Author Topic: Orthodoxy on sexuality...  (Read 17015 times)

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Offline GiC

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2007, 12:59:50 AM »
Fr. John Breck in his book The Sacred Gift of Life:  Orthodox Christianity and Bioethics makes this statement about procreation.  He also says that the univite nature of marital relations is honorable, but is a blessed corollary to the more fundamental purpose of procreation.  I've always thought that he was right.  I'll read up more about the topic though.  Thanks.  :)

Well, I guess I must conceede this argument, all I can cite in support is Paul, Basil, Nyssa, and Chrysostom...I don't have anything to put up against a Fr. John Breck. ;)

In all seriousness, yes reproduction was the original point of sex, billions of years of biological evolution bear witness to this. But we also observe amongst animals of higher intelligence (including homo sapiens) an enjoying of the act for itself, for pleasure independent of reproduction. And amongst the most intelligent of animals (i.e. homo sapiens), the one species that actually understands the mechanisms of sex (though granted, we just started to have a good grasp on it over the last 200 years, but long before that we had some pretty good hypothesis) the purpose of pleasure has become the primary concern. Perhaps, on the grand scale, perceptions of sex are related to overall intelligence; in which case, pleasure should be the most noble asperation for sex, since it is only the most intelligent species that exploit it for this pleasure and homo sapiens that enjoy this pleasure while having also learned how to deal with the often less pleasurable (depending on circumstances) 'side effect' of reproduction.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2007, 08:08:14 AM »
the most intelligent of animals (i.e. homo sapiens),
No, sorry, we're the third most intelligent, right behind dolphins and white mice. ;D
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2007, 04:33:39 PM »
No, sorry, we're the third most intelligent, right behind dolphins and white mice. ;D
White mice?  White mice?  WHITE MICE?  ???

ROTFL! :laugh:



Well, in keeping with the OP, white mice certainly are quite *AHEM* procreative.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 04:34:42 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2007, 04:44:17 PM »
White mice?  White mice?  WHITE MICE?  ???
Yep, they've been performing experiments on us for years.  ;)
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Offline Patriarch Noah I

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2007, 06:06:39 PM »
Quick question, do the Orthodox believe that celibacy is a superior vocation?
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #50 on: November 18, 2007, 06:26:48 PM »
Quick question, do the Orthodox believe that celibacy is a superior vocation?

Yes and no; if you're not "built" for the celibate life, then married life is a superior vocation; if you are, then celibate life is superior.  On the flip side, if you're married but aren't "built" for marriage, then celibacy would have been better; if you are, then marriage is.

St. John Chrysostom words it more like this: if you can live a celibate life, then do so.  But if the passions are too strong, it would be better for you to marry than to burn because of your sin.

There are a few who hold up the vocation of motherhood as a high (or the highest) vocation, which in context would imply a sacred marriage.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2007, 06:35:06 PM »
Quick question, do the Orthodox believe that celibacy is a superior vocation?

In his book titled "Pravoslavie" ("Orthodoxy"), Protopresbyter Fr. Sergiy Bulgakov writes that being married and faithful to God is probably a more difficult and honorable vocation than being a monk. (Sorry, I only read this book in its original Russian, not sure whether there are good English translations; if you are fluent in Russian, I will be happy to give you references.)
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #52 on: November 18, 2007, 09:50:34 PM »
Yes and no; if you're not "built" for the celibate life, then married life is a superior vocation; if you are, then celibate life is superior.  On the flip side, if you're married but aren't "built" for marriage, then celibacy would have been better; if you are, then marriage is.

St. John Chrysostom words it more like this: if you can live a celibate life, then do so.  But if the passions are too strong, it would be better for you to marry than to burn because of your sin.

There are a few who hold up the vocation of motherhood as a high (or the highest) vocation, which in context would imply a sacred marriage.
Interesting that the Theotokos is honored as the greatest example of BOTH celibacy AND motherhood...  IIRC, the Latin Church has traditionally emphasized Mary's virginity, as can be seen in their favorite title for her:  Blessed Virgin Mary; whereas the Eastern Churches have traditionally emphasized her role as Mother, with such an exalted title as Theotokos ("Birthgiver of God").  No one else has ever been chosen for this paradoxical role of Virgin Mother, so no one else can ever be BOTH lifelong celibate AND a mother (or father).  However, the Church certainly needs both and blesses both vocations as equally valuable means to salvation.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 09:51:11 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GiC

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #53 on: November 18, 2007, 11:04:21 PM »
No one else has ever been chosen for this paradoxical role of Virgin Mother, so no one else can ever be BOTH lifelong celibate AND a mother (or father).  However, the Church certainly needs both and blesses both vocations as equally valuable means to salvation.

