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Sexuality and Christian belief (Was: Homosexuality and the Bible)

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I do not have any gold teeth, but I have a half dozen friends who do. I struggled with this when I first saw it, but it is very difficult to deny the power of the Holy Spirit when a close friend has two molars and a bicuspid completely turn to gold.

Wha? Huh?

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Sure thing--gold teeth, though. I've read all this homosexuality debate what seems like a million times over, but the gold teeth... Wow. And I bet they can bite through a bloody steak (still mooing) real nice too.

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Greg P   
I wasn't talking specifically about "rules formulated" by anyone, Catholic, celibate or otherwise. Certainly I believe that historic Catholic teaching is consistent with biological teleology, but neither the celibate hierarchy nor the Church generally invented biological teleology ... or traditional sexual morality for that matter.
Your "traditional morality" declares the emission of semen in any location other than the birth canal-- even in a relationship between husband and wife-- to be a mortal sin. A. Mortal. Sin.

So yes, I joyfully reject this "traditional morality" as do millions of Protestants.

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SDG   
Hm. What do you mean by "traditional morality," Steven?

It's a fuzzy term, certainly, or a term with fuzzy outlines. At its broadest and most uncontroversial it includes mores that are "traditional" to most or all cultures (e.g., marriage as the privileged context for socially sanctioned intercourse between a man and a woman; the generally unacceptable status of adultery or wantonness). In this context I am also speaking of what is common to, though certainly not exclusive to, the historic Abrahamic faiths (e.g., the unacceptability of homosexual acts). Where necessary, I am prepared to appeal to what is traditional to historic Christianity, though I'm far from certain where the boundaries are between one tradition and another. (I'm quite comfortable speaking about the historic Christian opposition to contraception, and I suspect that Judaism and Islam probably have convergent traditions here, but I don't really know.)

On the highly charged point that has emerged in my exchange with Greg P, it may be worth noting that the historic Christian rejection of non-coital intercourse (i.e., completed acts of oral or anal sex, etc.) first came to my attention as a Protestant, not from my studies at St. Charles Borromeo or my research into Catholicism, but in a mainstream Humanities class at the School of Visual Arts, where my professor, an agnostic who taught medieval literature, was sketching the outlines of the pre-modern Christian worldview for the benefit of the class.

Up until that point, I was complacently nodding (figuratively speaking) to everything he had been saying, not only as an accurate characterization of the medieval view but as a description of my own belief (yes, yes, sex only in marriage, no adultery, no homosex, etc.) -- and then came the unexpected rider about kinds of sex within marriage. As his words sank in, I went from [a.] startled cognitive dissonance to [b.] surprise that I had never even heard of this before*, followed by [c.] slow realization that, now that I thought about it, given the rest of my understanding of the medieval worldview, it made sense that they would think this, and then [d.] extending that line of thought to my own slowly expanding understanding of Christian sexual morality, and realizing that it kind of sounded plausible to me too.

* Suzanne had a similar experience in college during an exchange with Eleanor Smeal of NOW. Suz was one of many pro-life representatives opposing Smeal's abortion activism, and was caught off guard when Smeal implied that Suz's position was also anti-contraception. At that time it had never occurred to Suz that anyone might have anything against contraception.

Your "traditional morality" declares the emission of semen in any location other than the birth canal-- even in a relationship between husband and wife-- to be a mortal sin. A. Mortal. Sin.

The deliberate emission, yes.

So yes, I joyfully reject this "traditional morality" as do millions of Protestants.

Martin Luther weeps. So do Calvin, Zwingli, Cranmer, Knox, pretty much the whole spectrum of the Reformation, up until the early 20th century.

Not that I expect that to move you. Why should it? It was Luther who got it wrong from the start, not you.

Edited by SDG

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Greg P   

Never mind the homosexuals for a moment.

If you're a faithfully married, heterosexual Christian and you deliberately emit semen in any location other than the birth canal, you are going to Hell. Unless you repent and are absolved, of course. :lol: I feel like I'm back in Jack Chick land, only on the other side of the fence.

Well step aside Ms. Knapp, today's my own little coming out party! (no pun intended)

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SDG   
(I'm quite comfortable speaking about the historic Christian opposition to contraception, and I suspect that Judaism and Islam probably have convergent traditions here, but I don't really know.)

Well, I know that some scholars have suggested Song of Songs contains euphemisms for oral sex, but whether that's a valid reading, I wouldn't be able to say.

