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Author Topic: Living Together and Not Being Married...?  (Read 10845 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 28, 2009, 09:03:07 AM »

In another thread:  "Two Questions on Marriage" http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20925.0/topicseen.html

Someone brought up the question as to whether or not it is OK for people to live together pre-marriage.  Usually the gut answer is NO, but maybe it is a little bit more nuanced than that. 

For example, what if the couple is not having pre-marital intimate relations (sex or other physical relations).  What if they are just living in the same space in order to better financially support themselves, and build a future together? 

I believe that some on the forum would say something like: "it is too great a temptation and should be avoided"

But then what about College Dorms and orthodox youth who go to college?  Yes colleges are usually a cesspool for bad behavior, but the set-up is the same, and the church does not have any real prohibitions against kids living in college dorms. 

To that point, though, I know that the OCF at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) has an Orthodox House/Dormitory where orthodox students can live in a safe and orthodox environment.  Maybe this is the church's answer to this...
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 09:18:29 AM »

I live with my fiance and wouldn't have dreamed of agreeing to marry her without knowing how we operate on a day to day basis. So far, so good. Smiley


edit: I guess that doesn't really address your question at all though.
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 09:26:24 AM »

I live with my fiance and wouldn't have dreamed of agreeing to marry her without knowing how we operate on a day to day basis. So far, so good. Smiley
How does your Priest feel about this situation?
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 09:29:40 AM »

I live with my fiance and wouldn't have dreamed of agreeing to marry her without knowing how we operate on a day to day basis. So far, so good. Smiley
How does your Priest feel about this situation?

He's not the one who's going to marry her.
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 09:30:31 AM »

He's not the one who's going to marry her.
Evading? Seriously, what does he think about this situation?
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 09:34:40 AM »

He's not the one who's going to marry her.
Evading? Seriously, what does he think about this situation?

Well, my parish life is another story. But, really, he's never asked and I've never thought it important to bring it up. From certain conversations though, it seem pretty apparent to me that he does know.
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 09:35:25 AM »

Let's not forget that this situation is not exclusive to young adults. Middle aged and older adults are also increasingly cohabiting for a variety of reasons, such as:

-marrying would cause a significant problem among one or both of the couple's child(ren);
-marrying would affect their Social Security or retirement benefits (naturally, I'm only speaking of the US); or
-marrying would require new legal burdens such as updating wills, real estate deeds, etc.

So we cannot just assume that this problem is present only among the young. I used to regularly visit a home for older adults, and in talking with the residents I really think  just as much if not more is going on there than in a dorm.

In the past, I have had to recommend that if the temptation is too great, maybe the couple should consider not living together, but even then that's not a guarantee of non-intimate conduct between the two. Ultimately it resides with what is important to the couple, and where they draw the line in their own lives. We can only pray that their behavior leads to their salvation, and that the Lord have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 09:40:05 AM »

Well, my parish life is another story. But, really, he's never asked and I've never thought it important to bring it up. From certain conversations though, it seem pretty apparent to me that he does know.
So he does, or he doesn't?
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 09:43:19 AM »

I live with my fiance and wouldn't have dreamed of agreeing to marry her without knowing how we operate on a day to day basis. So far, so good. Smiley


edit: I guess that doesn't really address your question at all though.
The interesting thing is that the statistics demonstrate that those who cohabitate before marriage are much more likely to get divorced.
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 09:45:55 AM »

I live with my fiance and wouldn't have dreamed of agreeing to marry her without knowing how we operate on a day to day basis. So far, so good. Smiley


edit: I guess that doesn't really address your question at all though.
The interesting thing is that the statistics demonstrate that those who cohabitate before marriage are much more likely to get divorced.

Good thing I'm not a statistic. I come to this situation with my own set of questions/baggage about marriage and would not approach it in any other way.

Also, much of that "evidence" is inconclusive and doesn't take into account a number of variables.
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 09:46:13 AM »

Well, my parish life is another story. But, really, he's never asked and I've never thought it important to bring it up. From certain conversations though, it seem pretty apparent to me that he does know.
So he does, or he doesn't?

It hasn't been spoken about, but I think he knows.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 09:47:19 AM »

It hasn't been spoken about, but I think he knows.
Why haven't you formally talked to him about it?
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 09:48:09 AM »

I live with my fiance and wouldn't have dreamed of agreeing to marry her without knowing how we operate on a day to day basis. So far, so good. Smiley


edit: I guess that doesn't really address your question at all though.
The interesting thing is that the statistics demonstrate that those who cohabitate before marriage are much more likely to get divorced.

Good thing I'm not a statistic. I come to this situation with my own set of questions/baggage about marriage and would not approach it in any other way.

Also, much of that "evidence" is inconclusive and doesn't take into account a number of variables.
I am not saying that evidence is conclusive but it does demonstrate trends and I think that these trends tend to demonstrate the direction that human nature generally tends as well.
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2009, 09:51:01 AM »

It hasn't been spoken about, but I think he knows.
Why haven't you formally talked to him about it?

Again, because it's my issue, not his. I'm a grown man capable of weighing the consequences of my actions.
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2009, 09:52:38 AM »

Again, because it's my issue, not his. I'm a grown man capable of weighing the consequences of my actions.
Really? Really???
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2009, 09:54:04 AM »

Again, because it's my issue, not his. I'm a grown man capable of weighing the consequences of my actions.
Really? Really???

Yes, really.
How, exactly, is a priest more qualified to make decisions about my love life?
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2009, 09:57:28 AM »

Yes, really.
How, exactly, is a priest more qualified to make decisions about my love life?
Is your love life independent of you regular life?
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2009, 09:58:34 AM »

Yes, really.
How, exactly, is a priest more qualified to make decisions about my love life?
Is your love life independent of you regular life?


Why are you so interested in my life?
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2009, 10:00:06 AM »

Why are you so interested in my life?
If you don't want people to question you, why post about your personal life? And you still aren't really answering the question.
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2009, 10:04:56 AM »

Why are you so interested in my life?
If you don't want people to question you, why post about your personal life? And you still aren't really answering the question.


Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2009, 10:06:58 AM »

Why are you so interested in my life?
If you don't want people to question you, why post about your personal life? And you still aren't really answering the question.


Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

I think its a valid question. You obviously wanted others to comment on your love life. So you must have expected that others would ask you questions about it.
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2009, 10:09:31 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.
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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2009, 10:10:29 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.
More than likely he is beginning to understand that living with some one before marriage is really not appropriate for a Christian.
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« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2009, 10:11:50 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.

I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something  you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2009, 10:12:09 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.
More than likely he is beginning to understand that living with some one before marriage is really not appropriate for a Christian.

And here we have it again.
You act as if this is the first time I've considered the issue. I have and I'm fine with it. My life is better because of it.  I don't need approval for it.
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2009, 10:14:37 AM »

And here we have it again.
Why offer the information? If you don't want people to comment on it, why bring it up?
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2009, 10:15:34 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.

I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2009, 10:19:54 AM »

And here we have it again.
Why offer the information? If you don't want people to comment on it, why bring it up?

I responded to the OP on the mechanics of living with someone before marriage. My comment, "so far, so good" was my response to his query, even if it was a little vague.
If the questions that followed weren't 1.) from strangers commenting on the most intimate aspect of my life by using generalizations about what they understand to be proper Christian behavior and  2.) from people who have no idea what my relationship is like, I probably would have been more amenable to answering them.

 
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« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2009, 10:20:51 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.

I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?

I didn't start the thread.

I think that you know that by virtue of being Roman Catholic you are not living the faith.
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« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2009, 10:22:20 AM »

I responded to the OP on the mechanics of living with someone before marriage. My comment, "so far, so good" was my response to his query, even if it was a little vague.
If the questions that followed weren't 1.) from strangers commenting on the most intimate aspect of my life by using generalizations about what they understand to be proper Christian behavior and  2.) from people who have no idea what my relationship is like, I probably would have been more amenable to answering them.
Just say you don't want to answer the question. Now it's my fault somehow that you aren't answering? Come on. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2009, 10:23:03 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.

I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?

I didn't start the thread.

I think that you know that by virtue of being Roman Catholic you are not living the faith.
Insulting again? For no reason? Hmmmmmmmm....
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2009, 10:26:31 AM »

I responded to the OP on the mechanics of living with someone before marriage. My comment, "so far, so good" was my response to his query, even if it was a little vague.
If the questions that followed weren't 1.) from strangers commenting on the most intimate aspect of my life by using generalizations about what they understand to be proper Christian behavior and  2.) from people who have no idea what my relationship is like, I probably would have been more amenable to answering them.
Just say you don't want to answer the question. Now it's my fault somehow that you aren't answering? Come on. Roll Eyes

No, of course it's not your fault.

Here's the thing: I'm fine with the decision I've made. I have no reservations about it being a good idea.
When you began asking about my priest I knew where you were headed and took small offense to it. Do you think I've not thought about this issue?
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« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2009, 10:28:27 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.

I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?

I didn't start the thread.

I think that you know that by virtue of being Roman Catholic you are not living the faith.
Insulting again? For no reason? Hmmmmmmmm....

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2009, 10:28:28 AM »

No, of course it's not your fault.

Here's the thing: I'm fine with the decision I've made. I have no reservations about it being a good idea.
When you began asking about my priest I knew where you were headed and took small offense to it. Do you think I've not thought about this issue?
I am sure that you have. I don't wish to offend you, and for that I am sorry, please forgive me. I too know what it is like to be in love. God Bless!
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« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2009, 10:30:07 AM »

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
No you are inferring that from his words. And there is a difference. You are trying to hurt him. He wasn't trying to hurt you.

Big Difference.
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« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2009, 10:30:24 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.

I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?

I didn't start the thread.

I think that you know that by virtue of being Roman Catholic you are not living the faith.
And you are free to that opinion and I am not offended by that opinion at all. That's your religious view point. I know its wrong but neither you're believing differently than me, nor the fact that you are wrong bother me in the least bit.
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« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2009, 10:33:47 AM »

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
No you are inferring that from his words. And there is a difference. You are trying to hurt him. He wasn't trying to hurt you.

Big Difference.

I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I am pointing out the fact that based on one ill informed piece of information about me that a stranger (Papist) has discovered on the internet through a 10 line exchange, he has made a comment on the state of my Christian life.

Similarly, it' just as ridiculous for me to comment on the state of his soul based on the same level of information I can gather about him from such a brief exchange (i.e. that he is Catholic).

Ughhh
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« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2009, 10:34:41 AM »



No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
I do know something about your actions. You have described them here for us all to read. You have stated that you are living with some one before marriage. This has been rejected as immoral for at least 1900 years of Christian history as immoral. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that in this particular matter you are not living according to the gospel. However, I have no idea what's going on in the rest of your life. In other matters you may be very faithful. I have no idea. But what I do know is what you have posted here.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.
As I said before, I am not offended in the least bit by your opinion on this matter. In fact, I am not even offended that you are experssing this opinion. I just think its wrong.
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« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2009, 10:36:51 AM »

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
No you are inferring that from his words. And there is a difference. You are trying to hurt him. He wasn't trying to hurt you.

Big Difference.

I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I am pointing out the fact that based on one ill informed piece of information about me that a stranger (Papist) has discovered on the internet through a 10 line exchange, he has made a comment on the state of my Christian life.

Similarly, it' just as ridiculous for me to comment on the state of his soul based on the same level of information I can gather about him from such a brief exchange (i.e. that he is Catholic).

Ughhh
Again, if you will read my posts I am only commenting on one issue that you have brought up. I am not commenting on the entirety of your faith experience. I continue to reiterate the fact that you may be doing some very Christian things in other areas of your life. I don't know. I just know that the one thing that you revealed here on this thread is immoral and I think you know that. Otherwise, I don't believe that there would be such a high level of defensiveness in your posts. Again, I am not upset about you disagreeing with me in the least bit.
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« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2009, 10:37:20 AM »



No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
I do know something about your actions. You have described them here for us all to read. You have stated that you are living with some one before marriage. This has been rejected as immoral for at least 1900 years of Christian history as immoral. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that in this particular matter you are not living according to the gospel. However, I have no idea what's going on in the rest of your life. In other matters you may be very faithful. I have no idea. But what I do know is what you have posted here.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.
As I said before, I am not offended in the least bit by your opinion on this matter. In fact, I am not even offended that you are experssing this opinion. I just think its wrong.


Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?
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« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2009, 10:38:27 AM »

Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?
Looking for validation?
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« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2009, 10:38:33 AM »

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
No you are inferring that from his words. And there is a difference. You are trying to hurt him. He wasn't trying to hurt you.

Big Difference.

I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I am pointing out the fact that based on one ill informed piece of information about me that a stranger (Papist) has discovered on the internet through a 10 line exchange, he has made a comment on the state of my Christian life.

Similarly, it' just as ridiculous for me to comment on the state of his soul based on the same level of information I can gather about him from such a brief exchange (i.e. that he is Catholic).

Ughhh
Again, if you will read my posts I am only commenting on one issue that you have brought up. I am not commenting on the entirety of your faith experience. I continue to reiterate the fact that you may be doing some very Christian things in other areas of your life. I don't know. I just know that the one thing that you revealed here on this thread is immoral and I think you know that. Otherwise, I don't believe that there would be such a high level of defensiveness in your posts. Again, I am not upset about you disagreeing with me in the least bit.

I don't find anything to be immoral about it. It's a great thing.
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« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2009, 10:39:15 AM »

Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?

:sound of can of worms opening:
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« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2009, 10:39:41 AM »

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
No you are inferring that from his words. And there is a difference. You are trying to hurt him. He wasn't trying to hurt you.

Big Difference.

I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I am pointing out the fact that based on one ill informed piece of information about me that a stranger (Papist) has discovered on the internet through a 10 line exchange, he has made a comment on the state of my Christian life.

Similarly, it' just as ridiculous for me to comment on the state of his soul based on the same level of information I can gather about him from such a brief exchange (i.e. that he is Catholic).

