Orthodox christianity dating sex
If your virginity, which is precious and something to be rejoiced in, if it still exists because you have struggled to keep it and it doesn’t just exist because there’s no one who’s been willing for you to spill it, then I would say that this is something not to be ashamed of. Allen: I’m very glad that you’re joining us this evening. Also, I am wondering if marriage is just to corral sexual urges. We all know not to do it into the future, but very few Orthodox understand that we should not do it back into the past. The idea of taking any one of these three purposes of sexual expression and taking one off and saying, “I’m not going to follow that,” this is unheard of. In his teaching, Kevin, he describes really in practicality—I dedicate chapter four of the book to this—to what a spiritual marriage is, what a monastic family is, and what a domestic church is in St. He says that marriage has the potentiality to create saints such that when you die you’ll be right next to the most pious monks and nuns. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the book by a Dr. It’s a very popular book being cited by many Evangelicals out there, called . We have to keep in mind that we’re not going to be this way forever. He says that Jesus is unique as a boyfriend, as [an] engaged partner, and as a husband, unlike earthly suitors who are looking for the beautiful woman and who want to take her virginity from her, that Jesus is , that he actually comes to us in our degradation, in our filth, in our poverty, even though we don’t have anything to offer to him except our own hearts.
Josiah Trenham, the author of the excellent book, Mr. My question is kind of multi-faceted, but first of all, if that’s the case, if sex didn’t exist before the Fall, then, first of all, why do we have reproductive organs? Did we reproduce in a different way before the Fall and we just had these organs that were just dormant and had no use? In Genesis, of course, it says that man shall be joined to his wife, and they will become one flesh, and as far as I know we understand that to mean sex and marriage. That just seems like the fullest sanctification there could possibly be, to be married by God, in the presence of God himself. We know the reason there’s not going to be sex in heaven is because we’re going to be human, and we’re going to have a union that’s deeper than anything we can effect through sex in this life. I’m just saying that we should not make the mistake of projecting our current fallen existence either backwards or into the future. So here’s just a brief listing of those who were clear: St. But as we get older, naturally, in God’s providence and wisdom, the libido decreases. And by the way, I should emphasize that the Church Fathers never conceive of the idea of sex for pleasure without responsibility. John Chrysostom, and his radical promotion of monastic life , and the same time, his radical love for marriage and family life… Father, we finished up a minute ago, but I want to come back to the aspect of sexuality for those who are not in the child-bearing mode, either because they are infertile or because they are beyond the child-bearing years. This is not just about sexuality and marriage; it’s about every aspect of our lives. I know that when we talk about the Church’s standard and we lay out the beautiful, pristine goals that Christ has set before us to strive for, sometimes when we recognize that we haven’t attained those goals, or perhaps in our past we have serious stains and we carry wounds that the evil one can come sometimes and take a little stick and smack us on the head and say, “Look, you’re not like that, and you didn’t do that…” I really want to encourage our listeners not to give him a place. John Chrysostom says something so beautiful about the love of Jesus our Savior for our souls, in the mess that we are in, and we are all a mess.
Please call us with a question or comment that covers the gamut from the Church’s moral teachings to how they should be applied today. There’s no controversy about that, although, however, there is a lot of controversy about the fact that some studies suggest that the Pill function in an abortifacient way. But I would say this: the Church has never ever blessed any use of contraception whatsoever. That’s in great distinction, for example, compared to sodomy, which is an unnatural act. Really, if you’re listening and your eyes are big: Welcome to America. What I mean by that is that don’t communicate intimacy and love.
In 1 Corinthians 8, he says that food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, and God will do away with both of them. There are two chapters in the entire Scriptures about paradise, and they tell us very little about our question. The continuity, however, and the discontinuity is expressed between a seed and a tree. The glorified body is a radical transformation, as was the movement from the paradisal body to the fallen body. It only is a part of the fulfillment, because it’s the reproduction of the body alone. We know that people who are crazed—and we have lots of them today because of internet pornography, men who are living in a constant state of sexual arousal—they can’t get anything done. Their is scattered all over the universe, and only a wife can solve this problem for them. They might be a hieromonk one year, but I what I see in the image of Christ in them and in their monasticism. So what we oppose, and this was opposed very clearly in the Sixth Ecumenical Council… Before we sign off tonight, I want to announce that the winner of our Legacy Icon drawing tonight for a gift certificate toward Legacy’s vast collection is—Justin from Orlando.
