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Gay Weddings/Marriages & Raising Kids
  • Hi,

    What is the Coptic Orthodox Church's view on how we raise children with respect to teaching them that Homosexuality is wrong, yet they are raised in societies where Gay marriage is now legal?

    How do you reconcile your beliefs with being patriotic also to your country, on this matter??

    Secondly, would an Orthodox priest attend a gay marriage ceremony if he was invited? Would that be OK? What would be the correct response to any gay couple to refuse attending such a ceremony??

    I am writing this under the Coptic Orthodox Church's category as I do not have a personal problem, yet I wish to know the stance of the COC with respect to this issue.

    Thanks
  • Lord have mercy. It's such a sad thing that it is currently legal in a few countries. In the words of Pope Shenouda III in his talk on Homosexuality, "If we [speaking to the pastors of the Church of England] make it [homosexuality] legal, it would be a disaster." How true that is... its fruit will be grievous.

    I haven't read any official document in Coptic Orthodox writings personally on a way of raising children opposing such an unnatural thing. But if you bring what the Church teaches to their level, it's effective. If the children ask questions about homosexual people, or you see them looking at them, then speak with the children, or simply bring it up casually into a conversation if it's relevant and see what they think. Ensure you observe whether they are ready for a discussion or just a sentence at their age. Ask questions to bring out the answer from them first. For example, is this right by God, how was marriage originally created, Who created marriage and so on. Make sure you state that marriage did not simply emerge into the concept it is because of 'chance' or the 'opinion of people'. The heterosexual union of a man and a woman is consistent with how nature is set and created by God. Anything other than that is unnatural, abnormal and shameful. Marriage was never initially the union of the same-sex and such a union won't ever be accepted by our Church. You can extend points from there if need be.

    If a country's laws are against the Law of God then God always comes first. Be patriotic with laws that are not against God.

    I doubt a priest will go. If a priest isn't likely to go to some receptions because of how the wedding is celebrated after, then why would they attend a homosexual 'wedding ceremony'. It would be okay if they don't attend. I don't know what their response would be, but wouldn't the people be embarrassed to invite a servant of God to such a ceremony.
  • [quote author=+iloveJesus link=topic=14459.msg165080#msg165080 date=1371191033]
    Lord have mercy. It's such a sad thing that it is currently legal in a few countries. In the words of Pope Shenouda III in his talk on Homosexuality, "If we [speaking to the pastors of the Church of England] make it [homosexuality] legal, it would be a disaster." How true that is... its fruit will be grievous.

    I haven't read any official document in Coptic Orthodox writings personally on a way of raising children opposing such an unnatural thing. But if you bring what the Church teaches to their level, it's effective. If the children ask questions about homosexual people, or you see them looking at them, then speak with the children, or simply bring it up casually into a conversation if it's relevant and see what they think. Ensure you observe whether they are ready for a discussion or just a sentence at their age. Ask questions to bring out the answer from them first. For example, is this right by God, how was marriage originally created, Who created marriage and so on. Make sure you state that marriage did not simply emerge into the concept it is because of 'chance' or the 'opinion of people'. The heterosexual union of a man and a woman is consistent with how nature is set and created by God. Anything other than that is unnatural, abnormal and shameful. Marriage was never initially the union of the same-sex and such a union won't ever be accepted by our Church. You can extend points from there if need be.

    If a country's laws are against the Law of God then God always comes first. Be patriotic with laws that are not against God.

    I doubt a priest will go. If a priest isn't likely to go to some receptions because of how the wedding is celebrated after, then why would they attend a homosexual 'wedding ceremony'. It would be okay if they don't attend. I don't know what their response would be, but wouldn't the people be embarrassed to invite a servant of God to such a ceremony.
    [/quote]

    Would you rent out a spare bedroom or apartment to a gay couple in your home?

    See, if you answer "no" to any of these questions, then you could face discrimination charges. This isn't just a hefty fine, it could even be a prison sentence.



  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8266097/Gay-couple-awarded-damages-after-Christian-hotel-owners-refused-to-let-them-share-double-room.html

    Read it and weep!

    By the way,this is a B&B which is considered as YOUR HOME, I mean, you are meant to have certain rules that you can live by in your home.

    What do you do as a Christian??
  • It's a shame that society has plummeted to this level, but it's not a surprise. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” - Proverbs 14:12
    The article says the whole court case was a waste of time and the money should have been used for curing diseases. Why didn't they decide on this before they held the court case? Why did they say it in court? These things do not add up. Their minds were already made up. They place 'black' and 'gay' at the same level. All this is nothing but pure deceit Dthoxsasi.

    I personally wouldn't put myself in that position to allow opportunity for any rental agreements in my own home if the law has gone to that extent. If the decision is out of our hands and rental agreements are unavoidable (which isn't the case for home owners but may be for hotel/apartment owners etc), then God still comes first. I wouldn't want to cause a person to sin. Fines and prison sentences do not hold much weight. God won't be silent on this matter.
  • [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14459.msg165081#msg165081 date=1371204967]
    Would you rent out a spare bedroom or apartment to a gay couple in your home?

