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Vines, Matthew, God and the Gay Christian: The relationship of homosexuality to Christianity is one of the main topics of discussion in our culture today. There are a number of other books that take the opposite view, namely that the Bible either allows for or supports same sex relationships. Over the last year or so I and other pastors at Redeemer have been regularly asked for responses to their arguments.
Andrew Sullivan: The Religious Right’s Suicidal Gay Obsession
E-mail Rod. I was at a conference this past weekend at an Orthodox Christian seminary, and met a lot of interesting fellow Orthodox believers, both clergy and laity, from all over the country. I picked up from more than a few people great concern about the current move within US Orthodoxy to embrace and affirm homosexuality. I had not. I read it later. Its author, Robert Benne, is part of a Lutheran church that in separated from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America over its decision to bless formally gay unions.
That promise, we see now, was bogus. It merely allowed local pastors and congregations of a traditional bent to persist in their retrograde beliefs, while all agencies and institutions of the church beyond the local level enforced the progressive verdicts of the assembly. No public dissenter could get a position or keep one at the higher level.
He writes:. Here is an exhortation from its webpage: These two keynoters not only reject traditional Christian notions of sexual identity; they also challenge classic teachings on sexual morality. They were held up as icons. It will lead to sharper denials of the apostolic faith. The revolution will eat its own children. There really is a slippery slope. Read the whole thing. I had a number of conversations at the conference with Orthodox converts who came to Orthodoxy out of churches that had surrendered orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality, and which had since begun sliding into moral and theological disarray.
As a former Catholic, I talked about how Catholicism is rapidly following Mainline Protestantism down this path, especially under Pope Francis. Talking last week to a Catholic friend about this, I told her that this fight has now come to Orthodoxy. This week, the US Orthodox bishops will be meeting. A pro-gay group, Orthodoxy In Dialogue, has issued a challenge to them. The group calls on the bishops to do the following:.
As you gather in prayer and brotherhood during the first week of October, we the undersigned respectfully propose that the Assembly, its individual member bishops, and their respective jurisdictions and dioceses consider taking the following steps:. Cease issuing condemnations of abortion, participating in the March for Life, and advocating for the elimination of legal, accessible abortion. These condemnations inflict lasting emotional and spiritual harm on Orthodox children, teens, and adults who regard their orientation as a good and natural part of their personal identity.
They seek from their Church, not a cover for sexual permissiveness, but a profound and affirmative theological articulation of how their orientation reflects the divine image and participates in the acquisition of the divine likeness through the collaboration of human ascesis with uncreated grace. The committee should be open to examining possibilities for blessing Orthodox same-sex couples who wish to make a monogamous, lifelong commitment to each other.
The blanket excommunication of Orthodox Christians who present as same-sex oriented must cease. Once again, these condemnations inflict lasting emotional and spiritual harm on those targeted by them. Instruct the clergy to cease issuing condemnations of transgender identities. Arguably these condemnations inflict even greater emotional and spiritual harm on those targeted than condemnations of same-sex orientation. We as Church have not even begun to examine—let alone understand—the complex interplay of emotional, spiritual, psychological, social, and even biological factors that lead a person to identify as transgender and then to commence his or her transition to the gender opposite the one assigned at birth.
Indeed some persons experience themselves as having both genders or neither gender. The committee should be open to examining possibilities for blessing Orthodox transgender and intersex persons to form a monogamous, lifelong commitment with the partner of their choice. The blanket excommunication of Orthodox Christians who present as transgender or intersex must cease. Authorize, endorse, and sponsor— as an official, permanent ministry of the Assembly —an international support organization for Orthodox Christians who identify anywhere along the LGBTQI spectrum.
Orthodoxy in Dialogue stands prepared to offer our services to the Assembly, and to our brothers and sisters everywhere, to bring together a small committee to reach out to LGBTQI Orthodox Christians and begin laying the groundwork for this important ministry. Father Lawrence Farley, an Orthodox priest, told the truth about groups like this earlier this year.
