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Author Topic: Were Adam and Eve "material," made of chemical elements, "substances," etc.?  (Read 5260 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 08, 2007, 05:25:15 PM »

One guy on a Ukrainian religious forum posed that Scripture and the Fathers teach a complete "spiritualness" of Adam and Eve, i.e. that they were not made of chemical elements, matter, "substances," etc. Is this true? I understand that the human body is taught to have become corrupt and mortal because of sin, but, still, AFAIK, there is a huge leap from this to saying that God created humans as totally immaterial beings and then they became "matter" (atoms, molecules, cells, tissues etc.) solely because of their own disobedience. Comments? Thanks in advance! --G.
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2007, 05:38:11 PM »

Interesting, though it sounds like gnosticism... all things material are corrupt, so a perfect being couldn't possibly be made of a material substance.  I've not heard this particular take on Adam and Eve, but it's been applied to Christ many times.  (But that also begs the question, if material was not corrupt until after the fall.)
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2007, 06:20:45 PM »

Sounds like heretical theological anthropology to me.  I think it might be argued that Origen also taught such things, i.e. the pre-existence of souls.  Whether or not Origen taught it, the idea behind it was condemned by Church fathers.

If you read St. Athanasius' writings, it teaches that man who was by essence corruptible with body, soul, and spirit was incorrupt by grace, and lost that grace due to disobedience (By the way, angels, who are spirits only are also by nature corruptible.  In fact, any creation is by nature corruptible.)

God bless.
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2007, 06:37:28 PM »

One guy on a Ukrainian religious forum posed that Scripture and the Fathers teach a complete "spiritualness" of Adam and Eve, i.e. that they were not made of chemical elements, matter, "substances," etc. Is this true? I understand that the human body is taught to have become corrupt and mortal because of sin, but, still, AFAIK, there is a huge leap from this to saying that God created humans as totally immaterial beings and then they became "matter" (atoms, molecules, cells, tissues etc.) solely because of their own disobedience. Comments? Thanks in advance! --G. 

I've never heard of spiritual "dust" before - so if someone wants to be that much of a spiritualist, they'll have to contend with scripture; you don't need to take it 100% literally, but you at least have to acknowledge that scripture points to humans being created out of the material world.
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 12:07:54 PM »

EofK, Mina, Cleveland, - many thanks!

Next question... This guy keeps arguing that "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7) does not contradict the notion that man was created non-material. He points out that the event described in Gen. 2:7 was BEFORE the "ground" was accursed (Gen. 3:17). So, he believes that the "ground" - the material from which God originally created man - was also non-material, spiritual, perfect, eternal, un-corruptable and it existed (like all other things in the "garden of Eden") in some other spiritual "dimension." Then, lated, after the man's disobedience, God "transferred" the "ground" and all other things (plants, animals, humans) into the "material" and corruptable dimension.

Is this what the Church teaches? Thanks again. --G.
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 12:19:59 PM »

Is this what the Church teaches? Thanks again. --G.

No, this would be gnosticism; in reality, what the Church (or at least the educated elements of the same) really teaches today is the theory of Evolution, Genesis is really considered more allegory (very useful allegory from a theological standpoint, and perhaps even more useful theologically when we understand the book in the concept of spirituality and theology than when viewed as history). It's pretty much only fringe elements in any religion that dispute modern science.
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2007, 04:09:46 PM »

It's heretical.  All Holy Fathers agree that man was created out of the material world.  All things created are "fallen" unless united with the grace of God.  Only then, by unity with His grace does one have incorruption (and still being material).  All things however are essentially "corruptible," even the angels.

God bless.
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2007, 09:01:02 AM »

Did not God make Adam of the earth? What ever happened to 'dust to dust'?
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 09:38:34 AM »

My opponent from the Ukrainian site does not argue that God did not make Adam of dust. His argument is that the "dust" was different before the Fall. It was all in some other dimension, and it was all outside of the realm of our present material space and time. His exegesis of the verse, "cursed be the earth because of you," is that God transferred man into what we now perceive as material world. (He even uses some speculations based on physics, relativity theory, speed of light, etc.)
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 10:01:06 AM »

My opponent from the Ukrainian site does not argue that God did not make Adam of dust. His argument is that the "dust" was different before the Fall. It was all in some other dimension, and it was all outside of the realm of our present material space and time. His exegesis of the verse, "cursed be the earth because of you," is that God transferred man into what we now perceive as material world. (He even uses some speculations based on physics, relativity theory, speed of light, etc.)

