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Author Topic: Orthodoxy's view on contraception?  (Read 24205 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #135 on: May 13, 2010, 11:49:27 AM »

I have to agree with Quinault here:  NFP sounds really good until you try practicing it.  It takes an enormous amount of monitoring, self-control, and communication with your partner.  That's not to say that those things immediately rule NFP out as a possibility and indeed, I think it's a good way (used in conjunction with a barrier contraceptive) to be more responsible and not violate the teachings of the church.  However, biology is often unpredictable.  As much as one can monitor, abstain, etc., there is always the possibility that the calculations are off or the wife misread her body's cues and to me, it is irresponsible in this current economic and sociological climate to just leave it up to chance whether pregnancy occurs.  Do not think I am saying that children are a burden or are unwanted when they are conceived, because I believe they are wonderful and I thank God for the two I have now.  I am saying that medically and financially speaking, sometimes it is better to prevent pregnancy than to become unable to care for yourself and your children.

Amen. Thank you, sister. Smiley I would add, "than to become unable to realize your potential, squander your talents, live a life you actually do not want to live." (That does not mean that NO woman should be a mother of six or eight or twelve children, but some women should not be.)
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« Reply #136 on: May 13, 2010, 12:01:57 PM »

I have to agree with Quinault here:  NFP sounds really good until you try practicing it.  It takes an enormous amount of monitoring, self-control, and communication with your partner.  That's not to say that those things immediately rule NFP out as a possibility...

NFP is a dead duck in the water.....  The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States reports that an estimated 2-3% of married Catholic couples use it.   The rest simply don't.  

Given the immense effort that the Catholic Church invests into persuading its people to use NFP, I think that the 2-3% statistic really says it all.  Catholics won't use it.
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« Reply #137 on: May 13, 2010, 12:05:32 PM »

I have to agree with Quinault here:  NFP sounds really good until you try practicing it.  It takes an enormous amount of monitoring, self-control, and communication with your partner.  That's not to say that those things immediately rule NFP out as a possibility...

NFP is a dead duck in the water.....  The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States reports that an estimated 2-3% of married Catholic couples use it.   The rest simply don't.  

Given the immense effort that the Catholic Church invests into persuading its people to use NFP, I think that the 2-3% statistic really says it all.  Catholics won't use it.
I guess we have a problem of faith in the USA.
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« Reply #138 on: May 13, 2010, 04:08:37 PM »

NFP is a dead duck in the water.....  The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States reports that an estimated 2-3% of married Catholic couples use it.   The rest simply don't.  

Given the immense effort that the Catholic Church invests into persuading its people to use NFP, I think that the 2-3% statistic really says it all.  Catholics won't use it.
I guess we have a problem of faith in the USA.

Faith in what? I think what it says is that American Catholics exercise a sort of casuistry here and reject the (celibate) hierarchy's teaching for a variety of reasons.
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« Reply #139 on: May 13, 2010, 04:12:02 PM »

NFP is a dead duck in the water.....  The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States reports that an estimated 2-3% of married Catholic couples use it.   The rest simply don't.  

Given the immense effort that the Catholic Church invests into persuading its people to use NFP, I think that the 2-3% statistic really says it all.  Catholics won't use it.
I guess we have a problem of faith in the USA.

Faith in what? I think what it says is that American Catholics exercise a sort of casuistry here and reject the (celibate) hierarchy's teaching for a variety of reasons.


Same thing Orthodox, and not only American. Whoever is sane.
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« Reply #140 on: May 13, 2010, 05:03:15 PM »

Nothing I have said in any way indicates that I think men are the only ones who want to have sex! I am married, and my wife and I have three children and one on the way. So, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I know that my wife enjoys sex very much.

Those who exalt their marital relationships will be humbled at some point.   Wink

I'm exalting marriage, not my own marital relationship. But I do exalt God, who has blessed our marriage. My comments were made in defense of accusations that I imply that women don't enjoy sex.


Selam
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« Reply #141 on: May 13, 2010, 05:09:48 PM »

Too often discussions like these are entirely dominated by men (me included) who cannot see things from the viewpoint of the wife and mother. It is not the men that has to wrestle with questions of their own life and death when health concerns complicate things in a marriage.


Unless I am missing something, women are as free to post on this forum as men.

From an Orthodox perspective, marriage means that man and woman become "one flesh;" therefore the questions of sexuality, life, and death do not merely effect the woman. Whatever happens to my wife affects me profoundly. Seems to me that you have been successfully brainwashed by the "her body, her choice" feminist propaganda.


Selam


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« Reply #142 on: May 13, 2010, 05:18:16 PM »

I have to agree with Quinault here:  NFP sounds really good until you try practicing it.  It takes an enormous amount of monitoring, self-control, and communication with your partner.  That's not to say that those things immediately rule NFP out as a possibility and indeed, I think it's a good way (used in conjunction with a barrier contraceptive) to be more responsible and not violate the teachings of the church.  However, biology is often unpredictable.  As much as one can monitor, abstain, etc., there is always the possibility that the calculations are off or the wife misread her body's cues and to me, it is irresponsible in this current economic and sociological climate to just leave it up to chance whether pregnancy occurs.  Do not think I am saying that children are a burden or are unwanted when they are conceived, because I believe they are wonderful and I thank God for the two I have now.  I am saying that medically and financially speaking, sometimes it is better to prevent pregnancy than to become unable to care for yourself and your children.

If you think you shouldn't have children, then don't have sex. If you think sex is vital to your marriage, then don't fear having children. But we have to stop separating physical pleasure, emotional intimacy, and procreation. St. Paul says that it is good for married people to abstain from sex sometimes. So, if you are convinced that your children will suffer and die if you have them, then abstain from sexual relations until you feel otherwise. But if you believe that God will provide, then don't fear; enjoy sex with your spouse and rejoice in all the wonderful things that your sexual union will produce. And don't forget that the Church exists to help us when we need it. I've never heard of an Orthodox Church allowing the children of one of it's members to starve to death.


Selam
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« Reply #143 on: May 13, 2010, 05:24:52 PM »

If you think you shouldn't have children, then don't have sex.

Gebre, but why, WHY? Sex is so important for marriage. Sex sustains marriage. Sexless marriages are usually catastrophic. Giving yourself as a gift in bodily union with your spouse - isn't it wonderful, precious? And also NEEDED? Even if I CONSCIOUSLY, WILLINGLY desire for more children NOT to be born in my marriage?
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« Reply #144 on: May 13, 2010, 05:34:22 PM »

Too often discussions like these are entirely dominated by men (me included) who cannot see things from the viewpoint of the wife and mother.
It is not the men that has to wrestle with questions of their own life and death when health concerns complicate things in a marriage.

There is a 4.1:1 male:female ratio on this forum, so it is natural that every discussion here would be dominated (at least by volume) by the male perspective.
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« Reply #145 on: May 13, 2010, 06:10:40 PM »

If you think you shouldn't have children, then don't have sex.

