If you're anything like us, you know it can be difficult to hold your social convictions alongside the faith you were taught growing up, or the culture you see around you. Or perhaps you don't understand how to talk with family or friends who deeply disagree with your beliefs.
>> Where do these differences come from? How can we read the same words in the bible so differently?
This series of "How Do We Think About" classes are an opportunity to learn more about your own questions and convictions on a given topic (related to gender and sexuality), and also understand how and why other people may believe differently than you do. Our goal is NOT to teach a single idealogy, but to practice a dialogue marked by humility, curiosity, and respect.
In our first class we are discussing the question: How do we think about sex and purity? Below are some excerpts and questions that were submitted from anonymous sources in our community who contributed to our Sex & Purity Survey. Our theology classes don't attempt to provide answers to our questions, but will hopefully help us understand the context and scope of our own questions and convictions. More info. on the class here.
Questions About The Bible:
What does the Bible (and Jesus in particular) say about sex?
Is it true that the Bible has a strict no-premarital-sex stance? What passages are there that say this, and what are the various ways they can be interpreted?
From what words have we translated words like adultery, fornication, etc.? What are the etymologies and contexts of those words?
Questions About History:
How are marriages/relationships different between the Biblical cultural contexts and modern contexts? To what extent should we apply very old scripture to our modern contexts?
Where do traditional Christian views about sex come from?
When did virginity become so idolized?
Questions About Culture:
Has there been much psychological or sociological research on how sex at various points in a relationship (i.e. waiting until marriage) effects the health of that relationship?
How can we teach young boys and girls about sex, purity, and their bodies without creating shame?
Why does sex seem to only make women unpure? What about men? And why should sex make anyone unpure?
Is purity still a real thing? How can anyone feel pure in the manipulative society we live in?
Are you dirty if you are not 100% pure? And what is 100% pure?
Will we ever stop freaking out about what other people do?
Questions About The Church:
How can I responsibly and lovingly interact with my Christian sisters and brothers who do not consider the possibility of a healthy sexually active lifestyle outside of marriage?
How does having sex before marriage affect your faith?
Am I still a Christian -- or can I still consider myself part of the Christian church -- if I don't think sex needs to be held in marriage?