Ughhh
Again, if you will read my posts I am only commenting on one issue that you have brought up. I am not commenting on the entirety of your faith experience. I continue to reiterate the fact that you may be doing some very Christian things in other areas of your life. I don't know. I just know that the one thing that you revealed here on this thread is immoral and I think you know that. Otherwise, I don't believe that there would be such a high level of defensiveness in your posts. Again, I am not upset about you disagreeing with me in the least bit.

I don't find anything to be immoral about it. It's a great thing.
The fact that you don't find anything immoral about it does not change the fact that it is immoral. Your subjective view point is not the standard of morality. I would be very concerned if I was an Orthodox Christian and I was not living according to traditional Orthodox ethics.
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« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2009, 10:39:46 AM »

Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?
Looking for validation?

No, I'm looking for Papist to show how 1900 years of Christian history have condemned pre marital cohabitation.

I feel validated enough in my decision.  Smiley
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« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2009, 10:41:04 AM »



No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
I do know something about your actions. You have described them here for us all to read. You have stated that you are living with some one before marriage. This has been rejected as immoral for at least 1900 years of Christian history as immoral. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that in this particular matter you are not living according to the gospel. However, I have no idea what's going on in the rest of your life. In other matters you may be very faithful. I have no idea. But what I do know is what you have posted here.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.
As I said before, I am not offended in the least bit by your opinion on this matter. In fact, I am not even offended that you are experssing this opinion. I just think its wrong.


Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?

The lives of Christians for 1900 has condemned it. Do you believe in some strange analog of Sola Scriptura? How do you say, "Ecumenical Councils Alone" in latin?
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« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2009, 10:41:59 AM »

No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not living as a good Christian.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.

No difference.
No you are inferring that from his words. And there is a difference. You are trying to hurt him. He wasn't trying to hurt you.

Big Difference.

I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I am pointing out the fact that based on one ill informed piece of information about me that a stranger (Papist) has discovered on the internet through a 10 line exchange, he has made a comment on the state of my Christian life.

Similarly, it' just as ridiculous for me to comment on the state of his soul based on the same level of information I can gather about him from such a brief exchange (i.e. that he is Catholic).

Ughhh
Again, if you will read my posts I am only commenting on one issue that you have brought up. I am not commenting on the entirety of your faith experience. I continue to reiterate the fact that you may be doing some very Christian things in other areas of your life. I don't know. I just know that the one thing that you revealed here on this thread is immoral and I think you know that. Otherwise, I don't believe that there would be such a high level of defensiveness in your posts. Again, I am not upset about you disagreeing with me in the least bit.

I don't find anything to be immoral about it. It's a great thing.
The fact that you don't find anything immoral about it does not change the fact that it is immoral. Your subjective view point is not the standard of morality. I would be very concerned if I was an Orthodox Christian and I was not living according to traditional Orthodox ethics.

Perhaps I don't believe in a universal, unwavering morality when it comes to incidentals.

Hey, are we still forbidden to see Jewish doctors?
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« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2009, 10:42:19 AM »

I don't find anything to be immoral about it. It's a great thing.
Really? Really???
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« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2009, 10:44:31 AM »



No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
I do know something about your actions. You have described them here for us all to read. You have stated that you are living with some one before marriage. This has been rejected as immoral for at least 1900 years of Christian history as immoral. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that in this particular matter you are not living according to the gospel. However, I have no idea what's going on in the rest of your life. In other matters you may be very faithful. I have no idea. But what I do know is what you have posted here.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.
As I said before, I am not offended in the least bit by your opinion on this matter. In fact, I am not even offended that you are experssing this opinion. I just think its wrong.


Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?

The lives of Christians for 1900 has condemned it. Do you believe in some strange analog of Sola Scriptura? How do you say, "Ecumenical Councils Alone" in latin?

I wasn't aware that the "lives of Christians" was a source of authority in Christianity. If it was, it would probably still be OK for the Pope to have concubines, for Christian emperors to slaughter heretics, or for absentee bishops of vacant sees to horde wealth for a job not done.
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« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2009, 10:46:44 AM »

I wasn't aware that the "lives of Christians" was a source of authority in Christianity. If it was, it would probably still be OK for the Pope to have concubines, for Christian emperors to slaughter heretics, or for absentee bishops of vacant sees to horde wealth for a job not done.
So because others have fallen, and done improper things, it is OK for you to do whatever you please?
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« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2009, 10:49:37 AM »

I wasn't aware that the "lives of Christians" was a source of authority in Christianity. If it was, it would probably still be OK for the Pope to have concubines, for Christian emperors to slaughter heretics, or for absentee bishops of vacant sees to horde wealth for a job not done.
So because others have fallen, and done improper things, it is OK for you to do whatever you please?

No.
I just wanted Papist to show me where 1900 years of Christianity have condemned pre-marital co-habitation. I'm sure there may be sources out there to support this (Fathers, perhaps? ) , I'd just like to see them for the sake of seeing them.

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« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2009, 10:51:19 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.


I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?
He didn't start the thread. It's also not your place to tell people what to do in their bedrooms. It's obvious that secular behavior has entered into Christianity. The reason for this is because the family is structured differently now than in past years/centuries. The excepted norm is to allow relationships to form through acquaintances rather than having a spouses chosen for us by parents or peers. Now that the acceptance of this structure has set in. Children are put into situations where temptations are higher. They aren't mentally suited for that situation because of their lack of understanding. They most certainly will make mistakes because of inexperience and lack of wisdom. Society as a whole is responsible for allowing it. For Christian values to set in again. All of society would first have to be wiped out and reformulated from the Byzantine Roman prospective. That's not perfect either. But it does work.
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« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2009, 10:51:50 AM »


Hmmm. It seems we are having a big debate about Bogoliubtsy's private life, and he does not like it. Why the need to do that? I think Bogoliubtsy is not Orthodox Christian, maybe not even a Christian in the way we understand it. He is liberal. Let him do whatever he wants.
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« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2009, 10:53:41 AM »



No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
I do know something about your actions. You have described them here for us all to read. You have stated that you are living with some one before marriage. This has been rejected as immoral for at least 1900 years of Christian history as immoral. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that in this particular matter you are not living according to the gospel. However, I have no idea what's going on in the rest of your life. In other matters you may be very faithful. I have no idea. But what I do know is what you have posted here.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.
As I said before, I am not offended in the least bit by your opinion on this matter. In fact, I am not even offended that you are experssing this opinion. I just think its wrong.


Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?

The lives of Christians for 1900 has condemned it. Do you believe in some strange analog of Sola Scriptura? How do you say, "Ecumenical Councils Alone" in latin?

I wasn't aware that the "lives of Christians" was a source of authority in Christianity. If it was, it would probably still be OK for the Pope to have concubines, for Christian emperors to slaughter heretics, or for absentee bishops of vacant sees to horde wealth for a job not done.
Your arguements are getting sillier and sillier. You know quite well that such things are unacceptable. You also know quite well that the Chruch, whatever you believe her to be, has always condemned the concept of living together before marriage. By living witnesses I mean those who lived the gospel. Would Sts. Peter, Paul, Iraneaus, Justin Martyr, Cyril, John Crysostom, Augustine,... Serphim of Serov, etc. etc. ect. approve of such living arrangements? If you honestly answer this question you would have to face the reality that what you are doing is not right. If for no other reason, its wrong because you may cause scandal and lead other to believe that fornication is ok. I am not saying that you are fornicating because I simply don't know that. But our weeker bretheren are likely to assume you are because of your living arrangements and might then use it as an excuse for fornication in their own lives. Remember, "It is better to have a millstone tied around your neck...."
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« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2009, 10:55:46 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.


I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?
He didn't start the thread. It's also not your place to tell people what to do in their bedrooms. It's obvious that secular behavior has entered into Christianity. The reason for this is because the family is structured differently now than in past years/centuries. The excepted norm is to allow relationships to form through acquaintances rather than having a spouses chosen for us by parents or peers. Now that the acceptance of this structure has set in. Children are put into situations where temptations are higher. They aren't mentally suited for that situation because of their lack of understanding. They most certainly will make mistakes because of inexperience and lack of wisdom. Society as a whole is responsible for allowing it. For Christian values to set in again. All of society would first have to be wiped out and reformulated from the Byzantine Roman prospective. That's not perfect either. But it does work.
I am not telling him what to do in his bedroom. Read my posts again. There is not one place where I told him what to do. However, he did bring up his immoral living arrangements and if he claims to be a Christian, then, whether he likes it or not, he represents Christianity to the world and I will point that such living arrangements are not in keeping with the Christian faith.
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« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2009, 10:56:12 AM »


Hmmm. It seems we are having a big debate about Bogoliubtsy's private life, and he does not like it. Why the need to do that? I think Bogoliubtsy is not Orthodox Christian, maybe not even a Christian in the way we understand it. He is liberal. Let him do whatever he wants.
He brought it up. He obviously wanted to talk about it.
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« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2009, 10:58:57 AM »

Your arguements are getting sillier and sillier.
Agreed.
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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2009, 11:01:39 AM »

I say then, all lovers of the world are called the world. The same have only these three things, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, vain glory of life. For they lust to eat, drink, cohabit:
- St. Augustine
Saint Augustine goes on to say that eating and drinking are ok in moderation but never approves of cohabitation.
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« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2009, 11:05:36 AM »


Hmmm. It seems we are having a big debate about Bogoliubtsy's private life, and he does not like it. Why the need to do that? I think Bogoliubtsy is not Orthodox Christian, maybe not even a Christian in the way we understand it. He is liberal. Let him do whatever he wants.


What does a position on the political spectrum (liberal) have to do with religion?
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« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2009, 11:07:44 AM »



No, it's logical.

Papist has said that by virtue of my actions (about which he knows practically NOTHING), I am not  living as a good Christian.
I do know something about your actions. You have described them here for us all to read. You have stated that you are living with some one before marriage. This has been rejected as immoral for at least 1900 years of Christian history as immoral. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that in this particular matter you are not living according to the gospel. However, I have no idea what's going on in the rest of your life. In other matters you may be very faithful. I have no idea. But what I do know is what you have posted here.
What is the difference if I say that by virtue of certain actions of his (e.g. praying in a Catholic way), he is not living the Christian faith.
As I said before, I am not offended in the least bit by your opinion on this matter. In fact, I am not even offended that you are experssing this opinion. I just think its wrong.


Where has a council or the fathers condemned pre-marital cohabitation?

The lives of Christians for 1900 has condemned it. Do you believe in some strange analog of Sola Scriptura? How do you say, "Ecumenical Councils Alone" in latin?

I wasn't aware that the "lives of Christians" was a source of authority in Christianity. If it was, it would probably still be OK for the Pope to have concubines, for Christian emperors to slaughter heretics, or for absentee bishops of vacant sees to horde wealth for a job not done.
Your arguements are getting sillier and sillier. You know quite well that such things are unacceptable. You also know quite well that the Chruch, whatever you believe her to be, has always condemned the concept of living together before marriage. By living witnesses I mean those who lived the gospel. Would Sts. Peter, Paul, Iraneaus, Justin Martyr, Cyril, John Crysostom, Augustine,... Serphim of Serov, etc. etc. ect. approve of such living arrangements? If you honestly answer this question you would have to face the reality that what you are doing is not right. If for no other reason, its wrong because you may cause scandal and lead other to believe that fornication is ok. I am not saying that you are fornicating because I simply don't know that. But our weeker bretheren are likely to assume you are because of your living arrangements and might then use it as an excuse for fornication in their own lives. Remember, "It is better to have a millstone tied around your neck...."

You asked it the council was the supreme authority in the Church, then went on to state that the "lives of Christians" for 1900 years has been the testament to the doctrine that pre-marital cohabitation is wrong. I asked if the "lives of Christians" is now a source of authority.

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« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2009, 11:07:53 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.


I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?
He didn't start the thread. It's also not your place to tell people what to do in their bedrooms. It's obvious that secular behavior has entered into Christianity. The reason for this is because the family is structured differently now than in past years/centuries. The excepted norm is to allow relationships to form through acquaintances rather than having a spouses chosen for us by parents or peers. Now that the acceptance of this structure has set in. Children are put into situations where temptations are higher. They aren't mentally suited for that situation because of their lack of understanding. They most certainly will make mistakes because of inexperience and lack of wisdom. Society as a whole is responsible for allowing it. For Christian values to set in again. All of society would first have to be wiped out and reformulated from the Byzantine Roman prospective. That's not perfect either. But it does work.
I am not telling him what to do in his bedroom. Read my posts again. There is not one place where I told him what to do. However, he did bring up his immoral living arrangements and if he claims to be a Christian, then, whether he likes it or not, he represents Christianity to the world and I will point that such living arrangements are not in keeping with the Christian faith.
Most people living in secular countries have premarital sex. Everybody knows it's not christian behavior. At the least one should be engaged, but just because his situation is more open to christian eye's doesn't mean that those that live at home with their parents aren't preforming the same acts. In his situation he should be working at bringing his life into conformity with his beliefs. That is the type of help he needs rather than being told he is dammed.
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« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2009, 11:08:28 AM »


Hmmm. It seems we are having a big debate about Bogoliubtsy's private life, and he does not like it. Why the need to do that? I think Bogoliubtsy is not Orthodox Christian, maybe not even a Christian in the way we understand it. He is liberal. Let him do whatever he wants.


What does a position on the political spectrum (liberal) have to do with religion?
I think that there is a correlation between those who take liberal political view point and those who deviate from traditional Christian and human/western ethics.
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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2009, 11:11:09 AM »

Because I don't owe you an answer to your obviously baited question. I'm two steps ahead of you in your line of questioning.

