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Author Topic: Marital sex is a sin in Orthodoxy?  (Read 12546 times) Average Rating: 0
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Blissfully Unaware
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« on: May 12, 2010, 03:56:39 AM »

I have looked in the search bar for this, and every question I have found has a post saying "There have been so many threads on this" and that's it but I don't see the other threads so I'm asking here.

So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage. Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it? And you can not use condoms?
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 04:11:47 AM »

Ok, here are the opinions of an Eastern Orthodox laymen who has been married...

Quote
So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage.

You should if you're following a traditional Christian moral code, yeah.

Quote
Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children

Many of the Church Fathers seemed to feel that it was necessary to justify having sexual relations, but there are a few different reasons for having sex. One is having children. One is avoiding lust, which is a reason that St. Paul himself mentions. Another is because it builds a bond of intimacy, "two becoming one" as it were.

Quote
and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it?

Some Fathers believed that it was a minor sin to enjoy sex. They were in a minority, however, and that is not the teaching that has come down in the Eastern Orthodox Church's teachings. Have fun, enjoy yourself.

Quote
And you can not use condoms

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

For an Orthodox book on the subject of relations between the sexes, I'd recommend Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom by David Ford.

EDIT--I just noticed that you are a Syriac inquirer, so I made a couple changes to my post to reflect the fact that I'm talking about the Eastern Orthodox Church in my post, I'm not familiar with whether a Syriac Orthodox Christian would answer differently.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 04:13:45 AM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 04:23:12 AM »


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???
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 04:23:45 AM by Blissfully Unaware » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 04:34:09 AM »


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???

Oops! Sorry about that, I know it's wrong to just assume that you're talking to a guy, but I'm guilty of doing that  Embarrassed Regarding using condoms, well I suppose that isn't a deal breaker as far as being Orthodox. I can't see anyone being excommunicated for using a condom. And maybe they do things differently in the Syriac Church. I know even some Eastern Orthodox would be taken aback by my suggestion that you should ask a priest. What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom, in their opinion. Well, certainly I'm not going to argue or judge someone when it comes to something like that. I can only say that I've asked my priest before about this or that thing "in the bedroom" and was told gently but firmly that this or that was a sin and that I shouldn't do it. I guess once you open up that can of worms, you can't close it again, lol. I don't know how comfortable you'd be asking this kind of question, and I don't know how they do confession. When I'm at confession, it's more of a talk for the first half, and I feel free to ask questions. Fwiw, if he's been a priest for any length of time, he's probably heard it all before. But you know best what will work for you, so if what I'm saying seems wrong, then just ignore it. Smiley
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Blissfully Unaware
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 04:43:14 AM »



Oops! Sorry about that, I know it's wrong to just assume that you're talking to a guy
[/quote]

No problem Smiley I just wanted to clear that up in case it makes any difference in your answers. For example, as a single female I'd feel kind of awkward asking a priest (who, of course, is male) something about sex but maybe for a man it would feel less embarrassing.

I am asking because I'd preferably like to marry an Orthodox man after converting and I wanted to know what to expect in this regard.

I was raised Catholic, so views on sex and contraception aren't all that different from Orthodoxy. I was agnostic for 7 years so maybe that's why I've had such a shock when I read this.

If a couple waits until marriage, I would hope that they could enjoy each other in this regard!

I look forward to hearing from the Syriac Orthodox as well so I can know for sure what is expected.
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 04:53:07 AM »

I have looked in the search bar for this, and every question I have found has a post saying "There have been so many threads on this" and that's it but I don't see the other threads so I'm asking here.

So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage. Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it? And you can not use condoms?

I have vague memories that Oriental Orthodox have different views.  I think they do not allow condoms.  So it's not much use to you if Eastern Orthodox reply.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 05:06:20 AM »

I have looked in the search bar for this, and every question I have found has a post saying "There have been so many threads on this" and that's it but I don't see the other threads so I'm asking here.

So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage. Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it? And you can not use condoms?

I have vague memories that Oriental Orthodox have different views.  I think they do not allow condoms.  So it's not much use to you if Eastern Orthodox reply.

