OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 21, 2014, 04:00:09 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Re: Sexuality  (Read 6425 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« on: March 29, 2011, 12:35:30 AM »

I have been reading a book, "Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900-1700" that goes into great detail about the penances the Church imposed for such things as not using the "missionary" position (one of the opposite positions incurred a penances ranging from 600 prostrations up to denial of communion for 30 years).  One regulation even prescribed between 8-50 prostrations if a man dreamed about relations with his wife.


You're joking!?  laugh
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 12:54:10 AM »

Thank you both for your replies.  That is how I see it in EO circles today.  Many modern writers (priests and theologians) like Fr. Hopko have a more positive view of sexuality.  As I study the Fathers and older writings in general I see the more negative views that I was not aware of before. 

I have been reading a book, "Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900-1700" that goes into great detail about the penances the Church imposed for such things as not using the "missionary" position (one of the opposite positions incurred a penances ranging from 600 prostrations up to denial of communion for 30 years).  One regulation even prescribed between 8-50 prostrations if a man dreamed about relations with his wife.

It makes me wonder if what we have today is a "watered-down" Orthodoxy.

P.S.  I prefer to agree with the views of Hopko and others, yet I don't feel comfortable saying that the early Fathers were "wrong".

Fwiw, that book had a huge negative impact on me. Now look at me, lol! I can't decide what I am. Not entirely because of that book, of course, but that book on Noonan's book on Contraception had a big part in getting the ball rolling. I hope you come out of it in better shape than I did Smiley
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 01:02:19 AM »

There are a lot of different areas covered in the book.  For premarital sex, "...defiling a virgin, was tantamount to rape, even if she consented, and the penance was as high as nine years."

"St Basil's Rule listed a penance of seven years of exclusion from communion...the shorter, but more intense penance, based on the Rule of St. John the Penitent...ranged between one and three years of fasting, accompanied by one hundred to two hundred prostrations a day."

The book is by Eve Levin, and is published by Cornell University Press 1989.
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 01:09:23 AM »

Thank you both for your replies.  That is how I see it in EO circles today.  Many modern writers (priests and theologians) like Fr. Hopko have a more positive view of sexuality.  As I study the Fathers and older writings in general I see the more negative views that I was not aware of before. 

I have been reading a book, "Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900-1700" that goes into great detail about the penances the Church imposed for such things as not using the "missionary" position (one of the opposite positions incurred a penances ranging from 600 prostrations up to denial of communion for 30 years).  One regulation even prescribed between 8-50 prostrations if a man dreamed about relations with his wife.

It makes me wonder if what we have today is a "watered-down" Orthodoxy.

P.S.  I prefer to agree with the views of Hopko and others, yet I don't feel comfortable saying that the early Fathers were "wrong".

Fwiw, that book had a huge negative impact on me. Now look at me, lol! I can't decide what I am. Not entirely because of that book, of course, but that book on Noonan's book on Contraception had a big part in getting the ball rolling. I hope you come out of it in better shape than I did Smiley

I can understand why something like this would have such a huge impact on anyone's faith. My first reaction was "why do I bother?" I think this is one of those cases where ignorance is bliss.  laugh My goodness, one has to wonder how people coped with such impositions on their bedroom activities! Did they simply put up with it because they knew no better?
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 01:11:09 AM »

Thank you Asteriktos.

The Orthodoxy that I fell in love with is the Orthodoxy of Bishop Kallistos, Fr. Thomas Hopko, Clark Carlton, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev and many other modern Orthodox writers.  Since being exposed to the writings about the toll-houses, this book, and many other writings, I am having a lot to process. There seems to be a real dichotomy between what was taught in the past and what is taught today.
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 01:15:53 AM »

Yes Riddikulus,

Since becoming Orthodox I have been studying a lot about the Church of the past.  Of course we can see much of the same in the Catholic Church (one hour pre-communion fast today for example), but we Orthodox are not supposed to have watered down the praxis.  I find myself reading today where I have to question some of the saints and Fathers on certain beliefs.  It is very troubling to me.
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 01:18:06 AM »

Thank you Asteriktos.

The Orthodoxy that I fell in love with is the Orthodoxy of Bishop Kallistos, Fr. Thomas Hopko, Clark Carlton, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev and many other modern Orthodox writers.  Since being exposed to the writings about the toll-houses, this book, and many other writings, I am having a lot to process. There seems to be a real dichotomy between what was taught in the past and what is taught today.

Everything evolves! The Holy Spirit is always at work. Remember that St Paul said to be nice to one's slaves.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 01:23:07 AM »

Yes, that is true.  It took almost 1900 years for the Christian world to finally get rid of slavery. Brazil had it until 1888.  Also, for hundreds of years the Church punished people for practicing witchcraft, though not  on such a horrific scale as in the West.
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 01:24:14 AM »

Yes Riddikulus,

Since becoming Orthodox I have been studying a lot about the Church of the past.  Of course we can see much of the same in the Catholic Church (one hour pre-communion fast today for example), but we Orthodox are not supposed to have watered down the praxis.  I find myself reading today where I have to question some of the saints and Fathers on certain beliefs.  It is very troubling to me.

I wouldn't see this particular issue as a watering down, but a basic improvement in the area of human rights. Whose business is it what a husband and wife agree to do in the privacy of their bedroom? Why do we throw out the old burdensome law only to create another for the faithful? Oh mankind, that rule making creature! And I would consider it very dangerous to stop questioning the opinions of others, even those opinions of saints and fathers. They aren't infallible and I figure that if I'm going to be judged in some way for error, I would rather it was my error than a blind following of other people's errors.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 01:29:28 AM »

I think that Minasoliman was accurate when he replied earlier:

"It seems wholly proper then that two sides from this developed later on, the radical ascetic side that looks at anything less than ideal is sinful (and most of the Church fathers later on were ascetics; I would wonder what a married Church father would write if he even had time to write while caring for his family), and the more "liberal" side that anything other than clear sins are virtuous."

There are extremes that need to be guarded against.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 08:48:20 AM »

you are correct that many today do not want to teach what the Church has traditionally taught - and this is indeed a watering down. but take heart, the truth remains the truth despite those who are either ignorant of it or think they know better.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 10:42:24 AM »

Thank you both for your replies.  That is how I see it in EO circles today.  Many modern writers (priests and theologians) like Fr. Hopko have a more positive view of sexuality.  As I study the Fathers and older writings in general I see the more negative views that I was not aware of before. 

I have been reading a book, "Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900-1700" that goes into great detail about the penances the Church imposed for such things as not using the "missionary" position (one of the opposite positions incurred a penances ranging from 600 prostrations up to denial of communion for 30 years).  One regulation even prescribed between 8-50 prostrations if a man dreamed about relations with his wife.

It makes me wonder if what we have today is a "watered-down" Orthodoxy.

P.S.  I prefer to agree with the views of Hopko and others, yet I don't feel comfortable saying that the early Fathers were "wrong".

Not watered down, just fuller: we are not restricted to monastic literature, but now have writings by the Faithful Fathes (and Mothers!) who actually have experience of marriage.  I suspect that the penitentials you speak about were written by monastics who had little or no experience of marriage.  St. John Chrysostom was not totally able to get out of that context, but he did consider the issue of sterile couples, and fully endorsed them making love.  He also stated that because of overpopulation (!), marriage was no longer needed, but stated that it continues as it is a good in itself.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 10:50:58 AM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Logged
Sleeper
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,265

On hiatus for the foreseeable future.


« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 11:01:45 AM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?

Does holiness = experiential knowledge about all things?
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 11:07:43 AM »

knowing the Creator helps you to know His creation. i just dont understand why we pick and choose certain teachings and say aaah those are just random opinions, or those are based in ignorance of marriage, or ignorance of science. how do we know which teachings we're allowed to disregard and which we're not? we can't ignore the Church Fathers because they were monastics and yet cling to St. John Chrysostom just because we like him - he wasn't married either, so why should i accept anything he says about it? with this line of thinking our beliefs about marriage would have to be based on St. Gregory of Nyssa and Tertullian and whoever else was married, but i dont know any married person who is willing to do that.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 11:09:30 AM by jckstraw72 » Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2011, 11:10:42 AM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?

Does holiness = experiential knowledge about all things?

According to St. Isaac the Syrian and others... yes. That's one area where there's a disconnect that I struggle with.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2011, 11:20:04 AM »

Yes Riddikulus,

Since becoming Orthodox I have been studying a lot about the Church of the past.  Of course we can see much of the same in the Catholic Church (one hour pre-communion fast today for example), but we Orthodox are not supposed to have watered down the praxis.  I find myself reading today where I have to question some of the saints and Fathers on certain beliefs.  It is very troubling to me.

I wouldn't see this particular issue as a watering down, but a basic improvement in the area of human rights. Whose business is it what a husband and wife agree to do in the privacy of their bedroom? Why do we throw out the old burdensome law only to create another for the faithful? Oh mankind, that rule making creature! And I would consider it very dangerous to stop questioning the opinions of others, even those opinions of saints and fathers. They aren't infallible and I figure that if I'm going to be judged in some way for error, I would rather it was my error than a blind following of other people's errors.

What is this idea of rights? A Christian has no rights, only the responsibility to obey Christ and his Body. That isn't to say that individual saints are right on everything, but Holy Tradition and the collective witness of the Church must be obeyed.

And there is no privacy for a Christian either. Since every aspect of life has a spiritual dimension, including bedroom activity, Christ and the Church have a say in it. That isn't to say we should talk about sex to everyone, but it's not something that's absolutely private and sacrosanct and up to the husband and wife to decide alone. The Church gives us rules and guidelines about what and how much we can eat, so it has every right to do so with sex as well. Both are spiritual activities.

To say "It's my life and I'll live like I want" (or the more nuanced version, "I'll take it under advisement, but I make the final choice") is the opposite of the point.

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?

Does holiness = experiential knowledge about all things?

I wouldn't say "equal to", but funny things happen when a person is deified and starts to live the life of the Trinity.

More insight is available to a holy saint than to the rest of us. If theosis can lead saints to things like clairvoyance (which seems to be a lot more bizarre than teaching people things), I hardly think their opinions on married life are free to be ignored. I would say a true saint, who lives the life of the Trinity, has more spiritual insight about activity n than a person who engages in n but is subject to the passions.

Or in other words, experiential knowledge isn't all it's cracked up to be. (Nor is it spiritually objective.)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 11:26:25 AM by bogdan » Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2011, 11:27:39 AM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Because a lot of what the monastic Fathers write desplays their ignorance of marriage.  Holiness does not confer omniscience.

Take for instance the praise of St. John of Kronestadt, for something for which he should be condemned?

What in particular are you refering to in Tertullian (who has his own problems) and St. Gregoy tows the same line as the monastic Fathers?
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2011, 11:30:36 AM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?

Does holiness = experiential knowledge about all things?

According to St. Isaac the Syrian and others... yes. That's one area where there's a disconnect that I struggle with.
The purified nous of the saints can read the logoi in created things, but they have to come into contact with those things.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Sleeper
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,265

On hiatus for the foreseeable future.


« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2011, 11:31:00 AM »

Without derailing the thread, how does one determine what is "true," in terms of timeless, binding truth, within the patristic heritage, and what was merely their opinion? Or do you guys accept everything they say on every matter? (That's not a snarky challenge, I'm genuinely curious). From what I've read in the evolution thread, jckstraw72, you definitely seem to be of the latter mindset.

