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Source: (consider it) Thread: Homosexuality and Christianity
Belle
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# 4792

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Sorry to double post - but it does seem to work after all. Maybe not so technically illiterate as I thought...

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where am I going... and why am I in this handbasket?

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gbuchanan
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# 415

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quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:
Dear Wasteland

Terms like "desperate" and "fundamentalist" are full of emotion and do not encourage understanding.

...whereas condemning acts as "unnatural" and "harmful" are void of emotion? Bull.

[SNIP]

quote:
My wife is an academic linguist, so your comments do not disturb me. I am well aware that a word in any language carries a range of semantic meanings, and that the correct translation has to be determined by the context in which it appears.
...well, strangely I married an academic linguist too, and I'm an academic myself. What you're doing here is making an appeal to authority (to wit "academic consensus"), a weak form of argumentation - futhermore, that's an anonymous appeal to authority, and even weaker form again! You then reverse the tables and demand evidence for your own side - perhaps you could deign to support your claim that there is an academic consensus?

Furthermore, you suggest - or rather imply - that the context hardens the interpretation of 'MALAKOI'. This is disengenuous. There is a list of vices, and it is far from clear that order has a significant role in the meaning, and furthermore they are listed as 'OUDE' or, as I understand it 'nor'. Thus, it is not a conjunctive list of concepts - the terms are separate. 'Greedy' appears between 'drunkards' and 'theives' for example. I'd personally find it hard to justify a single interpretation here at the exclusion of others...

quote:

I don't have a formula and I treat everyone I meet as a human being. In the past I have had my own struggles with lack of self-esteem and depression. Heterosexuals have their problems too.

...erm, this doesn't relate to your claim - which was that homosexuals were particularly prone to those. Any claim about heterosexuals is, therefore, merely a determination of a 'straight' baseline.


quote:
I do not know whether you are familiar with the work of(National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) in the USA. It is a scientific organisation for qualified mental health professionals, which coheres around a scientific outlook rather than any particular theological viewpoint.
...erm, that organisation is described as campaigning for the 'treatment' of homosexuality. It thus, whether secualar or otherwise, enters the debate with as many preconceptions as GLB organisation. Furthermore, if it is as 'scientific' an organisation as it claims to be, why have a theological and interfaith element to its website? - as you observe, it has quite a 'religious' presence. Again, its 'scientific advisory committee' is not exactly a list of powerful medical researchers - MDs and PhDs, but I note no Professors or Associate Professors. As opposed to the APA or the BPS, this isn't a terribly impressive organisation. Quite why you dragged in GLSEN out of all the other organisations perplexes me - unless one's view is contra-defined by anything endorsed by them...

quote:
Much of my reading in the last year has been in the field of behavioural psychology, abusive relationships and human emotion. The addiction model is useful in understanding a range of human behaviour, including sexual behaviour. There will be many situations when it does not apply.
...this just baffles me. The point made was that specific addictions are not to be confused with homosexuality. Are you arguing that homosexuality is an addiction? If so, come up with some unbiased evidence - the main psychological associations of the free world certainly don't agree. If not, what ARE you saying?

quote:
I am not responsible for your emotions (or anyone else's), any more than you (or they) are responsible for mine - we are each responsible for ourselves. I presume your comment about cutting your wrists was flippant, and not serious. Self-mutilation is not something I care to joke about.
...I don't believe paigeb was being flippant - but actually, there is a Christian duty of care for others, and that carries forwards to their emotional welfare as well. Clearly that idea slipped you by somewhere...
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Nicolemr
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# 28

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it seems to me that faithful sheepdog is saying a great deal, without really addressing anything that anyone has said.

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Louise
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# 30

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quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:



Dear Louise

Thank you for the link, which I have studied. For a document claiming to present "Just The Facts" from the high ground of science, there's rather too much opinion, and definitely far too much theology, for my liking. The Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) strikes me as an organisation with a very distinct viewpoint.

I do not know whether you are familiar with the work of NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) in the USA. It is a scientific organisation for qualified mental health professionals, which coheres around a scientific outlook rather than any particular theological viewpoint.

Whether this organisation meets your preconditions I do not know. From what I can see over the Internet, many of the professionals involved in NARTH have a religious outlook that spans Christianity, Judaism and (I suspect) Islam, although some have no particular religious viewpoint at all.

Neil

I'm perfectly aware of NARTH and their poor professional reputation within their own field. They claim to base their work on psychoanalysis but they are disowned by the American Psychoanalytic Association

The same letter also notes:

quote:
Increasingly, NARTH seems to be attracting membership and financial support from members of the radical religious right, who use their pronouncements as "scientific" backing for their bigoted anti-homosexual activities.
(This letter dates from 1997 and pre-dates the research by Shidlo and Schroeder in 2002 on the ineffectiveness and harmfulness of reparative therapy)

NARTH completely contradict statements by all other professional mental health organizations on this subject. The fact that they may have the some non-conservative religious members hardly turns them into a disinterested professional group. They exist solely to push an agenda on homosexuality which has been long rejected by the major professional bodies.

I see that Tortuf turned out to be a true prophet of your attitude. I have cited six distinguished professional bodies which contradict you and you brush this off completely by complaining that the people who asked these distinguished societies to develop one of the three papers I cited were a gay and lesbian group!


The document to which I gave a link 'Just the facts' came about as the result of the Gay and Lesbian Education network approaching a whole host of learned societies to develop a resource to reflect modern findings on homosexuality.

quote:
This publication is the result of the work of the groups who participated in those meetings during the spring and summer of 1999. Among the groups who have participated in this work and have officially endorsed this publication are:

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Counseling Association
American Association of School Administrators
American Federation of Teachers
American Psychological Association
American School Health Association
Interfaith Alliance Foundation
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Social Workers
National Education Association

The document itself is hosted on the homepages of the American Psychological Society as a resource for the public which it endorses and helped to produce. In other words, your attempt to dismiss this as the product of a single gay advocacy group just won't wash.

The document is a resource for principals and school teachers - its function is to summarise the findings of all these professional bodies. That hardly makes it mere 'opinion'.

You conveniently ignored the other statements which I cited directly from the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the Academy of American Pediatrics.


Whilst looking this up I stumbled across a useful talk by psychology professor Cleveland Evans to a Presbyterian audience summarising recent research. No doubt FD will dismiss it it out of hand because the professor happens to be gay, but for the rest of us his references and critiques of the various studies are pretty good.


