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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Pasgolf on October 15, 2017, 05:07:48 PM

Title: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Pasgolf on October 15, 2017, 05:07:48 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452683/sex-consent-morality-culture-ruined-sexual-revolution

David French makes the case that the acquiescence to a "culture of consent" leads instead to a culture of oppression. He challenges the church to stop withholding one of its strongest messages to culture, namely that of sexual commitment in chastity. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Dave Likeness on October 15, 2017, 05:45:21 PM
Once our contemporary culture declared that the 10 Commandments were obsolete,
then the 6th Commandment was ignored and adultery was in vogue.

The Christian husband and wife see their marriage as a life long commitment to be
faithful to their wedding vows.  They pray for God's blessing on their relationship
and nurture their marriage by a strong intake of Word and Sacrament.  They will
worship the Lord each week in their local congregation and have the support of other
Christian couples in their parish.

Bottom Line:  People who live by "Situational Ethics" believe there are no moral absolutes.
Each individual is free to define right or wrong for their own particular situation.  Hook Ups
or One Night Stands become the norm as people assert their independence from God.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: SomeoneWrites on October 15, 2017, 10:19:43 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452683/sex-consent-morality-culture-ruined-sexual-revolution

David French makes the case that the acquiescence to a "culture of consent" leads instead to a culture of oppression. He challenges the church to stop withholding one of its strongest messages to culture, namely that of sexual commitment in chastity.

I think his argument as presented is a straw-man.  Consent is a baseline, to be sure.  No consent- no sex.  But it's not the only line. 

Quote
You can sum up the sexual ethic of the sexual revolutionary in one sentence: Except in the most extreme circumstances (such as incest), consenting adults define their own moral norms.
This is phrased wonky.  It shouldn't be defined in one sentence.  There's also social constructions and other factors. 

Quote
One-night stands? Fine, so long as there’s consent.
In and of itself, yeah, sure.  What else is going on there?

Quote
May/December relationships. Fantastic, so long as there’s consent.
And other factors - no abuse, manipulation, etc.  If both people are on common ground about what it is, then most likely.  Again, what else is going on.

Quote
Workplace liaisons between boss and subordinate? No problem, with consent.
Woah, there.  There's some proverbs not in the Bible that speak to this.  Company ink...  where you eat... etc.
It's not illegal in many cases, but there are things like conflicts of interest and issues of power, about which people should be educated.  It is understood that sexual harassment is a thing - so who is saying that people should JUST be about consent?


Quote
Adultery? Yes, there are tears, but the heart wants what it wants.
This is also wonky. 

It's more about consumer vs. covenant relationships.  Consent is a necessary part of both.  Covenant relationships are the strongest ones, and breaking the agreements (whatever they may be) is where the tears really come. 

Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Rev Mathew Andersen on October 15, 2017, 10:47:09 PM
"Is there any issue that the church has been more defensive about — and retreated more from — than its biblical sexual ethics?"

Um, what?  Seriously, when has the church as a whole ever retreated from biblical sexual ethics?  I will agree we have done a lousy job of confronting certain sexual sins like divorce.  But we certainly have never given the impression we were in favor of such things.  He may be right that a culture of consent produces oppression.  But what rock has he been living under for the last 30 years that made him think the church has retreated on biblical sexual ethics? Over all he lost credibility for me on that sentence.

Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: SomeoneWrites on October 16, 2017, 12:24:07 AM
"Is there any issue that the church has been more defensive about — and retreated more from — than its biblical sexual ethics?"

Um, what?  Seriously, when has the church as a whole ever retreated from biblical sexual ethics?  I will agree we have done a lousy job of confronting certain sexual sins like divorce.  But we certainly have never given the impression we were in favor of such things.  He may be right that a culture of consent produces oppression.  But what rock has he been living under for the last 30 years that made him think the church has retreated on biblical sexual ethics? Over all he lost credibility for me on that sentence.

I pretty much agree with you on all counts.  I don't think even the liberal churches support hook-up/consent-only culture. 
And again, I don't think it's a consent-only culture. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Charles Austin on October 16, 2017, 04:01:34 AM
Pooh. This is a typical National Review overstatement, touched with hysteria and hostility. (Oh, how I long for the days of the sensible and genial William F. Buckley!) The churches I have pastored certainly do not support the "hook-up" culture, nor have I done anything (I hope) to encourage or endorse a casual approach to sexuality, which says that only "consent" matters.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Matt Hummel on October 16, 2017, 08:55:19 AM
Pooh. This is a typical National Review overstatement, touched with hysteria and hostility. (Oh, how I long for the days of the sensible and genial William F. Buckley!) The churches I have pastored certainly do not support the "hook-up" culture, nor have I done anything (I hope) to encourage or endorse a casual approach to sexuality, which says that only "consent" matters.

