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{{Orthodoxize}}{{Cleanup}}Orthodox teachings concerning sex overwhelmingly hold that it ought to be confined '''Sex''', or '''sexual relations''', includes not only sexual intercourse, but also other sexual activity, even to the [[sacrament]] extent of [[marriage]] (which is assumed hand-holding or kissing. In order to understand this, sex must be monogamous, heterosexual, and permanent). That isunderstood not only as a matter for the body, Orthodox believers are expected to choose between two paths of equal dignity: (1) but also as a life of [[virginity]] or [[celibacy]], possibly including [[monastic]] vows; or (2) matter for the married lifemind. Various biblical and patristic writings condemn sex acts which occur outside of these bounds, including:
*Adultery (sex which violates the marriage commitment)==Purpose==*Fornication God created mankind with a sexual appetite. "[A] man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (sex before, or outside of, marriage[[Genesis|Gen.]] 2:24)*Homosexuality (since Orthodox tradition rejects the concept . In its proper context of "gay [[marriage")*Rape*Anal sex*Oral ]], sex*"Heavy petting"*Bestiality*Sex with angels or demons (attested in Genesis)*Incest (including certain "in-law" and godparent relationships)*Masturbation*Fantasizing about sexual sincan be a good thing.
In addition:"Sexual relations within marriage are holy and blessed by God. Saint [[Gregory the Theologian]] says: 'Are you not yet married in the flesh? Do not fear this consecration; you are pure even after marriage' (''Oration on Holy Baptism'', quoted by George Gabriel, ''You May Call My Words Immodest'', p. 3). The sexual union of man and woman in Christian marriage is sanctified, set apart, hallowed, sacred, we should consider holy. And it is good. At the same time&mdash;and I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough&mdash;the related issues Church teaches us clearly that sex is not ''the essence'' ofChristian marriage."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 116.</ref>
Sex provides an opportunity for a married couple to become intimate with one another.*Abortion"The goal of sex in marriage is spiritual union. Through the joining of two physical bodies in marital love comes a unique oneness of soul. Saint [[John Chrysostom]] instructs us: 'Their intercourse accomplishes the joining of their bodies, andthey are made one, just as when perfume is mixed with ointment" (''12th Homily on Colossians'').<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 119.</ref>*Birth control"Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband" (I Cor. 7:3).*"Sexual relations provide an opportunity for the development of a spirit of [[martyr]]dom. This is the type of martyrdom that exhibits self-denial and submission to the other."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 123.</ref>
While all It is also important when speaking about sexual relations among spouses to speak about the product of this conjugal union. The creation of progeny is a natural consequence of marriage. There is a direct link between marital relations and childbearing. Procreation is the above have fallen under fruit of the condemnation union of one or another Orthodox authority, no unanimity exists for many marriage and an expression of them, and man's participation in any case, oneGod's spiritual father may make allowances based on the principle of [[oikonomia]]creative work. St. Note that sexual sin is not regarded as especially different from other types of sinJohn Chrysostom, in reference to which all are susceptible. ("One is holy...") As the [[Sayings mystery of the Fathers]] reminds usconjugal union,says:
:''The same God who said "Do And how become they one flesh? As if you should take the purest part of gold, and mingle it with the other gold; so in truth here also the women as it were receiving the richest part fused by pleasure, nourishes it and cherishes it, and throughout contributing her own share, restores it back to the man. And the child is a sort of bridge so that the three become on flesh, the child connecting, on either side, each to each… What then? When there is not fornicate" also saidchild, "Do will they not judgebe two? Not so, for their coming together has this effect; it diffuse and commingles the bodies of both.And as one who has poured ointment into oil has made the whole one; so in truth is it also here"(St. John Chrysostom, ''On Marriage and Family Life'').
A focus on sexual sin obscures the fact St. John Chrysostom also says, "He created one from one, and again these two he makes one and thus He makes one; so that Orthodoxy views sex within marriage as fundamentally good--at least in this worldeven now man is born from one. For a woman and a man are not two but one man" (Apparently sex does not exist in St. John Chrysostom, ''On Marriage and Family Life''). With this great gift of childbearing, man becomes the afterlife, though marriage maydonor of life. St.) In contrast to Western (Roman Catholic) views [[Clement of Alexandria]] describes the progeny of sex man as an instrumental good (thus accounting for that church"man's creation in God's well-known opposition to birth control), the Orthodox tendency has been to prefer a sacramental over an instrumental interpretationimage."
