I took a break from checking the Orthodox Bridge site. That they scorn true dialogue is fully apparent to even their supporters by now. I have nothing more to add on that front. (Incidentally, I noticed that the last comment was another moderating warning to me, and that was over a week ago. I hate to say it but I am the reason that site was interesting. Whenever they’re are 70+ comments, I am sure you can find the reason why).
I was interested to see an article on the Orthodox view of marriage. I’m actually quite grateful. It is very hard to find good Orthodox presentations of that, especially from the mainline level. Much of the article is a summary of Trenham’s book on Chrysostom, and much of it is quite good. I want to call attention to the Hellenistic Chain of Being Ontology that explicitly governs their views on marriage.
This is why the Orthodox Church discourages (but does not prohibit) re-marriage after the death of a spouse.
But what did the apostle Paul say? True, he had concerns but they were more of a temporary and logistic nature, and not because marriage is “less than” celibacy.
A second or third wedding ceremony (no fourth is allowed) has a somewhat penitential character, recognizing human weakness.
So, are the sexual urges and physical union “dirty?” or not “as good?” I know they will declaim gnosticism, but it’s hard to see why on their gloss. This specifically says that married sexual urges (or sexual urges seeking climax–sorry, bad pun–in marriage) are human weaknesses. Chain. Of. Being. Ontology.
St. John urged the young widow to whom he wrote to remain faithful to her husband (the title “husband” is used even after his death), in order to keep alive their bond of love, and eventually to be re-united with him.
This is the exact opposite of the New Testament. Paul says that death cuts the covenant bond. But Orthodoxy is anti-Covenantal (sorry, no other way to say it). This is partly why I no longer take the majority of the fathers seriously.
The Orthodox Church forbids re-marriage to widowed clergy, as a way of upholding this ideal.
I can only surmise why not. This is an example of being holier than the apostles. It is interesting that Orthodox (and Romanists) base a lot of their rites off of the Levitical code (never mind that the book of Hebrews said that is done away with). Let’s go with that for a moment. Leviticus 21 gives the qualifications for priestly marriage. While strict, there is no prohibition against remarrying a virgin, etc.
First, the language of the sacrament does not contain the phrase, ‘Till death us do part. In fact, there are no vows at all taken by the couple, except to certify that they come to the marriage of their own free will, and have not promised themselves to anyone else.
Tell any lawyer that isn’t a vow and then come back to me. I understand why they don’t use that language, even if they don’t: vowing until death is covenantal language. The covenant is usually dissolved by physical death, but sometimes it is dissolved by judicial death. Covenant, moreover, is Old Testament language. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from there.
The vows of the Catholic and Protestant West give the marriage a more legal emphasis, rather than the Eastern Church’s emphasis on the blessing of God to effect the union.
This snide tone towards “legal” is at its root rebellion against God’s law. If God is King then his Word is Law.