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The Orthodox Church and gay marriage


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#41 Kosta

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:32 AM

Eros and agape are concepts with meaning if understood in its philosophical context of ancient hellenic thought. Today they have been hijacked and are simply myths, Ask 100 different people what love is anbd you will get 100 different answers. These mythical concepts of marrying because you have the hots for someone are not found in scripture nor in the wedding service of the church. Heterosexual fornication and adultery is a sin because its unlawful, homosexuality is a sin because its unnatural. Perhaps the western clergy need to emphasize this more bbut they cant because there too busy sticking up for their depraved 'western culture and values' and making excuses for it like Fr Arida does. Perhaps if he ever read Justinians codex he would of had a better understanding of slavery as well.

Edited by Kosta, 18 July 2011 - 07:15 AM.


#42 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:58 AM

Eros and agape are concepts with meaning if understood in its philosophical context of ancient hellenic thought. Today they have been hijacked and are simply myths, Ask 100 different people what love is anbd you will get 100 different answers.



I agree that modern (and even ancient) people understand love in different ways, but that does not mean that we cannot use these words: they must, however, be understood in a Christian way. Therefore, it can be useful for analysis to differentiate between agape, eros, philos etc but these have to be understood in a Christian context. I would say that in a Christian marriage, when a child is conceived an erotic act has taken place. This may be a problem of the use of vocabulary, non in legendo sed in intelligendo.

These mythical concepts of marrying because you have the hots for someone are not found in scripture nor in the wedding service of the church.



I do not think anyone would claim this, but I think it also unhelpful to say that this is not a part of it: a small part, certainly - but not completely lacking.


That there may be given unto them soberness of life, and fruit of the womb as may be most expedient for them; let us pray to the Lord.
That they may rejoice in the beholding of sons and daughters; let us pray to the Lord.
That there may be granted unto them the happiness of abundant fertility, and a course of life blameless and unashamed; let us pray to the Lord.

(from the Mystery of Crowning)

The focus is clearly on 'soberness of life', but eros is still a part.

Heterosexual fornication and adultery is a sin because its unlawful, homosexuality is a sin because its unnatural.


Should we promote this distinction between law and nature? What is natural in the fallen world is not necessarily to the glory of God. A lion killing a man in the desert is natural but not as God intended it. Likewise, many in the homosexual lobby claim that they have natural feelings and to deny that they are natural, for some of them, may seem as if we are denying their humanity. Natural does not mean something is not sinful.

Perhaps the western clergy need to emphasize this more bbut they cant because there too busy sticking up for their depraved 'western culture and values' and making excuses for it like Fr Arida does.


There is a difference between 'sticking up' and 'engaging'. We are to be the salt of the earth, not pretending that the world is not there and getting on with our own "spiritual" lives, but to challenge the world, tell humanity that there is sin, there is evil, there is the devil, but in Christ we do not have to be caught by it - we can rather transfigure and offer it to God for His glory.

I do not offer these points as an arguement against you, Kosta, but to point out another way of looking at things. I have probably erred from the Tradition in much of what I have said, and I open this up to those wiser than I who can point out my errors.

I ask your forgiveness.

In Xp
Alex

#43 Paul Cowan

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:06 PM

In any case, being homosexual is not a sin: engaging in sex outside of marriage is.

We are all of us given crosses which we must carry - these do not (necessarily) imply sin on our part but are the result of living in a fallen world. Someone may be born with a propensity towards being violent - any violence he commits is still sinful even though it is natural - just because something is natural does not mean it is to the glory of God. Likewise, homosexuality might be natural, but sex outside of marriage is not to the glory of God nor leading towards salvation.


This comment does not hold up scripturally. Homosexuality is a sin AND sex outside marriage is a sin AND sex inside a marriage "can" be sinful. Homosexuality is not natural to the nature of man. It is a perversion of what God gave us. A cross to bear; for sure, but a chosen cross.

Paul

#44 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:46 PM

In any case, being homosexual is not a sin: engaging in sex outside of marriage is.

