I wrote this in my blog awhile back... http://blog.myspace.com/nathanatx
"An unnatural sex act is one that can not be committed." - Kinsey
So what do we, as Christians, do with the question of sex?
Is it bad? Is premarital sex ok? What about the rules for gay & lesbians? Are some sex acts bad? When is it "ok" to have sex?
I have recently been able to be a part a workshop led by my Pastor, Rev. Ken Martin of MCC Austin www.mccaustin.com
, on this topic. The following are my notes and thoughts from that workshop. Pastor Ken's lesson was titled "Sexual Ethics." His quotes will be in bold.
What is the difference between Morals & Ethics?
Morals: reflect the rules of a group at specific times; these are subject to change. In the "Suani" people(not sure if I spelled it right), homosexuality is encouraged and expected among males. In the Ruana(again spelling) homosexuality is punishable by death. He talked about "orgasmic women" in Western culture and how only in recent years has a woman's ability to orgasm been seen as natural and encouraged.
Ethics: If something is ethical it is always right. If it is unethical, it is always wrong. Ethics don't change.
Living an ethical life might cause you to go against the morals of society. Think about people that operated the Underground Railroad and helped slaves escape the South. It wasn't a moral thing to do because the "rules of the group" or the laws of the land allowed for slavery, but it was certainly an ethical thing to do.
Side note: Not one biblical family fits the 1 man + 1 woman formula in the Bible. I found this interesting, but didn't have time to dig into it.
The gospels are a conflict between ethics & morals... or more succinctly... between rules & relationships.
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Don't let your freedom be an excuse to be irresponsible.
Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
Specific sexual acts are neutral. Anal sex, oral sex, handjobs, kinky stuff... But, we are NOT free from submitting our actions to the standard of love.
What is Agape love? To wish the very best for another person and to be willing to sacrifice to make it happen.
The Heart of Christianity replaces all rules with love.
1 Cor. 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"óbut not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"óbut I will not be mastered by anything.
2 Cor. 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenantónot of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
COVENANT: Based on promises. Ask yourself if this behavior you're considering is faithful to the promises you have made that bind the important promises in your life?... to God... to yourself... to your partner... to your church... etc. ***You HAVE to have these agreements & promises, otherwise there will be assumptions made and when one party doesn't live up to the assumption, the other person will be hurt.
Ask yourself: "Is ____(fill in the blank)___ going to move me towards becoming who I am created to be? Is it loving? Is it caring? Is it building my soul?"
You must be easier on yourself... you are not finished yet... you are a work in progress. When you sin or "miss the mark" by not keeping one of your covenants or if you do something unethical... all you have to do is: Confess--to God and whoever is involved, Repent--turn around... stop doing what you were doing, Resolve--to keep your covenants in the future.
Some final thoughts:
You don't ever end a relationship with the same promises you began it with. Relationships are about compromise... or "co-promise" ... about committing to each other.
There are three key things to consider when evaluating sexual behavior:
1. Consent: Both people have to be legally, mentally & emotionally capable to give consent.
2. Mutual: You can't use another person. You must be serious about being responsible for your needs, desires & feelings AND those of the other person.