Orthodox Priest On Marriage, Morality, and Spiritual Warfare


Fr. Alexander W. C. Webster is a retired military chaplain and colonel in the US Army Reserve. He's also a moral theologian, parish priest and on the board of advisers for the American Orthodox Institute, and writes about the debate over marriage in the Orthodox Church:

Fr. Alexander wrote the response posted below to Fr. Alexis Vinogradov’s essay praising Fr. Arida’s advocacy of the homosexualist agenda in the Orthodox Church. A friend of mine asked me, “Why are the homosexualists bringing the culture wars into the Church?” Good question. Why are they?

Just when we begin to wonder whether some of the recent musings of OCA priests and laity on homosexuality may not be what they seem, along comes another one that raises the rhetorical ante and reminds us that we are, indeed, whether we desire it or not, engaged in spiritual warfare.

In a bizarre, presumably unintended way, Fr. Alexis Vinogradov’s latest “reflection” on the OCA”News” website is another case of the gift that keeps on giving. It affords us who cherish the moral tradition of the Church, along with all the wonderful facets of Orthodoxy as the light of the world as long as we reflect Christ the True Light, an unexpected windfall—a sobering glimpse of the way the spirit of the world (note the lower case) has captured the minds, speech, and, actions of some who would take it upon themselves to lecture and even scold us...

He has thrown down a gauntlet for all the Orthodox world to see, a public challenge to abandon ancient Christian verities under the guise of a “conversation.” I, for one, am ready—and, I hope, able—to retrieve that gauntlet, brush aside the pseudo-dialogue, and engage in spiritual combat.