Christian Approaches to Sexuality Still in the twenty first century, most Christian denominations regard:
Pre-marital sex Extra-marital sex Masturbation and Homosexual sex As sinful. They form such conclusions either from: Scripture or Natural Law. Roman Catholics Monks and Priests Christian monasticism still requires its members to be celibate.
And the Roman Catholic Christian Church also insists on the celibacy of its priests. Roman Catholics Marriage held as important because it allows procreation. Based on Aquinas Natural Law primary precept Anything that intrudes with procreation is a sin; contraception, homosexual acts, masturbation Marriage held as a Holy Sacrament in the Church Anything outside of this sacramental relationship is a
sin based on scripture and teachings All been re-iterated by most recent consecutive Popes Luther and Erasmus Protestant Christians dont. Luther left his monastery and
married a nun. Erasmus praised marriage as a natural state and celibacy as an unnatural state. He thought that marital sexuality was in part for pleasure not just for procreation. Today, marriage is a norm for lay people. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals Fundamentalist Christians take a hard-line view based on
strict and often literal interpretation of scripture Westboro Baptist Church an example of this Evangelical Christians have a range of views but are conservative on matters of sex. Sex before or outside marriage is wrong as is homosexuality Many Evangelical Christian missionaries preach in Africa and are accused of developing homophobia through their work Church of England General Synod struggles to agree on many issues surrounding sex Homosexuality allowed, there are gay bishops Homosexual acts still immoral
Promote loving relationships and being married is preferred Marriage still held by most as a relationship between Man and Woman Suggested that this issue may eventually lead to C of E schism Mormons Started by Joseph Smith Jr. in America in 19th century who encouraged plural marriages Only really followed by fundamentalist Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints) today Main CLDS excommunicates members for
plural marriage Apostolic United Brethren mainly found in Utah today Liberal Christians Many more antinomian Christian groups hold that love is the most important thing and one should base marriage and relationships on this personal expression of love Quakers try to follow the example of Jesus and take this idea of loving personal relationships as a guide for sexual ethics NB They do not hold a belief in Jesus being married
Another liberal branch is found in situationism Situation Ethics Agape as a guiding principle for decision-making avoids legalistic structures and allows expression of individual liberty Rejects absolute moral claims about sex Fletcher developed theory during 60s era of sexual emancipation Human beings have been given the right, by God, to decide for themselves when procreation should take place, if at all. They would also reject the view that marriage should be regarded as a sexual outlet
Proportionalism Certain firm guidelines that are more stringent than just agape but not held absolutely, as in natural law Bernard Hoose Only break a law if there is a proportionate reason For instance there may be a general rule that adultery is wrong. However, in a prison camp situation, a woman may sleep with a guard in order to feed her starving children or to secure their release.
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