I think your opponent has a lot of university degrees he feels the need to exercise his brain with.  Wacko ideas but maybe they could make a great sci fi story. 
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2007, 10:19:43 AM »

I think your opponent has a lot of university degrees he feels the need to exercise his brain with.  Wacko ideas but maybe they could make a great sci fi story. 

Well, he is an electric engineer... I am afraid it's not as much his desire to apply physics to the Gospel as his hatred of everything "bodily," "material," etc. He keeps coming to that Ukrainian site with one permanent message, that is, to please God, we all must die to "sin," which, in his mind, is the same as to die to everything material, everything pleasurable to the body. He is an extreme ascetic. Says that he eats only once a day at best and sleeps no more than three hours. His wife and he agreed on not having any sex, ever. I tried to say that sin is, AFAIK, not synonymous to matter but, rather, synonymous to rebellion against God's will, but he only answers that I am a hypocrite and a filthy mean man. Interestingly, he always quotes St. Athanasius - just like Mina quoted him here, but he draws a completely different message from St. Athanasius.
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 11:10:46 AM »

If you read St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation," it teaches that ONLY man received the grace of incorruption.  Everything else around him, animals, plants, earth, were "impermanent."  According to St. Athanasius, Adam was in the actual Paradise of God (allegorically called the "Garden of Eden" in the Bible), not on Earth.  When Adam sinned, he went back to the Earth and experience the corruption (I guess you can say experience the laws of science and evolution, the "laws of death," which St. Athanasius calls "natural") around him.

God bless.
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 02:24:24 PM »

If you read St. Athanasius' "On the Incarnation," it teaches that ONLY man received the grace of incorruption.  Everything else around him, animals, plants, earth, were "impermanent."  According to St. Athanasius, Adam was in the actual Paradise of God (allegorically called the "Garden of Eden" in the Bible), not on Earth.  When Adam sinned, he went back to the Earth and experience the corruption (I guess you can say experience the laws of science and evolution, the "laws of death," which St. Athanasius calls "natural") around him.

God bless.

May I ask, is it a consensus, a general belief among the Orthodox, the belief of the whole Church that a certain literal Paradise existed not on Earth but elsewhere?
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 03:04:53 PM »

Give him a peyote button, THEN you'll be able to understand him. Grin
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 03:15:19 PM »

Give him a peyote button, THEN you'll be able to understand him. Grin

Sorry, I don't understand this (maybe because I am not a native English speaker). What do you mean? Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 04:49:29 PM »

May I ask, is it a consensus, a general belief among the Orthodox, the belief of the whole Church that a certain literal Paradise existed not on Earth but elsewhere?

There has never really been any consensus within the Church on the meaning of Genesis.
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2007, 06:56:48 PM »

Sorry, I don't understand this (maybe because I am not a native English speaker). What do you mean? Smiley

Hallucinogenic mushroom used in some Native American religions and some new agey peyote churches.  It grows in southwest Texas and Mexico and looks like a dark green lump growing on the ground.  The button I think is a protrusion that is cut off and dried, then either eaten or boiled into tea.  Got a hippie reputation with writer Carlos Castaneda and Hunter S. Thompson.  I don't think your "friend" needs to be anymore tripped out than he already is.   Is he Ukrainian living in the US or in Ukraine?  Either way, he sounds like he'd be a real fun co-worker to have in an office (until he goes postal and shows up at the office with an AK47 and an aluminum foil helmet to keep away the aliens).   
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2007, 07:02:14 PM »

Hallucinogenic mushroom used in some Native American religions and some new agey peyote churches.  It grows in southwest Texas and Mexico and looks like a dark green lump growing on the ground.  The button I think is a protrusion that is cut off and dried, then either eaten or boiled into tea.  Got a hippie reputation with writer Carlos Castaneda and Hunter S. Thompson.  I don't think your "friend" needs to be anymore tripped out than he already is.   Is he Ukrainian living in the US or in Ukraine?  Either way, he sounds like he'd be a real fun co-worker to have in an office (until he goes postal and shows up at the office with an AK47 and an aluminum foil helmet to keep away the aliens).   

