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Author Topic: My Opinion Article on Sexual Abstinence  (Read 2377 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: April 14, 2006, 05:20:27 PM »

   In an age of instant gratification, reason is subordinate to pleasure. Like an empire before a fall, we’ve forsook the moral principles that maintain balance and order. Modern culture is killing itself, with casual sex among the worst of problems.
   As a theist, I believe that the human being is created as one half of a whole. The complimentary nature of male and female is for both to combine, not just sexually but psychologically and spiritually. Marriage is the only institution where such a holistic union is possible. The removal of sexuality from this context reaps dire consequence.    
   Placing religion aside, common sense should tell us that sexual abstinence until marriage is the most rational option. Condoms don’t protect against America’s most common STD, Human Papillomavirus, the leading cause of cervical cancer. Furthermore, the FDA warns that condoms fail to prevent pregnancy 14 percent of the time, leading to thousands of unwanted pregnancies.  
   The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research body, reports that in 2001, 54 percent of women having abortions used birth control the month they became pregnant.
   Regardless of political persuasion, it’s normal to recognize the tragedy in abortion. 90 percent of abortions are unrelated to rape, incest or medical necessity. This amounts to millions of unborn children sacrificed to our cultural will to pleasure.
   Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not an asexual prude. The pleasure of sex is a beautiful gift, enhancing the bond of husband and wife while making procreation enjoyable. But removing sex from its intended context, merely for the sake of feeling good, is like gorging oneself with food merely for its taste.
   Something I’ve discovered in abstinence is that dating actually becomes more fun. Instead of worrying over how quickly one can “get laid”, and the risks that may entail, I’m now able to concentrate on what really matters. In reciprocating mutual respect, one is better able to learn about the opposite sex in a healthy way.
   Don’t you miss “puppy love”, where couples could innocently hug, kiss and share romance without needing premarital sex in the equation? It’s still possible if you’re willing to try.  
   In not fixating on sex, your standards will be raised, giving you the patience to find someone who’s compatible with your personality, someone you’ll honestly love and be loved by. Once you find the right person, you’ll feel glad that you waited.
   The current rate of divorce may be high. But much of that can be attributed to the sexual decadence of our culture. I’m reminded of the timeless question: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? But the free milk is sour, distasteful to the laws of God and human reason.
   
Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006, 05:30:05 PM »

You sure love having opinions.  Ever consider keeping them to yourself and researching (through prayer, study, confession, etc.) before formulating and expressing them?  Just something to consider.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2006, 05:31:07 PM by Elisha » Logged
Matthew777
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006, 05:40:02 PM »

This is my column, something that I write for the school paper. Is there anything in this article in contradiction with Scripture and tradition?

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006, 06:03:45 PM »

This is my column, something that I write for the school paper. Is there anything in this article in contradiction with Scripture and tradition?

Peace.

You've writing these columns in your school paper all this time?  Or have they not all been published?  Wow.  I don't know - maybe I'll read it later.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 07:17:08 PM »

You've writing these columns in your school paper all this time?

In case you didn't know, this is my second year as an opinion writer for the college paper.

Grace and peace.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006, 12:04:15 AM »

I think it was a very good article. It seems phrased in such a way as to be very acceptable even to a non-Christian audience (which I am assuming is what you were trying to do). Hopefully it may change some lives!
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006, 12:31:53 AM »

Like C.S. Lewis, my intention is to reach the broadest audience possible.
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2006, 12:45:28 AM »

You got your point across, the piece wasn't offensive in anyway. It made much sense and its very true of today's society. How can one disagree with anything that was said ? Unless your name is Elisha ofcourse. Good writing, take care. peace.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006, 12:52:55 AM »

Thank you for reading. I wonder why people don't use rational thought more often when it comes to their sexuality.

Peace.
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2006, 12:53:42 AM »

You got your point across, the piece wasn't offensive in anyway. It made much sense and its very true of today's society. How can one disagree with anything that was said ? Unless your name is Elisha ofcourse. Good writing, take care. peace.

Now let's be civil here.   Kiss
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2006, 02:09:56 AM »

Thank you for reading. I wonder why people don't use rational thought more often when it comes to their sexuality.

Peace.

I will, I will!  Hold your horses people - it's not like I don't already post here too much.  I was at Matins tonight, just got done eating dinner and folded some laundry...and most of my posting was from work, which I probably shouldn't even be doing.
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2006, 02:58:24 AM »

Well, I just read it and I think it may be your best column yet.

Good job.
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2006, 03:06:38 AM »

Well, I just read it and I think it may be your best column yet.

Good job.

Oh no! Elisha's been kidnapped and replaced by an impostor who gets on with Matthew777! Shocked
 Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2006, 03:43:16 AM »

Oh no! Elisha's been kidnapped and replaced by an impostor who gets on with Matthew777! Shocked
 Cheesy

Yeah, whatever.   Tongue

I don't debate inconsequential things like Evolution, social justice and stuff for pages and pages like some others of you.  
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2006, 04:28:19 AM »

Yeah, whatever.