== The In the [[Old Testament]], sex for the purpose of procreation was emphasized, as children were evidence of God's blessing on a marriage. However, procreation is not the reason for marriage. "Procreation is not the only purpose of sex in marriage, but sex ==and procreation go hand in hand."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 121.</ref>
Orthodox interpretations Saint John Chrysostom writes: “Thus, marriage was given to us for procreation also, but much more for the purpose of extinguishing our burning nature. And Paul is a witness to this, saying, `Because of fornications, let each have his own wife,’ and not for the first chapters purpose of[[Book procreation. And he commands that you come together again, not for you to become fathers of Genesis | Genesis]] inform many children. But to come together again for what purpose? `So that Satan may not tempt you,’ he says. He continues, but he does not say, `come together if you wish children.’ But what does he say? `If they cannot abstain, let them marry,’ for in the Church's interpretation of sexualitybeginning, as it was said, marriage had two purposes. There God is credited But later, with the origin of life on earthand the sea and the entire world filled, the commandment one reason alone remains: to "be fruitful cast out debauchery and multiply lasciviousness.” (Gen"On Virginity", as quoted by George S. 1:22Gabriel), and human sexual differentiation (Gen. 1<ref>''You Call My Words Immodest' by George S. Gabriel. https:27, cf//thoughtsintrusive.wordpress. 2:18 ff)com/2012/08/30/you-call-my-words-immodest/. </ref>
In George S. Gabriel interprets the above passage as condoning the patristic tradition, marriage is a consequence practice of the fall contraception: "The plain meaning of the protoplasts. Athanasius the Great remarks that in God's initial plan Chrysostom’s words is, If for mana certain period, marriage was not part you and your wife have abstained by agreement, perhaps for a time of it: But prayer and fasting, come together again for the transgression sake of the commandment brought in your marriage because Adam transgressed the law given to him by God. Adam’s fall, which resulted to death, created the You do not need of putting on ''"garments of skin"'' (Gen. 3:2)procreation as an excuse. This garment It is interpreted as man adapting to the condition that was created after the Fall and does not belong to the pre-Fall condition; chief reason for marriage. Neither is it does not belong necessary to allow for the condition possibility of the Kingdom conceiving, and thus having a large number of Godchildren, something you may not want. St" ("You Call My Words Immodest"). Gregory of Nyssa elaborates on the '<ref>'"irrational skin,"'You Call My Words Immodest' saying what man put on includes the followingby George S. Gabriel. https: marital relations, procreation, food, growth, old age and death, none of which will exist in the transformation and assimilation of humanity in the Kingdom of Heaven//thoughtsintrusive.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/you-call-my-words-immodest/. </ref>
Until humanity lives for eternity in the Kingdom ==Context of Heaven, God has ordained marriage as pathway leading to salvation==:''See main article: [[Marriage]]. Marriage is assumed to be voluntary, monogamous, heterosexual, and permanent. Within marriage, a sort of adaptation man's body belongs to the new condition of man created after the fall of the protoplasts. St. Paul in his first epistle wife, and a wife's body belongs to the Corinthians makes recommendations on how people can avoid fornication by getting marriedher husband. According to the Apostle For this reason, true sexual relations can exist one should care for one's body not only within marriagefor oneself, but also for one's spouse. "The wife does not have authority over her own body, because marriage restores sexualitybut the husband does. In And likewise the Patristic tradition and in Holy Scripture this view is presenthusband does not have authority over his own body, as it is apparent in Stbut the wife does" ([[I Corinthians|I Cor. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians]] 7:4).
:''"… There is much [[Holy Scripture|Scriptural]] basis to support marriage as the only context for sexual relations. The [[Song of Songs]] is often taken as a man leaves his father metaphor for marriage; similarly, the relationship of God and mother and clings the [[Orthodox Church|Church]] is also likened to his marriage. Union between the parties of marriage is therefore good. "Find joy with the wifeyou married in your youth... Let hers be the company you keep ... hers the love that ever holds you captive" ([[Proverbs|Prov.]] 5:19). "Marriage is honorable among all, and they become one fleshthe bed undefiled"'' (Ephesians 5[[Book of Hebrews|Heb.]] 13:314).