Charles- I do not doubt your word about what you have done in the parishes you have pastored. But I am sure that you are aware that that number is a vanishingly small percentage of ELCA congregations. If you don't think that commitment to the "consent" model damaged the Church, I would ask you to look east across the Hudson. Bp. Sudbrock's pusuit of the White Whale of consent damn near imploded the synod. And in his letter explaining his actions, he never once cited the fact that the pastor for whom he was gunning was guilty of adultery (a violation of covenant) all while talking about power and consent. I know this is not the only case out there.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: James_Gale on October 16, 2017, 08:57:38 AM
Pooh. This is a typical National Review overstatement, touched with hysteria and hostility. (Oh, how I long for the days of the sensible and genial William F. Buckley!) The churches I have pastored certainly do not support the "hook-up" culture, nor have I done anything (I hope) to encourage or endorse a casual approach to sexuality, which says that only "consent" matters.


I just don’t see hysteria or overstatement in the linked essay. Could you identify specifically where you believe French has engaged in either?
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 16, 2017, 09:08:34 AM
Pooh. This is a typical National Review overstatement, touched with hysteria and hostility. (Oh, how I long for the days of the sensible and genial William F. Buckley!)
Well, pooh back at you.  Despite your shout out to Buckley (not unlike contemporary liberals pining for the "reasonable" Ronald Reagan in the age of Trump...as if), I simply don't believe you read National Review enough to be qualified to make such a judgment.

Now if you want examples of hysteria and hostility, I would recommend both Slate and Salon, the .com variety I regularly read to "understand" all sides.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 16, 2017, 10:46:49 AM

And again, I don't think it's a consent-only culture.
What are the facets of sexual morality apart from the issue of consent that you think are operative among the progessives that drive our academic and popular culture?

It seems to me we've rid ourselves of any vestige of the idea that sex has a purpose beyond pleasure, that sex, love, marriage, and procreation are designed to be intertwined, and that some sexual desires are perverse as desires because they are inherently disordered. I was once read a case where a judge banned a teenager from owning pets because the boy had had sex with his dog, but the judge's ludicrous reasoning was that it might have been uncomfortable to the dog (again, consent issues), not that sex with animals is immoral. Even pedophilia is only considered problematic because of age of consent issues, not because it is perverse to lust after children. Sodomy, three-or-more-somes, prostitution, pornography, sado-masochism, and basically whatever bizarre fetish you can think of are all treated as matters of, "We're consenting adults, we're not hurting anyone, who are you to judge?" You have to hurt someone against their will to be considered immoral. Basically we've gotten rid of the 6th and treated all things sexual under the 5th.

 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 16, 2017, 11:18:55 AM
It seems to me we've rid ourselves of any vestige of the idea that sex has a purpose beyond pleasure, that sex, love, marriage, and procreation are designed to be intertwined, and that some sexual desires are perverse as desires because they are inherently disordered. I was once read a case where a judge banned a teenager from owning pets because the boy had had sex with his dog, but the judge's ludicrous reasoning was that it might have been uncomfortable to the dog (again, consent issues), not that sex with animals is immoral. Even pedophilia is only considered problematic because of age of consent issues, not because it is perverse to lust after children. Sodomy, three-or-more-somes, prostitution, pornography, sado-masochism, and basically whatever bizarre fetish you can think of are all treated as matters of, "We're consenting adults, we're not hurting anyone, who are you to judge?" You have to hurt someone against their will to be considered immoral. Basically we've gotten rid of the 6th and treated all things sexual under the 5th.
Actually, I think the problem is that we are still unwinding the excessive criminality of particular moral taboos.  That's not to say that some immoral things shouldn't also be illegal.  Along the way, when a particular action is decriminalized, people can't agree what that means culturally.

Watching the currently trendy "nostalgic" TV shows, set in recent earlier eras (before cell phones, the deus ex machina that stifles dramatic tension), the moral preachiness that one encounters, particularly with regard to homosexuality, can be tedious.  Personally, I DO sympathize with closeted characters on Endeavour or Inspector Gently, who don't just face public shaming for acting on their forbidden sexual preferences, but jail time (or should I write that "gaol"  ;) ).  These situations were unjust.

The bottom line is that one can respectfully believe that a man shouldn't go to jail for consensual sodomy, while still believing that it is a sin.  I've made similar arguments about abortion here.  Just because abortion isn't outlawed doesn't mean we can't argue against exercising that "choice" in the culture.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 16, 2017, 11:48:21 AM
It seems to me we've rid ourselves of any vestige of the idea that sex has a purpose beyond pleasure, that sex, love, marriage, and procreation are designed to be intertwined, and that some sexual desires are perverse as desires because they are inherently disordered. I was once read a case where a judge banned a teenager from owning pets because the boy had had sex with his dog, but the judge's ludicrous reasoning was that it might have been uncomfortable to the dog (again, consent issues), not that sex with animals is immoral. Even pedophilia is only considered problematic because of age of consent issues, not because it is perverse to lust after children. Sodomy, three-or-more-somes, prostitution, pornography, sado-masochism, and basically whatever bizarre fetish you can think of are all treated as matters of, "We're consenting adults, we're not hurting anyone, who are you to judge?" You have to hurt someone against their will to be considered immoral. Basically we've gotten rid of the 6th and treated all things sexual under the 5th.
Actually, I think the problem is that we are still unwinding the excessive criminality of particular moral taboos.  That's not to say that some immoral things shouldn't also be illegal.  Along the way, when a particular action is decriminalized, people can't agree what that means culturally.

