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Author Topic: Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin?  (Read 50392 times) Average Rating: 1
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xariskai
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« Reply #720 on: November 30, 2011, 07:22:30 AM »

Greek speaking people knowing the meaning of Greek words. sounds logical.however, as an english speaker, I still need to refer to a dictionary to understand the use of a word. what Im saying is, are "all those Greek people" we are talking about linguist ?
Now you complain the earliest Christians for whom the language of the NT was their mother tongue were not linguists.

These are linguists, historiographical philologists, and abstracts of contemporary scholarly consensus whom you have already ignored:



H. Reisser, “porneia,” DNTT 1.497–501:

"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."



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."




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:

"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."


2000 years of Orthodox teaching is clearly in agreement with mainstream historiographical/philological scholarship on this.
I have some other sources on this which I may add later.

2 Corinthians 13:1 "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."
Where is a respected academic source affirming just_some-guy's position? He hasn't presented one. He has referred only to having Googled various blogs on the internet.

How did just_some-guy respond previously when these sources were cited?

Quote from: just_some_guy
Quote from: xariskai
Bump -is there some reason you chose not address the fact that the standard major academic resources contradict the position you are advocating on definition?
"the standard major academic resource".   HA!
It strikes me as funny how you say "the standard" is on this site.
The link was to a thread on this site, but that thread referenced the above works with the same quotations provided above.

Quote from: just_some_guy
and I found it down right narrow minded of you to imply that this particular "major academic resource" is the standard for all denominations. This site may not be The standard even for Orthodox christians. let alone all christians. let alone all other academic resources.
There is no graduate school of theology in the country of any denomination or none that does not utilize these resources (secular and religious scholars of all brands accord these works equal and considerable weight). Kittel and Colin Brown are cited extensively and regularly by scholarly monographs worldwide by scholars of every denomination, creed, and scholars of no creed or faith.

"This monumental reference work, complete in ten volumes, is the authorized and unabridged translation of the famous Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament, known commonly as "Kittel" and considered by many scholars to be the best New Testament Dictionary ever compiled. Mediating between ordinary lexicography and the specific task of exposition, TDNT treats more that 2,300 theologically significant New Testament words, including the more important prepositions and numbers as well as many proper names from the Old Testament. Presenting the words in the order of the Greek alphabet, TDNT typically discusses the following for each word: its secular Greek background, its role in the Old Testament, its use in extrabiblical Jewish literature, its varied uses in the New Testament, and its usage in the early church fathers. Substantial bibliographies and footnotes supplement the articles."

"The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology is, first, a basic enlargement of the German Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament. On its first publication in German it was recognized as a major reference work and has since become a more and more widely acclaimed as an important tool for understanding the theology and message of the Bible."

"The DPL will be a great help for students of theology and men and women in ministry, as well as for academic theologians."

—Peter Stuhlmacher, Professor Emeritus, University of Tubingen

"In this splendid new reference work the serious student of the Bible will find a comprehensive summary of the best of modern scholarship concerning the life, times and thought of St. Paul . . . . I will be recommending it enthusiastically to my students and consulting it regularly in my personal study."

—W. Ward Gasque, President, Pacific Association for Theological Studies

"The DPL provides an authoritative guide to Paul and his world for all who are interested."

—James H. Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary

"The editors, contributors and publishers are to be congratulated for this handsome, 'user-friendly' volume which serves up many hearty and healthy Paulinemeals that are suitable for a variety of diets--the inquisitve layperson, the hard-pressed pastor, the industrious student, the overburdened teacher and the seasoned scholar."

—Murray J. Harris, Professor Emeritus, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"The DPL is an informed, up-to-date and helpful introduction to Paul's thought and letters. Bringing together a great deal of significant material on crucial topics in the study of Paul, it serves admirably not only as an important text for theological students . . .but also as a vital resource for active ministers in their faithful proclamation and application of the gospel"

—Richard N. Longenecker, Professor Emeritus, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

"A mine of information for all students of Paul for many years to come."

—N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham

"The DPL is a quiet magnificent achievement; a reliable and comprehensive guide which will be invaluable for specialists, teachers, clergy and students."

—Graham N. Stanton, University of Cambridge

"In the present state of Pauline studies a dictionary of this sort is timely and well-conceived."

—Charles F. Moule, University of Cambridge

And if I thought the list of contributors was great in the later DNTB volume, I was blown away by those who wrote for this earlier dictionary. Again, I can't recommend this volume highly enough.

—Nick Norelli, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, June 16, 2008

Quote from: just_some_guy
so in short; the reason I chose not to address this 'fact' is because it is nothing more than your own personal 'opinion'.
You are confused. Presenting nothing more than my personal opinion is precisely what I did not do. I cited standard academic resources. It is you that has failed to cite any respected academic authority for your position. It is you who have arrived here with nothing other than your personal opinion and a vague reference to having surfed the internet on the matter. The burden of proof in this thread is on you, not those who affirm what 2000 years of majority Christian witness in all major trajectories of Christianity PLUS what major academic resources on the topic affirm.

We're still waiting. You prove the contrary to us. You are the one with the still undocumented position, the position outside the academic mainstream of opinion, the position outside of the historical mainstream of Christian opinion, the position also at odds with the universal view of the earliest Christians. Not us.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 07:49:43 AM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #721 on: November 30, 2011, 08:38:20 AM »

^ POTY?

Nice work, I think that should be the final nail in this coffin, as if it wasn't already sealed off with concrete
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« Reply #722 on: November 30, 2011, 08:59:56 AM »

I'm gonna print this out and hang it on my wall!  Smiley
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« Reply #723 on: November 30, 2011, 09:20:34 AM »

JSG is obviously a Sola Scriptura Protestant with little or no knowledge of the origins of the Church. That is the primary stumbling block for him.

That, and he just really doesn't like the Church.

He is recommended to read everything by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Fr. Alexander Schmemann.

In light of his repeatedly demonstrated lack of respect, however, he could just go away.
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« Reply #724 on: November 30, 2011, 10:29:59 AM »

It's obvious you're here for an argument rather than to seek answers. I'm not going to try to address all of your issues here. You really do need to study Christian history - even from a responsible secular source to get a few things straight. Just one point and then a question.

anyway, I need to back up my claim that what you said isn't even factual. so here it is:
Quote
it was founded by Christ
no, Christ (Jesus) never founded any church. he simply roamed the land teaching Gods word, and other people just followed him.
Jesus never established Any sort of structured organisation for the teaching and following of Gods word.
Apparently you have overlooked this:
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)

Jesus had twelve Apostles who were close to Him, with three of them being especially close. There were seventy others specially commissioned. Sounds like a basic structure to me.

