"Gay" doesn't exist as anything more than a distortion of who we really are: men and women.Ontology 2
Actions here become a block to communion: real communion in Christ, because they deny the personhood of all involved. Each becomes merely an individual: to the drunk, to the sex addict, to the adrenaline addict, to the dancing partyer, he's the only person who matters, his needs, his desires. He objectifies everyone - and so, also himself. With such objectification, communion is impossible - and thus, personhood, the product of communion, is denied and destroyed no only in the first person but equally in the second person as well. Idols are created when "what I do" becomes "what I am." Just as suddenly, my false sense of me, my idol, keeps me away from my own wholeness - my own salvation.Ontology 3
The Christian community is made up of Slave and Free, Male and Female, Jew and Greek. When they walk out of Liturgy on Sunday Morning, they are still those very things. But he does urge them to live as Christians, not as Jews, not as Greeks. And he is in pain that some desire to return to live under the old law (4:21), to return to their old lifestyles. Why do you want to give up what you learned, what you now know to be Truth, in exchange for those half-truths and untruths you used to live?Look Homeward, Angel
Same-sex attraction is not a sin. It is a temptation - just as much as any other temptation in this society of physical temptations. But the Church asks us who live with same-sex attraction to say "no" to that desire, just as She asks those who are married to say no to desire for parties other than their spouse. It doesn't matter who you are attracted to - if it is not within the bounds of matrimony, it is a sin... Giving in to temptation is a sin however. We are taught to struggle with sin, to wrestle with it, and by God's grace, to win. But the giving in is the bad thing. And yes, sexual acts committed outside the bounds of Holy Matrimony are a sin.
Please be sure to read this newest essay to see my place and thoughts now - especially if you were sent here by someone making a political argument!
5 or 6 years earlier, talking to my then supervisor at the Episcopal Church Center about the (then) American Anglican Congress and its predecessor the Episcopal Synod of American - especially in terms of one of member of those bodies (Bishop Wantland) that worked closely with my boss, a support person for Wantland's diocese and also a gay man living with his clergy "spouse". The question was how can we as gay Christians make room for those who disagree with us: St Paul says not to scandalize each other, shouldn't we as gay folks side with Saint Paul and stand down our new morality so as to keep from scandalizing those who held an opposing view? The answer was a clear, "No." There was no room for people like that in the Church - the time to insist was now. In the words of Barbara Harris, "let them go." Or, "Good bye and don't let the door hit you on the way out."
One more time leap: A few months after my prayer was "edited" by another gay man, as noted above, I met with the other rector of our parish who asked me, point blank, why it was I wanted to be in communion with those folks who didn't want to be in communion with me - and why I was willing to ignore folks who wanted to be in communion with me. The problem was not that I was rejecting those folks - old friends, comforting faces. The problem was they were rejecting me: not for my sexuality but rather for the heresy (in liberal eyes) of believing in the Bible and the created order of things, of believing in a bodily crucified and bodily resurrected Christ; the heresy (in liberal eyes) of being a mostly (small o) orthodox Christian. A quote currently making the rounds - "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying: 'You are mad, you are not like us.'" - Abba Anthony of Egypt. I was mad in their eyes.
Yesterday, an openly noncelibate gay man was confirmed in his election as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church. The key word here is not gay, I think, but rather non-celibate. He intends as Bishop to live with his sexual partner in the Bishop's residence. This event is predicted to cause schism and turmoil - a nullity of convention has been declared already by the Bishop of Pittsburgh, a chaos resulting from lack of leadership and intervention from overseas bishops. Yet Monday morning Canon Robinson set on national TV and said his election would bring hundreds into a church that now saw that church as welcoming and inclusive.
And, I want to admit - he may be right. The chance to attend a rite with one's lover, to sit there and enjoy the music, to be told God loves you, and to hear a sermon about "green ecology" and "social justice" and "liberal politics" would be a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning - and to be followed up by coffee and maybe brunch with friends at some local eatery. We'd all go home and feel much better. It would help so much.
Why then, was a woman crying in the corner of the room at Canon Robinson's election - lamenting that her church had departed from the faith? Why then are thousands of Anglicans around the world prepared - as never before - to get out a can of whoop-@55 should this event come to pass? Why are soon-to-be-exEpiscopalians (at least one family of them) already showing up at my Orthodox parish's door? Because, "Salvation", as Fr. Schmemann says, "...is not only not identical with help, but is, in fact, opposed to it."
Modern psychology and the obvious advances in culture and education which have brought us the freedom to show full frontal nudity to teenagers and to teach them condom use, have also taught us that ancient cultures were horribly backward in their understandings of sex and sexuality. It is so painfully obvious that the aberration of Judeo-Christian ethics must be stopped that some folks will go so far as to imply that such morals are not part of the faith at all - never intended to be included in the "enlightened" teachings of Jesus.
There is, however, another view:
Eugene Rose, a gay man living in San Francisco in the 50s and 60s, wrote,
"...my mother has discovered, rather illegitimately (I shall tell you of it later) that I am homosexual; if you have not surmised the fact already, it is time you know of it. I have not quite been kicked out of the house, but I probably shall not return after September. My mother was quite hysterical, but my father persuaded her that I am only 'sick.' I have agreed to go to my friend's psychiatrist in S.F., which I was rather interested in doing for other reasons, at parental expense.Later we learn,
"I suppose you have also surmised by now that I shall live this summer, and sleep, with a young man I love, and who loves me."
(letter dated June 1956, quoted online.)
It was Rose's gay partner in San Francisco who introduced him to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. But while Rose was immersing himself in the mystique of ancient Orthodoxy, his partner, who had written a book about the Church, was losing interest in it. Soon the Church took Rose wholly, and he and his partner split up.I was in hell. I know what hell is.
A social doctrine adopted by the Council of Bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate last year describes homosexuality as "a sinful injury to human nature" to be "treated by sacraments, prayer, fasting, repentance and the reading of the Holy Scriptures."
Referring to his young adult years before he became fully involved in the Orthodox Church, Rose once said: "I was in hell. I know what hell is."