Monday, August 08, 2005

Neither There Nor There

With all of June's hoo-ha about the United Church of Christ's support of same-sex marriage, smaller sects and less powerful positions can go unnoticed. One such was the decision of the 47th convocation of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

This modulated, moderate group of about 200 U.S. and Canadian congregations, rejected what it perceived as extreme positions by anyone. It specifically cited both left- and right-wing folk. It rejected:
  • support for same-sex marriage
  • support for abortion
  • support for ordination of women
  • support for the idea that war can be justifiable
  • labeling other faiths and leaders with hateful names
Their leader, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, announced that the groups was withdrawing from the National Council of Churches USA. This has been brewing for five years, since NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar removed his signature from a DoMA-style A Christian Declaration of Marriage, which was supported by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Former Democratic congressman Edgar then announced his support for same-sex unions. This was all too much, too fast for the orthodox group.

The recent convocation passed the following time-out resolution:WHEREAS, several extreme positions that are both divisive and dangerous have emerged from so-called"Left-wing" and "“Right-wing"” Christian groups;

AND WHEREAS, the tenets of these extreme positions include, but are not limited to, support for same-sex marriage, support for abortion, support for ordination of women to Holy Orders, support for the concept of war which is "“pre-emptive" or "“justifiable"”, and the labeling of other faiths and their leaders with hateful terminology;

AND WHEREAS, The Holy Orthodox Church believes and teaches the faith which was taught by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and upheld by His Apostles, and "“which was once for all delivered to the saints"” (Jude:3);

AND WHEREAS, The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America stands firm in her resolve to uphold this Holy Orthodox Faith in all of its purity;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this General Assembly of the 47th Convention of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America firmly rejects all extremist positions that are contrary to the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Faith;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Archdiocese will not be affiliated with those groups that support and promulgate these extreme positions, and that this Archdiocese will continue to witness to the Truth as received from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, His Holy Apostles, the Holy Fathers, and all of the saints and martyrs who have lived and died to uphold the Holy Orthodox Faith.

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