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{{Orthodoxize}}{{Cleanup}}Orthodox teachings concerning sex overwhelmingly hold that it ought to be confined to the [[sacrament]] of [[marriage]] (which is assumed to be voluntary'''Sex''', monogamousor '''sexual relations''', heterosexualincludes not only sexual intercourse, and permanent). That isbut also other sexual activity, Orthodox believers are expected even to choose between two paths the extent of equal dignity: (1) hand-holding or kissing. In order to understand this, sex must be understood not only as a life of [[virginity]] or [[celibacy]]matter for the body, possibly including [[monastic]] vows; or (2) but also as a matter for the married lifemind. Various biblical and [[patristics|patristic]] writings condemn sex acts which occur outside of these bounds, including:
:*Adultery (sex which violates the marriage commitment)==Purpose==:*Fornication (sex beforeGod created mankind with a sexual appetite. "[A] man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, or without, marriage):*Homosexuality:*Rape:*Various sexual practices other than penile-vaginal intercourse:*Sex between human and non-human partners they will become one flesh" (e[[Genesis|Gen.g]] 2:24). animals In its proper context of [[marriage]], angels):*Incest:*Masturbation:*Sexual fantasiessex can 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.*"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, and they 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>*Abortion"Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, andlikewise 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:*Birth control1996. 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 the afterlifeSt. John Chrysostom, though marriage may''On Marriage and Family Life'').) In contrast to Western (Roman Catholic) views With this great gift of sex as an instrumental good (thus accounting for that church's well-known opposition to birth controlchildbearing, as man becomes the "purpose" donor of life. St. [[Clement of sex is said to be procreation), Alexandria]] describes the Orthodox tendency has been to prefer a sacramental over an instrumental interpretationprogeny of man as "man's creation in God's image."
==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 view 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 of it, but marriage arose because transgressed the law given to him you and your wife have abstained by God. Adam’s fallagreement, which resulted to deathperhaps for a time of prayer and fasting, created come together again for the need sake of putting on ''"garments of skin"'' (Genyour marriage. 3:2)You do not need 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, but an opportunity for [[asceticism]]. The ascetic character of the question Christian life also covers the marital life of masturbation is an interesting one. Several church fathers (such as Nicodemus the Hagiorite) condemn it as "onanism," although scholars now agree that Onan's sin was avoiding a divinely-ordered impregnation (Genbelievers. 38:10)According to St. The prevalence of masturbation--indeedJohn Chrysostom, marriage preserves purity, [[chastity]], standard psychology texts describe it and even virginity. Marriage as developmentally normal--leads critics a communion of persons is not restricted to complain that its proscription represents an impossible command. At the same timelevel of matter and material sense; contrarily, matter and material sense serve the popularity communion of a sin does not prevent it from being a sin ("the person and in this way is narrow..."). Also, they acquire a few people apparently never masturbate, or succeed in resisting spiritual content. The prayers of the marriage service clearly address this pastoral issue; the priest prays for the bed of the impulsecouple to remain "undefiled. "
But why is masturbation a sin? In contrast to adultery or rapeAbstaining 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, what harm does it do? One answer is that a masturbator is probably also entertaining lustful thoughts--precisely this act and pleasurable experience, which strengthens the bond of love between the couple and assists the sin mentioned by couple in growing closer to Christ. The principle that sinful thoughts lead to sinful actions is widely recognized.But might one legitimately fantasize about one's spouseFasting, prayers, or intended spouse? Unsurprisinglycontinence, perhapsendurance of suffering are virtues expected not only for [[monasticism]], but also for married couples. Marriage is to move constantly from the carnal to the question spiritual perspective. Such progress is not mentioned only possible within the perspective of the couple's perfection in Christ. The personal relations of the creeds, nor has Orthodoxy produced couple ought to be primarily spiritual in order to preserve and to increase their spiritual communion and union. This is the equivalent reason why there cannot exist an independent ethic of papal sexuality according to the [[encyclicalChurch Fathers|Fathers of the Church]] capable of finally deciding the matter.
