Celibacy, Asexuality, The Bible and Repeated Misconceptions

I got a bit of criticism for this post about not doing research on the Christianity and celibacy, and asexuality (I want to talk more about that later on).

There have been some criticisms aimed at some churches  for not adequately accommodating for single adults, especially those who are in their late 20’s or older. In the post, I also mentioned the backlash against the purity movement and the demand that the LGBT remain celibate and I have argued before in another blog that, if that’s meant to be, churches must be the place where a single person’s (both straight and LGBT+), emotional needs are met. As you’ll read in the first link I inserted, there is a view that some churches are not fulfilling that role in a single people’s lives and too often, programs and cell groups exclude single people. I get that it’s not the case with all churches, and I probably should have made that clear in the last post and for any misunderstanding and possible offence, I do apologise.

Asexuality and the Bible

There are a number of attitudes among Christians about this. In 2013, blogger Aydan made a blog post highlighting three attitudes that are common among Christians when talking about asexuality. Those who are supposedly fine with asexuality often refer to two verses in the New Testament: Matthew 19:10 12 and 1 Corinthians 7: 7. In the Biblehub website, I found this quote by one of the Gill’s exposition interesting:

The apostle speaks not of his state or condition , as married or unmarried, for it is not certain which he was; some think he had a wife, others not. it looks, however as if he had not at this time. (emphasis mine)

So, biblical scholars are unsure whether St. Paul was always single or whether he was married at least before his conversion. I have read on Facebook at one time that one commenter thought that it would’ve been likely that he was married sometime when he was a Pharisaic Jew. Something about the idea that these verses talk about asexuality doesn’t add up.

Does that mean asexuals can’t get married, even if they are hetero – romantic? Should Christians speak against the marriage of asexuals and demand that they remain celibate? What if an asexual is willing to be sexually active for a sake of a spouse or to have a baby?

I think arguing that Matt 19: 10 – 12 and 1 Corinthians 7: 7 are talking about asexuality and therefore, they should be given permission in the Church not to marry has a danger of placing all asexuals in the same group, when, in fact, asexuals are as diverse as any other group of people? So what then? Should they still remain single for life, even if they aren’t aromantic, or have a libido or willing to have sex with a spouse?

I still don’t think it affects my original argument – Churches must not exclude single parishioners/ church members, regardless of orientation. There must be adequate cell – groups, activities, etc where single people of all ages feel welcome and included in all areas of church life.

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3 comments on “Celibacy, Asexuality, The Bible and Repeated Misconceptions

  1. […] S. comments on asexuality in the Bible. […]

  2. S says:

    I have personally experienced all of the responses Aydan referenced in the blogpost you referenced. The most harmful one was actually a heavy expectation that because I am ace, I have a special call from God to leave all relational bonds behind me and forsake a normal life to become the next apostle Paul. This reinforced my already negative self-estimation (the one that started when I realized I didn’t want to be a mother) by making me think I was rejecting God by desiring an intimate, albeit nonsexual relationship. In the years since, I’ve become involved in a professor’s at my Christian university’s exploration of alternatives to marriage that could be acceptable to the church. Part of that involvement has led me to informally interview Protestant pastors about the space in their communities for the unmarried, which has led me to realize that many pastors think of marriage as the “default” state of an adult, with a tendency to view those who don’t experience a traditional, sexual desire as somehow immature in the spiritual sense. Until the church addresses this assumption and corrects itself, I don’t think we’ll see an adequate support for the unmarried.

    • S. says:

      Thanks for sharing your personal story, S.There obviously needs to be a better discussion about both asexuality (the orientation) and supporting singles (of all orientations).

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