    See, if you answer "no" to any of these questions, then you could face discrimination charges. This isn't just a hefty fine, it could even be a prison sentence.
    [/quote]
    There's two ways to look at it. First, if I, as a landlord, have a problem saying no to a gay couple seeking to rent real estate from me, then I shouldn't be a landlord to begin with. If I want to be a landlord, I have to live by discrimination rules.

    On the other hand, if I am a landlord and a gay couple wanted to rent from me, I would not do it. I would take the fine and prison time rather than compromise my faith. If I don't want prison time, sell the property.

    The whole homosexuality and religion issue is non-reconcilable. By legal precedence of the first amendment, the court has to let Christian landlords follow their faith regarding real estate. But equal protection laws take a strict interpretation in the courts especially among real estate. In other words, the courts have two polar opposite laws that must be followed strictly. So until the courts or the legislature agree on what is more important (ie., religious freedom or equal protection), the issue will always be unresolved. As it stands, most states and courts leave it up to lower courts or state governments to decide. When this happens, it becomes a sole political issue, not an ethical legal issue.

    But we really shouldn't worry so much. Jesus said "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God." If the law says you can't discriminate against a gay couple seeking real estate, then you can't. As long as you don't let homosexuality into your faith, no one expects you to take on the entire GLBT agenga. I think the smartest thing is to stay away from the real estate world in its entirety so you don't have to make this decision.
  • my own view (not the church's) is that if someone is not a Christian, but an atheist or another religion, and he/she is my gay friend, then i would go to the 'wedding' ceremony in support of my friend.
    I don't think being gay is incompatible with being alive, any more than being a promiscious heterosexual person or a fraudulent person is incompatible with being alive. i don't boycott my promiscious heterosexual friends ceremonies, so i wouldn't for gay friends either.

    but if someone says they are a Christian and gay, then i would not go to that ceremony, as I want to make a stand and clearly say that a sexually active gay life is not compatible with being a Christian.
    some of my Christian heterosexual friends got married in an anglican church where the priests (male and female) are gay, and if i had known that, i would not have gone.
  • Hey Rem, I agree with what you've said, but can I just explain one thing.

    [quote author=Remnkemi link=topic=14459.msg165084#msg165084 date=1371218092]
    But we really shouldn't worry so much. Jesus said "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God." If the law says you can't discriminate against a gay couple seeking real estate, then you can't. As long as you don't let homosexuality into your faith, no one expects you to take on the entire GLBT agenga. I think the smartest thing is to stay away from the real estate world in its entirety so you don't have to make this decision.
    [/quote]

    Isn't there a limit to that verse? Those saints who came before us are a manifestation that, to this verse there's a limit. Take Daniel for example from the OT, a law was passed by King Darius that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days other than the king, they would be cast into the lions den. Daniel prayed to God. What about the times when the rulers prohibited the Apostles from speaking of the name of Christ in the NT? These Holy Apostles spoke out saying, "But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” - Acts 4:19-20. The countless lives of those Saints who were persecuted and died because of a law that was passed against the law of God, that is to worship idols, and they held onto their God. This law in this age doesn't make it any different. The command of God that says 'you shall have no other gods before Me' is not greater than His law on forbidding homosexuality ...they all come from His precious mouth, they might have different visible consequences but they are all the precepts of God.

    [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=14459.msg165085#msg165085 date=1371227799]
    my own view (not the church's) is that if someone is not a Christian, but an atheist or another religion, and he/she is my gay friend, then i would go to the 'wedding' ceremony in support of my friend.
    I don't think being gay is incompatible with being alive, any more than being a promiscious heterosexual person or a fraudulent person is incompatible with being alive. i don't boycott my promiscious heterosexual friends ceremonies, so i wouldn't for gay friends either. [/quote]

    I do see where you're coming from mabsoota. Can I try to understand something, isn't going to these ceremony's just saying that, we are gathered together to celebrate the union of 'so and so'. Isn't that supporting something that hurts these people, rather than building them up eternally? Whether these people are Christian or not, it still hurts them in ways they can't even see. Why would we go if these people's blood are, to a degree, on our heads?
  • i take your point, but we have to be careful not to treat gay people like some sort of modern 'lepers' and withold from them the words or God and the love of God.
    if the person getting 'married' is a close friend, we should share our opinion, just like we would with any heterosexual friend who is not a Christian getting married to the 'wrong' person (too old, too greedy, too likely to cheat).
    [and i certainly would boycott any 'Christian gay' ceremony. this is very wrong theology.]
    but then if our friend decides to ignore our advice, we should not cut him/her off.
    i know for some orthodox Christians it would not be easy to go to the ceremony (and certainly you should check with your priest first, and avoid it if you are tempted with gay desires or considering leaving the orthodox church) but we should make an effort to stay friends with gay people and show them the love of God.

