Fr Josiah Trenham in Tbilisi: Homofascists not Welcome

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
NJ
Charles Martel said:
  I'd like to see him take that one up with the Mother of God, who like many gay people was not a breeder.
so let me get this straight. Are you calling the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Queen of Heaven, the Mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ Himself...."gay"?

That is damn blasphemy! :mad:
Just one final note with my mod hat on:  I got a report (not from you, but someone else) concerning the comparison as blasphemous.  I do not think his intention was to say the Theotokos is gay, but rather is a "non-breeder".  While I agree it is terrible comparison (and the wording is poor), I am not judging this as blasphemy.

So whoever reported as blasphemy, I don't think it is and I'm closing your report.

God bless!

Mina
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
NJ
Daedelus1138 said:
No, disrespect is not OK... and that's my point.  Fr. Josiah is engaged in a basic disrespect of homosexual persons by labelling the movement for their equality as "homofascist".  It's only fitting that his grandstanding with his ten children and his basic Quiverfull ideology be characterized as one of "breeders".  ...

...
Daedelus1138,

I almost missed this.  With my mod-hat on, I would like to make it clear that it seems to me you were directly calling Fr. Josiah a Quiverfull "breeder".  This borders on ad hominem.  As I repeat again and again in this thread, attack the views, not the person.

Because I mentioned this many times in this thread and you have somewhat of a clean record, I will only start with 5% penalty.

If you would like to appeal this warning, send me a private message.  Do not question or challenge my moderation publicly.  And that goes for any other poster in this thread.

God bless.

Mina
 

FinnJames

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,124
Reaction score
2
Points
38
Age
73
Location
Finland
minasoliman said:
But what I like, and I agree with Mor, is Iconodule's last post, trying to find a way to preach the gospel, or to be consistent with our moral teachings and not concentrate on a few more than others.
Well, good luck with that!
(We all know checking orthodoxchristianity.net while at work is theft, but who wants to be barred from communion for it?)

But to return to the question posed, what's wrong with--when spreading the Gospel of Christ--meeting others in Christian love and treating them with dignity no matter what their sin? Why not explain to them the Church's position but at the same time let them know that the church door is open to them? If we act in that way, when they discover that what they've been doing no longer works for them they will know they have a refuge to turn to. We need to get close enough to plant an idea in others, but the seed has to grow in them. 
 

Clemente

Elder
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
0
minasoliman said:
Clemente said:
I get that you want to use this thread to advance a certain progressive, pink agenda, ...
I did not get the same impression of Iconodule as you do.  I think Iconodule is searching (as I am as well) for an alternative to what is perceived as the "fire and brimstone" approach to bring LGBT people to the Church and to repentance.  I hope you can concentrate your discussion on that.
No, he very clearly is pushing a progressive, pink agenda. His problem, which he has stated repeatedly, is the "skewed priorities" of Father Trenham.  Here is what he has said we need to do: 

1. De-emphasise sexual sins.
"And why, perhaps most importantly, are these sexual sins so emphasized, while graver injustices, doing far more damage to society, are ignored or even justified by our clergy?"
2. Emphasise left wing political causes:
What graver injustices do you have in mind?  Should the Church only denounce those sins that are currently politically correct, i.e. racism, materialism, ecological damage to Mother Earth?
You don't think those are far more serious than gay marriage? Again, skewed priorities.
This is just warmed-over Episcopalianism. I understand that there are a number of posters, several of which spend a lot of time in this thread, advancing their view that the Church should not talk about the sin of sodomy and should instead take up a politically correct, left wing political agenda.

This is the great sin of Father Trenham: not that he used the word "fascist" (correctly, in my view), but rather that he didn't fulminate against "graver injustices".

Again, fortunately these views are not reflective of the Church.
 

Clemente

Elder
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
0
minasoliman said:
Okay, here's what I want from this discussion.  I do not want a rehash of old arguments.  It is understood that homosexual acts according to the Church teachings a sin.  That is the assumption we have from the very beginning of this thread. But what I like, and I agree with Mor, is Iconodule's last post, trying to find a way to preach the gospel, or to be consistent with our moral teachings and not concentrate on a few more than others.

If we can have a productive discussion like this, I would appreciate it.  But if you're going to one up by offering the same old anecdotes, whether it be pro-homosexuality or anti-homosexuality, it poisons the thread and does not lead anywhere.

Thank you and God bless!
Oh my goodness. This is a completely misleading interpretation of this thread and specifically the arguments of Iconodule.

What was the context of Father Trenham's speech? To show the legislative agenda of the pro-gay lobby at the World Congress of Families, who invited him to speak about this very subject. The World Congress of Families does not meet to discuss income inequality, racism or ecological sins (which, according to Iconodule are the real priorities that the Church should be talking about). No, they talk about families. If you accept an invitation to the World Congress of Families, you do not speak about ecology. Sorry. In fact, you are not being asked to specifically preach the gospel, since it is a multi-faith meeting. Do you recognise this?

So are you suggesting that any Orthodox speaker that is invited to a specific forum needs to mention all possible sins, rather than concentrate on the specific context of that forum?

Great. I look forward to Orthodox speakers denouncing sodomy, fornication, and adultery at the next World Congress on the Environment.
 

Onesimus

Elder
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
44
Daedelus1138 said:
...but its not like the Law itself gives life.
So I discovered that the very commandment that was meant to bring life actually brought death.  For sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through the commandment put me to death.…
The Law is not what you think it is.  But this is a bigger fish to fry than we can appropriately engage at this juncture.  There are foundational assumptions and falsities at play, and we can't simply treat symptoms and not the underlying disease processes.

It is going to take a lot of time and spiritual effort (probably years) in Grace for you to de-program yourself from the deceptions of Protestantism.  But the first step is getting oneself out of the environment that causes the cancer.  Chemotherapy is unhelpful for someone wallowing in cancer causing carcinogens.   

In our private conversations we can work through Romans and the Gospel to rightly understand the Law and its relationship to / as a Grace.  We cannot fully explore them in this thread.  It is exactly as Saint Peter told us;

He (Saint Paul) writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard not to be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing.
 
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
NJ
Dear Clemente,

I've explained where I want to take this discussion.  You and I can continue to disagree on how to interpret Iconodule (I still don't see what you see), but for me, I am concerned with how to bring the gospel to LGBT people in more concrete practical ways.  I have also given my views in the beginning of this thread as to why I did not specifically appreciate Fr. Josiah's talk in Georgia.

Let's use an analogy.  Let's suppose you have some Jehovah's Witness (JW) folks that knock on your door.  You know your Bible and your theology really well to answer them.  Would you reach out to them and lovingly say how evil their organization is or would you try to lovingly demonstrate some of the flaws of their thinking and allow them to reach the conclusion of how evil their organization is?  Furthermore, how well known are you to the JW community?  Have you been involved very heavily in social activities, such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc?  Or are we folks who live out our busy lives behind a computer screen and feel comfortable about saying what's wrong or right but having no sense of getting involved in the community and share that experience of what was done to effect some change?

My main issue is the stagnancy of repeating what we already know and believe, but not showing any practical outcome of that belief.  Rather than the back and forth in this thread earlier, I want to see the discussion move forward into something more productive.

God bless!
 

Onesimus

Elder
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
44
minasoliman said:
Dear Clemente,

I've explained where I want to take this discussion.  You and I can continue to disagree on how to interpret Iconodule (I still don't see what you see), but for me, I am concerned with how to bring the gospel to LGBT people in more concrete practical ways.  I have also given my views in the beginning of this thread as to why I did not specifically appreciate Fr. Josiah's talk in Georgia.

