The Orthodox Face of The March for Marriage

March for Marriage 2015Monomakhos is happy to note that one of our contributors, Fr Hans Jacobse, was the Orthodox spokesman at The March for Marriage. In our humble estimation, this may become another iconic moment in American Orthodoxy. (A special shout-out to Metropolitan Joseph, in whose jurisdiction Fr Hans belongs.)

Fr Hans spoke simply but eloquently, explaining the Orthodox position regarding traditional monogamy and the threat posted by gay “marriage” to religious liberty. The good news is that many other Christians from several other confessions are now coming to the same conclusion.

Please take the time to watch his stirring words to the estimated 10 to 15 thousand who attended this rally.

March for Marriage 2015


  1. Axios!

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Father Hans obviously feels the state has no business marrying people or issuing marriage licenses because marriage is GOD’S realm , not Caesar’s?

      Also, may Islamic clergy perform marriages? Many “Christians” do not believe that the God of Islam is God, no?

      I wish our holy Orthodox teachings on matrimony were not getting all screweed up in the American politico-religious rancid stew of politics. Yet we are so devoted to the horrible IDOL of RECOGNITION, that we’ll just allow any “effective” speaker to publiv=cly “divide the Word of Thy Truth!”

      I have to confess to being out of touch with reality. In MY reality, and I’m basing this on 13 years active uniformed service (NOT Chaplaincy!) The leaders of our Armies are in the FOREFRONT , The Generals do not forcefully encourage their armies to go fight and then stay t home—-THEY ART AT THE FRONT! They are not lionized for composing inspiring exhortations to do what they DON’T OR WON’T do themselves. “I couldn’t help it” doesn’t cut it.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        Incorrect. State sanctioning of natural marriage recognizes that which already exists in nature, ie: it takes one man and one woman to create a family.

        Homosexual couplings are naturally sterile; they are biologically closed to the creation of new life and thus family.

        When you speak to believers the God dimension of marriage is self-evident (most of the marchers were Christian). If you are speaking to non-Christians but people still disposed toward moral and intellectual clarity, you refer to nature.

        If the State recognizes homosexual couplings as a legal marriage, it has to abolish the authority of natural marriage. The State effectively becomes both the source and arbiter of human morality in this case. God and nature are thrown overboard.

        You can read a fuller explanation in my essay: Homosexual Marriage at the Dusk of Liberty.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          Your arguments, while majestic, are overly simplistic. How long has mankind had homosexuality? Just because it is unnatural to you and me and biology -doesn’t mean it is not a real part of the human condition, fallen man etc. Of course, logic then says okay; it is a bad thing, or less than ideal for some of us. Doesn’t make it vanish..

          Let the church of festivus marry them and stop giving preferrrd status to marrieds, and don’t require anyone to recognize or participate.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Just because it is unnatural to you and me and biology -doesn’t mean it is not a real part of the human condition,

            We are not talking about unnatural sexual vice.. We are talking about a re-definition of marriage.

            • Pelagia Hoffman says

              If I were to call an apple a banana, it would still be an apple. The Truth exists in a realm beyond mere words.

              • George Michalopulos says

                And if I were to call a same-sex couple a “marriage” it would not make it so as well.

                • Take heart Orthodox Christians! When the Unites States Government forces Orthodox priests to perform the Sacrament of Marriage on homosexuals (and this day is coming!), the Sacrament will not “take”. The Sacrament will only “take” when it is administered to one biological man and one biological woman.

            • Daniel E Fall says

     a degree.

              I don’t know if it is a re-definition or an expanded definition for governing purposes. The church won ‘t redefine it, and that is fine with me.

              I still don’t believe government needs any role in marriage. Treat all personal relationships as general partnerships for contract law, etc. My opinion..stop giving perks to marrieds.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Apparently the State is equally willing to forego its sanctioning of what you are referring to as “natural marriage” in direct proportion to the church’ s abdication of its voice of moral authority in society. Now who shall we blame for this? Perhaps we could begin with the 5+ bishops each of NY, Boston, Chicago, LA, Denver, etc. who can’t seem to figure out the shape of the table to seat themselves? The State recognizes law, and can quite obviously be convinced that what Christians accept as is according to Creation & philosophers according to nature is not law, but, in fact, oppression. But when when there is no moral voice in the society, the law is the recourse. If the Court recognizes homosexual marriage as legal marriage, it will do so because we allowed the issue – as we did with abortion – to be become a legal issue with moral implications. It is too, too far past the point of arguing morality as anything but a “religious” issue, and not a societal/civil rights/human rights issue. I saw in a poll last week of “religious groups” in the US published by the Huffington Post, that “Eastern Orthodox Chritians” polled were less in opposition to same-sex marriage than the Roman Catholics & significantly less than traditional conservative Protestants surveyed. Who knew? More importantly, what now?

          • Daniel E Fall says

            What now? Simple. Do nothing.

            Stand up to homosexuality and abortion by promoting motherhood. Disjoin from marching for life (against abortion) and disjoin from the march for marriage (against gays) and march for motherhood on one of the feasts for Mary. The wiser men could decide.

            …but then it wouldn’t seem like a fight…

            …and that wouldn’t delight the conservatives here….

            They would rather fight and lose then tell young women it is good to be a mom. Some need to hear it.

            Noone cares what you are against; they want to know what you stand for. And while saying you are for marriage or natural marriage sounds good; it is reactionary.

            And then everyone in this country needs to remember free speech is the highest freedom. So, there is nothing wrong with telling gay couples you don’t enjoy doing weddings for expletive expletives or carpet munchers, and see what the scotus does with that. My guess is if the gay activists try; they will lose. The courts have never really said you can’t speak your mind; except for fire in a cinema.

            • Hieromonk Joshua says

              This is much too much nothing Mr. Fall.

              • Dan Fall says

                If you think promoting motherhood is too much of nothing, might I suggest you join a patriarchal society?

          • Christopher says

            I saw in a poll last week of “religious groups” in the US published by the Huffington Post, that “Eastern Orthodox Chritians” polled were less in opposition to same-sex marriage than the Roman Catholics & significantly less than traditional conservative Protestants surveyed. Who knew? More importantly, what now?

            Can you link this survey? The last survey I read is that self identified “Eastern Orthodox Christians” actually come in slightly less in favor for “gay” marriage than the general population. In the same survey RC came out more in favor of it than the general population, and of course our traditional Protestant brother and sisters were far less in favor of it.

            As to “what now”, the answer to me is really quite obvious: the bishops and clergy of the OC “in the west” have to start seriously catechizing the faithful specifically around the issue of “Christian Anthropology”. This will be difficult and controversial, because of all the “New Anthropologists” who stand next to us in church, as well as those who would rather avoid anything that hints of confrontation. Really, every Sunday sermon for the next year should revolve around the question “what is man”…

            • Michael Bauman says

              Along with that the understanding of sin and mercy. The nature of marriage. But it will take more than just the clergy, much more. We have to find the courage and the grace to speak of these things to the one’s standing next to us.

              It is one of the advantages of being open with one’s identity on blogs, at least for me. I have had fellow parishioners mention to me that they have read my posts from time to time. So far no negative reactions. I have not yet broached this subject directly with anyone I thought might object.

              But, then my priest has preached on the topic directly and indirectly a number of times. And over ten years ago held a multi-part adult education series on human sexuality that included one whole session on homosexuality from and Orthodox perspective.

