Yet Another Gay Marriage Thread

Homosexuality comes up frequenbtly on Orthodox forums because..

  • Some folks who need Prozac aren't on it yet.

    Votes: 20 27.8%
  • Since drunkeness, adultery, theft and dishonesty have been eradicated it's the only sin left to figh

    Votes: 10 13.9%
  • Apparently most Orthodox Christians have lots of gay family, friends and associates

    Votes: 7 9.7%
  • Orthodox forums attract a lot of self torturing closet cases and men with doubts about thier own mas

    Votes: 20 27.8%
  • Some folks who need Prozac aren't on it yet.

    Votes: 15 20.8%

  • Total voters
    72
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DerekMK

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I used to say "Hey, if their not bothering me directly, I dont care." But Lord, they are trying to FORCE homosexuality on people these days. Just a week ago or so, I was sitting waiting for the rain to come, and across from me were two gay men making out. Ok I guess it is discrminative because if it were a heterosexual couple, It wouldnt bother me as much. But my point is that this "sin" is becoming normal today. When my kids are growing up, they will be offered the "option" to like guys or girls. My kid will be heterosexual, but seeing as how both orientations are normal by society, he could chose the genetically/biologically wrong one. Now that scares me.
I think in both the teachings of Elder Paisios the Athonite and Saint Silouan the Athonite the point is made that one must first heal himself, as a member of the Church in order to benefit the church as a whole and even beyond the Church.  While loudly proclaiming the Orthodox belief on homosexuality and that they are sinners may inspire a sense of righteousness, it will also likely lead to their complete alienation from Christianity.  I'm not saying that we should sell out our beliefs, only that we'll more easily show others the love of Christ with honey rather than vinegar. 

Here is a quote from Elder Amphilochios from Patmos (the metropolitan in your Church bearing that name was named after him at his tonsuring by Fr. Justin Popović):

"The words of preachers today have the effect of throwing turpentine on a fire.  The poor and unlettered laity have been abandoned and now don't listen.  They need to see good workds and lives of Christian love... they need to feel their brother is co-suffering in their pain.  Only through love for them and through philanthropic works will we manage to bring our brethren close to Christ." 
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
only that we'll more easily show others the love of Christ with honey rather than vinegar.ÂÂ
Or more precisely, isn't one's own chastity what matters opposed to keeping track of others?
In an honest way, those two acts cannot be done at the same time perfectly. You need to balance them. How can I help a sinner when my sins alone need help?

Likewise, theoretically, I have a hard time worrying about my sins, telling myself to not steal, lie and even involve myself in Sodomy, but then to extend my hand to one who does, would sort of be hypocritical towards myself. Although I DO understand that by what you said, it does not mean to encourage their acts, but to love them, I need to condome those acts at the same time.

But generally, I do agree with you. I think it's hard to deal with this issue, particularily the ones deeply and directly involved, but society has just given up and let them do their thing, thinking it wont backfire in the future, which I think is a grave mistake.
 

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 Isn't disagreeing over whether to influence society for Christ and the Church vs. doing all one can to become more like Christ in daily living unnecesarily making distinctions? This doesn't seem to be an either/or issue within Orthodoxy but a both/and. It is like when Christ said,"These things you ought to have done without leaving the other undone........"

Rd. David
 

Serbian Patriot

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Νεκτάριος said:
Is Christianity concerned with what "people" do or what an individual does? Or more precisely, isn't one's own chastity what matters opposed to keeping track of others?
I was referring to the Orthodox view of how an individual should behave primarily.  I just found it ridiculous that Matthew should claim that Christians should have no view on controlling their bodily urges.
 

Serbian Patriot

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Matthew777 said:
What innovative liberal philosophy do you speak of?
The one where you claim that Christianity is 'an instruction of what to do more than what not to do'.  This is just meaningless verbal acrobatics.  If you are not doing something, such as commiting sin, this also could be phrased as doing something, ie avoiding temptation. 
Secondly this thread is to with the Orthodox Christian position on homosexuality.  To claim that there is no Christian position on what 'people do with their wee wees' is ludicrous. 
 