Finally the best text book and study of all is knowing gay and lesbian people, there are plenty on these boards, maybe you could open your eyes and ears a bit, Faithful Dog, and get to know some of the people you are insulting.


Louise.

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Posts: 6918 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Faithful Sheepdog
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Dear gbuchanan

quote:
Furthermore, you suggest - or rather imply - that the context hardens the interpretation of 'MALAKOI'. This is disengenuous.

If you have better evidence on the correct translation of "malakoi", then let's hear it. By "academic consensus" I meant what is available in modern translations such as the NIV, NRSV and ESV, plus academic discussion accessible in journals and on the web. The context of this word certainly makes it clear that it is not a behaviour to be encouraged.
quote:
Quite why you dragged in GLSEN out of all the other organisations perplexes me - unless one's view is contra-defined by anything endorsed by them...

Lousise posted a link to a document sponsored by GLSEN. She also issued me with a challenge, to which I have responded. I will leave it to Louise to decide whether I have met her challenge (and judging by her response above, it has not met her criteria). NARTH must stand or fall on the basis of their scientific work.

quote:
...this just baffles me. The point made was that specific addictions are not to be confused with homosexuality. Are you arguing that homosexuality is an addiction? If so, come up with some unbiased evidence - the main psychological associations of the free world certainly don't agree. If not, what ARE you saying?

I am not saying that homosexual behaviour is generally the same as a substance addiction - although the phenomenon of sexual addiction is known to psychology. The general point being made in my comment to nicolerw is that human beings are quite capable of choosing to indulge in self-destructive behaviour. See Wasteland's original post for evidence of this.

I have acknowledged the suffering and pain to which he alludes, but we are all responsible for our own actions. I do not accept Wasteland's atttempt to offload responsibility.
quote:
...I don't believe paigeb was being flippant - but actually, there is a Christian duty of care for others, and that carries forwards to their emotional welfare as well. Clearly that idea slipped you by somewhere...

Christians are called to love one another, but I do not repond to emotional blackmail and manipulative threats. If paigeb was not being flippant (which is how I took it), and was indeed serious about his/her threat to harm him/herself, then s/he needs to check herself into the casualty unit of a psychiatric unit. I do not wish him/her any ill will, but I accept no responsibility for any damage that s/he chooses to inflict on him/herself.

Neil

(paigeb - I am genuinely unsure of your gender - I mean no disrespect by the form of typing above)

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

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Louise
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# 30

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quote:
The general point being made in my comment to nicolerw is that human beings are quite capable of choosing to indulge in self-destructive behaviour. See Wasteland's original post for evidence of this.

Faithful Dog,

Firstly - You've produced no evidence that homosexuality is in any way 'self-destructive'.

Secondly,it's been pointed out to you already that Wasteland was referring to iatrogenic damage caused by a so-called 'therapy' which is condemned by the medical and psychiatric professions. There is nothing in that section of his post to support any claim of yours that homosexuality is a 'self destructive' behaviour.

Louise

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Never Conforming

Aspiring to Something
# 4054

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[Votive] APW

As a lesbian who self-harms, has felt suicidal and has been severely depressed I'm pleased to say that of all things sexuality has not been a problem. My depression is related to many, many things including academic progress, self esteem and all sorts of other things, but I have had neither a problem with being gay or reconciling that with my sexuality. In fact I feel that my faith has been strengthened as a result of coming out. Since then I have been called to various things and got far more involved in church things.

I find it quite offensive that FS thinks that when (in all fairness) I have enough going on in my head that he should condemn me further as I am both gay and depressed. I repeat there is no link, I am depressed for reasons that I am aware of, and to make such a generalisation is sickening.

[Mad] [Mad]

Too grrr to check whether I'm making sense or not.

Jo [Mad]

[ 10. October 2003, 00:28: Message edited by: Never Conforming ]

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I used to poison Student Minds™ and am proud to have done so
Never Conforming in the Surreal World

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Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

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Gee, Faithful Sheepdog, I find it a bit odd that the first thing you feel compelled to tell us in your profile is that you're "happily married".
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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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I may have missed something here but I want to simplify this debate with FS, (not to be simplistic you understand).

Dear FS

Can you explain please, from a personal point of view, (ie., other than by quoting contested Scriptural references), WHY you think it is wrong for same sex people to have a sexual relationship? It's the personal view I am interested in right now. Nothing else for the moment.

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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The Wasteland
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Faithful Sheepdog is one of these people who sees only what he wishes to see and no more. He claims that I challenged the translation of Malakoi in the KJV Bible and yet I have not done this at all in any of my posts – quite the reverse in fact. In addition he now laughably claims that I linked self-harming and suicidal behaviour with being gay. Again, I clearly did no such thing - he seems so desperate to “believe” the worst of gay people that he is willing to clutch at any straw, no matter how tenuous. He accuses me of being “emotional” and yet he actually cannot see that comparing homosexuality with an “addiction”, against the clear and overwhelming consensus of modern scientific opinion, is itself a highly emotive claim.

In reality a very large proportion of people involved with the Psychiatric profession believe that Reparative Therapy is its harmful and is, in and of itself, a cause of self-harming behaviour and of suicides. Already, a number of debates have taken place in organisations such as APA to consider whether or not Reparative Therapy represents unethical practise. This therapy exists on the very extreme fringe of what is considered ethical and, were it not for pressure from the ultra-right religious fundamentalist lobby, it is likely that this therapy would have been labelled unethical some considerable time ago.

NARTH is not a mainstream scientific organisation at all. It was founded in 1992 as a "non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the research, therapy and prevention of homosexuality." It currently consists of "more than 1,000 mental-health professionals." These are believed to be psychiatrists, psychologists, other therapists, social workers, and behavioral scientists. This number represents a tiny percentage of mental health professionals; the American Psychological Association alone has over 132,000 members.

The association states that their members follow many different religions and ethical systems, ranging from Roman "Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Baha'i, Protestant, to secular humanist/atheist." The vast majority of its members, however, are from the conservative wings of Christianity and Judaism. These people have an agenda and are dedicated to researching only such knowledge that would support a conclusion that they have already reached! That doesn’t strike me as especially scientific.

In 1999 that NARTH President, Charles Socarides, ran into trouble with the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), of which he is a member. According to a letter from Dr. Ralph Roughton of the APsaA, Socarides misrepresented the position of the APsaA in a published paper and a court affidavit. Socarides attempted to make it appear that the APsaA agrees with his positions on homosexuality. He did this by quoting an APsaA document written in 1968, which supported his views and which he called the 'official position' of the APsaA, while ignoring a 1990 revised statement that drastically contradicted his views. The Executive Committee of the APsaA instructed the organization's attorney to write a letter to Socarides asking him to cease this misrepresentation and threatening legal action if he continued.

