Ian Paul talks about a Christian view of sexuality and same-sex relationships, based on a reading from 1 Corinthians 6:9-7:5. He compares the biblical, Christian understanding of sexuality with our culture's understanding and provides a framework for communicating the Christian perspective and the reasons behind it.

Some brief notes from the talk:

Acceptance of same-sex sexually active relationships is the new 'normal' in our culture. Hence the idea that marriage must be between a man and a woman is now also no longer normal in our culture.

Is Christian teaching, such as in the reading from 1 Corinthians 6:9, homophobic biogotry? This verse looks totally offensive to many in our culture now. If we are to understand how to communicate our beliefs in this area to those around us, we need to locate this Christian teaching in the overall context of what the Bible tells us of God's big picture for the flourishing of human beings and the Christian understanding of sexuality.

Eight affirmations about sexuality:

1. Sexuality is good – and is God-given.

2. We are bodily people.

3. We are 'sexed'.

  • 'Gender' is a social construction – masculine and feminine.
  • 'Sex' is a biological thing – being male or female.
  • Males and females are made equally in the image of God.
  • Sex differentiation is the basis of the marriage union.

4. Our sexuality is integrated.

  • Culture tends to divide things and keep things separate.

5. Sex is powerful.

  • Hence it can cause great damage when used wrongly.

6. We live in a fallen, broken world.

7. God gives us boundaries.

  • Boundaries enable us to use sex properly and safely – within relationships of covenant commitment (ie. marriage between a man and a woman).

8. Sex isn't everything.

  • The Bible does not define us by our sexuality – there is much more to us than just our sex.

This gives a framework to begin to think about our response to these issues, but it does not answer all our questions.

As a Church and as individuals, we need to respond in two ways:

  1. We need to have clarity on what we believe. We need to be clear what God says about what it means to be human and what sexuality means for our humanity made in the image of God
  2. We need to be compassionate and welcoming.

© 2016 Ian Paul

This talk was originally given at St George's Church, Stamford and is reproduced by the kind permission of the speaker.