Former Archdiocesan Cathedral Musical Director: Why I’m Leaving the Greek Orthodox Church


Church has always been an important part of my life, and it will continue to be the central expression of my faith in God, and the core of my spiritual life. Attending Liturgy was always the pinnacle of my week, and I have virtually every word of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom committed to memory as a result of years as a church musician. My experience of church is beginning to take a different shape, however, after several years of difficult and painful discernment. I am now leaving the Greek Orthodox Church, and continuing to live out my Christianity as an Anglican, in the Episcopal Church in the United States.

I grew up in a loving parish in North Carolina, where I assumed duties as church organist at the age of 13. I had taken piano lessons and played by ear, so I eagerly jumped into the complex world of Greek Orthodox choirs, replete with arguments over composers that were too “modern”, the appropriateness of choral music versus Byzantine chant, the use of the organ, and more. I attended regional choir conferences, collected scores, and purchased almost every CD of Greek Orthodox music on the market.

By the time I finished high school, I received an Archangel Michael medal from the Metropolis of Atlanta, and went off to pursue studies in voice and choral conducting at NYU. After college, I began a career as a concert tenor and voice teacher. After just a year in the business, I decided in 2009 that I would return to school to pursue a graduate degree in post-secondary vocal music education at Columbia University-Teachers College.

I finished in 2010, and enjoyed a busy schedule of performances and teaching in New York City. In April of 2011, I was approached about stepping in to direct the choir at the Archdiocesan Cathedral during Holy Week, immediately following the untimely death of my former conducting professor and mentor, Dr. Dino Anagnost. In September of that year, I began what would ultimately be a 3-year tenure at the Archdiocesan Cathedral as its Director of Music. There, I worked with the wonderful Cathedral Choir to present choral music at the weekly liturgies, as well as a season of concerts and recitals. Archbishop Demetrios was always supportive of my work, as were the priests with whom I worked. I maintained an active presence in the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and Choir Federation in the Direct Archdiocesan District, offering workshops and church music intensives. I still maintain strong bonds with so many wonderful people and musicians from those organizations.

Orchestra shot


I left my position at the Cathedral in October of 2014, after deciding that I no longer wanted to fight the impending financial and leadership battles, and realizing that I could no longer afford to live in New York City on the reduced salary I was given as a result of across-the-board pay cuts. During the length of my tenure, I experienced the same, persistent feeling of underlying panic in church that had begun when I was a teenager and had come out of the closet. When a gay person attends an Orthodox parish, the internal dialogue sounds something like this: Is the priest a bigot? Will I be denied communion? What if my partner wants to attend church with me? Am I dressed too “gay”? Can I one day have kids and still be accepted in this place? Will they deny me a funeral if I die and am married to a man? Maybe they’ll like me if I give enough money? Can I be a koumbaro at a wedding? Am I going to hell?

None of these questions are appropriate for anyone who wishes to walk a healthy spiritual path in a loving community of believers.

When I accepted the position at the Cathedral, I knew that I would have to exist in a new sort of limbo by putting one foot back in the closet, in spite of my openly acknowledged long-term relationship. In private, I was always honest with anyone who asked, and I encountered many priests who were [albeit privately]accepting of me, and of gay and lesbian Orthodox Christians in general. Publicly, however, the policy was always “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Much to my chagrin, that same policy seemed to extend to the private lives of several hierarchs, who continue to be virulently anti-gay in sermons and statements, in spite of their own orientation. Several progressive priests encouraged me to stay on board and fight from within, and I have attempted to do exactly that for the past 29 years.

Now, however, I have grown weary and discouraged, as I continue to hear more and more stories of rejection and malice across our Archdiocese. Just recently, I was unofficially excommunicated by a priest of the Archdiocese to whom I had provided several years of free voice lessons. I cannot, in good conscience, sit back and watch this tragedy of bigotry unfold further, as LGBT teens take their own lives due to religious oppression and rejection. Our hierarchs are silent on this matter, and on so many other issues as well. Beyond LGBT issues in our Archdiocese, I have seen monastic fanaticism develop in America in ways that I never imagined, breaking families and parishes apart over disagreements about things as trivial as clothing or facial hair. When will it stop? Church must be a safe place for all people, without exceptions.



