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HolyGround >> Sex Before Marriage-Is It Unconditionally Wrong?


10/6/10 7:25 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback - 
Grakman - 
Ridgeback -  I am more and more convinced that a person who is spending his time figuring out what constitutes Christianity is almost completely powerless to actually practice it. 
 What would you say to a person who asked you what constitutes Christianity? What is Christianity?
These days it is whatever people want it to be. It is pretty much a worthless word.

Yeah, it is a bit odd that a religion can stretch all the way from Orthodoxy to Christian Anarchy, and everything in between; not to mention Mormonism. And Evangelical Christianity is what seems to be sweeping across the rest of the world, yet dying out here in the West.

Is there a kernel of truth common to all these traditions that may give us the key to what Christianity really is?
10/6/10 9:03 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman - 
Ridgeback - 
Grakman - 
Ridgeback -  I am more and more convinced that a person who is spending his time figuring out what constitutes Christianity is almost completely powerless to actually practice it. 
 What would you say to a person who asked you what constitutes Christianity? What is Christianity?
These days it is whatever people want it to be. It is pretty much a worthless word.

Yeah, it is a bit odd that a religion can stretch all the way from Orthodoxy to Christian Anarchy, and everything in between; not to mention Mormonism. And Evangelical Christianity is what seems to be sweeping across the rest of the world, yet dying out here in the West.

Is there a kernel of truth common to all these traditions that may give us the key to what Christianity really is?

 I think Christianity is union with Christ.  The issue is the degree to which various traditions make this possible or hinder it for followers of those traditions.  
10/6/10 9:46 PM
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Juijitsuboxer
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I think that Paul makes it clear that Christians are people involved with the Church. What I mean by this is that when he lays down rules, regulations, or teachings, he is talking to people who are a part of a local church body. So when he makes his marriage statements, he is making them for people who are part of a local church body who do everything through that local church body.

Do you see what I mean? When Paul is making a teaching, he is making that teching for the Church as he clearly states with his comment about how he lays down these rules at all the churches.

If Paul is making this teaching for people who are practicing members of a church body, he is addressing how people need to act and behave as part of a community of believers. THis is not some personal interpretation to be used by two people who want to live together and have sex together and never ever want to be a part of the local Christian church body in their area. These teachings are for those who live their lives around their Christian community and he says that people who live in these Christian communities who are burning with lust for the opposite sex will get married.

When Paul mentions the type of people who these may be he is talking about virgins and widows. That is not to say people who are not virgins who have never been a part of a marriage where their spouse died cannot become married, but you have to look at Paul's mindset. He sees three kinds of people in this world when it comes to sexual activity:

1. The Celebate ones who deny everything on this earth so they can do God's work without any of the distractions those things bring.

2. The Virgin who has never has sex before, but they are consumed with lust for sex. He says stay celebate or get married, but if it is someone who is burning with lust, get married rather than sinning.

3. The widow, who met the criteria above, was a virgin and then got married. The widow has been with 1 lover, who she was married to, but is now dead. He said it is better to be single and celebate and to do God's work, but if the widow is burning with lust, get married again.


Paul does not even leave an open slot for a presumption of a single person who has had sex before but not been married. Paul's whole framework revolves around the three types listed above. You cannot just start living with someone and having sex every day and grow old together, as a Christian you are supposed to be a part of a church community and that is presumed in the Bible. That church community follows the laws laid down by the apostles, one of which is that if you want to have sex, be married to do it or it is wrong.
10/7/10 2:17 PM
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Grakman
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 Sex is BAD! BAD I tell you! NO SEX FOR YOU!!
10/10/10 5:49 AM
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LMMAFan
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Edited: 10/10/10 6:08 AM
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Juijitsuboxer - 

1. The Celebate ones who deny everything on this earth so they can do God's work without any of the distractions those things bring.

2. The Virgin who has never has sex before, but they are consumed with lust for sex. He says stay celebate or get married, but if it is someone who is burning with lust, get married rather than sinning.

3. The widow, who met the criteria above, was a virgin and then got married. The widow has been with 1 lover, who she was married to, but is now dead. He said it is better to be single and celebate and to do God's work, but if the widow is burning with lust, get married again.


This framework is not consistent with the description of marriage contained elsewhere in the bible.  Nor is it consistent with human biology.   Our bodies are built for human reproduction.  Equating all human sexual attraction to sin is just as ridiculous as equating hunger for food or thirst for water to sin.  Celibacy is not only a biological dead end, but it is virtuallly impossible for a physically healtthy human being to remain celibate.   I don't believe God is playing cruel games with us.  He built us this way for a reason.  



   
10/10/10 12:51 PM
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Grakman
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LMMAFan - 
Juijitsuboxer - 

1. The Celebate ones who deny everything on this earth so they can do God's work without any of the distractions those things bring.

