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Old 07-01-2001, 08:58 PM   #1
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Post Paul, sexuality and marriage

Last year I did a 20 page paper on Pauline sexual ethics for my religious studies class. People often think that Paul's view of sexuality is pretty straight forward, but I ran into a serious contradiction in the course of my study. Let's take 1 Corinthians, the most famous citation of Paul's view of marriage first.

Paul goes into a discourse about marriage and he says that because of sexual immorality, people are permitted to marry. But what he says in verse 8-9 is very important:

"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not exercise self-control (ouk egkrateuontai), let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn."

We wouldn't think twice about this. Paul says if people can't practice self-control, they should marry. But Galatians 5 adds an interesting component to the sexuality question:

"Walk by the spirit and you will not cary out the desire of the flesh...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace...and self control. Now those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:16,24).

Clearly self control is a fruit of the spirit, which is contrasted with deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). So if Christians are supposed to exhibit fruits of the spirit, it is obvious that those who marry are not walking with the Spirit. To make matters worse, Paul even says that married couples do not practice self-control:

Stop depriving one another...lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Cor. 7:5).

This should have serious implications for the Christian faith. According to Paul, those that marry, are admitting that they do not exercise self control, and that they are not walking with the Spirit. Furthermore, they are not exhibiting traits of those who have "crucified the flesh." Funny how Christians never bring this up when they talk about marriage.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 01, 2001).]
 
Old 07-01-2001, 09:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
Last year I did a 20 page paper on Pauline sexual ethics for my religious studies class. People often think that Paul's view of sexuality is pretty straight forward, but I ran into a serious contradiction in the course of my study. Let's take 1 Corinthians, the most famous citation of Paul's view of marriage first.

Paul goes into a discourse about marriage and he says that because of sexual immorality, people are permitted to marry. But what he says in verse 8-9 is very important:

"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not exercise self-control (ouk egkrateuontai), let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn."

We wouldn't think twice about this. Paul says if people can't practice self-control, they should marry. But Galatians 5 adds an interesting component to the sexuality question:

"Walk by the spirit and you will not cary out the desire of the flesh...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace...and self control. Now those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:16,24).

Clearly self control is a fruit of the spirit, which is contrasted with deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). So if Christians are supposed to exhibit fruits of the spirit, it is obvious that those who marry are not walking with the Spirit. To make matters worse, Paul even says that married couples do not practice self-control:

Stop depriving one another...lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Cor. 7:5).

This should have serious implications for the Christian faith. According to Paul, those that marry, are admitting that they do not exercise self control, and that they are not walking with the Spirit. Furthermore, they are not exhibiting traits of those who have "crucified the flesh." Funny how Christians never bring this up when they talk about marriage.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 01, 2001).]
</font>
All you are saying is that Christians are not really Christians.

The problem is that there is no such thing as a Christian faith because there are no churches in the New Jerusalem. Christianity makes reference to the condition of being Christian which is the end of religion as a means to an end.

So yes, you are correct and a point well made.

Amos
 
Old 07-02-2001, 01:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
Last year I did a 20 page paper on Pauline sexual ethics for my religious studies class. People often think that Paul's view of sexuality is pretty straight forward, but I ran into a serious contradiction in the course of my study. Let's take 1 Corinthians, the most famous citation of Paul's view of marriage first.

Paul goes into a discourse about marriage and he says that because of sexual immorality, people are permitted to marry. But what he says in verse 8-9 is very important:

"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not exercise self-control (ouk egkrateuontai), let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn."

We wouldn't think twice about this. Paul says if people can't practice self-control, they should marry. But Galatians 5 adds an interesting component to the sexuality question:

"Walk by the spirit and you will not cary out the desire of the flesh...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace...and self control. Now those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:16,24).

Clearly self control is a fruit of the spirit, which is contrasted with deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). So if Christians are supposed to exhibit fruits of the spirit, it is obvious that those who marry are not walking with the Spirit. To make matters worse, Paul even says that married couples do not practice self-control:

Stop depriving one another...lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Cor. 7:5).