No, my love life is not separate from my "regular" life. How can it be? It's something I'm engaged in a good portion of my day. It informs decisions I make about how I behave. It forces me to step out of myself, question myself, and negate myself on a regular basis because I LIVE with this person. Because of it my life is immensely enriched. 
If you had had this type of experience in a relationship (i.e. a real relationship), you wouldn't ask if it is separate from my "regular" life.
Why be insulting? You are now getting angry, and I can only surmise it is because you know what I'm getting at, and you don't want to face it.


I'm getting angry because I knew you were implying this whole time that there is something is something you believe I should not be doing and that I'm not living up to your idea of a Christian standard. Why beat around the bush with transparent but indirect questions

And now, here it is.
You may be living the Christian faith very well in other matters. However, I think you know that in this particular matter you are not. Why else would you have started this thread in the first place?
He didn't start the thread. It's also not your place to tell people what to do in their bedrooms. It's obvious that secular behavior has entered into Christianity. The reason for this is because the family is structured differently now than in past years/centuries. The excepted norm is to allow relationships to form through acquaintances rather than having a spouses chosen for us by parents or peers. Now that the acceptance of this structure has set in. Children are put into situations where temptations are higher. They aren't mentally suited for that situation because of their lack of understanding. They most certainly will make mistakes because of inexperience and lack of wisdom. Society as a whole is responsible for allowing it. For Christian values to set in again. All of society would first have to be wiped out and reformulated from the Byzantine Roman prospective. That's not perfect either. But it does work.
I am not telling him what to do in his bedroom. Read my posts again. There is not one place where I told him what to do. However, he did bring up his immoral living arrangements and if he claims to be a Christian, then, whether he likes it or not, he represents Christianity to the world and I will point that such living arrangements are not in keeping with the Christian faith.
Most people living in secular countries have premarital sex. Everybody knows it's not christian behavior. At the least one should be engaged, but just because his situation is more open to christian eye's doesn't mean that those that live at home with their parents aren't preforming the same acts. In his situation he should be working at bringing his life into conformity with his beliefs. That is the type of help he needs rather than being told he is dammed.
You really like to jump to extreme conclusions, don't you? Did I ever say he was damned? Read back through my posts. I never said any such thing. All I have said was that although he may be acting as a great Christian in other areas of his life, in this one particular area he is not living up to the gospel. That is not damning him. I am just pointing it out because he is describing a particular immoral behavior that he is engaging in as a good thing. Rember what the scriptures say about those who call  "evil good and good evil".
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« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2009, 11:12:50 AM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
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« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2009, 11:13:09 AM »


Hmmm. It seems we are having a big debate about Bogoliubtsy's private life, and he does not like it. Why the need to do that? I think Bogoliubtsy is not Orthodox Christian, maybe not even a Christian in the way we understand it. He is liberal. Let him do whatever he wants.


What does a position on the political spectrum (liberal) have to do with religion?

I meant to call you a "liberal believer" rather than a fan of liberalist policies. You are not conservative, are you? 
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« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2009, 11:21:03 AM »

When I was growing up in the former Soviet Union of the 1960-s - 1980-s, living together and not being married was simply unheard of, impossible. It was absolutely impossible, for example, to rent an apartment from the state and to live there with a person of the opposite sex if the officials did not see the marriage license. One could, of course, privately "sublet" a room - but if the authorities found out, it could be a huge scandal fro the person who had the residential permit for this apartment and allowed this "sublet" to happen. Two people of the opposite sexes could not check into a hotel, too, if they were not legally married.

Now it's changed dramatically... Young couples in Ukrainian cities are co-habitating on a mass scale, and it no longer seems to cause any opposition, neither from the state nor from very many parents. Our two nieces, 21 and 24, have already been in these "civic marriages." My mother-in-law (their grandmother), who is socially very concervative, was shocked at first, but then said, "ah well, modern times, everyone's doing it..."

And in Western Europe, it seems, no one is getting married anymore.Smiley Lesya and I have friends, former postdoctoral colleagues, from France and the Netherlands, who have lived with their un-wed husband or wife for years and years, have children, are very happy, and have no interest whatsoever to go through a marriage ceremony. (Interestingly, one couple, who are our friends from the Netherlands and who already have a child but are not legally married, are very "Bible-believing" Evangelical Protestants. Smiley)
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« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2009, 11:25:45 AM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2009, 11:28:09 AM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?

For me this would be like asking if I need the authority of the Orthodox Church to go for a walk right now or buy a cat.
I happen to share an apartment with a woman I am going to marry - and that law that is written on our hearts has no qualms about it being this way.
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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2009, 11:50:47 AM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?

For me this would be like asking if I need the authority of the Orthodox Church to go for a walk right now or buy a cat.
I happen to share an apartment with a woman I am going to marry - and that law that is written on our hearts has no qualms about it being this way.
You compare ethics to walking a cat? If that's the case, then of course you won't understand christian morality concerning sex.
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« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2009, 11:58:47 AM »

You compare ethics to walking a cat? If that's the case, then of course you won't understand christian morality concerning sex.
I agree.
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« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2009, 12:07:32 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.
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« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2009, 12:11:46 PM »

He has stated that he is getting married in two months. I think that he is moving in the appropriate direction. Congratulation Bogoliubtsy and good luck.
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« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2009, 12:17:29 PM »

And if he doesn't or should be delayed in so doing? And how long would a delay be seen as permissible before it could be construed as inappropriate behavior for an Orthodox Christian? Gabriel has made a very good observation. I quote: "...the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval."

Personally, I think most of us would have a hard time of it finding an Orthodox bishop to approve this "arrangement".
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« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2009, 12:18:35 PM »

And if he doesn't or should be delayed in so doing? And how long would a delay be seen as permissible before it could be construed as inappropriate behavior for an Orthodox Christian? Gabriel has made a very good observation. I quote: "...the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval."

Personally, I think most of us would have a hard time of it finding an Orthodox bishop to approve this "arrangement".
Yep. Exactly what I was trying to get at. Well said.
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« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2009, 01:31:43 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?
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« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2009, 01:33:57 PM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?

For me this would be like asking if I need the authority of the Orthodox Church to go for a walk right now or buy a cat.
I happen to share an apartment with a woman I am going to marry - and that law that is written on our hearts has no qualms about it being this way.
You compare ethics to walking a cat? If that's the case, then of course you won't understand christian morality concerning sex.

I said taking a walk or buying a cat. Who walks a cat?

Anyway, can you define Christian morality concerning sex? There seems to be quite a divergence here between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Also, why do you b ring up sex?
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« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2009, 01:34:57 PM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?

For me this would be like asking if I need the authority of the Orthodox Church to go for a walk right now or buy a cat.
I happen to share an apartment with a woman I am going to marry - and that law that is written on our hearts has no qualms about it being this way.
You compare ethics to walking a cat? If that's the case, then of course you won't understand christian morality concerning sex.

I said taking a walk or buying a cat. Who walks a cat?

Anyway, can you define Christian morality concerning sex? There seems to be quite a divergence here between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Also, why do you b ring up sex?
Because cohabitating tends towards sex.
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« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2009, 01:35:44 PM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?

For me this would be like asking if I need the authority of the Orthodox Church to go for a walk right now or buy a cat.
I happen to share an apartment with a woman I am going to marry - and that law that is written on our hearts has no qualms about it being this way.
You compare ethics to walking a cat? If that's the case, then of course you won't understand christian morality concerning sex.

I said taking a walk or buying a cat. Who walks a cat?

Anyway, can you define Christian morality concerning sex? There seems to be quite a divergence here between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Also, why do you b ring up sex?
Because cohabitating tends towards sex.

Has this been your experience?
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« Reply #78 on: April 28, 2009, 01:37:45 PM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.
You don't even need the authority of the Orthodox Church?

For me this would be like asking if I need the authority of the Orthodox Church to go for a walk right now or buy a cat.
I happen to share an apartment with a woman I am going to marry - and that law that is written on our hearts has no qualms about it being this way.
You compare ethics to walking a cat? If that's the case, then of course you won't understand christian morality concerning sex.

I said taking a walk or buying a cat. Who walks a cat?

Anyway, can you define Christian morality concerning sex? There seems to be quite a divergence here between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Also, why do you b ring up sex?
Because cohabitating tends towards sex.

Has this been your experience?
Actually yes. I cohabited with some one several years ago. I knew it was wrong then and I am glad that I am not in that situation now.
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« Reply #79 on: April 28, 2009, 02:02:27 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?


I'm uncomfortable with the entire thread to be perfectly frank. Like Gabriel, I have this dislike of "ganging up" on someone/anyone. The issue for me is this: why did you make your private situation public knowledge? What could you have possibly gained by this revelation? Surely you must have known beforehand that it would not be well received. What you do in your life is none of my business. It's best done in private and then you must deal with the consequences between you and the Lord... you and the Church... you and your own conscience... you and your fiance but not you and us. When you bring this into the public sphere, you change all the ground rules and it's a given that some of us will respond (and probably not to your liking). The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil... period. You don't need to know the whens, hows and whys of the Church's condemnation. Now you're simply playing games with us and with yourself. You know as well as everyone here that the Church does not nor will not support your living arrangements so don't be disingenuous. The fact is, the Church is the foundation of the truth and not the individual. Whether or not you are okay with it is irrelevant since you are prone to error. The Church is not so given and therefore as an Orthodox believer you must obey the Church. It's really as simple as that.
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« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2009, 02:07:38 PM »



But then what about College Dorms and orthodox youth who go to college?  Yes colleges are usually a cesspool for bad behavior, but the set-up is the same, and the church does not have any real prohibitions against kids living in college dorms.
While most dorm buildings are co-ed, a 'floor' is usually not and has an RA to help ensure rules are followed.  I would think that a student being placed on a co-ed floor could object for religious reasons.  At any rate, there will always be loopholes with some being legit and others not so much.   

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« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2009, 02:09:05 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?


I'm uncomfortable with the entire thread to be perfectly frank. Like Gabriel, I have this dislike of "ganging up" on someone/anyone. The issue for me is this: why did you make your private situation public knowledge? What could you have possibly gained by this revelation? Surely you must have known beforehand that it would not be well received. What you do in your life is none of my business. It's best done in private and then you must deal with the consequences between you and the Lord... you and the Church... you and your own conscience... you and your fiance but not you and us. When you bring this into the public sphere, you change all the ground rules and it's a given that some of us will respond (and probably not to your liking). The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil... period. You don't need to know the whens, hows and whys of the Church's condemnation. Now you're simply playing games with us and with yourself. You know as well as everyone here that the Church does not nor will not support your living arrangements so don't be disingenuous. The fact is, the Church is the foundation of the truth and not the individual. Whether or not you are okay with it is irrelevant since you are prone to error. The Church is not so given and therefore as an Orthodox believer you must obey the Church. It's really as simple as that.


It's "as simple as that" when you discuss the matter in a simple way, disregarding any particulars or nuances in the situation while preferring to answer questions in a rigid framework of GOOD VS BAD.

I would reserve the word "evil" for much more serious situations than mine- like, genocide perhaps.

The OP brought up the issue- I responded with my experience. I apologize if my experience scandalizes you.
I'm really not upset or shocked over the responses I've received. I've been around long enough to know that my arrangement is frowned upon. Not a shocker.
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« Reply #82 on: April 28, 2009, 02:12:49 PM »



I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?

I'm not trying to discourage you from participating in any way and, besides, I don't have the authority to do so.  But if you're truly serious about these questions, why not talk them over with your father confessor?  Smiley
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« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2009, 02:13:45 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?


I'm uncomfortable with the entire thread to be perfectly frank. Like Gabriel, I have this dislike of "ganging up" on someone/anyone. The issue for me is this: why did you make your private situation public knowledge? What could you have possibly gained by this revelation? Surely you must have known beforehand that it would not be well received. What you do in your life is none of my business. It's best done in private and then you must deal with the consequences between you and the Lord... you and the Church... you and your own conscience... you and your fiance but not you and us. When you bring this into the public sphere, you change all the ground rules and it's a given that some of us will respond (and probably not to your liking). The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil... period. You don't need to know the whens, hows and whys of the Church's condemnation. Now you're simply playing games with us and with yourself. You know as well as everyone here that the Church does not nor will not support your living arrangements so don't be disingenuous. The fact is, the Church is the foundation of the truth and not the individual. Whether or not you are okay with it is irrelevant since you are prone to error. The Church is not so given and therefore as an Orthodox believer you must obey the Church. It's really as simple as that.


It's "as simple as that" when you discuss the matter in a simple way, disregarding any particulars or nuances in the situation while preferring to answer questions in a rigid framework of GOOD VS BAD.

I would reserve the word "evil" for much more serious situations than mine- like, genocide perhaps.

The OP brought up the issue- I responded with my experience. I apologize if my experience scandalizes you.
I'm really not upset or shocked over the responses I've received. I've been around long enough to know that my arrangement is frowned upon. Not a shocker.
Are you telling me that you done understand simple concepts like good and evil? When applied to ethics and morality, good simply means that which ought be done. Evil is that which ought not be done, or ought to be avoided.
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« Reply #84 on: April 28, 2009, 02:14:29 PM »



I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?

I'm not trying to discourage you from participating in any way and, besides, I don't have the authority to do so.  But if you're truly serious about these questions, why not talk them over with your father confessor?  Smiley
Perhaps the post of this entire thread.
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« Reply #85 on: April 28, 2009, 02:16:08 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?


I'm uncomfortable with the entire thread to be perfectly frank. Like Gabriel, I have this dislike of "ganging up" on someone/anyone. The issue for me is this: why did you make your private situation public knowledge? What could you have possibly gained by this revelation? Surely you must have known beforehand that it would not be well received. What you do in your life is none of my business. It's best done in private and then you must deal with the consequences between you and the Lord... you and the Church... you and your own conscience... you and your fiance but not you and us. When you bring this into the public sphere, you change all the ground rules and it's a given that some of us will respond (and probably not to your liking). The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil... period. You don't need to know the whens, hows and whys of the Church's condemnation. Now you're simply playing games with us and with yourself. You know as well as everyone here that the Church does not nor will not support your living arrangements so don't be disingenuous. The fact is, the Church is the foundation of the truth and not the individual. Whether or not you are okay with it is irrelevant since you are prone to error. The Church is not so given and therefore as an Orthodox believer you must obey the Church. It's really as simple as that.


