Sunday, February 11, 2007

Christian Sexuality Part 2


Shedding the Oppression


Society's Response to Traditional Christian Sexuality

THE BIAS AGAINST VICTORIAN AND PURITAN MORALITY

The person who chooses to wait until marriage, or defends the nuclear family as the acceptable norm is accused of holding Victorian or puritanical values. Ages past, in which strict moral codes were enforced, or simply practiced and taught, have become bywords at which we now laugh.

Often people assume that a strict moral code is the result of cruel or instable leaders attempting to legislate activity, which they should have no right to interfere in. The days of the Puritans, and the Victorians have become the times our current age of sexual freedom looks upon with disdain. They are viewed as dark ages of repression and human frustration.


CONTEMPORARY SEXUAL MORES

The accepted sexual morality of Puritan America, as well as the Catholic and Protestant Calvinist Europe was heterosexual, monogamous union which was established covenantally by promises to faithfully live together, and limit sexual practices to one's marriage partner for life. The exceptions to this rule have generally been death of a partner, and unfaithfulness (adultery). In these cases, a marriage partner has been allowed to leave the covenant, and been free to marry another. There have been stricter limitations at certain times, and in certain religious sects, but this is still the accepted basic rule in most conservative Christian circles. To add to the strictness of these laws, sex has been limited to marriage. Thus the sexual options for conservative Christians have traditionally been marriage or abstinence.

Contrasted to this narrow view of sexuality, we have a growing population of society which practices a variety of sexual lifestyes deviating from this historically standard practice. These deviations from the "norm" have been around since ancient times, and most are referenced in the Bible itself.

Some of the sexual variations practiced include masturbation (self actuated sex), premarital sex (sex before marriage), homosexuality (sex with members of the same gender), bisexuality (sex with both genders), polyamory or open marriage (sex with other's partners despite marriage and agreed upon by both marriage partners), pedophilia (sex with prepubescent children), and beastiality (sex with animals). The list can be broken down to include other activities and practices such as sex change operations, cross dressing, sado-masochism and more, and the list is meant to do nothing more than outline the variations from traditional Christian sexual practice.

The sheer number of people involved in sexual practices which are outlined above has given rise to voices of protest against Biblical sexual morality. Of note, the homosexual community has been active and effective in challenging the standardly accepted Biblical sexual mores. Laws have been changed, and social biases reversed in many instances.

As a result of this evolution of sexual morality, the conservative Christian standards have been seriously challenged, and are now considered by many people to be the last deeply entrenched bastion of prejudice and oppression from the past.

4 comments:

Adam said...

We will never affect society unless the church really starts to understand and live by the standards that we profess. Christians (according to most surveys) seem to be about the same as the general population in areas of sexuality (sex before marriage, affairs, etc.) I think if we are going to try to affect the world we have to start by teaching the church. Once we have something to point to that can show people that there is a positive sexuality then the world might take notice. But if all we are doing is saying this is what should be but no one inside the church is following we are wasting our breath.

Mike said...

i am still unclear why sexuality is such a big deal. i mean, why it is always talked about and what not. i know i know, kids are having sex, and blah blah. but there is a lot of other stuff going on that we don't talk all that much about comparatively. we are so quick to point out that this or that behavior is sin (when it comes to sex) but what about mammon? what about justice? at least that seems to be the case from my perspective.

Pastor Phil said...

Adam,

Living whast we preach is high on the list of necessary things - isn't it?

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Fletch,

I know exactly what you mean, and in this many part discussion I hope to reframe the message to make sense, and to make it compassionate, and still model the biblical injunctions in a manner which integrates the whole story of redemption.