St Paul is well known for his views on these matters. In all probability we shall never know. It was simply too much to accept that Mary might ever have indulged in such a sordid practice as sexual intercourse. It is good for a man not to touch a woman. As long as a woman is for birth and children, she is different from man as body is from soul.
Women were gateways to the Devil, the way of evil, the sting of the scorpion. The section on the sacrament of matrimony states that really it would be desirable for all Christians to remain unmarried. What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature painted with fair colours! Guilty, you must bear its hardships. Thirdly, it was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. It is not difficult to find examples of Paul advocating sexual abstinence: Up until the s, marriage services of Churches in the Anglican communion reflected traditional ideas, identifying three reasons for marriage: The image of God, the man Adam, you broke him, it was child's play to you. Christian theologians and teachers are still characterising genitalia by terms such as "vile" and "obscene". As canon of the Roman Catholic code of canon law affirms: The baptism of Jesus. Women in the Church seem to have been generally despised, except when they were large contributors to church funds or when they proved useful for missionary work. Baptistery, Ceiling mosaic, Ravenna, Italy detail. The views of these early Church Fathers determined the path taken by Christianity. However, there seems to have been some ambiguity to the acceptability of the practice. So it was that in early Church art Satan was often represented as being female, so too the need to emphasise the virginity of Jesus" mother. It is good for a man not to touch a woman. As long as a woman is for birth and children, she is different from man as body is from soul. Views such as these found their way into the widely influential Malleus Maleficarum, the witch-hunters" handbook, which in Part I, question 3 confidently asserted that "the power of the devil lies in the privy parts of men", Other religions do not share Christianity's obsession with the sinfulness of sexual activity. The link is attributable to the predisposition of the men who fashioned the early Church. One twentieth century ex-pastor sums up the New Testament outlook in less guarded terms: St Paul is well known for his views on these matters. The Christian concept of sin stems from the teachings of men with unusual, sometimes pathological, sexual attitudes. No such connection is made in the gospels, though suggestions of it find their way into other New Testament writings e. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. From a few remaining documents it is possible to conclude that Jesus" interest in certain disciples may have been more than spiritual. In all probability we shall never know.
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