If someone is elevated to Sainthood, has obtained the Trinitarian life (as you put it), do we accept all their writings carte blanche? Is there no need for interpretation, cultural context, etc., like the way we handle the scriptures?
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2011, 12:59:29 PM »

Without derailing the thread, how does one determine what is "true," in terms of timeless, binding truth, within the patristic heritage, and what was merely their opinion? Or do you guys accept everything they say on every matter? (That's not a snarky challenge, I'm genuinely curious). From what I've read in the evolution thread, jckstraw72, you definitely seem to be of the latter mindset.

If someone is elevated to Sainthood, has obtained the Trinitarian life (as you put it), do we accept all their writings carte blanche? Is there no need for interpretation, cultural context, etc., like the way we handle the scriptures?

That is the crux of the problem as I see it.  I would think that if a majority of the Fathers agreed on something then that opinion would have the strength of a consensus.  It is difficult to seperate personal opinions from inspired teaching.

Blessed Theophylact, in his commentary on the parable of Lazurus and the Rich man wrote:

"This is a parable and not, as some have foolishly imagined, something which actually occurred. For good things have not yet been allotted to the righteous, nor punishments to the sinners."

I think this is a personal opinion, for I have read other interpretations that use this story as an example of the intermediate state. If Blessed Theophylact's position were correct, and the story describes the period after the final judgment, then how could the rich man's brothers still be alive?

In the debate about the Orthodox teaching on sexuality I am attempting (and it is difficult) to compare the teachings of the Fathers and see what, if any consensus they hold on the matter.  I think that many writers today cherry pick what they want from such writings to back up their position.

Certainly there is the need to carefully examine and compare these writings of the Fathers and not accept them carte blanche.   

 
Logged
Cymbyz
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Posts: 496



« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2011, 01:02:11 PM »

Quote
If someone is elevated to Sainthood, has obtained the Trinitarian life (as you put it), do we accept all their writings carte blanche? Is there no need for interpretation, cultural context, etc., like the way we handle the scriptures?

Consider St. Augustine of Hippo, a recognized Orthoedox Saint whose theology on several critical matters is deemed heretical.  Ditto St. Didymos the Blind of Alexandria, a Saint, but his Origenist writings were condemned by the 5th Ecumenical Council.
Logged

The end of the world
is as near as the day of your death;
watch and pray.
 
 Yahoo! & WLM ID: Owen
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2011, 01:12:20 PM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?

Does holiness = experiential knowledge about all things?

According to St. Isaac the Syrian and others... yes. That's one area where there's a disconnect that I struggle with.
The purified nous of the saints can read the logoi in created things, but they have to come into contact with those things.

No, spiritual knowlege is gained by looking inward, not outward. Hence the saints' knowledge of the creation of the world, the Fall of Man, the stars, the future, clairvoyance, and other things they did not "come into contact with."
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2011, 01:48:10 PM »

Without derailing the thread, how does one determine what is "true," in terms of timeless, binding truth, within the patristic heritage, and what was merely their opinion? Or do you guys accept everything they say on every matter? (That's not a snarky challenge, I'm genuinely curious). From what I've read in the evolution thread, jckstraw72, you definitely seem to be of the latter mindset.

If someone is elevated to Sainthood, has obtained the Trinitarian life (as you put it), do we accept all their writings carte blanche? Is there no need for interpretation, cultural context, etc., like the way we handle the scriptures?

we dont have to believe every single thing that every single Saint says. but in the instances of evolution and marriage and others, when you start to see Father after Father after Father after Father saying the same thing, you start to see the mind of the Church emerging. one or two Fathers saying something that no one else says, or that is contradicted by other Fathers is different than these subjects on which there is much harmony.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2011, 01:50:34 PM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Because a lot of what the monastic Fathers write desplays their ignorance of marriage.  Holiness does not confer omniscience.

Take for instance the praise of St. John of Kronestadt, for something for which he should be condemned?

What in particular are you refering to in Tertullian (who has his own problems) and St. Gregoy tows the same line as the monastic Fathers?

im just referring to the general teaching that virginity is a higher path than marriage. St. Gregory and Tertullian would both agree to that and they were both married.

i just think its dishonest to dismiss the Fathers because they were monastics, but to cling to St. John Chrysostom who was also monastic.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2011, 02:06:29 PM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Because a lot of what the monastic Fathers write desplays their ignorance of marriage.  Holiness does not confer omniscience.

Take for instance the praise of St. John of Kronestadt, for something for which he should be condemned?

What in particular are you refering to in Tertullian (who has his own problems) and St. Gregoy tows the same line as the monastic Fathers?

im just referring to the general teaching that virginity is a higher path than marriage. St. Gregory and Tertullian would both agree to that and they were both married.

Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angels ," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:07:43 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2011, 02:26:47 PM »

I think a problem some are having with this teaching is that they assume that, since the need to reproduce sexually is considered a result of the Fall, that marriage must therefore be considered bad or even sinful. I would just point out that death is also the result of the Fall- if it had not been for the Fall, there would be no need for the Resurrection. Just as the Resurrection is a holy, saving solution to the problem of death, so is the mystery of marriage a holy, saving solution to the problem of sexual division and sexuality (alongside monastic virginity). In both cases, God turns something bad into something good. So everything good the saints have to say about marriage is not a contradiction to the understanding that sexual division is a result of the Fall which needs to be overcome.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2011, 02:29:42 PM »

I think a problem some are having with this teaching is that they assume that, since the need to reproduce sexually is considered a result of the Fall, that marriage must therefore be considered bad or even sinful. I would just point out that death is also the result of the Fall- if it had not been for the Fall, there would be no need for the Resurrection. Just as the Resurrection is a holy, saving solution to the problem of death, so is the mystery of marriage a holy, saving solution to the problem of sexual division and sexuality (alongside monastic virginity). In both cases, God turns something bad into something good. So everything good the saints have to say about marriage is not a contradiction to the understanding that sexual division is a result of the Fall which needs to be overcome.

truism!
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 02:41:33 PM »

"Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angels ," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker."
- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man

This is the type of statement that I have difficulty with, comparing humans to angels.  Angels are incorporeal, they do not have bodies nor sex organs, and I don't think that they eat or drink of necessity.  It's another statement that sex/marriage is a result of the fall.  Why then did God create male and female? (of course in an earlier posting one of the Fathers is quoted as saying it was because God foresaw the fall).

The argument that there are myriad numbers of angels, and that they do not reproduce through marriage is not relevant to the reproduction of mankind (or animals for that matter).  Angels are an entirely different class of beings.  Man is unique, created in the image and likeness of God, something that the angels were not.  It is a weak argument to base the behavior of humans on the behavior of the angels.

As for the verse: "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven," cannot be construed to mean that man was just like the angels before the fall, it just refers to the issue of marriage after the last judgment.

I don't think it is the Orthodox teaching that the purpose of mans creation, or of theosis, is to become just like the angels that God created.  The angels had free will, evidenced by the fall of Satan, but they don't have a redeemer, or a plan for salvation that we know of.  The Savior did not incarnate, die, and rise, to provide salvation for the fallen angels.

Some of the Fathers seem to imply though that we are striving to be like the angels.  To emulate their obedience to God is praiseworthy, but man was not created simply as a corporeal version of the angels.

At least that is how I see it.

 
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2011, 02:46:24 PM »

i would just be wary of characterizing something that so many Fathers say as a weak argument.
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2011, 02:52:54 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

The idea that sex/marriage was a result of the fall makes no sense to me.  God created them male and female with material bodies that needed to eat and drink.  It's interesting to note that God created Eve from part of Adam's body.  He did not simply materialize her out of nothing.

I would think that God created the angels in their entirety at one time, not that they multiplied over time through some process of mitosis, or cell division.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2011, 02:54:59 PM »

Man is both spiritual and corporeal, yes; but the two are not equal. The flesh must be subservient to the spirit- when man sins, the opposite happens: he becomes bestial and the spirit is enslaved to carnal passions. So in this sense we strive to become like angels- the spirit rules over the body. In this way, the  body can become deified- so man's calling to imitate angels does not mean abandoning or negating the body.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:01:06 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2011, 02:56:01 PM »

i would just be wary of characterizing something that so many Fathers say as a weak argument.

Of course, which is why I find the subject troubling and disturbing.  It is because of my respect for the Fathers that I am concerned about my feelings on this subject.  I would never toss the opinion of any Father aside in a casual manner, but I am seeking to find a consensus among the Fathers on these issues.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2011, 02:56:42 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 02:57:25 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2011, 02:59:08 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

Iconodule, could you show me were to find St. Gregory's writings about this?  I am interested to read more of what he has to say on the subject.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2011, 02:59:15 PM »

i would just be wary of characterizing something that so many Fathers say as a weak argument.

Of course, which is why I find the subject troubling and disturbing.  It is because of my respect for the Fathers that I am concerned about my feelings on this subject.  I would never toss the opinion of any Father aside in a casual manner, but I am seeking to find a consensus among the Fathers on these issues.

If you really want a consensus, be content with the Church's basic teaching on marriage which is borne out in the hymns and prayers attached to the Mystery of Marriage. That is the most essential stuff. You can't go wrong there and there is nothing there about whether or not sexual division is a result of the Fall. If the teaching of some of these Fathers trouble  you, don't fret over it. I doubt that any of the Fathers intended this teaching to be a "deal-breaker" for Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:01:44 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2011, 02:59:49 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

ooooh ok, ive wondered about the animals, but that makes sense- they have only a material element so of course they sexually reproduce. thank you for that!
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2011, 03:02:05 PM »

i would just be wary of characterizing something that so many Fathers say as a weak argument.

Of course, which is why I find the subject troubling and disturbing.  It is because of my respect for the Fathers that I am concerned about my feelings on this subject.  I would never toss the opinion of any Father aside in a casual manner, but I am seeking to find a consensus among the Fathers on these issues.

If you really want a consensus, be content with the Church's basic teaching on marriage which is borne out in the hymns and prayers attached to the Mystery of Marriage. That is the most essential stuff. You can't go wrong there and there is nothing there about whether or not sexual division is a result of the Fall. If the teaching of some of these Fathers trouble  you, don't fret over it.

Thank you.  I will read the hymns and prayers of the Mystery.  You are right about not being able to go wrong with these.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2011, 03:03:41 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

Iconodule, could you show me were to find St. Gregory's writings about this?  I am interested to read more of what he has to say on the subject.


I'm referring to the quote you posted at the beginning, where he says: "What is the starting point of our coming into the world? Is it not almost the same as for irrational animals? Actually it is worse, because the procreation of animals did not originate from sin, whereas in our case it was disobedience that brought in marriage."

I believe I saw another instance of this idea, but I forget where- it might have been St. Symeon the New Theologian.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2011, 03:12:25 PM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Because a lot of what the monastic Fathers write desplays their ignorance of marriage.  Holiness does not confer omniscience.

Take for instance the praise of St. John of Kronestadt, for something for which he should be condemned?

What in particular are you refering to in Tertullian (who has his own problems) and St. Gregoy tows the same line as the monastic Fathers?

im just referring to the general teaching that virginity is a higher path than marriage. St. Gregory and Tertullian would both agree to that and they were both married.

Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angels ," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man
Angels don't increase.

As to their (actually our) ancient state,

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply..."
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
FormerReformer
Convertodox of the convertodox
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: I'll take (e) for "all of the above"
Posts: 2,438



WWW
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2011, 03:17:19 PM »

The works of the Fathers must also be balanced with the understanding of the Church, evidence of which may be found in the Constitutions, Synods, and Canons (as well as the Marriage Ceremony as stated by an earlier poster).  Starting with Apostolic Canon 51: "If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or flesh, or wine, not by way of religious restraint, but as abhorring them, forgetting that God made all things very good, and that he made man male and female, and blaspheming the work of creation, let him be corrected, or else be deposed, and cast out of the Church. In like manner a layman."

