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CHRISTIANITY PREMARITAL SEX , EXTRA-MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS and ADULTERY. In the Christian tradition, sexual intercourse between people outside of marriage (pre or extra marital sex) is regarded as morally wrong.

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    1. CHRISTIANITYPREMARITAL SEX , EXTRA-MARITALRELATIONSHIPS and ADULTERY • In the Christian tradition, sexual intercourse between people outside of marriage (pre or extra marital sex) is regarded as morally wrong. • The bond of Christian marriage is permanent, thus enabling the couple to grow in love and commitment to each other, to God and to the children who may be created from their union. • Jesus affirmed the covenant relationship of marriage. (Mt 19.3-9)

    2. CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY • SACRED TEXTS: In the Genesis 2 creation story the man and woman 'become one body'. They give not only their bodies but their whole selves, body, mind and spirit to each other • This forms a covenant of love, an indissoluble bond. • In the Old Testament we find marriage is often used to describe the covenant of love between God and the people of God. Christians see Jesus' self-giving love for the Church as the model of the love of husband and wife in marriage. • In marriage, husband and wife are distinct persons, but united. They bring forth new life and with their child become three in one. The family, even more than the individual, reflects the Trinitarian image of God.

    3. CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY 2/4 • Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican traditions, marriage is a sacrament. • The sacrament offers the divine grace from God to live this covenant relationship. • Is 'faithfulness in marriage and celibacy outside it' is just too unrealistic for today's Christian who live in a very liberal, highly sexualised culture? • Nevertheless, this is the ideal which is taught and upheld across the Christian Churches. In 2001, the national Moderator of the Uniting Church, James Haire, affirmed the Christian view that it opposes sex outside of marriage. • Why?

    4. CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY 3/4 • The Christian view of the deep meaning of sex as an expression of committed love and as a way of bringing new life into the world. • If sexual intercourse is reduced to recreation, then promiscuity may follow, which further demeans the gift of sexuality. • Virginity is often ridiculed in the media, as something to lose , something almost embarrassing, rather than an expression of people who maintain an adult attitude of self-respect and respect for others.

    5. CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY 4/4 • The Christian teaching of marriage as a binding covenant • The covenantreminds couples that marriage should be entered into seriously and only after careful preparation. • Though it appears a difficult teaching, it is upheld for the deepest happiness of human beings and for society.

    6. SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS Sexual behaviour • Sex outside marriage is forbidden, and parents are expected to chaperone meetings between young people. Young people, for their part, are expected to take responsibility for avoiding sexual encounters. • Adultery, homosexual and lesbian practices, sexual abuse within marriage, incest and sexual abuse of children are banned. Pornography should be avoided. Marriage • The monogamous union in marriage of a man and a woman is affirmed as the divinely ordained foundation of the family and social life and the only morally appropriate locus of genital or related intimate sexual expression. An Affirmation of Marriage, official statement, 1996

    7. SALVATION ARMY • Sexual ethics and marriage • The Salvation Army recognizes that the battle between flesh and spirit is never easy, but believes that the sex drive is designed by God to lead to the highest expression of human love only within the holy estate of matrimony, • When it is expressed outside of that relationship, it will inevitably lead to misery of self and others. • The Salvation Army holds to the Christian ideals of chastity before marriage and fidelity within the marriage relationship. • Salvationist cannot remain soldiers if they sexually cohabit with a person of the opposite sex to whom they are not married. They must either marry or separate. • Salvationists cannot remain soldiers if they are involved in marital infidelity, deliberate promiscuity, a criminal sexual offence or any misconduct of a sexually deviant kind.

    8. COPTIC ORTHODOX • The Church expects its members to avoid any form of sexual immorality. Any form of physical intimacy should be avoided outside marriage. • Marriage • Coptic marriages are monogamous. • Copts marry within the faith - non-Coptic partners are required to convert. • Copts undergo a ceremony of Betrothal in advance of marriage during which the couple exchange rings engraved with their partner's name; the betrothal is not a final commitment and can be renounced. • Divorce and remarriage is only permitted for the innocent party in cases of adultery or conversion, although this is currently (2008) a controversial issue after Egypt's Higher Civil Court ruled that Copts who had been through a civil divorce had the legal right to remarry. • Among Copts the annulment of conjugal unions had been permitted on the grounds of adultery, abandonment, obvious evidence of ill treatment, mental disability and impotence. Things changed radically after Shenouda III ascended to the Coptic Papacy. He promptly rejected divorce on any grounds except adultery and extremely cruel treatment.Al Ahram, March 2008