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Author Topic: A Discussion on Fornication (Link to my webcast)  (Read 7783 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cleopas
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« on: January 16, 2010, 03:47:01 AM »

FYI -- Tonight's webcast "A Discussion on Fornication" is now available for play back on demand . Check it out!


Feel free to discuss it. ;-)

In the future, please ASK before you post a link to a webcast.
The Moderators will discuss this link, and then re-post the link if that is the action decided upon.

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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 03:57:56 AM »

Shouldn't the title of this thread be "A discussion about MY WEBCAST"?
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 04:06:56 AM »

Sorry. Better now?  Huh
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 02:49:09 PM »

Got it Father Chris, and I apologize for not doing so. No offense of either kind was intended. I don't recall any specific rule it may have violated, but then I didn't recheck. After being here now a couple years or so, and with all the other forums I frequent, you just get kinda used to the "flow of traffic". Still, occasionally an "officer" reminds you of the speed limit, aye?  Wink Tongue

I hope after review the link is not found offensive and is permitted, but iof not I will respect your decision. Again, my apologies for any violation of protocol or conscience, if any.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2010, 04:38:02 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010, 04:43:38 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2010, 05:28:55 PM »

How can we have sexual morals if nobody will discuss them?
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2010, 05:36:11 PM »

I just don't get it. It's so unlike a group of people, mostly men, probably skewing towards the young, to talk often about this subject. Who'd have thunk it?  Tongue  Grin

If your link doesn't reappear--or even if it does--could you give us a summary of what was said Cleopas? Or was it too involved/lengthy to give a simple summary of?
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2010, 05:43:13 PM »

For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!

Surely you jest! Infrequently mentioned? !?!? The word fornication (or derivatives) is mentioned 26 times in the NT, not to mention numerous references to adultery, wantonness, sexual uncleanness and the like. The works of the flesh, the Corinthian error in condoning a fornicator, the issue of temple prostitutes and such. Shall I go on ? Huh

Besides, as Alveus indicated, godly behavior is reinforced by sound teaching -- including the area of sexuality. Heaven knows it is something sorely needed among professing believers in Evangelical circles, for sure.
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2010, 06:11:18 PM »

If your link doesn't reappear--or even if it does--could you give us a summary of what was said Cleopas? Or was it too involved/lengthy to give a simple summary of?

Well, besides generating discussion, I also wanted you guys to get to see my face, hear my voice, etc. I thought you might enjoy the more personable experience and what not.  So, I do hope the link is restored. And yes, it is a bit involved. I actually intend to do several webisodes concerning the biblical teaching around the issue -- a sorta of comprehensive treatment. Nevertheless, the purpose of the talk last night was to discuss the meaning, etymology, and biblical usage of the term fornication and it's derivatives. Essentially we were attempting to answer the question "what is fornication?"

We looked at the Latin origin of the English word, the biblical translation process, and at the Hebrew and the Greek terms rendered as fornication in English versions.

A one line summation? Fornication, biblically, is participation in sexual acts outside of or in addition to marriage.
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2010, 06:26:58 PM »

Ok, i'm intrigued now. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2010, 06:31:42 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Infrequently?  Marriage is talked about a LOT in the NT.  Perhaps even more than taking care of the poor....
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2010, 06:35:31 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Infrequently?  Marriage is talked about a LOT in the NT.  Perhaps even more than taking care of the poor....

It is, it is. I suppose I meant that there seems to be a disparity between the NT's emphasis on sexual matters compared to how much contemporary evangelical ethics seems focused on sexual matters. Then again, I don't go to evangelical churches, so what do I know. I'm basing it mostly on the testimony of former evangelicals who have commented on the prevalence of sex related topics. Abstinence rings, dances, and the like.
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2010, 06:36:53 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Was Augustine eager to discuss this topic?
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2010, 06:42:47 PM »

Was Augustine eager to discuss this topic?

Ha!  Yes, Augustine was almost obsessed with his own sexual appetite and the guilt associated with it.  Read his Confessions for some examples.
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2010, 06:46:35 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Was Augustine eager to discuss this topic?

