Christian leaders and intellectuals often only reserve criticism for the "heterodox".

You really don't understand the post-Enlightenment west.  It's not uncritical acceptance of every idea, it's looking for a new ground besides the tired dogmatism of cherished, but ultimately vain certainties.  As much as certain Orthodox choose to attack this project uncritically, they make themselves enemies of a project to better the human condition.  Surely that is a noble intention. 
 

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Daedelus1138 said:
ialmisry said:
Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.
Western culture is capable of being self-critical, and often is.  The problem is not that westerners are not critical (if anything, perhaps we are too critical), it's that Orthodox Christian leaders and intellectuals often only reserve criticism for the "heterodox".

You really don't understand the post-Enlightenment west.  It's not uncritical acceptance of every idea, it's looking for a new ground besides the tired dogmatism of cherished, but ultimately vain certainties.  As much as certain Orthodox choose to attack this project uncritically, they make themselves enemies of a project to better the human condition.  Surely that is a noble intention.
MY DEAR...(Daedelus)

"Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity.  It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. Hence the encouragement we have given to all those schemes of thought such as Creative Evolution, Scientific Humanism, or Communism, which fix men's affections on the Future, on the very core of temporality. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.

We want a man hag-ridden by the Future—haunted by visions of an imminent heaven
or hell upon earth—ready to break the Enemy's commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other—dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see.

We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.

It follows then, in general, and other things being equal, that it is better for your patient to be filled with anxiety or hope (it doesn't much matter which) ... than for him to be living in the present.

As long as (the future) is the real course of his tranquillity, his tranquillity will do us good, because it is only piling up more disappointment, and therefore more impatience, for him when his false hopes are dashed. If, on the other hand, he is aware that horrors may be in store for him and is praying for the virtues, wherewith to meet them, and meanwhile concerning himself with the Present because there, and there alone, all duty, all grace, all knowledge, and all pleasure dwell, his state is very undesirable and should be attacked at once
."

Your affectionate uncle ~  Screwtape.

CS Lewis Screwtape Letters

Yours is nothing but cannabalism, feeding on the faith of those weighed down with sins...

..."Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these! They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women who are weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.…just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth. They are depraved in mind and disqualified from the faith.…"
 

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I don't see romanticism as comporting in the least bit with the virtue of temperance.  On this point, Lewis is either wrong or being read out of context.

Lewis says the past has a determinate nature- an assumption that sounds far too romantic.  I'd argued much of the past is just as unreal as the future he scorns as well.  History is often read through ideology, we see in it what we want to see, as George Tyrrell pointed out over a century ago.
 

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By all means, Keep changing the "gospel" then.

Preach another Christ.   

The future is read through ideology much more readily my friend. 

Your sect's fruits are the proof. 

We always stand ready to take you back in to the Faith, and the freedom from sin that Christ offers.  You don't have to be a slave...
 

Iconodule

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gavaisky said:
As for #2, it would be nice if Iconodule explained himself.
Sure. Here is the post which I believe is in question:

The general teaching is that it is the act, not the desire, which is sinful. I think Orthodox pastors are generally awakening to the understanding that it is not something to be switched on or off. We don't pick all our temptations, but we can choose how to respond to them. In this scenario, the Church is called to accept these people lovingly and aid them in their spiritual struggle, counseling them to celibacy. I think such an attitude is workable without the virulent homophobia that singles this sin out as the downfall of civilization. I myself have taken and struggled with this conception.

However, as I witness the pain and exclusion which this teaching- however gently expressed- has brought to gay people trying to navigate their way into and in the Church, and when I see the good fruits that can be borne of these relationships, I am  beginning to think this position too is untenable. I cannot, in good conscience, stand before friends and acquaintances in such loving relationships and inflict my understanding of a few historically hazy precepts on them, convincing myself that I am somehow speaking the truth in love.


I'm guessing that Mor and Mina would agree more or less with the first paragraph but not the second. I don't think there is any grounds of accusing them of siding with me on that part. I think what basically unites us is the general principle of "don't be a jerk" on this issue, but for the second paragraph, I am only speaking for myself.

My experience with family members, acquaintances, and generally listening to gay couples, whether childless or with adopted children, tells me that it is possible for such relationships to produce "good fruit," most especially love.

Of course I am aware of the usual scriptural texts invoked on this question, from Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc. I call them "historically hazy" because of the numerous linguistic, historical, and cultural issues raised in various debates by scholars as to the precise way to understand these passages. They seem to be bound up with polytheism, pederasty, and other things which do not seem to be inherently bound up in modern gay relationships.

For instance, if we follow Saint Paul's reasoning in Romans, we are looking at an unnatural lust which is introduced as a result of deifying created things. It's a punishment for idolatry, and in this Paul is really reproducing standard Jewish polemics against gentiles. This doesn't apply to those Christians, whether born into the Church or entering it voluntarily, who struggle with same-sex desire, and, no matter how fervently they worship the true God, do not acquire "natural" heterosexual urges. Even many of those who think of homosexuality as inherently sinful have acknowledged the failure of conversion therapy and "pray the gay away" and frame it more in terms of a lifelong cross to be carried, which brings it well outside of what Saint Paul is talking about.