One might ask why a supposedly professional body of Psychologists is offering “therapy” for something that is not even a mental disorder? Or why they actually offer a therapy for an aspect of human behaviour that they do not even properly understand – by their own admission? Or why several of them have entirely different theories as to what causes people to be gay in the first place? Or, if they really believe that human beings are gay because of their upbringing, how they explain the existence of gay animals? What factors in the upbringing of a sheep causes him to be gay? What factors in the upbringing of bonobo chimps cause them to be bisexual? The widespread presence of this behaviour in the animal kingdom would suggest something far more deep rooted than a behaviour that is entirely culturally determined. If “god” dislikes homosexuality – why did he create gay animals?

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but there is no water...

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Nightlamp
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# 266

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I would like to play a game called 'spot the former fundamentalist with a real big chip on his shoulder'.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
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Faithful Sheepdog,
you wrote:
quote:
I am not saying that homosexual behaviour is generally the same as a substance addiction - although the phenomenon of sexual addiction is known to psychology. The general point being made in my comment to nicolerw is that human beings are quite capable of choosing to indulge in self-destructive behaviour.
Darn it all! I'm going to be emotive! [Two face] How can you simply dismiss the sexual orientation of a significant minority of humanity by describing their behaviour as 'self-destructive'?

I realise the Bible and your interpretation of its teachings are deeply important to you. But, might I suggest, you try to empathise a little more with gay people rather than view them through the window of your particular theological paradigm?

Richard Holloway in his recent book "Doubts and Loves - What is Left of Christianity" puts the Bible into context by explaining how it provided a paradigm worthy of its time. But like all paradigms, new and better paradigms eventually come along. Modern psychology and biology suggest being gay may not be a matter of choice. I do not mean to suggest the Bible no longer has value. It is still in my opinion the greatest book of 'truth' available to us but how we view this 'truth' is of vital importance. Are we to view it as a set of rules for living by or as work of deep literary, historical and spiritual value that, nevertheless, needs to be viewed within it's cultural and historical context? As Holloway reminds us: "To use the bible as an infallible law book that needs no interpretation is an absurd position to hold, but it only really matters when it prompts people to persecute their neighbours, as has been the case with the Church's treatment of homosexuals".

Pardon my liberty but do you refuse to have any dealings with Mrs Sheepdog when she's menstruating? Consider sending your children into slavery? Contemplate killing your neighbour if he should decide to work at ASDA on Sunday or refuse to eat shellfish? I doubt it.

Don't you find being a Christian isn't really about rules or being like this or being like that? Don't you think it's really all about accepting ourselves where we are and how we are now? Isn't it about accepting Jesus Christ and letting God do to all the rest?


Joan

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Protestant head? Catholic Heart?

http://joansbitsandpieces.blogspot.com/

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Faithful Sheepdog
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Dear Louise

I appreciated the link to the article by Cleveland Evans which was better than I expected, but it needs to be balanced by the views of people with positive experiences of therapy.

I cannot agree with you (or Wasteland) that reparative therapy is inherently destructive, but I do accept that the fully informed consent of the client is necessary in any therapeutic procedures.


Dear Sine Nomine

My marriage was mentioned earlier on this thread, the point being that I too am a man under moral constraints. That applies even if "happily" moves to "unhappily".


Dear Dorothea

Until recently Richard Holloway was my bishop, so I familiar with his views and his recent writing. The ceremonial and civil laws of the OT do not endure into the era of the church. I accept your point that we are in the era of grace - but the moral law remains valid - to which the church is called to bear witness.

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

Posts: 1097 | From: Scotland | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Faithful Sheepdog
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# 2305

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Dear Fr. Gregory

quote:
Can you explain please, from a personal point of view, (ie., other than by quoting contested Scriptural references), WHY you think it is wrong for same sex people to have a sexual relationship? It's the personal view I am interested in right now. Nothing else for the moment.

My moral and ethical thinking is flowing out of my theological convictions. These are based on a much wider and broader biblical base than the precise linguistic nuances of "malakoi".

My theological thinking begins with a doctrine of creation, progresses through the calling of Araham and Israel, passes through the Wisdom literature and the Prophets, culminates in the revelation of the Gospel, and takes note of the apostolic and apostolic view of the church.

Since I am a trained engineer, I also keep an eye on scientific developments, but in medical knowledge I am an amateur. Since my specialist field is Nuclear Safety, I am well aware of the extent to which "pure science" becomes subverted by all sorts of political agendas.

The only model I can see for sexual behaviour that has God's clear blessing is faithfulness in heterosexual marriage and faithfulness in singleness. I would argue that this is what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles taught - particularly in their linking of sexuality and marriage to the creation theology of the OT.

This point of view is articulated well in the conservative Anglican documents to which I earlier linked. I can no more change my views here than you were able to on the Mother God thread, a point on which we are in agreement. (I was not convinced by John Bell's hymn lyrics, although he is a fine musician.)

Perhaps my views would be radically different if I had a personal stake in this debate in a way that I do not. I can see what "permanent, faithful and stable" is getting at - and it's light years away from ritual prostitution or pederasty. But, like you, I am who I am.

There is a large difference between respecting people's conscientious freedom to disagree markedly and behave differently - which I totally accept - and sanctifying those views and actions by incorporating them within the formal sacramental and ministerial functions of the church - which I cannot accept.

You have surprised me with views that I did not associate with the Orthodox Church, but perhaps this is an application of the pastoral wisdom of "oikonomia". I do not see the Orthodox Church consecrating openly gay bishops and blessing gay unions - do you?

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

Posts: 1097 | From: Scotland | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:
You have surprised me with views that I did not associate with the Orthodox Church, but perhaps this is an application of the pastoral wisdom of "oikonomia". I do not see the Orthodox Church consecrating openly gay bishops and blessing gay unions - do you?

There is a large difference between "not permitted in the Orthodox Church" and immoral or wrong. Our disciplines are not all about morality. In fact, most of them are ascetic and eschatalogical disciplines, where we give up something that is intrinsically good for the sake of the Kingdom.

It's not immoral or wrong to eat meat or cheese on Friday, nor is it immoral or wrong for someone who has been thrice widowed to be married for a fourth time, although neither are permitted for Orthodox Christians.

