Christian Sexuality?:
What's the Difference?

How is Christian sexuality specifically different from other kinds of sexuality?

The question raises itself because human sexuality is universal and knows no boundaries until some group imposes them.

So when you put a name to it like Christian sexuality, you create 'Christian' boundaries for your understanding of human sexuality and for your behavior.

But, these boundaries cannot be called Christian sexuality boundaries because different Christianity sects do not share a universal understanding or meaning of sexuality in human life. Nor do they share and an agreed upon context for its expression (e.g., marriage).

And then it follows that authorized sexual behavior, Christian morality, will differ from one Christian sect to another.

This overgeneralized use of the word Christian affects everything from Christian marriage to ordination of clergy and Christian formation of conscience.

An Aristotle quote points out, when words have so many meanings they lose all meaning, and there is no way to understand and communicate with or teach others.

Here are two examples for contrast...

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Roman Catholic sexuality

The Roman Catholic church is ruled by an absolute monarch, the pope, who defines the religious and behavioral boundaries of catholic sexuality in universal terms:

  • The first purpose of human sexuality is procreation in solemn marriage between a man and a woman.
  • A seconary purpose is the development of the spiritual, psychological and physical union between a man and a woman lawfully united in Christian marriage in the Roman Catholic church
  • Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered
  • There are no same sex marriages
  • Artifical birth control is against the natural law
  • Calculated abortion (i.e., pro-choice) for non-medical reasons is murder
  • Clergy is limited to celibate males

As strict as these rules are, Catholic morality is undermined by contradictions that the Roman Catholic church insists on...

  • Marriage is not a solemn contract between two people because the United States Roman Catholic church requires the couple to submit a marriage licence application making the state the third, and controlling, party to the marriage.
  • The priest must hold a ministry license from the state to preside at the marriage ceremony and sign as the legal witnesss to the couple's contract with the state to be governed by civil law which may conflict with God's law.
  • The state as legal contractor to a three party marriage obliterates the boundary of separation of church and state and state law rather than God's law controls the marriage and the upbringing and education of any children from the marriage.

So, It is difficult to define the meaning and the Christian moral boundaries of human sexuality both within a church and between the various Christianity sects.

And though the Anglican church was once part of the Roman Catholic church, the two sects differ markedly about Christian sexuality.

Episcopal/Anglican Christian sexuality

The Anglican church is not actually governed by a supreme religious authority. The current head of the church is a lay woman, Elizabeth II, which combines both church and state in a constitutional monarchy. Consequently, the prime minister (i.e., the state) selects, and the queen (the church) appoints, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • Church doctrine will, then, be influenced by changing times and current politicial issues.
  • The discussion of religious and moral issues proceeds from the Hegelian dialectic of thesis: "abortion is a woman's right"; antithesis: "abortion is murder"; synthesis (i.e.compromise):"everyone is free to decide".
  • Thus, there is no general rule that interpersonal sex is confined to heterosexual marriage.
  • Homosexual acts are sanctioned in some provinces and not in others.
  • Same-sex unions are sanctioned by some and not others.
  • Clergy is not exclusively male.
  • Gay men and lesbian women are ordained priest and consecrated bishop by some bishops but not by others,
  • Artificial birth control is sanctioned by some and not others.
  • Some provinces are pro-choice while others forbid abortion.

And so there is not a whole lot of meaning in the term Christian sexuality when it can be defined and expressed so differently both between and within the Christianty sects.

There is no fundamental universal Christian sexuality or Christian morality. And this creates problems of...

Christian moral relativism

The problems that arise from Christian moral relativism are...

  1. There is no general moral code for "Christian Sexuality" because the term has contradictory meanings, depending on who you listen to.
  2. There can be no specifically Christian pre-marital counseling.
  3. Without a universal and specifically Christian moral code, there can be no specifically Christian formation-of-conscience about Christian sexuality.

There are too many contradictory sexual behaviors allowed or prohibited by each of the Christianity sects so that the general term Christian sexuality lacks general meaning. This has led to serious immoral and criminal behavior by some. For example...

Fr. Mike believed that adolescent sexual abuse could be a ministry of sexual awakening.

Bishop Kurt Krenn of the St. Poelton diocese in Austria said pornographic images of his semiinary students and faculty were just "boyish pranks."


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