He was eager to condemn it if it was detached from procreation, commenting that "The value of marriage lies in the objective of procreation."
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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2010, 10:14:23 AM »

See now personally, as the youth coordinator for 73 parishes, working constantly with kids, I have to agree with Cleopas on the importance of discussing this issue. Not because it's seen frequently in the NT, but because it is a huge problem with our young people.  Fornication is almost at the point of epidemic status.

At our Metropolis summer camp every year, the kids are taught about confession and are encouraged to go, to the point that it's really what their whole week revolves around. We typically have about a 98% participation rate, which is wonderful. This past summer, when the priests heard the confessions the first week, they were all shocked to the point of tears at the things they were hearing. It was the number one thing discussed by the kids, and some sort of sexually immoral sin was confessed by almost every one of them. Then, every week, on confession night, after all the confessions were heard, Fr. Grigorios, our Metropolis Confessor (Ierokyrix) got up and, through tears, spoke to the kids about how angry the priests were, not at them, but at what the world has done to them, at how they have to fight so hard to survive against these types of sins. 

It is a HUGE problem, so this is one place where I agree with Cleopas.

How we deal with it, however, is a different matter entirely.

If I understand the idea of abstinence rings and that kind of stuff correctly (in that you make a promise), I don't really agree with it. I think it only puts more pressure on the kids and then makes them feel guilty when they have broken their promise.  Nor do I think scaring them with stories of std's or pregnancy is the way to go (inevitably, the typical teenage mentality of perceived indestructibility wins out).  These things could help when paired with the proper approach, but on their own they certainly won't cut it.

It's not enough to tell them, "don't do it because the Bible says not to." these days, the voices of their friends and the rest of society are often louder than the Bible, unless the whole approach is as follows: it's all about RELATIONSHIPS. It's about three relationships in particular, one of which effects the other two. First, and most important is their relationship with God. That has to be strong and secure. That relationship effects the other two- their relationship with themselves (self worth) and their relationship with others.

We have to teach them about God's love for them, that they are perfect creations of God, living icons of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. We have to teach them about God's mercy and forgiveness, and that when they make a mistake, the place to go to "fix it" is the Church, through confession.

If they understand this, their relationship with themselves, their self respect and self worth will be able to combat the messages that are telling them that they are nothing more than pieces of flesh to be enjoyed by themselves and others. They will respect their bodies and feel that they are worth waiting for.

If they understand God's love and mercy and their place as children of God and as the Holy people of God, their relationship with others will change.  They will feel valuable enough to choose better friends, who, though they may not all be Christians, have the same values as they do, and make smart decisions like they will.  They won't go "slumming" with the guy or girl who everyone knows is just out for sex. Instead, they will try to reach out and minister to that guy or girl.  And then, when faced with the moment of temptation, they will hear God's voice in their hearts, and His voice will be louder than that of the guy or girl telling them how badly they want them.

How do I say this with such confidence? I've seen it with too many of my kids(I consider all the youth of our Metropolis my kids...).  I've seen how raising them up, building them up, providing opportunities for them to grow in their relationship with Christ and educating them in their faith in the process changes their lives in just this way. I have so many success stories from our kids, glory to God!
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2010, 11:44:59 AM »

Ha!  Yes, Augustine was almost obsessed with his own sexual appetite and the guilt associated with it.  Read his Confessions for some examples.
He'd fit in well on these forums.  laugh
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2010, 04:57:19 PM »

We didn't do rings or dances or any of that weird stuff at my other church, but I really liked the good teaching we received as young people by the pastors and their wives. The pastor's wives often had talks for the girls and the pastors talked to the guys. It was so nice having everyone on the same page-all the young people united in keeping their courtships pure and saving themselves for their future spouses. I do miss very much that unity and oneness of mind within Orthodoxy. For myself though, it wasn't the pastor's wives talks, or the teachings of the church on the topic, or anything my parents ever said (they were pretty silent on the issue for the most part) which convinced me, but a complete reading of the Bible when I was around 13 years old. I was convinced beyond all doubt that sexual purity before marriage was very important according to Scripture.
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2010, 05:00:38 PM »


A one line summation? Fornication, biblically, is participation in sexual acts outside of or in addition to marriage.