The Orthodox Church isn't likely to bless gay unions any more than we're going to perform a fourth marriage. Those aren't permitted. But that doesn't mean that we think that gay sex is intrinsically wrong.

As for an openly gay bishop -- all our bishops are celibate. Whether they aren't having sex with men or aren't having sex with women is totally irrelevant. I can't imagine why anyone would care.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Big Steve

Ship's Navigator
# 3274

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Wow, the Orthodox Church strikes again.

Is it permissable for an Orthodox Christian to have an active gay relationship?

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Louise
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# 30

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quote:
Dear Louise

I appreciated the link to the article by Cleveland Evans which was better than I expected, but it needs to be balanced by the views of people with positive experiences of therapy.

I cannot agree with you (or Wasteland) that reparative therapy is inherently destructive, but I do accept that the fully informed consent of the client is necessary in any therapeutic procedures.

You're not simply disagreeing with me, you're disagreeing with the research and findings of all major professional bodies representing psychologists and psychiatrists and you haven't shown the slightest reason why anyone should prefer your judgement to those of the authoritative bodies which I've cited.

Louise

PS I'm glad you liked the link, even if you don't seem to be able to apreciate the extent of the damage so-called 'reparative therapy' has done.

[ 10. October 2003, 14:45: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Posts: 6918 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Big Steve:
Is it permissable for an Orthodox Christian to have an active gay relationship?

An Orthodox Christian is not permitted to have sexual relations outside of marriage, nor to be married to someone of the same sex.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10273 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Josephine ... [Overused]

Dear Faithful Sheepdog

I do not doubt that ....

quote:
My moral and ethical thinking is flowing out of my theological convictions.
.... but I asked ...

quote:
Can you explain please, from a personal point of view, (ie., other than by quoting contested Scriptural references), WHY you think it is wrong for same sex people to have a sexual relationship? It's the personal view I am interested in right now. Nothing else for the moment.

You have not given me a personal point of view at all. You have not shared with us PERSONALLY (of course such a personal statement is likely to agree with your theology ... that's not the point) ... I repeat you have not given your personal estimation of homosexual relations.

If you can't set aside for one moment justifications from sources of Christian authority and give a personal word, then, either you are reluctant to do so, don't understand the question or consider it misleading or wrong to do so, (or some other reason). Either way, can you or will you answer my question as it is put?

For the record I will address the question to myself to give you an example of answering it. I uphold my Church's discipline in all things ... not blessing gay unions for example ... whilst maintaining my right to debate the issue.

From a PERSONAL point of view I have no problem with the idea of homosexual love ... including its sexual expression. I do have a problem with Christians saying to a gay person .... "Oh dear; you're gay. God loves you but we insist that you die celibate."

Consequently, although I respect my Church's teaching on the issue as a matter of obedience and will explain to anyone honestly what that teaching position is; I do not agree with it. I do not confuse my personal opinions with my priestly role but I do exercise my ministry by reconciling them as closely as I can together.

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
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SeraphimSarov
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Father Gregory!

As a gay, very new Orthodox Christian, I am SO glad to have your witness on this board!!!!!!!!!! [Overused]

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"For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like"

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
...Consequently, although I respect my Church's teaching on the issue as a matter of obedience and will explain to anyone honestly what that teaching position is; I do not agree with it. I do not confuse my personal opinions with my priestly role but I do exercise my ministry by reconciling them as closely as I can together.

When I read this, I thought [Two face] . Then I realized this is what I do with the infant/beleiver's baptism issue [Hot and Hormonal] .

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Scarlet

Mellon Collie
# 1738

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quote:
Originally posted by josephine:
There is a large difference between "not permitted in the Orthodox Church" and immoral or wrong. Our disciplines are not all about morality. In fact, most of them are ascetic and eschatalogical disciplines, where we give up something that is intrinsically good for the sake of the Kingdom.

It's not immoral or wrong to eat meat or cheese on Friday, nor is it immoral or wrong for someone who has been thrice widowed to be married for a fourth time, although neither are permitted for Orthodox Christians.

The Orthodox Church isn't likely to bless gay unions any more than we're going to perform a fourth marriage. Those aren't permitted. But that doesn't mean that we think that gay sex is intrinsically wrong.

Josephine (and Fr Gregory),

Thanks for once again reminding me of some of the reasons why I so love the Orthodox Church. [Overused]

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear SeraphimSarov

If the saint will permit ... My Joy. Good to have you on board.

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
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Faithful Sheepdog
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quote:
Fr. Gregory said:
You have not given me a personal point of view at all. You have not shared with us PERSONALLY (of course such a personal statement is likely to agree with your theology ... that's not the point) ... I repeat you have not given your personal estimation of homosexual relations.

If you can't set aside for one moment justifications from sources of Christian authority and give a personal word, then, either you are reluctant to do so, don't understand the question or consider it misleading or wrong to do so, (or some other reason). Either way, can you or will you answer my question as it is put?

Perhaps I have misunderstood your question. I was under the impression that I had given you a personal reply, and I have shared much personal information already.

On a more personal note I will say this: I have admired the courage and strength of many in the gay world holding to their views under adverse circumstances. Courage and strength are qualities that I can recognise and admire, even when I have completely disagreed.

What qualities are desirable in any intimate relationship? Love, affection, encouragement, understanding, patience, company, support, sacrifice, shared values, mutual goals. We could add permanency, faithfulness and stability. The list could go on.

These qualities could be used as a yardstick for any relationship - gay or straight. Where they are present, there is much to affirm, simply on a personal basis. However, others may choose yardsticks that bear no resemblance to mine.

Without revelation we are all on very personal and subjective ground, and there can be no common morality from which to say much at all.

Richard Holloway attempted to derive an ethic without reference to christian revelation in his book Godless Morality. See a review of this book here. The reviewer is not convinced that he succeeded, nor am I.

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Faithful Sheepdog

quote:
What qualities are desirable in any intimate relationship? Love, affection, encouragement, understanding, patience, company, support, sacrifice, shared values, mutual goals. We could add permanency, faithfulness and stability. The list could go on.

These qualities could be used as a yardstick for any relationship - gay or straight. Where they are present, there is much to affirm, simply on a personal basis.

Now we're talking.

