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Author Topic: Marriage - Are we or not?  (Read 2070 times) Average Rating: 0
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QuoVadis
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« on: May 17, 2006, 09:29:01 PM »

Hello all.  I have just been having a discussion with my workmate, who is not a Christian, on marriage.  He asked me “In the eyes of God, am I married? When are you married, and when aren’t you?”  You see, he and his wife didn’t want the “traditional” wedding and opted to fly off to Las Vegas and elope, and got married by “Elvis” instead.

He has been married for 10 years or so.  His marriage is obviously a civil marriage, but how does God view his marriage.  I don’t really have a very good answer for him because I myself am not married, so have no experience in that matter.  What do I tell this guy? Any answers?
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 09:36:23 PM »

At the risk of being too dull . . .

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 09:38:03 PM »

Hello all.  I have just been having a discussion with my workmate, who is not a Christian, on marriage.  He asked me “In the eyes of God, am I married? When are you married, and when aren’t you?”  You see, he and his wife didn’t want the “traditional” wedding and opted to fly off to Las Vegas and elope, and got married by “Elvis” instead.

He has been married for 10 years or so.ÂÂ  His marriage is obviously a civil marriage, but how does God view his marriage.ÂÂ  I don’t really have a very good answer for him because I myself am not married, so have no experience in that matter.ÂÂ  What do I tell this guy? Any answers?



OBJECTIVELY: Only God knows.
SUBJECTIVELY: Only he and his companion knows.
REALLY: When he realizes the importance and grace of the Holy Mystery, he should repent and do it right in the eyes of God and the Church..........
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2006, 09:40:09 PM »


OBJECTIVELY: Only God knows.
SUBJECTIVELY: Only he and his companion knows.
REALLY: When he realizes the importance and grace of the Holy Mystery, he should repent and do it right in the eyes of God and the Church..........

And since he is not a Christian, there is much to do right in the eyes of God and the Church.
When is marriage marriage?  When God says it is.  We know how He does it for His God-fearing people, who knows how/when/if He does it for the others...
« Last Edit: May 17, 2006, 09:40:22 PM by cleveland » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 09:50:50 PM »

While there is no sacramental marriage outside the Church, most Orthodox bishops and theologians I know have an implicit belief in "natural marriage", i.e. that a monogomous non-Orthodox couple is not "living in sin" and that leads me to the coclusion that as such, the union can be a vehicle of (charismatic) grace.

Anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 10:05:10 PM »

I believe that the marital ceremony/mystery was only developed later in the church and that originally a marriage was simply a civil union of a couple that was recognised as canonical by the church and blessed as such...
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 10:27:09 PM »

A teacher of mine told me that until later centuries, marriage was civil. Only later did it become a church function.
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 10:58:20 PM »

Yes, the ceremony was civil, but was always blessed by joint reception of communion.

Anastasios
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2006, 03:14:00 AM »

I was actually told (by a priest here in England - either Russian or Greek, I don't remember as it as at the strange shared parish in Oxford), that the Church wedding ceremony brings a pre-existing marriage into the Church which is why we don't have vows and the like. He basically said that we (the couple) marry each other and then the priest brings that marriage into the Church. I'm not sure how official such a view is but it certainly tallies with the Romanian practice of requiring civil marriage before a Church wedding. If it is corect then it seems to me that it would be quite possible that those with civil marriages outside th Church are married - they just remain outside the Church.

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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 01:16:11 PM »

Marriage should religious, because religion teaches us marriage.
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 01:21:22 PM »

Isn't marriage outside of the sacrament still marriage? Didn't Jesus say the prostitute was joined with many men?
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 01:25:26 PM »

Isn't marriage outside of the sacrament still marriage? Didn't Jesus say the prostitute was joined with many men?

The sacrament of marriage is not just being joined together, but what Christ refers to as "that which God has joined together".
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2012, 01:54:00 PM »

Isn't marriage outside of the sacrament still marriage? Didn't Jesus say the prostitute was joined with many men?

Not sure which quote you're referencing. The one that occurred to me was the Samaritan woman--whom Christ said had had multiple husbands but that the one she 'had' now was not her husband--implying that Christ recognized a difference between 'legitimate/real' marriage among the Samaritans and just sleeping together.
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2012, 01:58:48 PM »

Isn't marriage outside of the sacrament still marriage? Didn't Jesus say the prostitute was joined with many men?

Not sure which quote you're referencing. The one that occurred to me was the Samaritan woman--whom Christ said had had multiple husbands but that the one she 'had' now was not her husband--implying that Christ recognized a difference between 'legitimate/real' marriage among the Samaritans and just sleeping together.

Yes, John 4:
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16 Jesus says to her: Go, call your husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: You have said well: I have no husband. 18 For you have had five husbands: and he whom you now have is not your husband. This, you have said truly. 19
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 01:59:10 PM by Aindriú » Logged


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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2012, 02:09:57 PM »

Isn't marriage outside of the sacrament still marriage? Didn't Jesus say the prostitute was joined with many men?

Not sure which quote you're referencing. The one that occurred to me was the Samaritan woman--whom Christ said had had multiple husbands but that the one she 'had' now was not her husband--implying that Christ recognized a difference between 'legitimate/real' marriage among the Samaritans and just sleeping together.

Yes, John 4:
Quote
16 Jesus says to her: Go, call your husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: You have said well: I have no husband. 18 For you have had five husbands: and he whom you now have is not your husband. This, you have said truly. 19

I could be that one, or all, of the five was/were a real husband, and she was therefore just shacking up with the latest "significant other."  (a term which is invented to cover their insignificance).
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2012, 02:16:16 PM »

I think you're right. I have jumped to conclusions.

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17, 18, 19 The woman saith to Him I have no husband. Jesus saith unto her, Thou hast well said I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto Him,

To whom is it not now evident that the Saviour was not ignorant that she was bereft of any rightful husband and that He made the enquiry about her husband who was not, a plea for making known hidden things? For He was, He was thus with difficulty able to help her no longer marvelling at Him as one of us, but as now above man, by reason of His wondrous knowledge of her circumstances. And profitably does He approve her saying she has no husband, although she had had so many; for not the coming together out of pleasure, but the approval of the law and bond of pure love make marriage blameless.

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21. Once more He urges us to investigate the matter somewhat more exactly concerning these five husbands. Many have in fact understood, not indeed absurdly, nor so far improbably, the five husbands of this woman to mean the five books of Moses. For the Samaritans' made use of these books, and were under the same law: for it was from it they had circumcision. But since we are hemmed in by what follows, And he whom you now have is not your husband, it appears to me that we can more easily take the five senses of the body to be the five former husbands of the soul. For when one is born, before he can make use of the mind and reason, he is ruled only by the senses of the flesh. In a little child, the soul seeks for or shuns what is heard, and seen, and smells, and tastes, and is perceived by the touch. It seeks for whatever soothes, and shuns whatever offends, those five senses. At first, the soul lives according to these five senses, as five husbands; because it is ruled by them. But why are they called husbands? Because they are lawful and right: made indeed by God, and are the gifts of God to the soul. The soul is still weak while ruled by these five husbands, and living under these five husbands; but when she comes to years of exercising reason, if she is taken in hand by the noble discipline and teaching of wisdom, these five men are succeeded in their rule by no other than the true and lawful husband, and one better than they, who both rules better and rules for eternity, who cultivates and instructs her for eternity. For the five senses rule us, not for eternity, but for those temporal things that are to be sought or shunned. But when the understanding, imbued by wisdom, begins to rule the soul, it knows now not only how to avoid a pit, and to walk on even ground— a thing which the eyes show to the soul even in its weakness; nor merely to be charmed with musical voices, and to repel harsh sounds; nor to delight in agreeable scents, and to refuse offensive smells; nor to be captivated by sweetness, and displeased with bitterness; nor to be soothed with what is soft, and hurt with what is rough. For all these things are necessary to the soul in its weakness. Then what rule is made use of by that understanding? Not one to discern between black and white, but between just and unjust, between good and evil, between the profitable and the unprofitable, between chastity and impurity, that it may love the one and avoid the other; between charity and hatred, to be in the one, not to be in the other.