Thanks for your reply. I decided to ask this in the Oriental Orthodox discussion thread.
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2010, 06:49:23 AM »

Quote from: Blissfully Unaware
Marital sex is a sin in Orthodoxy?
Saying that marital relations is a sin could actually be considered heresy. Marriage is a sacrament and marital relations are a natural part of it and has been so from before the time of Moses.

 Grin I'm not saying this to accuse you of heresy Blissfully Unaware ; just to point out that marriage is a sacrament. Grin
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 05:26:45 PM »

Haven't we gone over this enough before?

Do a search.  It's really not that hard.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2010, 05:37:56 PM »

Haven't we gone over this enough before?

Do a search.  It's really not that hard.

We got 17 posts in. Impressive. I was just waiting for someone to post saying either:

1) We've already gone over this, do a search

or

2) You shouldn't be soliciting advice from strangers on the internet.

I had my money on someone going with #2 first.  angel
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2010, 05:41:04 PM »

You shouldn't be soliciting advice from strangers on the internet.

We've already discussed this.
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2010, 09:21:31 PM »

Each of us (except me) can go to the closest Elder Ephraim Monastery and pose this question to the monastics or read the daily postings from Elder Ephraim's Counsel from the Holy Mountain to find the relevant answers, if any.   police

Clearly, nobody present is qualified to answer the OP's question even after she reposted it in the OO fora.

If I wanted to know the answer, I'd make the 3 hour trip to White Haven, PA to ask the monastics.  Afterwards, I would stop at Hollywood Casino on the way home.   Smiley
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 09:23:26 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2010, 09:25:00 PM »

Each of us (except me) can go to the closest Elder Ephraim Monastery and pose this question to the monastics or read the daily postings from Elder Ephraim's Counsel from the Holy Mountain to find the relevant answers, if any.   police

Huh? Why?
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2010, 09:28:52 PM »

Each of us (except me) can go to the closest Elder Ephraim Monastery and pose this question to the monastics or read the daily postings from Elder Ephraim's Counsel from the Holy Mountain to find the relevant answers, if any.   police

Huh? Why?

I edited my comments.  I would go, ask the monastics, receive the answer and stop at the casino on the way home.  Essentially, I would try my luck by asking a monastic and try my luck even more at the casino.   Smiley

I don't see what will be accomplished by rehashing this thread.  If people want to know the answer to the OP's question and are not satisfied by what Clergy have to say to them, they can seek out a monastic.  Busloads of people do that each day across USA and Canada.
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 09:39:48 PM »

Each of us (except me) can go to the closest Elder Ephraim Monastery and pose this question to the monastics or read the daily postings from Elder Ephraim's Counsel from the Holy Mountain to find the relevant answers, if any.   police

Huh? Why?

I edited my comments.  I would go, ask the monastics, receive the answer and stop at the casino on the way home.  Essentially, I would try my luck by asking a monastic and try my luck even more at the casino.   Smiley

I don't see what will be accomplished by rehashing this thread.  If people want to know the answer to the OP's question and are not satisfied by what Clergy have to say to them, they can seek out a monastic.  Busloads of people do that each day across USA and Canada.

I don't think you understood my question. I was asking why you are pushing Elder Ephraim as the authority here.
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2010, 09:44:02 PM »

I don't think you understood my question. I was asking why you are pushing Elder Ephraim as the authority here.

Friend, it is hard to understand questions like: "Huh?" and "Why?"   Wink

If you want to ask a question, be a little more succinct (like now).   Smiley

Finally, I'm not advocating anything that busloads of people do not already accomplish on their own initiative and freewill.  If people here have their own doubts about marital sex as sin that their clergy cannot address - the monastery apparently has the answers (at least for the busloads who go there).
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2010, 09:56:01 PM »

I don't think you understood my question. I was asking why you are pushing Elder Ephraim as the authority here.

Friend, it is hard to understand questions like: "Huh?" and "Why?"   Wink

If you want to ask a question, be a little more succinct (like now).   Smiley

Finally, I'm not advocating anything that busloads of people do not already accomplish on their own initiative and freewill.  If people here have their own doubts about marital sex as sin that their clergy cannot address - the monastery apparently has the answers (at least for the busloads who go there).

