by Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Don’t dialogue with sin. Don’t engage sin. Don’t self-identify with sin. Don’t take pride in sin. Don’t define sin as essential to human identity. Don’t celebrate sin. Turn away from sin. Flee from sin. Repent of sin. Struggle and fight against sin. Help others turn away from sin. Help them to fight against sin. Teach others to avoid sin and reject sin.
“The demons want us to enter into dialogue with them. We must do everything we can to avoid this. The only way to do this is to totally ignore all their suggestions, to not pay them any attention,” wrote Elder Sergei of Vanves.
These are basic and universal Christian principles and moral precepts that keep us on the narrow road that leads to salvation and eternal life. They help us clear the weeds of destructive passions from the soil of our souls, and prep it for the Word of God to be implanted, take root, and bear much good fruit. They help us fight the good fight. They help us live in truth. They help us seek and worship the True God, not the idol many of us craft from our own distorted thinking and call it “god.”
As Fr. Thomas Hopko warned, according to the Bible teaching and Orthodox understanding, “humanity’s basic sin is not atheism. It is idolatry. In this perspective, all people have their god. It is either a god (or gods) that they have made or others have inflicted upon them which they command and control; or it is the God who made them, whom they are commanded to worship and obey for their own good. In this view, there are no atheists, but only idolaters.”
These imperatives enable us to strive for holiness and allow the Holy Spirit to abide in us and transform us into the new men Christ desires for us to become. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Unfortunately, in recent years, many online sites and academic groups and publications that call themselves “Orthodox” have sprung up and claim to want to promote “dialogue.” Most of the “dialogue” these venues support questions, challenges, mocks, deconstructs, contradicts, and distorts Church teaching, practices, and theology, especially with regards to the moral teaching, the priesthood, the sacraments, and the definition of marriage. All of them have advocated a non-Orthodox understanding of homosexual sin and publish the work of pro-LGBT priests and deacons, and openly homosexual academics and writers.
Very often what passes for “dialogue” in the work of these pseudo-Orthodox organizations mangles the truth and replaces Godly wisdom with human foolishness. Those advocating this “dialogue” don’t want to be changed by the Word of God and illumined by the wisdom of Jesus Christ written in the Scriptures. They instead seek to distort and change the plain and direct teaching of the Gospels, the New Testament, and the Holy Orthodox Church. Instead of being judged and corrected by the Word, they judge the Word and contradict the teaching of the Apostles, the Fathers, and the Saints of the Church.
The battle against sin is not optional. It’s a requirement for all men. The Holy Scriptures attest to this ongoing warfare beginning with the Old Testament and continuing with the New. God calls us to avoid sin, repent, and seek purity of heart and body. Christ himself commanded us to be perfect. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Dialoguing with sin, engaging in sin, or self-identifying with sin all categorically contradict that commandment and teaching.
Therefore, if you are a Christian, especially an Orthodox Christian, you can never identify yourself as “homosexual, gay, transsexual, queer, bisexual” or self-identify with any other sin and sexual distortion included in the LGBTQIA ever-expanding list. If you are an Orthodox Christian you cannot celebrate “Gay Pride” or support “LGBT Pride” or cheer “Happy Pride.” If you are an Orthodox Christian you cannot be a “trans advocate” or “trans ally” or “LGBT advocate.”
Such acknowledgements are blasphemous. This is from the devil. This makes a mockery of the Orthodox Christian teaching on sin and holiness as it relates to human nature and God’s relationship with man. It advertises a worldly, corrupt, and false perception of the human condition.
Such proclamations present sin and the passions as essential to human existence. They permanently unite sin to human nature. They define humanity by sin, in direct contradiction to the Scriptures, God’s commandments, the teaching of Christ and the Holy Fathers, and the theology and dogmas of the Holy Orthodox Church, all of which testify that sin entered creation due to man’s disobedience and rebellion against God. The Lord has said that sin is alien to human existence, a deadly threat that separates man from God. If anyone teaches differently, they are worshiping an idol and not the real God.
Sin is nothing to be proud about, self-identify with, and dialogue with!
Sin does not characterize men. Passions do not define human beings. Christians cannot self-identify with any sin or any passion. Orthodox Christians who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Son and Word of the living God, True God of True God, the Redeemer and Saviour of all mankind, must reject and abandon the “gay” or “homosexual” or “queer” or any other LGBT label. “You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
– Fr. Ioannes Apiarius