Thursday, January 22, 2009

Socio-Historic Context

The question of sexual ethics is not just a Christian concern. In the 1st and 2nd centuries there was much debate over this topic. What emerged were two schools of thought: Epicurus argued for sexual abstinence while Celsus argued for moderation.

Epicurus stated that “sexual intercourse is never good for the health” (Balch 3). Celsus stated sex should not be “avidly desired or feared very much” (Balch 3). In either case, the sexually ascetic were to be admired and the picture of those seeking a vision of the divine (Balch 5). Paul seems to be arguing for a Celsus view of sexuality for the church in Corinth but follows a Epicurus model. In Chapter 7, Paul speaks on the mutual responsibility in matters of sex in a share relationship between two persons of equal standing (Furnish 34). Sexual abstinence within marriage has a place within marriage but under the conditions of that it is temporary, mutually agreed upon, and for prayer (Furnish 34). Therefore when Paul speaks of what we would call homosexuality, he is speaking of what can be called the “Gentile sin” whose characteristics fit the framework of excess and exploitation and are not exclusively sexual in nature (Gomes 159).


Anonymous said...

I'll be honest with you, Luke. Getting past the homosexual thing is hard for me. I think just because it is personally distasteful to me just as liver and onions is personally distasteful. I am willing to consider it differently from a moral standpoint though. I like what you are saying about sexual sin being much about excess and lack of control. I can work with that.

Tit for Tat said...

Getting past the homosexual thing is hard for me. I think just because it is personally distasteful to me just as liver and onions is personally distasteful.(Freestyle)

Just curious Doug, would you find it equally distasteful with 2 women as you would with 2 men. ;)

Luke said...

Freestyle: "Getting past the homosexual thing is hard for me."

yeah... and getting past the "love your enemy" was hard for me too, but i try to do it everyday. ;-)

i hope to give you another POV on the issue of homosexuality. namely, if a relationship is neither exploitive or excessive, then we're good. love to get your stance on the last part of the paper... it'll be posting soon.

freestyleroadtrip said...

John. Honestly, I find it equally distasteful with women. There is something about it that just does not sit well with me. Both of you (Luke and John) please don't read into my difficulty any judgment for same sex relationships. I am not saying that. I am saying nothing other than the hang-up being within myself and I am openly admitting my need to sort this out better. That is all.

Anglican Boy said...

I am with freestyleroadtrip here. I can deal with sexual sin being about excess and exploitation as well as the call Paul is putting forth with the Epicurus/Celsus blend. I have a hard time imagining two men together. Two women come easier becaues I am attracted to women, but I still find something off about it. My wife and I talk a lot about this, but I just can't understand it for the life of me. These posts are helping me get a better handle on things though.