We are all of us given crosses which we must carry - these do not (necessarily) imply sin on our part but are the result of living in a fallen world. Someone may be born with a propensity towards being violent - any violence he commits is still sinful even though it is natural - just because something is natural does not mean it is to the glory of God. Likewise, homosexuality might be natural, but sex outside of marriage is not to the glory of God nor leading towards salvation.


This comment does not hold up scripturally. Homosexuality is a sin AND sex outside marriage is a sin AND sex inside a marriage "can" be sinful. Homosexuality is not natural to the nature of man. It is a perversion of what God gave us. A cross to bear; for sure, but a chosen cross.


Dear in the Lord, Paul

Could you please cite the scripture to which you are referring? As I read the Scriptures, and I admit I do not know it as well as I should, I see very little regarding being homosexual, rather it is the act of sex between two of the same sex that is sinful. I'd be gratefully corrected on this point.

I agree that homosexuality 'is a perversion of what God gave us' but so is much of the fallen world, where brother kills brother and people try to exist without God. Could you give a source for the teaching that it is of necessity chosen (rather than natural) behaviour? That is, an authority (preferably one of the Fathers) who has said everyone who is homosexual has chosen homosexuality rather than having it naturally as a passion and therefore no choice. At the moment, my understanding is that there is a difference between being homosexual and acting homosexual but perhaps the Scriptures or the Fathers put forward the opposite position?

With love in Christ
Alex

#45 Max Percy

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:50 PM

Dear in the Lord, Paul

Could you please cite the scripture to which you are referring? As I read the Scriptures, and I admit I do not know it as well as I should, I see very little regarding being homosexual, rather it is the act of sex between two of the same sex that is sinful. I'd be gratefully corrected on this point.

At the moment, my understanding is that there is a difference between being homosexual and acting homosexual but perhaps the Scriptures or the Fathers put forward the opposite position?

With love in Christ
Alex


Alex quite rightly points out at least part of the problem that makes this issue "new" in our context. It seems that until recently there was a focus on homosexual acts. Now, in our day the Church is confronted with the assertion of being gay, apart or in addition, I suppose, to the acts. This, I believe, is new. It also, I think, is a companion to the notion of "sexuality" in addition to sex acts. This is what we are confronted with. It is, as far as I can tell, something new. As a result, I do not think there is going to be a simple proof texting approach ( I use that as a term of convenience, not negatively) to scripture or the fathers that is going to be sufficient, but it is going to have to be developed by our contemporaries. Perhaps some present in this forum now!!! In some ways, what Philip Sherrard and Christos Yannaras have done begins to formulate possible responses, but are by no means complete. It is, I think, an opportunity for evangelization. I hope that our bishops take the lead on this and formulate an evangelizing response beyond what the Russian Orthodox Church did in its Social Issues publication.

#46 Kosta

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:30 PM

The problem is that homosexual sex is a WORSE sin than fornication. Any heterosexual fornicator can repent and confess and enter into marriage engaging in the sexual act with the spouse, a gay person would have to remain celibate. It is not the sexual act which is sinful in heterosexual fornication but the lack of self control.
Again the so called 'western values' which bishops have allowed to influence them are contrary to human nature and demonic. That heterosexual fornication is an equal sin to homosexual fornication is a lie and contrary to the scriptures and teachings of the Fathers.

#47 Thomas Brunson

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:51 PM

The Supreme Court of Canada has just ruled that gay marriage is constitutional in Canada & that parliament has the right to pass legislation making it legal. The Prime Minister immediately said that legislation legalising gay marriage would be introduced in parliament as soon as possible.

What do you think should be an Orthodox Christian response to the two following points often made by gay couples or those who support gay marriage:

1)gay marriage doesn't hurt those who are involved in heterosexual marriage; it doesn't hurt anyone else at all.

2)gay married couples provide the same loving care to each other & their children as does heterosexual marriage.

Thanks for considering this question.

