• Please remember: Pray for Ukraine in the Prayer forum; Share news in the Christian News section; Discuss religious implications in FFA: Religious Topics; Discuss political implications in Politics (and if you don't have access, PM me) Thank you! + Fr. George, Forum Administrator

What does the Orthodox Church teach on Contraception and the sin of Onan?

Ainnir

Merarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
8,007
Reaction score
1,100
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
Is the question more about why such a couple should be denied close companionship?
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
1,381
Points
113
Age
161
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
SolEX01 said:
hecma925 said:
If two senior citizens want to get married to have sex, good.
How about if the senior citizens are unable or unwilling to have sex, is that still good?
Yes.  The creepy part is your desire to peek into their bedroom.
 

SolEX01

Toumarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
13,881
Reaction score
35
Points
48
Location
Central Maryland
Website
www.goarch.org
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey
hecma925 said:
SolEX01 said:
hecma925 said:
If two senior citizens want to get married to have sex, good.
How about if the senior citizens are unable or unwilling to have sex, is that still good?
Yes.  The creepy part is your desire to peek into their bedroom.
Nope, I'm not peeking into anyone's bedroom.  The church is by questioning a senior citizens' ability and willingness to have children and possibly preventing them from being married in the church.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
24,068
Reaction score
474
Points
83
Age
49
Website
archiveofourown.org
I think it's more "Eew, how can people I think are gross be allowed to have sex?"
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
1,381
Points
113
Age
161
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
Is sex the linchpin to the mystery of marriage?
 

platypus

High Elder
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
713
Reaction score
6
Points
0
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Orthodox Church in America
biro said:
They saw it as wrong even for a man to have sex with his wife after she lost fertility. Such a teaching is decidedly against the scriptures, and that's likely why neither the Church nor the Catholics or Protestants have retained it.
So, even the consensus of the Fathers can err.
I wouldn't say that. I'm not sure that there is a consensus of the fathers on the issue of contraception. I'm only aware of a few that mention it. I don't know what most of the saints thought about it, or if they did think about it.

I would be happy to find out otherwise; I don't really like uncertainty, especially on something important. Readily available contraception has allowed a staggering amount of evil into American culture. Condoms made casual sex fairly safe, and the likelihood of an American having a stable marriage has plummeted since. I'm pretty sure those two things are related. But I also don't think we can blame condoms for the poor choices we make with them, any more than I can blame wine for getting me drunk. All this to say I don't really know the answer to the contraception issue, or most other problems.

There's a lot of issues that might not have a patrisic consensus. For example, you can find both pacificist saints and saints who served in the military. I don't know how to make sense of that in my head. There's a few things that are decidedly the Tradition of the Church: the resurrection of Christ, heaven and hell, the sacraments, etc. But there are also things where the tradition is not so clear.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
24,068
Reaction score
474
Points
83
Age
49
Website
archiveofourown.org
Everybody does it sometimes. Doesn't make it right, but people do it anyway.
 

Ainnir

Merarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
8,007
Reaction score
1,100
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
SolEX01 said:
Ainnir said:
Is the question more about why such a couple should be denied close companionship?
I don't follow.
I read you as saying that marriage shouldn't be denied an older couple based on whether they can procreate, correct?  I was just wondering if the core issue for you is the thinking that they shouldn't be denied the companionship and all the other benefits and struggles a marriage brings, just because the woman might be post-menopause.  Or in other words, what do we think two people would be missing by being denied that Sacrament in their old age?  Would they be missing anything?  Musing "out loud," here.
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
1,381
Points
113
Age
161
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
RaphaCam said:
Please don't masturbate...
I'm sure you have crosses tattooed on your wrists and an angry St. Nicholas icon in every room.
 

SolEX01

Toumarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
13,881
Reaction score
35
Points
48
Location
Central Maryland
Website
www.goarch.org
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey
Ainnir said:
SolEX01 said:
Ainnir said:
Is the question more about why such a couple should be denied close companionship?
I don't follow.
I read you as saying that marriage shouldn't be denied an older couple based on whether they can procreate, correct?
Yes, that is correct.

