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Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships

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Presentation on theme: "Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships"— Presentation transcript:

1 Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships
Traditionally Christians believe that sexual relationships should only occur within marriage. This is still the view of the Catholic Church and of many in the Church of England. Jesus teaches it in the Bible The Church and the Pope teaches it. Why Christians believe sex should only be within marriage. It is commanded by God. It is only a commitment and trust like that between Christ and the Church which is unbreakable can sustain sexual intimacy. It avoids the social and emotional problems that follow from sex outside marriage. 1. Should faithfulness to your husband or wife apply to before marriage? 2. Why might it be a good idea not to cheat on your husband or wife?

2 Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships
What the Bible teaches In the Sermon on the mount Jesus says You have heard it said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, but I tell you that anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart Matthew 5: 27-28 The 7th of the 10 commandments Thou shall not commit adultery. Deuteronomy 4: 7-8 St. Paul writes: It is God’s will that you should … avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy … not in passionate lust. … God did not call us to be impure. [Sexual impurity] is a rejection of God. 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-8 St. Paul also says: It is good for a man not to marry [but since the flesh is weak a man should have his own wife and a woman her own husband and they should give their bodies to each other. They can be together in prayer and sex so as to avoid temptation of impure sex.] It is better for a widow not to marry again unless they burn in passion to do so. 1 Corinthians 7: 1-9 St. Paul says: Flee from sexual immorality. Your body is a temple to honour God with and not your own to do with as you please Corinthians 6: 18-19 3. Discuss what these quotes mean.

3 Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships
The View of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church believes that celibacy (not having sex) is the ideal for those who wish to devote their lives to God (Monks, nuns and priests). For everyone else sex is only allowed within marriage and only then if it is for the intention of having children. The purpose of sex is to have children. Any sexual activity that does not or cannot produce children is a sin. Even within marriage, if sex is used only for pleasure and not for the reasons God intended then this spoils what was meant to be very special: The co- creation, with God, of a new human life made in God’s image. In Genesis 1:28 God blesses Adam and Eve and they are described later as of one flesh and are told to have many children. Within marriage sex is right if it is to have children. However, St. Paul and the Catholic Church believe that celibacy (not having sex) is better. 4. Describe in your own words that Catholic attitude to sexual relationships 5. Discuss what sort of sexual activity are consider wrong by the Catholic Church

4 Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships
For the Catholic Church all sexual activity must be within marriage and must have the intention of creating children because that is the God given purpose of sex. This means that many sexual activities which many people think are acceptable are considered wrong by the Catholic Church. These include: Sex within marriage that uses artificial means of contraception Pre-marital sex Homosexual acts Masturbation The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion. Some today claim a right to trail marriage where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship. Catechism of the Catholic Church SEX IS FOR MAKING BABIES AND NOTHING ELSE! 6. Use this information to write a 5 questions quiz on the Catholic view of sexual relationships. At least one question must be from the box at the top and one from the yellow box.

5 Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships
What the Bible teaches All Christians believe sexual activity that harms or exploits people is wrong These are condemned because they undermine normal human relationships. So all Christians believe that adultery, pornography, prostitution and bestiality are sinful and wrong. However, the Church of England has a less strict view of sex than the Catholic Church. For the Church of England: Celibacy is acceptable but it is not considered the ideal and all Church of England Priests are allowed to marry. As an Ideal sex should only be within marriage but it could be acceptable in other heterosexual relationships that are loving and open to a life-long commitment. Contraception is allowed because sex does not only have to be for making children (procreations) it can also be understood as the expression of love within a marriage which enhance and develops a couples relationship. Sex can be for pleasure too within a marriage. 7. Copy the blue print and then say in what ways the attitude to sexual relations in the Church of England differ from those in the Catholic Church?

6 Christian attitudes to Sexual Relationships
Some liberal Christians go even further than the official view of the Church of England. These liberal Christians argue that Jesus taught love and forgiveness. He forgave a women who had committed adultery so Christians should be more willing to forgive than to condemn those who sin. Any life-long committed relationship should be celebrated whether the couple are officially married or not. This includes homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships. If a married relationship breaks down it should be recognised that people make mistakes in their choice of sexual partner and so divorce should be allowed and divorced people should be allowed to re-marry in church. The Church of England has accepted since 1981. 8. Liberal Christians Draw a large circle and divide it into three. Label the three segments then go round the room asking 5 others in the class each to write a correct summary comment in each segment. I.e. Catholics = purpose of sex is to have children. Catholic Christians Church of England Christians The Church view of Sexual Relationships

7 The meaning of the Christian Marriage Service
Summary of the Key Christian Teachings that emerge in the Wedding Service. Christians believe that marriage was ordained by God from the very beginning when he joined Adam and Eve in a loving relationship in which they care for and help one another. Christians believe that marriage should be monogamous (with one person only) and freely chosen. Christians believe that marriage should be a life-long commitment. So no divorce. In the wedding service, the couple make promises to each other called vows which they have to keep throughout their marriage. This includes being sexually faithful to each other. These vows are made in front of God and the congregation (local community of Christians) and so they are taken very seriously. It takes place in Church, performed by a Church minister, prayers are said, hymns are sung and the Bible is read. All of these point to the central importance of marriage to Christians and to God.

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