Author Topic: Contraception  (Read 2888 times)

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Offline Anastasia1

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Contraception
« on: May 07, 2014, 06:39:24 PM »
Is contraception something that necessarily results in objectification?
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 11:52:50 PM »
It does carry that risk.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 12:10:15 AM »
It does carry that risk.
So does procreation.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 01:57:35 AM »
What about foot washing?
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 02:07:10 AM »
Here's something I wrote about the subject of birth control:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,52495.0.html


Selam

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 07:38:17 AM »
What about foot washing?
It has no contraceptive effect.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 07:59:08 AM »
What about foot washing?
It has no contraceptive effect.

Actually for some it might be the contraceptive that has the highest success rate. So I have experienced.

Though I think he was making a comment regarding objectification and not contraception...

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 08:02:16 AM »
It does carry that risk.
So does procreation.
Objectifying a spouse and hating one's kids isn't the same thing :P
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:02:55 AM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 08:07:51 AM »
It does carry that risk.
So does procreation.
Objectifying a spouse and hating one's kids isn't the same thing :P
Neither is marrying just to have a mechanism to have children, (And plenty of that goes on)-or is it intending objectification different from it resulting in objectification?
And children can be objectified as well. And using contraception doesn't necessarily involve hating your kids.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:11:42 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline Orest

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 08:52:39 AM »
Here's something I wrote about the subject of birth control:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,52495.0.html


Selam


You wrote it & it is your personal opinion NOT the statement of the Orthodox Church.

Offline Papist

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 09:00:27 AM »
Do OO clergy allow their flock to use contraception?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 09:02:27 AM »
Do OO clergy allow their flock to use contraception?
Yes (at least the Copts).  I remember a Western journalist confronting a monk running a family clinic that dispensed contraceptives, on the problem of a minority not procreating.  The monk smiled and laughed, before saying he was worried about quality, not quantity.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 09:04:40 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 10:10:10 AM »
It does carry that risk.
So does procreation.
Objectifying a spouse and hating one's kids isn't the same thing :P
Neither is marrying just to have a mechanism to have children, (And plenty of that goes on)-or is it intending objectification different from it resulting in objectification?
And children can be objectified as well. And using contraception doesn't necessarily involve hating your kids.
it was a bad joke Isa :P
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2014, 10:12:57 AM »
It does carry that risk.
So does procreation.
Objectifying a spouse and hating one's kids isn't the same thing :P
Neither is marrying just to have a mechanism to have children, (And plenty of that goes on)-or is it intending objectification different from it resulting in objectification?
And children can be objectified as well. And using contraception doesn't necessarily involve hating your kids.
it was a bad joke Isa :P
and I gave good commentary.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 11:00:16 AM »
Do OO clergy allow their flock to use contraception?

Some do, as others noted specifically some Copts. Many are opposed, and again I voice as an Orthodox Christian my opposition to artificial birth control. There are many traditional Orthodox who oppose this anti-culture of death.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 11:01:57 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 11:02:31 AM »
Do OO clergy allow their flock to use contraception?

Some do, as others noted specifically some Copts. Many are opposed, and again I voice as an Orthodox Christian my opposition to artificial birth control. There are many traditional Orthodox who oppose this culture of death.
Not all of them oppose contraception, nor adopt the artificial category of "Artificial Birth Control."
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 11:09:30 AM »
It does carry that risk.
So does procreation.
Objectifying a spouse and hating one's kids isn't the same thing :P
Neither is marrying just to have a mechanism to have children, (And plenty of that goes on)-or is it intending objectification different from it resulting in objectification?
And children can be objectified as well. And using contraception doesn't necessarily involve hating your kids.
it was a bad joke Isa :P
and I gave good commentary.
commentary to my bad joke?  Just don't take it seriously lol
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2014, 11:10:21 AM »
Not all of them oppose contraception, nor adopt the artificial category of "Artificial Birth Control."