Are you aware of any scholars who are willing to go out on the limb of insisting that such euphemisms go beyond oral stimulation and foreplay to deliberate ejaculation in a woman's mouth?

Never mind the homosexuals for a moment.

If you're a faithfully married, heterosexual Christian and you deliberately emit semen in any location other than the birth canal, you are going to Hell. Unless you repent and are absolved, of course. :lol:

When did I say anyone was going to hell?

I feel like I'm back in Jack Chick land, only on the other side of the fence.

All of Christian history prior to the 20th century was Jack Chick land? I know Chick believes Chick-style Christianity is Truly True Christianity going back to the Apostles, but does anyone else?

Edited by SDG

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I do not have any gold teeth, but I have a half dozen friends who do. I struggled with this when I first saw it, but it is very difficult to deny the power of the Holy Spirit when a close friend has two molars and a bicuspid completely turn to gold.

Wha? Huh?

Yeah, I'm not in any way prepared to go there, either. Interesting that this debate about homosexuality has introduced a whole other list of "can o' worms" issues including:

1) The Protestant-Catholic-Orthodox divide

2) The proper way to interpret Scripture and related things like canonization

3) The applicability of Jewish dietary laws to Christians

4) And now, charismatic manifestations and gold teeth

Let's see, how can we use the gay question as a springboard to debate the proper interpretation of the Creation account in Genesis? The ordination of women? The social gospel? :)

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Greg P   
When did I say anyone was going to hell?
Unless the mortal sin is confessed and absolved, the historic Catholic position is that Hell awaits.

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SDG   
Interesting that this debate about homosexuality has introduced a whole other list of "can o' worms" issues including:

1) The Protestant-Catholic-Orthodox divide

2) The proper way to interpret Scripture and related things like canonization

3) The applicability of Jewish dietary laws to Christians

4) And now, charismatic manifestations and gold teeth

Yes. Without meaning to be insulting to anyone here, my own personal view is that at the end of the day there are really only two completely consistent points of view here: [1.] Darrel's [hat tip smilie], and [2.] mine (along with Jim, Peter, etc., i.e., the Catholic/Orthodox view). Everything in between -- all forms of Protestant opinion that attempt to retain certain aspects of traditional Christian morality while discarding others -- ultimately amounts to staking out untenable ground on a slippery slope. Discussions like this tend to bring this out, in my view.

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Those who have gold teeth are allowed to eat bloody meat. I think that's how it works.

FWIW, link to our read-only thread on the Toronto Blessing, which got into the gold-teeth business.

SDG wrote:

: The Catholic view is that, as per Mark 7 and parallels, all foods are clean, and under the authentic interpretation of the law given by Christ Old Testament dietary laws are no longer in force.

FWIW, I'm not comfortable with the "no longer in force" formulation because, from the Jewish point of view, these dietary laws were never in force for Gentiles in the first place -- with the exception of eating meat that still has the lifeblood in it, because THAT was part of God's covenant with Noah and his descendants, and therefore part of God's covenant with all of humanity.

What we see in the New Testament is an awkward transitional period as the Jews who believed in Jesus were debating just how they should go about including the Gentiles in the Kingdom of God. Did you have to be a Jew to be a Christian? If not, then what DID you have to do? And what were the implications of this for Jews as a whole? Should the Jewish believers stop following the Jewish laws because their Gentile brethren weren't following those laws? And what about Diaspora Jews who, in many cases, had assimilated into Hellenistic society (foregoing circumcision and various other Jewish identity markers)? Were they still Jews and therefore obliged to follow the Jewish laws that they had been avoiding? Or, if Gentiles were now being allowed into the club as Gentiles, could these assimilated Jews join the club while continuing to lead Gentile lives too?

To put this another way, when the conservative Jews who led the early Church decided to allow Gentiles into the club without asking them to change their ways, they implicitly opened the door to more liberal Jews who had been living like Gentiles anyway.

What implications might this have for current debates? Good question.

: : A "super-system"! I love the way you word this. :)

:

: Thanks! That was off the cuff, I was trying to come up with some way to expand on the idea of "system" and that's what occurred to me.

Well, it's beautiful. Like, seriously, I'm still twirling this way of putting it around in my mind. It captures and conveys So Much.

mrmando wrote:

: According to both the OT and kosher rules, the issue is how the animal is killed and prepared before cooking (which is what I mean by "source"), not whether it's cooked to the point where it doesn't ooze any red liquid.

