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When Matthew Shepard was brutally killed in 1998, people who called themselves Christians stood outside the church during his funeral picketing, proudly holding signs that affirm God's hatred of homosexuals.

The Orthodox Church, in its holy wisdom, goes to neither extreme.

Homosexuality is denounced as sinful, and rightly so.

On April 14, 2012 I was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church through chrismation.

Below is the letter that I wrote to my family to share news of this life-changing event. My family consists of primarily Southern Baptists who have become either independent Missionary Baptists or nondenominational Charismatics.

Do we Christians really think we can lead these people to Christ by treating them with cruelty, rather than compassion? On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who advocate the homosexual lifestyle, while calling themselves Christians.

The Episcopal Church and other churches have abandoned whatever roots they had in historic Christianity, affirming what the gospel clearly calls sin.

Such efforts demonstrate a fundamental - even idolatrous - misunderstanding of the meaning of "holy matrimony," effectively denying Christ by vesting the state with divine authority.

California's infamous Proposition 8 and similar measures sure to make it onto the ballots during next year's election fall prey to the so-called Constantinian temptation.

I wrote trying to build some bridges with those traditions, and as a result, left out many of the finer points of Church history and theology.

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