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Author Topic: Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin?  (Read 53227 times) Average Rating: 1
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akimori makoto
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« Reply #360 on: July 06, 2011, 09:37:31 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.

You are half-right. You are also half-wrong because you neglect to take into account that God has revealed himself.

If faith were based on experience alone we would not keep the Book of the Gospels on the altar but, like some Buddhists, would burn that very book once we had gone beyond it or become too attached to it.

The apophatic and the cataphatic cannot be held apart. Yes, the most spiritually advanced of us plunge into the Divine Darkness to meet the Creator but, until we get there, he guides us to himself as a Pillar of Fire.

It does not lie in the lips of those of us who have not even taken the first step towards partaking of the Divine Nature to cast to the wind the experience of those who have tasted richly of the Living Water welling up unto eternal life.
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« Reply #361 on: July 06, 2011, 11:02:43 PM »

   God is unknowable which means we take God on faith... and faith requires trust in our own experiences.

Read the story of St. Thomas.  Thomas wanted to place his hands in the wounds of the Lord because of his doubt.  Read what Jesus says at the end of the story....

  So yes, we have to trust our own experiences first. I merely doubt that somebody else has knowledge of God that I don't.

What knowledge of God are you looking for?  The God who will unconditionally accept your lifestyle?

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.

Are you sure you can live with ambiguity given that you have clearly defined your belief system?   Huh

 
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.

Including your sexual lifestyle?  Is that an absolute or can that be subject to ambiguity or perhaps change?

I can be open to listening to other people and changing my mind.  But I don't see any reason to at present.

Because of your rigid belief system which you may be doubting.

PS: I know quoting some of my multi-level quotes can be challenging.   Wink

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« Reply #362 on: July 06, 2011, 11:27:44 PM »

  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.

When you are speaking of the Trinity, you are speaking of Three Persons who either exist or they don't.  For example, you either exist or you don't.  I either exist or I do not.  It is fairly simple.  You can wonder plenty about the mystery of three eternal Beings, but they either exist or they do not.  Having ideas about the Trinity is one thing, but relegating the Trinity to an idea is quite another.

Thus, there is an inherent logic problem in trying to conflate Orthodox mysticism regarding how things can be with Post-modernist 'personal realities.'

Religion is precisely about applying conceptual categories to experiences so that experiences can be described and absorbed.  This is why even the most mystically-inclined Fathers of the Church were also students of religion, philosophy, history and even science.  They did not stand about with slack jaws having mystical experiences all day long, nor did they validate every other person's experiences.  Rather, they actually set boundaries to discern when experiences were the results of imagination versus genuine contact with God.

Mysticism is not about departing reality, and it is not about departing from the material world.  It is about seeing the entire world in light of God's profound love.  Thus, things are more real because they are seen as they really are.  Buddhism denies the reality of existence, but Orthodoxy states that we do not fully appreciate or understand reality without God's light, and such light reveals that thing really do exist and exist in a much more profound sense than what we are generally capable of appreciating.

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« Reply #363 on: July 06, 2011, 11:44:19 PM »

Quote from: SolEX01 link=topic=35214.msg596591#msg596591

Read the story of St. Thomas.  Thomas wanted to place his hands in the wounds of the Lord because of his doubt.  Read what Jesus says at the end of the story....  

  That assumes I take the biblical account as the actual words of Jesus.  It is quite likely that the Gospel of John is theologically pedantic, perhaps even polemical, not historical.

What knowledge of God are you looking for?  The God who will unconditionally accept your lifestyle?  

  Perhaps I do not believe in your "God".  He seems to demand obedience to an arbitrary will and ordain suffering, by creating beings destined to be afflicted with "sins" that he doesn't like (such as homosexuality).  I'd rather hold all idols of God up to critique and burn the ones that just do not measure up.  And this one reeks of absurdity.  Why would God detest the work of his own hands?   If God doesn't create gay people as gay, with all their feelings and desires, then he's not really their creator, because people are what they do.   The reality is, gay people flind acceptance every day.  If God really hated what gay people do and "detested" them, he would not allow gays to exist.  Truth is greater than religions idols of God, which are mostly dictated by social prejudices and fear.  The blind leading the blind, making God in their own anthropomorphic images...

 I believe in love.  I believe in compassion and acceptance.   These things are worthy of veneration.  Not blind obedience, condemnation, or fear.  The kind of judgementalism behind Christian notions of "sin" is very flawed.  We don't need to "Hate the sin" at all, that sort of thing is VERY unproductive.  Acceptance is much better at producing a life of virtue, it leads to clear thinking and discernment.
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« Reply #364 on: July 06, 2011, 11:51:07 PM »

You mean the God of Oprah?
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« Reply #365 on: July 06, 2011, 11:55:20 PM »

Quote from: FatherGiryus link=topic=35214.msg596601#msg596601
  Buddhism denies the reality of existence, but Orthodoxy states that we do not fully appreciate or understand reality without God's light, and such light reveals that thing really do exist and exist in a much more profound sense than what we are generally capable of appreciating.

  You've misunderstood what Buddhists believe.  Buddhists do not deny existence, they deny that thing exist in an absolute way.  Everything is interdependent.   I'd be careful on this issue saying that Christians automaticly accept that things exist absolutely, as self-existing phenomena.  If something exists in an absolute way, where are God's energies/grace in the matter?  God would be rendered unneccessary, like materialism or deism.
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« Reply #366 on: July 06, 2011, 11:58:18 PM »

Perhaps I do not believe in your "God".

I haven't crafted God in my own image.  The thousands of other members on this forum (including those who struggle with sexuality like you do) believe in the same God, which you happen to disagree with.

 He seems to demand obedience to an arbitrary will and ordain suffering, by creating beings destined to be afflicted with "sins" that he doesn't like (such as homosexuality).

The same God has given us the Saints to emulate.

I'd rather hold all idols of God up to critique and burn the ones that just do not measure up.  And this one reeks of absurdity.  Why would God detest the work of his own hands?  

How about if you answer the question based on your knowledge of the Orthodox faith?

If God doesn't create gay people as gay, with all their feelings and desires, then he's not really their creator, because people are what they do.

Like Eve did in the Garden of Eden with the serpant ... oh, since you think the Gospel of John is polemical, I'm afraid to know what you think about Genesis.   Shocked

The reality is, gay people flind acceptance every day.  If God really hated what gay people do and "detested" them, he would not allow gays to exist.

God loves the world he created.  As Father Giryus eloquently said, the world is seen in the light of God's profound love.  In your darkness, you see idols....

Truth is greater than religions idols of God, which are mostly dictated by social prejudices and fear.  The blind leading the blind, making God in their own anthropomorphic images...

That includes you. 

I believe in love.  I believe in compassion and acceptance.   These things are worthy of veneration.  Not blind obedience, condemnation, or fear.  The kind of judgementalism behind Christian notions of "sin" is very flawed.  We don't need to "Hate the sin" at all, that sort of thing is VERY unproductive.  Acceptance is much better at producing a life of virtue, it leads to clear thinking and discernment.

Eve knew she was naked and needed to cover herself in the Garden of Eden.  Welcome to clear thinking and discernment.   Smiley
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« Reply #367 on: July 07, 2011, 01:34:08 AM »

Well, I'm sitting here with my copy of The Teachings of the Buddha, and it says:

"There are four truths in this world: first, all living beings arise from ignorance; second, all objects of desire are impermanent, uncertain and suffering; third, all existing things are impermanent, uncertain and suffering; fourth, there is nothing that can be called an 'ego,' and there is no such thing as 'mine' in all the world.

"These truths that everything is are impermanent and passing and egoless, have no connection with the fact of the Buddha's appearing or not appearing in this world.  These truths are certain: Buddha knows this and, therefore, preaches Dharma to all people."


So, Buddhists do not believe in the reality of existence as we do.  It is very clear from the above quote.

Christians believe that God creates in absolute terms, in that He does not create 'illusory objects' as the Buddha describes.

