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Author Topic: Childfree Orthodox Christians  (Read 34695 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« Reply #45 on: September 15, 2007, 08:36:27 PM »

No insult intended here, but I've got to be frank.

And this from EO who always trumpet their adherence to longstanding tradition? I'm sorry, I am sympathetic to the circumstances, but contraception is unjustifiable for reasons of preventing the God-directed miracle of conception. By using it, you are essentially saying that either God does not have control over the creation of human life or that God's control over the creation of human life should be circumvented by your own judgement. It cannot be justified by scripture and ancient Church teaching to usurp control of this process, however well-meaning intentions may be. And this is not just some crazy Catholic saying this---a substantial number of EO still hold to this Church teaching held from time immemorial. Even a heretic like Calvin was firm on this moral principle.
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« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2007, 08:49:53 PM »

An important point to remember, Lubeltri, is that the rock-ribbed anti-contraception folks in your church base their arguments on different theology than us Orthodox.  Marriages should be open to children, not every single "marital act."

Speaking of which (BTW..you aren't married are you?) your church seems to be "ok" with NFP, or at least turns a blind eye toward it.  That, without mincing words, is a very effective form of contraception. My wife and I practiced it, after taking classes on it from the Couple to Couple league at a Catholic hospital.  I have to put in a plug for it... it's quite effective and accurate.  We were able to plan for my wife's pregnancy quite accurately using the methodology they taught us, and as a spacing method it does work over the long-haul.
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« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2007, 08:52:14 PM »

Dear Tamara and SiviSokol,

Thank you, both of you; you are both very kind. I really appreciate your replies.

I know, I should probably be more balanced, un-emotional in my discussions with anti-contraception folks. There is, however,a bigger issue at stake. My principal opponent on the "Maidan" site is not one of those people who were just too "shy" to use contraception (because they thought it's "ungodly"), and ended up with six or eight kids who have nothing to eat. No, he - a professional, an electric engineer, - had fathered two kids, and he deliberately, conscientiously decided not to have any more (because it's not good for him from the purely economical point of view); and, very importantly, he *also* decided not to have any more of the sexual relations with his wife, ever... And he - for months in a row! - keeps building a whole "theology" on that "Maidan" site, arguing that sex is an abomination, it's just filth, people who engage in it - even in marriage, - are just "weak," unable to fathom anything more important and beautiful in life than these sleazy, stinky "body fluids," etc. And he REALLY QUOTES HUNDREDS OF PAGES from the Fathers, supporting his views!!! Moreover, he has this idea that humans were created "non-material" - although they were made "from the dust of the ground," "the ground" itself was not yet "cursed" (as it became later, after the Fall), hence, it was itself "non-material." *EVERYTHING* material, bodily, made of atoms and molecules, etc, to him is disgusting, filthy, horrible, detestable; and AGAIN, HE QUOTES MANY PAGES FROM THE FATHERS (esp. St. Athanasius) to support his claims.

I am worried about all this. I haven't read much of the Fathers, honestly, but what I HAVE read strikes me, indeed, as grim and very aggressively anti-sensual. And I am worried that in my native Ukraine there is a movement pressuring on the government to ban all contraception - literally, all of it, condoms, pills, diaphragms, everything; and in the heart of this movement is this idea that SEX IN MARRIAGE IS ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CHILDBIRTH!!! And this idea finds a lot of support among the Ukrainian clergy, especially Eastern Rite Catholic but ALSO ORTHODOX...
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« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2007, 08:58:15 PM »

No insult intended here, but I've got to be frank.

And this from EO who always trumpet their adherence to longstanding tradition? I'm sorry, I am sympathetic to the circumstances, but contraception is unjustifiable for reasons of preventing the God-directed miracle of conception. By using it, you are essentially saying that either God does not have control over the creation of human life or that God's control over the creation of human life should be circumvented by your own judgement. It cannot be justified by scripture and ancient Church teaching to usurp control of this process, however well-meaning intentions may be. And this is not just some crazy Catholic saying this---a substantial number of EO still hold to this Church teaching held from time immemorial. Even a heretic like Calvin was firm on this moral principle.

Dear Luberti,

I am nobody. I am naive. I am uneducated in Scripture or Fathers or teaching of the Church. And I do believe that it is my wife and I who decide, when are we going to have children. And that's all there is to it.

Burn me at the stake?
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« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2007, 09:12:43 PM »

Dear Tamara and SiviSokol,

Thank you, both of you; you are both very kind. I really appreciate your replies.