In Christ- Fr Raphael


"I have read some of the replies and I think if one tried to talk with those outside the Church on a theological level using the theological discourses I read they would certainly lose them quickly. It is much more simple to state that when God created mankind, he created them male and female. Eve was Adam's helper and there is the beginning of what our relationships should be. We have friends which are both male and female which is good in the eyes of God, but we are not to be sexual with them, in fact we are not to be sexual until our marriage. A relationship outside of how we are created is not only sinful, it is a bad example to everyone who they come into contact with, so they do harm to other people, as well as the children they are responsible for.

Christ attended the wedding ceremony in Cana which was marriage between a man and a woman as it was intended by God. There is not one place in Scripture that you will find anything that says it is OK for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman, in fact it states directly in Scripture that kind of gay relationship is considered a grevious sin and those types of sin separate us from God because they are not in harmony with the way God created us. (they go against our nature and are sinful) There are just a few examples of how gay marriage, or just casual gay sexual relationships go against our human nature which separates us from God."

#48 Max Percy

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:36 PM

Again the so called 'western values' which bishops have allowed to influence them are contrary to human nature and demonic.


What are the criteria for evaluating human nature and what is "natural" when nature is fallen?

#49 Thomas Brunson

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:37 PM

Hi Herman the Pooh, Years ago when I was in college I did a paper on homosexuality and in one of my reference materials from an excellent source it stated that over 80% of gay men and women who went to a psychologist or psychairtrist reported having been molested as a child. I think this speaks for itself.
+Thomas

#50 Michael Bauman

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 12:56 AM

Neither hetrosexuality nor homosexuality is a matter of 'being' To state it that way is to immediately buy into the modern fallacy in such a way that the battle is already lost.

The satisfaction of one's sexual desires has nothing to do with salvation or holiness.

An old friend of mine used to remark that Satan was the most reasonable of all creatures.

The path to holiness is not reasonable, it is fundamentally unreasonable.

So, we have to decide: the world and its 'reasonable', humanistic drive to nothingness which accepts all things as equal except the desire to be as God wants us to be (unreasonable foolishness to the world) or, the narrow path of union with Christ that we declared for prior to our baptism.

The teaching of the Church is neither complicated nor difficult to understand: God created us male and female; only sex within the unity of marriage is blessed, all other sex is illicit and sinful and therefore detrimental to our salvation. Like with every other besetting sin, those who wish to enter and walk the path of repentance need strength, courage and good guides, not a whispering in the ear that there is no need to even enter the battle.

Only our own unwillingness to strive for holiness against the ease and perversion and 'reasonableness' of the world allows us to complicate the issue. When we seek the world rather than the kingdom of God, everything then becomes possible, 'reasonable', compassionate, etc, etc. The Satanic seduction should not flow from the mouths of priests.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;


And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:8-10 (KJV)


Lord have mercy on us all.

#51 Paul Cowan

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:18 AM

Hi Herman the Pooh, Years ago when I was in college I did a paper on homosexuality and in one of my reference materials from an excellent source it stated that over 80% of gay men and women who went to a psychologist or psychairtrist reported having been molested as a child. I think this speaks for itself.
+Thomas


THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I am glad to see my observations through the years as attested in the other threads on this topic are finally supported by a collegiate paper. I'll bet if you dig deep into that last 20% you will find they also were molested or abused as children.

If we restrain premarital relations as the only precursor to sin, then what do we do when a civilization condones gay marriage? Human standards are not God's standards. Being homosexual versus acting homosexual? They are synonomous. The verb "to be" is an action word. It is the act of homosexuality. One is not homosexual if there has not been an action. What constitutes the action? That's where God comes in to decide. Not us!!! Same sex attraction is not homosexuality. It only makes the chaste life of that person perhaps a bit harder. But does it really? If an opposite sex attracted person also practises chastity, is the burden lighter? I don't think so. We ALL have our crosses to bear.
Alex: You asked for scripture. Here is one OT and one NT.

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

Then go read the story of Sodom and Gemorrah.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.


We live in a fallen universe. There are people who are attracted to the same sex. They may have the harder burden to bear. But just as straight people, gays must also practise chastity and ultimately celibacy. Is this too burdensome? No, as there are many non-same sex attracted people that also practise celibacy. Homosexuality is a choice. It becomes an easier choice to make when one falls into the sin over and over. Kinda like the old addage. It's easier to kill the second time.