So this is why I say that, when I am confronted with a loving gay couple- particularly a Christian one- I cannot in good conscience say, "You're sinning, your relationship is unwholesome" because the evidence before my eyes tells me that is not true, and the evidence from Church tradition is quite murky as to how and where the famous injunctions really apply.


 

ialmisry

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Daedelus1138 said:
ialmisry said:
Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.
Western culture is capable of being self-critical, and often is.
 
You're confusing the scapegoating by the sanctimonious as being "self-critical."

Daedelus1138 said:
The problem is not that westerners are not critical (if anything, perhaps we are too critical),
:eek:
self own horn trumpeting noted.
Daedelus1138 said:
it's that Orthodox Christian leaders and intellectuals often only reserve criticism for the "heterodox".
Often? How often?
Daedelus1138 said:
You really don't understand the post-Enlightenment west.
 
LOL. That ol' Leftist self-assured smugness "If you could but understand (i.e. if you weren't so stupid), you'd agree..."

Daedelus1138 said:
It's not uncritical acceptance of every idea
of course not: the tried and true are tossed aside
Daedelus1138 said:
it's looking for a new ground
because the grass is always greener

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rqEjboP5g50/VLN9UthcEXI/AAAAAAAASEc/vF2l8WrVj3U/s1600/grass%2Bgreener.jpg
[WARNING: language]
Daedelus1138 said:
besides the tired dogmatism of cherished, but ultimately vain certainties.
 
except of one's own ego, of course
Daedelus1138 said:
As much as certain Orthodox choose to attack this project uncritically
did you assUme uncritically, or are you assERting that?
Daedelus1138 said:
they make themselves enemies of a project to better the human condition.  Surely that is a noble intention.
Ah, yes, the high road
 

gavaisky

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Iconodule said:
gavaisky said:
As for #2, it would be nice if Iconodule explained himself.
Sure. Here is the post which I believe is in question:

The general teaching is that it is the act, not the desire, which is sinful. I think Orthodox pastors are generally awakening to the understanding that it is not something to be switched on or off. We don't pick all our temptations, but we can choose how to respond to them. In this scenario, the Church is called to accept these people lovingly and aid them in their spiritual struggle, counseling them to celibacy. I think such an attitude is workable without the virulent homophobia that singles this sin out as the downfall of civilization. I myself have taken and struggled with this conception.

However, as I witness the pain and exclusion which this teaching- however gently expressed- has brought to gay people trying to navigate their way into and in the Church, and when I see the good fruits that can be borne of these relationships, I am  beginning to think this position too is untenable. I cannot, in good conscience, stand before friends and acquaintances in such loving relationships and inflict my understanding of a few historically hazy precepts on them, convincing myself that I am somehow speaking the truth in love.


I'm guessing that Mor and Mina would agree more or less with the first paragraph but not the second. I don't think there is any grounds of accusing them of siding with me on that part. I think what basically unites us is the general principle of "don't be a jerk" on this issue, but for the second paragraph, I am only speaking for myself.

My experience with family members, acquaintances, and generally listening to gay couples, whether childless or with adopted children, tells me that it is possible for such relationships to produce "good fruit," most especially love.

Of course I am aware of the usual scriptural texts invoked on this question, from Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc. I call them "historically hazy" because of the numerous linguistic, historical, and cultural issues raised in various debates by scholars as to the precise way to understand these passages. They seem to be bound up with polytheism, pederasty, and other things which do not seem to be inherently bound up in modern gay relationships.

For instance, if we follow Saint Paul's reasoning in Romans, we are looking at an unnatural lust which is introduced as a result of deifying created things. It's a punishment for idolatry, and in this Paul is really reproducing standard Jewish polemics against gentiles. This doesn't apply to those Christians, whether born into the Church or entering it voluntarily, who struggle with same-sex desire, and, no matter how fervently they worship the true God, do not acquire "natural" heterosexual urges. Even many of those who think of homosexuality as inherently sinful have acknowledged the failure of conversion therapy and "pray the gay away" and frame it more in terms of a lifelong cross to be carried, which brings it well outside of what Saint Paul is talking about.

So this is why I say that, when I am confronted with a loving gay couple- particularly a Christian one- I cannot in good conscience say, "You're sinning, your relationship is unwholesome" because the evidence before my eyes tells me that is not true, and the evidence from Church tradition is quite murky as to how and where the famous injunctions really apply.
Thank you for your polite and thorough explanation. I understand your point of view now, though I think I probably agree more with Mor and Mina on this issue.
 

ialmisry

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Iconodule said:
gavaisky said:
As for #2, it would be nice if Iconodule explained himself.
Sure. Here is the post which I believe is in question:

The general teaching is that it is the act, not the desire, which is sinful. I think Orthodox pastors are generally awakening to the understanding that it is not something to be switched on or off. We don't pick all our temptations, but we can choose how to respond to them. In this scenario, the Church is called to accept these people lovingly and aid them in their spiritual struggle, counseling them to celibacy. I think such an attitude is workable without the virulent homophobia that singles this sin out as the downfall of civilization. I myself have taken and struggled with this conception.

