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Author Topic: Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin?  (Read 52257 times) Average Rating: 1
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #315 on: June 10, 2011, 06:01:09 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.

please note that the Orthodox church does not have a mainstream teaching of human sexuality and gender and if it does,it is not the one which is  mainly presented here... like fr paul evdokimov said

please,do find this book

The sacrament of love: the nuptial mystery in the light of the Orthodox ...
 By Paul Evdokimov, Anthony P. Gythiel

and now from the same author.... an article called-to the Church of Christ ... only 1 part

the christians have emerged the gospel into a certain fluid which made it neutral-they sterilizsed it.... after 2 millennia of christianity,the horrifying judgment which can be proclaimed by the world, a judgment of the world for the Church is that the Church became a mirror of the same world in which the Church sees the word as its own heresy,the body of Her body.The christians of today are heretics in their existantion and being and their theology is that of an eunuch(can eunichs talk about giving birth-asked st.Atanasios) .Even when it is correct,the theology of christians living today is shocking us with the absence of life...

think about this... and believe me,whatever you do-God will find you-there is no alternative  Grin
So you take Fr. Paul Evdokimov as representative of the Orthodox faith?
PetertheAleut, you know very well that there is no representative of the Orthodox faith (which Orthodox are you talking about BTW?)  However, Fr. Paul Evdokimov is a well-known and well-respected Eastern Orthodox Christian and teacher of the Eastern Orthodox faith.  His diagnosis of today's Western Christian (and Western influenced EOxy) is spot on.  He and Fr. Philotheos Faras should be read when it comes to understanding the differences between Eastern and Western Christianity.  
1.  I was not talking to you, GabrieltheCelt, though I recognize your right to pipe up on any subject and in reply to any post on an Internet forum, even if your words show that you don't really understand what you're replying to.
2.  I wasn't talking about Fr. Paul's diagnosis of the today's Western Christian. I was talking instead about Fr. Paul's view of Orthodox doctrine on human sexuality.

W.A. Mozart has argued that in some circumstances, and/or guided by some motives, premarital sex can be NOT sinful. This context he set has shaped how I read his reference to Fr. Paul Evdokimov and what he says about Orthodox views on human sexuality.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 04:08:09 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #316 on: June 10, 2011, 06:02:20 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.

please note that the Orthodox church does not have a mainstream teaching of human sexuality and gender and if it does,it is not the one which is  mainly presented here... like fr paul evdokimov said

please,do find this book

The sacrament of love: the nuptial mystery in the light of the Orthodox ...
 By Paul Evdokimov, Anthony P. Gythiel

and now from the same author.... an article called-to the Church of Christ ... only 1 part

the christians have emerged the gospel into a certain fluid which made it neutral-they sterilizsed it.... after 2 millennia of christianity,the horrifying judgment which can be proclaimed by the world, a judgment of the world for the Church is that the Church became a mirror of the same world in which the Church sees the word as its own heresy,the body of Her body.The christians of today are heretics in their existantion and being and their theology is that of an eunuch(can eunichs talk about giving birth-asked st.Atanasios) .Even when it is correct,the theology of christians living today is shocking us with the absence of life...

think about this... and believe me,whatever you do-God will find you-there is no alternative  Grin
So you take Fr. Paul Evdokimov as representative of the Orthodox faith?
PetertheAleut, you know very well that there is no representative of the Orthodox faith (which Orthodox are you talking about BTW?)  However, Fr. Paul Evdokimov is a well-known and well-respected Eastern Orthodox Christian and teacher of the Eastern Orthodox faith.  His diagnosis of today's Western Christian (and Western influenced EOxy) is spot on.  He and Fr. Philotheos Faras should be read when it comes to understanding the differences between Eastern and Western Christianity. 
I thought Pavel Evdokimov was just a layman?

In Christ,
Andrew
I thought so, too (though I've been referring to him as Fr. Paul, even if this is only because others have and I'm too ignorant to know for sure).
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W.A.Mozart
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« Reply #317 on: June 11, 2011, 02:48:02 PM »

I made a mistake,forgive me-maybe i was thinking of schmemann while typing  Grin  -of course he wasnt a priest

Paul Evdokimov, a twentieth century Russian philosopher and theologian.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 02:48:15 PM by W.A.Mozart » Logged

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« Reply #318 on: June 12, 2011, 04:24:45 PM »


Think about it when you receive the Eucharist from a many times divorced and remarried openly lesbian Anglican * Bishop and ask yourself is this what Christ wanted for His Church to become?


  The Eucharistic theology, especially in Anglicanism, affirms that the faith of the recipient, and not the piety of the priest, is critical to the validity of the sacraments.  Thus, a many times divorced lesbian priest still stands in for Christ, beacuse the validity of being a priest is not dependent on his or her own personal holiness.

 There's so much ugliness in this statement I don't know where to begin.    I'd look on that person with compassion because we all need mercy, forgiveness, and understanding in ths life, and I know that forgiveness doesn't come wthout being forgiving.  And fortunately I know you do not speak for the Orthodox church...
 



  
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 04:29:18 PM by Daedelus1138 » Logged
GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #319 on: June 12, 2011, 04:37:25 PM »

1.  I was not talking to you, GabrieltheCelt, though I recognize your right to pipe up on any subject and in reply to any post on an Internet forum, even if your words show that you don't really understand what you're replying to.
Why PtA, do I detect a little contempt?  That makes me sad.  Sad 
 
2.  I wasn't talking about Fr. Paul's diagnosis of the today's Western Christian. I was talking instead about Fr. Paul's view of Orthodox doctrine on human sexuality.
The way I read your comments, seems like you took umbrage with W.A.Mozarts' usage of only one source; as if doing so means he discredits all other viewpoints.  Sorry if I misread your words.  There, now we can be friends again.  Wink   


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« Reply #320 on: June 12, 2011, 05:58:42 PM »


Think about it when you receive the Eucharist from a many times divorced and remarried openly lesbian Anglican * Bishop and ask yourself is this what Christ wanted for His Church to become?

  The Eucharistic theology, especially in Anglicanism, affirms that the faith of the recipient, and not the piety of the priest, is critical to the validity of the sacraments. 

Even Priests are sinners - does that mean that man can do away with the Eucharist or reframe the Eucharist from his understanding?

Thus, a many times divorced lesbian priest still stands in for Christ, beacuse the validity of being a priest is not dependent on his or her own personal holiness.

Did Christ have many times divorced lesbian Apostles and Disciples?  Do we have to wait for Spong to conjure up evidence of homosexuality among Christ's Apostles and Disciples to retroactively justify the Anglican Church's decisions to ordain women, homosexuals and multiple divorced people?

There's so much ugliness in this statement I don't know where to begin.    I'd look on that person with compassion because we all need mercy, forgiveness, and understanding in ths life, and I know that forgiveness doesn't come wthout being forgiving.  And fortunately I know you do not speak for the Orthodox church...

Who said I did ... then again, I would never join an Anglican forum.   Wink
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« Reply #321 on: June 12, 2011, 09:56:45 PM »


Even Priests are sinners - does that mean that man can do away with the Eucharist or reframe the Eucharist from his understanding? 

  From the Anglican perspective having a hypothetical divorced lesbian priest is not altering the nature of the Eucharist.   For Anglicans the Eucharist is primarily about faith, not in a mechanistic or magical view of apostolicity.   If one is worrying about the sex life of the priest, the focus is in the wrong place.

Did Christ have many times divorced lesbian Apostles and Disciples?  Do we have to wait for Spong to conjure up evidence of homosexuality among Christ's Apostles and Disciples to retroactively justify the Anglican Church's decisions to ordain women, homosexuals and multiple divorced people?   

  The Bible and Christian tradition at one time seemed to approve of slavery, and not condemn it, too.  This is a big area to talk about but, I honestly do not beleve that a lesbian cannot follow in the apostles and disciples of Christ.  The apostles were not impeccable.  One does not have to be sinless to be a "God-bearer" into the world (read St. Seraphim of Sarov's "On Acquiring the Holy Spirit" some time).  Holding up heterosexuality as some unreal ideal, divorced from the concrete needs of the individual queer or transgender person, doesn't help them live better lives, all it does is subject them to shame, guilt, and other unhelpful feelngs.  Love heals people,  the other things do not.
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« Reply #322 on: June 12, 2011, 10:18:21 PM »


Even Priests are sinners - does that mean that man can do away with the Eucharist or reframe the Eucharist from his understanding?  

  From the Anglican perspective having a hypothetical divorced lesbian priest is not altering the nature of the Eucharist.

We already disagree on what is the nature of the Eucharist because the Anglican Church is long separated from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  The Eucharist symbolizes one - if we're not talking about the same Eucharist then we're talking over each other.

  For Anglicans the Eucharist is primarily about faith, not in a mechanistic or magical view of apostolicity.

Once upon a time, the Orthodox in the USA (e.g. early 20th Century) thought that the Anglican Church was Apostolic enough.  To this day, Orthodox Churches are structured like Anglican Churches although canonically they remain Orthodox rather than Anglican.  Why do you think that the Orthodox took a step back from the Anglican Communion?

  If one is worrying about the sex life of the priest, the focus is in the wrong place.

Why is the focus in the wrong place?  What is wrong with trying to be holy whether a Priest or a layperson?

Did Christ have many times divorced lesbian Apostles and Disciples?  Do we have to wait for Spong to conjure up evidence of homosexuality among Christ's Apostles and Disciples to retroactively justify the Anglican Church's decisions to ordain women, homosexuals and multiple divorced people?  

  The Bible and Christian tradition at one time seemed to approve of slavery, and not condemn it, too.  

You use the term "slavery."  The Greek term used in the OT is οἰκέται which translates as servants (not slaves).  We are slaves to sin and if the "slavery" of the Hebrews was not condemned, they would never have been delivered to the Promised Land.

This is a big area to talk about but, I honestly do not beleve that a lesbian cannot follow in the apostles and disciples of Christ.  

An actively practicing lesbian/homosexual or one who has lesbian/homosexual urges and temptations?

