Orthodox religion dating
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Even though this essay tries to address issues exclusively within the Russian Orthodox Church, the very problematic relationship between traditional Christianity and sex is perhaps even more strained in the West.As Bertrand Russell so famously pointed out, The worst feature of the Christian religion …
Some couples may discover that sex is not allowed during Lent; others may not realize this for many years until they accidentally stumble upon this information.As Archpriest Afanasii Belyaev wrote after hearing the confessions of Tsar Nicholas II’s children, “…I was decidedly unsure whether I as a confessor should remind them of sins which may be unknown to them…”3 A priest, however, is usually not a young person’s primary source of information about sin.Peterburg Theological Academy, are most often “self-taught neophytes who do not know the traditions of the Church, and whose spiritual formation was at best based on samizdat9 books.”10 This remark accurately describes the state of many Western converts to Orthodoxy.This break between the modern Russian Orthodox Christian and the tradition of the Church leaves vast areas of this tradition to be rediscovered or reinvented (this would include the traditional views on matters of marital sex).Unlike other areas of the Orthodox Christian heritage, however, the sex lives of the faithful are much more difficult to rediscover or even reinvent.
It seems easy enough to organize a seminar on liturgical, historical, or canonical topics, but few scholars appear willing to address the topic of “approved” sex techniques.
As will be discussed below, the general attitude of the Church seems to follow close to the “ideal” once infamously vocalized by a respectable Soviet woman: “There is no sex in the USSR.”11 Most priests are not likely to mention sex in their sermons even before Great Lent, and they would think twice before asking people about the details of their sex lives during confession. S., where societal attitudes toward sex have been much more relaxed for decades, asking a young man or a young woman questions that are too specific may get the curious confessor in trouble.
A survey of collections of letters to spiritual children by various elders also reveals an absence of any meaningful discussion of marital sex.
As for the prohibitions contained in the ancient confessional rites which we will discuss in due course, Shikhlyarov calls them “superstitions” created by “certain Church writers of the past who clearly went beyond the limits of their competence.” Contextually, Shikhlyarov alludes to monks as the likely source of confessional rites and of the “superstitions” about sex contained in those rites.
Most faithful Christians who are familiar with only the modern confessional may not realize that confession in the Russian Church used to be, at least for a few hundred years, primarily about one’s sexual life.
There are exceptions, but for the most part, adults hesitate to discuss some of the taboo topics with teenagers because the latter are so impressionable and can be easily guided by things they see or hear.