In this article, where he makes some considerations upon the last exploit of the satanists ruling the United States, father Sergei Sveshnikov slips in several assertions which are perplexing, to say the least, and spoil all the good things contained in it.
I think that the basis of his misunderstandings must be located here:
I propose to begin with putting homosexuality into a scriptural context–not into the context of Leviticus, which, by the way, in addition to prohibiting homosexual relations, also prohibits the consumption of shrimp–the Lenten favorite of many Orthodox Christians (11:10).
With all due respect, I am not a priest and I have no theological degrees to fill the virtual walls of my blog, in fact I am the last and the most miserable of the Lord’s servants, but in all truth I am compelled to say that if theological academies teach the equivalence of those two prohibitions, well, then there is a big problem with theological academies!
In fact, the only theological academy known to Christianity is the monastery.
Apart from the fact that we have no record of shrimps eaters stoned to death under the Law, I am sure that father Sergei is fully aware that our Lord is the fulfilment of the Law and that His fulfilment is interpreted and transmitted by His Holy Church after His Ascension to the Father.
Well, Christ did not waste a single moment of His precious time with the shrimps (apart from pointing out that’s useless to eat clean food in clean vessels if your heart is unclean and vice versa), while reaffirming that male and female He made them, so sanctioning what is the only lawful sexual intercourse for humankind (Mark 10, 6-8).
I am sure that father Sergei is also aware that the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles and St. Paul’s epistles are full of references which totally dismiss every outward distinction between clean and unclean food, forbidding only the food which has been sacrificed to idols and the blood. I hope I will be excused if I do not list them, because they are countless. Therefore, we eat shrimps now because so it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to our Fathers in the Church!
No such dismissal seemed good to them about sodomy! Au contraire, the teaching of the Church has always been an unequivocal condemnation of this sin. Here St. John Chrysostom on homosexuals.
In any case, the scriptural foundation of this unequivocal condemnation are much more wider than what father Sergei article seems to suggest. The image below depicts the most eclatant: the destruction of Sodom by fire and brimstone from Heaven!
Not less perplexing is the paragraph quoted below:
Now imagine that two young women come to a priest and say the exact same thing: “We love each other and want to be together.” Suddenly, the “love” does not matter, commitment does not matter, self-sacrifice does not matter, mutual support does not matter. The only thing that seems to matter is that their relationship is unnatural, and by this we mean their sexual relationship, of course, since neither commitment, nor self-sacrifice, nor mutual support is what we are talking about when we use the word ‘unnatural.’ So, is it about sex then? Because if it is, we need to talk about it, instead of getting piously-squeamish every time the very word is mentioned. If it is not the self-sacrificial love but sex that is the basis of our theology of marriage (since the two young women may very well possess this self-sacrificial love for one another), then it may be time to discuss sex more seriously within the Orthodox context.
Of course it is about sex, father Sergei. If you pretend to expound the sin of homosexuality and sodomy apart from sex, people would be excused if they think that you don’t know what you are talking about. As long as the two young women abstain from sexual intercourse, they are free from this sin. There cannot be a sin of homosexuality or sodomy without sexual intercourse, as much as there cannot be a marriage without a male and a female. Nobody forbids the two young women from living together, provided that they abstain from sex (as anybody else, the only lawful sex is in the marriage), but this does not mean that they can be married. This is not because our theology of marriage is based on sex, but because our theology of marriage is based (as everything else) upon the divine constitutional order. You need a male and a female for a marriage because so the Almighty has established, and that’s all! The only love that matters in Christianity is the love for God and His statutes.
There can be plenty of Christian love outside marriage, there cannot be sexual intercourse outside of it. There can be unlawful sex inside the divine constitutional order, and there can be sex which is a rebellion against the divine constitutional order. There can be a marriage without sex and without procreation, there cannot be a marriage without a male and a female.
A male-female prerequisite, not only for marriage but for any kind of sexual intercourse, belongs to an inviolate foundation supremely sacred to God. Homosexual practice is a direct violation of that foundation. It is a conscious attack against the order divinely established, an insurgency against the constitutional order given by God to His creation and to us, the apex of His creation. It’s one of the worst offenses conceivable against God; in the sexual sphere, only bestiality (for obvious reasons) and the exploitation of children (violence is added to the same insurgency) are worse!
