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Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality

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How to cite item. Email this article Login required. Email the author Login required. Tukker Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality participating as research fellow of Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality. This article represents a reworked version of a thesis submitted in fulfilment of the degree MA Biblical and Religious Studies at the University of Pretoria, under the supervision of Prof. Marilize Tukker Postal address: This is an Open Access article distributed under Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Where sexuality and spirituality meet: An assessment of Christian teaching on sexuality and marriage in relation to the reality of 21st century moral norms In This Original Research An assessment of Christian teaching on sexuality and marriage in relation to the reality of 21st century moral norms.

In This Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality Research God and sex are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, and yet people still have a deep need for spirituality, to experience God in their lives and to seek guidance on sexual matters.

It becomes a dilemma when the question is posed: One way to answer this question is to attempt Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality find a link between spirituality and sexuality.

People are both spiritual and sexual creatures — with the need to express their spirituality and sexuality in a moral, but unashamedly natural way. This article attempts to find alternative solutions for our complex society — on Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality subject of marriage and sexuality.

The intention is not to dismiss the institution of marriage, but rather to renegotiate the terms and structure of marriage in the 21st century.

Viljoen — wrote in the newspaper Beeld Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality tells the story of a young couple who wanted to join the church — but who were rejected because they were living together with their children and were not married. The church committee stipulated that the couple should live separately for a period of time, after which they should get married and baptise their two children.

Dr Dirk J. Human, Deputy...

This had to take place before they would be accepted as members of Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality church, and only at that stage would they be Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality to take Holy Communion. The fact that Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality couple had been committed to each other for 10 years, had raised their children as believers, and had worked hard to preserve their family unit — was never considered.

Needless to say, the family did not join the church. Their place Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality the church and their right to take Holy Communion were, however, guaranteed Viljoen The traditional monogamous marriage is being questioned — not only because of different modern practices in sexual relationships, but also because of the inconsistencies and sometimes contradictions apparent in the Bible itself.

Modern society questions the assertion that traditional marriage is the only moral and lawful option where a permanent love relationship between two people can exist. In fact, the complexity of relationships in modern society is Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality being accommodated in the traditional marriage Viviers The church is currently confronted with a divergence of opinion about sexual relationships and marriage.

The reality of our Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality raises the question of whether the traditional understanding of marriage is still relevant — in terms of helping believers make meaningful and responsible choices.

The topic of Christian sexual ethics raises various questions. When it comes to ethics, people often cite certain biblical texts literally, in order to justify their specific viewpoint.

If we look closely, however, the Bible still provides guidelines for healthy relationships.

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Although it has been argued that the Bible does not give us all the answers for our ethical questions, there are still clues to be found with regard to how people can be both sexual creatures and Christians at the same time Dreyer This article discusses a variety of issues relating to the Christian church, marriage and sex — with the aim of suggesting a moral foundation for sexuality, relationships and Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality. Particular reference is made to the Old Testament book, Song of Songs, as the nature and context of the love relationship presented here offers important clues to answering the dilemmas facing modern Christian couples, when facing issues relating to marriage, sex and morality in the context Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality the 21st century.

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Why do so many Christians associate sex with sin? In the two decades after Christ, the church got so caught up with the depravity of women and Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality desires, that sex and sin almost became synonyms. By the 7th century, Pope Gregorius declared that a couple was impure if they gained any pleasure from sex.

The sin of pleasure had become twice as substantial as that associated with the sex deed itself Friesen Sex was always treated in the church Dilemmas on human Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality and spirituality something that should not be talked about.

Vardy summarises the moral norms on sexuality that have played a major role in the church for several centuries. Although most of these uncompromising views have been overcome in the last few decades, the church is still faced with new challenges in the present milieu — which require reflection on Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality theologies.

Associating sex with shame. Healthy shame helps us to make good judgement and to know when we contradict our own beliefs. Unhealthy shame would be to compare and force our beliefs on others. Churches, communities and cultures use shame to protect the traditions of the culture and to keep religious laws sacred. Shame is directed at those who violate the rules.

