Be a Disciple – “Sex and Relationships – Lust, Adultery, Marriage and Divorce”

(Sermon for July 15th)
Texts: Mt 5:27-32;

Genesis – God created human beings and created sex, and they were naked an unashamed – experiencing the knowledge of good and evil also brought a sense of shame at their nakedness – why? (Gen 1-3)

The Old Testament is full of strange sexual situations we would not support – Abraham offers up Sarah to the local kings – TWICE! Lot offers up his daughters as an expression of hospitality in protecting his visitors from male rape (Gen 19). – You think that’s bad, read Judges 19!! The patriarchs have multiple wives – without comment from God as to the appropriateness of this – not withstanding the fact that many claim the Genesis story as evidence for God’s desire for monogamous marriage.

Proverbs seems to cast much of the blame for illicit sex on seductive women – ‘beware the loose woman’ – with no corolary warning to woman to beware the predatory man. (Pr 2:16, etc)

These texts suggest (not including the creation story) a very one-sided & patriarchal view of sex among the Israelites during the period of the Old Testament.

Then, enter Jesus and the teachings of the New Testament, and we get things like this text from the Sermon on the Mount, along with the following:

1 Corinthians 7: 1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 This I say by way of concession, not of command. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. 9 But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.


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