I said "many", you said "all". I just want Papist to know that not all Orthodox have totally sold out on this issue, although even I admit there tends to be more nuance to the Orthodox dealing with this.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2014, 11:14:24 AM »
Not all of them oppose contraception, nor adopt the artificial category of "Artificial Birth Control."

I said "many", you said "all". I just want Papist to know that not all Orthodox have totally sold out on this issue, although even I admit there tends to be more nuance to the Orthodox dealing with this.
define "sold out."
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2014, 11:52:21 AM »
define "sold out."

I know your opinions on this, and I don't agree. But it's abstract for you, personal for me. So we don't need to go further.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2014, 11:55:30 AM »
define "sold out."

I know your opinions on this, and I don't agree. But it's abstract for you, personal for me. So we don't need to go further.
It is utterly abstract for the Vatican.  and not totally abstract for me-I have two teenage sons.

if you are going to use terms like "sold out," you are have to go further into defining what you mean.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2014, 12:00:03 PM »
if you are going to use terms like "sold out," you are have to go further into defining what you mean.

Nope. It's an internet forum. I'm only obligated to be as involved as I want to be.

The vague and unqualified patristic concensus is that abortion and contraception are wrong. Two lungs of the same dead culture.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2014, 12:06:49 PM »
Is contraception something that necessarily results in objectification?

I suppose it depends upon whether or not you believe the sole purpose of sex inside of the bonds of Holy Matrimony is procreation.  I don't believe that it is, and thankfully, neither does my Church.  Here are some contemporary Coptic commentaries on this issue:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=23&catid=52
http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=1355&catid=567
http://lacopts.org/articles/family-planning/
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2014, 12:33:52 PM »
Quote from: Antonious Nikolas link=topic=58193.msg1118387#msg1118387 date=1399565209http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=23&catid=52
[url
http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=1355&catid=567[/url]
http://lacopts.org/articles/family-planning/

Overpopulation? Yeah, the world is just overrun with Copts.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2014, 12:54:48 PM »
if you are going to use terms like "sold out," you are have to go further into defining what you mean.

Nope. It's an internet forum. I'm only obligated to be as involved as I want to be.
No one said otherwise.  Your posts will be judged accordingly.
The vague and unqualified patristic concensus is that abortion and contraception are wrong. Two lungs of the same dead culture.
Your two sentences, given the Vatican's HV, contradict each other.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2014, 03:23:55 PM »
Overpopulation? Yeah, the world is just overrun with Copts.

You're funny. Do you think that's what the hierarchy had in mind?  Copts as a percentage of the global population?  Or perhaps it was a pastoral concern for individual families - such as poor Sai'di farmers or Zabbaleen - who couldn't afford another mouth to feed?

Again, sex within marriage is not exclusively linked to procreation and sex that is not tied to procreation is not an evil thing.  It serves other functions blessed and sanctioned by the Church.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2014, 04:04:47 PM »
Is contraception something that necessarily results in objectification?

I suppose it depends upon whether or not you believe the sole purpose of sex inside of the bonds of Holy Matrimony is procreation.  I don't believe that it is, and thankfully, neither does my Church.  Here are some contemporary Coptic commentaries on this issue:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=23&catid=52
http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=1355&catid=567
http://lacopts.org/articles/family-planning/

I think we need to stress though that just because the church allows contraception doesn't mean it should be a regular encouragement of use.

Speaking seriously to Isa's previous mention of marriage carrying a risk of objectification, I agree.  However the difference is this.  If one marries merely because that person is hot and probably going to lead to a great sex life, that marriage is at a high risk of failure.  We know marriage is more than just sex. We also know that marriage is more than just children.  I believe we should interpret the Coptic stance as, it's not wrong to use contraceptive, but a couple should also practice some ascetism as well in their lives.  That is why even after marriage, although for good reasons a couple may have married, contraceptives can still hold that risk of objectification, and then it becomes a bit problematic in spiritual lives.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Stavro

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2014, 04:30:31 PM »
Quote
I remember a Western journalist confronting a monk running a family clinic that dispensed contraceptives, on the problem of a minority not procreating.