If a person withdraws from God, he does not cease to exist as you are implying.  Rather, he begins to die when he departs from God, and suffers from this rebellious departure that cannot lead to an end.  Thus we have eternal torment rather than the elimination of existence.

The truth behind this suffering is that God's grace and love and mercy are inescapable, and so you really cannot speak of withdrawing from it.  There is only the fruitless effort and the suffering it causes.  Suffering requires awareness.  Awareness requires existence.

The Buddha describes existence in a negative manner (see above) which Christianity rejects.

I don't see why you would have a problem with what I said.


Quote from: FatherGiryus link=topic=35214.msg596601#msg596601
  Buddhism denies the reality of existence, but Orthodoxy states that we do not fully appreciate or understand reality without God's light, and such light reveals that thing really do exist and exist in a much more profound sense than what we are generally capable of appreciating.

  You've misunderstood what Buddhists believe.  Buddhists do not deny existence, they deny that thing exist in an absolute way.  Everything is interdependent.   I'd be careful on this issue saying that Christians automaticly accept that things exist absolutely, as self-existing phenomena.  If something exists in an absolute way, where are God's energies/grace in the matter?  God would be rendered unneccessary, like materialism or deism.
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« Reply #368 on: July 07, 2011, 01:57:44 AM »

Quote from: FatherGiryus link=topic=35214.msg596629#msg596629
So, Buddhists do not believe in the reality of existence as we do.  It is very clear from the above quote.  

  That is the reality I believe, I believe things change constantly.  I'm not the same person I was yesterday, are you?   Everything is changing and passing away.  People die.  The more I'm attached to things being permanent, the more I suffer.  The fact you see this as a negative view of life really says that you somehow see suffering as justified, whereas Buddhism sees suffering as a harsh reality that is unwelcome.   Theodicy is one of those things I've grown weary of myself, I believe the only moral response to suffering is to seek to help end it, not to rationalize it and call views that seek to end suffering "negative".  

  The Christian Bible describes the world as passing away too.  Jesus tells his disciples not to store up things that decay, and Ecclessiastes is very close to anything the Buddha would say in its tone.  And St. Peter says the world will be destroyed by fire.  So, it would see that Christianity is "negative" towards existence, if you want to force the issue.

Quote
The truth behind this suffering is that God's grace and love and mercy are inescapable, and so you really cannot speak of withdrawing from it.  There is only the fruitless effort and the suffering it causes.  Suffering requires awareness.  Awareness requires existence.

  What a monsterous belief.  So God is sadistic and cruel?  Why would he create beings knowing they would reject him in the end, and furthermore allow them to suffer forever?  This is not a loving being, because love implies not allowing ignorant people to make decisions that they cannot see the consequences of.  This is not an endorsement for your religion.  If this is the "True God", i'll take refuge in the Buddha... very soon.  I do not have to choose between your "God" and nihilism, get informed on this issue.

Quote
The Buddha describes existence in a negative manner (see above) which Christianity rejects.  
 
  Not true.  To desire non-being, nonexistence is a kind of craving that leads to suffering.  Buddhism is about acceptance, not denial.
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« Reply #369 on: July 07, 2011, 03:22:23 AM »

Where on earth is Christianity negative about existence?

This world is certainly passing away but only so that a renewed and eternal one might take its place. Existence with God is so central to the Christian message that it is described as being endless.

How could you possibly pick up such a distortion of Christianity that allows you to suggest that it teaches that existence is negative?

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« Reply #370 on: July 07, 2011, 10:28:58 AM »


I think you are misunderstanding my statements. 

First, look back at the passage I quoted, here specifically:

There are four truths in this world: first, all living beings arise from ignorance;

Did you arise from ignorance, or were you fearfully and wonderfully made to exist for all eternity?

Why are we here and why were we made?

Suffering is not avoidable, but the whole point of what you call 'monstrous' is that human beings can choose to either reject God or accept His love.  One cannot reject the love that surrounds us and not suffer.

third, all existing things are impermanent, uncertain and suffering;

And you do not find that 'monstrous?'  I do.

I believe that all human existence begins with suffering, but by allowing God to rescue us from suffering we eventually pass through it to a state of blessedness.  Therefore, we have the hope to get through our temporary situations and enter into our true state united to God.  It is not that I was one thing and now am another, but rather all of us are developing into the fullness of who we are meant to be.

The sins of my youth are still with me, and they are inescapable, but I do not have to despair of them because they have led me to repentance and thus driven me to God's love and mercy.  I regret them, yet I know that I had to pass through them in order to come to this place and to grow beyond it.  I do not wish suffering on anyone, I can only say that my own suffering is well-deserved and is ultimately helpful to me if I repent and ask God for help.

This is very clear in the Bible. 

If you do decide to embrace Buddhism, I strongly suggest you read up on some of its beliefs regarding sexuality: http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/buddhism.htm.

Lay Buddhists who have not chosen to follow the path of enlightenment have a bit more leeway, but that's because they are waiting for a future incarnation in which to do the work the Buddha taught.  It is kind of like auditing a college class.  Buddhism rejects all sexuality for those seeking enlightenment.  Christianity does not require the rejection of sexuality, but rather its proper usage.  Some are broken and cannot use it at all, but we do not condemn them.

From reading your responses to my posts, you appear to have some deep-seated resentment of Christianity.  Or, perhaps just of Christians.  Before you decide to chuck it all out for another religion, first find your peace with it.  Release the inner turmoil s that you can make the right decision without emotions blinding you to what is real.









Quote from: FatherGiryus link=topic=35214.msg596629#msg596629
So, Buddhists do not believe in the reality of existence as we do.  It is very clear from the above quote.  

  That is the reality I believe, I believe things change constantly.  I'm not the same person I was yesterday, are you?   Everything is changing and passing away.  People die.  The more I'm attached to things being permanent, the more I suffer.  The fact you see this as a negative view of life really says that you somehow see suffering as justified, whereas Buddhism sees suffering as a harsh reality that is unwelcome.   Theodicy is one of those things I've grown weary of myself, I believe the only moral response to suffering is to seek to help end it, not to rationalize it and call views that seek to end suffering "negative".  

  The Christian Bible describes the world as passing away too.  Jesus tells his disciples not to store up things that decay, and Ecclessiastes is very close to anything the Buddha would say in its tone.  And St. Peter says the world will be destroyed by fire.  So, it would see that Christianity is "negative" towards existence, if you want to force the issue.

Quote
The truth behind this suffering is that God's grace and love and mercy are inescapable, and so you really cannot speak of withdrawing from it.  There is only the fruitless effort and the suffering it causes.  Suffering requires awareness.  Awareness requires existence.

  What a monsterous belief.  So God is sadistic and cruel?  Why would he create beings knowing they would reject him in the end, and furthermore allow them to suffer forever?  This is not a loving being, because love implies not allowing ignorant people to make decisions that they cannot see the consequences of.  This is not an endorsement for your religion.  If this is the "True God", i'll take refuge in the Buddha... very soon.  I do not have to choose between your "God" and nihilism, get informed on this issue.

Quote
The Buddha describes existence in a negative manner (see above) which Christianity rejects.  
 
  Not true.  To desire non-being, nonexistence is a kind of craving that leads to suffering.  Buddhism is about acceptance, not denial.
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« Reply #371 on: July 07, 2011, 11:00:06 AM »

Correct me if I am wrong, Daedelus, but it seems to me that you want to find a religious system that at once challenges you to grow while at the same time does not regulate any of your impulses.  After all, that's what religions in the modern sense do: people these days want to 'grow' because they do not want to be where they are.  The people I know who are happy 'where they are' have no need for religion.

The problem with choosing Buddhism over Christianity is that Buddhism (unless you go for the Hollywood variety) is going to ask you to reject all of your desires thus reject the very same sexual orientation that you are now seeking to protect from Christianity as you understand it.

Orthodox Christianity teaches very plainly that we are all broken in some way.  For some of us, we are broken profoundly.  Your break appears to be in your attractions, while I have plenty worse breaks than that.