2. The Virgin who has never has sex before, but they are consumed with lust for sex. He says stay celebate or get married, but if it is someone who is burning with lust, get married rather than sinning.

3. The widow, who met the criteria above, was a virgin and then got married. The widow has been with 1 lover, who she was married to, but is now dead. He said it is better to be single and celebate and to do God's work, but if the widow is burning with lust, get married again.


This framework is not consistent with the description of marriage contained elsewhere in the bible.  Nor is it consistent with human biology.   Our bodies are built for human reproduction.  Equating all human sexual attraction to sin is just as ridiculous as equating hunger for food or thirst for water to sin.  Celibacy is not only a biological dead end, but it is virtuallly impossible for a physically healtthy human being to remain celibate.   I don't believe God is playing cruel games with us.  He built us this way for a reason.    
Paul does tell people in the Bible that celibacy is preferred even to marriage, because a man who is married cares for the things his wife wants instead of the things of the Lord; nevertheless to avoid sin (fornication) it is better to marry.

Since most of us like you said are not going to be celibate, we marry. And marriage is supposed to be a good thing, it's the whole point of man / woman - to become one flesh, a helpmate to one another, etc.

You are right in that we are designed to reproduce (go forth and multiply,) but we are to 'multiply' in the confines of marriage.
10/10/10 2:39 PM
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Juijitsuboxer
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Who cares if celebacy is a bilogical dead end? Christians of all ages have always beleived the end of the age was near including the apostles. To think in temporary terms such as bilogical dead ends has no bearing on the coming of the kingdom of God.

Paul's wish was for all men and women on the earth to be celebate and not reproduce. Was he a crazy person?

I do not agree that it is impossible to go against our sexual urges as many celebate men do. Food/eating is not equal to sex.
10/10/10 5:49 PM
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LMMAFan
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Juijitsuboxer - Who cares if celebacy is a bilogical dead end? Christians of all ages have always believed the end of the age was near including the apostles. To think in temporary terms such as bilogical dead ends has no bearing on the coming of the kingdom of God.

Paul's wish was for all men and women on the earth to be celebate and not reproduce. Was he a crazy person?

I do not agree that it is impossible to go against our sexual urges as many celebate men do. Food/eating is not equal to sex.
Approximately 2000 years have passed since Paul wrote his letters.  The "end of the age" is still not upon us.  I don't believe Paul was a crazy person but it is quite obvious he believed Jesus would return within his lifetime or shortly thereafter.  His urgency and desire for celibacy were born from a belief Jesus's return was imminent.  He was wrong.  If all men and women decided not to reproduce 2000 years ago, we would not be having this discussion today.  We would be extinct. 

A  physically healthy human being will have sexual urges because it is a physiological  function of the human body, no different than thirst or hunger.  I did not say it is impossible to reign in all sexual desire.  I said it is virtually impossible to remain celibate.  Celibacy is unnatural and it is obviously not what God intended for humanity.  I do agree that God expects sex to be a part of marriage.  I don't believe in the narrow and traditional Christian interpretation of what  marriage is however. 
10/10/10 6:47 PM
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Ridgeback
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I think this thread demonstrates that first comes the sin and then comes the justification.
10/10/10 7:07 PM
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LMMAFan
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Ridgeback - I think this thread demonstrates that first comes the sin and then comes the justification.

 Instead of making snide comments, why don't you participate in the actual discussion?
10/10/10 7:11 PM
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Grakman
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LMMAFan - Approximately 2000 years have passed since Paul wrote his letters.  The "end of the age" is still not upon us.  I don't believe Paul was a crazy person but it is quite obvious he believed Jesus would return within his lifetime or shortly thereafter. 
Actually, there is a view that says that the 'End of the Age' did occur with the destruction of the Jewish Temple and Jerusalem itself in AD 70 by the Romans. It ended the Jewish sacrificial system, and did indeed bring about the 'End of the Age' as far as the Jewish sacrificial-temple religion is concerned.

The importance of the Temple to Jewish life and identity at the time cannot be underemphasized. For the people living in that day and age... it ended their way of life, ostensibly forever. In their society, God was supposed to bless the righteous with wealth and power. The destruction of the temple would have sent shockwaves throughout the Jewish world, it sent a message that, perhaps, God had brought judgment upon the nation of Israel again.
10/10/10 7:18 PM
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LMMAFan
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Grakman - 
LMMAFan - Approximately 2000 years have passed since Paul wrote his letters.  The "end of the age" is still not upon us.  I don't believe Paul was a crazy person but it is quite obvious he believed Jesus would return within his lifetime or shortly thereafter. 
Actually, there is a view that says that the 'End of the Age' did occur with the destruction of the Jewish Temple and Jerusalem itself in AD 70 by the Romans. It ended the Jewish sacrificial system, and did indeed bring about the 'End of the Age' as far as the Jewish sacrificial-temple religion is concerned.