This should have serious implications for the Christian faith. According to Paul, those that marry, are admitting that they do not exercise self control, and that they are not walking with the Spirit. Furthermore, they are not exhibiting traits of those who have "crucified the flesh." Funny how Christians never bring this up when they talk about marriage.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 01, 2001).]
</font>
When Paul talks about marriage in 1 Corinthians, it doesn't look like he's saying everyone who marries lacks self-control. I haven't got my Bible open in front of me, but the verses you quote seem to indicate that it is *better* to marry than to burn with lust outside of marriage. How have you concluded that Paul thinks every married person lacks self-control?

- perspicuity
 
Old 07-02-2001, 04:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
Last year I did a 20 page paper on Pauline sexual ethics for my religious studies class. People often think that Paul's view of sexuality is pretty straight forward, but I ran into a serious contradiction in the course of my study. Let's take 1 Corinthians, the most famous citation of Paul's view of marriage first.

Paul goes into a discourse about marriage and he says that because of sexual immorality, people are permitted to marry. But what he says in verse 8-9 is very important:

"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not exercise self-control (ouk egkrateuontai), let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn."

We wouldn't think twice about this. Paul says if people can't practice self-control, they should marry. But Galatians 5 adds an interesting component to the sexuality question:

"Walk by the spirit and you will not cary out the desire of the flesh...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace...and self control. Now those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:16,24).

Clearly self control is a fruit of the spirit, which is contrasted with deeds of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). So if Christians are supposed to exhibit fruits of the spirit, it is obvious that those who marry are not walking with the Spirit. To make matters worse, Paul even says that married couples do not practice self-control:

Stop depriving one another...lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Cor. 7:5).

This should have serious implications for the Christian faith. According to Paul, those that marry, are admitting that they do not exercise self control, and that they are not walking with the Spirit. Furthermore, they are not exhibiting traits of those who have "crucified the flesh." Funny how Christians never bring this up when they talk about marriage.

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited July 01, 2001).]
</font>
It is very interesting, and a little strange how Paul deals with human sexuality.

A.N. Wilson, a (christian) biographer of Paul has pointed out that many scholars of today point out that Paul could very well have been a "repressed Homosexual, who
hated the carnal aspects of his own homosexuality and therefore denounced homosexual practices." (Romans 1)

Paul's views on marriage, homosexuality, is that human nature is at war with itself.
He said that " nothing good dwells within me
that is in my flesh".

Paul showed disgust for anything dealing with the flesh, "flesh and blood can never inherit the kingdom of God".

Wilson qualified himself as not actually
advocating the "Paul was Gay", concept.
He points out that homosexuality was an
accepted form of behaviour in that time period and was Judged as just a fact of life,
and therefore would have not had an impact
on Pauls thought processes.

Earl Doherty differs in his assesment of Paul and his views of human sexuality.
Pauls views of sexuality included marriage.
And he still denounced anything dealing with the flesh or with carnal knowledge.

Earl made the statement that " much of the christian theology and moral outlook dealing with human sexuality over the last 2000 years, could have very well, been based solely on a single mans sexual orientation."

From my own point of view as a non-theist,
I dont really know if the theory of Paul
being a repressed homosexual is even worth
thought or serious contemplation, but I can understand how his views of marriage could have been slanted and influenced by his sexual orientation.
Wolf
 
Old 07-02-2001, 05:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">When Paul talks about marriage in 1 Corinthians, it doesn't look like he's saying everyone who marries lacks self-control. I haven't got my Bible open in front of me, but the verses you quote seem to indicate that it is *better* to marry than to burn with lust outside of marriage. How have you concluded that Paul thinks every married person lacks self-control?</font>
Consider 1 Cor. 7:5, which I quoted above. The point is that Paul has introduced a dilemma when he suggests that self-control is a fruit of the spirit that those walking with the Spirit should exhibit. It is not just a question of "burning with lust." It is a question of those that do not practice self control (1 Cor. 7:9).
 
Old 07-02-2001, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:
[b]</font>

"Walk by the spirit and you will not cary out the desire of the flesh...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace...and self control. Now those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:16,24).