I doubt it is that common that one's clergy could not address this question. Choosing the Ephraimites over one's own clergy is probably rather primarily a sensationalist phenomenon.
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2010, 10:00:46 PM »

I don't think you understood my question. I was asking why you are pushing Elder Ephraim as the authority here.

Friend, it is hard to understand questions like: "Huh?" and "Why?"   Wink

If you want to ask a question, be a little more succinct (like now).   Smiley

Finally, I'm not advocating anything that busloads of people do not already accomplish on their own initiative and freewill.  If people here have their own doubts about marital sex as sin that their clergy cannot address - the monastery apparently has the answers (at least for the busloads who go there).

I doubt it is that common that one's clergy could not address this question. Choosing the Ephraimites over one's own clergy is probably rather primarily a sensationalist phenomenon.

Drawing a parallel on what Gebre has said in reply #72, the answers given by clergy do not satisfy the faithful and they make the trip to the Ephraimites to find the answers.  It's not sensationalism.  It is truth seeking.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 10:01:33 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2010, 11:54:12 PM »


Would asking a female monastic help you ease your discomfort?   Huh


Absolutely Smiley I would be happy to ask a female monastic but I am new to Orthodoxy and didn't know where I would find one. I have only met the priest and several deacons. I'm not sure how I would find a female monastic.
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2010, 12:04:41 AM »


Would asking a female monastic help you ease your discomfort?   Huh


Absolutely Smiley I would be happy to ask a female monastic but I am new to Orthodoxy and didn't know where I would find one. I have only met the priest and several deacons. I'm not sure how I would find a female monastic.

Well.   Embarrassed  I'm glad to have been of assistance.  May the Lord guide you and give you strength and wisdom in the answers you are seeking.   angel
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2010, 12:09:31 AM »


Well.   Embarrassed  I'm glad to have been of assistance.  May the Lord guide you and give you strength and wisdom in the answers you are seeking.   angel

Thank you very much, you have helped me a lot. Before you mentioned it I didn't know that there were female monastics that I could talk to. I'm sure I can find one if I look hard enough.


Would asking a female monastic help you ease your discomfort?   Huh


Absolutely Smiley I would be happy to ask a female monastic but I am new to Orthodoxy and didn't know where I would find one. I have only met the priest and several deacons. I'm not sure how I would find a female monastic.

If you PM me, I would be happy to help you find one. Smiley

PM sent Smiley Thanks so much for your help! And thanks everyone for replying to my thread. It has been very insightful.
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2010, 09:10:09 AM »

I am willing to discuss it, as I have been. Still waiting for someone to show me how my original comments are heretical or out of line with Orthodox teaching.

I don't think I can speak to "Orthodox teaching" anymore as every Orthodox seems to have a different opinion!  Cheesy However, so far as I have read, the Church Fathers did not make distinctions such as natural vs. artificial or active vs. passive. Those who spoke against contraception spoke against the act of having sex with the intention of avoiding the creation of a child. The condemnation, when it was made, included "natural" birth control methods known to the ancients along with the "artificial" ones.

That seems to be true, as far as I understand them. They did NOT regard sex in marriage as something good. They DID believe that Adam and Eve did not have sex until after their Fall, and that the commandment "be fruitful and multiply" did not imply sexual act. So, they unanimously wrote about sex as means of procreation. In the future Kingdom of God, they believed there will be no procreation and therefore no sex.

I am, in this regard, an absolute heretic and a non-Orthodox, if this is Orthodoxy. I do not want to listen to any teaching that puts down human sexuality expressed in marriage. And I just cannot believe that anyone on the outside of a particular human couple can judge, just what this expression should be, just what kind of sexuality in marriage is "good" and what "bad."

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.
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2010, 09:59:54 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. Marriage is a sacrament that is a union of a man and a woman in every possible way "that two may be one". Saying that marital relations would be a sin under any circumstance is in my opinion against the greater consensus of the Church.
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2010, 11:46:37 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.

Marriage is a sacrament that is a union of a man and a woman in every possible way "that two may be one". Saying that marital relations would be a sin under any circumstance is in my opinion against the greater consensus of the Church.