Likewise the Synod of Gangra Canon I: "If any one shall condemn marriage, or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and devout, and sleeps with her own husband, as though she could not enter the Kingdom [of heaven] let him be anathema."


Logged

"Funny," said Lancelot, "how the people who can't pray say that prayers are not answered, however much the people who can pray say they are."  TH White

Oh, no: I've succumbed to Hyperdoxy!
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2011, 03:18:55 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.
The Jehovah's Witnesses follow that line of thinking in denying the Real Presence in John 6.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2011, 03:22:11 PM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Because a lot of what the monastic Fathers write desplays their ignorance of marriage.  Holiness does not confer omniscience.

Take for instance the praise of St. John of Kronestadt, for something for which he should be condemned?

What in particular are you refering to in Tertullian (who has his own problems) and St. Gregoy tows the same line as the monastic Fathers?

im just referring to the general teaching that virginity is a higher path than marriage. St. Gregory and Tertullian would both agree to that and they were both married.

Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angels ," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man
Angels don't increase.

How do you know that?

Quote
As to their (actually our) ancient state,

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply..."

Yes. And... ?
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2011, 03:23:48 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.
The Jehovah's Witnesses follow that line of thinking in denying the Real Presence in John 6.

That's interesting, since denying the Real Presence doesn't follow at all from this line of thinking.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2011, 03:24:46 PM »

The works of the Fathers must also be balanced with the understanding of the Church, evidence of which may be found in the Constitutions, Synods, and Canons (as well as the Marriage Ceremony as stated by an earlier poster).  Starting with Apostolic Canon 51: "If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or flesh, or wine, not by way of religious restraint, but as abhorring them, forgetting that God made all things very good, and that he made man male and female, and blaspheming the work of creation, let him be corrected, or else be deposed, and cast out of the Church. In like manner a layman."

Likewise the Synod of Gangra Canon I: "If any one shall condemn marriage, or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and devout, and sleeps with her own husband, as though she could not enter the Kingdom [of heaven] let him be anathema."

None of which contradicts the Patristic quotes provided.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
FormerReformer
Convertodox of the convertodox
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: I'll take (e) for "all of the above"
Posts: 2,438



WWW
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2011, 03:39:45 PM »

The works of the Fathers must also be balanced with the understanding of the Church, evidence of which may be found in the Constitutions, Synods, and Canons (as well as the Marriage Ceremony as stated by an earlier poster).  Starting with Apostolic Canon 51: "If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or flesh, or wine, not by way of religious restraint, but as abhorring them, forgetting that God made all things very good, and that he made man male and female, and blaspheming the work of creation, let him be corrected, or else be deposed, and cast out of the Church. In like manner a layman."

Likewise the Synod of Gangra Canon I: "If any one shall condemn marriage, or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and devout, and sleeps with her own husband, as though she could not enter the Kingdom [of heaven] let him be anathema."

None of which contradicts the Patristic quotes provided.

I wouldn't say "contradict", "clarify" I believe is the better word.  Those who would use the Fathers as a proof-text against marriage are corrected by the above canons.
Logged

"Funny," said Lancelot, "how the people who can't pray say that prayers are not answered, however much the people who can pray say they are."  TH White

Oh, no: I've succumbed to Hyperdoxy!
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #46 on: March 29, 2011, 03:41:33 PM »

The works of the Fathers must also be balanced with the understanding of the Church, evidence of which may be found in the Constitutions, Synods, and Canons (as well as the Marriage Ceremony as stated by an earlier poster).  Starting with Apostolic Canon 51: "If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or flesh, or wine, not by way of religious restraint, but as abhorring them, forgetting that God made all things very good, and that he made man male and female, and blaspheming the work of creation, let him be corrected, or else be deposed, and cast out of the Church. In like manner a layman."

Likewise the Synod of Gangra Canon I: "If any one shall condemn marriage, or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and devout, and sleeps with her own husband, as though she could not enter the Kingdom [of heaven] let him be anathema."

None of which contradicts the Patristic quotes provided.

I wouldn't say "contradict", "clarify" I believe is the better word.  Those who would use the Fathers as a proof-text against marriage are corrected by the above canons.

And also corrected by the scriptures, the Fathers, the hymns of the Church, etc. I agree.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2011, 03:41:43 PM »

The works of the Fathers must also be balanced with the understanding of the Church, evidence of which may be found in the Constitutions, Synods, and Canons (as well as the Marriage Ceremony as stated by an earlier poster).  Starting with Apostolic Canon 51: "If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the sacerdotal list, abstains from marriage, or flesh, or wine, not by way of religious restraint, but as abhorring them, forgetting that God made all things very good, and that he made man male and female, and blaspheming the work of creation, let him be corrected, or else be deposed, and cast out of the Church. In like manner a layman."

Likewise the Synod of Gangra Canon I: "If any one shall condemn marriage, or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and devout, and sleeps with her own husband, as though she could not enter the Kingdom [of heaven] let him be anathema."

None of which contradicts the Patristic quotes provided.

I wouldn't say "contradict", "clarify" I believe is the better word.  Those who would use the Fathers as a proof-text against marriage are corrected by the above canons.

sure, but i dont think anyone is actually against marriage (at least no one on here)
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2011, 03:51:46 PM »

"No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly."

Just an observation.  Animals eat and drink and pass bodily wastes, are these not fitting to man as well?

While the Church spoke out against the Gnostics and others that denigrated the material aspect of creation, there does seem to be a tendency on the part of some of the Fathers to equate "spiritual" as being superior to "material".

Our material bodies are going to be resurrected and glorified.  A New Earth is going to be created.  The angels are, and will continue to be immaterial, while man will be material in some sense after his glorification.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2011, 03:59:23 PM »

"No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly."

Just an observation.  Animals eat and drink and pass bodily wastes, are these not fitting to man as well?

While the Church spoke out against the Gnostics and others that denigrated the material aspect of creation, there does seem to be a tendency on the part of some of the Fathers to equate "spiritual" as being superior to "material".

Our material bodies are going to be resurrected and glorified.  A New Earth is going to be created.  The angels are, and will continue to be immaterial, while man will be material in some sense after his glorification.

in the Garden Adam and Eve did not eat out of necessity and they did not void waste. here you can download an article of the Orthodox Word entitled "Created in Incorruption" - it goes into all of this in depth:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/37605616/Hieromonk-Damascene-Created-in-In-Corruption
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2011, 04:05:36 PM »

"No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly."

Just an observation.  Animals eat and drink and pass bodily wastes, are these not fitting to man as well?

While the Church spoke out against the Gnostics and others that denigrated the material aspect of creation, there does seem to be a tendency on the part of some of the Fathers to equate "spiritual" as being superior to "material".

Our material bodies are going to be resurrected and glorified.  A New Earth is going to be created.  The angels are, and will continue to be immaterial, while man will be material in some sense after his glorification.

in the Garden Adam and Eve did not eat out of necessity and they did not void waste. here you can download an article of the Orthodox Word entitled "Created in Incorruption" - it goes into all of this in depth:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/37605616/Hieromonk-Damascene-Created-in-In-Corruption


Thank you jckstraw72,

I will read this when I return home later this evening.  I was always under the impression that man needed to eat and God told man what he could, and could not eat in the garden.

I will see what this article says about it when I read it.

Thank you again.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2011, 04:07:07 PM »

no prob. enjoy!
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2011, 04:07:42 PM »

"No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly."

Just an observation.  Animals eat and drink and pass bodily wastes, are these not fitting to man as well?

While the Church spoke out against the Gnostics and others that denigrated the material aspect of creation, there does seem to be a tendency on the part of some of the Fathers to equate "spiritual" as being superior to "material".

Our material bodies are going to be resurrected and glorified.  A New Earth is going to be created.  The angels are, and will continue to be immaterial, while man will be material in some sense after his glorification.

The Gnostics not only saw spirit as superior to matter- they were condemned for saying the material creation is evil, a mistake, a prison for souls. None of the Fathers teach this. We will be resurrected with our bodies and they will always be a part of us. There is a radical difference between saying the body should serve the spirit, and saying the body is a prison to be abolished.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2011, 04:35:02 PM »

I have a question about divorce.  Divorce is allowed under infidelity, but would it be more virtuous for someone to forgive his/her spouse for the said infidelity?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2011, 04:42:46 PM »

If sex/marriage were not part of God's plan prior to the fall, and humanity was going to be "fruitful and multiply" in some other way, what about the birds and fish and other animals, were they going to reproduce in a non-sexual way as well?

No. Sexual reproduction is natural and blameless in the animals- at least, so says St. Gregory Palamas. It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

Man and Woman were created so in the Image and Likeness of God, not of the animals.

Animals eat too. Angles do not eat. Should we say that precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man?

The Jehovah's Witnesses follow that line of thinking in denying the Real Presence in John 6.
That's interesting, since denying the Real Presence doesn't follow at all from this line of thinking.
Tell your JW friends: they claim John 6:23 (in connection with v. 27-9) is the key to the whole passage.
Quote
25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" 26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal." 28 Then they said to Him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent." 30 So they said to Him, "Then what sign do You do, that we may see, and believe You? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world." 34 They said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My Own will, but the will of Him who sent Me; 39 and this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up at the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise Him up at the last day." 41 The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" 43 Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" 53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise Him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." 59 This He said in the synagogue, as He taught at Caper'na-um. 60 Many of His disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, knowing in Himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where He was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him.

The JWs (and Baptists and a whole host of Protestants) claim that since "the flesh profiteth nothing," Christ can only mean a spiritual communion.  If we set up a dichotomy between the spiritual part and the fleshy part of man, rather than focus on the physical side of spirituality, then we have to concede the argument to them.   There is a problematic strain in Athonite spirituality envying the bodiless powers.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 04:43:39 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2011, 04:44:38 PM »

I have a question about divorce.  Divorce is allowed under infidelity, but would it be more virtuous for someone to forgive his/her spouse for the said infidelity?
Yes. St. Basil was wrong on this (as he was on the question of baptism by laymen).
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2011, 04:49:29 PM »

Isa, if you're going to talk about my "JW friends" I don't see any purpose in continuing the discussion. Perhaps when the Church proclaims you "Pillar of Orthodoxy" or "Enlightener of the Universe" your personal interpretations will carry more weight for me.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2011, 04:50:48 PM »

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Because a lot of what the monastic Fathers write desplays their ignorance of marriage.  Holiness does not confer omniscience.

Take for instance the praise of St. John of Kronestadt, for something for which he should be condemned?

What in particular are you refering to in Tertullian (who has his own problems) and St. Gregoy tows the same line as the monastic Fathers?

im just referring to the general teaching that virginity is a higher path than marriage. St. Gregory and Tertullian would both agree to that and they were both married.

Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angels ," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man
Angels don't increase.

How do you know that?

I have it on good authority.  Matthew 22:30

As to their (actually our) ancient state,

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply..."