Shame is passed down from one generation to another. In this regard, so many children still grow up today hearing that sex is wrong and shameful. Most of the attitudes and values that cause sexual problems among young couples, can be traced back to attitudes, behaviour and values that are either consciously or unconsciously absorbed from parents.

The gap between sexuality and spirituality spirit-body dualism is a place where shame grows. Rather than to ignore it — would it not be better to educate young people about sex, advice, warn them about potential dangers, and teach them values that are biblically grounded?

I concur with McClintockwhen she says: We can teach our Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality about sexuality and biblical moral standard by emphasizing love, commitment, and consequence. We can teach them to value good communications in sex by the way we ourselves communicate with them about sex. It is during this dropout phase that sexuality without spiritual values can be learned. This has various negative implications: Without spiritual grounding for sexual relationships, young people are increasingly likely to engage in dangerous sexual practices.

Sexuality and spirituality need to be taught in the same curriculum. One without the other leaves us unfulfilled. It sounds exciting — but could this centuries-old song shed some light on relationships in Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality 21st century? There is in fact plenty to learn from this book of the Old Testament. Song of Songs is considered to be the greatest love poem ever written Du Toit The positive resolution of that debate is reflected in the famous declaration by Rabbi Akiva, that: The whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel; all the Writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is the holies of holies.

Song of Songs is sexually extremely explicit — by openly referring to the naked male and female bodies, especially their sexual organs and to sexual activities.

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In fact, Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality is no reference to God, at all Scheffler Perhaps the clearest biblical teaching on sexuality is found Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality Song of Songs. The Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality talks about a man and a woman who are desperately in love with each other: They yearn to be together, but not simply for the sake of Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality gratification.

They want to be together because they are in love, and the sex they enjoy with one another is an expression of that love. Their mutual attraction is not primarily hormonally driven. The way the Bible talks about the love between a man and a woman is somewhat surprising. On the subject of sexuality and marriage, people often expect the Bible to have a set of instructions, with rules and regulations. In Song of Songs, however, it is surprising to note that sexuality and marriage are praised.

It is, after all, not a narrative, nor a lecture — it is a song. In fact, it is named in the superlative: We are invited to celebrate love — to join in, and sing and dance and be joyful about love, and to be amazed that people are capable of loving each other.

This poetry holds a timelessness that speaks straight to the heart. And where love Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality being celebrated, it brings us closer to the mystery of being human — the secret of life itself Du Toit Senses play an important role in Song of Songs. The couple are listening, seeing, tasting, smelling and touching — and through it all there is a passion that leaves one speechless.

Christians often feel that the Bible is against physical desire and sexual feelings. They tend Dilemmas on human sexuality and spirituality see sexual desires as sinful and that passion can lead to seduction.

This is not the case. Indeed, Song of Songs portrays passion as something beautiful and powerful Du Toit The main theme of Song of Songs is that the couple belong to one another. Only in the exclusiveness of their relationship and in the security of the mutual — I belong to you and you belong to me — is this love that they share, possible.

This exclusiveness is also expressed in other ways — for example, that his beloved is unique, and one of a kind that only happens once in a lifetime.

And for her beloved, she is irreplaceable Du Toit A love relationship encompasses the entire human existence — your heart, thoughts, body and ultimately your life. Emotions are often contradictory: These different features of love are seen in the themes that occur throughout the songs: The book is a guide on how to build a loving, intimate relationship.

The ultimate purpose of sex is to provide ultimate intimacy between a husband and wife. There is no greater expression of vulnerable intimacy between human beings, and this is a large part of what makes marriage so unique.

To create a safe environment for erotica and lovemaking — love, trust, care and commitment should be present.

If this is the case, it would be understood that eros not only implies sexuality, but also sensuality; that the atmosphere in which sex takes place is just as important as the sex itself. Song of Songs talks about a love that should be celebrated, but it also holds a calling.

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