Hmmm. Does that cover the Noahide covenant in Genesis 9, which predates the kosher food laws?

: The point about Orthodox crunchy-con tendencies is appreciated . . .

Yer welcome. FWIW, I don't know that these tendencies would be evident in ALL Orthodox communities, but they are certainly much in evidence among English-speaking converts to Orthodoxy, and especially in a left-leaning, environmentally-minded region like Vancouver (birthplace of Greenpeace, Adbusters, etc.).

Greg P wrote:

: The fact that these rules about sexuality and the proper reception of seed were largely formulated my men, who themselves never experienced coitus-- or any other form of sex for that matter-- is a bit humorous to me.

I don't find it humorous, but, as I mentioned earlier, I do find myself wondering where this sort of approach to the issue would leave lesbians like Knapp. There's no semen involved in what they do, right?

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4) And now, charismatic manifestations and gold teeth

There is a large thread that I started here in the past called Gold Tops on Pearly Chops, which discusses gold teeth, the Toronto Blessing, etc. My point is that Jesus healed all, not counting those he raised several from the dead. Death and disease are facts of life, and arguably not from heaven, for Jesus, who came from heaven, overcame them. That being said, if homosexuality is not from heaven, then it is akin to disease and death. It is a bodily appetite, arguably one that is perverse. We are called to a spiritual life, where God's Spirit leads the body, not the other way around. Being governed by any bodily appetite, let alone identifying and justifying the governance, is sort of strange, in my opinion.

I don't expect anyone on this board to get into that type of thing, excepting me, but miracles are the ministry of Jesus and the divine experience of the early Church. The Holy Spirit is not an Indian giver, and the beauty of the sermon on the Mount and the direction of Jesus ministry is that there are no estates of anointing. All can do the works of Jesus, Peter, Philip, and Paul.

Now, many in the mainstream church look on this with disdain, or give it a try once or twice and say it is not for them or it didn't work. To me, pressing into the Spirit one or two times is like going to workout and then being sad that one doesn't look like Ryan Reynolds. Quantum physics and string theorists point to a world which is much larger than the three spatial and one time dimension that our Kantian minds readily categorizes. There is a Spiritual world. There is a Spiritual life. Humans have a body, soul, and spirit. The spirit died in the fall, but it available to all since Pentecost.

I don't want a debate. I know this is totally off topic. I just wanted to say, there is a bigger world, brothers! There is real authority, which we have as believers, because we are seated in Christ at the right hand of God the Father. Never be reticent to show the Father's love through the Holy Spirit's power.

Edited by Michael Todd

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SDG   
When did I say anyone was going to hell?

Unless the mortal sin is confessed and absolved, the historic Catholic position is that Hell awaits.

In the words of Stephen Colbert, "I teach Sunday School, ------------."

The point you're perhaps missing is that "a mortal sin" is not always a mortal sin. People say colloquially that such and such an act is "a mortal sin," but this is actually imprecise. (I didn't press this distinction earlier because, well, why do I want to be a jerk? But since you're making a thing of it, let's be clear.)

Technically, we should say that acts like adultery and non-coital sex are grave matter (i.e., gravely wrong), not that that they are "mortal sins." Acts that are gravely wrong become mortal sins only when they are committed with (what are technically called) sufficient knowledge and full consent (of which Christ alone is judge).

In short, then, just because people are involved in gravely wrong acts does not mean that they are sinning mortally. Only God knows that.

FWIW, I'm not comfortable with the "no longer in force" formulation because, from the Jewish point of view, these dietary laws were never in force for Gentiles in the first place -- with the exception of eating meat that still has the lifeblood in it, because THAT was part of God's covenant with Noah and his descendants, and therefore part of God's covenant with all of humanity.

You may be right. I'm still feeling out my language and concepts on this point.

OTOH, Mark 7 does tell us that Jesus declared all foods clean, and aren't there indications in the NT that even apostles like Peter and Paul were "living like Gentiles and not like Jews"?

OTOH, interesting point about the Noahide covenant.

Well, it's beautiful. Like, seriously, I'm still twirling this way of putting it around in my mind. It captures and conveys So Much.

Your appreciation is deeply gratifying, truly. It means a lot to me to take a stab at something like this and have it go home like that for someone in a position to "get" what I was trying to capture.