Yes. And... ?
and so male and female is our ancient state, not the sexless state of angels.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2011, 05:01:36 PM »

Isa, if you're going to talk about my "JW friends" I don't see any purpose in continuing the discussion. Perhaps when the Church proclaims you "Pillar of Orthodoxy" or "Enlightener of the Universe" your personal interpretations will carry more weight for me.
I didn't write the rite or marriage, nor the Bridegroom matins. Nor did I make marriage a Holy Mystery/Sacrament (is there a Church which puts tonsuring on a par with the rite of marriage?). When you sing on Pascha about about Christ coming forth from the Tomb like a Bridegroom from the Bridal Chamber, are you imagining life stock, like you quote from St. Gregory implies?  Or do you sing "Like a monk emerging from his cell?"

Envy of the bodiless powers among the Fathers I'm afraid at times does degenerate into cryptognosticism and cryptomanicheism.  That hasn't weighed the Church down being His Bride.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2011, 05:12:25 PM »

the understanding that sexual division is a result of the Fall which needs to be overcome.

...

Huh?

I'm really confused now.

Was not Adam sexually divided to become Adam and Eve before the Fall?
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2011, 05:14:49 PM »

Isa, if you're going to talk about my "JW friends" I don't see any purpose in continuing the discussion. Perhaps when the Church proclaims you "Pillar of Orthodoxy" or "Enlightener of the Universe" your personal interpretations will carry more weight for me.
I didn't write the rite or marriage, nor the Bridegroom matins. Nor did I make marriage a Holy Mystery/Sacrament (is there a Church which puts tonsuring on a par with the rite of marriage?). When you sing on Pascha about about Christ coming forth from the Tomb like a Bridegroom from the Bridal Chamber, are you imagining life stock, like you quote from St. Gregory implies?  Or do you sing "Like a monk emerging from his cell?"

And when St. Paul says the Lord will come "like a thief in the night", do you get the sudden urge to start breaking into places and grabbing stuff? Or does your Apostol read "like a paying customer during normal store hours"?

Marriage is a Holy Mystery and is good- no one is disputing that, including the Fathers cited here.

Quote
Envy of the bodiless powers among the Fathers I'm afraid at times does degenerate into cryptognosticism and cryptomanicheism.  

Good thing Almisryism isn't our standard of Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 05:16:06 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2011, 05:17:11 PM »

the understanding that sexual division is a result of the Fall which needs to be overcome.

...

Huh?

I'm really confused now.

Was not Adam sexually divided to become Adam and Eve before the Fall?

Yes, because God knew they would fall, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximus.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2011, 05:17:19 PM »

It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

This seems like a rather contorted manner of logic. It seems like you are suggesting that the way of the flesh and the way of the spirit are in all manners contradictory, and thus that the spirit's mastery over the flesh must always lead to termination of properly fleshly things. But I have never seen something to support the idea that the spirit cannot exercise its way of being at the same time that the flesh exercises its own in a hypostatic union. It would seem, rather, that the Fall is when the flesh obtains enslavement of the spirit and prevents it from exercising its proper parallel way of being.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2011, 05:22:03 PM »

the understanding that sexual division is a result of the Fall which needs to be overcome.

...

Huh?

I'm really confused now.

Was not Adam sexually divided to become Adam and Eve before the Fall?

Yes, because God knew they would fall, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximus.

Well that still doesn't make sense. If this basic sexual division is such a fallen problem, then it doesn't make sense for God to pre-empt the Fall by generating the problem before it occurs. My guess is that if some sort of sexual division is recognized as a problem of the Fall that you are misinterpreting the exact nature of it.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2011, 05:25:57 PM »

the understanding that sexual division is a result of the Fall which needs to be overcome.

...

Huh?

I'm really confused now.

Was not Adam sexually divided to become Adam and Eve before the Fall?

Yes, because God knew they would fall, according to St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Maximus.

Well that still doesn't make sense. If this basic sexual division is such a fallen problem, then it doesn't make sense for God to pre-empt the Fall by generating the problem before it occurs. My guess is that if some sort of sexual division is recognized as a problem of the Fall that you are misinterpreting the exact nature of it.

I'm just paraphrasing the words of the Fathers. Perhaps I'm doing it badly. You can follow the link in the OP to see them yourself.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 05:26:13 PM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #65 on: March 29, 2011, 05:30:02 PM »

It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

This seems like a rather contorted manner of logic. It seems like you are suggesting that the way of the flesh and the way of the spirit are in all manners contradictory, and thus that the spirit's mastery over the flesh must always lead to termination of properly fleshly things.

I don't think that is the case at all, but rather, when the spirit has mastery of the flesh, then even fleshly activities have a tendency to be spiritualized. So St. Symeon the Theologian, for instance, says that the new creation will not be "sensuous" as this one, the food will be "immaterial" (not literally), we will have "bodiless bodies". Perhaps the body does participate in this other mode of reproduction but in a very different way.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #66 on: March 29, 2011, 06:21:40 PM »

Isa, if you're going to talk about my "JW friends" I don't see any purpose in continuing the discussion. Perhaps when the Church proclaims you "Pillar of Orthodoxy" or "Enlightener of the Universe" your personal interpretations will carry more weight for me.
I didn't write the rite or marriage, nor the Bridegroom matins. Nor did I make marriage a Holy Mystery/Sacrament (is there a Church which puts tonsuring on a par with the rite of marriage?). When you sing on Pascha about about Christ coming forth from the Tomb like a Bridegroom from the Bridal Chamber, are you imagining life stock, like you quote from St. Gregory implies?  Or do you sing "Like a monk emerging from his cell?"

And when St. Paul says the Lord will come "like a thief in the night", do you get the sudden urge to start breaking into places and grabbing stuff? Or does your Apostol read "like a paying customer during normal store hours"?

Someone just brought that up, on the point of the Fathers saying that marriage was a "concession," and asked if there were any blessed concessions for theft or murder.

Don't rightly know if it is theft if you go and take what is yours and has been wrongfully taken from you.


And as to your question to I Thess. 5:3, I don't go into labor pains either.  I don't know about Thief Matins, but I do go to Bridegroom Matins.

 
Marriage is a Holy Mystery and is good- no one is disputing that, including the Fathers cited here.

Damning with faint praise doesn't count. St. Jerome's praise of marriage "because it gives me virgins" reflects his own teaching that "even the blood of martyrdom does not wash away the defilement of marriage," not the teaching of the Church.

Envy of the bodiless powers among the Fathers I'm afraid at times does degenerate into cryptognosticism and cryptomanicheism.  
Good thing Almisryism isn't our standard of Orthodoxy.
Good thing neither is cryptognosticism.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #67 on: March 29, 2011, 06:22:56 PM »

It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

This seems like a rather contorted manner of logic. It seems like you are suggesting that the way of the flesh and the way of the spirit are in all manners contradictory, and thus that the spirit's mastery over the flesh must always lead to termination of properly fleshly things.

I don't think that is the case at all, but rather, when the spirit has mastery of the flesh, then even fleshly activities have a tendency to be spiritualized. So St. Symeon the Theologian, for instance, says that the new creation will not be "sensuous" as this one, the food will be "immaterial" (not literally), we will have "bodiless bodies". Perhaps the body does participate in this other mode of reproduction but in a very different way.
There is no other mode of reproduction.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2011, 06:37:34 PM »

Yes Riddikulus,

Since becoming Orthodox I have been studying a lot about the Church of the past.  Of course we can see much of the same in the Catholic Church (one hour pre-communion fast today for example), but we Orthodox are not supposed to have watered down the praxis.  I find myself reading today where I have to question some of the saints and Fathers on certain beliefs.  It is very troubling to me.

I wouldn't see this particular issue as a watering down, but a basic improvement in the area of human rights. Whose business is it what a husband and wife agree to do in the privacy of their bedroom? Why do we throw out the old burdensome law only to create another for the faithful? Oh mankind, that rule making creature! And I would consider it very dangerous to stop questioning the opinions of others, even those opinions of saints and fathers. They aren't infallible and I figure that if I'm going to be judged in some way for error, I would rather it was my error than a blind following of other people's errors.

What is this idea of rights? A Christian has no rights, only the responsibility to obey Christ and his Body. That isn't to say that individual saints are right on everything, but Holy Tradition and the collective witness of the Church must be obeyed.

And there is no privacy for a Christian either. Since every aspect of life has a spiritual dimension, including bedroom activity, Christ and the Church have a say in it. That isn't to say we should talk about sex to everyone, but it's not something that's absolutely private and sacrosanct and up to the husband and wife to decide alone. The Church gives us rules and guidelines about what and how much we can eat, so it has every right to do so with sex as well. Both are spiritual activities.

To say "It's my life and I'll live like I want" (or the more nuanced version, "I'll take it under advisement, but I make the final choice") is the opposite of the point.


And the Christian slave should have remained a slave? No one should have considered his/her dignity as a human being? No one should have spoken for the abolition of such a vile institution? After all, the Christian slave's only responsibility is to obey Christ and his Body. It seems that you are saying that we shouldn't be concerned when the rights of a human being is being violated by unjust or cruel behaviour.

While I might agree with taking upon myself such a burden (slavery, or some third party having a say in the positions I might employ during sex with my spouse), I could never place such imposition upon the shoulders of others and call it Christian. And that such a policing/punishment policy was considered acceptable is beyond me.

Why did I read this thread? Ignorance is bliss.   laugh
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 06:42:08 PM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #69 on: March 29, 2011, 06:58:26 PM »

It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

This seems like a rather contorted manner of logic. It seems like you are suggesting that the way of the flesh and the way of the spirit are in all manners contradictory, and thus that the spirit's mastery over the flesh must always lead to termination of properly fleshly things.

I don't think that is the case at all, but rather, when the spirit has mastery of the flesh, then even fleshly activities have a tendency to be spiritualized. So St. Symeon the Theologian, for instance, says that the new creation will not be "sensuous" as this one, the food will be "immaterial" (not literally), we will have "bodiless bodies". Perhaps the body does participate in this other mode of reproduction but in a very different way.
There is no other mode of reproduction.

Again, when the Church sanctions your private revelations as Orthodox then I will take them seriously.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #70 on: March 29, 2011, 07:36:12 PM »

It's precisely because it is proper to animals that it is not fitting to man, whose spiritual part should predominate over the fleshly.

This seems like a rather contorted manner of logic. It seems like you are suggesting that the way of the flesh and the way of the spirit are in all manners contradictory, and thus that the spirit's mastery over the flesh must always lead to termination of properly fleshly things.

I don't think that is the case at all, but rather, when the spirit has mastery of the flesh, then even fleshly activities have a tendency to be spiritualized. So St. Symeon the Theologian, for instance, says that the new creation will not be "sensuous" as this one, the food will be "immaterial" (not literally), we will have "bodiless bodies". Perhaps the body does participate in this other mode of reproduction but in a very different way.
There is no other mode of reproduction.

Again, when the Church sanctions your private revelations as Orthodox then I will take them seriously.
When you can cough up an example of other modes of reproduction, then I will give your private conjectures serious thought.  Revelation given in Scripture only gives one (unless you consider parthenogenesis and the meiosis of Eve as other modes).
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 07:39:41 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #71 on: March 29, 2011, 08:02:03 PM »

my understanding is that the Fathers just say it would have happened some other way, they dont attempt to explain how.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #72 on: March 29, 2011, 08:08:29 PM »

my understanding is that the Fathers just say it would have happened some other way, they dont attempt to explain how.
Yes, I'm aware many try to get around the obvious by supporting their hyposthesis by speculation.  The facts remain, that God revealed that He created man in His Image and Likeness, that God revealed that when He did so He created them male and female, and that He then commanded them in Paradise to be fruitful and multiply.  Not being bound by anything, He could have done it another way.  The fact remains, He didn't.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #73 on: March 29, 2011, 08:14:33 PM »

my understanding is that the Fathers just say it would have happened some other way, they dont attempt to explain how.
Yes, I'm aware many try to get around the obvious by supporting their hyposthesis by speculation.  The facts remain, that God revealed that He created man in His Image and Likeness, that God revealed that when He did so He created them male and female, and that He then commanded them in Paradise to be fruitful and multiply.  Not being bound by anything, He could have done it another way.  The fact remains, He didn't.

yes, but i dont see how that contradicts the Fathers.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #74 on: March 29, 2011, 08:29:55 PM »

The Holy Fathers are not "crypto-gnostics." Enough said.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #75 on: March 29, 2011, 08:37:45 PM »

The Holy Fathers are not "crypto-gnostics." Enough said.
Ever read St. Jerome?

