From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 01:16, January 8, 2008 by Zla'od (talk | contribs) (More Suggestions)
Jump to: navigation, search

Is there a reason why the cleanup tag, wiki formatting, and grammar editing have been taken out and replaced by what seems to be basically the originally posted article? Vandrona 04:17, March 6, 2007 (PST)

It looks like the original poster came back with corrections and re-posted a updated article. This wiped out the edits by others. The original poster may not have known that the article was updated.
To he original poster: Please keep in mind that this is a community project. Always edit the latest version of an article. If you have a work in progress, please use the Template:Inprogress template. Andrew 05:14, March 6, 2007 (PST)
It doesn't seem to have helped. My contributions to the article were deleted, together with the cleanup tag, without an explanation. Vandrona 10:10, April 19, 2007 (PDT)


This article reads like a homily, citing many sources that are of borderline relevance. The topic, I think, should be focused on the issue of what various Orthodox sources have to say about sexual issues. The nature of marriage is obviously the starting point (and didn't I hear that marriage is equal in dignity to the monastic life, not inferior to it as this article suggests?).

One important problem is the extent to which "the Church" can be said to offer a single, coherent answer to issues such as masturbation. I would be surprised to find many authoritative writings or sermons referring to it (more on undefined "temptations") but I'm sure they exist. The question then becomes, can such pronouncements be described as marginal to the church, or are they integral to it?

A more serious issue is that of "fornication" (read, nonmarital sex relations, presumed to be heterosexual and nonadulterous). Certainly any number of biblical and patristic citations thunder against it, and yet, the attitude of spiritual fathers who must deal with real-world relationships is not always so uncompromising. Do they (the confessors) too not represent the Church? Is it un-Orthodox to claim that such rules (like the question of polygamy, perhaps) owe as much to secular social mores as to universal moral principles?

Other topics which ought to be covered include homosexuality and birth control. Zla'od 00:32, January 4, 2008 (PST)

More Suggestions

Several times I have written things, only to have them deleted, with the only discussion being the comments in the summary box. Not only does this discourage me, and probably others, from contributing, but it seems unlikely to allow for a decent article to develop. May I suggest that try to agree here on how the article should look? Otherwise, the text will just revert to whoever has the most strident views and the most time.

So, what DOES Orthodoxy teach about sex? We desperately need a methodology for establishing this. On one hand, as I understand matters, the Orthodox faithful are not REQUIRED to believe anything that is not specifically mentioned in the creeds (which would include all sexual subjects except those pertaining to the Virgin Mary). Even matters specifically proscribed by the Bible (such as shrimp-eating) need not be assumed to be applicable.

On the other hand, there is the matter of Tradition. Certainly any number of authorities within Orthodoxy have made pronouncements of various types, which would yield a lengthy list of recommendations and prohibitions. The problem here is that it is difficult to establish which of these are to be included within the "Tradition." For example, I believe Chrysostom recommended marriage at a relatively young age (before military service for men), which strikes most people today as profoundly bad advice.

The issue of personal advice from one's spiritual father is another vexed issue. For many people, the Church "speaks" on such matters through this very personalized route, which does not well lend itself to being summarized, transcribed, or generalized about. By making pronouncements to the effect that the Church commands this or that, we perhaps render too concrete advice that is meant to be personalized. (Also, there seems to be some disagreement as to the appropriateness of approaching one's spiritual father for help with personal decisions such as who to date, or what to do with them while dating.

Anyway, may I suggest the following topics?

  • The nature of romantic love
  • The nature of marriage (Genesis, Cana)
  • The nature and applicability of commandments pertaining to sex and marriage
  • The theme of resisting lust and temptation
  • Traditions of celibacy and fasting (from sex as well as food)
  • A catalogue of sexual topics, mentioning which Orthodox authorities have taken which positions
  • Examples of dating and relationship advice (I am aware of pamphlets)
  • A floor-plan showing which sections of church might legitimately be used for sex, provided no other condition prohibited it (ha ha, just kidding on this one)

Your thoughts? Zla'od 17:15, January 7, 2008 (PST)