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Author Topic: Premarital Sex  (Read 7335 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ben
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« on: June 07, 2004, 06:33:10 PM »

In this modern world couples are shacking up left and right. Sex outside of marriage is perfectly normal and fine in our society.

Does it really matter, if two people love each other? Or who cares why not have sex whenever you are in the mood? Does the teaching of the Church really apply to the modern world? Or are they just outdated?

I myself do *not* believe in sex before marriage, but I know so many people, even devoutly relgious ones, who see no problem. What do you all think? I'd be esp interested in what those who are in a relationship, but not married, have to say.
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2004, 07:01:56 PM »

If they're having sex outside of marriage, then they're not really "devoutly religious" - unless it's some other religion than Christianity.  They're either fooling themselves or sucumbing to a Passion.
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2004, 08:22:25 PM »

Sex between a man and a woman outside of marriage lacks something that Christians should strive for in all that they do: God. God is not present when two such people have sex, and for people who don't care about this BIG fact, then they are turning their backs on God when they do this. For people who DO care, which should include Christians, then perhaps a reminder of this fact would alter their behavior.

For me, this is what keeps me in check.

Besides, sex IN marriage is supposed to be (IS, I'm sure, since God IS there) a million times better anyway, so it's worth waiting for. Smiley
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Ben
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2004, 08:25:52 PM »

Sex between a man and a woman outside of marriage lacks something that Christians should strive for in all that they do: God. God is not present when two such people have sex, and for people who don't care about this BIG fact, then they are turning their backs on God when they do this. For people who DO care, which should include Christians, then perhaps a reminder of this fact would alter their behavior.

For me, this is what keeps me in check.

Besides, sex IN marriage is supposed to be (IS, I'm sure, since God IS there) a million times better anyway, so it's worth waiting for. Smiley

Very well put...I totally agree.
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2004, 01:15:42 AM »

I wish those who voted "When a couple is truly in love and plan on getting married someday" would explain why they voted this way. I am curious to know.
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2004, 01:21:06 AM »

This seems like a bizarre poll to post on this website.  It's really not something that's ever been "up for discussion" in Orthodoxy.  Like my priest says, "you're Orthodox, no one cares what you think!"  Smiley

This poll would probably be more appropriate on an ECUSA or other mainline protestant website where this is a debatable topic.
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2004, 01:28:35 AM »

Well gregory, maybe you are right, but notice not everyone voted for "ONLY when you are Married".
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2004, 05:35:32 AM »

Sex before marriage is STRICTLY forbidden by our Church PERIOD.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2004, 06:27:07 AM »

Well gregory, maybe you are right, but notice not everyone voted for "ONLY when you are Married".

And what does that mean, Ben? This wasn't an "Orthodox  Only" poll, was it?

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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2004, 10:46:06 AM »

This seems like a bizarre poll to post on this website.  It's really not something that's ever been "up for discussion" in Orthodoxy.  Like my priest says, "you're Orthodox, no one cares what you think!"  Smiley

I thought this was hilarious.  And true.  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2004, 11:00:51 AM »

Does anyone find this topic or atleast the comments on it strange..

no one was asking if it was or wasnt premitted by the church before marriage... but if you chose to have sex outside marriage.. right? orthodox or not...

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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2004, 03:45:50 PM »

This wasn't an "Orthodox  Only" poll, was it?



I NEVER said it was. This was my point exactly. Its not an irrelevant poll because not everyone here is Orthodox, and not everyone here believes Sex is only for Marriage. I mean heck we even got a "Whenever your in the mood" vote. It shows that not everyone here thinks alike and maybe that this isn't such a strange poll.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2004, 04:12:37 PM »

Without wishing to divert the thread into the titillating, is there a difference between sexual intercourse outside of marriage and other sexual activities?

I am always impressed, as someone who grew up Evangelical, with the seriousness with which Coptic Orthodox handle dating etc. Of course not all Copts do, but I mean the majority of serious ones. They have standards that I never grew up with and they are aware, or seem to be, of why those standards are there. Even down to separate sex Bible study classes in some of the larger metropolitan churches in the US I have heard of.

Peter
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2004, 04:23:42 PM »

How about, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:27-8)"?
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2004, 04:26:14 PM »

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Without wishing to divert the thread into the titillating, is there a difference between sexual intercourse outside of marriage and other sexual activities?

Both are sin and against the teachings of the Church, well at least in my opinion.

Quote
I am always impressed, as someone who grew up Evangelical, with the seriousness with which Coptic Orthodox handle dating etc. Of course not all Copts do, but I mean the majority of serious ones. They have standards that I never grew up with and they are aware, or seem to be, of why those standards are there. Even down to separate sex Bible study classes in some of the larger metropolitan churches in the US I have heard of.

I am wondering if this has to do with the Islamic influence on the Coptic Church. In Mosques men and women are totally seperated, the same in Madressas. And not to mention how much emphasis is placed on the seperation of the sexes in Muslim culture, and the dating rules in Islam are extremely strict. In fact good Muslims don't even date. And any type of premarital pleasure, even if its not exactly sexual, is haram, that could lead to zina:

There are many forbidden matters associated with this, such as transgressing against the honour of others, betraying trust, being alone with a member of the opposite sex, touching, kissing, speaking immoral words, then the greater evil which occurs at the end, which is the sin of zina. - Islam Q&A

So maybe the Coptic faithful have been influenced by centuries of Islamic culture. I could be totally off....just wondering  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2004, 04:48:16 PM »

So maybe the Coptic faithful have been influenced by centuries of Islamic culture. I could be totally off....just wondering  Smiley

Hiya Ben

Totally off mate  Smiley

In fact it is the other way round. Islam is very derivative. Where do you think the Muslims get the praying seven times a day from? Or prostration? Or being unshod in the mosque? These are all ancient Orthodox Christian practices which were embraced as Mohammed created his new religion, where they were not already universal religious motifs and practices in the Middle East.

Most cultures are not promiscuous as the West has become, and I wonder if the majority of Muslim men maintain their chastity as devout Coptic Orthodox, indeed all devout Orthodox try to do? For what purpose? Islam does not teach theosis but the mere practice of ritual.

Coptic Orthodox have been oppressed by centuries of Islamic culture but not influenced by it to any marked extent. I know many Coptic faithful who are making great efforts at the preservation of the Coptic language, but they do not, AFAIK want to preserve the Arabic language in the disapora when it is not needed by immigrant generations.