Quote
since I have exposed the flaws in your reasoning behind this, then the Final conclusion is still in question.
Is there any chance your initials are A.P.?
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« Reply #725 on: November 30, 2011, 01:07:26 PM »

i think this is the 3rd or 4th time ive posted this in this thread... but... i cant believe we are still having this conversation.

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« Reply #726 on: November 30, 2011, 01:42:55 PM »

Yeah, really...you'd think the OP would have gone out and had sex by now! Undecided Maybe he is less convinced (and/or able) than he is presenting himself as here. Maybe some of the arguments here are actually causing him to reevaluate his thinking. (I'm an optimist, I know...)
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« Reply #727 on: November 30, 2011, 01:52:40 PM »

I think maybe he's just pulling our collective leg. Strange hobby, but I guess everybody's got to do something.
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« Reply #728 on: November 30, 2011, 05:48:33 PM »

Quote
wrote the new Testament
sigh, we have been over this.
after a prolonged conversation on this particular view, here was my closing responce (I say closing because no-one answered my question):
Quote
just_some_guy: reply# 301
so the individual facts I tend to agree with (unless I misread?)
but I fail to see your bottom line. how does the origin of the Bible (or its individual books) relate to the purity of the teachings of the Orthodox church?

The bottom life is that the same Church from where the Bible grew out of is the only one capable of giving proper exegesis.

Quote
and is the oldest church in the world
what about "the church of God which is at Corinth" (quoted from first 1 Corinthians).
does the Orthodox Church predate this Church? since this church was around during the time of the Apostles then I highly doubt it.
AND, in 1Cor 5:1 you will read "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans [...]". Whats this? even a Church all the way back then was less than pure! *Gasp*.
Not only where they not pure, they where doing things that NOT EVEN THE PAGANS DID!!
so your telling me that a Church that had Direct access to Jesus and his Apostles strayed from the straight and narrow, yet the Orthodox Church has some how remained pure for 2000 years. (any you wonder why I have my doubts)

Biro, I do not believe that you would willingly lie in order to win an argument, but isn't that worse? because that means you actually believe what you are saying here. if such blatant inaccurate "facts" are what you call evidence then I wonder why either of us even bother here...

There are different types of churches in Orthodox (Christian) ecclesiology.

There is THE Church. The Church is the community of souls who keep the Orthodox Faith and share one Eucharist (in "communion").

There is A church. Which is one of two things depending on context. It is either a single parish church, or as in the case of the Corinthians, it is a geographically regional church. That is, a community that is administratively autonomous from other Christian communities. An example of this is the Roman church, the Russian church, the Greek church, the Coptic church, et cetera. Collectively, they all together in communion with one another create THE Church.

As far as purity. Purity refers to the purity of the faith. However, that doesn't rule out that sheep wander from the flock and require guidance from the shepherd (the Bishop). After all, the Church is a hospital for sinners, not for the perfect.


Quote
the apostles are direct students of Christ, and the early church fathers are direct students of the apostles, it is an unbroken lineage.
unbroken? maybe.  perfect? far from it. ever heard of the game "Chinese whispers". no matter how "unbroken" the line is, some how the end result is still different from the start.

Incorrect. Oral traditions are not mere "Chinese whispers". All knowledge was passed orally until the advent of a written language (in some communities as recent as 400 years ago). Even after this, very few were capable of reading, much less writing, and those that could read always read aloud so that others could here what was written. Even still, study has proven that oral knowledge would not change over hundreds of years due to the nature of it's use. Oral tradition is recalled through rote memorization due to numerous repetitions, and a community stamps out changes or mistakes that appear from individuals.

Quote
so what evidence does protestantism have of any apostle supporting their oft-contradicting and mostly non-traditional interpretations of the Scriptures?
once again, you talk down on the Protestants in order to build up the Orthodox Church.
and the "oft-contradicting and mostly non-traditional" argument is flawed. the Roman Catholic Churches teachings are not contradictory, and they are Very tradition orientated in their teaching meathods. they are in many cases Wrong! but that is beside the point according to your reasoning.

Depending on the polemics from either side, the faith contained is fairly similar between the Roman Church and the Orthodox Churches. Where they differ, an appeal to the Fathers, Councils, and Tradition are made to show the Truth. The protestant communities are not able to withstand that same scrutiny. If you doubt this, which you may, a separate thread to discuss a specific topic could be worthwhile.

Quote
we the Orthodox have the writings of the Apostles, the writings of the students of the apostles and the council of hundreds of God-fearing bishops
firstly, shouldn't ALL Churches have "the writings of the Apostles and the writings of the students of the apostles"?
and secondly, doesn't the Roman Catholic Church also have "the council of hundreds of God-fearing bishops" (and the Pope)?

Should, yes. But alas, they do not.

Where the Orthodox Church disagrees with the Roman Church (primarily on the authority of the Pope), the appeal to the Fathers, Councils, and Tradition is made. The Council itself isn't to create NEW dogma, ONLY to authoritively proclaim CORRECT dogma that has ALWAYS been the deposit of faith from the BEGINNING, in order to stamp out error.
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« Reply #729 on: December 03, 2011, 11:34:25 PM »

This is the Post you have all been waiting for!

xariskai, thank you for posting this responce. it addresses the core of the issue from a reliable source. and is even focused towards the sola scripture point of view.

before I say anything else I would like to say that Cognomen was right. this Thread should have lasted no more than 4 replies. xariskai provided a link to this information at the start of this thread, and instead of addressing it properly I simply brushed it aside. I don't even think I followed the link.
I do feel a need to rationalise that back then I was addressing multiple posts on a daylie basis so I skipped xariskai's post our of time restraints... although I feel the need to justify my actions, there isn't really any excuse for my sloppy approach to addressing facts presented to me. and of everything I have said and done on this Forum, it was this action that I am most ashamed of. or is that embarrassment? either way I don't even think a simple "I'm sorry" will suffice.



Quote
dzheremi: Maybe some of the arguments here are actually causing him to reevaluate his thinking.
My thinking processes have not changed. all that has changed is what information I have to evaluate my decisions with.
and with that, the information xariskai has presented has definitely changed my standing view.

I would like point out that it was not "the Church" that changed my mind.
this statement is not meant as an attack against you of some kind, I simply hope that others amongst you also start viewing Christianity in more depth. to follow the Orthodox Church blindly is no different from following the Roman Catholic Church blindly. even if you do it to just confirm you beliefs, I still think it is beneficial to look deeper into the reason Why you do things. Understanding is always better than just knowledge.



