Fr. John Whiteford Asks: What is the Mainstream Orthodox View on Homosexuality?

Fr. John Whiteford comments on his blog News, Comments, & Reflections about an assertion made by Rebecca Matovic that professors, hierarchs, priests, and “many, many laypeople” agree with Dunn and his support of homosexual marriage. Matovic couches her views in the usual “I am loving but my opponents are bullies and dangerous” verbiage of the left, but Fr. John takes care of that in short order as well.

If Matovic is correct, why are they hiding?

Were they born that way? Have a listen:

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What is the Mainstream Orthodox View on Homosexuality?

Source: Fr. John Whiteford’s News, Comments, & Reflections | By Fr. John Whiteford

In the comments to a post by David J. Dunn on the flak he has been getting about his posts on Gay “Marriage” there was a comment that warrants some consideration:

Please hang around with people other than the Jacobse crowd! There are professors at our seminaries and hierarchs who agree with you; there are many, many lay people who are willing (indeed, anxious) to engage in meaningful dialogue around these issues; there are many, many priests who think about these issues in a loving, pastoral way and increasingly find themselves moving to the ‘left’ of Hopko. It says something rather sickening about the current state of affairs that I find myself hesitating to name names. But please don’t buy the PR of the AOI crowd that they represent the “true” Orthodox view, the universal Orthodox view, or even a particularly dominant Orthodox view. They are loud, and they are bullies, and the results are dangerous. But the only solution is for those of us who hold different views, while being fully and faithfully Orthodox (or endeavoring to be to the degree our brokenness and God’s Grace permits) to engage and to be heard. — Rebecca Matovic (signing my name because there’s too much silence and anonymity in the world these days)

There are several curious things about this comment. For one, if the views of those who stand against the acceptance of sodomy as compatible with the Christian life are really just a vocal minority, why are the priest and bishops that Rebecca refers to unwilling to come out of the closet and say what they really believe? In the history of the Church, I cannot think of a single example of a champion of Orthodoxy that hid his views until the situation was more favorable… though I can think of many heretics in the history of the Church who did so. If what they believe is true, they should be willing to stand up for it, and let the chips fall where they may. The fact is, however, that these clergy (whoever they may be) are clearly cowards, who will not say what they really believe, clearly and unambiguously, because they know their views are at odds with both the Tradition of the Church and the vast majority of the clergy and faithful of the Church. It is just a fact that every conciliar statement that has been made by the Orthodox Church on the question of homosexuality or gay “marriage” has taken a clearly Traditional view, and declared homosexuality to be a sin, condemned by both Scripture and Tradition, and gay “marriage” to be a distortion of the meaning of marriage and something that Orthodox Christians should oppose publicly — and that includes the OCA, the jurisdiction that Rebecca belongs to.

As for the charge of bullying, this is a typical liberal red herring when they find themselves without a substantive argument, and have nothing else to appeal to. If one takes a clear stand, and challenges their opponents to do the same, and refute their opponents, this is what is known as rational discourse. It is in fact those on the other side of this issue that prefer to engage in personal attacks rather than deal with the issues. All that they have are emotional Oprah-like arguments, and ad hominem. On the substance of the issues, they have nothing… and they generally don’t have the courage to come right out and say what they really believe.

And here are two lectures by Dr. Robert Gagnon that lay out how the other side has nothing, in great detail:

The Secular Argument Against Gay “Marriage”, and
St. Paul on Homosexuality.

Comments

  1. cynthia curran :

    Well, homosexuals are fond or in love with their partners which makes them more in favor of gay married. But I agree with father Jacobse until modern times no one thought of having gay married.

  2. Fr. John A. Peck :

    Well, well, the old playbook again. We’re bullies because we adhere to the truth.

    yawn.

    • Wow…you who are righteous?? Can I touch the hem of your garment? Can I have your autograph? Gee, if only I could be perfect, holy, righteous, and blameless like you guys!! If only.. The Lord Jesus frequently spoke about guys like you..but not in glowing terms. He referred to you as a brood of vipers. It’s amazing how history repeats itself. Forget about the word bully…how about a piece of self-righteous hypocritical cow dung?

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

        Rocky, like I told someone upstream, finger-wagging, moral approbation and so forth doesn’t get very far here. You are welcome to post, but you have to offer reasons and ideas for your disapproval, not just empty-headed scoldings.

  3. The paradosophobic at it again.

    1) There is no such a thing as “gay marriage”. A governmental document certifying that a table is a car does not make it a car. The biggest issue I have with this is not that two men or two women decide to live up to their particular sin together. That saddens me, but there is something far more dangerous in that campaign: the assumption that subjectivity plus state decision can determine reality. And it is not as much the imposition that I find more disturbing, it is the fact that propaganda seduce people into buying the assumption that supports the concept. It is the creation of “homophoby” as an acceptable precedent for thought crimes. That is, in my opinion, the final aim of all this madness. To lead people to accept the concept that our “Great Leaders” can and should punish people for having the wrong thoughts, and that they can and should engineer reality.

    2) How can the cult of “homo” accuse those who favor “hetero” of intolerance to differences? It is the people who are not able to feel a certain kind of love toward other people who are inherently different who have a problem with being able to love the different ones. If you can only love “the same”, intolerance is upon you.

  4. The most tragic element of this discussion is that it is plainly evident that there has been a great failure in Orthodox catechesis and leadership. Today, there are many Orthodox Chrsitians who believe you can have an Orthodox Christian Spirituality without an Orthodox Christian morality. The fashionable fundamentalism of David Dunn is an example of this.

    What these fashionable fundamentalists have yet to see is that they have literally painted themselves into a corner in which they cannot escape the consequences of their viewpoints without a major change in direction. Building a spiritual life based on the “fruits of the spirit” and “Orthodox ambiguity” is not a experience in humility nor is it healthy. It is a example of an isolating pride that will eventually lead to a destructive loneliness. Like Frank Schaeffer one cannot help but feel sorry for Mr. Dunn and those who share his views because they are slowly self-destructing.

    Orthodox Christians are called to conform their lives to the Church. The Church does not conform to us. The Sunday school children in my parish understand this intuitively. However, the folks with the PhDs and the clergy who encourage such fundamentalism do not. They are so obsessed with what the Church says “No” to that they cannot see that behind each “No” there is greater and more beatiful “YES!”

    • Maybe they are not only Paradosophobic but Oxiphobic as well.

    • Except when the Church doesn’t conform to you-all, like on Global Warming and economics … in which case you-all scream that the Church is off the rails, or your First Among Equals is. You-all are just like the conservative Catholics who stand up for all that those popes teach, except peace, social justice, anti-death-penalty, economic justice, etc. “Pick-and-Choose”-from-the-Right is still pick-and-choose. Dammit, if we’re the Orthodox Church, accuse heretics formally of heresy, so they can be prosecuted or acquitted conciliarly! Otherwise, you’re just playing more right-wing power-political games.

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

        Leo, if you expect any substantive response, you will have to offer more than euphemisms and cliches (…peace, social justice, anti-death-penalty, economic justice, etc.”). Moralistic bromides, scoldings, finger wagging, and the other detritus of undisciplined thinking doesn’t go far here.

      • Hi, Leo–

        It might help to clarify things, to explain that the Church is not answerable to the concepts of the world. It is the secular, essentially Godless world that separates things into “Left” and “Right,” and which talks in terms of supposedly self-defining sound-bites.

        Now, to be sure, you can find such things here and there in Church circles, but they are not the way the Church thinks. They are brought in from the world, and reliance on them as part of one’s conceptual universe bespeaks a lack of proper Christian formation. If you are not a Christian, that’s the reason this sort of discussion is dismissed by Orthodox: they are not the categories we think in, nor wish to. It explains why phrases that to you carry weight and are self-evident, are meaningless to us and are treated as such. If you are a Christian, and you think in these terms, insufficient care was taken of you and for that, as a priest, I apologize on behalf of the Church. You deserved better.

        When you say “social justice” to us, we do not flash on the organized promotion of sin. We flash on the corporal works of mercy: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless. These are things we actually do, out of our own pockets and using our own time, and occasionally admitting a needy wanderer into our own house. So, we tend to be dismissive of people who hurl that phrase at us when what they actually mean is that we are insufficiently zealous about promoting some political position they wish we’d take.

        When you say “peace” to us, we think of the life we have in Christ as distinct from the stressful, pressure-heavy life someone is subjected to when he tries to be his own god. The world is sinful. Wars and crimes happen. We preach against such behavior. The world rarely listens,
        preferring instead to preach “peace” to people whom they would like to see made defenseless.

        You say, “If we’re the Orthodox Church,” we should use a juridical approach to heresy. You’re thinking of the Roman Catholics. Heresy is heresy. It doesn’t have to be pored over or debated, it just is. And the matter is up to individual bishops to handle. Orthodoxy does not adhere to a secular (or even a Roman) model of jurisprudence, and most things are handled informally. The emphasis is on redemption, not condemnation.

        Father Johannes remarks that he would like to see more substantive commentary from you. I suspect, however, that you believe that what you wrote is, in fact, substantive.

        It is not. It is a set of pre-packaged collections of words designed to make those who speak them feel noble. It is not “thought,”
        per se, but is rather a methodology for avoiding thought. It is not a statement, but a means to avoid making one. Then, when having been
        offered nothing to which to respond, someone points out, “there’s nothing here to respond to,” the user of the method can further vindicate himself by claiming his opponent is “avoiding the issues.”