Look at the Fasts. Ramadan is always getting lots of air time on UK tv, but you can eat whatever you want before sunrise and eat as much as you like after sunset. How does that compare with the strictness of the Coptic Orthodox discipline of the fasts - which I know - and that of the other Orthodox Churches. It is not comparable - it does not have the same end in view at all.

Unfortunately those Orthodox Churches which have been influenced by only decades of culture are our own in the West. For that reason I think God that the internet, and modern air travel, allows me to be in contact with faithful in the Mother Churches who have not been compromised as I am aware that I constantly am.

Why would a Muslim not practice pre-marital sex? I am not convinced that many young Muslim men do see it as an issue, and it is not prohibited because of the spiritual damage that can/will take place, it is not prohibited because it prevents theosis, it is prohibited only out of cultural taboo, especially in the case of girls. Indeed the vision of the Muslim heaven, full of promiscuous sex, contrasts with our own vision.

Both communities may discourage pre-marital sex, but for very, very different reasons.

Peter
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2004, 06:03:40 PM »

Both are sin and against the teachings of the Church, well at least in my opinion.I am wondering if this has to do with the Islamic influence on the Coptic Church. In Mosques men and women are totally seperated, the same in Madressas. And not to mention how much emphasis is placed on the seperation of the sexes in Muslim culture, and the dating rules in Islam are extremely strict. In fact good Muslims don't even date. And any type of premarital pleasure, even if its not exactly sexual, is haram, that could lead to zina:

There are many forbidden matters associated with this, such as transgressing against the honour of others, betraying trust, being alone with a member of the opposite sex, touching, kissing, speaking immoral words, then the greater evil which occurs at the end, which is the sin of zina. - Islam Q&A

So maybe the Coptic faithful have been influenced by centuries of Islamic culture. I could be totally off....just wondering  Smiley


Actually, that is 180 degrees oposite.  The Mohamadeans got their fasting rules etc and many of their prayer postures are modeled after the OO.

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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2004, 06:06:46 PM »

Joe I wasn't talking about Fasting or Prayer. I was talking about the ways in which Islam may have had an effect upon Coptic teaching on morality and modesty.
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2004, 02:48:22 AM »

Hi Ben

You think that Muslim teaching is prior to and influential upon Orthodox? I find that quite bizarre.

Wouldn't that be to suggest that modesty and chastity are not Christian virtues but have been imported from Islam throughout the middle east? All of the Middle Eastern countries should by that reasoning have been influenced by Islam.

If you read the writings of the early Church Fathers I think that you will find that the Orthodox Church promoted modesty and morality from the beginning.
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2004, 12:03:26 PM »

In traditional Orthodox churches (I don't know about Non-Chaldeans - but I found the seperate bible study groups very intersting) men stand on the right hand side of the church and women on the left.
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2004, 03:06:17 PM »

Hiya Ben

Totally off mate  Smiley

 I wonder if the majority of Muslim men maintain their chastity as devout Coptic Orthodox, indeed all devout Orthodox try to do? For what purpose? Islam does not teach theosis but the mere practice of ritual.

I have a very dear friend who is training Sunni Muslim Iraqi Soldiers for the new Iraqi Army. He is an American Officer and does not exaggerate.

He reports homosexuality is rampant among these young single Iraqi Sunnis. US soldiers are instructed not to interfere. My friend had one of his NCOs walk in on two muslim men engaged in sodomy...US soldiers working with the Iraqis are told not to interfere....just leave the room

Their culture places such a high value on a woman's virginity and at the same time such a high value on a man's virility that sodomy among two men is not viewed as very sinful. Indeed when three iraqi men were caught sharing one bunk at night and their officer told them they had to have only man per bunk....the soldiers pushed all their bunks together to engage in illicit acts at night when the lights are out. In Saddam's Time when one achieved the rank of Major one was issued his own "boy"....achieve the rank of colonel and you get two "boys".

I have witnessed many public diplays of affection between Arab men that seemed "a little hinky" but never lived as closely with them as my friend now does.

It would appear that at least in some Arab cultures...homosexualty is not frowned upon and seen as a "normal" way for young men to practicie their virility before they are married. Although one hears of sodomites getting beheaded in Saudi Arabia...when one digs into the facts one learns that those who are beheaded were found guilty of kidnapping young boys off the street.....now what happens between male friends when the lights go out....that is something Arabs will never talk about to westerners...and do not wantto talk about among themselves....as a result they have a high rate of AIDS cases that go unreported and untreated.
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2004, 03:33:45 PM »

Hi Ben

You think that Muslim teaching is prior to and influential upon Orthodox? I find that quite bizarre.

Wouldn't that be to suggest that modesty and chastity are not Christian virtues but have been imported from Islam throughout the middle east? All of the Middle Eastern countries should by that reasoning have been influenced by Islam.

If you read the writings of the early Church Fathers I think that you will find that the Orthodox Church promoted modesty and morality from the beginning.

Hey Peter, I just thought maybe Islam had some type of effect on Coptic teaching on morality, I knew I was probably way off, but I was just wondering, thank you for the correction! Smiley

Spartacus, it is a well known fact that sodomy is very comon in Islamic culture. The thing is that very rarely are the men gay, they are just very horny, and they are so seperated from women, that they feel it is just the best way to take care of their sexual urges.
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2004, 03:54:42 PM »


Spartacus, it is a well known fact that sodomy is very comon in Islamic culture. The thing is that very rarely are the men gay, they are just very horny, and they are so seperated from women, that they feel it is just the best way to take care of their sexual urges.


Well Ben...most non-Arabs with whom I share these things are bewildered and do not accept this information as fact...now those of us who have been in that part of the world might know differently.....One can also find similar practices and perceptions in Central America and rural areas of Mexico...However in those cultures depending on the part one plays in the act...one participant is usually considered to be "Gay". Now this I have personally witnessed in Honduras and while working with migrant laboroers on farms here in the States.
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2004, 04:28:13 PM »

In the Muslim world, what you describe is very comon, only those ignorant to Islamic culture would be surprised. And as you stated one participant is usually the gay one. What I mean by the "gay one", is the one which is considered to be gay. In the Muslim world the only one participant, I don't wnat to say which one for fear of getting too graphic, is considered to be committing the sin.
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« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2004, 04:31:48 PM »

Interesting.  I guess it isn't a complete shock though.  Seems rather similar to those ancient days of Sparta (no pun intended).
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2004, 06:45:35 AM »

Ben,

Quote
In this modern world couples are shacking up left and right. Sex outside of marriage is perfectly normal and fine in our society.

