Pan-Orthodox Consensus on Same-Sex Marriage


#1

The link below presents the worthy official position of the Orthodox in North America, which shows, by the way, that the Catholic position on same-sex marriage is not alone.
see www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/06/pan-orthodox-consensus-on-same-sex.html


#2

I have a question. This is from the link you posted:

Holy Scripture attests that God creates man and woman in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27-31), that those called to do so might enjoy a conjugal union that ideally leads to procreation. While not every marriage is blessed with the birth of children, every such union exists to create of a man and a woman a new reality of “one flesh.” This can only involve a relationship based on gender complementarity. “God made them male and female… So they are no longer two but one flesh” (Mark 10:6-8).

Now God is not a man or a woman, but spirit. Jesus says that there will be no male and female in Heaven, and therefore no husbands and wives. These spiritual souls that God creates are not all attached to persons who are members of the Orthodox or Roman Catholic faith.

So, how is it the Greek Orthodox Church or the Roman Catholic Church, or any other church, for that matter, should impose it's beliefs on the rest of society? These persons who love one another and wish to be a family together are souls who start with no gender and live eternally with no gender. They do, however, live because of Love. They may be Christians in Christian churches. And so, how is it that some churches should impose their will on members of other churches who are not violating their own church's teachings?

I do not understand how these positions from these churches, which I am not at all arguing against, are seen as something we should codify into civil law. It flies in the face of religious freedom.


#3

Because every time scripture speaks of marriage, it's between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN. God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman only. Redefining marriage defies God, and any society that does that sets itself up for ruin, as we are seeing now.


#4

I think this article hits at an important point... the definition of marriage is to procreate.

Pro-gay marriage advocates often argue that the definition of marriage cannot be restricted to procreation because there are infertile couples or elderly couples who get married in a state where they are unable to have children. They argue that these cases justify changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex partners who are also incapable of having children. This is deeply flawed logic that needs to be forcefully opposed.

The key reasoning here is to think about what the word "definition" means, and I believe that it can be best explained through analogy:

Let's say that, instead of changing the definition of marriage, we are talking about changing the definition of an automobile.

Here's how we currently define an automobile: A self-propelled passenger carriage.

Now let's say that there are some lobbyists out there who really dislike the part of the definition that says "self-propelled" and want to change it because they feel that wheelbarrows should be included under the definition of an automobile. These advocates point to the fact that there are hundreds of automobiles currently sitting in farmer's fields that are incapable of self-propulsion and are functionally very much like that of a wheelbarrow. They argue that even though these cars are not capable of driving, we still refer to them as being automobiles. As a result, these advocates argue that in fairness we should change the definition of an automobile to also include wheelbarrows since the characteristic of being "self-propelled" is clearly not a universal trait of all automobiles.

The fundamental issue with this reasoning is that we are changing the definition of a thing based on its exceptions. The definition of an automobile is something that self-propels. Does that mean that there are automobiles out there that self-propel poorly? absolutely! Are there automobiles out there that don't self-propel at all? sure! We still call them automobiles, however. What this doesn't mean is that we should start calling wheelbarrows automobiles... If we were to do so then the definition of an automobile would lose all it's meaning and people are just going to find a different term to describe a self-propelled carriage.

BTW, I don't mean to imply that married couples who can't have children are in any way similar to "broken automobiles". Just because a marriage isn't fulfilling it's defining purpose doesn't in any way imply that the people involved in that marriage are not fulfilling their purposes which is to carry out God's will. :)


#5

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:2, topic:306497"]
Now God is not a man or a woman, but spirit. Jesus says that there will be no male and female in Heaven, and therefore no husbands and wives....These persons who love one another and wish to be a family together are souls who start with no gender and live eternally with no gender.

[/quote]

Jesus didn't say there would be no male or female in Heaven, only that there would be no marriage in Heaven. Genesis 1 establishes that male and female are foundational to the human species -- "Male and female He created them" -- and Jesus in Matt 19:4-5 reemphasizes this male/female duality when defining marriage. So gender is a permanent aspect of a human being which is present upon the human being's creation and remains even after death and into the Resurrection, in which we will regain our bodies (gender included). What we will lose is the command to "be fruitful and multiply" and hence any need for marriage, but we will not lose gender identity.