Edited by SDG

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That being said, if homosexuality is not from heaven, then it is akin to disease and death. It is a bodily appetite, arguably one that is perverse. We are called to a spiritual life, where God's Spirit leads the body, not the other way around. Being governed by any bodily appetite, let alone identifying and justifying the governance, is sort of strange, in my opinion.

Not trying to be snarky here, but since you raised the issue, and to bring this back around to the topic at hand: You have seen limbs grow back and teeth turn gold. But have you ever seen anyone successfully "pray away the gay" using healing ministry techniques? (Again, I'm not trying to insult healing ministry or reparative therapy or anything else, I'm just trying to use a playful term to summarize).

Based on your previous comments, I'm guessing "no." Not because prayers for miraculous deliverance from homosexuality wouldn't work, but because your ministry efforts are focused more on actual physical ailments.

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mrmando   

: According to both the OT and kosher rules, the issue is how the animal is killed and prepared before cooking (which is what I mean by "source"), not whether it's cooked to the point where it doesn't ooze any red liquid.

Hmmm. Does that cover the Noahide covenant in Genesis 9, which predates the kosher food laws?

I dunno. Must Gen. 9:4 be treated separately from the several other places in the OT that mention the prohibition of blood? Current USDA slaughtering practice does involve letting the animal bleed out, but it isn't kosher because the animal is stunned first. Does that practice satisfy the Noahide covenant even though it doesn't satisfy kosher law?

Or, maybe we should just take SDG's points: [a] Mark 7 et al. cover the question of permissible foods more thoroughly; Acts 15, being directed toward a specific mixed population of Gentiles and Jews at a specific time and place, is not trying to be a universally normative passage where morality is concerned. Of course, if we agree with him on , that leaves the poor misguided Protestants at sea with respect to Jewish law.

Edited by mrmando

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Anna J   

Whew! You guys weren't kidding about all the worm cans. If y'all want a general OT law/permissible foods thread, or one on anything else touched here, let me know. Otherwise, let's try to leave this current thread relatively free of tangents. :)

Also, I changed the topic title to the more accurate "Homosexuality and the Bible" from Homosexuality in the Bible, which is another thing entirely.

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mrmando   

Whew! You guys weren't kidding about all the worm cans. If y'all want a general OT law/permissible foods thread, or one on anything else touched here, let me know. Otherwise, let's try to leave this current thread relatively free of tangents. :)

But the tangents are what make it different from previous threads on the same topic. :P

I can't speak for the other tangents, but the uber-question here is "How do Christians know when they can safely ignore an element of Jewish law, and when they cannot?" And the bloody-meat tangent is merely another way of trying to get at that uber-question.

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Gadzooks. I have nothing to say about sex in this post. I'll keep this as brief as possible.

SDG wrote:

: OTOH, Mark 7 does tell us that Jesus declared all foods clean . . .

Sort of. It doesn't QUOTE Jesus to that effect, exactly; instead, it INTERPRETS what Jesus said to that effect. In his original context, Jesus seems to have been addressing hand-washing rituals and the like rather than kosher food laws -- but it's obvious why Mark, writing to a traditionally Roman (and therefore Gentile) audience, would have spun Jesus' words that way.

: . . . and aren't there indications in the NT that even apostles like Peter and Paul were "living like Gentiles and not like Jews"?

Probably, yeah, though it was apparently controversial enough that both of them acquiesced to the Jewish customs whenever James or his delegates came around. (Paul tells us that Peter acquiesced, and Acts tells us that Paul acquiesced.)

mrmando wrote:

: Must Gen. 9:4 be treated separately from the several other places in the OT that mention the prohibition of blood?

Not necessarily. But as I understand it, the progression from one covenant to the next, each one applicable to a narrower group of people than the last, is a somewhat significant point in Jewish theology. (Then again, I haven't studied Jewish theology in YEARS, so I could be way wrong about this.)

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SDG   
: OTOH, Mark 7 does tell us that Jesus declared all foods clean . . .

Sort of. It doesn't QUOTE Jesus to that effect, exactly; instead, it INTERPRETS what Jesus said to that effect.

Yes, that's what I said: "Mark 7 tells us that Jesus declared all foods clean." It's right there in verse 19: "Thus he declared all foods clean." :)

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mrmando   

Sigh. Sometimes I can't tell when Peter is making an argument and when he's just, you know, being Peter...

But as I understand it, the progression from one covenant to the next, each one applicable to a narrower group of people than the last, is a somewhat significant point in Jewish theology.