Ainnir said:
I was just wondering if the core issue for you is the thinking that they shouldn't be denied the companionship and all the other benefits and struggles a marriage brings, just because the woman might be post-menopause.  Or in other words, what do we think two people would be missing by being denied that Sacrament in their old age?  Would they be missing anything?  Musing "out loud," here.
If we believe that Orthodox marriage is about martyrdom and spouses mutually serving each other, then the crowns of matrimony apply equally to the young couple and the old couple.  If we believe that Orthodox marriage is only about glorified and blessed sex with the purpose of having children, then we missed the point of the miracle of Cana.
 

Antonis

Archon
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
2,996
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Thus far, I think you’re the only one to have inferred such a thing.
 

Antonis

Archon
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
2,996
Reaction score
1
Points
0
If we believe that Orthodox marriage is only about glorified and blessed sex with the purpose of having children, then we missed the point of the miracle of Cana.
This thread has been a long string of strawmen. If you want to engage based on what’s written, I’m all about it, but every response has been a provocative question unrelated to the content of its respective original post.
 

Mor Ephrem

Hypatos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
36,417
Reaction score
289
Points
83
Age
40
Location
New York!
Website
www.orthodoxchristianity.net
Faith
Mercenary Freudianism
Jurisdiction
Texas Feminist Coptic
Antonis said:
If we believe that Orthodox marriage is only about glorified and blessed sex with the purpose of having children, then we missed the point of the miracle of Cana.
This thread has been a long string of strawmen. If you want to engage based on what’s written, I’m all about it, but every response has been a provocative question unrelated to the content of its respective original post.
Yes.  This thread sucks.
 

hecma925

Orthodox Taliban
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
21,477
Reaction score
1,381
Points
113
Age
161
Location
Wandering Fool
Faith
Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
Jurisdiction
Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
hecma925 said:
Is sex the linchpin to the mystery of marriage?
I would like an answer.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
hecma925 said:
hecma925 said:
Is sex the linchpin to the mystery of marriage?
I would like an answer.
I say yes. Eventually biology of old age sets in and spouses live as brother and sister. In fertile years. The church allows divorce in a case of a spouse not able to preform sexually after a year of trying. Also in cases of incarceration. So yes sex is the predominant reason people marry. The bible also states that when your married.  Your body is no longer yours. It belongs to your spouse.  That means you have to give into there request for sex. Its sinful to withhold it. Even during fasting!
 

Ainnir

Merarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
8,007
Reaction score
1,100
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
Tzimis said:
hecma925 said:
hecma925 said:
Is sex the linchpin to the mystery of marriage?
I would like an answer.
I say yes. Eventually biology of old age sets in and spouses live as brother and sister. In fertile years. The church allows divorce in a case of a spouse not able to preform sexually after a year of trying. Also in cases of incarceration. So yes sex is the predominant reason people marry. The bible also states that when your married.  Your body is no longer yours. It belongs to your spouse.  That means you have to give into there request for sex. Its sinful to withhold it. Even during fasting!
No.  Your spirit is wrong.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
scripture states as much.

1 Corinthians 7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Principles of Marriage

7 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
 

WPM

Taxiarches
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
7,775
Reaction score
14
Points
0
Age
39
Faith
Ethiopian Jew
Xavier said:
Does the Orthodox Church have a teaching on the sin of Onan in Genesis, and its relation to contraception to general? Before about 1930, almost all Christians denominations, even Protestants, rejected Luther. There are texts of the Protestant reforms condemning Onan. What is the teaching of Orthodoxy on Onan's sin and is contraception a grave sin?

Some testimonies from the Fathers on the subject.

1. St. Augustine, "Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it."

2. St. Chrysostom, "Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit, where there are medicines of sterility, where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well.... Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his laws? ... Yet such turpitude ... the matter still seems indifferent to many men—even to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks"

3. St. Caesarius, "Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in hell. If a woman does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman""

Thoughts?

