Does Paul think asexuality is the most righteous path?

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jgh7

Does Paul think asexuality is the most righteous path?

Post #1

Post by jgh7 »

I'm putting in a rather large quote from 1 Corinthians 7 so as to not take anything out of context. This is from Paul. I have bolded parts that lead me to my interpretation.

7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.� 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

---------

First a definition: Asexual: without sexual feelings or associations

It is my interpretation that Paul is asexual, feels that this is the best way to be, and wishes that others were like this but understands that they are not.

My first bolded part leads to me believe that one of the main reasons Paul thought to engage in sex (properly under marriage) is to avoid engaging in sexual immorality. The second bolded part reemphasizes this notion since he points out people's lack of self control. It also shows that this is Paul's personal belief (not necessarily from God) and that he wishes people were like him (unmarried and abstinent). The final bolded part is yet another emphasis of the same thing. Paul says it's good for unmarried to stay that way, but if they can't control themselves they should marry.

What do you make of all this?

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Post #2

Post by 2timothy316 »

The key is noted in verse 8. "But if they cannot control themselves". Control of one's self don't mean asexuality. I means if a person's need for physical touch in a sexual manner can't be controlled such without it would lead them to an unhealthy lifestyle then by all means get married.

I know people from both side and in the middle of these kinds of feelings. I know of people that being without someone physically sends them into depression and even despair. I know of people that live with or without physical interaction. I also know of people that don't need it at all. I have never met anyone that can by shear willpower can go from one extreme to the other.

Paul is focused on the person that is vulnerable to despair. A person that is in despair is more likely to do whatever they need to do to escape that despair. Control is what Paul is talking about here and not trying to make somebody feel or not feel. He is noting that to preach full time like he does, being single is the best course not being asexual.

jgh7

Post #3

Post by jgh7 »

2timothy316 wrote: The key is noted in verse 8. "But if they cannot control themselves". Control of one's self don't mean asexuality. I means if a person's need for physical touch in a sexual manner can't be controlled such without it would lead them to an unhealthy lifestyle then by all means get married.

I know people from both side and in the middle of these kinds of feelings. I know of people that being without someone physically sends them into depression and even despair. I know of people that live with or without physical interaction. I also know of people that don't need it at all. I have never met anyone that can by shear willpower can go from one extreme to the other.

Paul is focused on the person that is vulnerable to despair. A person that is in despair is more likely to do whatever they need to do to escape that despair. Control is what Paul is talking about here and not trying to make somebody feel or not feel. He is noting that to preach full time like he does, being single is the best course not being asexual.
In verse 7, what do you think Paul means when he says "I wish all of you were as I am."?

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Post #4

Post by JehovahsWitness »

jgh7 wrote: In verse 7, what do you think Paul means when he says "I wish all of you were as I am."?
Paul is recognizing that being single (as he was) and able to control ones sexual impulses (rather than being WITHOUT sexual impulse) is spiritually speaking beneficial as one can spend more time in spiritual pursuits, working in an undivided way for the Lord .
I CORINTHIANS 7:33-38 - NWT

The married man is anxious for the things of the world, how he may gain the approval of his wife, and he is divided. Further, the unmarried woman, as well as the virgin, is anxious for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in her body and in her spirit. However, the married woman is anxious for the things of the world, how she may gain the approval of her husband.

[...] But if anyone stands settled in his heart and has no necessity, but has authority over his own will and has made the decision in his own heart to remain unmarried, he will do well. So also, whoever marries does well, but whoever does not marry will do better.
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Re: Does Paul think asexuality is the most righteous path?

Post #5

Post by nolidad »

jgh7 wrote: I'm putting in a rather large quote from 1 Corinthians 7 so as to not take anything out of context. This is from Paul. I have bolded parts that lead me to my interpretation.

7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.� 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

---------

First a definition: Asexual: without sexual feelings or associations

It is my interpretation that Paul is asexual, feels that this is the best way to be, and wishes that others were like this but understands that they are not.

My first bolded part leads to me believe that one of the main reasons Paul thought to engage in sex (properly under marriage) is to avoid engaging in sexual immorality. The second bolded part reemphasizes this notion since he points out people's lack of self control. It also shows that this is Paul's personal belief (not necessarily from God) and that he wishes people were like him (unmarried and abstinent). The final bolded part is yet another emphasis of the same thing. Paul says it's good for unmarried to stay that way, but if they can't control themselves they should marry.

What do you make of all this?
If traditions are true, Paul was a member of the sanhedrin which meant he was married. It is sadi his wife left him because of his conversion.

Paul did not teach that a single life was the most righteous, but one that could grant one more time for the Lord! As he said given the difficulty of marriage He would spare, but then he went on to say marriage is no sin and each have their own gift!

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Re: Does Paul think asexuality is the most righteous path?

Post #6

Post by dio9 »

[Replying to jgh7]

Clearly Christianity has taken it to mean celibacy is the highest spiritual calling.
I on the on the other hand say a faithful marriage and family state is the highest spiritual calling, where persons male and female , parents and children are the highest spiritual calling.

What do you think is the highest spiritual calling for human beings?

An ascetic celibate life or a family.

In a family one gets to experience all kinds of love centered on God spousal and parental love. While in a celibate monastic life nothing, you tell me.

The holy family is celebrated and worshiped in Christianity. Take Christmas , Christmas is all about the holy family . The blessedness of holy birth , making birth holy.

Jesus was about life while Paul's theology was about about the afterlife.

Sorry to say Paul seems to have though celibacy was the most righteous path.

I disagree, familial love is the most righteous path.

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Re: Does Paul think asexuality is the most righteous path?

Post #7

Post by Wootah »

[Replying to post 1 by jgh7]

No I never heard that taught as the reason.

Can anyone think of any goal that is enhanced by having a family and children (apart from having children)?

I can barely sit down at home to work on any projects let alone share the gospel with people. But it would be worse to be single and lusting than married and with my hands full.
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Post #8

Post by brianbbs67 »

I have thought this of Paul. The OKJ , I believe says chasted like him. I think that is against our natural state of being. If it worked for Paul, fine. I don't think God every intended for us to live like that in general, as He made us male and female.

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Re: Does Paul think asexuality is the most righteous path?

Post #9

Post by marco »

jgh7 wrote:
7 I wish that all of you were as I am[/b]. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Let us call things what they are. Paul is not a medical encyclopedia; he comes across as a self-righteous prude. God forbid that we have a nation of Pauls, which would be three degrees worse than a nation of ayatollahs.

Paul views sexuality as sinful, per se. It isn't. Trying to make excuses for the silly man is blowing bubbles into the air. We might misread the passage in Acts, about the unfortnate young man Eutychus who had an encounter with Paul:

" Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him."

Of course when we read this we might be surprised that the same Paul had urged restraint, and then we discover there was nothing amorous in Paul's act - he was merely raising the young man from the dead.

We can take that with the same pinch of salt with which we take his advice.

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Post #10

Post by marco »

brianbbs67 wrote: I have thought this of Paul. The OKJ , I believe says chaste like him. I think that is against our natural state of being. If it worked for Paul, fine. I don't think God ever intended for us to live like that in general, as He made us male and female.

That is very true and you politely refrain from saying Paul was wrong to dispense such advice. He may have been expert in dealing with resurrected bodies but on matters of sexuality it would have been more prudent for him to do what he advised women to do in churches: shut up.

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