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Author Topic: What do I do, My priest doesn't do premarital counseling!?  (Read 4344 times) Average Rating: 0
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Branthony
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« on: March 08, 2014, 11:10:17 PM »

Hi everyone, Me and my Fiancée are in a bit of a pickle. The priest, whom I love dearly and is my confessor, is going to preform our wedding ceremony but he says he doesn't do premarital counseling. He says it's because "we don't listen anyway" but since he is an unmarried priest I think some of the things that are discussed could embarrass him. Either way he won't do it. I had hoped to get an older OCA priest in the area to do it. He is very wise and I trust him, his son is my God father, but he is getting very old now and I've spoken to him more than once about doing this for us but he doesn't remember between talks. It is as if we are speaking about it again for the first time each time. I am worried because of this that either we'll never get it done or that our counseling will be incomplete due to his memory issues. there are only three parishes in the area and the Greek parish no longer has a priest. The priest that was there before would have been very good I think but there is no reason to consider him since he is gone. I do not have a close relationship with any other priest, and she doesn't either. The priest doesn't actually have to be in our area exactly because one of us will have to be on skype even if the priest is in the area because we don't live in the same state. So the problem is, how the heck do we find a priest. Do you think this is an "any ol' priest will do" situation or what? Please if any of you have any suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 11:42:42 AM »

Given the above, do you really think you need counseling?  What is it about marriage that you do not understand?  My wife and I have been married 33 years and did not have counseling.  And the only advice that I got (not to marry her) I ignored and am happy that I did. So, unless you are one of these Moronodox that cannot go potty without asking a Priest, consider your story as a sign and get married.  If you just HAVE to talk to someone, find an older couple that have been married a very long time and ask them some questions.  You will learn more from them than an unmarried Priest anyway.
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 01:49:48 PM »

Some states give discounts on marriage licenses if you've had counseling. Some states may even require counseling to get married.

If this is the situation, find anyone who qualifies to give you the counseling. Or, explain the state requirements to your priest and have him give you just enough counseling to qualify for the government discount/requirement. He can leave out the icky bits.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 01:50:09 PM by Rambam » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 06:47:37 PM »

Premarital counseling is not required, and in some cases, depending on who's doing it, may not be all that helpful. There are a number of books one could check out about preparing for marriage--they don't have to be Orthodox books.
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 06:48:35 PM »

Some states give discounts on marriage licenses if you've had counseling. Some states may even require counseling to get married.

If this is the situation, find anyone who qualifies to give you the counseling. Or, explain the state requirements to your priest and have him give you just enough counseling to qualify for the government discount/requirement. He can leave out the icky bits.



I seriously doubt any state requires counseling prior to marriage, at least in the United States. That sounds really bizarre.
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 09:40:33 PM »

What do you mean when the priest says "you don't listen anyways?"  Is that true?  Is this situation only for you or for other soon-to-be-married couples at your church?  Do you or others spurn his advice?  If so, maybe it is with good reason that he doesn't counsel you.  I think his being unmarried clergy is irrelevant.
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 11:09:47 PM »

What do you mean when the priest says "you don't listen anyways?"  Is that true?  Is this situation only for you or for other soon-to-be-married couples at your church?  Do you or others spurn his advice?  If so, maybe it is with good reason that he doesn't counsel you.  I think his being unmarried clergy is irrelevant.

he said this about all couples preparing for marriage, He is my Confessor and I am very attentive to what he has to say. as I said, I honestly believe this is simply an excuse, We kind of argued today about this, he says we don't need this at all and we disagree.  During out "argument" he asked why we think we need it, I told him we have questions. When he asked for an example, I told him "fasting", he said we already know how to fast. when I told him I didn't mean fasting from food he blushed, and all he said is that is something we discuss with each other not him or any other priest. However, after talking to my friend, we have decided to go to the OCA priest for it. While his memory may be bad, as long as he lays out topics for each meeting he doesn't have to remember what we said each session. He is a very good priest, and he has taught at more than one of our seminaries in both the US and Europe. I think he will work out fine. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 02:08:11 AM »

Eh, perhaps -- I know in Oklahoma, you get half-off the price of the license if you get counseling. They've tried a few times to make it mandatory here. I assumed if we were crazy enough to try that at least one state is crazier than us and actually made it mandatory, but on Googling, it appears that isn't the case.

Some states give discounts on marriage licenses if you've had counseling. Some states may even require counseling to get married.

If this is the situation, find anyone who qualifies to give you the counseling. Or, explain the state requirements to your priest and have him give you just enough counseling to qualify for the government discount/requirement. He can leave out the icky bits.



I seriously doubt any state requires counseling prior to marriage, at least in the United States. That sounds really bizarre.
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 06:40:41 AM »

Hi everyone, Me and my Fiancée are in a bit of a pickle. The priest, whom I love dearly and is my confessor, is going to preform our wedding ceremony but he says he doesn't do premarital counseling. He says it's because "we don't listen anyway" but since he is an unmarried priest I think some of the things that are discussed could embarrass him.

Here's how it works.

Give it a week or two. Then you need to ask a second time. Say you thought about it but want him to do the counselling.

If he says no.

Then give it another week or two and then you ask a third time.

If he says no the third time, then you don't get counselling. Don't buy a book or get counselling from another source. It means that you don't trust God will look after your marriage.

You only ask him a total of 3 times and then if he still says no, that is final. When you have a problem in marriage I'm sure he'll be there for each situation that arises.

But remember the 3 times rule. I'm sure he'll say yes.
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 06:48:38 AM »

There's no such thing as a '3 times rule'. That's just nonsense.

If you have such an issue with your doctor, it is not only advisable but recommended to get a second opinion. Same here.

Perhaps the counseling won't teach the couple anything that they didn't know already, but it can work towards getting them in the right frame of mind to approach their impending commitment.
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 06:54:57 AM »

There's no such thing as a '3 times rule'. That's just nonsense.

If you have such an issue with your doctor, it is not only advisable but recommended to get a second opinion. Same here.

Perhaps the counseling won't teach the couple anything that they didn't know already, but it can work towards getting them in the right frame of mind to approach their impending commitment.

Your reply is seeded from your own idol/ego. That's the difference between my reply and yours.
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 06:57:12 AM »

There's no such thing as a '3 times rule'. That's just nonsense.

If you have such an issue with your doctor, it is not only advisable but recommended to get a second opinion. Same here.

Perhaps the counseling won't teach the couple anything that they didn't know already, but it can work towards getting them in the right frame of mind to approach their impending commitment.

Your reply is seeded from your own idol/ego. That's the difference between my reply and yours.

The difference is that my reply makes sense. Go play now.
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 07:22:03 AM »

There's no such thing as a '3 times rule'. That's just nonsense.

If you have such an issue with your doctor, it is not only advisable but recommended to get a second opinion. Same here.

Perhaps the counseling won't teach the couple anything that they didn't know already, but it can work towards getting them in the right frame of mind to approach their impending commitment.

Your reply is seeded from your own idol/ego. That's the difference between my reply and yours.

The difference is that my reply makes sense. Go play now.

Yes mans logic always makes sense. Easy to twist around to get it to suit ones ego/idol.

For this particular scenario, you ask three times, then let it drop if he says no 3 times. No searching for someone else to fill this void.

The councelling is a very small thing before God compared to the actual marriage and the real problems that will come later.
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 07:28:22 AM »

There's no such thing as a '3 times rule'. That's just nonsense.

If you have such an issue with your doctor, it is not only advisable but recommended to get a second opinion. Same here.

Perhaps the counseling won't teach the couple anything that they didn't know already, but it can work towards getting them in the right frame of mind to approach their impending commitment.

Your reply is seeded from your own idol/ego. That's the difference between my reply and yours.

The difference is that my reply makes sense. Go play now.

Yes mans logic always makes sense. Easy to twist around to get it to suit ones ego/idol.

For this particular scenario, you ask three times, then let it drop if he says no 3 times. No searching for someone else to fill this void.

The councelling is a very small thing before God compared to the actual marriage and the real problems that will come later.

If that is an actual rule, please point the rest of us to it.

If it is something you made up for yourself, please lay off the magical thinking and quit confusing the young man and wasting everyone else's time.
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 07:38:00 AM »

Branthony,
Perhaps you are gifted with another avenue in this dilemma - your own godfather. Maybe you should seek his advice (part of HIS job) in this case and not to complain about his father but for him to offer advice in his stead.

That is what I would do.
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2014, 08:22:51 AM »

Don't buy a book or get counselling from another source. It means that you don't trust God will look after your marriage.

Honestly, where do you get this?
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2014, 08:40:40 AM »

Don't buy a book or get counselling from another source. It means that you don't trust God will look after your marriage.

Honestly, where do you get this?

This is just old wisdom. The marriage can not be cursed going in. They need to be innocent going into the marriage. No money talk, no seeking councelling from outside sources.

For the marriage date, any kind of astrology for the wedding date itself is prohibited. Chose it like any other date.

