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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Really? Sensuality is a sin?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30796points) July 21st, 2011

With my interest in studying world religions, I tend to listen to a lot of sermons. I recently heard one on the radio which suggested that sensuality is a sin.

The context was, pray to God for forgiveness of your sins. Admit that you’ve been prideful, boastful, deceitful, sensual…

I said wha? Has this guy never heard of the Song of Solomon?

A few highlights:
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”

“I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

“A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.”

“His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.”

“Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.”

“His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.”

How is it that many (not all), but many Christians feel that anything to do with sex must be a sin by default?

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34 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

People can say anything is a sin. Sin is a made up construct.

TexasDude's avatar

The Bible basically mandates that you fight against everything that makes you human… or else you burn for all eternity in the dank pits of hell while being simultaneously buttraped by Hitler and Genghis Khan with giant barbed penises.

Seems legit to me.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Funny @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard. My studies have revealed just the opposite. The bible teaches one to clearly distinguish the self from the animal kingdom, and become the fullest manifestation of human, and beyond human. Could the interpretation you suggest be attributed to bad religion, rather than actual texts in the book? The fires of hell have numerous interpretations. The most intelligent ones are their analogy of burning with lust, greed, desire, pride, deception… And I must have missed the part about Adolf and Genghis. Will revue.

DominicX's avatar

I find it interesting that it does seem to be a common theme among the religious (read: Christian) that in order to be “like God”, what needs to happen is a breaking away from those more “animal” natures of humanity, sex being the most animal act of all. So as a result, there’s much denial of humanity and denial of natural acts. Sex became shameful and virginity is praised and anything outside of strict intramarital copulation for the purpose of having children is “dirty” and sinful. And the idea that it might actually cause pleasure is sickening to some people, for how can someone find pleasure in an act so instinctual, so animal, so sinful?

This is just the impression I get from what I’ve observed. It doesn’t mean that the Bible actually supports this, but time has shown it’s difficult to argue what the Bible “actually says”.

TexasDude's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies one can dream, can’t they?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I hear ya. And share much of your frustrations with the over zealous morality police of any religious extremism.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh I do, don’t worry.

Sunny2's avatar

Must have been instigated by uptight basically frigid women who henpecked their men into agreeing. Too bad. The world would be a better place with a little more sensuality. A little more day dreaming. . . and less concern about what other people do and less nosiness to find out.

atomicmonkey's avatar

I say “Holy f***” all the time.

…and I really mean it.

;) ;)

Schroedes13's avatar

@Dominicx I’ve heard many sermons on sex and I’ve never heard it used in a shameful way. Pre-marital or extramarital sex is seen as sinful though. Also, virginity is praised only until marriage. After marriage, you can have all the sex you want. Context is everything.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Schroedes13 Regardless of the sermons you’ve heard, I don’t know of anywhere in the bible where Jesus speaks against pre-marital or extramarital sex. He does speak against deception, cheating on your partner. But to the other issues, he is silent. He doesn’t even speak against prostitution. He praised the prostitute who washed his feet, and telling her to “go and sin no more” was only said because she brought herself to him as a sinner. But I’m unsure if Jesus would have said that if she had not considered herself a sinner.

I know this is untypical Christian teaching. But that’s my problem, is typical Christian teaching vs what Jesus actually taught. He even confirmed allowance for divorce because of the hardness in peoples hearts.

Schroedes13's avatar

Jesus talked about extramarital sex. He refers to it as adultery. Mark 7:20–21. And as for pre-marital sex, 1 Corinthians 7:8,9

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

1st Corinthians is Paul, not Jesus. That’s when the dogma started. He is moving into areas that Jesus never spoke of. Especially the logical fallacy of recommending people do not get married, and therefor do not procreate. Paul’s teaching is not the same as Jesus.

Mark 7 mentions adultery as evil. But adultery is deception, cheating on a spouse without their knowledge. It has no bearing on consensual extramarital sex.

Schroedes13's avatar

wowzers. I won’t even get into that topic then!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I take it you disagree with me. If so, where am I mistaken?

jeremyh's avatar

No sensuality is not a sin at least in my book.

Schroedes13's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies In my opinion, adultery is engaging in sexual activities with anyone who is not your husband/wife!

Schroedes13's avatar

You also talk about Jesus talking about divorce and the hardness of one’s heart, but Matthew 5:32 is a great verse to read about Jesus’ view on it.

Your_Majesty's avatar

No, but beauty is a sin. Now I must be so sinful…

Blackberry's avatar

That’s religion for you. It’s ok, I assume many christians just pick and choose what to believe and how to act, because they have their own brains. If sensuality was a sin, christians wouldn’t be popping babies out left and right.

thorninmud's avatar

Renunciation of sensuality is an important feature of non-Christian faiths as well. I can think of no better example than the Hindu sadhus. Buddhism doesn’t advocate that kind of extreme asceticism, but still has orders of celibate monks, and warns against hedonism. Buddha is said to have left a life of royal ease (and his wife) to take up his spiritual search. Islam doesn’t advocate celibacy, of course, but does have the concept of zuhd, the kind of austere life that Mohammed led.