God does not condemn us for our brokenness, all the unrefined language aside.  Our forefathers did not expect people to be so thin-skinned.  But, it is clear that our broken thoughts lead to broken actions, and so we must work to heal our broken persons so that we can pass through these temporary hardships to eternal life.  If our goal is to have a life here without suffering, then Orthodox Christianity is not for you.

We are strugglers, fighting with broken minds and uncooperative bodies.  It seems terribly hopeless, until one meets the saints who show us that God is helping us along the way.  We bear heavy crosses, you and I, but we are not without hope.

Unless we put the cross down and say it is too hard to bear.

Of course it is too hard!  It is too much, but only to the extent that we try to rely on our own strength to bear it.  We must surrender to God completely and unreservedly in order to fully partake of His help.

I myself rejected Buddhism in my younger days because I could not see how it was possible to attain a state of egolessness while relying entirely on the force of that same ego that was needed in order to meditate and carry out the instructions of Buddha.

This is what I see as the problem (from none other than the Dalai Lama):

"I'm Buddhist, I'm a Buddhist practitioner. So actually I think that according to nontheistic Buddhist belief, things are due to causes and conditions. No creator. So I have faith in our actions, not prayer. Action is important. Action is karma. Karma means action. That's an ancient Indian thought. In nontheistic religions, including Buddhism, the emphasis is on our actions rather than god or Buddha. So some people say that Buddhism is a kind of atheism. Some scholars say that Buddhism is not a religion — it's a science of the mind.

"Do you agree with that?

"Oh, yes. I even consider Buddha and some of his important followers like Nagarjuna (one of Buddha's leading disciples) to be scientists. Their main method is analytical. Analyze, analyze — not emphasis on faith. And these masters are not magicians. (Jokingly pretends to clip me around the head and laughs.)"
Japan Times, Sunday, December 02, 2007


I don't believe that a broken mind can fairly analyze itself.  We need divine healing and help.

In my life, I have had encounters with the Divine, and so I have no doubt that there is is a Creator.  And, He is a loving one.  I experience His love through my brokenness and struggle along in it with the hope that His love will eventually conquer over even my stubborn self.

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« Reply #372 on: July 07, 2011, 03:21:42 PM »

Did you arise from ignorance, or were you fearfully and wonderfully made to exist for all eternity?  

  Read it in the context of the Hindu-Buddhist worldview of the Buddha's day, we come into the world because of karma from a previous life, karma caused by ignorance of reality.

Quote
Why are we here and why were we made?  

  Buddha considered that question irrelevent to dealing with human suffering.  Looking for some explanation is a distraction from being aware of the negative habit-energy that blinds a person in the here and now.   Buddha uses the parable of a man shot with a poisoned arrow- unless he gets the arrow out, asking who made the arrow is a waste of time and foolish.

Quote
 Suffering is not avoidable, but the whole point of what you call 'monstrous' is that human beings can choose to either reject God or accept His love.  One cannot reject the love that surrounds us and not suffer.  
 

  How do you know about this love that surrounds us?  Why is your religion the only voice on this issue that could be true?  Buddhism has a large school called Pure Land that is all about entrusting in a Higher Power that is the love that surrounds us and embraces us... but the Higher Power (Amitabha Buddha) is not a reified Creator God concept, instead it represents the ordinary experience of compassion we can experience in life that is part of an enlightened consciousness.  The Buddhist "Higher Power" accepts everyone without judgement, the Christian God, as I understood in Orthodoxy, judges everyone, whereas judgement is completely alien from the Buddhist concept.   Nor is moral reform a demand, only an an entrusting or faith - it is less moralistic than Christianity on the whole, especially Orthodoxy.  In the Middle Ages Shin Buddhism became popular in Japan because it offered hope to butchers and prostitutes, people who were the untouchables of the society spiritually.  

 Many, many religions know about love, grace... these are not unique to your religion.

Quote
third, all existing things are impermanent, uncertain and suffering;

And you do not find that 'monstrous?'  I do.  

  No.  Looking to the world for things to be satisfactory and pleasing is a source of suffering.  It doesn't mean that things cause suffering, rather its the clinging to things that cause suffering.  Things are dukha, unsatisfactory, dissatisfying.  Nothing will ultimately make you happy except giving up the idea that something out there can make you happy.  Basicly the Buddha is saying that sensuality leads to suffering.  This isn't that far from what Orthodox believe, is it?

  Buddhism like Orthodoxy is a medicine for the human condition . Its a mistake to see it necessarily as a rationalistic system to explain the world.   Merely reading Buddhism as philosophy misses the great deal of religious and spiritual content, much of which is about cultivation of positive attitudes to life despite the presence of suffering.  

Quote
 .  I do not wish suffering on anyone, I can only say that my own suffering is well-deserved and is ultimately helpful to me if I repent and ask God for help.  

   He makes people suffer because he wants then to love them?  That's incoherent.  That is not love, its manipulation.
I've seen too much suffering in life to believe suffering is justified by some greater end it produces.  

Quote
Lay Buddhists who have not chosen to follow the path of enlightenment have a bit more leeway, but that's because they are waiting for a future incarnation in which to do the work the Buddha taught.  It is kind of like auditing a college class.  Buddhism rejects all sexuality for those seeking enlightenment.  Christianity does not require the rejection of sexuality, but rather its proper usage.  Some are broken and cannot use it at all, but we do not condemn them.  

  At least in Buddhism they don't give blessing to sexual relations to some and not to others.   Orthodox basicly bless sexuality for heterosexuals willing to make a commitment to the same religion, but nobody else.  While it is true that Buddhism doesn't see human nature at its center as sexual, with ultimate human fulfillment in sex, neither does Orthodox Christianity.   In both Orthodoxy and Buddhism, the quest for wisdom and truth has to be the center of ones life above everything else.

  Pure Land Buddhism or Vajrayana (esoterica and/or Tibetan Buddhism) come to mind as more sex-positive Buddhist traditions.  Lay people, even married clergy, monks, and nuns, can have sex and be "good Buddhists" who can even be enlightened in this lifetime.   I was involved with the Order of Interbeing in the past, the only precept on sex for laity was it should to be in the context of love and commitment.  Buddhists do not believe "marriage" changes sexual ethics and traditionally buddhists had no marriage ceremony.  

Quote
 From reading your responses to my posts, you appear to have some deep-seated resentment of Christianity.  Or, perhaps just of Christians.  

  Both.. Christianity is a religion that has been shaped by political forces and is only loosely connected with what Jesus of Nazareth actually taught.  Its an accretion mass of cultural prejudices and political conveniences mixed with genuine wisdom.  Instead of trying to discern what is good from what is dross, some people insist its all holy and beyond question.





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« Reply #373 on: July 07, 2011, 04:23:32 PM »

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Correct me if I am wrong, Daedelus, but it seems to me that you want to find a religious system that at once challenges you to grow while at the same time does not regulate any of your impulses.  After all, that's what religions in the modern sense do: people these days want to 'grow' because they do not want to be where they are.  The people I know who are happy 'where they are' have no need for religion.  

  OK,  that seems like a fair analysis of me.  The issue I have, the Orthodox church asks me to be completely healed before I am allowed to participate fully in the life of the church.  I ran on empty, i had no access to sacraments.  I did not feel loved.  I was running on empty spiritually.  I do not feel a loving God behind that.  I feel hurt immensely.  Actions speak louder than words.  Your church did not embrace me in my pain, it placed a bunch of demands on my life before they would accept me.

Quote
The problem with choosing Buddhism over Christianity is that Buddhism (unless you go for the Hollywood variety) is going to ask you to reject all of your desires thus reject the very same sexual orientation that you are now seeking to protect from Christianity as you understand it.  

  It will also let me part with this rigid idea of God anyways, and the hurtful system attached to it.    Maybe its worth giving up my sexuality for, just to get away from that brutality (FWIW, not all Buddhists consider homosexual sex any worse than heterosexual sex). .   I've prayed enough for an answer to "why" and the past few months I've not really got an answer.  It was an intellectual quest that got me to Orthodoxy, a misguided one.   I cannot run on empty spiritually.