              Not long ago he preached a sermon that specifically and directly said that homosexual marriage is no marriage at all and has not place in the Church. My bishop was in the altar when he preached that sermon.

              Bottom line though is that the mind of the Church on the topic has been clearly and directly articulated by all of the jurisdictions even at the Patriarchal level within the last two years. Anyone who is in active opposition and wants the Church to change her mind is in a state of gross disobedience.

              Even if one privately favors such counterfeit unions it is problematic–indicative of an improper understanding.

              Those folks outside the Church are in pickle:

              My son-in-law is a Methodist and as far as I know pretty nominal in his belief. But, one thing that has him deeply concerned is the idea of homosexual marriage being blessed by his church. He has had some talks with my wife about his concern. She suggested that he might talk to me, but I don’t expect that to happen (he made it clear that he does not want me to approach him). His wife is strongly in favor of allowing such things on the grounds that Christians are supposed to be non-judgmental and “fair”. Unfortunately, my son-in-law’s rejection of homosexual unions comes primarily from a visceral dislike of the very idea of homosexual sex. That ground will not hold. The pressure on him to change his mind and “get over” his dislike is going to be immense. So, I watch and I pray for the opportunity and the grace to address his questions in a manner he can accept.

              Seriously though, we must all be engaged in this sort of pastoral work should be not?

            • Robert L. Hopper says

              I work in the social services field, and the lack of, if not outright hositility to, the Orthodox understanding of the human person, Christian Anthropology, is at the heart of most of the programs devised to alleviate human suffering. This is why most of these programs fail, in the long-run, to accomplish their stated missions, and the problems for which they have come into existence flourish. Support for all sorts of self-destructive behaviors is rampant among those who work in the field of human/social services. I believe that this is due, in large part, to the philosophical foundation of the academic departments training them.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Mr. Hopper,

                I too work in the social service field, and on the whole, my experience is not like yours in the least. While I am, more often than not, working with medical professionals, on the whole I find myself among clinicians whose approach is a “whole-person” approach oriented in a bio-psych-social model in which I am rarely uncomfortable. No clinician has ever said a word that I include a “spiritual history” in my standard evaluation, and no patient has ever complained; likewise, I have never had a comment that I have included among my assessment of “protective factors” in a patient’s favor – even my forensic patients – that they have a history of church attendance, and that we discussed how it might be helpful to them to return. I don’t have the Bible or icons with me; I don’t pray with patients; I don’t discuss “religion with patients. But I certainly “normalize” the practice of faith with them in the few moments it takes to ask.

                There is/was a discussion of the negative impact of psychology/psychiatry on Fr. Hans’ site as of yesterday – materialism, modernism, the cult of the avoidance of pain, and so on – and now you have added the dimension of the rampant “support of self-destructive behaviours” to the mix. I am certainly not suggesting that excesses do not exist, and I have had my “skirmishes” with these types many times over. But excesses do not define the field by any stretch of the imagination, and the more I hear the recounting of the excesses, the more I am convinced how little practical knowledge people have. And unfortunately, that ignorance is far too often translated into individuals & families not seeking help.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Well said, Michael. Mr Hopper works SOMEHOW (?) in “the social sciences field, but reports that that field somehow does more harm than good and that is because his coworkers were not trained to base their (social?) therapies on Orthodox anthropology, etc. Shouldn’t he quit and start up his own clinic or whatever?

          • “Poll” and “Huffington Post”
            Into the trash it goes.

            • Pelagia Hoffman says

              Do you only believe polls are accurate when they affirm what you believe to be true?

          • M. Stankovich:

            I saw in a poll last week of “religious groups” in the US published by the Huffington Post, that “Eastern Orthodox Chritians” polled were less in opposition to same-sex marriage than the Roman Catholics & significantly less than traditional conservative Protestants surveyed. Who knew?

            Everybody knew.

            M. Stankovich:

            More importantly, what now?

            The Orthodox Jehovah Witnesses will continue to try to tear the church apart. The rest – the silent OVERWHELMING MAJORITY – will carry on just as before. As Fr. Hans would say, God will judge.

            • OOM, the truth is that all Orthodox Christians recognize homosexual behavior as a sin.

              So what if a handful of other people have surrendered to cultural forces? Possessing a nominal affiliation does not turn anyone’s beliefs into Orthodox teaching. People like Fr. Hans Jacobse are Orthodox because they adhere to the Orthodox faith. People like Fr Robert Arida cannot “wag the dog”, so to speak, simply by making an outward pretense of speaking from the Orthodox tradition, when the reality is that they are defying and subverting Orthodox teaching.

              You slander others with the label “Orthodox Jehovah’s Witnesses”, but you’re a better candidate for that label yourself. You have claimed that the Bible says homosexual attraction “was a punishment sent by God for icon veneration,” sharing the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ ignorance of the distinction between icon veneration and idolatry. It looks like Orthodox moral teaching was not the only thing neglected from your catechesis.

              • Helga:

                OOM, the truth is that all Orthodox Christians recognize homosexual behavior as a sin.

                Wrong. You don’t know what allOrthodox Chritians think. Many do not consider it a sin. I know that because they have told me so.

                People like Fr. Hans Jacobse are Orthodox because they adhere to the Orthodox faith.

                Wrong again. Fr. Hans is Orthodox by virtue of baptism, just like me and I presume, you.

                You have claimed that the Bible says homosexual attraction “was a punishment sent by God for icon veneration,” sharing the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ ignorance of the distinction between icon veneration and idolatry. It looks like Orthodox moral teaching was not the only thing neglected from your catechesis.

                I don’t claim it, the holy apostle Paul wrote it. Do you deny that inconvenient truth? And don’t twist facts and project a distinction between veneration and idolatry invented (yes, INVENTED during the iconoclast controversy) centuries later into the plain meaning of the text. The SIN was using images, and the PUNISHMENT was homosexuality. This crazy notion that God gave sinners terrible afflictions was the same idea that led whoever it was to ask of the man born blind, “Rabbi, who sinned, the man or his parents?”

                • Anne Margaret says

                  I too know of Orthodox “closet” homosexuals. They are devout Christians.

                  I also know of an Orthodox priest in Canada who knowingly serves the Eucharist to non-Orthodox people.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  OOM: your interpretation of Romans 1 is quite a stretch. Do you really believe that icons and their use are a form of idolatry?

                  How do icons “change(d) the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”

                  He is not just talking about the use of images, but about idolatrous worship of a thing over and above and instead of God. No one I know thinks that an icon of, say, St. John of San Francisco is God or even a god. He is honored because he communicated God in and extraordinary way as with all the saints.

                  The Fathers of the Church during the iconoclast controversy recognized the distinction and articulated it. They no more ‘invented’ it than earlier Fathers ‘invented’ the fact that Jesus Christ is God incarnate.

                  I suspect you know that.

                  As to your idea that anyone who is baptized Orthodox is Orthodox, that too, while technically correct, misses the point that Helga was making, i.e., not all who are baptized support the teaching of their Church. When they don’t especially when the actively and consciously oppose that teaching they are no longer really of the Church. They are in the Church, but not of her.

                  That is why my parish priest has told folks in the past that if they support the ‘right’ of abortion, they should not approach the cup.

                  The world or the Church; Christ or nothing.