However, as I witness the pain and exclusion which this teaching- however gently expressed- has brought to gay people trying to navigate their way into and in the Church, and when I see the good fruits that can be borne of these relationships, I am  beginning to think this position too is untenable. I cannot, in good conscience, stand before friends and acquaintances in such loving relationships and inflict my understanding of a few historically hazy precepts on them, convincing myself that I am somehow speaking the truth in love.


I'm guessing that Mor and Mina would agree more or less with the first paragraph but not the second. I don't think there is any grounds of accusing them of siding with me on that part. I think what basically unites us is the general principle of "don't be a jerk" on this issue, but for the second paragraph, I am only speaking for myself.

My experience with family members, acquaintances, and generally listening to gay couples, whether childless or with adopted children, tells me that it is possible for such relationships to produce "good fruit," most especially love.
If that's your yardstick, then why not bless adultery as well? Or, better yet, the first spouse is killed off so that the lovers can let their relationship blossom to produce "good fruit" (children, etc.).

Did Ahab and Jezebel produce "love"? Did Henry and Anne? Did Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn?

Does co-dependence count as "love"?

And-now that the "Sister Wives" and others are coming before Injustice Kennedy on the basis of Obergefell-do we have to recognize multiple "love"? Does that include bigamy?

A little while back this year, the local radio station had a thing where they called up for people dates that haven't answered their calls. They called one such guy who called in, who had talked about how they hit it off, how well they got along, how great the date went etc. When they called the woman, she asked "Is this for real?"  The disk jockeys went on repeating how the guy characterized the date, etc. asking what was wrong and why she didn't answer his calls until she said "He's MARRIED." When the jockey asked the first caller if this was true, he said "Yes, but that's OK." When they asked him why he didn't say that in his original call in, he said it "wasn't important" as his wife was "fully on board with this" as he was man who had "so much love to give." As things progressed the caller got more and more judgmental, calling the woman "narrow minded," "behind the times," and a lot of other things.  When the disc jockeys overcame their shock-at least the general public is still capable of shock at such things-and pointed out that just because his wife was OK does not mean the woman has to be "into this," the man replied "well, if she doesn't want to find happiness and love..."

No doubt in time "experience with family members, acquaintances, and generally listening" that rationalization will tell people that it is possible for such relationships to produce "good fruit,"" to the point that the option of "not being into it" will evaporate.
Iconodule said:
Of course I am aware of the usual scriptural texts invoked on this question
obviously you are not. But you do have the rationalizing of them away down pat.
Iconodule said:
from Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc. I call them "historically hazy" because of the numerous linguistic, historical, and cultural issues raised in various debates by scholars as to the precise way to understand these passages. They seem to be bound up with polytheism, pederasty, and other things which do not seem to be inherently bound up in modern gay relationships.


Is incest OK now too? Abortion-child sacrifice without Molek?

Iconodule said:
For instance, if we follow Saint Paul's reasoning in Romans, we are looking at an unnatural lust which is introduced as a result of deifying created things. It's a punishment for idolatry, and in this Paul is really reproducing standard Jewish polemics against gentiles. This doesn't apply to those Christians, whether born into the Church or entering it voluntarily, who struggle with same-sex desire, and, no matter how fervently they worship the true God, do not acquire "natural" heterosexual urges.
Your quotation marks make St. Paul (and God)'s point. IOW, yes, it applies.

Iconodule said:
Even many of those who think of homosexuality as inherently sinful have acknowledged the failure of conversion therapy and "pray the gay away" and frame it more in terms of a lifelong cross to be carried, which brings it well outside of what Saint Paul is talking about.
No, it does not, any more than an alcoholic's cravings void the need for detox.
Iconodule said:
So this is why I say that, when I am confronted with a loving gay couple- particularly a Christian one- I cannot in good conscience say, "You're sinning, your relationship is unwholesome" because the evidence before my eyes tells me that is not true,
Would you have said that if you confronted Amy and Joey before she went after Mary Jo?

Iconodule said:
and the evidence from Church tradition is quite murky as to how and where the famous injunctions really apply.
only to those whose vision is clouded.

Now, what to do with/to/for such people is another question.....But the injunctions-i.e. the facts, those are crystal clear.

Same sex sexual activity was not invented in the 20th century. It was well known in the 1st century, and the Apostles called it for what it is. Move not the landmark your Fathers have set up, nor add nor subtract the words from those they spake by the Holy Spirit.
 

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Disgust with and villainizing of the human being is contrary to the spirit of Orthodoxy. Who is the sinner and sick? I am the sinner and sick. Who is the healer? Christ is the only way in which anyone is saved and healed.
 

Iconodule

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RaphaCam said:
"Scholars" can build up linguistic baloney as much as they want, arsenokoites will still be one who takes a man to bed.
If any man perform arsenocoetia upon his wife, he shall be penanced for eight years, faring the while with xerophagy after the ninth hour and doing two hundred metanies daily.
- canon of Saint John the Faster

It's interesting. When Orthodox encounter many passages that seem difficult for us- "Call no man father," "It is shameful for a man to have long hair," "No man knows the day, nor the Son, but the Father alone" etc, we scramble to explain why the words should not be taken at face value.
 

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This doesn't really help your cause Iconodule. 

You may think you're onto something, but this actually works against you.
 