Does it really matter, if two people love each other? Or who cares why not have sex whenever you are in the mood? Does the teaching of the Church really apply to the modern world? Or are they just outdated?

As for the issue of "shacking up", while this manifestation of serial mongamy and immaturity towards any kind of commitment is troubling, it has to be kept in mind we are basically living in a quasi-pagan society now.  It is very hard to make a soley pragmatic argument for the Christian marriage - so if people are not observent of the more weighty commandments and truths pertaining to God, then it is not surprising they do not observe the Church's teaching on marriage either.  Even the more contra-natural displays of "sexuality" we see in our days are totally undestandable - one need only read the first chapter of St.Paul's epistle to the Romans to realize this.

Most civilizations in history have eventually formed some kind of rules or customs (whether at the familial/tribal level, or in more structured socities, in the form of codified laws) regarding the family, including nuptuals.  However, these are very often done for practical, even mercenary reasons, and not for spiritual reasons.   Thus, why in so many ancient societies (including that of our ancient forefathers in faith, prior to the advent of the New Covenant) polygamy and concubinage were considered acceptable, even amongst those who did in fact worship the true God.

If you read the Old Testament carefully, on a legal level what people did (including Patriarchs) is hard to differentiate from "shacking up" - the man (and or his family) would pay the dowry price for their bride to her and her family, maybe a contract would be drawn (or at least a pact agreed to), but little else than this as far as ceremonial was concerned.  The taking of a wife would become official, typically, via consummation of the union.

My understanding is that strictly speaking, the Orthodox Church does not recognize "marriage" in a spiritual sense (the Holy Mystery) existing outside of the Church.  When a couple becomes Orthodox, their previously contracted union is implicitly (though it's not unknown for them to be given a crowning ceremony as well, even if not strictly necessary) given the blessing of the Church and becomes the Holy Mystery of matrimony.  In the infant Church, formal "Church weddings" as such didn't exist (since the Church had no standing or cooperation at all with the state) - couples would register with the governing officials so as to be "married" and then receive the blessing of the Church.  Now of course this is different - a difference that is completly understandable, ever since governments have in some wise given Priests "status" to oversee marriages, and act not simply in a sacerdotal but also a semi-official/legal capacity as agents of the state (most western nations, even if not "Orthodox" will register Orthodox Priests as legal "ministers" able to officiate at weddings that will be recognized by the state.)

Unlike the teaching of Catholicism, in Orthodoxy it is the Priest (as representative of the Church) which bestows the sacrament of marriage upon the couple.  In Catholicism, it is taught that the spouses themselves are ministers of the sacrament.

The Saviour revealed to us what marriage ought to be - the permanent union of one man, and one woman; a bond that is not put in place for primarily utilitarian reasons, but for spiritual reasons, to fulfill the ends outlined in Genesis.  Those ends?   One as the Lord said of Adam explicitly, is that it was not good for the man to be alone; thus the wife becomes his helper in all ways, pre-eminantly in the spiritual realm.  The other end, regards the continuation of our race, the blessing of fertility bestowed upon the first man and first woman.

It is this original "edenic" model, which Christ commands His faithful to observe, a way (like so many) that was corrupted and lost by our ancient forefathers.

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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2004, 02:01:59 AM »

Nowadays it is so hard to find a girl with values and who is pure, even in Mexico, which is perceived as a moraly conservative country. I loved someone because she seemed inocent, young, sweet, but I was deceived.

The society is more and more corrupt and materialistic. Long ago, it has stopped holding the traditional values like God. Patriotism, Family.

Many girls no longer look for true love, they often choose boys who are handsome and rich and gove them their precious treasure, while the good men who are nouble and respectful are left with nothing.

The suposedly "free" and democratic education, now teach that you can have sex and pleasure with contraceptives to feel good without risks, that virginity and marriage are a thing of the past and so on. Ana+»s Nin and her atheist feminism is frequently recommended for young girls to read.

And there are countries that are in a far worse situation than England or other "liberal" countries. In Orthodox Bulgaria, most girls now start their sex life at 13 years old. We're loosing the battle guys.

The root and source of all this moral decadence is the establishment which is corrupt and will lead us to a world of sorrow, slavery and lack of God.

The school must be an extension of the family in full union with the homeland. It must exalt the values suck as work, family and nation. It must encourage the roles of women as devote mothers, faithful wives and holders of the traditional values.

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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2004, 04:34:05 AM »

Excellent post Mexican, well said and filled with truth.

I know exactly what you mean about finding a godly woman - they are a rare find indeed. I haven't had any luck myself either.

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"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." - Proverbs 31:10

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"Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." - Proverbs 31:30

Patience is a virtue.  Smiley

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2004, 09:05:46 AM »

One can also find similar practices and perceptions in Central America and rural areas of Mexico...Now this I have personally witnessed in Honduras and while working with migrant laboroers on farms here in the States.

True -- a friend of mine in California (came up from Baja) told me of his walking in on two migrant workers who had left their wives behind in Mexico to come to the US and work and...well...the rest you can guess.

Spartacus...when were you in Honduras, and where did you work with migrant farmers/laborers?

Quote
I know exactly what you mean about finding a godly woman - they are a rare find indeed. I haven't had any luck myself either.

Not to gloat, muchachos, -ípero yo s+¡! Just celebrated two years of marriage last Tuesday...we've been great friends since '99.  She's quite the blessing.
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2004, 05:16:41 PM »

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Not to gloat, muchachos, -ípero yo s+¡! Just celebrated two years of marriage last Tuesday...we've been great friends since '99.  She's quite the blessing.

Pedro,

I wouldn't consider it gloating - if anything you have given hope that good Christian women do exist!  Cheesy

Congratulations to the both of you - may God bless the both of you and your marriage!

It sounds like she is truly special to you - make sure she knows that!  Smiley

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2012, 02:44:55 AM »

Still to this day no one has convinced me that fornication is explicitely condemned in the Bible. There is no escaping the fact that the definition of Porneai--according to Strong's concordance--vaguely means "sexually immoral"--mostly being associated with prostitution. How do we know that fornication is considered "sexually immoral"? It just pushes the question back a step. I know that in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, the word did refer to fornication, but we don't use that, we go by the Septuagint--which, does not mention fornication as all as far as I am concerned.

If you're looking at Strong's, though it is not the most authoritative source, it indeed defines porneia as fornication, as do ALL the major lexicons and dictionaries.



