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Author Topic: Premarital Sex  (Read 7705 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 Or are they just outdated?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.

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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,
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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.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 02:34:52 PM by IoanC » Logged

Agabus
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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.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 06:52:30 PM by Agabus » Logged

Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH
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