Over at “The Observer“, the popular American Orthodox Institute Blog, Fr. Johannes Jacobse has posted some insightful observations in regards to the “gay marriage” issue. He correctly emphasizes that: “Christianity properly understood makes no distinction between wisdom found outside of the Church from that found within it.”
From: Gay Marriage — and Marriage by Sam Shulman.
To me, what is at stake in this debate is not only the potential unhappiness of children, grave as that is; it is our ability to maintain the most basic components of our humanity. I believe, in fact, that we are at an “Antigone moment.” Some of our fellow citizens wish to impose a radically new understanding upon laws and institutions that are both very old and fundamental to our organization as individuals and as a society. As Antigone said to Creon, we are being asked to tamper with “unwritten and unfailing laws, not of now, nor of yesterday; they always live, and no one knows their origin in time.” I suspect, moreover, that everyone knows this is the case, and that, paradoxically, this very awareness of just how much is at stake is what may have induced, in defenders of those same “unwritten and unfailing laws,” a kind of paralysis.
By secular Shulman means non-religious, but Christianity properly understood makes no distinction between wisdom found outside of the Church from that found within it.
The Apostle Paul speaks of “the wisdom of the world” but there it means a kind of assumption of wisdom where in fact none exists. Reducing all wisdom to within the Church is merely the reverse of the secular paradigm, imposing a categorical distinction where in fact none really exists. From the secular side it is a blindness towards the sacred dimension of existence; from the Christian side it is the belief that sacredness outside the Church is not possible. The distinction (which even believers in the sacramental churches — Orthodox, Catholic, some Lutherans and Episcopalians, etc. — have assimilated) is bound to assumptions that just don’t work anymore.
It’s fitting then, that such wisdom, although not drawn from Christian texts, is thoroughly Christian in insight and character — how could it be any other way? That it is given to us in narrative is even more appropriate.