I received an interesting note today, in response to the assertion that Orthodox Christianity must assert her traditional understanding of sexuality and family or she will effectively cease to exist:
Really? In your mind this is the big issue the church today faces? Not corruption, greed, lack of empathy, hypocrisy, bigotry? Not exploding numbers of poor and sick and homeless?
Maybe that says all that needs said about what the real problem facing the church is.
Which of these things is a new and divisive change in what Christians mean by purity, family, integrity, and suffering?
Hypocrisy, greed, and failure to live out the ascesis of mercy are not new. Regrettably, they have been with the Church all along, and in fact they testify to the goodness of God simply by demonstrating the distance between what we are called to be and what we as individuals actually do. But what is new is the attempt to impose one particular culture’s sexual libertine ethic on Christianity, with a totalitarian demand that ethics, discipline, dogma, and tradition must all be rewritten, or jettisoned altogether.
A response that refuses to discard a 2000-year tradition in service of a modern cultural idol is not a narrow-minded obsession. It’s simply a refusal to convert to the new, untested religion demanded by the strident voices of progress.