14th April 2009

Posted in

Blog :: Random Linkage

One of the cool things about writing my blog has been discovering interesting people by looking at who's linked to me. Recently I got a couple hits from mennodiscuss.com - if you already know what that stands for you'll probably find it interesting. Name aside - it a forum site for discussion among Mennonites, Brethren, Quakers, ex-Hofers, Amish, and one Orthodox (just to list the affiliations I've seen). If you're interested in Anabaptist topics head on over...

The other link I've been meaning to post for some time - I had a conversation about homosexuality and the response of the Church with Jason and Isaac over at rustyparts.com (read 'em - they make me think) and while searching for an author they recommended I stumbled upon a completely unrelated essay about sexuality and Christianity. I can't adequately summarise the arguments in this philosophical essay - I can only say that All Sexed Up: Is There a Way Out of Chastity, Marriage, and the Christian Sex Cult? is a way better article than it's title might lead you to think! And I'll quote the recommendations at the end so you get some of the flavor (emphasis not in original):

As some possible ways out of the contemporary Christian sex cult, I propose a few very simple practices of freedom. First, form friendships in which you speak more about imitating Christ, wherein you discuss your vocation, feeding the hungry, caring for orphans, challenging each other toward economic simplicity, and your redemptive vision for the world than you do about the topic of sex.

By this I mean to say, trade in your accountability partner for a friend who will challenge you to imitate Christ in your life by the way you spend your money, the job that you take and the day to day interactions you have with others. Although sex will continue to factor into your discussions from time to time, refuse to make sexual confession the central reason for meeting together but more often concentrate each other on affirming the imitation of Christ. Engage in holistic forms of confession as well as affirmation that allow for failure and are not bound simply to a focus on chastity.

Second, refuse to be organized in the church along sexual lines by forming deep friendships outside of your sexual category. Singles should get to know married folk; women should befriend men; seniors should befriend youths; heterosexuals should get to know homosexuals.

Thirdly, speak more openly about marriage and refuse any formulation of chastity or virginity based upon marriage. Reject the attempt to make marriage the ideal for Christian living, and refuse to focus too much attention on the family. That is to say, do not allow your notions of virginity and chastity to be defined as preparation for marriage or as purified holding stations for an eventual spouse, for this is to disavow virginity and chastity from any intelligible Christian formulation.

One does not remain a virgin in Christianity in order to keep oneself pure for his or her eventual spouse, but virginity and chastity are always defined in Christianity as functions of integrity toward one’s goal of imitating Christ.

And finally, refuse to acknowledge liberation as a “coming out” because this implies that one’s essential sexual nature must be recognized. Liberty is always the freedom to love one’s neighbor, not to sleep with her or him as an expression of who one really is.

Both Paul and Christ refuse to acknowledge any essential nature, especially a sexual nature, other than the new human nature given in the resurrected Christ that gathers the community of his followers in friendship.

These practices, I believe, may begin to lead us out of the contemporary understanding of ourselves as essentially sexual beings. They may lead us in a new direction toward an evangelical asceticism that reclaims the imitation of Christ as a complete form of life. Each of these is only a beginning, but they are an important beginning for finding our way out of the worship of sex.

Posted on April 14th 2009, 01:07 AM

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