Iconodule

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My "cause" in this instance is simply that the bare etymology of a word is not always the key to its meaning. Clearly Saint John disapproved of any non-procreative sex act, though curiously he penances arsenocoetia between males less harshly than between man and wife.
 

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Onesimus said:
This is not true.  Look deeper.
If you want to precipitate the samba shoe, you really should indemnify in the adjacent coagulate. Just saying. 
 

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You have a broader ideal you are supporting by the use of this particular point, and in trying to use this as fodder for your position, you've cut off your nose to spite your face.  You're swimming against the Scripture, Tradition, Canon Law; in short the whole faith we profess, not just the etymology of a word in Scripture.  Indeed, a very close look at this issue will make it impossible for those who claim some kind of "hazy"ness to be inherent in the text of Scripture in this regard.  You seem to be swimming against the Faith in order to come to terms with your own sympathetic dissonance.  I don't like the dissonance either, it's hard for everyone...most especially our brothers and sisters who have to fight this particular demon.  And it's okay for them to be a part of our Body and struggle and fail with it.  But we encourage them in their struggle against sin, not towards it.    If they fall, we pick them back up, knowing that we ALL fall. 

But Falling down and lying down are two different things.  Telling someone you'll pick them up if they fall down is not the same as telling them that they SHOULD fall down and stay there. 

We don't chuck the faith and draw our own conclusions based solely on our feelings, observations and reason, all of which are subject to the passions and delusions of the world.  That's called Protestantism.

Iconodule said:
though curiously he penances arsenocoetia between males less harshly than between man and wife.
It's not curious...its quite clear why.

The canons of St. John the faster as regards homosexuality are oikonomia to the original canon of Saint Basil in this regard.  St. Basil canon LXII canonizes sodomites for 15 years, as well as adulterers.  The actual penance for homosexuality in St. John's canon is - contra what you say - stricter,  as it is was a 15 year penance before, but the new oikonomia gives the penitent the option of the original 15 years, or a reduction to 3 years if the penitent wishes to take on the fasting, xenophagy, prostrations, weeping so, etc.  time off for extra contrition towards restoring communion.

See also St Basil canon VII; 
Sodomists and bestialists and murderers and sorcerers and adulterers and idolaters deserve the same condemnation, so that whatever rule you have as regarding the others observe it also in regard to these persons
we always welcome all sinners back into communion, regardless of their sin.  Perhaps all of this debate would go away if the Church actually penanced us all for our sins in accordance with the canons?  I don't think I'll be hearing too many people advocating for that
 

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Onesimus said:
You have a broader ideal you are supporting by the use of this particular point, and in trying to use this as fodder for your position, you've cut off your nose to spite your face.  You're swimming against the Scripture, Tradition, Canon Law; in short the whole faith we profess, not just the etymology of a word in Scripture.  Indeed, a very close look at this issue will make it impossible for those who claim some kind of "hazy"ness to be inherent in the text of Scripture in this regard.
The point I am making with Saint John's canon is that, contrary to what RaphaCam suggests, arsenocoetia has been taken to mean something different than the bare etymology of "man-bedding" suggests. It is also possible that, between Saint John and Saint Paul, a different understanding of the term exists, or else we have to conclude that "arsenokoites" includes anyone engaging in anal or even just dorsal intercourse, regardless of the sex of the two people. And in fact, in elements of Orthodox tradition, sodomy was interpreted this way, going so far as to include the woman being on top of the man.

We don't chuck the faith and draw our own conclusions based solely on our feelings, observations and reason, all of which are subject to the passions and delusions of the world.  That's called Protestantism.
Is the Church of Russia (or the OCA) engaging in Protestantism when they allow for contraception, in contradiction to numerous Fathers who considered it equivalent to murder (whether abortifacient or not)?  What about the canonical injunctions against women communing during menses, which is being increasingly scrutinized or laid aside as a relic of faulty biological understanding?

It's not curious...its quite clear why.

The canons of St. John the faster as regards homosexuality are oikonomia to the original canon of Saint Basil in this regard.  St. Basil canon LXII canonizes sodomites for 15 years, as well as adulterers.  The actual penance for homosexuality is - contra what you say - stricter,  as it is was a 15 year penance before, but the new oikonomia gives the penitent the option of the 15 years, or a reduction to 3 years if the penitent wishes to take on the fasting, xenophagy, prostrations, weeping so, etc.
Tell me, what's the word Saint Basil uses for "sodomites"? Saint John uses the term arsenocoetia for relations both between two males and between a male and his wife. Yet in the former case he penances them for three years, and the latter eight years. Both are cases of oikonomia.
 

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Oh boy.  You don't even do your research.  You just say whatever  comes to mind.

Alright. Standby.
 