They discussed and took calls on the views of the church fathers and the contemporary Orthodox Church on sex, marriage, and celibacy (monasticism) in the context of a sex-obsessed contemporary Western culture. Josiah Trenham: I’m so happy to be with you, Kevin. They are, in the Church’s terminology, paths for salvation. Allen: Yes, and we’re going to focus on that, because I think in our modern culture—and you’re very, very aware of and involved in these issues—people forget that these are paths to salvation. Do you know there is so much material in the sacred canons dedicated to the subject of sexuality, I might even be so bold as to suggest that it’s subject that is addressed in the sacred canons, not just a little small issue? Josiah: I would also say that premarital sex is tremendously degrading because it actually kills a reverence for marriage itself. It takes the august things of the marriage-bed outside of the context of marriage, and it kills fidelity. Christians have always found themselves in situations where the culture is radically opposed to our way of life. I’m not quite ready to receive calls, but you can line up. Father, talking about pop culture, popular culture tends to think that traditional Christianity is negative or, at best, highly ambivalent about sexuality, even about marital sexuality. I don’t know him myself, but it’s obvious in his writings he’s intending to get a reaction and a rise from people. I think he’s trying to force us to do just what I’m talking about with you. It was the life of John the Baptist, and it’s been the life of our greatest saints ever since. Paul is very clear in 1 Corinthians 7 that the highest way of life is the life of complete consecration to God, and we know this in our tradition as the monastic life. It should imbue our teaching with humility, especially with a zeal to avoid judgment and also a hopefulness and a reminder that even those who have fallen can change. We’re going to talk a little bit about the patristic writers in a minute. Josiah: Kevin, it seems to me that that’s two questions. Christology is wrought with tension, because there are things we must say and things we must not say, which is why the Church has spent so much time speaking so clearly about it. With regards to your second question, is the Church balanced in its theology of virginity and marriage as paths to salvation, or is it too skewed towards monasticism and celibacy, as some allege? When she speaks, she speaks the truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Jesus’ promises. It’s a description of our fundamental way of being: joyful in the Lord, but always repenting. I’m blowing it in the microphone right now, a little encouragement to you. If you’re still looking about sex, sex, sex when you’re 50, 60, 70 years old, how are you actually going to be ready to die? This is why our churches are so full of active retired people who run the ministries. Thank you for your call, and what’s your question for Fr. Joe: Yes, Father, as I told the gentleman who took my call, me and my wife are Roman Catholics. First I would say that the purpose of marriage—one of the purposes of marriage—is to participate with God in the creation of eternal human beings, and there is nothing more glorious, and the process of conceiving a child then raising children, parenting, is salvific. Of course, spouses with each other, the couple with their pastor or with their spiritual father, with their bishop, something like that. And then, that would be the opportunity for the embrace of natural family planning. I won’t mention the author or the book, just to keep it so it’s not personalized, but he writes: legitimately use some form of contraceptive, assuming of course that it is a true contraceptive, that is, that it prevents conception and not just implantation of the fertilized egg within the womb. I believe that the Church honors the privacy and uniqueness of the husband and the wife in the marital act, and that we are not to bring others into that miracle for the creation of a new life. Josiah Trenham on a very important topic today in our culture and family life and so on, so we’ll keep the phone lines open until the end of the show. I’m in Bowhead City, Arizona, and I was calling to ask a question about marriage in the eyes of the Church. It ended in divorce by his choice, and I ended up almost having to pay a significant amount of money to a man who was emotionally abusive to myself and our children during most of that time. Of course, that marriage would simply be a legal contract that wouldn’t be the bestowing of God’s blessing and the mystical union of those two persons that’s effected through the sacrament of crowning. They want something that is a token of their devotion, and they buy a gold ring or something with a diamond. They have the scars of that experience, and they can help. It means that you bow very low, and you say, “Okay, look. Maybe they practice natural family planning in order to space their children, until such a time as they reach those goals, but it can’t be just something that we say: “I have this bad feeling, and therefore I want to stop.” That’s not a healthy idea. Even if his numbers were right, they would still have something like 400 monasteries, with an average of 20 monks and nuns!
