There was a sentence that struck me rather hard and captured my attention:
"It (1 John 3:23 verse) does not only command us to love but to believe in the Lord, and in such a way that faith is the source of love."
I would have believed it the other way round: love as the source of Faith. After all, we "shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk 10:27)
However, this is a Saint who, when He died on January 6, 1894, lay in state for three days in his church. Even after that length of time there was no sign of decay in his unembalmed body. And so of course, I need to adjust my meagre understanding to what he was getting at and herein lies the one of the great things about Orthodoxy. Because now i must yield my understanding(humility) about Faith & Love to accommodate the encounter with this great man. We do not find this type of dialectic in the modernist, secular world anymore. It's my way or the highway type of thinking nowadays & which is why there are such profound divisions in our culture.
Anyways, Back to this puzzle about faith as the source of love. I don't believe he's talking about a cause and effect type relationship here but more like a flow dynamic. It is the flow of Grace from God thru us and towards our neighbor who then pass it on to their world and so on.
Of course, this implies that we are the conduit of God's Will and to be most effective we must empty ourselves and remove all, within this conduit, which would impede the Love of God flowing thru us. The Sin of Pride is perhaps the greatest of all the impediments as we become full of ourselves and thereby make a lousy pipeline for Gods Will.
This is where AB Elvis gets it so wrong. By sanctioning the matrimonial love of a man with another effeminate man to that of a ancient love of a man and woman, he is equating a sinful identity that is rooted in an appetite/passion and therefore self love with an identity that has served as the basis for the human family since the beginning. He has taken it upon himself to arrogantly accept the inevitable scandal in order to promote a fundamental change in the very fabric of society itself.
Faith is the source of Love. If your Faith is distorted then so will your perception of Love. Thank You, St Theophan!