OK, now after all my peace making and admittance of error, this is that part that will probably leave you thinking I am just a stuburn brat who never even cared about the answer to my questions. (that view would be wrong by the way)

a few times within this thread I have made note that I can not 'just accept' facts. that I must annalise then, test then. and if necessary denounce them.
I will always side with the Facts. until I can disprove them. if my attempts to disprove then fail, then I happily continue to side with them until someone else disproves them. that is the nature of who I am.

the facts xariskai presented are no different. despite now admitting that I was wrong, and admitting that (perhaps) the Church was correct in its teachings after all. that will not stop me from investigating further.

there are still a few things within the evidence that don't sit right with me. however, until I find definitive evidence against what you have presented, and even if my actions are from (what you believe to be) misguided logic, I am sure you will all be happy to note that I will not be preforming this particular sin any time soon.

I am also sure you will be happy to hear that, assuming I ever do find counter evidence, it is unlikely I will be posting back here.
So You lot have gotten rid of me for good. YAY    ^_^



For what is likely that last time
Signed
Shane Rooney




PS:
Since this is likely my last chance:  I would like to invite all you to help out at the FORUM NAME REMOVED - MK
not that I think many of you have the mental fortitude to construct totally logical counter arguments for in-depth debates....but we could always use the help.
and in the end, regardless of what you think about me, spreading the word to these evolutionists is important to the propagation of our faith.

and yes, I did use this invitation to take another swipe at your debate abilities. couldn't help myself. but hey! this Thread at least proved that even you can win a debate by being on the right side. and since we are up against evolutionists...  :-p


PPS:
Sorry xariskai.
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« Reply #730 on: December 04, 2011, 01:00:53 AM »

Evolution vs Creationism is a non-starter.
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« Reply #731 on: December 04, 2011, 01:57:24 AM »

Evolution vs Creationism is a non-starter.

There are threadseseseses here that say otherwise.
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« Reply #732 on: December 04, 2011, 01:59:22 AM »

Evolution vs Creationism is a non-starter.

There are threadseseseses here that say otherwise.
You mean jckstrw72 arguing with himself. Well in that case..
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« Reply #733 on: December 04, 2011, 02:18:10 AM »

He'll be back.
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« Reply #734 on: December 04, 2011, 02:56:05 AM »

just_some_guy, thanks for your reply; it displays honorable qualities including, I think, humility and intellectual honesty. Although I'm "just some member" here, I would welcome you to return, and I'm sure others feel that way too even though they might disagree on some position or positions being discussed.

I'm also glad to know you haven't decided to have sex yet; may God bless you as you seek to know and serve Him, and may He one day guide you to reconsider the Orthodox Church.

This is the Post you have all been waiting for!

xariskai, thank you for posting this responce. it addresses the core of the issue from a reliable source. and is even focused towards the sola scripture point of view.

before I say anything else I would like to say that Cognomen was right. this Thread should have lasted no more than 4 replies. xariskai provided a link to this information at the start of this thread, and instead of addressing it properly I simply brushed it aside. I don't even think I followed the link.
I do feel a need to rationalise that back then I was addressing multiple posts on a daylie basis so I skipped xariskai's post our of time restraints... although I feel the need to justify my actions, there isn't really any excuse for my sloppy approach to addressing facts presented to me. and of everything I have said and done on this Forum, it was this action that I am most ashamed of. or is that embarrassment? either way I don't even think a simple "I'm sorry" will suffice.



Quote
dzheremi: Maybe some of the arguments here are actually causing him to reevaluate his thinking.
My thinking processes have not changed. all that has changed is what information I have to evaluate my decisions with.
and with that, the information xariskai has presented has definitely changed my standing view.

I would like point out that it was not "the Church" that changed my mind.
this statement is not meant as an attack against you of some kind, I simply hope that others amongst you also start viewing Christianity in more depth. to follow the Orthodox Church blindly is no different from following the Roman Catholic Church blindly. even if you do it to just confirm you beliefs, I still think it is beneficial to look deeper into the reason Why you do things. Understanding is always better than just knowledge.



OK, now after all my peace making and admittance of error, this is that part that will probably leave you thinking I am just a stuburn brat who never even cared about the answer to my questions. (that view would be wrong by the way)

a few times within this thread I have made note that I can not 'just accept' facts. that I must annalise then, test then. and if necessary denounce them.
I will always side with the Facts. until I can disprove them. if my attempts to disprove then fail, then I happily continue to side with them until someone else disproves them. that is the nature of who I am.

the facts xariskai presented are no different. despite now admitting that I was wrong, and admitting that (perhaps) the Church was correct in its teachings after all. that will not stop me from investigating further.

there are still a few things within the evidence that don't sit right with me. however, until I find definitive evidence against what you have presented, and even if my actions are from (what you believe to be) misguided logic, I am sure you will all be happy to note that I will not be preforming this particular sin any time soon.

I am also sure you will be happy to hear that, assuming I ever do find counter evidence, it is unlikely I will be posting back here.
So You lot have gotten rid of me for good. YAY    ^_^



For what is likely that last time
Signed
Shane Rooney




PS:
Since this is likely my last chance:  I would like to invite all you to help out at the youdebate.com evolution vs creationism forum.
not that I think many of you have the mental fortitude to construct totally logical counter arguments for in-depth debates....but we could always use the help.
and in the end, regardless of what you think about me, spreading the word to these evolutionists is important to the propagation of our faith.

and yes, I did use this invitation to take another swipe at your debate abilities. couldn't help myself. but hey! this Thread at least proved that even you can win a debate by being on the right side. and since we are up against evolutionists...  :-p


PPS:
Sorry xariskai.
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« Reply #735 on: December 04, 2011, 06:04:40 PM »

I would like to invite all you to help out at the youdebate.com evolution vs creationism forum.
not that I think many of you have the mental fortitude to construct totally logical counter arguments for in-depth debates....but we could always use the help.
and in the end, regardless of what you think about me, spreading the word to these evolutionists is important to the propagation of our faith.

and yes, I did use this invitation to take another swipe at your debate abilities. couldn't help myself. but hey! this Thread at least proved that even you can win a debate by being on the right side. and since we are up against evolutionists...  :-p

And to think that I thought this was a discussion forum rather than a debate forum Tongue. Silly me!
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« Reply #736 on: February 11, 2012, 08:44:56 PM »

I would have to disagree, Lord Doog.  The context of 1 Cor. 7:8,9 does not mean "no premarital sex."  If anything the context shows Paul accepting premarital sex as a reality of human nature and purposefully tried not to be legalistic about it.   

The passage essentially says that people who are trying to be celibate yet who continually find themselves losing control of their sexual urges should get married. The Apostle Paul doesn't condemn them for losing control. Not at all. He only tells them to recognize that they need sex and channel their sexual desire into marriage. There is a big difference between channeling sex into marriage and waiting until marriage to have sex. Paul is giving advice for wise sexual behavior in the long run, not strict commandments.