    how else will they know God loves them?
  • I'm sorry my post gave off that impression. It's far from that. From what I've seen society continues to soften this matter to simply no big deal. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” - Isaiah 5:20.
    Would anyone want to see someone going down a path that is clearly going to be eternally weakening and just stand there. That's not Love. God is love and He is also Truth. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth is God. Christ Who is the Way, Truth and Life is God. So God is Truth as well as Love. These go together.
    Do not get me wrong, this isn't about cutting off friends if they are struggling with this, it's not even about any carnal desires from any other person, it's about sharing a decision that is clearly wrong by Christ by us attending. Hope this clarifies a bit.
  • [quote author=mabsoota link=topic=14459.msg165087#msg165087 date=1371288446]
    i take your point, but we have to be careful not to treat gay people like some sort of modern 'lepers' and withold from them the words or God and the love of God. [/quote]
    Lepers had no choice when they contracted an infectious disease. Jewish society's racism against lepers was never justifiable. Regardless of how loud homosexuals believe they had no choice in their sexual orientation, the truth is they always had a choice. And they have a choice to persist in their error. Any person who insisted on immoral and erroneous behavior, whether pedaeophilia, rape, or simple tax evasion, he would be rightfully shunted. Our modern society is reversing the racism. Instead of shunting the immoral crimes of homosexuality, it is endorsed by society. Anti-homosexual, family oriented Christians are now society's choice of racists. It is the GLBT that are out of the closet mascarading their sin, while the Christian is forced into the closet by society's laws. The difference though is the Christian is not the victim, but the victor in Christ.
  • I've read most of the comments here.

    I like Mabsoota.. i find your attitude very Christian. We are called to be the light of the world, not the judges of it. Being the light of the world means we need to show the truth. We need a chance to show gays how women are so beautiful and they've been missing a lot (lol).

    No - jokes aside. We do indeed have to be lights to them, and God's sun shines on the wicked and the righteous, so why should we exclude Gays from anything? God does not exclude them.

    My problem is this:

    I am 100% happy to treat any homosexual person equally like any heterosexual person.
    But the problem with renting out a room in your home is a bit different because one may have kids - and I think this is where I draw the line. I would hate to have my kids exposed to this kind of perversion in front of them. That's the problem.

    I gave the particular example of renting.

    Finally to the person who said that they would not rent at all to avoid the chance of renting out to someone homosexual - this is just absurd. This is not the answer I was looking for. What if its your living? I cannot believe that these European and Western Countries that were supposedly Christian are now marginalizing Christians. This is just amazing. What's the point voting for Francois Holland, Obama, Cameron, or anyone who has a Christian name, or portrays that they are Christian? What did any of them do for Christians?

  • [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14459.msg165093#msg165093 date=1371322916]
    We are called to be the light of the world, not the judges of it. Being the light of the world means we need to show the truth. We need a chance to show gays how women are so beautiful and they've been missing a lot (lol). [/quote]
    It's not judging, it's making a distinction between right and wrong. It would be more helpful if we show them how to love purely without lust (if you're speaking of outward beauty or attraction).

    [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14459.msg165093#msg165093 date=1371322916] We do indeed have to be lights to them, and God's sun shines on the wicked and the righteous, so why should we exclude Gays from anything? God does not exclude them. [/quote]
    Forgive me but, why does this verse seem to appear at times when someone tries to state what is wrong with someone's behaviour... stating something that is wrong is how we identify what is wrong by God, if we didn't we'll just be walking into walls. God doesn't exclude them, they exclude themselves from God; separation from God is a result of sin.

    [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14459.msg165093#msg165093 date=1371322916] I am 100% happy to treat any homosexual person equally like any heterosexual person.  [/quote]
    We should and do with open arms, but we shouldn't accept the sin... the commandments of God shouldn't be watered down to nothing, as what is happening in today's world. That's when there is a need to speak.

    [quote author=dthoxsasiPhilanethrope link=topic=14459.msg165093#msg165093 date=1371322916] Finally to the person who said that they would not rent at all to avoid the chance of renting out to someone homosexual - this is just absurd. This is not the answer I was looking for. What if its your living?
    [/quote] I'm guessing this is directed at me. We shouldn't be after a particular answer (except Truth) when engaging in an open discussion, however, you did mention 'your home' to quote. If this renting issue affects you or if you can make a change through gathering information on this issue, then feel free to read the following. If it doesn't, I believe God takes care of those who are involved in it more than the 'birds of the air'. Let's discuss... if it's someone's living, then let's look at the example of a doctor as it involves the same logic. Abortion is acceptable in today's world and is not against the law, but it's completely against Orthodoxy. A doctor may if they choose, partake of doing methods of abortion, but they choose to specialize elsewhere so as not to compromise their faith. It's the same thing with a lawyer that is presented with a case that is at fault, they can choose whether to defend this case or not, so as not to compromise their faith. Does the landlord have options to specialize in other areas of his work? I do believe there are other options if they have reached the state they're in in their career so far.


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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