When you then go on to revelation a problem arises. If revelation were to contradict the above statement ... let's say in denying that kind of realtionship to a gay couple ... what has to give in that contradiction? The intuition of the heart or the formal assent to a received position. Of course this raises the issue of revelation as fixed and immutable or progressive and evolving. If the latter, the Church has to look to principles of conservation against flexibility; enculteration against counter-cultural prophecy.

This debate goes on with many other issues. If I saw conservative evangelicals and others seriously grappling with these issues more constructive debate would be possible.

I asked for the personal dimension because I have so often seen personal positions finding the right theological clothing to justify those ... on the pro and anti gay sides of the equation of course. It was refreshing to hear your angle. Thank you.

--------------------
Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
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Nightlamp
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Curiously enough Fr Gregory's position on the issue of homsexuality is close to mine.
I have known a number of homosexual men (christian and non-christian) as they have come to terms with their sexuality to know how problematical the traditional view point on sexuality is.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
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Dear Nightlamp

The so called "traditional view on sexuality" is seriously distorted. It is not a creation based view at all, but a realm of fear where the baleful consequences of the Fall find their ultimate manifestation in the Pleasure Principle. Sex is only for babies. Penises are designed for vaginas, (pace Dow & and the Vatican, unlikely bedfellows [Big Grin] ). Keep your clothes on, turn the lights out and make your contribution to the furtherance of the species in accordance with the divine command. Anything else is dancing with the devil.

So, what do we have now? The desacralisation of sex and its trivialisation as a profane thing. Sex is holy between two in love. It speaks of the ecstatic union between Lover of humankind and the beloved. It ought to be able to embrace all genuine self-giving human love. Instead it has become an exclusion zone; a prison of either morbid moralism or a frenzied souless passion.

I was amazed on becoming Orthodox to discover that we had a theology of eros. I haven't looked back since! [Big Grin]

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Fr. Gregory
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Nightlamp
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I didn't have to become orthodox to discover a theology of eros I found it in Song of songs and amongst various OT scholars.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp

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Never Conforming

Aspiring to Something
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Faithful Sheepdog,

I've read what you wrote since I last posted on this thread and it has been most interesting. I note that you thought you'd revealed quite a lot of personal information regarding your position on this issue, however you do not remark on my previous post? I wondered if there was any reason for this?

I have read
quote:
I have admired the courage and strength of many in the gay world holding to their views under adverse circumstances.
yet on the previous page linked homosexuality with depression, self harm and suicide and in particular reparitive therapy being the solution. I may have misunderstood where you are coming from, but ask how you can hold to both opinions? You also imply that such things as self harm, depression and suicide are to be taken seriously - please explain why you seek to link them to sexuality in this way?

I apologise for the confusion in my previous post, I was trying to say I have reconciled my faith with my sexuality without problems. I was a little riled when I wrote the previous post.

FS, please will you answer my questions as I am genuinely interested to know how you reached these conclusions.

Thanks.

Jo

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I used to poison Student Minds™ and am proud to have done so
Never Conforming in the Surreal World

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dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
# 4398

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Father Gregory wrote:

quote:
When you then go on to revelation a problem arises. If revelation were to contradict the above statement ... let's say in denying that kind of realtionship to a gay couple ... what has to give in that contradiction? The intuition of the heart or the formal assent to a received position. Of course this raises the issue of revelation as fixed and immutable or progressive and evolving. If the latter, the Church has to look to principles of conservation against flexibility; enculteration against counter-cultural prophecy.

[Overused]

Although my own understanding of this issue is less developed than Fr. Greg's (what is counter-cultural prophecy exactly? I can only hazard a guess). The issue of whether revelation is immutable or whether it evolves over time is indeed the crux of this issue.

While personal revelation and the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding individuals through sincere prayer and holy contemplation throws up the very real possibility that ego and illusion may parade in place of Church and Scriptural authority, personal revelation and matters of conscience cannot be ignored. If we ignore the promptings of our conscience, we run the risk of becoming puppets for God.

Joan

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geelongboys
Apprentice
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As a person who has had exclusively gay attractions all his life ..and is (sort of) still trying to battle against the orientation...as I believe homosexual acts and lust are sin (but not THE sin and a sin which Christ died for..on behalf of the person who believes in that sacrifice by faith)..I wonder why fellow Christians struggling against the same-sex attractions don't post on this thread. Are they as sick to death as I am of being caught in the middle of this conservative vs. liberal debate on the issue?
[Ultra confused]

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Love the sinner, hate your own sin.

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Louise
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Did you check out the Living as a Christian Homosexual thread on this board which is more on that topic? Once you get past the flamewar between Chastmastr and Ultraspike it does have some very interesting contributions.


BTW you're certainly not the only poster on this thread who is (1) gay and (2) thinks gay sex is sinful. I see at least two other people who have posted on this thread to whom that would apply. I'm sorry though that you seem to be using this issue to split people into liberal versus conservative camps. I've seen enough of the boards to know that you can't make such assumptions about people based on purely what they think about whether gay people should/should not be celibate. I don't think trying to stereotype everyone else into 'conservative' or 'liberal' depending on where they stand on this issue is helpful.

L.

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Faithful Sheepdog
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quote:
Originally posted by Never Conforming:
I've read what you wrote since I last posted on this thread and it has been most interesting. I note that you thought you'd revealed quite a lot of personal information regarding your position on this issue, however you do not remark on my previous post? I wondered if there was any reason for this?


Dear Never Conforming

Firstly I apologise for not addressing your post. I did not intend to condemn you, and I am sorry that it came over that way.

Your post came in the aftermath of a lurid description of self-harm from Wasteland and a comment regarding self-harming feelings from paigeb. At first I assumed that paigeb was being flippant, but a further comment from gbuchanan then implied that it might indeed be a genuine threat.

I was very rattled by that thought. I have no wish for anyone to harm themselves and I take a genuine threat to self-harm very seriously. Over the Internet, at this distance, I could not tell if paigeb's comment was a genuine threat or not. I chose not to answer your post at that stage since there was already too much talk about self-harm for me.

It may help if I provide some more personal information about my younger brother (for which I have his permission). In his mid 20's he suffered greatly from issues of low self-esteem and severe depression, although he is heterosexual. He also had his share of relational problems which contributed to his psychological state. He was seriously suicidal over several years and attempted suicide once.

Fortunately he did not succeed in his attempt. He is now in his late 30's, holds down a good job, loves his cats and and lives with his girlfriend. They are not formally married, but I treat them both as my family.

