Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

View of the church on the changing moralities of the world regarding sex


In the history of the so-called Christian world there have been many changes with regard to the morals of the peoples in relation to marriage and sex. There have been times when a very strict moral sense prevailed, and there have been times when there was scarcely any moral sense. There have been all manner of ups and downs in this relation, and every conceivable combination and mixture of ups and downs. There have been times when the ruling classes had a strict moral sense, and the common people had hardly any; and other times when the ruling classes were worse than what we have today, and the morals of the common people were much better than their rulers. There have been times when all the pre-marital relations between the sexes were strictly governed, but after marriage, at least on the part of the men, varying degrees of adultery were commonly accepted. And vice versa.

To me the whole question of the morals of Christians in relation to marriage and sex is a wonderful thing. As to doctrine, even from the beginning, there was the absence of any idea of the eternity of marriage. Consider the teachings of Paul about marriage: “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Cor. 7:8,9.) From a misunderstanding of the Lord’s words about marriage in Heaven, they had the idea that marriage was only for this world. At the same time they saw that the Lord in the New Testament likened His whole relation to the Church to marriage, many times, in both the Old and the New Testaments. And they had the. Ten Commandments, confirmed and infilled by the Lord in the New Testament. And from this they could know that there was something very holy in marriage. But in general it must be said that the doctrinal teachings of the Church, making marriage a thing of this world only, did not help the Christians in their moral view of marriage and sex.

Yet consider the fact that the Christians altogether rejected polygamy. The Lord in the New Testament indeed taught monogamy, but not directly; that is, there is no direct command about it. Why did they reject polygamy? Modern scholars might say that it was because Christian¬ity spread among people inclined already toward monogamy. But it was more than that. The whole idea of the Divinity of the Lord, the acknowledgment of the Divine in the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the soul of Christianity, is against polygamy. So much so that that acknowledgment and polygamy cannot be together at all. You can see this from the fact that conjugial love cannot exist unless between one man and one woman, and never with more than one. And conjugial love is out of the marriage of the good and the true. And the conjugial in its inmost and supreme is the union of the Divine and the Human in the Lord. (A.C. 6179,6343.) Again you can see this in this way, that the Lord united the Human to the Divine. This He did in order that the minds of men, their human things, might be united to Him. If a man acknowledges the Divine in the Lord, there is present with him, working in Him, the idea that the human of man can be conjoined to the Lord, thus also the human thing of marriage. And the only kind of marriage that can be united is monogamous marriage. It is important for us all to see this, for in it we can see a relation between the inmost things and the outmost things of life, which those of the Church must come more and more to see in the things of life.

The Christian Church existed by influx from the Divine Human of the Lord, and it existed where the Divine of the Lord was acknowledged. And from this there came a kind of perception, not rationally formed, but living in their minds, of the holiness of marriage. From this there was a kind of perception even of the eternity of marriage, which came forth not in doctrine but in the ideas of the common people and In their poetry and literature. There was something of this in the souls of Christians, and the stamp of it is still there by a kind of heredity, in Christian peoples, and in those from their stock

Read the full doctrinal class by P.N.Odhner on moralities regarding sex

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