I will always cherish the liturgical practices of Orthodoxy, as well as the values of Hellenism. I consider myself lucky to have been formed in such an ancient and beautiful tradition, and I will continue to hope and pray that the Greek Orthodox Church may throw its doors open wide, beyond the prejudices of its past, and into the light of God. In the petitions after the Great Entrance in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the priest or deacon intones, “For all that is good and beneficial to our souls, and for peace in the world, let us ask the Lord.” Today, as always, I am responding, “Grant this, O Lord” with a loud voice, and I am taking those words to heart as I continue my journey in a new church home.



  1. I feel for you, my friend. I, too, a Greek Orthodox who is excommunicated in the eyes of our church because I married a Jewish man. I cannot participate in the sacraments. I do not get a proper funeral. The only upside is that they have accepted my children may have allowed them to be baptized. The priest explained it in such a way that it is not my children’s fault that i chose to marry someone outside of my faith. I have been married for 25 years. I feel that our church is unfair, but I still attend.

    • Tina – are you serious?? That is nuts. I attended an OCA parish in Atlanta GA – there is a woman from Georgia (the country) who is married to a Jewish man from Israel. The priests know who she is married to, he comes for Pascha feast! She regularly communes – weekly! Perhaps you can try another parish or tradition!

  2. I would be very interested how you deal with the doctrinal differences. Is the Anglican Church, as an offshoot of the Roman Catholic, also followers of the filioque? Does doctrine matter as much as acceptance?

    Also curious if you looked at any other flavors of Orthodoxy, as a non-Greek I find the Greek parish here in SLC to be an ethnic as much as a religious creature, would you find a better home in a different Orthodox Church?

    Don’t know if you can reply but I would be very interested in these things, as well as knowing whether the GO church let you take Communion while in a relationship?

  3. Linda Browne on

    Gus, it hurts and angers me that the Greek Orthodox Church, like so many churches, has rejected its brothers and sisters in Christ. They miss the God-given gifts you have to offer and have left so many feeling rejected and humiliated. THe loss of life due to the church’s ignorance is tragic. I thank God that the church doesn’t solely speak for God! The Holy Spirit gives witness to our spirits of God’s glorious and inclusive goodness! I am sad that all of your lifelong love of your Greek Orthodox church cannot be fulfilled.
    I feel like you will find a home in the Episcopal Church, though I know you have to sacrifice your traditions. Your voice needs to be heard and heeded! I am thankful that you have been formed by the tradition and liturgy – but retained your individual conscience and relationship with God – and that “church will continue to be the central expression of (your) faith in God, and the core of (your) spiritual life. ”
    May you continue to discern your particular calling from God. Let there be MORE light like you are bringing!

  4. You have all missed the point.

    The Church accepts everyone as God loves us all. However, if you want to be in FULL communion with the church you must cease your sinful ways – whatever they may be.

    We are all called to bear our cross. You can be gay or whatever, without actually engaging in immoral acts. Just as you can be heterosexual and not engage in immoral (heterosexual) acts.

    It sounds to me you are trying to justify leaving the Orthodox Church for what amounts to you choosing to live your choses lifestyle over what God commands / demands of us. Remember Christ’s teaching – “I am the same yesterday and today and forever…” God’s view of was constitutes a moral life has not changed and the Episcopalians saying otherwise just shows how out of touch they truly are with Christ’s TRUE Church (the Orthodox Church).

    Good luck to you – but you are deluding yourself that you will find salvation in your new chosen “church”. You will only find salvation by fighting against sin – not embracing it!

    • Michael Koullias on

      It sounds to me you are trying to justify your fears and hates by invoking dogma. How judgmental of you. You (yes, you) know what “sin” is? You know what god considers “immoral”? You do? Jesus told you? Where? Because I would think that breaking the golden rule, and blasphemy (claiming to know what god thinks), and hypocrisy (you do touch your wife during her menstruating period, don’t you? That is, without expecting others to stone you to death?) would be much, much bigger “sins” than sexual acts you don’t partake…maybe – you complaineth too much, darling.

      And just in case you start claiming the church hierarchy “knows” what god wants, I don’t exactly see them “command/demand” stoning parishioners who eat shellfish.

      No one is hurting you. No one is hurting your church. No one is hurting your god. And yet, when an other human comes fourth with their pain, you judge them as…less. So yes, you are right, you can be “whatever”, just don’t hurt others. Because then I have to wonder if the god whose mind you speak, is not himself the ultimate bigot.

      • You do realize you are citing parts of the Old Covenant Jewish law that have not been incumbent upon Christians since the Apostolic Council recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. Strictures against sexual immorality, however, including arsenokoitai, are reiterated by the Holy Apostles and remain part of the Church’s teaching, both East and West.

