The "first openly gay baptism in the Greek Orthodox Church," by Archbishop Elpidophoros

Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by anglican74, Jul 11, 2022.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    1 Corinthians comes to mind...
    1Co 5:1-11 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    Can you see the parallel here? This scripture doesn't counsel us to be sympathetic, understanding, or tolerant with people who openly flaunt their sins. it says to remove such people from the church, and the removal is not only for the good of those who remain but might prove to be good for the sinner in that it may lead to repentance.

    In the present instance, a same-sex "married" couple implies by their very act of living together in alleged "marriage" that intimate marital relations are an ongoing part of the relationship. This is unacceptable behavior within the church. It is not supposed to be tolerated and the couple should have been disallowed from receiving the sacrament and removed from fellowship well before this baptism issue arose.

    By performing this baptism, the open message to the other Christians is that sexual immorality is accepted and tolerated, and that there will be no consequences. It sends a message that gay couples can live like that and even raise a family, and the church should regard it as normative behavior in the eyes of both man and God.

    The Bible says, don't associate with people like this... don't even eat with them...judge their behavior and recognize the sin. We do so in hope that the unrepentant sinner himself also recognizes the sin for what it is, and repents. And we do so to protect the rest of the believers from coming to think that they can sin without repentance or consequence, too.

    We can see this scriptural principle in practice if we read the early fathers' writings. Hippolytus, for example described the arduous process by which an openly sinful person might be readmitted to the church; it required many months of public repentance on the part of the offender.

    You are focusing your attention on what is (in your perception at least) in the child's best interest. That is quite understandable. Unfortunately these children are in a bad spot; they are about to be raised in a household environment that will teach them a gross misconception about God's will. Baptizing them may, in these circumstances, do more harm than good to their spiritual development because they will perceive, as they grow old enough to understand, that the church accepted their guardians' lifestyle (in direct contradiction with scripture) as a holy and wholesome one. This will undermine the authority of scripture in their formative eyes and could do untold damage to their spiritual formation. Far better if they could instead grow up seeing that the word of God is of higher authority than the sympathies of mankind and that the church stands on the godly principles set forth in those pages. So you see, the child's best interest may not be properly served by this baptism, despite the immediate outward perception.

    But the interest of the child is not the only interest at stake. What of the souls of these misinformed men? What of the souls within that local church, and the souls of all (worldwide) who read of this travesty? The true faith must be preserved, correctly taught, and kept free of the horrific taint which is currently burrowing its way malignantly into the church's bowels, sickening it from within. This is why the exhortation of 1 Cor. 5 must be heeded; it cannot be 'optional.'

    It might be different if we were RCs, for then we would believe that regeneration necessarily occurs in an infant at baptism, even when the faith of the "parents" is lacking or defective. In that case, even a couple of satan worshipers or a pair of atheists could bring a child for baptism (say, for their own sick amusement). Is that what we teach in our church? Don't the guardians have to aver their own orthodox faith and promise to teach the child the same? There is no way these two gentlemen could honestly do those things; if they think they can, they are self-deceived (and are being enabled in their self-deception by this clergyman).
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
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  2. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    What business is this of ours? No parent would want the baptism of their child to be scrutinized and mercilessly picked apart like this one has been here. Can we give it a rest already?
     
  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It’s relevant only insofar as it marks the entrance of Eastern Orthodoxy into the modernist crisis

    It shows that the EO’s have no special “protection” or “secret sauce” that will protect them from the troubles afflicting Western churches
     
  4. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Nor does the ACNA.
     
  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Right no one has supernatural protection

    It is only up to us

    So the question now becomes, which churches are successful in repulsing this invasion and which are not

    But all churches in principle are susceptible, even those which heretofore escaped from it like the EO’s have
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    How can I "give it a rest" when the forum doesn't have a "gone to bed" icon? ;)

    God's wisdom is timeless. Abp. Elphidophoros blew it. All of us are glad we aren't EO. Agreed? :)
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There is no argument from me that sexual immorality, swindlers, greedy wealthy capitalists, idolisers and personality cult followers - particularly of corrupt sexually permissive political leaders, hedonists, pedophiles, drunkards, dishonest lying politicians and swindlers should not be wined and dined by the church. But it very often does, particularly sucking up to sexually abusive, 'fanny grabbing', politicians. No names, - no pack drill.

