Another short post today. I will be traveling next week, so I probably won’t post again until next Saturday. In the meantime, feel free to continue discussing matters in the comments.
The first passage is a short bit from the First Letter of Timothy:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
I find this passage interesting because it hints that even early on in the history of the Church there were those who pushed an ascetic lifestyle. The part about forbidding marriage specifically interests me, because as I’ve been reading up on the Saints I’ve come across those who have opposed various heresies over the years. And a fairly constant one that pops up all the time holds that human sexuality is inherently sinful. Of course, going along with this particular heresy is that marriage should therefore be forbidden. It is sad to see that certain lies just don’t seem to die, no matter how many times they are trampled upon. Note especially the language of “everything created by God is good” in this- human sexuality, as something created by God, cannot be inherently evil.
This is backed up by the language of Genesis:
To the woman he said,
“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
Note that God says he will multiply the woman’s pain in childbearing. You can only multiply something that already exists; anything times zero is still zero. Thus, the woman was already going to experience some measure of pain in childbearing, and most importantly, she was already capable of bearing children. Since human sexuality is the medium by which children are begotten in the first place, and therefore required for children to be borne, human sexuality existed before the Fall. Genesis 1:28 also supports this. This means that sexuality cannot be inherently sinful. And yet there have been those throughout the centuries who have taught as much. An important reminder that we must always be on our guard, for there will always be false prophets among us.