The apostles were not impeccable.  One does not have to be sinless to be a "God-bearer" into the world (read St. Seraphim of Sarov's "On Acquiring the Holy Spirit" some time).  Holding up heterosexuality as some unreal ideal, divorced from the concrete needs of the individual queer or transgender person, doesn't help them live better lives,

Show me where St. Seraphim of Sarov states that active homosexuality is an acceptable state for anyone, including an Orthodox Christian.  What if your whole misunderstanding about sexuality/gender stems from your inability to understand St. Seraphim of Sarov?  If someone is born transgender, that individual should have decided to live life as one gender or the other ... not flaunt both of them and demand special treatment.  Sure, secular government will recognize transgenderism ... what about God who made them male and female ... not male, female and both.   Huh

all it does is subject them to shame, guilt, and other unhelpful feelngs.  Love heals people,  the other things do not.

I know active homosexuals as well as people who have had premarital sex; I do love them and I hope that they repent (or have repented) of their active sins.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 10:22:07 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #323 on: June 12, 2011, 11:39:16 PM »

We already disagree on what is the nature of the Eucharist because the Anglican Church is long separated from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  The Eucharist symbolizes one - if we're not talking about the same Eucharist then we're talking over each other.  

  There's only one baptism, and Anglicans are most definitely baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.  So, there is your "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church".   Perhaps we aren't perfectly united but i'm tired of hearing this knd of triumphalism as justification for anti-intellectualism.  Simply saying you are apostolic and others are not, does not make it so.  Its not a one way walking away from faith, the Anglican patrimony has tried to follow Christ and the Apostles as best they could... the same as the East.   That the east chooses to see some issues as communion breaking does not necessarily reflect poorly on Anglicanism.

Quote
 Why do you think that the Orthodox took a step back from the Anglican Communion?  

   Mistrust, cultural issues.  This doesn't necessarily mean that Anglicans are outside the Church.  Anglicans have not always appreciated the benefit to try to be visibly united with the Christian East, either-  its a comprehensve, non-confessional church and some  schools of Anglicanism have their own triumphalist issues (more Evangelical anglicans often simply don't pay that much attenton to the "objective" issues of the Christian faith).

  Lest you think Anglican theology is all garbage, you should read Archbishop Rowan Williams some time.  I have both his books on praying with icons, he revealed things about certan icons i had not noticed wth all my readng and liturgical attendance in Orthodox churches.  And yet Archbishop Williams is a man that is familiar wth the west and the issues of modernity and doesn't pretend to hide from it- he's an affirming catholic after all, he does not need a spiritual Disneyland to coddle him.

Quote
Why is the focus in the wrong place?  What is wrong with trying to be holy whether a Priest or a layperson?  

  Is holiness merely about following the right rules, or is it about bearing God's love in this world?   And how would we know exactly who is and is not holy, through some kind of formula, a checklist perhaps?  The Pharisees tried that 2,000 years ago and failed badly.


Quote
Show me where St. Seraphim of Sarov states that active homosexuality is an acceptable state for anyone, including an Orthodox Christian.  What if your whole misunderstanding about sexuality/gender stems from your inability to understand St. Seraphim of Sarov?  

   You're trying to lower the conversation down to a yes/no type discussion, I think what I'm drawing from St. Seraphim is that holiness is not merely conformity to rules or trying to be virtuous , it is acquiring the Holy Spirit.  In ths respect even a prostitute can be a wonder-worker (read the book some time).  Works and outward virtues do not save a person, only love does.  In this respect it is posible to be religious and far from God, or to be irrelligious and very close to God.   God doesn't save us to be religious, he saves us to be loving.

 
Quote
 someone is born transgender, that individual should have decided to live life as one gender or the other ... not flaunt both of them and demand special treatment.  Sure, secular government will recognize transgenderism ... what about God who made them male and female ... not male, female and both.

   Male and female are not cosmicly universal categories. There are plants and animals that defy male/female classification.   And God does apparrently create even human beings in that manner  (Jesus talks about some being born eunuchs after all, what else is he referring to- in the ancient world eunuchs were often a third gender).   I've met a few like that (intersexed individuals), why should they have to classify themselves according to simplistic ideas about male and female, why can't they be happy as God created them, and decide for themselves what to call themselves?  Sexual assignment of intersxed indivduals early in life can create alot of pain later, often times the child's gender identity wll not match what is assigned.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 11:43:08 PM by Daedelus1138 » Logged
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« Reply #324 on: June 12, 2011, 11:56:36 PM »

  The Bible and Christian tradition at one time seemed to approve of slavery
Nuh uh.
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« Reply #325 on: June 13, 2011, 12:24:02 AM »

From the Anglican perspective having a hypothetical divorced lesbian priest is not altering the nature of the Eucharist.   For Anglicans the Eucharist is primarily about faith, not in a mechanistic or magical view of apostolicity.   If one is worrying about the sex life of the priest, the focus is in the wrong place.

Sacraments are not magic. The rules are in place to safeguard their integrity and certainty, not because we need to bind God into a magical and mechanical formula.

It's like the FDA seal of approval. You can get milk straight from a cow if you want, but who knows what kinds of things are growing in it. But the FDA seal is backed by regulations and safeguards for the consumer's health. That is what the rules are for.

And incidentally, a priestess cannot have the sacramental priesthood. Thus she is not the proper minister of the Eucharist, and thus her sacrament cannot be effected. She has not the charism to call down the Holy Spirit upon the holy Gifts. Unless you view the conferring of authority to be magical and mechanical...then I can't help you.

The Bible and Christian tradition at one time seemed to approve of slavery, and not condemn it, too.

To use slavery as an example is terribly anachronistic. Involuntary servitude has been a widespread part of the human experience for basically all but the last ~100 years of our existence. The Bible tells masters and slaves how to regard one another. That is not making an endorsement. That is speaking to reality.

Next we'll be trashing the ancients for not providing preventative healthcare and for allowing too much collateral damage in their warfare. "How could they stand idly by when they had 12-year-old children working sunup to sundown in filthy conditions?!" It's a silly and irrelevant exercise.

Christianity is not merely a bunch of pithy idealisms. Christianity is about real people living in the real world. And for most of history, there have been masters and slaves. That is reality. It's not Christianity's fault.

Love heals people,  the other things do not.

Would it be loving for the Church to love people right into Hell? Because that is where unrepentant sinners go.

The Church loves people by helping them to repent and showing the way to salvation. It's not loving to enable people as they destroy themselves. You may not agree that such things are self-destructive, but the Church's 2000 years of experience and eternal perspective beg to differ.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 12:33:48 AM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #326 on: June 13, 2011, 12:48:01 AM »

 There's only one baptism, and Anglicans are most definitely baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.  So, there is your "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church".

Sorry Anglican Communion, I don't know you.

 Perhaps we aren't perfectly united but i'm tired of hearing this knd of triumphalism as justification for anti-intellectualism.

Man invented anti-intellectualism and all the other isms you just spouted.  You want to worship what was created by Man?

Simply saying you are apostolic and others are not, does not make it so.  Its not a one way walking away from faith, the Anglican patrimony has tried to follow Christ and the Apostles as best they could... the same as the East.   That the east chooses to see some issues as communion breaking does not necessarily reflect poorly on Anglicanism.

You know how the Anglican Church was founded; hence, I will not beat that dead horse.  Let's just say that a whole bunch of isms resulted in the creation of the Anglican Church.

  Mistrust, cultural issues.  This doesn't necessarily mean that Anglicans are outside the Church.  Anglicans have not always appreciated the benefit to try to be visibly united with the Christian East, either-  its a comprehensve, non-confessional church and some  schools of Anglicanism have their own triumphalist issues (more Evangelical anglicans often simply don't pay that much attenton to the "objective" issues of the Christian faith).

  Lest you think Anglican theology is all garbage, you should read Archbishop Rowan Williams some time.  I have both his books on praying with icons, he revealed things about certan icons i had not noticed wth all my readng and liturgical attendance in Orthodox churches.  And yet Archbishop Williams is a man that is familiar wth the west and the issues of modernity and doesn't pretend to hide from it- he's an affirming catholic after all, he does not need a spiritual Disneyland to coddle him.

There were nice icons on display in Westminster Abbey during the Royal Wedding.   Smiley

The most liberal elements in Archbishop Rowan Williams' Communion have written him off for straddling the fence between actively homosexual clergy and Hierarchy.  Are you aware that some Roman Catholic groups are ordaining female Priests under penalty of excommunication from Rome?

Quote
Why is the focus in the wrong place?  What is wrong with trying to be holy whether a Priest or a layperson?  

  Is holiness merely about following the right rules, or is it about bearing God's love in this world?   And how would we know exactly who is and is not holy, through some kind of formula, a checklist perhaps?  The Pharisees tried that 2,000 years ago and failed badly.

1.  The Orthodox has a modern Saint, St. Nektarios, who lived in the early part of the 20th Century.  He was also persecuted for speaking the truth to those who didn't want to hear it.  People knew that he was holy based on how he lived and the miracles that were performed before and after his death.  To this day, people are healed due to intercessions to St. Nektarios and/or receiving Holy Unction from the oil at his convent in Greece.  There are other Orthodox Saints whose remains are incorrupt to this very day.

2.  There are still Pharisees today.  You've seen disputes in this forum over Bishops and Churches arguing over less than $50,000 in financial commitment.  Sometimes the Pharisees can be in the Hierarchy and most of the time, the Pharisees are among the laity especially with hypocrisy.

Quote
Show me where St. Seraphim of Sarov states that active homosexuality is an acceptable state for anyone, including an Orthodox Christian.  What if your whole misunderstanding about sexuality/gender stems from your inability to understand St. Seraphim of Sarov?  

   You're trying to lower the conversation down to a yes/no type discussion,

This is a yes/no discussion.  Apparently, you can't say with authority that St. Seraphim of Sarov approved of active homosexuality and/or glorified transgenderism.  Since St. Seraphim of Sarov is an Orthodox Saint, it is safe to say that St. Seraphim of Sarov did not deviate from the practice of the Orthodox Church.  Why do you interpret St. Seraphim of Sarov to suit your own agenda ... I have no clue.   Undecided

I think what I'm drawing from St. Seraphim is that holiness is not merely conformity to rules or trying to be virtuous , it is acquiring the Holy Spirit.  In ths respect even a prostitute can be a wonder-worker (read the book some time).