:God specifically created [[Adam and Eve|Eve]] for [[Adam and Eve|Adam]]'s benefit. This creation forms a new being, a new unit, even before there are children within a marriage. " '"…each It is not good for man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rightsbe alone, and likewise the wife ' but it is also positively good to her husbandbe together. For the wife does not have authority over her "<ref name="whymate" /> Outside of marriage, one may engage in sexual activity because of one's own bodydesires; sexual relations within marriage follow God's mandate to "be one." Marriage provides a commitment and a family structure, so that a sexual relationship is uniquely provided with stability, security, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own bodyability to work as a unit, but and a basis for trust. "When sexual activity is kept within the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set timebounds of life-long commitment, babies are more likely to devote yourselves survive and women more likely to prayer, feel secure and then come together againloved."<ref name="whymate"'' (1 Corinthians 7>[http:2//www.frederica.com/writings/why-humans-5)mate.html Why Humans Mate] by Frederica Mathewes-Green</ref>
It is important for one to understand marriage is not :"There are many centuries of evidence showing how the concept [of a license for unlimited marital relationsnuclear family] works in practice: pretty good, but an opportunity for asceticism. The ascetic character of usually resulting in the Christian life also covers the marital life survival and success of the believersa new generation, humankind’s first responsibility. According to St. John Chrysostom marriage preserves purityBonuses of companionship, chastityromantic love, pleasure and even virginityjoy often appear as well. Marriage as a communion In comparison, an ethic of persons is not restricted to the level of matter and material sense; contrarily matter sexual freedom, where one in four pregnancies ends in abortion and material sense serve the communion numbers of the person and children in this waysingle-parent homes keeps rising, they acquire a spiritual content. The prayers of the marriage service clearly address fails this pastoral issuegoal like clockwork. The priest prays Indicators for the bed sexually transmitted disease, divorce, abandonment, impoverishment of women and children, unwed motherhood, and abortion are at record levels; the couple to remain ''heartbreak index is at an all-time high."undefiled.<ref name="whymate"'' />
Sexual arousal, intercourseIt is good for a child to have married parents, and gratification must not be sex within marriage best provides the child with this protection. "Marriage is particularly important for the priority rearing of children as they flourish best under the couple; however, it is this act long term care and pleasurable experience, which strengthens the bond nurture of love between the couple their father and assists the couple mother."<ref>[http://www.nhclc.org/about/pdf/defenseofmarriage.doc A Letter from America's Religious Leaders in growing closer to Christ. Fasting, prayers, continence, endurance Defense of Marriage (DOC)] whose signers include His Eminence Archbishop [[Demetrios (Trakatellis) of America|Demetrios of suffering are virtues expected not only for monasticismAmerica]], but also for married couples. Marriage is to move constantly from the carnal to the spiritual perspective. Such progress is only possible within the perspective Primate of the couple’s perfection Greek Orthodox Church in Christ. America, and The personal relations Most Blessed [[Herman (Swaiko) of the couple ought to be primarily spiritual in order to preserve Washington and to increase their spiritual communion New York|Herman]], Archbishop of Washington and union. This is the reason why there cannot exist an independent ethic of sexuality according to the Fathers of the New York, Primate, The Orthodox Churchin America. </ref>
It is also important when speaking about sexual relations among spouses to speak about Many couples keep the crowns (''stefana'') from the wedding service (often in a box or ''stefanothiki'') above the product marriage bed, another reminder of this conjugal union. The creation of progeny is a natural consequence the sanctity of marriagemarital love. There is "They serve as a direct link between spouse relations reminder that God has united them to each other and child bearing. Procreation is the fruit of the union of spouses to Himself and an expression of their participation that He has bestowed His grace upon them to live in God’s creative workunity, faith and love."<ref>[http://www. Stantiochian. John Chrysostom in reference org/1285 What is the mystery significance of the conjugal union saying: wedding crowns?] ([[AOCA|Antiochian]])</ref>
:''"And how become they one flesh? As if you should take Several of the purest part [[Canon Law|canons]] of gold, and mingle it with the other gold; so in truth here also the women [[Council of Gangra]]<ref>[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.viii.v.i.html The Council of Gangra]</ref> (ca. 325-381) uphold sex as it were receiving the richest part fused by pleasureof marriage:*"If any one shall condemn marriage, nourishes it or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and cherishes itdevout, and throughout contributing sleeps with her own sharehusband, restores it back to as though she could not enter the manKingdom [of heaven] let him be [[anathema]]" (Canon 1). And the child is a sort of bridge so that the three become on flesh*"If any one shall remain virgin, the child connectingor observe continence, on either sideabstaining from marriage because he abhors it, each to each… What then? When there is and not childon account of the beauty and holiness of [[virginity]] itself, will they not let him be two? Not so, for their coming together has this effect; it diffuse and commingles the bodies of bothanathema" (Canon 9). And as *"If any one of those who has poured ointment into oil has made are living a virgin life for the Lord's sake shall treat arrogantly the whole one; so in truth is it also heremarried, let him be anathema"'' (St. John ChrysostomCanon 10). ''*"On Marriage If any woman shall forsake her husband, and Family Liferesolve to depart from him because she abhors marriage, let her be anathema"''(Canon 14).
