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Poll
Question: Do you believe that fornication is a mortal sin??
Yes - 28 (66.7%)
No - 14 (33.3%)
Total Voters: 42

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Author Topic: Is Fornication a Mortal Sin?  (Read 24862 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2007, 12:59:11 PM »

They are not meaningless, they describe 'gender classes,' to quote Prof. Deborah Tannen. Ultimately they are socio-cultural distinctions that have developed roughly around gender, but not exclusively so. They are useful, but not the limiting distinctions that you would suggest.
You're contradicting yourself. On the one hand you say they developed around gender, and on the other you say they are "ultimately" socio-cultural distinctions. The ultimate basis for them is one or the other- it can't be both.
"Male and female, He created them"...or did He? I suppose this is now up for question as well. Wink
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« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2007, 01:03:30 PM »

Having both a boy and a girl, it is obvious there are major differences in how we will handle issues like this with them.  The PC thing would be to say that isn't/shouldn't be the case, but it isn't the reality.  It's also not a Father/Daughter issue, but something for both parents to deal with for boys and girls.  I will also say based on what I've heard from some other parents with middle school aged kids that what I had considered issues that we would have to deal with in high school are now getting moved up in the timetable considerably.

Thanks for helping further my argument that the differences between the genders are primarily cultural.

Quote
In general I think the framework of this topic could be a mortal sin, in that preoccupation with such issues could lead us to destroy our own souls.

Our eternal soul is a small price to pay in the pursuit of knowledge Wink

Quote
Lastly, I will also throw one thing out for consideration.  In at least two Orthodox parishes I've been around, people have looked the other way when it is readily apparent a certain lifestyle is preferred by at least some of the active members of the church.

Active members in the parish? What about amongst the bishops? It goes much further than the parish council. Of course, considering the historic cultural context in which prohibitions against homosexuality developed (amongst the Greeks, at least, the great evil was that a male acted like a woman...hardly a basis for a modern moral objection), perhaps these too should be reconsidered.
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« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2007, 01:09:21 PM »

Active members in the parish? What about amongst the bishops? It goes much further than the parish council. Of course, considering the historic cultural context in which prohibitions against homosexuality developed (amongst the Greeks, at least, the great evil was that a male acted like a woman...hardly a basis for a modern moral objection), perhaps these too should be reconsidered.

This problem among the bishops is at the root of the scandal in the OCA. And it is also a problem in another jurisdiction.
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« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2007, 01:15:37 PM »

You're contradicting yourself. On the one hand you say they developed around gender, and on the other you say they are "ultimately" socio-cultural distinctions. The ultimate basis for them is one or the other- it can't be both.

In large part they developed as stereotypes and became self-fulfilling categories. Ultimately, I believe the development of the distinctinos can be reduced to the simple fact that males are more agressive than females do to excessive amounts of testosterone. A biological difference to be sure, but hardly one that justifies the complex categorization you are suggesting.

Quote
"Male and female, He created them"...or did He? I suppose this is now up for question as well. Wink

Purely biological distinctions...they do not justify socio-cultural restrictions and discrimination.
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« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2007, 01:16:56 PM »

And it is also a problem in another jurisdiction.

If this is the jurisdiction I believe you are suggesting...It really hasn't been a problem.
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« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2007, 01:20:40 PM »

If this is the jurisdiction I believe you are suggesting...It really hasn't been a problem.

Time will tell but let's just say another lay group has started another website for transparency and accountability from the bishops on the subject of sexual abuse. They can run but they can hide forever.
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« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2007, 01:25:14 PM »

Our eternal soul is a small price to pay in the pursuit of knowledge Wink

LOL Cheesy

GiC, its been a pleasure as always, so much so that I've only just realised it's nearly 4:30 am here!
Sadly I must ask to be excused and get to bed.
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« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2007, 01:28:27 PM »

I would submit that under this new framework, there are cases in which fornication is not sinful and cases where sex in the context of marriage is sinful (and no, I'm not talking about that fasting from sex during lent or the night before liturgy nonsense). Now, generally speaking, I would say that the old paradigms are mostly true, though for incomparably different reasons. But they are not exclusively true, and thus they should only be used with extreme care.

