Q & A

Does the Orthodox Church accept Gay and Transgender People?

The Church, and by this I mean also Christ, accepts all people because all people are His creation. All human beings were made in the image and likeness of God, as we read in the Book of Genesis in the story of Creation. But after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were cast out of his presence, sin, death and the brokenness of humanity occurred. When they were separated from God, humans became victims of illness, of emotional and psychological problems, and what we call the passions (anger, envy, lust, pride, greed, etc.). Since it was not what God originally designed or intended for men and women, homosexuality also came about as a consequence of our broken humanity.

God does not punish gay people for having homosexual desires. Instead, he sees them as helpless victims of these desires which came about as a result of our fallen human condition. God will always accept the gay person but he will not accept a homosexual lifestyle because it is not what He originally designed or intended for men and women. Christ loves and accepts gay people but he doesn’t accept homosexuality because it is not what he designed and created. Christ loves and accepts transgender people but he doesn’t accept transgenderism because it is not what he designed and created. God cannot accept the things that he did not create because all things that he did not create came from our broken and distorted human nature and it was this broken nature that He came to earth to heal and restore. So it is offensive to him when we cling to this broken nature because we want to satisfy our desires and passions instead of accepting the gift of the new, healed nature that we can obtain through Christ. The Church says the same thing.

All of us are slaves to some kind of passion. We are instead called to be slaves of Christ. All of us will either serve our passions and desires and try to satisfy them every chance we get or we will serve Christ and try to please him every chance we get. We will either live to satisfy our bodies or we will live to satisfy our souls. We have to make a choice. The body will grow old and die and be buried in the ground and dissolve into the elements. The soul will continue into the next world. Whatever the condition of our soul is when we die, so it will remain for eternity.

What we are called to do is to be martyrs. We are called to die, to shed blood and tears in our struggle against our passions. And when we strive to do this, as best as we can, Christ will give us a crown of martyrdom, just as if we were literally martyred for our faith as many Christians in the middle east are now experiencing. Do you understand what I mean? Christian life means struggle. It’s hard work. There is no other way. We have to die to our passions if we want to be truly free. We must not let our identity be confined to and defined by a label, be it our sexuality, our status, by our wealth, by our possessions, by our family name or ethnicity. These are all temporary, vain and human things. We are the sons and daughters of God! That is our identity and that is what we must claim for ourselves and live out.

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