Whether you call the rule theological or practical makes very little difference to me because I've already lost faith whatever generation created it. Past generations have obviously been more than willing to implement restrictions that go against Apostolic teaching when it suits them and their culture. They can make whatever distinction they wish to make, and I can see how the "theological/practical" distinction would make you more comfortable. It must be a little unnerving to say you're faith has been preserved since Christ while at the same time admitting your rules concerning the marital rights of your faith's highest leaders were created long after Christ and are the exact opposite of the rules that the Apostles themselves taught!NicholasMyra said:You've already been told that there is no theological reason why Bishops cannot marry. It is forbidden today because, considering the duties of a Bishop in the post-Apostolic Age, it is impractical and potentially abusive to wives and children.
You seem to be confusing Orthodoxy with some form of Reconstructionism; the fact is, the Orthodox Church does not reconstruct faith and praxis according to the early-church idols that men make in their minds; rather, it has preserved, defended and interpreted that faith for 1970 years.
I don't see how a married Bishop would be any more "abusive" to a wife now than it was in 80 A.D. What is "potentially abusive to wives and children" though? Teaching couples that it is a sin to court in the way the Scripture celebrates and, instead, telling them they must roll the dice with regards to whether or not they will get along well sexually. That's what. While Paul wrote that God-given sexual desires ("burning with passion", as he put it) are one very important reason to pursue marriage you're telling single people they might as well be pulling cards out of a hat with regards to whether or not they'll get along well with their spouse sexually. You could end up pairing one person who's sex drive leads them to twice a year intimacy with someone who's drive is more like twice a day. That would be fine if sexuality was a minor part of marriage... but it isn't! It is a very important aspect of marriage and reason to get married, according to Paul!
I suppose next you could say the less sexually-interested spouse just gets the opportunity to sacrifice and serve the other one's desires or something along those lines, or visa versa. But that is besides the point. What if the more interested spouse desires to enjoy mutually-interested encounters. He will get that twice a year while his inward, God-given passion burns for 350 times a year. Meanwhile, he learns that the woman next door has a sex drive similar to his and... you see where that's going. It isn't that you're rules are just non-apostolic. It is that they are *opposite* of Apostolic teaching. They set up the exact opposite situation that Paul was trying to alleviate, and they foster the exact temptations toward sin that he was trying to enable believers to avoid. You might as well tell couples they have to refrain from talking during courtship and roll the dice with regards to how often the other wants to talk, how well they relate. Then watch and see how many end up divorced a few years later because they don't get along personally either.
It seems rather obvious to me why the Song of Solomon celebrates pre-marital sex in courtship. And as far as I can gather at this point, neither Christ nor the Apostles nor the Apostolic Fathers ever taught anything to the contrary.