            • Rdr Thomas says


              Does this make the Bishops of virtually every Orthodox synod in the US into “Orthodox Jehova Witnesses”?

              OCA website
              Antiochian website
              GOA website
              ROCOR website

              …I could go on…

              Of course, maybe those synods have been infiltrated by those nefarious radical evangelicals. In the Old Country there are more comprehensive and traditional Orthodox beliefs that surely would……oh, wait:

              Moscow Patriarchate Statement
              Ecumenical Patriarch (English Translation)

              Remind me again…which group is the one with the decidedly un-Orthodox views and who is trying to tear the Church apart?

        • Pelagia Hoffman says

          Fr. Hans Jacobse, “IF the State recognizes homosexual couplings as legal marriages”? Where have you been? “Gay marriage” is now legal in many states including Illinois! (Not to mention Ireland!)

          • Michael Bauman says

            Ms. Hoffman: The ‘State’ to which Fr. Hans refers is the Federal Government in the pending action of the Supreme Court. If they rule, as quite likely, that homosexual unions cannot be prohibited and must have not only the same legal rights of marriage, but afforded the same cultural approval as if they were married, then it has put the imprimatur of the ALMIGHTY STATE by judicial fiat upon a Godless action and created a legal atmosphere which will make it all but impossible for anyone to object without being subject to either civil or criminal actions.

            • Free speech will still exist. You will still be legally allowed to put a sign in your yard that reads “Homosexuality is a sin.” This is what makes America great.

            • There is a reason why it a colloquialism to say that someone is “making a Federal case” out of something. There is nothing like bringing the entire weight of the Federal government to bear on an issue or behavior. SSM may be legal in most states today, but things will indeed change in a major way after the Supreme Court discovers that the Constitution contains a right to gay marriage that everyone else missed for more than 100 years (or more than 200 years, depending on which part of the Constitution they decide to discover it in). There will be legal consequences for those who do not embrace the new ideology, and once the Feds are involved, it is at a whole new level.

        • Pelagia Hoffman says

          IF the State recognizes homosexual couplings as legal marriages? Where have you been? “Gay marriage” is now legal in many states, including Illinois. (And Ireland!)

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Father Hans obviously feels the state has no business marrying people or issuing marriage licenses because marriage is GOD’S realm , not Caesar’s?

        How in the world—by whatever contortions of language or failures of logic—-can anyone make such an inference from what Father Hans said?

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

        The retired OCA bishop in California opines in a post here on May 1: “In MY reality, and I’m basing this on 13 years active uniformed service (NOT Chaplaincy!) The (sic) leaders of our Armies are in the FOREFRONT , ” (sic).

        Once again he touts his own active-duty in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force (which concluded after thirteen years at the mere company grade of Captain and apparently included no combat deployments or direct service anywhere near “harms’ way”), while disparaging the Chaplains Corps, many of whose Orthodox priests (and clergy from other faith groups) have, in the last dozen years alone, ministered personally to troops in dangerous combat areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s about as “FOREFRONT” as it gets.

        • Abbouna Michel says

          Hear, Hear! Let me tell you about two close friends of mine. One is a colonel, recently returned from an assignment as Chief Air Force Chaplain in Kuwait, where he also served units in Iraq and Afghanistan. His previous posting was to Dover AFB in Delaware, site of the Air Force Mortuary, and the receiving site for all “transfers” of remains from Iraq and Afghanistan. There, he dealt with bereaved families of fallen soldiers.

          The other is an Army lieutenant colonel, currently serving in Amman, Jordan. This chaplain previously served with Special Forces in Afghanistan, and with the 101st Airborne, additionally being qualified as a Jump Master and Pathfinder.

          Anyone who wants to access Fr. (CH COL) Alexander’s own distinguished record can do so online.

          Respectfully, I would challenge Bishop Tikhon–and many other retired officers–to match the records of chaplains like these in self-sacrifice, willingness to put themselves in harm’s way, and service to both God and country.

          I am proud to name such clergy as my friends, and, as we approach Memorial Day, thank them for their distinguished service as chaplains.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Chaplain Webster, got it wrong. I have never ever disparaged the chaplaincy, and I DEFY him to show where I have done.
          1. I was received into the Orthodox Church in September 1960 by Air Force chaplain (then Captain) Peter Zolnerowich at the Orthodox Chapel at Lackland AB TExas. I loved ever-memorable Father Peter and his family, as I loved the chaplains Daniel Resetar and Michael Margitich, the chaplains I knew best. I consider the chapaincy to be different in essence from all other military service—in fact, I don’t consider it to be “soldiering” or “military” service at all. It iss s mnistry and I am always careful to STRESS that I take not credit for that ministry. I feel that ;many who learn of my service in our armed forces might GIVE M;E CREDIT tor being a chaplain. I know many other chaplains, but not so well as the aforementioned.
          2. I ENLISTED in the regular Army in 1954, wwas trained as a MW (UHF) Radio Repairman at the Signal School. My third year in the army was served as NCOIC of the Toll Network Control office at Hqs AFFE/8th Army (rear), Capm Zama Japan in the grade of #-5.
          3. In 1958 I completed my college education at Wayne State University on the GI bill.
          4. In 1960 I was contacted by a USAF recriter who persuaded me to enrol in the brand new OTS (Officer Training School) I enlisred in the USAF and matriculated at OTX. I was commissoned shortly before being received into the Orthodox Church. I remember kneeling barefoot outside the front door of the chapel when some enlisted recruits passed by and one of them called out, “Oh, Lieutenant, what did YOU do?” I served aone year at Goose AFB Labrador, and then four years at a classifed ordnance site in Louisiana (Defense Atomic Support Agency). I took leave from active duty in 1965 to matriculate one academic year at SVS. I applied to return to active duty in June 1966 and was taken back on active duty that September. I served not quite one full year as Deputy Base Commander forr Security and Law Enforcement (BDCLE) at Columbus AFB (SAC), Mississippi when a telegram from Hqs USAF to the Base Commander directed I be transferred to HQS USAF, the Air Starr, Pentagon. I served there honorably and well (I have all my OERs from those years) as Deputy Chief, Persnnel Security Group, Hqs USAF. Since I was a RESERVE officer and was not “rated” (that means pilot or navigator) since I had taken a one-year break in service, I did not make major the first time I was considered for that, in 1970. In May 1971 my tour of duty at the Pentagon was up and having applied to be released again from active duty I wad released.
          Chaplain Webster, in utter ignorance, is free to draw whatever cconclusions he finds personally satisfying about me and my service to our country; even if it makes him look mean-minded and petty when he gives vent to his “findings.”
          Despite the chaplain’s attempt to smother the topc, , I feel that a leader who leads WITH WORDS BUT NOT DEEDS should not be considered any kind of hero..In fact, if he is any kind of leader, it would be, “Unjust”

          • Thomas Barker says

            So disappointed, Vladyka. I had imagined you were a Delta operator, blood type tattooed on your ankle, full blond beard, back flip blasting from a fuselage at 3 AM, destroying enemy supply lines with little more than compass, buck knife and Cross. Please tell me the Viking DNA wasn’t wasted.

          • Luke Padgett says

            Been to Camp Zama…my daughter’s H.S. track team ran a meet at the school there, when I was serving at the US Embassy a few years ago. I imagine the only thing that looks the same as in 1957 is the Tanzawa mountain range backdrop.

