Chauncey linked to this the other day, and I finally had a chance to read it; I think this is a great conversation to be having:
It seems to me that many of us Christians are born, raised, and taught with a giant elephant in the room.
That elephant would be sexuality.
Most Christians don’t hear anything about it growing up or if they do it’s an entirely negative frame of reference that only shifts dramatically once the word marriage is attached to it.
I’m unsure how young adults who grow up without healthy conversation regarding sexuality are going to be able to participate in a healthy expression of it.
Chauncey helps kick off the discussion by linking to an article written by Tina Schermer Sellers, “a clinical professor in the graduate Family Therapy Department at Seattle Pacific University and director of their post-graduate certificate in Medical Family Therapy”, called Christians Caught Between the Sheets – How ‘abstinence only’ Ideology Hurts Us:
“The sex affirming Hebraic roots of Western civilization has been masked by Augustine’s legacy of eroticism-hating sexual dualism, perpetuated by authoritarian-rooted Christian dogma, which negated the basic worthiness of human beings. The evolution of Western culture is a history of theologically based sexual oppression.”5
“Traditional Christian sexual ethics is not only inadequate in that it fails to reflect God’s reign of justice and love which Jesus died announcing, but its legalistic, apologetic approach is also incompatible with central Judaic and Christian affirmations of creation, life, and an incarnate messiah. Because the Christian sexual tradition has diverged from this its life-affirming source, it has become responsible for innumerable deaths, the stunting of souls, the destruction of relationships, and the distortion of human communities. The Christian sexual tradition uses scripture and theological traditions as supports for a code of behavior which developed out of mistaken, pre-scientific understanding of man, anatomy, physiology and reproduction, as well as out of now abandoned and discredited models of the human person and human relationships.”7
It’s a long read, but I think it’s worth it.