Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, describes the loathing he felt about his own sexuality.
“The fact is, I know of nothing good living in me—living, that is, in my unspiritual self—for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing good the things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me…I can see my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death” (Rom. 7:18–24, NJB.)
Poor, pathetic Paul! He was so deluded with puritanical ideas he was repulsed by his own libido and miserable. He was a suppressed, toxic little man, totally ill at ease with himself.
It’s not surprising he was celibate:
“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor. 7:8–9, KJV). To be single was quite unusual for a Pharisee, as they were expected to marry. I guess that Paul would have had difficulty finding a woman willing to live with him. Or he may have been homosexual, yet ashamed of the fact, and therefore not willing to admit it. Whatever the case, he quite clearly had a neurosis about sex:
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:6–13, KJV.)
“He wants you to keep away from fornication and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honorable, not giving away to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God, He wants nobody at all to ever sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral” (1 Thess. 4:3–7, NJB.)
“Yes, it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. But since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband must give his wife what she has the right to expect, and so too the wife to the husband. The wife has no rights over her own body; it is the husband who has them. In the same way, the husband has no rights over his body; the wife has them. Do not refuse each other except by mutual consent, and then only for an agreed time, to leave yourselves free for prayer; then come together again in case Satan should take advantage of your weakness to tempt you” (1 Cor. 7:1–6, NJB).
Commentary here is almost superfluous. Paul had a sour, jaundiced perspective. He was convinced sex was something distasteful and unclean, an annoying body function, like going to the toilet. He thought one should dump the toxic load when necessary, and quickly, so as to get on with something more important, like praying. He implied marriage existed so people had a quick way to get sex over and done with.
Paul must have been disappointed that people had sex on their minds, as that made it difficult to teach them his more spiritual profundities. I suspect he didn’t approve of people having an aspect of their lives that wasn’t under his supervision.
There is nothing to suggest the average person had such a sick, negative attitude. One wonders where he got it. He may have been sexually abused as a child, he might have had erectile difficulties of his own, he may have been horrified by his own attraction for other males, or he could have been brainwashed with Platonic ideas about the superior nature of the spirit compared to what were considered base bodily functions. He was obsessed with the idea the end of the world was imminent, which may be why he thought it was pointless for people to marry. None of these reasons are good excuses for writing what he did.
Most people today quite rightly dismiss this dogma as deluded. Others don’t. We should consider the psychological damage inflicted on millions of innocent people through their Christian upbringings. All youngsters explore their sexuality; yet the Christian is often told that such behaviors—even thoughts—are sins! The consequence is guilt and fear, which is totally unnecessary.
Some of today’s churches still promote a disgust of sex. They introduce embarrassment and shame into the most natural aspect of our humanity. Their agenda is to destroy people’s self respect by making them dislike themselves. When an ego is wounded, people are easier to control. The savior to clean and pure, so Jesus jumps to the rescue, and the church has won another customer. The victim is saved from a problem he never had in the first place.
Their teaching is a filthy stain that is hard to wash out of people’s minds once it has taken root. Shame on churches for still promoting this as the word of God!
Sex is a special, wholesome, and beautiful aspect of life. It strengthens relationships and is nature’s way of ensuring we reproduce. It is an affair between two people, so religious authorities should ipse facto butt out of people’s private business.