...how is it the Greek Orthodox Church or the Roman Catholic Church, or any other church, for that matter, should impose its beliefs on the rest of society?...how is it that some churches should impose their will on members of other churches who are not violating their own church's teachings? I do not understand how these positions from these churches, which I am not at all arguing against, are seen as something we should codify into civil law. It flies in the face of religious freedom.

Religions also condemn murder, theft, perjury, incest, etc., and we have enacted laws against them, right? You could just as easily argue that churches should not support such laws because these are all examples of imposition of morals. But if the churches withheld from voting, what would happen? Non-religious people would impose their morals upon religious people by voting. So the question isn't really, "Why should the churches impose their views on society?" because first of all, people, not churches, vote. Secondly, people have the right to impose their views on society because that's what voting and lawmaking is -- the majority imposes its will on the minority and makes it illegal for the minority to do certain things. (Even minority rights are only protected because past majorities voted to protect those rights.) So my question to you is, "If you honestly believe is wrong and that people shouldn't do it, why wouldn't you vote that belief into law?" Because you have just as much right to see your will done in a democratic society as anyone else -- one person, one vote, right?


#6

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:2, topic:306497"]
I have a question. This is from the link you posted:

Now God is not a man or a woman, but spirit. Jesus says that there will be no male and female in Heaven, and therefore no husbands and wives. These spiritual souls that God creates are not all attached to persons who are members of the Orthodox or Roman Catholic faith.

So, how is it the Greek Orthodox Church or the Roman Catholic Church, or any other church, for that matter, should impose it's beliefs on the rest of society? These persons who love one another and wish to be a family together are souls who start with no gender and live eternally with no gender. They do, however, live because of Love. They may be Christians in Christian churches. And so, how is it that some churches should impose their will on members of other churches who are not violating their own church's teachings?

I do not understand how these positions from these churches, which I am not at all arguing against, are seen as something we should codify into civil law. It flies in the face of religious freedom.

[/quote]

Don't forget that there also are no marriages in heaven! :) In other words, marriages are as temporal as our fleshly bodies are, so it makes sense that marriage would relate purely to our physical manifestations, not to our existance after this earth where there are no genders.


#7

souls who start with no gender and live eternally with no gender. They do, however, live because of Love

Wrong. And non-sensical. "Live because of love"?


#8

[quote="torch621, post:3, topic:306497"]
Because every time scripture speaks of marriage, it's between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN.

[/quote]

No, it isn't. You missed polygamous marriages. And what it says in Scripture is entirely beside the point in relation to my question. Unless you know a place in Scripture where it says we should impose our religion on everyone else.


#9

[quote="MidnightSun12, post:4, topic:306497"]
I think this article hits at an important point... the definition of marriage is to procreate.

Pro-gay marriage advocates often argue that the definition of marriage cannot be restricted to procreation because there are infertile couples or elderly couples who get married in a state where they are unable to have children. They argue that these cases justify changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex partners who are also incapable of having children. This is deeply flawed logic that needs to be forcefully opposed.

The key reasoning here is to think about what the word "definition" means, and I believe that it can be best explained through analogy:

Let's say that, instead of changing the definition of marriage, we are talking about changing the definition of an automobile.

Here's how we currently define an automobile: A self-propelled passenger carriage.

Now let's say that there are some lobbyists out there who really dislike the part of the definition that says "self-propelled" and want to change it because they feel that wheelbarrows should be included under the definition of an automobile. These advocates point to the fact that there are hundreds of automobiles currently sitting in farmer's fields that are incapable of self-propulsion and are functionally very much like that of a wheelbarrow. They argue that even though these cars are not capable of driving, we still refer to them as being automobiles. As a result, these advocates argue that in fairness we should change the definition of an automobile to also include wheelbarrows since the characteristic of being "self-propelled" is clearly not a universal trait of all automobiles.

The fundamental issue with this reasoning is that we are changing the definition of a thing based on its exceptions. The definition of an automobile is something that self-propels. Does that mean that there are automobiles out there that self-propel poorly? absolutely! Are there automobiles out there that don't self-propel at all? sure! We still call them automobiles, however. What this doesn't mean is that we should start calling wheelbarrows automobiles... If we were to do so then the definition of an automobile would lose all it's meaning and people are just going to find a different term to describe a self-propelled carriage.