Okay...I wasn't all too surprised about Early Church interpretation of woman as "property rights", but now that quote right there's a Mae West affect.  That makes me curious for me to wonder what is it that will make fornication acceptable (and dare should I ask about sex within marriage unacceptable?).
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« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2007, 01:29:19 PM »

Quote
Purely biological distinctions...they do not justify socio-cultural restrictions and discrimination.

In modern anthropological/sociological discourse, male/female are biological distinctions, not gender labels.

As GiC adheres to these definitions (for the record, I do as well), PLEASE keep that in mind as this thread continues so it doesn't degenerate into a semantic argument, because we actually have a decent amount of discourse going on.

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« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2007, 01:30:34 PM »

Thanks for helping further my argument that the differences between the genders are primarily cultural.

The problem is I think there's too much subjectivity to say one way or another.  I believe men and women certainly are different as a result of theistic creation (and I'm a proponent of a literal understanding of genesis), but that our human culture (again a product of same process) frames and shapes our attitudes and that these can change.

I also willingly acknowledge that human culture is simply a fact of life in the church, and you can't always easily say "here's the God part and here's the culture part".
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« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2007, 02:03:05 PM »

Quote
    Lastly, I will also throw one thing out for consideration.  In at least two Orthodox parishes I've been around, people have looked the other way when it is readily apparent a certain lifestyle is preferred by at least some of the active members of the church.     

Preferred lifestyle is a polite way of stating what I think that some people on this blog have figured out. And why did those in power look the other way. Because the individuals involved were active in the parish with their time, talents and cash  - - -baby. (There's that money trail again.) Would those in power have looked the other way if these individuals were not as invloved with the parish (with time and cash) and shall we say a bit more flamboyant? Is there a double standard? One can only presume that a male and female who are "dating" may be involved sexually. But two men who live together, vacation together, commute to work together  . . . do I have to draw a diagram here?  Wink

I am familiar of what Welkodox is speaking about.
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« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2007, 02:28:41 PM »

Preferred lifestyle is a polite way of stating what I think that some people on this blog have figured out. And why did those in power look the other way. Because the individuals involved were active in the parish with their time, talents and cash  - - -baby.

And throughout HISTORY it has been this way in the Church. And yet people think that Truth is contained in these man-made institutions. Well, actually they DO contain truth - you just have to get past the fairy tales to see it.
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« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2007, 02:38:09 PM »

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       you just have to get past the fairy tales to see it.   

I would not go so far as to call them fairy tales. I will however call it politics, which to me are a natural human phenomenea.  Wherever two people are together there are politics.
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« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2007, 02:39:08 PM »

The church militant has always been a hospital full of sinners. Christ established it for our healing while we live on this earth. So we can't excuse or rationalize the reasons for our own sins because others sin in the church, even if the others are well-to-do laity, priests, bishops etc.  
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« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2007, 11:06:39 PM »

I added a poll on this issue to get a general idea of how many of you view the seriousness of the sin of fornication. Feel free to participate in the poll. I look forward to viewing the results.
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« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2007, 11:15:37 PM »

And throughout HISTORY it has been this way in the Church. And yet people think that Truth is contained in these man-made institutions. Well, actually they DO contain truth - you just have to get past the fairy tales to see it.
Yes. It is time to get past the fairy tale that TomS or any other person can make up his own truth. Instead we need to submit to reality, to submit Jesus Christ, to turn AWAY from fornication and other impurities that damage our human nature. Those who speak otherwise are clearly dishonest with themselves.
Many Blessings in Christ,
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« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2007, 11:26:24 PM »

The papist sounds a little more Orthodox on this subject than many of the Orthodox on this site.
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« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2007, 01:46:57 AM »

The papist sounds a little more Orthodox on this subject than many of the Orthodox on this site.

Why - because he agrees with you?