I know, I should probably be more balanced, un-emotional in my discussions with anti-contraception folks. There is, however,a bigger issue at stake. My principal opponent on the "Maidan" site is not one of those people who were just too "shy" to use contraception (because they thought it's "ungodly"), and ended up with six or eight kids who have nothing to eat. No, he - a professional, an electric engineer, - had fathered two kids, and he deliberately, conscientiously decided not to have any more (because it's not good for him from the purely economical point of view); and, very importantly, he *also* decided not to have any more of the sexual relations with his wife, ever... And he - for months in a row! - keeps building a whole "theology" on that "Maidan" site, arguing that sex is an abomination, it's just filth, people who engage in it - even in marriage, - are just "weak," unable to fathom anything more important and beautiful in life than these sleazy, stinky "body fluids," etc. And he REALLY QUOTES HUNDREDS OF PAGES from the Fathers, supporting his views!!! Moreover, he has this idea that humans were created "non-material" - although they were made "from the dust of the ground," "the ground" itself was not yet "cursed" (as it became later, after the Fall), hence, it was itself "non-material." *EVERYTHING* material, bodily, made of atoms and molecules, etc, to him is disgusting, filthy, horrible, detestable; and AGAIN, HE QUOTES MANY PAGES FROM THE FATHERS (esp. St. Athanasius) to support his claims.

I am worried about all this. I haven't read much of the Fathers, honestly, but what I HAVE read strikes me, indeed, as grim and very aggressively anti-sensual. And I am worried that in my native Ukraine there is a movement pressuring on the government to ban all contraception - literally, all of it, condoms, pills, diaphragms, everything; and in the heart of this movement is this idea that SEX IN MARRIAGE IS ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF CHILDBIRTH!!! And this idea finds a lot of support among the Ukrainian clergy, especially Eastern Rite Catholic but ALSO ORTHODOX...

George,

My belief is this fellow on the other site may have some problems with either human sexuality (his own) or with his marriage and he is using his faith as a cover to avoid his own personal problems. And it sounds like he doesn't even hold to the Catholic beliefs on human sexuality. He seems to be creating his own set of beliefs from what he has read in the fathers  without the guidance of a priest to help him understand what Eastern Catholics hold as truth.

If he is taking quotes from the fathers out of context I wouldn't even bother trying to refute it. Most of the fathers were celibates who had to encourage the monks under their care to hold fast to their celibacy and cherish it. Fighting the passion of lust was a tough one so they had use all kinds of language and imagery to encourage them in their pursuit of bodily purity.
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« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2007, 09:13:11 PM »

GiC:  Since you are convert to cultural Orthodoxy with Transhumanist leanings, I think that I would be wasting my time engaging you on this issue.

Yes, yes, I know, I'm going to hell anyway, so why bother? See you there Wink
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« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2007, 09:14:02 PM »

Burn me at the stake?

Certainly not. I'm only saying it cannot be justified according to scripture or the constant teaching of the universal Church. Your reasons and acts are your own. I am not your pastor.

I've tried and tried, but I still don't see how this is different in motivation than the innovations pushed by liberal "personal experience trumps Scripture/Tradition" folks. Our respective Churches (along with the rest of Christendom) were pretty clear on this for almost 19 centuries. I have great trouble distinguishing this from other recent cave-ins to modernism. They seem all of a piece---to inculturate the Church with worldly values. I'm sorry to be blunt. I know this is a sensitive issue, and I am certainly sympathetic to your circumstances.
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« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2007, 09:23:23 PM »

Dear Tamara and SiviSokol,

Thank you, both of you; you are both very kind. I really appreciate your replies.

I know, I should probably be more balanced, un-emotional in my discussions with anti-contraception folks. There is, however,a bigger issue at stake. My principal opponent on the "Maidan" site is not one of those people who were just too "shy" to use contraception (because they thought it's "ungodly"), and ended up with six or eight kids who have nothing to eat. No, he - a professional, an electric engineer, - had fathered two kids, and he deliberately, conscientiously decided not to have any more (because it's not good for him from the purely economical point of view); and, very importantly, he *also* decided not to have any more of the sexual relations with his wife, ever... And he - for months in a row! - keeps building a whole "theology" on that "Maidan" site, arguing that sex is an abomination, it's just filth, people who engage in it - even in marriage, - are just "weak," unable to fathom anything more important and beautiful in life than these sleazy, stinky "body fluids," etc. And he REALLY QUOTES HUNDREDS OF PAGES from the Fathers, supporting his views!!! Moreover, he has this idea that humans were created "non-material" - although they were made "from the dust of the ground," "the ground" itself was not yet "cursed" (as it became later, after the Fall), hence, it was itself "non-material." *EVERYTHING* material, bodily, made of atoms and molecules, etc, to him is disgusting, filthy, horrible, detestable; and AGAIN, HE QUOTES MANY PAGES FROM THE FATHERS (esp. St. Athanasius) to support his claims.