In fact, before Paul writes those verses (v. 8,9) he says, "I'm saying this as concession, not as a command." (v. 6) Only later does he start giving commands. (v. 10, "Now to the married I give this command..."). Also, consider that there is a process of dating, of courtship, a time period that leads to marriage. Paul certainly does not mean, "if you wake up next to someone because you lost control, you'd better marry that person by the evening." He is giving advice and promoting marriage. He is not being a hard-nosed law-giver in this passage.

Many modern orthodox should learn and mimic the holy Apostles approach, which really is the only approach I've ever been able to find in Scripture.  At various points, Holy Scripture clearly calls many sexual acts a sin or punishes them in some form. Condemned as immoral, and at one time even punished with death in Old Testament Scripture, are the various acts of adultery (Exodus 20:14, Proverbs 6:32, Luke 18:19), bestiality (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23), incest (Leviticus 18:6, 20:11,12), rape (Deut. 22:25,26), prostitution (1 Cor. 6:15), homosexualty (Leviticus 18:22), and other sexual acts.  The passages apply both to common sexual sins (adultery) and uncommon ones (bestiality).  They are very clear, like "do not commit adultery," "anyone who has sex with a beast shall be put to death," "unite with a prostitute? Never!" etc.  However, when it comes to the most common sexual act in the world, premarital sex, there is not a single passage that says "you shall not have sex before marriage."

Premarital sex was regulated in the Law, not forbidden.  Paul, as a Jewish Christian, knew this.  Take Exodus ch. 22 for instance. For sex with a virgin, a payment of the regular "bride price" was required to be paid to her dad. Back then her dad was said to "own" her virginity. This payment system is all throughout the Old Law, and it was common for things that were not sinful. For instance, the Old Testament orders the payment of the price of an animal to your neighbor if you borrowed his animal and the animal died (for whatever reason) in your care. That was not a "sin", but it was just restitution. In this case of premarital sex, this payment was the same exact payment as was made for a marriage. If the payment is taken to mean the sex was "wrong" then marriage is also a sin because it involved payment. Neither premarital sex nor marriage are even implied to be sinful in this passage. Plus, most importantly, if she wasn't a virgin before the sex then there is no payment and nothing is done at all to either of them. Premarital sex was not punished. It was simply assumed to be a fact of life and regulated.

I may be new to the orthodox faith, but I'm not new to Scripture.  I've never heard a good explanation for why holy Scripture would not call premarital sex a sin.  Some have said "it wasn't going on back then because they married so young."  Yeah.  Right.  That's baloney.  Exodus 22 regulated it, as if proof is needed to show that premarital sex was happening.  Premarital sex has been happening in every culture since the beginning of time, folks.

I've looked and have not been able to find any early church fathers that clearly condemned premarital sex either.  The ban on sex during courtship seems to simply be a cultural tradition that has worked its way into the church.  At one point many orthodox believed that it was a sin for clergy to have intercourse with their wives!  What makes you think that many could also not be deceived into condemning other permissible sexual acts? 

The Spirit of God warns us in Scripture that false doctrines about marriage would infect the church, hindering or forbidding marriage, in 1st Timothy 4. The false doctrine that "pre-wedding sex" (or intimacy) is a sin can do just that.  Some couples need the sexual intimacy to help assure them to take that next step.  Other couples that abstain are pressured into getting married quickly in order to express those desires only in matrimony, and they end up trapped in a marriage that wasn't meant to be.  Many couples who marry too quickly as a result of these traditions often don't know one another very well personally or emotionally, and don't know one another at all sexually, when they get married. This can lead to disaster; not everyone is right for everyone else emotionally and the same goes for sexually.  There are matches and mismatches.

The better, wiser approach is to teach young people about sex in terms of avoiding promiscuity, using wisdom, and practicing self-control in order to avoid the negative consequences that can result from bad sexual decisions. That could mean safe sex, alternative sex, abstinence, or whatever... it is a personal decision. 

The description of sex and marriage that Scripture gives us in the Song of Solomon is in the section of the Bible commonly referred to as "the wisdom books".  And if you read that book you'll see they share a bed before their wedding.  The wise approach, God's approach, will create the kinds of marriages that God celebrates, marriages that end up being pictures of Christ's love for the Church in every way (personally, emotionally, and sexually)

Thats my take on the issue.

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 #737 on: February 11, 2012, 09:01:12 PM »

The problem with defining "porneia," hereafter "sexual immorality," by using cultural norms is that cultural norms change.  For instance, at one point in time many orthodox believed it was "sexual immorality" for clergy to have sex with their wives.  Did that make it actually immoral?  I would say no; those orthdox were wrong.

Jews will openly admit that the Old Testament never prohbits pre-wedding sex. They will honestly admit they rely only on cultural traditions for any rules against it.  Jewish researcher Ariel Scheib says, "The Bible never explicitly states a woman and man may not have sexual intercourse prior to marriage; therefore, no sanction was imposed for premarital sex, but it was considered a violation of custom (tradition)..." He cites as his sources Eisenberg, Ronald L. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions. PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004; Kolatch, Alfred J. The Jewish Book of Why/The Second Jewish Book of Why. NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 1989; Wigoder, Geoffrey , Ed. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Facts on File, 1992.

I prefer to define "sexual immorality" by what the Holy Scriptures have called sexual immorality, and by what the early Fathers called sexual immorality.  Premarital sex in the confines of courtship is never punished nor called immoral or sinful in Scripture nor, as far as I've been able to tell, in the early holy Fathers.
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« Reply #738 on: February 11, 2012, 09:11:52 PM »

The context of Mat 5, to me, is very obviously adultery.  If you take it hyper literally then looking at your wife with sexual desire is adultery since, literally, the passage says "if anyone looks upon a woman to lust..."  Christ is referring here to looking at a married woman. 

Grace and Peace,

I'm confused... If we commit adultery if we even look on a woman to lust after her, then we have already committed adultery. What is adultery? To argue that relations with a woman outside of marriage isn't wrong... I don't know what adultery is?

You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. ~ Mat 5:27-28

I'm very sorry that you had a bad experience with your first marriage and because of that experience you feel you need to blame this teaching for ruining your marriage but I think you're overreaching.
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« Reply #739 on: February 11, 2012, 09:17:42 PM »

Serb, Christ is Risen!

It was before the fall that God said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth."  Either they were having sex before the fall or they were sinning before the fall since God had commanded sex before the fall (as if sex would have to be commanded of a beautiful, naked couple in a garden together).

The fact that Scripture says Adam had sex with his wife after the fall does not mean they had not had sex before that.  It is common for Scripture to say "X knew Y and Y gave birth..." when X and Y had previously had sex (for instance if X and Y had previous children).  That is just the form of the language.  I don't believe that means Adam and Eve abstained until after the fall.