I hope to read the book one of these days.  Meanwhile, let's remember that St. Seraphim of Sarov had the gift of clairvoyance - something that neither you or I possess.

 Works and outward virtues do not save a person, only love does.  In this respect it is posible to be religious and far from God, or to be irrelligious and very close to God.   God doesn't save us to be religious, he saves us to be loving.

God wants us to love one another; however, the word love is a major tripping point.  Does "love" mean having sex with my girlfriend or does "love" mean spending time with each other, getting to know each other, supporting each other, attending Church together without having sex before any Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.  Would a homosexual couple "love" each other in the latter manner I described without having sex PERIOD?   Huh

Quote
 someone is born transgender, that individual should have decided to live life as one gender or the other ... not flaunt both of them and demand special treatment.  Sure, secular government will recognize transgenderism ... what about God who made them male and female ... not male, female and both.

   Male and female are not cosmicly universal categories.

So you're saying that God created male and female as some kind of allegory?


There are plants and animals that defy male/female classification.

And that's why we can't put God in a box and make that statement for plants and animals.  For humans, God created both male and female - no allegory there.


  And God does apparrently create even human beings in that manner  (Jesus talks about some being born eunuchs after all, what else is he referring to- in the ancient world eunuchs were often a third gender).

Eunuchs were persecuted and killed in ancient times.  Eunuchs were also sinners even when being persecuted.  However, man created the transgendered rights movement, which is fine in secular world because man has elevated himself to God.


   I've met a few like that (intersexed individuals), why should they have to classify themselves according to simplistic ideas about male and female, why can't they be happy as God created them, and decide for themselves what to call themselves?

Man has to have a name for everything.


  Sexual assignment of intersxed indivduals early in life can create alot of pain later, often times the child's gender identity wll not match what is assigned.

Man invented ways to deal with transgendered persons thanks to humanism and rationalism.  A transgendered person remains a child of God; if the child (assuming that the child was baptized an Orthodox Christian) rejects the Orthodox faith because of persecution - who deserves the greater reward: the child, the community that rejected him/her or the community which embraced his/her transgendered nature?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 12:52:02 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #327 on: June 13, 2011, 03:58:54 AM »

Mods feel free to merge this topic in the "Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin" thread if preferred; I was thinking a similar but different thread focusing on scholarly language resources might be worthwhile.

The first recorded use of the noun in its modern meaning was in 1303 AD, with the verb fornicate first recorded around 250 years later.  See The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.   The word derives from Latin.  The word fornix means "an archway" or "vault" and it became a common euphemism for a brothel as prostitutes could be solicited in the vaults beneath Rome.  More directly, fornicatio means "done in the archway"; thus it originally referred to prostitution.


To look at the philology and philological historiography (the latter is based upon the former) behind and inclusive of OT, NT, and post-apostolic terms, rather than the likes of The American Heritage Dictionary acts420 consulted, one is better off with the major resources like Gerhard Kittel, ed., TDNT (10 Volumes), Colin Brown, ed., DNTT (4 Volumes including index), and the like. As I have some of these in electronic form...

Here is some selected excerpts from H. Reisser, “porneia,” DNTT 1.497–501:
Quote from: H. Resser, porneia, in DNTT I.497ff.
CL [i.e. in Classical Greek literature]
1. The word-group can describe various extra-marital sexual modes of behaviour insofar as they deviate from accepted social and religious norms (e.g. homosexuality, promiscuity, paedophilia, and especially prostitution)...

OT
3. In later Jewish Rab. language zenut (porneia) is to be understood as including not only prostitution and any kind of extra-marital intercourse (Pirqe Aboth 2:8) but all marriages between relatives forbidden by Rab. law (cf. SB II 729 f.). Incest (Test. Rub. 1.6; Test. Jud. 13, 6; cf. Lev 18:6-18) and all kinds of unnatural sexual intercourse (e.g. Test. Ben. 9.1) were viewed as fornication (porneia). One who surrenders to it shows ultimately that he has broken with God (cf. Wis. 14:17f.) ...Correspondingly the Dead Sea Scrolls give frequent warnings against such fornication (1QS 1:6; 4:10; CD 2:16; 4:17, 20).

NT
In the NT the main weight of the word-group (used in all 55 times, of which porneia alone accounts for 25) falls clearly in Paul (21 times, of which 1 Cor and 2 Cor account for 15) and in Rev (19 times). From this one realizes that the question of porneia comes up for discussion particularly in the confrontation with the Gk. world and in the context of final judgment (there again linked with a person's relationship with God)...

2. In the Pauline writings the word-group porne denotes any kind of illegitimate sexual intercourse... If the congregation does not separate from such unchaste persons, the whole church is endangered (5:9ff), and stands under God's judgment (see art. Destroy, olethros). Since gnostic dualism saw in corporeality something that decayed and perished, sexual needs relating to one's body could be freely and spontaneously expressed. Paul passionately resisted this outlook (1 Cor 6:9-20). The stomach is meant for food, but the human body is not meant for unchastity (6:13). Human existence cannot be dissected into two realities, a sarkik and a pneumatic (v. 15 ff.). From porneia as from eidolatria, idolatry, one must flee (6:18; 10:14), because pornea cannot be secularized in the way the Corinthians hold. It is rather as if a religious and demonic power is let loose in porneia: "It is manifestly a different spirit, a pneuma akatharton (Matt 10:1), a spirit that is incompatible and irreconcilable with Christ, which takes control of man in porneia (Iwand, op cit, p. 615). Because man does not have a soma (body) but is a soma (i.e. is conceived as an indivisible totality), he is either a member of the body of Christ with his total reality or equally totally linked to a porne (1 Cor 6:15-19; cf. Heb 12:16). Thus Paul has to keep on warning not only his congregation (1 Cor 7:2; 10:8), but also others (Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; 1 Thess 4:3) specifically against porneia, and with the greatest urgency, because it effects the whole person.

Here is a brief excerpt from F. Hauck and S. Schulz, “porneia” TDNT VI, pp. 579–595:

Quote from: F. Hauck and S. Schulz, porneia, TDNT VI, pp. 579-595
The NT is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse... the concrete directions of Paul bring to the attention of Gentile Christians the incompatibility of porneia and the kingdom of God (in the list of vices in Rom 1:24-32; 13:13; 1 Cor 5:10f.; 6:9f.; 2 Cor 12:20f.; Gal 5:19-21; Col  3:5, 8f.; cf. also Eph 4:25-31; 5:3f.; 1 Tim 1:9f.; 2 Tim 3:2-5). Porneia occurs 8 times; akatharsia 4 times, while in 5 instances he begins with porneia or sexual sins, cf. Juncker, 113-117 and Exc. "Lasterkataloge" in Ltzm. R. on 1:31). No pornos has any part in this kingdom: 1 Cor 6:9; Eph 5:5. In 1 Cor 6:9 the sexual vices (pornoi, moichoi, malakoi, arsenokoitai) are put next to the chief sin of idolatry... As individuals are to steer clear of porneia, so it is the apostle's supreme concern to keep the communities free from such sins, since toleration of the offender makes the whole church guilty and constitutes an eschaltological thread (1 Cor 5:1ff.; cf. Heb 12:14-16. Thus Paul demands thta the congregation expel the impenitent wrong-doer (1 Cor 5:13) and break off all felowship with those who live licentious lives (5:9). 2 Cor 12:19-21 expresses a concern lest the impenitence of those who have committed fornication should make necessary his intervention in the affairs of the community. The porneia of individual members makes the whole church unclean and threatens the whole work of the apostle, which is to present pure communities to Christ, 2 Cor 11:2... God's mighty will for the salvation of men is hagiasmos, 1 Thess 4:3; cf. also Eph 5:3-5. This includes sanctification of the body too and thus excludes any acceptance of fornication, 1 Thess 4:1-5... A man shames his own body by fornication, 6:18 He also brings shame on the body of Christ. Licentiousness is one of the expressions of the sarx, Gal 5:19. It is totally opposed to the work of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:22. It belongs to what is earthly (Col 3:5), whereas Christians should seek what is above (Col 3:1-3). Paul again and again mentions porneia alongside akatharsia, 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Col 3:5; cf. also Eph 5:3-5). He realizes not every one has the gift of continence. As a protection against the evil of fornication the man who does not have it should take the divinely prescribed way of a lawful marriage, 1 Cor 7:2. Severe though Paul's condemnation of fornication may be, there is no doubt that for him it is forgiven through Christ like all other sins. Along the same lines as Paul Hebrews ascribes the salvation of Rahab the harlot to her faith (11:31), though James (2:25) takes another view and thinks she is justified by her works. Among the seven letters of Revelation that to Pergamon accuses the Nicolatians of leading the congregation astray by compromising with the cultural life of the surrounding world in the eating of meat sacrificed to idols and the practicing of free sexual intercourse (porneia), 2:14. For the author the OT model for this is the doctrine of Balaam who led Israel astray in the same fashion, Num 25:1ff; 31:16. Along the same lines the church of Thyatira is charged with tolerating a prophetess who teaches the same practices, 2:20f... Among the leading pagan sins to which men will cling in the last days despite all the divine judgments, Rev 9:21 mentions idolatry, murder, witchcraft, and theft, and along with these unrestricted sexual indulgence... E. The Post-Apostolic Fathers. Herm. m. 4.1 warns against porneia which is the result of carnal desire. Cf. also Did 3.3."

Here is one more brief excerpt from D. F. Wright, "Sexuality, Sexual Ethics" in Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel Reid, eds., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Scholarship (1993), pp. 871- 875:

Quote from: D. F. Wright, Sexual Ethics, in DPL"
"Paul never addressed the subject of human sexuality in a systematic manner, but said much about it in response to particular questions. Nevertheless, 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 suggests that his basic teaching to a community of new converts covered sexual behavior. This was only to be expected in the Greco-Roman world where various forms of sexual license were common. Paul now reminds the Christians at Thessalonica that God’s will for their sanctification required abstinence from porneia (1 Thess 4:3, “sexual immorality” NIV). This Greek word and its cognates as used by Paul denote any kind of illegitimate—extramarital and unnatural—sexual intercourse or relationship...
        
   3.2. Sex, Self and Christ. For Paul sexual intercourse is not on a par with the satisfying of other natural appetites like eating. To that extent his approach is as inimical to the post-Christian West’s obsession with unbridled sexual gratification as it was to Corinthian licentiousness. Sexual intercourse is uniquely expressive of our whole being. “All other sins a person commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18). To deal with a blatantly intolerable perversion of Christian freedom (unlike the subtler ascetic alternative), Paul applies his richly articulated concept of “body” (soma), which may mean—almost at one and the same time—a person’s physical nature (“the body is not meant for sexual license,” 1 Cor 6:13), the whole human self (“your bodies are members of Christ himself,” 1 Cor 6:15; “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,” 1 Cor 6:19) and the church as Christ’s body... Undergirding such teaching lies Paul’s distinctive anthropology, in which the flesh, or body, is no mere external expression or instrument of the true person that resides in some inner essence (see Psychology). For Paul it is truer to say that a human being is a body rather than has a body. In the Corinthian context this is a way of speaking about a Christian both as a sexual being and as a being “in Christ,” a member of his church -body. Hence, when Paul declares porneia to be uniquely a sin against our own body (1 Cor 6:18), he is not referring merely to the misuse of our sexual organs. Nor is he distinguishing sexual sins on the grounds that drunkenness or gluttony, for example, involve things outside the body—drink and food in this case. He may be picking up a notion advanced by some libertine Corinthians, that nothing one does sexually or physically can touch the inner citadel of the soul. (Such sentiments are found among later Christian gnostics.) For Paul nothing could be further from the truth. Because sexual activity embodies the whole person, sinful union with a prostitute—or adultery or other extramarital intercourse—desecrates a Christian’s bodily union with Christ. “The association between Christ and the believer is regarded as just as close and physical as that between the two partners in the sex act” (Schweizer, 1065).

   3.3. Sex in Relationship. Paul cites Genesis 2:24 (“the two will become one flesh”) to demonstrate what is involved in the seemingly casual one-night stand with another woman; you become one body with her (1 Cor 6:16; note that Paul substitutes his own favorite soma for the Septuagint’s sarx. It is the peculiar dignity of the one-flesh union of heterosexual marriage, on the other hand, that not only is it quite compatible with spiritual union with the Lord (1 Cor 6:17), but also it expresses the mysterion (“mystery”) of the union between Christ and his church (Eph 5:31–32; 2 Cor 11:2). The analogy covers not merely reciprocal mutual love, respect and care but the union itself... But if 1 Corinthians 6 responds to an antinomian “permissiveness” current in Corinthian Christianity, 1 Corinthians 7 deals with issues reflecting a more ascetic streak. At the outset Paul cites a statement from the Corinthians’ letter (so most commentators agree), “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor 7:1; NIV margin, “not to have sexual relations with.” See Col 2:21–23 for a possible parallel). The teaching this evokes from Paul is concerned solely with marriage and sexual relations within marriage. The assertion Paul quotes almost certainly expresses the conviction of some Corinthian Christians that sexual activity between male and female, even if married (hence NIV’s rendering “good ... not to marry,” 1 Cor 7:1, is misleading), had no place in the Christian’s life. (Perhaps teaching such as 1 Cor 6:15–16 had been misunderstood as warranting this conclusion. See also 1 Tim 4:1–5 for a reaffirmation of God’s good creation of marriage.) The fact that Paul proceeds to speak only about marriage is highly significant: for him there is no acceptable context for sex except within marriage. Yet the issue is not marriage as such but sexual intercourse—or perhaps better still, marriage as inseparably entailing sexual relations... Marriage (i.e., monogamy) is needed and right because porneia as an outlet for sexuality is intolerable (1 Cor 7:2). The implication is clear: the satisfying of sexual desires is not wrong, and marriage is its appointed setting. (The parallels with 1 Thess 4:3–5 exclude the reduction of marriage to merely a cover for uncontrolled sexual gratification.) Moreover, sex is not a dispensable dimension of marriage; like responsible love and respect (cf. above on Eph 5), it is one of the mutual obligations of husband to wife and wife to husband (1 Cor 7:3). For within marriage neither partner retains sole ownership of his or her own body (1 Cor 7:4). Sex within marriage must exemplify what Paul teaches later in 1 Corinthians: “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” (1 Cor 11:11; see Man and Woman).

   3.5. A Place for Abstinence. From the perspective established by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2–4, the issue is no longer “is sex (within marriage) ever good?” but “when, if ever, is abstinence from sex within marriage right?” Paul sets out three criteria: (1) mutual consent, (2) for a limited time only, and (3) for religious purposes (1 Cor 7:5). And even this provision for abstinence is a concession—for verse 7 (Paul’s recognition that singleness—involving abstinence—is possible by divine gift alone) suggests that the “concession” of verse 6 refers to verse 5, and not to verse 2–4. The underlying assumption is that by divine appointment marriage and sexual relations go together, as do singleness and abstinence from sex; what God has joined together, humans should not separate. Hence the concessionary character of verse 5, perhaps with the Corinthian ascetics particularly in mind.
   The teaching of this chapter so far obviously disallows an understanding of sexual intercourse as intended solely for procreation. Even if artificial means of contraception are not in view, the accent falls unambiguously on sexual relations as expressive of selfless mutuality between married partners, of their belonging in the Lord to each other, not to him- or herself.

   1 Corinthians 7:8–9 adds little to the picture painted so far. For reasons that Paul will spell out later, at 1 Corinthians 7:29–35, his preference is for the unmarried and widowed to remain so, like himself. But for those who lack the charisma of sex-free singleness, it is much better to marry than be consumed with inward desire—even, it seems, if that desire is controlled and not given vent in porneia

4. Conclusions.
The prevalent sexual license of Western society makes Paul’s teaching both peculiarly relevant—for it was addressed to Christians in a world in this respect not too dissimilar to ours—and painfully sharp. He allows no compromise of the restriction of sexual activity to (heterosexual) monogamous marriage. Such an ethic must seem almost utopian to our sex-besotted age, in which it appears at times that one’s identity is made to reside in one’s sexual organs and their untrammeled exercise. Paul espouses an altogether higher view of sex that could never allow it to be casual or promiscuous, simply because it is an act uniquely expressive of one’s whole being. From a Pauline perspective a cavalier freedom in sexual behavior can be bought only at the cost of trivializing the human person. His emphasis on mutuality, including sexual mutuality, within marriage—so marked an advance on the practice and precept of contemporary Hellenism and Judaism —is attractive in a day of increasing sexual violence and exaggerated insistence on individual sexual rights.
   And if for Paul the eschatological urgency accentuated the advantages in remaining unmarried—but only with God’s enabling charisma —he provides an example of a teacher on sexuality sensitive to differences of circumstances and persons. If his situation heightened the note of sexual discipline, it is arguable that it was in every way healthier—spiritually, psychologically, physically—than alternatives offered and promoted today."
I have some other sources on this which I may add later.

It seems to me almost 2000 years of Orthodox teaching is clearly in agreement with mainstream historiographical/philological scholarship on this. One occasionally sees the argument of the "Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin" thread advanced today, seeking to take some attested marginal reading as "the" meaning of the word and obscuring the ethical teaching of the scriptures and the Church; frankly having looked at a great deal of the major philological data (not only that of the sources above) I consider those holding similar positions to have their heads firmly embedded in the sands of ignorance and wishful thinking. I wouldn't recommend wagering one's eternity upon it :-)
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« Reply #328 on: June 13, 2011, 05:47:22 AM »

In semitic the term is Z-N-Y, and it means sex with other than your spouse, with no distinction between adultery, fornication and prostitution.
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« Reply #329 on: June 13, 2011, 05:53:49 AM »

What I don't understand is why this is in the Greek forum.
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« Reply #330 on: June 13, 2011, 03:06:38 PM »

Mods feel free to merge this topic in the "Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin" thread if preferred; I was thinking a similar but different thread focusing on scholarly language resources might be worthwhile.

The first recorded use of the noun in its modern meaning was in 1303 AD, with the verb fornicate first recorded around 250 years later.  See The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.   The word derives from Latin.  The word fornix means "an archway" or "vault" and it became a common euphemism for a brothel as prostitutes could be solicited in the vaults beneath Rome.  More directly, fornicatio means "done in the archway"; thus it originally referred to prostitution.


To look at the philology and philological historiography (the latter is based upon the former) behind and inclusive of OT, NT, and post-apostolic terms, rather than the likes of The American Heritage Dictionary acts420 consulted, one is better off with the major resources like Gerhard Kittel, ed., TDNT (10 Volumes), Colin Brown, ed., DNTT (4 Volumes including index), and the like. As I have some of these in electronic form...

Here is some selected excerpts from H. Reisser, “porneia,” DNTT 1.497–501:
Quote from: H. Resser, porneia, in DNTT I.497ff.
CL [i.e. in Classical Greek literature]
1. The word-group can describe various extra-marital sexual modes of behaviour insofar as they deviate from accepted social and religious norms (e.g. homosexuality, promiscuity, paedophilia, and especially prostitution)...

OT
3. In later Jewish Rab. language zenut (porneia) is to be understood as including not only prostitution and any kind of extra-marital intercourse (Pirqe Aboth 2:Cool but all marriages between relatives forbidden by Rab. law (cf. SB II 729 f.). Incest (Test. Rub. 1.6; Test. Jud. 13, 6; cf. Lev 18:6-18) and all kinds of unnatural sexual intercourse (e.g. Test. Ben. 9.1) were viewed as fornication (porneia). One who surrenders to it shows ultimately that he has broken with God (cf. Wis. 14:17f.) ...Correspondingly the Dead Sea Scrolls give frequent warnings against such fornication (1QS 1:6; 4:10; CD 2:16; 4:17, 20).

