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    Darcy
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    Hello…

    With the recent Supreme Court decision, I decided to do a bit of research on the history of homosexuality within the Eastern Orthodox Church. Tracing Christianity back to the roots brings me to the Orthodox church (and Roman Catholic church). Rome has a very clear stance on the issue of homosexuality. Orthodoxy also has an official stance on the issue, but it isn’t as black and white (the grey area appears to have something to do with Love). Anyway…

    The home page states that gay Orthodox Christians have been hurt by “… antiquated interpretations of Scripture and canon law.” It also makes a comment about, “… one day chang[ing] the official position of the Church on issues such as sexual orientation and gay marriage.” I look forward to reading through the Reflections portion of this site and I hope that it will shed some light on these antiquated interpretations. The Orthodox Church places much importance on scripture and holy tradition. If this tradition is antiquated and no longer relevant in an informed and modern culture, I hope this site can help me understand the theological implications of change.

    Would it be safe to say that the Orthodox Church is a dogmatic institution existing in a world culture that is becoming increasingly more ambiguous and relativistic? Perhaps dogmatic tradition has no place in this world and, as the homepage states, it is time to change the Churches position on various pastoral issues and adapt to contemporary situations.

    I believe we are called to seek Truth. Here I am… seeking Truth.

    #1821 Reply
    James
    Guest

    Darcy,

    I hope you find what you’re looking for here and post again after you’ve completed your search.

    You ask: “Would it be safe to say that the Orthodox Church is a dogmatic institution existing in a world culture that is becoming increasingly more ambiguous and relativistic?”
    That does seem to be the case, as far as I can judge, when thinking about the Church at the institutional level. Looked at as a collection of people, clergy and lay, I’d say that at the level of individuals there is a very wide spectrum of views and behaviours from the most dogmatic to the fairly relativistic.

    You write: “Perhaps dogmatic tradition has no place in this world and, as the homepage states, it is time to change the Churches position on various pastoral issues and adapt to contemporary situations.”
    If the Church is to be relevant in the contemporary world without losing its mission, a compromise between blind adherence to historic dogma and complete acceptance of changes in secular society ought to be possible. Though I’m no theologian, it seems to me that for any new position to be considered Orthodox it would have to be based on a reinterpretation of biblical and patristic texts. Since, unlike in some Protestant denominations, it is not in the spirit of the Orthodox Church to argue points by citing proof texts out of their wider context, such a reinterpretation or at least reexamination ought to be possible and, given the current mood of society on the issue of homosexuality, perhaps even called for.

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