Let's use an analogy.  Let's suppose you have some Jehovah's Witness (JW) folks that knock on your door.  You know your Bible and your theology really well to answer them.  Would you reach out to them and lovingly say how evil their organization is or would you try to lovingly demonstrate some of the flaws of their thinking and allow them to reach the conclusion of how evil their organization is?  Furthermore, how well known are you to the JW community?  Have you been involved very heavily in social activities, such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc?  Or are we folks who live out our busy lives behind a computer screen and feel comfortable about saying what's wrong or right but having no sense of getting involved in the community and share that experience of what was done to effect some change?

My main issue is the stagnancy of repeating what we already know and believe, but not showing any practical outcome of that belief.  Rather than the back and forth in this thread earlier, I want to see the discussion move forward into something more productive.

God bless!
Mina,

It might help if you expressed what it means to "bring the gospel to LGBTQ people in more concrete practical ways" and what "something more productive" means and is.

What one sees as "productive or practical" is an excercisein subjectivity in most of these discussions.  It actually tends towards utilitarianism in practice for most who accept LGBTQ.
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,485
Reaction score
2
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
Onesimus said:
What one sees as "productive or practical" is an excercisein subjectivity in most of these discussions.  It actually tends towards utilitarianism in practice for most who accept LGBTQ.
The Church already practices this "utilitarianism" in the face of contraception, premarital sex, divorce, and confessionally mixed marriages. All of these involve sin or a significant departure from the ideal; all of them are routinely accommodated in our churches.

FinnJames was kind enough to share his own experience here. He is in a civil marriage with another man. He waited until the relationship became a celibate one before entering the church, and was accepted, while still remaining in his relationship with the full knowledge of the clergy. I should note here that FinnJames is not advocating celibacy as a uniform requirement of gay couples, but this is one way of approaching it.

Unfortunately in some circles even this is not enough. I would urge everyone to read this blog post written by a formerly Orthodox woman in a (celibate) relationship with another woman. The whole blog is actually well worth reading.

 

Clemente

Elder
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
0
minasoliman said:
Dear Clemente,

I've explained where I want to take this discussion.  You and I can continue to disagree on how to interpret Iconodule (I still don't see what you see), but for me, I am concerned with how to bring the gospel to LGBT people in more concrete practical ways.  I have also given my views in the beginning of this thread as to why I did not specifically appreciate Fr. Josiah's talk in Georgia.

Let's use an analogy.  Let's suppose you have some Jehovah's Witness (JW) folks that knock on your door.  You know your Bible and your theology really well to answer them.  Would you reach out to them and lovingly say how evil their organization is or would you try to lovingly demonstrate some of the flaws of their thinking and allow them to reach the conclusion of how evil their organization is?  Furthermore, how well known are you to the JW community?  Have you been involved very heavily in social activities, such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc?  Or are we folks who live out our busy lives behind a computer screen and feel comfortable about saying what's wrong or right but having no sense of getting involved in the community and share that experience of what was done to effect some change?

My main issue is the stagnancy of repeating what we already know and believe, but not showing any practical outcome of that belief.  Rather than the back and forth in this thread earlier, I want to see the discussion move forward into something more productive.

God bless!
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population, so I question whether for many here that is a genuine concern for sharing the gospel  (if so, why not talk about other minority groups such as African Americans), or rather, it is just a politically-correct concern for appearing "tolerant" and not offending anybody (in which case, I think we should recognise that Christianity is always offensive, no matter how we couch it).

But why are you talking about how to evangelise our gay neighbours in this thread?

What you and some other posters here refuse to understand is that context matters, which is why your analogy about JWs falls flat. The subject of this thread was a conference on families in Georgia, not how to evangelise gays at our front doors. Father Trenham was asked to speak about a radical political group, the gay lobby, which is seeking to promulgate an offensive legislative agenda that threatens to circumscribe our freedom of religion. I and a few other posters have pointed this out several times here and have shown in detail how their agenda would curtail our religious liberty. We and Father Trenham are right to denounce that political agenda as "homofascist" because that is precisely what it is.

Context matters.

Would it be wrong to denounce KKK members as "racists" at a Congress on Racial Understanding because I might offend my racist neighbour whom I am trying to evangelise? Would it have been wrong to denounce the evils of Nazism for fear of offending my German neighbour? Was it wrong for Early Christians to denounce Diocletian and his supporters as evil for fear of offending their Roman neighbours? Can you not see that denouncing a radical group intending to impose evil on us through a political process does not preclude evangelising on a personal level those who may have something in common with that group?

There have been a number of truly offensive comments made in this thread about an outstanding and much-loved Orthodox priest who is in good standing with his bishop. He has hours and hours of broadcasts on AFR and Patristic Nectar.org and nobody has produced any evidence that Father Trenham has said anything that is not Orthodox. I find it sad that OC.net is being used for such calumny.
 

mike

Protostrator
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
24,873
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
29
Location
Białystok / Warsaw
As for Evangelicals, IIRC that meeting was coorganised with them.

First things first, or sometimes, last as it seems.
 

ZealousZeal

Protokentarchos
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
3,980
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
33
Clemente said:
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population,
So a greater percentage than the 1% of lost sheep that Christ went out in search of.

so I question whether for many here that is a genuine concern for sharing the gospel  (if so, why not talk about other minority groups such as African Americans),
Well, as someone recently said:

Clemente said:
Context matters.
This isn't a thread about African Americans, for one thing. For another, what a truly bizarre comparison.  :eek:

  or rather, it is just a politically-correct concern for appearing "tolerant" and not offending anybody (in which case, I think we should recognise that Christianity is always offensive, no matter how we couch it).
Or rather, whether deservedly or not, rightly or not, this issue is a prevalent one in our society today, and it is important and necessary for the Church to "become all things to all men, so that [we] may by all means save some."
 

Mor Ephrem

Hypatos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
36,163
Reaction score
35
Points
48
Age
39
Location
New York!
Website
www.orthodoxchristianity.net
Clemente said:
minasoliman said:
Clemente said:
I get that you want to use this thread to advance a certain progressive, pink agenda, ...
I did not get the same impression of Iconodule as you do.  I think Iconodule is searching (as I am as well) for an alternative to what is perceived as the "fire and brimstone" approach to bring LGBT people to the Church and to repentance.  I hope you can concentrate your discussion on that.
No, he very clearly is pushing a progressive, pink agenda. His problem, which he has stated repeatedly, is the "skewed priorities" of Father Trenham.  Here is what he has said we need to do: 

1. De-emphasise sexual sins.
"And why, perhaps most importantly, are these sexual sins so emphasized, while graver injustices, doing far more damage to society, are ignored or even justified by our clergy?"
I think this sort of question can be used to de-emphasise sexual sins (though not necessarily), but that doesn't mean we don't have to answer that question as posed.  You can answer it by answering it or by demonstrating how its presuppositions are wrong, but it's not a bad or illegitimate question.  It's a reasonable question.   

2. Emphasise left wing political causes:
What graver injustices do you have in mind?  Should the Church only denounce those sins that are currently politically correct, i.e. racism, materialism, ecological damage to Mother Earth?