Watching the currently trendy "nostalgic" TV shows, set in recent earlier eras (before cell phones, the deus ex machina that stifles dramatic tension), the moral preachiness that one encounters, particularly with regard to homosexuality, can be tedious.  Personally, I DO sympathize with closeted characters on Endeavour or Inspector Gently, who don't just face public shaming for acting on their forbidden sexual preferences, but jail time (or should I write that "gaol"  ;) ).  These situations were unjust.

The bottom line is that one can respectfully believe that a man shouldn't go to jail for consensual sodomy, while still believing that it is a sin.  I've made similar arguments about abortion here.  Just because abortion isn't outlawed doesn't mean we can't argue against exercising that "choice" in the culture.

Sterling Spatz
Agreed. But the campaign about criminality is long since over, which is why the judge I was talking about was in a bind; he wanted to somehow establish that sex with dogs is wrong, but he wasn't allowed to anymore in a legal opinion. And that was over ten years ago.

My question to those who think our progressive ideas about sexual morality aren't strictly limited to consent is, okay, what else besides consent is in play? The campaign seems to be not only to decriminalize but to normalize and celebrate any and all sexual desire and bevahior as the exact moral equivalent of a man and wife sleeping together.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Charles Austin on October 16, 2017, 09:58:55 PM
The big unanswered and - so far as I know - unsurvey question is: Why do our people no longer believe what the Church has taught and is teaching. My confirmands heard me and my predecessors, but when they came a few years later for marriage, they were already living with their fiancé, and had probably lived with someone else as well.
Co-habitation is as widespread in the "evangelical" and "conservative" churches as it is in the "liberal" churches. So...?
I have at times in the past speculated that one of the ways that we in the Church squandered our teaching authority was the insistence on teaching about the earth, evolution, and the universe that did not square with science. We bless the greed of capitalism and we honor "success" which means, more, higher and better rather than humble, human and neighborly.
So for the past 15 or 20 years (the time since I've had a couple come to be married who was not already living together), I have just said - as they filled out the forms with a common address - "You know the church does not approve. But where do we go from here?"
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: James_Gale on October 16, 2017, 11:03:42 PM
The big unanswered and - so far as I know - unsurvey question is: Why do our people no longer believe what the Church has taught and is teaching. My confirmands heard me and my predecessors, but when they came a few years later for marriage, they were already living with their fiancé, and had probably lived with someone else as well.
Co-habitation is as widespread in the "evangelical" and "conservative" churches as it is in the "liberal" churches. So...?
I have at times in the past speculated that one of the ways that we in the Church squandered our teaching authority was the insistence on teaching about the earth, evolution, and the universe that did not square with science. We bless the greed of capitalism and we honor "success" which means, more, higher and better rather than humble, human and neighborly.
So for the past 15 or 20 years (the time since I've had a couple come to be married who was not already living together), I have just said - as they filled out the forms with a common address - "You know the church does not approve. But where do we go from here?"


You still haven't explained how the National Review essay overstates anything or exhibits hysteria or hostility.  I'm not even sure to whom you could argue any hostility is directed.  The essay's author, David French, is an attorney, military veteran, and a Presbyterian (PCA).  I read his essay as a message to his own church and to similar church bodies.  I do not read it as anything close to a shot across the bow of other church bodies.  I'd certainly consider any different perspective, if you can support it.


(French, by the way, considered what he knew would be a quixotic independent presidential run in reaction to Donald Trump's victory in the GOP nomination battle.)

Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Charles Austin on October 17, 2017, 03:33:25 AM
Mr. Gale, the topic is the topic, and should not be shifted into a psychoanalysis of why I think something is something. No one has to like or approve of my take on anything, and I usually doubt that they will.
The bigger question is the one I try often to pose: Why is it that people - even our active church people - are not strictly following what we think we are teaching?
Roman Catholic women and men quickly and overwhelmingly turned down their church's renewed declaration against artificial contraception. Millions of Christians stepped away from what the church was saying about homosexuality, even before there were actions like the one the ELCA took in 2009. Tens of thousands of teenagers and young people, yes, even those in our churches, are "hooking up" or living together despite what they have been taught.
The article says Mr. French believes the church has "retreated" from its teaching on sexual ethics. That's his view.
He says current views on sexuality are "oppressive" and "destroying lives," although he does not say how or offer your kind of evidence.
He says the "sexual revolutionary" believes that "anything goes" and all that matters is "consent." But no one seriously concerned about a Christian view of sexuality as a "gift" and "trust" is this kind of "sexual revolutionary."
I don't know what makes Mr. French itch, but I think he's scratching in the wrong place.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Terry W Culler on October 17, 2017, 07:46:19 AM
Charles: In answer to your question, people believe they can ignore the Church's teachings because of the excessive individualism of our culture largely birthed by the academic focus on "deconstructing" all statements purporting to be facts, rendering an individual's perceptions the only "real facts."  If the truth of a statement or doctrine is determined by how I perceive or feel about it, well there is no truth but my truth and my truth tells me to seek my perception of good.  No one outside myself is legitimately capable of denying me what I want--even the Scripture instructed Church of Jesus Christ.  I have actually begun to wonder if the American admiration of individualism isn't, at some level, Satanic.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 17, 2017, 08:49:59 AM
The big unanswered and - so far as I know - unsurvey question is: Why do our people no longer believe what the Church has taught and is teaching. ....We bless the greed of capitalism and we honor "success" which means, more, higher and better rather than humble, human and neighborly.