This from the antiochian website.

The Church Fathers, not knowing the terminology of modern psychology, used the term "passions" to describe our bodily dispostions, and include both the object of the attraction as well as the strength of the attraction itself in their definition. Is it not possible to consider that the biology we possess is the material substrate of these passions? This is not to say that the passions are not also in the mind (cognitive content) and influence the nous (spiritual mind). We are, after all, created as composite creatures of mind and body and in leaving our natural state of interior harmony after the fall of Adam, both our minds and bodies are affected.

That the passions may have a biological component is indicated by the Church Fathers in their teachings on how the passions work. St Macarius the Great wrote: "We can cultivate the ability to discern right and wrong if we understand the three movements which lead to passion: The first is a natural movement, inherent in the body, which does not produce anything sinful or burdening to the conscience, but merely lets it be known that it exists in the body -- such as hunger." St. Macarius' teaching can be interpreted in light of St. Mark the Ascetic: "Natural body appetites 'innocently' expresses themselves: 'feeling the pangs of hunger, we prepare food and eat to fullness'" (The Teachings of the Holy Fathers on the Passions, 1986).

In simple terms this means that thoughts may come to us involuntarily, often suddenly. However, until we engage these thoughts with our will, they constitute neither virtue or vice but merely disclose the inclination of our will. Sexual orientation and desire easily fit this model. This is another reason why the term biological substrate may be appropriate in discussing sexual orientation and the passions may be appropriate. Orthodox anthropology suggests "natural movements" and "inclinations" that, when willfully engaged, lead to more passions and more sin. (I believe what are called "natural movements" are not the same as the "original nature" of man, but arises as a result of our fallen state. I have found however, these concepts of the Holy Fathers to be pastorally and clinically useful in dealing with both homosexual and heterosexual individuals attempting to live a life in Christ.)

and more from the fathers

The way to keep guard over our heart is immediately to expel from the mind every demon-inspired recollection of woman -- even of mother or sister or any other devout woman -- lest by dwelling on it for too long the mind is thrown headlong by the deceiver into debased and pernicious thoughts. The commandments given by God to the first man, Adam, told him to keep watch over the head of the serpent (cf. Genesis 3:15), that is, over the first inkling of the pernicious thoughts by means of which the serpent tries to creep into our souls. If we do not admit the serpent's head, which is the provocation of the thought, we will not admit the rest of its body, that is, the assent to the sensual pleasure which the thought suggests-and so debase the mind towards the illicit act itself" (Philokalia I).

The monastic rule of St. Joseph Volotsky warned against homosexual temptation as well as outlined in the ordinances that guided the governing of monasteries. For example, one rule stated: "...it is not proper for beardless boys to live in the monastery and concerning other necessary causes," clearly a recognition that some monks struggled with same-sex desire, and by prohibiting young boys from monastic life, tempation would be easier to manage. Other counsels include: "In wanting to be saved, therefore, let us move far away from them as from a flame. Let us not turn towards them in a house or in a place where no one sees us. Let us sit far away from them on benches ... lest in some way looking in their faces, we get the seed of lust from the Adversary ... Let us not believe the deceitful thought, which suggests to us that this is not tempting" St. Ephraim wrote: "It is a great calamity for boys to be in a coenobium. Even if we converse with them about chastity, we are stabbed in the heart" (Volotsky, Ninth Discourse).

Paul

#52 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:38 AM

Being homosexual versus acting homosexual? They are synonomous. The verb "to be" is an action word. It is the act of homosexuality. One is not homosexual if there has not been an action. What constitutes the action? That's where God comes in to decide. Not us!!! Same sex attraction is not homosexuality. It only makes the chaste life of that person perhaps a bit harder. But does it really? If an opposite sex attracted person also practises chastity, is the burden lighter? I don't think so. We ALL have our crosses to bear.


Dear in the Lord, Paul

As I stated in a previous post in this thread, it's not in the words but the understanding. My distinction was between being homosexual and acting homosexual whereas yours is having same sex attraction and being homosexual (as I understand). If this is the position of the Church, then it is an important distinction of which people should be aware, especially as the world uses these words differently.