  My only desire left in life, is to have something like a family of my own.  And if I stay in Orthodoxy that will never happen.  So what am I losing by becomming a Buddhist?  Nothing.  I may not hae all my desires fulfilled as a Buddhist perhaps, but in Orthodoxy they aren't going to be fulfilled either.  I'd rather be in a religion or spiritual environment where I can just let go of everything altogether, but as a Christian I have to constantly pressure myself to "struggle", to "judge" myself, accuse myself.   And you dare talk about a negative view of life?  Buddha said "You can search the whole world and not find anyone more deserving of kindness than yourself".  Those are wise words and I intend to take them to heart.  I have neglected this wisdom in my quest into the Orthodox church.  Perhaps I did not get proper pastoral care but my interpsection in the past month has taught me I have abused myself and not been kind to myself in the past 2 years because I was riddled with fear and shame, some of it brought on by Christian beliefs and practices.

 
Quote
 and so we must work to heal our broken persons so that we can pass through these temporary hardships to eternal life.  If our goal is to have a life here without suffering, then Orthodox Christianity is not for you.  

  Healing comes from acceptance and being your own friend and then extending that to other people as well.  It doesn't come from some sky-spirit doing magic to us.

Quote
I myself rejected Buddhism in my younger days because I could not see how it was possible to attain a state of egolessness while relying entirely on the force of that same ego that was needed in order to meditate and carry out the instructions of Buddha.

  FWIW,  I am not a meditation novice, I meditated for several years in the past to a moderate degree.  I have been meditating again the past month consistently also.   I have had some kinds of realizations when meditating and experienced a loss of the angst around death, but, I do not necessarily claim to be enlightened.  But I'm no novice.  One doesn't force enlightenment, it is not "self-power".  The heart of enlightenment is acceptance, receptivity, openness... there's no force involved.  Trying to force yourself to be enlightened is pointless.   Indeed a great deal of the culvitation of virtue that must accompany a quest for samadhi concentration involves the cultivation of loving-kindness and compassion for oneself and for others.  The mind of a person seeking insight in meditation is firm, not harsh and judgemental and not loose and chaotic.  It's regulated and balanced.  
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« Reply #374 on: July 07, 2011, 04:58:05 PM »


From reading your responses to my posts, you appear to have some deep-seated resentment of Christianity.  Or, perhaps just of Christians.  Before you decide to chuck it all out for another religion, first find your peace with it.  Release the inner turmoil so that you can make the right decision without emotions blinding you to what is real.

There is the entire issue in a nutshell.
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« Reply #375 on: July 07, 2011, 06:09:12 PM »

Both.. Christianity is a religion that has been shaped by political forces and is only loosely connected with what Jesus of Nazareth actually taught.

In this one statement, you totally undid any respect I had for your position.
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« Reply #376 on: July 07, 2011, 08:49:11 PM »

Daedelus, I wondering why you think you need to have a religion at all.  Why be anything at all?

What Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity share is a commitment to an absolute truth (or truths depending on how you look at it), which you seem more convinced of in terms of which is more permissive.  I don't think that is a very healthy way to arrive at truth.  What it seems to imply is that religion is just an 'opinion' or a wild guess.

Reality and truth are not always accommodating.  In fact, they can be downright unfair.  You may be upset that your desires for physical union with another person of the same gender are forbidden, but there are lots of other things that are forbidden as well.  Pride, anger, resentment... things that even heterosexuals find as their desires.

You will have to renounce your sexual desires as a Buddhist just as much as you will as an Orthodox Christian, unless you are going to be a smells-and-bells Buddhist.  I suppose I could have taken that road as well, but I wanted to find the truth.

Orthodoxy is very difficult for me without jumping into the matter of sexuality.  It has been a heavy cross to bear at times, but it has also given me great gifts from God that I would not have been able to receive any other way.

The question we must all ask ourselves: how much are you willing to give up for the sake of the truth?

The cost for you may be your sexual desires (a price you will pay either for Christian theosis or Buddhist enlightenment), but others pay their price as well.  You may think their price is lower than yours, but they may beg to differ.

As for the love aspect, I don't know what happened in your experience.  My spiritual experiences and how they shaped my opinions are my own and can't be readily described.  I am certain that God's love permeates the universe, and I believe that all creation stands as witness to that.

You can insult my beliefs as an Orthodox Christian (something I have not done to Buddhists, nor have I engaged in insults against homosexuals), but it does not really matter in the long run because your misery is ultimately your own responsibility.  You get to make your own choices.  I speak out of love when I say that, as a thinking person, you will never be entirely happy with picking a religion simply because it conforms to your present desires.

Deep down, I am certain you know that there will be a cost, a change that must be effected in you in order for you to know happiness.  Buddhism promises changes just as much as Orthodoxy does, though what those changes are and how they are effected and even the agency of that effect are not mutually agreed upon between the two.

You can say my beliefs are far-fetched, as one could say about Pure Land Buddhism both as a late-comer to Buddhist thought and as the absolute strangeness of its mechanics.  The perfectly 'logical' religion is atheism: we simply die and that's that.  We also know it does not work for human beings.

Christian happiness is often found in the strangest places: prison camps, cancer wards, dark caves, etc.  It is not about getting what we want, but rather knowing the One behind it all.  I hope someday you will 'get' what we are about.
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« Reply #377 on: July 07, 2011, 11:13:03 PM »

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What Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity share is a commitment to an absolute truth (or truths depending on how you look at it), which you seem more convinced of in terms of which is more permissive.  I don't think that is a very healthy way to arrive at truth.  What it seems to imply is that religion is just an 'opinion' or a wild guess.  

  From the 14 Precepts of Ven. Thitch Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing:

 "Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times."

Quote
You will have to renounce your sexual desires as a Buddhist just as much as you will as an Orthodox Christian, unless you are going to be a smells-and-bells Buddhist.  

  The BCA (Buddhist Churches of America) is fairly mainstream as far as Buddhist organizations go in the US and they do conduct gay weddings (Where do you think George Takei, the semi-famous actor who came out a few years ago, was married?)  Yes, you will find some who argue that homosexuality is a hinderance and unacceptable (the Dalai Lama, but he is not "the Pope" of anything, he's just a monk that some revere), but Buddha had nothing to say about gay relationships.  The little he defined sexual misconduct mostly had to do with adultery.  In asia prejudice against gays has more to do with disappointment at the possibility of not having grandchildren continue a lineage or simple fear of being a nail that stands up too much, rather than morality.

Quote
You can say my beliefs are far-fetched, as one could say about Pure Land Buddhism both as a late-comer to Buddhist thought and as the absolute strangeness of its mechanics.  

  Pure Land is at least 2000 years old, and it's a practice of Buddhism with a particular emphasis.  It doesn't invalidated the Buddhadharma at all, in fact it is a particular vehicle for its truths lived out through the power of faith.  The mechanics of it are rooted in a philosophical understanding that has been lived out by generations of Buddhists.  It is not necessary that the beliefs be "absolute truth" for it to bring people spiritual benefits.   People become part of a community, they are accepted by others and shown kindness, that is Amithaba Buddha... not some being outside time and space but the ordinary experience of caring and love.  Then that kindness and love becomes part of ones life and is shared with other people because the experience of faith and acceptance has transformed a persons consciosuness.
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« Reply #378 on: July 08, 2011, 12:04:14 AM »

Again, we are going round-and-round on squaring the "Four Truths" that I have previously cited with your desire for a homosexual relationship.  They just don't go together.  Go back and look.  What does Buddhism teach about desires and suffering?

"There are four truths in this world: first, all living beings arise from ignorance; second, all objects of desire are impermanent, uncertain and suffering; third, all existing things are impermanent, uncertain and suffering; fourth, there is nothing that can be called an 'ego,' and there is no such thing as 'mine' in all the world.

"These truths that everything is are impermanent and passing and egoless, have no connection with the fact of the Buddha's appearing or not appearing in this world.  These truths are certain: Buddha knows this and, therefore, preaches Dharma to all people."