Google might provide a crumb of comfort to those who prefer dissenting opinion, but the fact remains that such is extremely *marginal* and in opposition to a genuinely overwhelming scholarly consensus to the contrary.

I cannot help but remain completely unimpressed by what has passed for counterargument in this thread. If as the NT asserts our eternity might ride on avoiding or embracing porneia (references in Kittel below), given the scholarly consensus placing fornication firmly within its semantic domain, I would not personally wager my spiritual health or eternal destiny on a fringe alternative that finds representation in no major mainstream resource whatsoever.

When used, as it often is, in its literal sense (as opposed to figurative usage for things like spiritual idolatry) porneia can be used of more than fornication, but not less.

Opening multiple major lexicons in Bibleworks we also find porneia as fornication:


TDNT (F. Hauck and S. Schulz, “porneia,” in Gerhard Kittel, ed., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, VI, pp. 579–595) also defines porneia as fornication:

"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 that 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."

=========
similarly DNTT defines porneia as fornication (H. Reisser, “porneia,” in Colin Brown, ed., New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 1.497–501:

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."

=========

...and also TDOT defines zanah as fornication, which is born out by the LXX translation as porneia (S. Erlandsson, "Zanah," in G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, vol. IV, p. 99ff. which explores variations of the root zny/win Heb, Aramaic dialects (Jewish Aramaic, Samaritan, Syriac, Mandean), as well as Arabic (zana) and Ethiopic, Akkadian, etc.):

Quote from: Erlandsson, Zanah/TDOT
"The ptcp. xonah or ishshah zonah designates a woman who has sexual intercourse with somebody with whom she does not have a formal covenant relationship. Any sexual relationship of a woman outside the marriage bond or without a formal union is termed fornication. When there is already a formal union and the sexual association is formed outside of that union, sanah becomes synonymous with ni'eph, commit adultery (ni'eph being thus a narrower term than zanah... The laws regulate sexual behavior precisely. When sexual intercourse is initiated before a marriage contract has been sealed and neither of the parties is already married, the man must marry the woman and ay not divorce her (Dt 22:28f.) If a woman has a formal partner, i.e is betrothed or married, but nevertheless of her own free will has intercourse with another man, she must suffer capital punishment (Dt. 22:22-27). If a man has a sexual relationship with the wife of another man, he likewise must suffer capital punishment... All sexual intercourse is to be set within a formal relationship. If this view is applied to the relationship between Israel and Yahweh, it follows that all worship of God must take place within the formal relationship of the covenant, in accordance with the covenant precepts (mishpatim debharim) of Yahweh... When Num 25:1 states that Israel committed fornication with (zanah 'el) the daughters of Moab, it is because zanah here refers to apostasy from the covenant expressed in the form of intercourse with Moabite women..." S. Erlandsson, "Zanah," in G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, vol. IV, pp. 99ff.

=========

...cf. also DPL (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."

Quote from: Acts420
I've seen a lot of places where translators pick "fornication" more out of a desire to put forth their personal beliefs than out of a desire to be as faithful as possible to the original language.
It's easy to assert something like this with no actual demonstration or evidence. Perhaps instead translators use the word fornication for porneia because every major scholarly resource places it within the semantic domain of porneia.
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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2012, 03:13:53 AM »

Is this the new fad on OC.net?  Where is the first thread ever created here?  That's the one I am going for. Grin
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2012, 03:15:17 AM »

Severian and I already covered the first couple threads in oc.net history  Cool

EDIT--See here
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« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2012, 03:19:30 AM »

And now I am very sad. Cry
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« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2012, 07:14:14 AM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

Now, to expect that random people in the world, who are not even Orthodox, to abide by these rules and values is unrealistic. First we must start with preaching Christ and The Gospel to them, and pray that God will illumine them and they will begin to understand and practice Christianity (and this is hard enough in itself because not many are willing to listen or will even care that easily). Yet, if we are ever going to approach somebody regarding the Faith, the last thing we want to start with is probably pointing out their individual sins, which is equivalent with judging them. Sure, if they are doing something very bad, like abortions, then we must warn them that their sin will cause a lot of pain to themselves and others.
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« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2012, 01:00:59 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.




I feel for you wife, I really do.
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« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2012, 01:04:56 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2012, 01:07:11 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.
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« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2012, 01:10:32 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.

No, it really has to do with Salvation, Asceticism. I didn't say there is NO love between the man and the woman, but the quality of it must be pure, angelic.
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« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2012, 01:12:03 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.




I feel for you wife, I really do.

I feel for you and your wife, if you believe love is any of the things I described it not to be, if you cannot imagine a higher and purer love than this world defines.
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« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2012, 01:38:33 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.

No, it really has to do with Salvation, Asceticism. I didn't say there is NO love between the man and the woman, but the quality of it must be pure, angelic.
How do you define that?
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« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2012, 02:12:50 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.

No, it really has to do with Salvation, Asceticism. I didn't say there is NO love between the man and the woman, but the quality of it must be pure, angelic.
How do you define that?

It is agape love, holy love like the love that God has for us. It is love that only has in mind the benefit of the other. It is not eros love, for the sake of bodily pleasure. Not saying that this love is devoid of affection, but it's nothing like what we see in today's world. Plus, man's sexual nature will cease to exist in the Age to Come, and will be replaced by this spiritual kind of love, angelic love. Adam and Eve shared this kind of love before the fall. Sex appeared after the fall.
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« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2012, 02:21:13 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.

No, it really has to do with Salvation, Asceticism. I didn't say there is NO love between the man and the woman, but the quality of it must be pure, angelic.
How do you define that?

It is agape love, holy love like the love that God has for us. It is love that only has in mind the benefit of the other. It is not eros love, for the sake of bodily pleasure. Not saying that this love is devoid of affection, but it's nothing like what we see in today's world. Plus, man's sexual nature will cease to exist in the Age to Come, and will be replaced by this spiritual kind of love, angelic love. Adam and Eve shared this kind of love before the fall. Sex appeared after the fall.
Would man have reproduced if the fall had not happened?
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« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2012, 02:34:34 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.

No, it really has to do with Salvation, Asceticism. I didn't say there is NO love between the man and the woman, but the quality of it must be pure, angelic.
How do you define that?

It is agape love, holy love like the love that God has for us. It is love that only has in mind the benefit of the other. It is not eros love, for the sake of bodily pleasure. Not saying that this love is devoid of affection, but it's nothing like what we see in today's world. Plus, man's sexual nature will cease to exist in the Age to Come, and will be replaced by this spiritual kind of love, angelic love. Adam and Eve shared this kind of love before the fall. Sex appeared after the fall.
Would man have reproduced if the fall had not happened?