You don't think those are far more serious than gay marriage? Again, skewed priorities.
You called them sins, but when he suggested they're more important than gay marriage, you called them "left wing political causes".  Which is it? 
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
ZealousZeal said:
Clemente said:
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population,
So a greater percentage than the 1% of lost sheep that Christ went out in search of.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Not directly at Mor, but a convenient post to comment on.
Mor Ephrem said:
Clemente said:
minasoliman said:
Clemente said:
I get that you want to use this thread to advance a certain progressive, pink agenda, ...
I did not get the same impression of Iconodule as you do.  I think Iconodule is searching (as I am as well) for an alternative to what is perceived as the "fire and brimstone" approach to bring LGBT people to the Church and to repentance.  I hope you can concentrate your discussion on that.
No, he very clearly is pushing a progressive, pink agenda. His problem, which he has stated repeatedly, is the "skewed priorities" of Father Trenham.  Here is what he has said we need to do: 

1. De-emphasise sexual sins.
"And why, perhaps most importantly, are these sexual sins so emphasized, while graver injustices, doing far more damage to society, are ignored or even justified by our clergy?"
I think this sort of question can be used to de-emphasise sexual sins (though not necessarily), but that doesn't mean we don't have to answer that question as posed.  You can answer it by answering it or by demonstrating how its presuppositions are wrong, but it's not a bad or illegitimate question.  It's a reasonable question.
 
It's presupposition is unreasonable-and ridiculous.

Take for instance another priest who is often lumped together with Fr. Josiah, Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon. He does regularly preach against the sins of homosexual acts and the demonic agenda of redefining marriage. But certainly not more than he preaches against heterosexual promiscuity, divorce, abortion (for some reason, this seems to get mixed up with sins against the Seventh Commandment instead of the Sixth), and lets his opposition to birth control be known. (That doesn't count his praise for marriage, childbearing and childrearing, etc.). All of the above, however, would not outpace his preaching against murder, gossip, duty to the poor (which I think actually takes up most of his time), economic exploitation (though Iconodule's definition, and most certainly augustine217's, would be at odds with this), religious intolerance, and other things more to the Left's liking-at least more comparable to their lip service.

Iconodule and company, however, wouldn't notice that it seems because THEY emphasize "sexual sins" and bellow because they feel for some reason that their ox is being gored. If they took a selective sample of Fr. Josiah's or Fr. Patrick's sermons for, say, a year, and found out and could show that the priests used 80% or even 50% of their pulpit time on sex (either pro or con), they would have a case. However, it seems that they just heard a note-forget about the rest of the opera-that they don't like because it isn't singing their tune and the priest are refusing to sing off the Left's hymnal.

Mor Ephrem said:
2. Emphasise left wing political causes:
What graver injustices do you have in mind?  Should the Church only denounce those sins that are currently politically correct, i.e. racism, materialism, ecological damage to Mother Earth?


You don't think those are far more serious than gay marriage? Again, skewed priorities.
You called them sins, but when he suggested they're more important than gay marriage, you called them "left wing political causes".  Which is it?
Racists are in retreat (just look at how much the race card is played), the redefiners of marriage are on the march.

The argument that the latter used in IL played up the idea of tourism and gay dollars for wedding, so I'm not sure one can oppose it to materialism.

Climate change hysteria is largely pushed by those who push the pink agenda, so not sure a distinction can be made here either.

I know that Fr. Reardon preaches regularly against racism, materialism, and wanton misuse of the trust God has put in man over the earth, and I've heard Fr. Josiah do the same. However, many don't hear that as it would make the principled opposition to their pet cause too dimensional. Carbboard makes an easier target.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Porter ODoran said:
ZealousZeal said:
Clemente said:
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population,
So a greater percentage than the 1% of lost sheep that Christ went out in search of.
so He left the 10% to wander off and get lost?

Being black-despite what the Mormons say-is not a sin. And yet they are ignored, to pander to the sin of less than 3% (not all homosexuals are practicing).
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
ZealousZeal said:
Clemente said:
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population,
So a greater percentage than the 1% of lost sheep that Christ went out in search of.

so I question whether for many here that is a genuine concern for sharing the gospel  (if so, why not talk about other minority groups such as African Americans),
Well, as someone recently said:

Clemente said:
Context matters.
This isn't a thread about African Americans, for one thing. For another, what a truly bizarre comparison.  :eek:

  or rather, it is just a politically-correct concern for appearing "tolerant" and not offending anybody (in which case, I think we should recognise that Christianity is always offensive, no matter how we couch it).
Or rather, whether deservedly or not, rightly or not, this issue is a prevalent one in our society today, and it is important and necessary for the Church to "become all things to all men, so that [we] may by all means save some."
by donning "even the garment spotted by the flesh"?
 

Clemente

Elder
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Mor Ephrem said:
2. Emphasise left wing political causes:
What graver injustices do you have in mind?  Should the Church only denounce those sins that are currently politically correct, i.e. racism, materialism, ecological damage to Mother Earth?
You don't think those are far more serious than gay marriage? Again, skewed priorities.
You called them sins, but when he suggested they're more important than gay marriage, you called them "left wing political causes".  Which is it?
That is precisely the point: its both.

For those pushing a progressive agenda, its much more comfortable talking about sins like racism, materialism and ecological damage  (all of which I would rightly call sin as well), because, by doing so, we Christians get kudos from social justice warriors of the political left. Our interest and theirs coincide. Yet when we talk about sexual sins, we are no longer aligned with the popular zeitgeist. So, according to the progressive posters here, our priorities should be to point out sins that gain us popularity outside the Church.

Because then people will like us more.

And we can thus share the gospel with them. After all, it worked so well for the Episcopal Church.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Iconodule said:
Onesimus said:
What one sees as "productive or practical" is an excercisein subjectivity in most of these discussions.  It actually tends towards utilitarianism in practice for most who accept LGBTQ.
The Church already practices this "utilitarianism" in the face of contraception, premarital sex, divorce, and confessionally mixed marriages. All of these involve sin or a significant departure from the ideal; all of them are routinely accommodated in our churches.

FinnJames was kind enough to share his own experience here. He is in a civil marriage with another man. He waited until the relationship became a celibate one before entering the church, and was accepted, while still remaining in his relationship with the full knowledge of the clergy. I should note here that FinnJames is not advocating celibacy as a uniform requirement of gay couples, but this is one way of approaching it.

Unfortunately in some circles even this is not enough. I would urge everyone to read this blog post written by a formerly Orthodox woman in a (celibate) relationship with another woman. The whole blog is actually well worth reading.
And, then on August 27 or 28, I honestly don’t remember which, I read the words “the Orthodox Church cannot and will not condone or bless ‘same-sex unions’ of any degree.” That last phrase if huge: of any degree. And no matter how much others have tried to tell me that the statement in question is not talking about people in my situation, I can’t believe that. The other shoe finally dropped, and I couldn’t see a way to continue communing in good conscience. The conscience is a tricky thing. It belongs to us, and only we know what will give us comfort.
The Orthodox Church can only condone and bless different sex unions in one degree-marriage.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Clemente said:
Mor Ephrem said:
2. Emphasise left wing political causes:
What graver injustices do you have in mind?  Should the Church only denounce those sins that are currently politically correct, i.e. racism, materialism, ecological damage to Mother Earth?
You don't think those are far more serious than gay marriage? Again, skewed priorities.
You called them sins, but when he suggested they're more important than gay marriage, you called them "left wing political causes".  Which is it?
That is precisely the point: its both.

For those pushing a progressive agenda, its much more comfortable talking about sins like racism, materialism and ecological damage  (all of which I would rightly call sin as well), because, by doing so, we Christians get kudos from social justice warriors of the political left. Our interest and theirs coincide. Yet when we talk about sexual sins, we are no longer aligned with the popular zeitgeist. So, according to the progressive posters here, our priorities should be to point out sins that gain us popularity outside the Church.