BTW, I don't mean to imply that married couples who can't have children are in any way similar to "broken automobiles". Just because a marriage isn't fulfilling it's defining purpose doesn't in any way imply that the people involved in that marriage are not fulfilling their purposes which is to carry out God's will. :)

[/quote]

Nice analogy. This is why there is one true marriage which is holy matrimony between a man and woman. Anything else is a false "marriage." Those who elevate a court decreed piece of paper above the decrees of God can hardly call themselves Christian, let alone Catholic.


#10

No, it isn't. You missed polygamous marriages.

Inept. We're Christians, we obtain our teaching on the modern practice of marriage from Jesus. What went on before His ministry is interesting history, but not binding law.

Unless you know a place in Scripture where it says we should impose our religion on everyone else

.

Scripture says we should judge every issue rightly, and in the Christian judgement, government didn't invent marriage and lacks the authority to define it for itself however it chooses. We reject the authority of the state to do violence to basic human social concepts. That's not pushing religion on anyone else. To do that would be to force someone to worship Christ at gunpoint or something similar. Time to write more precisely if you expect to be taken seriously.


#11

[quote="mpartyka, post:5, topic:306497"]
Jesus didn't say there would be no male or female in Heaven, only that there would be no marriage in Heaven.

[/quote]

Mat 22
Finally the woman died.

Now at the resurrection, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had been married to her.”

  • Jesus said to them in reply, “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.

Angels don't have gender. There is no reason to believe anyone will have gender in heaven as it is a artefact of reproductive strategy for some biological species.

Religions also condemn murder, theft, perjury, incest, etc., and we have enacted laws against them, right?

But they were not didn't enacted because the Bible said anything or because the Church said anything. In fact, we are not speaking of Christianity in general wanting to force a secular world into it's own beliefs, but of some churches wanting to force those in other churches into not following their beliefs, as well as imposing a theological belief on a secular society..

Why should it be acceptable for some churches to impose their theology on the culture as a whole?

Secondly, people have the right to impose their views on society because that's what voting and lawmaking is -- the majority imposes its will on the minority and makes it illegal for the minority to do certain things.

I don't know where that happens, but not in the United States which is a Constitutional Republic. The vast majority can say or vote or do whatever they want, but the final arbiter of all things legal is the Constitution of the United States. If it were not, schools would still be segregated.

(Even minority rights are only protected because past majorities voted to protect those rights.)

Completely untrue.

So my question to you is, "If you honestly believe is wrong and that people shouldn't do it, why wouldn't you vote that belief into law?" Because you have just as much right to see your will done in a democratic society as anyone else -- one person, one vote, right?

See my remarks re: constitutional republic above.


#12

Angels don't have gender. There is no reason to believe anyone will have gender in heaven as it is a artefact of reproductive strategy for some biological species.

So many misconceptions in one sentence. If you want to talk to Catholics about theology, go learn some Catholic theology, and quit trying DIY. No one is impressed with some random person on the internet and their opinions.


#13

[quote="Burdensome1, post:7, topic:306497"]

souls who start with no gender and live eternally with no gender. They do, however, live because of Love

Wrong. And non-sensical. "Live because of love"?

[/quote]

Do you believe spiritual souls exist for any other reason than the love of their Creator? You live because of love. The purpose of your existence is to love. Your fate in the afterlife depends solely on how well you do that.


#14

Slithery, slimy you are.


#15

[quote="Burdensome1, post:12, topic:306497"]

Angels don't have gender. There is no reason to believe anyone will have gender in heaven as it is a artefact of reproductive strategy for some biological species.

So many misconceptions in one sentence. If you want to talk to Catholics about theology, go learn some Catholic theology, and quit trying DIY. No one is impressed with some random person on the internet and their opinions.

[/quote]

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=423815

Fr. Vincent Serpa

Catholic Answers Apologist

Join Date: May 4, 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,904
Re: Gender of angels
Hi,

I don't want to know who that Catholic radio personality is. You are correct; angels do not have sex because they are spirits and have no bodies. The fact that some have been given male names does not change this fact.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


#16

Well, Jesus is God and is also a man, so this isn’t entirely true.

