After reading your comments in here and another thread, regarding sanctity, and Holy Matrimony, I have to say, your views are increasingly troubling to me.
Do you regard the Marital bed as being defiled?
Do you see sex within marriage as sinful?
Why is Holy Matrimony called Holy ?
Anyway, I think you should look into this, because you are bordering a dangerous territory of denying/cursing what God has established honored ,blessed and sanctified. Listen to your orthodox Fathers in here, or the ancients, listen to the council of your orthodox brothers and sisters in here and consider your position on this matter.
With love in Christ,
You're taking everything out of context since it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the teachings of the Orthodox Church. I never said marriage isn't blessed, (boy you people have a lot of hangups), I merely said that a person cannot achieve the high estate of sainthood, while living a carnal existence.
Come on now, a little humility here. Is it so difficult to accept some people as being more virtuous than others?
Marriage is carnal??? Hmm may want to tell that to Joachim & Anna, Zacharius and Elizabeth, and countless others...
It is actually a western idea that sex is evil, carnal and wrong. As Orthodox we do not and have not ever believed that. Sex is a holy and beautiful thing within the context of marriage.
Just so you know Zenovia, what do you think becoming one with God is? Why do you think Christ is called the bridegroom and the Church is called the bride?
We cannot fall under western misconceptions about sexuality. We are Eastern Orthodox Christians and we don't share those same ideas with Western Christendom.
In fact, a lot of the fundamental American ideals about sexuality are Western conceptions, not Orthodox conceptions.
The bodiless hosts see the union between a husband and wife in the marriage bed and they stand in awe, absolutely marveling at the miracle of two becoming one. It isn't carnal, it is beautiful...
well said Devin, it is indeed beautiful.
Dear Zenovia, all I had to say to what you said about Holy Matrimony being carnal, has been said by Devin. the theme of that point you made is what i was referring to in the first place. what is holy and what is carnal are not the same. I know I can not say anything more than what has already been said on this matter, but please forgive me, if what I have said was offending to you that was not my intent. you are right I need to practice humility, thus far I find I am a slave to my ego. May the Lord have mercy on me. please keep me in your prayers.
Sexual relations even in marriage is carnal, since anything of the flesh and not of the spirit is 'carnal'. Anyway I found this which says it nicely, if we consider how strict our canons are in all our appetites during the Fast:
Christians who become carnal in their behavior can expect God to lovingly discipline them (Hebrews 12:5-11) so they can be restored to close fellowship with Him and be trained to obey Him. God’s desire in saving us is that we would progressively grow closer to the image of Christ (Romans 12:1-2), becoming increasingly spiritual and decreasingly carnal, a process known as sanctification. Until we are delivered from our sinful flesh, there will be outbreaks of carnality. For a genuine believer in Christ, though, these outbreaks of carnality will be the exception, not the rule.
but thats just it, Holy Matrimony is of the Spirit and not of the flesh, when we talk about carnality in these sense we are not talking about just the body but its sinful lusts. carnal in its plain anatomical translation means flesh, in its spiritual translation especialy when it is used divorced from its anatomical definition as meaning sinful , it signifies a completely different meaning obviously.
if you read the cannon you quoted again you will see they are very careful to differentiate the lusts of the flesh from just being in the image of Christ who is also Incarnate. that cannon no where implies that Marital relations are carnal in a sense that they make us deviate from being the image of Christ, we all know however that we are talking about human beings who have body, soul and spirit. we use our bodies to worship , obviously when you do prostration you are not engaging in a carnal act in the sense that it is sinful, however even that can have the potential to be a carnal act depending what motivates such action. in the same way you eat and drink with your body give thanks to God, without it being a carnal act in a sense that it is sinful, however it can also have a potential to be a carnal act, because it can lead to gluttony a clearly carnal act in its sinful definition.
here is Saint Paul clearly demonstrating what carnality= lusts of the flesh means. the whole epistle to the Romans dwells on the theme. more so the 8th chapter. << Romans 8 >>
1 THERE is now therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh. 2 For the law of the spirit of life, in Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh; God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin, hath condemned sin in the flesh; 4 That the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. 5 For they that are according to the flesh, mind the things that are of the flesh; but they that are according to the spirit, mind the things that are of the spirit. 6 For the wisdom of the flesh is death; but the wisdom of the spirit is life and peace. 7 Because the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. 8 And they who are in the flesh, cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead, because of sin; but the spirit liveth, because of justification. 11 And if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, shall quicken also your mortal bodies, because of his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. 14 For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). 16 For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. 17 And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. 19 For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope: 21 Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now. 23 And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? 25 But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit desireth; because he asketh for the saints according to God.
28 And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints. 29 For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. 30 And whom he predestinated, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us? 32 He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? 33 Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?
36 (As it is written: For thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.)
37 But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
or in the epistle to the Galatians he makes it even more clearer 5: 16-25
16 I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. 18 But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, 20 Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, 21 Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, 23 Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying on another.
as to the sanctification thats found within marriage, the apostle goes even further to say that this sanctity can even cross over to the none believer spouse yes even their offspring , yeah Sanctity! who must be present for there to be sanctity? the Holy Spirit Himself of course! so who are we to call carnal / or sinful lust of the flesh/ that which is sanctified by the Participation of God Himself. When he chose to be present in that marriage , when he is the one who sanctified it, who has joined them and made them one flesh. to call such marriage carnal in its sinful definition is a terrifying thing to me.1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife; and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband: otherwise your children should be unclean; but now they are holy
as to the marriage bed the apostle says its undefiled.
as to the elevation of the married ones in the eyes of the Lord, then we see that our Lord protrays heaven itself as the bosom of the Patriarch Abraham. the Friend of God. The son of God did not count on it unworthy to be called the Son of David, a man after the heart of God. it is for God to know the honor of each person , however what is reveled to us is the honor of Holy Matrimony , God forbid we would equate it as carnal devoid of the Spirit.
<< 1 Timothy 4 >>King James Version
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
now at this point I will agree with you to disagree, as I believe very differently than you and neither of us will change our minds about it. even the consensual abstaining from marital relations, for the purpose of fasting and prayer, is not based on the premise that marital relation is engaging in lustful feelings of the flesh, just like abstaining from food is not based on the assumption that eating food is sinful, rather quite the opposite. it is true that there is the possibility that all things good can be corrupted by carnal lust, also that all good things given by God can be offered up in sacrifice and thanksgiving that acknowledges that God is the Ultimate Goodness we seek, that we are not attached to any one of the other good things he has given us over him. we offer it with joy, with humility and love as a sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God. it is never because we regard the things he gave us as sinful.
Peace to you.