Also when they have the baby, they can not tamper with the date of the birth. If the C section is established, then the date can not be chosen by yourself. The Dr or secretary must chose the date. Thats also something to keep in mind.

And if theres one piece of advice that would have saved our marriage heartache and trauma... Whatever you do, stay far, far, far away from birth control. Avoid it like the plague. Never let her put that stuff in herself. Believe me you've been lied to your whole life thinking its a harmless pill. It truly is from Satan. Not just me but a friend of ours had a blood clot in her thigh when changing her rx. That could have been deadly. My wife could have been killed and/or not been able to have kids. Im being very serious. The worst curse on our marriage was those pills. We didnt even need them at all. We just got them because the secular message was so strong growing up we just assumed thats what everyone does. Wow were we wrong. Thats what I was hoping they could have councelled him in his maraige and promoted normal child bearing education. The birth control pills are the worst thing from Satan. We learned the hard way trust me.
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 08:43:14 AM »

The only way their marriage would be 'cursed' (superstitious bunk and rubbish that idea in the first place.....trust in the Lord, not curses) is if they followed your advice.
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2014, 08:46:17 AM »

Don't confuse innocence with ignorance. If you think secular marriage counseling has anything to do with astrology, I must seriously question what world you're living in.

Let the doctor's secretary choose the day of a C-section? Deluded much? The decision will be between the couple and their doctor, not a random stranger.

Also, the subject of birth control is something for the couple to discuss with their priest, not to take the 'advice' of strangers over the internet.
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2014, 08:47:47 AM »

Quote
For the marriage date, any kind of astrology for the wedding date itself is prohibited. Chose it like any other date.

Agreed about the astrology part, but, if an Orthodox wedding is planned, there are times of the year where marriages are not permitted, such as the four Lenten periods. Check with the priest FIRST.
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2014, 08:57:42 AM »

Why does Cackles remind me of this thread about Fr. Argatu?
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2014, 10:51:39 AM »

Branthony,
Perhaps you are gifted with another avenue in this dilemma - your own godfather. Maybe you should seek his advice (part of HIS job) in this case and not to complain about his father but for him to offer advice in his stead.

That is what I would do.

I am not complaining about my God Father's father. I'm more complaining about my priest, I think he should do marriage counseling. It would have been so much easier if he did. However as I said already my godfather's father is the OCA Priest. He's older and so forgetful. I'm not complaining it's just a fact. However, there is a great deal of knowledge in his head, Most of you have actually heard of this priest before but I don't want to put his name down here. But he is the author of quite a lot of books and other stuff. Me and my future wife have decided that we will have him do the counseling. So it really isn't an issue. I will however talk to my godfather about this too, maybe he has some suggestions on how to make sure Father keeps on track with the sessions.   
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2014, 01:10:55 PM »

What problems are you having that require counseling?  Regarding 'fasting' St. Paul has some advice on this.  Not that we listen to that dated fellow any longer.
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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2014, 04:09:23 PM »

Regarding 'fasting' St. Paul has some advice on this.  Not that we listen to that dated fellow any longer.

+1
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« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2014, 04:22:10 PM »

If you believe you would benefit from premarital counseling, would your priest object if you went to another priest? Is there a GOA parish near you and would that priest be amenable? IIIRC, GOA now requires premarital counseling, and they have a new program, "The Journey of Marriage," which I've heard a lot of good things about.
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« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2014, 05:02:58 PM »

I do think that we would benefit from it, and we are going to do it with the OCA priest. I spoke to him earlier today and our first appointment is on Thursday. I believe that everyone should go through this before they are married. if I where a priest (God forbid!) I would require that anyone I do a wedding for have it with someone if not me. The priest is a tool that God and the Church gives us to help us spiritually. the two main paths of life in Orthodoxy are Monasticism and Marriage. How much talking to priests does a person do before becoming a monk? I would guess a lot, why should joining your life to another person require any less preparation? It shouldn't.
   As far as the GOA church, yes there is a GOA parish here, and I loved there priest dearly but he was recently reassigned to another parish. His son is sick and they needed to be closer to a hospital and doctors that can help the child. they will not have a new priest until the end of the month. With the OCA Priest, I have not only a man who has been a priest in the Orthodox Church for a long time and a modern theologian, he is on par with Fr. Thomas Hopko. but also a man who has been married for a great number of years. I think that he is the best choice, also he is willing to do our meetings on Skype which is good because we (my girlfriend and I) do not live in the same state. thank you all for your advice.   
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« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2014, 11:57:09 PM »

Approximately what total number of hours do you estimate your classes with him will take, Branthony?

That's my only question.

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« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2014, 12:54:03 AM »

Approximately what total number of hours do you estimate your classes with him will take, Branthony?

That's my only question.



I don't know, Father doesn't either, he said that this isn't like catechumen classes, he will talk to us and see what we need and go from there.
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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2014, 11:24:05 AM »

There's no such thing as a '3 times rule'. That's just nonsense.

If you have such an issue with your doctor, it is not only advisable but recommended to get a second opinion. Same here.

Perhaps the counseling won't teach the couple anything that they didn't know already, but it can work towards getting them in the right frame of mind to approach their impending commitment.

Your reply is seeded from your own idol/ego.
That judgment can be very much a double-edged sword, my friend. Beware of this, lest it be used against you.
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2014, 01:07:50 PM »

Your reply is seeded from your own idol/ego.
That judgment can be very much a double-edged sword, my friend. Beware of this, lest it be used against you.

Don't worry.  I officially use it against him.  Tongue
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« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2014, 05:35:17 PM »

Don't buy a book or get counselling from another source. It means that you don't trust God will look after your marriage.

Honestly, where do you get this?

This is just old wisdom. The marriage can not be cursed going in. They need to be innocent going into the marriage. No money talk, no seeking councelling from outside sources.

For the marriage date, any kind of astrology for the wedding date itself is prohibited. Chose it like any other date.

Also when they have the baby, they can not tamper with the date of the birth. If the C section is established, then the date can not be chosen by yourself. The Dr or secretary must chose the date. Thats also something to keep in mind.

And if theres one piece of advice that would have saved our marriage heartache and trauma... Whatever you do, stay far, far, far away from birth control. Avoid it like the plague. Never let her put that stuff in herself. Believe me you've been lied to your whole life thinking its a harmless pill. It truly is from Satan. Not just me but a friend of ours had a blood clot in her thigh when changing her rx. That could have been deadly. My wife could have been killed and/or not been able to have kids. Im being very serious. The worst curse on our marriage was those pills. We didnt even need them at all. We just got them because the secular message was so strong growing up we just assumed thats what everyone does. Wow were we wrong. Thats what I was hoping they could have councelled him in his maraige and promoted normal child bearing education. The birth control pills are the worst thing from Satan. We learned the hard way trust me.

Your own jurisdiction requires premarital counseling,and has even developed a new program: the Journey of Marriage.
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« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2014, 05:42:06 PM »

Your own jurisdiction requires premarital counseling,and has even developed a new program: the Journey of Marriage.

What you think is his jurisdiction is not his jurisdiction. 
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« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2014, 07:19:51 PM »

all he said is that is something we discuss with each other not him or any other priest.
Why do you doubt this wisdom?
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« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2014, 01:14:45 AM »

Given the above, do you really think you need counseling?  What is it about marriage that you do not understand?  My wife and I have been married 33 years and did not have counseling.  And the only advice that I got (not to marry her) I ignored and am happy that I did. So, unless you are one of these Moronodox that cannot go potty without asking a Priest, consider your story as a sign and get married.  If you just HAVE to talk to someone, find an older couple that have been married a very long time and ask them some questions.  You will learn more from them than an unmarried Priest anyway.

I strongly disagree. Every couple needs premarital counseling. It is required in the Antiochian Archdiocese. When I marry a couple that lives in another city, but is coming home to be married, I arrange for the Antiochian Priest where they live to do the pre-marital counseling.

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« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2014, 01:38:24 AM »

I totally agree with you father. We had our first session with Fr. John on Thursday. I feel it was good and will be very helpful. We are kinda forced to talk about things that I doubt we would otherwise, I feel that everyone getting married should be required to have counseling. An Orthodox Christian marriage should be based on Christ. Counseling will help us and any other Orthodox Couple, keep there marriage centered on the Lord. Also if you have folks like me, who come from a broken family, we've never seen a successful marriage up close. this will help me learn how one should function. getting married, for me, is terrifying. I have only seen broken marriages not successful ones.
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2014, 10:07:21 AM »

I totally agree with you father. We had our first session with Fr. John on Thursday. I feel it was good and will be very helpful. We are kinda forced to talk about things that I doubt we would otherwise, I feel that everyone getting married should be required to have counseling. An Orthodox Christian marriage should be based on Christ. Counseling will help us and any other Orthodox Couple, keep there marriage centered on the Lord. Also if you have folks like me, who come from a broken family, we've never seen a successful marriage up close. this will help me learn how one should function. getting married, for me, is terrifying. I have only seen broken marriages not successful ones.