St. John Chrysostom also saysCanon 13 of the [[Quinisext Council]] upholds sex as a part of marriage, ''even for [[ordination|ordained]] men::"He created one from oneSince we know it to be handed down as a rule of the [[Church of Rome|Roman Church]] that those who are deemed worthy to be advanced to the [[diaconate]] or [[presbyter]]ate should promise no longer to cohabit with their wives, we, preserving the ancient rule and again these two he makes one [[Apostles|apostolic]] perfection and thus He makes one; so order, will that even now man the lawful marriages of men who are in [[Holy Orders|holy orders]] be from this time forward firm, by no means dissolving their union with their wives nor depriving them of their mutual intercourse at a convenient time. Wherefore, if anyone shall have been found worthy to be ordained [[subdeacon]], or deacon, or presbyter, he is born by no means to be prohibited from oneadmittance to such a rank, even if he shall live with a lawful wife. For a woman Nor shall it be demanded of him at the time of his ordination that he promise to abstain from lawful intercourse with his wife: lest we should affect injuriously marriage constituted by God and a blessed by his presence, as the [[Gospel]] saith: 'What God hath joined together let no man are not two but one man"put asunder'; and the [[Apostle Paul|Apostle]] saith, ' (St. John Chrysostom. Marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled''"On Marriage ; and Family Life"again, 'Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed.')"<ref>[http://www. With this great gift of childbearing man becomes the donor ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.xiv.html The Canons of life. Clement the Alexandrian describes the progeny of man as, ''"man’s creation Council in God’s image."''Trullo: Canon XIII]</ref>
==Lust Marital fasting==:''See article: [[Fasting]].Although sex within marriage is often seen simply as "good," abstaining from sex also provides its own good. This abstention, often referred to as "marital fasting," should be voluntary on the part of both husband and temptationwife. "Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and [[prayer]]; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (I Cor. 7:5). Marital fasting offers an opportunity to resist fleshly desires and redirect energies into worshiping God, just as one fasts from the desire for food. "Rather than repudiating the legitimate pleasure taken in eating and in marital relations, fasting assists us in liberating ourselves from greed and lust, so that both these things become not a means of private pleasure but an expression of interpersonal communion."<ref>[http://www.koed.hu/mozaik10/dimitri.pdf Christian Fasting (PDF)] by Dimitri Oikonomou)</ref>Marital fasting is advised for all the usual times of fasting, including before partaking of [[Holy Communion]]. "[A]s with all other spiritual efforts, this must be done under the supervision and at the direction of a wise [[spiritual father]]."<ref name="townsend">[http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/devotion/on_fasting.htm Fasting for Orthodox Christians] by Fr. John Townsend</ref>"[Fasting] also involves abstinence from marital intercourse, not because there is anything evil in it&mdash;it is part of God's creation&mdash;but to purify it and to provide us the opportunity to concentrate on the upbuilding of our lives in Christ."<ref name="townsend" />
"Some Orthodox tradition urges believers [[saint]]s have even been called upon to resist not only sexual transgressionsabstain completely from that which is good in marriage itself. The holy martyrs [[Cecilia]] and [[Valerian]] [([[November 22]])] gave themselves entirely to God from the very first night of their arranged marriage. They were united in spiritual vision during a time of intense Roman persecution in the early Church. After great struggle for the Faith, but even thoughts they died together as martyrs for the love of sexual transgressionsChrist. As Christ says More recently, Saint [[John of Kronstadt]] and his wife lived together in the same manner, ''"If so that Saint John could give himself over more completely to the tremendous burden of ministry that God placed upon him as a man looks at a woman with list, he has already committed adultery with her priest in his heartnineteenth-century Russia."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' (Mattby Fr. John Mack. 5:27) Some critics hold this to be an impossible standard Ben Lomond, for who can purge his heart of illicit sexual thoughts? Others (including many monastics) insist that such a purgation is in fact possibleCalifornia, though difficultConciliar Press: 1996. p. 117. </ref>
In this contextIt is important for one to understand marriage is not a license for unlimited marital relations, the question of masturbation is but an interesting oneopportunity for [[asceticism]]. The prevalence ascetic character of masturbation (indeed, standard psychology texts describe it as developmentally normal) leads critics to complain that its proscription represents an impossible command. At the same time, Christian life also covers the popularity marital life of a sin does not prevent it from being a sin ("the way is narrowbelievers.According to St.."). AlsoJohn Chrysostom, marriage preserves purity, a few people apparently never masturbate[[chastity]], or succeed in resisting the impulseand even virginity. But why Marriage as a communion of persons is masturbation a sin? In contrast not restricted to adultery or rapethe level of matter and material sense; contrarily, matter and material sense serve the communion of the person and in this way, what harm does it do? One answer is that they acquire a masturbator is probably also entertaining lustful thoughts--precisely the sin mentioned by Christspiritual content. But might one legitimately fantasize about one's spouse, or intended spouse? Unsurprisingly, perhaps, The prayers of the question is not mentioned in marriage service clearly address this pastoral issue; the creeds, nor has Orthodoxy produced priest prays for the equivalent of papal [[encyclical]] capable bed of finally deciding the mattercouple to remain "undefiled."
