Beloved in Christ our Savior,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
What is adultery? Most of us know what it is, it is having an affair with someone who is not your spouse and/or another person's spouse. It is a violation of the marriage bond between a husband and wife. The Old Testament is quite clear about adultery. It is seriously wrong.
"You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:13-15).
"The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall be put to death" (Leviticus 2:10).
"Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul" (Proverbs 6:32).
Jesus reaffirms the prohibition against adultery, "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (St. Matthew 5:32; St. Mark 10:11-12; St. Luke 16:18).
Jesus takes the prohibition to the level of the heart and mind when He says, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (St. Matthew 5:27-28).
Are we sinful and adulterous generation? A recent Barna study, 4 out of 10 Americans believe that adultery is morally acceptable. For Christians, the number was 1 out of 10. Over a third of married men will cheat on their wives and nearly a quarter of all married women will cheat on their husbands. These statistics included nearly 25% of Christians.
This happens when Christians do not take the time to pray and read the Holy Scripture each day, when they are absent from the Divine Liturgy each and every week to receive Christ Himself in the Divine Eucharist. When people lose their Christian identity, character, values, moral and ethical precepts, and yes, fear of God. When people become materialistic, hedonistic, secular, and worldly. When one becomes a person that has no shame for anything that he says or does.
Please remember if an Orthodox Christian is separated, or in the process of filing for a civil divorce or has attained a civil divorce, in the eyes of the Orthodox Church that person is still considered married to his/her spouse until he/she is granted an Ecclesiastical (Church) Divorce by the Metropolitan of the local Greek Orthodox Metropolis. Therefore, it would be a very serious mistake to act as an unmarried person to have sexual relationship with other men or women, for that would constitute adultery by the Church. If one deliberately and defiantly ignores the teachings of the Church he/she cannot receive the sacraments or other rights. To be reinstated, the Orthodox Christian, living such a sinful life, must sincerely repent, and participate in the Sacrament of Confession.
Please remember also, that you cannot marry civilly before you receive your Church divorce. And if you wish to remarry within the Church you need absolutely your Church divorce first and then you can apply to the Metropolis for a second marriage.
If one is living an adulterous lifestyle, perhaps out of ignorance of the teachings of our Holy Church, stop immediately.
If you want to apply for an Ecclesiastical divorce, contact me as soon as possible.