discernment

On "This Year's Election": A response regarding Fr. Reardon

Fr. Patrick Reardon recently sent a pastoral letter on how to vote to members of his parish.  Since I am neither a member of his parish nor his diocese, I would normally ignore such things, except that this letter has been supported and forwarded to other Orthodox parishes.  As a result, a concerned friend on facebook asked me for a resources on other Orthodox viewpoints.  They then asked if I would allow them to share my response with others.  Here it is.  You may read Fr.

The 'Saint's Test'

I recently heard of a new test, “the Saint’s Test.” It is a “test” in which one asks if the Saints would approve or disapprove of a particular action. The question reflects a deep-seated value for communal discernment within the context of a particular moral tradition. Saints are, among other things, exemplars of a faithful life, models of Christian love, and women and men who invite us into creative participation in god. Unfortunately, while it has a nice ring to claim that the Saints would approve of this and reject that, it is a rather disingenuous test. ‘Questioning the Saints’ implies that we are actually asking them the question, and that they are giving their reply. Yet too frequently, this is not what we are doing. Instead, we are calling on the Saints in order to add weight to our conclusion.
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