Marriage counseling is not so much having someone explain things to you, but as you have noted, being forced to face things together; to discuss issues that, hopefully, won't pop up and surprise both of you.  My wife and I didn't do marriage counseling and I think we would have benefited from a structured counseling; but here we are going on seven years of marriage.  Don't be afraid.  Yes, it's a new experience, but don't look to those broken marriages as any example, but to Christ and how he treats His Bride.  Prayers for the both of you.
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2014, 10:16:06 AM »

To the OP, can't you ask your diocese for help in finding a qualified priest? 

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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2014, 10:19:24 AM »

We are having premarital counseling with a priest from the OCA. We already had one productive session and we have another meeting later this week. Thank you all for your support and guidance though. And Please pray for us.
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2014, 12:47:27 PM »

We are having premarital counseling with a priest from the OCA. We already had one productive session and we have another meeting later this week. Thank you all for your support and guidance though. And Please pray for us.

+Pax
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2014, 12:56:42 PM »


+Pax
[/quote]

what does +Pax mean?
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2014, 12:57:31 PM »

Peace  (Well, wouldn't you say that's better than +Pox? Wink)
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« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2014, 01:10:26 PM »

Peace  (Well, wouldn't you say that's better than +Pox? Wink)

 laugh
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« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2014, 06:51:18 PM »

Hello again everyone, I figured I would post this here instead of a new thread because it relates. Before me and my soon to be wife started counseling a friend gave me a book by Fr. Josiah Trenham. the book is called marriage and virginity according to St.John Chrysostom. After reading this book and talking to my priest, I feel that this may not be an accurate title for the book because I feel that Fr.Josiah twists what he does take from St.John but I also feel that there is much more of Fr. Josiah's personal opinion than what St.John said. I have recently also read some things Fr.Josiah has posted on-line and I am starting to think that this man is a bit... wacky. First he seems to try to discourage folks from getting married by saying (paraphrasing) monasticism is really what you should do but the church allows marriage. now he doesn't say this explicitly but that does seem to be his implication. This is strange coming from a priest who not only is married but has 10 children. He also seems to have a very R.C. outlook on Orthodox sexuality. My priest, and from what I have read on-line a lot of priests, seem to think that sexuality is not a topic to be discussed in detail. From what I gather, as long as its a married couple we're ok. There may be some rules but I really don't think it's as strict as Fr.Josiah seems to think it is. From what I have gathered the church doesn't teach that sexuality in marriage is only for procreation, but that it is for the married couple to express there love to one another and to keep them out of sin, or at least that seems to be the primary reason. Fr. Josiah says different, he says the primary reason is procreation and any act in the bedroom that can't bring forth children is perverse and there for unacceptable. If this is true then once a married woman is post menopause then the couple is sinning if they are intimate. Have any of you ever read anything by this priest and what is your opinion on this topic? Let's not get graphic please, this is a christian forum, there is no need to name specific acts but what is the purpose of sexuality in an Orthodox marriage and is this guy crazy or not?
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« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2014, 07:22:39 PM »

Before me and my soon to be wife started counseling a friend gave me a book by Fr. Josiah Trenham. the book is called marriage and virginity according to St.John Chrysostom. After reading this book and talking to my priest, I feel that this may not be an accurate title for the book because I feel that Fr.Josiah twists what he does take from St.John but I also feel that there is much more of Fr. Josiah's personal opinion than what St.John said.

...is this guy crazy or not?

I haven't read the book in question, but I have met Fr Josiah, spent a little time with him, and have heard him speak on this and other issues.  In general, I like him, but I don't think I would recommend this book as a form of "pre-marital preparation".  I'm not as well read in Chrysostom as Fr Josiah might be, so even if it is an accurate reflection of the saint's teaching, it isn't necessarily representative of the teaching of the Church as a whole.  Certainly there are aspects of Fr Josiah's interpretation with which I would disagree, and I think the Church would as well.  You would be better off focusing on "basics" rather than reading secondary literature on patristic teaching.  For instance, have you read the text of the Marriage service?  The New Testament? 
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« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2014, 07:26:02 PM »

My priest, and from what I have read on-line a lot of priests, seem to think that sexuality is not a topic to be discussed in detail.

Depends on the priest and what you mean by "detail". 

Quote
From what I gather, as long as its a married couple we're ok.

Um, not exactly. 

Quote
There may be some rules but I really don't think it's as strict as Fr.Josiah seems to think it is.

Granted.
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« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2014, 07:26:26 PM »

Priests shouldn't do marital counseling unless they are credentialed in psychology.
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« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2014, 07:44:54 PM »

Priests shouldn't do marital counseling unless they are credentialed in psychology.

Priests have been doing counselling of all sorts for centuries before psychology existed. Dealing with people's psyches is part of the job description.

That said, not every priest gets to do marital counselling, just like not every priest gets to hear confession. Those who do either are worth listening to, and taking notes.
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« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2014, 08:33:16 AM »

Priests shouldn't do marital counseling unless they are credentialed in psychology.

Getting married is crazy, but it rarely is a psychological disorder.
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« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2014, 08:50:17 AM »

Priests shouldn't do marital counseling unless they are credentialed in psychology.

We were trained in counseling in seminary. The Antiochian clergy also were trained to administer and counsel on the basis of a test that surveys the attitude of the man and woman on various issues to provide a basis for discussions.

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« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2014, 11:00:25 AM »

Isn't it true that marriage is a work in progress and that the persons who are most responsible for making it work are the husband and wife? Isn't it also true that, by virtue of their baptism and continued participation in the Body, they are both part of the Royal Priesthood and thus are endowed with some charisma that allows them to work out their salvation individually and as a couple?

That said, it is crucial that we avail ourselves of spiritual counsel from our spiritual fathers, confess and be reconciled to the Body, and remain in His Grace. However, I think that most spiritual fathers would tell us at some point own up to our responsibilities and charisma, and to be responsible for our and our families' spiritual journeys.

I guess what I am driving at is my unease with what appears to be the OP's reluctance to take action, to figure things out with his fiancee. BTW, I have a nagging doubt that my advice is right in this instance and that ia may be talking to myself?
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« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2014, 11:25:41 AM »

Isn't it true that marriage is a work in progress and that the persons who are most responsible for making it work are the husband and wife? Isn't it also true that, by virtue of their baptism and continued participation in the Body, they are both part of the Royal Priesthood and thus are endowed with some charisma that allows them to work out their salvation individually and as a couple?

That said, it is crucial that we avail ourselves of spiritual counsel from our spiritual fathers, confess and be reconciled to the Body, and remain in His Grace. However, I think that most spiritual fathers would tell us at some point own up to our responsibilities and charisma, and to be responsible for our and our families' spiritual journeys.

I guess what I am driving at is my unease with what appears to be the OP's reluctance to take action, to figure things out with his fiancee. BTW, I have a nagging doubt that my advice is right in this instance and that ia may be talking to myself?

What action do we need to take? Our counseling is supposed to help us not do the thinking for us. It is to help us realize the things we need to talk about that we may not think of otherwise. We've never been married before, the priest that is doing the counseling has been married longer than her and I have been alive. He will know things we need to talk about that we wouldn't think to. He has already done that in fact and it is working well i think.   
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« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2014, 11:41:41 AM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
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« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2014, 12:47:23 PM »

Priests shouldn't do marital counseling unless they are credentialed in psychology.

Lol funny.
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« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2014, 01:30:20 PM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.

As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2014, 01:53:24 PM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.

The priest doing our premarital counseling isn't asking for any money, also we are already arguing with the priest that is doing the wedding about paying for his plain ticket. I know he will refuse any money for actually celebrating the marriage, we can't even pay for his trip. The real question is why do you have such a low opinion of priests? How can you confess and commune when you think so little of your spiritual fathers. I would imagine that you need to spend some time in prayer and fasting, and realign your heart with God and his church.
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« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2014, 03:26:31 PM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.
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« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2014, 08:57:43 PM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.

This is what I'm talking about.
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« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2014, 09:25:39 AM »

"Some"priests will. Many (most?) don't. If we're counting anecdotal evidence, let me add one about a priest who did just that - appropriate "contributions" were "suggested" for baptisms, weddings etc. Then his Bishop heard about it and read him the riot act. That priest is no longer in that diocese, btw.
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« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2014, 09:57:40 AM »

Given the above, do you really think you need counseling?  What is it about marriage that you do not understand?  My wife and I have been married 33 years and did not have counseling.  And the only advice that I got (not to marry her) I ignored and am happy that I did. So, unless you are one of these Moronodox that cannot go potty without asking a Priest, consider your story as a sign and get married.  If you just HAVE to talk to someone, find an older couple that have been married a very long time and ask them some questions.  You will learn more from them than an unmarried Priest anyway.

Had to lol at this.  Not related to the OP, but I have always wondered why there are so many Orthodox who feel they need so much priestly counseling.   OCD?
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« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2014, 10:05:29 AM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.

That would never be allowed in the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is a serious sin to charge for Sacraments.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2014, 10:44:20 AM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.

That would never be allowed in the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is a serious sin to charge for Sacraments.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father Bless.