I voted no...because it was never defined what a "mortal sin" is vs a non "mortal sin".  That terminology sounds like legalistic post schism RCism.  Sure, fornication is a heavy sin.  Sure, priests may not deal with it as harshly as they should.  Etc.  But that doesn't mean we're all a bunch of liberals that condone it.
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« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2007, 04:28:35 AM »

I voted no...because it was never defined what a "mortal sin" is vs a non "mortal sin".
Bravo! And I have joined you!
As you can see from my replies, I accept the Church's view that fornication is a serious sin, but I also accept the Church's teaching that there is no such thing as either a "mortal" or "venial" sin, so I voted "no" since they were the only choices given to me, and it was the only honest answer I could give. Wink
Had the question been worded "Do you think fornication is a serious sin?", I would have voted differently....I know, I'm way too pedantic!  But really, very few poll questions on this board ever give me the opportunity to cast a vote because of the way they are worded or the limited choices, so this time I've decided to take a stand!
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« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2007, 09:51:08 AM »

Well, there is no clear distinction between mortal vs. venial sins, but it is my understanding that some sins bar you from communion without confession while others do not bar you from communion automatically. So there is some degree that comes in to play.
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« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2007, 11:06:51 AM »

..some sins bar you from communion without confession while others do not bar you from communion automatically. So there is some degree that comes in to play.

Is it possibly dependant on how much you enjoyed it?  Wink
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« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2007, 12:38:45 PM »

Dear Orthodox Bagpiper,

I copied a reply from the OCA website in which Fr. John Matusiak answered this question about mortal sins. I did not answer your poll because being raised in the Orthodox Church, I never heard the term "mortal" sin used. Anyway, I hope this helps.  Smiley Tamara


In the Orthodox Church there are no "categories" of sin as found in the Christian West.
In the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic catechism, sins were categorized as "mortal" and "venial." In this definition, a "mortal" sin was one which would prevent someone from entering heaven unless one confessed it before death. Not only were such things as pride, lust, and sloth on the list of "mortal" sins, but failing to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation were also considered "mortal" sins. A "venial" sin, according to this line of thinking, did not jeopardize one's salvation. While stealing a car might be considered a "mortal" sin, stealing a candy bar was not. While a "venial" sin did not jeopardize one's salvation, it still needed to be confessed and still may have had time in purgatory attached to it. Another way to see this distinction in Roman Catholic teaching -- and here I simplifyy a tremendously complex line of reasoning -- is as follows: If one commits a mortal sin and dies before confessing it, one would go straight to hell. If one commits a venial sin and dies before confessing it, one would not go straight to hell, but would have to spend time in purgatory before entering heaven.

[The Orthodox Church does not accept the teaching on purgatory that developed in more recent times in Roman Catholicism.]

These categories do not exist in the Orthodox Church. Sin is sin.
The Greek word for sin, amartia, means "to miss the mark." As Christians, the "mark" or "target" for which we "aim" is a Christ-like life, one lived to the best of our ability in line with the teachings, precepts, and commandments of God. When we miss this mark, when we fail to hit this target, we sin. Murder is a sin. Pride and envy are sins. Stealing a car is a sin. Stealing a candy bar is a sin. Refusing to attend the Liturgy is a sin -- but so is attending the Liturgy with hatred for others.

Missing the mark is missing the mark. If we aim at the bullseye and miss, it makes no difference if it is by an inch or a yard. In both cases, we have failed to achieve that for which we strive.

In some Orthodox catechisms one finds lists of the "seven deadly sins." While there can be no doubt that these sins are deadly -- here deadly and "mortal" are synonymous, but "mortal" is not used in the same way as in the Roman Catholic "mortal" sin described above -- they are not "worse" in the ultimate sense than sins that are not on the list.
[In the quote from Fr. Harakas' book, the use of the word "mortal" should not be understood in the Roman Catholic definition of "mortal" outlined above. He clearly defines the term as meaning "unto death," or "deadly."]

For example, one would not find listening to rock and roll music on the list of deadly sins. However, a person who spends all of his or her time listening to such music, to the point that he or she ignores others, isolates himself or herself from people and other activities, and becomes controlled by his or her desire to listen to such music to the exclusion of other important aspects of life, can find himself or herself in a deadly and sinful condition. Listening to the music is not the sin; the music itself is not the sin; becoming obsessed with the music -- and ignoring other aspects of one's life or the importance of loving relationships with others -- is what is sinful.