This shows that any it is fruitless to wonder why people don't believe what we're teaching. If we condemn something that is obviously popular, like sexual immorality (or birth control, or whatever) and they don't like it, they abandon the church for being too churchy. Yet if we condone something that is obviously popular, like greed, people abandon the church for being insufficiently churchy.

All we can do is preach and teach what has been given us to preach and teach, which is centered on Christ crucified but includes the whole of God's revealed counsel.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Team Hesse on October 17, 2017, 08:53:42 AM
Charles: In answer to your question, people believe they can ignore the Church's teachings because of the excessive individualism of our culture largely birthed by the academic focus on "deconstructing" all statements purporting to be facts, rendering an individual's perceptions the only "real facts."  If the truth of a statement or doctrine is determined by how I perceive or feel about it, well there is no truth but my truth and my truth tells me to seek my perception of good.  No one outside myself is legitimately capable of denying me what I want--even the Scripture instructed Church of Jesus Christ.  I have actually begun to wonder if the American admiration of individualism isn't, at some level, Satanic.


I am quite sure it is Satanic.....autonomianism is the rule of the day....but it is nothing new, clear back to the days of "they did what was right in their own eyes"


I rather think Milton summed it all up very well with the words he put in Satan's mouth as Satan was being tossed from heaven,"Tis better to rule in hell than serve in heaven."


Lou
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Team Hesse on October 17, 2017, 09:08:07 AM
"I do not have power or control over the human heart like the potter who moulds in clay whatever way he pleases. I can go no further than their ears; their hearts I cannot reach. And since I cannot pour faith into their hearts, I cannot, nor should I, force anyone to have faith. That is God's work alone for only He can create faith in the heart. So then we should give free course to the word and not add our works to it. We have the right to speak but we do not have executive power. We are called to preach the word, but the results must be left solely to God's good pleasure."


Martin Luther, March 10, 1522; Wittenberg (WA 10/3:15)


I found it on page 315 in "A Year with Luther",  Athena Lexutt


Lou
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Terry W Culler on October 17, 2017, 10:10:17 AM
Charles: In answer to your question, people believe they can ignore the Church's teachings because of the excessive individualism of our culture largely birthed by the academic focus on "deconstructing" all statements purporting to be facts, rendering an individual's perceptions the only "real facts."  If the truth of a statement or doctrine is determined by how I perceive or feel about it, well there is no truth but my truth and my truth tells me to seek my perception of good.  No one outside myself is legitimately capable of denying me what I want--even the Scripture instructed Church of Jesus Christ.  I have actually begun to wonder if the American admiration of individualism isn't, at some level, Satanic.


I am quite sure it is Satanic.....autonomianism is the rule of the day....but it is nothing new, clear back to the days of "they did what was right in their own eyes"


I rather think Milton summed it all up very well with the words he put in Satan's mouth as Satan was being tossed from heaven,"Tis better to rule in hell than serve in heaven."


Lou


It is true that sin is the curving in upon ourselves--it has always been thus.  However, the question for us in this country is whether or not the individualism that under girds the American ethos is Satanic.  Was this entire nation lured by the enemy into believing something which is itself evil--that individuals have an indisputable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as they alone define happiness and liberty?  I am wondering more and more about the validity of the 18th century rationalism that was the foundation for our understanding of a just culture.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: James_Gale on October 17, 2017, 10:13:55 AM
Mr. Gale, the topic is the topic, and should not be shifted into a psychoanalysis of why I think something is something. No one has to like or approve of my take on anything, and I usually doubt that they will.
The bigger question is the one I try often to pose: Why is it that people - even our active church people - are not strictly following what we think we are teaching?
Roman Catholic women and men quickly and overwhelmingly turned down their church's renewed declaration against artificial contraception. Millions of Christians stepped away from what the church was saying about homosexuality, even before there were actions like the one the ELCA took in 2009. Tens of thousands of teenagers and young people, yes, even those in our churches, are "hooking up" or living together despite what they have been taught.
The article says Mr. French believes the church has "retreated" from its teaching on sexual ethics. That's his view.
He says current views on sexuality are "oppressive" and "destroying lives," although he does not say how or offer your kind of evidence.
He says the "sexual revolutionary" believes that "anything goes" and all that matters is "consent." But no one seriously concerned about a Christian view of sexuality as a "gift" and "trust" is this kind of "sexual revolutionary."
I don't know what makes Mr. French itch, but I think he's scratching in the wrong place.