        If this is how you have been taught to think, you have been victimized. I would suggest to you that there is a better and more satisfying way.

        Stating an actual case, using examples and supporting reasons that you have researched for yourself, is hard work. Considering your opponent’s answers and explanations is even harder–he is, after all, your opponent. But this is how discussions like this become vehicles for the advancement of the store of knowledge, and not just games we want to win or angry punch-ups.

        Blessings,

        Fr. James +

  5. M. Stankovich :

    It is just a fact that every conciliar statement that has been made by the Orthodox Church on the question of homosexuality or gay “marriage” has taken a clearly Traditional view, and declared homosexuality to be a sin, condemned by both Scripture and Tradition.

    It is a factual error of consequence to claim that the Church holds in Scripture and Tradition that homosexuality, defined as same sex attraction, is sinful in and of itself, and thereby denying it is possible to live ones life on the dedicated path of chastity and “singlemindedness” to which we are all called and in the fullness and sanctity of the Church. The Church condemns in Scripture and Tradition sexual relationships and activities that are outside the sacramental marriage of one man with one woman, be they same-gender or opposite-gender. To ignore, mistake, or to promote this fact is grave error.

    • Michael Bauman :

      Mr. Stankovich, your continued harping on the difference between homosexuality and same sex attraction mystifies me. As I understand the Orthodox approach any thought that does or could lead to a sin is meat for confession as an preemptive effort to prevent sin. Clearly any sexual attraction that is outside of marriage can lead to sin and ought to be confessed and acknowledge for what it is–temptation. The source of that tempation also needs to be discerned if possible so that it can also be addressed.

      Are you seriously maintaining that there is no connection between same sex attraction and homosexual acts?

      • M. Stankovich :

        Mr. Bauman,

        I agree with the distinctions exactly as you have drawn them: could lead, can lead, and are temptations in need of preemptive effort. They are, however, no more or less sinful than opposite-gender thoughts and urges that pass through the minds of individuals who are not homosexual. Both are endemic to and indicative of the fallen state of our humanity. I “harp” on this distinction because I find no support in the Scripture, Patristical writings of the Fathers, nor the Tradition of the Church that the inclination for same sex temptation is sinful. Homosexuality is not a sin.

        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell :

          Michael, you should explain your claim to being a medical doctor before continuing to offer opinions on this site.

        • Michael Bauman :

          Are you actually saying that homosexulity, the desire and activity of two people of the same gender for sexual gratification from each other is not sinful, or are you making another of your mystifying and mind bending distinctions that only serve to muddy the water and make it impossible to acutally communicate on any meaninful level?

          • M. Stankovich :

            Mr. Bauman,

            I agree with the distinctions exactly as you have drawn them: could lead, can lead, and are temptations in need of preemptive effort.

            If these are “mind bending distinctions,” Mr. Bauman, you made them.

            In the statement above the one you are questioning, I stated:

            The Church condemns in Scripture and Tradition sexual relationships and activities that are outside the sacramental marriage of one man with one woman, be they same-gender or opposite-gender.

            How is it even possible for you to ask me, “Are you actually saying that homosexulity, the desire and activity of two people of the same gender for sexual gratification from each other is not sinful?” I have never, not once, varied, alluded, implied, hinted, or told little birds to tell you anything than what you see above. Not once. May we stipulate this point as a given for future reference, Mr. Bauman?

            • Stankovich,

              Your last posts are idiotic sophisms. Not even clever sophisms, but very thin ones.

              Now, from the fact that I am condemning your posts, I am sure that you would not imply, hint or allude to the suggestion that I somehow also condemn your inclination to write this kind of text, much less your desire to mean what you meant. That’s for sure. After all, you would live your son or daughter with a pedophile as long as he kept it to inclinations and did not commit the act, right? Nor would you condemn his desires, after all many pedophiles are born that way and so many others were victims of abuse themselves. Besides, the word pedophile does not appear in the Bible, it must mean that God does not condemn it as an inclination. It’s just like glutony, as long as you don’t eat, it’s ok to cultivate an obsession toward food.

              —————–
              What you are saying basically is that:
              Killing is sinful. Wanting to kill is not. After all the commandment says “Thou shall not kill”, not “Thou shall not have the inclination for killing”.

              God throughout the Old Testament condemns several acts and Jesus, by giving the example of adultery, clearly says that even thinking of it is already a sin. What stands for adultery, stands for all other sins.

              Patristic sources are abundant in detailing the levels of sin: The first is when the thought comes to ones mind. Maybe from the subconscious, maybe from demonic influence, it’s just a passing idea “I could just grab that watch. Nobody would see it.” Because it’s just an idea and we don’t have control over our thoughts, these flickering ideas and images will come and go and none of them are a sin of themselves.
              The second level is still not a sin, but it is closer to being. It is dialoguing with the idea. “Why shouldn’t I do it? It’s possible after all. No I shouldn’t because it’s wrong. But wasn’t it wrong that so many injusticies took my money? If I took the watch it would be payback only. Yet, my parents would be ashamed.” At this point, there is no sin, but we are letting it to get closer.
              The third level *is* a sin of thought. It is precisely when the person accepts that it is ok to do it, regardless if the person does it or not. This includes people who accept inclination to sin as normal even if they don’t feel them themselves.
              The fourth level is the practice of the sin itself and fifth is when practice is so repeated it becomes a vice or a passion.

              This stands for *any* sin, any “inclination”. The moral neutralization of sinful act is a sin in itself, already in the third level. It is a yes to the sin, even if it is never actualized.

              If you had said that homossexuality is no more sinful than other sins, it would at least be plausible, although it would be wrong as well. Several, but not all sins are called abominations. Homossexuality is amongst them.

              A homossexual, if “born that way”, is no different from a person who has a chronic severe anger problem. The inclination to anger *is* sinful, the acceptance of it is even more sinful, acting on it is terrible and the repeated action even worse.

              • M. Stankovich :

                Mr. Leite,

                Doggone if you are not the perceptive savant to pick me right out of the madding crowd! Go ahead and pat yourself on the back at my expense, and with gusto! Truth be told, Mr. Leite, my employment of idiotic sophisms was a conscious effort to avoid using the precise term orientation, which I reasonably presumed would stir up a swarm of simmering beez that have buzzed me for nearly a year – did you catch that, Mr. Leite, nearly a year! And slow simmering at that. Until of course you came riding in like Rommel into Egypt – rough-riding but maintaining the presence of mind to remember to bring the “levels of sin” (was that Aquinas?) – and, as they say, now the cat’s out of the bag. And good lord, man, who can be clever every post?

                While I grant I may have given you some license for comment – perhaps even a tempered provocation – I would note that, because I am forced to hang with an exceptionally tough crowd, I am generally not intimidated by “condemnation” of my posts. I had a man lean right in to me and say, “The voices are telling me to bite your nose off.” Can you imagine, Mr. Leite?

                • Good to see that you actually took a condemnation of your acts as a personal attack. At least this time you do not pretend to not understand that condemning an act is a condemnation of the “orientation” behind it as well.

                  Now, apply the same logic to God’s condemnation of homossexual acts.

    • As you know, “homosexuality” in English can refer to the behavior or more broadly to the attraction. I obviously used it in the first sense. I have been clear on that point. I don’t think people are defined by sins they sucessfully resist, and so I would not consider a celibate and repentant person who struggles against a temptation to homosexuality to be a homosexual. That is why St. Paul says “and such were some of you” in 1st Corinthians chapter 6.

      • M. Stankovich :

        Fr. John,

        I am not “harping” over a “technicality” or linguistic nuance peculiar to the English language. I am emphatically stating that I find no support in the Scripture, Patristical writings of the Fathers, nor the Tradition of the Church that homosexuality, defined as same sex attraction, is sinful. Sexual activity outside of sacramental marriage between one man and one woman is an entirely different matter. If I follow your logic, that people are not “defined by sins they successfully resist,” am I to believe that you would not consider a “repentant person who struggles against a temptation” to heterosexuality to be a heterosexual? While this is amusing, it is lunacy.

        • You don’t find the distinction you are making between the sin, and the inclination thereto in the Fathers, spoken of as “homosexuality” at all. And you certainly don’t find them speak of the sin of heterosexuality, because it is not a sin, nor an inclination to sin. They do speak of fornication, and if you are not giving into the temptation to fornicate, you are not a fornicator.

          • M. Stankovich :

            Therefore, it is improper to indicate the Fathers declared homosexuality to be a sin. While I grant that “if you are not giving into the temptation to fornicate, you are not a fornicator,” you are and will continue to remain heterosexual. I find it perfectly proper by analogy to insist that, if you are not giving into the temptation to engage in same-gender sexual activity, you will nevertheless remain homosexual.

            • No it isn’t, because the Fathers didn’t speak English, and because in English that is how we refer to the sin of sodomy without using the word “sodomy” or “sodomite” which comes across more harshly. See: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homosexuality

              You are making a distinction the Fathers never made. I am not.

              • Both the attraction and the action are condemned by the Holy Apostle Paul in Romans 1:26-27:

                “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections [pathe atimias]: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

              • And then we have St. John Chrysostom in his homily on Romans 1:26-27:

                “All these affections then were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored, than the body in disease.”