Where is this family clinic?
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2014, 05:22:38 PM »
I think we need to stress though that just because the church allows contraception doesn't mean it should be a regular encouragement of use.

Speaking seriously to Isa's previous mention of marriage carrying a risk of objectification, I agree.  However the difference is this.  If one marries merely because that person is hot and probably going to lead to a great sex life, that marriage is at a high risk of failure.  We know marriage is more than just sex. We also know that marriage is more than just children.  I believe we should interpret the Coptic stance as, it's not wrong to use contraceptive, but a couple should also practice some ascetism as well in their lives.  That is why even after marriage, although for good reasons a couple may have married, contraceptives can still hold that risk of objectification, and then it becomes a bit problematic in spiritual lives.

I can agree with this, but it is possible to desire intimacy - physical, spiritual, emotional, et cetera - with one's spouse without objectifying her or him.  The idea that sex is somehow a necessary evil tolerated because it leads to the conception of children is - to my understanding at least - a Western neurosis.  I don't believe that a couple that has fertility issues, for example, and cannot conceive children, should be living together strictly as brother and sister.  I agree very much, however, that Orthodox couples should practice some asceticism together, especially during the fasting periods the Church ordains for our lives.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2014, 07:19:45 PM »
I think we need to stress though that just because the church allows contraception doesn't mean it should be a regular encouragement of use.

Speaking seriously to Isa's previous mention of marriage carrying a risk of objectification, I agree.  However the difference is this.  If one marries merely because that person is hot and probably going to lead to a great sex life, that marriage is at a high risk of failure.  We know marriage is more than just sex. We also know that marriage is more than just children.  I believe we should interpret the Coptic stance as, it's not wrong to use contraceptive, but a couple should also practice some ascetism as well in their lives.  That is why even after marriage, although for good reasons a couple may have married, contraceptives can still hold that risk of objectification, and then it becomes a bit problematic in spiritual lives.

I can agree with this, but it is possible to desire intimacy - physical, spiritual, emotional, et cetera - with one's spouse without objectifying her or him.  The idea that sex is somehow a necessary evil tolerated because it leads to the conception of children is - to my understanding at least - a Western neurosis.  I don't believe that a couple that has fertility issues, for example, and cannot conceive children, should be living together strictly as brother and sister.  I agree very much, however, that Orthodox couples should practice some asceticism together, especially during the fasting periods the Church ordains for our lives.

While it may be true that there was a Western issue of seeing sex as an evil due to propagation of Original Sin, I will have to say that it is possible a more nuanced Roman Catholic approach and some EOs I hear would probably be that sex, while not evil, came as a result of the Fall, and thus needed to be used in a regulated manner, like food, ideally.

We do also have to mention briefly that there is still a remnant of that "Western neurosis" when people still practice the 40/80 rule of churching, where the reason for the 80 days is because a woman gave birth to a woman who will give birth to more babies "in sin", and thus the "double" time for churching.  So we need to clean house on that first and clarify our practices.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 07:20:26 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2014, 08:08:40 PM »
While it may be true that there was a Western issue of seeing sex as an evil due to propagation of Original Sin, I will have to say that it is possible a more nuanced Roman Catholic approach and some EOs I hear would probably be that sex, while not evil, came as a result of the Fall, and thus needed to be used in a regulated manner, like food, ideally.

Sure, everything in moderation.

My perception of sex within marriage - as formed by my previous and current fathers of confession, as well as an older OCA priest I really, really respect - runs pretty much as follows: everything within the marriage - including sex - should be sacramental and holy.  I don't feel "bad" or "dirty" if I have a natural desire for my wife like some self-flagellating, cilice-wearing weirdo.

