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The Orthodox Faith and Marriage

 

----- Original Message -----

To: editor@orthodox-christian-comment.co.uk
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 5:59 PM
Subject: Questions

The orthodox faith is unknown to me and I would like to understand what this faith believes in. 
 
I am of a non-denomination faith and we believe in the trinity the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Also the gifts of the spirit as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12.   Please explain why your faith does not acknowledge this.
 
Thank you.
 
 M.

 

Dear M.
 
Thank you for your e-mail. I have just arrived from a long journey. Therefore, forgive me for having to delay a proper answer. I have beyond 400 or so mails to see.
 
Briefly, the word 'orthodox' has become through the centuries a technical theological term of the Church to distinguish between those who follow the teaching of Jesus Christ as it was handed down by the Apostles and those who deviate. When some one introduced a doctrine, practice, etc contrary to that handed Tradition was considered 'heterodox', that is, different. Therefore, this should be abandoned as a heresy-another technical term.
 
Orthodox derivates from the Greek language and means straight glory or right glory to God as it was commanded by Jesus Christ, as you can see in Mt.28:17-20. The fact of doubt in any man can introduce the difference or heresy. This fact is already acknowledged in this passage of Mt. that I mention, v. 17.
 
In deed the Church, and the Orthodox Christian not only acknowledges the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but confesses that all our Salvation is a gift of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which is there for each man to choose and to take freely fulfilling the Commandments of God
 
Sorry, again that I have to be short. You will be most welcome if you wish to continue our correspondence.
 
Yours in the Lord,
 
Editor of ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN COMMENT.

 

 

RE: Questions

As earlier time I shall intercalate my answers:

 

----- Original Message -----
To: Fr. Kyrillos LERET-ALDIR
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 3:53 PM
Subject: RE: Questions

Thank you for responding to my email, it is greatly appreciated.   Your feedback is helping me tremendously.  I do have a few more questions to add to your list.
 
How are the women in this faith?  Are they considered second class citizens?  Do they wear certain type of clothing?
 

 

Well, some are very beautiful - a dangerous temptation, even for the priest! - others, make me  feel very compassionate and tender, they are good and give their life for all the family. Sometimes with good husbands, others with a not so caring one. Much depends on the country and area where they live. In England, those who came 50, 40, 30 years ago have worked hard next to their husbands , in addition to  keeping the family home. Their strength has always been the Church, in it they are equal to man. Our young women now are well educated with very good jobs, Lawyers, doctors, teachers etc. Unfortunately their independence and freedom are producing the same effect as in men, they forget God.
 
The Holy Church teaches us that we are all equal before God; that our own salvation depends of each Christian, how we respond to the commandments, not only of the Old Testament but seen, presented and lived by Jesus Christ, that is the Law of Christ. The word Law is some how confusing - When the Torah was translated by the 72 translators in Alexandria, from Hebrew to Greek, the word 'Torah' was translated   very wrongly into nomos = law, therefore, introducing the concept of compelling through a penalty. 'Torah' means, in fact, teaching which guides in the darkness of life. And so the New Testament amplifies the Light and the Knowledge with the fullness of revelation of the love of God for man, 'Who so loved the world that He gave His own Son for our Salvation' and sent His own Spirit and Comforter as our Guide to elevate us to His own Divine Life, making us Children of God, "born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn.1:13).
 
The Christian Tradition also teaches that we should ware clothes that cover our nakedness, with the aim of keeping our sexual desires under control, that is, within the aims that God created. When women have appeared in front of me surrounded with cleanness, modesty and grace, I have been moved to tears of love and veneration. The tradition of centuries, based on the teaching of St. Paul is that the women in Church should ware a vale, and even that they should be placed in Church on the side reserve for them, as much as the men should place themselves in the side for them. Sadly, this is now not practiced in most places. and so we are loosing the understanding of respect between men and women. In fact, I was in Madrid last two Sundays, in our Cathedral, and I was socked with the dressings, not only of women but also of men, not only for entering to church, but what is even most sad, of approaching to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the holy Communion. My greatest shock was that the priest gave them the Communion without even question them. In my church in England I would have refused the Communion to them.  
 