Thanks, Tina. The guy lives in Chicago, but he is a first generation Ukrainian and an Eastern Rite Catholic. He does not read anything in English (I am afraid he never bothered to learn), but he reads Holy Fathers in Russian translations in very large doses, and quotes them profusely. We never met in real life, but I deal with him pretty much every day as a section moderator on a Ukrainian Web forum called "Maidan."
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2007, 07:37:44 PM »

May I ask, is it a consensus, a general belief among the Orthodox, the belief of the whole Church that a certain literal Paradise existed not on Earth but elsewhere?

Well, what do you mean by a "literal Paradise?"  On defining Paradise, I'm pretty sure there's a consensus that it is there you experience fully the grace of God.  Whether there will be trees, gardens, fruits (I guess you can add bees buzzing, birds chirping, and flutes playing), I don't think there's much of a consensus there.  If you study the Alexandrian tradition, things tend to be taken allegorically than literally.

As for Genesis, I don't think any two fathers are exactly on par with their interpretations.

God bless.
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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2007, 09:31:10 AM »

Well, what do you mean by a "literal Paradise?"  On defining Paradise, I'm pretty sure there's a consensus that it is there you experience fully the grace of God.  Whether there will be trees, gardens, fruits (I guess you can add bees buzzing, birds chirping, and flutes playing), I don't think there's much of a consensus there.  If you study the Alexandrian tradition, things tend to be taken allegorically than literally.

As for Genesis, I don't think any two fathers are exactly on par with their interpretations.

God bless.

Thank you so much again, Mina. May I ask, was there a patristic consensus that marriage is ONLY for procreation? This guy who initiated the discussion about "non-material-ness" of the original man keeps saying that all Holy Fathers detested marital relationships *unless* they are for begetting children.
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« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2007, 10:11:57 AM »

Thank you so much again, Mina. May I ask, was there a patristic consensus that marriage is ONLY for procreation? This guy who initiated the discussion about "non-material-ness" of orogonal man keeps saying that all Holy Fathers detested marital relationships *unless* they are for begetting children.

Good question.  I don't really know.  For one thing, I understand that my own Church has taken a stance that marriage is not just for begetting children, and that sexual relations without the intent of getting children is fine.  But I cannot confirm that patristically.

God bless.
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« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2007, 10:33:50 AM »

Good question.  I don't really know.  For one thing, I understand that my own Church has taken a stance that marriage is not just for begetting children, and that sexual relations without the intent of getting children is fine.  But I cannot confirm that patristically.

God bless.

My opponent quotes St. Cyril of Jerusalem who, allegedly, wrote somewhere that he wishes that all those who are married remain "clean" in body and touch each other only when they want to beget a child; if they do it because they have erotic feelings and want to satisfy these feelings, then they are "unclean" and their marriage is "unlawful." And he digs gazillions of quotes like this one from other Fathers as well, leading his readers to accept his take on human sexuality as something bestial, "cattle-like," shameful, devoid of God's grace. And he often uses a quote from Pope John Paul II's encyclica that all eroticism, all human erotic sensations are "deprived of God's grace." (He uses the Ukrainian translation where the word is "erotychne pozhadannya," a very broad term that can, indeed, be applied to anything sensual-erotic.) Are we really, according to the Church Fathers, shaming God when we as much as have what our conventional "human culture" calls "normal feelings towards our spouses?" Is procreation our only excuse? I know that the Orthodox will say, "no," but I just cannot find any good quotes from our patristic heritage opposing this guy's take.
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« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2007, 12:19:07 PM »