I cannot produce a list of sins; there are countless things that, while not in and of themselves sinful, can lead one to sin. A list of sins implies that things not found on the list are not sinful. Such is not the case. A better way to look at sin would be the following: Are my actions, my thoughts, my attitudes, my material goods, etc. controlling me, or am I in control of them.
Here I will give you another example: It is not sinful to have a glass of wine or a can of beer. Allowing wine or beer to control me, however, is sinful. Why? Because I have the ability to control what I drink. At the same time, what I drink cannot control me -- unless, of course, I allow it to do so. It would be ridiculous to think that a can of beer can force itself down the throat of a person who does not want to drink it. Whether we speak of wine, beer, watching television, giving attention to our car, gossiping, or whatever -- we have the ability to control these things. What is sinful is allowing these things, which in and of themselves have no power of their own, to control us. What is even more sinful is when we fail to recognize that we are being controlled by something which, in reality, is within our control, or when we rationalize our sins by claiming "I just couldn't help it." Huh? Your television turned itself on and held you captive during nine hours of soap operas while you ignored the needs of your family or coworkers or neighbor?

Concerning Confession, having a list of deadly sins could, in fact, become an obstacle to genuine repentance. For example, imagine that you commit a sin. You look on the list and do not find it listed. It would be very easy to take the attitude that, since it is not on a list of deadly sins, it is not too serious. Hence, you do not feel the need to seek God's forgiveness right away. A week passes and you have completely forgotten about what you had done. You never sought God's forgiveness; as a result, you did not receive it, either. We should go to Confession when we sin -- at the very least, we should ask God to forgive us daily in our personal prayers. We should not see Confession as a time to confess only those sins which may be found on a list.

Rather than worry about developing a list of sins to avoid, it would be much wiser to make a list of virtues and attitudes and ministries to achieve. While it is good to avoid places of temptation, it is better to seek places of inspiration. While it is good to avoid individuals who may lead you to sin, it is better to seek out individuals who will lead you to virtue. While it is good to shun those things which tend to control us, it is better to seek self control over things which have no power over us unless we give them that power.

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« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2007, 02:27:50 PM »

Bravo! And I have joined you!
As you can see from my replies, I accept the Church's view that fornication is a serious sin, but I also accept the Church's teaching that there is no such thing as either a "mortal" or "venial" sin, so I voted "no" since they were the only choices given to me, and it was the only honest answer I could give. Wink
Had the question been worded "Do you think fornication is a serious sin?", I would have voted differently....I know, I'm way too pedantic!  But really, very few poll questions on this board ever give me the opportunity to cast a vote because of the way they are worded or the limited choices, so this time I've decided to take a stand!
I am not sure if you realize this but a mortal sin is by definition a SERIOIUS sin.
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2007, 02:48:43 PM »

I am not sure if you realize this but a mortal sin is by definition a SERIOIUS sin.
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
"Mortal" comes from the Latin "mort" (death). Mortal sins are "deadly" sins or "fatal" sins- that is, sins which lead to death, like a "mortal wound".
In the Orthodox Church, all sins lead to death. As my Archbishop was quoted on this thread as saying: "It makes no difference whether you drown under one metre of water or fifty metres of water."
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« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2007, 02:51:09 PM »

"Mortal" comes from the Latin "mort" (death). Mortal sins are "deadly" sins or "fatal" sins- that is, sins which lead to death, like a "mortal wound".
In the Orthodox Church, all sins lead to death. As my Archbishop was quoted on this thread as saying: "It makes no difference whether you drown under one metre of water or fifty metres of water."
I know what the word mortal means but thank you for taking the time to point that out. So, do you believe that you lose grace when you curse or have one to many drinks?
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« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2007, 03:02:18 PM »

So, do you believe that you lose grace when you curse or have one to many drinks?
We don't have this judicial view of sin. We have more of a pathological view of sin. Sin is an illness requiring treatment and therapy. Catching a cold is not anywhere near as serious as lung cancer, but unless we treat a cold carefully, it can become influenza then pneumonia, and eventually kill us even quicker than lung cancer can.
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« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2007, 08:40:31 PM »

Quote
Is Fornication a Mortal Sin?