I think you’re quoting St. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians here, not one of the Gospels. In any event, that’s metaphorical speech; he means that all distinctions will lose their force, not that all people will be literally stripped of their sexual organs and crammed into Ken-doll-bodies.

Now it is true that, while we are in Heaven awaiting the Resurrection, we will have no sex. Sex is a property of physical bodies, and pre-Resurrection we will exist only as disembodied reason and will in the mind of God, the way a house can be said to exist in the mind of the architect who has not yet built it. After the Resurrection though we will be restored to human form. Human form is by definition sexed.

They issued a teaching document; they’re not imposing anything on anyone. They have as much right to speak about these issues as anyone else – moreso, actually, since they are charged with a mission by Christ to do so.

“Religious freedom” is a very limited right. Dignitatis Humanae says explicitly that it is to be subordinated to basic considerations concerning public morality, social order, peace, justice, and the common good.

They are “like the angels in Heaven” in the sense that they neither marry nor are given in marriage (i.e., the immediate context of the passage), not in the sense that they have no sex.

That’s because they have no bodies. They are pure spirit, i.e., reason and will.

Yes, there is. We are promised Resurrection; this is de fide. Resurrection, by definition, means our soul (i.e., reason and will) being reunited to body. The human body is of necessity sexed.

Again, they issued a teaching document, not an order to kill all Jews, so I don’t understand your complaint. They are simply saying that societies have an objective duty to honor the moral law. Whether they choose to honor the moral law or not is still up to them, just as it was five minutes ago, before this document came into being.

No, the final arbiter of all things is God.

The Constitution is not a Magisterial document. It has zero authority to command you to believe anything, including its own contents. You aren’t obligated to believe republics are the best form of government. You aren’t obligated to believe separation of Church and state is good. You aren’t obligated to believe anything that conflicts with the Magisterium of the Church, and if there was such a conflict, you’d be obligated to put your faith in the teaching authority of Christ’s Church, not in a fallible piece of paper for a historically anomalous and temporary political arrangement.

As it happens, though, there is no conflict. Unless you think the Constitution contains within it a “right” to gay “marriage” that somehow everyone everywhere managed to overlook until about ten minutes ago.

“Love,” i.e., charity, is not mushy sentiment or affection. It is willing the good of another, simply for the sake of that other. With respect to God, it means total obedience and surrender to His will.

You don’t get to Heaven by having affection for people (though that may help). You get to Heaven by obeying God’s will. God’s will is explicitly set against sins of the flesh. QED.


#17

[quote="MidnightSun12, post:4, topic:306497"]
I think this article hits at an important point... the definition of marriage is to procreate.

[/quote]

This is actually not true. The sterile and the aged can enter valid, sacramental marriage, even thought they can not procreate.

Marriage has two purposes 1) the good of the spouses, i.e. to help them reach heaven and 2) procreation.

Not every marry fulfills the second purpose, but everyone should fulfill the first. The couple need only be open to procreation.

God Bless


#18

But that’s why we say “definition” of marriage. Not everything in real life has to perfectly fulfill it’s defining characteristic. Does every pen write? Does every automobile drive? Yet we still call a pen that doesn’t write a “pen” and a automobile that doesn’t drive an “automobile”. We would never take a rock that doesn’t write and call it a “pen” just because there are pens out there that also don’t write… which is exactly what the pro-gay marriage folks are trying to do by using cases of infertility to justify changing the definition of marriage! :slight_smile:

I think we’re both on the same side of this argument, just thinking about it a bit differently! :smiley:


#19

[quote="sw85, post:16, topic:306497"]

"Love," i.e., charity, is not mushy sentiment or affection. It is willing the good of another, simply for the sake of that other. With respect to God, it means total obedience and surrender to His will.

[/quote]

You have inferred something not implied: I didn't say word one about "mushy sentiments or affection." Never have on this forum ever defined love as anything other than acts of mercy.

You live because of love, was my originally challenged statement.


#20

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:19, topic:306497"]
You have inferred something not implied: I didn't say word one about "mushy sentiments or affection." Never have on this forum ever defined love as anything other than acts of mercy.

You live because of love, was my originally challenged statement.

[/quote]

Which has what relevance to the issue of same-sex "marriage"?


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