        • Kate Hartounian says

          Father Alexander, no one should be called “the mere company grade of captain.” That’s just wrong. Of course, it is not as wrong as a Bishop of the Orthodox Church defending complete crap.

          • Kate:

            Of course, it is not as wrong as a Bishop of the Orthodox Church defending complete crap.

            Which is crappier, when a BISHOP or when a PRIEST defends complete crap?

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              I think “Kate’s” sudden emergence to label what this or that instance uttered as “complete crap” is what ever-memorable Archbishop John (Shahovskoy) used to call: “the rustling of the mice.”

    • Michael C says

      For those interested in another Antiochian Orthodox priest speaking about the role of clergy in the (American) public sphere:

  2. Hieromonk Joshua says

    I am so thankful for the godly leadership of Metropolitan Joseph! Thanks be to the Lord for this man of God! Thank you to Metropolitan Joseph’s co-workers also who are hard workers and the unsung truly commited Orthodox believers behind the scenes.

    Sadly, us Orthodox Christians and all those of goodwill have to witness to sanity and rationality – to our relatives, friends, neighbors and fellow Orthodox who are under such vile homosexual delusion and such trendy death dealing deception.

    God our Father, save us! Christ our Good Shepherd free those in active homosexual bondage! Holy Spirit of theosis and healing protect and liberate our families and children from all homosexual activists, especially those who present themselves as spiritual leaders. God, All Holy Trinity, safeguard all of us from homosexual propaganda and all forms of sinful abomination and all toxic dehumanization.

    Holy Theotokos, the pure Mother of our saving Christ, intercede with your Divine Son that He would save our souls and prosper those of goodwill who join with us to love humanity enough by telling and living the truth. Amen!

    • Christopher says

      LOL! for the first few days Fr. Joshua’s post received the up votes it so deserves. Now, the New Anthropologists are swarming and voting it down.

      When the Church says it like it is, using such direct and true wording such as “homosexual bondage!” the New Anthropologists recoil – the Truth does not fit into their world view.

      For some strange reason, the Church can talk about my bondage – to lust (or to put it another way, my “heterosexual bondage”), to anger, to judgementalism, etc. – and it would not cause a stir

      Well, not so strange, as the New Man does not recognize sexual sin – it’s all at the animal level and thus not human to him…Yet another sign that the New Man is not a man at all (see C.S. Lewis’ “The Abolition of Man”)

      • Christopher:

        LOL! for the first few days Fr. Joshua’s post received the up votes it so deserves. Now, the New Anthropologists are swarming and voting it down.

        Christopher, keep the play-by-play coming on the thumbs-up and thumbs-down totals. It’s FASCINATING READING.


        When the Church says it like it is… the Church can talk about my bondage… as the New Man does not recognize sexual sin …

        Christopher, the Church does not recognize a distinction between “the Church” and the “New Man,” even if you and other posters like you do make such a distinction. You don’t speak for “the Church.” As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. PERIOD. All of us, gay, straight, gay-supportive, gay-hating, are part of the Body of Christ. There are other alternatives open to you Orthodox Jehovah’s Witnesses. We won’t miss your hate when you leave us.

        • Some will put on Christ into their own condemnation if they refuse to bring their lives into line with his will.

        • I keep wondering when Mr. Myers, Mr. Fall, and Fr. Washburn, etc. are going to start pestering OOM about being anonymous. I dont care, but surely they must… Or is anonymous posting only bad when one disagrees with what is being said? Just curious.

          • Mike Myers says

            I was actually more interested in you posting accountably when I had more respect for your opinion, honesty and integrity than I do now. I care a lot less at this point.

            It seems likely that OOM is a priest or maybe even a hierarch in some American Orthodox jurisdiction, possibly a seminary prof. Given what he has to say, posting under his name could mean losing his job or at a minimum complicating his life enormously. There’s a cost/benefit calculation involved. To him I imagine it’s all or mostly cost. Just my educated hunch.

            • Hm. Interesting. Honesty and integrity. Interesting that you were able to assess those. And interesting that you know there is no valid cost/benefit calculation for anonymous posters you disagree with. I know you aren’t interested much in my opinion, but I still think my explanation of your selective indignation has Occam’s razor on its side. After all, our very first exchange began with you extolling OOM’s posts and exhorting me to be more like him/her. By the logic you claim apply to me, the highly respected (by you) OOM should be getting a steady diet of slapshots at his/her anonymity. Which makes said logic seem a bit disingenuous.

              As to your educated hunch, you may be right. A seminary prof who posts in all cap “shouts” might certainly lose face in the faculty dining room.

              And with that I am content to have us ignore each other and let you turn your attention in more worthy directions.

              • Mike Myers says

                In this very post you demonstrate again your bent for twisting my words and/or bad reading. That’s mostly what I’m talking about. Your talent for innuendos, a species of dishonesty. Assessments based on the content of your posts, of late.

                I said “it seems likely” that OOM is ordained. It is a simple fact, of course, that for each of us there’s a cost/benefit calculation involved in posting under our own name. I said about that wrt to OOM that “I imagine it’s all or mostly cost.” I personally prefer the substance of what he often posts, though it be anonymous, to his not posting at all. I can’t say that for many here. Just my opinion.

                • Well played. Like the proverbial economist predicting recessions, I’d say that when it comes to my posting faults, overall you correctly nail me on at least 9 out of 4 of them…. If it weren’t for your humble charitableness, I realize you’d call me on even more of them, so for that I am grateful.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Wow, Edward, I gave you a “thumbs up” just for referencing Occam’s razor. It is the unforgotten principle bringing relief from needless terror at the rapier of the médecin traitant. “Mais, je ne suis pas Ralph Kramden!” Get me in the ballpark! Nice touch.

          • Edward:

            I keep wondering when Mr. Myers, Mr. Fall, and Fr. Washburn, etc. are going to start pestering OOM about being anonymous.

            So now anonymous Edward, who in a long series of tiresome, tedious posts in another thread defended his anonymity, urges others to start “pestering” me about mine. Edward needs to get a life and STOP WASTING BANDWIDTH.

            • Wow. Good thing that post was free of word twisting, innuendo, and bad reading — and chock-full of substance. I can’t decide whether posts like that make you more or less likely to be a seminary professor who just needs a place to let his progressiveness out.. I suppose it would depend on the seminary. Mild mannered outward conformist collecting his paycheck from the hayseed faithful by day, all-caps-shouting Internet liberal by night? An intriguing possibility. I begin to see why some would begin to obsess over the identities of anonymous posters. More entertainment value than I realized.

  3. Fr. Evangelos Pepps says

    Thank God for all the courageous hierarchs, priests and laity who speak the truth with love, divine boldness coupled with humility. May you be rewarded for sacrifices of time, resources, energies. Christ is risen!

  4. Arimathean says

    I was slightly amused to see a picture of myself right under the headline. It looks like I am the Orthodox face of the March for Marriage! But actually it’s hard to see my face under the hood. There was a chilly breeze, and I was trying to stay warm . . .

  5. Michael Kinsey 1380805 says

    I like this guy, clear, forthright, and fully expressing the TRUTH.

  6. Two Orthodox participants and signers, Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      “Yo”!!! Are you claiming that Archbishop Demetrios or Metropolitan Tikhon (or Metropolitan Joseph PARTICIPATED in the Marriage March? I thought they just had their signatures appended to a motivational letter. Or?