And putting numerous restrictions and qualifiers on these relationship, all based on the premise that the union of the two into one flesh "must" mean a desire and/or a possibility to conceive ("be open to God's plan of procreation," "do not create artificial obstacles to procreation," etc.) are ALSO against... well, lessay, common human sense. Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2010, 01:42:13 PM »

Tangent on artificial birth control split off and merged into this thread on Faith Issues:  Orthodoxy's view on contraception?
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2010, 02:04:00 PM »

Tangent on artificial birth control split off and merged into this thread on Faith Issues:  Orthodoxy's view on contraception?

From the original post:

Quote
And you can not use condoms?

Doesn't seem like contraception was much of a tangent to me... looks like it was right on topic.  police
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2010, 02:27:45 PM »

Tangent on artificial birth control split off and merged into this thread on Faith Issues:  Orthodoxy's view on contraception?

From the original post:

Quote
And you can not use condoms?

Doesn't seem like contraception was much of a tangent to me... looks like it was right on topic.  police
Asteriktos,  you know very well by now that if you disagree with a moderatorial decision, the only proper way to voice your disagreement is via private means (e.g., private message, the "Report to Moderator" function, etc.).  My decision to split this thread is not a matter for public discussion.
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« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2010, 09:41:54 AM »

The idea that sex is somehow wrong even within the confines of marriage seems to smack of Gnosticism, does it not?
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2010, 11:28:34 AM »

I have looked in the search bar for this, and every question I have found has a post saying "There have been so many threads on this" and that's it but I don't see the other threads so I'm asking here.

So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage. Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it? And you can not use condoms?

I have vague memories that Oriental Orthodox have different views.  I think they do not allow condoms.  So it's not much use to you if Eastern Orthodox reply.

Some "Orthodox" Jews allow chemical contraception but not condoms.

Given that abortion is the main form of contraception in the Orthodox world I can actually feel sympathetic to your Church's laxity on this question.

Better a condom or the pill than an abortion.
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2010, 12:24:41 PM »

I have looked in the search bar for this, and every question I have found has a post saying "There have been so many threads on this" and that's it but I don't see the other threads so I'm asking here.

So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage. Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it? And you can not use condoms?

I have vague memories that Oriental Orthodox have different views.  I think they do not allow condoms.  So it's not much use to you if Eastern Orthodox reply.

Some "Orthodox" Jews allow chemical contraception but not condoms.

Given that abortion is the main form of contraception in the Orthodox world I can actually feel sympathetic to your Church's laxity on this question.

Better a condom or the pill than an abortion.
Abortion isn't a form of contraception, and by definition isn't used in the "Orthodox World." If you mean countries that historically had an Orthodox majority, what is the comparison with, say, Cuba?
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2010, 02:34:27 PM »

Better a condom or the pill than an abortion.
The pill is a form of abortion, and condemned with the same force, at least according to my priest. An Orthodox doctor cannot proscribe abortive contraception such as the pill, nor may an Orthodox pharmicist facilitate the dispensation of it.

And he tells me the policy he normally employs is of no contraception, but will allow condom use if a couple truly lacks faith that God will give them the number of children they can handle. But this is economy and not the standard practice.

This topic should always be overseen by a spiritual father, who is privy to *all* aspects of our lives, including the bedroom. All of life is spiritual, therefore the spiritual father must be free to advise in all areas of life.

The idea that sex is somehow wrong even within the confines of marriage seems to smack of Gnosticism, does it not?

I don't think anyone argues that sex within marriage, period, is wrong. It can be wrong, it can be right. It all depends on the intentions and the means.

The Fathers did not look at marriage as a necessary evil, but a good thing. But it's not as good as the pre-Fall state, which was holy virginity, and it is the state to which we will return in the afterlife (as St Gregory said).

I am also thinking of St John Chrysostom, who taught that sex (an animalistic trait, St Maximos thought) was given to humans after the Fall to "be fruitful and multiply" because humanity was now subject to death and mankind would have to reproduce itself.

But God also blessed marriage and procreation when done within the proper context, for the proper reasons. Under those conditions it is good and a means of grace, though not the highest possible good.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 02:38:00 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2010, 03:48:56 PM »

Regarding some earlier posts, why would one ask a Monastic about marriage issues?  I would imagine that any honest Monastic would refuse the question.  My Godfather is a monk, and he preferred that I address all issues regarding marriage and family to the parish Priest.  His view was that the married and the Monastics are two separate paths to Salvation, and it is dangerous to mix some things.  Monks fight a different battle than the married.  I appreciated his candor on the matter.