It's "as simple as that" when you discuss the matter in a simple way, disregarding any particulars or nuances in the situation while preferring to answer questions in a rigid framework of GOOD VS BAD.

I would reserve the word "evil" for much more serious situations than mine- like, genocide perhaps.

The OP brought up the issue- I responded with my experience. I apologize if my experience scandalizes you.
I'm really not upset or shocked over the responses I've received. I've been around long enough to know that my arrangement is frowned upon. Not a shocker.
Are you telling me that you done understand simple concepts like good and evil? When applied to ethics and morality, good simply means that which ought be done. Evil is that which ought not be done, or ought to be avoided.

Are you telling me you see nothing in the world but GOOD and EVIL?
There's a color produced when black and white are mixed. Check it out.
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« Reply #86 on: April 28, 2009, 02:20:34 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?


I'm uncomfortable with the entire thread to be perfectly frank. Like Gabriel, I have this dislike of "ganging up" on someone/anyone. The issue for me is this: why did you make your private situation public knowledge? What could you have possibly gained by this revelation? Surely you must have known beforehand that it would not be well received. What you do in your life is none of my business. It's best done in private and then you must deal with the consequences between you and the Lord... you and the Church... you and your own conscience... you and your fiance but not you and us. When you bring this into the public sphere, you change all the ground rules and it's a given that some of us will respond (and probably not to your liking). The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil... period. You don't need to know the whens, hows and whys of the Church's condemnation. Now you're simply playing games with us and with yourself. You know as well as everyone here that the Church does not nor will not support your living arrangements so don't be disingenuous. The fact is, the Church is the foundation of the truth and not the individual. Whether or not you are okay with it is irrelevant since you are prone to error. The Church is not so given and therefore as an Orthodox believer you must obey the Church. It's really as simple as that.


It's "as simple as that" when you discuss the matter in a simple way, disregarding any particulars or nuances in the situation while preferring to answer questions in a rigid framework of GOOD VS BAD.

I would reserve the word "evil" for much more serious situations than mine- like, genocide perhaps.

The OP brought up the issue- I responded with my experience. I apologize if my experience scandalizes you.
I'm really not upset or shocked over the responses I've received. I've been around long enough to know that my arrangement is frowned upon. Not a shocker.
Are you telling me that you done understand simple concepts like good and evil? When applied to ethics and morality, good simply means that which ought be done. Evil is that which ought not be done, or ought to be avoided.

Are you telling me you see nothing in the world but GOOD and EVIL?
There's a color produced when black and white are mixed. Check it out.
Actually yes. Good is all that God has created. Thus it is good to eat in moderation. It is good to procreat in the context of marriage. It is good to learn. Mountains are good. Lions are good. etc. etc. etc. Evil is a deprivation of the good that God has created, lack a hole, so to speak, or the misuse of something good that God has created.
As for mixing colors, that has nothing to do with ethics because ethics are not colors. The only I can say is, "yes grey is a color," and, "yes it is good because it was created by God."
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« Reply #87 on: April 28, 2009, 02:24:17 PM »

On one hand, this thread is uncomfortable to read as it seems like one poster is being ganged-up on.  On the other hand, I will say that many of the posts seem justified as the individual in question a) did post personal info for the whole world to read (and thus comment on) and b) his particular situation does seem to be (given the reasons he's given us) outside the boundaries of permission.  Again, it's not our business what anyone does in their bedroom, but if we're going to post it online and then present it as no big deal, it must and will be met with strong disagreement.  Otherwise, it could be seen as a tacit approval.

Fair enough.  Smiley

I understand that from the Orthodox point of view an arrangement like mine will most likely never be permitted by any kind of official sanction. I also understand that because of the Christian ethic/ideology, there must be disagreement with my arrangement on ethical/moral grounds on an Orthodox forum. However, I do not hold my arrangement up as an example of ideal Christian virtue in an ethically Orthodox context. I have, though, judged my situation in the light of my own experience and have found it to be just fine.
The objection here seems to be over a question of authority in one's decision making process. Most posters have opined in some form that the rulings of the Church trump the rulings of my own experience, intellect, and heart, whatever those experiences may be. There is a blanket Orthodox response to my situation, nevermind the details, that it is wrong.

I'd like to know though- when, how, and why has/does the Church condemn living together before marriage?


I'm uncomfortable with the entire thread to be perfectly frank. Like Gabriel, I have this dislike of "ganging up" on someone/anyone. The issue for me is this: why did you make your private situation public knowledge? What could you have possibly gained by this revelation? Surely you must have known beforehand that it would not be well received. What you do in your life is none of my business. It's best done in private and then you must deal with the consequences between you and the Lord... you and the Church... you and your own conscience... you and your fiance but not you and us. When you bring this into the public sphere, you change all the ground rules and it's a given that some of us will respond (and probably not to your liking). The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil... period. You don't need to know the whens, hows and whys of the Church's condemnation. Now you're simply playing games with us and with yourself. You know as well as everyone here that the Church does not nor will not support your living arrangements so don't be disingenuous. The fact is, the Church is the foundation of the truth and not the individual. Whether or not you are okay with it is irrelevant since you are prone to error. The Church is not so given and therefore as an Orthodox believer you must obey the Church. It's really as simple as that.


It's "as simple as that" when you discuss the matter in a simple way, disregarding any particulars or nuances in the situation while preferring to answer questions in a rigid framework of GOOD VS BAD.

I would reserve the word "evil" for much more serious situations than mine- like, genocide perhaps.

The OP brought up the issue- I responded with my experience. I apologize if my experience scandalizes you.
I'm really not upset or shocked over the responses I've received. I've been around long enough to know that my arrangement is frowned upon. Not a shocker.
Are you telling me that you done understand simple concepts like good and evil? When applied to ethics and morality, good simply means that which ought be done. Evil is that which ought not be done, or ought to be avoided.

Are you telling me you see nothing in the world but GOOD and EVIL?
There's a color produced when black and white are mixed. Check it out.
Actually yes. Good is all that God has created. Thus it is good to eat in moderation. It is good to procreat in the context of marriage. It is good to learn. Mountains are good. Lions are good. etc. etc. etc. Evil is a deprivation of the good that God has created, lack a hole, so to speak, or the misuse of something good that God has created.
As for mixing colors, that has nothing to do with ethics because ethics are not colors. The only I can say is, "yes grey is a color," and, "yes it is good because it was created by God."

I thought scholasticism was dead.

So, so far I've learned from a  number of posters that I'm engaged in EVIL and propagating evil, that I am not Christian, that my experiences are bunk because the Church trumps experience to the contrary of Church teaching, and that I am a horrible example for anyone reading this forum because it might give them the wrong idea about Orthodoxy.

Aren't there bigger battles to fight? I've seen more vehemence toward my living arrangement on this forum than towards the situation in Darfur.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #88 on: April 28, 2009, 02:29:03 PM »

Co-habitating before marriage does not increase the likelihood of a successful marriage, in fact it has been proven to increase divorce rates.
http://www.leaderu.com/critical/cohabitation-socio.html
And living together with the intent to eventually wed generally leads to the wedding date being moved over and over if you get married at all. My brother has been "meaning to" wed his girlfriend for about 7 years. Two kids later they still haven't wed. Now the reason is that she can't be on public assistance if they get married Roll Eyes
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« Reply #89 on: April 28, 2009, 02:32:35 PM »


Okay...enough already!  Both sides!

Bogoliubtsy gave an honest answer, and inadvertently posted too much information.

Now, let's not gang up on him, because he's getting all defensive and this is getting nobody anywhere fast.

He's not evil.  He is, however, living in "sin".  This sin he alone has to deal with.  It's up to him and God to work this out.  Nowhere is Bogoliubtsy stating that this is NOT a sin, just that he realizes what he is doing and that's that.

We all have our sins to deal with...and a sin is a sin, no matter how large or small....and yes, Bogoliubtsy, it IS a sin.  Remember, when Christ told those who are without sin to cast the first stone?  This was aimed at the woman which was caught having unmarried "relations".  When he turned to her he told her that her SINS were forgiven, and that she should sin no more.  Therefore, it is a sin.  However, God may forgive all.  I would confess this sin before starting anew with a happy married life.

As for the rest....I can hear many stones dropping.....

So, we will pray for our brother Bogoliubtsy, and for all of us sinners, that God should forgive us all, our many sins....and may He grant Bogoliubtsy a happy, joyous life together with his lovely bride, in two months time!

Lord have mercy on us all!

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« Reply #90 on: April 28, 2009, 02:35:42 PM »

So, so far I've learned from a  number of posters that I'm engaged in EVIL and propagating evil, that I am not Christian,
We are all sinners, bro.  And I hope you didn't get the impression that I don't think you're a Christian?  I apologize if that's the way it came out.

that my experiences are bunk because the Church trumps experience to the contrary of Church teaching,
You didn't present it as a unique experience that required special consideration; you stated that you wouldn't consider marrying anyone unless you first lived with them.  

and that I am a horrible example for anyone reading this forum because it might give them the wrong idea about Orthodoxy.
We're probably all, at some time or another, horrible examples to present as being Orthodox; I know I've been there and will probably be again.  But does that mean we shouldn't give pastoral advice to consider?
 
Aren't there bigger battles to fight? I've seen more vehemence toward my living arrangement on this forum than towards the situation in Darfur.  Roll Eyes
I must have missed the part where we were discussing the situation in Darfur.  Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: April 28, 2009, 02:37:16 PM »


Okay...enough already!  Both sides!

Bogoliubtsy gave an honest answer, and inadvertently posted too much information.

Now, let's not gang up on him, because he's getting all defensive and this is getting nobody anywhere fast.

He's not evil.  He is, however, living in "sin".  This sin he alone has to deal with.  It's up to him and God to work this out.  Nowhere is Bogoliubtsy stating that this is NOT a sin, just that he realizes what he is doing and that's that.

We all have our sins to deal with...and a sin is a sin, no matter how large or small....and yes, Bogoliubtsy, it IS a sin.  Remember, when Christ told those who are without sin to cast the first stone?  This was aimed at the woman which was caught having unmarried "relations".  When he turned to her he told her that her SINS were forgiven, and that she should sin no more.  Therefore, it is a sin.  However, God may forgive all.  I would confess this sin before starting anew with a happy married life.

As for the rest....I can hear many stones dropping.....

So, we will pray for our brother Bogoliubtsy, and for all of us sinners, that God should forgive us all, our many sins....and may He grant Bogoliubtsy a happy, joyous life together with his lovely bride, in two months time!

Lord have mercy on us all!



I understand where you come from. And I don't mean to gang up on the guy. But the idea that living together makes for a stronger marriage is a farce. As well- he is not like the woman in this story unless the woman in the story said; "So what! You don't know enough about me to determine how i should deal with my love life!"

If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.
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« Reply #92 on: April 28, 2009, 02:38:03 PM »

So, so far I've learned from a  number of posters that I'm engaged in EVIL and propagating evil, that I am not Christian,
We are all sinners, bro.  And I hope you didn't get the impression that I don't think you're a Christian?  I apologize if that's the way it came out.

that my experiences are bunk because the Church trumps experience to the contrary of Church teaching,
You didn't present it as a unique experience that required special consideration; you stated that you wouldn't consider marrying anyone unless you first lived with them.  

and that I am a horrible example for anyone reading this forum because it might give them the wrong idea about Orthodoxy.
We're probably all, at some time or another, horrible examples to present as being Orthodox; I know I've been there and will probably be again.  But does that mean we shouldn't give pastoral advice to consider?
 
Aren't there bigger battles to fight? I've seen more vehemence toward my living arrangement on this forum than towards the situation in Darfur.  Roll Eyes
I must have missed the part where we were discussing the situation in Darfur.  Smiley

All points taken.  Smiley
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« Reply #93 on: April 28, 2009, 02:39:25 PM »

I thought scholasticism was dead.
Alive and kicking. But if you don't like my understanding of evil then ask some one in your own communion how the EO understand good and evil.
So, so far I've learned from a  number of posters that I'm engaged in EVIL
No on this thread has called you evil.
and propagating evil,
That may be true. But only if you understand evil actions as those actions that are immoral or unethical.
that I am not Christian,

I don't know of anyone who has said that on this thread. Are you sure you're not just jumping to conclusions?
that my experiences are bunk because the Church trumps experience  to the contrary of Church teaching,

Wells since your experiences are subjective and the teaching of the Church are objective, you need to interperate your experience through the objective lense of the Church. This does not mean that your experiences are not valuable.
to the contrary of Church teaching, and that I am a horrible example for anyone reading this forum because it might give them the wrong idea about Orthodoxy.
No one said that you are a "horrible" example. However, if you are leading others to sin, are you being a good example? I mean, you said that cohabitating was not the best thing. Is that the example you want to give?
Aren't there bigger battles to fight? I've seen more vehemence toward my living arrangement on this forum than towards the situation in Darfur.  Roll Eyes
Well first, your exageration about the responses on this forum is just silly. No one has said you are a bad person. No one has said you are unchristian. However, if you continue to teach that something that is evil is good, then you will opposed on those grounds.
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« Reply #94 on: April 28, 2009, 02:42:03 PM »

I thought scholasticism was dead.
Alive and kicking. But if you don't like my understanding of evil then ask some one in your own communion how the EO understand good and evil.
So, so far I've learned from a  number of posters that I'm engaged in EVIL
No on this thread has called you evil.
and propagating evil,
That may be true. But only if you understand evil actions as those actions that are immoral or unethical.
that I am not Christian,

I don't know of anyone who has said that on this thread. Are you sure you're not just jumping to conclusions?
that my experiences are bunk because the Church trumps experience  to the contrary of Church teaching,

Wells since your experiences are subjective and the teaching of the Church are objective, you need to interperate your experience through the objective lense of the Church. This does not mean that your experiences are not valuable.
to the contrary of Church teaching, and that I am a horrible example for anyone reading this forum because it might give them the wrong idea about Orthodoxy.
No one said that you are a "horrible" example. However, if you are leading others to sin, are you being a good example? I mean, you said that cohabitating was not the best thing. Is that the example you want to give?
Aren't there bigger battles to fight? I've seen more vehemence toward my living arrangement on this forum than towards the situation in Darfur.  Roll Eyes
Well first, your exageration about the responses on this forum is just silly. No one has said you are a bad person. No one has said you are unchristian. However, if you continue to teach that something that is evil is good, then you will opposed on those grounds.