      • Who represented the “all important” OCA DOS at this non-event? Was the Second Coming of +Jonah there, in his new role as lackey-bishop, or whatever?

  7. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    This is vintage Father Hans! Wonderful!

    • Mike Myers says

      Taking the Bible as the last word on the definition of “natural marriage” can be problematic. It’s true that Betty takes a few cheap shots, but then she’s not the only one guilty of that.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Well, Mike, I remember my dad, who was leery of religion, asking who was the mother of Cain’s or Abel’s children–their mother or a sister. I’m sure that if he were alive today, he’d ask all the absolutely knowledgeable folk here if they could tell him whether their sexual relations with their mother and/or sister were “natural,” i.e. natural marriage as established “from the beginning.”

        • Vladyka:

          I’m sure that if he were alive today, he’d ask all the absolutely knowledgeable folk here if they could tell him whether their sexual relations with their mother and/or sister were “natural,” i.e. natural marriage as established “from the beginning.”

          Valdyka, OBVIOUSLY you missed Fr. Hans’s very IMPORTANT theological point in the video that in “the beginning” it was Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve! That clinches the whole thing, you know.

          • Christopher says

            in “the beginning” it was Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve! That clinches the whole thing, you know.

            Actually, it does. The fact that you you find that a point of sarcastic ridicule reveals how far you are from the Mind of the Church.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            ‘OOM!” OBVIOUSLY Fr Hans missed the question of who Abel’s and Cain’s sexual partners were? Eve? Their sisters? Didn’t Cain have seven wives? Who were his mothers in law / But perhaps you think incest is an “unimportant” moral point?
            Did Metropolitan Joseph either stand OR march with the Faithful for marriage? Urging the participation of others as a moral good and/or a duty, while oneself playing hookey is morally problematic, not a basis for fulsome encomia!

            • Daniel E Fall says

              When I asked my dad the cain n abel question, he said girls from another village.

              I’m good with his answer, but the question should be answered by Fr Hans. I’m guessing he’ll take a convenient pass.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Your Grace, do you ever say what you mean or believe about any of this? Or is it always to be wisecracks, cavils, narrow byways of contrarianism?

              What do you actually mean about Cain and the rest? Can these things never be plainly stated?

              In the two years I’ve been here, I’ve gotten much out of many of your posts; interesting history, to be sure, and a lot of edification on some points besides. But there is always this refusal to plainly state an affirmative position on the issues of so much concern to so many. You are not alone in this, of course. Why deign to give credence to the confounded by engaging their actual questions and concerns…..

              You point out the hyporcrisy of people instead of answering them. But “hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue” as the worldly La Rouchfoucald said. If the adulterer brays hymns in church and proclaims the sanctity of marriage, marriage does not lose any sanctity thereby. And it is no answer to the question to point out his own failings. We are all hypocrites.

              Carping, carking, picking apart the supposed ignorance of others from a lofty perch: so much easier than putting together a positive position.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Timor, I fully support the Orthodox teaching/Tradition on Orthodox Christian matrimony, and have never expressed any doubts or reservations about it.We’ve been discussing the modern American proclivity, utterly FOREIGN to the Holy Tradition, of marching or otherwise demonstrating against the beliefs and practices of the non-Orthodox, Are you with me so far?
                I’m trying to imagine an Apostle rioting or piketing or telling others to picket or march for ANY PUPOSE, holy or no.
                Get it? I think I’ve been ver clear, frank. and open on that. Further, I find an odor of hypocrisy in a hierarch urging the Faithful to demonstrate what he will no demonstrate himself.

                What I “mean” about Cain and Abel? I mean to repeat what was established “originally” by God in the Genesis account is NOT what Father Hans and many many other politicians claim. Rather “natural marriage” from the beginning was incestuous and polygamous, according to the Scriptures. WE, Timor, do NOT consult Genesis as a moral guide, GET IT? The Orthodox Church is NOT The Moody Bible Institute!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Leaving aside the fact that even the Church Fathers as a whole did not view the Creation Narrative of Genesis as an objective, historical or scientific manual, your point falls flat.

                  If we concede your point however, for the sake of argument, should the state legalize incest and/or polygamy as well? If not, why not? Genesis also talks about slavery. Shall we bring that back. (Serious point: it still exists in several parts of the world.)

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  The good bishop seems to have a prophetic voice against Abortion(as long as he can get a few shots in at the GreeKS and othets) but seems to have lost his voice against Same Sex Marriage. Further, he believes the churchexercising it’s prophetic voice in this area is a waste of time.

                  Why is it that a so-called Orthodox Bishop has a hard time competing this issue, and cannot even suppor a fellow Orthodox hierarch when he does condemn it? When that hierarchy actually is exercising the Church’s prophetic voice.
                  very interesting.

                  I wonder why this issue is different for the good bishop?

                  Peter A. Papoutsis

                • I can attest that as a bishop, Vladyka was no nonsense in teaching his flock to observe all of the moral teachings of the Church. Anyone on this forum who questions his faithfulness to the Church and it’s traditions doesn’t know what they are talking about.

                  I happen to share his wariness towards putting the Church’s official stamp on political activities like marching, including pro-life activities, even though I am strongly pro-life and have supported pro-life organizations financially.

                  But the issue is complex, so I do not share his or other’s tendency to criticize those who feel and act differently. We do have the examples of many saints who walked into pagan temples and caused the idols to fall down and break to pieces through their prayers, so I don’t believe it is quite accurate to say that Christianity was established as a “mind your own business” faith. But such things were linked to an explicit witness for the faith, which doesn’t seem to be the point of marches and whatnot.

                  I find it disheartening when fundamentally political instincts cause Orthodox Christians to say things to each other that they ordinarily would not. And it is particularly disheartening when political instincts and attitudes make Orthodox Christians say things that cloud their witness to the faith. In this particular example, I see Orthodox Christians who are political liberals saying things that makes them seem like they sniff at the moral teachings of the Church, and there is probably an equivalent in the other direction.

                  When loyalty to the sensibilities of one’s political cohorts is more precious than loyalty to the faith, there is a problem.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  This is still you, Bishop Tikhon, Saying the Church should have no prophetic voice. Again, you love stating that the OCA has been to the Marches for the March for Life, but you think that marching against Same Sex Marriage is a waste of time? Why is marching against one issue (Abortion) good and marching against SSM a waste of time?

                  In effect you are saying the Church should have no prophetic voice whatsoever on the issue of Same Sex Marriage, but should have a voice denouncing Abortion. Both destroy just one slower than the other.


                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  This is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s answer to Bishop Tikhon who does not believe in exercising the Church’s prophetic voice.

                  Isn’t the redefinition of marriage inevitable?

                  No. Even if it happens in law, the truth of marriage is unchangeable; no law, no matter the force behind it, can erase it. Hence, attempts to do so instead create only systemic conflict between law and conscience. Especially at a time when marriages, families, wives, husbands, and children have suffered much hardship and brokenness, leaders in this country have a responsibility to work to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.

                  Why care?

