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.

Sex – Positivity and Inclusiveness In the Church

I follow the blog Church and Sex and have read a number of posts, especially from Patheos about the backlash against the purity movement, particularly in the US. I don’t want to get into an argument about what the morality of it all is, I can already imagine what people are going to say. I just want to talk about how sex – positivity could possibly affect both asexuals and people with conservative views on sex and sexuality.

First thing, most people are, so called “sexual beings”. I say “most people” because, of course, some people are asexual. But then again, maybe it depends on one’s definition. I believe that each person should be free to at least acknowledge the fact that they are (or aren’t) sexual. I don’t think people can kid themselves too long about that stuff. However, I don’t think acknowledging your sexuality is the same as being sexually active.

So, some people are starting to believe that sex doesn’t need to be saved until marriage. I’m just pointing out that some people think that. Again, I’m not here to debate the morality of it. Just, people think that… including some Christians, with some look at the original biblical transcripts (Greek mainly – New Testament).

I’ve written before the damage of the ethos that (at least what I think) drives the far – Right American Christian culture. However, I also warn the Progressive/ Left not to go too far the other way, as in to demonise people with conservative viewpoints and those who don’t want sex (whether they are asexual or not). I’m glad to say that I’ve seen posts on the Internet about Christianity and asexuality that are quite affirming, and to those people, I give credit. I just hope, outside the Internet, the Church, liberal or conservative, is accomodating to those who want to wait until marriage, people who have no desire for sex period (e.g. asexual people), and those who are genuinely believe they are called to celibacy.

That includes being ACCOMMODATING to these different types of people. That means not having a “married with children”, “newly married”, etc groups and leaving singles and celibates out of the church culture. It means not putting unreasonable pressure on singles to couple – up and making them feel like they’re a failure (I thnk that’s slowly decreasing). It means, as much as possible, to respectfully discuss conflicting viewpoints… if that’s possible (I say this because I tend to shy away from such debates).

That’s what I think about the future of the church and the discussion of sex. It’ll continue evolving, I’m sure. Hopefully not into a fight, though.