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THEO 303 (Su '15) T18 - Sexual Ethics (Part 2)

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Hartmut Scherer

on 19 June 2015

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Su '15) T18 - Sexual Ethics (Part 2)

Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from Dennis P. Hollinger,
The Meaning of Sex
(Baker, 2009) and Scott Rae,
Moral Choices
, chapter 10.
Sexual Ethics (Part 2)
- a good God
humans in his image
Rediscovering the Purpose of Sex
- The final
reminds us that sex is a
good, but finite, gift of God
- God begins a process of
a freedom
within our sexual beingness
- the human race
into sin distorting God’s good
gifts and designs
(Part 1: Meaning in Physical Intimacy)
Purposes of Sex
- sex has the capacity to enrich or destroy
a marriage
The Consummation of a Marriage
- after the act they are never the same again
toward each other ("becoming one flesh")
- sexual intercourse is the means by which human
life on earth continues
- sexual intimacy is the visible expression of
covenantal love
God’s good gifts are created for particular purposes
enables us to capture God’s intentions
guards against unethical practices
Essential Elements of Marriage
unique commitment
change of status
- children are a fruit of sexual love
- creational love reflects some self-centeredness
Biblical Teaching
- natural capacity to love others and express it
- avoid sexually tempting situations
- assess the damage that premature sexual relations
can do to a relationship
- can sow seeds of mistrust
Four main purposes of the gift of sexual intimacy:
1) consummation of marriage
3) love
2) procreation
4) pleasure
sexual union of the two
- higher priority to spouse than to parents
- new status is recognized by family and community
Change of Status
A Unique Commitment
- permanence to their relationship
- later described as covenant relationship
- a deep, organic bond between two parties
A Physical Union
- unique physical, emotional, and spiritual bond that
occurs through sexual intercourse
- physical union sets this relationship apart from all
other relationships
- "one flesh" -> permanence of marriage
-> uniqueness of a sexual union
- the human body is not intended to be united to
another body without a covenant (1 Cor 6:16)
- sex outside
of marriage:
-> no recognized change of status
-> no covenant commitment
- only a joining of bodies, not of whole persons
- not the invention of the devil
humans turn good gifts into gods
- one purpose of physical intimacy is pleasure
Biblical Teaching
- physical union is a good but fallen gift of God
- reasons for sexual intimacy: consummation of a
marriage, procreation, love, and pleasure
- know the purposes of the gift
- isolating purposes -> falling short of God's design
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
- an ongoing deepening of that oneness
- "knowing," a deep, personal, experiential knowing
of another human in their fullness
- physical union sets this relationship apart from all
other relationships
- points beyond the physical to the spiritual,
emotional, and social oneness of the covenant
- couples must always be open for the possibility
of having children
Biblical Teaching
- children, a gift of God and evidence of the couple’s
covenant love
- Psalm 127:3; 128:2-4
- we are not precluded from stewarding the
procreative dimension
- procreation means: our physical union turns from
us to them
premarital sex, adultery
- not consummating acts of a covenant
- not procreative acts
- 1 Corinthians 13 points far beyond the
natural understanding of human love
- Song of Songs -> sex as an expression of love
- sexual bond
an expression of love
a nutrient of love
- without such love, it is self-centered lust
- 1 Tim. 4:3-4 -> everything created by God is good
- Song of Songs: strong affirmation to pleasure
within sexual love (e.g., Song 4:10ff)
- enjoy the marriage relationship (Prov. 5:18-19)
- marriage -> intended for pleasure
- a morally legitimate sexual act is an act of pleasure
(physically, emotionally, spiritually)
- pleasure, isolated from God's design, makes the
physical union insignificant
- true and lasting sexual pleasure is found only in a
consummated one-flesh relationship
- all 4 purposes are found in one location:
the marriage of a man and a woman
- 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
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
- realize that sex is not the glue that holds a
relationship together
Full transcript