This sounds like Gnosticism to me.  I find it hard to believe that a consensus of Church Fathers would support Gnostic views.

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« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2007, 09:29:20 PM »

No insult intended here, but I've got to be frank.

I'm slightly scared by the possibility that you may actually believe what you're posting, and very entertained in either case...but insulted? Nah. Wink

Quote
And this from EO who always trumpet their adherence to longstanding tradition? I'm sorry, I am sympathetic to the circumstances, but contraception is unjustifiable for reasons of preventing the God-directed miracle of conception. By using it, you are essentially saying that either God does not have control over the creation of human life or that God's control over the creation of human life should be circumvented by your own judgement.

Ummm, I think you're forgetting something...this is the 21st century. Really. It is.

As you may (or may not) have heard, human life was 'created' by natural evolutionary processes. There is a very good biological explanation for reproduction...it's not a magic trick. God's 'control over the creation of human life' has been 'circumvented' by randomness, natural selection, and various enviromental factors for billions of years. Yet, somehow all of a sudden it's wrong? You do understand that if a selection method governing reproduction hadn't existed for billions of years, we wouldn't be here today? Right?

So, considering that for billions of years outside factors influenced reproduction, I would think that it is most reasonable to expect a degree of control over whether or not your genes are used in the reproductive act. It's certainly a more reasonable approach than random genetic mutation which has been and really still is the norm.

Ultimately, what I'm getting at is that this is a medical question related to scientific facts. Religion has no role to play in this matter so let each at according to the dictates of science and medicine. So, are you going to be consistant with your argument and extend the reasoning to its logical conclusion? Surely we must conclude from your reasoning that vaccines and penicillin are evil...well to modify your words:

'I'm sorry, I am sympathetic to the circumstances, but medicine is unjustifiable for reasons of preventing the God-directed reality of death. By using it, you are essentially saying that either God does not have control over the mortality of human life or that God's control over the mortality of human life should be circumvented by your own judgement.'

I hope you see the problem with your reasoning now?

Quote
It cannot be justified by scripture and ancient Church teaching to usurp control of this process, however well-meaning intentions may be. And this is not just some crazy Catholic saying this---a substantial number of EO still hold to this Church teaching held from time immemorial. Even a heretic like Calvin was firm on this moral principle.

Shocked Calvin said birth control was wrong? Now I see the error of my ways. Roll Eyes

Burn me at the stake?

Meet you there, I'll bring the marshmallows Wink
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« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2007, 09:35:34 PM »

Certainly not. I'm only saying it cannot be justified according to scripture or the constant teaching of the universal Church. Your reasons and acts are your own. I am not your pastor.

I've tried and tried, but I still don't see how this is different in motivation than the innovations pushed by liberal "personal experience trumps Scripture/Tradition" folks. Our respective Churches (along with the rest of Christendom) were pretty clear on this for almost 19 centuries. I have great trouble distinguishing this from other recent cave-ins to modernism. They seem all of a piece---to inculturate the Church with worldly values. I'm sorry to be blunt. I know this is a sensitive issue, and I am certainly sympathetic to your circumstances.

Thank you, Luberti, that was very honest and also very kind. Believe me, I am totally lost in this issue myself. On the one hand, I was baptized in the Presbyterian Church (USA), one of the bastions of secularism and liberalism, and I know the snare of this "inculturating the Church" trend from inside, and I do not like it one bit. But, on the other hand, I just can't help but believe that the Fathers of our Church lived in a different world and their views on sensuality, sexuality and childbirth in marriage were very different from what seems to be simply, er, ... sane in our age...
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« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2007, 09:40:19 PM »

This sounds like Gnosticism to me.  I find it hard to believe that a consensus of Church Fathers would support Gnostic views.