I would be very careful calling it am outright sin.   That method of parish support is not ideal, obviously.  But it is very commonly the model in MANY countries, with long standing Orthodox populations.  They in general do not charge yearly dues like many churches here do (and how is making it a club membership any less -sinful-?).   Their priests often do not get any money whatsoever from any diocese to support themselves and families...etc. and so the method of 'breaking even and thus not literally starving' had to be worked out.

It is merely an entirely different paradigm, for a different place than either you or I exist in. 
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« Reply #61 on: March 19, 2014, 11:07:04 AM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.

That would never be allowed in the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is a serious sin to charge for Sacraments.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father Bless.

I would be very careful calling it am outright sin.   That method of parish support is not ideal, obviously.  But it is very commonly the model in MANY countries, with long standing Orthodox populations.  They in general do not charge yearly dues like many churches here do (and how is making it a club membership any less -sinful-?).   Their priests often do not get any money whatsoever from any diocese to support themselves and families...etc. and so the method of 'breaking even and thus not literally starving' had to be worked out.

It is merely an entirely different paradigm, for a different place than either you or I exist in. 


Well, in the incident that I related, the Bishop called it "simony." Which is pretty much a sin, IIRC.

More anecdotal evidence, most Orthodox Churches are moving or have moved away from "dues" to stewardship.
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« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2014, 11:12:14 AM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.

That would never be allowed in the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is a serious sin to charge for Sacraments.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father Bless.

I would be very careful calling it am outright sin.   That method of parish support is not ideal, obviously.  But it is very commonly the model in MANY countries, with long standing Orthodox populations.  They in general do not charge yearly dues like many churches here do (and how is making it a club membership any less -sinful-?).   Their priests often do not get any money whatsoever from any diocese to support themselves and families...etc. and so the method of 'breaking even and thus not literally starving' had to be worked out.

It is merely an entirely different paradigm, for a different place than either you or I exist in. 


Well, in the incident that I related, the Bishop called it "simony." Which is pretty much a sin, IIRC.

More anecdotal evidence, most Orthodox Churches are moving or have moved away from "dues" to stewardship.

I am not disagreeing....just saying that applying a -broad sweep- of calling it that...may or may not be appropriate in all the situations...

sure, its abused and some of the fees listed might be crazy....

in another place....a priest has 5 dollars for everything.....just so he can eat...I wouldnt call that a  sin if that 5 dollars for doing one baptism is -all- he gets for that week, despite serving a Liturgy, Vespers, etc.....

I think its very easy to apply the American thought of 'priests get a salary' to this...and in oh so many places, they do not.

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« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2014, 11:21:53 AM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.

That would never be allowed in the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is a serious sin to charge for Sacraments.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father Bless.

I would be very careful calling it am outright sin.   That method of parish support is not ideal, obviously.  But it is very commonly the model in MANY countries, with long standing Orthodox populations.  They in general do not charge yearly dues like many churches here do (and how is making it a club membership any less -sinful-?).   Their priests often do not get any money whatsoever from any diocese to support themselves and families...etc. and so the method of 'breaking even and thus not literally starving' had to be worked out.

It is merely an entirely different paradigm, for a different place than either you or I exist in. 

Regardless of how widespread it is in other countries, it is not a good practice to charge for Sacraments. The People should contribute to the maintenance of their parish and pay the Priest a decent salary so that he can take care of his family. Frankly, the way that some of the laity look upon the Priest in Orthodoxy is a scandal. We are nor hired hands, nor are we monastics who are supposed to live in poverty. The poor and frequently un-Christian way that our Priests are treated  is the greatest shock that I received after I converted to Orthodoxy. We have the true faith, but at times do not live by that faith. Indeed, heretics like Episcopalians and other Protestants treat their clergy in a much more Christian manner than some Orthodox parishes treat their priests. Some people seen to resent paying a Priest and constantly try to balance the budget of the parish on the back of their priest and his family. That is one of the problems with having celibate Bishops. They do not understand what it takes to raise a family and do not look out enough for the welfare of their clergy.

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« Reply #64 on: March 19, 2014, 12:32:18 PM »

Priests will do any extra services if the price is right.
As a Priest, I find that comment very offensive. No Priest charges a fee for pre-marital or any other kind of counseling.

Many priests have price lists for sacraments posted in plain sight in their parishes. Baptisms are $100, weddings $500, etc. which is far worse than counseling fees. I'm beginning to think that you might well be the most literal person I have encounted on this forum. No sense of irony as constructive critique. I doubt you're going to understand any of the things I post on here, so may I suggest you start ignoring my posts?

There have been numerous testimonies on this forum of priests who wouldn't even perform funerals if the families didn't have the money for the fees, so they had to turn to the Baptists or whoever would do it. My point was that if a priest will not offer these kinds of services, they are usually the type of priest which can be persuaded by money. But it's tiresome spelling out every single comment I make on here, never mind it disrupting any sense of derived humor. Nobody likes a joke which has to be explained.

That would never be allowed in the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is a serious sin to charge for Sacraments.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father Bless.

I would be very careful calling it am outright sin.   That method of parish support is not ideal, obviously.  But it is very commonly the model in MANY countries, with long standing Orthodox populations.  They in general do not charge yearly dues like many churches here do (and how is making it a club membership any less -sinful-?).   Their priests often do not get any money whatsoever from any diocese to support themselves and families...etc. and so the method of 'breaking even and thus not literally starving' had to be worked out.

It is merely an entirely different paradigm, for a different place than either you or I exist in. 

Regardless of how widespread it is in other countries, it is not a good practice to charge for Sacraments. The People should contribute to the maintenance of their parish and pay the Priest a decent salary so that he can take care of his family. Frankly, the way that some of the laity look upon the Priest in Orthodoxy is a scandal. We are nor hired hands, nor are we monastics who are supposed to live in poverty. The poor and frequently un-Christian way that our Priests are treated  is the greatest shock that I received after I converted to Orthodoxy. We have the true faith, but at times do not live by that faith. Indeed, heretics like Episcopalians and other Protestants treat their clergy in a much more Christian manner than some Orthodox parishes treat their priests. Some people seen to resent paying a Priest and constantly try to balance the budget of the parish on the back of their priest and his family. That is one of the problems with having celibate Bishops. They do not understand what it takes to raise a family and do not look out enough for the welfare of their clergy.

Fr. John W. Morris

I too was offended by the comment in question.

I daresay that the Slavs - Ukrainians and Rusyns  at least (found in ACROD and the OCA) whose grandparents  and great grandparents supposedly converted to preserve a married priesthood (among other issues) are among the most penurious when it comes to valuing the services provided by their pastors and in terms of supporting their families. The Antiochian and Greek jurisdictions seem to be light years ahead of us when it comes to such matters. Yet, in spite of that - we Slavs continue to have an adequate supply of energized and competent young men with vocations.

No clergy = no Orthodox faith. Disrespect for the Clergy is the beginning of the path to perdition.

Make things better in your own community, don't gripe about it on line and cast aspersions.
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« Reply #65 on: March 19, 2014, 12:45:42 PM »

I wish I could shut down this thread. The purpose was premarital counseling, not should we pay priests, and not is it ok to pay for mysteries.
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« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2014, 12:47:48 PM »

I wish I could shut down this thread.

Stuff happens.
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« Reply #67 on: March 20, 2014, 12:18:54 AM »

a friend gave me a book by Fr. Josiah Trenham. the book is called marriage and virginity according to St.John Chrysostom. After reading this book and talking to my priest, I feel that this may not be an accurate...book
I think you're on the right track here.
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« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2014, 02:39:24 AM »

I think you're on the right track here.
[/quote]

So you think he may be a bit crazy too? I had never heard of him until my friend got me the book, He just doesn't sound like he's echoing the church but only spouting, his own opinion. While if he wants to live by this code he has set I think it's fine but I feel it may be wrong to try to coerce other Christians into this using his position as priest. but hey maybe I'm the crazy one.
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« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2014, 08:17:19 AM »

So you think he may be a bit crazy too? I had never heard of him until my friend got me the book, He just doesn't sound like he's echoing the church but only spouting, his own opinion. While if he wants to live by this code he has set I think it's fine but I feel it may be wrong to try to coerce other Christians into this using his position as priest. but hey maybe I'm the crazy one.

I have also recently come across Fr Josiah Trenham when he was a guest on Ancient Faith Today.  I've also been listening to some of his sermons (The Arena on AFR).  

I wouldn't be surprised if his teachings on sex and marriage are treated with caution by some priests.  I'm still trying to figure out if he is one of those Orthodox who believes that the Fathers have laid down a law for us regarding sex.  Among other things, he believes marital sex should only be done in a very specific way, i.e. one position, always maintaining eye contact, etc.  Seems to go against the concept in the NT of the marriage bed being undefiled.

Still I wouldn't say he's crazy at all.  Nor can I say he's only spouting his opinion, since he supports his views using some quotes from the Fathers.  Not that simply quoting any of the Fathers makes the Fathers or the person quoting them correct on a particular issue.
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« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2014, 08:53:43 AM »

Seems to go against the concept in the NT of the marriage bed being undefiled.