 

SouthSerb99

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I think the term "wee wee" has shown up way to many times in this thread. I ask that heretofore, it be referred to as "pee pee", as I hope to teach my 11 month old. :)
 
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I too have a hard time extending my hand towards people that practice this behavior.  In truth, it is repugnant and bizarre and alien to hetero folks.  there is a barrier between us because so many focus points are the polar opposite of our own.
How to spend my days teaching my children truth, and to protect them from all sexual deviance while I can-then reach out to those willingly practicing it?  I spend so much time in protective mode, or defense mode that I cannot shift gears very well.  And since I spend so much time deflecting or filtering homosexual propaganda, I resent those that try to foist it upon my young ones.  Where is the line here?  Church fathers were not inundated by things as seemingly innocuous as Disney movies, or Saturday cartoons with not so subtle overtones. Their children were not at government run institutions being forced to take sexual reorientation classes if they listed faith on their registration.  I kind of end up feeling hijacked a lot of the time, not very forgiving-eh?
 

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Serbian Patriot said:
To claim that there is no Christian position on what 'people do with their wee wees' is ludicrous.ÂÂ
Matthew777 said:
Homosexuality is no different from any other sin, it is something that must be confessed rather than falsely accepted within the Church. But in terms of the world at large, however, we must recognize that we do live in a secular society and that the Church nor the state has any power to enforce Biblical law.
Peace.
 

Serbian Patriot

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Matthew777 said:
Homosexuality is no different from any other sin, it is something that must be confessed rather than falsely accepted within the Church.
Well theres a discrepancy between that and your previous statement:
Matthew777 said:
I think that, as Christians, we should be more concerned with social justice than what people do with their wee-wees.
Matthew777 said:
But in terms of the world at large, however, we must recognize that we do live in a secular society and that the Church nor the state has any power to enforce Biblical law.
This is a thread about the Church position, why are you bringing up secular and man made laws?  As far as I can see no one has advocated the following:
Matthew777 said:
It's even more disturbing that moral extremists would forbid consenting adults from deciding for themselves what to do in their own bedrooms.
Who on earth has suggested this?  Why the attempt to minimise relevant discussion on the Church view by defending homosexuals from laws that noone has advocated?


 

Serbian Patriot

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@Matthew
Ive just noticed that yet again you say something meaningless then when it is refuted you ignore it.  It is becoming mildly annoying to say the least.  What happened to your statement (the heart of the Christian faith is the Sermon on the Mount, it's an instruction of what to do more than what not to do)?  Are you going to defend it from my reply or not?
 

Anastasios

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I too have a hard time extending my hand towards people that practice this behavior.  In truth, it is repugnant and bizarre and alien to hetero folks.  there is a barrier between us because so many focus points are the polar opposite of our own.
That may be how you feel but I don't share the sentiment.  I am a happily married "hetro folk" but I have no problem relating to gay people. I see their sin as a sin and my sins as sins.  I don't think about what they do in private.  What does bother me is overly effeminant people who get in your face, but not just plain vanilla gay people like some neighbors I once had.  They were very friendly and nice people and I must say much more "Christian" than many of our "Christian" neighbors who condemned them all day long.  And even though over hyped up effeminacy bothers me, that doesn't stop me from talking to someone like that.  One time I was on a study abroad trip and I roomed with a gay guy as we were the last pick in the draw.  I can say after six weeks with him--he was a caring, spiritual person versus some of the people on the trip who actually tried as best as they could to exploit the natives financially, etc--he said to me that "you are the only Christian I have met who actually lives it."  Now, when asked, I consistently told him I thought homosexuality is sinful and his behavior is unacceptable.  I didn't cross that line. But I established a real relationship with him which is the only way to convert anyone.

I think that the sentiment expressed, namely that we need to wall ourselves off and then we wonder how then can we reach out to people is off the mark because how can I reach out to people shaking up when I am trying to teach my kids about marriage, or how can I reach out to the guy who likes to kick animals down the street from me, or the lady who screams at any kids that walk by her lawn, etc.? In my neighborhood there are all these types of people--I can't hide from it. Why would I focus on one type of sin over another?  I try to be loving to everyone.  Sometimes it doesn't work as I am not a saint, though.  My point is though that it is precisely to the people we abhor that we are probably supposed to be reaching out.

Anastasios
 

DerekMK

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I too have a hard time extending my hand towards people that practice this behavior.  In truth, it is repugnant and bizarre and alien to hetero folks.  there is a barrier between us because so many focus points are the polar opposite of our own.
Luke 10:25-37
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 

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Anastasios and Nektarios (sorry, no Greek fonts here!) well said.

For the rest, I do have a rhetorical question (s).  Why does it seem that at least once a month there is a post on the evilness or sinfulness of homosexuality?  Is there something lurking in the subconscious minds of posters?  ???

To take a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks!" 
 

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Orhtodox christians are true followers of christ and the holy bible.