This is a GREAT combination of verses pede! I'm not sure what it has to do with marriage, except for those who do not fallow 1Cor.7:4+5. But this verse excludes all those who do evil from belonging to Yeshua!
It also exonerates Yeshua, from all evil done by those that claim to be in relationship with Him!
This verse disarms all the infidel arguments, that blame Yeshua for the acts perpetrated by so called "Christians"!!!
(Gal. 5:16,24).

You left out the best part pede!
1Cr 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the HUSBAND hath not power of his own body, BUT THE WIFE.
1Cr 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
I call this the Believer's edge! The two verses, most quoted to spouses in the bedroom!

1Cr 7:6 But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment.
This verse makes it very clear that Paul is giving his own opinion in the verses to fallow!
1Cr 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
1Cr 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1Cr 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
Burn-with desire http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_d...994098323.html

1Cr 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of [her] age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
Sexual union is NOT sin! Paul says this marriage is a type of YHWH and His Church!
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church
http://www.blueletterbible.org/tsk_b/Eph/5/32.html

 
Old 07-02-2001, 07:58 AM   #7
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">A.N. Wilson, a (christian) biographer of Paul has pointed out that many scholars of today point out that Paul could very well have been a "repressed Homosexual, who
hated the carnal aspects of his own homosexuality and therefore denounced homosexual practices." (Romans 1)</font>
I don't think there can ever be enough evidence to construct Paul's sexuality. I do have problems with this theory because it seems to distract from discovering what Paul actually thought about sexuality. I do not think it is appropriate to refer to what Paul condemns as "homosexuality" because there was no such concept in the ancient world. Paul condemned same-sex acts because he thought of them as acts that were a result of sexual excess. Philo uses the analogy of food to describe sex. He says that those that over eat will start indulging in all kinds of delicacies. In the same way, Philo argues, people who overextend in their sex lives will be driven to "exotic" sex acts like sex with animals and with people of the same gender.

My belief is that Paul condemns same-sex acts because of what they were associated with in ancient times.

Additionally, "homosexuality" was not accepted at all in Paul's time. Some limited same-sex acts were accepted by Greco-Roman society, such as sex with boys, or sex with slaves of the same gender. But two people of the same sex of equal standing having a sexual relationship would have been bitterly condemned.
 
Old 07-02-2001, 08:47 AM   #8
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Sexual union is NOT sin! Paul says this marriage is a type of YHWH and His Church!</font>
I didn't mean to imply that Paul classified marriage as hamartia (sin). I was pointing out that marriage is something reserved only for those who cannot exercise self-control, which is problematically, a fruit of the spirit and by extension associated with the transformation a Christian goes through when they "crucify the flesh and its passions and desires." Marriage itself is clearly not sin in Paul's eyes (1 Cor 1:36), but what to do about the self-control Paul says married couples exhibit? Are they in a lesser relationship with God than celibate Christians? Did Paul forget about Galatians 5 when he wrote 1 Corinthians 7?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. </font>
Well, I'm just dealing with Paul here, and there is debate over whether Paul wrote Ephesians. I'm only making references to the undisputed Pauline epistles. But let me put 5:31 down as another reason I think Ephesians was not written by Paul. This cannot be juxtaposed with the sentiments in 1 Corinthians 7, and clearly reflects a more accomodationist view of the deuteo-Pauline school.

 
Old 07-03-2001, 03:32 PM   #9
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If you reread the Pauline Letters from the viewpoint that they were written by a self-hating closet homosexual, they start to make alot more sense.
 
Old 07-04-2001, 05:09 PM   #10
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Once you understand Paul's frame of mind at that time his words make perfect sense.

Paul was not against marriage at all. It was only because he was anticipating the RETURN OF CHRIST at anytime, that he made those mandates. He envisioned that at anytime Christ would return and so there is no need of wasting time with marriage and such. He knew well that most men could do without sex for a few months or even a few years until Christ returned. Those that couldn't had no self control and should go ahead and get married, to their own spiritual suffering.

If you reread that chapter with that understanding then it all makes perfect sense.

He knew Christ had predicted that he would return in THAT generation. Paul wanted all the people to stop living in the traditional ways and study, pray, teach, and wait for Jesus. He was no different than most Cult Leaders today.

Now you know the rest of the Story.
 
 

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