Theopholis wondered if I am Christian.
As for the teachings of the Church being objective- to which Church are you referring? 
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« Reply #95 on: April 28, 2009, 02:42:32 PM »


If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.


Exactly.
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« Reply #96 on: April 28, 2009, 02:42:58 PM »


Okay...enough already!  Both sides!

Bogoliubtsy gave an honest answer, and inadvertently posted too much information.

Now, let's not gang up on him, because he's getting all defensive and this is getting nobody anywhere fast.

He's not evil.  He is, however, living in "sin".  This sin he alone has to deal with.  It's up to him and God to work this out.  Nowhere is Bogoliubtsy stating that this is NOT a sin, just that he realizes what he is doing and that's that.

We all have our sins to deal with...and a sin is a sin, no matter how large or small....and yes, Bogoliubtsy, it IS a sin.  Remember, when Christ told those who are without sin to cast the first stone?  This was aimed at the woman which was caught having unmarried "relations".  When he turned to her he told her that her SINS were forgiven, and that she should sin no more.  Therefore, it is a sin.  However, God may forgive all.  I would confess this sin before starting anew with a happy married life.

As for the rest....I can hear many stones dropping.....

So, we will pray for our brother Bogoliubtsy, and for all of us sinners, that God should forgive us all, our many sins....and may He grant Bogoliubtsy a happy, joyous life together with his lovely bride, in two months time!

Lord have mercy on us all!



I understand where you come from. And I don't mean to gang up on the guy. But the idea that living together makes for a stronger marriage is a farce. As well- he is not like the woman in this story unless the woman in the story said; "So what! You don't know enough about me to determine how i should deal with my love life!"

If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.
But should a person who claims to be an Orthodox Christian who is purposely living a life that is contrary to the teachings of the Orthodox Church approach the chalice? Should that person be propogating his beliefs? Does this not cause scandal?
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« Reply #97 on: April 28, 2009, 02:43:41 PM »


If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.


Exactly.
But if you live a life contrary to the teachigns of the Church, are you really being Orthodox? Should such a person approach the chalice?
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« Reply #98 on: April 28, 2009, 02:44:47 PM »


If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.


Exactly.
But if you live a life contrary to the teachigns of the Church, are you really being Orthodox? Should such a person approach the chalice?

Such a person is not approaching the chalice. This is where I end with the personal stories.  Smiley

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« Reply #99 on: April 28, 2009, 02:46:24 PM »


If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.


Exactly.
But if you live a life contrary to the teachigns of the Church, are you really being Orthodox? Should such a person approach the chalice?

Such a person is not approaching the chalice.
I see. Well it is wonderful that you are respecting the Holy Eucharist in that way. But do you want to continue to separated from the Body and Blood of Christ?
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« Reply #100 on: April 28, 2009, 02:47:26 PM »


- he is not like the woman in this story unless the woman in the story said; "So what! You don't know enough about me to determine how i should deal with my love life!"

If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.

Well, he IS like the woman as far as proving the point that unmarried cohabitation IS a sin.  I used this an example to show him that it IS a sin, because Bogoliubtsy was not convinced of that fact.

So, what more does one need to prove it's a sin, than the Master's own words?

Now, Bogoliubtsy, it's up to you to realize that and proceed accordingly.  One should not be proud of sinning.  If one sins, and cannot help themselves, then one must try harder.   However, don't propagate sin as an accepted state.

It's not.




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« Reply #101 on: April 28, 2009, 02:51:51 PM »


- he is not like the woman in this story unless the woman in the story said; "So what! You don't know enough about me to determine how i should deal with my love life!"

If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.

Well, he IS like the woman as far as proving the point that unmarried cohabitation IS a sin.  I used this an example to show him that it IS a sin, because Bogoliubtsy was not convinced of that fact.

So, what more does one need to prove it's a sin, than the Master's own words?

Now, Bogoliubtsy, it's up to you to realize that and proceed accordingly.  One should not be proud of sinning.  If one sins, and cannot help themselves, then one must try harder.   However, don't propagate sin as an accepted state.

It's not.





I have to say, even though I disagree with anyone cohabitating, I understand how hard it is to pull one's self out of such a situation. The entire time that I lived in that situation, I loved my partner soooooo much and could not imagine living without this person. It took some pretty traumatic events to get me out of that situaton.
That all being said, it does not change the fact that I knew and know that cohabitating was and is sinful.
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« Reply #102 on: April 28, 2009, 02:54:39 PM »


- he is not like the woman in this story unless the woman in the story said; "So what! You don't know enough about me to determine how i should deal with my love life!"

If he doesn't believe that what he is doing is wrong there is no point in confessing it before marriage.

Well, he IS like the woman as far as proving the point that unmarried cohabitation IS a sin.  I used this an example to show him that it IS a sin, because Bogoliubtsy was not convinced of that fact.

So, what more does one need to prove it's a sin, than the Master's own words?

Now, Bogoliubtsy, it's up to you to realize that and proceed accordingly.  One should not be proud of sinning.  If one sins, and cannot help themselves, then one must try harder.   However, don't propagate sin as an accepted state.

It's not.






Are you saying that it is a sin to live under the same roof as your partner while unmarried, or that it is a sin to have pre-marital sex?
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« Reply #103 on: April 28, 2009, 02:55:39 PM »

Well, the issue isn't entirely co-habitation so much as premarital sex. And one can be waist deep in that particular sin and NOT live together. My husband is the first man that I ever dated that I didn't have sex with. He was actually a virgin when we met. We decided together that we would wait to have sex until we married. We dated three LLLLOOOOONNNNGGGGGG years and waited. That is to say that simply because you have had sex in the past doesn't mean that each relationship is soiled by the previous ones sins unless you allow it to be.
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« Reply #104 on: April 28, 2009, 02:57:38 PM »

My sister tried to say that she and her boyfriend would wait until they were married (they had been having sex but decided that they needed to get married and wanted to wait from the engagement to the wedding to have sex) but "had to" live together for economic reasons. Needless to say they DID have sex (she told me). The sexual temptation only increases with proximity as well as when something is "taboo."
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« Reply #105 on: April 28, 2009, 03:13:23 PM »

My sister tried to say that she and her boyfriend would wait until they were married (they had been having sex but decided that they needed to get married and wanted to wait from the engagement to the wedding to have sex) but "had to" live together for economic reasons. Needless to say they DID have sex (she told me). The sexual temptation only increases with proximity as well as when something is "taboo."
And temptation increases when you have the privacy that often comes with living together.
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« Reply #106 on: April 28, 2009, 03:17:45 PM »

Well, the issue isn't entirely co-habitation so much as premarital sex. And one can be waist deep in that particular sin and NOT live together. My husband is the first man that I ever dated that I didn't have sex with. He was actually a virgin when we met. We decided together that we would wait to have sex until we married. We dated three LLLLOOOOONNNNGGGGGG years and waited.
How long you married now?  Studies show a conection.
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« Reply #107 on: April 28, 2009, 03:22:31 PM »

This new years eve will be 13 years of marriage and 16 years together.


And yes, when you look at my profile you will see I am only 30. I met my husband at 15- I was already out of high school and had had quite a few sexual relationships (even one that lasted over a year) by then. I was virtually living as an emancipated minor- worked to support myself ect.  I won't go into how many sexual relationships I had had by that point. But I will say I had been pregnant and miscarried already by the time we met. My husband was 20 and a gigging/working musician when we met, which makes the fact that he was still a virgin nearly miraculous.
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« Reply #108 on: April 28, 2009, 03:25:30 PM »

This new years eve will be 13 years of marriage and 16 years together.


I noticed you're 30. So you were 17 when you married?
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« Reply #109 on: April 28, 2009, 03:28:45 PM »

My birthday is this summer, just a couple days before my due date with baby #4. If the baby is born on time I will be 30 with 4 kids for about a week! Eeek! I was 15 when we met and 18 when we wed. And since it is New years eve that we met and new years eve three years later that we wed it makes it even more confusing.
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« Reply #110 on: April 28, 2009, 03:46:33 PM »

And please don't use the "your young" line of reasoning to discount all that I say. Most marriages of longer than ours haven't been thru half of what my husband and I have been thru with deployments and such. At any age having two year+ long deployments in 4 years is exceedingly difficult, most people are divorced by now.
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« Reply #111 on: April 28, 2009, 03:50:16 PM »

And please don't use the "your young" line of reasoning to discount all that I say. Most marriages haven't been thru half of what my husband and I have been thru with deployments and such. At any age- having two year+ long deployments in 4 years most people are divorced by now.

Who, me? We're the same age.

I will say though that avoiding pre-marital sex is a bit easier if you get married as a teenager.
With two year deployments though...geesh. Good work.  Smiley
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« Reply #112 on: April 28, 2009, 03:53:09 PM »

Wow, I'm glad I missed this thread.  Stone casting is apparently not dead.

Bogo, apparently you're causing scandal... I wonder where I've heard that before:

(All references KJV from bible.com)
Quote from: The Bible

Matt 9:11 & Mark 2:16 & Luke 5:30 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matt 11:19 & Luke 7:34 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Matt 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Point: just because something appears to be off doesn't mean that it is (It looks scandalous?  It may not be!), and even if it is off, it's better to pray for the person and work on your own issues first (You know, that whole log in the eye thing?).  If anyone here reaches theosis (or already has), please I BEG YOU go and help Bogo for a little bit, and then stop over here for a few weeks to work with my wife and me.
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« Reply #113 on: April 28, 2009, 03:54:41 PM »

With two year deployments though...geesh. Good work.  Smiley

Adding to the point - they were/are two different year+ long deployments, adding up to more than two years of active duty in the span of 4 years.
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« Reply #114 on: April 28, 2009, 03:57:14 PM »

Let's not forget that this situation is not exclusive to young adults. Middle aged and older adults are also increasingly cohabiting for a variety of reasons, such as:

-marrying would cause a significant problem among one or both of the couple's child(ren);
-marrying would affect their Social Security or retirement benefits (naturally, I'm only speaking of the US); or
-marrying would require new legal burdens such as updating wills, real estate deeds, etc.

So we cannot just assume that this problem is present only among the young. I used to regularly visit a home for older adults, and in talking with the residents I really think  just as much if not more is going on there than in a dorm.

In the past, I have had to recommend that if the temptation is too great, maybe the couple should consider not living together, but even then that's not a guarantee of non-intimate conduct between the two. Ultimately it resides with what is important to the couple, and where they draw the line in their own lives. We can only pray that their behavior leads to their salvation, and that the Lord have mercy on us all.

Fr Chris,

In such situations is it possible to marry people ecclesiastically without a civil marriage? 
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« Reply #115 on: April 28, 2009, 03:57:26 PM »

And please don't use the "your young" line of reasoning to discount all that I say. Most marriages haven't been thru half of what my husband and I have been thru with deployments and such. At any age- having two year+ long deployments in 4 years most people are divorced by now.

Who, me? We're the same age.

I will say though that avoiding pre-marital sex is a bit easier if you get married as a teenager.
With two year deployments though...geesh. Good work.  Smiley

I get a lot of people discounting everything I say because of my age. I didn't mean to seem snappy, if you felt I was being rude in how I phrased that I apologize. At first people said we were still married because we are "young" although now that my husband is 36 he doesn't get that much Wink (he turned 21 a couple months after I met him at 15. So he is about 5.5 years older than me)

But I will say that the sexual temptation/thoughts were harder and easier to different degrees the three years we dated than they have been with deployments. And from personal experience- sex outside marriage and sex within marriage are entirely different animals. Sex outside marriage is more of a build up and release- more hormonal I would say. Sex within marriage is a form of communication that is vital. It isn't something that I can describe. But there is a distinct difference in how sex is approached (on an emotional level especially) when it is only in the context of marriage as opposed to when it started outside marriage.
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« Reply #116 on: April 28, 2009, 04:05:05 PM »

And please don't use the "your young" line of reasoning to discount all that I say. Most marriages haven't been thru half of what my husband and I have been thru with deployments and such. At any age- having two year+ long deployments in 4 years most people are divorced by now.

Who, me? We're the same age.

I will say though that avoiding pre-marital sex is a bit easier if you get married as a teenager.
With two year deployments though...geesh. Good work.  Smiley

I get a lot of people discounting everything I say because of my age. I didn't mean to seem snappy, if you felt I was being rude in how I phrased that I apologize. At first people said we were still married because we are "young" although now that my husband is 36 he doesn't get that much Wink (he turned 21 a couple months after I met him at 15. So he is about 5.5 years older than me)

Well, that age difference adds a legal element to the decision to refrain from pre-marital relations...or at least it should have.
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« Reply #117 on: April 28, 2009, 04:07:04 PM »

And please don't use the "your young" line of reasoning to discount all that I say. Most marriages haven't been thru half of what my husband and I have been thru with deployments and such. At any age- having two year+ long deployments in 4 years most people are divorced by now.

Who, me? We're the same age.