Abstaining from sexual relations before (and outside of) marriage aids in the ascetic practice of fasting from marital relations within marriage. Sexual arousal, intercourse, and gratification must not be the priority of the couple; however, it is this act and pleasurable experience, which strengthens the bond of love between the couple and assists the couple in growing closer to Christ. Fasting, prayers, continence, endurance of suffering are virtues expected not only for [[monasticism]], but also for married couples. Marriage is to move constantly from the carnal to the spiritual perspective. Such progress is only possible within the perspective of the couple's perfection in Christ. The principle that sinful thoughts lead personal relations of the couple ought to be primarily spiritual in order to preserve and to sinful actions increase their spiritual communion and union. This is widely recognizedthe reason why there cannot exist an independent ethic of sexuality according to the [[Church Fathers|Fathers of the Church]].
== Virginity as the Par Excellence of Marriage Celibacy==Parallel to the married life:''See main article: [[Celibacy]].Unmarried people should be celibate, Christian tradition and ethics recognize another equally challenging and rewarding lifestylethat is, that of virginityrefrain from sexual activity. Virginal life consists of virginity Those who have taken monastic vows, or who have been ordained and purity in the physical and spiritual aspects. One may see this in the are not married (either unmarried or widowed), are held to follow a celibate life of Jesus Christ, the proto-type of this lifestyle.
Chrysostom says in regards to virginity, :''"I am persuaded Some of the Church teachings say that virginity celibacy is much more honorable better than marriage, but this does not force me to place marriage amongst those that are dishonorable, but rather I praise it"''(Stwhile others hold them more equally. John Chrysostom. ''"On Marriage and Family Life "''). The acknowledgment One of the value paradoxes of Christian [[ethics]] is that marriage accentuates the superiority of virginity. Virginity supersedes the lawand celibacy, if they presuppose different practical behaviors, because it supersedes the fallen nature. A virginal life prefigures are based on the life same [[theology]] of the Kingdom of Godand, therefore, on the same spirituality."<ref>''Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective'' by Fr. [[John Meyendorff]]. Crestwood, New York, where carnal desires and secular cares do not existSt. Vladimir's Seminary Press: 2000. p. 69. </ref>
Virginity is a life filled with eschatological expectation. Virginal life does not come into contradiction with marriage, but it is its par excellence. St. Paul, although he refers to marriage as the ''"great mystery,"'' makes plain indicated his preference for virginity, which is what he himself followed. Jesus Christ also says clearly in reference to virginity, celibacy: "It is good for a man not for all to follow, but those whom this calling has been granted (Matthew 19:11)touch a woman. .. Choosing virginity places a human person above every social expediency or biological determinism, it underlines humanity’s freedom and absolute value. The human who practices a life of virginity lives For I wish that all men were even as an angel, although having a body, lives like those among the bodiless powersI am myself. For this aforementioned reason But each one has his own gift from God, the possibilities of perfection following one in this lifestyle are numberlessmanner and another in that. On But I say to the contrary, unmarried and to the despising of marriage widows: It is an insult to the magnitude of virginitygood for them if they remain even as I am" (I Cor. Marriage serves death by bringing forth children; however7:1, virginity raises a barrier to its breaking and interrupting the transmission of the inherited obligation to death7-8).
The goals goal of virginity and virginal living are celibacy is not just to remain free of carnal pleasure, but they aim to emancipate a believer from secular cares and straighten orient the persons’ orientations person towards God. Consecrated virginity is a marriage with God that does not involve carnal pleasure. It is solely spiritual. One may say the marital relations of marriage are spiritual too, but they have a carnal aspect. In virginity, the voluntary self-exclusion from carnal pleasure does not aim to mortify Eros in the soul, but to transform it into a godly Eros. This virginity has its ultimate ontological reference to the Triune God.