                And later in the same homily:

                “It was meet that the twain should be one, I mean the woman and the man. For ‘the twain,’ it says, ‘shall be one flesh.’ But this the desire of intercourse effected, and united the sexes to one another. This desire the devil having taken away, and having turned the course thereof into another fashion, he thus sundered the sexes from one another, and made the one to become two parts in opposition to the law of God. For it says, ‘the two shall be one flesh,’ but he divided the one flesh into two.”

                So it’s not the action alone that is of the devil, but the desire itself, for it sunders the man from the woman and turns him in toward himself.

              • M. Stankovich :

                Fr. John,

                My thought is that we have reached an impasse because 1) you do not consider someone homosexual who resists temptation, and 2) you will not admit that, while the Fathers did not make specific distinctions for many things that constitute the living Tradition of our Church, time and the Holy Spirit have sanctified and revealed them as such. In my mind what you are saying is hardly authoritative, nor have you demonstrated to me that I contradict the Scripture, the Patristical Teachings, the Canonical Teachings, or the Sacred Traditions of the Church. I have already been referred to as standing “in opposition to natural law, revealed truth and the moral teaching of the Church,” and I’ve learned that when the word “sodomy” appears, nothing productive generally is to follow. I am not a champion of causes, nor an “original thinker.” I am, however, careful and measured in my process.

                • You say your distinction is part of the “living tradition of the Church” but not found in the Fathers. Where else do you find it in the Tradition? Your imagination? You are working with a distinction that has come into vogue in the last few decades. And you object to the term “Sodomy”, so how would you translate “arsenokoitai” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10?

                  • M. Stankovich :

                    Fr. John,

                    I did not say my distinction is part of the Tradition. Nor did I object to the word “sodomy.” Knock yourself out. Nevertheless, I maintain that your argument is not authoritative and that I hold no opinions that contradict the Scripture, the Patristical Teachings, the Canonical Teachings, or the Sacred Traditions of the Church.

                    My sense, Fr. John, is that you are a type of Theodore Metochites, “Everything that needs to have been said, has already been said.” Rinse and Repeat. That is fine. I, however, believe St. Gregory Palamas, that the Energy of the Father will not be contained by us, driving all things that are to things that can be, and the potential of what can be is limitless until that time when God will be “All in All.” And the Spirit “goes where He wishes” despite our foolishness. The Traditions of the Church were not “voted upon” in Council, nor ordered, nor declared, but were sanctified by time and the Holy Spirit. Who would be so arrogant as to say “There is no more. Ever.”

                    • Why not answer an extremely pertinent question? We have a word describing the sin of homosexual sodomy in the Bible. How would you translate it in English? And you did say that your distinction was part of the “Living Tradition” of the Church, but when pressed for any evidence within the actual Tradition of the Church, you have nothing.

                    • M. Stankovich :

                      Fr. John,

                      Pertinence, I suspect, is in the eye of the beholder.

                      The issue at hand is that you made the statement:

                      It is just a fact that every conciliar statement that has been made by the Orthodox Church on the question of homosexuality or gay “marriage” has taken a clearly Traditional view, and declared homosexuality to be a sin, condemned by both Scripture and Tradition

                      I contend that the condition homosexuality, a disorder consequential to our fallen humanity, is not sinful in and of itself, and it is possible to be homosexual and follow the path of chastity and singlemindedness to which we are all called in the fullness of the life of the Church. If find nothing in this contention that contradicts or is in opposition to the Scripture, Patristic writings of the Fathers, Canonical Writings, or the Holy Tradition. I humbly say that I do not find your argument authoritative nor compelling, and quite frankly I do not see us “at odds” and incompatible.

                      I do not, however, see us continuing to argue.

                    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell :

                      So you admit at last that homosexuality is a disorder. That’s progress.

                      But how can a disorder be ontological? Disorder itself is not ontological, but tropological, a matter not of being but of behavior.

                    • M. Stankovich :

                      M. Stankovich says:
                      August 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM

                      First, let me be emphatic that my comments are not and were never intended to be apology for same-sex sexual behaviour as anything but disorder and immoral.

                    • The problem here is that on the one hand you are quibbling with my use of the term “homosexuality”, and are also claiming that my views are not “authoritative”, and yet on the other, I am asking you about how you would translate the word used in the authoritative texts of the Scripture and the Canons, and you are refusing to answer. This is intellectually dishonest.

                    • Michael’s strategy of redefining the terms in use is a large part of the problem, but even accepting his narrow definition of homosexuality, he has presented himself with a serious problem: He defines homosexuality as merely same-sex attraction and says that it is both ontological and disordered. This cannot be except among Calvinists.

                    • M. Stankovich :

                      Fr. John,

                      1 Cor 6:9 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι βασιλείαν Θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσι; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται

                      Strongs NT 733 ὁ ἀρσενοκοῖται Noun, masculine (derived from ἄρσην a male and κοίτη a bed, mat, or pallette) a man who would lie with another another man (as with a female), a sodomite.

                      It occurs exactly twice in the New Testament: 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10

                      If you would suggest this as Scirptural “proof” that a man must necessarily engage in sexual activity with another man to meet the definition of homosexuality, you misrepresent the Scripture. You would first need to establish that, previously, when St. Paul says “nor adulterers” οὔτε μοιχοὶ, being fully aware of the Lord’s statement, “Whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:8) he intended to set the qualification “only those who actually engage in sexual activity with a woman outside his marriage” are adulterers. Obviously he does not, and I reasonably conclude, then, that we cannot say for certain his intention in employing the word ἀρσενοκοῖται as “definitional” of homosexuality.

                    • At this point I was simply asking you how you would translate the word, and you really didn’t answer the question. Would you translate it as “sodomite”, per the strongs concordance definition you cite? The problem for your interpretation is that right after saying that Sodomites will not inherit the Kingdom of God, he says “and such were some of you.” And so obviously he did not view it as an immutable characteristic.

                    • M. Stankovich :

                      Fr. John,

                      The phrase is: καὶ [and] ταῦτά [these (things)] τινες [some] ἦτε [were you] You are choosing to place emphasis on the verb to arrive at what you say is St. Paul’s view. Being obstinate, I will choose to place emphasis on the pronoun “some” – not all of you – and now I believe your assertion as to St. Paul’s view is anything but obvious.

                      More importantly, Fr. John, I truly would see the significance to this argument, the need to detail, define, and certify our accuracy, if we were discussing that humanity set forth at the hand of the Master and Creator, “as it was in the beginning,” created κατ’ εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ’ ὁμοίωσιν (Gen 1:26), and the king and crown of His creation. But we are not. We are “quibbling” over characteristics endemic to the base and malignant consequences of our sinfulness and disobedience – our broken humanity – that being cosmic in character, has likewise broken our world.

                      I am not representing homosexuality as anything other than a disorder directly attributable to our fallen and broken humanity. It is not attributable to God; in any shape or form reflective of the creation “as it was in the beginning”; nor will it be of the Kingdom which is to come. Yet in this broken world, it is an ontologically simple entity, a categorization of truth: it exists. I contend that homosexuality is not sinful in and of itself, and homosexuality prevents no one from following the path of chastity and singlemindedness to which we are all called in the fullness of the Church. The Church emphatically condemns same-gender sexual activity, and quite obviously, the notion of same-gender marriage. For these reasons, I believe that confusing what is sinful – same-gender sexual activity – with what is not – homosexuality – is not “quibbling” but significant error with consequence, and needlessly so.

                      Again, I find nothing in this contention that contradicts or is in opposition to the Scripture, Patristic writings of the Fathers, Canonical Writings, or the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church. And again, Fr. John, with respect I humbly say that I do not find your argument authoritative nor compelling

                    • You still have not answered the question of how you would translate the word, and your argument makes even less sense now. Are you say that “such were some of you” does not apply to sodomites? What point do you advance by that. If you are saying that St. Paul did not think one could be a former Sodomite, then you would have to believe that all Sodomites will go to hell, because when he speaks of Sodomites, he includes them under the category of those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. So unless you think homosexuality to be an unpardonable sin, you have to believe that St. Paul did not consider it to be an immutable characteristic.

                    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

                      I am not representing homosexuality as anything other than a disorder directly attributable to our fallen and broken humanity. It is not attributable to God; in any shape or form reflective of the creation “as it was in the beginning”; nor will it be of the Kingdom which is to come.

                      Yes, you are. If “homosexuality” (by which you mean same-sex desire) is an ontological category, it is intrinsic to man’s being. You essentially argue that man (male or female) can be created as a homosexual, by which I mean that you read same-sex desire is a defining constituent of of personhood and self-identity. You regard same-sex desire as an immutable characteristic, just as Fr. John Whiteford said.

                    • M. Stankovich :

                      Fr. John,

                      With all due respect, I have read your last statement three times, and I have absolutely no idea what you are asking me. I conclude by saying I do not find your argument authoritative nor compelling. I believe it is proper, appropriate, and most importantly compassionate to differentiate between these two terms.

                      Fr. Ioannes,

                      You are too predictable and tiresome. An ontological truth is a simple statement of a simple entity, an affirmation of existence: homosexuality is. You say it is a “defining constituent of of personhood and self-identity,” I did not. In fallen Adam, homosexuality is as immutable as the 80% of individuals who will develop hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer because of a DNA mismatch repair at gene MSH2. And despite the fact that both conditions carry an actuarial risk, it would be incorrect to assert that even a fallen man (or woman) is created this way.