I agree with Fr. Josiah Trenham that while sex did not exist before the Fall, it can be good if used according to God's design, which does not necessarily mean strictly for procreation.

Quote
sexual relations are good only when used according to God's design. God has designed sexual relations for three basic reasons: to avoid fornication, to unite the husband and wife as a powerful adhesive, and to bring forth children to be raised to worship God and for the upbuilding of the Church...Sexual relations in marriage provide a safe and calm harbor to tame and redirect these unruly passions and desires. Sexual relations are also designed to serve as marital glue. "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall become one flesh." The physical union of intercourse is designed to strengthen the marital bond by both enacting a very real physical unity and by producing a child, who is a creation not from only husband or wife alone, buy from both the husband and wife together.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frjosiah_sexualrelations.aspx

I also like what this article from the Antiochian Church has to say about "Blessed Sexual Love" and hedonistic practices cheapening and undermining "the holiness and sanctity of sex".

http://www.antiochian.org/node/17964

I don't think some people are willing to acknowledge that there is such a thing as the holy, sanctified and blessed sex within marriage the article describes.

We do also have to mention briefly that there is still a remnant of that "Western neurosis" when people still practice the 40/80 rule of churching, where the reason for the 80 days is because a woman gave birth to a woman who will give birth to more babies "in sin", and thus the "double" time for churching.  So we need to clean house on that first and clarify our practices.

I agree.  But I was always taught that the doubling of the time was for a different reason:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=7&catid=45
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:10:14 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline WPM

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2014, 08:14:18 PM »
Is contraception something that necessarily results in objectification?

As a couple you use contraceptive when you don't want a pregnancy.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:14:30 PM by WPM »

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2014, 10:08:33 PM »
While it may be true that there was a Western issue of seeing sex as an evil due to propagation of Original Sin, I will have to say that it is possible a more nuanced Roman Catholic approach and some EOs I hear would probably be that sex, while not evil, came as a result of the Fall, and thus needed to be used in a regulated manner, like food, ideally.

Sure, everything in moderation.

My perception of sex within marriage - as formed by my previous and current fathers of confession, as well as an older OCA priest I really, really respect - runs pretty much as follows: everything within the marriage - including sex - should be sacramental and holy.  I don't feel "bad" or "dirty" if I have a natural desire for my wife like some self-flagellating, cilice-wearing weirdo.

I agree with Fr. Josiah Trenham that while sex did not exist before the Fall, it can be good if used according to God's design, which does not necessarily mean strictly for procreation.

Quote
sexual relations are good only when used according to God's design. God has designed sexual relations for three basic reasons: to avoid fornication, to unite the husband and wife as a powerful adhesive, and to bring forth children to be raised to worship God and for the upbuilding of the Church...Sexual relations in marriage provide a safe and calm harbor to tame and redirect these unruly passions and desires. Sexual relations are also designed to serve as marital glue. "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall become one flesh." The physical union of intercourse is designed to strengthen the marital bond by both enacting a very real physical unity and by producing a child, who is a creation not from only husband or wife alone, buy from both the husband and wife together.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frjosiah_sexualrelations.aspx

I also like what this article from the Antiochian Church has to say about "Blessed Sexual Love" and hedonistic practices cheapening and undermining "the holiness and sanctity of sex".

http://www.antiochian.org/node/17964

I don't think some people are willing to acknowledge that there is such a thing as the holy, sanctified and blessed sex within marriage the article describes.

We do also have to mention briefly that there is still a remnant of that "Western neurosis" when people still practice the 40/80 rule of churching, where the reason for the 80 days is because a woman gave birth to a woman who will give birth to more babies "in sin", and thus the "double" time for churching.  So we need to clean house on that first and clarify our practices.