Gebre, but why, WHY? Sex is so important for marriage. Sex sustains marriage. Sexless marriages are usually catastrophic. Giving yourself as a gift in bodily union with your spouse - isn't it wonderful, precious? And also NEEDED? Even if I CONSCIOUSLY, WILLINGLY desire for more children NOT to be born in my marriage?


I agree with you, Heorhij, that sex within marriage is not sinful but needful. My concern is that worldly philosophies have influenced our Christian understanding about the purpose and value of human sexuality. We seem to think we know better than God, Who designed sex and intended it to be a great blessing for us. We essentially tell God, "I'll take this part of sex, but I don't want the other part." I think we do a disservice to sexuality and to ourselves when we adopt such an attitude. I also think we dishonor God.

I struggle with it myself. Even with the wonderful children we have and the joy and blessing that they are to us, my wife and I still feel like we shouldn't have more. This society has conditioned me to feel guilty about having children. And I find myself worrying about how we will provide for them, etc. And then I have to shake myself and realize that mindset is from satan, who is the enemy of Life and the hater of children.

Brother, God has BLESSED me! All these people with their fancy houses and nice cars looking at me like I'm the fool. But the Psalmist says, "Behold, children are the Lord's inheritance; the fruit of the womb, His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a mighty one, so are the children of those who were outcasts. Blessed in the man whose quiver is full, he will not be ashamed when he speaks to his enemies at the gate." [Psalm 127:3-5]

I also know that our children have solidified our marriage and brought my wife and I closer to each other. I always feel the greatest sense of intimacy during her pregnancies, and no intimacy or joy can come close to those times when I held her hand and coaxed her through the deliveries of our children. So you see, the intimacies, joys, and pleasures of sexuality trascend the mere physical act. Why sould we want to deny ourselves of the entirety of God's intended blessings for sexuality?


Selam
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« Reply #146 on: May 13, 2010, 06:32:07 PM »

If you think you shouldn't have children, then don't have sex.

Gebre, but why, WHY? Sex is so important for marriage. Sex sustains marriage. Sexless marriages are usually catastrophic. Giving yourself as a gift in bodily union with your spouse - isn't it wonderful, precious? And also NEEDED? Even if I CONSCIOUSLY, WILLINGLY desire for more children NOT to be born in my marriage?


I agree with you, Heorhij, that sex within marriage is not sinful but needful. My concern is that worldly philosophies have influenced our Christian understanding about the purpose and value of human sexuality. We seem to think we know better than God, Who designed sex and intended it to be a great blessing for us. We essentially tell God, "I'll take this part of sex, but I don't want the other part." I think we do a disservice to sexuality and to ourselves when we adopt such an attitude. I also think we dishonor God.

I don't. I think God placed humans higher than animals. Animals mate for procreation, also having pleasure while doing it. Humans love their spouses and give themselves as a unique, un-replaceable, most precious gift in sexual union. Children can be born as a result of it, or not. It is not FOR having children that we engage in sexual relationship with our spouses. It is for THEM. And I think it's normal and it's what God intends for us.

I struggle with it myself. Even with the wonderful children we have and the joy and blessing that they are to us, my wife and I still feel like we shouldn't have more. This society has conditioned me to feel guilty about having children. And I find myself worrying about how we will provide for them, etc. And then I have to shake myself and realize that mindset is from satan, who is the enemy of Life and the hater of children.

I don't think the society conditions us to feel guilty about having children. Rather, it is increasingly difficult to have many children and care for them adequately. Some people want that, making great sacrifices - and that's great, my hat off to them. Other people do not want to have many children but, rather, want to have two or one or even none, and this is because their priority is something else, not children. Or their prioroty is their two childdren. or their one child. And that's fine, too. It is not necessarily selfish.

Brother, God has BLESSED me! All these people with their fancy houses and nice cars looking at me like I'm the fool. But the Psalmist says, "Behold, children are the Lord's inheritance; the fruit of the womb, His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a mighty one, so are the children of those who were outcasts. Blessed in the man whose quiver is full, he will not be ashamed when he speaks to his enemies at the gate." [Psalm 127:3-5]

But of course children are a blessing, who argues with that. However, different people are blessed differently. Pierre and Marie Curie were blessed differently...

I also know that our children have solidified our marriage and brought my wife and I closer to each other. I always feel the greatest sense of intimacy during her pregnancies, and no intimacy or joy can come close to those times when I held her hand and coaxed her through the deliveries of our children. So you see, the intimacies, joys, and pleasures of sexuality trascend the mere physical act. Why sould we want to deny ourselves of the entirety of God's intended blessings for sexuality?

I am sure there were intimacies, joys, and pleasures of sexuality, of the unique human sexuality, in Pierre and Marie Curie's marriage... Smiley
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« Reply #147 on: May 13, 2010, 07:02:10 PM »

If you think you shouldn't have children, then don't have sex.

Gebre, but why, WHY? Sex is so important for marriage. Sex sustains marriage. Sexless marriages are usually catastrophic. Giving yourself as a gift in bodily union with your spouse - isn't it wonderful, precious? And also NEEDED? Even if I CONSCIOUSLY, WILLINGLY desire for more children NOT to be born in my marriage?


I agree with you, Heorhij, that sex within marriage is not sinful but needful. My concern is that worldly philosophies have influenced our Christian understanding about the purpose and value of human sexuality. We seem to think we know better than God, Who designed sex and intended it to be a great blessing for us. We essentially tell God, "I'll take this part of sex, but I don't want the other part." I think we do a disservice to sexuality and to ourselves when we adopt such an attitude. I also think we dishonor God.

I don't. I think God placed humans higher than animals. Animals mate for procreation, also having pleasure while doing it. Humans love their spouses and give themselves as a unique, un-replaceable, most precious gift in sexual union. Children can be born as a result of it, or not. It is not FOR having children that we engage in sexual relationship with our spouses. It is for THEM. And I think it's normal and it's what God intends for us.

I struggle with it myself. Even with the wonderful children we have and the joy and blessing that they are to us, my wife and I still feel like we shouldn't have more. This society has conditioned me to feel guilty about having children. And I find myself worrying about how we will provide for them, etc. And then I have to shake myself and realize that mindset is from satan, who is the enemy of Life and the hater of children.

I don't think the society conditions us to feel guilty about having children. Rather, it is increasingly difficult to have many children and care for them adequately. Some people want that, making great sacrifices - and that's great, my hat off to them. Other people do not want to have many children but, rather, want to have two or one or even none, and this is because their priority is something else, not children. Or their prioroty is their two childdren. or their one child. And that's fine, too. It is not necessarily selfish.

Brother, God has BLESSED me! All these people with their fancy houses and nice cars looking at me like I'm the fool. But the Psalmist says, "Behold, children are the Lord's inheritance; the fruit of the womb, His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a mighty one, so are the children of those who were outcasts. Blessed in the man whose quiver is full, he will not be ashamed when he speaks to his enemies at the gate." [Psalm 127:3-5]

But of course children are a blessing, who argues with that. However, different people are blessed differently. Pierre and Marie Curie were blessed differently...

