A Christian Sexual Alternative?

My latest article for Out of Ur was posted a couple of weeks ago.

The title caught my eye: “Reverend reconciles sex and religion.” Was another church challenging married couples to make time for sexual intimacy for seven days straight? A pastor making headlines for an edgy sermon about the goodness of sex? A review of the latest book from a Christian relationship expert with new statistics about Christians’ sex lives?

Actually, the article was much less predictable than any of my guesses. The story’s focus, Debra Haffner, has the distinction of being both a reverend and a sexologist who believes her two professions “offer a unique insight into modern sexuality.” The Revered Haffner—who, by the way, won’t marry people who are virgins—thinks it necessary for “conservative religious leaders to reform their doctrines to fit modern times.” Such a shift includes focusing on the “quality of relationships” rather than on the morality of sexual practices.

As someone who falls within Haffner’s “conservative religious leader” category, it’s tempting to write her off. There’s little new in her claim that our sexual ethics need updating for a new day. Her reading of the Bible (“Genesis is full of affirmations of humans as sexual beings”) is certainly culturally bound and would likely confuse the Bible’s early interpreters. Frankly, it’s hard for me to take seriously any expert who doesn’t strongly consider the historic claims and traditions of the Church.

That’s why I also have trouble with much of the teaching and preaching about sexuality that originates closer to home.

The rest of the article can be read at Out of Ur.

One thought on “A Christian Sexual Alternative?

  1. I think, in this scenario, you have two different things going on. First there’s the premarital part. Whether or not you’re for premarital sex or not, as a Christian, you have to agree with the passage that says “Your body is a temple.” Therefore, all of the things that can come from promiscuitiy are not good. Then you have a monogamous relationship between two consenting adults. The question becomes: why do I want to have sex? The answer can be any number of things and I don’t think many of them are Biblically sound. I’d be interested in figuring out what the Biblical argument for premarital sex being a good idea contains. I can think of a whole bunch of Biblical, societal, historical, physiological, psychological, and etc reasons against it but only individual reasons for it (correct me if I’m wrong.) In the context of Christianity, premarital sex is basically mutual sexual stimulation. I would argue that all sex outside of a Christian relationship is merely mutual sexual stimulation with some baggage. You’re using a gift from God meant to connect two people in the most intimate way possible for your own edification.

    Sex inside the context of a loving Christian relationship is amazing. I believe it is one of the best ways we can begin to understanding the intimacy of a true relationship with God. When you have two people who are spiritually and physically naked in front of each other, flaws and all, sex becomes not an instrument of pleasure, although it does feel good, but a beautiful extension of a fulfilled relationship. My marriage would be complete without sex. My marriage would be incomplete if sex was merely for pleasure.

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