NT
In the NT the main weight of the word-group (used in all 55 times, of which porneia alone accounts for 25) falls clearly in Paul (21 times, of which 1 Cor and 2 Cor account for 15) and in Rev (19 times). From this one realizes that the question of porneia comes up for discussion particularly in the confrontation with the Gk. world and in the context of final judgment (there again linked with a person's relationship with God)...

2. In the Pauline writings the word-group porne denotes any kind of illegitimate sexual intercourse... If the congregation does not separate from such unchaste persons, the whole church is endangered (5:9ff), and stands under God's judgment (see art. Destroy, olethros). Since gnostic dualism saw in corporeality something that decayed and perished, sexual needs relating to one's body could be freely and spontaneously expressed. Paul passionately resisted this outlook (1 Cor 6:9-20). The stomach is meant for food, but the human body is not meant for unchastity (6:13). Human existence cannot be dissected into two realities, a sarkik and a pneumatic (v. 15 ff.). From porneia as from eidolatria, idolatry, one must flee (6:18; 10:14), because pornea cannot be secularized in the way the Corinthians hold. It is rather as if a religious and demonic power is let loose in porneia: "It is manifestly a different spirit, a pneuma akatharton (Matt 10:1), a spirit that is incompatible and irreconcilable with Christ, which takes control of man in porneia (Iwand, op cit, p. 615). Because man does not have a soma (body) but is a soma (i.e. is conceived as an indivisible totality), he is either a member of the body of Christ with his total reality or equally totally linked to a porne (1 Cor 6:15-19; cf. Heb 12:16). Thus Paul has to keep on warning not only his congregation (1 Cor 7:2; 10:Cool, but also others (Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; 1 Thess 4:3) specifically against porneia, and with the greatest urgency, because it effects the whole person.

Here is a brief excerpt from F. Hauck and S. Schulz, “porneia” TDNT VI, pp. 579–595:

Quote from: F. Hauck and S. Schulz, porneia, TDNT VI, pp. 579-595
The NT is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse... the concrete directions of Paul bring to the attention of Gentile Christians the incompatibility of porneia and the kingdom of God (in the list of vices in Rom 1:24-32; 13:13; 1 Cor 5:10f.; 6:9f.; 2 Cor 12:20f.; Gal 5:19-21; Col  3:5, 8f.; cf. also Eph 4:25-31; 5:3f.; 1 Tim 1:9f.; 2 Tim 3:2-5). Porneia occurs 8 times; akatharsia 4 times, while in 5 instances he begins with porneia or sexual sins, cf. Juncker, 113-117 and Exc. "Lasterkataloge" in Ltzm. R. on 1:31). No pornos has any part in this kingdom: 1 Cor 6:9; Eph 5:5. In 1 Cor 6:9 the sexual vices (pornoi, moichoi, malakoi, arsenokoitai) are put next to the chief sin of idolatry... As individuals are to steer clear of porneia, so it is the apostle's supreme concern to keep the communities free from such sins, since toleration of the offender makes the whole church guilty and constitutes an eschaltological thread (1 Cor 5:1ff.; cf. Heb 12:14-16. Thus Paul demands thta the congregation expel the impenitent wrong-doer (1 Cor 5:13) and break off all felowship with those who live licentious lives (5:9). 2 Cor 12:19-21 expresses a concern lest the impenitence of those who have committed fornication should make necessary his intervention in the affairs of the community. The porneia of individual members makes the whole church unclean and threatens the whole work of the apostle, which is to present pure communities to Christ, 2 Cor 11:2... God's mighty will for the salvation of men is hagiasmos, 1 Thess 4:3; cf. also Eph 5:3-5. This includes sanctification of the body too and thus excludes any acceptance of fornication, 1 Thess 4:1-5... A man shames his own body by fornication, 6:18 He also brings shame on the body of Christ. Licentiousness is one of the expressions of the sarx, Gal 5:19. It is totally opposed to the work of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:22. It belongs to what is earthly (Col 3:5), whereas Christians should seek what is above (Col 3:1-3). Paul again and again mentions porneia alongside akatharsia, 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Col 3:5; cf. also Eph 5:3-5). He realizes not every one has the gift of continence. As a protection against the evil of fornication the man who does not have it should take the divinely prescribed way of a lawful marriage, 1 Cor 7:2. Severe though Paul's condemnation of fornication may be, there is no doubt that for him it is forgiven through Christ like all other sins. Along the same lines as Paul Hebrews ascribes the salvation of Rahab the harlot to her faith (11:31), though James (2:25) takes another view and thinks she is justified by her works. Among the seven letters of Revelation that to Pergamon accuses the Nicolatians of leading the congregation astray by compromising with the cultural life of the surrounding world in the eating of meat sacrificed to idols and the practicing of free sexual intercourse (porneia), 2:14. For the author the OT model for this is the doctrine of Balaam who led Israel astray in the same fashion, Num 25:1ff; 31:16. Along the same lines the church of Thyatira is charged with tolerating a prophetess who teaches the same practices, 2:20f... Among the leading pagan sins to which men will cling in the last days despite all the divine judgments, Rev 9:21 mentions idolatry, murder, witchcraft, and theft, and along with these unrestricted sexual indulgence... E. The Post-Apostolic Fathers. Herm. m. 4.1 warns against porneia which is the result of carnal desire. Cf. also Did 3.3."

Here is one more brief excerpt from D. F. Wright, "Sexuality, Sexual Ethics" in Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel Reid, eds., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Scholarship (1993), pp. 871- 875:

Quote from: D. F. Wright, Sexual Ethics, in DPL"
"Paul never addressed the subject of human sexuality in a systematic manner, but said much about it in response to particular questions. Nevertheless, 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 suggests that his basic teaching to a community of new converts covered sexual behavior. This was only to be expected in the Greco-Roman world where various forms of sexual license were common. Paul now reminds the Christians at Thessalonica that God’s will for their sanctification required abstinence from porneia (1 Thess 4:3, “sexual immorality” NIV). This Greek word and its cognates as used by Paul denote any kind of illegitimate—extramarital and unnatural—sexual intercourse or relationship...
        
   3.2. Sex, Self and Christ. For Paul sexual intercourse is not on a par with the satisfying of other natural appetites like eating. To that extent his approach is as inimical to the post-Christian West’s obsession with unbridled sexual gratification as it was to Corinthian licentiousness. Sexual intercourse is uniquely expressive of our whole being. “All other sins a person commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18). To deal with a blatantly intolerable perversion of Christian freedom (unlike the subtler ascetic alternative), Paul applies his richly articulated concept of “body” (soma), which may mean—almost at one and the same time—a person’s physical nature (“the body is not meant for sexual license,” 1 Cor 6:13), the whole human self (“your bodies are members of Christ himself,” 1 Cor 6:15; “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,” 1 Cor 6:19) and the church as Christ’s body... Undergirding such teaching lies Paul’s distinctive anthropology, in which the flesh, or body, is no mere external expression or instrument of the true person that resides in some inner essence (see Psychology). For Paul it is truer to say that a human being is a body rather than has a body. In the Corinthian context this is a way of speaking about a Christian both as a sexual being and as a being “in Christ,” a member of his church -body. Hence, when Paul declares porneia to be uniquely a sin against our own body (1 Cor 6:18), he is not referring merely to the misuse of our sexual organs. Nor is he distinguishing sexual sins on the grounds that drunkenness or gluttony, for example, involve things outside the body—drink and food in this case. He may be picking up a notion advanced by some libertine Corinthians, that nothing one does sexually or physically can touch the inner citadel of the soul. (Such sentiments are found among later Christian gnostics.) For Paul nothing could be further from the truth. Because sexual activity embodies the whole person, sinful union with a prostitute—or adultery or other extramarital intercourse—desecrates a Christian’s bodily union with Christ. “The association between Christ and the believer is regarded as just as close and physical as that between the two partners in the sex act” (Schweizer, 1065).

   3.3. Sex in Relationship. Paul cites Genesis 2:24 (“the two will become one flesh”) to demonstrate what is involved in the seemingly casual one-night stand with another woman; you become one body with her (1 Cor 6:16; note that Paul substitutes his own favorite soma for the Septuagint’s sarx. It is the peculiar dignity of the one-flesh union of heterosexual marriage, on the other hand, that not only is it quite compatible with spiritual union with the Lord (1 Cor 6:17), but also it expresses the mysterion (“mystery”) of the union between Christ and his church (Eph 5:31–32; 2 Cor 11:2). The analogy covers not merely reciprocal mutual love, respect and care but the union itself... But if 1 Corinthians 6 responds to an antinomian “permissiveness” current in Corinthian Christianity, 1 Corinthians 7 deals with issues reflecting a more ascetic streak. At the outset Paul cites a statement from the Corinthians’ letter (so most commentators agree), “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor 7:1; NIV margin, “not to have sexual relations with.” See Col 2:21–23 for a possible parallel). The teaching this evokes from Paul is concerned solely with marriage and sexual relations within marriage. The assertion Paul quotes almost certainly expresses the conviction of some Corinthian Christians that sexual activity between male and female, even if married (hence NIV’s rendering “good ... not to marry,” 1 Cor 7:1, is misleading), had no place in the Christian’s life. (Perhaps teaching such as 1 Cor 6:15–16 had been misunderstood as warranting this conclusion. See also 1 Tim 4:1–5 for a reaffirmation of God’s good creation of marriage.) The fact that Paul proceeds to speak only about marriage is highly significant: for him there is no acceptable context for sex except within marriage. Yet the issue is not marriage as such but sexual intercourse—or perhaps better still, marriage as inseparably entailing sexual relations... Marriage (i.e., monogamy) is needed and right because porneia as an outlet for sexuality is intolerable (1 Cor 7:2). The implication is clear: the satisfying of sexual desires is not wrong, and marriage is its appointed setting. (The parallels with 1 Thess 4:3–5 exclude the reduction of marriage to merely a cover for uncontrolled sexual gratification.) Moreover, sex is not a dispensable dimension of marriage; like responsible love and respect (cf. above on Eph 5), it is one of the mutual obligations of husband to wife and wife to husband (1 Cor 7:3). For within marriage neither partner retains sole ownership of his or her own body (1 Cor 7:4). Sex within marriage must exemplify what Paul teaches later in 1 Corinthians: “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” (1 Cor 11:11; see Man and Woman).

   3.5. A Place for Abstinence. From the perspective established by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:2–4, the issue is no longer “is sex (within marriage) ever good?” but “when, if ever, is abstinence from sex within marriage right?” Paul sets out three criteria: (1) mutual consent, (2) for a limited time only, and (3) for religious purposes (1 Cor 7:5). And even this provision for abstinence is a concession—for verse 7 (Paul’s recognition that singleness—involving abstinence—is possible by divine gift alone) suggests that the “concession” of verse 6 refers to verse 5, and not to verse 2–4. The underlying assumption is that by divine appointment marriage and sexual relations go together, as do singleness and abstinence from sex; what God has joined together, humans should not separate. Hence the concessionary character of verse 5, perhaps with the Corinthian ascetics particularly in mind.
   The teaching of this chapter so far obviously disallows an understanding of sexual intercourse as intended solely for procreation. Even if artificial means of contraception are not in view, the accent falls unambiguously on sexual relations as expressive of selfless mutuality between married partners, of their belonging in the Lord to each other, not to him- or herself.

   1 Corinthians 7:8–9 adds little to the picture painted so far. For reasons that Paul will spell out later, at 1 Corinthians 7:29–35, his preference is for the unmarried and widowed to remain so, like himself. But for those who lack the charisma of sex-free singleness, it is much better to marry than be consumed with inward desire—even, it seems, if that desire is controlled and not given vent in porneia

4. Conclusions.
The prevalent sexual license of Western society makes Paul’s teaching both peculiarly relevant—for it was addressed to Christians in a world in this respect not too dissimilar to ours—and painfully sharp. He allows no compromise of the restriction of sexual activity to (heterosexual) monogamous marriage. Such an ethic must seem almost utopian to our sex-besotted age, in which it appears at times that one’s identity is made to reside in one’s sexual organs and their untrammeled exercise. Paul espouses an altogether higher view of sex that could never allow it to be casual or promiscuous, simply because it is an act uniquely expressive of one’s whole being. From a Pauline perspective a cavalier freedom in sexual behavior can be bought only at the cost of trivializing the human person. His emphasis on mutuality, including sexual mutuality, within marriage—so marked an advance on the practice and precept of contemporary Hellenism and Judaism —is attractive in a day of increasing sexual violence and exaggerated insistence on individual sexual rights.
   And if for Paul the eschatological urgency accentuated the advantages in remaining unmarried—but only with God’s enabling charisma —he provides an example of a teacher on sexuality sensitive to differences of circumstances and persons. If his situation heightened the note of sexual discipline, it is arguable that it was in every way healthier—spiritually, psychologically, physically—than alternatives offered and promoted today."
I have some other sources on this which I may add later.

It seems to me almost 2000 years of Orthodox teaching is clearly in agreement with mainstream historiographical/philological scholarship on this. One occasionally sees the argument of the "Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin" thread advanced today, seeking to take some attested marginal reading as "the" meaning of the word and obscuring the ethical teaching of the scriptures and the Church; frankly having looked at a great deal of the major philological data (not only that of the sources above) I consider those holding similar positions to have their heads firmly embedded in the sands of ignorance and wishful thinking. I wouldn't recommend wagering one's eternity upon it :-)

Hope it goes without saying, but the sources you offer and the "academic" voice you present them and your understanding with are appreciated.
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« Reply #331 on: June 14, 2011, 08:35:49 PM »

Sacraments are not magic. The rules are in place to safeguard their integrity and certainty, not because we need to bind God into a magical and mechanical formula.

  Well, if you can appreciate that you can see how it is at least possible the Anglican sacraments may be legitimate.

Quote
And incidentally, a priestess cannot have the sacramental priesthood. Thus she is not the proper minister of the Eucharist

  I don't see why not, its very simple, a woman is created in the image of God.  To suggest women are somehow incapable of being icons of Christ suggests their humanity is defective, but we know this is not the case otherwise women could not be saved as men can be, through Christ, so Christ assumes both male and female human beings into his lfe, and both are capable of representing him.  To select for maleness as the only significant characteristic to resemble Christ iconicly is arbitrary.  Perhaps men without beards and long hair, or men that aren't Jewish cannot represent Christ either?

  This is another area I'd disagree with many Orthodox traditionalists of course.

Quote
  Would it be loving for the Church to love people right into Hell? Because that is where unrepentant sinners go. 

  I would argue the eternal destiny of openly gay individuals is not Hell, merely for being openly gay.  I just don't see it.  If God doesn't gratuitously punish individuals merely for breaking rules (and Orthodoxy denies He does, divine punishment is always a consequence of actions, not something externally imposed), then how can being gay seperate one from the friendshp of God anymore than being straight can? Being openly gay doesn't imply ones life is consumed by lust anymore than being a marred heterosexual does.   Leave the judgement of the heart to God, please.
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« Reply #332 on: June 14, 2011, 09:38:44 PM »


Think about it when you receive the Eucharist from a many times divorced and remarried openly lesbian Anglican * Bishop and ask yourself is this what Christ wanted for His Church to become?


  The Eucharistic theology, especially in Anglicanism, affirms that the faith of the recipient, and not the piety of the priest, is critical to the validity of the sacraments.  Thus, a many times divorced lesbian priest still stands in for Christ, beacuse the validity of being a priest is not dependent on his or her own personal holiness.

 There's so much ugliness in this statement I don't know where to begin.    I'd look on that person with compassion because we all need mercy, forgiveness, and understanding in ths life, and I know that forgiveness doesn't come wthout being forgiving.  And fortunately I know you do not speak for the Orthodox church...
 



  

That last statement is quite bold for a catechumen. Please explain how you KNOW that SolEX01 does not speak for the Orthodox Church. BTW, where in the world can you or anybody else for that matter know what the Lord wanted  or would approve of if He had not stated it or condoned/encouraged it? Or, for that matter, if His followers had ordained women to the priesthood, even in the absence of any direct trace to the Lord? Finally, I am very perplexed why a cathecumen would still retain such heterodox thinking and ideas.
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« Reply #333 on: June 16, 2011, 04:52:27 PM »

  The Bible and Christian tradition at one time seemed to approve of slavery
Nuh uh.
Seriously, how badly does one have to distort the Gospel of Jesus Christ to find support for enslaving another?
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« Reply #334 on: June 16, 2011, 04:57:14 PM »

Finally, I am very perplexed why a cathecumen would still retain such heterodox thinking and ideas.
Didn't he clearly state in the previous page that he was no longer a cathecumen since the Church wouldn't adapt to his teachings?
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« Reply #335 on: June 16, 2011, 05:45:30 PM »

Finally, I am very perplexed why a cathecumen would still retain such heterodox thinking and ideas.
Didn't he clearly state in the previous page that he was no longer a cathecumen since the Church wouldn't adapt to his teachings?


You are right; my bad. I am now even more perplexed that he is still arguing his case.
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« Reply #336 on: June 16, 2011, 07:22:52 PM »

Sacraments are not magic. The rules are in place to safeguard their integrity and certainty, not because we need to bind God into a magical and mechanical formula.

  Well, if you can appreciate that you can see how it is at least possible the Anglican sacraments may be legitimate.

It's possible, I suppose. I wouldn't bet my [eternal] life on it, however.

Quote
And incidentally, a priestess cannot have the sacramental priesthood. Thus she is not the proper minister of the Eucharist

  I don't see why not, its very simple, a woman is created in the image of God.  To suggest women are somehow incapable of being icons of Christ suggests their humanity is defective, but we know this is not the case otherwise women could not be saved as men can be, through Christ, so Christ assumes both male and female human beings into his lfe, and both are capable of representing him.  To select for maleness as the only significant characteristic to resemble Christ iconicly is arbitrary.  Perhaps men without beards and long hair, or men that aren't Jewish cannot represent Christ either?

No, it means that a hypothetical priestess would destroy Christian anthropology. Christ is masculine relative to the Church, so on a masculine human can stand in His stead. See this post for more details: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,36577.msg577876.html#msg577876

This is another area I'd disagree with many Orthodox traditionalists of course.

That would be all Orthodox people, save perhaps a few moonbats. But if any bishop ever attempted to ordain a woman, the Church would overwhelmingly throw him out, though he would be automatically excommunicated anyway.

Women can do many things, and the way I see it, women keep the Church actually functioning. That's how it is at my parish. The only thing women cannot be is sacramental ministers. I mean, please, a woman—the Theotokos—is the pinnacle of holiness and second in glory and honor only to the Trinity Himself. Anyone who argues that Orthodoxy tramples on women is silly.

Quote
  Would it be loving for the Church to love people right into Hell? Because that is where unrepentant sinners go. 

  I would argue the eternal destiny of openly gay individuals is not Hell, merely for being openly gay.  I just don't see it.  If God doesn't gratuitously punish individuals merely for breaking rules (and Orthodoxy denies He does, divine punishment is always a consequence of actions, not something externally imposed), then how can being gay seperate one from the friendshp of God anymore than being straight can? Being openly gay doesn't imply ones life is consumed by lust anymore than being a marred heterosexual does.   Leave the judgement of the heart to God, please.


Openly gay is different from people engaging in homosexual sex. One can claim the label "gay" without engaging in homosexual behavior. (Personally I think it's unorthodox to claim a sinful passion for one's identity, but that's different from engaging in said passion.)

I'm not judging, incidentally. I am articulating the Church's position, and She is in a position to judge.
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« Reply #337 on: June 16, 2011, 07:55:13 PM »

Openly gay is different from people engaging in homosexual sex. One can claim the label "gay" without engaging in homosexual behavior. (Personally I think it's unorthodox to claim a sinful passion for one's identity, but that's different from engaging in said passion.)

First point, in full agreement.

The parenthetical I am not so sure about in praxis, since how many of us do claim sinful passions as our identities at least in our day to day speech?