        Of course, as I am fond of observing, I strongly suspect many more of us will end up on the left-hand at the Last Judgement through unrepented indulgence in my own besetting sins of pride, self-esteem and wrath, than through the more exotic forms of lust.

      • Sounds like you’re trying to cover up the sin with a bunch of accusations. It sounds like your heart is hard and you cannot accept that sin is sin, regardless of what this degenerate society says about it. You accept the excuses, the false narratives engineered by homosexualists to create a sense of justification for their actions.

        Homosexuality, just like heterosexual fornication and adultery is a sin. This is the teaching of the Church, the ultimate authority. Pop culture is not an authority, only a servant of the great deceiver.

        Why is it that when someone articulates what God revealed to man (that man + wife = marriage) they are labeled a “hater?” It’s because homosexualists know that they don’t have the moral high ground, and quite frankly, they don’t care. They choose to rebel against God, they make the choice to imagine a new anthropology, they ignore the teaching of the Church and embrace whatever supports their sexual urges instead of acting principled.

      • Christina McGrath on

        I agree with every word you have written about this man and this article. I think this article was self serving . And you are trying to change God’s laws to fit you .wrong . You cannot . Your Gay…. go on your way . Our church is two thousand years old. Not a church of this world . A church that is not hurting you . But you are a selfish man you want to change the scriptures and speak against our church . I am sorry some of us have had enough . We have had Transsexual people gay people pushed in our faces . You are not going to cross this line . This is not a style or trend . This is our Lord’s house and your sexual preferences ARE not going to bully this church .

    • I could not agree more. As Christians we need to love one another and maintain dialogue with all people who have questions about Christ’ s teachings. However, boundaries are necessary because we ought hate sin in our lives as well as in others. Compromise will bring disaster to the true church of Christ whatever the name of the denomination is.

    • You, Angelo, have sadly missed the point–of the gospel of Jesus, full of mercy, compassion, empathy, and loving kindness. Since you have nothing to say that helps, might not God be inviting you to just be quiet here?

    • Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is like the first to love your neighbor as you love yourself. It is everywhere this hypocrisy and it is eating the church alive even the Orthodoxy who claim to have learned directly from the Apostles and claim to pass down what they taught. I don’t see it though. I don’t see the gifts of the Holy Spirit anywhere in your actions or in the rest of the church who are quick to call something sinful. They don’t know what sin is because they have no conscience. Morality changes, it is different in many cultures, but conscience is eternal and a gift of the Holy Spirit. A gift of the direct experience of God. God’s love or theosis. Love that sees everyone equally and has taken the scales from its eyes.

      Sin is missing the mark, that’s the original meaning of the greek word in the Bible. Repent means to turn around, go the other way. The church must do this.

  5. Gus, I would say to you that God knows you no matter what church you find yourself in. So too does he know who the hateful and contradictory are (with or without rasa). No one can hide from Him. You do you.

  6. I am deeply saddened by your story as well. The hypocrisy and mean-spiritedness has affected the Greek Orthodox of America like a bad case of influenza. My family and I have been witnesses and we have also been recipients of this very bad, exclusive, unorthodox behavior.

    The true mission of Christianity is to “not” preach Christ, but to become Christ like – as well as love your neighbor as yourself.

    We will pray for you brother, and I ask that you keep me us your prayers as well.

    A priest once told me that the Holy Spirit can never be fooled. God has already examined are hearts and minds.

    God bless

  7. Love cannot be expressed with truth, for both love and truth are united in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are so many today who have accepted a view of “love” that is a terrible distortion of the authentic reality. “Love” does not mean letting sin corrupt a person’s life and never responding. Remember that Christ loved ALL – including the Pharisees and Sadducees who He called “liars,” “hypocrites,” “sons of Hell,” and “devils”!

    This doesn’t mean that we can throw such things around ourselves as we wish; it DOES mean that true and authentic love seeks to lead a person into Truth. Christ sat not just with sinners but REPENTANT sinners. The Church, which is the “pillar and ground of the truth,” which is guided into ALL truth by the Holy Spirit, and which is the Body of Christ – meaning that the Church’s official stances on issues is CHRIST’S and thus GOD’S official stance on those issues – this SAME CHURCH has stated that homosexual sex is a passion and leads to the corruption of one’s heart and soul. Love demands that the Priests of the Orthodox Church do not give Holy Communion to an unrepentant sinner – homosexual or heterosexual – in order to protect the Chalice and to protect the one seeking Communion. Communion without proper preparation is Communion unto damnation, not to salvation.