Just as you can find heretical versions of Christianity, there are ancient reinterpretations of Buddha's teachings which are not part of his original doctrines, and this includes the Pure Land concept some 500-800 years after the Buddha.  Sure, it is old, but it comes later. 

As for the BCA and other mainstream forms of Buddhism in all the cultures that have adopted Buddhism, there have been 'compromises' made with those who choose not to persue enlightenment in this incarnation.  This is generally explained as their Dharma to carry on with a life of suffering and forego the work of enlightenment.  It is, quite literally, choosing to suffer.  Of course, you found this concept abhorrent when I spoke of it in Christianity, yet this is precisely what a Buddhist sees in one who chooses not to seek enlightenment through the rejection of desire.

Buddhism offers to the 'unenlightened' its rites in the hopes that these people will one day accept the fullness of Buddha's teachings.  That does not mean that marriage of any kind is somehow in keeping with the "Four Truths."

So, in the end, you may have to reject both the invitations of Jesus Christ and Siddhartha Gautama in order to have the gay wedding you may want.  You can also get your wedding from the ECUSA or the BCA.  You just won't get it from us or from a majority of Buddhist communities, though the reasons are quite different.



Quote
What Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity share is a commitment to an absolute truth (or truths depending on how you look at it), which you seem more convinced of in terms of which is more permissive.  I don't think that is a very healthy way to arrive at truth.  What it seems to imply is that religion is just an 'opinion' or a wild guess.  

  From the 14 Precepts of Ven. Thitch Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing:

 "Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times."

Quote
You will have to renounce your sexual desires as a Buddhist just as much as you will as an Orthodox Christian, unless you are going to be a smells-and-bells Buddhist.  

  The BCA (Buddhist Churches of America) is fairly mainstream as far as Buddhist organizations go in the US and they do conduct gay weddings (Where do you think George Takei, the semi-famous actor who came out a few years ago, was married?)  Yes, you will find some who argue that homosexuality is a hinderance and unacceptable (the Dalai Lama, but he is not "the Pope" of anything, he's just a monk that some revere), but Buddha had nothing to say about gay relationships.  The little he defined sexual misconduct mostly had to do with adultery.  In asia prejudice against gays has more to do with disappointment at the possibility of not having grandchildren continue a lineage or simple fear of being a nail that stands up too much, rather than morality.

Quote
You can say my beliefs are far-fetched, as one could say about Pure Land Buddhism both as a late-comer to Buddhist thought and as the absolute strangeness of its mechanics.  

  Pure Land is at least 2000 years old, and it's a practice of Buddhism with a particular emphasis.  It doesn't invalidated the Buddhadharma at all, in fact it is a particular vehicle for its truths lived out through the power of faith.  The mechanics of it are rooted in a philosophical understanding that has been lived out by generations of Buddhists.  It is not necessary that the beliefs be "absolute truth" for it to bring people spiritual benefits.   People become part of a community, they are accepted by others and shown kindness, that is Amithaba Buddha... not some being outside time and space but the ordinary experience of caring and love.  Then that kindness and love becomes part of ones life and is shared with other people because the experience of faith and acceptance has transformed a persons consciosuness.
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« Reply #379 on: July 08, 2011, 06:43:13 PM »

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As for the BCA and other mainstream forms of Buddhism in all the cultures that have adopted Buddhism, there have been 'compromises' made with those who choose not to persue enlightenment in this incarnation.  

  Mahayana is the Great Vehicle because it has the end the liberation of all beings, not just the selfish elimination of desires for oneself.  We are all interconnected and share the same life ultimately and Mahayana is just the realization of that fully.  Look up the understanding of the Bodhisattva vow.  A person who takes refuge in Amitabha Buddha and his Pure Land by extension is vowing to become a Bodhisattva, a savior of other beings, and to forgo liberation until "the last blade of grass is liberated".  In Mahayana Buddhism the goal is not to be liberated for oneself alone but to stand in solidarity with beings living in ignorance and suffering, to be a link in a "chain of love".  This can involve having desires, as long as they are tied in with ones Bodhisattva path, one doesn't desire things for oneself alone.  This involves having gratitude and dedicating ones ordinary life here in samsara towards noble ends.  That could include marriage.  Desires themselves are not evil, they just need to be properly ordered according to ones karmic affinity/circumstances  Truth is relational and there are compassionate means available for everyone.  What you see as a weakness is the strength of Mahayana teachings.

 
Quote
 It is, quite literally, choosing to suffer.  Of course, you found this concept abhorrent when I spoke of it in Christianity, yet this is precisely what a Buddhist sees in one who chooses not to seek enlightenment through the rejection of desire.

  Or they are accepting suffering as part of life and embracing it.  Suffering itself is not so evil that it must be seen as an enemy.  Everything can be met with loving-kindness and acceptance, including suffering.  We do not have to run awy from suffering, we accept it, and we cultivate that ability through mindfulness and asceticism.  You do not understand Buddhism, it requires familiarity and actually living it out, not reading about it in a book.


  What I find abhorent in YOUR (not all, but your) Christian beliefs is eternal punishment and wrath from God on people who make ignorant decisions (how can love that hurts people and causes suffering actually be love from God? that's playing with the meaning of words), and also the inability of the religion to realize that people are in different places and have different circumstances.  The demand that everyone measure up to their ideals now, or not find acceptance in a community, is not healthy or spiritually productive.  Jesus Christ accepted sinners and tax collectors and prostitutes and didn't demand they change or he would stop loving them.  Your church simply does not measure up to what you claim.   It's rigid and narrow and not liberating.

Your church also makes compromises with the world, through economia.  You grant remarriage to divorced persons even though Christ himself says that divorce is a sin.   The church "baptized" marriage for political reasons, especially in the west, and took on Germanic notions of legal contracts and so forth, or in the east, crowning people as martyrs, all concessions to peoples desires to get married and have families. Even though Christ himself was single and suggested it was better for the Kingdom of God not to marry.   East and West the church baptized pagan practices.    So what saucers their gooses sauces your gander too, its disingenious to cry "compromise" when your church compromises heavily with the world, except when it comes to marginalized, disempowered voices like gays, lesbians, and transgendered people.  Then they just don't matter, you can throw their interests under the bus.  But divorcees are too common and nurmeous to offend.

   "Whatsoever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for Me".


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« Reply #380 on: July 08, 2011, 09:49:04 PM »

Jesus Christ accepted sinners and tax collectors and prostitutes and didn't demand they change or he would stop loving them.

Christ told the woman caught in adultery to sin no more. He told the soldiers to stop extorting money. He promised paradise to the thief on the cross who recognized him and ignored the other one. He certainly expected them to change and rewarded those who did.
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« Reply #381 on: July 08, 2011, 10:04:23 PM »

Daedelus, I think you are misinterpreting both Buddhism and Orthodoxy.

Buddhism teaches liberation from desires, again going back to the original preaching of Siddhartha Gautama.  When 'freedom' and 'liberation' are spoken of, they are not spoken of as we think of them as Westerns, namely as freedom to indulge one's desires.  The same is true of 'compassion' and 'acceptance,' which still do not mean that Buddhists are free to succomb to their desires.

Orthodoxy does not embody the rejection of desires, but rather their right ordering.  Jesus Christ did not preach detachment, but repentance.  Buddhism teaches detachment from desire.

Mahayana has a broader view of the path to enlightenment, but it ultimately leads to the same place as described by Buddha, which is again liberation from desire.  You can't get away from it.  Everything that leads to desire leads to what is impermanent and therefore suffering.

You cannot make the claim that your desire for a homosexual relationship has anything to do with your desire to liberate mankind from suffering, because we all know that is far from what your desire is all about.  You have a desire that is centered on yourself, which is the core of the sexual urge in all people.

You know that satiating your desire does not lead to the end of that desire.  We all know that the sexual drive is not appease with a single act, nor even a single partner.  Once unleashed, it can go on and on unless it is held in check.  Christianity seeks to hold these desires within their iconic and prophetic ordering, whereas Buddhism's place of enlightenment is utterly singular and apart from such desires, hence the true liberation.