                      I find my self, again, in this absurd state of defending the identical position with the identical words, with the identical result that Mr. Bauman places me outside the saving grace of the Church – and where I am in fact a threat and purposeful “underminer” of the Faith; Deacon Mitchell is content to avoid any substance altogether and focuses on my “character”; the newcomer, Mr. Leite, offers the truly bizarre Hallmark Card of the Month, “Good to see that you actually took a condemnation of your acts as a personal attack”; and Frs. Whiteford & Jacobse would have me chase white rabbits, again, and again, and again – as the cops know all so well – everybody cracks eventually. And so it goes…

                      I had the opportunity to review everything I have posted here from the beginning, and what I said then is exactly what I say now. My contention then and now is that nothing I have said contradicts or is in opposition to the Scripture, Patristic writings of the Fathers, Canonical Writings, or the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

                    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

                      You say it is a “defining constituent of of personhood and self-identity,” I did not. In fallen Adam, homosexuality is as immutable as the 80% of individuals who will develop hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer because of a DNA mismatch repair at gene MSH2. And despite the fact that both conditions carry an actuarial risk, it would be incorrect to assert that even a fallen man (or woman) is created this way.

                      You use the term “homosexuality” in very imprecise ways. It can be defined either as a desire or a behavior — or, as you seem to indicate here, it has a biological origin thus implying the definition includes a kind of state of being. For all the claims about your presumed expertise, the definitions remain slippery and your purposes unclear.

                      In any case, you still treat same-sex desire as an immutable characteristic but grounded in what — ontology, or now biology? I’m still not convinced that your interest in the issue is anything beyond polemics.

                    • Michael:

                      This statement of yours is not true:

                      Deacon Mitchell is content to avoid any substance altogether and focuses on my “character”

                      I have many times commented on the substance of your arguments, most recently on your Calvinist ontology, according to which God ordains disorder (indeed, orders disorder) and is therefore the creator of natural evil – beings incapable of being anything but evil because God made them to be so. This is the implication of your statements –

                      (a) that ontology is a simple matter of what “is,” so that whatever “is” is ontological,
                      (b) that “sexual orientation” is a “fixed ontological category,” and
                      (c) that “homosexuality” (defined by you as merely a solely homosexual orientation) is a “disorder consequential to our fallen humanity.”

                      Together, these statements ignore St. Maximus the Confessor’s distinction between logos and tropos – between being as ordained by God and the way a being behaves toward God. The former is always good because God is always good and all that He does is good; the latter can be good or bad, and any disorder in God’s creation is a result of it being bad.

                      I would add that two more statements by you –

                      (d) that “same-gender sexuality activity” is sinful, but
                      (e) that “homosexuality” (again, defined by you as merely a solely homosexual orientation) is utterly sinless,

                      – wrongly restrict the definition of sin to merely what Rome calls “actual sin” and in effect deny the doctrine of original or ancestral sin, which accounts for the disorder of creation. Your understanding of sin is neither Orthodox, Roman Catholic, nor Calvinist, for even Calvinists recognize all disorder as in some way sinful.

                • I’ve learned that when the word “sodomy” appears, nothing productive generally is to follow. I am not a champion of causes, nor an “original thinker.” I am, however, careful and measured in my process.

                  LOL! Careful? What about “mutually exclusive”? Measured? What about calling people “creeps” and “charlatans”? Not a champion of causes? Yeah, right. Homosexuality is your cause. That’s why you don’t like hearing it called sodomy.

                  • I think what we have here is a three-level argument, pitting definitions from moral theology, psychology and common usage against each other.

                    I’d like to approach it from the standpoint of moral theology. which holds that (1) temptation is not sin, (2) to resist temptation is a sacrificial act of moral virtue and (3) the sinner is identified with the sin in act, not in absence of act.

                    Ergo a thief is not a thief until he steals. An adulterer (although contemplation of the act may be an act of adultery) is not actually an adulterer until he adulters. By the same token, neither is an individual a homosexual until he acts upon his temptation.

                    The writer who pointed out that the act in contemplation is a matter for confession, is correct. By the logic that a man who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery, so has the man who has seriously contemplated a robbery, committed one. These
                    should be confessed not as a matter of legalism, but to get the weight of it off of our souls, and to let the Grace of God in so that we might become less vulnerable in the future.

                    But we have not become what we contemplate until we act on it. This doesn’t make the act itself any less heinous, of course,
                    it simply means that we have not become identified with it, yet.

                    There is nothing in the content of the Faith that justifies homosexuality. There is nothing that calls the inclination anything but deadly or the act anything but abominable. That having been said, what do we do about it?

                    First, we condemn the sin, not the sinner. We are told this repeatedly, and need to simply obey it.

                    Second, we refuse to fall for the world’s claptrap that the individual “cannot be healed.” God can heal anything, and we need to bring sufferers of all sorts before Him, asking for His Grace.

                    Third, we must indeed call sin, sin. We must not call evil anything but evil, that those who are tempted to do evil may be dissuaded.

                    just two cents, from your brother in Christ,

                    Fr. James +

  6. Michael Bauman :

    The ending of Jude is a very solid exhortation from which more sermons should be preached, beginning with, “You must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” They are the ones who are divisive, not those who hold fast to the traditions. They are worldly, not having the Spirit.

    For the Christian, his duty is to abide in the love of God, wait for the mercy of Christ, and convince those who will be convinced. Have mercy, with fear. All comes from the love of God, even “hating the sin,” and showing mercy.

  7. Michael Bauman :

    Mr. Stankovich, I quote from your post just above: Homosexuality is not a sin.

    That seems pretty clear to me. Part of the problem, I think, is that you insist on defining homosexuality in a manner that almost no other person would define it while at the same time playing on the common understanding. In the process you sow confusion and obsfucate your actual position. And you wonder why you are not understood.

    I wish that once, just once, you would answer a direct question directly instead of indulging is such wierd linguistic games. The only reason I asked you to clarify your pretty clear statement quoted above is because I was rather certain that you did not mean what anyone else would clearly take from that statement. Your agreived and meandering post to which I am replying is clear evidence that I was correct.

    So which is it:
    Is homosexuality as commonly understood a sin?
    Should the Church accomodate those that practice this sin without repentance? OR
    Should the Church refuse communion to those who adamantely refuse to repent and/or actively support such ‘unions’?
    Should the Church be quite about so-called ‘gay’ marriage outside the Church?

    These are closed end questions and require either a yes or no to answer. I know you are allergic to such simplicity, but I’d like you to try because my poor brain is befuddled by your meanderings and I would really like to communicate with you–strange as that might seem. Once I actually can grasp your position, I will do my best to stipulate it. So far you are maddeningly unclear.

    • M. Stankovich :

      Mr. Bauman,

      My definition of homosexuality is the common definition currently in use among medical and social researchers internationally: persons who are exclusively sexually attracted to persons of their own gender. There is nothing confusing or ambiguous whatsoever about this definition. Your statement that I “sow confusion” by relying on the common definition is ridiculous.

      Is homosexuality as commonly understood a sin? No.

      Should the Church accommodate those that practice this sin without repentance?

      In that I do not accept that homosexuality is a sin, there is no point to the question. However, if you are asking me if the Church should accommodate (though I don’t know exactly what you mean by “accommodate”) the sexual activity between homosexuals without repentance, no.

      Should the Church refuse communion to those who adamantly refuse to repent and/or actively support such ‘unions’?

      The decision to exclude someone from the Eucharistic and the sacramental union with the Church is an extraordinary act, and requires the decision of a pastor and confessor reached by scrutiny, careful examination, and probably prayer and fasting. Further, despite what may seem, at face value, to be the “obvious answer” should always be the last resort, motivated by a loving interest in their repentance and ultimate salvation. What I am saying is that I do not view this as a dogmatic question that may be answered yes or no, but a pastoral question that will be answered, “in the course of time, it must be answered yes.”

      Should the Church be quite about so-called ‘gay’ marriage outside the Church?

      I am presuming you mean “quiet.”

      I make no presumption as to what the Church should or should not address outside the Church. If the “debate” on gay marriage that took place on the Ancient Faith Network is any example, we American Orthodox are hardly mature enough, or prepared enough, or kind enough to one another to bear a united witness. Better place, better time. As I mentioned to you elsewhere, you are better commentator on matters of culture and society than me, and, I suspect, considerably more interested.

      • Michael Bauman :

        Wow, Mr. Stankovich you say:

        As I mentioned to you elsewhere, you are better commentator on matters of culture and society than me, and, I suspect, considerably more interested.

        Yet you routinely comment on matters of cultural and social significance as if you had the final word,while denigrating the knowledge, education and integrity of others with whom you apparently disagree. When questioned directly you feint and parry as with an invisible fencer and ultimately say you have no interest in the whole thing.

        You have wasted the time and brain cells of everyone who has attempted to noodle out a coherent, logical stance from your numerous postings and for what?

        Do you like to show off or are you just a typical scientistic geek who lives in such an abstract world that he cannot possibly imagine that ideas are anything other than playthings.

        At least you finally, after months, gave a straight answer to a significant question. You state that homosexuality in not a sin.

        I thank you for that. Now I know for certain that anything else you say in an attempt to justify, rationalize and obscure that fact, you stand in opposition to natural law, revealed truth and the moral teaching of the Church.

        That is what I will stipulate in any future reading of your uninterested and ill-informed comments on social and cultural matters.