If he were gay, and his partner male, I would take a deep breath and do the same. My relationship with him is now a precious thing in my life, especially since I nearly lost him. I have been honest with him about my theological views. He knows of my beliefs, but does not share them.

I am a engineer and not any kind of mental health professional. I am certainly not qualified to give therapy and I hope that you have appropriate professional help. However, some of my self-study on behavioural psychology has helped me to be a better brother to my brother.

I now understand his problems better and have some inkling how to help him more successfully than in the past. He is also helping me in the joint battle we still have with our parents. [Biased]

quote:
yet on the previous page linked homosexuality with depression, self harm and suicide and in particular reparitive therapy being the solution. I may have misunderstood where you are coming from, but ask how you can hold to both opinions? You also imply that such things as self harm, depression and suicide are to be taken seriously - please explain why you seek to link them to sexuality in this way?

I am not saying that homosexual desire or behaviour automatically causes depression, low self-esteem and a desire to self-harm. That would be grossly simplistic, but it would be equally simplistic to say that it cannot possibly play a role. From my limited understanding there are many ways these destructive emotions can arise.

I, a "happily married man", have had my fights with low self-esteem and depression, although my afflictions were mild in comparison to my brother's.

I have taken to heart the maxim from behavioural psychology that my emotions belong to me and that I am responsible for them. If I don't like my feelings, then it is up to me to do something to change them. I am responsible for my own happiness and my own emotional health. That does not mean I will always be happy or that I will be satisfied with the way I am feeling.

Not knowing you at all in real life, I am happy to accept your statement that you have reconciled your faith to your sexuality and that it has not contributed in any way to your personal struggles. This was not the case with my heterosexual brother.

I was impressed by the information I found on the NARTH web-site - your opinion may differ - but I am certainly not saying that reparative therapy is the answer in every case for someone experiencing an unwanted same-sex attraction. That too would be grossly simplistic.

My views on the this subject are again partly coloured by my personal experience. As a teenage boy I went to Bible studies at the house of a man called Martin Hallett. Although I did not know it at the time, he went on to found the UK ministry known as True Freeedom Trust.

His ministry counsels and supports people who share his gay sexuality and choose to share his theological viewpoint. They carry their cross daily in a way that I do not.

We have kept in touch indirectly. I can tell you that he was gay then (mid-1970's), and that he is still gay now. He continues to experience same-sex attraction, but in accordance with his beliefs and choices, he has chosen to remain celibate.

Whenever I have heard him speak, he has always been extremely cautious about the possiblity of therapy changing one's sexual preference. I believe TfT's official policy is to be cautiously open to the possibility of change in some cases. Change has not happened for him.

On the TfT website on this page, headed "Changing Direction? - A response from TfT", there is the following statement:
quote:
I believe a change towards heterosexuality must never be seen as a measure of our ‘healing’ or ‘success’. Nor is it the source of our hope, which is only truly found in the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that Jesus Christ alone can give.
Thank you for your post and I hope I have answered your questions. I wish you well.

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

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Never Conforming

Aspiring to Something
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FS,

Thank you for your post, and your honesty in it. I respect your answers and appreciate your opinions, while I don't always agree with them and can see their merits. I'll agree to disagree on many of them.

Peace,

Jo

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I used to poison Student Minds™ and am proud to have done so
Never Conforming in the Surreal World

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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Dear Dorothea

"Counter cultural prophecy" ... sorry about the gobbledeegook ... I mean the necessity sometimes of Christians maintaining a witness against the tide of current opinion. Not burning incense to the Emperor, for example. Enculteration on the other hand refers to the necessity of the gospel affirming the culture when its intuitions are correct. Such affirmation will lead the Church to embed and reinforce its values in and with the culture. The task of discerning which belongs to "pull back" and which belongs to "push forward" is impossible without the Spirit's guidance. The Holy Spirit speaks both in the Church and in the world. Purity of heart attunes our human receptivity to the Spirit. Unfortunately "purity of heart" many take only in a debased formal moralistic sense. Purity of heart is not possible without faith and ascetic effort. It is about progessive conversion in Love.

Dear Faithful Sheepdog

I understand and respect the desire of some gay Christians to remain celibate if that is how they square their beliefs and consciences. How, though, can it be morally defensible to require ALL gay Christians to follow this path? Some are capable of becoming eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven ... but to require it under pain of sanction for all???!!!

Protestant Christians are used to combatting mandatory clerical celibacy for hetersosexuals on the grounds that (1) Sexual expression of a relationship is a norm for humans (2) It is not right for us to be alone. How is that changed when the subjects are gay? (I mean all gay Christians).

--------------------
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Fr. Gregory
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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:

I am not saying that homosexual desire or behaviour automatically causes depression, low self-esteem and a desire to self-harm. That would be grossly simplistic, but it would be equally simplistic to say that it cannot possibly play a role. From my limited understanding there are many ways these destructive emotions can arise.

As they can from heterosexual desires or behaviour, as anyone who has witnessed some marriage breakups, met victims of sexual abuse, people harmed by pornography etc. etc. etc. will testify. However, we don't rule all het. relationships out of court because of these corrupt instances. Why then, should we do this with gay relationships?

Also, isn't there (to put it mildly) a possibility that many of the problems gay people encounter might be contributed to by the stresses and strains of existence in a society and church both still riddled with homophobia?

[ 12. October 2003, 15:33: Message edited by: Divine Outlaw-Dwarf ]

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insert amusing sig. here

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dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
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Dear Father Gregory,
thanks for your explanations. I agree with you that 'purity of heart' is somewhat different than a narrow, unthinking, observance of moral laws and precepts.

(In case anyone takes offence at this)

I don't mean to decry deeply held moral/religious codes or imply that as Christians we should engage in a moral or social 'free for all' but that we need to pray for sensitivity, wisdom and compassion when dealing with ourselves and others.

Dear Faithful Sheepdog,
I know you are sincere in your beliefs and respect that. I would also respect someone like the teacher you write about who prefers celebacy to sex. My main concern is there are certain movements within the church who, despite their good intentions, could end up making those of a homosexual orientation feel wretched about themselves. (That worries me a lot.)


Dear geelong,
I can understand if you're sick of this debate - and yes I am a liberal of sorts - but this is the Dead Horses mesage board. Maybe you could find another thread that doesn't piss you off so much. [Biased]

J

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Paige
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Faithful Sheepdog---you made a comment linking homosexuality with depression and suicidal thoughts. I responded with a comment about how one didn't have to be gay to be depressed about attitudes like those you hold. I wasn't being flippant---I was, and am, angry about what happens to people who are on the receiving end of your ill-informed views about homosexuality.