It sure will be if it involves one of my kids...    Cool
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« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2007, 09:09:20 PM »

It sure will be if it involves one of my kids...    Cool
LOL Cheesy
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« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2007, 09:57:09 PM »

Quote
Is Fornication a Mortal Sin?

It sure will be if it involves one of my kids...   

Ha Ha. Amen.

Quote
Dear Orthodox Bagpiper,

I copied a reply from the OCA website in which Fr. John Matusiak answered this question about mortal sins. I did not answer your poll because being raised in the Orthodox Church, I never heard the term "mortal" sin used. Anyway, I hope this helps.   Tamara


Tamara,

Thank you for the article. I already knew that the church doesn't list sins as mortal or veinial as the RC's do.(even though I have heard some Orthodox theologians use this term). I used the term mortal merely to convey the seriousness of such a sin, not to inject RC theology. In fact, I some times use western lingo when talking with people because it is easier. For instance, I sometimes call the Divine Liturgy the Mass, or Christmation Confirmation, etc...

The point I was making is that fornication is a very serious sin. It bars a person from communion, and is very harmful to one's nous. Jesus and Saint Paul both preach about the seriousness of this sin. It is particularly harmful. It seems that many on this board want to act like fornication/adultry are not seriously damaging to one's nous, and that there are not heavy eternal consequences for such sin. Their attitudes are in contradiction to the words of Jesus and the saints. I think that some of the people who post on this board need a crash course on morality from Elder Cleopa of Sihastria (Romania).

As far as the poll goes, for those of you who don't like the word "mortal", vote yes if you think fornication is a very serious sin, and no if you don't think it is a big deal. You guys don't have to get caught up on the lingo. Just use common sense.
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« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2007, 10:20:21 PM »

We don't have this judicial view of sin. We have more of a pathological view of sin. Sin is an illness requiring treatment and therapy. Catching a cold is not anywhere near as serious as lung cancer, but unless we treat a cold carefully, it can become influenza then pneumonia, and eventually kill us even quicker than lung cancer can.
We also view sin as sickness. However, we view it as a crime against God as well. Anywho, if someone commits a minor sin like cursing do they need sacramental confession before recieving the Holy Eucharist?
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« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2007, 11:11:33 PM »

Anywho, if someone commits a minor sin like cursing do they need sacramental confession before recieving the Holy Eucharist?

There are a lot of factors potentially involved in this situation, and a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer cannot be given, imo.
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« Reply #76 on: March 21, 2007, 11:24:02 PM »

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Mortal" comes from the Latin "mort" (death). Mortal sins are "deadly" sins or "fatal" sins- that is, sins which lead to death, like a "mortal wound".
In the Orthodox Church, all sins lead to death.

Too bad that the Orthodox Church contradicts its own Holy Scriptures:
1 John 5:16 -17.
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« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2007, 11:43:55 PM »

Now we're voting on what is and isn't a sin? Great idea, it worked so well for the Episcopalians...

I assume everyone who has voted "no" or posted a comment here stating fornication is ok will go to this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11322.0.html

and say that homosexual acts are ok too; what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
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« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2007, 04:58:39 AM »

As far as the poll goes, for those of you who don't like the word "mortal", vote yes if you think fornication is a very serious sin, and no if you don't think it is a big deal. You guys don't have to get caught up on the lingo. Just use common sense.
Sorry, it's a matter of principle now! You wouldn't sign a police statement which said one thing on the basis that you were told that it meant something else would you?
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« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2007, 05:03:11 AM »

I assume everyone who has voted "no" or posted a comment here stating fornication is ok will go to this thread:
Then you haven't read this thread, because if you had, you would know that some of us voted "no" over the issue of the term "mortal" sin in the poll question- myself included.
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« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2007, 06:54:08 AM »

Now we're voting on what is and isn't a sin? Great idea, it worked so well for the Episcopalians...

I assume everyone who has voted "no" or posted a comment here stating fornication is ok will go to this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11322.0.html

and say that homosexual acts are ok too; what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Why be so dramatic? 