The word of God is clear when it comes to homosexuality and orhtodx chritians do not question Gods law:

Read below,for the position of orthodoxy on gays/lesbians:

'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.'
(Leviticus 18:22)

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their
women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way
the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed
with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men,
and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
(Romans 1:26-27)

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor HOMOSEXUAL offenders nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit
the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
 

Sloga

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Anastasios said:
But I established a real relationship with him which is the only way to convert anyone.
And did he end up converting? I agree with your "relationship = convert" formula, but I dont think you can successfully get a homosexual to convert to Orthodoxy. The sexual orientation (I'm ever so tempted to say "mental disorder", but I feer someone may disagree") must be "fixed" first. Unfortunately, personally I don't see very many people changing their orientation, and the ones that do, who knows if they really did it. But thats all different if my second question is answered a certain way ::)

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor male prostitutes nor HOMOSEXUAL offenders nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit
the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
What if you are a homosexual but dont act on it? What if you are a Homosexual but get married to a women and have kids? What if you are Bi-sexual? Is it just the act of sodomy or is it the actual attractiveness to the same sex thats a sin? I never really thought about that.....
 

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If faith were only defined by what we abstain from, then how could it matter what we actually do?  Does it matter more to perform good works than it is to avoid sin? I'm not sure, but I think that both must be taken seriously. All too often, people who are willing to point the finger at a certain group are not doing their part to make a better world themselves.

Peace.
 

Anastasios

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And did he end up converting? I agree with your "relationship = convert" formula, but I dont think you can successfully get a homosexual to convert to Orthodoxy. The sexual orientation (I'm ever so tempted to say "mental disorder", but I feer someone may disagree") must be "fixed" first. Unfortunately, personally I don't see very many people changing their orientation, and the ones that do, who knows if they really did it. But thats all different if my second question is answered a certain way 
I lost contact with him, but you should know we have formerly active homosexuals who converted to Orthodoxy here on this very board, my friend.

The sin is the act.  The attraction is a passion just like gluttony, straight lust, etc.  It often takes a lifetime to conquer these and other passions.  The pastoral approach is to get the inquierer to stop all activity, give them lots of support, and baptise/chrismate them when they have stopped the sin, but not the thought of it, as that takes a long time of confessing and communing. They should of course like all of us begin immediately to try and stop fantasies, etc.  This is the same advice given to a straight fornicator converting.

Anastasios
 

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Anastasios said:
I lost contact with him, but you should know we have formerly active homosexuals who converted to Orthodoxy here on this very board, my friend.
First, If i have or will offend anyone that may be a "former" or curent homosexual, forgive me I have nothing against you and my thoughts on homosexuality have nothign to do with people specifically or personally. It never came to my attention that there may be people on this forum in this situation. Forgive my stupidity.

Second, by formerly active, do you mean people have have stopped the act of homosexuality, or alltogether have been "cured"?

Forgive me
 

Anastasios

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Second, by formerly active, do you mean people have have stopped the act of homosexuality, or alltogether have been "cured"?
Given your circumstances (age, cultural upbringing), etc., I don't think anyone faults you for not knowing.  I for one am glad that you embrace learnign things so openly.

By formerly active, I mean, who have made a decision to stop all acts of fornication.  Whether they are "cured" is something they would best answer for themselves.  I have been informed that there are homosexual persons who have "become straight" through Orthodoxy but it seems to me this is the exception: that the damage of homosexuality runs deep and is something that is struggled with--for life.  In many cases, "cure" means to stop not only the action but also the fantasy and lust--but to "become straight" may never be possible nor even advisable, as all persons are subject to relapse of their sins, and what would you say to the woman who married a formerly active homosexual who relapses after say 20 years? It's the same thing with very active fornicators--is it advisable to marry someone who has had multiple, multiple sexual encounters over years? It may not be. But God can "cure" anyone he wants and so I leave that up to the individual and his or her confessor to sort out. What's important to me is abstinence and a fight against the passions.  I see homosexuality as like alcoholism: it may or may not be genetic, it may be a combination of many factors, but very rarely does someone recover "fully."  However, as an Orthodox, I do believe such is theoretically possible, but not in every case. God will allow various levels of repentence and grace based on the person and his plan for them.

These are just my thoughts based on experience.  I reject both extremes: namely that one is born homosexual, thus it is natural, and the Church should change; and the other, that it is something that ALWAYS with enough prayer can and must be "overcome" and the person can and should become straight and have a "normal" life, while accepting the possibility that this may happen if God wills it.  Perhaps the best solution is monasticism or some form of ministry that does not require marriage.

Anastasios
 
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