The importance of the Temple to Jewish life and identity at the time cannot be underemphasized. For the people living in that day and age... it ended their way of life, ostensibly forever. In their society, God was supposed to bless the righteous with wealth and power. The destruction of the temple would have sent shockwaves throughout the Jewish world, it sent a message that, perhaps, God had brought judgment upon the nation of Israel again.
Unless I am mistaken, Juijitsuboxer is referring to the coming kingdom or Jesus' return. 
 
10/10/10 7:30 PM
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Ridgeback
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LMMAFan - 
Ridgeback - I think this thread demonstrates that first comes the sin and then comes the justification.

 Instead of making snide comments, why don't you participate in the actual discussion?

 I actually have participated and that was not intended to be a snide comment.  I think you need to see things in the larger light of our late post-modern arrogance as we look back over 2000 years of Christian history and assume that we are most likely right when we disagree with the consensus of all the generations, cultures, and personalities that make up the collective experiences of those 20 centuries.  

It is far more useful to get down to the work of living the Christian life than it is to fritter away the time reshaping the Christian life around our personal sins and cultural sins.  
10/10/10 7:35 PM
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Grakman
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LMMAFan - 
Grakman - 
LMMAFan - Approximately 2000 years have passed since Paul wrote his letters.  The "end of the age" is still not upon us.  I don't believe Paul was a crazy person but it is quite obvious he believed Jesus would return within his lifetime or shortly thereafter. 
Actually, there is a view that says that the 'End of the Age' did occur with the destruction of the Jewish Temple and Jerusalem itself in AD 70 by the Romans. It ended the Jewish sacrificial system, and did indeed bring about the 'End of the Age' as far as the Jewish sacrificial-temple religion is concerned.

The importance of the Temple to Jewish life and identity at the time cannot be underemphasized. For the people living in that day and age... it ended their way of life, ostensibly forever. In their society, God was supposed to bless the righteous with wealth and power. The destruction of the temple would have sent shockwaves throughout the Jewish world, it sent a message that, perhaps, God had brought judgment upon the nation of Israel again.
Unless I am mistaken, Juijitsuboxer is referring to the coming kingdom or Jesus' return. 
 
Preterism holds that Jesus did return in AD 70 and destroyed the Temple.

My point of view on this is that Jesus and Paul were not in error to expect imminent destruction because it did, in fact, occur in AD70. Considering the hypberolic and figurative nature of the culture of the Middle East, both then and now (who can forget Saddam's 'Mother of All Battles comment), the destruction of the temple certainly fits with both the description and the timeliness of the prophecies.
 
10/10/10 7:52 PM
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Grakman
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 I'd be interested in hearing the Orthodox and Christian Anarchist view of the Second Coming / Destruction of the temple. Should I start another thread or hijack this one? :P
10/10/10 10:02 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman -  I'd be interested in hearing the Orthodox and Christian Anarchist view of the Second Coming / Destruction of the temple. Should I start another thread or hijack this one? :P

 New thread. 
10/11/10 8:29 PM
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DonkeyKick215
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lol- threads like this expose all religion as hypocracy
10/11/10 9:40 PM
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LMMAFan
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Grakman - My point of view on this is that Jesus and Paul were not in error to expect imminent destruction because it did, in fact, occur in AD70. Considering the hypberolic and figurative nature of the culture of the Middle East, both then and now (who can forget Saddam's 'Mother of All Battles comment), the destruction of the temple certainly fits with both the description and the timeliness of the prophecies.
 
I don't want to steer this thread too far off topic but I will say this.  I believe Preterism is an obtuse attempt to rationalize why the apostles errantly believed end times were imminent. It is also an unsophisticated effort to protect the doctrine of biblical inerrancy or infallibility.  Christianity shoots itself in the foot with this foolish bible worship.  Let's leave this topic for another thread. 

My point stands.  Paul clearly believed end times were imminent, thus his urgent plea for celibacy.  Even if the Preterist view is true (we'll assume that "end times" already happened in A.D. 70), how does Paul's call for celibacy apply today?

10/12/10 1:02 AM
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Grakman
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LMMAFan - My point stands.  Paul clearly believed end times were imminent, thus his urgent plea for celibacy.  Even if the Preterist view is true (we'll assume that "end times" already happened in A.D. 70), how does Paul's call for celibacy apply today?

Well, my friend this is a great rebuttal, and would win you the argument except for the fact that it does not appear Paul's only reason for recommending celibacy was because he thought the 'end times' were near:

I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of marriage, and to others he gives the gift of singleness. 8 Now I say to those who aren't married and to widows-- it's better to stay unmarried, just as I am” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8 NLT).

