David Swanson has a sexy question

David Swanson ask a good question at Out of Ur:

How does the Gospel of Jesus transform the way we think about sexuality? In other words, does the fact that Jesus was crucified and resurrected have any bearing on how we view the sexuality of others and ourselves?

I like this because it brings the focus back to Jesus, whereas all too often what passes for Evangelical ethics is left mired in the Old Testament law. So, who would you answer?

12 thoughts on “David Swanson has a sexy question

  1. …I’m not even sure if I should start…my thoughts may not resonate well, most likely.
    That said, I believe that the call of Jesus to faithful covenant-keeping needs to transform every aspect of our lives and put them in proper perspective. As with so many other areas of our lives, too many have lost the balance concerning intimate emotional/spiritual relationship and intimate physical relationship. I continue to be persuaded that restraint is the most important characteristic of God … and, consequently, for his Image Bearers.
    There are reasons why sexuality’s place is meant for one lifelong relationship based on mutuality in equality and submission to the Lordship of Jesus. Sex is meant to be a form of liminality intended to give rise to a communitas that becomes the basis for family.
    When it is reduced to simply a matter of selfish gratification, it becomes the source of the worst kinds of pain and agony known to humanity.
    This is not to say that Jesus cannot heal the many varieties of wounds that God’s Cracked Eikons inflict upon themselves and others… it is to say that sexual wound are some of the most damaging….
    As in all realms of “views”, it is incumbent upon followers of Jesus to submit to the Spirit removing the “plank of sex” from their own eye before they attempt to gently and humbly help a brother or sister remove their speck. In all things we are to speak the truth in love … and Jesus, above all else, should be where we go to learn this neglected art.


  2. The gospel of Jesus does transform the ways we think about sexuality… but it is not just the death and resurrection but the incarnation,life,teachings,miracles.. basically the whole story of Jesus. I find it interesting that he focuses on the death and resurrection of Jesus apart from these things.. part of the Anabaptist theology I tend to read focuses on how we need to look at the whole life of Jesus including his death and resurrection. That’s my two cents.
    I like Peggy’s comment as well “Sex is meant to be a form of liminality intended to give rise to a communitas that becomes the basis for family.”


  3. Only men and women of inherent pleasure are capable of knowing and being the Truth.
    What you are emotionally, is what you are as a sexual being. It is written all over your face and body. And is dramatized in everything that you do, moment to moment.
    Emotional-sexual ignorance (and confusion) and ignorance of the body altogether, is the primary source of ALL of problems, both individual and collective–no exceptions.
    Plus the Christian Tradition altogether contains no Wisdom whatsoever on how to Understand and master, but not suppress, and hence mutilate, emotional-sexual energy (and the body).
    Talking about the “resurrection of Jesus” in relation to emotional-sexual understanding is codswallop.
    Indeed the principal legacy of Christianity altogether is its entirely negative attitude to the body. Again, this negativity is the primary source of ALL of our seemingly intractable social problems, including global warfare.


  4. Peggy and John have expressed some great points better than I could. To me, the Gospel Jesus taught and exemplified affects every area of our lives including sexuality.
    However, I also relate to what John has pointed out about the effect of currupted Christian tradition. It makes sense to me to discern the difference between the shortcomings of “Christian Tradition” and the appreciation of life in the living Christ and and ever-growing, Spirit-enabled ability to live out his revolutionary teachings.
    My experience in the creative movement arts brought me in to contact with Christians who have grappled with and overcome the negative attitude to the body to which John refers. It’s been great to be part of a fellowship of people who partner with God in the joyful mission of setting those who are willing, free from such erroneous misconceptions.
    I am sure that a more positive and God-intended perception of our bodies and their capabilities translates beneficially into our sexual conduct. However, wholeness in soul and spirit also makes an essential contribution.
    From what I understand, the gospel Jesus imparted/imparts is capable of transforming us completely – body, soul, and spirit (sozo/salvation). As we all know it takes TIME and EFFORT, and we may not be perfected until we move on into the next dimension of existence after this earthly life… perhaps we could consider the possibility that there is no physical sexual union in heaven, as is what appears to be the scripturally-based supposition?!


  5. My apologies… my opening remarks in the previous post were meant to cover what was said by Peggy and Isaiah… but it still makes sense… sorry…


  6. There is some credibility to the claim of some commentators I have read that Jesus may well have been sexually abused through torture during the hours of his final journey to the cross.
    Whether or not that was the case, simply by being stripped naked at the cross in front of everyone else who was gathered there, as someone to be mocked and bullied and belittled, constitutes sexual abuse under today’s interpretation of it.
    In that, Jesus identifies as a victim with others who have been sexually abused throughout history. Surely he has borne all our griefs and sufferings upon himself…


  7. Lucy J, I think you’re misunderstaning John. From previous interactions he’s made it clear that (1) he sees Jesus as an inferior teacher to Adi Da (aka Franklin Albert Jones from Queens, New York) and (2) that when he speaks of corrupt Christian tradition he means, starting with the gospels. Personally I find his insinuations that all the problems of the world can be pinned on Jesus for not teaching tantric sex are a tad extreme.