Well, as I understand it, there were some fathers that did look at marriage in that way.  I'm sure there might have been other fathers who thought differently.  But one cannot help notice the expressions of the Song of Songs as well as St. Paul's command in 1 Cor. 7 to marry if you cannot control your sexual desires (of course he also says to use some self-control).  I understand St. Athanasius said something along the lines of, just as killing is only allowed by those in war, so does sexual relations become legal through marriage.  I haven't seen more Patristic studies on this issue though.
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« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2007, 12:50:00 PM »

Well, as I understand it, there were some fathers that did look at marriage in that way.  I'm sure there might have been other fathers who thought differently. 

He says that this is exactly NOT TRUE! Says, you just try and name me one, and support what you say with a quote. So far, indeed, ALL I ever found in those patristic sources that are available to me online is a rather grim, essentially misogamic approach. People sometimes refer to St. John Chrysostom, his speeches where he admonished women to not abandon sexual relationships with their husbands; but, first, I never found this online, and second, it still does not prove that this Father's belief was that marital sex per se is good or even normal, healthy.

But one cannot help notice the expressions of the Song of Songs

Oh, those he understands allegorically, as a referral to our pure, totally un-sexual feelings towards Church and towards the Most Holy Theotokos...

as well as St. Paul's command in 1 Cor. 7 to marry if you cannot control your sexual desires (of course he also says to use some self-control).  I understand St. Athanasius said something along the lines of, just as killing is only allowed by those in war, so does sexual relations become legal through marriage.  I haven't seen more Patristic studies on this issue though.

Yeah, murder and marital sex both need excuses. Sad Strange...
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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2007, 01:20:33 PM »

In the book: On Marriage and Family Life, St John Chrysostom, Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, transl. 1986.

St John Chrysostom's Sermon on Marriage (pgs 81-88)

Quote from: pg 85
Marriage was not instituted for wantoness or fornication, but chastity.  Listen to what Paul says: "Because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband." These are the two purposes for which marriage was instituted: to make us chaste, and to make us parents.

Here he goes on to speak about why procreation is no longer the primary purpose - i.e. how "be fruitful and multiply" isn't the greatest command to husband and wife anymore.

Quote from: pg 86
"So there remains only one reason for marriage, to avoid fornication, and the remedy is offered for this purpose."

So marriage is a place where the conjugal act in the monogamous relationship is a path towards chastity, in that is helps avoid lust, fornication, etc.

Chrysostom's Homily 19 (on 1 Corinthians 7) is also very on point.  It is on pages 25-42 of the book, and it describes how the refusal of conjugal relations by one or the other spouse without the consent of the other is in fact more sinful than their abstinence is righteous, and that marriage is a sacred place for the channeling of the passions into the committed relationship.
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2007, 01:38:22 PM »

He says that this is exactly NOT TRUE! Says, you just try and name me one, and support what you say with a quote.
In Greek the word for "Marriage/Matrimony" (Gk: "Gamo") is the same word used for the sexual act. So when the Fathers speak of "Marriage" they are speaking about sexual union in marriage. With this in mind, read the following quotes from the Fathers.

"The natural bond becomes a yoke through the blessing"- St. Basil the Great.

"While you maintain perfect chastity, do not be puffed up in vain conceit against those who walk a humbler path in matrimony. As the Apostle says: "Let marriage be held in honour, and the marriage bed undefiled". Furthermore, those of of you who keep your chastity; were you not born of those who had married? Because you have a possesion of gold. do not, on that account, hold the silver in contempt." - St. Cyril of Jerusalem

"Flee from base practices but preach more against them. Speak to my sisters that they love the Lord and be content with their husbands in body and soul. In like manner, exhort my brothers in the Name of Jesus Christ to love their wives as the Lord loves the Church." - St. Ignatius of Antioch

"If however, marriage, though commanded by the Law, were yet sinful- really, I do not see how anyone could say that he knows God and yet say that sin has been commanded by God. If the Law is sacred, then marriage is a holy estate." - St. Clement of Alexandria