                  Everybody comes from a family and has a family legacy. Everybody has a mother and a father, grandparents, and great-grandparents, regardless of whether they are still living. The truth about marriage and the family and what it means to be a man or a woman concerns everyone. The religious leaders who signed the open letter recognize that they have been charged by God to serve and witness to this truth. Regardless of what might happen concerning the legal definition of marriage, the letter reaffirms a commitment to witness to the unique meaning of marriage and calls for those in public service to do the same. Marriage and religious freedom are tied to the fundamental health and well-being of any society. Government leaders, entrusted with caring for the common good, should be concerned with all matters that bear essentially upon the well-being of society. The truth of marriage should matter to all people, and the witness of people of good will to this beautiful truth will endure despite attempts to silence or dismiss it.

                  The full article can be seen here:

                  Peter A. Papoutsis

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Vladyka Tikhon served faithfully in the Lord’s vineyard for a quarter-century as the anointed of God, and as a Bishop, as St. Chrysostom predicted, has endured more criticism and disfavor at the hands of the “faithful” – and likewise, according to St. Chrysostom, the worst being from the lips of the clergy – yet no one ever questioned his faithfulness to the Scripture, to the Fathers, or to the Holy Tradition. No one. In fact, he was known for his staunch defense of each. To this day, his instructions to diocesan clergy on church order and piety remain on the Diocese website. Whatever your opinion of Vladyka personally may be, you are wrong to question his faithfulness, his piety, or integrity as a hierarch of the Orthodox Church. While I am personally offended at anonymous creeps who would personally insult a hierarch of the Church, such is the nature of the internet. But it is shameful that anyone would challenge his faith & integrity as a Bishop.

                    Nothing so magnifies both an evil and a good report as the undisciplined mob. For accustomed to hear and to speak without stopping to make inquiry, they repeat at random everything which comes in their way, without any regard to the truth of it. Therefore the Bishop ought not to be unconcerned about the multitude, but straightway to nip their evil surmisings in the bud; persuading his accusers, even if they be the most unreasonable of all men, and to omit nothing which is able to dispel an ill-favored report. But if, when we do all this, they who blame us will not be persuaded, thenceforward we should give them no concern.

                    St. Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, V, iv

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      I asked a simple question and have received no answer but dodge, dodge, deflect and fained outrage. He will not answer why he will not support a March that is an exercise of the Church’s prophetic voice. His silence is thus his answer.

                      What his past is is nor as important as the here and now. Fallen man who is outside the Church need the Church’s prophetic voice. He refuses to add his voice to his own Metropolitan. He refuses to support a fellow hierarch that organized the March for Marriage and to call it a waste of time.

                      This is disgraceful. So yes I do challenge because I have to raise my children in this new normal and if our bishops fail us then my job as an Orthodox parent get harder by 100 percent. That to me Michael is what is shameful as well as all the lost souls who will not hear the saving message of Jesus Christ.


                    • Exactly. Thank you Michael.

                    • M.:

                      Vladyka Tikhon served faithfully in the Lord’s vineyard for a quarter-century as the anointed of God, and as a Bishop, as St. Chrysostom predicted, has endured more criticism and disfavor at the hands of the “faithful” – and likewise, according to St. Chrysostom, the worst being from the lips of the clergy – yet no one ever questioned his faithfulness to the Scripture, to the Fathers, or to the Holy Tradition.

                      Why the past tense? Is he DEAD?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Sorry I missed this OOM,

                      Quite to the contrary. As near as I can tell, Vladyka appears to be pushing room air at an acceptable level, and I check on his well-being more than he is aware.

                      Secondly, I believe the appropriate analogy is, “The Lord has sworn and will not repent: ‘You are a Priest forever, after the manner of Melchizedek.'” (Ps.109:4) (cf. Heb. 6:20) My implication, as you are well-aware, was to his service as the active bishop of a diocese. Axios!

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Bishop Tikhon says:

                  Timor, I fully support the Orthodox teaching/Tradition on Orthodox Christian matrimony, and have never expressed any doubts or reservations about it.We’ve been discussing the modern American proclivity, utterly FOREIGN to the Holy Tradition, of marching or otherwise demonstrating against the beliefs and practices of the non-Orthodox, Are you with me so far?

                  The New Testament’s answer:

                  Acts.2 (Revised Standard Version)

                  [1] When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
                  [2] And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
                  [3] And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them.
                  [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
                  [5] Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
                  [6] And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
                  [7] And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
                  [8] And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
                  [9] Par’thians and Medes and E’lamites and residents of Mesopota’mia, Judea and Cappado’cia, Pontus and Asia,
                  [10] Phryg’ia and Pamphyl’ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre’ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
                  [11] Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
                  [12] And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
                  [13] But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
                  [14] But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
                  [15] For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day;
                  [16] but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
                  [17] `And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
                  that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
                  and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
                  and your young men shall see visions,
                  and your old men shall dream dreams;
                  [18] yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days
                  I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
                  [19] And I will show wonders in the heaven above
                  and signs on the earth beneath,
                  blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
                  [20] the sun shall be turned into darkness
                  and the moon into blood,
                  before the day of the Lord comes,
                  the great and manifest day.
                  [21] And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall
                  be saved.’
                  [22] “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know —
                  [23] this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
                  [24] But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
                  [25] For David says concerning him, `I saw the Lord always before me,
                  for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
                  [26] therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
                  moreover my flesh will dwell in hope.
                  [27] For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades,
                  nor let thy Holy One see corruption.
                  [28] Thou hast made known to me the ways of life;
                  thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.’
                  [29] “Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
                  [30] Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
                  [31] he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
                  [32] This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
                  [33] Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear.
                  [34] For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand,
                  [35] till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’
                  [36] Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
                  [37] Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
                  [38] And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
                  [39] For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
                  [40] And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
                  [41] So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
                  [42] And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

                  This is what the Apostles did and this is the apostolic tradition we care on to this day. In our Times and Our Culture we also can declare to the multitude the truth of Jesus Christ and His Holy Gospel.

                  No hiding in Church, but proclaiming the truth as loud as possible (Hence a March).

                  Please tell me what the difference is between hiding the truth of our faith in an ethnic ghetto as opposed to hiding in within the walls of a church never to see the light of day?

                  Peter A. Papoutsis

                • I would furthermore add that in my years in the DOW, I would never have guessed that Vladyka was a flaming political liberal. I (wrongly) assumed that because of his traditional stance vis a vis Orthodox Christianity and his prior military service that he wold be, if anything, a political conservative as well, since I have known very few religious conservatives (for lack of a better term), especially ones with military service, who were not also political conservatives or, more commonly, apolitical.

                  My point is that based on my experience, Vladyka practiced what he preaches, and did not have his personal political beliefs intrude into his ministry.

                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Edward it’s not about politics but the Church’s prophetic voice. If Bishop Tikhon is weary about that on this issue (ssm), but not Abortion then what gives?

                    Also many Orthodox bishops tote the line, but when times get tough, which they are now for Christians, will bishop’s continue to do so? Metropolitan Joseph gets it, does Bishop Tikhon?


                    • I doubt that Vladyka ever marched in a pro-life rally, either. He was simply asking why Antiochian bishops would be advocating marching about gay marriage but didn’t about the murder of the unborn. Which, if true, is a fair question, even if it is a fallacious argument in favor of remaining silent on the issue of ssm. If only the completely consistent are ever allowed to speak out, we would only have silence. And virtually every Democratic politician, including Obama and Clinton, should forever remain silent on the issue — which they clearly haven’t.

