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Question 137

Hi father can you explain how the church views sex before marriage also is there any difference with a second marriage?          


Answer to Question 137


The church has always taught that sexual relations outside of marriage is a sin. That does not mean that the church judges people as improper. The Church’s teaching is the same now as it was 300 years ago or a thousand years ago. This doesn’t mean that the Church has stood still in time. She grows and adapts to new things as they come into being. Her teaching remains the same, but her approach to worldly problems change. She allows herself what we call “Economy” or “Dispensation”. The world has changed over the past 50 years and the Church has not remained blind to these changes, but she cannot change teachings found in the Bible that would in effect spiritually harm her flock. But she does understand these changes and tries to adapt a more modern approach to the problems facing people of today. The majority of marriages that we perform today are marriages where the couples already have a child. It has become the modern way of life and we have accepted it without passing judgement. But that doesn’t mean that it’s right. As for second marriages there is a difference in the service. The prayers speak of human weakness and for God to forgive them for their sins and offences. In other words the service for a second marriage has a penitential character, It is only performed when both parties are entering a second marriage. When only one partner is marrying for the second time and the other for the first time then the usual marriage service is performed.


Another member

what about poor Joseph? He was convinced that Mary had sex outside of marriage.......



So what exactly are you trying to say?


The other member

what's good for the goose......



I really do not understand what you are trying to say. All I can say is that I'm interpreting what you are saying as something offensive. I do not allow such things on my post. If you have opinions that are contrary to the Orthodox Church that is your privilege, but you can advertize them on a separate post.


The other member

not offensive father. Wasn't Joseph upset when he found out that Mary was pregnant? And much more. I think that you are reading into my question more than is there.....



I did ask what were you trying to say and you replied what's good for the goose... is good for the gander. What was I suppose to think?



Joseph the righteous, the charitable, the worker and provider, the foster father, the protector, the obedient, the reliable, the available. Joseph represents the majority of us and how we interpret events with human logic. He was confused and troubled by the virginal conception; his logic told him that the innocent girl he had betrothed was not so innocent after all. For her to be with child meant that she had been unfaithful with another man because he certainly hadn’t touched her. He jumped to the only conclusion his logic allowed. But although his thoughts were rational and in line with most men, his actions show that he was charitable. The normal reaction would have been to accuse Mary and even give her a few slaps and then walk out in disgust, but because he was a just person and charitable he didn’t say a word to anyone, not even to Mary to accuse her of his suspected infidelity; he didn’t rush to defend his wounded manhood: he gave himself time to think of what he would do. Joseph’s logical reasoning is also seen as a temptation and Satan would have done his best by continually bombarding him with the thought that a virginal conception is out of the question because it is opposed by the laws of nature. Joseph was a pious man who trusted in God and he would certainly have prayed to God to help him find a solution to the predicament he was facing. God indeed helped Joseph by revealing to him the truth surrounding the unexpected pregnancy and in that way helped Joseph not only to overcome the temptation, but also to devote and offer himself as the foster parent. Here again is another important lesson for us; we should ask and trust God to help us overcome similar temptations, and to always remember that nothing is impossible with God.


The other member

exactly, if sex before marriage was acceptable for Mary.......even if it was shall we say unorthodox!



Sex before marriage was not acceptable for Mary, there was no sex involved orthodox or unorthodox


The other member

really? How did she conceive? By magic?



You see A... I have read you right. The thing is you don't believe, but you keep referring to the Bible. If you don't believe then just leave it alone, unless you're trying to justify your unbelief to yourself. You really don't have to proof to me or anyone else that you don't believe by being blasphemous.


The other member

excuse me ? Blasphemy? You should be ashamed of yourself to go down that road.  You cannot give a rational opinion since you only have your belief and a book written by men, which I have read from beginning to end and find nothing but contradiction, controversy and immaculate conception. That was a very cheap shot father, and if anything you should have forgiven me.......



But that's what I'm going on about, you keep referring to a Book and a religion that you don't belief in because it's not rational to you. You forget that this post is for Orthodox people to ask questions on the Orthodox faith which I clearly make note every week.

"It is NOT a place for religious debates and heated discussions neither is it a place for non-orthodox to post their disagreements with the Orthodox Church and NOT a place for anyone to advertise his/her own beliefs outside the church."

You chose to ignore this and not the first time because I have copies of the previous weeks where you made your beliefs obvious. I mentioned blasphemy because the Orthodox Church according to her faith believes that Mary THE MOTHER OF GOD conceived miraculously by the Holy Ghost in a way that surpasses the human intellect. This was not magic or sexual as you suggest and any suggestion to the contrary is blasphemous to the beliefs of the church. As for forgiving you, I forgive your rationalism, but other than that you have not harmed me so there is nothing to forgive.