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Iconodule said:
The point I am making with Saint John's canon is that, contrary to what RaphaCam suggests, arsenocoetia has been taken to mean something different than the bare etymology of "man-bedding" suggests. It is also possible that, between Saint John and Saint Paul, a different understanding of the term exists, or else we have to conclude that "arsenokoites" includes anyone engaging in anal or even just dorsal intercourse, regardless of the sex of the two people. And in fact, in elements of Orthodox tradition, sodomy was interpreted this way, going so far as to include the woman being on top of the man.
You really need to take more time to study this subject.  Arsenocoetia has its only usage in the Judeo-Christian Tradition until Christianity becomes dominant.  There is not Greco-Roman usage of this outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Lots of misinformation exists out there to argue for some kind of muddy the waters kind of agenda to legitimize sodomy, by saying one cannot see this word as a compound.  But they leave out the fact that the word was coined by the translators of the Hebrew texts into the LXX translation of Leviticus.  Arsenocoetia equates DIRECTLY to  the Hebrew word used in Lev 18 and 20.  The LXX uses this to translate "yiskab et zakar"  The Hebrew states ""lie with a male as one lies with a female."  The LXX translators took "lie with a male" and translated the Hebrew;  "yiskab et zakar" into "arsenoscoetin".  This is where the term has its origin and meaning grounded.  Nowhere else.

You jump to false conclusions and use false premises.  Arsenocoetia in this context simply is sodomy.  There is no other interpretation.  There is no reason to believe that St. John's usage is somehow speaking of something other than sodomy.  Arsenocoetia is always sodomy.  Period.  Interpretive slight of hand will never change that, and all attempts to do this is ideologically based and departs completely with the whole of the Orthodox faith. 

Is the Church of Russia (or the OCA) engaging in Protestantism when they allow for contraception, in contradiction to numerous Fathers who considered it equivalent to murder (whether abortifacient or not)?  What about the canonical injunctions against women communing during menses, which is being increasingly scrutinized or laid aside as a relic of faulty biological understanding?
Both of the issues you raise have significant reasons why they are allowed.  We can certainly discuss those reasons, but they are not simply reasons of "a relic of faulty biological understanding" in the least.  You are either ignorant of the facts or are purposefully misrepresenting these issue as fodder for your viewpoint. (which I reiterate is against the teachings of the Church).  They do not have any similarity to the question at hand.  In terms of menstration, this has a very practical baseline and I encourage you to speak to your priest about it.  Or I can explain it to via PM.  In terms of contraception, there is complete unanimity that abortifacients are unacceptable.  Always has been across the board.  There has never been unanimity of Tradition regarding non-abortifacients.  SOME Fathers may have felt this way, but it is not a Tradition of the Church when SOME idosyncratic opinions are not universally held.  These are straw men.

What I do know is that you are trying to use your personal judgement over against the Church's on the subject of homosexuality, and none of the Churches interpret homosexuality in the way you describe or advocate, and none of them interpret the above objections in the way you are trying to.  So you are accusing the Church based on your own judgement.  This puts you against the Church.

Tell me, what's the word Saint Basil uses for "sodomites"? Saint John uses the term arsenocoetia for relations both between two males and between a male and his wife. Yet in the former case he penances them for three years, and the latter eight years. Both are cases of oikonomia.
No.  This is false.  All instances refer to sodomy.  The latter canon is not an oikonomia of a pre-existing canon, it is a new canon unique to St. John's (found only in certain codex manuscripts).  The latter is not an oikonmia of a pre-existing canon of St. Basil.  Only the former. 

The penance for male sodomy is 15 years.

The penance for male/female sodomy is 8 years.

The penance for male sodomy against family members ranges in time frame based on the degree of familial separation.

The penance for male sodomy at 3 years is only admitted IF the penitent chooses to do the "extra" penence.  Otherwise it remains 15 years, which is the actual penance. 

There is no equivalent oikonomia for male/female sodomy. 
 
You are reading what you want to read into this.  The fact that the Church interprets it differently than you - and always has - is what they call a clue.
 

Clemente

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Charles Martel said:
Clemente said:
NicholasMyra said:
Clemente said:
NicholasMyra said:
Clemente said:
Keep it coming! We must make those who believe in traditional Orthodox sexuality look like Flat-Earthers!!
Nobody is talking about flat earths. But plans and tactics have been brought to light.
Good show! Phase III boys! Keep it coming.
You are truly our buzzfeed listmaster.
Oh fabulous! Lovely ad hominems! Keep OC.net queer-friendly!
  I like you Clemente, but you really have to stop using the word "fabulous" in your attempt to expose the pro-sodomy, anticlerical agenda on here. It's not very becoming of a straight man to keep using that word. At least not where I come from.

Nothing personal. 8)
I like you too, Charles, though mind you not in the OC.net Pink Mafia sort of way.

Agree completely with your post. Occasionally a member of the OC.net Pink Mafia hacks my PC and sends out these "fabulous"-laden messages. I find them not very becoming as well.
 

