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05:35, February 16, 2011
Attaining to "Godhood": Marriage for Eternity:
[[User:TheResearchPersona|TheResearchPersona]] 16:46, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
== Attaining to "Godhood": Marriage for Eternity ==
I'm curious if there is support for the statement ending this sub-section: "The Orthodox Church has traditionally rejected this concept." Presumably the object of "this" is a teaching on Marriage for Eternity?
I ask because Fr. John Meyendorff seems to be teaching opposite to this statement, as indicated in this excerpt:
When he speaks of widowhood, St. Paul presupposes that marriage is not broken by death, for “love never fails” (Cor. 13:8). In general, Paul’s attitude toward marriage is clearly distinct from the Jewish rabbinic view in that—especially in I Corinthians—he gives such strong preference to celibacy over marriage. Only in Ephesians is this negative view corrected by the doctrine of marriage as a reflection of the union between Christ and the Church—a doctrine which became the basis of the entire theological marriage as found in the Orthodox tradition.
However, on one issue—the remarriage of widowers—Paul’s view, as it is expressed in I Corinthians, is strictly upheld by the canonical and sacramental tradition of the Church: “If they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (I Corinthians 7:9). Second, marriage—either of a widower or of a divorcee—is only tolerated as better than “burning.” Until the tenth century it was not blessed in church and, even today, it remains an obstacle for entering the clergy.
Our contemporary rote for blessing second marriages also shows clearly that it is admitted only by condescension. In any case, Scripture and Tradition agree that faithfulness of the widower or the widow to his or her deceased partner is more than an “ideal”; it is a Christian norm. Christian marriage is not only an earthly sexual union, but an eternal bond which will continue when our bodies will be “spiritual” and when Christ will be “all in all.”
These three examples clearly show that in the New Testament a totally new concept of marriage is being introduced—it is directly dependent upon the “Good News” of the of Resurrection which was brought by Christ. A Christian is called—already in this world—to experience new life, to become a citizen of the Kingdom, and he can do so in marriage. But then marriage ceases to be either a simple satisfaction of temporary natural urges, or a means for securing an illusory survival through posterity. It is a unique union of two beings in love, two beings who can transcend their own humanity and thus be united not only “with each other,” but also “in Christ.”
Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective pp. 13-16
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