One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament thanks to Dr. Ruth Christianity. Most Evangelicals I know take this verse to mean 'anything goes in the marriage bed'.

Hebews 3:4 actually says: Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled. For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

The verse is actually telling couples to keep the marriage bed pure and chaste, and to have honorable conduct in the bedroom. Marriage is to be a way to holiness, not a license to lust.

I fully support Fr. Josiah in many of his teachings regarding contraception, chastity, what it really means to be pro-life, etc. He is a man of great discipline and sacrifice and is to be admired, not maginalized and mocked.
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« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2014, 09:24:59 AM »

I brought up what I had read by Fr. Josiah in counseling, apparently Fr. Josiah doesn't stand alone on this however, the priest doing our counseling said that he is still wrong. Fr. Josiah and his like are not teaching the Orthodox view on marital sexuality. While Obviously procreation is a big part of it it is not the only thing it is designed for. It is also to help the couple express there love and to grow closer as well as preventing sexual sin, mainly adultery. I'm sure Fr. Josiah has many merits I just don't think he is right on the topic of sexuality and it seems to me that the majority of the church is in agreement.   
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« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2014, 10:53:26 AM »

Before me and my soon to be wife started counseling a friend gave me a book by Fr. Josiah Trenham. the book is called marriage and virginity according to St.John Chrysostom.

A terrible book, from both a scholarly and pastoral point of view. Truly terrible.
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« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2014, 01:27:44 PM »

A terrible book, from both a scholarly and pastoral point of view. Truly terrible.

Tell us how you really feel.  Tongue
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« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2014, 01:40:43 PM »

Before me and my soon to be wife started counseling a friend gave me a book by Fr. Josiah Trenham. the book is called marriage and virginity according to St.John Chrysostom.

A terrible book, from both a scholarly and pastoral point of view. Truly terrible.

I don't care for it either, but is it causing marriages to fall apart?  Is his Bishop troubled with his writing?
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« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2014, 03:44:18 PM »

One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament thanks to Dr. Ruth Christianity. Most Evangelicals I know take this verse to mean 'anything goes in the marriage bed'.

Hebews 3:4 actually says: Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled. For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

The verse is actually telling couples to keep the marriage bed pure and chaste, and to have honorable conduct in the bedroom.
Alveus,

One can agree with your points here, and still disagree with Fr. Josiah's opinions about what constitutes holy and pure sex, and the clergy's proper pastoral involvement in the sex lives of parishioners.

I agree that, unlike some pop-evangelical crap teaches, sex is not excluded from those things (i.e., everything) which must be done to the glory of God. But my agreement with Fr. Josiah probably stops there.
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« Reply #76 on: March 21, 2014, 05:35:18 PM »

One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament thanks to Dr. Ruth Christianity. Most Evangelicals I know take this verse to mean 'anything goes in the marriage bed'.

Hebews 3:4 actually says: Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled. For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

The verse is actually telling couples to keep the marriage bed pure and chaste, and to have honorable conduct in the bedroom.
Alveus,

One can agree with your points here, and still disagree with Fr. Josiah's opinions about what constitutes holy and pure sex, and the clergy's proper pastoral involvement in the sex lives of parishioners.

I agree that, unlike some pop-evangelical crap teaches, sex is not excluded from those things (i.e., everything) which must be done to the glory of God. But my agreement with Fr. Josiah probably stops there.

I have not read the book, but have ordered it, because I really want to see where he finds instructions from the Fathers on sexual positions. I gather that he has a negative attitude towards conception control. Since the Church has not spoken definitely on this matter, Fr. Josiah has a right to express his opinions on the subject.
I know that certain monastic circles are teaching that all forms of birth control are sinful, even if they do not cause an abortion. Why monastics are telling married couples about their sex life is another question. Obviously any medication that causes an abortion, would be considered sinful by Eastern Orthodox. However, one must be very careful when reading the Fathers on this matter. Science had not advanced to the point that we understood that the sperm does not contain a small person. Until the invention of the microscope, scientists thought that the sperm contains a small human. Thus the Fathers equated all forms of birth control with abortion. We now know about chromosomes and that all forms of birth control are not forms of abortion. As a result many Orthodox scholars have revisited this issue and have a more accepting view of conception control. The statement on contemporary moral issues approved by the Russian Church states that for a married couple to use non-abortive methods of birth control is not a sin. That is the position taken by Fr. Stanley Harakas, Fr. John Meyendorff and other experts on Orthodox moral teaching.
Historians have generally portrayed St. John Chrysostom as having a positive view of sex and marriage in contrast to Augustine who had a very negative view of sex. Professor Ford of St. Tikhon's wrote a book on this subject, in which he argues that St. John had a positive view of human sexuality.
Finally, the books and articles that I have read giving Orthodox Priests instructions on how to hear Confessions tell the Priest not to ask personal questions about the sexual relations between a husband and wife. We do not go into the bed room. I know for a fact that some monastics do ask too many questions about the intimate relations between a husband and his wife. To me it is rather perverse for a celibate to take such an interest in sexual matters. Some monastics seem to have a Western Augustinian view of sexuality.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2014, 06:16:53 PM »

Ok he doesn't say anything about positions in the book I'm talking about, nor in any of the articles I have read from him, so I can't speak to the validity of that. He does seem to try to discourage marriage and purpose that monasticism is the only christian ideal and marriage is only a condescension by the church for human weakness. In other words, he implies an Augustinian view of marriage was also St.John Chrysostom's opinion. As far as monastics prying into the bed of married people, I would agree that this has a good chance of being of perverse motivation. My priest and confessor is an unmarried priest and I would be greatly offended if he pried to deep. Luckily I know that he takes a liberal stance on marital relations and so I can't see him ever asking anything about that part of my marriage once I am married.
    My problem with Fr.Josiah is that he blatantly says that engaging in sexual relations with your spouse in any manor than can not result in children, including couples who can't conceive, are engaging in sexual perversion and sin. This doesn't seem to be an idea that the church supports. In Father John Meyendorff's  book "Marriage: an Orthodox perspective" he says that contraception is ok to use for spacing children, and limiting the number of them. However Fr. John also says "a marriage where children are unwelcome is founded upon a defective, egotistic and fleshly form of love". and "For example, in an affluent American society, there is practically never a sufficient reason to avoid children in the first two years of marriage".
   
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« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2014, 07:21:45 PM »

Ok he doesn't say anything about positions in the book I'm talking about, nor in any of the articles I have read from him, so I can't speak to the validity of that. He does seem to try to discourage marriage and purpose that monasticism is the only christian ideal and marriage is only a condescension by the church for human weakness. In other words, he implies an Augustinian view of marriage was also St.John Chrysostom's opinion. As far as monastics prying into the bed of married people, I would agree that this has a good chance of being of perverse motivation. My priest and confessor is an unmarried priest and I would be greatly offended if he pried to deep. Luckily I know that he takes a liberal stance on marital relations and so I can't see him ever asking anything about that part of my marriage once I am married.
    My problem with Fr.Josiah is that he blatantly says that engaging in sexual relations with your spouse in any manor than can not result in children, including couples who can't conceive, are engaging in sexual perversion and sin. This doesn't seem to be an idea that the church supports. In Father John Meyendorff's  book "Marriage: an Orthodox perspective" he says that contraception is ok to use for spacing children, and limiting the number of them. However Fr. John also says "a marriage where children are unwelcome is founded upon a defective, egotistic and fleshly form of love". and "For example, in an affluent American society, there is practically never a sufficient reason to avoid children in the first two years of marriage".
   

He cannot be too anti sex he has at least 8 or 9 children. I have asked him if he believes that birth control is a sin and he denied having said or written that. I will read his book and see what he says. However, it is standard among scholarly literature to compare and contrast the negative attitude towards sex in the writings of Augustine with the more positive and healthy attitude of St. John Chrysosotm.
In my studies of church history, I have come to believe that the different attitudes towards sex was one of the major causes of the East West Schism. One of the  first times that the East officially criticized the West was at the Council in Trullo in 692 where they passed a canon condemning the Western requirement that married Priests cease having sex with their wives. That same council approved an canon from a local council that excommunicated anyone who became a monastic because they "abhored" marriage. Another canon excommunicated any person who would not receive Holy Communion from a married Priest. In 1054, Cardinal Humbert alienated the clergy and people of Constantinople when he told them that the wives of priests are no better than prostitutes and their children illegitimate. He demanded that the married Priests put their wives in monasteries for women. One of the major reasons given in Cardinal Humbert's decree excommunicating the Patriarch of Constantinople and his followers was that he allowed married clergy.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #79 on: March 21, 2014, 07:31:58 PM »

Have you asked your priest for a recommendation to a marriage counselor?  There are counselors who are Orthodox but aren't priests.  Talk to your friends and see if they know anyone.  Or, send an email to the Bishops office and ask for a recommendation to a counselor.

I wouldn't be too hard on your priest.  He may just realize he isn't good at marriage counseling and doesn't feel comfortable doing it so he doesn't.
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« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2014, 07:34:17 PM »

Quote
He does seem to try to discourage marriage and purpose that monasticism is the only christian ideal and marriage is only a condescension by the church for human weakness.