I will say though that avoiding pre-marital sex is a bit easier if you get married as a teenager.
With two year deployments though...geesh. Good work.  Smiley

I get a lot of people discounting everything I say because of my age. I didn't mean to seem snappy, if you felt I was being rude in how I phrased that I apologize. At first people said we were still married because we are "young" although now that my husband is 36 he doesn't get that much Wink (he turned 21 a couple months after I met him at 15. So he is about 5.5 years older than me)

Well, that age difference adds a legal element to the decision to refrain from pre-marital relations...or at least it should have.

Not really since I had dated (and had sex with) guys older than him by that point Wink And I was essentially an emancipated minor when we met. I was basically a street kid, the last thing law enforcement would have been worried about was my sex life (or lack thereof).
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« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2009, 04:37:09 PM »

Wow, I'm glad I missed this thread.  Stone casting is apparently not dead.

Bogo, apparently you're causing scandal... I wonder where I've heard that before:

(All references KJV from bible.com)
Quote from: The Bible

Matt 9:11 & Mark 2:16 & Luke 5:30 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matt 11:19 & Luke 7:34 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Matt 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Point: just because something appears to be off doesn't mean that it is (It looks scandalous?  It may not be!), and even if it is off, it's better to pray for the person and work on your own issues first (You know, that whole log in the eye thing?).  If anyone here reaches theosis (or already has), please I BEG YOU go and help Bogo for a little bit, and then stop over here for a few weeks to work with my wife and me.
St. Paul says that we should avoid causing scandal for the sake of the weeker breathern. In your example Jesus was not doing something sinful by eating with these people. However, we do know that cohabitation is sinful. There is a diference.
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« Reply #119 on: April 28, 2009, 04:49:06 PM »

Bogoliubtsy, I wish you the best as you look forward to many happy years of marriage together, as God grants.

Reading all this only makes me so wistful for the customs of the church of my youth when I too was looking forward with such anticipation to having a boyfriend, marrying and starting a family. In that church nobody lived together or even had sex before marriage. It was a given that all approached the marriage altar as virgins. Needless to say, everyone looked forward to marriage with a great deal of anticipation!

It's brought me much sadness upon leaving that world to realize that there is almost no one who will share my ideals or who will have waited years to be able to meet someone and marry. Almost nowhere can you find someone who has also saved themselves for their future husband/wife simply out of love,respect and honour for that person. I guess I never even saw pre-marital sex as an option for the christian.

I've learned that very few men in the world are really trustworthy and with these attitudes towards sex and women, there is almost no sense of security for women,and that it really cheapens human beings when they live in this manner.

If only people would be thankful for the very fact that they have someone who cares for them and wants to marry them, and would be grateful, and wait patiently for that wonderful day when they can come together as husband and wife!

Bogoliubsty, I am not speaking directly to you, just rambling sadly to myself here.
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« Reply #120 on: April 28, 2009, 05:01:50 PM »

St. Paul says that we should avoid causing scandal for the sake of the weeker breathern. In your example Jesus was not doing something sinful by eating with these people. However, we do know that cohabitation is sinful. There is a diference.

The prohibition is against causing scandal; scandal is (in the scripture and the canons) the appearance of sin, regardless of actual sinful activity.  Jesus wasn't sinning; but He was causing scandal (a recurring theme in His ministry - working on the Sabbath, touching those ritually unclean, etc.)... however, in His case, it was scandal for the "stronger" brethren (whom, I would argue, would be analogous to those pontificating here, since they seem to have a strong enough "grasp" on Christian morality and the boldness to teach others based on that knowledge) not the weaker, which is why St. Paul's argument didn't work against the Master of All.  You don't actually know if Bogo is sinning or not, you just know that he is in a situation that appears to be sinful, or has the increased potential to be so.  In cases like these, it would be best to just offer support, hopeful suggestion, and prayer.  Like, I don't know:

Let's not forget that this situation is not exclusive to young adults. Middle aged and older adults are also increasingly cohabiting for a variety of reasons, such as:

-marrying would cause a significant problem among one or both of the couple's child(ren);
-marrying would affect their Social Security or retirement benefits (naturally, I'm only speaking of the US); or
-marrying would require new legal burdens such as updating wills, real estate deeds, etc.

So we cannot just assume that this problem is present only among the young. I used to regularly visit a home for older adults, and in talking with the residents I really think  just as much if not more is going on there than in a dorm.

In the past, I have had to recommend that if the temptation is too great, maybe the couple should consider not living together, but even then that's not a guarantee of non-intimate conduct between the two. Ultimately it resides with what is important to the couple, and where they draw the line in their own lives. We can only pray that their behavior leads to their salvation, and that the Lord have mercy on us all.

No judgment, just caution and hopeful optimism, and the prayer for salvation.

If he is causing scandal to the strong (like people here), then no thought should be given to it.  If he causes scandal to the weak, that is an issue between him and his Maker; I am sure (based on his comments) that he is doing his best not to scandalize anyone who can't handle it.

We should probably move on, and focus more on our own spiritual problems.

Just for the sake of beating my point home (same source as above):
Matt 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
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« Reply #121 on: April 28, 2009, 05:28:07 PM »

^Amen  Smiley

For a bit more clarification- I entered this situation at a time when I had close to zero faith. That situation has only slightly improved in some respects. Still, knowing that I was to be married I decided to stay with this living arrangement. You can all rest easy in July when it becomes officially sanctioned.
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« Reply #122 on: April 28, 2009, 06:46:54 PM »


Personally, I think most of us would have a hard time of it finding an Orthodox bishop to approve this "arrangement".

Well, apart from Saint Basil the Great.  In one of his canons he gives the advice that it may be better for the Church to leave a cohabitating couple together rather than insist on their separation and perhaps cause them to fall into other sin.  Like several of Saint Basil's canons, even though adopted by an Ecumenical Council, this one can cause a bishop to hesitate to apply it.
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« Reply #123 on: April 28, 2009, 06:51:55 PM »

Bogoliubtsy,

Sexual intimacy was meant to serve as glue between a husband and a wife. It is thought that a certain degree of physical-emotional intimacy or "shared space" prior to marriage will inhibit the efficacy of the two to give themselves wholly to each other after marriage if there is a prior breakup.  I can find no absolute rule on this in the OT or NT; it's about responsible risk management and pastoral deference at this point.
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« Reply #124 on: April 28, 2009, 07:03:28 PM »

Wow, I'm glad I missed this thread.  Stone casting is apparently not dead.

Bogo, apparently you're causing scandal... I wonder where I've heard that before:

(All references KJV from bible.com)
Quote from: The Bible

Matt 9:11 & Mark 2:16 & Luke 5:30 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matt 11:19 & Luke 7:34 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Matt 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Point: just because something appears to be off doesn't mean that it is (It looks scandalous?  It may not be!), and even if it is off, it's better to pray for the person and work on your own issues first (You know, that whole log in the eye thing?).  If anyone here reaches theosis (or already has), please I BEG YOU go and help Bogo for a little bit, and then stop over here for a few weeks to work with my wife and me.

Amen to your reply..... Finally a reality check to all of us...

I personally find it very difficult to point out other people's faults in their personal struggles when I am in it to my neck trying to control my own passions.

Lord Have Mercy

 
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« Reply #125 on: April 28, 2009, 07:27:47 PM »

St. Paul says that we should avoid causing scandal for the sake of the weeker breathern. In your example Jesus was not doing something sinful by eating with these people. However, we do know that cohabitation is sinful. There is a diference.

You're right.  I think Bogoliubtsy ought to be waterboarded until he repents.  The Spanish Inquisition had the right idea. 
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« Reply #126 on: April 28, 2009, 08:20:40 PM »

St. Paul says that we should avoid causing scandal for the sake of the weeker breathern. In your example Jesus was not doing something sinful by eating with these people. However, we do know that cohabitation is sinful. There is a diference.

You're right.  I think Bogoliubtsy ought to be waterboarded until he repents.  The Spanish Inquisition had the right idea. 
Well, I am of Spancish descent.
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« Reply #127 on: April 28, 2009, 09:26:22 PM »


Personally, I think most of us would have a hard time of it finding an Orthodox bishop to approve this "arrangement".

Well, apart from Saint Basil the Great.  In one of his canons he gives the advice that it may be better for the Church to leave a cohabitating couple together rather than insist on their separation and perhaps cause them to fall into other sin.  Like several of Saint Basil's canons, even though adopted by an Ecumenical Council, this one can cause a bishop to hesitate to apply it.

I'd definitely want to see the exact canon at some point.
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« Reply #128 on: April 28, 2009, 09:54:41 PM »

ST. BASIL'S CANONS ON COHABITATION

XXII. Men who keep women carried off by violence, if they carried them off when betrothed to other men, must not be received before removal of the women and their restoration to those to whom they were first contracted, whether they wish to receive them, or to separate from them. In the case of a girl who has been taken when not betrothed, she ought first to be removed, and restored to her own people, and handed over to the will of her own people whether parents, or brothers, or any one having authority over her. If they choose to give her up, the cohabitation may stand; but, if they refuse, no violence should be used. In the case of a man having a wife by seduction, be it secret or by violence, he must be held guilty of fornication. The punishment of fornicators is fixed at four years. In the first year they must be expelled from prayer, and weep at the door of the church; in the second they may be received to sermon; in the third to penance; in the fourth to standing with the people, while they are withheld from the oblation. Finally, they may be admitted to the communion of the good gift.

XXVI. Fornication is not wedlock, nor yet the beginning of wedlock. Wherefore it is best, if possible, to put asunder those who are united in fornication. If they are set on cohabitation, let them admit the penalty of fornication. Let them be allowed to live together, lest a worse thing happen.

XXXVIII. Girls who follow against their fathers' will commit fornication; but if their fathers are reconciled to them, the act seems to admit of a remedy. They are not however immediately restored to communion, but are to be punished for three years.

XL. The woman who yields to a man against her master's will commits fornication; but if afterwards she accepts free marriage, she marries. The former case is fornication; the latter marriage. The covenants of persons who are not independent have no validity.

XLII. Marriages contracted without the permission of those in authority, are fornication. If neither father nor master be living the contracting parties are free from blame; just as if the authorities assent to the cohabitation, it assumes the fixity of marriage.


http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202199.htm
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« Reply #129 on: April 28, 2009, 11:03:46 PM »

Very interesting. You learn something every day.  Smiley
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« Reply #130 on: April 28, 2009, 11:14:31 PM »

Indeed, fascinating stuff! I had no idea...
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« Reply #131 on: April 29, 2009, 06:23:29 PM »

Let's not forget that this situation is not exclusive to young adults. Middle aged and older adults are also increasingly cohabiting for a variety of reasons, such as:

-marrying would cause a significant problem among one or both of the couple's child(ren);
-marrying would affect their Social Security or retirement benefits (naturally, I'm only speaking of the US); or
-marrying would require new legal burdens such as updating wills, real estate deeds, etc.

So we cannot just assume that this problem is present only among the young. I used to regularly visit a home for older adults, and in talking with the residents I really think  just as much if not more is going on there than in a dorm.

In the past, I have had to recommend that if the temptation is too great, maybe the couple should consider not living together, but even then that's not a guarantee of non-intimate conduct between the two. Ultimately it resides with what is important to the couple, and where they draw the line in their own lives. We can only pray that their behavior leads to their salvation, and that the Lord have mercy on us all.

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...
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« Reply #132 on: April 29, 2009, 10:21:08 PM »

Probably my final post:

I'm not arguing that pre-marital cohabitation is good for all at all times. In fact, for many it's probably a horrible idea. However, in my case, at my age, with my life experiences, I feel comfortable living with the woman I plan to marry in two months. My conscience and common sense have allowed me to feel comfortable enough with this to need no other source of authority to evaluate the situation for me.

Many years to you both!
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« Reply #133 on: April 29, 2009, 11:29:10 PM »

Let's not forget that this situation is not exclusive to young adults. Middle aged and older adults are also increasingly cohabiting for a variety of reasons, such as:

-marrying would cause a significant problem among one or both of the couple's child(ren);
-marrying would affect their Social Security or retirement benefits (naturally, I'm only speaking of the US); or
-marrying would require new legal burdens such as updating wills, real estate deeds, etc.

So we cannot just assume that this problem is present only among the young. I used to regularly visit a home for older adults, and in talking with the residents I really think  just as much if not more is going on there than in a dorm.

In the past, I have had to recommend that if the temptation is too great, maybe the couple should consider not living together, but even then that's not a guarantee of non-intimate conduct between the two. Ultimately it resides with what is important to the couple, and where they draw the line in their own lives. We can only pray that their behavior leads to their salvation, and that the Lord have mercy on us all.

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

If you want to be a Fisher of Men, it's probably not a good idea to attach flashing lights and bells and whistles to your net to scare the fish away. The net should be barely visible in the water so the fish don't notice it.
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« Reply #134 on: April 29, 2009, 11:38:56 PM »

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

Well, he's not trying to sell "premarital sex," so it shouldn't be that difficult.
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« Reply #135 on: April 30, 2009, 02:09:32 AM »

If you want to be a Fisher of Men, it's probably not a good idea to attach flashing lights and bells and whistles to your net to scare the fish away. The net should be barely visible in the water so the fish don't notice it.

Do you go fishing, ozgeorge? There are many sorts of fish which are very much attracted to bright lights, allowing fishermen to scoop up the fish in their hand nets. Perhaps a better analogy is in order. Wink
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« Reply #136 on: April 30, 2009, 03:32:11 AM »

Bogoliubtsy,

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Many years to you both!
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« Reply #137 on: April 30, 2009, 07:47:51 AM »

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

Well, he's not trying to sell "premarital sex," so it shouldn't be that difficult.

Aren't the theological/exegetical arguments against premarital sex/cohabitation exactly the same such to allow one is to make room for the other?
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« Reply #138 on: April 30, 2009, 08:09:32 AM »

Let's not forget that this situation is not exclusive to young adults. Middle aged and older adults are also increasingly cohabiting for a variety of reasons, such as:

-marrying would cause a significant problem among one or both of the couple's child(ren);
-marrying would affect their Social Security or retirement benefits (naturally, I'm only speaking of the US); or
-marrying would require new legal burdens such as updating wills, real estate deeds, etc.