I also know that our children have solidified our marriage and brought my wife and I closer to each other. I always feel the greatest sense of intimacy during her pregnancies, and no intimacy or joy can come close to those times when I held her hand and coaxed her through the deliveries of our children. So you see, the intimacies, joys, and pleasures of sexuality trascend the mere physical act. Why sould we want to deny ourselves of the entirety of God's intended blessings for sexuality?

I am sure there were intimacies, joys, and pleasures of sexuality, of the unique human sexuality, in Pierre and Marie Curie's marriage... Smiley


Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know who Pierre and Marie Cuire are.  Embarrassed

I think the divorce rate, the abortion rate, the STD rate, the child abuse rate, and many other things indicate that we grossly misunderstand God's intention and plan for sexuality and marriage. The evidence speaks for itself. Some find pleasure in fornication; some find pleasure in mere copulation; but I find pleasure in procreation.  Smiley Call me an animal if you want to.


Selam  
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« Reply #148 on: May 13, 2010, 07:12:05 PM »

So, it seems to me, Gebre, that you have the world divided neatly into two categories: those lucky souls like yourself who are capable of procreating and therefore, are permitted to have sex, and those pathetic losers, who, for whatever tragic reason, are not capable of procreating, and therefore, are forever banned from experiencing the joys of human intimacy with their spouses.  Cry
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« Reply #149 on: May 13, 2010, 07:52:36 PM »

So, it seems to me, Gebre, that you have the world divided neatly into two categories: those lucky souls like yourself who are capable of procreating and therefore, are permitted to have sex, and those pathetic losers, who, for whatever tragic reason, are not capable of procreating, and therefore, are forever banned from experiencing the joys of human intimacy with their spouses.  Cry


 Huh  How you could possibly derive such an idea from anything I have said is beyond comprehension.


Selam
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« Reply #150 on: May 13, 2010, 08:14:39 PM »

Forgive me if I misunderstood, Gebre, but it seems to me you are promoting something like sex is only to be for procreative purposes, etc. I've also understood that some Orthodox people have this notion that, if a couple is not able to procreate, then they might as well live together as brother and sister, which seems terribly sad and unchristian to me. But I hope I am mistaken and that you do not subscribe to this devastatingly sad viewpoint.
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« Reply #151 on: May 13, 2010, 09:07:33 PM »

The problem with your line of logic/thought is that it means that sex is only permissible when it is open to life. If a woman/man is infertile then they should not be having sex. You likely will say something along the lines of- well, as long as they don't do anything to prevent conception it it open to life. But there are many women and men out there now that are incapable of having children that are not wed yet. Your logic would mean that those that are incapable of procreating should not wed.  And once a couple is beyond childbearing years they need not have sex because it can not be procreative. Again, you will likely say that as long as it is "open to life" that it is OK. But that is a sort of stupid argument. How can a woman without a womb *like my mother in-law*  be "open to life? Or a woman without any ovaries *like my mother,* or a man that knows that he has low sperm count and poor motility *like my brother in law* possibly  entertain the concept that they are "open to life" when it is IMPOSSIBLE to conceive.?

Sex is NOT primarily for procreation. This is quite a dead horse and it was beaten to death years ago by others and within the last 2 years by me. I would rather have you look thru some of the tabs to the thread then plagiarize myself.

In short- either sex has a dual purpose of procreation and unity, or it has a single purpose of procreation with the benefit of unity. You seem to be espousing the later Gebre. If sex has a dual purpose then some amount of pregnancy prevention should be allowed and infertile sex should be allowed. Otherwise you are sounding VERY Roman Catholic to me.
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« Reply #152 on: May 13, 2010, 09:12:36 PM »

It was the intention that the Fathers focused on, not the method. If your intention was to have sex while avoiding the possibility (or probability) or procreation, then (if they spoke on the subject at all) they considered you in the wrong.

Yes. And I consider them to be in the wrong on this matter, entirely.
I think these Holy Fathers have spoken against the greater consensus of the Church in this matter.

That's a very interesting point. I think I agree with you. Unfortunately, this "broader consensus" is pretty voiceless, or conformist to the "wisdom of the Fathers," or brainwashed to a certain extent.

In other words, this "broader consensus" is a fantasy you've concocted for ideological ends, like the "revolutionary Proletariat" in the mind of the Marxist. The masses are too "brainwashed" and "conformist" to bring it to realization.

I don't think this thread is dominated by the "male perspective" so much as the (crypto) Protestant perspective.
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« Reply #153 on: May 13, 2010, 09:24:00 PM »

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know who Pierre and Marie Cuire are.  Embarrassed


Pierre and Marie (nee Sklodowska) Curie: A married couple who were brilliant scientists in physics and chemistry.  They worked with radioactivity and were the discoverers of Radium. They won a Nobel Prize together. Marie later won another Nobel Prize after her husband's tragic death in a street accident. They were devoted to each other and had two daughters

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/marie-curie-bio.html
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/pierre-curie-bio.html



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« Reply #154 on: May 13, 2010, 10:01:21 PM »

The problem with your line of logic/thought is that it means that sex is only permissible when it is open to life. If a woman/man is infertile then they should not be having sex. You likely will say something along the lines of- well, as long as they don't do anything to prevent conception it it open to life. But there are many women and men out there now that are incapable of having children that are not wed yet. Your logic would mean that those that are incapable of procreating should not wed.  And once a couple is beyond childbearing years they need not have sex because it can not be procreative. Again, you will likely say that as long as it is "open to life" that it is OK. But that is a sort of stupid argument. How can a woman without a womb *like my mother in-law*  be "open to life? Or a woman without any ovaries *like my mother,* or a man that knows that he has low sperm count and poor motility *like my brother in law* possibly  entertain the concept that they are "open to life" when it is IMPOSSIBLE to conceive.?

Sex is NOT primarily for procreation. This is quite a dead horse and it was beaten to death years ago by others and within the last 2 years by me. I would rather have you look thru some of the tabs to the thread then plagiarize myself.

In short- either sex has a dual purpose of procreation and unity, or it has a single purpose of procreation with the benefit of unity. You seem to be espousing the later Gebre. If sex has a dual purpose then some amount of pregnancy prevention should be allowed and infertile sex should be allowed. Otherwise you are sounding VERY Roman Catholic to me.


Just read my words and don't assume things. Some of you want me to say something I'm not saying. I've been very clear that sex is not only for procreation.


Selam
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« Reply #155 on: May 13, 2010, 10:34:20 PM »

Hi everyone, OP here  Cheesy

After reading the 100+ posts on this topic, I am going to conclude that the ideas on this issue are diverse and unique to each individual. When God willing I find someone to marry, I will have this discussion with him and see how he feels about it.