    One must however remember the context in which this advice was given and received by the Corinthian Church. We have a church that had openly opposed Paul and his teaching on a number of issues. It was abusing the Lords Supper and love feasts in that the rich were stuffing themselves while the poor went without, making a mockery of the equality of brother and sisterhood of believers. It was a society where it was quite possible that the wife of a wealthy city official could attend the same assembly of people as a male or female sex slave, (compelled under pain of death to submit to whatever perversions the 'bed letter' has sold his rich male or female 'clients'). Yet Paul here singles out a man who was openly shagging his mother while the church looked on and turned a blind eye, (possibly because the man and perhaps also the mother were rich and influencial members.)

    Likely that Corinthian Pagan society itself outside the church were even appalled at the spectacle but were powerless to do anything about it due to the status of the people concerned. Notice that Paul does not offer any remedy concerning the mother being F***ed. She's not even mentioned. (Is this where the often used American 'Mother f***er' term comes from I wonder?). She may not have been a member of the Corinthian church whereas HE may have even been a leader or influencer in it. Hence the accusation of 'boasting' of the rest of them, by Paul.

    Given the actual circumstances, I think there isn't really much of a 'parallel' here. Particularly considering the thread is more about the infants being baptised than about any proven sexual immorality of the parents. The qualifying factor for the church administering baptism to infants is the fact that the parents have asked, presumably because they have faith in Christ concerning their salvation. It may be quite difficult to ascertain for certain that the request is either genuine or actually prompted by possession of saving faith by one or both parents.

    It is not being sympathetic, understanding or tolerant to grant their request. It is merely an act of faith in their honesty. Only God knows the inner workings of the heart. We must rely upon visible and proveable evidence before questioning a person's faith. It is possible that scripture even records the fact that the man concerned was restored to membership of the church later on.

    I think Christ advised that we judge with true judgment and not just by appearances. Consequently I think perhaps this 'Gay' couple may go on to treat their children with care, love and affection, bringing them up in the fear and nurture of The Lord at least as well as any heterosexual couple may and perhaps even better than some who may be guilty of all sorts of spiritually destructive sexual and physical abuse. (As courts in the USA and elsewhere amply testify).

    But how many and of what type of person did Jesus Christ refuse to associate or even eat and drink with? Can you find any examples anywhere in the New Testament. Christ was not polluted by associating with sinners. If we are truly Christlike, neither will we, the church, as long as WE remain faithful to HIM.

    The question remains, ARE these gay couples actually members by faith, of Jesus Christ's Church? I think only God can actually know that.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
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  8. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Well said, especially:
    Reactionaries on this side of the pond have become obsessed with issues of sexuality to an almost pathological extent. One sometimes wonders if they think about anything else.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Quite the disparity in your responses. To me you say, "give it a rest." But when Tiffy drags the issue onward it's, "well said." :p

    Whatever.
     
  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    That's because there's "quite the disparity" in what I was responding to in each case:
    Vs.
    I think it is distasteful to nitpick these boys' baptism to death just because they're being raised by two men. In this case, I concur with Tiffy's sentiments and I do not concur with yours, respectfully.
     
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    But my criticism was largely directed at the clergyman's act, not at the couple's request for the baptism. Stop mischaracterizing.
     
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    That is true of your later posts in this thread however your earlier posts in the thread were directed at the parents.
     
  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Update on this:

    https://www.helleniscope.com/2022/07/18/the-holy-synod-of-the-church-of-greece-condemns-ab-elpidophoros/

    "As was largely expected and as Helleniscope reported, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, in its special meeting today in Athens, condemned AB Elpidophoros for the baptism of the two children of the gay couple and sent two letters of condemnation, one to Elpidophoros personally and one to the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The latter is scheduled to convene this Thursday, July 21st, and is expected to make serious decisions on the Charter of GOARCH. But since the actions of the Archbishop have truly placed him under scrutiny, with the overwhelming majority of the faithful demanding his resignation, it is generally expected that AB Elpidophoros will be forced to end his tenure in America one way or the other."
     
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