There are some who encrust the teachings of Christ with the teachings of Plato.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #76 on: March 29, 2011, 08:38:46 PM »

my understanding is that the Fathers just say it would have happened some other way, they dont attempt to explain how.
Yes, I'm aware many try to get around the obvious by supporting their hyposthesis by speculation.  The facts remain, that God revealed that He created man in His Image and Likeness, that God revealed that when He did so He created them male and female, and that He then commanded them in Paradise to be fruitful and multiply.  Not being bound by anything, He could have done it another way.  The fact remains, He didn't.

yes, but i dont see how that contradicts the Fathers.
The consensus of the Fathers? It doesn't. Some would, however, disagree on the particulars.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2011, 08:50:32 PM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....
Logged
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #78 on: March 29, 2011, 10:35:07 PM »

Fwiw, I gave some quotes from EO Fathers (including St. John Chrysostom) on this thread defending the idea that it's ok to enjoy sex.

Just asking for a quick answer, but only if it's goal is to conceive right?
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #79 on: March 29, 2011, 11:09:34 PM »

Fwiw, I gave some quotes from EO Fathers (including St. John Chrysostom) on this thread defending the idea that it's ok to enjoy sex.

Just asking for a quick answer, but only if it's goal is to conceive right?

Fwiw, from my reading, the Fathers did seem to feel the need to justify sexual relations, leaving with the impression that just having sex for the sake of having it wasn't ok. Procreation seemed the most common justification, then avoiding lust, and some seem speak as though the connection formed through the act could be a justifiable reason. However, in all the justifications and discussions that I remember reading about, it seems like most indeed thought that the possibility of conception had to be left open. I suppose some would have said that the direct goal had to be to conceive, while others might have just said that the possibility should exist and you shouldn't try to use contraception in an attempt to avoid conceiving a child.

EDIT--I should add that some, like St. John Chrysostom, specifically mentioned how some couples couldn't conceive, but he defended their right to have sexual relations even when they thought that they couldn't conceive--but the lack of children was attributed to the will of God and/or nature, not an effort to avoid them.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 11:11:06 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #80 on: March 29, 2011, 11:40:26 PM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....
Most Fathers do not indulge in speculation.  Those that do, many do have to bend Genesis:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply... Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."...So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed."

But they do not explain away Christ's explicit exegesis on it (Mattew 19:)4 He answered, "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"  That they are ashamed of His words, I argue against.

Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #81 on: March 30, 2011, 12:10:43 AM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....
Most Fathers do not indulge in speculation.  Those that do, many do have to bend Genesis:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply... Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."...So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed."

But they do not explain away Christ's explicit exegesis on it (Mattew 19:)4 He answered, "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"  That they are ashamed of His words, I argue against.



but again, the teaching that man was virginal in the Garden does not contradict this ....

you're treating this as if there's some obvious, glaring contradiction that the Fathers either were too stupid to see, or ignored because of some perverted agenda on their part. im not ok with either of those options ...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 12:13:02 AM by jckstraw72 » Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #82 on: March 30, 2011, 12:15:22 AM »

I am still reading the article by Heiromonk Damascene that jckstraw72 linked to.  I must say that it is very interesting and full of citations, however it seems to me that some of the Fathers were engaging in speculation at times.  For example,

It mentions in the footnotes that St. Symeon wrote that man needed to eat before the fall, while SS. Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Sinai wrote that the need to eat was a mark of the corruption that happened after the fall.

In one of the passages cited from St. Symeon, the saint writes:

...you see then that not unreasonably do we say that...

That sounds like reasoning and personal interpretation to me with regards to the subject that he was addressing.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but it does not sound like he is stating dogmatic truths.  Many of the writings of the Fathers use such terminology, qualifying what they are saying as being "reasonable," or it "seems to be,"  "we can infer," etc.

There is nothing in Holy scripture that goes into the kind of detail that some of the Fathers do about such things.  Did they receive this understanding from unwritten tradition, or personal reasoning?  Another issue is, to what extent was a particular Father simply professing what he had read in an earlier Fathers writings?  As generations go by, Father C repeats what Father B wrote, which he learned from the writings of Father A, resulting in us stating that Father's A, B, and C all believed such-and-such.

To what extent do we view the writings of the Fathers as speculation/conjecture?  Did any claim that their writings were divinely inspired, or that what they were writing was revealed by God?  This is important to the entire discussion.  Without doubt the Church recognizes the holiness and devotion of the Fathers; do we then accept what they have to say on theological issues as dogma?
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #83 on: March 30, 2011, 12:20:37 AM »



...you see then that not unreasonably do we say that...

i dont think this indicates that he arrived at the idea through mere human reasoning, but rather simply that the truth he is teaching can be stated and demonstrated to be quite reasonable. and even if it is human reasoning, its highly purified human reasoning. the Saints would still be reasoning based on spiritual insights that most of us know nothing of.

Quote
 Without doubt the Church recognizes the holiness and devotion of the Fathers; do we then accept what they have to say on theological issues as dogma?


as i see it, if the answer is "no" then there's no reason to be Orthodox. i didnt convert cause i thought the Fathers had neat opinions.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #84 on: March 30, 2011, 12:22:23 AM »

on which page is the footnote that says St. Symeon taught that man needed to eat before the Fall? that sounds strange to me because St. Symeon is quite explicit that the only reason anything dies in all of creation is because of man's sin, but to say that they had to eat implies that they would have died had they not eaten.
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #85 on: March 30, 2011, 12:25:58 AM »

on which page is the footnote that says St. Symeon taught that man needed to eat before the Fall? that sounds strange to me because St. Symeon is quite explicit that the only reason anything dies in all of creation is because of man's sin, but to say that they had to eat implies that they would have died had they not eaten.

Footnote 21 on  page 15.  As I said, this is a very interesting article, and will take me more than one evening to read and process. 
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #86 on: March 30, 2011, 12:30:04 AM »

on which page is the footnote that says St. Symeon taught that man needed to eat before the Fall? that sounds strange to me because St. Symeon is quite explicit that the only reason anything dies in all of creation is because of man's sin, but to say that they had to eat implies that they would have died had they not eaten.

Footnote 21 on  page 15.  As I said, this is a very interesting article, and will take me more than one evening to read and process. 

yah i found it, thank you. that is interesting ... not sure what Fr. Damascene means by that, considering other statements of St. Symeon.

anyhoo, take your time, its a great resource - i come back to this article again and again and again in discussions of the spiritual life and of creation especially (obviously)
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #87 on: March 30, 2011, 12:37:26 AM »

Yes Riddikulus,

Since becoming Orthodox I have been studying a lot about the Church of the past.  Of course we can see much of the same in the Catholic Church (one hour pre-communion fast today for example), but we Orthodox are not supposed to have watered down the praxis.  I find myself reading today where I have to question some of the saints and Fathers on certain beliefs.  It is very troubling to me.

I wouldn't see this particular issue as a watering down, but a basic improvement in the area of human rights. Whose business is it what a husband and wife agree to do in the privacy of their bedroom? Why do we throw out the old burdensome law only to create another for the faithful? Oh mankind, that rule making creature! And I would consider it very dangerous to stop questioning the opinions of others, even those opinions of saints and fathers. They aren't infallible and I figure that if I'm going to be judged in some way for error, I would rather it was my error than a blind following of other people's errors.

What is this idea of rights?


I Cor. 8:9; 9:4-5, 12

A Christian has no rights,

St. Paul disagrees. Col 2:16.

only the responsibility to obey Christ and his Body. That isn't to say that individual saints are right on everything, but Holy Tradition and the collective witness of the Church must be obeyed.

That it does. But part of that Tradition is that authority has been abused, e.g. against St. John Chrysostom and St. Maximos the Confessor and, more to the point, the authority of the Pope of Rome to mandate celibacy on all the clerics.

And there is no privacy for a Christian either. Since every aspect of life has a spiritual dimension, including bedroom activity, Christ and the Church have a say in it. That isn't to say we should talk about sex to everyone, but it's not something that's absolutely private and sacrosanct and up to the husband and wife to decide alone.

Besides certain absolutes, yes it is.

The Church gives us rules and guidelines about what and how much we can eat, so it has every right to do so with sex as well. Both are spiritual activities
And neither require a one size fits all, beyond certain absolutes.

To say "It's my life and I'll live like I want" (or the more nuanced version, "I'll take it under advisement, but I make the final choice") is the opposite of the point.
What point?

but both Tertullian and St. Gregory of Nyssa were married, and probably some others. furthermore, why do we assume they are writing out of their ignorance, rather than writing out of their holiness and experiences of God? why is first-hand experience of marriage necessary to write about it when you're holy?
Does holiness = experiential knowledge about all things?
I wouldn't say "equal to", but funny things happen when a person is deified and starts to live the life of the Trinity.

Infallibility isn't one of them.

More insight is available to a holy saint than to the rest of us. If theosis can lead saints to things like clairvoyance (which seems to be a lot more bizarre than teaching people things), I hardly think their opinions on married life are free to be ignored.
Depends if the know what they are talking about.  St. Basil, for instance, was a great saint. But when he lays down as an absolute that a wronged spouse cannot forgive the adulter(ess) and must put them away (and on top of it, remain unmarried), he is absolutely and 100% wrong.  And that can be directly attributed to his ignorance of the married estate.

I would say a true saint, who lives the life of the Trinity, has more spiritual insight about activity n than a person who engages in n but is subject to the passions.
Unfortunately neither Christ nor His Most Pure Mother left us any of their writings.

Or in other words, experiential knowledge isn't all it's cracked up to be. (Nor is it spiritually objective.)
Nor is sainthood all knowing, nor as immaculate, as is claimed.  St. Basil is not the only one to err, and err badly.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #88 on: March 30, 2011, 12:38:19 AM »

I am looking forward to taking it all in.  I am sure that there is a lot of food for thought there.  

By the way, the monastery at Platina is part of my diocese (Serbian Diocese of Western America).  St. John Maximovitch is always commemorated at our liturgy by the priest.  

One of the monks from St. Herman's visited our parish a few months ago and attended for two consecutive Sundays while visiting family in San Diego.
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #89 on: March 30, 2011, 12:40:54 AM »

Thank you ialmisry and jackstraw72 for all of your insights.  I see both your sides on these issues.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #90 on: March 30, 2011, 12:41:29 AM »

on which page is the footnote that says St. Symeon taught that man needed to eat before the Fall? that sounds strange to me because St. Symeon is quite explicit that the only reason anything dies in all of creation is because of man's sin, but to say that they had to eat implies that they would have died had they not eaten.
Of course they would have. Hence why God tells them to eat, just not from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #91 on: March 30, 2011, 12:45:22 AM »

I am still reading the article by Heiromonk Damascene that jckstraw72 linked to.  I must say that it is very interesting and full of citations, however it seems to me that some of the Fathers were engaging in speculation at times.  For example,

It mentions in the footnotes that St. Symeon wrote that man needed to eat before the fall, while SS. Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Sinai wrote that the need to eat was a mark of the corruption that happened after the fall.