Your comments about how other people's feelings are not your responsibility make me think about Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?"

Clearly, you do believe that you ARE your own brother's keeper, and I applaud your standing by him in his time of trouble. Maybe the next time you are tempted to tell gays and lesbians how wrong or disordered they are, you can pretend to yourself that you are speaking to your own, much-loved, brother, and speak accordingly.

Father Gregory---I really appreciate your contribution to this conversation. I was much surprised to find you so open-minded on this subject, and I confess that you are making Orthodoxy look quite attractive! [Big Grin]

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Sister Jackhammer of Quiet Reflection

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watchergirl
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# 5071

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Hello. I'm new to Ship of Fools so am jumping head-first into the most controversial topic on the board. Aren't I brave? *grin* Haven't had the energy to read the entire topic (I have 'flu!) but I've had some reactions to what I have read.

I'm bisexual. At least, I think I am. My attraction to men (I'm female) is minimal and I can't seriously see myself having a relationship with a guy... although all things are possible with God.

I identify with the story (I can't remember who was telling it) about the Christian girl who thought it was so easy to avoid an awareness of sex and sexuality, until she discovered what she was. I've only recently realised what I am. It has changed everything - except my relationship with God, which is as strong as ever (maybe stronger than in the past, when I was lying to myself and to Him). People's attitudes towards me are changing. Yet I haven't changed, so the attitudes I'm now meeting are confusing to me.

In response to what Matt and Joan were talking about: from my experience, and that of my friends and other people I'm aware of, very few bisexuals have simulataneous relationships with two people of different genders. Bisexuality is not synonymous with promiscuity. I am attracted to both men and women, but believe in committed relationships and would never be unfaithful to a boyfriend or husband (or girlfriend).

Never Conforming: From reading what you wrote above, I think we would have a lot in common. I too have mental health issues, but have never felt healthier and closer to God since I accepted my bisexuality. If my homosexuality was involved in the mental health issues at all, it was my repression of those feelings that contributed. It's so much better to be self-accepting. [Smile]

geelongboys: I could imagine that many people with homosexual struggles are tired of being caught in the middle of the debate. I don't know what I think, but I'm currently celibate and may remain that way. I feel quite fortunate that I've only recently become 'involved' in the debate, because I have a feeling that God will use me over this issue (if I let Him). I believe passionately, whatever my future conclusions on homosexuality and sin, that the Church is treating gay and lesbian people with great injustice and needs to repent of that. I believe that includes almost every one of us. Anyway, maybe God will allow me to be used in that area.

As I said, this subject is very new to me. Seeing it from a first-hand point of view has changed a lot of things. I used to be convinced that homosexuality was wrong and a choice, a rebellion against God. Now that I am aware of my sexuality, I can no longer hold the view that the feelings in themselves are wrong - they are a part of who I am. As to homosexual relationships, I'm still exploring that one with God and through the Bible - it could take a while. I am encouraged by the many Christians (including Tony and Peggy Campolo) who are aware of the importance of studying the context of the verses that forbid homosexuality and assessing the Bible in the light of this. The comments of those two (the Campolos) on the way in which we let divorced-and-remarried people carry on living in what Jesus said was sin without condemning them, allowing them into church because God's grace covers their sin, but can't do the same for homosexuals (about whom Jesus said nothing) are also very interesting.

On a more personal and less theological note - it's scary being a Christian and suddenly discovering that you're different. I'm frightened of my brothers and sisters in the Church now. Be patient and compassionate with me - please.

[ 12. October 2003, 20:48: Message edited by: watchergirl ]

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Faithful Sheepdog
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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:

I am not saying that homosexual desire or behaviour automatically causes depression, low self-esteem and a desire to self-harm. That would be grossly simplistic, but it would be equally simplistic to say that it cannot possibly play a role. From my limited understanding there are many ways these destructive emotions can arise.

As they can from heterosexual desires or behaviour, as anyone who has witnessed some marriage breakups, met victims of sexual abuse, people harmed by pornography etc. etc. etc. will testify. However, we don't rule all het. relationships out of court because of these corrupt instances. Why then, should we do this with gay relationships?
Dear Divine Outlaw-Dwarf

My post to Never Conforming bears witness to the presence of self-destructive emotions in the heterosexual world, and I have seen much that you have seen.

My comment was made in the context of a lurid description of self-mutilation earlier in the thread by a gay friend of Wasteland . I was not using the presence or absence of self-destructive emotions as any kind of criterion for the rightness or wrongness of homosexual behaviour.
quote:
Also, isn't there (to put it mildly) a possibility that many of the problems gay people encounter might be contributed to by the stresses and strains of existence in a society and church both still riddled with homophobia?
One of the points I have illustrated in my post is that gay people are not the only people who suffer great emotional distress. Life deals us all hard blows from time-to-time.

You are an Anglican priest and I am an Anglican layman. The Anglican Communion is probably about to fragment on the subject of this thread. Please can I have a more constructive and meaningful phrase than "a society and church both still riddled with homophobia".

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

Posts: 1097 | From: Scotland | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Faithful Sheepdog
Shipmate
# 2305

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quote:
Originally posted by paigeb:
Faithful Sheepdog---you made a comment linking homosexuality with depression and suicidal thoughts. I responded with a comment about how one didn't have to be gay to be depressed about attitudes like those you hold. I wasn't being flippant---I was, and am, angry about what happens to people who are on the receiving end of your ill-informed views about homosexuality.

Dear paigeb

I can accept that you consider my views ill-informed and that you were angry. However, I would like to ask you a direct question. Did you have genuine feelings of self-harm or not?

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

Posts: 1097 | From: Scotland | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
# 4398

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geelongboys,
sorry if my earlier comments

quote:
Dear geelong,
I can understand if you're sick of this debate - and yes I am a liberal of sorts - but this is the Dead Horses mesage board. Maybe you could find another thread that doesn't piss you off so much.

were insensitive. I wish you well.

Joan

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Welcome to the ship, watchergirl. Thanks for your post about your own situation -- I can't imagine what you must feel, but reading what you write makes it easier to understand where you are coming from.