        • M. Stankovich :

          Mr. Bauman,

          It would seem to me prudent, wise, and reasonable to ask you to first demonstrate that 1) homosexuality (defined as same sex attraction), as opposed to same-gender sexual activity, is condemned by Scripture, the Patristic Fathers, the Canonical Writings, and Church Tradition, and 2) that it is impossible to live a life on the path of chastity and rightmindedness to which we are all called, essentially and completely, within the fullness of the Orthodox Church, yet be homosexual.

          I have earned the right to make my claims, and so should you.

          • Fr. Hans Jacobse :

            Too vague. Should the person who struggles with same-sex desire self-identify as a homosexual? Or should the person who engages in same-sex behavior self-identify as such?

            • M. Stankovich :

              Well, with respect, what identification process did you employ to identify yourself – I’m presuming – as heterosexual? Presuming a certain basic fund of information, orientation to your surroundings, lack of frank psychotic or delusion symptoms, and sobriety, I will be reasonably inclined to accept your assessment of your sexual orientation as accurate. It seems to me that we have traditionally relied on such “vagueness” to describe and/or identify human features such as character, personality, and temperament for centuries. And even the scientifically examined and acknowledged processes of proprioception, ones sense of “possession” or “ownership” of ones body and its external position in space in relation to the world, and interoception which is the sense related to one’s internal physical “contents” (e.g. internal organs) are still, after all, subjective perceptions. I would not find it necessary – let alone appropriate – to challenge someone living, for example, in a virginal state, monastic or otherwise, as to the “correctness” of their perceived sexual orientation.

              • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

                Let me try again. Should the person who struggles with same-sex desire self-identify as homosexual? Or should the person who engages in same-sex behavior self-identify as such?

                • M. Stankovich :

                  Struggling or engaging, presuming a certain basic fund of information, orientation to their surroundings, lack of frank psychotic or delusion symptoms, and sobriety, I will be reasonably inclined to accept their assessment of their sexual orientation as accurate.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse :

                  So “sexual orientation” if a fixed ontological category in your view? Please not what others think, only what you think.

                  • M. Stankovich :

                    Yes.

                    • Michael Bauman :

                      Correct me if I’m wrong Mr. Stankovich:

                      According to you: Homosexuality is not a sin, it is a sexual orientation. It is onotogical. The only sin is in fornication (sex outside marriage).

                      The logical progression would seem to indicate that homosexuals could/should then be able to contract real marriages to avoid the sin of fornication.

                    • M. Stankovich :

                      M. Stankovich says:
                      August 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

                      I believe, if you would look carefully, you would see that I have made a considerable – in my mind exhausting – effort, here and elsewhere, to put forth accurate, contemporaneous scientific research data that would suggest factors other than environmental factors or events, psychological trauma, or “learned” behaviours contribute to the acquisition of same-sex preference. That there is a fundamental distinction between same-sex attraction and same-gender sexual activity. Why do I believe is this is important? Because it challenges stereotype, unfounded prejudice, and discrimination that would alienate or exclude those who would seek the Physician by following the path of ἀχράντου, purity of the whole life, not limited to sexuality alone, as opposed to those who would wish to normalize behaviour that cannot, ontologically or anthropologically, be sanctified.

                      M. Stankovich says:
                      October 25, 2011 at 12:07 PM

                      I strongly urge anyone to listen to the Fr. Thomas Hopko’s presentation on October 16th. Particularly his conclusion as what our response should be if, in fact, we indisputably determine the “cause” of homosexuality: “So what? It doesn’t change the theology of the Church” in regard to same-gender sex activity.

                      M. Stankovich says:
                      November 17, 2011 at 5:35 AM

                      In my mind, the emergent data regarding the bio-genetic influences of “orientation” are not singular, but are moderate, solid, and cannot be ignored. Likewise, protracted studies indicate that homosexual orientation is stable and not “fluid,” suggesting transience. This is by no means the “settlement” of this issue, but it seems naive, if not silly, to dismiss data that meets a threshold of “more likely than not.” It seems reasonable to me that an individual might resent being informed, “you are not what you think you are,” and worse, “what you think you are is loathsome, and we can change you.” Even allowing that, for some individuals in some cases, “confusion” could be the explanation, it strikes me dangerous and disfiguring to project “generalizations” we cannot substantiate as true.

                      Disagree with me as you will, Mr. Bauman, but enough of your Pharisaical “questioning” and silly logic. “Shame on a ‘brotha what try to run game on a ‘brotha!”

          • Michael Bauman :

            No one has the right to make any claims. The very fact that you posit such a right removes you from the Holy Tradition. My ‘claims’ as you call them are simply my own restatememnt of the moral tradition of the Church as I have been taught it by my bishop and my priest plus what I have read in Holy Scripture and other writings. It seems that Roman’s Chapter one is all that anyone would need (but there are many more such statements).

            However, you persist in defining homosexuality in a way that fits your own version of what should be and allows you to ignore such statements as not applicable ( your definition changes to fit your conversation of the moment, IMO). It is you who are purposing that the moral tradition of the Church be changed and you have only your ‘claims’ to support such a change.

            Homosexuality is the repeated acting on the temptation of same sex attraction (a temptation presented by the demons, our own vain imagings, pathological pain, our own inability to effectively or satisfactorily engage the opposite sex in a deep and intimate manner… the roots of the temptation are quite varied as I am sure you actually know) plus the persistence of the temptation after acting on it. It is the action that is the sin even if only done once. However, tempations are “of sin” because they lead to sin and whatever the immediate source, all tempations are ultimately from the father of lies. Something you have been at great pains to deny.

            In contradiction to my definition there are many celibate people who suffer from same sex attraction who consider themselves homosexual, but I’ll stick with my statement for now. It is the act combined with the temptation that allows someone to descend into homosexuality. However, make no mistake, they don’t become homosexuals in an ontological sense as no one is ontologically homosexual. A statement with which you will likely disagree in some convoluted conglomeration of jargon.

            (In a sense there really is no such thing as a homosexual, only someone who lives a life based on the temptation of same sex attraction).

            Any consensual act in response to such tempations is a dishornoring of our own bodies that is far worse than simple fornication. St. Paul likens it to idolatry. There is a continuum here that has to be dealt with in confession/counseling by a priest and/or another trained professional but it does not lessen the sinfulness of the act.

            Although it should not be necessary, your particular linguistic, Kafkaesque maze seems to require it: a person subjected to homosexual rape and/or sodomy is not a homosexual (in some cases the rapist is not really a homosexual either because rape is not about sexual gratification.) But if that person acts out sexually against others in reponse to his own violation, such acts are still sinful.

            The Church welcomes all sinners (thank you God) to live a life of repantance so that we may be transformed by His Grace. That includes those who have descended into a homosexual life (however you choose to define them today). However to mock the revealed truth of marriage, its cosmic purpose and significance in creation is an act that should never be tolerated. It may be forced down our throats at the point of a gun, but I will not acquiese to it.

            There is something more here that is even more nefarious. Those that seek to nomalize homosexuality or any of its assorted connections however you choose to define and relate them, also seek to overturn the natural hierarchy and its attendant fruitfulness in God’s creation of us as male and female. It is quite simly an egalitarian, nihlistic lie.

            • M. Stankovich :

              Mr. Bauman,

              You are being blatantly deceptive in misrepresenting my position. I have never, not once, changed my definition of homosexuality to fit any purpose whatsoever. Look a handful of posts above:

              My definition of homosexuality is the common definition currently in use among medical and social researchers internationally: persons who are exclusively sexually attracted to persons of their own gender. There is nothing confusing or ambiguous whatsoever about this definition. Your statement that I “sow confusion” by relying on the common definition is ridiculous.

              I began posting in regard to Dr. Pappas’s article on a “Paradigm Shift” last fall, and had you taken a short moment to check, I am always, and without exception, consistent. And the fact of the matter is that it is not my definition, but held from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to most major research institutions in this country. You disagree with this definition? That’s your business. But don’t you dare continue this moronic tirade that I am purposefully deceitful and am “fabricating” pursuant to my needs.

              • Michael Bauman :

                Mr. Stankovich, I’ve never before tried to dialog with anyone who is as adept as you are at obsfucation even when you are genuinely trying to be clear. You are truly a master.

                I am not misrepresenting your position, I am challenging it based upon what you have communicated to me. You have two typical responses when challenged: 1) you throw a bunch of words at the challenger that actually mean very little but have a high grade level value; and/or 2) you throw insults and invective.

                You refuse to answer direct questions directly unless hounded.Everything is presented in this intricate, supposedly nuanced Gordian Knot package

                Since I feel strongly that your position is damaging to the Church and to society as a whole because it is manifiestly outside the Tradition I speak rather more emotionally than I should at times.

                Let me state it once again: Acording to the consitent moral and spiritual teaching of the Church homosexuality (no matter how defined) is sinful and disordered. I don’t have to support that as a claim because it is not mine. If you are unable to understand that then you have not really read the Father’s. I don’t mean that literally, I’m sure you have actually read the words they wrote, but the meaning and the spirit of those words did not enter your heart.

                Your basic assumptions, the premises of your thought have been formed more, it seems, by philosophical naturalism and empiricism that permeates so much of modern science than by the Church.

                Those categories and modes of thought simply are not in harmony with the thinking of the Church.

                • M. Stankovich :

                  Mr. Bauman,

                  You said:

                  You persist in defining homosexuality in a way that fits your own version of what should be and allows you to ignore such statements as not applicable ( your definition changes to fit your conversation of the moment, IMO). It is you who are purposing that the moral tradition of the Church be changed and you have only your ‘claims’ to support such a change.