This has been seen as necessary by many religions, I think, because it’s all too easy for humans to fall into the mode of living for the next jolt of dopamine. Sensual pleasure is addictive. Just as it’s hard for a drug addict to think of anything else, it’s hard for a pleasure addict to get beyond the self.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Sunny2 Actually, quite the opposite. It was instigated by a man who was so hateful to women that he felt it was better to cut off your penis than to have sex with such a dirty, toxic thing as a vagina because the way to Hell is through Woman. Eventually, St. Augustine came around and said that maybe that was a bit too drastic, that He created both penises and vaginas, so it was ok to have sex so long as it was in the confines of marriage, for the purpose of making babies.

rOs's avatar

Sensuality isn’t a sin, it’‘s a skill.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Schroedes13 Please quote the actual verses, not just the titles.

Schroedes13's avatar

@Dutchess_III I have only used verses? They’re right there!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I mean, you wrote, for example “He refers to it as adultery. Mark 7:20–21. And as for pre-marital sex, 1 Corinthians 7:8,9” So what does Mark 7:20–21 actually say? What does 1 Corinthians 7:8 say?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Alrighty then. Mark 7:20–21 says 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder,
Why are you assuming they’re referring strictly to adultery in that? There are a lot of sexual immoralities that have nothing to do with being married or being with another person who is married.

Corinthians 7:8,9 “8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” Why are you assuming they’re referring to sex?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, back to the point someone made…that was Mark and Paul (Paul wrote Corinthians, didn’t he? While in prison?...) those aren’t Jesus’ word. Those are their own personal view points. What DID Jesus himself say about sex?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Schroedes13 It is not out of line for @Dutchess_III to request your posting the verses directly. There are numerous versions of the Bible. Sometimes different versions lead certain denominations to interpret the meanings differently. We can assume we’re talking about the same thing for general discussion. But for isolating specific terminologies, we should consider posting the exact verse used and from which interpretation it came from.

@Schroedes13 “In my opinion, adultery is engaging in sexual activities with anyone who is not your husband/wife!”

That’s not adultery. That’s either infidelity or fornication. For married couples, it is infidelity, if and only if it is first an emotional betrayal of trust, and then could possibly lead to a sexual betrayal, but not necessarily so. For unmarried people, what you describe is fornication, not adultery.

“Jesus talking about divorce and the hardness of one’s heart, but Matthew 5:32 is a great verse to read about Jesus’ view on it.”

Let’s start with Adultery. It, in itself, is not sexual immorality. IT IS THE RESULT of sexual immorality. See the difference? That’s why in Matthew 5:32, divorce IS ALLOWED if sexual immorality is discovered WITHOUT making the partner a victim of adultery.

The etymology of adultery means to pollute. It is first used to designate a woman who risks fostering children with another man, yet misleads her husband into providing for them. It pollutes the intended provisions of the married husband. It also pollutes the lineage of the children. It is THE RESULT of deception. And the only thing Jesus asked us to do was not to lie to one another, or to ourselves.

Jesus’ entire ministry was based around getting people to understand the differences between truth and lies. That’s all he did.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Let me ask you a hypothetical question @Schroedes13.

A man and woman are happily married. They enjoy a healthy sexual relationship. One day, either the husband or wife is injured in a tragic accident, one that prevents them from being capable of having sex.

The couple is so in love that the one who can’t have sex insists that the other find another sexual partner so that they may continue having sex. It does not diminish their love at all. In fact, this selfless act of allowing the healthy partner to continue having sex with another man may be an even deeper expression of love than what they had before the accident.

Would you consider this selfless and permissible extramarital sex as sexual immorality which led the couple to be victims of adultery?

Berserker's avatar

I’m with @The_Bastard on this one. Seems to me that sinning, unless it’s something ridiculously and obviously crap such as murder, is something that is of human nature. The seven deadly sins themselves seem to define everything that’s human. :/

Also, as Reverend Lovejoy said, even going to the bathroom is a sin. If I believed in God, I wouldn’t even be trying anymore.

Schroedes13's avatar

@Dutchess_III I guess our translation differed slightly. I was using the New King James translation which uses the term “adultery” in the verse. I’m sorry for not posting the exact translation I used. Also, Jesus did say those words from Mark. When reading “He went one….” translate to “Jesus went on….”. So therefore, the first verse is something Jesus explicitly said about that.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Last time I checked the current dictionary, it listed adultery as a sexual act performed not with your current SO. Semantics aside, I believe both of us have a very different view of Jesus’ paradigm towards sexuality, adultery, and sexual immorality.
Let’s just leave it at that.

For the point about the couple, I consider that sexual immorality, infidelity, and adultery. Even if my wife told me to go out and bang whoever I wanted and she didn’t care at all, the onus is still on me to remain faithful to my wife. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” NKJV This does not diminish when the other person become incapable of sex!

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