Not by sexual means, but in a way similar to how Adam and Eve were made; that's what the Saints say.
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« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2012, 06:50:20 PM »

First of all, what is sex? I mean really, sex according to the worldly understanding of it is not blessed even within Marriage. Sex must be pure of any passion such as sensuality, eroticism, perversion, romanticism, etc. The love between the man and the woman must be holy (angelic) and inseparable from the desire to produce children. That's what the Holy Mystery of Marriage is all about.

I was surprised when, reading St. Maximos the Confessor a month or two ago, he expressed similar sentiments.
It's easy for monks to say things like that.

No, it really has to do with Salvation, Asceticism. I didn't say there is NO love between the man and the woman, but the quality of it must be pure, angelic.
How do you define that?

It is agape love, holy love like the love that God has for us. It is love that only has in mind the benefit of the other. It is not eros love, for the sake of bodily pleasure. Not saying that this love is devoid of affection, but it's nothing like what we see in today's world. Plus, man's sexual nature will cease to exist in the Age to Come, and will be replaced by this spiritual kind of love, angelic love. Adam and Eve shared this kind of love before the fall. Sex appeared after the fall.
Would man have reproduced if the fall had not happened?

Not by sexual means, but in a way similar to how Adam and Eve were made; that's what the Saints say.
So your position is that sex is a result of the fall?

And which saints?

Just to be clear, I am well aware of the anti-sex position stance many Fathers took, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone say without the fall man would be reproducing asexually.
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« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2012, 07:08:09 PM »

In this modern world couples are shacking up left and right. Sex outside of marriage is perfectly normal and fine in our society.

I am actually happy with this. For starters, you have less moral watchdogs neglecting and discriminating against bastard children and single mothers like you did in the old days. Social taboos get in the way of progress

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Does it really matter, if two people love each other? Or who cares why not have sex whenever you are in the mood? Does the teaching of the Church really apply to the modern world? Or are they just outdated?

Having sex with anyone whenever you want can be harmful, but I don't see what is wrong with it if you love each other.
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« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2012, 07:36:37 PM »

What's wrong with it is that the Church teaches that there is a spiritual union that takes place at the uniting of the flesh. Hence, St. Paul writes (in 1 Corinthians 6:16) that if you lie with a prostitute, you become one body with her. That's something other than what most people (sadly, I'd guess both Christian and non) have in mind these days when they say they love whoever they're currently sleeping with, so it's okay.

If you will not be one body with the person, you should not sleep with them. If you will be one body with the person, you will marry them before sleeping with them, as is right and honorable. I am at a loss as to how people cannot see the wisdom of the Church in such matters. Even my atheistic/agnostic friends will admit that even if "no strings attached" sex (which is not a thing, by the way) or "hookups" (which are a thing, but shouldn't be) might seem like fun for a little while, they're ultimately really empty and soul-destroying. And for many people nowadays, there is no essential difference between being in a relationship (or even, Lord have mercy, a marriage) and essentially "hooking up", given the ease with which people float in and out of each other's lives at the slightest twinge of unhappiness (or even just "I'm not 100% happy all the time with this person"-ness), professed 'love' notwithstanding.
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« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2012, 09:45:39 PM »

What's wrong with it is that the Church teaches that there is a spiritual union that takes place at the uniting of the flesh. Hence, St. Paul writes (in 1 Corinthians 6:16) that if you lie with a prostitute, you become one body with her. That's something other than what most people (sadly, I'd guess both Christian and non) have in mind these days when they say they love whoever they're currently sleeping with, so it's okay.

And what exactly would be wrong with two people who love each other but aren't formally married having sex with each other in a committed relationship and becoming "one flesh" (weirdo existential term)? As long as you plan on staying together and none of you are prostitutes or excessively promiscuous, what would be wrong with it? Admittedly, many fornicators DO cop out by saying "they love each other" but what about the ones who genuinely do love each other and are committed to each other? Why do they need marriage? Who says you have to be married to love each other? If anything, I see many married people who seem to hate each other. Plus, the whole notion that love is associated with marriage is a new concept anyhow. At the time of the Bible and through most of human history, love has had NOTHING to do with marriage, hence why they were arranged during most of human history. Marriage was just the legal recognition of that union. Marriage is just a legal thing. Monogamy even newer.

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If you will not be one body with the person, you should not sleep with them.

I agree, but what if you plan to "be one body" with them and stay committed? Why do you need formal marriage?

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If you will be one body with the person, you will marry them before sleeping with them, as is right and honorable.

And why is that? Because our modern western semi-Victorian Protestant ethics tell us that it is? Because society has declared it a taboo? I find all of these to be unconvincing reasons. If you love them, you will stay with them and sleep with them. I don't see why you need to marry them first. Maybe in the olden times marriage was important because of the legal aspect, but modern society is different now and the legal aspect isn't really a problem anymore, so formal marriage seems to be an outdated concept today.

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I am at a loss as to how people cannot see the wisdom of the Church in such matters.

I can't see the wisdom of the Church in several matters because most of the time it is at conflict with good ol' rationalistic empirical reasoning--which is the ultimate way to attain knowledge of truth whether you want to admit it or not.

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Even my atheistic/agnostic friends will admit that even if "no strings attached" sex (which is not a thing, by the way) or "hookups" (which are a thing, but shouldn't be) might seem like fun for a little while, they're ultimately really empty and soul-destroying.

I'm not denying that they are, you keep trying to degrade every non-marital relationship down to the level of mere "hook-ups" and "one-nighters".

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And for many people nowadays, there is no essential difference between being in a relationship (or even, Lord have mercy, a marriage) and essentially "hooking up", given the ease with which people float in and out of each other's lives at the slightest twinge of unhappiness (or even just "I'm not 100% happy all the time with this person"-ness), professed 'love' notwithstanding.

I'm not denying any of this, but there still is that small minority of people who aren't married but do love each other and are committed. In which case, I don't see how marriage would change anything for them or how they could be "living in sin" just because they aren't formally married.
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« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2012, 09:48:11 PM »

In this modern world couples are shacking up left and right. Sex outside of marriage is perfectly normal and fine in our society.

I am actually happy with this. For starters, you have less moral watchdogs neglecting and discriminating against bastard children and single mothers like you did in the old days. Social taboos get in the way of progress

Discrimination against single mothers is (for the most part, and with notable exceptions) the predictable result of their immoral behavior and serves the positive end of discouraging such behavior, so by and large they have no right to complain.

