Author Topic: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality  (Read 2950 times)

Richard Johnson

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #30 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.”
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revjagow

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #31 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."
Soli Deo Gloria!

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #32 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.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #33 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.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 09:59:38 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #34 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.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #35 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.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

JEdwards

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #36 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

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #37 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...
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Richard Johnson

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #38 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
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

revjagow

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #39 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. 
Soli Deo Gloria!

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #40 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.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

revjagow

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #41 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.
Soli Deo Gloria!

SomeoneWrites

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #42 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





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peter_speckhard

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #43 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?

SomeoneWrites

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Re: A secular challenge to the church on sexuality
« Reply #44 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. 
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