Christianity and sexuality  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
sexuality in Christian demonology

In Christianity, despite the many variations in modern-day Christian denominations, there was full unanimity that sexuality in general, and sexual union specifically in marriage was a gift from God and that sexual intercourse was reserved for marriage. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant views on sexual union were unanimous until the 1930 Lambeth Conference. This view is simply that the primary end of sexuality is marriage and that the primary end of marriage is begetting children and that non-reproductive sex, as well as premarital and extramarital sex is disapproved of. In defense of the traditional view, Charles Gore, Anglican Bishop of Oxford, noted that Christian churches always taught:

1. That the Church has steadily and constantly taught that generation is the primary end of marriage.
2. That the Church has always declined to say that progeneration is the only end.
3. That married intercourse was never prohibited when the laws of nature make generation improbable or impossible.
4. That sexual intercourse of married people has other recognized ends than the production of offspring.
5. That the attempt to use any devices to separate absolutely the satisfaction of the physical desire from its chief end is to be condemned as sin.
6. That methods of Birth Prevention are not wrong because they are mechanical, but because they do not promote the ends of nature and obstruct and defeat them.
7. That Birth Prevention is sinful because, like other sensual practices commonly called unnatural, it is a deliberate enterprise taken in hand to separate enjoyment of the sexual act from its possible natural result. It is thus regarded as 'unfruitful works of darkness.'
8. That Christians are always and rightly bidden to effect what we propose to do and not isolate our private interest from the general interests of the kingdom of God.

This unanimity was broken at the 1930 Lambeth Conference, the quadrennial meeting of the worldwide Anglican Communion, creating divisions in that denomination and, after World War II, divergence in Protestant teaching on sexuality. Today, the Protestant Episcopal Church USA includes Bishop Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual. Liberated Christians in a wide number of denominations advocate that the teachings against premarital and extramarital sex were either misread throughout previous centuries or that they applied to ancient, not current, circumstances. Scriptures in the New Testament dealing with sexuality are extensive. Subjects include: divine love (1 Corinthians 13), mutual self-giving (1 Corinthians 7), bodily membership between Christ and between husband and wife (1 Corinthians 6:15-20), honor versus dishonor of adultery (Hebrews 13:4), and condemnation of paganism and homosexuality (Romans 1:24-32).

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