22. This husband had not yet succeeded to those five husbands in that woman. And where he does not succeed, error sways. For when the soul has begun to be capable of reason, it is ruled either by the wise mind or by error: but yet error does not rule but destroys. Wherefore, after these five senses was that woman still wandering, and error was tossing her to and fro. And this error was not a lawful husband, but a paramour: for that reason the Lord says to her, You have well said, I have not a husband. For you have had five husbands. The five senses of the flesh ruled you at first; you have come to the age of using reason, and yet you are not come to wisdom, but art fallen into error. Therefore, after those five husbands, this whom you now have is not your husband. And if not a husband, what was he but a paramour? And so, Call, not the paramour, but your husband, that you may receive me with the understanding, and not by error have some false notion of me. For the woman was still in error, as she was thinking of that water; while the Lord was now speaking of the Holy Ghost. Why was she erring, but because she had a paramour, not a husband? Put away, therefore, that paramour who corrupts you, and go, call your husband. Call, and come that you may understand me.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701015.htm

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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2012, 03:57:31 PM »

Well this is a rather challenging question. I am unaware of the official position of the Church, so if you do not mind I am going to present my opinion; and remember, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Anyhow, I would say that a marriage is NOT a marriage unless it is centered around Christ and the purpose of the marriage is to serve Christ. Obviously, marriages of other religions would not fall under these categories, at least formally. Maybe spiritually they are serving Him and it is centered around Him and they are not even aware of it, but that is a different story. This being said, if a marriage is not about Christ then it is not a marriage, simple and plain. But on the other hand, I would not exactly label people with non-Orthodox marriages as being adulterers or fornicators, since it is not like they are going around and sleeping with everybody, being promiscuous etc. They are still committed to each other and at least made some effort toward marriage. I would have to place people in non-Orthodox marriages as being in an intermediate state between adultery and marriage; not exactly adulterers but also not exactly married.
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2012, 05:02:33 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



He has been married for 10 years or so.  His marriage is obviously a civil marriage, but how does God view his marriage.  


I would argue that, all morality and ethics aside, strictly theologically speaking, that marriage is not "real" to God. For the purposes of taxes or insurance surely these are married, but in the eyes of God? God instituted the fullness of "real" marriage through the Sacramental Marriage.  Human beings, we are naturally failures.  We can't succeed or even live by our own merits or efforts. Neither then can our marriages succeed strictly by good intentions or force of will.  None of our human relationships can succeed with submitting daily to the Grace of God, present in the Divine Mysteries or Sacraments.  So while its not my business to criticize or condemn other peoples' relationships, from the Church's perspective, non-Sacramental marriages are really not marriages, but more intensified dating.  Further, I would say that the reason our society seems to collapsing at the seems is because we have largely abandoned the sanctity of Sacramental marriage (and I'm not talking about Prop 8 kinda stuff, I'm talking ol' fashioned marriage).  People simply don't even seem to REALIZE that it takes God's help to stay in a marriage.  Further, God helps us accept our spouses flaws, mistakes, and short comings.  People don't stay married for 60 years because everyday was perfection.  Long marriages survive adulterous affairs, money troubles, inter-familial conflicts, neighborly disputes, legal problems, drug/alcohol problems, etc etc.  But they survive.  How so? The Grace of God!  So I feel that if folks were to return to Sacramental Marriage, even if just Catholic or Lutheran, I would say God would bless and sanctify our efforts through synergy, but our pseudo-marriages of today seem to be folks telling God, "Don't bother, we can take care of ourselves." What I tell outsiders about Sacramental worship, is point-blank, its about giving God the opportunity to bless us.  A lot of people don't Confess, or Revere Ordained Clergy, or receive Holy Communion, or get Married in the Church not necessarily because they are antagonistic or hostile so much as ignorant and simply not giving God that opportunity. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2012, 07:01:43 PM »

Just tell them that they are married, but their marriage is not under the authority of the Church, which is fine because they do not submit themselves to the authority of the Church.

My question is why would two non-Christians care if their marriage is blessed by the Church?
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