I wonder what goes through Fr Josiah's mind when he conducts a marriage service? Does he simply read the words without believing them?  Tongue
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« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2014, 07:58:07 PM »

read this from Fr. Josiah. http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frjosiah_sexualrelations.aspx
some quotes from it. "St. Paul teaches that married women find their salvation in and through childbearing". " consecrated virginity is the highest way of life". " The unnatural prolongation of sexual desire, through the use of drugs such as viagra, is forbidden. On the contrary, such decline in sexual desire is to warmly welcomed by aging Orthodox Christians as a divine help in one's life long preparation for departure from this life".

as for his opinion during the wedding service, I don't know but what really baffles me is that he is a married priest with 10 children.
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« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2014, 09:29:59 PM »

Having been honored in my life to meet and hear both Fr. Stanley Harakas and the late Fr. John Meyendorff lecture and preach - both learned and reasonable scholars and pastors, I would take their collective wisdom any day of the week over Fr. Josiah whose views on the matter are seemingly more influenced by western Augustinian thought on sexual matters and extremist monastics.
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« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2014, 09:57:36 PM »

It would be dishonest not to admit that there is some disagreement within the Church over the issue of conception control. Some of those heavily influenced by monasticism tend towards a more negative almost Augustinian view of sexuality. Therefore, they tend to oppose all use of birth control. Others, have what I consider a proper Orthodox view that considers sex good because it is part of God's creation. However, like everything else created by God we can abuse God's creation. If sex becomes exploitative, or if a man treats his wife as a sex object, or a woman treats her husband as a sex object it is morally wrong even in marriage. Furthermore, every sexual relationship must be within marriage and most be open to the creation of new life. That does not mean that every sexual act between a married couple has to be open to the creation of new life, but the relationship must be open to the gift of children. Thus, a couple may use non-abortive methods of birth control to space the birth of their children, if the couple has had all the children they can care for, and if a further pregnancy would endanger the health of the woman. I also think that a newly married couple should use birth control for a few years so that they can get to know each other, finish their educations and be properly prepared to care for a child. 
I believe that there is no calling from God that is superior to any other calling. Some of us are called to monasticism, but most of us are not. A good pious and dedicated married layman who is serving God to the best of his ability is serving God in the highest calling possible for him and is not spiritually inferior to a monk or priest. For God's Church to function, we need monastics, clergy serving parishes in the world and laity. We are all essential to the life of the Church. If there were no married couples, there would be no monks or nuns.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2014, 10:01:53 PM »

" The unnatural prolongation of sexual desire, through the use of drugs such as viagra, is forbidden. On the contrary, such decline in sexual desire is to warmly welcomed by aging Orthodox Christians as a divine help in one's life long preparation for departure from this life".

To be fair, Fr Josiah is not the only person out there teaching such things.  Before I ever knew of Fr Josiah, this very idea, complete with pharmaceutical reference, was taught to me by what most people would consider a "normal" priest.  

Quote
as for his opinion during the wedding service, I don't know but what really baffles me is that he is a married priest with 10 children.

So I guess he's not allowed to write about what he considers a theological ideal even while he admittedly does not live it.  Based on such logic, most of us (myself included) should crawl into a hole and shut up.    
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« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2014, 10:13:01 PM »

read this from Fr. Josiah. http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frjosiah_sexualrelations.aspx
some quotes from it. "St. Paul teaches that married women find their salvation in and through childbearing". " consecrated virginity is the highest way of life". " The unnatural prolongation of sexual desire, through the use of drugs such as viagra, is forbidden. On the contrary, such decline in sexual desire is to warmly welcomed by aging Orthodox Christians as a divine help in one's life long preparation for departure from this life".

as for his opinion during the wedding service, I don't know but what really baffles me is that he is a married priest with 10 children.

I strongly disagree. If a person is following Christ according to their calling to the best of their ability, that is the highest way of life for them. There are no first and second class Orthodox Christians. No way of life is inferior if one puts Christ first in their life. For the Church to function, we need monastics, parish priests and married laypeople.
I do not know about viagra. I do not know of any Orthodox authority that has spoken to the issue. We undergo other medical procedures to treat the defects of aging. I have an artificial knee and wear glasses. If viagra treats a medical condition, is it wrong? I do not know.

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« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2014, 10:52:35 PM »

as for his opinion during the wedding service, I don't know but what really baffles me is that he is a married priest with 10 children.

Not sure why that baffles you. That's solid proof that he practices what he preaches: if one is married, have children and lots of them. That's the only way to redeem marital relations: have lots of kids, raise them in the faith, make sure at least one becomes a monk or nun, make sure all of them preserve their sexual purity, etc. It's all in the book.
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« Reply #87 on: March 21, 2014, 10:57:29 PM »

make sure at least one becomes a monk or nun
Really?
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« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2014, 01:14:24 AM »

Some of those heavily influenced by monasticism tend towards a more negative almost Augustinian view of sexuality. Therefore, they tend to oppose all use of birth control. Others, have what I consider a proper Orthodox view that considers sex good because it is part of God's creation. However, like everything else created by God we can abuse God's creation.

Can't you have a positive view of sexuality and oppose birth control?

I'm going to stick up for Fr. Josiah again and say that he was the first priest to show me what it really means to be pro-life. To understand the miracle of having children as to be cooperating with God in the creation of an eternal soul, giving it life and breath to praise and glorify God. Many people "have their two" kids and then it's back to pursuing other goals after you've met your quota for maintaining population.

But stopping having children can often be for very selfish reasons, though obviously not always. Many times we make excuses about what we can afford, and this at the time when we have more food and wealth and technology than at any other time in human history.

Some people, obviously not all, care more about storing up possessions and wealth than they do about creating eternal souls. But most parents would tell you that their kids are more important to them than any of their possessions. Then why the horror at more than 2 or 3 kids?

That's what baffles me, if we're going to get all baffled up in here.
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« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2014, 03:06:35 AM »

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

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« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2014, 06:12:24 AM »

^ You could have said that all once. On an internet discussion forum, there's no need to repeat yourself. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2014, 08:21:48 AM »

^ You could have said that all once. On an internet discussion forum, there's no need to repeat yourself. Roll Eyes

Just a correction. That passage means that basically you need to love your own family and self less than serving God:

Luke 14:26 "If anyone continues coming to (or: toward) Me, and does not habitually regard with a negative will (= put lesser importance to; hate, in the sense of giving less preference to) his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters – and still [more], even his own soul-life (his inner being and its concerns; the person which is himself) – he has no power and is unable to be My disciple!
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« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2014, 04:07:23 PM »

Seems to go against the concept in the NT of the marriage bed being undefiled.

One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament thanks to Dr. Ruth Christianity. Most Evangelicals I know take this verse to mean 'anything goes in the marriage bed'.

Hebews 3:4 actually says: Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled. For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

The verse is actually telling couples to keep the marriage bed pure and chaste, and to have honorable conduct in the bedroom. Marriage is to be a way to holiness, not a license to lust.


I fully support Fr. Josiah in many of his teachings regarding contraception, chastity, what it really means to be pro-life, etc. He is a man of great discipline and sacrifice and is to be admired, not maginalized and mocked.

I think you meant Hebrews 13:4 (not 3:4).  Also, that is an interesting translation.  There are other ways of taking it.  Particularly, the first part "Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage be undefiled...." seems to have been traditionally treated as a statement, rather than an exhortation, so it would be "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled..."  You see the difference?  May I ask what translation you used?

Personally, I have yet to mock Fr. Josiah.  I just don't agree with him at least yet.  The type of marital sex that he's advocating seems like bedroom death.
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« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2014, 04:39:51 PM »

double post
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« Reply #94 on: March 23, 2014, 06:27:55 PM »

Please forgive me brothers and sisters. I did not mean to mock Fr. Josiah, it just seems to me that his views on marriage are very Augustinian and not what the church teaches. It seems to me that the majority of the church teaches a little more freedom for married couples than what Fr. Josiah is advocating. I do however recognize that Fr. Josiah is a priest and deserves respect. What he is teaching is not heresy, only a strict view. I would imagine that a couple could follow Fr. Josiah's teachings and remain in good standing, the only problem I could see with his teaching is if couples follow his teaching and aren't truly in agreement with him it could eventually cause discord. I know this would be the case in my marriage, not because only she, or only I disagree with living this level of strictness but because we both do. However again, my issue is more with his teaching not with him. I didn't mean to mock him and I am truly sorry for doing so. I hope everyone has a blessed feast of the elevation of the precious Cross.   
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« Reply #95 on: March 24, 2014, 10:26:28 PM »

Please forgive me brothers and sisters. I did not mean to mock Fr. Josiah
You did not come across as mocking, to me.
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« Reply #96 on: March 25, 2014, 04:06:25 PM »

Perhaps someone saw a disagreement of Fr. Josiah and interpreted it as mocking.
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« Reply #97 on: March 25, 2014, 07:16:04 PM »

Seems to go against the concept in the NT of the marriage bed being undefiled.