If lust is to ==Celibacy==:''See main article: [[Celibacy]].Unmarried people should be avoidedcelibate, then how are Orthodox believers to approach courtshipthat is, dating, romance, and falling in love? Obviously, it is natural for such couples to feel refrain from sexual attraction for one anotheractivity. Those who have taken monastic vows, or who have been ordained and as long as this is the "price" of marriageare not married (either unmarried or widowed), such feelings must be conceded are held to be goodfollow a celibate life. What, then does the Church have to say about kissing--not to speak of progressively greater forms of non-marital intimacy?
==Some illicit sex acts==of the Church teachings say that celibacy is better than marriage, while others hold them more equally. "One of the paradoxes of Christian [[ethics]] is that marriage and celibacy, if they presuppose different practical behaviors, are based on the same [[theology]] of the Kingdom of God and, therefore, on the same spirituality."<ref>''Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective'' by Fr. [[John Meyendorff]]. Crestwood, New York, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press: 2000. p. 69.</ref>
Many sex acts are proscribed ''de facto'' because their participants are St. Paul indicated his preference for celibacy: "It is good for a man not allowed to marry (or more precisely, because any marriages which they might attempt would not be recognized by the Church)touch a woman. ... For example, since the Church does not accept "gay marriage," I wish that all homosexual acts are therefore forbiddenmen were even as I am myself. But each one has his own gift from God, sex being limited to marriage. The same could be said of sex between close relatives (including certain fictive kinships such as one in-law, adoptive, or godparent relationships), or sex between humans this manner and nonhumansanother in that. On But I say to the other hand, sex between Orthodox believers unmarried and non-Orthodox to the widows: It is not similarly proscribed, since mixed marriages are recognized good for them if they remain even as I am" (though not celebrated) by the ChurchI Cor. If an Orthodox believer happens to be married to a non-Orthodox7:1, they are of course permitted to have sex. If that believer happens to be "married" to a same7-sex partner, however, then the Church would tend not to accept that, even if their "marriage" were legally recognized8).
Other sex acts are mentioned in various places as inherently illicit, even when performed by married couples. "Sodomy" The goal of celibacy is usually taken not just to refer remain free of carnal pleasure, but to anal sex (including heterosexual), though depending on emancipate a believer from secular cares and orient the context it might have other meaningsperson towards God.
== Virginity as :"[B]oth marriage and celibacy are ways of living the Par Excellence of Marriage ==Parallel to Gospel, anticipating the married lifeKingdom, Christian tradition which was already revealed in Christ and ethics recognize another equally challenging and rewarding lifestylemust appear in strength at the last day. It is, therefore, that of virginity. Virginal life consists of virginity and purity only a marriage 'in Christ' sealed by the physical Eucharist, and spiritual aspects. One may see this celibacy 'in the life name of Jesus Christ, ' which carry this 'eschatological' Christian meaning&mdash;not marriage concluded casually, as a contract, or as a satisfaction for the protoflesh, 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-type of this lifestyle71. </ref>
Chrysostom says in regards to virginity, ==Barrenness==:''"I am persuaded that virginity is much more honorable than marriageAlthough children are a consequence of sexual relations, but this the inability to procreate does not force me to place marriage amongst those necessarily mean that are dishonorable, but rather I praise it"''(St. John Chrysostom. ''"On Marriage and Family Life"'')sex is no longer a good thing. The acknowledgment of In the value of marriage accentuates Old Testament, barrenness was often seen as the superiority result of virginitysin. Virginity supersedes the law However, many Old Testament figures underwent barrenness, because it supersedes the fallen nature. A virginal life prefigures the life of the Kingdom of later to conceive through God, where carnal desires and secular cares do not exist's will.