:"[B]oth marriage and celibacy are ways of living the Gospel, anticipating the Kingdom, which was already revealed in Christ and must appear in strength at the last day. It is, therefore, only a marriage 'in Christ' sealed by the Eucharist, and celibacy 'in the name of Christ,' which carry this 'eschatological' Christian meaning&mdash;not marriage concluded casually, as a contract, or as a satisfaction for the flesh, and not celibacy accepted by inertia, or worse, by egotism and self-protective irresponsibility."<ref>''Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective'' by Fr. John Meyendorff. Crestwood, New York, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press: 2000. pp. 70-71.</ref>
== Contemporary Ethical Issues Which Threaten Barrenness==Although children are a consequence of sexual relations, the Sanctity inability to procreate does not necessarily mean that sex is no longer a good thing. In the Old Testament, barrenness was often seen as the result of Sex ==sin. However, many Old Testament figures underwent barrenness, later to conceive through God's will.
=== Adultery ===''"Adultery refers Several saints are turned to voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man especially with the problem of barrenness and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband"'' (''"Adultery"'' in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionarychildlessness, Eleventh Editionincluding Ss. [[Anna]], Merriam-Webster[[Elizabeth]], Inc.[[Roman the Wonderworker]] ([[November 27]]), 2003[[Hypatius of Rufinus]] ([[March 31]]), and [[Irene Chrysovalantou]].<ref>[http://www.angelfire.com/ga/riggs/SpecialSaints.html Orthodox Saints for Special Intentions]</ref>
St. Paul repeatedly attacks this vice in his Epistles. He urges the flock to flee from sexual immorality because it is a direct defiling ==Temptation==Just as with other desires of the temple of flesh, the Holy Spirit (Corinthians 7:18-20)temptation to sin sexually often presents itself. In his Epistle to these cases, the Romans, St. Paul says plainly, those who live with a carnal mind live in enmity with God, thus convincing must instruct the faithful to believe they are not debtors body as to the flesh (Romans 8:7-9)right course. It is appropriate to understand that the Apostles were very concerned with the spiritual and physical purity of the faithful"Do not follow your lusts, restrain your desires. To emphasize the severity of the carnal sin of adultery, Nikodemos the Hagiorite says in reference If you allow yourself to Leviticus 20: 10satisfy your desires, :''"Adultery is such a great evil that God commands this will make you the man and the woman committing it to be put to deathlaughing-stock of your enemies"'' (The Hagiorite, Nikodemos, The Exomologitarion. Trans. Fr. George Dokos. Republic [[Wisdom of Greece, 2006Sirach|Sirach]] 18:30-31).
Society has slowly begun accepting adultery, because the sanctity of conjugal union has slowly demised. Society has separated the divine aspects of marital relations and simplified sex Orthodox tradition urges believers to a carnal act. In another poll seven years ago, more than 3 out of 4 Americans say the way television programs show sex encourages irresponsible resist not only sexual behavior (Teenstransgressions, Sex, & the Media. [www.mediascope.org], 15 March, 2000). The encouragement but even thoughts of immoral sexual behavior is clear, especially on the World Wide Webtransgressions. For exampleAs Christ says, if "If a person is not satisfied man looks at a woman with their spouse’s sexual performancelust, companies will facilitate for the customer an adulterous relationship. In particular, the Ashley Madison Agency assists married individuals he has already committed adultery with her in finding sexual gratification outside his heart" ([[Gospel of marriageMatthew|Matt. ''"When monogamy becomes monotony]] 5:27). Some critics hold this to be an impossible standard,"'' is the commercialized slogan for who can purge his heart of this agency. Another online company illicit sexual thoughts? Others (including many monastics) insist that facilitates affairs such a purge isin fact possible, the Meet to Cheat Company. This agency has offices all over Europe and North America and is dedicated to providing desperate homemakers with the man of their dreamsthough difficult.
Many Christian Churches Not only should one avoid yielding to temptation, but one should also have begun accepting behavior the Orthodox Church believes is sinful and immoraltake care not to offer temptation to others. Immoral thinking has managed to take over the consciences "A wink of major denominations. According to a report taken in 1991 by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Churcheye, :''"it does not matter who sleeps with whom or whether sexual activity is premarital or marital, heterosexual or homosexual, but whether it is responsibleand a man makes trouble; a bold rebuke, mutual, honest and full of joyful caringa man makes peace"'' (A report to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, as reported by Peter Steinfels, "What God Really Thinks About Who Sleeps With Whom," The New York Times, June 2, 1991Prov. 10:10).