Because then people will like us more.

And we can thus share the gospel with them. After all, it worked so well for the Episcopal Church.
just look at the treatment of the present occupant of the Vatican's throne. As long as he says something that the social justice warriors think they can use in their war propaganda, he gets heaps of praise in the press, etc. But just call abortion a sin just once, and....
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,485
Reaction score
2
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
ialmisry said:
Iconodule said:
Onesimus said:
What one sees as "productive or practical" is an excercisein subjectivity in most of these discussions.  It actually tends towards utilitarianism in practice for most who accept LGBTQ.
The Church already practices this "utilitarianism" in the face of contraception, premarital sex, divorce, and confessionally mixed marriages. All of these involve sin or a significant departure from the ideal; all of them are routinely accommodated in our churches.

FinnJames was kind enough to share his own experience here. He is in a civil marriage with another man. He waited until the relationship became a celibate one before entering the church, and was accepted, while still remaining in his relationship with the full knowledge of the clergy. I should note here that FinnJames is not advocating celibacy as a uniform requirement of gay couples, but this is one way of approaching it.

Unfortunately in some circles even this is not enough. I would urge everyone to read this blog post written by a formerly Orthodox woman in a (celibate) relationship with another woman. The whole blog is actually well worth reading.
And, then on August 27 or 28, I honestly don’t remember which, I read the words “the Orthodox Church cannot and will not condone or bless ‘same-sex unions’ of any degree.” That last phrase if huge: of any degree. And no matter how much others have tried to tell me that the statement in question is not talking about people in my situation, I can’t believe that. The other shoe finally dropped, and I couldn’t see a way to continue communing in good conscience. The conscience is a tricky thing. It belongs to us, and only we know what will give us comfort.
The Orthodox Church can only condone and bless different sex unions in one degree-marriage.
As we can see here, not quite true. And in this particular instance, we are talking about two people of the same sex in a celibate cohabitation. They are not asking that any rite be devised to bless their relationship- someone even suggested reviving the adelphopoeisis rite and they explained that this did not interest them. But the Antiochian ruling indicated to them that even this- a same-sex celibate cohabitation, no special blessing requested- would not be condoned.
 

Alveus Lacuna

Taxiarches
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,416
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
Missouri, USA
Iconodule said:
They are not asking that any rite be devised to bless their relationship- someone even suggested reviving the adelphopoeisis rite and they explained that this did not interest them. But the Antiochian ruling indicated to them that even this- a same-sex celibate cohabitation, no special blessing requested- would not be condoned.
I personally know a couple that followed this way based on Fr. Thomas Hopko's teaching with the blessing of their priest who agreed with the reasoning. The result was that they over time became sexually intimate, hid it, and then gradually became comfortable with it. Eventually they were 'living a lie', left Orthodoxy and were married in the local Episcopal church.

This line of thinking actually accelerated their intimacy to places it never went before, and ultimately resulted in them leaving the church. Not that it has to go that way, but my only experience with such an experiment was that it was a total failure.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Iconodule said:
ialmisry said:
Iconodule said:
Onesimus said:
What one sees as "productive or practical" is an excercisein subjectivity in most of these discussions.  It actually tends towards utilitarianism in practice for most who accept LGBTQ.
The Church already practices this "utilitarianism" in the face of contraception, premarital sex, divorce, and confessionally mixed marriages. All of these involve sin or a significant departure from the ideal; all of them are routinely accommodated in our churches.

FinnJames was kind enough to share his own experience here. He is in a civil marriage with another man. He waited until the relationship became a celibate one before entering the church, and was accepted, while still remaining in his relationship with the full knowledge of the clergy. I should note here that FinnJames is not advocating celibacy as a uniform requirement of gay couples, but this is one way of approaching it.

Unfortunately in some circles even this is not enough. I would urge everyone to read this blog post written by a formerly Orthodox woman in a (celibate) relationship with another woman. The whole blog is actually well worth reading.
And, then on August 27 or 28, I honestly don’t remember which, I read the words “the Orthodox Church cannot and will not condone or bless ‘same-sex unions’ of any degree.” That last phrase if huge: of any degree. And no matter how much others have tried to tell me that the statement in question is not talking about people in my situation, I can’t believe that. The other shoe finally dropped, and I couldn’t see a way to continue communing in good conscience. The conscience is a tricky thing. It belongs to us, and only we know what will give us comfort.
The Orthodox Church can only condone and bless different sex unions in one degree-marriage.
As we can see here, not quite true.
you need to get a new prescription for the glasses. In the meantime, so you can see:
Iconodule said:
Amid current discussions on marriage, sexuality, etc, I've been reviewing the 2000 document of the Russian Orthodox Church, The Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, and these passages jumped out at me:

In the period of the Christianisation of the Roman Empire, marriage continued to be validated by civil registration. Consecrating matrimonial unions by prayer and blessing, the Church still recognised a common-law marriage as valid in cases where the church marriage was impossible and did not subject the spouses thus married to canonical prohibitions. Today the Russian Orthodox Church upholds the same practice. In doing so, she cannot approve and bless the matrimonial unions which, while being concluded in accordance with the existing law, violate the canonical prescriptions, such as a fourth and subsequent marriages, marriages in the inadmissible degrees of blood or spiritual affinity.

...

On December 28, 1998, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church regretted to state that «some spiritual fathers tend to declar common-law marriage invalid or demand that spouses, who have lived together for many years but were not married in church for this or that reason, should divorce… Some spiritual fathers do not allow persons who live in «unwed» marriage to communicate, identifying such a marriage with fornication». The decision adopted by the Synod points out that «while insisting on the necessity of church marriage, the Synod reminds pastors that the Orthodox Church also respects common-law marriage».

The common faith of spouses who are members of the body of Christ is an essential condition for truly Christian and church marriage. It is only the family that has one faith that can become «the church in the house» (Rom. 16:5; Phil. 1:2), in which husband and wife together with their children grow in spiritual perfection and knowledge of God. The lack of like-mindedness presents a serious threat to the integrity of a matrimonial union. That is why the Church considers it her duty to urge the faithful to marry «only in the Lord» (1 Cor. 7:39), that to marry only those who share their Christian convictions.

The above-mentioned resolution of the Holy Synod also speaks of the Church’s respect for «the marriage in which only one of the parties belongs to the Orthodox faith. For, according to St. Paul, «the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband» (1 Cor. 7:14)». The fathers of the Council in Trullo also referred to this scriptural text when recognised as valid the union between those who «up to this time being unbelievers and not yet numbered in the flock of the orthodox have contracted lawful marriage», if later one of the spouses embraced the faith. In the same canon, however, just as in other canonical decrees (IV Ecum. Council 14; Laodic. 10, 31), and works of early Christian authors and church fathers (Tertullian, St. Cyprian of Carthage, St. Theodoret and St. Augustine), it is prohibited to contract marriages with followers of other religious traditions.

In accordance with ancient canonical prescriptions, today, too, the Church does not sanctifies marriages contracted between the Orthodox and non-Christians, while recognising them as lawful and not regarding those who live in such a marriage as living in sinful co-habitation.
The Russian version is here.

