The following is from an interview by Spiegel with Metropolitan Kyrill (a metropolitan is type of high ranking bishop) who is also the foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church:
SPIEGEL: … but not everyone says: Thou shall not be gay. Why should people have to conceal their homosexuality?
Kyrill: The Bible calls it a sin. But we do not condemn these people. The church is opposed to these people being persecuted or offended. But why should sin be propagated? The gay parade is a blatant display of sodomy. In that case, we might as well promote other sins, as has long been the case on television. This degenerates public morality. It is the church’s job to call a sin a sin. Otherwise it no longer serves a purpose. Unfortunately, the tendency in today’s world is to champion the freedom of choice, while freedom from evil is virtually forgotten.
SPIEGEL: It’s human for a person to be homosexual. How can something that is human be a sin?
Kyrill: And what, in your opinion, is adultery — something good or something bad?
SPIEGEL: This decision lies within the conscience of every individual.
Kyrill: We aren’t talking about just any decision. We are talking about morals. They want us to believe that morality is relative. But that’s completely untrue. The communists said that good is what is good for the working class. That was relative morality — and 60 million people were exterminated. Hitler claimed that what is good is what is good for greater Germany. That too cost millions of lives. Morality is either absolute or it doesn’t exist at all. If you can justify homosexuality, why not pedophilia?
SPIEGEL: But that’s an enormous difference! Sexuality relates to adults who can decide for themselves. Pedophilia involves children being abused and has nothing to do with human freedom.
Kyrill: In a few years, they’ll tell you that 12-year-old girls used to be children, but that they are now much further developed. Twenty years ago, no one would have dreamed that Germany would pass a law one day that recognizes homosexual marriages. But now that too has been accepted. We are talking about preserving the principle. There is something we call a general moral nature.
SPIEGEL: And it depends on time and region. There are ethnic groups that allow polygamy, for instance.
Kyrill: Dostoyevsky wrote that God and the devil are fighting for control in the heart of man. Nowadays many pursue the logic that everything they want ought to be good and justified. We are too quick to treat emotions that ultimately harm us as natural needs. When moral foundations are shaken, we unleash our instincts. But released instincts belong in the animal world. What I am saying is something that the liberal SPIEGEL will never print: You undoubtedly think that this Metropolitan Kyrill is out of his mind and that what he is saying is complete nonsense.
SPIEGEL: We like to argue. But you can’t possibly characterize homosexuality as an animal instinct?
Kyrill: Instinct is not a term with negative connotations. Take hunger, thirst, the sex drive, for example. If God had not given us these instincts, man would not exist. The difference between men and animals is that men can control their drives.
(The Bible Calls it a Sin’. Spiegel. Interview was conducted by Martin Doerry, Christian Neef and Matthias Schepp in Moscow. January 10, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,527618,00.html)
Roderick C. Meredith, presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God wrote:
Are Homosexuals Really “Born That Way”?
Researchers’ public statements to the press are often grand and far-reaching. But when answering the scientific community, they speak much more cautiously. ‘Gay gene’ researcher Dean Hamer was asked by Scientific American if homosexuality was rooted solely in biology. He replied: ‘Absolutely not. From twin studies, we already know that half or more of the variability in sexual orientation is not inherited. Our studies try to pinpoint the genetic factors… not negate the psychosocial factors’” (“Is There a ‘Gay Gene’?”, National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, September 2004)…
Is Homosexual Behavior SIN?
But is homosexual behavior an absolute sin against God and the way He created us? Of course it is! We just read that practicing homosexuals “will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” And in very plain language God describes the famous philosophers of Greece and Rome: “Professing to be wise, they became fools.… For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:22, 26–28)…
Here, it is important to point out, that Christians—having the potential of the Holy Spirit and God’s help—are not to execute judgment upon homosexuals or anyone else!…Rather, when we encounter individuals involved in sinful behaviors such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse or homosexuality, we should try to help them. We should pray for them, and we should reach out to them if they are interested in changing. And we should try to develop the understanding and the wisdom to help guide them out of the horrible problems in which they find themselves involved. Just as there are groups of sincere people who help alcoholics and drug abusers overcome their problems, there are therapists and support groups that devote themselves to helping homosexuals “come out” of that wretched lifestyle. We should encourage anyone who wants to “come out” of homosexuality to do so…
As for me, personally, I would say to all of you who have been involved in homosexuality: “God really does love you!” God is the Creator of every one of us. All human beings are made in His image. All are made with the potential to be full sons of God…
Certainly, part of “coming out” of homosexuality involves completely turning away from this entire practice and from being involved with those people who may “drag” you right back into it! Scripture tells us, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18–20).
Remember, you do not overcome smoking by “hanging around” others who smoke, by keeping cigarettes “handy” in case you wish to take a puff. You should not be making it “easy” to slip right back into your old habit. The same principle applies to homosexuality. (Meredith RC. The Plain Truth About Homosexuality! Tomorrows’ World, Magazine of the Living Church of God. Jan-Feb 2008).
The Bible states that “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4), that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and that we are not to ”sin willfully” (Hebrews 10:26).
The Bible also teaches that salvation will be offered to all.
The Bible is quite clear that homosexuals can be saved in this age (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and those not called now will have a future opportunity for salvation (Matthew 11:24, see also Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).
Several articles of possibly related interest may include:
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Hope of Salvation: How the COGs differ from most Protestants How the COGs differ from mainstream Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a COG background.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Is there eternal torment?