I thought there was a different word for sexual acts in addition to marriage?
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2010, 05:38:08 PM »


A one line summation? Fornication, biblically, is participation in sexual acts outside of or in addition to marriage.

I thought there was a different word for sexual acts in addition to marriage?

Fr. Athanasius Iskander mentioned this in a chapter on chastity in his book titled "Practical Spirituality":
Quote
Fornication means pre-marital sex, while adultery means extra marital sex. They are two degrees of one sin except that the punishment is different! A fornicator commits sin against his/her own body and also against his or her partner, while an adulterer commits sin against his/her own body, the partner and the spouse.
(http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/books/spirituality.pdf page 60)

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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2010, 05:52:13 PM »

I've often thought that the asceticism in Orthodoxy, especially monasticism, has really helped me in this area.  I feel like as a protestant it was easy to see sexual activity as the norm and not being sexually active as somehow deficient.  All those people who were telling me to be abstinent in my youth group years ago were, with few exceptions, married adults.  And so many people who were single were "looking".  But Orthodoxy, which says that one can be abstinent all one's life and still be a "normal" person- evening going so far as to say that this is a higher calling- has really helped me see that sex isn't all it's made out to be. 

I don't mean to attack protestantism, but that's just the way I feel now looking back.  Since being introduced to Orthodoxy I've been reminded more and more of those passages that call us to an ascetic life and speak highly of those who choose it.
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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2010, 09:17:53 PM »


A one line summation? Fornication, biblically, is participation in sexual acts outside of or in addition to marriage.

I thought there was a different word for sexual acts in addition to marriage?

Fr. Athanasius Iskander mentioned this in a chapter on chastity in his book titled "Practical Spirituality":
Quote
Fornication means pre-marital sex, while adultery means extra marital sex. They are two degrees of one sin except that the punishment is different! A fornicator commits sin against his/her own body and also against his or her partner, while an adulterer commits sin against his/her own body, the partner and the spouse.
(http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/books/spirituality.pdf page 60)

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Which is why I've always tried to assert that adultery is a more grievous sin that is worthy of greater concern. Few seem to ever listen to me, though.
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« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2010, 12:53:03 AM »

How can we have sexual morals if nobody will discuss them?
How can we have morals if Christians only discuss sex?
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« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2010, 01:18:14 AM »

How can we have sexual morals if nobody will discuss them?
How can we have morals if Christians only discuss sex?

LOL
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« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2010, 04:25:02 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Or it could be because our society is continually justifying sexual immorality and even glorifying it so Christians need to respond to this crisis?
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« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2010, 04:41:25 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Or it could be because our society is continually justifying sexual immorality and even glorifying it so Christians need to respond to this crisis?


What is sexual immorality?
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« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2010, 04:45:10 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Or it could be because our society is continually justifying sexual immorality and even glorifying it so Christians need to respond to this crisis?


What is sexual immorality?
Using sex outside of the context of a marriage between a man and a woman.
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« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2010, 04:46:12 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Or it could be because our society is continually justifying sexual immorality and even glorifying it so Christians need to respond to this crisis?


What is sexual immorality?
Using sex outside of the context of a marriage between a man and a woman.

What do you mean by "using" and what do you mean by "sex"?
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« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2010, 04:50:02 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Or it could be because our society is continually justifying sexual immorality and even glorifying it so Christians need to respond to this crisis?


What is sexual immorality?
Using sex outside of the context of a marriage between a man and a woman.

What do you mean by "using" and what do you mean by "sex"?
Goodness gracious. If you are going to get that ridiculous then its pointless to have this conversation. Anything that is intended for sexual stimulation should be kept between a man and his wife/a woman and her husband.
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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2010, 05:09:07 PM »

These "sex talks" seem to be rather in vogue today among protestant circles.

Indeed. For something mentioned so infrequently in the NT, sex sure is a hot topic in some Christian circles!  Could be because Calvinism is just mutated Augustinianism?

Or it could be because our society is continually justifying sexual immorality and even glorifying it so Christians need to respond to this crisis?


What is sexual immorality?
Using sex outside of the context of a marriage between a man and a woman.