                  Let me be clear as crystal and singularly emphatic: I have never, not once, changed my definition of homosexuality. I further maintain that, since entering this particular discussion, beginning with the post regarding Dr. Pappas and the “Paradigm Shift,” I have been absolutely consistent in my entire argument, yet inviting critique and correction as to substance. It is one thing to say you reject my contentions by substance, Mr. Bauman, and quite another to accuse me of willful deception. You are wrong. Period.

                  As to your bold assertions regarding my “formation,” the contents of my heart, and the danger I pose to the Church, my thought would be that it would somehow seem quite obvious to you by now that I can live with your opinions.

                  • Michael Bauman :

                    Ah, but the question remains can you live with your own?

                  • Michael Bauman :

                    Mr. Stankovich, hope you read this. I just want to thank you–sincerely. The fruit of our contention has been quite good for me. It is part of the benefit of really being brothers in Christ despite our differences.

                    God Bless you and may he increase the fruits of your ministry.

  8. cynthia curran :

    Some people like to play Byzantine Empire or Russian Empire, well the law codes of either civilzation never endorsed homosexuality.

  9. Michael Bauman :

    Disagree with me as you will, Mr. Bauman, but enough of your Pharisaical “questioning” and silly logic. “Shame on a ‘brotha what try to run game on a ‘brotha!”

    I do disagree with you Mr. Stankovich, your reasoning and the philosophical foundation of your reasoning–a foundation which is alien to the Church but which you attempt to import into the Church anyway. Since you refuse to answer most questions, I suppose I should stop. Personally, I don’t find asking simple, straight forward questions to be a game.

    I think it is reasonable to ask how you see the Church supporting her refusal to marry homosexuals of the same sex to each other if 1) homosexuality is not a sin; 2). Homosexuality is an otological reality, and 3). the only sin is fornication?

    But you neither answer the question nor refute the progression of my logic by offering an alternative, you merely insult.

    Because I still think of you as a brother in Christ (not the vulgar euphamism you choose to use) I will still contend for you.

    The ’cause’ of homosexuality is the the same as any disordered passion from which we suffer: the fall and our worship of the created things more than our Creator.

    Pride, anger and depresson stem from the worship of our own will;

    Glutony, lust and sloth stem from the worship of the sensual experience of our own bodies and a desire to shield ourselves from the pain and vulnerablity of loving others; (Homosexuality is a sub-set which is made more virulent by its fixation on someone of the same sex)

    Envy and avarice stem from our worship of and desire for material things.

    All of these distort and darken the likeness and the image of God that we truly are. The image and likeness is the only ontological state: Male and female, ordered in a natural hierarchy for the fruitfulness and sanctifcation of the creation in cooperation with God the Father, through the Son and by the Holy Spirit.

    Or so I have been taught.

    • M. Stankovich :

      Mr. Bauman,

      You are under the impression that you have attempted to “dialog” with me and I am somehow “slippery” and/or devious and resistant to your “ministrations.” I believe that if you were to return to my first entry into this foray of a topic – Dr. Pappas’s “Paradigm Shift” interview – as I did today – you will see that you have, from the beginning, issued forth post after post of instruction, morphing to “hardline” correction, progressing to rabid excoriation, a phase to which we have so unpleasantly returned. And it is cyclical. Whatever, Mr. Bauman. My point is that we were never in dialog, and more often than not, my email indicates a “response” sometimes moments after I post a comment. And it’s invariably you. And you couldn’t have had the time to even give me the respect to consider my comment. Seriously, better that you ignore it.

      And now you too find it appropriate to carry this discussion to another site, questioning posters there if they believe I am in heresy? Are you for real? I have know your bishop since I was 17 years old and I know you were not taught this disrespect by him. Give it up already.

      • Michael Bauman :

        The question of whether or not the belief and the propogation of the belief that homosexuality is not a sin is a departure from the fundamental teachings of the Church is the whole essence of this debate don’t you think? You stated without equivocation that homosexuality is not a sin. Yet you seem to resist the consequences of that belief.

        You apparently view dialog as an exchange in which all opinions and beliefs are deemed to be of the same value and the outcome really doesn’t matter since those in the dialog share the same fundamental assumptions. It is quite easy to be ‘respectful’ in such a case.

        Since we don’t appear to share the same fundamental assumptions about the ontology of human beings, perhaps a better description of our exchange is contending with you. However you have certainly shown no sign of the respect for me that you demand for yourself. I am rather sure that we are tarred by the same brush in that regard. We can both do better. But you are right, some of my conduct has been out of bounds and intended to hurt. Please forgive me.

        What I have learned from my bishop is that the truth is important. I bear you no ill-will personally, have even agreed with you on some matters after considering what you wrote and admire the work you do based on your accounts of it. In the case of your opinions on homosexuality, you are dead wrong and no matter how much worldly evidence you marshall, you will remain dead wrong because what you believe is at odds with what the Church teaches.

        My bishop signed the Manhattan Declaration which among other things commits to the defense of traditional marriage. While I am sure he would generally mount such a defense in a more irenic manner than I do (most of the time), he would remain adamant about the truth of the matter. But I am not my bishop. He is, after all, a much more saintly man than am I.

        In case you don’t get the tie in between your belief on homosexuality and marriage: your position can easily lead to the belief that there should be no impediment to two homosexuals of the same sex being married even in the Church. But you don’t like to be questioned on that either. When I posed the question, you just responded to my question by calling me a Pharisee. Think about how respectful that is.

        My training, experience and profession demands that I be able to digest complex material quickly without great attention to all of the details and respond. Blogs are not a detailed medium for the most part and it is quite possible to digest the complexity without violating either the spirit or the overall content of the material–especially when it is markedly similar to what has proceeded it.

        Even before my formal training, I was taught to think that way by my father, a dynamic, successful and brilliant public health officer (M.D. from Kansas top 10% of his class graduating in 3 years, MPH from Harvard again graduating in less than the normal time). We contended (irenically and not) about many things during our life together in a way that was a bit like a verbal blog. Thinking on my feet became a necessity as did responding quickly and aggressively. The last part is not always good but a hard habit to break.

        However, I am not alone in noticing and calling to your attention the fact that you tend to be rather less than direct in your style. Particularly in response to questions. It is really irritating to ask a simple question and either get insulted for asking it or be met with a long complex non-answer. Whether you realize it or not, that tends to be your pattern.

        The particular post on Monomakos that you seem offended by stated the question at the top of this post and seemed appropriate since you have frequently commented at great length on the same topic on that site. I would say that if you don’t want to be questioned, or held accountable for your beliefs then don’t post them on the internet on sites which are sure to bring you opposition.

        BTW: the meaning of the word dialog is a conversation or exchange of ideas between two or more persons. We have been in a dialog

      • Michael Bauman :

        Mr. Stankovich, I have never once even thought of you as a heretic, much less called you one. Simply holding beliefs contrary to the Church’s teaching does not make someone a heretic. Even the propogation of such beliefs does not make a person a heretic. If that were so, then we would all be heretics on some level.

        I’ll let God decide who is of the tares and who of the wheat. You may very well end better than me in that respect. I pray that we both ultimately dwell in His Kingdom even as we struggle for it here because despite our differences, I have no doubt that we are Orthodox Christian brethren.

    • Fr. John W. Morris :

      I believe that lust is in and of itself a sin whether it be hetero or homosexual. Christ spoke of committing adultery in one’s heart. There is a subtle distinction to be made here. I was recently in Ft. Lauderdale and went down to the beach. I could not help but notice some almost naked women there, but tried to divert my eyes lest I fall into lust. Had I stood there leering at these scantily clad women, I would have fallen into lust which would have been a sin. Therefore same sex attraction can easily lead to lust which is a sin even if no actual sexual contact takes place.
      The problem is that our society has normalized immorality and declared morality mentally ill. St. Paul wrote about this in the first chapter of Romans. Thus the term homophobia used to attack anyone who does not accept the gay agenda. The who chick-fil-a scares me because it means that we no longer have freedom of speech or religion but must carefully adhere to the politically correct and basically anti-Christian orthodoxy or suffer such consequences as having our businesses attacked. That is fascism.
      No one really knows what causes homosexuality. It is impossible to conduct truly unbiased and scientific research on the subject because the second any scientists begins to question the pro-gay orthodoxy he or she is in danger of being drummed out of the profession. There is a movement to have a professor at the University of Texas fired because he did a study that showed that children raised by same sex couples are not as well adjusted as politically correct orthodoxy demands. In California they are trying to make it illegal for a counselor to try to help a teen deal with homosexual attraction and develop normal opposite sex attraction. We are living in a very dangerous age because the forces of evil are actively attacking anyone who does not submit to the new normal which is immorality.
      As far as Orthodoxy is concerned the teaching of our Church is clear. I and others will fight to keep from happening to our Church what has happened to the Episcopal and other Churches. If someone does not like what we believe on this subject, I suggest that they either learn the humility to accept the teaching authority of the Church or leave and join some other religion that is more to their liking. That includes seminary professors, bishops, clergy and laity. We do not decide what is right and what is wrong by popular vote in the Orthodox Church. We humbly recognize that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to proclaim the truth and that the truth does not change due to the changes in secular society.

      Fr. John W. Morris

  10. Ah, young doctor Dunn, explaining to us in his precious I-just-got-a-PhD! way that the Holy Bible doesn’t say what it actually says, and two thousand years of Holy Tradition aren’t what they manifestly are.