In one of the passages cited from St. Symeon, the saint writes:

...you see then that not unreasonably do we say that...

That sounds like reasoning and personal interpretation to me with regards to the subject that he was addressing.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but it does not sound like he is stating dogmatic truths.  Many of the writings of the Fathers use such terminology, qualifying what they are saying as being "reasonable," or it "seems to be,"  "we can infer," etc.

There is nothing in Holy scripture that goes into the kind of detail that some of the Fathers do about such things.  Did they receive this understanding from unwritten tradition, or personal reasoning?  Another issue is, to what extent was a particular Father simply professing what he had read in an earlier Fathers writings?  As generations go by, Father C repeats what Father B wrote, which he learned from the writings of Father A, resulting in us stating that Father's A, B, and C all believed such-and-such.

To what extent do we view the writings of the Fathers as speculation/conjecture?  Did any claim that their writings were divinely inspired, or that what they were writing was revealed by God?  This is important to the entire discussion.  Without doubt the Church recognizes the holiness and devotion of the Fathers; do we then accept what they have to say on theological issues as dogma?

Partly.  The main point of the Fathers is that by their striving in the Faith they achieved a point at which what they wrote down on their Life in Chrsit can be taken out as a witness of living out the Gospel.  That is how their consensus develops, because like a whiell with spokes, the closer you go towards teh center, the closer you are to each other.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #92 on: March 30, 2011, 12:48:56 AM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #93 on: March 30, 2011, 12:52:16 AM »



...you see then that not unreasonably do we say that...

i dont think this indicates that he arrived at the idea through mere human reasoning, but rather simply that the truth he is teaching can be stated and demonstrated to be quite reasonable. and even if it is human reasoning, its highly purified human reasoning. the Saints would still be reasoning based on spiritual insights that most of us know nothing of.

You can't be in the Church and know nothing of it.  If you could, we would need two sets of rules like the Druze, one for the enlighted, and one for the great unwashed.  The only unwashed the Church has is the unbaptized.


Without doubt the Church recognizes the holiness and devotion of the Fathers; do we then accept what they have to say on theological issues as dogma?

as i see it, if the answer is "no" then there's no reason to be Orthodox. i didnt convert cause i thought the Fathers had neat opinions.
LOL. I didn't know it was about you.

They reflect, embody, record and pronounce the Church's dogma, but they are not inidividually infallible beings.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #94 on: March 30, 2011, 12:57:03 AM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?
Next to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (note, btw, "Knowledge of Good and Evil," not "of Knowledge" period.  Many like Frank Zappa are confusd on that point), there was the Tree of Life, which was not forbidden to man until the Fall.  Indeed, God cites that as the reason why man must be expelled from the Garden, lest he eat again of the Tree of Life.

Also note, He does not say "I will kill you," He says "you shall surely die."
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #95 on: March 30, 2011, 01:07:57 AM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....
Most Fathers do not indulge in speculation.  Those that do, many do have to bend Genesis:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness...

So God created man in His Own Image,
    in the Image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply... Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."...So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed."

But they do not explain away Christ's explicit exegesis on it (Mattew 19:)4 He answered, "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"  That they are ashamed of His words, I argue against.



but again, the teaching that man was virginal in the Garden does not contradict this ....
But the teaching that Adam and Eve were to remain so, living like brotehr and sister forever, does.

you're treating this as if there's some obvious, glaring contradiction that the Fathers either were too stupid to see, or ignored because of some perverted agenda on their part. im not ok with either of those options ...
How are you on St. Jerome's "all intercourse is unclean....even the blood of martyrdom cannot wash away the defilement of marriage"

Yes, he had a rather perverted agenda: "I praise marriage because it gives me virgins."
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 01:08:16 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #96 on: March 30, 2011, 01:16:19 AM »

That surprised me as well (St. Jerome's sayings).  Fortunately, like Augustine, he is not as important in the East as he is in the Roman Church.  It is a blessing from God that we don't have to contend with their teachings in Orthodox theology (or Anslem's, Aquinas, etc.)
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #97 on: March 30, 2011, 01:43:48 PM »

I'm confused.  So Adam and Eve didn't eat anything before the Fall?  Or they didn't need to but seem to have indulged their physical animalistic desire of eating?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 01:44:27 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2011, 01:56:35 PM »

^Fwiw, a point brought up by Panayiotis Nellas in his book Deification in Christ might be of some interest here:

Quote
Before he dressed himself in the garments of skin man wore a "divinely woven" [99] attire, his psychosomatic dress which had been woven with grace, with the light and glory of God. Our first parents "were clothed in glory from above... the heavenly glory covered them better than any garment could do." [100] This refers to the attire of the "in the image," the prelapsarian human nature formed by the breath of God and endowed with a deiform structure. This attire shone with "the likeness to the divine" which was constituted, not by a "shape" or a "color," but by "dispassion," "blessedness" and "incorruption," the characteristics by which "the divine is contemplated as beauty." [101]

The first man, according to the succinct expression of St Gregory the Theologian, was "naked by virtue of his simplicity." [102] This means, as St Maximos explains, that his body did not contain within it the mutually contradictory "qualities" which now pull it in different directions, scourge it with corruption and make it decay, but it possessed "another temperament which befitted it, a temperament maintained by simple qualities compatible with each other." It was "without flux or wastage," free from "constant change depending  on which quality was predominant," and for this reason was not bereft "of immortality by grace." [103] If we understand the "nakedness" as transparency, we can say that the body of Adam was so simple that it was in reality transparent, open to the material creation without resisting it in any way, and without the world offering any resistance to the body--the world had been surrendered to it. The human body, while maintaining its own peculiar constitution and separate identity with regard to the world, was nevertheless not divided from it at all.


[99] This is the usual characteristic which hymnology attributes to the prelapsarian human attire: "Thou hast dressed me in a divinely woven attire, O Savior" (canticle 6, troparian 1, Canon of the Sunday of Cheesefare). Cf. Romanos Melodos, Kontakion on Epiphany, Oikos 2. See also the study of the Great Canon below, pp. 173-4. For the general condition of the first human beings before the fall according to St Gregory of Nyssa, see J. Gaith, La conception de liberte chez Gregoire de Nysse, 52 ff.

[100] St John Chrysostom, On Genesis 15,4, PG 53, 123 and 16, 5, PG 53, 131. Cf E. Peterson, Pour une theologie du vetement, 5-9, who also gives references to Sts Irenaeus, Ambrose, and Augustine

[101] St Gregory of Nyssa, On Those Who Have Fallen Asleep, PG 46, 521D

[102] St Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 45, 8, PG 36, 632C

[103] St Maximos the Confessor, Ambigua, PG 91, 1353AB


--Panayiotis Nellas, Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person, pp. 52-53

Perhaps "food" as we think of it was entirely foreign to Adam and Eve... if they "ate," maybe it would have been something entirely different...?
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2011, 02:05:10 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 02:07:47 PM by jckstraw72 » Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,960



« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2011, 02:24:48 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

Genesis 1:29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

I think St. Methodius if anything takes quite the middle road.  It's more fitting to think of sex like you would think of food, misproper use of which is sin, and virtuous use of with is ideal, and anything in between well, is a mild pleasure of sorts that need to be abstained from as you would fasting, or an unnecessary pleasure (like perhaps alcohol or arguably smoking tobacco) that is not in and of itself sinful, but surely worthy of abstinence.

It seems wholly proper then that two sides from this developed later on, the radical ascetic side that looks at anything less than ideal is sinful (and most of the Church fathers later on were ascetics; I would wonder what a married Church father would write if he even had time to write while caring for his family), and the more "liberal" side that anything other than clear sins are virtuous.

This is at least my objective view without trying to support the Coptic view.  It's a concession that's not sinful, but not virtue either, i.e. not a striving towards a certain perfection that others might be born with.  Nevertheless, all do have their unique gifts, and in so doing, can properly use them for their own edification.  To some it may be chastity, to others teaching, and others raising families etc.  In each of these gifts, there's an ideal of exemplary attitude.  Therefore, for those who are chaste, they should be in the best chastity as possible, and not merely chaste physically.  For those who can teach, you must present yourself as if you're the best teacher.  For anyone who has a certain talent, they should double it and not hide it to waste, as the parable teaches.

The person who's sick and must eat from things abstained can nevertheless be virtuous in other things.  It's not a concession to sin (because eating meat is obviously not a sin).  Could eating meat be a "necessary evil?"  I don't know.  One can argue that there are many necessary evils in this world that are not sins also, but virtuous if abstained from as well, although they're necessary so as to avoid sins, the greater evils, and necessary implies how almost impossible the abstinence can be.
The issue of meat is interesting.  The Scripture plainly states that man was not originally meant to eat meat. Yet St. Paul is rather emphatic that it is not something we are to be judged on, and a matter of indifference (in itself: in the grand scheme of things that is another matter). It would be interesting to see if the Fathers who make much of their idea that sexuality was not intended in Eden, if they are equally vigorous on the issue of eating meat, and how to deal with the problem that the Lord, as Scripture plainly states, ate meat.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 02:26:58 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2011, 02:31:56 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #102 on: March 30, 2011, 02:37:43 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?

i dont know. im not aware of anyone commenting on that.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #103 on: March 30, 2011, 02:39:31 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?

i dont know. im not aware of anyone commenting on that.

I would hope you would, since you apparently read all pertinent quotes of the Church fathers that talked about pre-Fall conditions.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #104 on: March 30, 2011, 02:42:19 PM »

I think that fits in with what some of the Fathers have written about man having "conditional immortality".  Man would have died even prior to the fall if God had not kept him alive.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

If the food was not necessary for survival, was eating it just to enjoy the taste/sensation?

this is talked about in Fr. Damascene's article. they didnt eat out of necessity, but it gave them a spiritual pleasure - it lifted their hearts and minds to God. it had nothing to do with indulging animalistic desires, as someone else suggested. check out pages 17-19, and especially 18.

So there's spiritual pleasure for the animals that ate the same food?

i dont know. im not aware of anyone commenting on that.

I would hope you would, since you apparently read all pertinent quotes of the Church fathers that talked about pre-Fall conditions.

so sorry to disappoint you.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 02:42:42 PM by jckstraw72 » Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #105 on: March 30, 2011, 06:20:22 PM »

I had mentioned previously that I liked what Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev had written on the subject of human sexuality.  His Grace is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

From his work, The Mystery of Faith:

"'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them'.  Because a solitary monad cannot love, being alone, God created not a single unit, but a couple, with the intention that love should reign among people.  Yet the love between the couple is not yet the perfection of love, because the couple is made up of two opposing principles, thesis and antithesis, which must find their fulfillment in a synthesis.  This synthesis may be realized in the birth of a child.  God commands: 'be fruitful and multiply'.  From two human beings the third, their child, is to be born: the fully realized family-husband, wife and child-which is a reflection of the divine love in three hypostases."

The Mystery of Faith, Chapter Five, the Human Person, p. 59



Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2011, 06:28:19 PM »

I had mentioned previously that I liked what Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev had written on the subject of human sexuality.  His Grace is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

From his work, The Mystery of Faith:

"'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them'.  Because a solitary monad cannot love, being alone, God created not a single unit, but a couple, with the intention that love should reign among people.  Yet the love between the couple is not yet the perfection of love, because the couple is made up of two opposing principles, thesis and antithesis, which must find their fulfillment in a synthesis.  This synthesis may be realized in the birth of a child.  God commands: 'be fruitful and multiply'.  From two human beings the third, their child, is to be born: the fully realized family-husband, wife and child-which is a reflection of the divine love in three hypostases."