And the reverse progression, with a new covenant established through Jesus that applies first to the Jews and later to all people, is a significant point in Christian theology. FWIW.

Edited by mrmando

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Greg P   
Acts that are gravely wrong become mortal sins only when they are committed with (what are technically called) sufficient knowledge and full consent (of which Christ alone is judge).
Thanks for the clarification, but I can't hide the shock that someone with such sharp critical thinking on other topics actually believes all this, and I say that with all respect. This particular sex law is as preposterous as the golden teeth issue brought up earlier, or the inner city church I used to visit every week in my youth that believed stridently that when men and women reach the age of 50 they should no longer sleep in the same bed. This was a doctrine in their church. If you didn't obey this, you weren't "walking in the Spirit" and your Christianity was in serious question.

I have no problem with little pet doctrines like that (and sorry, but there is no greater example of a "pet doctrine" than the Catholic law regarding where one ejaculates in the marriage bed), but when they become matters of mortal sin, placing people in danger of eternal judgment, I am disgusted.

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mrmando wrote:

: And the reverse progression, with a new covenant established through Jesus that applies first to the Jews . . .

Ah, but wait a minute -- what do you mean by that? Do you mean to say that Jews were no longer Jews under the "new covenant"? Do you mean to say that observant Jews no longer had to observe Jewish laws under the "new covenant"? It is not at all clear that this was, in fact, the case -- at least not within the lifetime of the apostles.

Of course, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 -- and unlike the destruction of the first Temple, the destruction of the second Temple was NOT undone just a few decades later by the construction of yet another Temple -- so this had a profound effect on both Christianity and rabbinic Judaism over the course of the next few centuries. But this was only a few years after the martyrdoms of James, Peter and Paul (all of whom are said to have been killed in the AD 60s), so the apostles never got to see how the terms of their debate changed immeasurably after they died.

Greg P wrote:

: This particular sex law is as preposterous as . . . the inner city church I used to visit every week in my youth that believed stridently that when men and women reach the age of 50 they should no longer sleep in the same bed. This was a doctrine in their church. If you didn't obey this, you weren't "walking in the Spirit" and your Christianity was in serious question.

!! Based on ... what, exactly?

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SDG   
Thanks for the clarification, but I can't hide the shock that someone with such sharp critical thinking on other topics actually believes all this, and I say that with all respect. This particular sex law is as preposterous as the golden teeth issue brought up earlier, or the inner city church I used to visit every week in my youth that believed stridently that when men and women reach the age of 50 they should no longer sleep in the same bed. This was a doctrine in their church. If you didn't obey this, you weren't "walking in the Spirit" and your Christianity was in serious question.

I have no problem with little pet doctrines like that (and sorry, but there is no greater example of a "pet doctrine" than the Catholic law regarding where one ejaculates in the marriage bed), but when they become matters of mortal sin, placing people in danger of eternal judgment, I am disgusted.

I appreciate your frankness as well as your partial vote of confidence, Greg.

Your reaction strikes me as entirely understandable, given the cultural climate of which we are all creatures. I also consider your reaction not fundamentally different in kind from the incredulity of an intelligent and empathetic non-Christian man who enjoys sleeping with women and considers the whole Christian obsession with marriage to be inexplicable medieval hang-up. And, frankly, his point of view -- or Darrel's -- seems to me more consistent than yours. When it comes to sex, you have one foot in the world of traditional Christian morality and one foot in the world of pagan permissiveness. A generation or two hence we will likely meet the same incredulity from polyamorists for whom the bizarre Christian hang-up on the magical number two is no more comprehensible than the insistence on conjugal union rather than other acts is to you.

It is a little funny to me that the common faith of all Christian communities for 19 centuries strikes you an idiosyncratic "pet doctrine" on a par with some church of yesterday separating spouses after menopause. It illustrates how difficult it is in this day and age to get people to really open their eyes and see how fundamentally disparate true conjugal union is from every other form of sexual behavior.

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mrmando   

Ah, but wait a minute -- what do you mean by that?

I mean whatever Paul means by "to the Jew first and also to the Greek." To what degree do the old covenants have to be reassessed in order that the new covenant can truly apply to all people? That is another way of asking the uber-question.