I'm not trying to psychoanalyze anything.  I've simply invited you to support your assertion that Mr. French's essay is riven with hysteria and hostility.  You've dodged that invitation, which speaks volumes. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 17, 2017, 10:41:48 AM
Charles: In answer to your question, people believe they can ignore the Church's teachings because of the excessive individualism of our culture largely birthed by the academic focus on "deconstructing" all statements purporting to be facts, rendering an individual's perceptions the only "real facts."  If the truth of a statement or doctrine is determined by how I perceive or feel about it, well there is no truth but my truth and my truth tells me to seek my perception of good.  No one outside myself is legitimately capable of denying me what I want--even the Scripture instructed Church of Jesus Christ.  I have actually begun to wonder if the American admiration of individualism isn't, at some level, Satanic.


Such thinking has been around since the Garden of Eden. It's nothing new.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 17, 2017, 11:02:12 AM
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent. A couple of comments have denied that consent is the only ingredient in their thoughts on the subject, but nobody has said what those other ingredients are.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: SomeoneWrites on October 17, 2017, 11:28:23 AM
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent. A couple of comments have denied that consent is the only ingredient in their thoughts on the subject, but nobody has said what those other ingredients are.

I touched on some of those things on page one, and I'm working on a response to your question.  Gotta go to work  :)

Such thinking has been around since the Garden of Eden. It's nothing new.
I do not understand this response in light of your responses regarding the historicity of Eden. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 17, 2017, 12:27:19 PM
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent. A couple of comments have denied that consent is the only ingredient in their thoughts on the subject, but nobody has said what those other ingredients are.

I touched on some of those things on page one, and I'm working on a response to your question.  Gotta go to work  :)

Such thinking has been around since the Garden of Eden. It's nothing new.
I do not understand this response in light of your responses regarding the historicity of Eden.
Abuse and manipulation are both facets of consent. If the person was intimidated or tricked, the consent isn't real. And abuse is tricky to define if there is genuine consent by everyone involved and none of them are being intimidated or deceived into consenting and the behavior remains within the boundaries of what was consented to.

Genuine, Christian sexual morality revolves around marriage, which obviously includes consent, but also includes a much broader idea of what is being consented to according to what husband and wife are to each other, to their own families and children, and to society. Sexual behavior in itself-- that is, the pursuit of pleasure via arousal and/or orgasm-- thus has a larger context within which it must fit, and if it can't fit within that context it is considered wrong, immoral, perverse, etc.

People with a 6th Commandment sense of chastity or "sexually pure and decent" to use our translation, recognize autoeroticism, pornography, hookups, premarital sex, sodomy, bestiality, swinger parties, prostitution, burlesque/stripper shows, etc. as sexual immorality even when done on a fully consensual basis. Modern progressives, however, using the 5th Commandment only, have to claim there is nothing immoral about these things as long as they are consensual. Or, if they sense there is still something immoral about these behaviors, they have to find moral objections based on flaws in nature of the consent, such as social power imbalances between prostitures and clients that blur the line between free consent and pressured acquiescence. That's how progressives can still claim (though they are faltering even here) to oppose pedophilia while accepting all the other things I mentioned. A child can't truly consent, even though those same progressive would say that same child can consent to getting an abortion. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Charles Austin on October 17, 2017, 12:29:41 PM
Peter writes:
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent

I comment:
I dare to suggest that you read the ELCA social statement on sexuality. You will find that "modern progressives" think about things like commitment and holiness and fidelity and community living.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: revjagow on October 17, 2017, 12:45:56 PM
"Is there any issue that the church has been more defensive about — and retreated more from — than its biblical sexual ethics?"

Um, what?  Seriously, when has the church as a whole ever retreated from biblical sexual ethics?  I will agree we have done a lousy job of confronting certain sexual sins like divorce.  But we certainly have never given the impression we were in favor of such things.  He may be right that a culture of consent produces oppression.  But what rock has he been living under for the last 30 years that made him think the church has retreated on biblical sexual ethics? Over all he lost credibility for me on that sentence.

I pretty much agree with you on all counts.  I don't think even the liberal churches support hook-up/consent-only culture. 
And again, I don't think it's a consent-only culture.

I think the article lacked any data to back up what the author says the message from the culture is. This is the first I've read or seen some of the assertions of the "consent-only" culture.  He also did not spell out the Bible's counter message very well. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: revjagow on October 17, 2017, 12:55:52 PM
[It so happens, I read this in my devotions, today. I think I'll put this right here...]