Gebre, but why, WHY? Sex is so important for marriage. Sex sustains marriage. Sexless marriages are usually catastrophic. Giving yourself as a gift in bodily union with your spouse - isn't it wonderful, precious? And also NEEDED? Even if I CONSCIOUSLY, WILLINGLY desire for more children NOT to be born in my marriage?

That was a beautiful quote Heorhij, I couldn't agree more. I hope I find a husband who shares this view!
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« Reply #156 on: May 14, 2010, 08:29:44 AM »

It was the intention that the Fathers focused on, not the method. If your intention was to have sex while avoiding the possibility (or probability) or procreation, then (if they spoke on the subject at all) they considered you in the wrong.

Yes. And I consider them to be in the wrong on this matter, entirely.
I think these Holy Fathers have spoken against the greater consensus of the Church in this matter.

That's a very interesting point. I think I agree with you. Unfortunately, this "broader consensus" is pretty voiceless, or conformist to the "wisdom of the Fathers," or brainwashed to a certain extent.

In other words, this "broader consensus" is a fantasy you've concocted for ideological ends, like the "revolutionary Proletariat" in the mind of the Marxist. The masses are too "brainwashed" and "conformist" to bring it to realization.

Ah, another reader of my heart. Smiley

No, this is not a Marxist speaking in me. Just plain observation. Married people may arrive to the conclusion that teachings about sex as something necessarily open to procreation or else sinful is a terrible, dehumanizing, destructive teaching. I did. I know that I am not alone. Moreover, I suspect that there are millions of people who are like me. So, because I have these observations and these thoughts, I make my hypothesis about people within the Church being brainwashed or forced into being silent on these matters - otherwise, there would be already a different teaching.

I don't think this thread is dominated by the "male perspective" so much as the (crypto) Protestant perspective.

Fine, I don't mind being viewed as a very bad Orthodox in certain issues.
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« Reply #157 on: May 14, 2010, 08:31:48 AM »

Hi everyone, OP here  Cheesy

After reading the 100+ posts on this topic, I am going to conclude that the ideas on this issue are diverse and unique to each individual. When God willing I find someone to marry, I will have this discussion with him and see how he feels about it.

Gebre, but why, WHY? Sex is so important for marriage. Sex sustains marriage. Sexless marriages are usually catastrophic. Giving yourself as a gift in bodily union with your spouse - isn't it wonderful, precious? And also NEEDED? Even if I CONSCIOUSLY, WILLINGLY desire for more children NOT to be born in my marriage?

That was a beautiful quote Heorhij, I couldn't agree more. I hope I find a husband who shares this view!

Thank you, dear OP sister.Smiley "Seek, and you shall find." "Grant this, o Lord."
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« Reply #158 on: May 14, 2010, 09:04:40 AM »

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know who Pierre and Marie Cuire are.  Embarrassed


Pierre and Marie (nee Sklodowska) Curie: A married couple who were brilliant scientists in physics and chemistry.  They worked with radioactivity and were the discoverers of Radium. They won a Nobel Prize together. Marie later won another Nobel Prize after her husband's tragic death in a street accident. They were devoted to each other and had two daughters

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/marie-curie-bio.html
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/pierre-curie-bio.html



Ebor

Thank you, Ebor. Yes, they were both wonderful scientists, physicists. I just used them as an example of a married couple for whom home and many children were not a priority, obviously. BTW, one of their daughters, Irene Joliot-Curie, also became an outstanding scientist and a Nobel prize winner in chemistry. She and her husband Frederic (who also signed his name as Joliot-Curie) had two children, and again the children became outstanding scientists (daughter a physicist and son a biologist).
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« Reply #159 on: May 17, 2010, 02:31:42 PM »

I have to agree with Quinault here:  NFP sounds really good until you try practicing it.  It takes an enormous amount of monitoring, self-control, and communication with your partner.  That's not to say that those things immediately rule NFP out as a possibility and indeed, I think it's a good way (used in conjunction with a barrier contraceptive) to be more responsible and not violate the teachings of the church.  However, biology is often unpredictable.  As much as one can monitor, abstain, etc., there is always the possibility that the calculations are off or the wife misread her body's cues and to me, it is irresponsible in this current economic and sociological climate to just leave it up to chance whether pregnancy occurs.  Do not think I am saying that children are a burden or are unwanted when they are conceived, because I believe they are wonderful and I thank God for the two I have now.  I am saying that medically and financially speaking, sometimes it is better to prevent pregnancy than to become unable to care for yourself and your children.

Not to mention at NFP does NOT work when the woman ovulates more than once a month, which seems to be indicated in a larger proportion of women than once believed.  Grin

Sometimes it does become necessary to prevent pregnancy, but without resorting to chemical abortificient methods to do so. I think that is the point where the father's began making note, as women have been using various plants and ingredients to induce abortions long before Sanger came along with that ''marvelous'' little pill. The idea in society is to do anything, or ingest anything that will prevent a person from having to be 'burdened' with the care of a child. That is only because sexuality has left the safety and sanctity of marriage to be a sport. It would, even aside from Church sanctions towards virginity and purity, be more beneficial to remain chaste until marriage. Chastity serves a person physically, emotionally and spiritually-its just incredibly difficult to maintain.
As far as sex within marriage, the only Orthodox rules about it is that folks were expected to refrain from physical intimacy before Communion and during fasting periods. Not so much as to be a wet blanket, but to focus on the person's spiritual growth OVER the physical pleasures of life. Its not fun of course, especially when you and your partner get hardly any time together of any sort.
Each situation is different, so speaking to one's priest whenever a unique situation comes up would be of great merit. We did that whole 'quiverful' thing as protestants, where folks actually trust God for their family size and take His commandments to multiply literally. Some are quite intent of this lifestyle of faith, and I can't fault them. For us life went willy shortly before our conversion when one of our children started to regress. Come to find out she has a rare genetic but non hereditary condition. So while its not like we would have another child with the disorder, our care for this specific child is financially overwhelming. And it always will be. Our priest said he could not ''condone'' a surgery for dh, but would ask for forgiveness on his behalf if he went that direction. I don't believe ORthodoxy is about being rigid or hardlined. Most of the rules we see, however poorly explained when posts devolve on here, are meant for our spiritual gain over the long haul. We do the best we can.

and besides, some of us have done our part already. Its time for the younger set to make some Orthodox babies... Tongue
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« Reply #160 on: May 17, 2010, 03:07:47 PM »

I would be happy to have a couple more Orthodox babies! I don't think that is likely, so hopefully I can adopt a couple more native american children and raise them in the Orthodox church Cheesy
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« Reply #161 on: May 17, 2010, 04:09:30 PM »

LOL, that's one way to increase parish membership; every married couple adopts a child and raises them Orthodox.

