Sunday, May 10, 2009

Paul and Sexual Ethics

Our adult education class this morning discussed 1 Corinthians 5. In this chapter, Paul is much concerned about sexual immorality, specifically a man living with his father's wife (step-mother). Paul's directive is for the Corinthians to remove the individual from their fellowship in hopes that he will see the error of his way. Paul appears to have in mind Leviticus 18:7-8 as a scriptural basis for his displeasure.

We used the Corinthian passage as a springboard to ask: How do progressive Christians go about developing an ethic of sexuality that makes sense and, more importantly,that goes beyond a "proof texting" approach to issues of human sexuality.

Think of cases that you know about in your congregation, such as: 1) a college student who engages in casual sex; 2) a young couple who is not ready for marriage but decides to live together; 3) a long-term, committed lesbian relationship, 4) a widow and widower in their 70s who find pleasure in each other sexually but do plan to marry because of objections by children on both sides of the family.

Are all these examples of what Paul calls "porneia" (fornication/sexual immorality)?

On what basis would you make your decision?

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