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).