The Mystery of Faith, Chapter Five, the Human Person, p. 59





as far as i can tell, thats a good description of post-lapsarian relationships.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2011, 08:21:17 PM »

we dont have to believe every single thing that every single Saint says. but in the instances of evolution and marriage and others, when you start to see Father after Father after Father after Father saying the same thing, you start to see the mind of the Church emerging. one or two Fathers saying something that no one else says, or that is contradicted by other Fathers is different than these subjects on which there is much harmony.

I want to follow through with this because this is an interesting way of interpreting things of the Scriptures.  I know I mentioned this elsewhere but let me ask you seriously.  If I was a Christian living in the 3rd Century, and I researched "Father after Father after Father" concerning the interpretation of the Nephilim, I would seem to believe that angels can have intercourse with women:

Tertullian (2nd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.v.v.ii.html
St. Irenaeus (2nd Century)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xxxvii.html#ix.vi.xxxvii-p19.2
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xvii.html#ix.vi.xvii-p12.1
St. Justin Martyr (2nd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.iii.v.html
Athenagorus (2nd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.v.ii.xxiv.html#v.ii.xxiv-p4.1
St. Clement of Alexandria (2nd to 3rd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.vi.iii.iii.ii.html#vi.iii.iii.ii-p37.1
Archelaus (3rd Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.vii.iii.xxxi.html
Lactantius (3rd to 4th Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.iii.ii.viii.xxiii.html
St. Methodius (3rd to 4th Century) http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.xi.v.iii.i.html
Nemesius of Emesa (4th Century) (ACCS Genesis 1-11, pp. 123-4)
I've read elswhere that Eusebius of Caesarea (3rd to 4th Century), St. Hilary of Poiters (4th Century), St. Ambrose (4th Century), St. Jerome (4th to 5th Century), and Sulpitius Severus (4th to 5th Century) also believed that the Nephilim were sons of angels.

The following Church fathers also seemed to have allowed the idea that the Sons of God were angels, but were open to other interpretations:
Julius Africanus (2nd to 3rd Century) allows for either Sons of God or angels of men:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.v.v.ii.html
Origen--if taken literally, it's angels, but this is an allegory to teach a lesson (3rd Century)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.vi.ix.v.lv.html#vi.ix.v.lv-p3.1
Alexander of Lycopolis, same interpretation as Origen, and even calls this a "fable" (5th Century)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.viii.iii.xxv.html


I understand that these were the Church fathers used to support the idea that the Nephilim were sons of Seth:
St. Ephraim (4th Century)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (4th Century)
St. John Chrysostom (4th Century)
St. Augustine (4th to 5th Century)
St. John Cassian (5th Century)
Fr. Seraphim mentioned St. Athanasius (4th Century), St. Cyril (5th Century), St. Gregory Palamas (14th Century)

If you noticed a pattern, "the mind of the Church" so to speak believed that the Nephilim were sons of angels up until around the late 4th, early 5th Century, where "the Church mind" seemed to reject that notion.

So I simply wonder why exactly did the Church seem to "change her mind" later?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2011, 08:36:22 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.
Logged
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2011, 08:40:21 PM »

A very interesting list of citations and examples.  While I do respect the Fathers opinions, I still have difficulty with the extent to which I am able to attribute divine inspiration to them.  To what extent do any of the Fathers attribute their opinions to revelation/inspiration or to reasoned speculation?

I am not as well read on the Fathers yet as I would like to be.  Does anyone know if any Father actually stated that what he was writing in a particular instance was divinely revealed to him?

This is an interesting article on the Fathers:

http://www.assumptionaz.org/studies_in_orthodoxy/studies_orthodoxy/376

  
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2011, 08:44:03 PM »

A very interesting list of citations and examples.  While I do respect the Fathers opinions, I still have difficulty with the extent to which I am able to attribute divine inspiration to them.  To what extent do any of the Fathers attribute their opinions to revelation/inspiration or to reasoned speculation?

I am not as well read on the Fathers yet as I would like to be.  Does anyone know if any Father actually stated that what he was writing in a particular instance was divinely revealed to him?

This is an interesting article on the Fathers:

http://www.assumptionaz.org/studies_in_orthodoxy/studies_orthodoxy/376

  

are you asking specifically in regards to sexuality, or just in general?
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2011, 08:49:45 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
peteprint
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 704



« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2011, 08:52:01 PM »

In general.  I am trying to understand the extent to which a person's sanctity effects their ability in interpreting scripture.  As someone progresses in theosis, what role does that play in their gaining greater insight into spiritual matters such as doctrinal exegesis and commentary?

I do agree that all we really have to go by is consensus, otherwise we would have to accept Augustine's doctrines which, fortunately, most in the Church have rejected, simply because he was a Father.
Logged
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2011, 08:53:33 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #114 on: March 30, 2011, 08:54:24 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 08:54:44 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2011, 08:56:52 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution

if you want to personally attack me then feel free to PM me. im guessing your crap fest isn't helping peteprint come to any conclusions.
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,082


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2011, 09:01:56 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution

if you want to personally attack me then feel free to PM me. im guessing your crap fest isn't helping peteprint come to any conclusions.

Actually, I hope it is helping, because it shows that the important doctrines and morals of the Church never change, whereas other non-salvific beliefs of the Church can change, as is evident in the teachings of Fr. Thomas Hopko, Metropolitan Hilarion, etc.

When it comes to sexuality, the question was strictly can a married couple have sex without the intention of children, or is that wrong.  The mind of the Church today seems to be yes, considering that some Church fathers have been open to it without calling it a sin.  The only thing is that you should give time for prayer and fasting from it, as long as both spouses agree.  The fact that the Church at her earliest point almost unanimously accepted the idea that angels can have sex with women would almost make it dogmatic by your definition.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:04:37 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
jckstraw72
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,174



« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2011, 09:07:27 PM »

i dont know. 3 cheers for you, you've destroyed the notion of Patristic consensus. yeeeeeeeah for Mina.

I'm sorry.  I know you and I have our altercations, but I thought maybe you could have helped me with this one, considering that you are so knowledgeable of Patristic consensus on so many things to exclude common sense.

why do you say you're sorry and then use sarcasm to try to insult me? i never claimed to know so much about Patristics. the evolution thread is basically the only thread i've been continually involved in.

Ya, that's pretty much all you read of the Church fathers, quote mining them against evolution

if you want to personally attack me then feel free to PM me. im guessing your crap fest isn't helping peteprint come to any conclusions.

Actually, I hope it is helping, because it shows that the important doctrines and morals of the Church never change, whereas other non-salvific beliefs of the Church can change, as is evident in the teachings of Fr. Thomas Hopko, Metropolitan Hilarion, etc.

When it comes to sexuality, the question was strictly can a married couple have sex without the intention of children, or is that wrong.  The mind of the Church today seems to be yes, considering that some Church fathers have been open to it without calling it a sin.  The only thing is that you should give time for prayer and fasting from it, as long as both spouses agree.  The fact that the Church at her earliest point almost unanimously accepted the idea that angels can have sex with women would almost make it dogmatic by your definition.

well look at that, you made your point without attacking or mocking anyone, thereby demonstrating that your lil' tantrum really wasn't necessary, as i said!
Logged
Fripod
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 60



« Reply #118 on: July 12, 2011, 04:30:44 PM »

you seem to be arguing against the teaching that Adam and Eve were meant to remain virginal, although that is the consensus of the Fathers ....

My Apologies in advance for the length of this post, but I believe a rather different view of pre-lapsarian state prevailed in the West, among such Fathers as St Irenaeus, St Cyprian of Carthage, St Jerome, and St Augustine, who all believed that human sexuality was a fundamentally good aspect of human nature that would have been retained even had the Fall never occurred.

In this respect the Western Fathers of the Church are in disagreement with those in the East -- so much for the "overwhelming" Patristic consensus.

Here are some passages from City of God in which St Augustine makes abundantly clear his belief that (passionless) conjugal union was intended as the normative means for propagating the human race, even before the fall (I have bolded the relevant sections):

Quote
Chapter 21.— That Man's Transgression Did Not Annul the Blessing of Fecundity Pronounced Upon Man Before He Sinned But Infected It with the Disease of Lust.

Far be it, then, from us to suppose that our first parents in Paradise felt that lust which caused them afterwards to blush and hide their nakedness, or that by its means they should have fulfilled the benediction of God, “Increase and multiply and replenish the earth;” Genesis 1:28 for it was after sin that lust began. It was after sin that our nature, having lost the power it had over the whole body, but not having lost all shame, perceived, noticed, blushed at, and covered it. But that blessing upon marriage, which encouraged them to increase and multiply and replenish the earth, though it continued even after they had sinned, was yet given before they sinned, in order that the procreation of children might be recognized as part of the glory of marriage, and not of the punishment of sin. But now, men being ignorant of the blessedness of Paradise, suppose that children could not have been begotten there in any other way than they know them to be begotten now, i.e., by lust, at which even honorable marriage blushes; some not simply rejecting, but sceptically deriding the divine Scriptures, in which we read that our first parents, after they sinned, were ashamed of their nakedness, and covered it; while others, though they accept and honor Scripture, yet conceive that this expression, “Increase and multiply,” refers not to carnal fecundity, because a similar expression is used of the soul in the words, “You will multiply me with strength in my soul;” and so, too, in the words which follow in Genesis, “And replenish the earth, and subdue it,” they understand by the earth the body which the soul fills with its presence, and which it rules over when it is multiplied in strength. And they hold that children could no more then than now be begotten without lust, which, after sin, was kindled, observed, blushed for, and covered; and even that children would not have been born in Paradise, but only outside of it, as in fact it turned out. For it was after they were expelled from it that they came together to beget children, and begot them.

Chapter 22.— Of the Conjugal Union as It Was Originally Instituted and Blessed by God.

But we, for our part, have no manner of doubt that to increase and multiply and replenish the earth in virtue of the blessing of God, is a gift of marriage as God instituted it from the beginning before man sinned, when He created them male and female,— in other words, two sexes manifestly distinct. And it was this work of God on which His blessing was pronounced. For no sooner had Scripture said, “Male and female created He them,” Genesis 1:27-28 than it immediately continues, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it,” etc. And though all these things may not unsuitably be interpreted in a spiritual sense, yet “male and female” cannot be understood of two things in one man, as if there were in him one thing which rules, another which is ruled; but it is quite clear that they were created male and female, with bodies of different sexes, for the very purpose of begetting offspring, and so increasing, multiplying, and replenishing the earth; and it is great folly to oppose so plain a fact. It was not of the spirit which commands and the body which obeys, nor of the rational soul which rules and the irrational desire which is ruled, nor of the contemplative virtue which is supreme and the active which is subject, nor of the understanding of the mind and the sense of the body, but plainly of the matrimonial union by which the sexes are mutually bound together, that our Lord, when asked whether it were lawful for any cause to put away one's wife (for on account of the hardness of the hearts of the Israelites Moses permitted a bill of divorcement to be given), answered and said, “Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-5 It is certain, then, that from the first men were created, as we see and know them to be now, of two sexes, male and female, and that they are called one, either on account of the matrimonial union, or on account of the origin of the woman, who was created from the side of the man. And it is by this original example, which God Himself instituted, that the apostle admonishes all husbands to love their own wives in particular. Ephesians 5:25

Chapter 23.— Whether Generation Should Have Taken Place Even in Paradise Had Man Not Sinned, or Whether There Should Have Been Any Contention There Between Chastity and Lust.