As much as you may think my interpreation of Buddhism is incorrect, I think your interpretation of Orthodox Christianity is incorrect as well.  Just as you say that I cannot understand Buddhism without experiencing it (and you do not know whether I have experienced it or not), I say that you cannot speak accurately of Orthodoxy without experiencing it.

Even your take on marriage is highly skewed, since it is very clear that Jesus Christ blessed marriage by performed His first public miracle at the Wedding in Cana.  Jesus was compassionate, but He taught repentance rather than indulgence to the harlots and tax collectors.  He accepted their repentance, which is what the Pharisees refused to do.  He wanted them to receive His love and stop trying to fill their wounds with more sins.

Jesus did not teach men to do what they felt like, nor is His compassionate love a ticket to permissiveness.  His love was revealed on the Cross, when He suffered with and for mankind to break the burden of death.

I'm almost embarrassed that I have to speak with you this way, because you are obviously intelligent and probably have been exposed to all of this before.  But, I think your own suffering has made this unclear.

You want what you want and, it seems, you will find a way to get what you want.  You are being driven by desire, but that drive is pulling you away from the truth.  I say that because you seem to have a broekn view of Christianity and the Church.  You don't have to agree with it, but you ought to at least properly understand it before rejecting it in the summary manner you have.

The liberation of Christianity is the freedom from death.  It is the healing of the person that begins in this life and continues into eternity.  It is a gift of love that comes independent of circumstances.

I hope you will come to understand that I do not speak to you out of hatred or condemnation, but out of love.
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« Reply #382 on: July 10, 2011, 06:22:19 AM »

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« Reply #383 on: October 18, 2011, 07:22:46 AM »

G-day all
I am a 21 year old and I would like to have sex  angel
however I am not ready for marrage. so I was looking into where exactly in the bible it said "thow shall not have sex before marrage" (or something along those lines). and after a bit of research I have come to the conclusion that it IS OK for me to have sex before marrage.

however, because this fact goes against what I was told during my child hood, I thought it best if I put the question forward to some people who have a bit more knowledge in relation to the bible and its interpretation.
so my question is this:
In relation to the teachings of the Bible, why should I not have sex before marrage?

to save a bit of time in this thread I will address some key points straight up. numbered for ease of reference:

1) STD, unwanted Children, complications in life, stress, etc.
put simply. this is NOT what the topic is about.
my question is whether or not it is sinful for premarital sex. it is NOT whether or not is a good idea.



2) the use of Fornication in the Bible
now this is a big one. and I think will end up being the main focus of the thread.
if the use of the current English translation of the word 'fornication' (which loosly translates to "sex between two consenting unmarried adults") is justified as being used in the bible. then that is a piece of clear cut evidence that Premarital sex IS as sin, and thus I should not take part in it.
however, many argue (myself included until someone proves otherwise) that the use of the English term Fornication is a misinterpretation of the original Greek term Porneia. in the original translations of the bible, the term Porneia was used, and translates to "sexual immorality's" aka "illicit sexual activity"

here is a list of 'sexual immorality's' that Porneia relates to
  • using temple prostitutes for fertility goddess worship
  • reference to any sexual practice that was considered obscene, such as incest or bestiality
  • homosexuality
  • sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
  • adultery. (more on this below)


so to get to the point of it. is the Greek word  "Porneia" referring to a list of sexual immorality's that Include premarital sex?
some people will say yes because that is what they where taught. other will say no. different web site will also be inconsistent with the translation because they where written by the two groups of people.

so it seems the only way to solve this is to go to the core definition of the words "illicit sexual activity"
"illicit sexual activity" = sexual activity that breaks the law
Here in the western world, premarital sex doesn't break the law.
and According to may sources (not all mention this fact, however I have found none that speak against it other than the Bible translations in question) Fornication wasn't against the law among the gentiles Paul wrote to when he told Christians to avoid porneia.
nor, apparently, was it technically against the Mosaic law among the Jews, at least not for men.

remember above how I said I would get back to the point of Adultery? well Adultery was against the laws because women were considered property back then among many cultures including the Jews. there fore Adultery was a violation of a man's property rights.
I know today this is different.

anyway. back to the point of defining "illicit sexual activity". to quote a site I came across researching this topic
Quote
The Bible clearly explains sex has three purposes:

Procreation – this is the obvious purpose of sex.
 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:28


Enjoyment - sex is designed to be fun and enjoyable.
 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

A loving doe, a graceful deer-
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.

Proverbs 5:18-19


An expression of love – sex is the physical manifestation of love.
 Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom-
there I will give you my love.

Song of Songs 7:12
so far the bible's definition of Sex does not go against fornication.
in addition to these, there is this fact
Psalms talks about prostitution. an act that obviously falls under fornication. however it does NOT say that prostitution is illegal. or against Gods will. sure it does say that it is a bad idea to get involved with prostitutes; but wouldn't it be easyier to convay this message simply by saying that fornication is a sin, and by extention prostitution?



3) the Bible says "And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh" Mark 10:8
there are two possible interpretations to this passage.

the first interpretation, and the one that according to 'http://bible.cc/mark/10-8.htm' is the right one. this passage talks specifically about marrage. ie: when two people marry they become like one, inseparable. there fore this passage is not directly pertaining to the subject of premarital sex.

the second interpretation is that this passage is talking about the two flesh literally becoming one, through the combination of DNA into a child. so if you interpret the passage to be about sex and not about marrage (even though it is a quotation from Jesus answering a question about Marrage and divorce), then this interpretation at least relates to my topic question.
However, that subject of children (a common result of sex) can be made totally invalid for this thread via any one of the following:
oral / anal / any other 'non-penetrative' sex,  condoms, abortions.

and Because I know many Christians are fully against abortions, it is only fair that I briefly address this issue:
  • abortions are Not illegal. they are not considered murder or manslaughter by today's legal system
  • abortions are Not 'bad'.
  • socially, because the addition of a child can segregate the parant{s} from their peers / family
  • financially, because is cost a lot a money to raise a child. money the parant{s} may not have.
  • politically, because the government does not look down upon it. it even encourages it amongst specific economic groups (see financially)
  • abortions are Not immoral / blasphemous. according to the Bible the life of all flesh is in its blood (Leviticus 17:10, 11). therefore the fetus isn't even alive until it grow has blood (Weeks 4 to 5 of gestation; week 6 - 7 of pregnancy ).
  • abortions are Not the topic of this thread Wink
  • and even if you did convince me that abortions are wrong, I have already given other instances where sex is still possible without the introduction of a child into the equation.





so in conclusion, is there anything anyone would like to say to try and convince me that Premarital sex is against the teachings of the bible?
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« Reply #384 on: October 18, 2011, 07:37:52 AM »

What follows shall be some random thoughts of potential insight...

- Part of the issue is one of authority. What part does the Church (e.g. Jn. 20:20-23) or the Clergy (e.g. Heb. 13:17) play, and what part just_some_guy? The Bible is not irrelevant, but it's not the only thing that's important in the Christian life.

- There wasn't a ton in the Bible about the subject because there didn't need to be. At that time/culture people it was not uncommon to get married in your early teen years, so there wasn't really even a chance to have a roll in the hay. And what chance there might have been was further diminished by the fact that most marriages were arranged. You were essentially off limits until you Dad made a deal with some other family.

- Most importantly: if a woman has sex before marriage she'll be damaged goods and it'll almost be impossible to provide a dowry large enough to compensate.
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« Reply #385 on: October 18, 2011, 08:38:33 AM »

here we go again...
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« Reply #386 on: October 18, 2011, 08:40:41 AM »

The standard major academic resources on philology contradict the position you are advocating. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37085.0.html

Quote from: just_some_guy
is there anything anyone would like to say to try and convince me
No. We can present the data of the major academic philologists and the early church, but what one finds often mysteriously correlates to what one truly seeks.
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G-day all
I am a 21 year old and I would like to have sex  angel
however I am not ready for marrage. so I was looking...
"They peered deep down into the well and found their own reflection."