Yes, Nyssa, I believe you hit the nail on the head. But this guy won't listen. He refuses to listen even to his own Eastern Rite Catholic priest on that forum. Calls him "weak," and "hypocrite," and... quotes the Fathers... Cry
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« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2007, 10:14:53 PM »

Hi Heorhij,

I'm a lurker at this site, and I've only delurked to lend support to my wife...normally I don't post much.  I have, however, read most of your posts since you've joined the board.  I agree with GiC as far as how to handle your "friend" on the Maidan board: don't get into a proof-text war.  He's a Gnostic, or shows quite strong Gnostic leanings. He also may be twisting translations to suit his ideological goals...do you know whether he's "massaging" his translations from the original Greek and Latin?    The simple fact is that he's wrong, although one cannot go too far to the other side.  What I said I was taught as the Orthodox teaching on sex and marriage: marriages need to be open to kids if at all possible (just look at the number of times children are mentioned in the wedding service!).  Likewise, virginity is one of the toughest, but also one of the most richly rewarding, pathways to deification.

It seems that this fellow is troubling you, so I would caution you (as perhaps others should or have) that the internet is not necessarily a place to seek spiritual advice unless you know and have reason to respect the giver of said advice.  I know that you are isolated from other Orthodox living where you are, but caveat lector...message boards are filled with cranks.

Over and against what you've mentioned about this guys arguments, I would mention that Christ's first miracle was at a wedding.  I would also take to heart 1 Corinthians 7:1-7.   As far as quotes from the Fathers, the following struck me:

St. Gregory of Nyssa

Quote
"We are not ignorant of the fact that marriage also is not deprived of God's blessing.   But since there is sufficient support for it and since the common nature of humanity, bestowed upon all who come to birth through marriage, automatically inclines in this direction, whereas virginity somehow goes against nature, it would be superfluous to go to the trouble of wring a plea for marriage and eulogy of it emphasizing its indisputable inducement, I mean pleasure, unless there should be need of such words because of some people who tamper with the teachings of the Church on marriage, whom the apostle calls "those having their conscience branded." These, forsaking the guidance of the Holy Spirit because of the teaching of demons, engrave scars and brands upon their hearts, detesting God's creatures as abominations, addressing them as evil-bringers, causes of evil, and the like.  But He speaks saying: "What have I to do with judging those outside?" For they are truly outside of the court of the mysteries of the word, being lodged, not in the shelter of God, but in the stable of the wicked one, being captives of his will, according to the voice of the apostle.  And this is because they do not understand that evil is the turning to extremes, all virtue being looked upon as lying in the mean, since one everywhere distinguishes virtue from evil by taking the mean between the slack and taut...


-From the same

Quote
One should neither remain aloof from the more divine desires, nor should one reject the idea of marriage.  It is not reasonable to disregard the economy of nature or to slander what is honorable as disgusting.  For just as we said in the illustration of the water and the source, when the farmer directs the water to a certain place and draws it off, there is a need for a small central stream to facilitate the flow in proportion to the amount required for it to be mingled again easily with the main stream.  But if someone imprudently and unskillfully opens up a channel for the water, there is the risk that the whole stream will abandon its straight course and be broken up into gullies.  In the same way, since there is need in life also for the succession of one thing from another, if someone uses reproduction similarly while spiritual considerations hold priority, exercising his desire for such things sparingly and fearfully in accordance with the holy Virgin which served the unblemished childbirth, he is blessed on the grounds that the offspring does not destroy virginity and virginity does not stand in the way of such begetting.  For, as Isaiah says, where "the spirit of salvation is born the wishes of the flesh are entirely useless."


John Chrysostom

Quote
You hear this word virginity-a concept which contains within itself much trial and struggle. do not alarm yourself over it.  It does not deal with a precept, nor does it have the force of a commandment (St. Paul); it concern only those who freely and of their own impulse choose it in expectation of the reward.  On the other hand, those who hold back and do not wish to choose it will not have any punishment inflicted on them, nor will they be forced to observe it against their will.


Quote
When Christ came down from heaven, to make angels out of people, and to implant the heavenly mode of life on earth, He did not venture to prescribe it (virginity) and give it the force of a law.  God has commanded that one should sacrifice one's life if necessary; and what can be more difficult than that? Also, that one must be crucified continually, and that one must do good to one's enemies; but that one should live a life of virginity, that He has not commanded.  That He leaves to the free will of His listeners when He says: "He who can take it, let him take it."