But he who says that there should have been neither copulation nor generation but for sin, virtually says that man's sin was necessary to complete the number of the saints. For if these two by not sinning should have continued to live alone, because, as is supposed, they could not have begotten children had they not sinned, then certainly sin was necessary in order that there might be not only two but many righteous men. And if this cannot be maintained without absurdity, we must rather believe that the number of the saints fit to complete this most blessed city would have been as great though no one had sinned, as it is now that the grace of God gathers its citizens out of the multitude of sinners, so long as the children of this world generate and are generated. Luke 20:34
And therefore that marriage, worthy of the happiness of Paradise, should have had desirable fruit without the shame of lust, had there been no sin. But how that could be, there is now no example to teach us. Nevertheless, it ought not to seem incredible that one member might serve the will without lust then, since so many serve it now. Do we now move our feet and hands when we will to do the things we would by means of these members? Do we meet with no resistance in them, but perceive that they are ready servants of the will, both in our own case and in that of others, and especially of artisans employed in mechanical operations, by which the weakness and clumsiness of nature become, through industrious exercise, wonderfully dexterous? And shall we not believe that, like as all those members obediently serve the will, so also should the members have discharged the function of generation, though lust, the award of disobedience, had been awanting? Did not Cicero, in discussing the difference of governments in his De Republica, adopt a simile from human nature, and say that we command our bodily members as children, they are so obedient; but that the vicious parts of the soul must be treated as slaves, and be coerced with a more stringent authority? And no doubt, in the order of nature, the soul is more excellent than the body; and yet the soul commands the body more easily than itself. Nevertheless this lust, of which we at present speak, is the more shameful on this account, because the soul is therein neither master of itself, so as not to lust at all, nor of the body, so as to keep the members under the control of the will; for if they were thus ruled, there should be no shame. But now the soul is ashamed that the body, which by nature is inferior and subject to it, should resist its authority. For in the resistance experienced by the soul in the other emotions there is less shame, because the resistance is from itself, and thus, when it is conquered by itself, itself is the conqueror, although the conquest is inordinate and vicious, because accomplished by those parts of the soul which ought to be subject to reason, yet, being accomplished by its own parts and energies, the conquest is, as I say, its own. For when the soul conquers itself to a due subordination, so that its unreasonable motions are controlled by reason, while it again is subject to God, this is a conquest virtuous and praiseworthy. Yet there is less shame when the soul is resisted by its own vicious parts than when its will and order are resisted by the body, which is distinct from and inferior to it, and dependent on it for life itself.
But so long as the will retains under its authority the other members, without which the members excited by lust to resist the will cannot accomplish what they seek, chastity is preserved, and the delight of sin foregone. And certainly, had not culpable disobedience been visited with penal disobedience, the marriage of Paradise should have been ignorant of this struggle and rebellion, this quarrel between will and lust, that the will may be satisfied and lust restrained, but those members, like all the rest, should have obeyed the will. The field of generation should have been sown by the organ created for this purpose, as the earth is sown by the hand. And whereas now, as we essay to investigate this subject more exactly, modesty hinders us, and compels us to ask pardon of chaste ears, there would have been no cause to do so, but we could have discoursed freely, and without fear of seeming obscene, upon all those points which occur to one who meditates on the subject. There would not have been even words which could be called obscene, but all that might be said of these members would have been as pure as what is said of the other parts of the body. Whoever, then, comes to the perusal of these pages with unchaste mind, let him blame his disposition, not his nature; let him brand the actings of his own impurity, not the words which necessity forces us to use, and for which every pure and pious reader or hearer will very readily pardon me, while I expose the folly of that scepticism which argues solely on the ground of its own experience, and has no faith in anything beyond. He who is not scandalized at the apostle's censure of the horrible wickedness of the women who “changed the natural use into that which is against nature,”Romans 1:26 will read all this without being shocked, especially as we are not, like Paul, citing and censuring a damnable uncleanness, but are explaining, so far as we can, human generation, while with Paul we avoid all obscenity of language.

Chapter 24.— That If Men Had Remained Innocent and Obedient in Paradise, the Generative Organs Should Have Been in Subjection to the Will as the Other Members are.

The man, then, would have sown the seed, and the woman received it, as need required, the generative organs being moved by the will, not excited by lust. For we move at will not only those members which are furnished with joints of solid bone, as the hands, feet, and fingers, but we move also at will those which are composed of slack and soft nerves: we can put them in motion, or stretch them out, or bend and twist them, or contract and stiffen them, as we do with the muscles of the mouth and face. The lungs, which are the very tenderest of the viscera except the brain, and are therefore carefully sheltered in the cavity of the chest, yet for all purposes of inhaling and exhaling the breath, and of uttering and modulating the voice, are obedient to the will when we breathe, exhale, speak, shout, or sing, just as the bellows obey the smith or the organist. I will not press the fact that some animals have a natural power to move a single spot of the skin with which their whole body is covered, if they have felt on it anything they wish to drive off—a power so great, that by this shivering tremor of the skin they can not only shake off flies that have settled on them, but even spears that have fixed in their flesh. Man, it is true, has not this power; but is this any reason for supposing that God could not give it to such creatures as He wished to possess it? And therefore man himself also might very well have enjoyed absolute power over his members had he not forfeited it by his disobedience; for it was not difficult for God to form him so that what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been moved only at will.

Chapter 26.— That We are to Believe that in Paradise Our First Parents Begot Offspring Without Blushing.

In Paradise, then, man lived as he desired so long as he desired what God had commanded. He lived in the enjoyment of God, and was good by God's goodness; he lived without any want, and had it in his power so to live eternally. He had food that he might not hunger, drink that he might not thirst, the tree of life that old age might not waste him. There was in his body no corruption, nor seed of corruption, which could produce in him any unpleasant sensation. He feared no inward disease, no outward accident. Soundest health blessed his body, absolute tranquillity his soul. As in Paradise there was no excessive heat or cold, so its inhabitants were exempt from the vicissitudes of fear and desire. No sadness of any kind was there, nor any foolish joy; true gladness ceaselessly flowed from the presence of God, who was loved “out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned.” 1 Timothy 1:5 The honest love of husband and wife made a sure harmony between them. Body and spirit worked harmoniously together, and the commandment was kept without labor. No languor made their leisure wearisome; no sleepiness interrupted their desire to labor. We speak of things which are now shameful, and although we try, as well as we are able, to conceive them as they were before they became shameful, yet necessity compels us rather to limit our discussion to the bounds set by modesty than to extend it as our moderate faculty of discourse might suggest. For since that which I have been speaking of was not experienced even by those who might have experienced it—I mean our first parents (for sin and its merited banishment from Paradise anticipated this passionless generation on their part)—when sexual intercourse is spoken of now, it suggests to men's thoughts not such a placid obedience to the will as is conceivable in our first parents, but such violent acting of lust as they themselves have experienced. And therefore modesty shuts my mouth, although my mind conceives the matter clearly. But Almighty God, the supreme and supremely good Creator of all natures, who aids and rewards good wills, while He abandons and condemns the bad, and rules both, was not destitute of a plan by which He might people His city with the fixed number of citizens which His wisdom had foreordained even out of the condemned human race, discriminating them not now by merits, since the whole mass was condemned as if in a vitiated root, but by grace, and showing, not only in the case of the redeemed, but also in those who were not delivered, how much grace He has bestowed upon them. For every one acknowledges that he has been rescued from evil, not by deserved, but by gratuitous goodness, when he is singled out from the company of those with whom he might justly have borne a common punishment, and is allowed to go scathless. Why, then, should God not have created those whom He foresaw would sin, since He was able to show in and by them both what their guilt merited, and what His grace bestowed, and since, under His creating and disposing hand, even the perverse disorder of the wicked could not pervert the right order of things?

I don't have anything on hand from the other Fathers I mentioned, but I have it on good authority (Fr Dcn Matthew Steenberg, http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?1504-The-creation-of-males-and-females-why/page2) that St Irenaeus, at least, believed exactly what St Augustine does.

Is it simply a coincidence that St Irenaeus' views were formed in opposition to the Gnostic heresies against which he wrote? Could some of this Gnostic/Manichean influence have "rubbed off" on the Eastern Fathers, being in contact with various "Eastern" sects unknown to the West? After all, we cannot suppose them to have been totally immune from the "spirit of the times"
Logged

In Te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternam.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #119 on: July 12, 2011, 05:08:27 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Fripod
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 60



« Reply #120 on: July 12, 2011, 05:12:51 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.

My Apologies, it just seems to me that this particular difference of opinion between Church Fathers East and West is not widely known, so I hope I can be forgiven for posting the same message twice in order to "publicise" it.

Besides, I would hardly call two posts "spamming."
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 05:16:49 PM by Fripod » Logged

In Te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternam.
Aindriú
Faster! Funnier!
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Cynical
Jurisdiction: Vestibule of Hell
Posts: 3,918



WWW
« Reply #121 on: July 12, 2011, 05:16:57 PM »

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

Nor would I. That did seem a bit harsh. Though, it probably wouldn't hurt to post an introduction to everyone. Smiley

Welcome to the grinder forum.  Grin
Logged


I'm going to need this.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #122 on: July 12, 2011, 05:20:53 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.

My Apologies, it just seems to me that this particular difference of opinion between Church Fathers East and West is not widely known, so I hope I can be forgiven for posting the same message twice in order to "publicise" it.

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

How long have you been here? A cursory glance through the threads would show that many of us have knowledge of St. Augustine, especially his arcane work: The City of God.

Put this into google and it will give you an overview:

site:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum augustine



Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #123 on: July 12, 2011, 05:22:03 PM »

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

Nor would I. That did seem a bit harsh. Though, it probably wouldn't hurt to post an introduction to everyone. Smiley

Welcome to the grinder forum.  Grin

I did say "welcome".
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Fripod
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 60



« Reply #124 on: July 12, 2011, 05:25:53 PM »

Digging up older threads to post the same post twice?

Emily Post (pardon the pun) would suggest you post an introduction before spamming us with your cutting and pasting.

Welcome.

My Apologies, it just seems to me that this particular difference of opinion between Church Fathers East and West is not widely known, so I hope I can be forgiven for posting the same message twice in order to "publicise" it.

Besides, I would hardly call it "spamming."

How long have you been here? A cursory glance through the threads would show that many of us have knowledge of St. Augustine, especially his arcane work: The City of God.

Put this into google and it will give you an overview:

site:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum augustine

In general maybe, but perhaps not on this particular point of doctrine.

Besides, I did mention Irenaeus' teaching as well in addition to Augustine's -- cut me some slack!

And thank you for welcoming me to the forum, Orthonorm. I do appreciate it.
Logged

In Te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternam.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,523



« Reply #125 on: July 12, 2011, 05:27:37 PM »

And thank you for welcoming me to the forum, Orthonorm. I do appreciate it.

You're welcome. Just wanted to give you a quick shot of what makes me so beloved.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
LizaSymonenko
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
Global Moderator
Toumarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Posts: 13,195



WWW
« Reply #126 on: July 12, 2011, 05:52:41 PM »


Fripod,

Welcome to the forum.

I am looking forward to your contributions to the many discussions.

Since you are new, please take a moment to review the forum policies and rules.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=13455.0

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=rules

Once again, welcome!
Logged

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.433 seconds with 153 queries.