On a lighter side, it does remind me of a saying of Earl Butts who said of the Pope's view of birth control - "He no playa de game, he no maka de rules".  Most of the people on this forum are probably too young to remember that.
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2010, 06:38:48 PM »

Haven't we gone over this enough before?

Do a search.  It's really not that hard.

To test it out...I searched for "marital sex" and the only results that came back were from this thread. Searching for just "sex" returned no results at all. Maybe it is harder than you think??
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« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2010, 06:44:05 PM »

Haven't we gone over this enough before?

Do a search.  It's really not that hard.

To test it out...I searched for "marital sex" and the only results that came back were from this thread. Searching for just "sex" returned no results at all. Maybe it is harder than you think??
I just cannot believe that no one talks about sex around here. Shocked
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« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2010, 06:48:34 PM »

Regarding some earlier posts, why would one ask a Monastic about marriage issues?  I would imagine that any honest Monastic would refuse the question.  My Godfather is a monk, and he preferred that I address all issues regarding marriage and family to the parish Priest.  His view was that the married and the Monastics are two separate paths to Salvation, and it is dangerous to mix some things.  Monks fight a different battle than the married.  I appreciated his candor on the matter.

On a lighter side, it does remind me of a saying of Earl Butts who said of the Pope's view of birth control - "He no playa de game, he no maka de rules".  Most of the people on this forum are probably too young to remember that.

Seems like a very mature approach on the part of your monastic godfather. Your second paragraph is hilarious, but the irreverent thought crossed my mind that that might be a mere presumption-at least by what we know of the behaviour of many popes and priests alike...
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« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2010, 09:43:25 PM »

Haven't we gone over this enough before?

Considering that she only has 42 posts, she probably hasn't gone over it before.
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« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2010, 11:40:07 PM »

Haven't we gone over this enough before?

Do a search.  It's really not that hard.

To test it out...I searched for "marital sex" and the only results that came back were from this thread. Searching for just "sex" returned no results at all. Maybe it is harder than you think??

"Copulation" brought up a few threads.  However, I didn't find anything under "******* like Bunnies".
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« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2010, 11:23:17 AM »

Better a condom or the pill than an abortion.
The pill is a form of abortion, and condemned with the same force, at least according to my priest.

Do you believe everything your priest tells you about science? If he really believes that ALL forms of the pill are a form of a abortion, then he needs to do some serious and extensive reading on the matter BEFORE giving out advice to any more people. "Some" forms of the pill are a form of abortion, but not all. The classical form of the the contraceptive agent commonly known as "the pill" is well, a contraceptive. The "morning after pill" is of course as your priest described and believes, but certainly not all forms of the pill are.

Quote

And he tells me the policy he normally employs is of no contraception, but will allow condom use if a couple truly lacks faith that God will give them the number of children they can handle. But this is economy and not the standard practice.

I personally find it disturbing that your priest (or any priest for that matter) "allows" anything, and that a priest in the 21st century would say things like "I do not ALLOW people to use contraception unless their faith is too weak!" This sounds a little too authoritarian to me. And just a tad bit out of date, by a few centuries or so. Of course sometimes, (or often) words don't do justice to emotions behind a statement, but this just reads a bit odd.


Quote
This topic should always be overseen by a spiritual father, who is privy to *all* aspects of our lives, including the bedroom. All of life is spiritual, therefore the spiritual father must be free to advise in all areas of life.

Now, imagine if someone other than yourself, and of a different religion than you, say a Hindu, or perhaps a Mormon, or even a New Ager Hiippie of some sort said the following: "The topic of my sexual life should always be overseen by my guru, who is privy to *all* aspects of my life, including the bedroom. All of life is spiritual, therefore the guru must be free to advise in all areas of life!"

Would you not take pause of someone came to you and said that their guru told them what kind of sex to have, how often, and whether or not they should or should not have more children? Would you not think someone who was not an Orthodox Christian saying that was potentially in some sort of cult? Or at least was someone who was part of a system that might be at least looked into?