I do not think we were arguing different points but using differing terminologies - perhaps Monachos should have a dictionary to say what words mean in the context of this forum! :-)

In Xp

Alex

#53 Byron Jack Gaist

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:59 AM

Dear all,

This is an interesting thread, especially with the recent passing of gay marriage into law in N.Y.C.. I would also see same-sex desires as belonging with sexual desires generally, and I'm glad they appear to be discussed here in this context. Fr Thomas Hopko's book on same-sex attraction is very good on this issue.

Now a general question: is lust wrong because (a) it makes us worship the creature rather than the Creator, and (b) it aims at our own selfish pleasure, and in doing so renders persons into objects?

What does it even mean, to regard someone without lust? Must we become saints to know what this means? Is it just a pious wish with no basis in human reality? If I wish to eat something, then pretty much any dish will stimulate my appetite. Is it as wrong to look at cookery books and T.V. chef shows, as it is to view pornography? If St Basil could say of himself that he was "not a virgin" though he had never known a woman, what chance does Joe Bloggs have of remaining pure?

And here is an even more difficult question: why is ecstatic sexual union with a large number of partners not love? You may argue that love without responsibility is not love - but what if people decided to live in a sexual commune, where physical love would be as freely expressed as social responsibility, e.g. children being communally cared for, health issues attended to etc etc. In other words, apart from (a) and (b) given above, what about © adultery is the opposite of purity? Why is it wrong to love more than one person in body and soul?

Which brings us back to gay marriage. The strongest argument in favour of it is that it is love between two members of the same sex, and marriage even encourages monogamous "respect", expressed as a commitment between the partners. Hard to argue with - unless that "love" is not really love, and monogamy is only really meaningful across the sexes (but why?)...

Lots of difficult questions I'm afraid...

In Christ
Byron

#54 Max Percy

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:22 AM

The satisfaction of one's sexual desires has nothing to do with salvation or holiness.

While I agree that just satisfaction is problematic, That does not really seem to be the case for sexual desire. How do you understand the Song of Songs and/or the frequency of the metaphor of Bride/Bridegroom for Church and the Lord, etc...

#55 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 01:36 PM

Dear all,


Now a general question: is lust wrong because (a) it makes us worship the creature rather than the Creator, and (b) it aims at our own selfish pleasure, and in doing so renders persons into objects?


That's interesting. I am not sure why St. Paul seems to say the case that only homosexuality is a result of worshipping the created (flesh?) rather then Creator? Is heterosexual lust not the same?

#56 Andrew Pantelli

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 05:40 PM

In my understanding of this issue, a Civil Partnership is acceptable, giving the couple security of tenure and of the finances. Marraige can never, ever be a homosexual union, this is against the purpose of God, creating man and woman.

#57 Kosta

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:17 PM

Civil partnerships or whatever one calls it are not neccesary and simply a reflection of the depraved arrogant foolish west. It does not benefit society, does nothing to stabilize society and offers nothing to the couple except for a piece of paper. Its a fraud just like paying for a certificate of absolution was a few hundred years ago. It was invented by these evil politicians to gather votes by forming a new interest group. It will cease as soon as the government that prints out and files these union certificates collapses.

I will say it again love is not an aspect of the marriage ceremony. Theres only one reference to love in the entire ceremony found in the betrothal and it has nothing to do with having the 'hots' for your spouse. The concept of love is a modern myth just like the tooth fairy, a great marketing tool for love songs, romantic movies and valentines day.

#58 Father David Moser

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:19 PM

In my understanding of this issue, a Civil Partnership is acceptable, giving the couple security of tenure and of the finances. Marraige can never, ever be a homosexual union, this is against the purpose of God, creating man and woman.


A "civil partnership" is a construct of the secular state which extends the "contractural" and civil rights inherent in civil marriage to two people who are not married. The "civil partnership" is in fact all that the state can offer, even to heterosexual married couples since the state cannot bestow the sacraments on anyone. In that sense a civil partnership is really of no importance either way to the the Church.