Iconodule

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Onesimus said:
You really need to take more time to study this subject.  Arsenocoetia has its only usage in the Judeo-Christian Tradition until Christianity becomes dominant.  There is not Greco-Roman usage of this outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Lots of misinformation exists out there to argue for some kind of muddy the waters kind of agenda to legitimize sodomy, by saying one cannot see this word as a compound.  But they leave out the fact that the word was coined by the translators of the Hebrew texts into the LXX translation of Leviticus.  Arsenocoetia equates DIRECTLY to  the Hebrew word used in Lev 18 and 20.  The LXX uses Arsencoetia for "yiskab et zakar" T The Hebrew states ""lie with a male as one lies with a female."  The LXX translators took "lie with a male" and translated the Hebrew;  "yiskab et zakar" into "arsenocoeta".  This is where the term has its origin and meaning grounded.  Nowhere else.
I'm familiar with the argument that Paul is making an explicit appeal to Leviticus. Nonetheless, the problem remains- if it simply refers to a male-on-male act (which the Leviticus passages indicate), how can it also apply to a man and wife? The latter instance is simply not something the Levitical law addresses. You say, "Arsenocoetia in this context simply is sodomy." That doesn't actually mean much. The word "sodomy" itself is already polysemous and not only in English. Do you consider a man engaging in sodomy with his wife a sodomite? If, as you seem to suggest, arsenocoetia simply refers to a particular convergence of organs, regardless of the sex of the receiving partner, then how can you maintain that Paul is simply echoing Leviticus? And this is before we even ask what the practice mentioned in Leviticus entailed and signified in the context of Canaanite society.
Both of the issues you raise have significant reasons why they are allowed.  We can certainly discuss those reasons, but they are not simply reasons of "a relic of faulty biological understanding" in the least.
This is certainly an argument employed by apologists for contraception, not least ialmisry who accused me of using Aristotle as a guide to biology for simply bringing up the discrepancy.

They do not have any similarity to the question at hand.  In terms of menstration, this has a very practical baseline and I encourage you to speak to your priest about it.
I am well aware of the explanations for both practices. Everyone has "reasons." This doesn't change one whit the fact that they represent an overturning of longstanding, ancient traditions. 

In terms of contraception, there is complete unanimity that antiabortionists are unacceptable.  There has never been unanimity of Tradition regarding non-abortifacients.  SOME Fathers may have felt this way, but it is not a Tradition of the Church when SOME idosyncratic opinions are not universally held.
I'll repeat Fr Josiah Trenham's challenge, because in this case he's right- produce a single Father approving of non-abortifacient contraception. Go ahead. Saint John Chrysostom, who compared non-abortifacient contraception to "murder before conception," was in fact one of the more liberal Fathers on matters of sex, so to speak, since he did not think the only purpose of marital sex was procreation (see Saint Maximus the Confessor, Jerome, etc). The ROC's current official position has simply no precedent in Church tradition. It's quite eye-opening to see the horror of sex that prevailed in much of Byzantine and medieval Slavic society, which got to such a point that a fair amount of activities both you and I would likely consider innocuous could get one severely penanced, possessed by demons, giving birth to evil children, or struck dead outright by God. Your (tongue-in-cheek?) suggestion to enforce the canons across the board is actually a fair point, because the modern sexual mores, both "conservative" and "liberal", are thoroughly alien to what prevailed in these traditional Orthodox cultures. Father confessors in 16th century Russia would have classed as sins of Sodom acts such as dorsal intercourse between a husband and his wife. And don't even get them started about doing it in the presence of icons! What passes nowadays as standard Orthodox teaching on sexuality would appear rather blasphemous and libertine to them.

No.  This is false.  All instances refer to sodomy.  The latter canon is not an oikonomia of a pre-existing canon, it is a new canon unique to St. John's (found only in certain codex manuscripts).  The latter is not an oikonmia of a pre-existing canon of St. Basil.  Only the former.
In fact it is an oikonomia of the same canon, since Saint Basil does not differentiate between male-on-male and male-on-female arsenocoetia. You yourself have so stridently affirmed that "Arsenocoetia is always sodomy".
 

ialmisry

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mike said:
ialmisry said:
Is incest OK now too?
I dunno. You are one of the biggest defenders of incest among Arab Christians here.
We use God's definition of incest. All having Father Adam and Mother Eve, we are all marrying our cousins.
 

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Why do you twist your head in scholastic knots over what is abundantly clear in all but the interpretations of those who have modern agendas to change it?

Different kinds of murder have different kinds of penance.

Same with sodomy.  The fact that there are different degrees of sin based upon who the relations are between and the degree of departure from the intended "use" (what a description) is what you can't seem to get your mind around.

In terms of the usage of the term in St. John between a man and a woman, what indication whatsoever do you have that this departs from ALL other interpretations of the term throughout the Church, or even within the text itself.  What is your foundation? Surmise?  Supposition?  A gut feeling?  Opinon?    You simply want to make this meet your subjective criteria in order to spread doubt and foment discord in contradiction to the Church's teachings.  You are simply and utterly in the wrong.

I am well aware of the explanations for both practices. Everyone has "reasons." This doesn't change one whit the fact that they represent an overturning of longstanding, ancient traditions.
  You are continuing with your strawman arguments.  And it would take far too much energy than I have to keep going round and round with you about this. 

But you're right about one thing...Everyone has "reasons."  Including you.

Answer this question.  Are you teaching and preaching here in this forum a doctrine, practice and belief that is against current Church teaching, and expressing the opinion that the Church is in error and has been for between 1800 and 1900 years?  Yes or no.  You really have more faith in the modern mess and your own mind than the faith you say you espouse?  Modern "scholarship" trumps the Spirit?  I can guarantee you a million different scholarly interpretations from this way to Sunday on any given issue.  I study them every day and watch people fawn over them.  "Ezekiel was a misogynistic rapist" "Jesus didn't exist"  "Paul was a Roman Spy" - 90% of them are worthy of nothing but toilet paper and are the product of the commercialization of education and books.  Everybody needs a good dissertation subject, and it always has to be something no one has ever done. 

