Thursday, 10 March 2011

'Unprotected Text': The Bible On Sex And Marriage

one of the first real papers i ever wrote in college was for chauncey riddle's philosophy 101 class. i called it "the Bible's Philosophy of Sex". because i was writing this, i got special permission to go into the limited access portion of the Harold B Lee library that had all the books about sex in it. i felt honored. i spent most of my paper (which i wish i could find) discussing how the verb for sex in the bible (at least the KJV) is to know. "and adam knew eve", etc. the premise of my paper was that the bible's metamessage about sex was that it was something of REAL intimacy. it was a way to gain a knowledge of a person and give that kind of knowledge to someone. it was sacred, because once the knowledge is shared, it can't be taken back. as a result when that knowledge is shared between people that aren't safe with each other, sharing that knowledge can lead to intense hurt and emptiness.

i was a freshman trying figure out all the relationship/boundary stuff that goes along with the intimacy v. isolation phase of development. i often experienced that horrible feeling of sharing too much and then being embarrassed, or lonely, or just weird.
saying something that people don't understand, and feeling my arms hurt with loneliness. i struggled, like many that age do, with all those big questions of boundaries and safety. obviously, i was a unique case (kinda) in that boundaries and safety were not something i grew up experiencing. so i think it made these questions about sex even more complicated. but i started to learn that when i do somethings, i just feel bad. i shared before a foundation of trust and safety was created , either sexually or emotionally, and got hurt.

though i think these mistakes are a normal part of learning to be human . . . i think God tries to help us avoid the pain. to learn that there are rules for all of us. things that are universal. we all suffer from this wrestle of the flesh and soul.

in researching for my freshman year paper, it was obvious that the bible contradicted itself on a number of sexual issues. this book seems well researched and super facinating:

please listen to/read this story. i haven't read the book, but i am hoping that my bookclub will choose it soon. :)

for instance, she writes about how the stoning of a woman who has sex before marriage is now deemed immoral, though there are numerous instances where the Bible teaches it is imperative in keeping Judaic Law.

paul taught that people shouldn't marry. most Christians totally disregard these scriptures. those that don't suggest that a celibate/unmarried life is only for their most religious leaders (catholics i'm looking your way). today, most chrisitians see marriage as a sacred sacrament.

we blow off paul's clear admonition not to marry and the Judaic Law's insistence that we stone the un-virgin bride, yet hold doggedly to the vague references in the old testament that homosexuality is not of God. how do we make these decisions?

the author points out: a random commandment in leviticus that says a man should not "lay with a man in the manner of a woman" . . . is kinda taken out of context. her analysis of David and Jonathan's relationship is super interesting! she suggests that the one commandment in Leviticus that seems to make homosexuality against the will of God is later contradicted in the entire story in 1 & 2 Samuel of David and Jonathan's relationship, their bond and love, and how their "marriage" made it possible for David to inherit the kingdom of Saul (Jonathan's father's Kingdom).

sex is a sacred knowledge. when we treat it as such, we are happier. when we dismiss this element, it can leave us empty. God does not want that. songs of solomon extoll the virtue of passion and sexual connection. God gave us sex for much more than just procreating it is clear. it is for enjoyment, connectivity, release, etc. and that is best experienced on a foundation of trust and safety where that knowledge can be shared without reproach. i just wonder if God really cares who we choose to love. . .?

anyway, take a listen, it is super interesting.

oh, and after reading/writing about this, i decided to go to and see what the top hits about sex are. the following video is #3. please check it out. i really mean no offense, but doesn't the guy at 1:00 seem like he is trying to convince himself that being gay is bad? (hey gay boyfriends, and all other friends in SLC, can you please find him and tell him that God loves Him no matter what his sexuality is?)


chompo said...

"A big thing that's come this weekend is the peace." -- the woman who just had sex for the first time, three days ago. Super cute. I should think that there would be peace after finally getting to *release*! :)

now to read the main article ...

chompo said...

"the peace that came this weekend" -- after having had sex for the first time, i'd say so! The release after 33 years would hopefully bring a LOT of peace!

Heidi's Hodgepodge said...

Right on, Chompo! Astute analysis. :)

Three said...

Check this out...