King [[David]] allowed his desires to get the better of him when he desired Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. After Bathsheba refused David's advances, David sent Uriah into battle, so that he would be killed. When the [[Prophet]] Nathan advised David that his actions were displeasing to God, David repented, confessing his sin ([[II Kingdoms|2 Sam.]] 11:12).
=== Masturbation ===''"Masturbation refers [[Monastic rule]]s often include injunctions to the erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by fight against sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies"'' (''"Masturbation"'' in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003)temptation.
Nikodemos the Hagiorite says, ''"masturbation is a ==Sexual sin==Sexual [[sin so abhorrent to God that on account of it He put to death Onan]] may include adultery, the Son of Judah, the Son of Jacob…"'' fornication (Genesis 38:10including premarital sex). St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans speaks clearly about the sinfulness of , rape, incest, bestiality, prostitution, pornography, masturbation, sexual fantasies, and [[homosexuality|homosexual practices]]. He says God allowed men to be overtaken These are condemned by the lusts of their hearts brining forth the dishonoring of Church not for their own bodies (Romans 1:26)sake, but to protect her members from harming themselves and others through inappropriate behaviors. ''"This autoerotic activity Note that sexual sin is an improper expression of human sexuality because sex not regarded as an interpersonal relationship especially different from other types of many dimensions is impaired by it"'' ([[Stanley S. Harakas]]sin, ''Living the Faith''. Minnesota: Light and Life. 1992. p. 131)to which all are susceptible.
Society however"In Christian marriage, sex, like so many other aspects of our lives, has completely undergoes a transfiguration. In the opposite opinion world, sex is an expression of masturbationlust, of conquest, of using others for the satisfaction of self. P This is why, in the moral disintegration of this fallen world, preoccupation with sex inescapably leads to and is linked with preoccupation with violence and death. J. O'Rourke said once Unbridled, nonsanctified sexual activity is satanic, filled with the devil''"Sophisticated persons masturbate without compunction. They do it for reasons s hatred of healthGod, privacymankind, thrift and because of the remarkable perfection of invisible partnerslife itself. It is suicidal."<ref>'' [httpPreserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press://en1996. p.wikipedia119.org</wiki/Cultural_references_to_masturbation#Celebrities] ref>
"It is important to note that sex is not always 'good' just because it occurs within the confines of Christian marriage. In 1994, Dr. Jocelyn Eldersmarriage, sexual relations which are the first woman appointed to fruit of 'passionate lust' or are the position expression of Uviolence and/or physical control are not blessed.S. Surgeon General In Christian marriage, lost her job as Surgeon General because she dared to say that masturbation should sexual relations must always be freely entered into and must never be taught forced. Manipulation in schoolssexual matters is always inappropriate. Society portrays hedonistic lifestyles even in videos gamesLikewise, any sexual union outside of marriage is a union with death."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by allowing characters to have the power to masturbate while riding in vehicles (Grand Theft Auto 2)Fr. John Mack. Sexual perversion has also infiltrated into the cartoon entertainment of childrenBen Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. Characters such as Homer Simpson confess openly to masturbation121.</ref>
== Orthodoxy Today ==Although the contemporary society has surrounded Christian families with images of sex in video games The [[ten commandments]] include injunctions against adultery and cartoonscoveting a neighbor's wife (Ex. 20:14, it is not an excuse for the acceptance of hedonistic ideologies17). Sex has enslaved Other books of the culture to Old Testament, such an extentas Proverbs and the Wisdom of Sirach, also advise against sexual sins:*"Take no notice of a loose-living woman, it for ... her words are smoother than oil, but their outcome is found everywhere in publicbitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Basic advertisements for many nonHer feet go down to death..." (Prov. 5:2-sexual things are loaded with images of sex 5).*"But the adulterer has no sense; act like him and beautycourt your own destruction" (Prov. It 6:32).*"This is safe to sayhow the adulteress behaves: when she has eaten, modern culture is increasingly confusing pornography, philosophy, artshe wipes her mouth clean and says, entertainment and sex'I have done nothing wrong' " (Prov. Consequently, contemporary thinking has even begun to chip away the foundations of Christian ethics and morals in society30:20).