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« Reply #387 on: October 18, 2011, 08:52:15 AM »

so in conclusion, is there anything anyone would like to say to try and convince me that Premarital sex is against the teachings of the bible?

In conclusion, are you aware you are on an Orthodox Christian forum here? We don't do sola scriptura here. We don't interpret the Bible as we like.
No, we understand Christianity as it was understood in the first centuries. And then, it was clearly taught that sex outside marriage is completely inacceptable.
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« Reply #388 on: October 18, 2011, 09:44:43 AM »

I agree with Gorazd. Our Church does not encourage us to use our random interpretations of the Bible as the source of guidance in our conduct and morality. Rather, She asks that we listen to Her collective, counciliary wisdom, to what we call the Holy Tradtion (see 2 Thessalonians 2:15). This Tradition is carefully preserved in the Church and delivered to us through written and oral statements made by our Bishops and presbyters, and through the liturgical and iconographic deposit.

So far, there are no reasons to suspect that some Orthodox bishops and/or priests approve the idea that premarital sex is OK. Of course, the modern culture will tell you that it is, but the Church won't. So, if you are Orthodox (or even an honest Orthodox inquirer), and you listen to the culture rather than to the Church, - you are not doing the right thing. It may be easier, "healthier" (in your perception), but it wouldn't be right. Suppose you do start a premarital sexual relation and go to a Divine Liturgy, and, wanting to receive Christ in communion, confess your sins and tell your Father-confessor that you are involved in an extramarital sexual relation. What do you think will happen? Surely, any Orthodox priest would tell you that you have to repent of that, meaning, eather marry your partner, or stop being in that relation. There is no need to sift through the Bible and find verses that are convenient to interpret either way...

And then, if you aren't Orthodox and aren't even interested in Orthodoxy, there is no point in posting here, "challenging" us with "new" Bible interpretations. We listen to the Church, not to those who are outside and think that they are better at reading the Bible than an average Joe. Smiley
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« Reply #389 on: October 18, 2011, 02:10:06 PM »

Most women don't know they are pregnant until 6 weeks gestation. 4 weeks is when the period is due for most women. But women with longer cycles often won't know until 7-8 weeks. The only reason women DO know before 8+ weeks in this day and age is because of the home pregnancy test. A "normal" cycle is 28 days, but the "normal" variance in length up to 42 days and beyond. With your logic a woman could get an abortion only if she took an early pregnancy test and immediately went in for an abortion. By 6 weeks the heart starts beating, (key here is "starts" the heart starts slowly and then picks up in pace up to about 10-12 weeks) so your 7-8 weeks idea about blood is completely wrong. The heart begins to circulate blood in the 6th week, which is around when most unsuspecting women realize they are indeed pregnant. If the heart isn't beating by 7-8 weeks a woman will miscarry. Unless a woman is specifically hoping/waiting to find out she pregnant, she likely won't know until 6-8 weeks along. Even the most "regular" cycle can vary up to ten days due to illness/travel/exercise.

How do I know all this? I have been pregnant 9 times and (Lord willing) will give birth to my 5th child this March. I have been charting my fertility for almost 15 years as well. Not to mention I have had to deal with the cycle of fertility for almost 25 years. The reproductive information we are given in school is woefully inadequate. Cycles are not always 28 days and ovulation does not always occur on cycle day 14. There is a ton of variance that proved that the "average" is far from common.
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« Reply #390 on: October 18, 2011, 03:18:55 PM »

Deep down you know the answer, bro.
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« Reply #391 on: October 18, 2011, 03:21:49 PM »

As I told my friend who spent over two years trying to justify pre-marital sex to me, although I only brought it up once, "If you need to keep talking about it like this, you obviously had some sort of problem with it."

I'd craft a response, but I sense that nothing would convince you. I've been around that track so many times.
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« Reply #392 on: October 18, 2011, 04:30:15 PM »

Deep down you know the answer, bro.

Exactly.  I tried to craft a response better than this, but I couldn't.  Folks can try to justify their desires and actions in this department, but we all know.  The law of God written on man's heart and whatnot...
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« Reply #393 on: October 18, 2011, 04:46:54 PM »

Deep down you know the answer, bro.

Exactly.  I tried to craft a response better than this, but I couldn't.  Folks can try to justify their desires and actions in this department, but we all know.  The law of God written on man's heart and whatnot...

Yeah, I don't know about all that...  ie. not sure you want to leave it at that if you really think it's wrong, because a lot of people would disagree (whether they are correct or not) about what is "written on their heart"
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« Reply #394 on: October 18, 2011, 04:48:27 PM »

I'm not one to lecture on this matter, but I did find this:
"Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, 'I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter... So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him beacuse of the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, 'Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.' Now Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a wedding feast." - Genesis 29: 18-22
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« Reply #395 on: October 18, 2011, 04:52:50 PM »

The conscience cannot be convinced by argument. It can be ignored, it can be sorely wounded. It can even be that a person can be immune to its pleadings in this temporary life. But the pangs of the conscience continue into eternity, and the only way to soothe it is through confession, repentance, and living according to Christ's commandments.
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« Reply #396 on: October 18, 2011, 05:16:22 PM »

I actually like St. Paul's perspective (summarizing 1 Cor 6): Don't unite with a prostitute, since by doing so you'll be of one flesh with her (drawing on Genesis).

If one extrapolates, this applies to everyone in every situation.  We are intended to be united to 1 person: a woman to 1 husband, a man to 1 wife, and a celibate to 1 God.  Through sex (or, for the celibate, through their chastity) we are thus united; if we have sex with 6 different people, we will be united with each one, and will be responsible for their spiritual growth and disposition, since it will be ours, too. 

This principle is the underlying reason why 2nd marriage is less than ideal, be it for the divorcee or the widow(er).  That's why a second wedding/marriage has a different tone than a first marriage: penitential, reminding ourselves that God is merciful to allow us to re-marry, but that we are uniting ourselves with yet another person, short of the 1:1 lifetime ideal.
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« Reply #397 on: October 18, 2011, 06:08:41 PM »

Deep down you know the answer, bro.

Exactly.  I tried to craft a response better than this, but I couldn't.  Folks can try to justify their desires and actions in this department, but we all know.  The law of God written on man's heart and whatnot...

Yeah, I don't know about all that...  ie. not sure you want to leave it at that if you really think it's wrong, because a lot of people would disagree (whether they are correct or not) about what is "written on their heart"

Yeah, you're probably right.  That's about as deep as my river runs though...
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« Reply #398 on: October 18, 2011, 09:44:04 PM »

If you are not ready for marriage, are you really ready for all of the potential consequences of extra-marital sex?
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« Reply #399 on: October 18, 2011, 10:26:34 PM »

If you're looking for a Bible verse:

"But I say to the unmarried and the widows: it is good for the if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1Cor 7:8-9, NKJV)

For the original Greek: http://qbible.com/greek-new-testament/1-corinthians/7.html#8

Note that the phrase "puroo" can mean to literally burn with fire, or to burn with passion (i.e. lust). In the context of the passage, it's clear St. Paul means the latter.

So there you have it, St. Paul clearly instructs us to get married so we won't give in to our lusts. If you can put 2 and 2 together, that means no premarital sex.
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« Reply #400 on: October 19, 2011, 12:52:12 AM »

Consider this:

Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

It doesn't say "Any married man" it says "any one," so don't say "Well, I'm not married, so it can't be adultery!"

If looking lustfully at a woman is a sin there's no way you can rationalise actually having intercourse outside of marriage as not being sinful.
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« Reply #401 on: October 19, 2011, 01:12:46 AM »

If you are not ready for marriage, are you really ready for all of the potential consequences of extra-marital sex?

There are consequences?  Huh
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« Reply #402 on: October 19, 2011, 01:27:12 AM »

If you are not ready for marriage, are you really ready for all of the potential consequences of extra-marital sex?