Acts,

How about God creating Eve for Adam (thus uniting them, in the mystical act of union), and AFTER the fall they "know" each other? 

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« Reply #740 on: February 11, 2012, 09:35:15 PM »

I think I responded to this once, but another point comes to mind.  I think the holy Father Chyrysostom is giving advice more than moral commands here.  For instance, he says, " Let us take wives for them early..."  Does that mean it is a sin if we don't encourage our children to get married early?  The Apostolic approach to premarital sex seems to be one of advice and not legalistic law giving.  Take the holy Apostle Paul's approach in 1 Cor. 7:8,9, a verse that often gets twisted by the "no sex allowed" crowd in my opinion. Paul says, "Now to the unmarried... It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (v. 8,9) Again, at first glance this can be used to imply premarital sex is a sin. However, this passage simply says that people who are trying to be celibate yet who continually find themselves losing control of their sexual urges should get married. The Apostle Paul doesn't condemn them for losing control. Not at all. He only tells them to recognize that they need sex and channel their sexual desire into marriage. There is a big difference between channeling sex into marriage and waiting until marriage to have sex. Paul is giving advice for wise sexual behavior in the long run, not strict commandments. In fact, before Paul says any of this he says, "I'm saying this as concession, not as a command." (v. 6) Only later does he start giving commands. (v. 10, "Now to the married I give this command..."). Also, consider that there is a process of dating, of courtship, a time period that leads to marriage. Paul certainly does not mean, "if you wake up next to someone, you'd better marry that person by the evening." He is giving advice and promoting marriage. He is not being a hard-nosed law-giver in this passage.

1 Corinthians 7 can certainly be twisted and used to say premarital sex is sin. However, keep in mind the very clear references to actual sexual immorality elsewhere in Scripture (adultery, prostitution, rape, etc. listed above). Keep in mind how vague 1 Corinthians 7 is in comparison to those other passages. Keep in mind that the author plainly says he is giving advice and not commands.  That is my main point, and that is how I would interpret Father Chyrsostom here. 

Secondarily, I would wonder what Father Chyrsostom means here by "chaste."  It is easy to assume, but I honestly have to wonder given that Scripture never condemns premarital sex as a sin except for promiscuity (Romans 14:14).  Perhaps Chyrysostom was referring to promiscuity and not a passionate moment during a courtship. 

The old testament does not list premarital intimacy as a sin anywhere that I've seen.
Then you are not looking.

Ditto the Fathers, e.g.
Quote
Moral. Hear this, ye fathers and mothers, that your bringing up of children shall not lose its reward. This also he says, as he proceeds, “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children.” (1 Tim. v. 10.) Among other commendations he reckons this one, for it is no light praise to devote to God those children which are given them of God. For if the basis, the foundation which they lay be good, great will be their reward; as great, if they neglect it, will be their punishment. It was on account of his children that Eli perished. For he ought to have admonished them, and indeed he did admonish them, but not as he ought; but from his unwillingness to give them pain he destroyed both himself and them. Hear this, ye fathers, bring your children up with great care “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. vi. 4.) Youth is wild, and requires many governors, teachers, directors, attendants, and tutors; and after all these, it is a happiness if it be restrained. For as a horse not broken in, or a wild beast untamed, such is youth. But if from the beginning, from the earliest age, we fix it in good rules, much pains will not be required afterwards; for good habits formed will be to them as a law. Let us not suffer them to do anything which is agreeable, but injurious; nor let us indulge them, as forsooth but children. Especially let us train them in chastity, for there is the very bane of youth. For this many struggles, much attention will be necessary. Let us take wives for them early, so that their brides may receive their bodies pure and unpolluted, so their loves will be more ardent. He that is chaste before marriage, much more will he be chaste after it; and he that practiced fornication before, will practice it after marriage. “All bread,” it is said, “is sweet to the fornicator.” (Ecclus. xxiii. 17.) Garlands are wont to be worn on the heads of bridegrooms, as a symbol of victory, betokening that they approach the marriage bed unconquered by pleasure. But if captivated by pleasure he has given himself up to harlots, why does he wear the garland, since he has been subdued?
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.v.iii.x.html
See also St. John's "The Right Way for Parents to Bring up their Children"
http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/books/Chrysostom--Vainglory_and_Children.pdf
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« Reply #741 on: February 11, 2012, 11:36:18 PM »

I would have to disagree, Lord Doog.  The context of 1 Cor. 7:8,9 does not mean "no premarital sex."  If anything the context shows Paul accepting premarital sex as a reality of human nature and purposefully tried not to be legalistic about it.  

The passage essentially says that people who are trying to be celibate yet who continually find themselves losing control of their sexual urges should get married. The Apostle Paul doesn't condemn them for losing control. Not at all. He only tells them to recognize that they need sex and channel their sexual desire into marriage. There is a big difference between channeling sex into marriage and waiting until marriage to have sex. Paul is giving advice for wise sexual behavior in the long run, not strict commandments.

In fact, before Paul writes those verses (v. 8,9) he says, "I'm saying this as concession, not as a command." (v. 6) Only later does he start giving commands. (v. 10, "Now to the married I give this command..."). Also, consider that there is a process of dating, of courtship, a time period that leads to marriage. Paul certainly does not mean, "if you wake up next to someone because you lost control, you'd better marry that person by the evening." He is giving advice and promoting marriage. He is not being a hard-nosed law-giver in this passage.

Many modern orthodox should learn and mimic the holy Apostles approach, which really is the only approach I've ever been able to find in Scripture.
You think you're able to decipher St. Paul's approach and to tell the Church that she got Paul wrong. How do you know you're right? Do you have special insights into St. Paul's mind that the Church never received from him? If so, how did you acquire this?
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« Reply #742 on: February 12, 2012, 02:17:39 AM »

Dear PeterTheAleut, Christ is in our midst!

You apparently think you're able to tell the Church when she is right.  So then it follows you also think you're able to tell her when she gets something wrong.  Or are you one who honestly believes the Church has never gotten anything wrong?  At one point did not the Church teach that clergy can't have sex with their wives?  Considering that the holy Apostle advised all to have sex with their spouses except for a short time for devotion to prayer, was it she or the Apostle who was giving the wrong advice?

For that matter, when has the Church spoken about premarital sex?  How do you define the speaking Church?

Scripture certainly never refers to it as sin the few times it even approaches the topic, at least not as far as I can tell.  Do we come to a knowledge of the Truth by taking a poll of all orthodox Christians on a certain subject at a certain point in history (today) and the most votes equals the Truth?  Or do we instead read Holy Scripture, attend to the liturgy, read the holy Fathers, and seek to glorify Christ in all we do?  