Now I am going to answer your question on the divorce bellow:
 

 

Thank you...God Bless you.
 
M.
 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Fr. Kyrillos LERET-ALDIR Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: Questions

Dear M.,
 
Thanks again for your mail. Indeed I am honoured with your questions and I am going to try to answer as best as I can with out going to bibliographic checking. That is I am trying to answer from the heart more than from the learning. I shall proceed following your points:
----- Original Message -----
To: EDITOR of ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN COMMENT
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 2:13 PM
Subject: RE: Questions

The reason I am researching this faith is because I have met a gentlemen who is an Orthodox Christian from Egypt and has verbally expressed his desire to marry.  Although I am of the non-denomination faith, I had never known much about the Orthodox faith.  I don't want to be un-equally yoked as indicated in the Holy Bible concerning marriage.
 

 

Today, the use of the term 'Orthodox Christian' is some how complicated. If you hear 'I am Catholic', in most parts of the world they would understand that it is about a person who belongs to the Church that is presided and governed with the Pope-or Bishop of Rome-at its head. This has not happened among the Orthodox Christians. There are different uses. If you say that this gentleman is an Orthodox Christian from Egypt, he could be a Copt or could be a member of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, therefore a Greek Orthodox. There are a few differences between them, mainly in the manner of prayer, calendar etc., that is what we call the Rite. Also he could belong to the Copts and Greek Orthodox who are united to the Bishop of Rome but remaining using the prayers and rites of the Copts or of the Greek Orthodox. He could use the Coptic language, the Greek or the Arab.!!!
 
Saying that you are of 'the non-denomination faith' tells me that you may belong to a group descendant from the Protestant Reformation or just one of the multitude of children of them, who, in reality, have a general and nebulous approach to a faith based on the private and personal reading of the Bible. Not desiring to insult but to describe my own approach to the Bible, I would describe the Protestant approach as a kind of idolization of the Bible. That is, the Bible becomes like the centre of all and so an idol.
 
 
Based on what you wrote the Orthodox faith does acknowledge the gifts of the Holy Spirit, i.e., speaking in tongues, healing, prophetic, etc., is this correct? 
 

 

Yes, it is correct. But not so simple, as some of the multitude of protestant so-called churches put them.
 
Christian Life appears simple but, in fact, is very complex.
 
Likewise it is so, also, marriage. For the Christian, marriage is a Sacrament-or, as we called too, because of the Greek linguistic influence, a Mystery. You may find a brief description of it in my article "CHRIST IS RISEN. Editorial" under the 'HOLY PASCHA 2003', in the page CONTENTS AND LIST of the OCC.
 
In there marriage is describe as "Through Holy Marriage the self preservation of our temporal life is elevated to the harmony of the economy of the Trinity of God." This means that it is not only a contract for certain sexual and procreative, social and economical activities protected by Law.
 
Sorry, I must stop now. I shall try to continue in another moment.
 
May God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, guide you in your worthy search,
 
Fr. Kyrillos.
 

 

My suitor has been married before and so have I, what does the Orthodox faith say about this; from my understanding this faith is somewhat similar to the Catholic faith, which frowns on second, etc., marriages, because they don't believe in divorce.   Also, they don't agree to marring couples of  different denominations.   I want to respect the church views and God concerning our possible union.  I must have God's blessing before I commit to a serious relationship with anyone.  This is were I stand and so your feedback is of utmost importance to me.
 

 

This is a very complex question, and I shall try to answer as brief as possible.
We treat the Sacrament of Marriage as seen by the economy of the Holy Trinity, therefore indissoluble even by death. On the other hand, we see Marriage as been destroyed by sin of adultery, physical or spiritual: "They are not longer two but one flesh" (Mat. 19:1-12). In the Orthodoxy we allow divorce and second and third marriage, but not fourth, although the service of these marriages are different to the first one, they have no crowning, have a penitential spirit, and should carry the penance of prohibition to go to Communion for some years. They are with the mind to avoid promiscuity and giving medicine for the sexual thirst.
 
Sadly this is abused, in these days, by the ignorance of people and clergy, who have not the guts to stick to the Holy Canons.
 

 

I appreciate you for taking time to respond to my email.
 
Thank you.
 
M.
 

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