If I'm reading this right, the document seems to say that, while the ROC will not bless marriages between Christians and non-Christians in a church ceremony, it still recognizes such marriages as valid and will not deny communion to the Orthodox partner. Can anyone else familiar with Russian or contemporary Russian church practice tell me if I'm reading this right?
Iconodule said:
And in this particular instance, we are talking about two people of the same sex in a celibate cohabitation. They are not asking that any rite be devised to bless their relationship- someone even suggested reviving the adelphopoeisis rite and they explained that this did not interest them. But the Antiochian ruling indicated to them that even this- a same-sex celibate cohabitation, no special blessing requested- would not be condoned.
nor would different sex celibate cohabitation be condoned. Living as brother and sister isn't going to get the ecclesiastical A-OK.

Plenty of women I know live together, and do not involve the Church in their domestic arrangements. Here, they claim a "calling" as a "Christian" "couple."
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,485
Reaction score
2
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
Alveus Lacuna said:
Iconodule said:
They are not asking that any rite be devised to bless their relationship- someone even suggested reviving the adelphopoeisis rite and they explained that this did not interest them. But the Antiochian ruling indicated to them that even this- a same-sex celibate cohabitation, no special blessing requested- would not be condoned.
I personally know a couple that followed this way based on Fr. Thomas Hopko's teaching with the blessing of their priest who agreed with the reasoning. The result was that they over time became sexually intimate, hid it, and then gradually became comfortable with it. Eventually they were 'living a lie', left Orthodoxy and were married in the local Episcopal church.

This line of thinking actually accelerated their intimacy to places it never went before, and ultimately resulted in them leaving the church. Not that it has to go that way, but my only experience with such an experiment was that it was a total failure.
One point the bloggers make clear is that their approach will not work for everybody; they themselves opted for celibacy because they felt personally called to do it, not to satisfy a general moral injunction. They began it before they entered Orthodoxy and continue it since they left. They do not advocate it as a solution for all or even most LGBT Christians. 
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,485
Reaction score
2
Points
38
Age
38
Location
PA, USA
"Marriage" is expanded to include civil unions in the ROC document, so not sure what you hope to accomplish by your font antics.

ialmisry said:
nor would different sex celibate cohabitation be condoned. Living as brother and sister isn't going to get the ecclesiastical A-OK.
You mean, unless they do it in disguise, in which case they are canonized?

What do you mean "ecclesiastical A-OK"? Again, they are not looking for any kind of formal blessing.

Plenty of women I know live together, and do not involve the Church in their domestic arrangements. Here, they claim a "calling" as a "Christian" "couple."
In what way are they trying to "involve the Church"?
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
Attacks on the ideal purposes of marriage:
  • Getting an education first
  • Poverty
  • Lack of community and sense of place
  • Lack of extended-family cohesion
  • Fragmented, indifferent parishes
  • Cultural confusion and malaise
  • Mental and emotional illness
  • Pride, cruelty, abuse
  • Absent fathers
  • Present but uninvolved fathers
  • Pernicious social environment
  • Divorce
  • Adultery
  • Quality of childhood education
  • Hostility or indifference between spouses
  • Lack of sex between spouses
  • Few or no offspring
  • Sexual degradation between spouses
  • Dishonesty
  • Disbelief in God
  • Lack of wholesome work
  • Polyamory
  • Homosexuality

I will let you put them in a numbered list in your minds, according to which have the greater impacts.
 

Fr. George

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
21,864
Reaction score
41
Points
48
Age
39
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
The much-misunderstood "Brother making" ceremony was to provide a blessed way for people of the same gender to live a celibate life under the same roof.  It was essentially making a mini-monastery, only you were being pledged to your fraternal bond rather than to the place.  Without the ceremony, cohabitation with a non-relative would be looked on with suspicion (and the canons deal with both acts of impropriety and the appearance thereof).
 

Charles Martel

Taxiarches
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
6,805
Reaction score
0
Points
0
minasoliman said:
Charles Martel said:
Homosexuality by it's very nature is anti-life, it's very act closes the door to life.
What do you mean by "anti-life"?  If you mean risking salvation and unity with the divine life, sure!  But if you mean not being able to reproduce, then I also have to disagree with your argument as a fallacy as well.  In that case, you inadvertently condemn celibacy in our traditions.
It's not about not being "able" to reproduce, most homosexuals are very well able to reproduce, just not with each other.. But it's the act of sodomy in and of itself that  is an affront to God. You are literally attacking God by committing this grevious sin by deliberately going against God's plan whereas the sexual act is supposed to open the door to life, it is supposed to lead to creation which is a gift from almighty God to man but when you engage in sexual  activities that can no way lead to life you are intentionally defying the will of God.

The act of sodomy is one of the worst possible sins you can commit, intentionally thrwarting God's plan for life. It's so grevious, that we consider it one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. Right up there with murder of the innocents

Sodomy is sacrilege, sodomy is evil, sodomy leads to death of not only the body but of the soul.

God called it an abomination in the Old Testament and specifically destroyed two cities for it as well.

Let's stop playing games here and  stop sugar-coating it for what it is and please, spare us the whole  "evangelizing" thing to the LGBT community, they know damn well  that sodomy is strictly condmened in Christianity no matter how they try and spin it, there's no getting around that it is a sin and not compatible with the "alternative " lifestyle in any way whatsoever.

You can be a Christian or a sodomite, but you can't be both.
 

mike

Protostrator
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
24,873
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
29
Location
Białystok / Warsaw
Charles Martel said:
The act of sodomy is one of the worst possible sins you can commit, intentionally thrwarting God's plan for life. It's so grevious, that we consider it one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. Right up there with murder of the innocents
<Popcorn>
 

Opus118

Protokentarchos
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
4
Points
38
Age
69
Location
Oceanside, California
Porter ODoran said:
Attacks on the ideal purposes of marriage:
  • Getting an education first
  • Poverty
  • Lack of community and sense of place
  • Lack of extended-family cohesion
  • Fragmented, indifferent parishes
  • Cultural confusion and malaise
  • Mental and emotional illness
  • Pride, cruelty, abuse
  • Absent fathers
  • Present but uninvolved fathers
  • Pernicious social environment
  • Divorce
  • Adultery
  • Quality of childhood education
  • Hostility or indifference between spouses
  • Lack of sex between spouses
  • Few or no offspring
  • Sexual degradation between spouses
  • Dishonesty
  • Disbelief in God
  • Lack of wholesome work
  • Polyamory
  • Homosexuality
I will let you put them in a numbered list in your minds, according to which have the greater impacts.
I have no idea for sorting these according to impact. This is a good starting list, but there are some items I cannot grasp at this moment. I would include  some opposite gender items that are more in play than what you have listed:
  • Absent mothers
  • Present but uninvolved mothers
 

Clemente

Elder
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Porter ODoran said:
Attacks on the ideal purposes of marriage:
  • Getting an education first
  • Poverty
  • Lack of community and sense of place
  • Lack of extended-family cohesion
  • Fragmented, indifferent parishes
  • Cultural confusion and malaise
  • Mental and emotional illness
  • Pride, cruelty, abuse
  • Absent fathers
  • Present but uninvolved fathers
  • Pernicious social environment
  • Divorce
  • Adultery
  • Quality of childhood education
  • Hostility or indifference between spouses
  • Lack of sex between spouses
  • Few or no offspring
  • Sexual degradation between spouses
  • Dishonesty
  • Disbelief in God
  • Lack of wholesome work
  • Polyamory
  • Homosexuality