Maximos the Confessor-

Quote
Theologians call the divine sometimes an erotic force, sometimes love, sometimes that which is intensely longed for and loved.  Consequently, as an erotic force and as love, the divine itself is subject to movement; and as that which is intensely longed for and loved it moves towards itself everything that is receptive of this force and love.  To express this more clearly:  the divine itself is subject to movement since it produces an inward state of intense longing and love in those receptive to them; and it moves others since by nature it attract the desire of those who are drawn towards it.  In other words, it move others and itself moves since it thirsts to be thirsted for, longs to be longed for, and loves to be loved.


Quote
The divine erotic force also produces ecstasy, compelling those who love to belong not to themselves but to those whom they love.  This is shown by superior beings through their care of inferiors, by those of equal dignity through their mutual union, and by lower beings through their divine conversion towards those that are highest in rank.  It was in consequence of this that St. Paul, possessed as he was by this divine erotic force and partaking of its ecstatic power, was inspired to say: "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."  He uttered these words as a true lover and, as he himself says, as one who has gone out from himself to God, not living his own life but that of the beloved, because of his fervent love for Him.


John Klimakos

Quote
some people living carelessly in the world put a question to me:  "how can we who are married and living amid public cares aspire to the monastic life?"
I answered:  "Do whatever good you may.  Speak evil of no one.  Rob no one.  Tell no lie. Despise no one and carry no hate.  Do not separate yourself from the Church assemblies.  Show compassion to the needy.  Do not be a cause of scandal to anyone.  Stay away from the bed of another, and be satisfied with what your own wives can provide you.  If you do all this you will not be far from the kingdom of heaven."


Alexander Elchaninov-

Quote
Marriage, fleshly love is a very great sacrament and mystery.  Through it is accomplished the most real and at the same time the most mysterious of all possible forms of human relationship.  And, qualitatively, marriage enables us to pass beyond all the normal rules of human relationship and to enter a region of the miraculous, the superhuman.


Quote
In fleshly love, besides its intrinsic value ass such, God has granted the world a share in His omnipotence:  a human being creates a human being, a new soul is brought into being.  A human being enters deeply into the texture of the world through his family alone.



I would recommend "Love, Sexuality and the Sacrament of Marriage" by John Chryssavgis (the source of the above quotes), as well as "The Sacrament of Love" by Paul Evdokimov.
 
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« Reply #57 on: September 15, 2007, 10:17:23 PM »

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Yes, yes, I know, I'm going to hell anyway, so why bother? See you there Wink

Oh, don't be silly.  I share leanings toward your apokatastasis hobbyhorse, although I don't share your view that divine justice mandates a restoration of all things to the one.  Wink
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« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2007, 10:58:03 PM »

Yes, Nyssa, I believe you hit the nail on the head. But this guy won't listen. He refuses to listen even to his own Eastern Rite Catholic priest on that forum. Calls him "weak," and "hypocrite," and... quotes the Fathers... Cry
But what of Christ, the Holy Apostles, the great monastics, and all those Holy Fathers who spoke with unanimous consensus that we are not to judge our brother?  Does this guy follow THAT teaching?  That, IMO, seems to be much more important (speaking relatively) than what goes on in the marriage bed.
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« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2007, 11:32:54 PM »

Ummm, I think you're forgetting something...this is the 21st century. Really. It is.

As you may (or may not) have heard, human life was 'created' by natural evolutionary processes. There is a very good biological explanation for reproduction...it's not a magic trick. God's 'control over the creation of human life' has been 'circumvented' by randomness, natural selection, and various enviromental factors for billions of years. Yet, somehow all of a sudden it's wrong? You do understand that if a selection method governing reproduction hadn't existed for billions of years, we wouldn't be here today? Right?

So, considering that for billions of years outside factors influenced reproduction, I would think that it is most reasonable to expect a degree of control over whether or not your genes are used in the reproductive act. It's certainly a more reasonable approach than random genetic mutation which has been and really still is the norm.

Ultimately, what I'm getting at is that this is a medical question related to scientific facts. Religion has no role to play in this matter so let each at according to the dictates of science and medicine. So, are you going to be consistant with your argument and extend the reasoning to its logical conclusion? Surely we must conclude from your reasoning that vaccines and penicillin are evil...well to modify your words:

'I'm sorry, I am sympathetic to the circumstances, but medicine is unjustifiable for reasons of preventing the God-directed reality of death. By using it, you are essentially saying that either God does not have control over the mortality of human life or that God's control over the mortality of human life should be circumvented by your own judgement.'