    He is, of course, being hailed as “courageous” and “brave” for denouncing the actual teachings of his ostensible faith. I, first among sinners, have no idea what’s in Dr. Dunn’s heart, but I am quite certain that he serves The Evil One – effectively, it seems, judging from the fawning comments over at HuffPo.

    Save the truly radical idea of gay “marriage” – a genuine innovation in human relations, far edgier than pedestrian things like polygamy, which have existed in many places and times – there is nothing new about homosexuality, in any detail. St Paul knew exactly what it was, and what it involved, let’s not kid ourselves here.

    The choice is simple – or if you prefer, stark. Two millennia of Church teaching on human sexuality are either correct, or completely wrong, reactionary, backwards, and contemptible until about 1975, when True Wisdom descended upon us. Pseudo-intellectuals like Dunn try and obfuscate this reality, but it’s quite simple.

    I vote for the original, Old School, AD 33 until 1975 version, myself. But then I’m Orthodox, I don’t think I’m smarter, kinder, and all-around better than those nasty, backwards people in the past; and, per Chesterton, I like to give my ancestors a vote.

  11. M. Stankovich :

    In the self-serving best interest of my batting average, those in the (Self-Ruled) Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (with thanks to Dr. David Dunn’s website for the direct link) might want to compare my assertions with what appears to be the official statement on the website of your own Archdiocese: Understanding Homosexuality: An Orthodox Christian Perspective.

    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell :

      Michael,

      First, the article at the link is obviously not an “official statement” in the sense of an authoritative statement issued after due deliberation by the synod of the Antiochian Archdiocese; rather it is a paper presented at a conference in 2006 by an Antiochian priest that the editor of the Archdiocese’s website thought worth posting online as “An Orthodox Christian Perspective” and not as THE Orthodox Christian perspective.

      Second, the paper’s author, Fr. George Morelli, who is a licensed clinical psychologist, does not use the word homosexuality narrowly as you do to mean only same-sex attraction. He instead speaks of the plural “homosexualities” and uses the singular “homosexuality” to mean same-sex attraction and/or same-sex sexual activity.

      Third, Fr. Morelli also disagrees with you on whether same-sex attraction is a “disorder”: He says it isn’t, but you have admitted that it is. I’m on your side on the point, and at times Fr. Morelli seems to be, too. After all, he calls SSA a “handicap” and likens it to lameness and deafness, which are in fact disorders “consequential to our fallen humanity,” as you say. Maybe he only means that SSA is not technically a “mental disorder” according to the DSM, but so what? We know how SSA got dropped from the DSM, and it wasn’t because of science. Anyway, if SSA is not what God intended, then it’s a disorder, a spiritual disorder if nothing else. Maybe Fr. Morelli would agree with that. (Of course, commonsense says that if it’s a disorder and it’s all about how one thinks, then it’s a mental disorder.)

      Fourth, Fr. Morelli is obviously wrong when he says that SSA is “natural” and sinless in the same way that heterosexual attraction is natural and sinless. The body has a natural appetite for sex, but not for sex with other bodies of the same sex. God made the man to cleave to the woman and vice versa (Gen. 2:24); the desire for any other cleaving is therefore unnatural. Heterosexual attraction is a natural passion, not in itself sinful, but homosexual attraction is, as the Holy Apostle Paul says, a “disgraceful passion” rooted in sin. (Romans 1:26) Our Lord Himself no doubt experienced the former, but He could not have experience the latter on account of His sinlessness. Fr. Morelli fails to take that into consideration and make the necessary distinction.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      It’s not an official statement. And knowing Fr. Morelli (we are friends) as well as the article (I edited it), I can tell you that Fr. Morelli would not hold the manner in which you discuss the question either professional or credible.

      When Fr. Morelli says that SSA is “natural”, he means the existence of the desire is not necessarily volitional.

      • M. Stankovich :

        I stand corrected on my statement. Perhaps, as editor, you might have suggested that “One Man’s Orthodox Christian Perspective” would have been a more appropriate title. While I would rather hear his explanation of “not necessarily volitional,” rather than your interpretation of what he “means,” I did not understand him to mean attributable to God or the creation.

        As the issue at hand has been my insistence that homosexuality is not sinful, I thought it important to demonstrate that I am not a “singular” torchbearer. That you knew my position to be identical to Fr. Morelli – as both his friend and editor – and make no mention, but would then make a disrespectful and unfounded charge that his opinion is more “professional and credible” than my own is just more of your arrogant, dismissiveness bailout. It is manipulative and deceitful. Had I not come across this link, you would continue to promote me as someone on the “fringe” of credibility – which I will address myself – and questionable in motivation. And still I insist that nothing I have said contradicts or is in opposition to the Scripture, Patristic writings of the Fathers, Canonical Writings, or the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

        • Of course, I have already shown that your position is NOT “identical” to Fr. Morelli’s because (a) he does not use the word homosexuality in the narrow and indeed “singular” way you use it and (b) because he says SSA is not sinful because it’s not a disorder and you say it is a disorder but not a sinful one. Both of you can’t be right, but both of you can be wrong — and are.

        • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

          Well, more credible because Fr. Morelli has the credentials and experience, and more professional because he would never say things like “…arrogant, dismissive bailout” to people who disagreed with him.

    • Evidence, anyone?

      Michael has said many times here and elsewhere that there absolutely no “evidence” that therapy can help people change their sexual orientation. Similarly, at the link Michael provides, Fr. George Morelli cites two studies as “evidence” of a biological basis to same-sex attraction (SSA), and this seems to undergird his belief that SSA is “natural” and not in any way sinful and also not subject to change.

      But how good is the evidence of a biological basis, and how does it compare as evidence to that people can change orientation?

      1. In 2004, Italian researchers surveyed 98 self-identified gay men and 100 self-identified straight men and found a slight difference in the size of their birth families, meaning that the mothers of gay men tend to have more children on average. This is reported by the New Scientist as “evidence” of a genetic basis for SSA on the basis of speculation that the same genes that cause SSA also cause women to have more children to make up for the children gay men will not produce, thus explaining why SSA doesn’t die out eventually. It is also cited by Fr. Morelli as “scientific evidence” of “biological factors” to explain SSA, even though the Italians admitted that there are many ways environment could explain the difference with no help from genetics or other biological factors. [Morelli cites “Camperio-Ciani, Corna, Capiluppi, 2004.”]

      2. In 2005, Swedish researchers found that gays and straights respond differently to different male and female pheromones. This is reported as “evidence” of a hormonal basis for SSA on the basis of speculation that hormones produce the pheromones in question. It is also cited by Fr. Morelli as “scientific evidence” of “biological factors” to explain SSA, even though the Swedes admit their research did not show a cause-and-effect relationship between SSA and the suspected hormones, and others point out the SSA could just as well have been the cause instead of the effect. [Morelli cites “Savic, Berglund & Lindstrom, 2005.”]

      3. In 2001, Dr. Robert Spitzer conducted 45-minute telephone interviews with 200 people who claimed that their sexual orientations had changed from homosexual to heterosexual, finding that “89 percent of men and 95 percent of women said they were bothered only slightly, or not at all, by unwanted homosexual feelings,” and “66 percent of the men and 44 percent of the women had arrived at what [Spitzer] called good heterosexual functioning,” defined as “being in a sustained, loving heterosexual relationship within the past year, getting enough satisfaction from the emotional relationship with their partner to rate at least seven on a 10-point scale, having satisfying heterosexual sex at least monthly and never or rarely thinking of somebody of the same sex during heterosexual sex.” This is reported as “controversial” and ultimately declared “not evidence” that people can change orientation because Spitzer cannot prove the 200 people were telling the truth. It is also ignored or dismissed by Fr. Morelli, who wrote in 2006, “I know of no good research that indicates sexual orientation can be changed.”

      So what’s going on here? Not one of the three studies did more than document a phenomenon – the phenomenon that gay men came from larger families on average, the phenomenon that gay men responded like straight women to the scent of men and women, and the phenomenon that 200 people say they have changed orientation with the help of therapy. But in the first two cases the mere existence of the phenomenon was accepted as “evidence” of a biological basis for SSA on the basis of sheer speculation, but in the third case the testimony of 200 people, whom Spitzer initially found credible, was dismissed as “not evidence” that therapy can help people change. So much for “science.”

  12. On the many desires and tendencies existing in man and on their struggle with one another
    http://orthodoxword.wordpress.com/category/christian-dogma/

    Know, that in this unseen warfare, two wills existing in us fight against one another: one belongs to the intelligent part of our soul and is therefore called the intelligent will, which is the higher; the other belongs to the sensory part and is therefore called the sensory will, which is the lower. The latter is more frequently called the dumb, carnal, passionate will. The higher will is always desiring nothing but good, the lower—nothing but evil. Each equally happens by itself, so that neither is a good desire in itself reckoned as good, nor an evil desire as evil. The reckoning depends upon the inclination of our own free will. Therefore, when our will inclines towards a good desire, it is reckoned in our favour; but when we incline towards an evil desire, it is reckoned against us.

    Here we see the dinstiction of an idea or feeling that comes up in the mind and the inclination (or “orientation”) toward it or not. The idea itself, no matter how evil, does not make a person evil, for evil people may have good thoughts and good people evil thoughts and they will not change unless they cultivate the inclination/orientation toward it.

