Sex has been a hot subject recently, so I felt like I should give my two cents! Sex is a word that describes a physical urge that human beings are born with, and it's safe to say that it's part of our daily life. Many Christians are of the belief that sex, in one form or another, is sinful. It has been grounded in our notion of original sin in the eyes of many for over 1,500 years. Some forms of sex are considered more sinful than others--homosexual sex is considered VERY sinful.
If you're an average Joe watching TV, you'd probably think that Christians are the most anti-sex people on Earth! Whether it's because Britney is wearing too short a skirt, or because a black pop-star exposed her breast during the superbowl, sex is #1 on the Christian hate list. Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex! That's all you hear!
I was well aware of this a few years ago, and I remembered going to Church as a little boy. But strangly, I never remembered hearing anything about sex at church...not once. Why was this? I went to reading the Bible. There were few vague references to sex here and there, but they were all put in a positive light (you should have seen my face when I read the Song of Soloman
!). I still had questions, so I researched on the internet. Turns out that the original greek word for "lust" in the Bible is more accurately translated as "to strongly long for" (in other words, a-sexual). "fornication" is an inaccurate term as well, the original Greek word, pornea
, has several meanings; none of which are about sex before marriage. Take away those two words, and you have a solid case for the argument that the Bible, Old Testiment or New, does not condemn sex. (if you want references to these words, I will gladly give them to you)
But where did this way of thinking come from? In the Dark Ages, there was a man named Augustine
who was a pagan. Augustine was what many would now call a "sex addict". Sex addiction is a very serious condition that is a horrible burden for all those unfortunate enough to have it. His mother convinces him to convert to Christianity. He does, and manages to quit his addiction and get his life together. He then becomes very well respected in the church community. He doesn't like the man he was, and looks back on his lifesyle with disgust. "I am relieved of this horrible burden!" he probably says. "Now I must use what I've learned to help everybody!" At that time in history, the church was state-controlled and what the church said was what God said. What did Augustine say? Well, he wrote many books on sex and how evil it was. He wrote that ALL sex is sinful, and sex should only be performed for the sole purpose of bearing children (even though he considered that sinful too).
I've heard some say that Augustine's views on sex were a lot like someone who quit smoking, and no longer wants to be around anyone who smokes. This sounds like a pretty accurate comparison. Plato always said that Man needs to control his appetites, or else he will become corrupted by them--same with Aristotle's "Doctrine of the Mean". This is similar to the Biblical view as well, because after all, too much of anything
is bad for you. Had Augustine been more cultured, he may have felt the same way. Instead, he condemned all
sex as a horrible thing.
Fast forward hundreds of years later, and we're feeling the effect now. I personally believe that sex, by itself and untampered with, is a gift from God. It's a wonderful thing that is healthy for the mind and spirit. Maybe if Christians begin to understand this, Chistianity might be a much more respected religion. I hope that there are others out there that feel the same way...