, and thank you for joining me on our first program of 2014. We’re streaming live, and we’ll be opening the lines and taking your live calls at about half-past the hour tonight, so we can establish a foundation first for tonight’s program, but that gives you an hour and a half to call in. The call-in number is 1-855-AF-RADIO, 1-855-237-2346, as the announcer mentioned. When we have so much wealth of God-inspired guidance to give to human beings, we’re very culpable for our silence. What we end up doing is developing a relationship that is a set-up for human misery. Young people find themselves attracted to a member of the opposite sex, they haven’t been taught really what to do with those feelings, how to cultivate them in the most helpful way, so they naturally follow these things out. They develop the interest; they start to court and date at an age far too young for their success. Josiah: It’s a bodily expression of having given something larger than the body. Nikodemus says, they go to sleep holding the canons of the Church; they sleep with a , and they get up with it, because they know that in the pages of these sacred texts is the guidance to how to heal people, just like a physician has to study diseases; you have to know how to treat them. Greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world. You’ll still hear the program through the telephone as you’re waiting to come on. As you know, because you read up on this and you’re a specialist in this area, there is one contemporary Orthodox writer, Fr. That doesn’t mean every monk is a shining, radiant example of celibacy. Basil the Great—this is not actually recorded in his writings, but St. Basil as saying that—“Though I have never known a woman, I am not a virgin.” This is what St. Because virginity is something much higher than a state of bodily existence. By the grace of God, what was yesterday will not be tomorrow. It’s the same with regards to these fundamental states of life: marriage and monastic life. It also means that , the universal witness of the Fathers on these issues is what we must look for. These are teachers of such magnitude that they really provide a foundation for a Christian ethic. Any contemporary theologian, especially not a bum like myself—no one has the right to judge the Church and say she’s out of balance. So this idea that somehow the Fathers slavishly imported Greek Hellenistic concepts, this is simply nonsense. Forgive me, I know this is my experience, but everywhere I go, I find this. I’ve been moving for I think about three years now I’ve been on I guess a journey to Orthodoxy or however it may be properly put. Let me tell you why I would bless natural family planning, and why I think the Church does so in counter-distinction to artificial contraception. The couple may want to consult a doctor to confirm that the form of birth control that they are considering is not abortifacient, producing abortions. This is the problem with the improper use of science. Let’s go ahead, though, first, and take a pre-recorded message call that came in from Cheryl. My question really is: Does one have to be married in the eyes of the state, have to have a state-sanctioned marriage license, in order for the Church to perform a marriage and to consider a couple married in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the Church? This is why the Church insists that her people get married under her care, under her pastoral care. That beautiful gold and that diamond doesn’t just appear.
I do want to mention that there is a parental guidance warning on this program. This is something very serious, and it’s a misuse of the sexual power that will set them up for a lifetime of broken relationships and misery. Father, a listener asked a question that kind of ties in with this, and I’m not asking you to criticize another priest’s approach, but I think it kind of sheds light on the dilemma that many priests are dealing with. Athos, and she’s this majestic figure, towering over the entire peninsula, and she’s dressed as an abbess with her abbatial staff. There is a God who loves man, and there is a Church that loves God! Allen: Father, I’ve got a call from Justin from Orlando, Florida. For goodness’ sake, this is the gospel—even though it is no gospel—this is the gospel of America. So we can’t be foolish enough to think that in wake of the sexual revolution, combined with the fact that so many of our priests have not yet become educated, or I should say our bishops, too… We have pharmacologies from the sixth century non-abortifacient contraceptive practices… They have words for contraception that is abortion. In the Pew study on religion in I think it was 2010, and you’re probably familiar with it, 65% of Orthodox polled, sadly, believed that abortion in one or more of its stages should be legal and normative. Clement, Ambrose, Augustine, say things like, “The Christian man ought not to look on his wife with sexual desire.” You mention in your book the apostolic injunction that “he who marries should be as unmarried.” There’s also extensive writing about chastity in marriage. I immediately looked up in the dictionary what the dictionary term is, and it says “celibacy.” It’s got to be more than that! Josiah: You know, Kevin, you’re just really getting me enthused. That question itself could be a whole two-hour interview. By the way, this is one of the reasons that you have to use the Church’s official marriage service. Josiah: This means that a man’s seminal juices are not made for a woman’s rectum. I’ve got a call from Sarah from Riverside, California.