What do you mean by "using" and what do you mean by "sex"?
Goodness gracious. If you are going to get that ridiculous then its pointless to have this conversation. Anything that is intended for sexual stimulation should be kept between a man and his wife/a woman and her husband.

I just want to be clear on what constitutes sexual activity- there are many kinds.
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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2010, 05:26:12 PM »

 Roll Eyes You know, everytime one of these kinds of topics comes up on OC Net, the discussion gets as frank and titilating as the original topic, and is usually punctuated by explicit and gratuitous references to the poster's own sexual experiences.  Posting about one's libido under the guise of repentance and moral instruction is no different than guys one-upping each other wherever and whenever guys get together and talk trash about their "little" conquests.  Speaking for most women, we are never impressed.
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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2010, 05:29:56 PM »

Roll Eyes You know, everytime one of these kinds of topics comes up on OC Net, the discussion gets as frank and titilating as the original topic, and is usually punctuated by explicit and gratuitous references to the poster's own sexual experiences.  Posting about one's libido under the guise of repentance and moral instruction is no different than guys one-upping each other wherever and whenever guys get together and talk trash about their "little" conquests.  Speaking for most women, we are never impressed.
I have no intention of being graphic about sexuality here.
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2010, 06:22:25 PM »

So what did you all think of Cleopas' webcast? I haven't watched it yet, so I haven't contributed, but clearly all you guys were impressed enough by his webcast to discuss it. Or are you not discussing it?
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2010, 06:31:41 PM »

The powers that be have not yet reposted the link to it. And apparently some delicate flowers in these parts get offended should anyone try to have a legitimate conversation about sexuality. police
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2010, 06:39:22 PM »

Oh, so this thread has nothing to do with the opening post then? People just want to talk about sex as usual I guess.
Carry on.
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2010, 07:05:14 PM »

I wouldn't say that angel "Sex as usual" on this forum almost always starts out being about, or devolves into, an argument about homosexuality, abortion, or contraception. On this thread people have somehow managed to stay away from those three issues. Not that I would expect much here. The idea that a discussion here could be "frank and titilating" or "explicit and gratuitous" is absurd. But then perhaps it's a matter of perspective. Having been a participant on numerous discussion boards which focus on sexuality, and where the participants are really open and explicit, I can't help but find sexual discussions on a board like this to be tame and vague.

EDIT--Part of the post removed so as not to scandalize the delicate flowers... Wink
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 07:12:33 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2010, 11:19:04 PM »

I'm not sure it was entirely directed at me but I'm loving the comparison to a "delicate flower".  Flowers get a little old and jaded at my age; I liken my sensibilities more to a cactus flower - tough and prickly. 
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2010, 12:39:38 AM »

At our Metropolis summer camp every year, the kids are taught about confession and are encouraged to go, to the point that it's really what their whole week revolves around. We typically have about a 98% participation rate, which is wonderful. This past summer, when the priests heard the confessions the first week, they were all shocked to the point of tears at the things they were hearing. It was the number one thing discussed by the kids, and some sort of sexually immoral sin was confessed by almost every one of them. Then, every week, on confession night, after all the confessions were heard, Fr. Grigorios, our Metropolis Confessor (Ierokyrix) got up and, through tears, spoke to the kids about how angry the priests were, not at them, but at what the world has done to them, at how they have to fight so hard to survive against these types of sins. 

Look on the bright side: at least the kids recognized it as a sin to confess.  And at least their heads are on straight.


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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2010, 01:16:37 AM »

Oh, so this thread has nothing to do with the opening post then? People just want to talk about sex as usual I guess.
Carry on.

It's what we do best! Wink
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2010, 01:43:32 AM »

I thought there was a different word for sexual acts in addition to marriage?

Just an FYI, I plan to deal with this in a follow up webisode at some point.

For now I would say that evolving language, especially in religious usage, has led to a bit of a stringent categorization difference between adultery and fornication, one which the words themselves (By definition and historically), and especially via their biblical usage, do not enforce. Now, I'm not suggesting the two are identical. Rather that the two though distinguishable, sometimes greatly so, can also overlap and/or be interchangeable depending on the context. The best understanding I can make of the nuances and distinctions is that adultery (where used along side and thus distinct from fornication) deals more with state than act. Adultery denoting the resulting impurity (whether sexually, covenant-ally, or both) or effect and fornication denoting more the physical reality and scope of the act.

