Brother Ron Barnes
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Why Is There Such a Stigma About Sex?

Dear Brother Ron

Why is there such a stigma about sex when it comes to religion? It seems that a standard position on the matter from your average Christian is that you should never, ever, ever engage in sex unless you are married (to someone of the opposite sex, of course), in your marriage bed, and even then, only when it's absolutely necessary.

Homosexual sex is of course dirty and filthy and nasty and an abomination before God and should never be acted on (therefore gays should be celibate, if they're not willing to "switch"). Masturbation is a no no.

This very natural function that humans have, this basic need we all possess to hold and touch one another seems to be absolutely verboten. And Christians are so completely fascinated by it - especially what the people around them are doing and how it rates on the sin-o-meter.


Dear Kevin

First, let's examine the subject in the context of the Hebrew society. The Hebrews con- sidered themselves to be God's chosen people. This was a very exclusive club and member- ship was only open to those who could prove they were descendents of the original twelve tribes of Israel. If you were not a descendent of Israel, you were a gentile and therefore in- ferior to the chosen ones. The Hebrews did not want their bloodline "polluted" by children of mixed heritage.

You must also consider the position of women in this society. A woman was the possession of her husband. Only he had the right to sexual relations. Adultery was a capital offense, pun- ishable by death by stoning. A husband also had the right to kill his wife if he found on their wedding night she was not a virgin. So the prohibition against casual sex has very deep roots in the Judeo-Christian heritage.

The prohibition against homosexuality and masturbation also has deep roots in the Christian tradition. Again, we find in the Hebrew tradition that the only reason for sex was the pro- creation of children. In Genesis 38:9 we find that "when he (Onan) went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother". In the next verse, we find that God was not pleased by this and killed Onan.

You must remember that Jesus and his disciples were Jews. As such, they were raised in this tradition and believed firmly in it. They also embodied it into their gospels, which became the platform for the Christian faith.

Hope this helps.

Best always
Brother Ron