You are publicly saying that the Church has always been wrong on this issue because you think that you've got it sussed out better.  I see no reason why you'd continue to be Orthodox.    In fact, I'd say if you can't walk up to your Bishop and say this to his face and tell him you intend to publicly teach it, preach it and express it, then you should not say it here.    If you can do that...then there's a bigger issue at play.

I'll repeat Fr Josiah Trenham's challenge, because in this case he's right- produce a single Father approving of non-abortifacient contraception. Go ahead.
I'll repeat mine, produce a single Father approving of homosexual acts.  A canon?  A Scripture passage that approves?  An Ecumenical Council?  A part of the Liturgy?  A prayer?  And if you're going to hang on the thread of "soul-brothers" or whatever, spare me. 

Anything at all except your embrace of scholastic speculation at the expense of the Spirit guiding the Church?

You ought to be ashamed of yourself...not because homosexual people don't deserve support...because they do.  But because you want to encourage sin and separation from God.  If we're wrong...the consequences are discomfort in this life and an eternity with God.  If you're wrong, it's just the opposite.

I hope you  can live with that.  If you can, something is terribly wrong.
 



 

Iconodule

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Onesimus said:
The fact that there are different degrees of sin based upon who the relations are between and the degree of departure from the intended "use" (what a description) is what you can't seem to get your mind around.
You're changing your argument here. Previously it was, "One canon was a mitigation from Basil, the other is new." Now you want to introduce something about "degree of departure from the intended use." And you call me scholastic. Huh.

In terms of the usage of the term in St. John between a man and a woman, what indication whatsoever do you have that this departs from ALL other interpretations of the term throughout the Church, or even within the text itself.
I never asserted it was a departure. It is, however, a departure from the understanding of arsenocoetia as something solely between males.

Answer this question.  Are you teaching and preaching here in this forum a doctrine, practice and belief that is against current Church teaching, and expressing the opinion that the Church is in error and has been for between 1800 and 1900 years?  Yes or no.
I am preaching and teaching nothing. I wasn't aware that OC.net was a platform for preaching. But I am questioning a teaching which has been in effect for perhaps the time space you say, because you and I both know that the Church has already departed from equally ancient traditions.

That said, I've changed my mind about this once, so perhaps I could change it again. I don't find the present arguments to be especially persuasive, however.

You are publicly saying that the Church has always been wrong on this issue because you think that you've got it sussed out better.
I speak for myself. But the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest local church in Eastern Orthodoxy, has already declared the Church to have been wrong on another matter (contraception). And in fact the entire system of sexual mores of Byzantium and medieval Eastern Europe is overthrown throughout the Orthodox world. How many priests nowadays would consider fellatio between husband and wife a sin of Sodom to be confessed and penanced? A few, but not many.

I see no reason why you'd continue to be Orthodox.
My faith does not hinge on this particular issue, though it does seem to be a driving force for many.

I'll repeat Fr Josiah Trenham's challenge, because in this case he's right- produce a single Father approving of non-abortifacient contraception. Go ahead.
I'll repeat mine, produce a single Father approving of homosexual acts.  A canon?  A Scripture passage that approves?  An Ecumenical Council?  A part of the Liturgy?  A prayer?  And if you're going to hang on the thread of "soul-brothers" or whatever, spare me. 
I have never claimed and will not claim now that homosex is approved anywhere in our tradition. And I have never believed the claim that adelphopoiesis is some kind of gay marriage. The point is, the Church has already laid aside its teaching on issues which would have boggled the minds of our pastors even 100 years ago.

I hope you  can live with that.  If you can, something is terribly wrong.
Huh. Interesting combination of sentences.
 

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So you'd scandalize the faith of others to meet your owN WHims.  Got it.

Beside the fact that you've clearly misrepresented much in this foray, I can take heart in knowing that your influence will never defeat the truth.  Shame on you.




 

Iconodule

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You know, Onesimus, from your previous warnings, I was expecting a magisterial refutation from you that actually moved the discussion forward. I am disappointed.
 

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gavaisky said:
Clemente said:
It's rather simple so let me spell it out again.

1. You have affirmed that Icondule is Orthodox in his understanding of homosexuality.
2. Iconodule believes homosexual relationships produce "good fruit".

Now unless you want to deny #1, or want Iconodule to deny #2, you should be able to answer the following question: what are the good fruits of homosexuality?

Take your time.
For #1, Mor Ephrem does not necessarily agree with Iconodule 100%.

As for #2, it would be nice if Iconodule explained himself.

Accusations of ad hominem are a waste of time. If there are ad hominem attacks, I wish you would simply ignore them instead of complaining about them. It makes it harder for us lurkers to see the thread of discussion amidst all these memes and accusations and counter-accusations. But I guess that's what makes this part of the forum a "free-for-all".
Now that Iconodule has courageously affirmed everything I said he believed (including his desire that the Church will adopt his heterodox views) I look forward to Mor explaining what the "good fruits" of sodomy are.

In the least, he should explain for all who have read this thread his pro-gay bias: why does he afford him the benefit of the doubt and assume his views were Orthodox when in fact, they were not (as Iconodule has readily admitted).