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ's words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism - for that is what the words 'one flesh' would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact - just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude doesn't mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of breathing. It means that you  mustn't isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try and get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

C.S. Lewis from "Mere Christianity"
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 17, 2017, 01:00:50 PM
Peter writes:
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent

I comment:
I dare to suggest that you read the ELCA social statement on sexuality. You will find that "modern progressives" think about things like commitment and holiness and fidelity and community living.
I read the ELCA statement multiple times. It says literally nothing about holiness as far as I can remember. Nor does it revolve around marriage (commitment and fidelity). It revolves around trust. That was my major criticism of it-- it viewed marriage as good in so far as it builds up trust rather than trust as good because it builds up marriage. But again, trust, especially in matters involving extreme vulnerability like sex, is an aspect of consent. The statement's take on pornography, prostitution, masturbation, sodomy, etc. were not based on what is pure and holy sexual behavior. The statement rejects polygamy, somewhat absurdly, on the grounds that polygamy amounted to a transient sexual enounter, which is manifestly ridiculous, but was the only way they could be against it without bringing in a central pattern of marriage that demands one male and one female. In other words, according to the ELCA polygamy is bad because it isn't permanent (even though it is), not because it violates the church's pattern for marriage.

Even so, I think the ELCA statement does indeed introduce something more than consent. It brings in the ideas of exclusivity and permanence. I think many modern progressives would reject those things as quaint Christian vestiges of an outdated sense of morality. That is, the ELCA statement avoids ideas like sexual impurity, lust, or unchastity, but does seek to reinforce some aspects of traditional sexual morality in a way that tries to straddle the old teachings of the church and the modern view of sexual morality as purely involving consent. I obviously don't think it works, but it is an effort to bring more than consent to the question of sexual morality.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Charles Austin on October 17, 2017, 01:24:40 PM
Well, at least you think that it possibly brings more then the matter of mere “consent” into the sexuality discussion. I guess I’ll take that.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 17, 2017, 09:03:05 PM
Peter writes:
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent

I comment:
I dare to suggest that you read the ELCA social statement on sexuality. You will find that "modern progressives" think about things like commitment and holiness and fidelity and community living.

He did. He found it "less like visiting Canada than it was like visiting India. For all we have in common, the LCMS and ELCA have grown apart so fast and furiously that my expedition into this study did not cover the familiar-with-a-twist ground I expected; I found it almost entirely foreign territory.”
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: revjagow on October 17, 2017, 09:15:22 PM
Peter writes:
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent

I comment:
I dare to suggest that you read the ELCA social statement on sexuality. You will find that "modern progressives" think about things like commitment and holiness and fidelity and community living.

He did. He found it "less like visiting Canada than it was like visiting India. For all we have in common, the LCMS and ELCA have grown apart so fast and furiously that my expedition into this study did not cover the familiar-with-a-twist ground I expected; I found it almost entirely foreign territory.”

I felt the same way. I hope I'm remembering right, but I recall Peter's comment on the tortured language used in the study being the same that a teacher once put on a paper of his: "Whatever this is, it won't do."
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 17, 2017, 09:44:32 PM
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent. A couple of comments have denied that consent is the only ingredient in their thoughts on the subject, but nobody has said what those other ingredients are.

I touched on some of those things on page one, and I'm working on a response to your question.  Gotta go to work  :)

Such thinking has been around since the Garden of Eden. It's nothing new.
I do not understand this response in light of your responses regarding the historicity of Eden.


Biblical text can convey truth without being historical. Humans have been self-serving from the beginning.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 17, 2017, 09:57:24 PM
[It so happens, I read this in my devotions, today. I think I'll put this right here...]

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ's words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism - for that is what the words 'one flesh' would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact - just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude doesn't mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of breathing. It means that you  mustn't isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try and get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

C.S. Lewis from "Mere Christianity"


A problem with Lewis' quote (and biblical study) is that there are two passages where Paul quotes Genesis 2:24. Ephesians 5:31 is within the context of marriage (and Christ and the church).

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 it is in the context of having sex with a prostitute. Whether married or not, sexual intercourse (according to Paul) causes the two to become one flesh.

Actually people who taste for a living, e.g., wine tasters - do taste and spit it out.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 17, 2017, 11:25:13 PM

Actually people who taste for a living, e.g., wine tasters - do taste and spit it out.

Of course, Lewis wrote of the pleasures of taste.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 18, 2017, 02:26:02 AM

Actually people who taste for a living, e.g., wine tasters - do taste and spit it out.

Of course, Lewis wrote of the pleasures of taste.


I'm pretty sure that wine tasters get pleasure out of tasting the wine - even without swallowing.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: JEdwards on October 18, 2017, 09:41:56 AM
[It so happens, I read this in my devotions, today. I think I'll put this right here...]

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ's words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism - for that is what the words 'one flesh' would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact - just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude doesn't mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of breathing. It means that you  mustn't isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try and get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

C.S. Lewis from "Mere Christianity"


A problem with Lewis' quote (and biblical study) is that there are two passages where Paul quotes Genesis 2:24. Ephesians 5:31 is within the context of marriage (and Christ and the church).