  8. Thanks, Matt, for enlightening me further on John’s point of view. However, even bearing that in mind, I think my argument still stands. Disciples follow what Jesus DID teach. I’m not sure that tantric sex brings wholeness to body, soul and spirit, but I know plenty of people that don’t practice it who testify to the saving and transformational grace of Christ… weak and subjective argument, I know… but bear with me, I’ll try to make a couple of comments more worth reading…
    It’s tough that we are in times “in between” the start of the “shalom” community that Jesus ushered in and its full fruition. (Shalom being a term gleaned from Hebraic roots to describe living personal and socially healthy and creative lives, having been created in God’s image and thus designed to do so). We live in times when the state of the world is in such turmoil, and various explanations for its turbulent, destructive scenarios may be suggested, because it looks like an near impossible task despite the original design.
    However, throughout history, from what I have studied, there hasn’t been anything so hotly or consistently contested as the story of Jesus Christ and the impact of his past, present and future presence on humanity and this planet.
    Sex (whether practised or denied) is not interchangeable with the kind of LOVE Christ taught and exemplified. Although, I think that sexual relations between a man and woman can be greatly influenced/enhanced by that transformative love. I am also of the opinion that the act of making love by man and woman is not limited to what is done in the act of sexual intercourse, which kind of broaches the subject of humans as sexual beings , on which subject much has been written by many experts. It is not my purpose, by taking a distinctly heterosexual stance on this point, to offend/alienate others who have an antithetical viewpoint to mine about it all. I am just being honest about my view on the matter. It’s personal, it’s controversial, it’s a potentially divisive subject, but I think the way Matt has created this site, it’s safe to discuss such matters in a respectful and mature manner, which I am honestly trying to do.
    Despite various corruptions there is a thread of unarguable, universal core Christian tradition which acknowledges Christ’s love and its transformational power. When we look at the “un-shalom-ness” of our world, it seems that too few times this love has been allowed to heal the world’s problems.
    There are plenty of investigated, documented and verified testimonies of its efficaciousness in circumstances where it has been – where grace and mercy have been proclaimed as salvific in personal and global situations. That might sound similar to the tantric idea of using/channelling divine power to purposeful goals, but the difference is that it isn’t the rituals/mantras etc that connect one to the power, but that the guru, the power and the ritual ARE the same entity: the living person of Christ… the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
    Did I open up a can of worms? Maybe I better go eat some… 🙂


  9. Lucy
    I’m not discounting your argument; I’m merely suggesting that it’s a different one from the one John is making. He’s condemning Christians FOR following Jesus, whom he considers to be an inferior guide. He’s not conceding any transformative power to Christ at all, and has previously made clear that any distinguishing between authentic and corrupted Christianity on our part is bogus, principally because Christ is bogus. I’m not expecting him back for this thread though because his normal mode of operation is hit and run, not dialogue. Be aware that in the mid 80s his guru, Adi Da, was accused by former devotees of financial, sexual and emotional abuses. Adi Da’s teaching methods have included public and group sex within a closed, controlling community. Anything he says on “love” and “spirituality” needs to be understood against that background.
    To return to the discussion though, I agree that the sexual love (eros) between a man and a women can be greatly enhanced by the sacrificial love (agape) of Christ. We’re talking multi-orbed love aren’t we.


  10. Yeah, thanks, I knew about Adi Da’s previous record. As far as I am aware, nothing like that can be pinned on Jesus. I am not aware of any historical records showing his followers accusing him of any abusive behaviour toward them or others, although there is scriptural record of his detractors trying to pin stuff like blasphemy on him during the temple trial (apparently illegitimately convened) before his execution, but their stories didn’t match! Maybe John will come back another day… what’s this “multi-orbed” love thing, Matt?


  11. By the way, maybe I’ll get a chance one day to perform for you and any interested others a piece in my repertoire called “What is THIS thing called Love?” It’s a tragi-comedi-dramtic interpretive monologue and dance exploring apparent scriptural paradoxes and well-known popular songs on the subject of love. Kind of fits along the lines of laughter and creativity you mention in other recent threads…


  12. Oh, I don’t think John is trying to pin accusations of sexual licence on Jesus. On the contrary, he seems to find it offensive that Jesus was so sexually unadventurous. Maybe if the messiah had slept around more John would consider him more enlightened, but of course we know and he knows that just wasn’t the case. Some people reject Jesus because they haven’t understood, but others reject Jesus because they just don’t like what he has to offer. Contextualization isn’t the issue with John, it’s his value system. It is diametrically opposed to ours. What we call purity he calls corruption, and visa versa. I just accept that fact. He’s been dropping in sporadically for years so I expect he’ll be back again. But don’t hold your breath expecting a thoughtful response to your questions. Not his style. Even when I deliberately goad him into responding (like this) he rarely responds. It’s a bit of a game we seem to have. I know a number of bloggers who have banned him. I refrain from doing so because of my minimal censorship commitments. He’s living proof that having a voice on the blog is not dependant on agreeing with me in any way, shape or form.
    By multi-orbed I mean that sacrificial love can be expressed in multiple ways. We can express it sexually but we’re not limited to expressing it sexually. You ever thought of videoing that performance?


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