I will let you put them in a numbered list in your minds, according to which have the greater impacts.
Interesting list but you left out one: the radical LGBT political lobby, which is doing the following:
• Passing laws which threaten churches that preach against homosexuality.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/four-spanish-bishops-threatened-with-prosecution-for-criticizing-draconian
• Passing laws forcing Christian adoption agencies to place babies in same-sex families or close down.  https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/ByIssue/Article/TabId/735/ArtMID/13636/ArticleID/14666/Tough-times-for-Catholic-adoption-agencies.aspx
• Suing Christian churches that do not perform same-sex marriage, http://www.christianpost.com/news/church-of-england-to-be-sued-for-refusing-to-perform-same-sex-marriages-just-a-month-after-prime-minister-promised-protection-101487/
• Proposing laws that would prevent Christian schools from teaching traditional Christian sexual morality, http://www.opposesb1146.com/

And in the wake of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision in the US, the following is happening in America:
• The tax-exempt status of non-profit ministries and organizations is being attacked
• Parents increasingly have no say in what their children are taught about relationships and marriage in public schools. No notice in advance. No chance to opt out.
• Teachers in public schools who express support for traditional marriage may be fired
• Christian college accreditation is being attacked
• Government-backed student-loans at Christian colleges are in doubt
• Faith-based adoption agencies are bing forced out of business
• Christian business owners, wedding photographers, cake bakers, florists, etc, are being sued for discrimination if they turn down business for a same-sex ceremony
• Churches open up their buildings to outside groups are being sued if they turn down events such as a reception for a same-sex wedding
• Faith-based charities and relief organizations that get money from the government are threatened
• The freedom of Christian organizations to hire people who are in harmony with their beliefs is being legally challenged
• Members of the military who disagree with homosexuality are being threatened
• People who work for city and county governments who express support for traditional marriage may lose their jobs

Now, forgive me for my cynicism, but I suspect you posted your little list to seek to trivialise the threat to the family and to the Orthodox faith posed by the LGBT lobby, which, alas, was the subject that Father Trenham was invited to address.
 

Clemente

Elder
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Charles Martel said:
minasoliman said:
Charles Martel said:
Homosexuality by it's very nature is anti-life, it's very act closes the door to life.
What do you mean by "anti-life"?  If you mean risking salvation and unity with the divine life, sure!  But if you mean not being able to reproduce, then I also have to disagree with your argument as a fallacy as well.  In that case, you inadvertently condemn celibacy in our traditions.
It's not about not being "able" to reproduce, most homosexuals are very well able to reproduce, just not with each other.. But it's the act of sodomy in and of itself that  is an affront to God. You are literally attacking God by committing this grevious sin by deliberately going against God's plan whereas the sexual act is supposed to open the door to life, it is supposed to lead to creation which is a gift from almighty God to man but when you engage in sexual  activities that can no way lead to life you are intentionally defying the will of God.

The act of sodomy is one of the worst possible sins you can commit, intentionally thrwarting God's plan for life. It's so grevious, that we consider it one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. Right up there with murder of the innocents

Sodomy is sacrilege, sodomy is evil, sodomy leads to death of not only the body but of the soul.

God called it an abomination in the Old Testament and specifically destroyed two cities for it as well.

Let's stop playing games here and  stop sugar-coating it for what it is and please, spare us the whole  "evangelizing" thing to the LGBT community, they know damn well  that sodomy is strictly condmened in Christianity no matter how they try and spin it, there's no getting around that it is a sin and not compatible with the "alternative " lifestyle in any way whatsoever.

You can be a Christian or a sodomite, but you can't be both.
A voice crying in the wilderness. Be forewarned: the Pink Mafia is going to go ballistic.
 

Onesimus

Elder
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
44
I just competed an exhaustive seminary course on the book of Ezekiel.  The prefigure not of Christ is astounding when really delved into.  His calling is our calling.  But our notions of "discourse" and of "practicality" overshadow our calling sometimes. 

May god forgive me for my own rebellion.

Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!” As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me. Then He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. “I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ “As for them, whether they listen or not—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. “And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. “But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.

But I have sent you to them who should listen to you; yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate. “Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. “Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house.” Moreover, He said to me, “Son of man, take into your heart all My words which I will speak to you and listen closely.  "Go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’”


Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. “Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. “However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”

As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so that you cannot go out among them. “Moreover, I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be mute and cannot be a man who rebukes them, for they are a rebellious house. “But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.[/quote]
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
NJ
Clemente said:
minasoliman said:
Dear Clemente,

I've explained where I want to take this discussion.  You and I can continue to disagree on how to interpret Iconodule (I still don't see what you see), but for me, I am concerned with how to bring the gospel to LGBT people in more concrete practical ways.  I have also given my views in the beginning of this thread as to why I did not specifically appreciate Fr. Josiah's talk in Georgia.

Let's use an analogy.  Let's suppose you have some Jehovah's Witness (JW) folks that knock on your door.  You know your Bible and your theology really well to answer them.  Would you reach out to them and lovingly say how evil their organization is or would you try to lovingly demonstrate some of the flaws of their thinking and allow them to reach the conclusion of how evil their organization is?  Furthermore, how well known are you to the JW community?  Have you been involved very heavily in social activities, such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc?  Or are we folks who live out our busy lives behind a computer screen and feel comfortable about saying what's wrong or right but having no sense of getting involved in the community and share that experience of what was done to effect some change?

My main issue is the stagnancy of repeating what we already know and believe, but not showing any practical outcome of that belief.  Rather than the back and forth in this thread earlier, I want to see the discussion move forward into something more productive.

God bless!
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population, so I question whether for many here that is a genuine concern for sharing the gospel  (if so, why not talk about other minority groups such as African Americans), or rather, it is just a politically-correct concern for appearing "tolerant" and not offending anybody (in which case, I think we should recognise that Christianity is always offensive, no matter how we couch it).

But why are you talking about how to evangelise our gay neighbours in this thread?

What you and some other posters here refuse to understand is that context matters, which is why your analogy about JWs falls flat. The subject of this thread was a conference on families in Georgia, not how to evangelise gays at our front doors. Father Trenham was asked to speak about a radical political group, the gay lobby, which is seeking to promulgate an offensive legislative agenda that threatens to circumscribe our freedom of religion. I and a few other posters have pointed this out several times here and have shown in detail how their agenda would curtail our religious liberty. We and Father Trenham are right to denounce that political agenda as "homofascist" because that is precisely what it is.

Context matters.

Would it be wrong to denounce KKK members as "racists" at a Congress on Racial Understanding because I might offend my racist neighbour whom I am trying to evangelise? Would it have been wrong to denounce the evils of Nazism for fear of offending my German neighbour? Was it wrong for Early Christians to denounce Diocletian and his supporters as evil for fear of offending their Roman neighbours? Can you not see that denouncing a radical group intending to impose evil on us through a political process does not preclude evangelising on a personal level those who may have something in common with that group?

There have been a number of truly offensive comments made in this thread about an outstanding and much-loved Orthodox priest who is in good standing with his bishop. He has hours and hours of broadcasts on AFR and Patristic Nectar.org and nobody has produced any evidence that Father Trenham has said anything that is not Orthodox. I find it sad that OC.net is being used for such calumny.
"Context matters".  This is why I was uncomfortable with Fr. Josiah's speech in Georgia, not because of the speech, but because of the place.  In the US, one can arguably speak out on the evils of the LGBT lobby without incurring violent repercussions to those same people.  I can't say the same in Georgia.  If he made the same speech in Uganda, it's even worse.

Sometimes even in the US, there might be a parish where a gay person is trying to figure out his life in repentance.  If I speak about the evils of the LGBT community, will I inadvertently ostracize this person? 