I agree.  But I was always taught that the doubling of the time was for a different reason:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=7&catid=45

Interesting!  I have recently learned of this reason by a blog by a Coptic blogger, Donna Rizk:

http://learnpraylove.com/churching-of-women-and-baptism-4080-days/

After some search, it seems to be that the quoted email she received is actually verbatim from a Protestant commentary on Leviticus!   :-\

In any case, I recently listened to a podcast with Fr. Josiah, and he seemed to be adamantly against contraception.  He also rebuked any couple who, when getting married, are holding off any plan to have children because "they're not ready".  It seems to me he believes getting children should happen immediately (if possible).  Another interesting tidbit of Fr. Josiah is that he believes eventually in the marriage, a couple should be able to get to a point at their old age where they practice celibacy.

That is not to contradict anything you quoted from Fr. Josiah, but he does hold some other interesting views.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 10:11:20 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2014, 10:16:44 PM »
I honestly have a really hard time believing that sex came about entirely after the Fall.

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2014, 10:19:33 PM »
I honestly have a really hard time believing that sex came about entirely after the Fall.

You're not the only one. 
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Re: Contraception
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2014, 10:27:36 PM »
There is a discussion elsewhere online where Catholics are arguing that contraception leads to objectification. I wish their was a way to explain easily that they are wrong and have them understand it.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 10:33:52 PM by Anastasia1 »
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2014, 10:28:11 PM »
I honestly have a really hard time believing that sex came about entirely after the Fall.

You're not the only one. 

:-*

I actually thought I was. Every time I've heard or seen it brought up by Orthodox (EO, I suppose), it was always consistent in saying that sex didn't exist before the Fall and likewise won't exist after the Resurrection. The notion strikes me as a bit Manichean, to which many EO seem inclined to lean toward anyway on these, and other, topics. The somewhat recent episode on Ancient Faith Today talked about this stuff, and I just found it unsatisfying.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2014, 10:34:45 PM »
I actually thought I was. Every time I've heard or seen it brought up by Orthodox (EO, I suppose), it was always consistent in saying that sex didn't exist before the Fall and likewise won't exist after the Resurrection. The notion strikes me as a bit Manichean, to which many EO seem inclined to lean toward anyway on these, and other, topics. The somewhat recent episode on Ancient Faith Today talked about this stuff, and I just found it unsatisfying.

I love the saints and I trust them. They're pretty consistent on this stuff as I understand it.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2014, 10:41:05 PM »
Every time I've heard or seen it brought up by Orthodox (EO, I suppose), it was always consistent in saying that sex didn't exist before the Fall and likewise won't exist after the Resurrection.

Commenting on the prelapsarian part, in most discussions I have observed it is only a handful of Fathers who are actually quoted as saying this (St. John of Damascus, St. John Chrysostom, etc.)  I wonder if this is representative of the general thought on the topic or not. I'd be fine with that if that was the general consensus, I'm curious though.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 10:41:33 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2014, 10:42:28 PM »
I honestly have a really hard time believing that sex came about entirely after the Fall.

You're not the only one. 

:-*

I actually thought I was. Every time I've heard or seen it brought up by Orthodox (EO, I suppose), it was always consistent in saying that sex didn't exist before the Fall and likewise won't exist after the Resurrection. The notion strikes me as a bit Manichean, to which many EO seem inclined to lean toward anyway on these, and other, topics. The somewhat recent episode on Ancient Faith Today talked about this stuff, and I just found it unsatisfying.

I don't disagree with you.  There's a danger in Fr. Josiah's thinking, but I sympathize with him because he is pretty much trying to feel consistent with whatever Patristic testimony he did his research from.  The problem is that as you speculate further based on the present understanding of the biological and physiological functions of the human being, you could end up saying in the Kingdom, after the General Resurrection, all of our flesh may never really be needed.  Fr. Josiah mentioned we'll probably rise from the dead without reproductive organs, gastrointestinal organs, or eyelashes (I distinctly remember these particular systems he said, and maybe sweat glands too he also mentioned).  I find it troubling if you take this speculation to a certain extreme.  One of the callers into the program even mentioned that we don't need our eyes in the general resurrection, and so that too will be done away with.