    Any accusation that the Church is “unloving” because of its stance is to say that Christ is “unloving” because He seeks our salvation and HE knows best what leads us to and away from it. In rejecting the Church over this issue, we place ourselves ABOVE the Church and thus ABOVE God Himself. We break the First Commandment, making ourselves a god above God.

    To Gus, I say this: Christ loves you and loved you first. He loved you before you existed. Don’t forget your First Love. We love Him in response by following His Commandments. These Commandments may not be comfortable for the time being, but they are not hateful or bigoted; they seek your eternal salvation. We have a choice: we can choose our passions which will remain unfilled in the next life where we will not inherit the Kingdom, according the the Scriptures, or we can choose Christ OVER our passions and never be filled enough by Him. I pray you reconsider this.

    • Gus Chrysson on

      Father, I will pray for you, and I love you, in spite of your misguided theology. You, Father, do not need to “protect the Chalice” from anybody; Christ, who is present therein, is more powerful than any protection you (or any other priest or bishop) may offer. Christ protects and strengthens me through the Eucharist, and you do not possess the authority to determine the “final outcome” of my soul. The icon of Christ within me shines just as brightly as the one within you, and I have already claimed my seat at the table. I wish you every success and every blessing.

      • Gus, your kind and beautiful response to this (not to mention your vulnerable, courageous article) made me tear up with joy. You are on the path of love and the path of God. I hope everyone ends up there one day. Meanwhile, blessings to you and welcome to your new home.

    • Gregory Manning on

      As a long time repentant gay man and Orthodox Christian I concur with Fr. Paul. But I walked away from it years ago because I realized something that is actually completely overlooked by everyone: Homosexuality is a sin, a missing of the mark, because it doesn’t work. It has nothing to do with society’s attitudes. The entire world could stand up and cheer the lifestyle and, in the end, it wouldn’t change anything.
      What separates us humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is our profoundly compelling need for affection, and not just any affection but intimate affection. We need to give and receive, to share, intimate affection with one other human being. But there’s something else: completion. This is very important and too often overlooked. I’ve been following all the arguments about SSM for years and not even my own Church, the Orthodox Church, has seen the significance of the role of completion in the intimate loving relationship which culminates in marriage. What they fail to point out is that marriage between a man and a woman is about the synthesis, the integration of the best of both worlds; the man brings to the marriage qualities singular to men and, likewise, the woman brings to the marriage qualities singular to women. It is in the synthesis of these two complimentary opposites that an entity which can be called “fully human” has the best chances of coming to life. This is the significance of the biblical line about two becoming one. But this sublime goal cannot be attained if you exclude one of those “worlds”. Women complete men just as Christ the Bridegroom completes the Church, His bride. (As an aside, the Theotokos is essential, ESSENTIAL in the lives of all men.} Sure, straight couples too often make a dog’s breakfast out this process but still, if you exclude one or the other from the process, authentic completion is impossible. Will you find someone very, very special whom you can love and will love you in return to spend the rest of your life with? That’s certainly possible. I still know such couples. Are they equivalent to heterosexual loving relationships? No. By excluding a member of the other gender from the equation, they put a stop to that possibility. Will they attempt to have laws passed which demand that both “marriages” be treated as completely equal? Of course. Will that change the reality? No.
      I know how desperately you desire the loving affection of another human being; that’s only natural. I really do hope you find someone to love and care for and who will do the same for you. No one should have to live alone and, more importantly, no one should have to die alone! But for those of us who ended up with this cross to carry (and I’m not just talking about the giving up the sex part but, more importantly, the cross of loneliness) have also been given a unique opportunity to begin the work of coming to see what Christ can do for us in our lives. And no one, NO ONE can better show you the way than the Orthodox Church!
      God bless you my friend.

  8. I am appalled at the rejection of the teachings of the Church. Canonically, no one who is in a sexual relationship outside of marriage is permitted Holy Communion. Clergy and Hierarchs who permit uncanonical relationships will be judged by God – as will we all. While I cannot condemn these people, I don’t wish to expose myself or my family to these sinners – who are knowingly and defiantly continuing in their sins. Once I was in Public Health and treated all the diseases and conditions that sexually active male homosexuals developed. I was not permitted to speak of Christ and His Love. He forgave sinners – and told them to “Go, and sin no more.”

