US gay tour group plan to visit ancient Ethiopian Orthodox churches in Amhara and Tigray region

edited June 7 in Faith Issues
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48512407
That's pathetic,they want angry Orthodox christians.

Comments

  • If we are talking about behaving like Orthodox Christians, that is a time for love, not anger.
  • George27 said:

    If we are talking about behaving like Orthodox Christians, that is a time for love, not anger.

    Those homosexuals must understand that these churches in Amhara region and Tigray region (Amhara region and Tigray region have got a great Orthodox christian majority) are holy places.Also they must not forget that Ethiopia is a christian majority country and that homosexuality is illegal in Ethiopia and also in the biggest part of Sub-saharan Africa(Sub-saharan Africa has got 63% christian majority: https://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/ ).
  • @Tigray

    I completely understand your frustration. This forum is not the place to come to vent anger towards a group of people. Talk to your Bishop and go through the proper channels to address your concerns. Many of us who are on this forum and writing and conversing in English, are doing so, because we came from countries that did not provide freedoms to their people. As I believe homosexuality is morally wrong, being angry and highlighting the lack of freedoms for homosexuals in your country is not going to create anything fruitful. What do you expect us to say? We're angry? It's obvious this is merely about they money it would bring in. And think about it...maybe it will create some converts who may see the kindness, strength and love of Christ in the people they meet there?
  • My concern is very simple and perhaps arguably a little naive...

    Gay people live a lifestyle that is considered sinful by the church. If we love them, and would like them to repent, it will take a lot of work on their part. We are asking them to change a lot of fundimental beliefs and we are asking them to reassess their very self definition. This absolutely will never happen if they don't see that our faith is based on love. In the menatime, gay people are routinely hated and dispised by people who call themselves "christian". The result of this is that many of them believe that our belief is based on hatred.

    I sincerely think that if we do not love them, we are not Christian. At best, we can apologise for our bad behavior by saying that we are fallible and some of us may find it difficult or awkward to properly show them Christian Love. I get that because I'm not that great of an ambassidor for Christ myself.

    The thing is that if we not only neglect to show them Christian Love, but we go further and say that we are angry with them because we are christian, we are making a huge problem even worse. It is already virtually impossible to reach out to our gay neighbors because they think our religion is based in hatred. Please don't make it worse by proving it.
  • @ItalianCoptic @George27....I think both of you are ignoring context here. Tigray didn't say we or the Ethiopian Church "hate" homosexuals. He is showing, the article does this too, the mistake of some in setting up a tour to that specific area when it is not really suitable. This is not to say that you are saying anything improper...but it simply looks like you're ignoring the context, jumping to conclusions, and concentrating on something that has already been discussed before on this forum. 


  • Based on Pope Shenouda III’s book; homosexuals only have the right to repent and to be loved. They don’t have rights to the normalisation of their behaviour or recognition of it as normal. According to my understanding this includes them coming to church unless the confess their sins.
  • Can you please help me to see what context I'm missing? I agree 100% that gay people have the right in the orthodox church to repent and to be loved. In a very particular sense, I agree that the church should not normalize their behavior, but there is a lot of nuance there.

    I think we agree that it would be inappropriate for the orthodox church to marry a gay couple, or for that matter give any of the sacraments to someone who is "actively" gay. This is not that different from any time that a priest tells one of his flock that s/he is not allowed to take communion for some period of time, for example because of ongoing adultery. The sacraments are the conduit by which Divine Grace is given, but they do require a certain appropriate amount of effort on the part of the individual and/or some degree of yielding to God's will.

    What I'm saying should never happen is for the sinner to be discouraged from going to the church at all. I'm suggesting that this applies to the gay person in the same way that it applies to the adulterer in my example above. In both cases, there is an error in their thinking. There is something they need to learn if they are going to repent. Also in both of these cases it will take a lot of time and honest Christian love which, as we agreed, they have the right to.

    That being said, if any kind of sinner is being overtly disrespectful or dangerous in a church or a holy site they should be removed in the safest way possible. The thing is, that is not what this article was about. The title of the article is "Ethiopia religious anger over US gay tour plan". My response to this is twofold. 

    First of all, "religious anger" is not Christian. It seems to me that "religious anger" may just be Satan's favorite tool to attack the church. Every time I've ever heard a nonreligious and/or atheist person speaking against the church they cite "religious anger" to demonstrate that Christians are either hateful or brainwashed or uneducated. When I read the article, I disagreed with the gay lifestyle because it is not how God means for a person to live, I disagreed with Dereje Negash for the reasons I'm describing now, I disagreed with Article 629 of the Ethiopian Criminal Code, but none of them are as dangerous as that little phrase "religious anger".

    My other response is, as Pope Shenouda III said in his book, "homosexuals only have the right to repent and to be loved." How can we show them love if we reject their very presence? We are simultaneously neglecting our responsibility to love them, ensuring they stay in their sin, and giving the devil more ammunition to keep others away from repentance.
  • @george27
    We are keeping them away from church not because we hate them. We hate the sin not the sinner. We keep them away not because we hate them, but because we love our church. I have no problems at all if a gay person confesses and returns, but it should be done outside the church building.
  • Do we hate pride/self righteousness, gluttony, greed, covetousness, gossip, envy, or lust? We allow sinners of all kinds in the church. I know this because if we didn't, the church would be empty. What's more is that we allow people in the church who do not yet know the extent of their sifulness?

    The fact that we go to church means that we love our God. Depending on our ability, understanding, and stubbornness, we listen to God's word and do our best to overcome ourselves and follow Christ's example. Another way to put this is that living a life of repentence means that we all have some sins that we struggle with and some sins that we don't know that we should be struggling with. Sinners like us, them, and everyone else need the church. 

    Immagine what would happen if we set a bar for every sin. Immagine whtever sin you are struggling with and if you were judged by someone who does not struggle with that particular sin. If they were as uncompassionate to you as many Christians are to gay people, where would you be? Even worse, if you can, immagine a sin you don't understand yet and immagine being judged and pushed away for that, where would you be? All sin is equal, but if we treated all sin the way we treat homosexuality, the church would not be sustainable.

    If someone who lives a sinful lifestyle would like to go to a church for any reason at all. Even if it's silly. Even if they just want to see the pretty pictures on the wall or if they are wondering what that neat smell is. If they want to go to a church for any reason at all, that just may be God's voice calling them to Him. There may be a small spark of repentence that could grow. If we get in their way, we are also in God's way and working for the devil.

    I'll grant that what I'm saying implies that the visitor is visiting in sincerity, so let's cover all bases. Let's say they are not sincere. What do we lose by being welcome them to the church? I say not a blessed thing (if you'll forgive the pun). If an insincere visitor comes to the church and we treat them the way Christ would, we give them no fuel for whatever mischief they may have in mind. They are going to come a couple times and troll for a while, but eventually they will either have a change of heart, act out, or just stop coming. If they have a change of heart, Doxa to Theo! If they act out in some way, then there is a good reason to ask them to leave, and God help them. If they just stop coming, God help them.
  • george27, i am with u on this one, well said.
  • ^^^
    George was right, I apologise.
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