Regardless of modern situations, the Orthodox Church believes sexual relations are only appropriate within marriageThe [[New Testament]] continues to uphold these ideas. Marriage sanctifies and unites the carnal bond with the spiritual oneChrist, when explaining his teaching to his [[disciple]]s, said, ultimately for the salvation "For out of the coupleheart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, [[false witness]], blasphemies. Marital relations These are blessed because they unite the couple both spiritually and physicalthings which defile a man" (Matt. 15:19-20; cf. [[Gospel of Mark|Mark]] 7:21-23). St. According [[Apostle James (son of Zebedee)|James]], in the Apostolic Council, sought to teach the witness of Orthodox Fathers sexual relations in marriage allow a couple Gentiles, not to become co-creators with Godtrouble them, share a divine intimacy"but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, and a avenue for controlling sexual desires. Although society promotes from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood" ([[Acts of the Orthodox Church opposes such acts and their acceptanceApostles|Acts]] 15:20).
St. Paul also wrote to the Corinthians with warnings:
*"Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:9-11).
*"Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord" (I Cor. 6:13).
*"[H]e who is joined to a harlot is one body with her. For 'the two,' He says, 'shall become one flesh' " (I Cor. 6:16).
*"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?" (I Cor. 6:18-19).
"The libertines in Corinth&mdash;as some do today&mdash;argued that illicit sex (adultery and fornication) is as necessary for the body as eating, and both are irrelevant to the spiritual life. Paul contends the body belongs to God, and everything is relevant to the spiritual life. Therefore, dealing with sin means controlling our bodies."<ref>''The Orthodox Study Bible:New Testament and Psalms'', note on I Cor. 6:13, p. 385.</ref> Sexual sin, just as any other sin, necessitates cleansing through the [[sacrament]] of [[confession]]. == References Confession and guidance==*Stanley SWhen one struggles with sexual issues, it is good to have a spiritual guide to assist in the struggle. Harakas The sacrament of confession not only provides the opportunity to shed past sins and to obtain guidance, ''Living but also to receive the grace of God through the sacrament. Marital fasting should also involve the Faith''guidance of a father confessor. ==See also==*[[Abortion]]*[[Birth control]]/[[Contraception]]*[[Chastity]]*[[Divorce]] ==Reference==<div class="small"><references /></div> ==External links==*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf112.iv.xx.html Homily XIX: 1 Cor. vii. 1, Minneapolis, Minnesota2] by St. John Chrysostom*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.x.html Homily on X.: Colossians, Xiii. 18–25] by St. John Chrysostom*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, volxii. html Homily XII.: Colossians iv. 12, p13] by St. 304John Chrysostom*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iii.iv.xxi.html Homily XX.: Ephesians v. 22–24] by St. John Chrysostom*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf109.xiv.ii.html Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren], chapters 6-10 on Colossians Chapter 12barrenness and infertility, 5by St. John Chrysostom*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/c/inp62.htm Orthodox Icon of the Conception of the Theotokos]*[http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=230&SID=3 Church's view of masturbation] ([[OCA]])*[http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8076.asp For the Health of Body and Soul: An Eastern Orthodox Introduction to Bioethics] by Fr. [[Stanley S. Harakas]] ([[GOARCH]])*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-real-meaning-of-sex.html The Real Meaning of Sex] by [[Frederica Mathewes-Green]]*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/what-to-say-at-a-naked-party.html What to Say at a Naked Party] by Frederica Mathewes-Green*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-oneida-experiment.html The Oneida Experiment] by Frederica Mathewes-Green*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/lets-have-more-teen-pregnancy.html Let's Have More Teen Pregnancy] by Frederica Mathewes-Green*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/overthrown-by-eros.html Overthrown by Eros] by Frederica Mathewes-Green*[http://www.frederica.com/writings/born-that-way.html Born That Way] by Frederica Mathewes-Green*[http://realserver.goarch.org/ram/en/sexual_pur.ram Sexual Purity and Healthy Relationships (RAM)] video (GOARCH)*[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles8/Morelli-Smart%20Marriage-XIII-The-Theology-of-Marriage-and-Sexuality.php Smart Marriage XIII: The Theology of Marriage and Sexuality] by Fr. George Morelli*[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/MorelliHypersexuality.php "Sexual Addiction"&mdash;An Orthodox and Scientific View] by Fr. George Morelli Ph.D.*[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/MorelliSexIsHoly.php Sex Is Holy: Psycho-Spiritual Reflections in a Secular World] by Rev. George Morelli*[http://atijournal.org/ATI_Vol4_No1.pdf There is No Sex in the Church] by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov (ROCOR)
[[Category:Ethics]]
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