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Author Topic: Living Together and Not Being Married...?  (Read 11013 times) Average Rating: 0
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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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