An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
I enjoyed these interviews, but honestly when + Jonah mentioned contraception as "having no place" in an orthodox marriage... hmmm. He then backtracked a bit and mentioned that the spiritual father should have some role in the application of this principle.
Knowing everything we know about real unvarnished marital life, and real Orthodox Life in our parishes, is there REALLY, REALLY? a need for couples, after they've had children to go to some monk or parish priest (often 20 years their junior) for a blessing to use birth control? In my opinion, this seems grotesquely inappropriate. What other words might one use: Ridiculous, preposterous, lamentable, insane, risible, or just "foamy-mouth-nutsy". There are so very many circumstances, most of them the rule rather than the exception, that make this kind "guidance" dangerous, and surely +Jonah must understand this. The Church's position on this seems sufficiently gray that we should approach it like any other serious moral problem and lay down hard-nosed principles, and let adults apply those principles, and then ask a qualified priest for guidance if a person's conscience really is truly disturbed. We say "do not kill", but we don't ask a parish priest if we can maintain a handgun. Nor do we ask the priest to bless a a questionable deduction on our taxes.
Honestly, it would be better if we said that the church really doesn't see much point in a willfully childldess marriage, and leave it at that.
"Honestly, it would be better if we said that the church really doesn't see much point in a willfully childldess marriage, and leave it at that."
Ahem, some of us Orthodox are Childfree for many, various different reasons. Our Orthodox world leaves so many of us misfit, liberal progressive Orthodox Christians out in the cold with little to no understanding. Someone has to speak for the, Leftmost Few, of us.
I guess it depends on what you mean and also what your experience has been. Surely the Orthodox Church is not as "tolerant" or "understanding" as the Episcopal Church...but then I'm not sure I would define what they've done with many issues as being tolerant or understanding, but rather embracing and there's a big difference.
My experience (in my Parish for example) for instance is that you will find a hodge-podge of political opinions and by no means are liberal progressives a "small, small crowd of misfits" in my Parish.
I've always seen the Church as being rather transcendent of politics. For examples some would say in my Parish that we ought to vote to see the poor and needy cared for by the government and that our Christian conscience should compel us in this matter. However, others (like myself - a borderline libertarian) would suggest our conscience ought not to compel us to force OTHERS to give to the poor, and that additionally the government is the WORSE means of actually helping people out of poverty. I have strong opinions on the matter, but I also believe that Orthodox Christians in good conscience can agree to disagree...and we do.
I've not visited your site yet, so maybe you would take the progressive agenda even further? Like blessing same sex unions, publicly speaking in favor of abortion, etc...if so, well then yes, you would indeed be correct in referring to yourself as representing a "small small crowd of misfits."
But I'll check it out...happy to dialogue further.