I would say it’s probably minimum PG-13, depending, again, on where your young teenager’s maturity level is on these matters. By the way, if you’re in southern California, you really need to put on your agenda to go see the incredible temple that has been built at St. The listener writes: An Orthodox priest who, because premarital sex has become such a cultural norm, this priest has stopped dealing with the teaching of remaining celibate until marriage in absolutes. We’re promoting this nonsense through the United Nations, abortion and contraception, all over the world, and we’re even making poor countries sign onto it before we give them any food for their hungry people. I have heard some atrocious things out of the mouths of bishops about this subject which have no patristic foundation whatsoever. We need to acquire, to re-acquire, the mind of the Church and speak authentically about what the Fathers say. This was part of the patristic terminology amongst the Church Fathers. Every type of contraceptive mention today—barrier methods, chemical methods, spermicides—they all existed in an ancient form. Allen: They existed, and so the Fathers writing about this understood all of those pharmacological approaches? So it’s not only the Catholics that are not following their papal injunctions. There are some books that have been revised in the mid-20th century that references to the undefiled marriage-bed, to the woman’s obedience to the husband. If it’s perverse outside of marriage, it’s perverse marriage. Anal sex, so popular today in perverse sexual culture, is a tragedy. It is unnatural, and it’s very seriously criticized and censured as an expression of outrageous lust. I had an eighth-grader—an -grader—in my church come to me because he was so shaken up, and he was shaken up because he was coming home on the school bus—what’s eighth grade? Allen: That also plays into or answers a question that I’ve struggled with all along as an Orthodox Christian, which is: What is the real point of form of ascesis, and I think you’ve answered it. Something far better: we’re trying to be with and near God. It’s not just about being self-satisfied religiously: “We have fulfilled the Law.” That is not…
Thank you very much, and we’re glad to have you with us. Why does the Church care so much about these topics? Josiah: That’s a wonderful question, and I think the simple answer is that the Lord God loves men. The Lord has fashioned human beings as the pinnacle of his creation, and he is devoted to us. Josiah Trenham, leading up to this interview, you wrote, “Marriage and sex are matters of corporate ecclesial concern and not just private affairs.” Why do you say that marriage and what happens in the bedroom is of corporate ecclesial concern and not just a private affair? All traditional societies, Christian or non-Christian , and those that are still traditional continue to know, that sexuality is not just a private concern. Marriage is not just a legal affirmation of people who have affection for one another. At the same time that the sexual revolution has catapulted its agenda into Western society, the Church has also been very intimidated into silence. Let’s practice safe murder.” There is no such thing as safe mortal sin. There’s no such thing, and to even use those words is really to make yourself culpable and to hurt a person. It’s the way of life of our Savior; our Savior did not get married. None of us have ever done that, and that reality should be a flavor. Josiah Trenham, the author of the newly-published , the pastor of St. Our topic tonight is sex, virginity, and marriage in the Orthodox Church. She is the body of Christ, the fullness of him who fills all in all. But I would just say, Kevin, forgive me, in contemporary Orthodoxy, there’s a lot of writing being done that criticizes the Church, as though somehow the Church Fathers were captives to Greek philosophy. The Church Fathers were well-educated in Greek philosophy, masters of Greek philosophy, but they were constantly pulling Greek concepts and words, stretching them here, poking them there, making them fit and serve the purposes of the Gospel and Christ. Be thankful, because our opinion of chastity and our opinion of marriage is Christ’s opinion and has been the historic Church’s opinion. If you email me, perhaps offline you can get my email address, I’ll send you that prayer for one seeking a spouse, and then trust the Lord God. First of all, I would say, “Why in the world would any man want to do that: stay in a state of sexual craze? In fact, we should embrace, the Fathers say, getting older, embrace the reduction of your libido. I understand that it’s patristic, I really do, but I’m wondering: do you think that’s just a little bit reductionist, or does God have no other intentions or purposes for marriage other than procreation? You can’t have sex if you’re past 40 years of age.” St. If you’re 75 years old and you’re still seeking to have relations with your wife, when you going to stop? Why don’t you get a little bit ready, get a little bit prepared? Giving yourself, learning to love others instead of yourself, to lay your life down for your children: this something to be embraced, and that’s normative. If you’re getting married, you’re going to have children, try to accept what God gives you. Father, I don’t mean to get controversial, but I do want to come to you with a quote from a book that I read during my research for our program. Natural marriage is something that belongs to the whole human race, but Christ has come to earthly conditions and earthly states and to turn them into uniquely Christian ones and spiritual ones. Nothing beautiful comes into existence without tremendous pressure. He was a man who wrote his theology on this subject very, very poorly, in my opinion. Allen: But he did say—excuse me for interrupting—that the urge to procreate is as deeply planted in human nature as eating and drinking, and to try to check it is to keep nature from being nature. I took that, his own ridiculous quote percentage, which I think is way, way out of line, but I thought, let’s give it to him: one in a thousand. He helped many of them renounce their oaths, and justified it because he said they became monks when they were minors, which certainly does not apply to So Luther is just messed up, and unfortunately he’s bequeathed that anti-ascetical, anti-monastic spirit to Protestants in itself.