Where does one draw the line?  Beats me!  In heaven we probably don't need our bones, our nerves, our muscles, or our skin, because they only filled a physical purpose in our fallen nature :P ...  or maybe the absurdity in all of this does need reevaluation of thinking, and I hope Fr. Josiah would be a bit more informed as to the strange implications of his views.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2014, 10:45:46 PM »
There is a discussion elsewhere online where Catholics are arguing that contraception leads to objectification. I wish their was a way to explain easily that they are wrong and have them understand it.
Plenty of one night stands with strangers end in preganancy-is it more personal and committed because they didn't use birth control?  Or does it not change the objectification a jot?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2014, 10:49:34 PM »
While it may be true that there was a Western issue of seeing sex as an evil due to propagation of Original Sin, I will have to say that it is possible a more nuanced Roman Catholic approach and some EOs I hear would probably be that sex, while not evil, came as a result of the Fall, and thus needed to be used in a regulated manner, like food, ideally.

Sure, everything in moderation.

My perception of sex within marriage - as formed by my previous and current fathers of confession, as well as an older OCA priest I really, really respect - runs pretty much as follows: everything within the marriage - including sex - should be sacramental and holy.  I don't feel "bad" or "dirty" if I have a natural desire for my wife like some self-flagellating, cilice-wearing weirdo.

I agree with Fr. Josiah Trenham that while sex did not exist before the Fall, it can be good if used according to God's design, which does not necessarily mean strictly for procreation.

Quote
sexual relations are good only when used according to God's design. God has designed sexual relations for three basic reasons: to avoid fornication, to unite the husband and wife as a powerful adhesive, and to bring forth children to be raised to worship God and for the upbuilding of the Church...Sexual relations in marriage provide a safe and calm harbor to tame and redirect these unruly passions and desires. Sexual relations are also designed to serve as marital glue. "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall become one flesh." The physical union of intercourse is designed to strengthen the marital bond by both enacting a very real physical unity and by producing a child, who is a creation not from only husband or wife alone, buy from both the husband and wife together.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/frjosiah_sexualrelations.aspx

I also like what this article from the Antiochian Church has to say about "Blessed Sexual Love" and hedonistic practices cheapening and undermining "the holiness and sanctity of sex".

http://www.antiochian.org/node/17964

I don't think some people are willing to acknowledge that there is such a thing as the holy, sanctified and blessed sex within marriage the article describes.

We do also have to mention briefly that there is still a remnant of that "Western neurosis" when people still practice the 40/80 rule of churching, where the reason for the 80 days is because a woman gave birth to a woman who will give birth to more babies "in sin", and thus the "double" time for churching.  So we need to clean house on that first and clarify our practices.

I agree.  But I was always taught that the doubling of the time was for a different reason:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=7&catid=45

Interesting!  I have recently learned of this reason by a blog by a Coptic blogger, Donna Rizk:

http://learnpraylove.com/churching-of-women-and-baptism-4080-days/

After some search, it seems to be that the quoted email she received is actually verbatim from a Protestant commentary on Leviticus!   :-\

In any case, I recently listened to a podcast with Fr. Josiah, and he seemed to be adamantly against contraception.  He also rebuked any couple who, when getting married, are holding off any plan to have children because "they're not ready".  It seems to me he believes getting children should happen immediately (if possible).  Another interesting tidbit of Fr. Josiah is that he believes eventually in the marriage, a couple should be able to get to a point at their old age where they practice celibacy.

That is not to contradict anything you quoted from Fr. Josiah, but he does hold some other interesting views.
Some other interesting ideas of Fr. Josiah:
1) ideally homosexuals should enter the monastery.
2) viagra increases libido. I've only seen it claimed that it helps you be able to do something with the libido you have (trials on women to raise there libido with viagra were miserable failures IIRC).
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2014, 10:52:55 PM »
I honestly have a really hard time believing that sex came about entirely after the Fall.