Considering modern advancements in cloning technology I wouldn't throw around that 'ever' word in this context...ever's an awful long time. ;)

« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 11:04:49 PM by greekischristian »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2007, 01:18:26 AM »
Considering modern advancements in cloning technology I wouldn't throw around that 'ever' word in this context...ever's an awful long time. ;)
Heaven forbid we should ever clone you. :o  One GiC is more than enough. ;)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 01:20:12 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GiC

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2007, 01:54:38 AM »
Heaven forbid we should ever clone you. :o  One GiC is more than enough. ;)

;D
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Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2007, 07:36:34 PM »
Yep, they've been performing experiments on us for years.  ;)

LOL

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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2007, 03:48:43 PM »
Indeed. Brilliant man--able to see reality in a way no one else could. Memory eternal.
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Offline Orest

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2007, 03:14:03 AM »
Here is a good quote:

"A life lived in the world can be as good, in the eyes of God, as one spent in a monastery.  It is indeed only the keeping of God's commandments, love of all, and a true sense of humility that matter, wherever we are."

  St. Macarius of Optina




Offline Aline

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2007, 04:48:00 AM »
Some basic teachings of God which the orthodox uphold strongly include:

1)Homosexuality is totally forbidden and those who practice it cannot enter the kingdom of God without repentance.

2)People are to abstain from sex until marriage.

3)Women should look at the theotokos as the prime example of upholding their virginity until marriage.

4)Marriage is one of the great mysterires of the church and a gift to man and woman.It is something satan loves to attack and attempt to breakdown so as to spit in Gods face

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2007, 11:01:31 AM »
Some basic teachings of God which the orthodox uphold strongly include:

1)Homosexuality is totally forbidden and those who practice it cannot enter the kingdom of God without repentance.
Well, technically, NO ONE who practices ANY sin--that basically includes all of us--can enter the kingdom of God without repentance.  Why pick on homosexuality?  I'm sorry to sound like I'm defending such sin, which I'm not, but if you first take a look at the reference thread we have for all our discussions on homosexuality, The Topic of Homosexuality on This Forum, which will direct you to existing threads where such discussion is permitted and encouraged, you will find that most people don't know how to discuss this hot issue online without giving many of our posters serious offense with their judgmental self-righteousness.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2007, 11:47:26 AM »
The Theotokos is an example for all of us. Not just women. Men must retain their virginity too before marriage.
What good does it do a couple if only the woman retains her virginity?
In this day an age, if a man is promiscuous and then marries a virgin he runs a high risk of contracting HPV and then
giving it to his bride. Once a woman has HPV she is at risk for cervical cancer. Not a nice wedding present to receive.
Keep that in mind all of you guys out there....your cavalier bachelor lifestyle can lead to cancer in your future, unsuspecting wife.


« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 12:07:36 PM by Tamara »

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2007, 12:10:43 PM »
Well, technically, NO ONE who practices ANY sin--that basically includes all of us--can enter the kingdom of God without repentance.  Why pick on homosexuality?  I'm sorry to sound like I'm defending such sin, which I'm not, but if you first take a look at the reference thread we have for all our discussions on homosexuality, The Topic of Homosexuality on This Forum, which will direct you to existing threads where such discussion is permitted and encouraged, you will find that most people don't know how to discuss this hot issue online without giving many of our posters serious offense with their judgmental self-righteousness.

Agreed, Peter, though I would add the caveat that there is at least some justification for emphasizing the sinfulness of homosexual acts at this point in time. Increasing Christian communities are abandoning the idea that such acts are sinful at all---many are even sacralizing them. This is a serious danger to souls---I was saddened to overhear two gay men rave about the local "gay" Catholic church (John Kerry's church, BTW) at Borders last night. Such a scandal when Christian pastors are encouraging destructive sin.

The Issue has become a cause celebre among liberal Christians, and it must be answered. So, yes, it is a sin like everything else, but at the moment we don't have churches sacralizing theft or adultery. Other sins of our time (gluttony, sloth) are conveniently ignored by many churches and should definitely get more attention, but even they are not sacralized like homosexual acts are.



I agree, though, that how this is communicated in charity is very important.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 12:10:58 PM by lubeltri »

Offline EofK

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2007, 12:19:43 PM »
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the significance in the second picture in the above post? 
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2007, 12:26:18 PM »
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the significance in the second picture in the above post? 

That is ++Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church. He was consecrated 4 years ago in defiance of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He is a divorced noncelibate homosexual who lives with his male partner. He is also something of an activist for "gay" liberation. His consecration was (rightly) seen as an intentional affront to the moral teachings of historic Christianity and Anglicanism. It was a statement of defiance by the current leadership of the Episcopal Church, and it sparked a conflict that may destroy the Anglican Communion as we know it. All over what is called "the Issue."
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 12:30:01 PM by lubeltri »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodoxy on sexuality...
« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2007, 02:17:39 PM »
^ I think you missed an important point I tried to make, lubeltri.  If you want to discuss homosexuality on this forum, then please read the thread, The Topic of Homosexuality on This Forum, and post your comments on one of the threads linked there.
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