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Orthodoxy: pro-marriage?

Discussion in 'St. Justin Martyr's Corner: Debate an Orthodox Chr' started by FireDragon76, May 29, 2014.

  1. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    indeed it does, but I would say that the foolishness of God is wiser than men. if you read the lives of married saints, according to Fr Hopko, the sexual part of their relationship almost becomes nonexistant, and yet their intimacy always deepens. so for the parents of the Theotokos, it's not a stretch to say that they concieved Mary passionlessly.
     
  2. Dorothea

    Dorothea One of God's handmaidens

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    Maybe that's why when people grow older, the interest in sex wanes over time. Because the time for procreation is past maybe? But I know one time when I asked my priest a question along these lines years ago, he said that a married couple grows over time to where sex (well, actually it was a type of sex, but in any case, it's true for regular intercourse as well) isn't as important in their relationship. Sorry if I'm being too forward. :blush: :sorry:
     
  3. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    that seems to be the case. Dr Al Rossi of St Vladimir's Seminary says that the parts where he felt closest with his wife were sitting in the quiet over a cup of tea, not speaking, but just being together.
     
  4. Dorothea

    Dorothea One of God's handmaidens

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    That's beautiful, and I can see how he would think and say that. :)
     
  5. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    Does the Orthodox Church consider eros evil? I'm confused by the implications that an idealized sexuality is dispassionate.
     
  6. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    the Fall introduced both blameworthy and blameless passions. the blameless passions are guiltless. heck, even the need to eat to survive is a blameless passion. it's not a sin but it is certainly fallen.
     
  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    In practice this whole mindset sounds decidedly gnostic- more like Buddhism than Judaism, if true life is living without bodily "passions".

    The Buddha compared his body to an old shambles of a house that needed to be wrecked once and for all, never to be rebuilt again, and he told his followers to meditate on their bodies as rotten, oozing masses of flesh to drive that point home. He and his later followers also viewed sexuality as completely negative, at best a condescension to living a "householder" life (the sorts of people that won't reach the higher levels of enlightenment). Because the enlightened mind in the end was complete detachment from embodied existence. The Orthodox mindset doesn't sound far from that.

    I'm not saying it's wrong... it's just very different from what I'd hear in a Protestant church, and perhaps it's so severe that if this mindset were embraced by everyone, it would destroy civilization and lead to a quietistic acceptance of injustice (something Buddhism has been frequently criticized for doing).
     
  8. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    i think Orthodoxy is on a middle path between the extremes. We do not revel in the pleasures of the flesh, but we also do not reject the flesh and seek to escape from it. we recognize that the flesh is good, but fallen. we seek the transfiguration of the flesh, not it's denial.
     
  9. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I don't completely agree with the ideas being expressed here, though I think there is truth in them.
    I think animal lust, a thing that threatens to go out of control, will indeed turn out to be a temporal thing. And I have no problem imaging a more complete and full communion with others than merely satisfying fleshly desires.

    But as I said, pleasure is essentially good, and I deny that it is Orthodox to even suggest that pleasure is bad or wicked, as if only a Spock-like understanding of emotion, desire and passion were desirable. So I reject the idea that pleasure is a result of the Fall and think it un-Orthodox. Again, our prayers would become senseless if that were so.
     
  10. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    forgive me, Rus, i do not intend to say that all pleasure is fallen, but certainly some is! of course Adam and Eve were meant to find pleasure in God in the Garden. let me think about how i can explain myself better, or perhaps find a juicy quote and i'll get back to you.
     
  11. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    "When God created human nature, He did not create sensible pleasure and pain along with it; rather, He furnished it with a certain spiritual capacity for pleasure, a pleasure whereby human beings would be able to enjoy God ineffably. But together with coming-into-being, the first man, by use of his senses, squandered this spiritual capacity - the natural desire of the mind for God - on sensible things." -- St. Maximus, Ad Thalassium 61

    and Fr. Damascene (Christensen) continues:

    "For St. Maximus, 'pleasure' in its fallen context is a combination of sensual feeling and a passionate desire for a sensible object:

    'Every forbidden pleasure has come to be through passion aroused through the senses by some object of sense ... For desire added to sensual feeling changes into pleasure, giving it a shape, and sensual feeling moved by desire produces pleasure when it is applied to some object of sense.'" (Ambiguum 10)

    ... from Fr. Damascene's "Created in Incorruption" printed in the Orthodox Word journal and the second edition of Genesis, Creation, and Early Man
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  12. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    This is fine, but to me it just looks like there are lawful pleasures as well as forbidden ones.
    All of that seems coherent with the idea of all things being made good. If Adam and Eve could eat of the fruit of the garden with the one infamous exception, it looks to me like they would have enjoyed the lawful experiences and found the innate pleasure that God instilled in doing what was lawful.

    So I'm still left thinking that there are good pleasures, which in a perfected form will somehow be part of the experience of eternity.
     
  13. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    Wow.. that does sound like certain forms of Buddhism.

    There are forms of Buddhism (such as Tantra, or esoteric Buddhism), however, that do see desire as a "fuel" to spiritual attainment... so desire is "redeemed", or rather in Buddhist language, a poison is transmuted into a medicine, as it is thought that careful observation of desire leads to enlightenment: the problem isn't so much that we desire, as that we go through life unconsciously desiring and experiencing things that should not be taken for granted.
     
  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    no, eros is good (although often abused), but given in the context of our fallen state. Fr Hopko says that any kind of love devoid of agape is lust, and sinful. so eros with agape is good. it's just a condition of how we are now, not how we were created to be.

    and there is the difference. we view the body as a beautiful palace beat up by years of dirt, rust, and muck. disspassion is removing the filth to allow what the body truly is to shine forth.
     
  15. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    yes, Fr. Damascene also refers to St. Symeon who speaks of them enjoying the pleasures of the Garden, but they were pleasures not directed at the material object in and of itself.
     
  16. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    as Adam and Eve were created, the body was directed by the soul, but in the Fall this was reversed. so again, we're not against the body, but we seek to return it to it's proper place in the anthropological hierarchy. the body is meant to be a vessel of grace and this is certainly a pleasure for the body.
     
  17. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    sure, desire is not the problem. disordered desire is the problem.
     
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