You're not the only one. 

:-*

I actually thought I was. Every time I've heard or seen it brought up by Orthodox (EO, I suppose), it was always consistent in saying that sex didn't exist before the Fall and likewise won't exist after the Resurrection. The notion strikes me as a bit Manichean, to which many EO seem inclined to lean toward anyway on these, and other, topics. The somewhat recent episode on Ancient Faith Today talked about this stuff, and I just found it unsatisfying.

I don't disagree with you.  There's a danger in Fr. Josiah's thinking, but I sympathize with him because he is pretty much trying to feel consistent with whatever Patristic testimony he did his research from.  The problem is that as you speculate further based on the present understanding of the biological and physiological functions of the human being, you could end up saying in the Kingdom, after the General Resurrection, all of our flesh may never really be needed.  Fr. Josiah mentioned we'll probably rise from the dead without reproductive organs, gastrointestinal organs, or eyelashes (I distinctly remember these particular systems he said, and maybe sweat glands too he also mentioned).  I find it troubling if you take this speculation to a certain extreme.  One of the callers into the program even mentioned that we don't need our eyes in the general resurrection, and so that too will be done away with.

Where does one draw the line?  Beats me!  In heaven we probably don't need our bones, our nerves, our muscles, or our skin, because they only filled a physical purpose in our fallen nature :P ...  or maybe the absurdity in all of this does need reevaluation of thinking, and I hope Fr. Josiah would be a bit more informed as to the strange implications of his views.
Adam said "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh," and God made them "male and female," so they had male and female parts in paradise.

What are you listening to from Fr. Josiah?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2014, 10:55:30 PM »
I don't disagree with you.  There's a danger in Fr. Josiah's thinking, but I sympathize with him because he is pretty much trying to feel consistent with whatever Patristic testimony he did his research from.  The problem is that as you speculate further based on the present understanding of the biological and physiological functions of the human being, you could end up saying in the Kingdom, after the General Resurrection, all of our flesh may never really be needed.  Fr. Josiah mentioned we'll probably rise from the dead without reproductive organs, gastrointestinal organs, or eyelashes (I distinctly remember these particular systems he said, and maybe sweat glands too he also mentioned).  I find it troubling if you take this speculation to a certain extreme.  One of the callers into the program even mentioned that we don't need our eyes in the general resurrection, and so that too will be done away with.

Where does one draw the line?  Beats me!  In heaven we probably don't need our bones, our nerves, our muscles, or our skin, because they only filled a physical purpose in our fallen nature :P ...  or maybe the absurdity in all of this does need reevaluation of thinking, and I hope Fr. Josiah would be a bit more informed as to the strange implications of his views.

I hadn't even put a whole lot of thought into those implications, but they certainly do open up a whole can of worms. It does end up seeming like our prelapsarian or even post-resurrection flesh is inconsequential at best or a burden at worst. I tend to be inclined to think that God created us as flesh-spirit beings for us to actually be flesh-spirit beings, not merely spirit beings with flesh facade. I remember one comment in that AFT episode was that pre-fall reproduction was possibly done hypostatically. All of this sounds way too dualistic to me, with its constant emphasis of the spiritual over and against the physical in every aspect.

You know, I wonder: should we even draw icons of Christ (or Mary and the saints) without eyes/hair/etc.? I mean, we are depicting the spiritual reality and not merely a fleshly one. ;)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 10:55:51 PM by Nephi »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2014, 10:58:10 PM »
Quote
I remember a Western journalist confronting a monk running a family clinic that dispensed contraceptives, on the problem of a minority not procreating.

Where is this family clinic?

of course.  The monk talked about how the patients were religious, and to secular arguments on the issue they turned a deaf ear.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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