Like Fr. Gregory, I am an adult convert from Anglicanism to Orthodoxy. And also like Fr. G., I have a hard time being blanket-condemnatory of all homosexual leanings/feelings/actions/"lifestyles" etc. (Just so you know where I'm coming from.) I know I'm flattering myself here, but if there's anything I can do for you in your time on the ship, please just ask.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Paige
Shipmate
# 2261

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quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:

I can accept that you consider my views ill-informed and that you were angry. However, I would like to ask you a direct question. Did you have genuine feelings of self-harm or not?

[Roll Eyes] I assume you are acquainted with the term "hyperbole"?

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Sister Jackhammer of Quiet Reflection

Posts: 886 | From: Sweet Tea Land, USA | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Faithful Sheepdog:
Please can I have a more constructive and meaningful phrase than "a society and church both still riddled with homophobia".

Neil

Sorry, but I'm unclear about what is un-meaningful about that phrase. As someone who is fortunate enough to be married to someone with two X chromosomes I cannot imagine how I would cope with the years of abuse and exclusion gay Christian friends of mine (both practising and celibate, simply being "not the marrying kind" is sufficient to get some people fuming) have been subjected to by various self-professed Christian communities.

And the fact that the Anglican Communion is about to splinter over this issue, amongst all others, points to a fundamental wrong-headedness and lack of catholic sensibility on the part of the so-called traditionalists. Part of catholic orthodoxy is having a well-developed sense of what is important (what is often called 'the hierarchy of truths). The fact that these people were prepared to stay Anglicans throughout the years of 'Sea of Faith', professedly 'Christian atheist' clergy, denial of fundamental credal beliefs, Spongism etc. suggests to me that either (a) They have no grasp whatsoever on basic doctrine and shouldn't be admitted for confirmation, let alone ordination, in any self-respecting Church or (b) Their 'ethical' opinions owe more to homophobic prejudice than to theology.

I understand, although I don't agree with, the view that gay sex is necessarily wrong. I accept, furthermore that it is the ordinary magisterial teaching of the largest Christian Church, and the position of the last Lambeth conference. What I do not accept is the idea that it represents a first-order truth which demands the separation of Christians.

[ 12. October 2003, 23:49: Message edited by: Divine Outlaw-Dwarf ]

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TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Watchergirl - Welcome to the Ship.

And you are indeed 'brave' - not the easiest of threads with which to start. I'm sure, however, that you will find many aboard who will be able to empathise with your position, though there are others who will disagree (though, I trust, politely!).

May I take this opportunity to draw your attention to the Ship's 10 Commandments (link on the left) which I'm sure you will have read already and also to the Guidelines shown on entrance to each board.

Enjoy the voyage!

Yours aye ... TonyK
Host, Dead Horses Board

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Faithful Sheepdog
Shipmate
# 2305

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quote:
Paigeb said:
I assume you are acquainted with the term "hyperbole"?

Dear Paigeb

As well as my brother's experience, I learnt about self-harming behaviour from a psychatric nurse with whom I once shared a flat. It is not a joking matter as far as I am concerned.

You are welcome to disagree vehemently with my views, but I do not consider flippant comments about self-harm over the Internet at all appropriate. In real life I would be able to tell straight away that your comment was hyperbole, but over the Internet I cannot.

This is a rumbustious public discussion thread on the Magazine of Christian Unrest. It is not for the faint-hearted. At least one person has already posted about her real life struggles with self-harm.

I will attempt to conduct myself politely in accordance with the 10c's, but you are no more obliged to read this thread any more than you are obliged to agree with my views.

I wish you well

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

Posts: 1097 | From: Scotland | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Faithful Sheepdog
Shipmate
# 2305

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quote:
Divine Outlaw-Dwarf said:
The fact that these people were prepared to stay Anglicans throughout the years of 'Sea of Faith', professedly 'Christian atheist' clergy, denial of fundamental credal beliefs, Spongism etc. suggests to me that either (a) They have no grasp whatsoever on basic doctrine and shouldn't be admitted for confirmation, let alone ordination, in any self-respecting Church or (b) Their 'ethical' opinions owe more to homophobic prejudice than to theology.

You are still hiding behind the term "homophobia". You need to add (c) heroic patience and forbearance in the face of many trials. I will agree with you that some parts of the evangelical/charismatic Anglican world (but by no means all) are shallow in their thinking and display a lamentable mixture of ignorance and arrogance about the historic theology and liturgy of the church.

I think it is a tragedy that the Anglican Communion is going to divide, ostensibly over the subject of homosexuality. However this is a presenting symptom of a much deeper malaise. All the other issues you raise (Cupitt, Spongism, etc.) are equally symptoms of malaise, and have concerned me deeply for many years. I have not been alone in my concerns.

I too have heard the horror stories about the treatment meted out to some gay people by the church. I would reply that the church out of which True Freedom Trust grew was a distinctly conservative evangelical church with no ambiguity in its teaching. A group of gay people made their home there and found a sense of community. That was the beginnings of TfT.

Finally I will share one more personal detail with you. In my church we have a transgendered woman (who used to be a man). If ever there was a bruised reed (Is. 42), she is it. On a personal note, in my lurking days I learnt a lot about transgendered people from the posts of Christina Marie and Linux Rose. I admired their strength and thank them for their honesty.

When the transgendered women and I kneel at the communion rail, we are both sinners utterly dependant on the grace of God. At that point we are equal.

Neil

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"Random mutation/natural selection works great in folks’ imaginations, but it’s a bust in the real world." ~ Michael J. Behe

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Big Steve

Ship's Navigator
# 3274

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Thanks Josephine (and the others) for answering my reactive question about the Orthodox view on gay relationships. I am so flabbergasted by the intelligence and humanity of the Orthodox on the ship (including yourself) when matched up with the fundamentalist values of the Orthodox Church (albeit wrapped up in many years of theology). It is something I don't understand. How can a church say that something is right and good and God-given and then say that it is not permissable in the only church on earth that God recommends? It really, really confuses me.

Not that I'm any where clear at all on my own views of Homosexuality and Christianity. I'm still working through that. I know you've tried explaining the differences of your personal views and that of your church, but still, surely there comes a point when either the Church or her congregation must change?

[brick wall]

[ 13. October 2003, 10:11: Message edited by: Big Steve ]

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http://www.youtube.com/stephenhillmusic

Posts: 1269 | From: Dublin. | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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I am not hiding behind any words, Sheepdog. There is nothing 'heroic' about saying 'I can stay in an Anglican Communion that contains non-theists and unitarians, but gay bishops are just a step too far'. The only thing this attitude displays is a very basic failure to grasp the relative imoprtance of aspects of the Christian faith.

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insert amusing sig. here

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