                      The most important prophetic witness that bishops can have is being clear in their teaching to their own flock, and I am simply saying that Vladyka was, as far as I ever saw. I am not saying that it must be limited to that. But having seen the highly politicized “prophetic witness” of liberal Protestant church leaders who are constantly down in the weeds of specific left-wing legislation, I see the value in bishops being circumspect about inserting themselves into specific political issues.

                      Such political street-fighting is the job of devout and politically astute laymen. The pro-life movement was driven to the heights of success by such lay leaders. The failing in the ssm debate, such as it was, is that there has been a dearth of lay leadership that was capable of making arguments that would be persuasive to those whose religious teaching now accepts ssm and persuasive to those with no religion whatsoever. The great success of the pro-life movement is that it doesn’t depend on religious arguments anymore and that large numbers of secular and nominally religious Americans now embrace the idea that things like abortion on demand and second and third trimester abortions are bad things.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Edward the flock do not need the prophetic voice, fallen man does. The flock simply need sound teaching in the Church. Crucial difference.

                      Also, the good Bishop is doing what he always does and that is dodge and deflect but never answering. We don’t let Fr. Arida get away with it why would I do so with him?

                      I appreciate and agree with the Bishop exercising his prophetic voice against Abortion and encouraging the OCA going to the March for life. All Orthodox jurisdictions have done so and participated. Even the GOAA has gone to the March for life.

                      All I am asking is if the Bishop has a voice to oppose abortion and endorse its march, why is it so difficult for him to do the exact same thing for the March for Marriage? Why on this issue he is holding his peace, and even saying it’d a waste of time when the tradition of the Church says otherwise?

                      That is a legitimate question as opposed to his frivolous abortion dodge.

                      As for abortion not dependent on religion, well our Church, the RCC, and the evangelicals would strongly disagrees as I do.

                      Enough for now. Off to Church.


                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      DO NOT NEED?!!!? Peter P. wrote: “Edward the flock do not need the prophetic voice, fallen man does. The flock simply need sound teaching in the Church. Crucial difference.” The flock is not fallen man? YOU are not part of fallen man, Peter? What kind of prayerbook do you have, Peter? What psalms do you sing or read that lead you to think you are outside “fallen man?”

                      Did the Holy Apostles also “NOT NEED CHRIST”S PROPHETIC VOICE?”

                      I think, Peter, you expressed blatant false and ANTI-EVANGELICAL teaching here. I hope you just don’t know better! Take it back. please!

                    • Peter, your and my convictions on abortion are of course deeply grounded in our Orthodox Christian faith. I can’t believe you would twist my words intentionally, so I must assume you misunderstood me.

                      I will try again: my point is that to win a debate that is society-wide, you either have to convert a majority of the population fully to your religious beliefs (which clearly isn’t happening by focusing on marriage controversies — certainly not at the speed required) — or you have to come up with non-religious arguments convincing enough to make the overall position a majority one. For something based in natural law, that shouldn’t be an impossible task. My point about the success of the pro-life movement is that it very much succeeded in the latter strategy, while the traditional marriage movement hasn’t, at least not yet.

                      I also agreed with you that the abortion argument (ie the purported silence of Antiochian bishops on that subject) is not at all convincing as a reason for silence on the marriage issue. I made that clear, so I am not sure why you are repeating that argument. There is nothing for you and me to argue about on that point.

                      You are wrong about the prophetic voice, though. The vast majority of all Biblical prophecy Is directed at the ostensibly faithful, not at the heathen. Even a cursory reading reveals this. One must preach to the choir repeatedly, as experience proves. That is a bishop’s primary job and like unto it is his duty to convert others to the faith. Decrying the sins of non-Christians in a way that doesn’t lend itself to converting them to the true faith is down the list a bit.

                      As to why Vladyka and others on this forum talk the way they do about this issue, they can speak for themselves — or not. I have my own theory to which I have alluded in other posts, and in most cases it doesn’t involve them not believing or supporting the Church’s teaching on marriage being exclusively between one man and one woman.

                • Nicholas Chiazza says

                  Well said, Vladyka, as always.

                • Luke Padgett says

                  WE, Timor, do NOT consult Genesis as a moral guide, GET IT?

                  What about the manifold instances of New Covenant holy writ, which refers us back to Genesis? What are we to make of them?

                  The Orthodox Church is NOT The Moody Bible Institute!

                  What does this mean, precisely, in context?

            • This comment will doubtless subject me to ridicule from some quarters, but I’m going to post it anyway in light of Bishop Tikhon’s ridicule. What follows should not be construed to imply that the Scriptures can or should be read in a ‘literal’ manner as, say, a Fundamentalist would read them. There is infinitely more to the Scriptures than a ‘face value’ literal, historical reading can offer.

              However, much of the ridicule that comes in form of questions such as, “Where did Cain get his wife?” is the result of a caricatured reading of the narrative, rather than a reading of what the narrative actually says. This is true even if it is taken merely at face value. Whether one chooses to believe what the narrative actually says, or whether it is necessary to believe the narrative as historical is another question altogether – a question with which this post is unconcerned. The only point to what follows is to show that some of the things we assume to be ridiculous are not quite so ridiculous if the text is simply taken as it reads rather than what we assume it says.

              If, again, the text is taken at face value, people lived a very long time in those days. It is common, for example, to assume that Cain and Abel were young men when their sacrifices were offered, but the text itself says nothing whatsoever about their age. Likewise, while the text mentions Cain, Abel, and Seth by name, it also clearly states that Adam lived 130 years before begetting Seth. It further states that Adam lived a total of 800 years and “had [other] sons and daughters.”

              Adam’s living 130 years before the birth of Seth or his total lifespan of 800 years may be interesting (or seemingly absurd), but it is generally glossed over with little comprehension of the implications it has for just how many offspring (as well their offspring, and their offspring, and their offspring…) could have been generated in such a lifespan. In order to understand what this may have meant it helps to give it a context. For example, at the time Jacob blessed Pharaoh upon his arrival in Egypt he was 130 years old, and his family consisted of 70 persons. When this same family left Egypt approximately 400 years later (compared to Adam’s 800 years), it consisted of “about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.” If one looks at one’s own family tree, they will find similar results – even in an age of birth control. My grandparents, for example, were married in the 1920’s. They didn’t start bearing children until the 1930’s, yet their direct descendents number over 160 persons, many of whom don’t even know each other – and this in less than 100 years.

              There is, of course, also the question of incest. Did Cain (or Seth or any of Adam’s other sons) marry his sister or perhaps his niece or his great niece? We are not told, but the text provides no reason whatsoever to assume he didn’t. Nor is there any reason to conclude that there were few, or no, women living at the time who were descendents of Adam. Nor does it give us reason to believe that such an arrangement would be in any way considered unusual or sinful at that time. Incest was not explicitly forbidden, even to the Israelites, until the time of Moses. No less a pillar of godliness and faith than Abraham married his sister Sarah, the daughter of his father, without any Scriptural apology or divine censure whatsoever.

              True, one can read this and still conclude that the whole story, as told, is ridiculous. After all, “it is impossible for anyone to live that long.” But if such a conclusion is drawn, it is not because the story itself makes no sense; it is because we have superimposed our own current experience of human lifespan upon it and concluded that it therefore cannot be true.

              • Two corrections to the above.

