GOARCH archbishop called “woke” while OCA bans individual thought
So two things are going on at once in two different Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA:
First, our GOARCH archbishop is taking fire for daring to baptize the baby of a gay couple. I am greatly encouraged by signs like these, from him and our local Metropolitan Nathaniel, of an opening of the church to more inclusive ideas. For example, the Metropolitan told my church at his last visit that we should have altar girls. Now I don’t think the Archbishop is necessarily advocating for gay marriage, but at the very least he doesn’t seem to feel that the gender/marital arrangement of a baby’s parents should affect whether the baby can be baptized.
Adapt or die–As more and more young people see the vast difference between the regressive ideas of conservative churches and what’s going on with their own friends and science/medicine, we’ll see the steady decline of all but the oldest and most extreme members of such congregations in the future. I’m pretty sure that most churches don’t preach that the sun revolves around the Earth anymore, and even the Catholic church apparently abandoned the “Evolution is Evilution” mindset years ago.
But of course, we can’t possibly introduce any sort of love or change into our churches, because they’re full of Pharisees (see the essay I wrote on this nearly 20 years ago). Already Archbishop Elpidophoros is getting pushback, with all sorts of angry blogs and objections from the Greek Church and a Greek Metropolitan (hey, we’re American now, not Greek!).
I strongly suspect that if Jesus were to physically come back and walk among our churches, there would be a lot of yelling going on, right before they took out an AR-15 to execute him for blasphemy for saying that we should ditch the guns and accept people on the queer spectrum and call them whatever they want.
But on the other hand, the OCA has just made a statement that basically bans everyone–even laypeople opining on their own websites–from deviating from the official church position that the queer spectrum is full of deviance and perversion. Anyone who violates this is subject to excommunication now. So you have to ignore your own eyes, your own knowledge, your own conscience, and CONFORM to Groupthink lest you be tossed into outer darkness.