Anyone lacking a sufficient commitment to these modern virtues the new Trinity of American values is a fitting candidate for denunciation and insult. If you think this last sentiment is too strong, you probably do not own a computer or go online very much. One could almost formulate a spiritual law that any site or online contribution which contains the D-word or its synonyms is pushing the same basic agenda. Like other liberal sites these are dedicated to the destruction of traditional Orthodox belief and praxis.
Obviously no site hoping to gain traction among fellow-Orthodox will advertise this agenda and goal. Like all deconstructionist movements, other softer terms must be found—usually using multi-syllabic words, which is almost always a bad sign. There is no dialogue to be had. Nor is there an escape from confrontation. Orthodox bishops hate conflict, and would rather avoid it, but they have to draw a firm, clear line in the sand here.
Look at the Mainline Protestant churches. There can be no surrender. There must not be surrender. But listen: As the pro-gay Protestant theologian David Gushee wrote in It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance.
Nor is avoiding the subject. The Orthodox bishops must step up and defend Christian orthodoxy within Orthodoxy. They have to hold the line. Neutrality and avoidance — peace at any price — is surrender. Rod Dreher E-mail Rod Follow roddreher. He writes:
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E-mail Rod. I was at a conference this past weekend at an Orthodox Christian seminary, and met a lot of interesting fellow Orthodox believers, both clergy and laity, from all over the country. I picked up from more than a few people great concern about the current move within US Orthodoxy to embrace and affirm homosexuality. I had not.
Campaigners for LGBT rights have held a protest outside a Christian conference offering support for people experiencing "same sex temptations".
Many views are held or have been expressed by religious organisations in relation to same-sex marriage. Although the majority of world religions oppose to same-sex marriage, the number of religious denominations that are conducting same-sex marriages have been increasing in recent times.
TRANSCRIPT: Should you attend your child’s same-sex wedding?
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In , I was a young, newly married man struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction.
And this week, I have a question that is coming from a mom, a Christian mom, and she writes about a situation with her daughter. And this mom is someone—she and her husband came to faith in Christ after their child rearing years, and she is a relatively new Christian, and her daughter is not a Christian, and she has been trying to share the gospel with her daughter and see her daughter come to faith in Christ.
Struggling with same-sex attraction and desperate for love
At the end of last month, a group of Evangelical theologians, pastors, and leaders put out what they called the Nashville Statement on sexual morality. The first thing to note is that 50 years ago, it would have been regarded as self-evident to most Christians. Money quote: We deny that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality. And some of the immediate rebukes of the statement, in their desire to have Evangelicals embrace the sexual revolution, are a little silly. These teachings go back millennia in Christian thought. To ask orthodox Christians simply to embrace the opposite overnight is to ask them, in some ways, to abolish themselves. But you immediately wonder if the statement is going to condemn divorce or contraception or multiple successive marriages or pornography or masturbation or countless other questions of sexual morality that heterosexuals grapple with. And you can search the document for any thoughts on these questions. In fact, it has almost nothing to say to 97 percent of humanity on sexual matters. What it does instead is condemn the 3 percent.
The stefana, or crowns, as they are commonly called, are symbols of royalty, martyrdom and unity and are used in the wedding ceremonies of the Eastern or Greek Orthodox Church. Lastly, the crowns symbolize unity with their unending circular design and the ribbon tying them together. Perhaps this same event has happened elsewhere in recent years I hope it has , but I have been unable to locate any documented instances. So, very proud of our love, sexuality and family, Andrew and I stand hand-in-hand as two men married in the Byzantine rites of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Both men live in Indiana, where what they did in New York has no legal force.
Such ceremonies can be found in the history of the Catholic Church until the 14th century  and in the Eastern Orthodox Church until the early 20th century. In the late twentieth century, the Christian tradition gained notoriety as the focus of controversy involving advocates and opponents of secular and religious legalization of same-sex relationships. The Russian polymath scholar, priest, and martyr Pavel Florensky offered a famous description of adelphopoiesis in his monumental book The Pillar and the Ground of The Truth: Alternative views  are that this rite was used in many ways, such as the formation of permanent pacts between leaders of nations or between religious brothers. This was a replacement for " blood-brotherhood " which was forbidden by the church at the time.
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.Rick Warren's views on homosexuality