There are consequences?  Huh
Could be if you're not careful.

Pre-martial sex is the hardest thing a young male faces when trying to abstain for marriage.
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« Reply #403 on: October 19, 2011, 05:21:12 AM »

First off, I am happy to get so many responces so fast.

but before I say anything else I would like it to be known that everything I say is either Fact or my personal opinion, and I will usually convay my points with a bit of wit and humor (or the best I can mannage  Wink). I am not here to make enemies or hurt peoples feeling.
but dispite my 'good intentions' when I am posting, I am also not going to tip toe around an issue just because it is a delecate matter. I will usually be quite blunt in my observations and am bound to step on a few toes in the process.
in short: no hard feelings.

also, given the level of content replied to my opening post, and given the number of...um... discrepencies that I have; I do not wish for this post to resemble a bull in a china shop, or for it to be just me ranting on about my beliefes. so please read all of the points I present at face value and keep it in context to the Original question.


first and foremost: I would like to appologise to the Moderators for posting this thread in the 'Faith' section. being new to this forum I simply made a mistake. I guess it makes sence to sub-catigorise to that level with a forum of this size


Quote
trevor72694: here we go again...
Yes,  I am quite sure that this question has presented itself before now. had I been looking in the right section I would have found one such thread and read over that. Although as stated, I was in the 'faith' section when I made this thread.
who would have thought that a question about faith wouldn't go into the faith section?


Quote
Asteriktos:
What follows shall be some random thoughts of potential insight...

- Part of the issue is one of authority. What part does the Church (e.g. Jn. 20:20-23) or the Clergy (e.g. Heb. 13:17) play, and what part just_some_guy? The Bible is not irrelevant, but it's not the only thing that's important in the Christian life.

- There wasn't a ton in the Bible about the subject because there didn't need to be. At that time/culture people it was not uncommon to get married in your early teen years, so there wasn't really even a chance to have a roll in the hay. And what chance there might have been was further diminished by the fact that most marriages were arranged. You were essentially off limits until you Dad made a deal with some other family.

- Most importantly: if a woman has sex before marriage she'll be damaged goods and it'll almost be impossible to provide a dowry large enough to compensate.
will keep this short:
1st point: not totally sure what you ment by this statement.
the church is a faith governed system based on the teachings of the bible. without the Bible and/or direct word of God, anything the church does is irrelevent, empty 'traditions'. anything the church does with the Bible and/or direct word of God is worth noteing. however such actions should be kept in context, thus study of the Bible is still paramount.
as for the Clergy (spiritual leaders), there are so many different dominations, different interpritations, different meathods of teaching, and a few false rumours (from the world at large); that there are a few contradictions in the teachings of the bible.
I personally have to sift through the mess and find what is 'true' and what to believe in, in order to find pease of mind. to me this requires the comparison and annalysis of different views. and thinking through the key points with both logic and a fundumental understanding of the topic at hand.
in other words "the Clergy" is an inconclusive reference point for me to base my beliefs on. Im not saying it is irrelevent, it is just not conclusive.

2nd point: interesting. does give me some more insite to the relevent society that made the Laws we still follow today.
however does not acctually go aginst premarital sex.

3rd point: this point you acctually got wrong.
YES, "if a woman has sex before marriage she'll be damaged goods "
but NO, "it'll almost be impossible to provide a dowry large enough to compensate. "
to best understand this situation think of the woman as a car (no offence intended). the Father made the car himself, with a bit of help from the Mother. the car is owned by the Father. the car grows up to be big and strong. when it comes time to sell the car to the Husband, if the car is damaged then the car is cheaper. not more expencive as you implied.




Quote
IsmiLiora:  "If you need to keep talking about it like this, you obviously had some sort of problem with it."
as stated in my Opening Post, my new found ideals go against what I was taught as a child. so to a degree - yes
but that does not mean that my new found ideals are wrong, or that the ideals I was taught as a child are wrong. it means I now have to clarify the issue. hence this thread...




Quote
GorazdIn conclusion, are you aware you are on an Orthodox Christian forum here? We don't do sola scriptura here. We don't interpret the Bible as we like.
No, we understand Christianity as it was understood in the first centuries. And then, it was clearly taught that sex outside marriage is completely inacceptable.
Yes I am. I am also aware that orthodox Christians are against premarital sex. thus I came to the logical conclution that an Orthodox Christian who spends their time discussing and debateing Christianity on an internet forum would be best qualified to state the 'against's for my question.

unfortunatly, although I DID find Orthodox Christians. and they DO discuss Christianity on an internet forum. it seems that Debateing Christianity is beyond them. whether from having too high ideals or because they are just out of practice.
so far the statements I have recived mostly fall under one or more of these catigories:
  • it doesn't matter what we say, you will only hear what you want to hear
  • you have no right asking that sort of question on this site
  • we follow tradition. and our traditions are right. anything that goes against our traditions, or challenges our traditions is wrong.
  • premarital sex is simply wrong, every one knows that. no explanation required
  • deep down you know, or your conscience knows, that it is wrong. what more of an explanation do you need
(actually this last point made me laugh, because even Asteriktos made a logical counter argument to it)

I could give specific examples (yes, plural) to each one of these points. however there is really no need. for those who care to look for such posts are really not that hard to find.


speaking of posts, I think this one has dragged on long enough.
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« Reply #404 on: October 19, 2011, 06:12:02 AM »

for this post I will adress the same issues that I addressed in my opening post. because it seems some people may have over looked them

OP point 1) STD, unwanted Children, complications in life, stress, etc.
Quote
JamesRottneck: If you are not ready for marriage, are you really ready for all of the potential consequences of extra-marital sex?
yes I am. the reason I am not ready for Marrage is mostly because of my current Job status and other such commitments.
but that is not the question anyway. my question was not about being ready, it was about being allowed.

PS: when Asteriktos said "There are consequences?" I think he was making a joke



OP point 2) the use of Fornication in the Bible
YAY. people seemed to listen to my points... but wait, this was the only one where I left a clear opening for a counter argument.  Undecided


OP point 3) the Bible says "And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh" Mark 10:8
Quote
Fr. George: (summarizing 1 Cor 6): Don't unite with a prostitute, since by doing so you'll be of one flesh with her
I assume that of the two possible interpritations to this quote I have already provided,  you are not referring to the "when two people marry they become like one, inseparable" argument.
so therefore, unless you have some other interpritation for the passage, you mean it in the sence of "the two flesh literally becoming one, through the combination of DNA into a child".
if this is the case then: I have already given other examples of both a) how to have 'sex' without adding childeren to the equation. and b) how to remove children from the equation. aka abortion.

speaking of which
Quote
Quinault: With your logic a woman could get an abortion only if she took an early pregnancy test and immediately went in for an abortion.
Yes. otherwise by Biblical definition the fetus becomes a livingbeing. before this point however it is still acceptable, biblicly and legally.
but even without abortions I still have other options. simply don't get her pregnate. (see above for details)

back to the prostitute issue. in my OP I also stated that Psalms does not say that uniting with a prostitute is sinful, Psalms says that it is a bad idea. thus leading to the conclution that premarital sex (paid or otherwise) is not sinful... even if it may be a bad idea

next you go on to say that it should be one man to one woman. monogamy has two meanings,
  • 1.The practice or state of being married to one person at a time
  • 2.The practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner.
Monogamy itself is another subject that is not clearly defined within the bible, in the sence that there are quite a few cases where biblical characters where involved in Polygamy.
my example is: Jacob was Polygamy to Rachel and her sister because he got tricked into marrying the wrong one. both Jacob, Rachel and Rachels family where all 'christian', yet they allowed this practice.
another example is any king in the bible that had concubines. whether it be a King of the Isralites or another king with an Isralite concubine / queen (ie: Easter)



I have now addressed these points for a Second time. unless you make a point that directly relates to my question and is not already made invalid by earlier posts, I will simply ignore them. My free time is not limitless.
however if you make a good and relevent point, I will spend what free time I have researching and discussing it with you.  see my next post for proof
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