Depends if your reading the Fathers and understand the Mystery of Marriage.

 

RaphaCam

Patriarch of Trashposting
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
9,346
Reaction score
589
Points
113
Age
24
Location
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Website
em-espirito-e-em-verdade.blogspot.com
Faith
Big-O Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Exarchate of Gotham City
biro said:
Everybody does it sometimes. Doesn't make it right, but people do it anyway.
"Everybody" is too strong, but yeah, it's pretty normal. I blame mostly how we're in one hand constantly bombarded by sexual stimuli from a very young age, and on the other how marriage became such a big deal.
 

Dominika

Merarches
Staff member
Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
8,255
Reaction score
589
Points
113
Age
30
Location
Poland
Website
www.youtube.com
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Antiochian Patriarchate/POC
^^But marriage IS a big deal... it's for eternity, unity on the image of the Holy Trinity and so on...
 

Iconodule

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
16,486
Reaction score
20
Points
38
Age
39
Location
PA, USA
Faith
Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction
Patriarchate of Johnstown
I think by "big deal" he means the oversized ritual, expenses, family drama, etc. as well as expectations and anxieties that have accumulated around it. Or at least that's how I read it.
 

Ainnir

Merarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
8,007
Reaction score
1,100
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
Tzimis said:
scripture states as much.

1 Corinthians 7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Principles of Marriage

7 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
I'm well aware of the verse.  There are other verses that temper this--about understanding, sacrifice, humility, love.  And you shouldn't be gleefully talking about breaking the fast in that way.  If a couple isn't strong enough, that's one thing, but it's seen as weakness and something to repent from, not "The Bible told me so.  tee hee hee."
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
Ainnir said:
Tzimis said:
scripture states as much.

1 Corinthians 7 New King James Version (NKJV)
Principles of Marriage

7 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
I'm well aware of the verse.  There are other verses that temper this--about understanding, sacrifice, humility, love.  And you shouldn't be gleefully talking about breaking the fast in that way.  If a couple isn't strong enough, that's one thing, but it's seen as weakness and something to repent from, not "The Bible told me so.  tee hee hee."
This sounds a little bipolar.  If we take your reasoning to the extreme we wouldn't marry at all. Sex is the determining factor for marriage.  If a spouse says no and withholds they are in effect starting the procedure of divorce.  There conscience is removing themselves from the relationship and it manifests as no sex. Its sinful because it is the primary cause of divorce. An underline issue is what brings it about but, the consequences are still the same.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
24,068
Reaction score
474
Points
83
Age
49
Website
archiveofourown.org
The most frequent reasons for divorce, at least in the U.S., are money problems and cheating.

I'm sure deliberately withholding sex creates problems. But it's not #1.
 

Arachne

Matriarch
Staff member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
12,964
Reaction score
616
Points
113
Age
50
Location
Camulodunum
Faith
Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
Jurisdiction
Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
The smart spouse will say, 'No, darling, you're not supposed to be having sex tonight', and all will be right with the world. 8)
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
biro said:
The most frequent reasons for divorce, at least in the U.S., are money problems and cheating.

I'm sure deliberately withholding sex creates problems. But it's not #1.
Point is. Those underline issues always lead to no sex with spouse. So the church is correct.
 

Alpha60

Taxiarches
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,793
Reaction score
17
Points
0
Location
Alphaville Zone Sud
Faith
Christian
Jurisdiction
Orthodox
Alveus Lacuna said:
Dominika said:
What I've read and had at classes (even this semester, as one of my subjects is sacramentology:
the purpose of the marriage is not to have children in the first place, but it's a path to salvation, it has to lead into the Kingdom of God, to be united in one flesh and spirit in love which pattern is love in the Holy Trinity.
"To be united in one flesh" is referring to having children. A child is literally the combination of the two partners into one person. The first command associated with the marriage is to multiply. It sounds like I'd be concerned with the contents of your class.
Such a concern would be unwarranted given that Dominika is one of the best catechized members of the forum; she has met every sitting EO patriarch and most of the OO patriarchs and IIRC she has of late become rather intimately involved in some aspects of the operation of the Church of Poland or its theological capabilities.  Indeed I would state that together with Mor Ephrem, Fr. Peter Farrington, Brigidsboy, Deacon Lance, Antonis, serb1389 and Fr. George, and frasdamick, she is one of the members of the forum whose qualifications make her a reliable primary source of information. 