Bastards, being what they are by no fault of their own, are more wronged by such discrimination and the case against it is therefore stronger, but it serves the same end.

Having sex with anyone whenever you want can be harmful, but I don't see what is wrong with it if you love each other.

You just said what's wrong with it, brainiac.
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« Reply #49 on: December 08, 2012, 10:01:06 PM »

Discrimination against single mothers is (for the most part, and with notable exceptions) the predictable result of their immoral behavior and serves the positive end of discouraging such behavior, so by and large they have no right to complain.

They sure do have the right to complain. What they did is no one else's business provided it did not harm them. If anything, this stigma against them only turns people into Pharisees by causing them to reject Jesus' message of forgiveness and seeing themselves as superior. Being discriminatory against them only causes more damage in the long run. Would you rather them become prostitutes to provide for themselves and their baby because no one will give them a helping hand?

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Bastards, being what they are by no fault of their own, are more wronged by such discrimination and the case against it is therefore stronger, but it serves the same end.

Screw you

I--being a bastard child during the early years of my life--shouldn't have had to have been stigmatized and taboo'd against for something that was no fault of my own just to "discourage immoral behavior". Ends do not justify the means. See how you like being stigmatized for something that wasn't your fault.
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« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2012, 10:44:02 PM »

The Christian life is only suggestive.  Do what you want, when you want.  Nothing bad ever happens... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2012, 12:36:31 AM »

Discrimination against single mothers is (for the most part, and with notable exceptions) the predictable result of their immoral behavior and serves the positive end of discouraging such behavior, so by and large they have no right to complain.

They sure do have the right to complain.

Right. When you do something immoral, and it harms other people, and still other people don't approve, you have a right to complain. What was I thinking?

What they did is no one else's business provided it did not harm them.

If I murder my neighbor, it does not harm you. You can't stigmatize me for murdering my neighbor.

If anything, this stigma against them only turns people into Pharisees by causing them to reject Jesus' message of forgiveness and seeing themselves as superior.

Why not remove all stigmas against immorality then?

Being discriminatory against them only causes more damage in the long run.

Assertions, assertions.

Would you rather them become prostitutes to provide for themselves and their baby because no one will give them a helping hand?

I'm not against charity. But when you subsidize things, you get more of them.

Screw you

 Roll Eyes

I--being a bastard child during the early years of my life--shouldn't have had to have been stigmatized and taboo'd against for something that was no fault of my own just to "discourage immoral behavior". Ends do not justify the means. See how you like being stigmatized for something that wasn't your fault.

Did you read what I wrote? I acknowledged that you have a claim to having been wronged here. Single mothers don't.
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« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2012, 01:35:35 AM »

I can't see the wisdom of the Church in several matters because most of the time it is at conflict with good ol' rationalistic empirical reasoning--which is the ultimate way to attain knowledge of truth whether you want to admit it or not.

What manner of sophistry is this? If you truly have faith in the risen Christ, you will cease entertaining such senseless notions, and instead put your faith in Him to guide you to the truth rather than in your own faculty of reason. Tell me, if reason is so capable of discerning the truth (which we know is to be found in Christ), then how is it that the ancient Greeks were fooled by their faculty of reason into worshipping demons, and into believing all manner of foolish notions, like the notion that inanimate things like stones, streams, and even the world have souls, or the insane notion that time is caused by the motion of the stars? Why, if reason were so powerful as to be able to discern the truth, was man trapped in the darkness of sin and in need of a Savior? And if man could ascertain the truth through reason, for what reason did the Savor come? If you truly love Christ, you will put your hope in Him, and cease to hope so vainly in your faculty of reason. Reason does not make the truth manifest, and philosophy does not save.
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« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2012, 01:49:13 AM »

If I murder my neighbor, it does not harm you. You can't stigmatize me for murdering my neighbor.

False dichotomy. Murder harms a non-consenting person (the victim) whereas fornication harms no one except the consenting people involved. Even then, that is arguable because the development of modern contraceptives has highly reduced the potential harm in fornication. Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.

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Why not remove all stigmas against immorality then?

I actually wouldn't mind that. But, you are neglecting the fact that some immoralities harm others and some only harm yourself and/or the consenting person involved. We develop stigmas against the former kind because it helps us to promote law and order in society--which benefits ALL. But the latter kind do not affect us at all, therefore stigmatizing them is stupid.

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Assertions, assertions.

Assertions based on fact. You would be amazed at how many troubled youths who threw their lives away or got involved in harmful activities have done so precisely because they were stigmatized and rejected by society--especially their family. My mother got crap when she had me all of the time because of the stupid religious stigma against fornication, and look where that got her. She just married my dad who was abusive. If she had support and wasn't stigmatized then maybe she wouldn't have done that but would have had a better life. Hell, I could have had a better life.

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I'm not against charity. But when you subsidize things, you get more of them.

So? When you don't subsidize them then more of them either a) get abortions (something you are also against) or b) live in poverty and the child suffers, or c) make a living from harmful activities such as prostitution or drug dealing, or marrying an abusive man for money. And when you stigmatize people, people become less likely to help them via charity. So yes, you ARE against charity. And when you don't subsidize them, the children suffer for no reason.

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Did you read what I wrote? I acknowledged that you have a claim to having been wronged here. Single mothers don't.

You stated that while it is wrong for us to be stigmatized, it still serves the beneficial purpose of swaying people from indulging in such "immoral" behavior. Hence why I stated that I don't believe the ends justify the means and that I shouldn't have to be stigmatized for something I didn't do just to serve some religious-weirdo higher purpose.
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2012, 01:59:34 AM »

If you truly have faith in the risen Christ, you will cease entertaining such senseless notions, and instead put your faith in Him to guide you to the truth rather than in your own faculty of reason.

Unless I see Christ in a way perceivable by my reasoning faculties--such as seeing the Uncreated Light, then I don't see how I can be reasonable and have faith in Him when there is no good reason to believe that He exists--let alone be "guided" by Him if I can't interact with Him or perceive Him via my reasoning faculties--which is all we have as humans to interpret knowledge.

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Tell me, if reason is so capable of discerning the truth (which we know is to be found in Christ), then how is it that the ancient Greeks were fooled by their faculty of reason into worshipping demons, and into believing all manner of foolish notions, like the notion that inanimate things like stones, streams, and even the world have souls, or the insane notion that time is caused by the motion of the stars?