There is an example of a (former?) lesbian woman, Rosaria Butterfield, who upon having a relationship with a Methodist parish was able to repent and leave her past. As far as I am aware, that parish was never vociferous as Fr. Josiah.  Unless Fr. Josiah has people from the LGBT community he converted, it seems to me he's more of a political activist than a priest.

Using your analogy on Nazis, let's consider an actual example of a political activist in the past, Martin Luther King.  I have never listened to him bashing against the white man, but rather looking forward to resist injustice while maintaining a love for your enemy.  Now, here's the amazing thing.  He's the minority.  We are the majority as you admit.  How much more then should we desire to speak out against whatever laws may do while we also maintain the desire to save ALL of God's children!

My question is this concerning LGBT movements.  What has been affective to bring them to repentance?  I would like to find out real life stories of this.  Is Fr. Josiah actually bringing them to repentance, or does he only care about political issues?
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
Clemente said:
Porter ODoran said:
Attacks on the ideal purposes of marriage:
  • Getting an education first
  • Poverty
  • Lack of community and sense of place
  • Lack of extended-family cohesion
  • Fragmented, indifferent parishes
  • Cultural confusion and malaise
  • Mental and emotional illness
  • Pride, cruelty, abuse
  • Absent fathers
  • Present but uninvolved fathers
  • Pernicious social environment
  • Divorce
  • Adultery
  • Quality of childhood education
  • Hostility or indifference between spouses
  • Lack of sex between spouses
  • Few or no offspring
  • Sexual degradation between spouses
  • Dishonesty
  • Disbelief in God
  • Lack of wholesome work
  • Polyamory
  • Homosexuality

I will let you put them in a numbered list in your minds, according to which have the greater impacts.
Interesting list but you left out one: the radical LGBT political lobby, which is doing the following:
• Passing laws which threaten churches that preach against homosexuality.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/four-spanish-bishops-threatened-with-prosecution-for-criticizing-draconian
• Passing laws forcing Christian adoption agencies to place babies in same-sex families or close down.  https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/ByIssue/Article/TabId/735/ArtMID/13636/ArticleID/14666/Tough-times-for-Catholic-adoption-agencies.aspx
• Suing Christian churches that do not perform same-sex marriage, http://www.christianpost.com/news/church-of-england-to-be-sued-for-refusing-to-perform-same-sex-marriages-just-a-month-after-prime-minister-promised-protection-101487/
• Proposing laws that would prevent Christian schools from teaching traditional Christian sexual morality, http://www.opposesb1146.com/

And in the wake of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision in the US, the following is happening in America:
• The tax-exempt status of non-profit ministries and organizations is being attacked
• Parents increasingly have no say in what their children are taught about relationships and marriage in public schools. No notice in advance. No chance to opt out.
• Teachers in public schools who express support for traditional marriage may be fired
• Christian college accreditation is being attacked
• Government-backed student-loans at Christian colleges are in doubt
• Faith-based adoption agencies are bing forced out of business
• Christian business owners, wedding photographers, cake bakers, florists, etc, are being sued for discrimination if they turn down business for a same-sex ceremony
• Churches open up their buildings to outside groups are being sued if they turn down events such as a reception for a same-sex wedding
• Faith-based charities and relief organizations that get money from the government are threatened
• The freedom of Christian organizations to hire people who are in harmony with their beliefs is being legally challenged
• Members of the military who disagree with homosexuality are being threatened
• People who work for city and county governments who express support for traditional marriage may lose their jobs

Now, forgive me for my cynicism, but I suspect you posted your little list to seek to trivialise the threat to the family and to the Orthodox faith posed by the LGBT lobby, which, alas, was the subject that Father Trenham was invited to address.
Everything I listed probably has some political component. For example, the teachers' unions, the entertainment lobby, the APA, the no-fault divorce crusade, and many more. Because homosexuals' political success is more recent and perhaps more surprising does not make it some special Elite Satanic Kingdom Corps or something. In short, everything is political.

To my mind, it's telling that you ignored a list almost each item of which represents unspeakable suffering for millions, especially children. What is sin if not the willful guilty misjudgment we choose because it serves us personally so well, or seems to. As you and I are not homosexuals, how tempting to indulge an obsession with the small population that are and thus excuse ourselves and hundreds of millions like us from scrutiny for our sins -- which, yes, sully the world and cry out to God for vengeance, as almost our entire way of life inflicts suffering on uncountable fellow human beings.

As for the "abomination" argument for homosexuality being a special class of cursedness or sin (I don't recall if this was your or Master Martel's argument) -- Scripture designate shellfish, raptors, bats and flying squirrels, insects, reptiles, silver or gold salvaged from idols, other religions, deformed cattle, self-justification, and the esteem of society to be (and I quote) abominations. Male-on-male sexual congress and child-sacrifice do indeed receive the same designation. In other words, a survey of Scripture should make it clear that there is nothing about the word "abomination" alone that marks an act as a particularly harmful or unforgivable one.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Opus118 said:
Porter ODoran said:
Attacks on the ideal purposes of marriage:
  • Getting an education first
  • Poverty
  • Lack of community and sense of place
  • Lack of extended-family cohesion
  • Fragmented, indifferent parishes
  • Cultural confusion and malaise
  • Mental and emotional illness
  • Pride, cruelty, abuse
  • Absent fathers
  • Present but uninvolved fathers
  • Pernicious social environment
  • Divorce
  • Adultery
  • Quality of childhood education
  • Hostility or indifference between spouses
  • Lack of sex between spouses
  • Few or no offspring
  • Sexual degradation between spouses
  • Dishonesty
  • Disbelief in God
  • Lack of wholesome work
  • Polyamory
  • Homosexuality
I will let you put them in a numbered list in your minds, according to which have the greater impacts.
I have no idea for sorting these according to impact. This is a good starting list, but there are some items I cannot grasp at this moment. I would include  some opposite gender items that are more in play than what you have listed:
  • Absent mothers
  • Present but uninvolved mothers
  • Mothers who think whomever they are presently sleeping with is now dad
             
  • Mother's abusive boyfriends.
             
  • Mother's homicidal boyfriends.
 

ialmisry

Strategos
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
41,794
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Location
Chicago
Iconodule said:
"Marriage" is expanded to include civil unions in the ROC document, so not sure what you hope to accomplish by your font antics.
Ah, so the problem lies behind the glasses. Try to read with understanding. It accomplishes much.
Iconodule said:
ialmisry said:
nor would different sex celibate cohabitation be condoned. Living as brother and sister isn't going to get the ecclesiastical A-OK.
You mean, unless they do it in disguise, in which case they are canonized?
That is living as brother and "brother"-a phrase that would, to the normal, makes no sense, as there is no question as to living like anything else.

Again, read with understanding. It accomplishes much.

Iconodule said:
What do you mean "ecclesiastical A-OK"? Again, they are not looking for any kind of formal blessing.
Then why the pouting?

Again, I know plenty of women (and men) who live together (women with women, and men with men, that is), and don't have to protest the Church to do so.
Iconodule said:
Plenty of women I know live together, and do not involve the Church in their domestic arrangements. Here, they claim a "calling" as a "Christian" "couple."
In what way are they trying to "involve the Church"?
Again, reading with understanding accomplishes much:
And, then on August 27 or 28, I honestly don’t remember which, I read the words “the Orthodox Church cannot and will not condone or bless ‘same-sex unions’ of any degree.” That last phrase if huge: of any degree. And no matter how much others have tried to tell me that the statement in question is not talking about people in my situation, I can’t believe that. The other shoe finally dropped, and I couldn’t see a way to continue communing in good conscience. The conscience is a tricky thing. It belongs to us, and only we know what will give us comfort.
 

wgw

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
5,816
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Cast adrift in a lifeboat of the SS Aurora
minasoliman said:
Clemente said:
minasoliman said:
Dear Clemente,

I've explained where I want to take this discussion.  You and I can continue to disagree on how to interpret Iconodule (I still don't see what you see), but for me, I am concerned with how to bring the gospel to LGBT people in more concrete practical ways.  I have also given my views in the beginning of this thread as to why I did not specifically appreciate Fr. Josiah's talk in Georgia.