We all have to decipher St. Paul.  He didn't write the letters so we could bury them.  He intended them to be read and comprehended.  No, of course I don't have any more special insights into Paul than you... unless I have a more open mind and heart to the Spirit.  After all, it is the Spirit of the living God who breathed the letter to the Corinthians, not the holy and honorable Saint Paul, not you, and not I.  As far as how to acquire Him, I would recommend giving holy St. Seraphim a read.  

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/sermon_st_seraphim.htm

Not that I would claim to have more of the Spirit than you or anyone else in the Church.  But you asked a sarcastic question, and got the answer you should expect.  Perhaps you'd be less offended at my opinion if you understood my background.  I come from a church that told me salvation was through faith only and to never depend on my good works for salvation.  That made no sense to me, I saw something different in Scripture, and was told to ignore it.  I come from a church that told me Jesus made grape juice and alcohol was essentially sin.  That made no sense to me, I saw something different in Scripture, and I was told to ignore it.  

I don't see premarital sex ever punished or even called a sin in Scripture; I see it regulated and advise about it given with the aim of promoting marriage.  It makes no sense to me for someone to prohibit premarital sex.  You're telling me to ignore all this.  You're essentially telling me to ignore my conscience.  Sorry.  No.  I'm going to err on the side of ignoring you over Scripture.  If most people in the modern Church disagree with me, I guess that puts me in the minority.  Are you going to claim that the majority of the Church has never been wrong on an issue?

My belief is not going against anything the Holy Apostles or early Holy Fathers wrote as far as I can tell.

In Christ,
Acts420

You think you're able to decipher St. Paul's approach and to tell the Church the she got Paul wrong. How do you know you're right? Do you have special insights into St. Paul's mind that the Church never received from him? If so, how did you acquire this?
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« Reply #743 on: February 12, 2012, 02:45:36 AM »

Dear PeterTheAleut, Christ is in our midst!

You apparently think you're able to tell the Church when she is right.
When did I say or even imply that?

So then it follows you also think you're able to tell her when she gets something wrong.  Or are you one who honestly believes the Church has never gotten anything wrong?  At one point did not the Church teach that clergy can't have sex with their wives?  Considering that the holy Apostle advised all to have sex with their spouses except for a short time for devotion to prayer, was it she or the Apostle who was giving the wrong advice?
I'm asking the questions here. I'm not going to answer yours until you first answer mine.
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« Reply #744 on: February 12, 2012, 02:57:55 AM »

At one point did not the Church teach that clergy can't have sex with their wives?  

You've mentioned this several times. What is your evidence for this? I know it's been a folk belief at various times, but have never seen anything resembling an official "Church teaching" to such effect.

Edit: I should correct that. I am aware of certain folk beliefs about when priests should abstain from sex that, if put into full effect, would have the practical impact of preventing them from ever having relations with their wives. But even those I have never seen enshrined as an "official Church" teaching, much less a belief *or* teaching that priests couldn't have sex with their wives at all.
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« Reply #745 on: February 12, 2012, 03:54:10 AM »

Serb, Christ is Risen!

It was before the fall that God said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth."  Either they were having sex before the fall or they were sinning before the fall since God had commanded sex before the fall (as if sex would have to be commanded of a beautiful, naked couple in a garden together).

Adam and Eve's marriage was instituted when she was created.

Gen 2:21-25
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

What is so difficult about calling sin what it is? Why try to justify it, and not justify it but claim it to actually be in accordance with the gospel? I know and understand that it would be virtually (vitually, not entirely) impossible to find a wife in our culture without at least temporarily compromising on this point somewhere along the line, at least for a short period of time, but that doesn't change the nature of Christian belief concerning marriage and human sexuality. According to Christian teaching, sex isn't a way of saying "I love you" that feels really good, it's a means of expressing "that which God has joined together" and procreation.

May God have mercy on me.
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« Reply #746 on: February 12, 2012, 04:59:29 AM »

Jews will openly admit that the Old Testament never prohbits pre-wedding sex. They will honestly admit they rely only on cultural traditions for any rules against it.  
Cultural traditions have put every word in your mind that you typed in this post. Do not trivialize them so easily.

The problem with defining "porneia," hereafter "sexual immorality," by using cultural norms is that cultural norms change.  For instance, at one point in time many orthodox believed it was "sexual immorality" for clergy to have sex with their wives.
This has been canonically forbidden since the Apostolic canons. Re-affirmed at Gangra and Trullo. It is anathema to believe it is porneia for clergy to sleep with their wives.

"Some" "christians" believed that Orthodox Churches contained demons that must be appeased (Bogomils) or that Christ was a platonic sphere (late Origenists). Who cares?

Premarital sex in the confines of courtship is never punished nor called immoral or sinful in Scripture nor, as far as I've been able to tell, in the early holy Fathers.
Do you become one flesh with the person you have sex with or not?

Forget the Fathers. Forget the Rabbis.

Do the Scriptures teach that you become one flesh with the person you have sex with or not?
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« Reply #747 on: February 12, 2012, 05:10:08 AM »

bishop Porphirius of Jegra,says that fornication is sex without love and in light of that, one can fornicate even if he/she is married
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« Reply #748 on: February 12, 2012, 11:55:43 AM »

bishop Porphirius of Jegra,says that fornication is sex without love and in light of that, one can fornicate even if he/she is married
That's a non sequitur, though. Just because sex CAN be sinful within marriage does not automatically mean that sex is NOT sinful before marriage.
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« Reply #749 on: February 12, 2012, 01:08:27 PM »

Dear PeterTheAleut,

It is very rude of you to say, "I"m asking the questions here...," and refuse to answer mine.  Is this not a conversation?  Or is this an inquisition?  

I do my best to "decipher Paul."  You do as well.  I do the best to find the Truth; we all have to.  I answered all your questions.  You're refusal to answer mine speaks volumes.

peace in Christ,
Acts420

Dear PeterTheAleut, Christ is in our midst!

You apparently think you're able to tell the Church when she is right.
When did I say or even imply that?

So then it follows you also think you're able to tell her when she gets something wrong.  Or are you one who honestly believes the Church has never gotten anything wrong?  At one point did not the Church teach that clergy can't have sex with their wives?  Considering that the holy Apostle advised all to have sex with their spouses except for a short time for devotion to prayer, was it she or the Apostle who was giving the wrong advice?
I'm asking the questions here. I'm not going to answer yours until you first answer mine.
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« Reply #750 on: February 12, 2012, 01:13:40 PM »

I suppose part of the problem here is the question of what exactly is "official" church teaching.  I suspect that is why Peter is trying to avoid answering my question.  Perhaps there is no actual "official" church teaching prohibiting sex before marriage.  I don't know, I'm new to orthodoxy.