Instant membership growth in every parish!!

 laugh  laugh  laugh
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« Reply #162 on: May 17, 2010, 05:13:55 PM »

That does sound like a plan! despite our current family size I would still love to adopt.  Trouble is our parish is so tiny there are no prospects for marriage within several hours. We need a family retreat for our Orthodox kids to meet once we adopt them, as I have heard round these parts that Orthodox spouses are hard to find.
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« Reply #163 on: May 17, 2010, 07:48:24 PM »

Unfortunately, what Gebre expressed above seems to be a rather prevalent view among the Orthodox clergy and laity. At least on the Internet forums.  Grin

Personally, as I wrote many times, I believe it's a bunch of BS.  Cry (But that's just me.)

Most importantly, however, - there is no "one-size-fits-it-all" dogma about non-abortive contraception in Orthodoxy. It is PRINCIPALLY a PASTORAL issue, NOT a dogmatic one. There are no papal encyclicas that are "binding" to us, Orthodox, in regards of when do we have children after we marry, how many children we have, how do we "space" our children etc. etc. etc. Instead, for us there are our priests, whom we are supposed to ask for their blessing for what we have in mind regarding our plans to have or not to have children.
QFT

like totally.
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« Reply #164 on: May 17, 2010, 09:01:34 PM »

That does sound like a plan! despite our current family size I would still love to adopt.  Trouble is our parish is so tiny there are no prospects for marriage within several hours. We need a family retreat for our Orthodox kids to meet once we adopt them, as I have heard round these parts that Orthodox spouses are hard to find.

I would be really happy if there were more events in our area for Orthodox families and kids. There are a few but they are REALLY expensive.
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« Reply #165 on: May 19, 2010, 08:34:28 PM »

Unfortunately, what Gebre expressed above seems to be a rather prevalent view among the Orthodox clergy and laity. At least on the Internet forums.  Grin

Personally, as I wrote many times, I believe it's a bunch of BS.  Cry (But that's just me.)

Most importantly, however, - there is no "one-size-fits-it-all" dogma about non-abortive contraception in Orthodoxy. It is PRINCIPALLY a PASTORAL issue, NOT a dogmatic one. There are no papal encyclicas that are "binding" to us, Orthodox, in regards of when do we have children after we marry, how many children we have, how do we "space" our children etc. etc. etc. Instead, for us there are our priests, whom we are supposed to ask for their blessing for what we have in mind regarding our plans to have or not to have children.
QFT

like totally.


It is really quite simple. Life is a blessing, not a curse. In this fallen world, there will never be perfect or ideal circumstances in which to conceive and give birth to children. There are proven and effective means of not conceiving for those who feel it is best not to have children. But the use of artificial birth control is an action that is contrary to Life. When it doesn't work (and no birth control methods are 100% effective), then what? People then perceive the conceived child as a problem rather than a blessing.

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.

But if you prove me wrong then I will concede. But so far, the arguments against my position on this matter have all been based on subjective interpretations rather than objective Church Tradition. You advocates of birth control are sounding quite Protestant to me. Wink


Selam
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« Reply #166 on: May 19, 2010, 08:44:39 PM »


Quote
And you can not use condoms

That's a discussion that need to take place between you, your wife, and your priest.


Thanks for your reply. Also, I am a female, and unmarried (I'm asking this before I convert), and I don't want to ask my priest because I feel like it would not be appropriate to ask him about this.

I'd have to ask a priest if I could use condoms???

Please don't worry about this and certainly don't let this stop you from converting.

There is no Puritanical Moral Code loose within our Parishes. Yes, restraint of passions is a good thing to practice but I think you will find us to be only conservative on this point... not nuts.
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« Reply #167 on: May 20, 2010, 12:12:16 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?
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« Reply #168 on: May 20, 2010, 12:39:13 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.


Selam
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« Reply #169 on: May 20, 2010, 01:00:40 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You continue to present your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally spoken against artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that the Church has also blessed priests and bishops to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.
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« Reply #170 on: May 20, 2010, 01:09:51 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous. Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic. Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same. Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.


Selam
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« Reply #171 on: May 20, 2010, 01:22:18 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous.
What's the point in us doing so?  You're position is NOT erroneous; it's just too strict.

Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic.
And, more importantly, pastoral.

Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same.
Please do not interpret the pastoral practice of oikonomia in such a demeaning way as to accuse those pastors who practice it of ignoring the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.
And no one's asking you to do so.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.
Oikonomia is not about individuals picking and choosing whatever suits their own subjective belief systems.  It's about pastors discerning specific spiritual needs and applying the discipline of the Church in ways that offer the most salvific benefit to each individual and family under their care so that, if possible, all might be saved.  I'm sorry if you can't understand this concept, but you can at least stop condemning it.
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« Reply #172 on: May 20, 2010, 04:00:14 AM »

My replies below in red:

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous.
What's the point in us doing so?  You're position is NOT erroneous; it's just too strict.


So you are the arbiter of what is too strict?


Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic.
And, more importantly, pastoral.


A) This is a subjective comment.
B) Your comment promotes a false dichotomy. The pastoral role of the Church is never opposed to the dogmas of the Church. In fact, the pastoral role is to guide and assist us lay people in adhering to the dogmas of the Church, not to absolve us of our responsibility to live according to the dogmas of the Church.



Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same.
Please do not interpret the pastoral practice of oikonomia in such a demeaning way as to accuse those pastors who practice it of ignoring the dogmatic teachings of the Church.


I do not demean those Bishops and Priests who practice true "oikonomia." But sadly, some in the name of "oikonomia" demean themselves by elevating their own subjective ideals over and above that which the Church has historically and consistently taught.


Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.
And no one's asking you to do so.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.
Oikonomia is not about individuals picking and choosing whatever suits their own subjective belief systems.  It's about pastors discerning specific spiritual needs and applying the discipline of the Church in ways that offer the most salvific benefit to each individual and family under their care so that, if possible, all might be saved.  I'm sorry if you can't understand this concept, but you can at least stop condemning it.


You are severely perverting the meaning of "Oikonomia." Salvation is not the result of "defining deviancy down." The moral laws of the Church are not subject to negotiation. In this world of moral relativism, the Orthodox Church is the objective Light of the world. Priests are not supposed to adjust the Church's morality according to the whims and desires of the individual members of their parishes. Instead, Priests are supposed to encourage, exhort, love, and inspire the members of their flock to live according to the Teachings of the Faith.


Selam
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« Reply #173 on: May 20, 2010, 04:42:23 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous.
What's the point in us doing so?  You're position is NOT erroneous; it's just too strict.

So you are the arbiter of what is too strict?
Why do you ask?  You seem to be setting yourself up as the arbiter of what proper pastoral practice is regarding ABC.  Am I not permitted to say you're being too strict?

Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic.
And, more importantly, pastoral.

A) This is a subjective comment.
How so?  I think my comment no more subjective than your comment that the Church is often if not always dogmatic.

B) Your comment promotes a false dichotomy.
How so?  My use of the conjunction "AND" logically puts forth a "BOTH-AND" relationship (i.e., the Church is BOTH dogmatic AND pastoral), not an "EITHER-OR" dichotomy.

