Can a 'Homosexual' or 'Trans' Be an Orthodox Christian? (VIDEO, Transcript)

Originally appeared at: Nicodemos Hagiorite



Introductory question: Can a person who defines their identity by the "alternative lifestyle" they have chosen be an Orthodox Christian? Are we by nature what we choose to do? Can we ever have "homosexuals" or "trans" Saints who became holy through struggling against their sins of the flesh?

Answer: No. A person cannot be a "homosexuals" or "trans" Orthodox Christian or Saint for such term are expressive of their choices and not their nature. Thus, when such people come in repentance to the Church and cease practicing such evils - they cease to be "homosexuals" or "trans" (even if the warfare against such demons persists for a time). The unnatural desires such people overcome are not rooted in their God-given nature and, as such, cannot be used to identify them.

We can have Orthodox Christians and Saints who had previously committed such sins of the flesh; but no Orthodox Christian or Saint can ever be identified by the perversions they had at one time chosen to embrace. Moreover, a person who has never engaged in the sins of "alternative lifestyles" can never be identified as "homosexuals" or "trans" in any sense. They are simply people facing temptations. If a Orthodox Christian should ever fall into such sins: they are then Orthodox Christians who have fallen and stand in need of repentance - bu they do not become their sins.

The following testimony of our Saints should make all of this abundantly manifest:

"[...] neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor masturbators, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor coveters, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor raveners shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you [...]" 

- 1 Corinthians 6:10-11

"For the desire is not natural; and this is manifest in them that are free from it. For natural things are common to all."

- St. John Chrysostom

"He who maintains that the cause of evil passions is nature and not something that has come to human nature - he has changed God's truth into his own lie."

- St. Macarius the Great

"Evil is not a living animated essence; it is the condition of the soul opposed to virtue, developed in the careless on the account of their falling away from good. Do not then go beyond yourself to seek for evil, and imagine that there is an original nature of wickedness. Each of us, let us acknowledge it, is the first author of his own vice [...] Do not look for the guiding cause beyond yourself, but recognize that evil, rightly so called, has no other origin than our voluntary falls. If it were involuntary, and did not depend upon ourselves, the laws would not have so much terror for the guilty, and the tribunals would not be so without pity when they condemn."

- St. Basil the Great

"For it is not according to your nativity (birth) that you sin, nor is it by the power of chance that you commit fornication [...] There is not a class of souls sinning by nature, and a class of souls practising righteousness by nature: but both act from choice, the substance of their souls being of one kind only, and alike in all [...]"

- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

"[...] the connection fo these names with substance is owing to its accidents. For murder is not a substance, nor is any other evil; but the substance receives a cognate name from putting it into practice. For a man is not (spoken of as) murder, but by committing it he receives the derived name of murderer, without being himself murder; and, to speak concisely, no other evil is a substance; but by practicing any evil, it can be called evil. Similarly consider, if you imagine anything else to be the cause of evil to men, that it too is evil by reason of its acting by them, and suggesting the committal of evil. For a man is evil in consequence of his actions. For he is said to be evil, because he is the doer of evil.

Now what a man does, is not the man himself, but his activity, and it is from his actions that he receives the title of evil. For if we were to say that he is that which he does, and he commits murders, adulteries, and such-like, he will be all these.

Now if he is these, then when they are produced, he has an existence, but when they are not, he too ceases to be. Now these things are produced by men. Men then will be the authors of them, and the causes of their existing or not existing."

- St. Methodius of Olympus

"[...] the body has neither liberty or will, and, if I must say so, not even movement, unless one were to call its mutability and its tendency to move towards corruption a natural movement of its substance, which would be an irrational one. But if it is irrational, it is clear that it is also non-sinful and without condemnation before God. Rightly so, for that which follows its nature does not fall under condemnation.

But fiery lust and the desire for marriage, sexual union, voluptuousness, gluttony, greed in eating, excessive sleep, idleness, pretentiousness in dress, and all the other things that, as most people think, the body seeks for - it is not the body as such, since it does not seek them when it is dead, but the soul that through the body seeks pleasure by their means [...] Let nobody therefore think that he is being driven to these things and compelled by his own body!"

- St. Symeon the New Theologian (speaking concerning the body)

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