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Greg P   
When it comes to sex, you have one foot in the world of traditional Christian morality and one foot in the world of pagan permissiveness.
Indeed. ;) I'm on that dangerous slope of marital fidelity, emotional and physical faithfulness to my spouse of nearly 16 years and wholehearted enjoyment of sexuality within the God-given confines of my marriage. I'm teetering on the precipice of a permissive pagan abyss. In about 15 minutes, I'm gonna get totally Corinthian and sit with said spouse on the couch, munch on rice cakes and watch The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Keep us in your prayers.

It is a little funny to me that the common faith of all Christian communities for 19 centuries strikes you an idiosyncratic "pet doctrine" on a par with some church of yesterday separating spouses after menopause. It illustrates how difficult it is in this day and age to get people to really open their eyes and see how fundamentally disparate true conjugal union is from every other form of sexual behavior.
No, sir. I do not reject the "common faith". I reject a particular Catholic doctrine about where men ejaculate in the marriage bed.

I reject the utterly unbiblical notion that to disobey this Catholic Church command is to jeopardize one's eternal well-being. Somehow in your tradition, this one issue became essential Christian doctrine, the rejection of which makes one a religious charlatan... and places one outside God's kingdom. You're insistence on maintaining pet medieval traditions at the expense of writing off others relationship's with God, exhibits the very worst aspects of religion.

I, for one, am not able to be as flippant as Greg P. in my disagreement with Catholic theology on matters of sex. As a condom-wearing individual with an affinity for what Steven calls "pagan permissiveness," I have a strong disagreement with the Catholic stance (and, I must acknowledge, with the bulk of Christian theology prior to the 20th century), but I would never call the traditional Christian stance on the matter "preposterous." The Catholic theology of human sexuality is not inherently ridiculous, and it's not something to toss aside lightly. Regardless of whether or not it may be wrong, the Catholic doctrine on sexuality exhibits an admirable clarity and consistency.
I'm sure the Catholic Church would thank you for applauding their clarity and consistency, but it doesn't change the fact you're still heading for hell.

Time for some paganism and rice cakes!

Edited by Greg P

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When it comes to sex, you have one foot in the world of traditional Christian morality and one foot in the world of pagan permissiveness.
Indeed. ;) I'm on that dangerous slope of marital fidelity, emotional and physical faithfulness to my spouse of nearly 16 years and wholehearted enjoyment of sexuality within the God-given confines of my marriage. I'm teetering on the precipice of a permissive pagan abyss. In about 15 minutes, I'm gonna get totally Corinthian and sit with said spouse on the couch, munch on rice cakes and watch The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Keep us in your prayers.

It is a little funny to me that the common faith of all Christian communities for 19 centuries strikes you an idiosyncratic "pet doctrine" on a par with some church of yesterday separating spouses after menopause. It illustrates how difficult it is in this day and age to get people to really open their eyes and see how fundamentally disparate true conjugal union is from every other form of sexual behavior.
No, sir. I do not reject the "common faith". I reject a particular Catholic doctrine about where men ejaculate in the marriage bed.

I reject the utterly unbiblical notion that to disobey this Catholic Church command is to jeopardize one's eternal well-being. Somehow in your tradition, this one issue became essential Christian doctrine, the rejection of which makes one a religious charlatan... and places one outside God's kingdom. You're insistence on maintaining pet medieval traditions at the expense of writing off others relationship's with God, exhibits the very worst aspects of religion.

I, for one, am not able to be as flippant as Greg P. in my disagreement with Catholic theology on matters of sex. As a condom-wearing individual with an affinity for what Steven calls "pagan permissiveness," I have a strong disagreement with the Catholic stance (and, I must acknowledge, with the bulk of Christian theology prior to the 20th century), but I would never call the traditional Christian stance on the matter "preposterous." The Catholic theology of human sexuality is not inherently ridiculous, and it's not something to toss aside lightly. Regardless of whether or not it may be wrong, the Catholic doctrine on sexuality exhibits an admirable clarity and consistency.
I'm sure the Catholic Church would thank you for applauding their clarity and consistency, but it doesn't change the fact you're still heading for hell.

Time for some paganism and rice cakes!

I think that earlier SDG clarified the "mortal sin" comment to suggest that Catholic doctrine does not declare that you would go to hell on the basis of this behavior. Unless you are exaggerating his stance for rhetorical effect - which I might advise against in this thread. It's been, I think, admirably long on thoughts and short on rhetoric, except perhaps for my brief, losing, wrestling bout with the demons of sarcasm.

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