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THEO 303 (Su '17) T17-18c - Sexual Ethics (Part 3)

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Hartmut Scherer

on 9 August 2017

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Su '17) T17-18c - Sexual Ethics (Part 3)

Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from Scott B. Rae, Moral Choices (2009), chapter 10.
Sexual Ethics (Part 3)
The Challenge of Homosexuality
- avoid sexually tempting situations
- assess the damage that premature sexual relations
can do to a relationship
- can sow seeds of mistrust
Different meanings of the term homosexual
- true homosexual - sexual preference has been
- bisexual - can be sexually attracted to either gender
- situational homosexual - had some homosexual
- Bible speaks only against lust (Matt 5:27-29)
"Safe Sex"
- sex is not meant to be safe
Maintain sexual purity
Recover from sexual failure
- you are the garden of your Creator
- he can give you instructions for your part in the
restoration of the garden
- God can heal the emotional scars
Birth control
methods that prevent conception
are not problematic
cause the death of human persons,
either by preventing implantation or by expelling
the embryo from the uterus
Primary myths about homosexuality
- effeminate
- occurs only in the more artistic professions
- promiscuous
- always a chosen way of life
Developmental factors
(homosexual orientation)
- boy does not enter the “boy becoming man”
social processes with pleasure
- combination of an angry or absent father and a
close-bonding and/or domineering mother
- boy’s introduction to his sexuality
- realize that sex is not the glue that holds a
relationship together
- be rooted in Christ, God's word and empowered
by the Holy Spirit
"It is the intimacy with God through Christ that is most essential to our humanness as both image bearers and sinners. And it is in that intimacy that we come to see most fully the meaning of sex and the ethic that flows from it." (Hollinger)
Romans 1:24-27
- Paul is condemning true heterosexuals who
are engaging in homosexual acts. (“natural”)
- because of sin, the human race developed the
potential for homosexuality
- homosexual male religious prostitutes in
idolatrous worship ceremonies
- Paul is condemning perverse expressions of
- Paul intended to condemn all homosexual
“natural relations with women” - natural sexual relationship is heterosexual and objective
Difference between being homoerotic and homosexual
- attraction is not sin, but it becomes sin when
that attraction is acted upon
- Bible condemns lust and sexual involvement
outside marriage
- church needs to offer grace, truth and
Arguments outside the Bible
- public health argument
- historical argument
- argument from moral philosophy
Legalizing same-sex marriages
- (pro) principle of fairness
- (critics) seeking the social and moral
validation of marriage
- (pro) personal autonomy - informed choices of
consenting adults
- (critics) opens the door to any type of
relationship between consenting adults
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
- was prevalent in the Greco-Roman world
- the most obvious result of humanity's failure to
respond appropriately to God's revelation in
- particularly opposed to God's moral order
established by God in creation (Gen 2:24)
- Jews and Christians viewed personal
relationships as supremely important
- commonly connected to idolatry by Jews and
Male Prostitution?
- "male with male" (Rom 1:27)
- the noun “male” and the verb “to have
intercourse” appear in the LXX of both
Lev. 18:22 and 20:13
- these passages explicitly forbid a man
lying with another man “as with a woman”
- Paul could hardly have viewed these
prohibitions of Leviticus as having
reference only to “male prostitution”
How can the people of God maintain God's ethical standards and deal responsibly and helpfully with people who challenge or resist them?
Ethical Advice
Whereas Christians should love and welcome all sinners, we cannot, however, affirm and condone all actions and ways of life. The church is a place of transformation, discipline, and learning, not merely a place to be indulged.
(Charles Talbert,
, 76.)
Charles Talbert wrote:
Modern Christians who seek to adhere to the biblical values expressed by Paul will neither celebrate homosexual practice nor single it out as the only sin expressing human fallenness. Furthermore, if homosexual acts are wrong, those committing them are sinners, like the rest of us, who are in need of a Savior.
So Christians are called to show Christ’s love to them, not a radical intolerance. While acknowledging that the Bible regards all sexual activity outside of a permanent heterosexual marriage as sin, Christians must also confess that we are all sinners being saved by grace.
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