So we cannot just assume that this problem is present only among the young. I used to regularly visit a home for older adults, and in talking with the residents I really think  just as much if not more is going on there than in a dorm.

In the past, I have had to recommend that if the temptation is too great, maybe the couple should consider not living together, but even then that's not a guarantee of non-intimate conduct between the two. Ultimately it resides with what is important to the couple, and where they draw the line in their own lives. We can only pray that their behavior leads to their salvation, and that the Lord have mercy on us all.

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

If you want to be a Fisher of Men, it's probably not a good idea to attach flashing lights and bells and whistles to your net to scare the fish away. The net should be barely visible in the water so the fish don't notice it.

I get what you are saying George, but I have a hard time figuring out why it is that we are dumping biblical principles for people's weakness (at least in the cases that were described by Fr. Chris).  That's why I posed the question as "pastoral sensibilities vs. scripture"....so right now i'm just trying to figure that out.  How much are those people REALLY going to come into the fold if you "give up the gospel" so that they can be in a better situation.  ALSO what are we saying about our normal cry for ascetical discipline as a foundation of spiritual development?  We are saying that "it's more important that you are OK in your living arrangements than for you to learn how to be a spiritual ascetic"....or at least that's what it seems like to me. 


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« Reply #139 on: April 30, 2009, 08:10:24 AM »

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

Well, he's not trying to sell "premarital sex," so it shouldn't be that difficult.

I'd like for you to take a crack at what I just wrote to OzGeorge.  I think i'd have a basically similar response to your post here. 
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« Reply #140 on: April 30, 2009, 08:20:43 AM »

Aren't the theological/exegetical arguments against premarital sex/cohabitation exactly the same such to allow one is to make room for the other?

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

Well, he's not trying to sell "premarital sex," so it shouldn't be that difficult.

I'd like for you to take a crack at what I just wrote to OzGeorge.  I think i'd have a basically similar response to your post here.  

I suppose my basic question is this: do the Fathers condemn living together generally, or do they only condemn premarital sex, or do they condemn living together assuming that premarital sex is necessarily occurring when people live together?
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« Reply #141 on: April 30, 2009, 08:25:17 AM »

Aren't the theological/exegetical arguments against premarital sex/cohabitation exactly the same such to allow one is to make room for the other?

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

Well, he's not trying to sell "premarital sex," so it shouldn't be that difficult.

I'd like for you to take a crack at what I just wrote to OzGeorge.  I think i'd have a basically similar response to your post here.  

I suppose my basic question is this: do the Fathers condemn living together generally, or do they only condemn premarital sex, or do they condemn living together assuming that premarital sex is necessarily occurring when people live together?

I think there is another aspect of this we need to pay attention to.  Scandalizing the weak. 

But that aside, I think it is the third one.  I think spiritually they would want people to NOT be in a situation where temptation would follow - aka living together pre-maritally.  This has been my understanding.  As I put in the OP, I find this concept of the fathers interesting especially considering the situation of every College dormitory in the country!  I do appreciate Fr. Chris' spin on this, and it is one I had never thought of.  I would be bold enough to say that the spiritual ascesis is the same, no matter what the situation.  So how do you balance pastoral sensibilities with a clearly defined spiritual dilemma.  I think this is basically what i'm asking. 

Do you think that my analysis of the fathers is untrue or unfounded?  Do you think the spiritual ascesis as I have described it is not true?  Anyway...hope I gave you more food for thought. 
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« Reply #142 on: April 30, 2009, 08:28:53 AM »

Aren't the theological/exegetical arguments against premarital sex/cohabitation exactly the same such to allow one is to make room for the other?

So then what you are saying then is that the pastoral sensibilities take more weight than some scriptural perspectives, spiritual issues and wisdom of the fathers?  Seems like a hard sell Father...

Well, he's not trying to sell "premarital sex," so it shouldn't be that difficult.

I'd like for you to take a crack at what I just wrote to OzGeorge.  I think i'd have a basically similar response to your post here.  

I suppose my basic question is this: do the Fathers condemn living together generally, or do they only condemn premarital sex, or do they condemn living together assuming that premarital sex is necessarily occurring when people live together?

Based on the literature I've read, I believe that premarital sex/cohabitation are both strongly discouraged by the Holy Fathers for the same reason: they prevent the mutual self-giving between a future husband and wife of being whole and entire. Thus St. John Chrysostom, following Jewish custom, in his book on child-rearing discourages any significant lengths of time being shared by a young man and young woman who are not married. Premarital sex and cohabitation both mark a departure from certain established principles, neither is explicitly condemned.
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« Reply #143 on: April 30, 2009, 09:17:48 AM »

It is a very strong emotional bond - as all know who have experienced it. For this reason, orthodox Christianity has always held that sex outside the marital commitment is sinful and wrong, because it is (when all is said and done, and in essence, if not always in deliberate intent) an exploitation of the other for the sake of pleasure. It assumes a physical oneness before the appropriate complete spiritual oneness of life that occurs in marriage has been committed to. It's (literally) putting the cart before the horse. The denial of this has led to a host of problems, whether divorce or child or spousal abuse or one-parent families, or AIDS, or all the mental and emotional agonies resulting from broken relationships. ( http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/03/dialogue-is-premarital-sex-wrong-vs-c.html )

I highly recommend reading the debate in the above link and discussing it either in this thread or a new one.

For the record, I think Dave Armstrong's arguments are absolutely terrible:

[Sex is not an act of love] outside of marriage, no matter how "good" it feels, no matter how pure and noble the intent is. This is Christian ethics. I know it is a tough pill to swallow, but life is tough. ...it disregards the deepest purpose of sex, which is procreation and spiritual unity, not merely physical pleasure for its own sake (even if it is "in the name of" romantic love).
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« Reply #144 on: April 30, 2009, 07:53:36 PM »

I get what you are saying George, but I have a hard time figuring out why it is that we are dumping biblical principles for people's weakness (at least in the cases that were described by Fr. Chris).  That's why I posed the question as "pastoral sensibilities vs. scripture"....so right now i'm just trying to figure that out.  How much are those people REALLY going to come into the fold if you "give up the gospel" so that they can be in a better situation.  ALSO what are we saying about our normal cry for ascetical discipline as a foundation of spiritual development?  We are saying that "it's more important that you are OK in your living arrangements than for you to learn how to be a spiritual ascetic"....or at least that's what it seems like to me. 

I'm not suggesting giving up on the Gospel, not by a long shot. What I'm suggesting is encouraging people to grow into the Gospel rather than using it as something to bash people over the head with.
People today are exhausted by the demands of the world. We no longer live in the cultures of our Fathers which were imbued with the Faith. Crossing yourself as you pass a Church is now an act worthy of a Confessor of the Faith rather than an expected act of respect. People are spiritually exausted. Add to this the terrible experiences most people have had with Christianity in the world today- Televangelists, the use of the Christian Gospel as a political tool in America, the scandals of parts of the Priesthood and Heirarchy of various Churches, a laity online who think they have the authority of Bishops and the knowledge of theologians. Indeed, the wonder is that anyone would want to enter the Church, and the miracle is that they do so despite us.
You speak of the importance of holding on to the Gospel. Well the Gospel instructs us not to lay heavy burdens on mens backs which we do not lift a finger to help them with:

Matthew 23:4
For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Is it any wonder that people don't want heavy burdens placed on their shoulders, especially when they are being placed there by people they are not even sure are Christ's followers?
The Gospel also tells us that the true sign of Discipleship of Christ is that we love one another:
 John 13:35
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
When those who presume to preach the Gospel to others love one another, perhaps they may have the right to do so, but until then, they are hypocrites and clanging cymbals.
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« Reply #145 on: April 30, 2009, 08:05:02 PM »

I don't understand what you are saying.  Are you saying that your Church now allows pre-marital sex in order to make the burden lighter on its people?  I'm not being critical. I just don't understand what you are saying.
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« Reply #146 on: April 30, 2009, 08:09:15 PM »

But I thought following Christ was about denying ourselves, about suffering, about discipleship? Surely if we are exposed to the Gospels we will naturally want to give up such things as immoral behaviour etc. out of love for Christ and the Church? Surely this isn't asking too much?

Not saying I have all the answers, just asking...
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« Reply #147 on: April 30, 2009, 08:14:01 PM »

That's what I thought.  I guess we are wrong.
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« Reply #148 on: April 30, 2009, 08:56:59 PM »

That's what I thought.  I guess we are wrong.

I think ultimately we have to have balance in all of these things.  We are not a church of "either/or" but rather "both/and". 
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« Reply #149 on: April 30, 2009, 09:12:39 PM »

To me it just seems so wrong, I'm surprised we're even discussing it. It seems to me that this is more fodder for the Episcopal Church than the Orthodox Church. Just my two cents.
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« Reply #150 on: April 30, 2009, 09:16:01 PM »

From my experience, living a lifetime with no physical contact with the opposite sex has been a very real form of intense suffering. I must admit, that being in a church which is unified in its stance on chasity before marriage, it is easier to find moral support, knowing that this is the position of the church and that all are committed to obeying the bible in these matters.
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« Reply #151 on: April 30, 2009, 09:22:34 PM »

I don't understand what you are saying.  Are you saying that your Church now allows pre-marital sex in order to make the burden lighter on its people?  I'm not being critical. I just don't understand what you are saying.

I'm talking about the pastoral approach to people.
Bombarding people today with a bunch of "Thou Shalt Nots" as an introduction to the Gospel Life just doesn't work, nor should it even be attempted. Theosis is a gradual process and journey. People know what the Church teaches about marriage etc. People also have their own consciences. The ultimate goal is that our conscience is formed by the Gospel in the Church. But this is a gradual process and is not achieved by laity who think they are spokespersons for the Church and tell people how they must live and that they are evil sinners if they do not. This sort of behaviour is not only unproductive, it is opposed to the Gospel of Him Who taught us to "pass no judgement lest we be judged."
If you want to bring people into the Church then:
1) Strive to live the Gospel yourself.
2) Love and accept people where they are and do not judge them.
When the people you love with out judging see how you live and see how you accept them, they will want to know the reason for your extraordinary way of living the ordinary life.
But if you impose "Thou Shalt Nots" on people, they may initially join you out of fear, but the instant they see someone who is supposed to represent Christ breach a "Thou Shalt Not", the idol's feet of clay will crumble and they are lost to Christ and the Church forever- and it is our fault for building an idol with feet of clay for them in the first place. Effectively, we have inoculated them against Christ, and we will answer for it on the Day of Judgement.
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« Reply #152 on: April 30, 2009, 10:15:34 PM »

I agree that we should not be judgmental.  It's a basic that we should be looking at our own sins and not those of our neighbor.  But are you saying that in order to avoid being judgmental, your Church now says pre-marital sex is not a sin?  Can't a Church uphold the ancient traditions on what is or is not a sin, without being judgmental? 
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« Reply #153 on: April 30, 2009, 10:28:00 PM »

I guess I see more than one issue here, not just one.

1.  One issue is whether we should have a judgmental attitude toward those who sin.  As a sinner myself, I would agree that the best approach is to not stand in judgment of others.

2.  Another issue is pastoral considerations, and whether a priest sometimes has to allow rules to be bent in order to not lose a member of his congregation.  It's not my place to judge a priest, and I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be one.  I'm sure there are times when rules get bent and that is between the priest and God.

3.  A third issue is whether pre-marital sex is a sin.  In my Church it is.  I would think it still is in other Orthodox Churches.

4.  Yet another issue is whether the Church should alter Tradition and stop saying something is a sin in order to make life easier for some people or in order to not appear judgmental.  That is different from number 2, above.  In the above situation, something is still considered a sin, but an exception is made.  Here, I am talking about saying on an official level that something which for 2,000 years was a sin is no longer one.  I am wondering if this is happening in any Orthodox Churches out there.

I'm just curious.
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« Reply #154 on: April 30, 2009, 10:30:14 PM »

I agree that we should not be judgmental.  It's a basic that we should be looking at our own sins and not those of our neighbor. 
It is a basic that is all too often forgotten.

But are you saying that in order to avoid being judgmental, your Church now says pre-marital sex is not a sin? 
What have I said which gives you that impression?

Can't a Church uphold the ancient traditions on what is or is not a sin, without being judgmental? 
Absolutely, and I think it should, so why doesn't it? Why does your Church permit usrury? Usury meant charging a fee or interest for the use of money. When the world adopted interest on loans as a standard, the Church changed the definition of usury to mean charging above the legal rate. Now usury (which was once an excommunicable offence) basically doesn't exist. Why doesn't your Church keep this ancient moral teaching? Too hard was it? Smiley
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« Reply #155 on: April 30, 2009, 10:38:03 PM »

Why does your Church permit usrury?

What?  Can you quote a canon of the Armenian Church that says we do?
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« Reply #156 on: April 30, 2009, 10:40:27 PM »

Why does your Church permit usrury?

What?  Can you quote a canon of the Armenian Church that says we do?

Do you have a mortgage? Do you have an interest-bearing bank account?
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« Reply #157 on: April 30, 2009, 10:45:10 PM »

Why does your Church permit usrury?

What?  Can you quote a canon of the Armenian Church that says we do?

Do you have a mortgage? Do you have an interest-bearing bank account?