                First, my sincere apologies to Bishop Tikhon. I had not yet seen this, his clarification about incest.

                “Rather “natural marriage” from the beginning was incestuous and polygamous, according to the Scriptures.”

                Second, the text says Adam lived 800 years after fathering Seth at the age of 130 years for a total lifespan of 930 years. “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died.” Again, my apologies.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Edward I am not here to win a debate, but to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ unashamed.

                Yes my good bishop I am a fallen man INSIDE the Church. I heard and heeded the call of the Gospel. However Fallen man OUTSIDE the Church have not heard it unless the Church proclaims it.

                As for the prophetic voice was King Nebacanezzer a faithful Jew? Balshatzar? King Cyrus? How about the priest of Baal?

                So my prayer book is just fine. How is yours?

                Again answer the question: why do you not endorse the March for Marriage and think it a waste of time why so and NOT the March for life and your endorsement of the pro-life position of the Church? Simple question, why do you refuse to answer?


            • Nicholas Chiazza says

              Tell me Vladyka–is there a St. Hans in the Orthodox Church, or did I miss something?

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Another point about the “not Steve” zinger from 50 years ago—-We know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Adam’s sex life after Cain and Abel were born, just as we don’t know with whom Cain and Abel had sexual intercourse–with their mother, Eve, or some sisters not mentioned. Did Adam take up with some young “nephew” in old age? Did he desert his wife and sons after the first occasion of incest? We don’t know. No doubt the Jews picked up even more info in Babylon, and we can learn from their Talmud? Or…

            • While fully agreeing with Fr. Jacobse’s stance and concerns, I do have to admit that when I heard the “Adam and Steve” line, I was tempted to check my calendar to be sure I hadn’t time-warped back to the 1980s, and half expected to hear it punctuated with a Henny Youngman style drum roll — “pa-dum- TUM!” And doubted that my 20-something children would do anything but cringe were they to hear it.

            • Vladyka:

              Another point about the “not Steve” zinger from 50 years ago—-We know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Adam’s sex life after Cain and Abel were born, just as we don’t know with whom Cain and Abel had sexual intercourse–with their mother, Eve, or some sisters not mentioned.

              We DO know, however all about the RIGHTEOUS LOT and his randy daughters! All the LEVITICUS FREAKS who post here frequently never seem to mention the fact that dad- daughter INCEST was apparently NO PROBLEM. Even JOHN CALVIN had to admit father-daughter pairings were not forbidden in the scriptures.

              • Luke Padgett says

                An evil spin. It wasn’t “randiness” that was their motivation.

                It wasn’t a choice of evil. It was for a righteous purpose, provided and/or allowed by God (and revealed as such in the writings). Lot didn’t know it happened.

                ” Even JOHN CALVIN had to admit father-daughter pairings were not forbidden in the scriptures.”

                To say that it’s not forbidden to you is an argument from silence.

            • We know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Adam’s sex life after Cain and Abel were born…

              Not sure what kind of knowledge to which you refer, but the Scripture is not silent on the matter.

              “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.”

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Oh dear, Brian–that’s information about Adam’s SEX LIFE? Do you KNOW he didn’t adopt those? How do you KNOW? Of course I’m speaking as a son of Adam myself! 🙂

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      That’s what I call an old and solid friendship!!! For an objective evaluation, always check with family, I say!!

  8. Why so many dislikes here?

    • Salemlemko says

      A very good question! off to join the Antiochians!

    • Wolves among the flock.

    • Gregory Manning says

      It’s weird isn’t it? Sometimes I think you could simply say “Have a nice day.” or “Christ is risen!” and get at least 2 “dislikes”. Go figure.

  9. Salemlemko says

    Hey! Arida, no theologicallllllllll thoughts on the Antiochian Primates stand? No lib lab bull?

  10. Michael James Kinsey says

    Divine Justice Rules, always has.Divine Justice condemns homosexuality.Nothing, of real importance has changed in authentic Christianity. We will stand against homosexual marriage until the end of time. When we stand until the end of time, then we won’t need to. They will perish There is no pleasure in this, just relief, pun intended

  11. Hieromonk Joshua says

    Boy, oh boy. Everything His Grace, Bishop Tikhon writes on any forum or on any topic he utterly confounds me! I am confounded by what he says (for me, about 10+ years) which he is, of course, free to do. Because he is retired does not at all mean he has descended into obscurity. In a very real way, His Grace IS THE FACE OF THE ORTHODOX BISHOPS IN NORTH AMERICA!

    I am deeply impressed with Metropolitan Joseph! God prosper him! This man is a leader who cares! It makes me wonder why there is even an Assembly of Bishops? Why have an Assembly of Bishops when there can be NO UNIFIED VOICE or even a WITNESS TO ACTUAL APPLICATION OF HOLY ORTHODOXY IN REALITY? How is it that we speak one thing in cozy Orthodox gatherings but nullify what we just spoke as Holy Orthodox belief by never applying what we just preached into practice in the public square? How can our Fathers in Faith not be fully given over to the Holy Faith by wanting to be liked by people, gain rich patronage, hobnob like politicians at Episcopal gatherings, be evasive on the Truth of Christ’s Holy Church, be multimillionaires (not necessarily bad in and of itself) yet never see the poor, have pastoral neglect for their clergy some of whom are on food stamps or alcoholics or wife beaters or just plain brooding and loveliness or, God forbid, non-believers and practical Atheists. Why or how to have unity when some of our Bishops have no unity but hate other Bishops with abandon and venom or have “information” on this or that Bishop for extortion purposes?

    Our Bishops must be the first to repent so they can lead by example. Without leadership the people parish, without Shepherds the sheep become just like the pagan goats they graze with everyday. What witness do we see in our Bishops that is compelling as Saint John Maximovich’s witness was compelling? How many of our Bishops face abuse for doing good by telling the smug suburbanites in their parish communities who live as God does not exist? Scandals abound but repentance is far off. If anything is wrong in North America it is that our Bishops are not leading and if they were leading they would be icons of repentance for the flock and not models for high-end polyester vestments.

    • Nicholas Chiazza says

      Well I can see you’re confounded if you think goats are “pagan.” Frankly I thought they had more in common with the Orthodox because of their beards.

  12. Mike Myers says

    Fr. Whiteford slurred:

    The use of the word “Dominists” and connecting that term to the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the Traditional Values Coalition shows what a hard leftist pro-homosexual activist Mike is.


    [Emphasis added. Ed.]

    Father W. too might profit from Betty’s thoughtful suggestions, offered to her more candid spiritual brethren & sistren. Be sure to watch to the end or you’ll miss her sponsors. Recommended also for “Stephen,” “Edward,” Michael Bauman, George and many, many others here.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      You know the Betty references were something I had not understood until today. I don’t see “Betty” as helpful to any constructive dialogue. The sarcasm just goes too far for Christians when he hangs up on Jesus.

      And Betty is a guy, so…

  13. cynthia curran says

    Well, Genesis describes practices that were common in BCE between 1,800 to 2,000 B.CE like having a servant gave birth to your child when your wife couldn’t but by the mosaic law incest was forbidden. Yet Josh Duggar an evangelical christian confessed to incenstral acts with his sisters. He is except by the religious right while homosexuals are condemn is there a double standards here. I agree with Bishop Tikhon. I’m tired of the double standards its like in the Byzantine empire where one emperor married his niece.