However, the very different issue that this brings up is the role of the Church in the life of the society in which she is found. "Civil Partnerships" have come into being as a result of political pressure to have homosexual unions recognized by the state as the equivalent of traditional marriage. Thus do we, in the Church, sit back and let the state do what it will - or do we work to convert and sanctify the society in which we live. In a Christian culture, the role of the state is to create and maintain a society which is most amenable to the working out of our salvation. Does the secular recognition of the state of a civil homosexual union as the legal equivalent of civil marriage fulfill that role? I think not! When the state departs from its place as the maintainer of the salvific culture, then the Church must exert whatever influence she might have to draw the state back into harmony with the Church.

This might be a different discussion - or perhaps the most reasonable continuation of the original question - How does the Church in a society where the state is divorced from the Church (separation of Church and state) properly influence the state and the society to draw it into greater harmony with the Church.

Fr David Moser

#59 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:58 PM

In a Christian culture, the role of the state is to create and maintain a society which is most amenable to the working out of our salvation. Does the secular recognition of the state of a civil homosexual union as the legal equivalent of civil marriage fulfill that role? I think not! When the state departs from its place as the maintainer of the salvific culture, then the Church must exert whatever influence she might have to draw the state back into harmony with the Church.



Fr David Moser



Dear Fr David,

with all due respect, this issue is very confusing to me. I think the separation of Church and state is necessary. Perhaps I believe this because my faith is weak. But if the Christian culture influences the state past the simple 'live and let live (do not hurt, at least in a universally accepted meaning of hurt)' philosophy then our faith and 'works' are not 'voluntary' somehow. I am not sure how to put this, but despite believing that homosexual marriage for an Orthodox Christian is obviously not an option, I still believe that civil unions between same sex couples is a human right if two individuals so choose. Is this belief of mine un-Christian? I don't know why but this sense of allowing people their freedom of belief is very important to me.
If I put myself into anyone of my non-believing friends shooes I cannot see how denying them this right is acceptable. What other option do they have? How could I convince someone to live a celibate lifestyle or marry a person of the opposite sex if they don't see any point to it? Besides what if there is a same sex couple that wishes to live together, and be recognised as such by society but does not commit the sin against nature?
I think the Church obviously has the right to proclaim the Faith, and its teaching, but if it ever goes beyond that, is it not beginning to impinge on our free will?


Please forgive me my heretical opinions

#60 Paul Cowan

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 01:32 AM

From what I have read, I think it profitable to go back to pre-bolshevik Russia where the Tsar was under the authority of the church and the church that of the Tsar. The church and state need to work together for the betterment of its people. Not one to dominate and persecute the other.

I still believe that civil unions between same sex couples is a human right if two individuals so choose


This is a falacy of the movement. The ONLY human rights we have are to breathe. We don't have a "right" to drive a car, or to have a job or to live in a house or even to eat. God said to Adam by the sweat of your brow you will eat. It wasn't a right as it was in the Garden. To assume eating is a right means to assume someone else must furnish it to you. Jesus said we will have the poor with us always. And it is right to give alms. I don't have to if I don't want to and until I am forced to give charity, the hungry will remain hungry.

Civil contracts are the same. They are not a right. If two people want to live together as room mates to share the expenses as many do in college, great for them. But to afford the the same civil rights as married people is NOT a human right. It is nothing more than a tax code.

People are allowed to believe as they wish. I suppose that is another human right. When their fre beliefs run up against God's laws, they either can ignore it and stay in their sin or they can reevaluate their position and come around to a Godly lifestyle. You don't have to convince your friends of anything. Celibate, marriage or just being room mates. THEY will have make their own decisions. I have gay friends. I don't approve of how they live, but I am not in a position to condemn them either. I can respect them as people, I can share my faith, but at the end of the day, I go to my home and they to theirs.

Can the church impinge on our free will? Or are we living in a manner that brazenly defies our creator and His will? I think I am a very sinful man. God does not need to change to accomodate me. I need to change to accomodate Him. Since the Church is His representative here on earth, the church dictates how we live and behave. Not our passions.

Paul




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