Author Topic: The Church & Ethics  (Read 305 times)

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Offline JamesR

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The Church & Ethics
« on: March 20, 2013, 12:02:26 AM »
This is an issue that has concerned me for quite a while now. I honestly don't feel like I could take the Church's word as authoritive on many ethical issues, because it seems like they have changed over time or were just influenced by politics. For example, western society mostly condemns slavery and polygamy, and as of right now, the Church does as well. However, when I look at the history of the Church, it doesn't appear so like it always has. The New Testament never condemns polygamy, the Church supported slavery/serfdom for quite a while, and it just seems like the only reason the Church condemns those things now is because it wants to appeal to modern society, and thus, the Church--which is supposed to be the unchanging pillar of the truth--has changed over time in order to match contemporary western society's ethics. As a result, I find myself very skeptical and unconvinced by the Church's "stance" on many issues. Thoughts?
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline mike

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Re: The Church & Ethics
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 05:43:51 AM »

Offline Kerdy

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Re: The Church & Ethics
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 06:25:29 AM »
This is an issue that has concerned me for quite a while now. I honestly don't feel like I could take the Church's word as authoritive on many ethical issues, because it seems like they have changed over time or were just influenced by politics.

Poppycock!  You don’t want to take the Church’s word because it doesn’t sit well with you.  For your foundationless statement to have any meaning, you would be required to support it with some evidence.

For example, western society mostly condemns slavery and polygamy, and as of right now, the Church does as well.

So, they agree and this is a bad thing?  I must confess confusion as to why you are comparing Eastern Christianity with Western thought.  You are bound to find friction.  Why did you use the word “mostly”?

However, when I look at the history of the Church, it doesn't appear so like it always has. The New Testament never condemns polygamy,

Really?   So I suppose when Jesus was talking about divorce and marriage, the fact he used the word “wife” rather than “wives” means nothing?

1 Corinthians 7:2:  “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”
Ephesians 5:31: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Monogamous marriage teaches us the type of the relation Jesus has between himself and His bride, which is the Church. We know the Church is he bride, communally as one in a singular sense, not a plural sense of wives with each person within the Church, so is the relationship in marriages.

Not only this, but if a man has sex with someone other than his wife (singular) he commits adultery, which we all know is sin.  So, if the Church supported polygamy, it provoked men to commit adultery, which it clearly condemned.  This doesn’t make any rational sense at all.  The entire idea is absurd.

the Church supported slavery/serfdom for quite a while

More modernist poppycock! 

and it just seems like the only reason the Church condemns those things now is because it wants to appeal to modern society,

Is this the same Orthodox Church which has remained unchanged for many a century?

and thus, the Church--which is supposed to be the unchanging pillar of the truth--has changed over time in order to match contemporary western society's ethics.

No, it has not.

As a result, I find myself very skeptical and unconvinced by the Church's "stance" on many issues. Thoughts?

Yes, stop listening to contemporary ideologues and their ideas of what they want to have happened over the centuries rather than what actually did.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The Church & Ethics
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 08:17:01 AM »
I honestly don't feel like I could take the Church's word as authoritive on many ethical issues, because it seems like they have changed over time or were just influenced by politics.

I don't think politics is the reason, but rather that you were close when you said: " it wants to appeal to modern society." Though I think the process was more gradual and much less forced than this terminology might seem to imply.

Offline Cyrillic

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Re: The Church & Ethics
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 08:18:39 AM »
Thoughts?

Stop posting about sex.

A little variety would indeed be welcome.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 08:18:47 AM by Cyrillic »
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: The Church & Ethics
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 12:10:37 AM »
This is an issue that has concerned me for quite a while now. I honestly don't feel like I could take the Church's word as authoritive on many ethical issues, because it seems like they have changed over time or were just influenced by politics.

Poppycock!  You don’t want to take the Church’s word because it doesn’t sit well with you.  For your foundationless statement to have any meaning, you would be required to support it with some evidence.

For example, western society mostly condemns slavery and polygamy, and as of right now, the Church does as well.

So, they agree and this is a bad thing?  I must confess confusion as to why you are comparing Eastern Christianity with Western thought.  You are bound to find friction.  Why did you use the word “mostly”?

However, when I look at the history of the Church, it doesn't appear so like it always has. The New Testament never condemns polygamy,

Really?   So I suppose when Jesus was talking about divorce and marriage, the fact he used the word “wife” rather than “wives” means nothing?

1 Corinthians 7:2:  “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.”
Ephesians 5:31: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Monogamous marriage teaches us the type of the relation Jesus has between himself and His bride, which is the Church. We know the Church is he bride, communally as one in a singular sense, not a plural sense of wives with each person within the Church, so is the relationship in marriages.

Not only this, but if a man has sex with someone other than his wife (singular) he commits adultery, which we all know is sin.  So, if the Church supported polygamy, it provoked men to commit adultery, which it clearly condemned.  This doesn’t make any rational sense at all.  The entire idea is absurd.

the Church supported slavery/serfdom for quite a while

More modernist poppycock! 

and it just seems like the only reason the Church condemns those things now is because it wants to appeal to modern society,

Is this the same Orthodox Church which has remained unchanged for many a century?

and thus, the Church--which is supposed to be the unchanging pillar of the truth--has changed over time in order to match contemporary western society's ethics.

No, it has not.

As a result, I find myself very skeptical and unconvinced by the Church's "stance" on many issues. Thoughts?

Yes, stop listening to contemporary ideologues and their ideas of what they want to have happened over the centuries rather than what actually did.

Kerdy, the truth is the early Christian church did allow polygamy to a degree.  It was tolerated.  JamesR is actually telling the truth. Greek and Roman societies did not practice Polygamy, but Palestinian Jews did (who became Christians and their marriages absorbed).

However, it was mostly condemned by the the "latter" early Christians, but was also accepted in many cases. It's a gray area, leaning more towards condemnation but not absolutely resolute.

In the 4th century, (it is said to have been 'covered up'), but Valentinian I made it legal for a man to take two wives.  Of course, canon condemns so the church spoke resolutely on the subject (finally)

It's a messy subject, with lots of black, white, and gray areas in the very early days.   All depends on what you read and who you believe.  The Palestinian Jews were absorbed though, and their spouses.
 ???

Without doubt, the OT shows in many cases where God worked with and in the lives of polygamists.

but with all that aside -
I'm content with the honey-do-list argument.   :)

No man needs two honey do lists.
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