Regarding the rules I mentioned, a good read for you would be Celibacy in the Early Church: The Beginnings of Obligatory Continence for Clerics in East and West by Stefan Heid.  There have were various rules promulgated around clerical celibacy and continence in various areas.  Certainly at times the majority of the church in any given area held to strict rules as I have mentioned.  That is why I asked Peter those questions he refused to answer.  If 'majority rule' is what Peter means by "church teaching," then there are certainly examples in history of what I'm talking about.  For example, the Council of Carthage excluded clerical intercourse perpetually, making no distinction between bishops, priests and deacons, and not only in connection with their liturgical service or in times of fasting either.

At one point did not the Church teach that clergy can't have sex with their wives?  

You've mentioned this several times. What is your evidence for this? I know it's been a folk belief at various times, but have never seen anything resembling an official "Church teaching" to such effect.

Edit: I should correct that. I am aware of certain folk beliefs about when priests should abstain from sex that, if put into full effect, would have the practical impact of preventing them from ever having relations with their wives. But even those I have never seen enshrined as an "official Church" teaching, much less a belief *or* teaching that priests couldn't have sex with their wives at all.
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« Reply #751 on: February 12, 2012, 01:58:52 PM »

I suppose part of the problem here is the question of what exactly is "official" church teaching.  I suspect that is why Peter is trying to avoid answering my question.  Perhaps there is no actual "official" church teaching prohibiting sex before marriage.  I don't know, I'm new to orthodoxy.

Why do you think there are so many saints who were virgins, and so many saints wrote in praise of virginity? What on Earth could that possibly mean, except to accord a specialness to waiting for marriage?

Most people got married young, and by arrangement, in the ancient world. There simply wasn't a practice of frequent dating and waiting years and years to make the choice.

The Holy Fathers didn't write a lot about automobiles, but that doesn't mean you can get in your car and go 100 mph in a school zone. They didn't write about guns, but that doesn't mean you should take one and fire indiscriminately into a public square.

If you read up on the principles of logic, you won't find one that supports a principle of, "Argument from I Really, Really Want to."
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« Reply #752 on: February 12, 2012, 04:07:48 PM »

I suppose part of the problem here is the question of what exactly is "official" church teaching.  I suspect that is why Peter is trying to avoid answering my question.  Perhaps there is no actual "official" church teaching prohibiting sex before marriage.  I don't know, I'm new to orthodoxy.

Actually, I don't believe there is any question that from the Scriptures on, the Church has defined porneia as immorality. Xariskai has already done a good job of demonstrating that that word means any kind of extra-marital sex. Unless you can demonstrate that there is any philological evidence that the word's generally understood meaning in Koine Greek did not include pre-marital sex, or provide even a single Father who says there is a type of porneia which is not immoral, there really isn't anything to 'discuss'.

Quote
Regarding the rules I mentioned, a good read for you would be Celibacy in the Early Church: The Beginnings of Obligatory Continence for Clerics in East and West by Stefan Heid.  There have were various rules promulgated around clerical celibacy and continence in various areas.  Certainly at times the majority of the church in any given area held to strict rules as I have mentioned.  That is why I asked Peter those questions he refused to answer.  If 'majority rule' is what Peter means by "church teaching," then there are certainly examples in history of what I'm talking about.  For example, the Council of Carthage excluded clerical intercourse perpetually, making no distinction between bishops, priests and deacons, and not only in connection with their liturgical service or in times of fasting either.

Okay--the canons of the Council of Carthage, having been embraced by the Council in Trullo, actually are "official" Church teaching, and they are still in effect today. But if you, or the author of that book, think they forbade all clerical intercourse, then you are simply incorrect.

Canon III states that the 3 sacerdotal orders should be continent and chaste. First, it is only in late modern English that 'continence' and 'chastity' have become direct equivalents of 'celibate'. The older meanings of the English words, and the Latin and Greek terms they translate, was simply "sexually moral". For unmarried priests that did mean celibacy, but for married priests it simply meant marital fidelity. Thus one can find plenty of examples (including Sts. Joachim and Anna) of married couples described as living chastely--at the same time as they were having children. But one doesn't actually need the Oxford English Dictionary to know this since its contained in the canon itself. The canon ties its rule of continence and celibacy for Christian priests to what "was becoming that the sacred rulers and priests of God as well as the Levites". The OT priesthood and Levites (much less the rulers) were a hereditary caste. Every single OT priest and Levite from the time of Moses (down even to today) was the product of a Levite having relations with his wife. So a canon requiring bishops, priests, and deacons to be continent and chaste in the same way as them clearly cannot be about absolute celibacy.

Canon IV actually uses the word 'abstain' and comes across as ambiguous, but only if read out of context. If it really requires complete clerical abstinence, then Canon III makes no sense--because canon IV is either a simple restatement of Canon III (if one misreads canon III's chastity=celibacy) or a stricter rule that immediately replaces the rule they just passed. Either reading requires the assumption that the Fathers of Carthage didn't have a clue what they were doing. In fact, the consistent reading and application of this canon by the Church over the centuries is that the scope of this canon is contained in the phrases "perform the sacraments" and "serve the altar." Priests are expected to abstain from relations before serving in the altar (this is why, as pointed out on another thread, most Orthodox Churches, served by married clergy, only have 2 or 3 liturgies a week rather than the daily (or more) services common in Roman churches). But only then, not at other times.
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« Reply #753 on: February 12, 2012, 04:56:03 PM »

I suppose part of the problem here is the question of what exactly is "official" church teaching.  I suspect that is why Peter is trying to avoid answering my question.  Perhaps there is no actual "official" church teaching prohibiting sex before marriage.  I don't know, I'm new to orthodoxy.

What if there is no official church teaching? What if it's down to you to do what you think is best for the person you are dating?

Is it best for them to be united in such a way with someone prior to any covenant between them? The answer to that question would tell me what the motivation really was about. We all have the whole of our lives to have wonderful and creative sex so why to start without a covenantal context in place?
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« Reply #754 on: February 12, 2012, 05:34:35 PM »

Dear PeterTheAleut,

It is very rude of you to say, "I"m asking the questions here...," and refuse to answer mine.  Is this not a conversation?  Or is this an inquisition?
How is what I'm doing any more rude than you answering my questions with questions of your own--loaded questions at that--and then insisting that I answer yours? Do you not see the hypocrisy of your conduct here? You're calling me out for the very behavior you're showing on this thread.

I do my best to "decipher Paul."  You do as well.
Since I have yet to offer a different interpretation of St. Paul's doctrines on this thread, I think it a bit presumptuous of you to speak of my interpretation of St. Paul with as much certitude as you do. I want to know why you think yourself such an authority on St. Paul that you can present to us your perspective on his approach and motives and tell the Church that she's wrong. (Hell, I would like to know why you think yourself such an authority on my mind that you can presume to tell me what I am thinking in regards to St. Paul.) Until you explain that to me, I will consider my questions to you unanswered.