None of your business.   Smiley  I'll thank you, however, to not make unsubstantiated assumptions about my Church.  Unless you want to take this to the private forum. 
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« Reply #158 on: April 30, 2009, 10:46:13 PM »

I think we should replace the word 'judgmental' here with 'condemning' because we whether we admit it or not, we make judgment calls everyday, sometimes many times during the course of a day.  When we're presented with two or more choices, you and I must judge which choice is the most God pleasing.  Sometimes in judging a choice, we also must judge a person but this does not mean we are condemning said person.  St. Paul speaks of admonishing each other in love, but still admonishing.  If I announced that I see no big deal in X, and X is clearly against the Christian teaching, I would expect at least one of you to step forward and say so.  I mean, if no one bothered to tell me I'm doing something wrong guess what: you're just as guilty.  If you see me doing something or hear me saying something that displeases God and you just walk on by, what good are you?  Doesn't a brother or sister look out for one another?  Isn't this a definition of love?  Aren't we called to help each other? Yes, yes and yes.  Finally, doesn't St. Paul say to first talk to the person(s) a few times and then have nothing to do with them until they leave off their behavior?  To me, this is exceptionally loving because it gives us several opportunities to consider our behavior.  How can we discern a behavior is good or bad if we don't make a judgment call?  
  
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« Reply #159 on: April 30, 2009, 10:47:07 PM »

You wicked usurer! How dare you make money out of money? Shame on you for this sin! Repent at once, go to Confession and then then withdraw all your money from interest bearing accounts and place it somewhere where you will not earn any interest in accordance with the moral teaching of the ancient Church.
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« Reply #160 on: April 30, 2009, 10:50:11 PM »

So that's why in the Old Country they used to bury their money under a tree.    Smiley
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« Reply #161 on: April 30, 2009, 10:52:17 PM »

So that's why in the Old Country they used to bury their money under a tree.    Smiley

They were truly Christians! Smiley
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« Reply #162 on: April 30, 2009, 10:53:06 PM »

You wicked usurer! How dare you make money out of money? Shame on you for this sin! Repent at once, go to Confession and then then withdraw all your money from interest bearing accounts and place it somewhere where you will not earn any interest in accordance with the moral teaching of the ancient Church.
A 900 ft apparition of Jesus told me that He wants you to send it to me.  Else I'm gonna die.  Sad
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« Reply #163 on: April 30, 2009, 11:00:41 PM »

You wicked usurer! How dare you make money out of money? Shame on you for this sin! Repent at once, go to Confession and then then withdraw all your money from interest bearing accounts and place it somewhere where you will not earn any interest in accordance with the moral teaching of the ancient Church.
A 900 ft apparition of Jesus told me that He wants you to send it to me.  Else I'm gonna die.  Sad
Have you got a Paypal account which is attached to a non interest bearing bank account?
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« Reply #164 on: April 30, 2009, 11:07:17 PM »

You wicked usurer! How dare you make money out of money? Shame on you for this sin! Repent at once, go to Confession and then then withdraw all your money from interest bearing accounts and place it somewhere where you will not earn any interest in accordance with the moral teaching of the ancient Church.
A 900 ft apparition of Jesus told me that He wants you to send it to me.  Else I'm gonna die.  Sad
Have you got a Paypal account which is attached to a non interest bearing bank account?
Oh! Hang on! Paypal charges a fee for handling money! More usury! Sorry, can't send it.
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« Reply #165 on: April 30, 2009, 11:08:43 PM »

Send it through me.  I don't charge fees, but voluntary "gifts" do help ensure the money reaches the intended recipient. angel
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« Reply #166 on: April 30, 2009, 11:09:41 PM »

George,

So are you saying that pre-marital sex, like usury, is no longer a sin in your Church, or are you saying that in your personal opinion pre-marital sex, like usury, should not any longer be a sin in your Church?  I suspect it is the latter.
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« Reply #167 on: April 30, 2009, 11:10:33 PM »

I think we should replace the word 'judgmental' here with 'condemning' because we whether we admit it or not, we make judgment calls everyday, sometimes many times during the course of a day.  When we're presented with two or more choices, you and I must judge which choice is the most God pleasing.  Sometimes in judging a choice, we also must judge a person but this does not mean we are condemning said person.  St. Paul speaks of admonishing each other in love, but still admonishing.  If I announced that I see no big deal in X, and X is clearly against the Christian teaching, I would expect at least one of you to step forward and say so.  I mean, if no one bothered to tell me I'm doing something wrong guess what: you're just as guilty.  If you see me doing something or hear me saying something that displeases God and you just walk on by, what good are you?  Doesn't a brother or sister look out for one another?  Isn't this a definition of love?  Aren't we called to help each other? Yes, yes and yes.  Finally, doesn't St. Paul say to first talk to the person(s) a few times and then have nothing to do with them until they leave off their behavior?  To me, this is exceptionally loving because it gives us several opportunities to consider our behavior.  How can we discern a behavior is good or bad if we don't make a judgment call?  
  

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« Reply #168 on: April 30, 2009, 11:12:44 PM »

George,

So are you saying that pre-marital sex, like usury, is no longer a sin in your Church, or are you saying that in your personal opinion pre-marital sex, like usury, should not any longer be a sin in your Church?  I suspect it is the latter.

I suspect it's neither one.
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« Reply #169 on: April 30, 2009, 11:27:32 PM »

1.  One issue is whether we should have a judgmental attitude toward those who sin.  As a sinner myself, I would agree that the best approach is to not stand in judgment of others.
I think we are agreed here. I would extend this further and say that I actually don't even have the right to "admonish" others being the sinner that I am. For me, I think I should not even see sin in anyone but myself. There are better people than I who can "admonish".

2.  Another issue is pastoral considerations, and whether a priest sometimes has to allow rules to be bent in order to not lose a member of his congregation.  It's not my place to judge a priest, and I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be one.  I'm sure there are times when rules get bent and that is between the priest and God.
In the light of No.1 above, I'm not sure that its "bending the rules" as much as keeping them- specifically, keeping the Gospel commandment to abstain from judgement. If someone asks what the moral teaching of the Church is, then that is a different kettle of fish. If someone Confesses their confusion over a moral issue to a Priest, then the Priest instructs them what the teaching of the Church is.

3.  A third issue is whether pre-marital sex is a sin.  In my Church it is.  I would think it still is in other Orthodox Churches.
While I agree, I think we need to make clear several things:
(a) Sex outside marriage is not the only sin, nor even the worst one.
(b) We all make mistakes, we all sin, and it doesn't matter how many times you fall as long as you get up again each time.
(c) If someone tells us that in their conscience they do not see sex during betrothal/engagement as a sin when they intend to marry (as Bogoliubtsy does) then we cannot judge their conscience.

4.  Yet another issue is whether the Church should alter Tradition and stop saying something is a sin in order to make life easier for some people or in order to not appear judgmental.  That is different from number 2, above.  In the above situation, something is still considered a sin, but an exception is made.  Here, I am talking about saying on an official level that something which for 2,000 years was a sin is no longer one.  I am wondering if this is happening in any Orthodox Churches out there.
As the example above shows, the Church has done this with the sin of usury. It is still a sin, but the circumstances of modern life require it. The same with divorce. The Gospel does not permit divorce, but the Church allows it in some cases in order to prevent an even greater sin.
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« Reply #170 on: May 01, 2009, 02:12:58 AM »

4.  Yet another issue is whether the Church should alter Tradition and stop saying something is a sin in order to make life easier for some people or in order to not appear judgmental.  That is different from number 2, above.  In the above situation, something is still considered a sin, but an exception is made.  Here, I am talking about saying on an official level that something which for 2,000 years was a sin is no longer one.  I am wondering if this is happening in any Orthodox Churches out there.
As the example above shows, the Church has done this with the sin of usury. It is still a sin, but the circumstances of modern life require it. The same with divorce. The Gospel does not permit divorce, but the Church allows it in some cases in order to prevent an even greater sin.
What I see in this is that sin is really the essence of missing the mark of the perfection that God demands of us.  For instance, I am well aware of how humility is proclaimed in the Scriptures as the hallmark of the Christian life, yet I have no choice but to market myself, to proclaim (i.e., boast of) what I can do rather than work quietly and hope no one notices my good works, just as many of the great saints were wont to do.  To me, selling myself feels like the exact opposite of the practice of humility, yet I need to sell myself and my skills in order to acquire employment that will enable me to feed myself, keep a roof over my head, pay for my health care, and obtain all the other things I need.  Am I sinning (i.e., missing the mark of perfect humility) by proclaiming my good work?  I very likely am, but it's what I need to do to earn a living in this competitive market.  I guess it's either this or fall into a life of sloth and despair.
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« Reply #171 on: May 01, 2009, 02:22:53 AM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?
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« Reply #172 on: May 01, 2009, 03:48:25 AM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?

What a strange question. Why do you ask?
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« Reply #173 on: May 01, 2009, 04:00:16 AM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?

What a strange question. Why do you ask?

From reply 169, above:

"As the example above shows, the Church has done this with the sin of usury. It is still a sin, but the circumstances of modern life require it."

I assumed you were using usury as an analogy to pre-marital sex.  Same with Peter, just above, with the example of setting aside humility in order to survive in the modern world.  What is it about "the circumstances of modern life" that require one to engage in pre-marital sex?

It could be I misunderstood you and you were talking about usury for another reason. 

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« Reply #174 on: May 01, 2009, 04:36:53 AM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?

What a strange question. Why do you ask?

From reply 169, above:

"As the example above shows, the Church has done this with the sin of usury. It is still a sin, but the circumstances of modern life require it."

I assumed you were using usury as an analogy to pre-marital sex.  Same with Peter, just above, with the example of setting aside humility in order to survive in the modern world.  What is it about "the circumstances of modern life" that require one to engage in pre-marital sex?

It could be I misunderstood you and you were talking about usury for another reason. 


I think you missed the point Salpy. Usury is still a sin.
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« Reply #175 on: May 01, 2009, 05:12:57 AM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?

What a strange question. Why do you ask?

From reply 169, above:

"As the example above shows, the Church has done this with the sin of usury. It is still a sin, but the circumstances of modern life require it."

I assumed you were using usury as an analogy to pre-marital sex.  Same with Peter, just above, with the example of setting aside humility in order to survive in the modern world.  What is it about "the circumstances of modern life" that require one to engage in pre-marital sex?

It could be I misunderstood you and you were talking about usury for another reason. 


I think you missed the point Salpy. Usury is still a sin.
But, using your logic, if the circumstances of modern life require us to engage in the sin of usury, and if the circumstances of modern life require me to engage in the sin of boasting about myself, what in the circumstances of modern life require one to engage in the sin of premarital sex?  I think this is what Salpy is asking.
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« Reply #176 on: May 01, 2009, 07:29:56 AM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?

What a strange question. Why do you ask?

From reply 169, above:

"As the example above shows, the Church has done this with the sin of usury. It is still a sin, but the circumstances of modern life require it."

I assumed you were using usury as an analogy to pre-marital sex.  Same with Peter, just above, with the example of setting aside humility in order to survive in the modern world.  What is it about "the circumstances of modern life" that require one to engage in pre-marital sex?

It could be I misunderstood you and you were talking about usury for another reason. 

Maybe his point was that we spend a lot of time and ink condemning those who commit the sin of premarital sex, and don't spend as much time or ink condemning those who commit the (still!) sin of usury; maybe it's because the latter is even more "socially acceptable" than the former, or that condemning usury would make too many Orthodox Christians hypocrites (like myself!).  But the point is that both are sin: soul-destroying  actions.  So why spend all the time condemning a practice that fewer participate in (premarital sex) rather than focusing on the more rampant and unrepentant sin (usury)?
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« Reply #177 on: May 01, 2009, 01:05:01 PM »

First, I would say that in the U.S. usury and premarital sex are equally prevalent:

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20061220/premarital-sex-the-norm-in-america

We have to distinguish between the divine commandments, principles behind the commandments, and application of the principles behind the commandments. The Church's prohibitions against premarital sex and cohabitation belong in the third category; the Church has *deduced* that premarital sex is fornication (sexual immorality) from its understanding of the purpose of sex within marriage. The universal Church traditionally condemned *all* premarital eroticism as "lust" for the sake of marital chastity.  I can accept the logic of this argument; the "God said so" arguments don't work with me because technically He didn't.

The best summary of contemporary theological arguments against premarital sex that I have seen is here:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/03/dialogue-is-premarital-sex-wrong-vs-c.html
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« Reply #178 on: May 01, 2009, 01:40:12 PM »

I'm sorry, but I just have to ask this.   Smiley

What is it about modern life that requires people to engage in pre-marital sex?

Obviously nothing "requires" such, but that still doesn't mean there shouldn't be some pastoral understanding - people are reaching sexual maturity younger yet are not, realistically speaking, able to marry until much older than in the past.  So instead of a six year or so gap between the events that was common in my grandparents generation, the gap is often ten to fifteen (or more!) years these days.  Naturally there are going to be more falls in that situation.  Of course the best answer is still "Che, Che, Che" (don't ask how I get Armenian pop songs stuck in my my head...). 

Perhaps all that I (and I think a few others) are saying is that understanding priests, who are patient, quick to forgive, slow to judge will do a lot more to keep people who are sitting on the fence from ultimately straying from the Church.   
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« Reply #179 on: May 01, 2009, 08:38:55 PM »

"Che, Che, Che"

You sound like my mother (I mean that in a good way.   Grin  ) 

Quote
Perhaps all that I (and I think a few others) are saying is that understanding priests, who are patient, quick to forgive, slow to judge will do a lot more to keep people who are sitting on the fence from ultimately straying from the Church.   

That would be number 2 in post 153, above.  That's one of the reasons why I would imagine being a priest must be very difficult.

At least you guys are saying that it is a sin.  That is a bit of a relief.  For a minute I was a little worried that there was a greater difference between us than Christological language.   Smiley

I agree with everyone that it's best not to judge others.  I have too many sins on my head to be concerned with what others are doing.  Smiley
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« Reply #180 on: May 02, 2009, 01:38:37 AM »

"Che, Che, Che"

You sound like my mother (I mean that in a good way.   Grin  ) 

LOL.  I got it from this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWx87B5o8Ho
 
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