It should be noted that the sin is not the specific sexual act, but the homosexual intercourse. There is a long-standing issue on the matter of the same specific sexual act when it is performed by married couples, which has never been properly faced nor understood. In such cases, it could very well be a sin too, but it’s not the sin of Sodom!
I say “it could be” because my understanding is that the matrimonial bed cannot be defiled by any kind of sexual union between a husband and his wife and I am unaware of any scriptural prohibition of this specific sexual act between spouses. “The two shall be one flesh”, decreed by God and confirmed by our Lord, is a so powerful and so all-encompassing expression that everything seems to be covered in that union. Someone could object that the expression should be referred to a spiritual union, but the word used is flesh not spirit and the words are never used carelessly in the Scriptures. While the spiritual union is undoubtedly the profound purpose of the sacramental marriage and while there is for sure a spiritual meaning and content in becoming one flesh, nevertheless the word used is flesh and it has a very defined scriptural meaning.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Anyway, I am fully aware that many Holy Fathers of the Church have seen this specific sexual act in a very bad light, even when performed in a lawful marriage, so that spouses would be well-advised to piously abstain from it. We know that not all which is permitted is profitable and God is well-pleased by voluntary abstinence out of devotion and fear of Him. However, it must be emphasized once more that there cannot be the sin of Sodom in the marriage!
If father Sergei wants to follow the teaching of St. Paul, he should be directed to Rom 1, 24-27, where he will discover that the Apostle takes “extra space to describe homosexuality as dishonorable, degrading, contrary to nature, an indecency/shameful behaviour and a fit payback in itself”; something he does not do for any other offense, included those elencated in 1 Cor 6, 9-10.
“As a complement to idolatry on the vertical vector of divine-human relations, St. Paul chose the offense of homosexual practice as his lead-off example on the horizontal vector of inter-human relations to illustrate human perversity in suppressing the obvious truth about God’s will for our lives perceptible in His creation.”
None of the (other) offenders cited in 1 Cor 6, 9-10 has this “privilege”. In short, father Sergei’s assertion that “the Scripture seems to imply equal treatment for all of those behaviors, including homosexuality” is misleading at best and an egregious, total crap at worst!
Not even a repentant homosexual should receive an equal treatment: he must receive double and even treble love and warm acceptance and support in the Church, because greater the sin greater the joy in Heaven for its rejection by the sinner, and even a greater economy in the penance would be justified. But is this what the almost totality of homosexuals want and ask from the Church? To be accepted and restored to Her in penitence? If such was the case, there would not be any problem, any problem at all!
Alas, the sad reality is completely different! Homosexuals want to be restored to the Church, taking with them their sin, one of the most grievous sin! Not only that, the homo-gang is hell-bent to a pitiless and full-fledged offensive to force their sin to all the others, to make it not only accepted but promoted and encouraged in the social contest. They want their perversion and depravity to be teached to our children since the infancy, they want special legislation and treatment putting them above fellow citizen, they claim the right to appropriate children to grow in their likeness. They want their rebellion against God and His order made whole, they want Sodom restored together with its statutes and its inverted tolerance: either you join the orgy or you get raped!
I am unaware of any other sinner with such a pretension. I hope that father Sergei is not blind to these which are the real terms of the problem with homosexuality today. I hope that none of the shepherds of the Church is blind to the fact that we live in apocalyptic times, unleashed upon mankind with the betrayal and the removal of “he who restrained” in 1917. Homosexuality is nothing new, but its pretensions today are! Not even the pagans dared to equiparate a homosexual relation to the marriage. I really hope that none of the shepherds of the Church, somehow intimidated by the aggressive homo bullies supported by the secular powers which have completely switched to Demonocracy and belong entirely to the dark master today in the West, will become lukewarm in his attitude against this most grievous sin, to be spit out from the Lord’s mouth.
Are homosexuals born homosexual? I do not know. This may be something for scientists to figure out.
This is blasphemy!
Father Sergei is saying here that he does not know if God creates some creatures (made in His image) with an innate urge towards a mortal sin; not with physical impairments or difficulties, no, but with a spiritual embedded direction towards eternal death, superseding their free will (with a corrupted logos, St. Maximos would say). Not only; he is willing to wait for scientists to give a diriment word about it. It would be ludicrous if it was not tragic!
A Christian should know better!
Beware that false Christian love which exceeds love for Christ and is prepared to make any compromise with all forms of evil!