Virginity is a life filled with eschatological expectation. Virginal life does not come into contradiction Several saints are turned to especially with marriage, but it is its par excellence. St. Paul, although he refers to marriage as the ''"great mysteryproblem of barrenness and childlessness,"'' makes plain his preference for virginity, which is what he himself followedincluding Ss. Jesus Christ also says clearly in reference to virginity[[Anna]], is not for all to follow[[Elizabeth]], but those whom this calling has been granted [[Roman the Wonderworker]] (Matthew 19:11[[November 27]]). 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 [[Hypatius of virginity lives as an angelRufinus]] ([[March 31]]), although having a body, lives like those among the bodiless powersand [[Irene Chrysovalantou]]. For this aforementioned reason, the possibilities of perfection following this lifestyle are numberless<ref>[http://www. On the contrary, the despising of marriage is an insult to the magnitude of virginityangelfire. Marriage serves death by bringing forth children; however, virginity raises a barrier to its breaking and interrupting the transmission of the inherited obligation to deathcom/ga/riggs/SpecialSaints. html Orthodox Saints for Special Intentions]</ref>
The goals ==Temptation==Just as with other desires of virginity and virginal living are not just to remain free of carnal pleasurethe flesh, but they aim the temptation to emancipate a believer from secular cares and straighten the persons’ orientations 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 aspectsin sexually often presents itself. In virginitythese cases, the voluntary self-exclusion from carnal pleasure does not aim mind must instruct the body as to mortify Eros in the soulright course. "Do not follow your lusts, but to transform it into a godly Erosrestrain your desires. This virginity has its ultimate ontological reference If you allow yourself to satisfy your desires, this will make you the Triune Godlaughing-stock of your enemies" ([[Wisdom of Sirach|Sirach]] 18:30-31).
Orthodox tradition urges believers to resist not only sexual transgressions, but even thoughts of sexual transgressions. As Christ says, "If a man looks at a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart" ([[Gospel of Matthew|Matt.]] 5:27). Some critics hold this to be an impossible standard, for who can purge his heart of illicit sexual thoughts? Others (including many monastics) insist that such a purge is in fact possible, though difficult.
== Contemporary Ethical Issues Which Threaten Not only should one avoid yielding to temptation, but one should also take care not to offer temptation to others. "A wink of the Sanctity of Sex ==eye, and a man makes trouble; a bold rebuke, and a man makes peace" (Prov. 10:10).
=== Adultery ===''"Adultery refers King [[David]] allowed his desires to voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his get the better of him when he desired Bathsheba, the wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband"'' (''"Adultery"'' in Merriam-Websterof Uriah. After Bathsheba refused David's Collegiate Dictionaryadvances, Eleventh EditionDavid sent Uriah into battle, so that he would be killed. When the [[Prophet]] Nathan advised David that his actions were displeasing to God, Merriam-WebsterDavid repented, Incconfessing his sin ([[II Kingdoms|2 Sam., 2003]] 11:12).
St. Paul repeatedly attacks this vice in his Epistles. He urges the flock [[Monastic rule]]s often include injunctions to flee from fight against sexual immorality because it is a direct defiling of the temple of the Holy Spirit (Corinthians 7:18-20). In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul says plainly, those who live with a carnal mind live in enmity with God, thus convincing the faithful to believe they are not debtors to the flesh (Romans 8:7-9). It is appropriate to understand that the Apostles were very concerned with the spiritual and physical purity of the faithful. To emphasize the severity of the carnal sin of adultery, Nikodemos the Hagiorite says in reference to Leviticus 20: 10, :''"Adultery is such a great evil that God commands the man and the woman committing it to be put to death"'' (The Hagiorite, Nikodemos, The Exomologitarion. Trans. Fr. George Dokos. Republic of Greece, 2006)temptation.
Society has slowly begun accepting ==Sexual sin==Sexual [[sin]] may include adultery, because the sanctity of conjugal union has slowly demised. Society has separated the divine aspects of marital relations and simplified fornication (including premarital sex to a carnal act. In another poll seven years ago), rape, incest, more than 3 out of 4 Americans say the way television programs show sex encourages irresponsible sexual behavior (Teensbestiality, Sexprostitution, & the Media. [www.mediascope.org]pornography, 15 Marchmasturbation, 2000). The encouragement of immoral sexual behavior is clearfantasies, especially on the World Wide Weband [[homosexuality|homosexual practices]]. For example, if a person is These are condemned by the Church not satisfied with for their spouse’s sexual performanceown sake, companies will facilitate for the customer an adulterous relationshipbut to protect her members from harming themselves and others through inappropriate behaviors. In particular, the Ashley Madison Agency assists married individuals in finding Note that sexual gratification outside of marriage. ''"When monogamy becomes monotony,"'' sin is the commercialized slogan not regarded as especially different from other types of this agency. Another online company that facilitates affairs issin, the Meet to Cheat Company. This agency has offices which all over Europe and North America and is dedicated to providing desperate homemakers with the man of their dreamsare susceptible.