I am a liar.
I am (fill in the blank).

And I am not sure if same sex orientation is any more of a passion most of the time than opposite sex orientation. And could be very well constitutive of the person's being. I am not quick to write off the affect of biology and environment (read degree and manner of falleness) we are all open to.

Openly homosexual persons are able to give wonderful testimony to overcoming the affects of the passions as written by biology and environment on their bodies and souls. Just as a recovering alcoholic can.

Then again I ain't really big on "identity" as such to begin with, but that discuss would take us a long way from the matter at hand.
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« Reply #338 on: June 16, 2011, 08:39:48 PM »



  I would argue the eternal destiny of openly gay individuals is not Hell, merely for being openly gay.  I just don't see it.  If God doesn't gratuitously punish individuals merely for breaking rules (and Orthodoxy denies He does, divine punishment is always a consequence of actions, not something externally imposed), then how can being gay seperate one from the friendshp of God anymore than being straight can? Being openly gay doesn't imply ones life is consumed by lust anymore than being a marred heterosexual does.   Leave the judgement of the heart to God, please.


Why would one be openly gay if they didn't engage in that lifestyle? The Bible is clear that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong so I'm not sure why a Christian would trumpet that. If you feel attracted to the same sex tell your priest or close people you trust and recognize it first as sin, not first as nature. Even if you came out of the womb liking dudes that doesn't make it natural. Spiritual warfare begins before birth. 
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« Reply #339 on: June 17, 2011, 03:00:33 PM »

Finally, I am very perplexed why a cathecumen would still retain such heterodox thinking and ideas.
Didn't he clearly state in the previous page that he was no longer a cathecumen since the Church wouldn't adapt to his teachings?

You are right; my bad. I am now even more perplexed that he is still arguing his case.
Some people just like to throw rocks at the church as they proclaim the divinity of their own opinions.
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« Reply #340 on: June 18, 2011, 04:03:30 AM »

let us say-some things would be much clearer if we werent explained so many times
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« Reply #341 on: June 22, 2011, 11:03:55 AM »

You can't do this if you shut out other peoples perspectives in the name of your own way of doing things being sacrosanct and beyond questioning.

It's rather comical to hears you say that considering that appears to be exactly how you perceive your role in re-educating all of us ignorant Orthodox.

So, why is an ex-catechumen still posting here?

More importantly, why is this even permitted?
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« Reply #342 on: June 22, 2011, 11:25:16 AM »

You can't do this if you shut out other peoples perspectives in the name of your own way of doing things being sacrosanct and beyond questioning.

It's rather comical to hears you say that considering that appears to be exactly how you perceive your role in re-educating all of us ignorant Orthodox.

So, why is an ex-catechumen still posting here?

More importantly, why is this even permitted?

It is permitted because the Forum rules regarding this section permit it. More importantly, this thread provides everybody with an opportunity to learn, to be inspired and to see the error of their ways. I cannot say when Daedelus1138 will "see the light" but it remains a possibility. And, as long as it is so, I cannot see how we can in good conscience even consider closing this thread. As I said before, the Forum rules do not support such a draconian action anyway. By the way, there is a forum rule that asks folks to contact the moderators via Private Message regarding Forum rules and their applications. This requirement has been put into place so that posters do not start assuming the prerogatives of moderators. I hope this helps. Second Chance, Moderator for Religious Topics.
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« Reply #343 on: July 02, 2011, 06:57:00 PM »

Why would one be openly gay if they didn't engage in that lifestyle? The Bible is clear that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong so I'm not sure why a Christian would trumpet that. If you feel attracted to the same sex tell your priest or close people you trust and recognize it first as sin, not first as nature. Even if you came out of the womb liking dudes that doesn't make it natural. Spiritual warfare begins before birth. 

  There are peopel like Jose Cabezon who are openly gay but at various points in there life, lived celibate lives (Cabezon did as a Buddhist monk).  He did not view being attracted to the same sex as immoral but at that particular time in his life, it was not helpful to himself spiritually to engage in sex.    I see it as similarly for myself (though I am bisexual), I do not want to be part of a church that says being gay is immoral or sinful, no matter how I decide to live and what I think benefits me spiritually.  I don't want to hurt young people with a damaging message that leads only to closeted, lonely lives.    And this is what mesage I was getting in the Orthodox church.  IT was not a loving message, it was a message that me, my whole person, was unwwelcome, and I would have to suppress parts of myself to be accepted.  This is not acceptable for me, or for the people that will come after me, the people who suffer in silence within the church, obeying these "rules".
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« Reply #344 on: July 02, 2011, 09:16:49 PM »

Why would one be openly gay if they didn't engage in that lifestyle? The Bible is clear that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong so I'm not sure why a Christian would trumpet that. If you feel attracted to the same sex tell your priest or close people you trust and recognize it first as sin, not first as nature. Even if you came out of the womb liking dudes that doesn't make it natural. Spiritual warfare begins before birth. 

  There are peopel like Jose Cabezon who are openly gay but at various points in there life, lived celibate lives (Cabezon did as a Buddhist monk).  He did not view being attracted to the same sex as immoral but at that particular time in his life, it was not helpful to himself spiritually to engage in sex.    I see it as similarly for myself (though I am bisexual), I do not want to be part of a church that says being gay is immoral or sinful

1.  There is no distinction between practicing/active gay person and practicing/active heterosexual person in the Orthodox Church.  You are drawing that distinction based on how you interpreted what Orthodox people have told you things that you didn't want to hear.

2.  There are 15 independent Orthodox Churches (and a few that are not in Communion) on this planet.  Until you visited a Church in each of the 15 Orthodox Churches (and those not in Communion), you can't draw the conclusions that you have drawn.  There's a 1/32,768 (or less) chance that you will feel left out by attending one Church in the 15 independent Orthodox Churches

, no matter how I decide to live and what I think benefits me spiritually.  I don't want to hurt young people with a damaging message that leads only to closeted, lonely lives.

What does that mean "you don't want to hurt young people?"

And this is what mesage I was getting in the Orthodox church.  IT was not a loving message, it was a message that me, my whole person, was unwwelcome, and I would have to suppress parts of myself to be accepted.  This is not acceptable for me, or for the people that will come after me, the people who suffer in silence within the church, obeying these "rules".

See point 2 regarding "unwelcome."
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« Reply #345 on: July 03, 2011, 05:37:56 PM »

And this is what mesage I was getting in the Orthodox church.  IT was not a loving message, it was a message that me, my whole person, was unwwelcome, and I would have to suppress parts of myself to be accepted.  This is not acceptable for me, or for the people that will come after me, the people who suffer in silence within the church, obeying these "rules".

Any sense of being unwelcome most likely extended from holding an unrepentant spirit before God.

The Church exists to lead sinners back to God, not to make God bow before our sins.
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« Reply #346 on: July 04, 2011, 12:23:12 AM »

Any sense of being unwelcome most likely extended from holding an unrepentant spirit before God.

The Church exists to lead sinners back to God, not to make God bow before our sins.

 
 Yes, if you mean I refuse to treat myself or other queer people like a doormat in the name of religious fundamentalism.  Being queer is not something to repent of.  Homophobia is.
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« Reply #347 on: July 04, 2011, 12:37:35 AM »

Daedalus, I have some sympathy with you and your arguments, but even your language betrays the contamination of your way of doing theology by the mores of the world.

Christianity has always been counter-cultural and will continue to be, if the promises given to us by the Saviour can be trusted at all.

You will not succeed in finding a Christianity which is compatible with the ways and methods of the world which has not already had the Living Water drained out of it.

If you want to convince us our way of doing things is not what was envisioned by Christ and the very Spirit which was promised to guide us, start by speaking to us in the same voice in which the Lord, the Apostles and the Fathers spoke.

Bludgeoning each other with the twin mallets of "sodomy is abomination!" and "homophobia is evil!" probably gets us nowhere.
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« Reply #348 on: July 04, 2011, 12:38:31 AM »

Any sense of being unwelcome most likely extended from holding an unrepentant spirit before God.

The Church exists to lead sinners back to God, not to make God bow before our sins.

 Yes, if you mean I refuse to treat myself or other queer people like a doormat in the name of religious fundamentalism.  Being queer is not something to repent of.  Homophobia is.

Homophobia is a sin, an error.  You hate me; I still love you as an individual even as I disapprove of your lifestyle and the inherent rejection of God for something created by man.

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« Reply #349 on: July 05, 2011, 08:44:23 AM »

Yes, if you mean I refuse to treat myself or other queer people like a doormat in the name of religious fundamentalism.

The Orthodox Church doesn't treat anyone in that manner. Please don't slander the Church.
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« Reply #350 on: July 05, 2011, 11:31:13 AM »

I don't want to hurt young people with a damaging message that leads only to closeted, lonely lives.

I spent some time thinking about the above passage.  Do you have children that you (and your partner) fear may be mocked by "judgmental" and "ignorant" people in an Orthodox Church because your children have 2 same sex parents?  Is this where the entire thrust of your posts is derived from - your fears that your children will be mocked because of the sexual choices you and your partner have made and that other institutions define marriage differently?   Huh

And this is what mesage I was getting in the Orthodox church.  IT was not a loving message, it was a message that me, my whole person, was unwwelcome, and I would have to suppress parts of myself to be accepted.  This is not acceptable for me, or for the people that will come after me, the people who suffer in silence within the church, obeying these "rules".

People will talk ... and mock.  That is a reflection of those who talk and mock; not of the Orthodox Church.  If no one on this forum can slander homosexuals, you can cut Orthodox Christianity a little slack and not condemn a faith based on the actions of the "judgmental" and the "ignorant."

If I saw a same sex family enter my Church, maybe there will be a nervous silence; maybe a few gasps; maybe business as usual - I don't know.   Huh  Would I approach them and welcome them?  I don't know.   Huh  Would I mock them and sit in judgment of them ... NO.  Would I hope that they feel welcomed and come back ... YES!
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« Reply #351 on: July 05, 2011, 11:59:38 AM »

Any sense of being unwelcome most likely extended from holding an unrepentant spirit before God.