Also I have never heard of the explanation of the meaning of “one flesh” that you provide inside or outside the Orthodox church, even among those who are rather stringent about the function being to reproduce, who would frown upon the marriage of someone infertile.
 

Luke

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
7,967
Reaction score
432
Points
83
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Metropolis of San Francisco
Tzimis said:
This sounds a little bipolar.  If we take your reasoning to the extreme we wouldn't marry at all. Sex is the determining factor for marriage.  If a spouse says no and withholds they are in effect starting the procedure of divorce.
Are you married?
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
Luke said:
Tzimis said:
This sounds a little bipolar.  If we take your reasoning to the extreme we wouldn't marry at all. Sex is the determining factor for marriage.  If a spouse says no and withholds they are in effect starting the procedure of divorce.
Are you married?
23 years and going. You?
 

Rubricnigel

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Age
246
Location
USA
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Midwest
Dominika said:
What I've read and had at classes (even this semester, as one of my subjects is sacramentology:
the purpose of the marriage is not to have children in the first place, but it's a path to salvation, it has to lead into the Kingdom of God, to be united in one flesh and spirit in love which pattern is love in the Holy Trinity. It's also a foretaste of the Divine Kingdom (unity in love and joy).

However, preventing to not conceive children only because of the egoism is a sin. The Orthodox Church, as in every spiritual matter, has an individual approach and it has to be discussed between the spouse and their spiritual father(s).

And, of course, onanism (=masturbation) is a sin as it's egoism and not sacrificial love (=sex in marriage).
Ive heard this resoning before.
How marriage is to bring us closer to God, and having children is a blessing from God, not having them out of a problem (medical, etc) isnt a sin in itself, only choosing not to by your own materialistic, egotistical view is.
 

Luke

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
7,967
Reaction score
432
Points
83
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Metropolis of San Francisco
Tzimis said:
Luke said:
Tzimis said:
This sounds a little bipolar.  If we take your reasoning to the extreme we wouldn't marry at all. Sex is the determining factor for marriage.  If a spouse says no and withholds they are in effect starting the procedure of divorce.
Are you married?
23 years and going. You?
Yes.  Almost 20.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
Luke said:
Tzimis said:
Luke said:
Tzimis said:
This sounds a little bipolar.  If we take your reasoning to the extreme we wouldn't marry at all. Sex is the determining factor for marriage.  If a spouse says no and withholds they are in effect starting the procedure of divorce.
Are you married?
23 years and going. You?
Yes.  Almost 20.
Good! So you know that a wife with a headache is ok. But what if that headache lasts a month or two? Is something wrong in the relationship at that point?
 

Arachne

Matriarch
Staff member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
12,964
Reaction score
616
Points
113
Age
50
Location
Camulodunum
Faith
Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
Jurisdiction
Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
Tzimis said:
Luke said:
Tzimis said:
Luke said:
Tzimis said:
This sounds a little bipolar.  If we take your reasoning to the extreme we wouldn't marry at all. Sex is the determining factor for marriage.  If a spouse says no and withholds they are in effect starting the procedure of divorce.
Are you married?
23 years and going. You?
Yes.  Almost 20.
Good! So you know that a wife with a headache is ok. But what if that headache lasts a month or two? Is something wrong in the relationship at that point?
You're crap in bed. Or completely inconsiderate out of it. Or both.
 

Tzimis

Taxiarches
Site Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
260
Points
83
Location
wilderness
Faith
Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction
EP
Mor Ephrem said:
This is the stuff rapists are made of.
Those that live sinfully by not being married or joining monastery have no right to judge. Remember. There are only two paths to salvation
 
Top