Comment: Sexuality: Divine and Human (Part 1)

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Sexuality: Divine and Human (Part 1)

In Genesis 1:28 (KJV), God told the first man and woman to "Be fruitful, and multiply". Did Adam and Eve seek to obey God's command while still in the Garden of Eden? Or did human sexual activity not occur until after the fall of man in Genesis 3? Does examining this topic shed any light on our relationship with Christ? This four-part series explores these questions.

As I understand it, there are four Christian views on the Theology and morality of human sexuality; ranked from "low" to "high," the views are:

1. Sexual intercourse is an inherently sinful act, one that Christians should not engage in. To my knowledge, this position has historically had little support except among some in the monastic communities. The Orthodox Church considers this view to be error, and so, undoubtedly, do most Christians.

2. While not inherently sinful, sexual intercourse relies on eros (the Greek term for sexual love), which exists only within fallen humanity. Allowed as a concession for procreation, sexual activity is incompatible with true holiness. This position is associated (perhaps unfairly) with St. Augustine and the pre-modern Catholic Church. It may also be that this position was widely held by English-speaking Protestants during the Victorian Era, which may affect the outlook of religious groups that arose out of that context.

3. Sexual intercourse has no Theological relevance, and its morality is context-specific (acceptable only within marriage, for example). This is the view of most modern American Protestants.

4. Sexual intercourse is part of what makes marriage a sacrament, and, when done properly within that context, is a means of grace. Furthermore, appropriately expressed human eros portrays the marriage of Christ to his Church, and sexual activity, when properly understood, can be an act of worship. This is my view, and the position of many Orthodox. Modern Catholicism, under the influence of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, also seems to be moving in this direction.

Concerning the above positions, a key question is: Where does human eros come from? For an answer, Part 2 will consider whether God has sexuality.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand