Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Jesus doesn't hate sex

Well, I don't know, maybe he would, I don't think he had any personal experience with it. But most men are pretty into it.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that despite all of these stories, which are healthily discussing the damage done by well-meaning Christian loved ones, I do not believe for a second that God is down on sex. I think the comments from several people about the wonderful gift of sex are an important part of this discussion.

And God is definitely not down on sexuality - just read Song of Solomon to see that even the Bible completely celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of the sexuality of women and men.

Somehow it's all been distorted over the years. But let's remember that before the Puritans (who largely influenced this whole thing), there is a God who loves us and wants us to love ourselves, every part of ourselves, even the naughty bits.


Hugo said...

That gets an "amen, sister", from me. It gets a hell, yes, as well.

Chris said...

"...most men are pretty into it." Certainly true; but it makes me wonder if you believe that there are fundamental gender-based differences when it comes(no pun intended :))to desire or libido? As for Jesus, if we claim that in the incarnation Jesus became fully human and was not merely pretending to be fully human (Docetism or some form of Gnosticism)then perhaps we can then affirm Jesus as a sexual being just like us. I am sure that this notion makes some folks squirm uncomfortably (something like trying to picture your parents having sex)In a forum on sexuality and the church,I heard one pastor raise this quesion rather bluntly by asking if we can ever imagine that Jesus as a human teenager experienced raging hormones or that "gasp" Jesus ever masturbated? If we are ever to come to a healthy understanding of what it means to be a created sexual being in a relationship with God we need to be able to ask uncomfortable questions, which is why this ongoing dialogue here is so powerful.

Chris said...

"...most men are pretty into it." Certainly true! Are women, on the whole less into sex? I wonder how much Christianity's patriarchal history of restricting women to gender-specific approved roles has shaped women’s attitudes toward sexuality. I have heard (usually older) women speak of “wifely duties” as if the thought of a mutually pleasurable sexual life was somehow unseemly for a “good Christian woman”. If we say that in the Incarnation that Jesus was fully human and not merely pretending to be human (Docetism and some forms of Gnosticism) can we not also then say that Jesus was a sexual being like the rest of us? Thinking of Jesus as a sexual being may creep some folks out (much like trying to imagine your parents having sex) but what would that mean for our understanding of our own sexuality? In a recent conference I heard a pastor ask if it were possible to imagine that the teenaged Jesus struggled with “raging hormones” or that “gasp” he even masturbated? A provocative question to be sure, which was met by an uncomfortable silence.

Chris said...

oops, sorry for the repeat! somehow a draft got posted.

Karl said...

[fundamentalist zeal]

Heresy! Jesus was completely asexual. We know this because Jesus never married, and all sexual activity (and even thoughts) outside of marriage is a sin. Obviously Jesus was sinless, so it stands to reason that Jesus never experienced any of our sinful desires.

The Bible says so and I believe it!

[/fundamentalist zeal] ;-)

Hugo said...

Um hello? Jesus never tempted? I may not be a fundamentalist, but I know my Scripture:

Hebrews 2:17-19 (Look it up)

It's one of my favorite bible passages. He knew temptation in his bones.

Stasi said...

Yes, Hugo knows his Scripture.
Unfortunately Hebrews chapter 2 ends at verse 18.

But we get your gist.

Andrew said...

I wouldn't blame the Puritans so much as the entire philosophical weight of neo-Platonism that bore down on the Church in Her early years. St. Augustine's... interesting ideas on the Fall and what it meant for control of the bits were obviously seminal, but even without the Hippo man the whole questionableness when it comes to sex is built into Paul. I mean, Paul's whole, "Well, you shouldn't have sex at all, but if you simply can't control yourself, I suppose you could get married" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of conjugal relations. Though he ameloriates it a bit with his acknowledgment of the "marital debt."

I suspect that it's the Victorians who are really to blame for some weirder ideas about women's sexuality, though. I mean, late classical and medieval people generally assumed that a woman was sexually insatiable--it was up to the Victorians to "help" women by assuring us that they had no sex drive.

Okay, done rambling.

Karl said...

Hey folks, I was just being silly.

Hugo said...

I'm sorry, Karl, I've got a poor humor detector.

Feminarian, I can't type numbers to save my life. I was frantically flipping through my NIV to find the passage (I knew it was in Hebrews, but had no idea where).

Cite Scripture in haste, repent at leisure, huh? ;-)

Jeremy Pierce said...

I wonder if you have read much of the Puritans. What I can gather from them is not that they saw sex as a bad thing but that it was a private matter between husband and wife and not to be discussed publicly. Augustine, on the other hand, did see sexual pleasure as a bad thing, which is quite unfortunate due to the influence he had both in his own day and throughout history.