Title: "Bene scripsisti de me Thoma." [Thomas Aquinas]
I briefly discussed sex and Christianity in "CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT COERCION AND OTHER MATTERS," posted: Monday, July 28, 2008.
It's a heady subject for most.
For the real Christian, spirit, creation, matter, flesh, the fallen condition, evil, knowledge, sex, hypocrisy, work, capitalism, and sin all must be viewed within the fullest context of Jesus's words and deeds. I'll touch on these together below.
The atheist, secular, scientists have developed their own jargon assigning new connotations to terms. There are theistic scientists who agree to use these terms as used by the atheists but not to the point of excluding the theist's conception of their god or gods or angels or what have they in their minds.
Certain theoretical physicists are developing language to accommodate the metaphysical that some of science still theorizes does not exist. Those whom people consider leading-edge theorists are not necessarily ascribing the metaphysical to any deity. Their treatment of what they explore as reality is akin to those who hold with magic in as much as no mind is given credit for beginning phenomena. They won't say that whatever began it is God. They won't say that if there was no beginning to eternity, God is eternal. They refuse the language. They refuse any mind above their own. My reason for stating this is not to pass judgment on them but rather simply to state the case – describe the circumstances. I don't agree with them, but that's a different matter from my point right here in this paragraph. I'll flesh out my understanding below.
Those scientists (remember, we're dealing with a subset of sorts here) won't use the term spirit as Jesus used it. I for one know that they don't understand what it is they refuse to use. That's not entirely beside the point, but I won't elaborate on it right now. Whatever is non-material, they continue to treat as just more fodder for their scientific method (double-blind, peer-reviewed, experiments, etc.). Matter has mass they say. It takes up space they say. Therefore, that which doesn't have mass (proportional to its weight; is weightless in gravity) and doesn't take up space is not matter and also therefore, they had been affirming, doesn't exist. So when Jesus ascended or walked on water, he defied the laws of physics as the particular physicists define those laws. So what? Does it mean Jesus didn't do those things, or does it mean that there was higher, more evolved, more advanced science involved? I'll leave it there. The point is simply that the particular scientists are confined to their own imaginations, and what they insist upon is that nothing can exist, or said to be known to exist, beyond until they get there.
Well, we'll move on beyond those limitations to discuss things on a different epistemological (knowledge) level or framework or school of thought, which is our prerogative in spite of the fervent protestations of those of scientism (the religion of the scientific method).
God is spirit regardless of the inability of some scientists to bring themselves to function under that certainty. God is credited with the Creation. The Creation (with a capital C) is most often thought of, thought of most often by the majority, and has most often been taught as consisting of matter as the scientist also speak. God created the mass and space and the gravitational field, etc. God is responsible for their existence. We go further though in that we ascribe to God is creation of the spirit as well. God is self-creation.
In speaking this way, we will run into many semantical difficulties and paradoxes for all people I know of so far. Jesus has no such difficulties. An example difficulty concerns God as self-creation. How can God have self-created when God is eternal? The difficulty stems from Aristotelian logic. Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, is credited for recording the formulation for valid reasoning – systematized rules of deducing – premises and conclusion. It is mundane logic as opposed to divine. There always has to be a non-spiritual answer in this thinking. However, language is such that one may dance around with descriptions to rationalize anything. This is why many people say that the Bible may be used to justify anything. It is true that when contexts are taken in isolation and the fullest context is avoided, one may imagine he or she is justified. This concept has a direct bearing upon the ultimate point of this article as you may come to understand. It's a matter of level of comprehension.
Jesus didn't shrink from the so-called hard questions or difficult questions. The words "In the beginning" are contextual. Where time as the atheist physicists conceive doesn't have beginning or end, God is. How can anything come into existence that was always there? How can something created be eternal? Here Jesus says that he is from the beginning. He says this even though he was born in the flesh. If you are able to reconcile these, your heart will soften. You'll make connections that lead to compassion, mercy, and non-violence. It requires interconnectedness thinking and interdependency thinking to arrive at Jesus's teachings. At the same time, it requires separateness thinking. These are not mutually exclusive but reconciled at once as reality. The real is one where these concepts are whole parts, necessary parts of the knowledge of truth that clarifies.
Jesus was and is flesh and spirit at once (at the same time), if you believe in the bodily resurrection and ascension. If you don't believe in them, you're limiting your grasp of the power of God's spirit over God's own creation (Creation). You're falling to the limitations of the scientific method that is an authoritarian force in the world that does withhold the enlightenment, which enlightenment is the solution to all that ails.
Now, there are those who hold that we are in a fallen condition that is the condition of matter and flesh, that those are inherently evil. Consider though that Jesus was flesh and blood and matter. He had weight and took up space. At the same time though, he can walk on water. This means, even using mundane Aristotelian logic that matter and flesh are not inherently evil. It is rather the state of the spirit that determines the state of evil or sin or uncleanness.
Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. The faith of human beings in general, or more to the point the lack of faith, is limiting humanity on this plane of existence.
So, what is evil if it isn't matter, per se? Evil is limiting matter in your mind to being everything and carrying that thinking out to allow for falsely imagining that physical might and the will to use it and the way to connive others into working under you to employ it for your acquisition of and ultimate accumulation of wealth in mammon and your power and control over other souls.
The knowledge that this is wrong and is rather a trick used to deceive others into serving you temporarily in the here and now, is evil. This applies to sex as well.