I do the best to find the Truth; we all have to.  I answered all your questions.
No, you did not. All you did was dodge my questions by asking them of me.

You're refusal to answer mine speaks volumes.
First, let's address the reason why you refuse to answer my questions.

peace in Christ,
Acts420

Dear PeterTheAleut, Christ is in our midst!

You apparently think you're able to tell the Church when she is right.
When did I say or even imply that?

So then it follows you also think you're able to tell her when she gets something wrong.  Or are you one who honestly believes the Church has never gotten anything wrong?  At one point did not the Church teach that clergy can't have sex with their wives?  Considering that the holy Apostle advised all to have sex with their spouses except for a short time for devotion to prayer, was it she or the Apostle who was giving the wrong advice?
I'm asking the questions here. I'm not going to answer yours until you first answer mine.
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« Reply #755 on: February 13, 2012, 01:22:38 AM »

Dear biro, Christ is in our midst!  

Virginity is to be praised.  No one has said it isn't.  But no, valuing virginity doesn't not imply it is a sin to have sex before marriage by any stretch of logic.  Marriage and sex and procreation are all to be praised to.  There were non-virgin saints too.  

The "most people married young" thing is repeated a lot.  I don't really see the point.  Premarital sex was regulated but never punished in the Scriptures, not differently than marriage itself.  So yes, it was happening.  It was going on to such an extent that it was regulated, and it is never referred to as sin nor forbidden anywhere in Holy Scripture.

There were no automobiles in the first few centuries of the Way.  Of course the early Fathers didn't write about automobiles.  There was premarital sex going on.  You can deny it if it makes you feel better. Just don't expect me to deny reality along with you.

I can imagine someone of a similar legalistic mindset to yours, just with different details, some 1500 years ago.  He would've been found saying to some priest somewhere, "Listen, I know you want to have sex with your wife.  And I know Scripture never says you can't.  However, if you read up on the principles of logic, you won't find one that supports a principle of, 'Argument from I Really, Really Want to.'"  

In Christ,
Acts420

I suppose part of the problem here is the question of what exactly is "official" church teaching.  I suspect that is why Peter is trying to avoid answering my question.  Perhaps there is no actual "official" church teaching prohibiting sex before marriage.  I don't know, I'm new to orthodoxy.

Why do you think there are so many saints who were virgins, and so many saints wrote in praise of virginity? What on Earth could that possibly mean, except to accord a specialness to waiting for marriage?

Most people got married young, and by arrangement, in the ancient world. There simply wasn't a practice of frequent dating and waiting years and years to make the choice.

The Holy Fathers didn't write a lot about automobiles, but that doesn't mean you can get in your car and go 100 mph in a school zone. They didn't write about guns, but that doesn't mean you should take one and fire indiscriminately into a public square.

If you read up on the principles of logic, you won't find one that supports a principle of, "Argument from I Really, Really Want to."
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« Reply #756 on: February 13, 2012, 04:24:56 AM »

i agree. however,i dont remember he made the distinction between the sex within marriage and before it
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« Reply #757 on: February 13, 2012, 09:32:27 AM »

LOL. Wow.

I was going to have a more detailed response, but then I realized the mental gymnastics already happening to accept what you want made it pointless.


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« Reply #758 on: February 13, 2012, 09:46:46 AM »

i agree. however,i dont remember he made the distinction between the sex within marriage and before it

Of course. Because it was accepted that sex before is sinful. He only goes further to say sex within marriage can also be sinful.
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« Reply #759 on: February 13, 2012, 10:19:31 AM »

NicholasMyra, Christ is in our midst!

For me to best answer your question, and for fear of talking past one another, you need to define "sex."  I think "one flesh" implies the possibility of procreation, the ultimate "two becoming one."  So I don't think you become one flesh with someone through oral sex.  I don't think you become one flesh with someone through sex with a condom.  

I do think unprotected sexual intercourse is "one flesh."  That being said, even unprotected intercourse is never condemned anywhere in Scripture before marriage.  Acts from adultery to bestiality to homosexuality are clearly condemned.  However, one of the most common sexual acts in the world, sex before marriage, is never condemned as sinful or punished even once in Scripture.  And it was going on, as evidenced by the fact that Exodus 22 regulated it.  It was frowned upon by cultural tradition but never condemned by the Word of God.  The most Scripture ever does is, through the Apostle Paul, try to direct ongoing sexual expression into marriage.  Paul does this in 1 Cor. 7 without at all condemning as sinful those single people who "could not control themselves."   The approach taken toward premarital sex by the holy Apostle is one of giving advice and promoting marriage, not one of being a hard-nosed law-giver.

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Do you become one flesh with the person you have sex with or not?

Forget the Fathers. Forget the Rabbis.

Do the Scriptures teach that you become one flesh with the person you have sex with or not?
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« Reply #760 on: February 13, 2012, 11:04:12 AM »

Of course. Because it was accepted that sex before is sinful. He only goes further to say sex within marriage can also be sinful.


 i dont think so... and i am pretty sure that bishop did not think so too... so,in your opinion,marriage is the legalization of sex
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« Reply #761 on: February 13, 2012, 11:36:48 AM »

I don't know why I'm just scratching my head on this one.

Obviously in Jewish & Christian tradition pre marital sex/adultery has always been considered sinful no matter which way we contrive, bend, or twist it.  Not really seeing a debate here...

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« Reply #762 on: February 13, 2012, 11:39:28 AM »

I don't know why I'm just scratching my head on this one.

Obviously in Jewish & Christian tradition pre marital sex/adultery has always been considered sinful no matter which way we contrive, bend, or twist it.  Not really seeing a debate here...



Thats what I was thinking.  I dont know how there are over 400 posts on this one.  I havent been following.  Maybe Ill start.
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« Reply #763 on: February 13, 2012, 12:10:37 PM »

Yeah, I know. I wonder why he thinks he's going to talk people into the reverse of what they know is true.

If he accepts nothing else as proof, why does he think most other churches, even the Protestants, teach the same thing on this issue? Many of the Protestant churches are even more strident about it. This implies strongly that the teaching was around before the Reformation, and since the Orthodox and Roman Catholics teach the same thing as well, also shows it predates the Schism. There are very few churches which have any leniency on this issue; the only ones you'll find are very liberal groups such as the Unitarians or Episcopalians. Put together, there's a very small percentage of Christians who disagree on this issue.

Now, Scripture does repeatedly remind us that God can forgive those who repent. This doesn't mean we should sin with impunity and throw caution to the wind. They're different things.
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Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
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Inserting personal quote here.


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« Reply #764 on: February 13, 2012, 12:51:55 PM »

Because someone believes that if he/she can convice others to what they think, it somehow makes it less wrong.

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"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
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