The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:32-34).

Essentially, Paul argues that celibacy is preferred because a celibate person can be more focused on the affairs of the Lord rather than the world. In other words, it's a lot easier for a man to go out and spread the Gospel making disciples of all nations if he isn't stuck at home helping pick out drapes and entertaining the in-laws on the weekends. :)

Jesus himself even recommended celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 19:8-12
8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

 10The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

 11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[a]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."


10/12/10 1:13 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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Grakman - 
LMMAFan - My point stands.  Paul clearly believed end times were imminent, thus his urgent plea for celibacy.  Even if the Preterist view is true (we'll assume that "end times" already happened in A.D. 70), how does Paul's call for celibacy apply today?

Well, my friend this is a great rebuttal, and would win you the argument except for the fact that it does not appear Paul's only reason for recommending celibacy was because he thought the 'end times' were near:

“<span style="font-weight: bold;">I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of marriage, and to others he gives the gift of singleness. 8 Now I say to those who aren't married and to widows-- it's better to stay unmarried, just as I am</span>” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8 NLT).

“<span style="font-weight: bold;">The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband</span>” (1 Corinthians 7:32-34).

Essentially, Paul argues that celibacy is preferred because a celibate person can be more focused on the affairs of the Lord rather than the world. In other words, it's a lot easier for a man to go out and spread the Gospel making disciples of all nations if he isn't stuck at home helping pick out drapes and entertaining the in-laws on the weekends. :)

Jesus himself even recommended celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 19:8-12
<sup id="en-NIV-23769" class="versenum">8</sup>Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. <sup id="en-NIV-23770" class="versenum">9</sup>I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."<p> <sup id="en-NIV-23771" class="versenum">10</sup>The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, <b>it is better not to marry</b>."</p><p> <sup id="en-NIV-23772" class="versenum">11</sup>Jesus replied, "<b>Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given</b>. <sup id="en-NIV-23773" class="versenum">12</sup>For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and <b>others have renounced marriage<sup value="[<a href="#fen-NIV-23773a" title="See footnote a">a</a>]" class="footnote">[</sup></b><sup value="[<a href="#fen-NIV-23773a" title="See footnote a">a</a>]" class="footnote"><a title="See footnote a" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019:8-12&version=NIV#fen-NIV-23773a"><b>a</b></a></sup><b><sup value="[<a href="#fen-NIV-23773a" title="See footnote a">a</a>]" class="footnote">]</sup>because of the kingdom of heaven</b>. The one who can accept this should accept it."</p>



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10/12/10 6:40 PM
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LMMAFan
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 Grakman,

It is evident to me that the meaning of what Jesus said and what Paul wrote is diffferent.  Jesus' words clearly define the fact celibacy is an option available to very few people.  Paul desired all unmarried people to remain celibate and stated it was "better" to be unmarried.  I don't see this connotation in Jesus's words at all.    When taken into context, everything Paul wrote was influenced by the immediacy of "the coming kingdom."   

How would the human race survive if all unmarried people remained celibate? 
10/12/10 9:39 PM
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Grakman
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Edited: 10/12/10 9:40 PM
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LMMAFan -  Grakman,

It is evident to me that the meaning of what Jesus said and what Paul wrote is diffferent.  Jesus' words clearly define the fact celibacy is an option available to very few people.  Paul desired all unmarried people to remain celibate and stated it was "better" to be unmarried.  I don't see this connotation in Jesus's words at all.    When taken into context, everything Paul wrote was influenced by the immediacy of "the coming kingdom."   

How would the human race survive if all unmarried people remained celibate? 

 I'm not sure if your question is rhetorical or if you're actually expecting an answer lol.

Paul did say that sometimes that his instructions were 'from the Lord,' and other times from himself. My opinion is that he and Jesus both spoke of the same thing; Jesus words were more matter of factly noting quantity, i.e.that  very few would find celibacy for the kingdom; while Paul talked about quality, in that celibacy was the preferred way while yet realizing that this was the ideal and not really possible for the majority of people.
 
10/17/10 10:29 AM
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LMMAFan
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 It is rhetorical but how do you (not just you Grakman) explain that away?
10/17/10 11:30 AM
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Grakman
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I don't think Paul or Jesus were ever under the illusion that everyone would be celibate, so they had no need to worry about the ultimate extinction of the human race. The dichotomy between 'go forth and multiply' and 'celibacy for the kingdom' ultimately found it's expression in the West with a celibate clergy and prohibition against birth control for the laity. I'm not sure I agree necessarily, but it certainly offers one explanation of how the church can advocate both. Phone Post

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