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HolyGround >> Marriage


8/14/12 4:05 PM
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RoidsGracie
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What's your view of it in the religious sense?

In Judaism, from I know it seems like it's almost a duty for a man to get married and to produce offspring and that anyone who doesn't do so even if they are not directly sinning seems to be falling short of some sort of standard.

In Christianity, I see a lot more conflicting messages. Paul's letters talks about how it is better not to be married but at the same times he does seem to allow it. He then proceeds to give advice for what a marriage should be like. You can see the way this conflict has played out in Catholicism; on the one hand the people who are supposed to be the holiest and examples of Christian life such as the people in monastic orders are not allowed marriage but in Catholic cultures at the same time there is an emphasis on creating children. Protestant Christianity isn't that much different in that sense as I have noticed an emphasis on the ideal of the one daddy, one mommy, and kids family unit that all it's adherents should be striving towards. If you look at the history of the church though you can't ignore that so many of it saints and those who embodied it's ideals the most were people who never knew family life and had no interest in it.
8/16/12 6:05 PM
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Grakman
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That's why the saints are always pictured smiling and beatific; they were not married. ;)
8/16/12 7:39 PM
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RoidsGracie
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Also, I was thinking about how marriage is used as a symbol of the relationship between God and the church and also how nuns are supposed to be "married" to Jesus. My impression is that the ideal is for a Christian to be utterly devoted to God and to seek union with him but only a few special people are capable of such devotion: priests, monks, nuns and certain laypeople I suppose. For the regular folk, marriage is the next best thing and it supposed to be a somehow less perfect ideal of a union where the individual learns to cease being caught up in his ego/individuality and learns what it is to be united someone other then himself.
8/16/12 7:45 PM
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Ridgeback
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 It really isn't a "contradiction" in Orthodoxy.  If you are called to theosis then the question is how that will take shape in your life.  You can achieve it through a spiritual approach to the married life or you can achieve it through the spiritual approach of the celibate life, but each approach will have its own unique challenges and difficulties. 

St. Paul is simply one of the early Christians in Orthodoxy.  He dominates Protestant thinking because of sola scriptura and the fact that he has so much coverage in terms of pages in the Bible.  That is not a measure of importance (the direct utterances of Jesus are more important of course) nor a basis for a whole theology.

Anyway, while one path may tend to get emphasized more than the other at different times in history, it is a general teaching of my tradition that we can't call one "better" than the other.  The first pope was married after all.


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