I don't debate inconsequential things like Evolution, social justice and stuff for pages and pages like some others of you. ÂÂ
Some people don't discuss these things, they just enter threads to tell everyone that these are inconsequential.

 Huh

I agree with Matthew777 on this one.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 04:35:59 AM by montalban » Logged

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Matthew777
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2006, 05:45:23 PM »

Well, I just read it and I think it may be your best column yet.

Good job.

Thank you. I recommend that you please do not use this forum on company time. Isn't that equivalent to stealing from your boss?

Peace.
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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2006, 08:51:56 AM »

...Anyway back on topic. In your thread you argue against 'casual sex'. Do you consider all sex outside marriage to be casual? What about living with someone before you're married? What about the practice in some Greek Churches of having half the marriage ceremony and then living together (as a married couple) and then having the second part of the ceremony months or years later? Is this also a sin, or are there exceptions?
Just interested to hear anyone's views on this.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2006, 09:45:07 PM »

Do you consider all sex outside marriage to be casual?

Yes. No sex outside of marriage has a real purpose.

This is the updated version of my article:

In an age of instant gratification, reason is subordinate to pleasure. Like an empire before a fall, we’ve forgotten the moral principles that maintain balance and order. Modern culture is killing itself, with casual sex among the worst of problems.

As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that the human being is created as one half of a whole. The complimentary nature of male and female is for both to combine, not just sexually but psychologically and spiritually. Marriage is the only institution where such a holistic union is possible.

Common sense should tell us that sexual abstinence until marriage is the most rational option. Condoms don’t protect against America’s most common STD, Human Papillomavirus, the leading cause of cervical cancer.

The FDA assures that when used correctly, condoms prevent pregnancy 97 percent of the time. But the failure rate increases to 14 percent in typical use.

Planned Parenthood’s research body, the Guttmacher Institute, found that in 2001, 54 percent of women having abortions used birth control the month they became pregnant.

Regardless of political persuasion, it’s normal to recognize the tragedy in abortion. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 90 percent of abortions are unrelated to rape, incest or medical necessity. This amounts to millions of unborn children sacrificed to our cultural will to pleasure.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not an asexual prude. The pleasure of sex is a beautiful gift, enhancing the bond of husband and wife while making procreation enjoyable. But removing sex from its intended context, merely for the sake of feeling good, is like gorging oneself with food merely for its taste.

Something I’ve discovered in abstinence is that dating and courtship actually become more fun. Instead of worrying over how quickly one can “get laid,” and the risks that may entail, I’m now able to concentrate on what really matters. In reciprocating mutual respect, one is better able to learn about the opposite sex in a healthy way.

Don’t you miss “puppy love,” where couples could innocently hug, kiss and share romance without needing premarital sex in the equation? It’s still possible if you’re willing to try.

In not fixating on sex, your standards will be raised, giving you the patience to find someone who’s compatible with your personality. Once you find the right person, you’ll feel glad that you waited for someone you love and are loved by in return.

The National Marriage Project of Rutgers University observes that more couples are living together, instead of marrying, than ever before. I’m reminded of the timeless question: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? But the free milk is sour, distasteful to the laws of God and human reason.

Peace.
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2006, 02:48:38 PM »

half of a whole?  Huh what about monks and nuns?
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Matthew777
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« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2006, 03:11:09 AM »

Monks and nuns are married to Christ and His Church.

Peace.
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« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2006, 09:49:03 AM »

I think your article was well written, and if anyone is made uncomfortable it's because they have been allowed to move away from the correct view of sexuality.  Not hard to do in our culture.  
Did you know that it's been recorded that up to 90% of protestant preachers have admitted to struggling with porn? Preachers that should know better. Porn is a form of sexual brokenness because it also removes the bond between husband and wife, and causes the man to celebrate his selfishness- and according to Matt. 5:28 it's adultery. But I am sure those facts will cause some of you to squirm. ( I was a  counselor for women whose husbands had done this to them, so I am not making this up)

And as another aside, Greeks don't follow the old way of doing things anymore.  They no longer have one part of the ceremony (the betrothal) and later the marriage.  Typically they didn't live together in between, though it has been done.  What they found is that couples would get together, and consumate even though they weren't supposed to and then file for an ecclesiastical divorce.  Or they would stay betrothed for years and never marry.  They have both ceremonies together now.  We even had to do it when we entered the church last year.
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« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2006, 09:32:16 PM »

annaspencer,

Quote
What about the practice in some Greek Churches of having half the marriage ceremony and then living together (as a married couple) and then having the second part of the ceremony months or years later? Is this also a sin, or are there exceptions?
Just interested to hear anyone's views on this.