THere are very few who don't think that Fornication is a sin (our agnostics or atheists).  The rest seem to agree it's a sin, but disagree as to the characterization / title of "mortal sin."  I mean, really, this is Orthodox Anthropology 101, why we don't use the phrasing "mortal sin" and whatnot.
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« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2007, 08:36:26 AM »

I mean, really, this is Orthodox Anthropology 101, why we don't use the phrasing "mortal sin" and whatnot.

True. This thread does not demonstrate that there is disagreement regarding if fornication is a sin. It does indicate that we do not classify sins as 'mortal' or 'venial', and thus with new terms being forced upon us the thread shows that not all of us here gathered agree with the use of these terms.
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« Reply #82 on: March 22, 2007, 09:14:06 AM »

with new terms being forced upon us the thread shows that not all of us here gathered agree with the use of these terms.
And whats more, what if these new terms turn out to be heresy? Which is worse: fornication or heresy? (How's that for dramatic Wink) But in fact, there is a serious element in this question. In The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Abba Agathon accepted the accusation of being a fornicator, but would not accept the accusation of being a heretic, since that implies seperation from God:
"It was said concerning Abba Agathon that some monks came to find him having heard tell of his great discernment. Wanting to see if he would lose his temper they said to him 'Aren't you that Agathon who is said to be a fornicator and a proud man?' 'Yes, it is very true,' he answered. They resumed, 'Aren't you that Agathon who is always talking nonsense?' 'I am.' Again they said 'Aren't you Agathon the heretic?' But at that he replied 'I am not a heretic.' So they asked him, 'Tell us why you accepted everything we cast you, but repudiated this last insult.' He replied 'The first accusations I take to myself for that is good for my soul. But heresy is separation from God. Now I have no wish to be separated from God.' At this saying they were astonished at his discernment and returned, edified."
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« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2007, 10:28:53 AM »

Quote
Sorry, it's a matter of principle now! You wouldn't sign a police statement which said one thing on the basis that you were told that it meant something else would you?

It's just an online poll, it's not that big of a deal george. The point is do you think that fornication is a grievious sin that seriously damages ones nous??? Do you think that a person who fornicates should recieve communion if they haven't seriously repented of this sin?? Is it highley immoral for a person, especially an Orthodox Christian to fornicate. That is what the issue is. What do you think?
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« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2007, 11:52:31 AM »

It's just an online poll, it's not that big of a deal george. The point is do you think that fornication is a grievious sin that seriously damages ones nous??? Do you think that a person who fornicates should recieve communion if they haven't seriously repented of this sin?? Is it highley immoral for a person, especially an Orthodox Christian to fornicate. That is what the issue is. What do you think?

If you don't want misinformation spread around, then stop using words that are misleading and just not Orthodox.  The semantics are more important than you think.  It should be apparent to you by now that most of us here are in agreement with your point, but your insistence on focusing on this sexual sin seems to betray a hanging on to Protetant baggage mentality.
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« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2007, 12:14:20 PM »

Ha Ha. Amen.

Tamara,

Thank you for the article. I already knew that the church doesn't list sins as mortal or veinial as the RC's do.(even though I have heard some Orthodox theologians use this term). I used the term mortal merely to convey the seriousness of such a sin, not to inject RC theology. In fact, I some times use western lingo when talking with people because it is easier. For instance, I sometimes call the Divine Liturgy the Mass, or Christmation Confirmation, etc...

The point I was making is that fornication is a very serious sin. It bars a person from communion, and is very harmful to one's nous. Jesus and Saint Paul both preach about the seriousness of this sin. It is particularly harmful. It seems that many on this board want to act like fornication/adultry are not seriously damaging to one's nous, and that there are not heavy eternal consequences for such sin. Their attitudes are in contradiction to the words of Jesus and the saints. I think that some of the people who post on this board need a crash course on morality from Elder Cleopa of Sihastria (Romania).

As far as the poll goes, for those of you who don't like the word "mortal", vote yes if you think fornication is a very serious sin, and no if you don't think it is a big deal. You guys don't have to get caught up on the lingo. Just use common sense.

Yes. I agree with you that fornication is very harmful to one's nous and it is a serious sin that would preclude one from taking Holy Communion. But I am very uncomfortable using western terms to describe what we believe. Words have the power to change our theology and so I have made an effort to use Orthodox terminology whenever I can.
Even the word "sacrament" does not carry the same meaning as the word "mystery" to describe the Eucharist, baptism, chrismation etc.