One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament thanks to Dr. Ruth Christianity. Most Evangelicals I know take this verse to mean 'anything goes in the marriage bed'.

Hebews 3:4 actually says: Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled. For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

The verse is actually telling couples to keep the marriage bed pure and chaste, and to have honorable conduct in the bedroom. Marriage is to be a way to holiness, not a license to lust.


I fully support Fr. Josiah in many of his teachings regarding contraception, chastity, what it really means to be pro-life, etc. He is a man of great discipline and sacrifice and is to be admired, not maginalized and mocked.

I think you meant Hebrews 13:4 (not 3:4).  Also, that is an interesting translation.  There are other ways of taking it.  Particularly, the first part "Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage be undefiled...." seems to have been traditionally treated as a statement, rather than an exhortation, so it would be "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled..."  You see the difference?  May I ask what translation you used?

Personally, I have yet to mock Fr. Josiah.  I just don't agree with him at least yet.  The type of marital sex that he's advocating seems like bedroom death.

Wycliffe Translation says:

4 Wedding is in all things honourable, and [the] bed unwemmed [and the bed undefouled]; for God shall deem fornicators and adulterers.

John Mitchell New Testement:

Marriage [is] precious (of great value and honor) in the midst of all folks (or: among all peoples), and the conjugal bed [is] unstained and undefiled; yet God is continuously judging (or: repeatedly separating and making a decision about) fornicators (or: male prostitutes; or: men who have sexual intercourse with a prostitute) and adulterers.
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« Reply #98 on: March 27, 2014, 11:49:00 PM »

Before me and my soon to be wife started counseling a friend gave me a book by Fr. Josiah Trenham. the book is called marriage and virginity according to St.John Chrysostom.

A terrible book, from both a scholarly and pastoral point of view. Truly terrible.

I am almost finished reading it. I disagree that it a terrible book. It is well written and researched. First let me clearly state that Fr. Josiah's knowledge of the Fathers is far superior to mine. He is a patristric scholar. I am an historian. Therefore, I naturally tend to put St. John Chrysostom's thought within its proper historical context. I believe that although Fr. Josiah makes many valuable points that relate to marriage and sexuality it is a mistake to make this book a comprehensive guide for how one should live as a married Orthodox Christian in the modern world. The subject of Fr. Josiah's work is the thought of St. John Chrysostom, not contemporary Orthodox moral theology.
Like all of the Fathers, St. John Chrysostom was not infallible. Orthodox Christians are not required to believe everything that he taught. For example in his commentary on the Wedding at Cana in his Homilies on the Gospel of St. John, he implies that Mary sinned by the way that she treated Christ. Obviously the Eastern Orthodox Church does not agree Mary sinned.
In applying the teachings of St. John on marriage and sex, it is very important to put him in his proper historical context. In modern American culture it seems sexist to emphasize the role of the Father as the authority figure in the family, while in the culture in which St. John lived that was the norm. Now most moral theologians see marriage more as a partnership between equals. St. John recommends that a boy get married when he reaches the age of 15. However, in the time of St. John, there was no concept of adolescence. Besides most people only lived to about 30 back then. St. John states that a Father should not allow his sons to visit the theater. However, in passing he mentions that one sees naked women in the theater. At that time popular entertainment was rather risque.  A modern interpretation would be that a Father should not take his son to a strip club or an R or X rated movie.  Taken in this context most of the book is very good and can be used with some modernization as a guide for Orthodox Christian family life.
St. John Chrysostom does have a positive view towards marriage and sexuality. Although he follows the common patristric view that virginity, especially in monasticism is superior to marriage, he does not denigrate marriage, but states marriage "good" but that "virginity" is better. He even states that marriage is almost as good as monasticism and emphasizes that a married couple can live a holy life that is equal to and can even exceed that of a monastic. He states that God created humans with sexual desire and that pleasure through sex, obviously in marriage, is a good thing. He does not, as Augustine, consider sexual intercourse almost sinful because he does not accept Augustine's view that sexual intercourse is tainted by the transmission of original sin.
I find two areas in which I personally would disagree with Fr. Josiah and by extension St. John Chyrsostom. First although he considers it good and created by God within marriage, apparently St. John sees sex as a result of the fall. Frankly, I do not know how St. John would know that Adam and Eve did not have sex in the Garden of Eden. The command ""Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it..." Genesis 1:28 was given before the Fall. There is only one way that humans can "be fruitful and multiply." That is through sexual intercourse. Again before the Fall, Adam said, "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." Genesis 2:24. No less an authority than Our Lord applies this to marriage and by extension to the sexual relations between a husband and wife. Matthew 5:19 This view of sexuality as created after the Fall would have to be classified as a theologoumena, or theological opinion, not the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The most controversial aspect of St. John's teaching according to Fr. Josiah is his strong opposition to birth control. It is true that there are those within the Eastern Orthodox Church who agree with the Roman Catholic position on birth control, especially those highly influenced by monasticism. However, there are other Orthodox authorities that disagree. Frs. Stanley Harakas, John Meyendorf both argue that used properly within marriage, non-abortive methods of birth control are not sinful. In 1992 the Holy Synod of the Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America issued a document "Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life" which allows for non-abortive methods of birth control. The document states, "Married couples may express their love in sexual union without always intending the conception of a child, but only those means of controlling conception within marriage are acceptable which do not harm a fetus already conceived." More important is  "The Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church," section XII. 3" approved by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000 which also affirms that non-abortive methods of birth control are not in and of themselves sinful. This particular document is perhaps the most complete and authoritative statement of Orthodox moral teachings issued in modern times.
Once again, we have to put the Fathers in their proper context. At that time knowledge of biology had not advanced to the point that the Fathers realized the distinction between abortion and birth control. Until the 18th century scientists held a position called "preformation" that maintained that the semen contains a preformed immature infant that simply grows in the womb. That would make all forms of birth control a form of abortion because it destroys a human life. However, William Harvey, d. 1657 who first described the circulatory system of blood through the body, also discovered that the sperm is not a complete, but very small human, but that conception takes place when the sperm fertilizes the egg, creating a new human being. Thus it was only natural that the Fathers would consider all forms of birth control a form of abortion, because they falsely believed that the semen contained a small person.
Fr. Josiah argues that St. John Chrysostom and other fathers made a distinction between birth control and abortion and condemned both. However, the only canons that speak to this particular issue only condemn abortion, not birth control. If the Holy Fathers made a distinction between birth control and abortion, and considered birth control forbidden, one would expect to find a canon specifically condemning birth control.  Besides one text that he uses to prove his point is from St. John's Homilies on Romans. Fr. Josiah usually cites translations from the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers. However, for this particular quote he cites a different translation, from John Noonan's Conception: A History of its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists. Noonan translates the key phrase, "where there are the medicines of sterility," However, the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers translate it as "many efforts at abortion." (Homily XXIV) Therefore it can reasonable be argued that St. John is not speaking about birth control, but abortion. Significantly, Fr. Josiah argues that St. John would approve of "Natural Family Planning." What is the moral difference between a married couple having sex when conception is not possible and using a non-abortive method of birth control, since both would involve destroying the sperm?
Therefore, Fr. Josiah's work is a significant contribution to our knowledge of St. John Chrysostom. However, it must be read in its proper context as a study of the writings and homilies of this great Saint and not as an authoritative statement of the moral teaching of the Church on sexual matters,especially in the light of modern scientific knowledge. Thus, Fr. Josiah's work provides is an important work that helps us better understand the teachings of St. John. However, some of Fr. Josiah's conclusions are questionable, especially his condemnation of non-abortive methods of birth control. St. John, a very learned man for his time, did not have the benefit of modern science and therefore did not understand the very important difference between abortion and the prevention of conception through non-abortive methods of birth control. Therefore my chief criticism of Fr. Josiah's book is that he fails to put St. Johh Chrysostom within his proper historical context. 

Fr. John W. Morris

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« Reply #99 on: March 28, 2014, 04:18:59 PM »

Father,

Thank you for that review.
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« Reply #100 on: March 29, 2014, 07:44:49 AM »

Fr. John, brilliant review.  I haven't read it yet, but I do believe that this would have been the same conclusion I would have come to.  

I think it's important to remember that the Church today is just as authoritative as the Church in any previous era.

I find your posts to be consistently beneficial.  I just wish you would make smaller paragraphs  Grin
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« Reply #101 on: March 29, 2014, 09:27:00 AM »

what's the point?
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« Reply #102 on: March 31, 2014, 10:53:02 AM »

Seems to go against the concept in the NT of the marriage bed being undefiled.

One of the most misunderstood passages in the New Testament thanks to Dr. Ruth Christianity. Most Evangelicals I know take this verse to mean 'anything goes in the marriage bed'.

Hebews 3:4 actually says: Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled. For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

The verse is actually telling couples to keep the marriage bed pure and chaste, and to have honorable conduct in the bedroom. Marriage is to be a way to holiness, not a license to lust.


