Fornication-The Sin of Our Times

It’s not enough that we have movie moguls, business people, and celebrities using their position to obtain unwanted sexual encounters. Or late-adolescent boys using drugs and alcohol. Or even priests.

When I read about the Buddhist monk who has used his position to coerce sex, that seemed to take things way over the top. Buddhists above all other religions seem to be the most peaceable lot.

To paraphrase George Thorogood, “Who do you trust?”

John Climacus wrote his book to monks. They had taken a vow of chastity. That is his fifteenth step of the ladder. Overcoming fornication and sexual urges.

Interesting that on the day I read about the Buddhist monk I seen in The Ladder of Divine Ascent a story about how the “deceiver” who enters a monk. The monk talks with groups of women. They would feel emotional sympathy. Rush to him, “and the wretched monk would suffer his downfall.”

The Apostle Paul had an uneasy (to be kind) relationship with sexuality. He went so far as to advise married couples to abstain. Many people I know who love to pull random sentences from Paul’s writing to justify this or that belief don’t seem to follow this sentence judging by the size of their families. Just saying. The sentence a certain group of Christians like to quote as the guiding text for their hatred (or fear?) of homosexuality actually has as its noun (subject) the word “Passion”. Paul hated passion.

On the one hand he surely knew that God invented sexuality. It had to be good. I like the way Andy Stanley tells the story. One day God is looking at the man and said to the angels, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea.” They said, “What is it?” God replied, “You wouldn’t understand.” And God created woman.

Maybe those of us outside the religious vocation have not taken a vow of chastity. But surely proper boundaries and respect for others are required to handle these sometimes overpowering emotions (or deceiving demons as ancient writers put it).

Surely the global publicity of the #MeToo movement should make us aware of our urges in order to enable us to live with proper behaviors. (See yesterday’s post about behavior.)

Intentionally practicing proper behavior changes our emotional responses to stimuli.

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