The Church exists to lead sinners back to God, not to make God bow before our sins.

 
 Yes, if you mean I refuse to treat myself or other queer people like a doormat in the name of religious fundamentalism.  Being queer is not something to repent of.  Homophobia is.

Once we had a priest who was indeed homosexual. We assumed that he was not a practicing homosexual as he was a celibate, a monk. We could not judge him for his conduct, and neither did we judge him for his orientation. So, it simply not true that the Church as a whole or Her members treat homosexuals as doormats. That does not mean that the Church does not take seriously the source documents and thus ask homosexuals not to commit sins, one of which is homosexual sex. That is the way in any Christian church that doers not change to accommodate sinful conduct. Why would you, or anyone else for that matter, join a Church that does not take Her source documents seriously anyway? I cannot understand why you insist on the Church and God Himself to change when it is imperative for you yourself to change. You should strive to sin no more and if you do to confess, reconcile yourself to God, and try again.You are no different than anybody else. One thing is certain however; God will not be mocked and that is equally applicable to you as it is to me. Your sexual orientation does not make you a superior person--you are as much a sinner as myself and you need the Lord and His Church as much as I do.

PS: If you do end up finding a church that doers not consider homosexual sexual practice to be a sin, you may be assured only of one thing; that is not a Church of the Lord Jesus the Christ.
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« Reply #352 on: July 05, 2011, 11:12:20 PM »

I spent some time thinking about the above passage.  Do you have children that you (and your partner) fear may be mocked by "judgmental" and "ignorant" people in an Orthodox Church because your children have 2 same sex parents?  

  No... I am celibate and a virgin honestly but my sexual orientation is bisexual.   I would like to have a partner, male or female, someday, and I occaisonally attend a support group at a gay community center.   I'm moved by compassion and solidarity with other people that are gay, especially young people, that would be raised in a church that considers their orientation to be depraved..  I can't be part of this anymore, even if it hurts me emotionally.

  And I just see no point if I aspire to some day have a partner and we wouldn't be welcome at a church, better to cut my losses now.  Orthodoxy Christianity is not a religion for me.  Truth for me is what I can live out.  I cannot live out a life of denial and loneliness, this is not loving to demand on me either.  I have to have faith in myself first, in my own experiences, and my heart says this is bad.

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If I saw a same sex family enter my Church, maybe there will be a nervous silence; maybe a few gasps; maybe business as usual - I don't know.   Huh  Would I approach them and welcome them?  I don't know.   Huh  Would I mock them and sit in judgment of them ... NO.  Would I hope that they feel welcomed and come back ... YES!
 
  I appreciate this... that you recognize that gays have real families just like everybody else.
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« Reply #353 on: July 05, 2011, 11:47:29 PM »

I spent some time thinking about the above passage.  Do you have children that you (and your partner) fear may be mocked by "judgmental" and "ignorant" people in an Orthodox Church because your children have 2 same sex parents?  

  No... I am celibate and a virgin honestly but my sexual orientation is bisexual.   I would like to have a partner, male or female, someday, and I occaisonally attend a support group at a gay community center.   I'm moved by compassion and solidarity with other people that are gay, especially young people, that would be raised in a church that considers their orientation to be depraved..  I can't be part of this anymore, even if it hurts me emotionally.

FWIW, I never thought for a second that a gay and/or transgendered orientation is depraved.  Unfortunately, the mere mention of homosexuality in most Orthodox Churches is stigma primarily due to the "judgmental" and "ignorant" people out there.

 And I just see no point if I aspire to some day have a partner and we wouldn't be welcome at a church, better to cut my losses now.  Orthodoxy Christianity is not a religion for me.  Truth for me is what I can live out.  I cannot live out a life of denial and loneliness, this is not loving to demand on me either.  I have to have faith in myself first, in my own experiences, and my heart says this is bad.

We all worship ourselves and have put ourselves before God on numerous occasions.  Yet, we are not all active homosexuals.  If you want to trust yourself first, is that a rejection of trusting in God?   Huh

Quote
If I saw a same sex family enter my Church, maybe there will be a nervous silence; maybe a few gasps; maybe business as usual - I don't know.   Huh  Would I approach them and welcome them?  I don't know.   Huh  Would I mock them and sit in judgment of them ... NO.  Would I hope that they feel welcomed and come back ... YES!
 
  I appreciate this... that you recognize that gays have real families just like everybody else.

Until 2009, I never heard of Iron Chef Cat Cora until being stumped by her picture during a trivia question.  I find her very attractive even though she is in a same-sex marriage with 4 boys.  The American Hellenic Institute recognized Cat Cora for her achievements in 2009.  Note that the American Hellenic Institute is the formal name for the Greek-American lobby.  Also note that it is not known whether Cat Cora practices the Orthodox Christian faith - it is her business, not ours.

I'm sad that you didn't receive a positive reception in the Orthodox Church.  The only thing I can suggest is not to give up.   Smiley
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« Reply #354 on: July 06, 2011, 12:35:25 PM »

Why would one be openly gay if they didn't engage in that lifestyle? The Bible is clear that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong so I'm not sure why a Christian would trumpet that. If you feel attracted to the same sex tell your priest or close people you trust and recognize it first as sin, not first as nature. Even if you came out of the womb liking dudes that doesn't make it natural. Spiritual warfare begins before birth. 

  There are peopel like Jose Cabezon who are openly gay but at various points in there life, lived celibate lives (Cabezon did as a Buddhist monk).  He did not view being attracted to the same sex as immoral but at that particular time in his life, it was not helpful to himself spiritually to engage in sex.    I see it as similarly for myself (though I am bisexual), I do not want to be part of a church that says being gay is immoral or sinful, no matter how I decide to live and what I think benefits me spiritually.  I don't want to hurt young people with a damaging message that leads only to closeted, lonely lives.    And this is what mesage I was getting in the Orthodox church.  IT was not a loving message, it was a message that me, my whole person, was unwwelcome, and I would have to suppress parts of myself to be accepted.  This is not acceptable for me, or for the people that will come after me, the people who suffer in silence within the church, obeying these "rules".

But your sexual preference isn't any less welcome then this guys addiction to porn or this girls need to gossip. Everybody has things they like and enjoy that are wrong. I am the king of loving what the Church counsels us to avoid. Everyone is sinful. Everyone has some sort of delusion, liking something that is wrong. Why is being gay so different in your mind? We don't get to choose what is or isn't sin, only God does and we just have to deal with that reality. Every single person in all of history who has come to the church is called a sinner. To accept God and the Church is to accept that you're a sinner. Why do you get so offended though? And sorry Sir, but it isn't about which religion is " right for you." Its about which one is the pillar of truth and the ark of the Living God. If you expect to find a religion that lines up exactly with how you think requiring no change from you, stop looking and make one after your own ideas. That is all you're doing anyway.
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« Reply #355 on: July 06, 2011, 08:21:53 PM »

Christianity has always been counter-cultural and will continue to be, if the promises given to us by the Saviour can be trusted at all.  

  Of course, but unthinkingly condemning homosexuality as a sin is hardly counter-cultural.  And neither is holding up sacred texts or traditions as unquestionable truth.  Every religion has plenty of examples of this.  Its a poison which doesn't help us live wisely.

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 You will not succeed in finding a Christianity which is compatible with the ways and methods of the world which has not already had the Living Water drained out of it.  

   Of course but this applies to Orthodoxy as well.  In response to the Emperor's appeal to attend the Council of Constantinople, St. Gregory of Nanzianzus refused.  He'd seen first hand that church councils did not produce reconciliation, and had misgivings about the response to the Council of Nicea.  Bishop still fought with each other, only now they did it in plain sight, ie, they had labels to call each other.  I think St. Gregory had wisdom borne of true humility when he did this- beyond a desire to merely feel right or see oneself as right in the eyes of the powerful into a desire to put things right.  Merely calling something "Orthodox" doesn't make it Jesus' brand.
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« Reply #356 on: July 06, 2011, 08:23:41 PM »

And neither is holding up sacred texts or traditions as unquestionable truth.  Every religion has plenty of examples of this.  Its a poison which doesn't help us live wisely.

I understand what you are trying to say, but I would be careful about making this statement. So, with statements about homosexuality, we're going to throw out the Trinity and the Eucharist? Way to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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« Reply #357 on: July 06, 2011, 08:28:44 PM »


We all worship ourselves and have put ourselves before God on numerous occasions.  Yet, we are not all active homosexuals.  If you want to trust yourself first, is that a rejection of trusting in God?   Huh 

   God is unknowable which means we take God on faith... and faith requires trust in our own experiences.  So yes, we have to trust our own experiences first. I merely doubt that somebody else has knowledge of God that I don't.  In this case I doubt people calling themselves, speaking for "Christ's Church".  I do not have to accept their claims, I can live with ambiguity.  People do it all the time.   And yet at the same time, that I doubt, I don't have to hold onto my beliefs as absolute truth.  I can be open to listening to other people and changing my mind.  But I don't see any reason to at present.
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« Reply #358 on: July 06, 2011, 08:49:38 PM »

God is not unknowable. He has revealed himself in numerous ways. Foremost in Jesus Christ, and his church is the only entity with the authority and ability to verify our personal experiences. We do not even accept the experiences of obvious saints without the church's collective blessing.

Show me someone who leans on his own understanding and I'll show you someone who is wide open to delusion.
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« Reply #359 on: July 06, 2011, 09:12:12 PM »

I understand what you are trying to say, but I would be careful about making this statement. So, with statements about homosexuality, we're going to throw out the Trinity and the Eucharist? Way to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

   Why does the Trinity have to be absolute truth?  What would that even mean?   I thought Orthodoxy was mystical- knowledge of God above human conceptualizations.  In which case ideas like the Trinity are just provisional, people trying to understand the ineffible using Greek philosophical categories.  "Ideas lead to idolatry, only wonder leads to knowing" St. Gregory said.  That's ironic because you could find a Buddhist saying the same thing.  Our ideas about reality sometimes useful but when we get cling to them we don't have the openness to wonder.  Religious ideas are no different.
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