Of course, it is difficult to explain these nuances, and I am still trying to better understand them myself. So, I am not so sure I have expressed them effectively. Alas, it's probably about as clear as mud now, aye? Tongue



P.S. Any word yet Mods on when a decision concerning the link might actually be forthcoming Huh
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 02:01:58 AM by Cleopas » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2010, 02:45:28 AM »

Hey, hey, hey, Cleopas! Why get bogged down in semantic nuances over fornication versus adultery, when the answer is really quite simple: If you fool around, whether married or single, be aware of the consequences, physical and spiritual!
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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2010, 02:51:56 AM »

Hey, hey, hey, Cleopas! Why get bogged down in semantic nuances over fornication versus adultery, when the answer is really quite simple: If you fool around, whether married or single, be aware of the consequences, physical and spiritual!

Amen! That'll preach right there.  Wink  However, there are times when it is necessary to consider the distinctions between the tow in order to understand what Scripture is teaching. The most prominent example, in my mind at least, is Christ's own exception clause regarding permissible divorce with the right to remarriage without such resulting in adultery. In that case especially one must be able to employ some understanding of the distinctions between fornication and adultery.

But again, your practical summation and exhortation above is spot on! As the Apostle Paul says...

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 02:55:55 AM by Cleopas » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2010, 06:51:10 AM »

I wouldn't say that angel "Sex as usual" on this forum almost always starts out being about, or devolves into, an argument about homosexuality, abortion, or contraception.
What it devolves into is immaterial. The focus on it is what concerns me. Look at Cleopas' quote from I Corinthians above and see which words are in bold. Now let me quote the same thing (which is a bad translation btw) and place the other offenses it lists in bold:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Why don't these ever get emphasized when this passage is quoted? Why is this passage only ever used in discussions about sexual immorality? The Author certainly does not only mention sexual immorality, in fact, there are five references to sins which are not sexual immorality. The focus on sex is more about our own obsessions than about Theology. The Fathers of the Orthodox Church say that if we do not fornicate but we withhold alms from the poor because of greed, we will be judged more harshly than a fornicator because a fornicator gave in to a powerful passion while we gave in to mere money. So why aren't their more threads about avarice on this forum than there are about sex?  We treat sexual immorality as though it is the worst sin, or somehow more prevalent in our time, even though the society in which the Churches were that St. Paul was writing to had normalized orgies, prostitution, and fornication. In fact, Corinth being a port city was among the worst, so much so that even it's name came to be a synonym for sexual immorality- 'to "Corinthize" meant "to be debauched" in Greek. And yet St. Paul does not focus on sexual immorality alone when writing to them. We however, focus on this to the exclusion of the other forms of immorality he mentions. This is what I mean when I say about this thread "People just want to talk about sex as usual I guess."  Discussions about sexual immorality on a Christian forum is like shooting fish in a barrel. Its a soft target and much easier than dealing with the worse sins of our society and even among members of our Churches.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 07:04:10 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2010, 07:27:52 AM »

Whenever I have talked with young people about sex I have included the following: If your boyfriend/girlfriend is willing to have sex with you, you clearly know one thing him/her. He/She is willing to have sex with someone with whom he/she is not married. Oddly enough, most of the time that seems to give them a different thought on the matter. The "old" 1960s "love the one your with" mentality was a charade and generally young people simply haven't thought through the connection of the passion 'at the moment' versus the long-term consideration. Once they begin to think in terms of personal commitment (mine and his/hers) in the context of behavior that violates that commitment, the "thrill is gone" regarding such behavior.

It doesn't always work, of course. There are too many young people today whose consciences have been seared by the "ideal" portrayed or heavily implied by the "entertainment" industry. However, for those who have not been entirely deluded, it helps - especially if reference to the dignity of the human body as part of the young person's individual dignity as a unique child of God is also emphasized.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 07:29:49 AM by basilthefool » Logged
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