*cough* because RELIGION made them believe in all sorts of silly things, if they abandoned religion then they wouldn't have believed in such silly notions *cough*. Likewise, technology was not as advanced back then as it is now. Perceivable phenomina was limited back then due to lack of tools like the microscope or satellites etc. Reasoning may not be entirely accurate--but that is only because reasoning is limited by what we can perceive--which depends upon how technologically advanced we are. But reason is still the only thing we got to guide us, and still works the best with the little bit that we can perceive.

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Why, if reason were so powerful as to be able to discern the truth, was man trapped in the darkness of sin and in need of a Savior?

Who ever said we were?

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And if man could ascertain the truth through reason, for what reason did the Savor come?

To die for us. Just because we may understand something does not mean we could do it ourselves. We may have understood that we needed someone to die for us, but we still could not do it ourselves.

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If you truly love Christ, you will put your hope in Him, and cease to hope so vainly in your faculty of reason. Reason does not make the truth manifest, and philosophy does not save.

I cannot love nor "put my hope" into someone who I cannot communicate with--someone who I don't even know if exists or not. Unless I see the Uncreated Light and directly perceive Christ, then I cannot love or hope in Him. My reasoning faculties ARE ALL WE HAVE. There is NO other way for humans to perceive knowledge.
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« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2012, 02:17:19 AM »

So your position is that sex is a result of the fall?

And which saints?

Just to be clear, I am well aware of the anti-sex position stance many Fathers took, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone say without the fall man would be reproducing asexually.

It's not that The Father are anti-sex. Sex is now blessed, but it is not exactly perfect, since this world now functions as separate from God in many ways. Before the fall, man experienced a very different existence, in a deified state. God's Grace was abundantly present and man did not experience hunger, thirst, was not burned by fire, did not drown; it was very different (of course, this place is far from Paradise). Here are some quotes:

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis, 15.14, 16.2;
Whence, after all, did he come to know that there would be intercourse between man and woman? I mean, the consummation of that intercourse occurred after the Fall; up till that time they were living like angels in paradise and so they were not burning with desire, not assaulted by other passions, not subject to the needs of nature, but on the contrary were created incorruptible and immortal, and on that account at any rate they had no need to wear clothes . . . Consider, I ask you, the transcendence of their blessed condition, how they were superior to all bodily concerns, how they lived on earth as if they were in heaven, and though in fact possessing a body they did not feel the limitations of their bodies. After all, they had no need for shelter or habitation, clothing or anything of that kind . . .
18.12
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife.” Consider when this happened. After the disobedience, after their loss in the Garden, then it was that the practice of intercourse had its beginning. You see, before their disobedience they followed a life like that of the angels, and there was no mention of intercourse. How could there be, when they were not subject to the needs of the body?
On Virginity 14.3,5
[Adam and Eve] lived in Paradise as in heaven and they enjoyed God’s company. Desire for sexual intercourse, conception, labor, childbirth and every form of corruption had been banished from their souls . . . At that time there were no cities, crafts, or houses . . . Nevertheless, nothing either thwarted or hindered that happy life, which was far better than this.
15.2
Why did marriage not appear before the disobedience? Why was there no intercourse in Paradise? Why not the pains of childbirth before the curse? Because at that time these things were superfluous. The necessity arose later because of our weakness, as did cities, arts and skills, the wearing of clothes, and all our other numerous needs.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man 17
1. It is better for us however, perhaps, rather to inquire, before investigating this point, the solution of the question put forward by our adversaries; for they say that before the sin there is no account of birth, or of travail, or of the desire that tends to procreation, but when they were banished from Paradise after their sin, and the woman was condemned by the sentence of travail, Adam thus entered with his consort upon the intercourse of married life, and then took place the beginning of procreation. If, then, marriage did not exist in Paradise, nor travail, nor birth, they say that it follows as a necessary conclusion that human souls would not have existed in plurality had not the grace of immortality fallen away to mortality, and marriage preserved our race by means of descendants, introducing the offspring of the departing to take their place, so that in a certain way the sin that entered into the world was profitable for the life of man: for the human race would have remained in the pair of the first-formed, had not the fear of death impelled their nature to provide succession.
2. Now here again the true answer, whatever it may be, can be clear to those only who, like Paul, have been instructed in the mysteries of Paradise; but our answer is as follows. When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: "for in the resurrection," He says, "they neither marry, nor are given in marriage neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were "made a little lower than the angels," to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.
3. But if any one finds a difficulty in an inquiry as to the manner of the generation of souls, had man not needed the assistance of marriage, we shall ask him in turn, what is the mode of the angelic existence, how they exist in countless myriads, being one essence, and at the same time numerically many; for we shall be giving a fit answer to one who raises the question how man would have been without marriage, if we say, "as the angels are without marriage;" for the fact that man was in a like condition with them before the transgression is shown by the restoration to that state.

St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition 4.24

But we, made confident by God the Word that was made flesh of the Virgin, answer that virginity was implanted in man’s nature from above and in the beginning. For man was formed of virgin soil. From Adam alone was Eve created. In Paradise virginity held sway. Indeed, Divine Scripture tells that both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. But after their transgression they knew that they were naked, and in their shame they sewed aprons for themselves. And when, after the transgression, Adam heard, dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return, when death entered into the world by reason of the transgression, then Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare seed. So that to prevent the wearing out and destruction of the race by death, marriage was devised that the race of men may be preserved through the procreation of children.

St. Maximus, Ad Thalassium 21

He [Christ] appeared like the first man Adam in the manner both of his creaturely origin and his birth. The first man received his existence from God and came into being at the very origin of his existence, and was free from corruption and sin – for God did not create either of these. When, however, he sinned by breaking God’s commandment, he was condemned to birth based on sexual passion and sin. Since henceforth constrained his true natural origin within the liability to passions that had accompanied the first sin, as though placing it under a law. Accordingly, there is no human being who is sinless, since everyone is naturally subject to the law of sexual procreation that was introduced after man’s true creaturely origin in consequence of his sin.
Ad Thalassium 61
When God created human nature, He did not create sensible pleasure and pain along with it; rather, He furnished it with a certain spiritual capacity for pleasure, a pleasure whereby human beings would be able to enjoy God ineffably.

St. Symeon the New Theologian, Ethical Discourses 13
There was no one, you see, who was able to save and redeem him. For this very reason, therefore, God the Word Who had made us had pity on us and came down. He became man, not by intercourse and the emission of seed – for the latter are consequences of the Fall – but of the Holy Spirit and Mary the Ever-Virgin.