I fully support Fr. Josiah in many of his teachings regarding contraception, chastity, what it really means to be pro-life, etc. He is a man of great discipline and sacrifice and is to be admired, not maginalized and mocked.

I think you meant Hebrews 13:4 (not 3:4).  Also, that is an interesting translation.  There are other ways of taking it.  Particularly, the first part "Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage be undefiled...." seems to have been traditionally treated as a statement, rather than an exhortation, so it would be "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled..."  You see the difference?  May I ask what translation you used?

Personally, I have yet to mock Fr. Josiah.  I just don't agree with him at least yet.  The type of marital sex that he's advocating seems like bedroom death.

Wycliffe Translation says:

4 Wedding is in all things honourable, and [the] bed unwemmed [and the bed undefouled]; for God shall deem fornicators and adulterers.

John Mitchell New Testement:

Marriage [is] precious (of great value and honor) in the midst of all folks (or: among all peoples), and the conjugal bed [is] unstained and undefiled; yet God is continuously judging (or: repeatedly separating and making a decision about) fornicators (or: male prostitutes; or: men who have sexual intercourse with a prostitute) and adulterers.


Yeah, these translations seem to fit in more with the passage being a statement about marriage ("Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.")  As opposed how it's sometimes translated as a command ("Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefiled.")  The latter translation was used by Fr. Josiah. 

One thing that makes understanding the text somewhat awkward is that there is no "is" used, as shown in the translations you provided.  Therefore it would read "Marriage honorable in all, and the bed undefiled".
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« Reply #103 on: April 01, 2014, 09:43:24 PM »

How many years do most modern marriages last?  People didn't used to get pre-marriage counseling and they were married 50, 60, 70 years.  These days, if a marriage last 20 years, that is considered a long marriage.  You might do better talking to couples who have been married for 40 years or more.  They could probably give you way better advice than professional marriage counselors.
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« Reply #104 on: April 02, 2014, 07:34:50 AM »

How many years do most modern marriages last?  People didn't used to get pre-marriage counseling and they were married 50, 60, 70 years.  These days, if a marriage last 20 years, that is considered a long marriage.  You might do better talking to couples who have been married for 40 years or more.  They could probably give you way better advice than professional marriage counselors.

I tend to agree, although like single life, it does appear that married life has more obstacles these days.  Good idea about speaking with other married couples.  I've found it helpful to have a circle of friends who are also Orthodox and married.
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« Reply #105 on: April 05, 2014, 04:28:41 PM »

Hi everyone, Me and my Fiancée are in a bit of a pickle.......

Branthony, the only suggestion you need is the first response to your original post.
Ignore the other pap and talk to an older couple.
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« Reply #106 on: April 05, 2014, 04:42:39 PM »

Hi everyone, Me and my Fiancée are in a bit of a pickle.......

Branthony, the only suggestion you need is the first response to your original post.
Ignore the other pap and talk to an older couple.

The OP sorted things out to his satisfaction. It's just us babbling away here.  Smiley
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« Reply #107 on: April 05, 2014, 06:23:01 PM »

Hi everyone, Me and my Fiancée are in a bit of a pickle.......

Branthony, the only suggestion you need is the first response to your original post.
Ignore the other pap and talk to an older couple.

The OP sorted things out to his satisfaction. It's just us babbling away here.  Smiley


heck...he could be married already. Wink
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« Reply #108 on: April 05, 2014, 06:28:01 PM »

Sorry to sound cynical but long marriage doesn't equeate happy marriage. It's nice and all if people don't divorce but back in the days when divorce was frowned upon peope had to stay together even if the marriage clearly didn't work and both parties felt miserable. I don't mean to advocate divorce as I consider it as a sin but I hope people remember the other side too. Marriage is not always a happy thing.
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« Reply #109 on: April 05, 2014, 07:33:28 PM »

We shouldn't focus on long term marriages where the couple hate each other, but how to make a successful long term marriage. After doing premarital counseling and reading lots of books and I think just being a Christian, I'm pretty sure the key to a successful marriage isn't money, or looks, or children or anything like that, it's Christ. If you wake up every morning and pray morning prayers together, and pray evening prayers together every night, if you go to frequent confession with your priest, and take communion together often, if you spend your life together in Christ, you will have a successful marriage. We live in a society full of worldly worries, is my hair turning grey, is it falling out? My husband doesn't make enough money for me to wear expensive clothes or to buy me a bigger house. My wife's bottom is twice the size it was when I married her, these are things that the world worries about and that is why there marriages fail. We as Christians should be worried about heavenly things. If we ask our selves questions like, am I loving my wife the way I should? Do I love her as Christ loves the church? Am I the husband that the Lord wants me to be? or am I honoring my husband? am I obedient? am I the wife the Lord wants me to be? then we will have a successful marriage. these are the things the Lord wants us to ask, this is the way a Christian marriage should work and if we do our best to honor God in our marriage he will make sure our marriage lasts, it won't be happy all the time but it will be strong and the Lord will preserve it. That is what I have gathered.
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« Reply #110 on: April 05, 2014, 07:36:10 PM »

My wife's bottom is twice the size it was when I married her

I'm sure she appreciates you mentioning it publically on internet. police
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« Reply #111 on: April 05, 2014, 07:43:35 PM »

My wife's bottom is twice the size it was when I married her

I'm sure she appreciates you mentioning it publically on internet. police

I'm sure you would be right if that was the case, I would be very concerned if my wife's bottom was twice the size it was when I met her because I'm not married yet. also my future wife is 25 and goes running everyday and eats very healthy, she has a problem keeping on weight not gaining it. That statement was only an example of things I have heard people complain about, I still have no complaints about my future wife, I'm still just very excited to be a part of her life. but you are right, if her bottom was twice the size it was when I met her and I put it on the internet, I'm sure she would be angry.
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« Reply #112 on: April 05, 2014, 07:48:13 PM »

LOL, I thought that was autobiographical. I wish you two many happy years together. Smiley
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« Reply #113 on: April 05, 2014, 09:48:03 PM »

Thanks Alpo
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« Reply #114 on: May 24, 2014, 08:23:10 PM »

My wife's bottom is twice the size it was when I married her

I'm sure she appreciates you mentioning it publically on internet. police

I'm sure you would be right if that was the case, I would be very concerned if my wife's bottom was twice the size it was when I met her because I'm not married yet. also my future wife is 25 and goes running everyday and eats very healthy, she has a problem keeping on weight not gaining it. That statement was only an example of things I have heard people complain about, I still have no complaints about my future wife, I'm still just very excited to be a part of her life. but you are right, if her bottom was twice the size it was when I met her and I put it on the internet, I'm sure she would be angry.
A word of premarital counseling: if she asks does this make my bottom look big, here is how you answer-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8eR4mDKH_c
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #115 on: May 24, 2014, 10:14:06 PM »

How many years do most modern marriages last?  People didn't used to get pre-marriage counseling and they were married 50, 60, 70 years.  These days, if a marriage last 20 years, that is considered a long marriage.  You might do better talking to couples who have been married for 40 years or more.  They could probably give you way better advice than professional marriage counselors.

Wisdom!  I absolutely agree with you.  I know that many priests however will ask a few questions of those who are to be married.  I've seen it both ways, long lists of questions all the way to small questions.  I've never seen one just "blindly" marry two EO Christians together.
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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #116 on: May 24, 2014, 10:17:20 PM »

My wife's bottom is twice the size it was when I married her

I'm sure she appreciates you mentioning it publically on internet. police

I'm sure you would be right if that was the case, I would be very concerned if my wife's bottom was twice the size it was when I met her because I'm not married yet. also my future wife is 25 and goes running everyday and eats very healthy, she has a problem keeping on weight not gaining it. That statement was only an example of things I have heard people complain about, I still have no complaints about my future wife, I'm still just very excited to be a part of her life. but you are right, if her bottom was twice the size it was when I met her and I put it on the internet, I'm sure she would be angry.
A word of premarital counseling: if she asks does this make my bottom look big, here is how you answer-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8eR4mDKH_c

LOL!

If your wife's bottom is that much of a concern, and the size thereof, certainly you may re-consider the crown of martyr's being adorned on both of your heads.   

We all have to face that as we age, things get weaker, things pop more, sag more, wrinkles happen, and yes, guts and bottoms often do get bigger.

As I went through the thread I read that and I was like "HE DID NOT JUST SAY THAT".  LOL!!!!
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TheTrisagion
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« Reply #117 on: May 24, 2014, 10:18:47 PM »

When we did our marriage counseling, it was with a Baptist minister.  He felt the need to give us the sex talk and all sorts of uncomfortable things.  I don't think the counseling helped in the least. I think we walked out of every session shaking our heads.
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Somebody just went all Jack Chick up in here.
hecma925
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« Reply #118 on: May 25, 2014, 12:59:04 AM »

When we did our marriage counseling, it was with a Baptist minister.  He felt the need to give us the sex talk and all sorts of uncomfortable things.  I don't think the counseling helped in the least. I think we walked out of every session shaking our heads.

The counseling sessions were his way of dealing with his passions.
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