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

Post #21

Post by Wootah »

marco wrote:
Wootah wrote:
I think family love to be one of the lowest points of love. If you can't love your family then you have no love but if you can only love your family how loving are you really?
One of the few places where Paul is sublime is his sermon on love. Family love is one of the greatest bonds there can be. Love of one's own will let us sacrifice willingly. And even in the animal kingdom you see this great bond.

One of the most destructive and dangerous loves is a person's alleged love for God. I don't believe this is love at all, but some sort of self-persuasion. Because of that awful love people are killed today on city streets to the cry that God is great.
So how do you explain Paul's 'sublime sermon on love' with his 'self righteous prudishness'? A broken clock is right once?

I think the second paragraph is examining ideology more than religion. Lest we imagine we are immune to such phenomena.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

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

Post #22

Post by Overcomer »

dio9 wrote:
nolidad wrote: [Replying to dio9]

The highest call for serving God is to serve HIm in teh capacity He calls you in!
Since its all about loving , there are more avenues of loving, for developing loving relationships in a family than a celibacy. In a family one can love God and spouse and children reciprocally while a celibate can only love God reciprocally. Love in a family is both spiritual and substantial , while a celibates is only spiritual. In this sense The family embodies physical salvation as well as spiritual . When we unpack the two great commandments we are commanded to love both spiritually and substantially, God and our neighbor.
I don't think being celibate translates into not receiving and not giving love. Being celibate means not having sexual relations. It doesn't mean that the person who is celibate doesn't have many loving relations with family, friends, etc.

For example, if they don't have their own children, there are nieces and nephews to love or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or a teacher or a pastor or a counsellor, etc.

And the love between a celibate person and others is indeed reciprocal. I think you do an injustice to the one who is following the path of celibacy.

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

Post #23

Post by Tcg »

Overcomer wrote:
For example, if they don't have their own children, there are nieces and nephews to love or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or a teacher or a pastor or a counsellor, etc.
If all their family members followed asexuality, they'd have no nieces or nephews. Sure, they'd have priests or other leaders to sexual abuse them, but that isn't a positive.

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

Post #24

Post by brianbbs67 »

Tcg wrote:
Overcomer wrote:
For example, if they don't have their own children, there are nieces and nephews to love or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or a teacher or a pastor or a counsellor, etc.
If all their family members followed asexuality, they'd have no nieces or nephews. Sure, they'd have priests or other leaders to sexual abuse them, but that isn't a positive.
You think?

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

Post #25

Post by Claire Evans »

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?
I believe that Paul wanted others to be abstinent is because when one is married, the focus is on making the marriage work hence verse 7. When one is abstinent and unmarried, they can focus all of their attention on Jesus. That is why Jesus was unmarried. He was 100% committed to the Lord.

Yet if one cannot bear to think of a life of abstinence, then they should marry. Not everyone is cut out to be abstinent because of a burning desire for the Lord that overtakes the need to have a family. There are some people who have to procreate.

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

Post #26

Post by Tcg »

Claire Evans wrote: When one is abstinent and unmarried, they can focus all of their attention on Jesus. That is why Jesus was unmarried. He was 100% committed to the Lord.
Jesus was unmarried so that he could focus all his attention on Jesus? Are you sure that's what you intended to say?

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

Post #27

Post by Claire Evans »

Tcg wrote:
Claire Evans wrote: When one is abstinent and unmarried, they can focus all of their attention on Jesus. That is why Jesus was unmarried. He was 100% committed to the Lord.
Jesus was unmarried so that he could focus all his attention on Jesus? Are you sure that's what you intended to say?
No, I'm saying people can remain unmarried to focus on Jesus but Jesus focused all of His attention on the Lord. We see them as one now but Jesus never gave Himself the credit. Only to the Lord. Like Jesus focused all of His attention on the Lord so do some unmarried people focus all of their attention on Jesus.

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

Post #28

Post by Lucian Hodoboc »

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?
I don't think Paul is asexual, but rather he is so involved in preaching the Gospel and preoccupied with his incredibly stressful life that he simply trained his mind to overlook sexual desires. While difficult, it is possible to do so through what we call today cognitive behavioral restructuring. His life revolved around traveling, preaching the Gospel, praying and avoiding the large amount of enemies he made in his travels. He is one of the people that Jesus refers to as those "who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" in Matthew 19:20. Yes, Paul does advise people to remain celibate, and considers celibacy for the sake of dedicating your life to God to be the most righteous path, but saying that asexuality (which is the complete lack of sexual attraction to anyone or anything) is the same thing as celibacy is wrong. You can be born without sexual desires and live an asexual life while indulging in all sort of other sins and/or being an atheist, while at the same time you can have a high sex drive, get married, have sexual intercourse every day with your wife, and still live a righteous life (fast, pray, give to the poor, attend church etc.).

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