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« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2012, 02:22:50 AM »

If you believe that sex is the result of the Fall, then you are forced to concede that evilness itself is able to produce arguably the greatest biological pleasure in the world next to heroin. But I thought that as Orthodox Christians we adhered to the more CS Lewis concept that evilness only works by polluting goodness?
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« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2012, 02:23:37 AM »

If you believe that sex is the result of the Fall, then you are forced to concede that evilness itself is able to produce arguably the greatest biological pleasure in the world next to heroin. But I thought that as Orthodox Christians we adhered to the more CS Lewis concept that evilness only works by polluting goodness?

I just posted quotes from The Fathers in my previous post.
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« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2012, 02:52:20 AM »

James, I say this with no malice, but there is nothing we can say here which will help you until you overcome your lack of faith in Christ God. You continue, I see, with this mad obsession over wishing to see the uncreated light and to have a direct experience of God, all the while not seeming to realize that your lack of faith in Christ is what prevents you from experiencing Christ. You complain that God has not granted you the privilege to receive divine revelation, and then in the same breath exclaim that the truth is not exclusive to the revelation of God, but can be deduced from reason. What need, then, have you for God to reveal the truth and glory of the uncreated light to you, if such things are self-evident?  

Do you really want to experience Christ God? Then cease with this insane thinking, put your faith in Him, and live your life in accordance with His commandments. Go seek somebody who has the means and the ability to counsel you in the ways of Christian life, live your life in Christ, and cease hoping in vain and profane things to lead you to the truth. The truth is God's alone to manifest and reveal, and He has given to man a way of living in Him, in Christ, that will lead man to the truth. You thirst for the truth, but your current way of faithlessness only leads your mind to toil aimlessly without bearing fruit, ever in labor, but never giving birth, as Gregory of Nyssa said of philosophy. Indeed, this is why, until you can have faith and believe, there is nothing we can say to help alleviate your anxiety.
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« Reply #59 on: December 09, 2012, 02:55:44 AM »

I just don't see how I can have faith in Christ or hope in Him if I cannot see Him. How do you have a relationship with someone who won't visibly communicate with you?
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« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2012, 03:05:04 AM »

I just don't see how I can have faith in Christ or hope in Him if I cannot see Him. How do you have a relationship with someone who won't visibly communicate with you?

God has already offered you enough through Christ and The Gospel that you already know about, but you need to get started and commit yourself to Him. If you don't respond to Christ's message through repentance and good deeds, how else do you think you'll be received?
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« Reply #61 on: December 09, 2012, 04:02:06 AM »

I just don't see how I can have faith in Christ or hope in Him if I cannot see Him. How do you have a relationship with someone who won't visibly communicate with you?

You must prepare yourself to receive him, through prayer, fasting, the giving of alms, and the Sacramental life of the Church. If you close your heart through an unwillingness to struggle for His sake, an unwillingness to seek Him out through ascesis, then you indeed will never find Him, not because he does not grant you experience of him, but because your unwillingness will render you incapable of experiencing Him. This is why James proclaims that faith without works is dead, because he who does not toil for God does not know Him, and possesses a faith that is empty and barren, like the demons who can confess the fact of God's existence but are ignorant of how He is made manifest to creation.
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« Reply #62 on: December 09, 2012, 07:46:22 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.

I can't wait to tell my wife about this.  I can already see the joy in her eyes when I explain how a male teenager has declared a mature woman doesn't have feelings and emotions wrapped up in a lifelong monogamous sexual relationship. Women are always happy to hear their emotions don't matter.  Especially when you caveat with the sexual nature of marriage isn't sacred.  I can see breakfast in bed for the next six months! 

Most likely the result of hospitalization from the beating I will get.
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« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2012, 07:51:09 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.


Spoken by an unmarried teenager. Caveat emptorRoll Eyes
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« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2012, 07:55:13 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.


Spoken by an unmarried teenager. Caveat emptorRoll Eyes
Wife catches husband with another woman.

Husband:  "Baby, it's natural.  I'm just an animal.  You're just gonna have to get used to it."
Wife: "You know, I never thought of it that way before.  Silly me!  Would you like a sandwich for lunch?"

I don't see it going this smoothly.
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« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2012, 07:56:19 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.


Spoken by an unmarried teenager. Caveat emptorRoll Eyes
Wife catches husband with another woman.

Husband:  "Baby, it's natural.  I'm just an animal.  You're just gonna have to get used to it."
Wife: "You know, I never thought of it that way before.  Silly me!  Would you like a sandwich for lunch?"

I don't see it going this smoothly.


Understatement of the year ....  laugh
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« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2012, 08:04:26 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating.

I hope you don't really believe that.
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« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2012, 08:09:03 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating.

I hope you don't really believe that.

Don't forget he's an adolescent with raging hormones. Getting him to think straight might not be easy.
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« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2012, 08:26:15 AM »

In this modern world couples are shacking up left and right. Sex outside of marriage is perfectly normal and fine in our society.

I am actually happy with this. For starters, you have less moral watchdogs neglecting and discriminating against bastard children and single mothers like you did in the old days. Social taboos get in the way of progress

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Does it really matter, if two people love each other? Or who cares why not have sex whenever you are in the mood? Does the teaching of the Church really apply to the modern world? Or are they just outdated?

Having sex with anyone whenever you want can be harmful, but I don't see what is wrong with it if you love each other.

I'm unhappy about this. There are more bastard children and single mothers now than in what you call the "old days."
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« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2012, 08:42:11 AM »

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating.
Do you know about this human concept called "love"?

Really James, just cut out the the silly "emotional" baggage and get yourself a sex doll.  
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« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2012, 12:49:21 PM »

Quote from: JamesR
Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Why are you on this forum?
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« Reply #71 on: December 09, 2012, 02:17:53 PM »

Within two posts:

Having sex with anyone whenever you want can be harmful, but I don't see what is wrong with it if you love each other.

Don't give me any of that emotional crap either. There is NOTHING emotional or sacred about sex; it's just natural like eating. We're animals, get used to it.

Does love justify it? Or is OK because it's a basic biological urge that has nothing to do with love?

James, maybe you just need to think about something other than sex, or avoid threads about sex here. (And why are there so many of those, anyway?) In another thread I jokingly suggested you find a hobby for your hands, but maybe you should. Like for real. I realize you apparently have some great sexual appetite, but dwelling on what you can't have right now seems to be short circuiting your thought process a little and taking you down roads that will result in...well, will result in you never having sex.
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