We are born in the flesh as a result of procreation. We are no different from Jesus. Jesus in the flesh is a product of the fertilization of the egg of Mary by the Holy Spirit. It does not mean that the Holy Spirit took human form and copulated (fornicated, as she married Joseph without divorcing anyone for cause — infidelity) with Mary. The conception was without fornication. It is something that is accepted, as Jesus's walking on water and all his other acts deemed miraculous are accepted. They are miraculous, because they are not commonplace. They are not commonplace, because humanity lacks faith.
If sex is inherently evil as flesh and matter are inherently evil, then the God who said multiply is Satan and the God who said "Let there be light (truth)" is Satan. However, Jesus demonstrates that the flesh need not be evil and that the light is the exact opposite of evil. We are not doomed by sex. We are doomed by infidelity to righteousness. We can though repent. The knowledge that is the knowledge of evil isn't carnal knowledge. It's the lack of spiritual knowledge. Sexual intercourse wasn't the original sin. The pollination of fruit trees isn't sin. It's what is in the heart that brings forth sin. Marriage cannot be a holy sacrament the blessing of a sinful union. What is holy is not that which is sinful. The two are mutually exclusive.
The fundamentalist often say that the Church is to marry Christ in the end in Heaven. When the terms are properly understood, they are correct. Is the union sexual and carnal? One must be given to understand that the terms sex and carnal refer to concepts that are themselves understood within the whole understanding of Creation. Pollination is sex. Where does sex start and stop? Endeavor to define it for the sake of communicating the revelation.
The marriage of the Church with Christ and the New Heaven with the New Earth (spiritual/matter conflation) transcends the mundane understanding and limitations of human sexual intercourse, but certainly points to the truth that the union of a male and female becoming one bonded flesh keeping themselves only to each other is not inherently evil. The breaking of it is evil. Infidelity is evil. Marriage is not sin.
Is virginity more pure? Is sex contaminating? It certainly can be. It depends exactly on what is in the heart. What are the motivations? What is being brought forth (conceived) and why? Did the Holy Spirit contaminate Mary by causing her to be pregnant? The Holy Spirit did impregnate her. God made the Heavens and the Earth. God made the Cosmos. God made all the universes that will ever be seen. Who invented human sex? Did we humans originally self-create? If Satan created the Creation, why would God impregnate Mary's then inherently evil flesh? Why would God allow the God-man, Jesus, into the highest? Are these hard questions or simply answers that must be reconciled and used to clear up errors that prevent bringing forth here and now?
The spirit does transcend the flesh. Sex is not necessary. It is not selfish not to have it. Procreation brings more souls to this plane either to be added to the tares to be bundled and burn after the harvest or to be added to the wheat to be gathered and stored in the barn with the good food for the sake of the whole that is righteousness. Where do the souls come from? They come from where they will return. Must humans drag souls into this plane from Heaven so that they will be tempted to fall and then rise again and return home? No they don't have to do that, but this plane doesn't have to be separated from the real home rather than the home of falseness that is Hell.
The Good News is that it won't remain separated for those who believe in the truth that is that Good News. Sex as people know it will end. In the meantime, married people who have offspring are not automatically barred from the Commons that is Heaven in the highest by virtue of their marital status. They are barred for doing those things that mark them, seal them, with the proverbial goats. The married and their offspring can do all the things Jesus calls for of his flock. They can enter life in the highest.
If one believes that sex is inherently sin yet still goes ahead with it, that's a different matter. We are to reject doing what we believe we know is evil. It wasn't until the rich young ruler pressed Jesus for more understanding that he chose wrong and precluded himself. Once he asked and Jesus answered and he refused, he had sin.
When I ask Jesus about sex, per se, I'm instructed that it is an appetite that can be abused as can any appetite. I am instructed that provided the heart is in the right place, feeding the flesh is not inherently evil. It is a prerequisite on this plane for eating the real bread. That said, it is still true that sex is unnecessary. Of course, ultimately the mundane bread is unnecessary. The spirit does not have to eat the mundane bread to live. Jesus ate the mundane bread for his flesh. If his flesh was one hundred percent human and flesh and matter is inherently evil, what was the Son of God doing here in the flesh as matter eating flesh and matter? He was here to call us higher. The very act of his mother conceiving and his being born into this level of existence did not make him evil and it need not make us evil either.
So, what is the duality of personality that separates the spirit(s) into God versus Satan? Follow Jesus to know.
I mentioned hypocrisy above. Hypocrisy is more than alluded to above. Don't do what you know is wrong.
What about work and capitalism? Capitalism is not Christianity. Capitalism is personal, private gain. It is not motivated out of the spirit of Christian unselfishness but rather the exact opposite. The system that is capitalism is the dominant spirit on this plane. It is not the dominant spirit on the higher plane. The capitalist spirit does not require of its disciples the feeding of the whole flock. Jesus does require it though. The capitalists have a monopoly on power and control in the U.S. and elsewhere. Their system is based upon mammon. If you don't have it or get it, they will starve you or do other evil things toward you. The only reason things such as food stamps exist is because other spirits not of capitalism have been somewhat silenced and placated by such halfhearted measures. Working under capitalism does not render one a supporter of the system. It doesn't compromise one's beliefs. Jesus paid the tax even though he maintained his position that there should be no such thing as such a tax.
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That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
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- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
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- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)