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Author Topic: Christianity and Sex.  (Read 2028 times)

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Offline Prefect MosTopic starter

Christianity and Sex.
« on: June 10, 2011, 04:47:31 PM »
 If Sex is evil, and should only be done for reproduction, and leads to original sin... with modern technology making pregnancy possible shouldn't Christians of sects that really are on anti sex rants use that instead and remain sexless?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 05:21:27 PM »
Actually, 'original sin' was a) disobeying the instruction not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (which is a whole different kettle of fish) and b) atoned for by the 'Blood of the New Covenant' (i.e., Jesus dying on the cross).

Aside from that, since I'm not a member of one of those anti-sex sects (say that three times fast!), nor even Christian, who's to say that some of them haven't considered that?

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 05:32:03 PM »
I believe the History channel did a piece that suggested there was an early branch of Christianity where everyone was supposed to be celibate.  You know...since the second coming was just around the corner and all.  Everyone was to focus on being a good Christian and not get distracted with Earthly things.  One of the church leaders realized they were about to make themselves extinct and changed the rules accordingly.

I have not researched this at all, so take it with a grain of salt.  If true, it is an interesting piece of trivia.

Offline Sure

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 05:59:55 PM »
See: The Shakers, the Harmony Society, and the Ephrata Cloister. They all died out, for obvious reasons. I think the Shakers lasted a bit longer since they adopted into the sect. Early Christian sects that believed such also existed, though they were mostly minor heresies.

Regardless, celibacy is not required of Christians. Corinthians 7, in it's entirety, which directly deals with what you're talking about:
Quote
Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Matthew 19 also comments on celibacy and marriage, specifically saying celibacy is not for everyone, though it's a bit less focused on this specific question to be worth quoting in its entirety (and it's easy enough to find if you want to look it up).

Offline meikle

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 06:19:01 PM »
If Sex is evil, and should only be done for reproduction, and leads to original sin... with modern technology making pregnancy possible shouldn't Christians of sects that really are on anti sex rants use that instead and remain sexless?

you probably need to specify which type of christianity you're talking about, because 'sex is evil' is certainly not an idea espoused by (most) of them.

'sex is for reproduction' is pretty deeply entrenched in the bible, but 'sex is for reproduction' and 'sex is evil' are entirely different ideas.

i have no idea what 'leads to original sin' is.  if you believe in original sin, everyone has it, that's all there is to it.  it explicitly refers to the state of all humans being sinful by default (ie, from origination, from birth); you can't avoid it.  it's part of being human.

Offline Brandon

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 06:32:58 PM »
Sex is a topic that is widely varied in christian sects. I actually cant think of a single currently existing one, off the top of my head, that says sex is just innately evil. If there is one that's still around, I would like to see evidence of its existence otherwise I'm chalking that up to misinformation (whether you are misinformed or spreading misinformation I am unsure)

Sex is a godly gift that must be approached responsibly and/or sex must only be used for reproduction are the philosophies that I'm most familiar with.

Offline Maxwell Malamute

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 11:50:09 PM »
I've long held to the theory that in large part, religions make taboos out of certain sexual acts in order to make them more exciting to break. There comes a certain thrill with breaking the rules. But at the same time, they can lead to undue guilt and even violence. But as has been stated, sex can also be seen as a celebration of life, a blessing. It's certainly a very complex topic.

Offline Serephino

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 09:00:39 PM »
I can't say for sure, but I think that groups who believe sex is evil, or that people should be celibate, are cults, and not real Christians. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 09:42:38 PM »
Well, they'd be missing out on the whole 'go forth and multiply' thing.  (Yeah, Old Testament, I know).

Offline Silk

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 12:13:59 PM »
I can't say for sure, but I think that groups who believe sex is evil, or that people should be celibate, are cults, and not real Christians. 
They would also call other christians not real ones if their not part of their cult, with so many variations claiming to be the right one. No real way of knowing.

Offline Sure

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 11:03:22 PM »
They would also call other christians not real ones if their not part of their cult, with so many variations claiming to be the right one. No real way of knowing.

That can be said of any ideology, however. What's a real liberal? I'm sure certain liberals would deny other people are liberals because they disagree with some point or another. (Liberal's just a random example, conservative works equally well) DINOs and RINOs, exempli gratia.

Splitters!

Anyway, in several places with Ecclesiastic Courts in charge of marriage, accusing your spouse of withholding or denying you sex was a crime. In some cases, it was ground for divorce, in others, the rather awkward convention of sending the spouses home with a Court Order to have sex was preferred, and in a few fines and/or shunning were involved. It could be brought by either gender, as well, and was as far as I've seen, though it wasn't particularly common in general. This included Massachusetts, by the way.

Offline tobisquestion

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Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2011, 12:53:25 AM »
Early Christianity's a major topic of study for me, and for a very long time I was a Christian myself.  What someone said about about early Christian's is entirely true; there was widespread teaching that people we do well to eschew sexual activity in order to best prepare themselves for the coming return of Christ.  But this was not a strict rule and there was certainly no penance required of married couples who continued to have sex.  But many married couples willingly chose to live as brother and sister in order to purify themselves further.

Early Christian documents such as the Epistle of Barnabas do show that sex for purposes other than reproduction were strictly forbidden, as of course they are by the modern Catholic and Orthodox Churches (early Christianity was a lot more like Catholicism/Orthodoxy than most evangelicals would like to admit).  In fact even the Anglican Church forbade contraception until the 1930s, and the major Reformers also denounced it as evil...not a lot of people know that!

As has been said by a few people, mainstream Christianity has never taught that sex is inherently evil.  This teaching was mostly put forward by the "gnostics", who believed that everything to do with the material worls was evil, and sex was included since it's a physical act.  (I guess they'd never heard of tantric sex, lol.)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 03:08:29 AM »
*makes note to review her book on gnosticism*

Offline Lilias

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2011, 06:34:00 AM »
This concise blog post can offer some clarification as well.

Offline Ramster

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2011, 01:55:45 PM »
I bet he loves being called Father Ted.

Offline Lilias

Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2011, 03:11:06 PM »
I bet he loves being called Father Ted.

Don't count on Orthodox colonials catching the reference.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christianity and Sex.
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2011, 03:18:33 PM »
* Oniya caught it, but has a BBCA addiction.