I'd be really interested in hearing more details about this "half marriage" business, as I've never heard of anything like this before.  Any details you could provide would be appreciated.

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Matthew777
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2006, 12:28:08 AM »

I think your article was well written, and if anyone is made uncomfortable it's because they have been allowed to move away from the correct view of sexuality.  Not hard to do in our culture. ÂÂ

I know what you mean. People may think that my intentions are hateful or judgemental but I have no right to hate or judge anyone. All I can do is tell the truth as I understand it.

Peace.
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2006, 03:18:36 AM »

annaspencer,

I'd be really interested in hearing more details about this "half marriage" business, as I've never heard of anything like this before.  Any details you could provide would be appreciated.



The Betrothal and the Crowning can be separated into two distince services, with the Betrothal up to several months before...but I'm rather certain the couple is supposed to be separate (or at least "chaste" - the sexual meaning) before the Crowning.
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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2006, 10:24:21 AM »

annaspencer,

I'd be really interested in hearing more details about this "half marriage" business, as I've never heard of anything like this before.  Any details you could provide would be appreciated.



To be honest I don't really know a lot about it, it's just something I've heard spoken about among some Greek Orthodox. I understood it wasn't that common but was a kind of compromise for young people, maybe if one was going away to college or the army or something. I don't really understand the point, just wondered about other people's opinion on the practice. I got shouted down a bit though so I'm going to be quiet and leave now!  Lips Sealed
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« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2006, 12:25:26 PM »

Well, in the Coptic Church, we have separate services for betrothal and marriage, separated maybe months or years apart.  But that doesn't mean the Church allows "touching" after betrothal, or living together.

I'm only guessing that the Greek issues is just a result of the ignorance of the couple-to-be, and their flat out disobedience to Church laws and authority.

Good article Matthew.  I enjoyed it.

God bless.

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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2006, 09:36:06 PM »

Augustine,

Fwiw, I have read that there was indeed a tradition in the ancient Church (Egyptian I believe) where the couple would be betrothed, and then live together celibately for a week, and be married the next Sunday). Now, as to how widespread that custom was, or who did it, or how long, or why, I don't know.
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2006, 10:49:14 PM »

Augustine,

Fwiw, I have read that there was indeed a tradition in the ancient Church (Egyptian I believe) where the couple would be betrothed, and then live together celibately for a week, and be married the next Sunday). Now, as to how widespread that custom was, or who did it, or how long, or why, I don't know.

I was unaware of that situation, but I do know that beginning in the tenth century, when the marriage service was finally formalized and standardized (remember the Church didn't actually have a wedding service until the late 9th Century, when Leo the Wise made the Church responsible for all Marriages and the Church had to come up with a service to replace the former Roman Civil Marriage Ceremony) not only was the bethrothal separated from the marriage, possibly by years (and breaking a betrothal required the same procedure as getting a divorce, though, if granted, it was not regarded as a divorce), which had been the case in Roman Civil Law, but the service of Crowning and the Service of the Removing of Crowns were separated by a week (generally successive sundays), during this week the newly married couple would generally wear their crowns in public (there was generally about a week of partying), they would live together, yet they were not to consummate the marriage until after the crowns were removed, a week after the marriage. The lack of success with this policy (which was based on the idea of easing into a relationship: an extended betrothal, followed by a marriage, followed by living together, followed by the removal of crowns, finally followed by consummation) as well as the difficulity of enforcing it (it wasn't technically fornication) lead to the service of the removal of the crowns being placed immediately after the wedding service. Likewise, when the betrothal service started to be viewed as permission to live together and have sex it too was moved to be immediately before the wedding service, so today we effectively have three services that are intended to be spaced out all done at once.

Meyendorff's Marriage: And Orthodox Perspective gives a fairly good history of the development of Marriage in the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately it fails to deal with some of the nuances of the development of Marriage Law in the Late Roman Empire (from Leo VI on; promulgated by the Church and Empire, but mutually accepted and much of it still applicable and enforced today). Unfortunately I have been able to find VERY FEW English resources on this subject (though there's a fair amount in Greek, French, and German) and it took me forever to track down enough resources to write a descent paper on the history of relationships and impediments to marriage in the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2006, 11:39:23 PM »

Meyendorff's Marriage: And Orthodox Perspective gives a fairly good history of the development of Marriage in the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately it fails to deal with some of the nuances of the development of Marriage Law in the Late Roman Empire (from Leo VI on; promulgated by the Church and Empire, but mutually accepted and much of it still applicable and enforced today). Unfortunately I have been able to find VERY FEW English resources on this subject (though there's a fair amount in Greek, French, and German) and it took me forever to track down enough resources to write a descent paper on the history of relationships and impediments to marriage in the Orthodox Church.

Gee, I'm shocked...you endorsing a Fr. John Meyendorff work.
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