Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Theology of Sex

I am absolutely amazed at an apparent lack of understanding of Christian Theology that has been on display since Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham declared:

The Christian church has a deeply flawed understanding of sex that has led to morally groundless objections to masturbation, birth control, abortion and homosexuality, says a leading Canadian Anglican bishop.

In particular, the church has been wrong for centuries on the notion that sex exists only for the purpose of procreation, Right Rev. Michael Ingham, bishop of the greater Vancouver Diocese of New Westminster, told a conference in Ottawa last night.

"Christianity as a religion stands in need of a better theology of sexuality,"
he said, "a better understanding of the complex role sexuality plays in our
human nature and of the purposes of God in creating us as sexual beings."

Does it? The Christian Church has a very coherent teaching on sex, and this teaching was recently enhanced by Pope John Paul the Great's Theology of the Body.

In reality the Church Teaching is really not that difficult. Here's how I understand it:
  • God created man and woman to be physically complimentary.
  • God gave us sex as the means to procreate and therefore it is good.
  • Sex is an essential part of marriage that serves to draw husband and wife closer together and can allow the couple to participate in God's plan of creation.
  • Marriage is a symbol of God's love for his people, where the two become one flesh.
  • Sex outside of marriage is always sinful, and God explicitly forbids homosexual sex.
  • Chastity is a high virtue that every single person is called to.
  • When we remove the procreative aspect from sex, we diminish the gift that was given to us by God.

Unfortunately Bishop Ingham and his followers reject this outright assuming that traditional church teaching is a list of prohibitions. Like all of God's law, we are given this direction not to diminish our pleasure but to protect us from the hurt and emptiness that are inevitably caused by sin. God also recognizes that we will inevitably fail to meet his standard of perfection, but He is quick to forgive us every time we confess our sins.

If Bishop Ingham began to propose a new Christian Theology of Sex, he would have a very difficult time improving on the Church's current teaching, which, derives directly from God's word in the Bible. Ingham's vision of a new permissive sexual theology that called all sex moral could simply not be called Christian in any sense.

1 comment:

Bogumil Pacak-Gamalski said...

Bishop Ingham has the courage to reflect on a true meaning of Christianity. It was soupossed to be a New Covenant of Love, Tolerance and Understanding. Over the last 2000 years it has eroded to the point that the Old Covenant (the Jewish Bible plus reamining Old Books not covered by Old Testament)seems to be the only Book left. Christians has choosen to disregard Christ teachings in order to fasciliate the teachings of His disciples - and only some of them. The theology was carefuly selected by Church Fathers. Christanity more or less made Jesus only a symbolic meaningless advertisment. The true sense of His (not His students)teachings put aside in fauvor of teachings of old priest from the Temple. It is almost as crucifing Him again. My deepest gratitude to Bishop Ingham for returning to the spirit of Jesus New Mesaage. Love and understanding is needed today as much as it was 2000 years ago. The serach for new theology on sexuality or any other aspects of human life is not realy a search for new meanings. It is going back to the true meaning of Christ lessons.