"No one is permitted to know a woman other than his wife. The marital right has been given to you for this reason: lest you fall into the snare and sin with a strange woman." - St. Ambrose
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« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2007, 03:21:07 PM »

Many thanks, Cleveland and George! --G.
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« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2007, 05:07:15 PM »

Many years ago, while I was driving late at night through a rural section on PA on the Turnpike I tuned in to an Evangelical radio program and was so pleasantly surprised to hear the preacher talking about sex in marriage being a "holy" act. I thought, "Well, they do get it right sometimes."
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« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2007, 05:58:35 PM »

Many years ago, while I was driving late at night through a rural section on PA on the Turnpike I tuned in to an Evangelical radio program and was so pleasantly surprised to hear the preacher talking about sex in marriage being a "holy" act. I thought, "Well, they do get it right sometimes."

That's been always my personal belief, and until rather recently I was pretty sure that it is a common belief of all Christians. However, recently, I've been bombarded with so many misogamic quotes from Fathers. Actually, not quite misogamic, not openly/overtly misogamic, but stating something to the effect that you need an "excuse" to sleep with your spouse (the only valid excuse being, you want to have kids), that it is unclean, yucky, filthy, etc.
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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2007, 06:58:38 PM »

Oh, those he understands allegorically, as a referral to our pure, totally un-sexual feelings towards Church and towards the Most Holy Theotokos...

Yeah, murder and marital sex both need excuses. Sad Strange...

I was always under the impression there were three interpretations:  the literal (King Solomon and Queen Sheba), the moral (husband and wife), and the allegorical (Christ and Church).  Although I learned this from my youth at my Church, I haven't done any Patristic studies on them.  After all, husband and wife do have to emulate the relationship between Christ and the Church, so I don't think it's that quite far off, or that it's "only" allegorical.

As for killing, well, that's another debate  Wink.  The point was to show that St. Athanasius seemed to make it excusable within marriage, and did not seem to imply some sort of "excuse within marriage" so to speak.

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« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2007, 11:08:04 PM »

That's been always my personal belief, and until rather recently I was pretty sure that it is a common belief of all Christians. However, recently, I've been bombarded with so many misogamic quotes from Fathers. Actually, not quite misogamic, not openly/overtly misogamic, but stating something to the effect that you need an "excuse" to sleep with your spouse (the only valid excuse being, you want to have kids), that it is unclean, yucky, filthy, etc.
Evidence of the strength of the monastic (i.e., ascetic) influence on much of the Orthodox world?
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« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2007, 09:05:52 AM »

Evidence of the strength of the monastic (i.e., ascetic) influence on much of the Orthodox world?
Yes, that's what I thought, too, but my opponent keeps arguing that this influence is THE faith itself. He keeps saying things like, if St. Paul advised men and women not to have any sexual relations and be "like him," then it should be taken by a "real" Christian as a command, because the holy Apostle could not in fact give "just" an advice. If you are a Christian, keep remembering all your life that anything sensual is "of the cattle," a sign of our damnation, us being in "thick animal skins," us humans being cursed and by virtue of this curse "transferred" into "material-ness" from a purely spiritual Paradise. So, when a Christian as much as says anything good about sex, even in marriage, this Christian is a sham, a total hypocrite or a person utterly deceived by the evil one.
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« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2007, 09:30:16 AM »

Yes, that's what I thought, too, but my opponent keeps arguing that this influence is THE faith itself. He keeps saying things like, if St. Paul advised men and women not to have any sexual relations and be "like him," then it should be taken by a "real" Christian as a command, because the holy Apostle could not in fact give "just" an advice.

That's funny, because Paul himself says that his words are not a "command":

1 Corinthians 7 (American Standard Version) :

 6 But this I say by way of concession, not of commandment.

 7 Yet I would that all men were even as I myself. Howbeit each man hath his own gift from God, one after this manner, and another after that.

 8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

 9 But if they have not continency, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.


It sure sounds to me that Paul is giving advice here.  He is, in essence, saying, "See, I think celibacy is good.  It works for me and I think it would work for everyone.  But that's just me.  If you really don't think you can do it, that's okay.  Get married so you're not fornicating or, at the very least, burning with lust to do so."



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If you are a Christian, keep remembering all your life that anything sensual is "of the cattle," a sign of our damnation, us being in "thick animal skins," us humans being cursed and by virtue of this curse "transferred" into "material-ness" from a purely spiritual Paradise. So, when a Christian as much as says anything good about sex, even in marriage, this Christian is a sham, a total hypocrite or a person utterly deceived by the evil one.

This is outright gnosticism and, honestly, I'm shocked it's coming from (presumably, and I may be off here) a cradle-Ukrainian Catholic (or a cradle Orthodox for that matter).  I would expect this nonsense from a hyper-convert.
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« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2007, 09:50:40 AM »

I just read a little more of 1 Cor 7 and came across this passage near the end.  When read in conjunction with ozgeorge's revelation that the Greek word for "marriage" is the same as the word for sexual intercourse within marriage, your opponent's arguments about Paul's use of his authority to only dispense commandments of the Lord as opposed to just giving private advice is effectively destroyed:

 25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be trustworthy.

 26 I think therefore that this is good by reason of the distress that is upon us, namely, that it is good for a man to be as he is.

 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.

 28 But shouldest thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Yet such shall have tribulation in the flesh: and I would spare you.

========================================================

It has always been my understanding of this passage that Paul is telling us that, if you can handle it, celibacy is the best because you have only yourself to worry about.  However, if one marries, one takes on additional responsibility which can cause such "tribulation in the flesh" that the Apostle would rather us avoid in the first place.  He does, however, repeatedly say that he understands if most people can't handle such a life.
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« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2007, 10:29:44 AM »


It has always been my understanding of this passage that Paul is telling us that, if you can handle it, celibacy is the best because you have only yourself to worry about.  However, if one marries, one takes on additional responsibility which can cause such "tribulation in the flesh" that the Apostle would rather us avoid in the first place.  He does, however, repeatedly say that he understands if most people can't handle such a life.


I completely agree, but my opponent plays on the idea that in Christianity there still is no glorification of sex as something "good," even when we talk about sex between two loving spouses. It is always something that you do because you are weak, not quite up to the mark... I just cannot accept it, I have a feeling that it's a misconception of Christianity, but I cannot find any proof or support to my position.
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« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2007, 10:45:48 AM »

I completely agree, but my opponent plays on the idea that in Christianity there still is no glorification of sex as something "good," even when we talk about sex between two loving spouses. It is always something that you do because you are weak, not quite up to the mark... I just cannot accept it, I have a feeling that it's a misconception of Christianity, but I cannot find any proof or support to my position.

I think your opponent has confused acceptance of sex as a part of creation (and therefore "good" according to Genesis) and "glorification" of it (whatever that means to him).  It will be very hard to argue with him when he starts with the supposition that created, physical matter is somehow not good.  His argument returns to the very basic (and, by definition, gnostic) definition of "spirit = good; matter = evil".  Until you can argue him away from that idea, he will always have something to fall back on to support his idea that sex is, at best, the actions of a weak man and at worst, an act of evil. 
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« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2007, 11:58:36 AM »

I completely agree, but my opponent plays on the idea that in Christianity there still is no glorification of sex as something "good," even when we talk about sex between two loving spouses. It is always something that you do because you are weak, not quite up to the mark... I just cannot accept it, I have a feeling that it's a misconception of Christianity, but I cannot find any proof or support to my position.

Don't play the proof-text game with him, stick to high theology. And call his ideas what they are: gnosticism and anthropological docetism.
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« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2007, 01:37:11 PM »


This is outright gnosticism and, honestly, I'm shocked it's coming from (presumably, and I may be off here) a cradle-Ukrainian Catholic (or a cradle Orthodox for that matter).  I would expect this nonsense from a hyper-convert.