    Once, my oldest son, as a 12 year old, was in the clinic with me because of needing to go somewhere right after I got off work. One of my patients tried to seduce him right there in the hall outside my examining room! I left with him as soon as he told me (just a few minutes later). This kind of indecent behavior was common in the clinic: get treated for herpes, leave with another man. According to people I know who still work there, it is still common – and even more overt.

    There is nothing I can do about them, I prefer to avoid them. I’m seriously discouraged over all this. I’m not seeing people struggling with renouncing their sin and working on their salvation. I’m seeing people accusing the Church of “not being fair.” Well, LIFE isn’t fair! Apostasizing isn’t going to promote your salvation or your forgiveness.

  9. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

    This homily directly addresses this man’s letter.

    SYNOPSIS:God is unknowable and yet we can know him. How? The Lord explains: ” neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” In the context of this amazing promise. He then tells us to “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” CONTEXT is very important in the Scriptures! Here is the description of the purpose of life and how to achieve it. The main problem with us sinners us that we mistake the yoke we put on ourselves, and our labor to serve our sins and passions with the easy yoke of the Lord. Matthew 11:27-30 2015

  10. thebigpicture on

    I share your frustration with the orthodox church. But that is where the miracle lies. The most disfunctional church has carried the great pearl down the generations. Behind its bigotry egotists disorganisation is the greatest universal truth – Jesus . If you make it past this obstacle with the help of your spiritual father and thats the only person that matters, then you will surpass all the trials and tribulations that lie on the surface. I urge you not to give up and stay with the church, discuss with your spiritual father, and strengthen your relationship with Jesus – Matthew 10. Nothing else matters for the salvation of your soul.

  11. The tenets of our church have existed for 2000 years.
    We did not choose our religion, we were brought into the Church by our families.
    We can, however, as adults, choose to continue to honor those tenets, or we can leave that Church.
    But make no mistake – the 2000 years are not “wrong” because we choose not to follow or believe any longer.
    Now, the Anglican Church was formed to excuse and to codify sin (as defined by the Church) which all believers of that age knew. The fact that today they are encompassing and inclusive of all behavior does not make them ‘superior’ to the Orthodox. If I were gay, I would know better than to expect my Church (The Greek Orthodox Church, of all churches) to change for me.
    What hubris.
    Your choice to leave is a good one, for you, but anything that points back to the unreasonable nature of Orthodoxy lacks any understanding on your part.
    You keep using that word ‘Orthodoxy’.
    I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • I could not agree more. As Christians we need to love one another and maintain dialogue with all people who have questions about Christ’ s teachings. However, boundaries are necessary because we ought hate sin in our lives as well as in others. Compromise will bring disaster to the true church of Christ whatever the name of the denomination is.

    • Gus Chrysson on

      No hubris here. I know what Orthodoxy is, and I also know what it is not. I am versed in the Patristic teachings of the church, not just the music. I am not demanding that the church change to accommodate me; that is precisely why I left it. May God bless you!

      • And you shall know them by their fruits. It is best to leave and continue on the path. You might consider continuing your path through Ouspensky, which is entitled In Search of the Miraculous which gives context to the Bible and illumination of Jesus’ parables since much of esoteric teachings of the past is lost to us in this modern age. I think you would find much comfort in the Fourth Way as taught by Ted Nottingham who is on youtube and Ouspensky which does not require a church or building but is an organic manifestation of the spirit of Jesus’ work on earth. May God bless you!

  12. I urge Gus and all concerned readers to see the first comprehensive study of LGBT issues and marriage equality in the historic practice of Byzantine Orthodoxy, The book is scheduled for release in November 2015 and is available for pre-order now. It demonstrates how there has been a much greater toleration and acceptance of LGBT folk in the past and that the traditional canonical strictures are relatively minor.