Let's use an analogy.  Let's suppose you have some Jehovah's Witness (JW) folks that knock on your door.  You know your Bible and your theology really well to answer them.  Would you reach out to them and lovingly say how evil their organization is or would you try to lovingly demonstrate some of the flaws of their thinking and allow them to reach the conclusion of how evil their organization is?  Furthermore, how well known are you to the JW community?  Have you been involved very heavily in social activities, such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc?  Or are we folks who live out our busy lives behind a computer screen and feel comfortable about saying what's wrong or right but having no sense of getting involved in the community and share that experience of what was done to effect some change?

My main issue is the stagnancy of repeating what we already know and believe, but not showing any practical outcome of that belief.  Rather than the back and forth in this thread earlier, I want to see the discussion move forward into something more productive.

God bless!
I understand that you and other posters here are ostensibly concerned with how to reach out to LGBT people. They represent about 3% of the population, so I question whether for many here that is a genuine concern for sharing the gospel  (if so, why not talk about other minority groups such as African Americans), or rather, it is just a politically-correct concern for appearing "tolerant" and not offending anybody (in which case, I think we should recognise that Christianity is always offensive, no matter how we couch it).

But why are you talking about how to evangelise our gay neighbours in this thread?

What you and some other posters here refuse to understand is that context matters, which is why your analogy about JWs falls flat. The subject of this thread was a conference on families in Georgia, not how to evangelise gays at our front doors. Father Trenham was asked to speak about a radical political group, the gay lobby, which is seeking to promulgate an offensive legislative agenda that threatens to circumscribe our freedom of religion. I and a few other posters have pointed this out several times here and have shown in detail how their agenda would curtail our religious liberty. We and Father Trenham are right to denounce that political agenda as "homofascist" because that is precisely what it is.

Context matters.

Would it be wrong to denounce KKK members as "racists" at a Congress on Racial Understanding because I might offend my racist neighbour whom I am trying to evangelise? Would it have been wrong to denounce the evils of Nazism for fear of offending my German neighbour? Was it wrong for Early Christians to denounce Diocletian and his supporters as evil for fear of offending their Roman neighbours? Can you not see that denouncing a radical group intending to impose evil on us through a political process does not preclude evangelising on a personal level those who may have something in common with that group?

There have been a number of truly offensive comments made in this thread about an outstanding and much-loved Orthodox priest who is in good standing with his bishop. He has hours and hours of broadcasts on AFR and Patristic Nectar.org and nobody has produced any evidence that Father Trenham has said anything that is not Orthodox. I find it sad that OC.net is being used for such calumny.
"Context matters".  This is why I was uncomfortable with Fr. Josiah's speech in Georgia, not because of the speech, but because of the place.  In the US, one can arguably speak out on the evils of the LGBT lobby without incurring violent repercussions to those same people.  I can't say the same in Georgia.  If he made the same speech in Uganda, it's even worse.

Sometimes even in the US, there might be a parish where a gay person is trying to figure out his life in repentance.  If I speak about the evils of the LGBT community, will I inadvertently ostracize this person? 

There is an example of a (former?) lesbian woman, Rosaria Butterfield, who upon having a relationship with a Methodist parish was able to repent and leave her past. As far as I am aware, that parish was never vociferous as Fr. Josiah.  Unless Fr. Josiah has people from the LGBT community he converted, it seems to me he's more of a political activist than a priest.

Using your analogy on Nazis, let's consider an actual example of a political activist in the past, Martin Luther King.  I have never listened to him bashing against the white man, but rather looking forward to resist injustice while maintaining a love for your enemy.  Now, here's the amazing thing.  He's the minority.  We are the majority as you admit.  How much more then should we desire to speak out against whatever laws may do while we also maintain the desire to save ALL of God's children!

My question is this concerning LGBT movements.  What has been affective to bring them to repentance?  I would like to find out real life stories of this.  Is Fr. Josiah actually bringing them to repentance, or does he only care about political issues?
Unfortunately, I am aware of no cases where an entire LGBT "movement" if we define it as a large, organized advocacy grouo, has been brought to repentance and conversion.  All conversions I have read about have been of one or two individuals.

By the way, if you view the video of Fr. Trenham addressing the same conference in 2015. he did not even address homosexuality, but he did address abortion, however, he did so within the context of a completely beautiful and Orthodox exposition on the reality of the incarnation, pointing out the awesome and charming reality of how had we grown up in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago we might well have played tag with God.

Also Fr. Trenham runs Patristic Nectar Publications, which distributes a fairly broad range of material mostly unrelated to homosexuality.
 

Daedelus1138

High Elder
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
991
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Orlando
I listened to Fr. Josiah's 2015 speech.  I could see how in other contexts he would have a lot of good things to say about other topics.  The problem, however, is a lot of this type of Orthodox theology is that it can seem overly romantic at times, leading to a totalizing worldview that lacks one of the key things I think is important in Christian ethics - vulnerability when faced with the other.  The need for vulnerability can only arise from a deep appreciation for repentance and humility, and sometimes I think the "religious" mindset works against this, because it creates a safe-haven of certainty beyond critique.  On a superficial level religion promises certainties, especially the modern take on religion as a "worldview" or metanarrative.  So threats to those certainties become existential threats.

I am surprised there is so much discussion about preaching against sin, and doing so focusing on the "correct" sins.  Preaching about sin risks alienating people, especially in a pluralistic world.  If you raise the barriers to even beginning to live a holy life (which IMO is all that is essential), nobody is going to bother because they will feel crushed before they even start.  You will have a church of self-justified religious people.  I don't see it as compatible with Jesus' message. 
 

FinnJames

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
1,124
Reaction score
2
Points
38
Age
73
Location
Finland
I'll try to answer the questions minasoliman poses but have put them in a different order than they appear in in his post.

minasoliman said:
My question is this concerning LGBT movements.  What has been affective to bring them to repentance? 
I'd say it's individuals, not movements, that come to repentance. So I think you need to consider how anyone comes to repentance. I would suggest that at least four things are required for repentance to occur:
1. The sinner needs to feel that his/her sin is not working for him/her anymore.
2. The sinner needs to want to change his/her behaviour.
3. The sinner needs to know that an alternative is possible.
4. Because coming to repentance is a long, slow process with many potential lapses, the sinner needs support from his/her church.

minasoliman said:
Sometimes even in the US, there might be a parish where a gay person is trying to figure out his life in repentance.  If I speak about the evils of the LGBT community, will I inadvertently ostracize this person? 
If you see evils in the LGBT community, I'd say you have to speak out about them--but you need to do so in love and choose your words carefully.

(Of course the flip side of this is that one has to be willing to listen when LGBT people point out the evils, or to use a milder term, failings they see in the church.)

minasoliman said:
Is Fr. Josiah actually bringing them to repentance, or does he only care about political issues?
It isn't for any of us to know what motivates Fr Trenham. But if I remember correctly, he has 10 children. I can say with certainty that if I had even one child, I would be tremendously concerned about what kind of world they were growing up in.
 
Top