Many "In Christian Churches also have begun accepting behavior marriage, sex, like so many other aspects of our lives, undergoes a transfiguration. In the Orthodox Church believes world, sex is sinful and immoral. Immoral thinking has managed to take over an expression of lust, of conquest, of using others for the consciences satisfaction of major denominationsself. According to a report taken This is why, in 1991 by the General Assembly moral disintegration of the Presbyterian Churchthis fallen world, :''"it does not matter who sleeps preoccupation with sex inescapably leads to and is linked with preoccupation with whom or whether violence and death. Unbridled, nonsanctified sexual activity is premarital or maritalsatanic, heterosexual or homosexualfilled with the devil's hatred of God, but whether it is responsible, mutualmankind, honest and full of joyful caringlife itself. It is suicidal."<ref>'' (A report to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian ChurchPreserve Them, as reported O Lord'' by Peter SteinfelsFr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, "What God Really Thinks About Who Sleeps With WhomCalifornia," The New York Times, June 2, 1991)Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 119.</ref>
== References =="It is important to note that sex is not always 'good' just because it occurs within the confines of Christian marriage. In marriage, sexual relations which are the fruit of 'passionate lust' or are the expression of violence and/or physical control are not blessed. In Christian marriage, sexual relations must always be freely entered into and must never be forced. Manipulation in sexual matters is always inappropriate. Likewise, any sexual union outside of marriage is a union with death."<ref>''Preserve Them, O Lord'' by Fr. John Mack. Ben Lomond, California, Conciliar Press: 1996. p. 121.</ref> The [[ten commandments]] include injunctions against adultery and coveting a neighbor's wife (Ex. 20:14,17). Other books of the Old Testament, such as Proverbs and the Wisdom of Sirach, also advise against sexual sins:*"Take no notice of a loose-living woman, for ... her words are smoother than oil, but their outcome is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death..." (Prov. 5:2-5).*Stanley S"But the adulterer has no sense; act like him and court your own destruction" (Prov. 6:32). Harakas*"This is how the adulteress behaves: when she has eaten, she wipes her mouth clean and says, 'I have done nothing wrong'Living " (Prov. 30:20). The [[New Testament]] continues to uphold these ideas. Christ, when explaining his teaching to his [[disciple]]s, said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, [[false witness]], blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man" (Matt. 15:19-20; cf. [[Gospel of Mark|Mark]] 7:21-23). St. [[Apostle James (son of Zebedee)|James]], in the Apostolic Council, sought to teach the Gentiles, not to trouble them, "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood" ([[Acts of the Apostles|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 FaithSpirit 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, Minneapolis, Minnesota'shall become one flesh' " (I Cor. 6:16).*Homily on Colossians"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, Xbut he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Nicene 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 Postyou are not your own?" (I Cor. 6:18-Nicene Fathers19). "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'', volnote on I Cor. XII6:13, p. 304385.</ref> Sexual sin, just as any other sin, necessitates cleansing through the [[sacrament]] of [[confession]]. ==Confession and guidance==When one struggles with sexual issues, it is good to have a spiritual guide to assist in the struggle. The sacrament of confession not only provides the opportunity to shed past sins and to obtain guidance, but also to receive the grace of God through the sacrament. Marital fasting should also involve the 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, 2] by St. John Chrysostom*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.x.html Homily X.: Colossians iii. 18–25] by St. John Chrysostom*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.xii.html Homily on XII.: Colossians Chapter iv. 12, 513] by St. John 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 barrenness and infertility, by 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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