The pastoral role of the Church is never opposed to the dogmas of the Church.
I never said they were.  You're putting words into my mouth.  Please stop.

In fact, the pastoral role is to guide and assist us lay people in adhering to the dogmas of the Church, not to absolve us of our responsibility to live according to the dogmas of the Church.
But whoever elevated an opposition to artificial birth control to the level of dogma?

Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same.
Please do not interpret the pastoral practice of oikonomia in such a demeaning way as to accuse those pastors who practice it of ignoring the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

I do not demean those Bishops and Priests who practice true "oikonomia." But sadly, some in the name of "oikonomia" demean themselves by elevating their own subjective ideals over and above that which the Church has historically and consistently taught.
Really?  Can you give me examples?

Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.
And no one's asking you to do so.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.
Oikonomia is not about individuals picking and choosing whatever suits their own subjective belief systems.  It's about pastors discerning specific spiritual needs and applying the discipline of the Church in ways that offer the most salvific benefit to each individual and family under their care so that, if possible, all might be saved.  I'm sorry if you can't understand this concept, but you can at least stop condemning it.


You are severely perverting the meaning of "Oikonomia." Salvation is not the result of "defining deviancy down."
Again, you're putting words into my mouth, for I never defined oikonomia as "defining deviancy down".  That is purely your judgment of what I said--a judgment that totally discredits spiritual discernment when it doesn't agree with your dogmaticism, btw.

The moral laws of the Church are not subject to negotiation.
Who's defining opposition to ABC as an unbreakable moral law of the Church?  Can you give me evidence that the Church ever did call her opposition (if I may use such a strong word in this context) to ABC an unbreakable moral law?  (Note the key word: "unbreakable".)

In this world of moral relativism, the Orthodox Church is the objective Light of the world. Priests are not supposed to adjust the Church's morality according to the whims and desires of the individual members of their parishes.
Again, I never said that.  Please read carefully what I actually write and not what you want me to say.

Instead, Priests are supposed to encourage, exhort, love, and inspire the members of their flock to live according to the Teachings of the Faith.
Of course they are!  I never denied that.  If you would actually read what I write and stop putting words into my mouth, you'd actually see that.
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« Reply #174 on: May 20, 2010, 04:56:04 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous.
What's the point in us doing so?  You're position is NOT erroneous; it's just too strict.

So you are the arbiter of what is too strict?
Why do you ask?  You seem to be setting yourself up to be the arbiter of what proper pastoral practice is regarding ABC.  Am I not permitted to say you're being too strict?

Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic.
And, more importantly, pastoral.

A) This is a subjective comment.
How so?  I think my comment no more subjective than your comment that the Church is often if not always dogmatic.

B) Your comment promotes a false dichotomy.
How so?  My use of the conjunction "AND" logically puts forth a "BOTH-AND" relationship (i.e., the Church is BOTH dogmatic AND pastoral), not an "EITHER-OR" dichotomy.

The pastoral role of the Church is never opposed to the dogmas of the Church.
I never said they were.  You're putting words into my mouth.  Please stop.

In fact, the pastoral role is to guide and assist us lay people in adhering to the dogmas of the Church, not to absolve us of our responsibility to live according to the dogmas of the Church.
But whoever elevated an opposition to artificial birth control to the level of dogma?

Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same.
Please do not interpret the pastoral practice of oikonomia in such a demeaning way as to accuse those pastors who practice it of ignoring the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

I do not demean those Bishops and Priests who practice true "oikonomia." But sadly, some in the name of "oikonomia" demean themselves by elevating their own subjective ideals over and above that which the Church has historically and consistently taught.
Really?  Can you give me examples?

Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.
And no one's asking you to do so.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.
Oikonomia is not about individuals picking and choosing whatever suits their own subjective belief systems.  It's about pastors discerning specific spiritual needs and applying the discipline of the Church in ways that offer the most salvific benefit to each individual and family under their care so that, if possible, all might be saved.  I'm sorry if you can't understand this concept, but you can at least stop condemning it.


You are severely perverting the meaning of "Oikonomia." Salvation is not the result of "defining deviancy down."
Again, you're putting words into my mouth, for I never defined oikonomia as "defining deviancy down".  That is purely your judgment of what I said--a judgment that totally discredits spiritual discernment when it doesn't agree with your dogmaticism, btw.

The moral laws of the Church are not subject to negotiation.
Who's defining opposition to ABC as an unbreakable moral law of the Church?  Can you give me evidence that the Church ever did call her opposition (if I may use such a strong word in this context) to ABC an unbreakable moral law?  (Note the key word: "unbreakable".)

In this world of moral relativism, the Orthodox Church is the objective Light of the world. Priests are not supposed to adjust the Church's morality according to the whims and desires of the individual members of their parishes.
Again, I never said that.  Please read carefully what I actually write and not what you want me to say.

Instead, Priests are supposed to encourage, exhort, love, and inspire the members of their flock to live according to the Teachings of the Faith.
Of course they are!  I never denied that.  If you would actually read what I write and stop putting words into my mouth, you'd actually see that.

The burden of proof is on you my friend. I have put no words into your mouth. As I have repeatedly said, I am willing to recant my views if anyone can provide me with evidence that the 2,000 year old Teachings and Traditions of the Church include the advocacy or condoning of artificial birth control. And if the proscriptions against artificial birth control are "breakable," then please provide me with a council, canon, or ecclesiastical decree that officially declared artificial birth control as a matter left to the subjective decisions of married couples and their priests.


Selam
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 04:57:01 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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« Reply #175 on: May 20, 2010, 05:27:22 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous.
What's the point in us doing so?  You're position is NOT erroneous; it's just too strict.

So you are the arbiter of what is too strict?
Why do you ask?  You seem to be setting yourself up to be the arbiter of what proper pastoral practice is regarding ABC.  Am I not permitted to say you're being too strict?

Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic.
And, more importantly, pastoral.

A) This is a subjective comment.
How so?  I think my comment no more subjective than your comment that the Church is often if not always dogmatic.

B) Your comment promotes a false dichotomy.
How so?  My use of the conjunction "AND" logically puts forth a "BOTH-AND" relationship (i.e., the Church is BOTH dogmatic AND pastoral), not an "EITHER-OR" dichotomy.

The pastoral role of the Church is never opposed to the dogmas of the Church.
I never said they were.  You're putting words into my mouth.  Please stop.

In fact, the pastoral role is to guide and assist us lay people in adhering to the dogmas of the Church, not to absolve us of our responsibility to live according to the dogmas of the Church.
But whoever elevated an opposition to artificial birth control to the level of dogma?

Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same.
Please do not interpret the pastoral practice of oikonomia in such a demeaning way as to accuse those pastors who practice it of ignoring the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

I do not demean those Bishops and Priests who practice true "oikonomia." But sadly, some in the name of "oikonomia" demean themselves by elevating their own subjective ideals over and above that which the Church has historically and consistently taught.
Really?  Can you give me examples?

Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.
And no one's asking you to do so.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.
Oikonomia is not about individuals picking and choosing whatever suits their own subjective belief systems.  It's about pastors discerning specific spiritual needs and applying the discipline of the Church in ways that offer the most salvific benefit to each individual and family under their care so that, if possible, all might be saved.  I'm sorry if you can't understand this concept, but you can at least stop condemning it.


You are severely perverting the meaning of "Oikonomia." Salvation is not the result of "defining deviancy down."
Again, you're putting words into my mouth, for I never defined oikonomia as "defining deviancy down".  That is purely your judgment of what I said--a judgment that totally discredits spiritual discernment when it doesn't agree with your dogmaticism, btw.

The moral laws of the Church are not subject to negotiation.
Who's defining opposition to ABC as an unbreakable moral law of the Church?  Can you give me evidence that the Church ever did call her opposition (if I may use such a strong word in this context) to ABC an unbreakable moral law?  (Note the key word: "unbreakable".)

In this world of moral relativism, the Orthodox Church is the objective Light of the world. Priests are not supposed to adjust the Church's morality according to the whims and desires of the individual members of their parishes.
Again, I never said that.  Please read carefully what I actually write and not what you want me to say.

Instead, Priests are supposed to encourage, exhort, love, and inspire the members of their flock to live according to the Teachings of the Faith.
Of course they are!  I never denied that.  If you would actually read what I write and stop putting words into my mouth, you'd actually see that.

The burden of proof is on you my friend. I have put no words into your mouth.
Gebre, let ME be the arbiter of when you are putting words into my mouth.  I know what I write and what I intend to communicate, so it is I alone who knows when and how I'm being misunderstood.  That said, you have a nasty habit of putting words into my mouth when we debate, and this is but the latest example.

As I have repeatedly said, I am willing to recant my views if anyone can provide me with evidence that the 2,000 year old Teachings and Traditions of the Church include the advocacy or condoning of artificial birth control. And if the proscriptions against artificial birth control are "breakable," then please provide me with a council, canon, or ecclesiastical decree that officially declared artificial birth control as a matter left to the subjective decisions of married couples and their priests.
Now I do think it relevant to ask:  which Church?  Would you respect the word of Chalcedonian churches as having any authority on this matter?


As I said earlier, I will say it again.
1.  If you believe so strongly that the Church forbids the use of artificial contraceptives, and if you and your wife agree to not use them, DON'T USE THEM.  I'm not telling you to ever violate your Christian conscience on this issue.
2.  If you want to state as your belief that the Church has traditionally opposed the use of artificial contraceptives and you want to explain why you believe this without judging those who disagree, feel free to do so, for that's what this forum is for.
3.  What you're doing here to poison this debate, however, is you're attributing your belief to the Tradition of the Church without owning this belief as merely your own interpretation of that Tradition, and you're judging and demeaning those priests and bishops who permit the use of artificial contraceptives (by only specific families or by all couples in their flock, it doesn't matter) as though they were elevating their own subjective whims over the moral laws of the Church and "defining deviancy down".  It's this dogmaticism that refuses to grant any respect to those who disagree--more correctly, who grant dispensations to specific couples for pastoral reasons--that I'm criticizing, and nothing more.
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« Reply #176 on: May 20, 2010, 05:42:00 AM »

Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church. Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.
But when you present your interpretation of our Tradition on an Internet discussion board, your condemnation of artificial birth control comes across as an unnecessarily dogmatic opinion.  Why should your interpretation of Tradition trump the interpretation of Tradition that guides the pastoral practice of so many of our priests and bishops?  Are you somehow more qualified to interpret Tradition for us than they?

Neither my interpretation nor the interpretation of Priests and Bishops trumps the 2,000 year old interpetation of the Church. That's why I said that I will gladly stand corrected if anyone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church canons that clearly advocate or condone the use of artificial birth control. My opinion on the matter is based on objective ecclesiastical Teaching and Tradition, not on my own subjective ideas.
You're missing my point, though.  You're presenting your condemnation of artificial birth control--that is to say, your interpretation of Tradition--as though it IS the 2,000-year-old Tradition of the Church.  I don't doubt that you base your opinion solely on Holy Tradition and not on any subjective ideas, but the fact remains that your opinion is still your opinion and that others will base their opinions solely on Holy Tradition and still disagree with you.  If you believe the most logical conclusion from Holy Tradition is to condemn artificial birth control and you and your wife strive to live according to this dictate, then I commend you for your zeal to live in perfect integrity with your Christian conscience--I'm not even going to try to prove you wrong, simply because the Fathers have traditionally condemned artificial birth control.  Just recognize that when you present such strong beliefs on an Internet discussion board, you do well to respect the opinions of others by not being so dogmatic in how you state yours.  You seem to overlook the fact, which others have stated here, that priests and bishops may need to exercise pastoral discernment and apply the Church's traditional stand on ABC with less strictness than you may like.


Respectfully, I have repeatedly stated that I am open to ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position is erroneous.
What's the point in us doing so?  You're position is NOT erroneous; it's just too strict.

So you are the arbiter of what is too strict?
Why do you ask?  You seem to be setting yourself up to be the arbiter of what proper pastoral practice is regarding ABC.  Am I not permitted to say you're being too strict?

Regarding matters of morality, the Church is often if not always dogmatic.
And, more importantly, pastoral.

A) This is a subjective comment.
How so?  I think my comment no more subjective than your comment that the Church is often if not always dogmatic.

B) Your comment promotes a false dichotomy.
How so?  My use of the conjunction "AND" logically puts forth a "BOTH-AND" relationship (i.e., the Church is BOTH dogmatic AND pastoral), not an "EITHER-OR" dichotomy.

The pastoral role of the Church is never opposed to the dogmas of the Church.
I never said they were.  You're putting words into my mouth.  Please stop.

In fact, the pastoral role is to guide and assist us lay people in adhering to the dogmas of the Church, not to absolve us of our responsibility to live according to the dogmas of the Church.
But whoever elevated an opposition to artificial birth control to the level of dogma?

Just because certain Orthodox Priests, Bishops, and laymen choose to ignore the dogmatic Teachings of the Church does not mean that I shall do the same.
Please do not interpret the pastoral practice of oikonomia in such a demeaning way as to accuse those pastors who practice it of ignoring the dogmatic teachings of the Church.

I do not demean those Bishops and Priests who practice true "oikonomia." But sadly, some in the name of "oikonomia" demean themselves by elevating their own subjective ideals over and above that which the Church has historically and consistently taught.
Really?  Can you give me examples?

Quite frankly, I will never respect any ideologies or human opinions that undermine the sanctity of human Life.
And no one's asking you to do so.

Orthodoxy is not Protestantism, where individuals pick and choose the "church" that suits their own subjective belief system.
Oikonomia is not about individuals picking and choosing whatever suits their own subjective belief systems.  It's about pastors discerning specific spiritual needs and applying the discipline of the Church in ways that offer the most salvific benefit to each individual and family under their care so that, if possible, all might be saved.  I'm sorry if you can't understand this concept, but you can at least stop condemning it.