I hope you see the problem with your reasoning now?
So you're saying that we, as Orthodox Christians, are to ignore the ancient and venerable doctrines of our faith and are to define our practices and the basis for their morality solely on... the theories of modern science? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2007, 11:44:43 PM »

So you're saying that we, as Orthodox Christians, are to ignore the ancient and venerable doctrines of our faith and are to define our practices and the basis for their morality solely on... the theories of modern science? Roll Eyes

My argument was a bit more nuanced than that...but you've got the gist of it. Basically these 'ancient and venerable doctrines' were made on false pretenses. Through no fault of their own those who opined on the matter simply did not have an adequate understanding of biology, evolution, and reproduction to make an educated statement on the act of reproduction itself...to say nothing of the moral implications of the same. It's not so much that the fundamental principles of the faith need to be overturned, but rather that these need to be used in conjunction with our modern scientific understanding to establish doctrines based on reality and not incorrect conjecture.
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« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2007, 11:48:56 PM »

Heorhij read in a book about the nature of faith called (If only I could Believe) written by a prominent protestant pastor (alliteration  Grin) who gave the details of a story which involved a man who suffered from a mental disease in which he believed that he was dead but could still talk, now the doctor attempted to reason with the man and said "If I pricked a dead mans finger would it bleed" the patient said "I suppose not" then the doctor pricked the patients finger and to his surprise it bled then the doctor said "you see your alive" then the patient said "all this time I believed that dead people don't bleed but I was very much mistaken". Now this story can be paralleled to a lot of people heard of heart to not listen to reason and after very infuriating conversations with some fundamental Christians about creationism, the ancient church and the bible they still stuck with there own positions only changing the way they get to there own idea's to fit the new evidence. The point is that this "friend" of yours will not be changed by reason as you stated he wont even listen to his priest so try not to persuade him or make him look for more "confirmations" only ask that he truly look in to himself with a fresh set of eyes and to pray on it.
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« Reply #62 on: September 16, 2007, 09:02:48 AM »

The simple fact is that he's wrong, although one cannot go too far to the other side.  What I said I was taught as the Orthodox teaching on sex and marriage: marriages need to be open to kids if at all possible (just look at the number of times children are mentioned in the wedding service!).  Likewise, virginity is one of the toughest, but also one of the most richly rewarding, pathways to deification.

(...) Over and against what you've mentioned about this guys arguments, I would mention that Christ's first miracle was at a wedding.  I would also take to heart 1 Corinthians 7:1-7.   As far as quotes from the Fathers, the following struck me:(...)


Many, many thanks, SiviSokol.
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« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2007, 09:08:53 AM »

But what of Christ, the Holy Apostles, the great monastics, and all those Holy Fathers who spoke with unanimous consensus that we are not to judge our brother?  Does this guy follow THAT teaching?  That, IMO, seems to be much more important (speaking relatively) than what goes on in the marriage bed.

Peter, no, no! Moreover, he accuses me, all the time, that I, a real hypocrite, twisted the true teaching of Christ about judging others. He says that in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ said "do not judge" (or "judge ye not"), under "ye," He meant hypocrites like Judas Iskariote (who was definitely present there during the sermon). It was said to THEM, NOT to "real" inspired Christian believers. To prove his point, the huy quotes 1 Cor. 2:15-16 and says that as long as he is "in the Spirit" and has "the mind of Christ," he is entitled to judging everybody, calling people bad names, "exposing" their apostasy, etc.
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« Reply #64 on: September 16, 2007, 06:25:13 PM »

Peter, no, no! Moreover, he accuses me, all the time, that I, a real hypocrite, twisted the true teaching of Christ about judging others. He says that in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ said "do not judge" (or "judge ye not"), under "ye," He meant hypocrites like Judas Iskariote (who was definitely present there during the sermon). It was said to THEM, NOT to "real" inspired Christian believers. To prove his point, the huy quotes 1 Cor. 2:15-16 and says that as long as he is "in the Spirit" and has "the mind of Christ," he is entitled to judging everybody, calling people bad names, "exposing" their apostasy, etc.

