Christian Teaching on Sex (sexual ethics)

  • Created by: Bridie
  • Created on: 06-04-11 10:35

The Christian New Testament

  • The principle teaching of Jesus in this area revolves around marriage, divorce and adultery.
  • Jesus' teaching on the topic of divorce are not entirely clear because it's open to different interpretations by biblical sholars e.g. it can be read that Jesus allows divorce in certain circumstances, while it can also be interpreted that it's wrong and falls short of God's ideal relationship he intended.
  • The passage in particular that causes differences in interpretation is Mark 10:11:  "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adulery against her"
  • The pinciple message of Jesus was; equality, sucessful human relationships involving God ("Love God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself".

Apostle Paul from the Christian New Testament

  • Christians should remain celibate unless their desires were too much to resist, at which point they must marry. This is an appeal to wait for the second coming of Jesus.
  • His other principle was about his concerns towards the role of women within society, the family and the Church. Has been seen as sexist because he insists that women should be obedient and subject to their husbands but also must not speak in Church. The Christian feminist Jocelyn Burrowes believes that Paul's teachings have provided the basis for woman kind's oppression within the Christian Church for 2000 years and even that his theology is based in fear of equality.

The Early Church

  • The emerging Christian Church emphasised the status and important of celibacy as a spiritual ideal. The idea of celibacy is an ideal for spiritual communion and closeness with God, as modelling by the life of Jesus. The act of celibacy is still supported in the Christian church, for example roman catholic priests are to be celibate.
  • St Augustine's view on sex is that it is a sin unless it's used for reproduction otherwise it puts obligation onto the "immoral negative desires of the flesh". He also said that sex is a "necessary evil" that…


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