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Christian Approaches to Sexuality. Still in the twenty first century, most Christian denominations regard: Pre-marital sex Extra-marital sex Masturbation and Homosexual sex As sinful . They form such conclusions either from: Scripture or Natural Law.

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Christian Approaches to Sexuality


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    1. Christian Approaches to Sexuality • Still in the twenty first century, most Christian denominations regard: • Pre-marital sex • Extra-marital sex • Masturbation and • Homosexual sex • As sinful. • They form such conclusions either from: • Scripture or Natural Law.

    2. Roman Catholics – Monks and Priests • Christian monasticism still requires its members to be celibate. • And the Roman Catholic Christian Church also insists on the celibacy of its priests.

    3. Roman Catholics • Marriage held as important because it allows procreation. • Based on Aquinas’ Natural Law primary precept • Anything that intrudes with procreation is a sin; contraception, homosexual acts, masturbation • Marriage held as a Holy Sacrament in the Church • Anything outside of this sacramental relationship is a sin based on scripture and teachings • All been re-iterated by most recent consecutive Pope’s

    4. Luther and Erasmus • Protestant Christians don’t. • Luther left his monastery and married a nun. • Erasmus praised marriage as a natural state and celibacy as an unnatural state. • He thought that marital sexuality was in part for pleasure not just for procreation. • Today, marriage is a norm for lay people.

    5. Fundamentalists and Evangelicals • Fundamentalist Christians take a hard-line view based on strict and often literal interpretation of scripture • Westboro Baptist Church an example of this • Evangelical Christians have a range of views but are conservative on matters of sex. Sex before or outside marriage is wrong as is homosexuality • Many Evangelical Christian missionaries preach in Africa and are accused of developing homophobia through their work

    6. Church of England • General Synod struggles to agree on many issues surrounding sex • Homosexuality allowed, there are gay bishops • Homosexual acts still immoral • Promote loving relationships and being married is preferred • Marriage still held by most as a relationship between Man and Woman • Suggested that this issue may eventually lead to C of E schism

    7. Mormons • Started by Joseph Smith Jr. in America in 19th century who encouraged plural marriages • Only really followed by fundamentalist Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints) today • Main CLDS excommunicates members for plural marriage • Apostolic United Brethren mainly found in Utah today

    8. Liberal Christians • Many more antinomian Christian groups hold that love is the most important thing and one should base marriage and relationships on this personal expression of love • Quakers try to follow the example of Jesus and take this idea of loving personal relationships as a guide for sexual ethics • NB – They do not hold a belief in Jesus being married • Another liberal branch is found in situationism

    9. Situation Ethics • Agape as a guiding principle for decision-making avoids legalistic structures and allows expression of individual liberty • Rejects absolute moral claims about sex • Fletcher developed theory during 60s era of sexual emancipation • Human beings have been given the right, by God, to decide for themselves when procreation should take place, if at all. • They would also reject the view that marriage should be regarded as a sexual outlet

    10. Proportionalism • Certain firm guidelines that are more stringent than just agape but not held absolutely, as in natural law – Bernard Hoose • Only break a law if there is a ‘proportionate reason’ • For instance there may be a general rule that adultery is wrong. However, in a prison camp situation, a woman may sleep with a guard in order to feed her starving children or to secure their release.