Dear George,

From what you have described you are dealing with someone who is delusional and perhaps he has fallen into prelest. There is no reasoning with someone like that...in fact, since he has obviously effected your inner peace I would suggest you cut off anymore discussions with him. He is dangerous.

sincerely, Tamara
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« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2007, 09:51:04 PM »

Peter, no, no! Moreover, he accuses me, all the time, that I, a real hypocrite, twisted the true teaching of Christ about judging others. He says that in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ said "do not judge" (or "judge ye not"), under "ye," He meant hypocrites like Judas Iskariote (who was definitely present there during the sermon). It was said to THEM, NOT to "real" inspired Christian believers. To prove his point, the huy quotes 1 Cor. 2:15-16 and says that as long as he is "in the Spirit" and has "the mind of Christ," he is entitled to judging everybody, calling people bad names, "exposing" their apostasy, etc.
I wonder what patristic evidence he can dig up to support THIS pov, because I'm certainly not aware of any Father who taught THIS interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount.  The judgmental spirit you portray in this man is evidence to me that he in fact is NOT "in the Spirit" and does NOT have "the mind of Christ."

"You will know them by their fruits."  -- Matthew 7:16

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law."  -- Galatians 5:22-23


I agree with Tamara on this.  If this guy has affected your inner peace as much as your recent posts seem to indicate, he is a danger to your salvation, and you should avoid him.
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« Reply #66 on: September 17, 2007, 10:53:14 AM »

I wonder what patristic evidence he can dig up to support THIS pov, because I'm certainly not aware of any Father who taught THIS interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount.  The judgmental spirit you portray in this man is evidence to me that he in fact is NOT "in the Spirit" and does NOT have "the mind of Christ."

"You will know them by their fruits."  -- Matthew 7:16

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law."  -- Galatians 5:22-23


I agree with Tamara on this.  If this guy has affected your inner peace as much as your recent posts seem to indicate, he is a danger to your salvation, and you should avoid him.

Well, a number of people pointed out to him that he is acting like an angry person. but he always says, "You don't know me, you don't know how I live; actually, it's you who are emotional because you do not like the truth. I am always calm, peaceful and joyful in the Spirit." And immediately after saying this, he makes a quote from somebody's post where that person admonishes him not to judge people, and comments something like, "see, how a hypocrite twists the teaching of Christ, which, as this hypocrite knows, is so well explained to us in 1 Cor. 2:15-16? This hypocrite just hates the truth, because this hypocrite is posessed by the evil one. OK, never mind, never mind, I'll just keep exposing you, hypocrite!" etc.

I understand that the best thing to do in this situation would be just leave him alone, not react to any of his postings. But the thing is, "Maidan" is a point of connection of very many people, only a tiny fraction of whom has any experience of Christian living. I have already seen a few posts from some non-Christians (one from a man who identifies himself as a Krishnaite, and a couple from esoterically inclined "God-searchers"), where people expressed their agreement with the idea that matter and bodily things, particularly sex, are intrinsically evil and disgusting. I am worried about this, partially because in Ukraine at the moment there are broad discussions on contraception, and some Eastern Rite Catholic clergy keep initiating petitions to the government to ban all contraceptive devices, arguing if not quite the same as my opponent, then close (i.e. that sex has to be "justified" by the desire of the couple to procreate, or else it is just filth).
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« Reply #67 on: September 17, 2007, 11:08:06 AM »

Dear George,

From what you have described you are dealing with someone who is delusional and perhaps he has fallen into prelest. There is no reasoning with someone like that...in fact, since he has obviously effected your inner peace I would suggest you cut off anymore discussions with him. He is dangerous.

sincerely, Tamara

While falling into the sin of judgment of my fellow brother myself, I'd say that the definitely has fallen into prelest.  Smiley

He's a whacko who I would ignore completely and suggest to others (privately) that they do the same. 
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« Reply #68 on: September 17, 2007, 01:30:51 PM »

While falling into the sin of judgment of my fellow brother myself, I'd say that the definitely has fallen into prelest.  Smiley

He's a whacko who I would ignore completely and suggest to others (privately) that they do the same. 

Dear Schultz,

There are many crazy characters on the internet and I hate to see a sweet guy like George get cyber-bullied by one of them.

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« Reply #69 on: September 18, 2007, 10:50:07 AM »

Frankly, the way the person on "Maidan" writes reminds me of the Phelps/WBC people.  There is no disagreeing with them, no arguing, no counter views allowed.  He is locked into a mindset of "My Ideas and Preferences and Likesand Dislikes are the Law and Rule of the Universe(tm) (C) pat.pend."  I would suggest that he does not really see/understand anyone on that forum as a Human Being like he is.  (he sees words on a screen so opponents aren't "Real" as it were.)

It took me a bit to find, but perhaps this cartoon "Flame-Warrior" will amuse you in regards to this person (who I concur is going "Gnostic" in spades)
http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/ferouscranus.htm

It reads like dealing with him isn't good for your health or wellbeing George.

