Read a great comment below:
"I’m unaware of any Eastern Orthodox sources which expect or encourage Orthodox Christians who struggle with SSA (same sex attraction) to undergo counseling for the purpose of re-orientation. The Orthodox faith does not teach us that God created us to be heterosexual, he created us to be chaste. For some this means a life without sexual relations, and for some this means a life of sexual relations with exactly one person through the sacrament of marriage. Thus, if one is not one of the latter, then one is of the former and it doesn’t especially matter if your struggle to live a chaste life means battling SSA or battling heterosexual lusts, the struggle is precisely the same.
But then, I don’t know of sources in the EOC which are saying that “being gay” is a sin, only that engaging in sexual acts outside of sacramental marriage is a sin. So, I think that one can acknowledge the struggle, accept that without God’s radical grace it is unlikely to ever go away, but still understand that — just like everyone else — you have an obligation to live a chaste life.
So, I think I would compare SSA more to alcoholism than to blindness. Blindness may in fact be a consequence of The Fall, but there’s no culpability in being blind (John 9). Alcoholism is also a disease, also a consequence of The Fall, but it is a disease which comes with culpability. If I know I am an alcoholic, I _cannot_ drink. Even if I go 20 years sober, I am _still_ an alcoholic. There is no known cure, there is only “living sober”. The point isn’t to somehow stop having the “condition”, only to not fall into the act of will which triggers the consequences.
But even better, I’d compare it to being straight. Straight men can fall into lust just as easily as someone struggling with SSA — and there is no difference between the two. There’s no real need to compare SSA to anything or to make it out to be “something special”. At the end of the day, it isn’t anything “special”. We all have our struggles. In some ways, a big obvious struggle is a blessing. Many of my sins are not quite so easy for me to see and may go unrepented and unresisted for decades.
I think Fr. Hopko’s writing and speaking on the subject are about as correct as can be. It isn’t about “being straight” it is about being chaste.
If you haven’t heard this lecture, please check it out, it is fantastic. confess that I find phrases like this troubling: “For me loving my neighbor means accepting them for where they are at.” But, I admit that the reason for this is that our wider culture uses phrases like this to mean “don’t judge” not in the Biblical sense of not condemning people, but in the sense of pretending that right and wrong are a purely personal matter. I think I am beginning to see that you don’t mean it that way, but I would (gently) encourage you to avoid language that the secular culture uses around this topic — especially language popular with the LGBT community which wants to insist that Christianity is teaching “hate” simply because we insist that sex is a moral issue just like every other aspect of human life."

No comments:

Post a Comment