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 it is in the context of having sex with a prostitute. Whether married or not, sexual intercourse (according to Paul) causes the two to become one flesh.

Actually people who taste for a living, e.g., wine tasters - do taste and spit it out.

If you are suddenly determined to be a literalist, I would reply that wine tasters do not chew the wine.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 18, 2017, 11:31:27 AM

Actually people who taste for a living, e.g., wine tasters - do taste and spit it out.

Of course, Lewis wrote of the pleasures of taste.

I'm pretty sure that wine tasters get pleasure out of tasting the wine - even without swallowing.

The pleasure of wine is in the drinking, not simply in the tasting.

And I'm pretty sure you don't know anything about those who taste wine for a living...
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 18, 2017, 12:38:22 PM
Peter writes:
Still would be interested to know what modern progressives think goes into considerations of sexual morality apart from consent

I comment:
I dare to suggest that you read the ELCA social statement on sexuality. You will find that "modern progressives" think about things like commitment and holiness and fidelity and community living.

He did. He found it "less like visiting Canada than it was like visiting India. For all we have in common, the LCMS and ELCA have grown apart so fast and furiously that my expedition into this study did not cover the familiar-with-a-twist ground I expected; I found it almost entirely foreign territory.”

I felt the same way. I hope I'm remembering right, but I recall Peter's comment on the tortured language used in the study being the same that a teacher once put on a paper of his: "Whatever this is, it won't do."

You, Andy, are remembering precisely right. I'm impressed, that was several years ago now!  ;)

As for me, I felt like I was traveling in territory that was terrifyingly familiar.  :P
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: revjagow on October 18, 2017, 03:59:38 PM
[It so happens, I read this in my devotions, today. I think I'll put this right here...]

The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ's words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism - for that is what the words 'one flesh' would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact - just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude doesn't mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of breathing. It means that you  mustn't isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try and get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

C.S. Lewis from "Mere Christianity"


A problem with Lewis' quote (and biblical study) is that there are two passages where Paul quotes Genesis 2:24. Ephesians 5:31 is within the context of marriage (and Christ and the church).

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 it is in the context of having sex with a prostitute. Whether married or not, sexual intercourse (according to Paul) causes the two to become one flesh.

Actually people who taste for a living, e.g., wine tasters - do taste and spit it out.

I admit I'm having a hard time knowing if your intent is to make a case against Lewis' argument in order to say casual sex is not that big a deal, or are you highlighting the way Paul quotes from Genesis to say something else? Forgive me for just backtracking and spelling out how I read the quote and how it relates to Paul's teaching.

The point of the Lewis quote (which I find very helpful) is that we should not separate the one kind of union from the others that are meant to go with it. I think a good example of this is when you see an older couple who have been together many years knowing each other thoughts and able to complete each other's sentences. I take that as evidence that the union God intended in marriage is meant to go much deeper than just the physical union.

I don't think your quotes from Paul's letters directly contradict that argument. Paul's point in 1 Corinthians is to avoid sex with prostitutes for the same reasons - don't try to isolate the physical union from the other kinds of union that are meant to go with it.  The point in the other writings is that God established marriage to be a special union between a man and a woman. I think all this lines up with "Mere Christianity" very well. 

I also think your illustration of wine tasting is perfectly aligned with Lewis' point. Wine is meant to be fully enjoyed on levels beyond just taste, something that tasters cannot do while on the job. This may even be a great illustration to use in Bible class. Would you prefer to just taste the wine and spit it out, or do you want to sit down and enjoy it, maybe with a wonderful diner, good company and a relaxing atmosphere? If all you want to do is spit, you will never fully understand or enjoy what that wine was meant to be. 
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 18, 2017, 04:26:35 PM
The point of the Lewis quote (which I find very helpful) is that we should not separate the one kind of union from the others that are meant to go with it. I think a good example of this is when you see an older couple who have been together many years knowing each other thoughts and able to complete each other's sentences. I take that as evidence that the union God intended in marriage is meant to go much deeper than just the physical union.

I agree with Lewis' point, but I don't think that it comes from Paul's quotes - at least in 1 Corinthians. Paul states that the sexual union makes two people one flesh regardless of their emotional connection or marriage connection. A "John" becomes one flesh with a prostitute. However, Paul also notes that there another type of union - a spiritual one that we have with Christ. Within that section, he says nothing about the type of union that that might exist between a husband and a wife. The next chapter he talks about marriage - and he's mostly against it! Marriage is for Christians who cannot control their sex drive.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: revjagow on October 18, 2017, 09:48:03 PM
The point of the Lewis quote (which I find very helpful) is that we should not separate the one kind of union from the others that are meant to go with it. I think a good example of this is when you see an older couple who have been together many years knowing each other thoughts and able to complete each other's sentences. I take that as evidence that the union God intended in marriage is meant to go much deeper than just the physical union.