I think Demetrios G. has quote on his address block that defines what "Lord have mercy" means to the eastern mind (Kyrie, eleison', that is to say, 'Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.' Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal, a very Western interpretation, but to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children.) Eleison comes from the old Greek word, eleos for oil. Oil was used as a healing agent and massaged into the wound.

I could go on and on with comparisons between Theophany vs. Epiphany, Pascha vs. Easter, Liturgy vs. mass, Logos vs. the Word, Divinization (Theosis) vs. Deification etc... I do not take our theological terminology lightly nor do I think it is interchangeable with western theological terminology.

Please understand, I am not trying to be difficult but I can see that the power of the words we use will effect what we believe.
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« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2007, 04:27:15 PM »

It's just an online poll, it's not that big of a deal george.
Oh good! So you don't care then that people vote "no" because Orthodoxy doesn't use terms like "mortal sin".

The point is do you think that fornication is a grievious sin that seriously damages ones nous??? Do you think that a person who fornicates should recieve communion if they haven't seriously repented of this sin?? Is it highley immoral for a person, especially an Orthodox Christian to fornicate. That is what the issue is. What do you think?
And this simply proves to me that when you say "mortal sin" you mean exactly in the judicial Roman Catholic/ Protestant sense, and that I was correct therefore to vote "no". Fornication is a serious sin, yes, but as for "seriously damaging the nous" and "shouldn't receive Communion" what has that to do with me? Why should I be scandalized when they take Communion because I don't think they're repentance is sincere enough? Why should I judge anyone? St. Mary of Egypt received Holy Communion on the very same day that she repented a life of fornication, debauchery and public sin as a common prostitute- should I have judged her as unworthy of Holy Communion for not having repented long enough to show the sincerity of her repentance?
Yes, fornication is a serious sin. Bagpiper, but leave it at that. Avoid this sin with all your might. But don't be scandalized if you think others have fallen in to it, and don't pass judgement on them.
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« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2007, 06:17:31 PM »

Unfortunately, there are probably very few Orthodox that do not shack up before marriage. I shake my head in disbelief when these people go up for communion also. At that point, what’s the point to even go to church if you are not going to take it seriously. Before I was even Orthodox, the majority of the young Orthodox people I met seemed to be doing this also. My ex - Greek Orthodox girlfriend was constantly pressuring me into having sex with her, thank God I resisted those temptations. Her friends at church seemed to be in similar predicaments and they thought I was weird or something for not wanting to mess around with my girlfriend. I was a protestant at the time going to an AG church and my ex & her friends skewed my perception of Orthodoxy initially because they were the first Orthodox people I met. Pre - marital sex is much less acceptable in many protestant denominations, so you can see why this was kind of a shock to me in some regards. It’s seems more rare these days that people are taking their faith seriously and are giving into the pressures of modernism. When I read some of the works of the monastics and how serious they took judgment & the soul after death, I have to wonder where this fits in with the way people in the church are living these days. In this day and age of comforts and relativism, people one day will wake up or either face a very harsh reality in the after - life that they will not be prepared for. It seems living the Christian life and engaging in spiritual work is much less desirable to many in recent times, thus the decline of the Christian west in my opinion.
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« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2007, 09:11:07 PM »

Quote
And this simply proves to me that when you say "mortal sin" you mean exactly in the judicial Roman Catholic/ Protestant sense, and that I was correct therefore to vote "no". Fornication is a serious sin, yes, but as for "seriously damaging the nous" and "shouldn't receive Communion" what has that to do with me? Why should I be scandalized when they take Communion because I don't think they're repentance is sincere enough? Why should I judge anyone? St. Mary of Egypt received Holy Communion on the very same day that she repented a life of fornication, debauchery and public sin as a common prostitute- should I have judged her as unworthy of Holy Communion for not having repented long enough to show the sincerity of her repentance?
Yes, fornication is a serious sin. Bagpiper, but leave it at that. Avoid this sin with all your might. But don't be scandalized if you think others have fallen in to it, and don't pass judgement on them.