You are severely perverting the meaning of "Oikonomia." Salvation is not the result of "defining deviancy down."
Again, you're putting words into my mouth, for I never defined oikonomia as "defining deviancy down".  That is purely your judgment of what I said--a judgment that totally discredits spiritual discernment when it doesn't agree with your dogmaticism, btw.

The moral laws of the Church are not subject to negotiation.
Who's defining opposition to ABC as an unbreakable moral law of the Church?  Can you give me evidence that the Church ever did call her opposition (if I may use such a strong word in this context) to ABC an unbreakable moral law?  (Note the key word: "unbreakable".)

In this world of moral relativism, the Orthodox Church is the objective Light of the world. Priests are not supposed to adjust the Church's morality according to the whims and desires of the individual members of their parishes.
Again, I never said that.  Please read carefully what I actually write and not what you want me to say.

Instead, Priests are supposed to encourage, exhort, love, and inspire the members of their flock to live according to the Teachings of the Faith.
Of course they are!  I never denied that.  If you would actually read what I write and stop putting words into my mouth, you'd actually see that.

The burden of proof is on you my friend. I have put no words into your mouth.
Gebre, let ME be the arbiter of when you are putting words into my mouth.  I know what I write and what I intend to communicate, so it is I alone who knows when and how I'm being misunderstood.  That said, you have a nasty habit of putting words into my mouth when we debate, and this is but the latest example.

As I have repeatedly said, I am willing to recant my views if anyone can provide me with evidence that the 2,000 year old Teachings and Traditions of the Church include the advocacy or condoning of artificial birth control. And if the proscriptions against artificial birth control are "breakable," then please provide me with a council, canon, or ecclesiastical decree that officially declared artificial birth control as a matter left to the subjective decisions of married couples and their priests.
Now I do think it relevant to ask:  which Church?  Would you respect the word of Chalcedonian churches as having any authority on this matter?


As I said earlier, I will say it again.
1.  If you believe so strongly that the Church forbids the use of artificial contraceptives, and if you and your wife agree to not use them, DON'T USE THEM.  I'm not telling you to ever violate your Christian conscience on this issue.
2.  If you want to state as your belief that the Church has traditionally opposed the use of artificial contraceptives and you want to explain why you believe this without judging those who disagree, feel free to do so, for that's what this forum is for.
3.  What you're doing here to poison this debate, however, is you're attributing your belief to the Tradition of the Church without owning this belief as merely your own interpretation of that Tradition, and you're judging and demeaning those priests and bishops who permit the use of artificial contraceptives (by only specific families or by all couples in their flock, it doesn't matter) as though they were elevating their own subjective whims over the moral laws of the Church and "defining deviancy down".  It's this dogmaticism that refuses to grant any respect to those who disagree--more correctly, who grant dispensations to specific couples for pastoral reasons--that I'm criticizing, and nothing more.

I'm not buying into your relativism Peter, nor to your unfounded accusations that I put words in your mouth. Can you say "projection?"

You know where I stand. Give me ecclesiastical evidence that proves my position wrong, and I will accept it. But relativistic emotionalism won't persuade me.

Now let's not derail this thread any further by another Peter vs. Gebre "mano y mano." I thought we were past all that. Wink


Selam
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« Reply #177 on: May 20, 2010, 11:18:36 AM »

The moral laws of the Church are not subject to negotiation. In this world of moral relativism,

But there are NO "moral laws of the Church" on the issue of non-abortive contraception. They simply do not exist.
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« Reply #178 on: May 20, 2010, 11:53:11 AM »


Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church.

I must say, that is quite an unusual position to take. The Church fathers never advocated the use of computers either. So why are you not assuming computer use is contrary to Orthodox Tradition?
True, the Fathers didn't know about PCs, they had not been invented yet, but bathing and washing DID exist, and many of them were specifically against washing before eating because they perceived it as being too "Jewish" a thing to do.  Does that mean you do not bath or wash your hands? Or does your common sense tell you that the Church fathers were just flat out wrong on that particular issue?

Again, you might argue that the Fathers didn't know of the existence of tiny invisible animals all around us that cause sickness and disease. And if they had known, then their opinion of washing before eating might have been altered. (unlikely but it's possible) However if advancement in scientific knowledge, and the way the world actually is in reality takes precedence over the Church fathers (which I think it should and in fact does for most of us most of the time, except in matters of sexuality), then your argument about preventative contraception falls to pieces. Why? Because the Church fathers retained an understanding of conception which is demonstrably false.

Why were they against preventative contraception? well, because the best "science" of the time said that a man only had so much sperm to go around, and if he wasted it, he could "run out" and then no longer have children. Science tells us this medieval understanding of contraception is simply absurd, so why should we continue to adhere to such absurdities? We no longer hold to the idea washing one's hands before eating is sinful because it's "too Jewish"...(even if it is a "Jewish thing" to do, it's still right because of those tiny invisible critters crawling on your skin) why hold on to this issue and not any number of other issues? How about the Father's "scientific and spiritual" prognosis of miscarriages? We don't accept that kind of nonsense anymore because we now know much more about the human body.

Quote
Individual Priests and Bishops may have subjective opinions about the matter, but their opinions do not override 2,000 years of Church Teaching on the matter.

How's Pope Shenouda III for an authority on the issue? Seeing as how you're OO, and Pope Shenouda III is OO, and the Ethiopian Church has strong connections with the Coptic Church, is he a high enough level of authority for you?

I cannot find the specific article at the moment, (I'll keep looking) but I'm 99.99999% positive Pope Shenouda III has said many a time, that preventative contraception is perfectly acceptable within marriage. It's in one, if not a number of his books with the title (or something close to) So many years with the problems of the People, I just cannot remember which volume as there are like 6 or 7 volumes at this point and I can't go searching through them all. Hopefully someone will know the exact location of his statements and can post them.

I fully understand and respect the position you and many others take. And that's fine. I certainly don't want you to do something your conscience tells you is somehow wrong, but there ARE sound arguments from the other side, and arguing them doesn't make one a "Protestant" and even if it does, well the truth is Luther and even modern day Protestants managed to get some things right, whether we like it not. Or put another way, a valid argument is not invalidated just because a person or group we don't like makes the argument.

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« Reply #179 on: May 20, 2010, 08:02:09 PM »


Unless someone can provide me with Patristic texts or Church Teachings that specifically advocate articifial birth control as appropriate for Orthodox Christians, then I will continue to condemn it as contrary to the Teachings and Traditions of the Orthodox Church.

I must say, that is quite an unusual position to take. The Church fathers never advocated the use of computers either. So why are you not assuming computer use is contrary to Orthodox Tradition?

The Father's never spoke out against child pornography either, so I guess child pornography is an issue that is best left to individuals and their Priests.


Selam
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“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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