    These desires follow one upon another: when a good desire comes, an evil desire immediately opposes it; and when an evil desire comes, a good desire at once rises against it.. Our will is free to follow the one and the other, and whatever desire our will inclines towards, it becomes victorious on this particular occasion. It is in this that all our unseen spiritual warfare consists. Its aim should be never to let our free will incline towards the desire of the lower, carnal and passionate will, but always to follow only the intelligent, higher will. For it is the will of God, to follow which is the basic law of our being: ‘ Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man “ says the Preacher (Ecclesiastes xii. 13). Each of these desires draws our will towards itself and wishes to subjugate it. Stifle the lower desire and incline towards the higher—and victory is yours; but disregard the higher and choose the lower, and you will find yourself vanquished.St. Paulwrites of this: “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members’ (Rom. vii. 21-53). And he gives to all the rule: ‘Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust. of the flesh’ (Gal. v. 16). And this cannot be accomplished without struggling with the flesh.

    A particularly great effort and laborious toil must be experienced to start with by those who, before deciding to change their worldly and carnal life to a righteous one and to give themselves up to the practices of love and sincere service of God, had enmeshed themselves in evil habits through frequent satisfaction of the desires of their carnal and passionate will. Although the demands of their intelligent will, which they wish to follow, stand on one side of their free will and arc made active by God, yet on the other side there stand the desires of the carnal and passionate will, towards which they still feel a certain sympathy. Opposing the former, these desires pull it towards their side with the same force as a beast of burden is pulled by its halter; and only the grace of God gives them strength to remain firm in the decision they have taken. .Long-drawn resistance and not yielding them victory saps, the strength of carnal desires; yet this does not end the struggle.

    So let no one dream of acquiring a true Christian disposition and Christian virtue, and of working for God as he should, if he does not want to compel himself to renounce and overcome all the passionate impulses of the will of the flesh, whether great or small, which he was formerly accustomed to satisfy, willingly and fondly. The chief reason why so few people attain to full Christian perfection is exactly their reluctance, through self-pity, to force themselves to deny themselves absolutely everything. But if, having overcome great passionate tendencies, they do not wish, thereafter, to compel themselves to overcome small ones, which seem unimportant, then, since these small tendencies are the outcome and expression of the great, by indulging in them they inevitably feed the latter, and so make them continue to live and act in the heart, in spite of the fact that they no longer manifest themselves on a large scale. And so the heart remains passionate and impure, and, above all, in no whit freed from self-indulgence and self-pity, which always make any practice to please God of doubtful value.

    For example, there are men who refrain from appropriating other people’s possessions, but are excessively attached to their own, and who, on the one hand, lay too much trust in what they have, and on the other, arc slow to bestow alms. Others do not seek honours by evil means, yet do not count them as nothing, and often even welcome them, if those honours can be made to appear to come against their will. Others again keep long fasts according to the statutes, yet do not refrain from satisfying their desire to eat their fill, and to eat well, which deprives the fast of all value. Others lead a chaste life, yet continue their connections and acquaintanceship with people they like, and enjoy it, not wishing to understand that, through this, they build a great obstacle to perfection in spiritual life and union with God.

    I shall add to this the fact that some people disregard the natural defects of their character, which, although not dependent on selfwill, nevertheless make a man guilty if, seeing how much they interfere with spiritual life, he does not trouble not only to destroy them completely, but even to try and keep them within harmless bounds, although this could be achieved with the help of God’s grace, due attention to oneself and zeal. Such defects are for example: aloofness, hot temper, and excessive sensibility, with the consequent thoughtless hastiness in words, movements and actions, harshness and querulousness, obstinacy and argumentativeness, and so on. All these natural imperfections and faults should be corrected, in some by reducing excess, in others by adding what is lacking, and by translating both one and another into corresponding good qualities. For no natural feature, no matter how savage and stubborn it is, can stand up against the will if, armed with the grace of God, it resists it with all attention and diligence.

    And so it happens that some perform good deeds, but these deeds remain imperfect, lame, mixed with the lusts, which reign in the world (John ii. 16). And so such people make no progress on tile path to salvation, but turn round and round on one spot, and often even turn back and fall again into their former sins. This shows that even from the first their love for true life in Christ was not wholehearted, that they were not sufficiently filled with the feeling of gratitude to God, Who had delivered them from the power of the devil, and not perfect in their decision to work only for Him and to please Him. As a result such people remain forever untrained in good, are blind and fail to see the danger in which they stand, thinking that their position is secure and that no harm threatens them. Owing to all this, my beloved brother in Christ, I beseech you to love the hard toil and heavy burdens which inevitably accompany our unseen warfare, if you do not wish always to be overcome. The wise Sirach counsels the same: ’Hate not laborious work’ (Ecclesiasticus vii. 15). For this is the very foundation of the whole of inner warfare. The more you love this hard toil, or this pitiless driving of yourself, the more quick and complete will be your victory over yourself and over that in yourself, which resists the higher good. And through this you will be filled with every virtue and good disposition, and God’s peace will come to dwell in you.

    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell :

      Mr. Leite, this is an awful lot to read, digest, and respond to. Could you summarize it into a brief, succinct statement focused on a main point to which we could respond without writing our own lengthy treatises? This is, after all, merely a blog. Also, if you still wish to use quotations, could you use the “b-quote” button so that we can all see what are your words and what are someone else’s? Thanks.

      At first glance, I think there are better ways to explain things than what you have quoted here, which does not accord with others such as St. Maximus the Confessor. The obvious problems include the supposed distinction between “desire” and “inclination,” which might make sense in Greek but doesn’t much in English. Another problem is that the distinction of two wills seems only to be another way of expressing the confusion of the blinded, fallen will — what St. Maximus calls the gnomic will — which, being turned away from God, cannot tell good from evil. The third problem is the absurdity that desires are not good or evil in and of themselves. How can it be right to desire a wrong thing? Clearly the desire for wrong things is an indication that there is something wrong with us. There is nothing wrong with the desire to eat cake, but there is something wrong with the desire to eat dirt.

  13. Also, it is irrelevant if homossexuality is “nature or nurture”. Psychopathy is natural for some people. They were “born that way”. And it does not make it less evil. Also, to learn if something is good or sinful “being changeable” is irrelevant. Again, psychopathy is not reversible in most people who have it and yet it is not something good. Homossexuality, being less serious than the lack of empathy or compassion, falls in the same case: its natural causes, its reversibility, are of utter irrelevance.

    As for Patristic sources on the issue:

    “All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods . . . condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians” (St. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 2 [A.D. 190]).

    “[God forbade the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those that are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved. Moreover, what does the law mean when it . . . forbids the swine to be taken for food? It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice. . . . Or when it forbids the hare? It rebukes men deformed into women” (Novatian, The Jewish Foods 3 [A.D. 250]).

    “If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love. . . . At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary” (St. Basil, The Great, The Renunciation of the World [A.D. 373]).

    “All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26–27] . . . were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases”

    “And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment” .
    (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 [A.D. 391]).

    • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell :

      Fabio writes:

      Also, it is irrelevant if homossexuality is “nature or nurture”. Psychopathy is natural for some people. They were “born that way”. And it does not make it less evil. Also, to learn if something is good or sinful “being changeable” is irrelevant. Again, psychopathy is not reversible in most people who have it and yet it is not something good. Homossexuality, being less serious than the lack of empathy or compassion, falls in the same case: its natural causes, its reversibility, are of utter irrelevance.

      I must disagree with the way you have expressed things here. In English, the words nature and natural have specific meanings among the Orthodox, and they do not mean whatever we find in this world, because everything in this world is fallen, disordered, and mischievous, on account of being disconnected from its source of being, God. St. Maximus writes that “everything that has been made by God is good and fair.” Likewise, St. Augustine writes that evil is “not a nature of any kind, but the loss of the good has been given this name.”

  14. Bingo, Father John!

    As Chesterton said, tradition means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes: the dead. Orthodox Holy Tradition listens first to the voices of the Church Fathers on these and all questions (and they are unanimous on homosexual passions). Secondly, the Church listens to the voice of the whole Church Militant (that’s the living, for you seminarians!), of which North America representas a thunderous one percent.

    Here’s an experiment for those who find themselves in a theological head-to-head with the Church Fathers on this issue:

    Take a trip to Athens, Moscow, Tiblisi, Sophia, Bucharest, Jerusalem, or any other place with a significant Orthodox Christian population. Set up a card table, and try to collect signatures on a petition to the local parliament to redefine the word “marriage”. When a small mob of grandmothers and average citizens carry you off to the local jail, ask to use their internet connection to post a, “Whoops, I’m sorry about that” message to Father John Whiteford for any silly things you may have said about his article.

    He’s a great guy, and I know he’ll forgive you with no hard feelings.

    And if you’re really nice, he’ll probably make the trip to bail you out of jail.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Pick it up!☦Nothing But Orthodoxy☦ var pulltime = 'Tue, 19 Jun 2012 17:15:56 +0000';1) Fr. John Whiteford Asks: What is the Mainstream Orthodox View on Homosexuality?http://www.aoiusa.org/fr-john-whiteford-asks-what-mainstream-orthodox-view-homosexuality/By Fr. […]

  2. […] Hopko’s 2006 book Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction. Applauding Dunn in an online comment, Rebecca Matovic, another well-known advocate of change in the Orthodox Church, claimed “there are many, many […]

  3. […] Hopko’s 2006 book Christian Faith and Same-Sex Attraction. Applauding Dunn in an online comment, Rebecca Matovic, another well-known advocate of change in the Orthodox Church, claimed “there are many, many […]

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