Fr. Joseph Purpura Interviewed for OCN's "Come Receive the Light"
For the final installment in the Orthodox Christian Network's (OCN) May "Come Receive the Light" series about Sex and the Christian, OCN Executive Director Fr. Christopher Metropulos interviewed Fr. Joseph Purpura, chairman of the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth and Parish Ministries. In the interview, Fr. Joseph spoke about the holiness of Christian sexuality, and how it is meant to enrich the marital life of couples.
"We have the Scriptures given to us as...a wealth of information on how God intends us to live out our lives," emphasized Fr. Joseph in the interview. "God places before us so many of the answers but we go seeking for information from our culture and end up at a dead end. We have to first begin with God's Word—it is lifegiving."
Speaking out of his years of experience working with youth, Fr. Joseph noted that there's no such thing as a private sin—everything we do affects our relationships with all those around us. "The sin in our culture is that we've tried to divorce sex from God. It was God Who created us! From the beginning, the temptation was to not listen to God, but to go our own way."
In the proper context of Christian marriage, Fr. Joseph continued, sexual expression can nurture a God-honoring bond of oneness and communion, which spills over into the conception and raising of children. But first and foremost, he concluded, sexual relations come out of a deep love and respect which a Christian couple shares. "Sex-in and of itself-is a dead end and cannot and will not create real love."