There is nothing wrong with getting advice from one's priest, but most priests are NOT doctors or psychologists, or therapists. They are not biologists, and they have no special divine insight to our lives. This apparent blind obedience to clergy that so many people even today think is some form of moral ideal to achieve is IMO very scary. That a priest would think he has the authority to "allow" or not not allow and to dictate how many children a couple should have is . . . . it just reeks of medievalism. Your priest might be a good man, maybe a better Christian than I'll ever be, but this type of what seems to be "control" just throws up red flags. It might, and probably is way out of context, and I'm not privy to anything in your or his life, but some what you said really does throw up red flags for some of us. Especially those of us who have seen and experienced spiritual abuse of one form or another within the Church.



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« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2010, 12:30:26 AM »

Regarding some earlier posts, why would one ask a Monastic about marriage issues?
I agree, though I should point out that I agree as an outsider and not as an Orthodox Christian, so my opinion may be suspect.  Monastics have, for an admittedly noble purpose, put aside marriage (and the sex that goes with it), so they may focus on serving God.  St. Paul speaks well of celibacy for this reason, and I can understand it.  However, should we really be going to people who do not have sex, in order to get advice on our sex lives?  Sex is not exactly their area of expertise.  Now, they could certainly tell us a great deal about self control, a quality which would benefit all of us.

The problem I have observed (again, as an outsider) is that some monastics believe they have taken the moral high road by not having sex at all, and they may tend to look down on married people who dare to enjoy their sexual relationship.

Of course, I tend to think Adam and Eve did have sex before the Fall (though, of course, I cannot know this for sure).  I also would not be remotely horrified to discover that our resurrected bodies were capable of such in Heaven.  It must be said, however, that we know almost nothing about Heaven, so I do not offer an opinion, either way.
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« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2010, 11:31:01 PM »

I think the monastic dictatorship on the issues of marital sex is a horrible curse on Orthodoxy. It will bury us if we don't get rid of it.
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« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2010, 11:41:58 PM »

I think the monastic dictatorship on the issues of marital sex is a horrible curse on Orthodoxy. It will bury us if we don't get rid of it.

Don't panic.  Grin  In all the hundreds of years past it hasn't buried us.  laugh
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« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2010, 06:02:01 AM »

We do differentiate between deadly lust and inborn corruption as resolute of our imperfection.
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« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2010, 10:13:58 AM »

I think the monastic dictatorship on the issues of marital sex is a horrible curse on Orthodoxy. It will bury us if we don't get rid of it.

Don't panic.  Grin  In all the hundreds of years past it hasn't buried us.  laugh

Perhaps you are right, Father. My statement was too emotional and unfair. But I worry when I see titles like the title of this thread. Somehow I can't imagine that any Protestant would even initiate a conversation under this topic title.
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« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2010, 10:41:08 AM »

I have looked in the search bar for this, and every question I have found has a post saying "There have been so many threads on this" and that's it but I don't see the other threads so I'm asking here.

So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage. Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it? And you can not use condoms?

No dear. Those are the Catholics you are thinking of  Wink

We are allowed to enjoy sex.

Sex outside marriage is a serious sin and should be confessed

We abstain from sex during fasting periods and between Vigil on Sat. night and taking communion

Really, by any standard, especially compared to the sex crazed culture we live in, that's plenty conservative. If you wish to go even further with gaining control of your various passions that's certainly fine, but not the norm for lay people.

I tell my Gay brother, if you don't like having sex with women, get married.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 10:51:48 AM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2010, 12:48:13 PM »

I Put "marital sex" in the search and came up with 11 pages of relative links. 

The first link I posted below is the most relative to your question (in my opinion).  The rest are also good, some better than others, but in no particular order.  Enjoy! 


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13366.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28862.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20984.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26032.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27707.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8541.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14880.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26147.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,1868.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20925.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6202.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,3626.0.html
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 12:48:42 PM by serb1389 » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2010, 12:55:14 PM »

I tell my Gay brother, if you don't like having sex with women, get married.