I agree with Lewis' point, but I don't think that it comes from Paul's quotes - at least in 1 Corinthians. Paul states that the sexual union makes two people one flesh regardless of their emotional connection or marriage connection. A "John" becomes one flesh with a prostitute. However, Paul also notes that there another type of union - a spiritual one that we have with Christ. Within that section, he says nothing about the type of union that that might exist between a husband and a wife. The next chapter he talks about marriage - and he's mostly against it! Marriage is for Christians who cannot control their sex drive.

I think it is helpful sometimes to step away from the text and take note of the wider landscape. See the forest for the trees, as it were.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis is laying out what the overall Christian approach is to marriage in a way that played to his radio audience. I think the overall argument fits really well with all the mentions of marriage and sex in the Bible.

Being focused on Paul's use of "one flesh" in Corinthians misses the overall point of the text which I think agrees with Lewis - the physical union without the other connections that God meant to happen in marriage is a twisting of God's good plan.  I agree that Paul seems to argue against marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, but again, looking at the chapter as a whole, there is a lot more there other than "marry if you can't control yourself". That part comes in a section where he uses the pronoun "I" a lot.  Throughout the chapter he makes a distinction between his advice when he writes phrases like, "not as a command", "I say...", "I and not the Lord" and teaching that is more than his opinion when he writes things like, "not I, but the Lord". I find a fascinating chapter to relate to pastoral practice. I would love to have the original questions he says he was answering in verse 1.
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: SomeoneWrites on October 19, 2017, 10:48:50 AM

And again, I don't think it's a consent-only culture.
What are the facets of sexual morality apart from the issue of consent that you think are operative among the progessives that drive our academic and popular culture?


Thank you for your patience on my response.  I want to be clear, I'm not trying to stir the pot and I recognize what forum I'm on.  I think Matt Hummel had a good assessment of the article. 

The facets I think are apart from the issue of consent are
- Societal Values
- Family values
- Moderation
- Kindness

Distinct but more overlapping with consent
- Mutuality
- Safety
- Responsibility
- honesty





Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 19, 2017, 04:30:43 PM

And again, I don't think it's a consent-only culture.
What are the facets of sexual morality apart from the issue of consent that you think are operative among the progessives that drive our academic and popular culture?


Thank you for your patience on my response.  I want to be clear, I'm not trying to stir the pot and I recognize what forum I'm on.  I think Matt Hummel had a good assessment of the article. 

The facets I think are apart from the issue of consent are
- Societal Values
- Family values
- Moderation
- Kindness

Distinct but more overlapping with consent
- Mutuality
- Safety
- Responsibility
- honesty
I find this list somewhat puzzling. What would be some examples that make you think social progressives link all those things to sexual morality?
Title: Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
Post by: SomeoneWrites on October 19, 2017, 05:53:36 PM

And again, I don't think it's a consent-only culture.
What are the facets of sexual morality apart from the issue of consent that you think are operative among the progessives that drive our academic and popular culture?


Thank you for your patience on my response.  I want to be clear, I'm not trying to stir the pot and I recognize what forum I'm on.  I think Matt Hummel had a good assessment of the article. 

The facets I think are apart from the issue of consent are
- Societal Values
- Family values
- Moderation
- Kindness

Distinct but more overlapping with consent
- Mutuality
- Safety
- Responsibility
- honesty
I find this list somewhat puzzling. What would be some examples that make you think social progressives link all those things to sexual morality?

Kindness example
https://infidels.org/kiosk/article/religion-sex-and-morality-876.html

Moderation
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-blame-game/201506/view-or-not-view-is-the-question


From http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sexual-ethics
Quote
Contemporary efforts in sexual ethics recognize multiple meanings for human sexuality—pleasure, reproduction, communication, love, conflict, social stability, and so on. Most of those who labor at sexual ethics recognize the need to guide sexual behavior in ways that preserve its potential for good and restrict its potential for evil. Safety, nonviolence, equality, autonomy, mutuality, and truthfulness are generally acknowledged as required for minimal human justice in sexual relationships. Many think that care, responsibility, commitment, love, and fidelity are also required, or at least included as goals. With social construction no longer ignored, the politics of sex has become an ethical matter for persons and societies, institutions and professions. New questions press regarding the ways in which humanity is to reproduce itself and the responsibilities it has for its offspring. In all of this, sexual ethics asks, How is it appropriate—helpful and not harmful, creative and not destructive—to live and to relate to one another as sexual beings?

For mutuality, I can think of several people that have declined sex with other consenting adults because they did not feel they were on the same page as the other person and felt that it would be wrong to have sex with them. 

I don't know if the original author of the example meant Adultery in the same way that you and other Lutherans define adultery, but I don't think so.
I think this goes again with mutuality in that it can still be "wrong" for a person to go outside a relationship for sexual activity (with another person or pornography) if it's not assented by the other in a relationship.

Society values, and most of the family values I know of speak to the nature of commitment, and endorse it as healthy.