George, you obviously didn't read my prior post clearly. As I said earlier, I don't believe in the RC theology of mortal and veinial sins; I used the term, like other Orthodox theologians I have read, to convey the seriousness of the sin. It is not judging anyone to say that it is wrong for cannonical people to recieve Holy Communion while living an immoral lifestyle. It is common sense. If you think otherwise, then you are in disagreement with the saints. I suggest you start reading the teachings of Elder Cleopa of Romania.

As far as Holy Mother Mary of Egypt, she is a good example to us all. She REPENTED of her sin. If she would have continued to partake of the mysteries while living a lifestyle of fornication and adultry, it would have been scandelous and wrong. You don't seem to realze this. Our sins also mysteriously affect others. When serious immorality such as fornication or adultry go on in the church, it hurts the whole church. It is not merely a personal sin. A priest who allows cannonical people to continue in the immoral lifestyle of fornication/adultry is irresponsible. He is not caring for their eternal soul.

I am happy if a person repents of this sin or lifestyle, and I hope one recieves healing. The point I am making is that the unrepentant are commiting a very serious sin that is extreemly damaging to one's nous. This is a sin that must be confessed before partaking of Holy Communion, no if's and's or but's! According to Elder Cleopa, you don't need a priest to tell you to stay away from communion when you fornicate, it is common sense. To partake of the Body and Blood of Christ while living in such a state of sin is to bring condemnation upon one's self.

Quote
Unfortunately, there are probably very few Orthodox that do not shack up before marriage. I shake my head in disbelief when these people go up for communion also. At that point, what’s the point to even go to church if you are not going to take it seriously. Before I was even Orthodox, the majority of the young Orthodox people I met seemed to be doing this also. My ex - Greek Orthodox girlfriend was constantly pressuring me into having sex with her, thank God I resisted those temptations. Her friends at church seemed to be in similar predicaments and they thought I was weird or something for not wanting to mess around with my girlfriend. I was a protestant at the time going to an AG church and my ex & her friends skewed my perception of Orthodoxy initially because they were the first Orthodox people I met. Pre - marital sex is much less acceptable in many protestant denominations, so you can see why this was kind of a shock to me in some regards. It’s seems more rare these days that people are taking their faith seriously and are giving into the pressures of modernism. When I read some of the works of the monastics and how serious they took judgment & the soul after death, I have to wonder where this fits in with the way people in the church are living these days. In this day and age of comforts and relativism, people one day will wake up or either face a very harsh reality in the after - life that they will not be prepared for. It seems living the Christian life and engaging in spiritual work is much less desirable to many in recent times, thus the decline of the Christian west in my opinion.

Nacho,

You are one of the Orthodox on this site that make sense. It is shameful how these Orthodox Christians you have been around in the past have acted. What kind of an example did that set for you as a hetrodox at the time??? These people are supposed to be the light of the world. What happens to salt when it looses it's saltiness?? This immorality seems to have become commonplace in much of the church. I am frustrated by it. Many protestants live a godlier lifestyle in their chastitly than a lot of Orthodox. I am glad that you became Orthodox  and are speaking the truth.
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« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2007, 10:23:26 PM »

You are one of the Orthodox on this site that make sense. It is shameful how these Orthodox Christians you have been around in the past have acted. What kind of an example did that set for you as a hetrodox at the time??? These people are supposed to be the light of the world. What happens to salt when it looses it's saltiness?? This immorality seems to have become commonplace in much of the church. I am frustrated by it. Many protestants live a godlier lifestyle in their chastitly than a lot of Orthodox. I am glad that you became Orthodox  and are speaking the truth.

The conduct of several Orthodox Christians is quite shameful indeed. In pride, vainglory, and prelest they condemn their fellow man, so that they may exalt themselves. They desire to be as God...like their dark master did before them; and in doing so they reject God to a degree of which atheists could only dream. They are men without love, save for themselves and their own glory, and are a shame to all who must bear their presence.

But how foolish of me to thing that pride, prelest, vainglory, and blasphemy could be even compared to an offence as great as infringing upon the Roman legal rights of the paterfamilias. Roll Eyes
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