Schultz,

I have heard all kinds of nonsense from cradle-born Orthodox. One former priest/monk of Russian background warned us to stay away from the circus, ballet and opera because those venues would lead us down the path to the devil. He also told us our bishops were modernists and we needed to return to True Orthodoxy. He ended up leaving his ROCOR bishop and joining up with a known pediophile who was orignially a Greek Orthodox priest. The former Greek priest had also been deposed by the Greek Archdiocese. It is sad but that Russian priest confused many young people over the years with all of his opinions which he passed off as Orthodox doctrine. He didn't fool me. Hearing him speak once was enough.


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« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2007, 02:21:08 PM »

Schultz,

I have heard all kinds of nonsense from cradle-born Orthodox. One former priest/monk of Russian background warned us to stay away from the circus, ballet and opera because those venues would lead us down the path to the devil. He also told us our bishops were modernists and we needed to return to True Orthodoxy. He ended up leaving his ROCOR bishop and joining up with a known pediophile who was orignially a Greek Orthodox priest. The former Greek priest had also been deposed by the Greek Archdiocese. It is sad but that Russian priest confused many young people over the years with all of his opinions which he passed off as Orthodox doctrine. He didn't fool me. Hearing him speak once was enough.


I suppose you're right.  I have heard quite a bit of whackery from those born into the Faith.  I do still find it really odd coming from a Ukie Catholic, though, but, then again, he is living in America and we breed all sorts of religious extremists here Wink
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« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2007, 06:12:49 PM »

Don't play the proof-text game with him, stick to high theology. And call his ideas what they are: gnosticism and anthropological docetism.

GiC, thank you, that might be a good idea... So far, all my attempts to discuss things with him were futile, because he always makes a statement and provides a number of quotes from Scripture and from Fathers, plus sometimes a statement from a Roman Catholic Catechism and/or from papal encylicas, and then he says, "OK, now your turn. What can you say, where exactly was I wrong, where exactly did *I* deviate from the teachings of the Church?" And indeed, when he quotes something about the evilness of lust from the New Testament, and then a line from a St. Cyril of Jerusalem that says that "those who married not to beget children but to satisfy their lust are filthy," and then a line from the pope (in Ukrainian translation) that reads, "lust as such is something that is devoid of God's blessing" - then my simple straightforward human argument that marital sex is holy and good by itself goes flat, ridiculous... Especially given that "lust" in Ukrainian is commonly translated as "pozhadlyvist'," and it may mean any erotic sensation...
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« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2007, 06:20:22 PM »

I suppose you're right.  I have heard quite a bit of whackery from those born into the Faith.  I do still find it really odd coming from a Ukie Catholic, though, but, then again, he is living in America and we breed all sorts of religious extremists here Wink

Yes, I think you are right. Plus, he is a first generation immigrant who, apparently, does not know much (or any) English. Interestingly, he calls himself a devout Eastern Rite Catholic, but he seems to hate priests (at least those who show up on that "Maidan" forum), calls them weak, thinks that they are either ignorant in the Word of God or deliberately un-sincere. On the other hand, he seems to like Evangelical Protestants, and the only "beef" he has with them is that they, in his opinion, under-estimate Holy Fathers. I got a feeling that he is a biblical literalist who seems to hope to make Fathers a second literally taken "book," a second source of "proof texts." BTW, one other funny thing about him is that he seems to love Muslims. He says that they "have a correct faith" in that they do not allow any nonsense to their women, keep themselves pure, etc.
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« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2007, 11:39:18 PM »

Don't play the proof-text game with him, stick to high theology. And call his ideas what they are: gnosticism and anthropological docetism.
George, the problem with your opponent appears to be, based on the portrait you've painted here, that he holds to and proclaims his beliefs so strongly that his reasoning may have become circular.  Believe with absolute certitude that your position is correct, challenge others to refute you with contrary evidence, then rule out the contrary evidence as wrong and irrelevant because it doesn't agree with what you believe.  George, do you get the idea that your opponent has made his beliefs the definition of truth so that he rejects as un-Christian any patristic wisdom that counters his pov?  If some universally recognized Father (e.g., St. John Chrysostom) were to teach otherwise from your opponent, would your opponent write this saint off as "outside the consensus"?
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