Sexual Purity and the Vocation of Marriage

Public Orthodoxy

by David C. Ford, Mary Ford, Rev. Dr. Philip LeMasters, Philip Mamalakis, and Alf Kentigern Siewers

“The sacred nature of the God-established union and its lofty spiritual content explain the Apostle’s affirmation in Heb. 13:4. That is why the Orthodox Church condemned any defilement of its purity (Eph. 5:2-5, 1 Thes. 4:4, Heb. 13:4ff)” (Chambesy Statement). The Church indeed must emphasize sexual purity, or chastity, today more than ever, especially for the benefit of young people, as a calling to the integral unity of body and soul in Christ. Orthodoxy envisions chastity as an ascetical discipline whereby people achieve an embodied wholeness fulfilling them in synergy with God’s grace. Holy matrimony and monasticism are both icons of chaste participation in the mystical marriage of Christ with His Bride, the Church. Such purity minimally requires  abstinence from genital expressions of sexuality outside of monogamous marriage between a…

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