 Cheesy

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« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2010, 10:07:36 PM »

I feel I must address this for anyone who reads this thread later....

quote from Northwestern

"Do you believe everything your priest tells you about science? If he really believes that ALL forms of the pill are a form of a abortion, then he needs to do some serious and extensive reading on the matter BEFORE giving out advice to any more people. "Some" forms of the pill are a form of abortion, but not all. The classical form of the the contraceptive agent commonly known as "the pill" is well, a contraceptive. The "morning after pill" is of course as your priest described and believes, but certainly not all forms of the pill are. "


All chemical or hormonal methods of birth control act in several ways. The main way is by preventing ovulation. However, the secondary way they work is to make the lining of the uterus so thin that a developing embryo would not be able to implant and would be ejected from the body. The people who write about "the pill" are technically correct in saying that it non abortive, because in scientific definition, an embryo has to embed in order for it to be aborted from the body. However, if you believe life begins at conception, as is the Orthodox belief, then purposefully causing the embryo to die through lack of nourishment is abortive in the life-ending sense. The Pill is abortive, as are the various IUDs and anything but barrier methods.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 10:08:01 PM by choirfiend » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2010, 11:09:14 PM »

Ok, here are the opinions of an Eastern Orthodox laymen who has been married...

Quote
So basically, in Orthodoxy, you must abstain from sex until marriage.

You should if you're following a traditional Christian moral code, yeah.

Quote
Then when you get married, you may only have sex to have children

Many of the Church Fathers seemed to feel that it was necessary to justify having sexual relations, but there are a few different reasons for having sex. One is having children. One is avoiding lust, which is a reason that St. Paul himself mentions. Another is because it builds a bond of intimacy, "two becoming one" as it were.

Quote
and even then you have to try not to even enjoy it?

Some Fathers believed that it was a minor sin to enjoy sex. They were in a minority, however, and that is not the teaching that has come down in the Eastern Orthodox Church's teachings. Have fun, enjoy yourself.
THAT's a different topic:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=tags;id=3665
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« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2010, 11:24:57 PM »


Oh! We've got a comedian in the house, have we?  Kiss
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« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2010, 11:33:02 PM »

To bring it back on topic, I might throw in my own opinion on that:

Masturbation as foreplay, during play, whatever, between married couple (even if one is just watching) is on a par with NFP, i.e. is not a sin.

Any talk of masturbation as a sin deals only with auto-eroticism, and applies in that case to females as well (those who think "Onanism" a mortal sin seem to be unaware of female masturbation).
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« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2011, 05:25:54 PM »

The Bible clearly talks about the two becoming one flesh AFTER marriage.

So absolutely my interpretation of Eastern Orthodox teaching is that AFTER marriage then you may have sex.

I don't see how a piece of plastic allows you to become one flesh as God intended sex to be.   In fact in some cases you can see the perversion in it.

As far as the bedroom goes, that's between the man and his wife with the door closed.   So long as it is natural and between them it's not the Church's business.
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« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2011, 03:34:25 AM »

The Bible clearly talks about the two becoming one flesh AFTER marriage.

So absolutely my interpretation of Eastern Orthodox teaching is that AFTER marriage then you may have sex.

I don't see how a piece of plastic allows you to become one flesh as God intended sex to be.   In fact in some cases you can see the perversion in it.

As far as the bedroom goes, that's between the man and his wife with the door closed.   So long as it is natural and between them it's not the Church's business.

And in old time it was more then just “spanking” – it was “death penalty” for not respecting parents.

And even St. John refere to it :

Quote
6. The wise Sirach says: Hast thou children? Instruct them, and bow down their neck from their youth (Sir. 7:25). But the Lord does not only prompt us with this command through the lips of His prophet; he even takes our side, supporting the fulfillment of this commandment with the fearsome punishment that awaits those children who do not submit to the authority of their parents: Every man who shall speak evil of his father or of his mother, let him die the death (Lev. 20:9). He punishes with death those who become guilty before you, and you look tepidly at these sins that they commit against the highest possible authority. They are rebelling against God Him self, transgressing His commandments, and you look at this without the least displeasure, without the slightest criticism of your children. What does He have to lose from their offense? Nothing. But you, why should you not fear for your own selves? For whoever abandons the Lord will never respect either his own father or himself.
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