Adolf Harnack, in his book “The Mission and Expansion of Christianity: The First Three Centuries”, wrote, “Christianity never lost hold of its innate principle; it was, and it remained, a religion for the sick. Accordingly it assumed that no one, or at least hardly any one, was in normal health, but that men were always in a state of disability.”
Christ is the Great Physician, and established His Church that we might all be healed of the sickness that has separated us from the Father. Nothing in this world offers this promise of healing, and nothing in this world can open the gates to Paradise. Only through Christ’s Church can we hope to be saved, and only through His Church can heaven and earth be united as one.
In the Church we find combined in one, a spiritual hospital, a clinic, a hospice, a therapeutic center, and a fitness center, for treatment to provide the spiritual cure, maintain wellness for its patients (faithful members). Is it any wonder, then, that the Church should be the very center of each and every day, taking precedence over everything else, including work, leisure time, and entertainment?
(Abbot Tryphon) That seems a bit different than “rebels with whom God is so furious that they’ll roast forever,” a commoner version today.
We are probably not in immanent danger of orthodox Christians facing imprisonment in the U.S. for teaching a Christian view of human persons. That’s not my point in sharing this item from Switzerland. My point is to provide more evidence of which side is obsessive, extreme, and potentially totalitarian.
On Friday, July 31, 2015, the bishop spoke at a symposium in Fulda, Germany, entitled “Marriage: Gift, Sacrament and Commission.” In the context of explaining the background of the Christian moral teaching, he referenced two passages from Leviticus (Lev. 18:22, 20:13). He used them as examples of Scripture’s rejection of same-sex relationships and proof that same-sex marriages were an attack on creation.
“There is no plurality of models for marriage and family,” he told the conference. “To even speak of such is already an attack on the Creator, as well as on the Savior and Sanctifier, that is, on the trinitarian God.”
In the presentation the bishop had also explained that “pastoral care must orient itself according to the divine order. Its mission, undertaken in awareness of the salvation of souls, that is, in pastoral love … is to free mankind from the condition of a fallen nature and raise it to life as children of light.”
Showing pastoral care for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, he said, “The Faith is to everyone, even to those with homophile tendencies, a source of comfort and can lead to a redirection of such an orientation, to a governing of sexual urges, and to an ordering of one’s own life according to the divine command.”
Because the second half of the second passage instructed Israel to put to death people who have sexual relations with someone of their own sex, Pink Cross claimed that Bishop Huonder was sowing hatred and inciting violence against homosexual people. He violated both German and Swiss law, they declared, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.
It should have been obvious to anyone why he quoted those two passages and that he did not endorse the execution of homosexual people. That didn’t matter to Pink Cross, who saw a chance to attack a major Christian figure for his defense of marriage.
Re-read that last sentence. Is that not true? Wasn’t this a “gotcha!” exercise, whereby the Bishop was punished, if only by the criminal process itself, for a willfully dishonest twisting of his teaching (“he said the words should be applied to real life, which is the equivalent of calling for the death penalty for gay people”)?
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“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)