Ebor
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« Reply #70 on: September 18, 2007, 10:59:09 AM »

Dear Schultz,

There are many crazy characters on the internet and I hate to see a sweet guy like George get cyber-bullied by one of them.

I'd hate to see our good friend George bullied, as well, but sometimes you just have to ignore people who, while they may not necessarily be Internet Trolls (tm) in the literal sense, certainly act like one.  Smiley 
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« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2007, 01:36:44 PM »

Tamara, Schultz, Ebor - thank you for your support, but it's actually not about me... You see, aside from his gnostic exegesis of Genesis, his main point is, sex needs "justification" (childbirth), or else it is a yucky, disgusting, evil thing to do, even in marriage. This is what I cannot accept, and, unfortunately, I do not have good support not only from Roman Catholics, but also from at least some Orthodox. One way or other they all say that sex is not to the end of pleasing, satisfying your spouse, but for some other purpose (procreation or "relieving tension" to help a person avoid the sin of lust and the danger of adultery). And I always - naively? - thought that sex is, first and foremost, something you GIVE, a gift to your spouse, a unique gift of all of yourself. That's exactly where my opponents say that oh, well, forget it, that's un-Christian, pagan, satanic...
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« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2007, 02:10:30 PM »

And I always - naively? - thought that sex is, first and foremost, something you GIVE, a gift to your spouse, a unique gift of all of yourself. That's exactly where my opponents say that oh, well, forget it, that's un-Christian, pagan, satanic...

That's been my understanding of sex as well and I grew up in what most people would think to be a pretty sexually repressed environment.  I find otherwise committed, caring Christians oftentimes are reacting to the excess and abuse of sexuality by secular society in such a way that unfortunately demonizes things such as sex.  It's very sad. 
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« Reply #73 on: September 18, 2007, 02:33:39 PM »

That's been my understanding of sex as well and I grew up in what most people would think to be a pretty sexually repressed environment.  I find otherwise committed, caring Christians oftentimes are reacting to the excess and abuse of sexuality by secular society in such a way that unfortunately demonizes things such as sex.  It's very sad. 

Yes, but the thing is, they claim that it's Scripture and the Fathers who demonize sex, not they...
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« Reply #74 on: September 18, 2007, 02:38:42 PM »

Yes, but the thing is, they claim that it's Scripture and the Fathers who demonize sex, not they...

There's an old Southern saying that the Devil can quote Scripture (and, by extension, the Fathers) to suit his needs.

The overall consensus of the Church, at least as I have been taught, is that a) Adam and Eve were as real and corporeal as you and I are and b) sex is in and of itself not evil, but it can be turned by Man into evil.

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« Reply #75 on: September 18, 2007, 02:46:08 PM »

If He had wanted, God could have made it that human beings budded, or exchanged genetic material by some impersonal method that didn't involve pleasure and caring.  But He didn't. He made female and male and the way to make more of them.  God made the Universe and 'saw that it was very good.' *He* made the pleasures.  We can misuse them, or focus only on them and not on what goes with them. But that doesn't take away that God made fruit that tastes nice (and gives us vitamins) and flowers that look/smell nice (as well as the weird ones like the Titan Arum that reek) and bonds between two people that can be a delight (even if they do snore  Grin )

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« Reply #76 on: September 18, 2007, 02:47:41 PM »

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I can think of a couple of C. S. Lewis books that look at some of this idea: "The Screwtape Letters" and (an early work and an allegory but don't let that stop you) "The Pilgrim's Regress". Both had some things about the idea of being "purer then the average bear" that is taking a personal idea of "purity" to extremes.

Ebor
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« Reply #77 on: September 18, 2007, 02:49:03 PM »

At risk of sounding like a "Cafeteria Orthodox". I simply cannot believe God wants us to pop out as many children as is biologically possible.  I had none by choice and consider it preferable to help those already in this world who need special attention.

May God continue to enrich you and bless you and keep you.

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« Reply #78 on: October 22, 2007, 12:00:25 AM »

accrah32,

Did you ever have discussions about this issue with the priest who married you? (No need to answer on a public list...this is just a question worth thinking about).

I think folks on this list could give you 100 answers, and all of them could be different. But I think that your priest or father confessor needs to be the one who you (and your spouse) should pose this question to.

Last,  please forgive me if this offends. I know this is a very personal issue. But these tough decisions are why I think we need relationships with our priests.
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