  13. Hello –
    My concern with this article is the lack of Christ centered talk and it is a very self-centered piece. My other major concern is that not one person here really knows Jesus Christ and has a relationship with Him.
    Do you know that when you become a “true” Christian you will be born again? If you are not born again you are not saved? Please read the gospel of St. John. No church can save you, no priest can save you, and the Greek Orthodox church cannot save you! A true disciple of Jesus Christ must deny himself and forsake the world. Yes- that mean’s deny yourself and repent of your homosexuality! I’m not just picking on homosexuality but lust also. Even if a person isn’t gay and they don’t deny themselves they cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
    You see no one is good. This is what the Bible says: Romans 3:1012. Therefore if no man is good in the sight of God, how can a priest stand in for you as your mediary? If you say that you can make it to heaven by being good then you make God a liar. This is blasphemy is the sight of God. You can’t make it there by your own good works! The only one who can save you is Jesus Christ. How does Jesus save you? You must be born again. You must deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Him-Matthew 16:24 Sacraments will not save you! These are lies from hell! Go to the one and only father you have-Jesus Christ Not a man(priest)! Jesus is the high priest we can go to and tell Him our issues. If you don’t have a relationship with Christ, He will say depart from Me I never knew you-Matthew 7:23. Please think about this. You don’t know where you’ll spend eternity!
    There is no pergatory and scripture forbids the Saints from praying for the dead-Deuteronomy 18:11. The Greek Orthodox church prays for the dead for supposed assurance of heaven. Scripture is very clear: Even after a person dies, God is still involved with that person and his destination. Hebrews 9:27 says so: “…Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” If a person dies in Christ, he goes to heaven to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:1-9, especially verse 8); if a person dies in his sin, he goes to hell, and eventually everyone in hell will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15). (
    I plead with you to get right with God now. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If we die in our sin we will be judged. You can get right with God today. Please check out this self-test:
    If you’ve ever lied, stolen, lusted, hated someone, or dishonored your parents in any way God sees you as a liar, adulterer and murderer(at heart). God will by no means clear the guilty. You must repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone! Please read your Bible and see if what I’m telling you makes sense. The Bible contradicts the Orthodox church is many many things. I pray you seek after God and read your Bible daily. Start in St. John.
    God Bless

  14. David Philippart on

    Gus, thank you for sharing your struggle in this touching article, and thank you for your long-suffering and talented service to the church. I am deeply sorry for your loss. The church is diminished by your leaving–and I don’t say that to blame or shame you. I hope you can ignore the hateful preaching that has popped up in this comment box, and focus on and feel supported by the many more voices of support and encouragement. You speak a most important word to the churches here about just wages and unconditional acceptance. God will not abandon you as you strike out in new directions.

  15. I am sorry for you… You refuse now the salvation of Church. Greek Orthodox church, like other orthodox and Catholics provides a valid communion, materially body of Christ, when leaving it for anglican, you loose it… you are excommunicating yourself!
    Your desires are your cross… Remember what Jesus said to the adulterine woman: Go and do not sin again. You should seek for leaving sin… You might have homosexual desire, but you should resist the temptation. This is the way of Holiness, and YOU are called to holiness 😉 May the spirit of the Lord be with you and lead you on a way of life.

  16. This article really didn’t need to be written…surprised that the Orthodox Church won’t condone sin? There was no asking for help here from your fellow Orthodox Christians but hoping that somehow the tide would turn…and that certain clergymens’ tacit remarks to you would be one day legitimized throughout the Church? Not sure I get it.

    We are supposed to bear one another’s burdens, Gus. Saying these afflictions are okay is lying to your face and is irresponsible. Good parents tell their children no. Talented musicianship (or any service to the church) does not compensate for our sins. Now is this message hateful? How is wanting people to grow closer to God through repentance hateful? I guess the Fathers of the Church have also condoned homosexual behavior somewhere? Since if ultimately we’re disagreeing about what is and isn’t sin there’s no common ground in this. That people would justify being mean to you is of course reprehensible, and I hope you weren’t physically assaulted but then again it seems what you regard as hateful is not what the Church has regarded as so…we are only hearing your side after all, and Pappas who finds himself in the same situation is only too happy to give a sounding board. Did Christ not throw people out of their comfort zone? Did he not call people out for their behavior? All the very best with your path, brother.

  17. If you are thinking about leaving the Orthodox Christian Church, do not leave. Rededicate your life to Christ and live for Him. Remember that same-sex marriages are contrary to Apostolic teachings. Read Romans 1: 26-32. If you are heterosexual and plan or have married outside the Orthodox Faith read 2 Corinthians 6:14. You may have repented of your sins and was water baptized, but have you really received the Holy Spirit? You can pray in your own words and ask the Lord Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit and Power. May the Lord strengthen you!

  18. Been Orthodox five yeatlrs now and it surprises me how many ethnic Orthodox ate leaving for a diversitu of reasons, most of them selfish. Many converts to Orthodoxy from the Episcopalian church left that church because they were drawn to the beauty of the Ancient faith which teaches Gods truth. Seem so many cradle Orthodox don’t seem to appreciate the time honored worship and tradition of the Church and they’ll throw it away in some misguided idea of what they think love and modernity is. Very sad.

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