As for you point#1 above, he has already said that and that is irrelevant. He claimed Iconodule held Orthodox views on homosexuality. He does not.

I'm sure Mor will be quick to apologise for his error of judgement.
 

Iconodule

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The fact that I was unclear or that Mor didn't quite see where I was going really has no bearings on this discussion and is not his fault anyway. At no point did he indicate that he agreed with me 100%.
 

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Clearly the teaching of Christianity from the apostles until about 60 years ago was almost without exception that homosexuality is wrong. Then the sexual revolution came along and as Fr Josiah has eloquently detailed tried to overthrow traditional sexual morality not only of the Church but of other traditional religions and cultures and impose a new morality which projects itself backwards not only onto church history (blood brothers) but also that this was somehow the norm within ancient cultures. The fruit of the sexual revolution is utter chaos on both an individual and societal level. The fruit is plain to see.
 

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Iconodule said:
The fact that I was unclear or that Mor didn't quite see where I was going really has no bearings on this discussion and is not his fault anyway. At no point did he indicate that he agreed with me 100%.
No Mor didn't see where you were going, did he? He has a lot of egg on his face after your posts, which he'll have to clean off somehow.

I appreciate that you have courageously expanded on your heterodox views about homosexuality, your rejection of Orthodox traditional teaching on homosexuality and indeed, Orthodox epistemology based on Tradition, and your desire that the Church change her view about homosexuality.

I have a lot of respect for you. You, and your like-minded posters here, have achieved really extraordinary results and you should be proud:

- an Orthodox priest who opposes the LGBT political agenda is summarily defamed and slandered and innuendo is spread about him by a broad section of posters, including the moderators, on OC.net, the most popular Orthodox website in the world;
-heterodox views about homosexuality such as the notion that sodomy produces "good fruits" are seriously considered and debated by apparently Orthodox posters on OC.net;
-a sizeable contingency of pro-gay and openly gay posters express themselves essentially unhindered by any official statement about homosexuality;
-the official OC.net statement in favour of a traditional understanding of homosexuality is essentially forgotten by most posters;
-the moderators at OC.net believe that the expression of heterodox views about homosexuality is a valuable addition and service that the site provides.

Congratulations! You and others here have enabled OC.net to become the most queer-friendly site on the Internet. The moderators don't like to admit that still, but we both know it is true. So well done.

Perhaps your greatest achievement is that OC.net has become a "safe space" for Orthodox to express heterodox views on sexuality. The moderators have come to believe that they are actually serving the Church by providing a venue for Orthodox to sound like heterodox, especially with respect to homosexuality.

Of course, OC.net is not reflective of the Church, but is rather a surreal bubble. I have visited a lot of different parishes around the world and have listened to many hours of AFR from a wide variety of sources and I know that the Church is not pro-gay or its political agenda.

I thank God that the Orthodox Church does not have an active Progressive wing, which would necessitate our having "traditionalist Orthodox" like in the Roman Catholic Church. Glory to God that Orthodox priests, seminarians and laymen do not generally have pro-gay views. Unlike here at OC.net, the Church does not defame priests who oppose the gay political agenda. Aside from a few deviant priests in places such as Boston, Orthodox priests really do not entertain ideas such as if sodomy produces "good fruit".

So, well done! You have my complete respect and I take your views seriously. I believe your pro-gay view are diabolical, a view which I know here at OC.net will be mocked by quite a few. We are on opposite sides of a battle which will continue for the foreseeable future. I pray that the Church will not change, as you would like, to accommodate sodomy.

But I tip my hat to you for this thread and in general. You have definitely won the battle for OC.net. You deserve kudos for your achievements and have my full respect.


 

Iconodule

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Daniel2:47 said:
Clearly the teaching of Christianity from the apostles until about 60 years ago was almost without exception that homosexuality is wrong.
It's not the only thing that's changed. Both East and West the general Christian perception of sex, at least as taught by the Fathers and clergy, was as a necessary evil, even within marriage, and only for the purpose of procreation. The notable exception of Chrysostom doesn't seem to have registered much, and even he taught that sexual procreation is a result of the Fall of Man (we were originally meant to reproduce asexually). I could share again my stack of patristic passages- from Saint Gregory of Nyssa to Saint Gregory Palamas- expounding this viewpoint, that sexual procreation is somehow inherently base, animalistic, and unworthy of man's original calling. It's pretty clear that many acts which most modern Christians would consider acceptable within marriage would be classed as fornication by the Fathers, even between husband and wife.

Yes, the world has changed, and the Church with it. I don't think this change touches the heart of the faith or alters the essential message of the Gospel, but it is a real change and, IMO, it's odd to make homosexuality a hill to die on when so many other standards have been eroded.

And it's not just in the area of sexuality that things have changed. Usury and having Jewish friends are two examples of things sternly forbidden by the Church, and now not even batted an eye at. For over a thousand years my Church communion taught that what we now call "Oriental Orthodox" were heretics, and they reciprocated the sentiment. Nowadays that judgment is losing its grip as we come into more contact with each other and closely examine each other's theology. Are we being Protestants now, because we have found an issue where we seem to have a clearer understanding than our Fathers? Some would say yes, actually. But the ones who say that are likely selective in their own way with regards to Tradition.
 
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